Monday, March 16, 2015


“Not many sales this morning,” I told Judy as she got into the car Friday morning. “I have low expectations.” We agreed that it didn’t matter, we still got that thrill of setting out on a treasure hunt. And the first place we stopped had a cute vintage outdoor table set that Judy liked. The lady said she had recently painted it that color, one of Judy’s favorites. Judy was giving it a good scrutiny when one of the people helping with the sale came out and taped a Sold sign on it.

Oooookay. So much for that!

I ended up spending fifty cents there.

Sticky things

I’ll need to stick something somewhere, sometime, right?

The next sale on the list was nonexistent. How does it happen that people put an ad on Craigslist and then there is no sale? Is it some cruel joke? And the next one had nothing, or at least nothing but decor type stuff. We’re both staying strong in our No Decor decision; it really helps having a friend along to agree that no matter how cute something is, it’s decor and we don’t need it. (I’m interested to see how long we last – and what rationales we’ll use when we give in to cuteness.)

Almost didn’t stop at the last sale, it looked so meager. But you never know. Ended up buying a couple more movies for my collection

More movies

and having a fun conversation with the guy having the sale. Another movie buff, so we all got to describe our favorite scenes from some of the ones he had for sale. We also admired his cockatiels and got to hear about the ones that recently had babies.

We were on the north side of Salem by then, and somehow our route back home took us by the big Goodwill store with the bins. I think maybe it was my car that decided to stop there, it just turned right into that parking lot and slid into a space.

Since I made my duct-tape dress form a couple of weeks ago, I find I’m looking at used clothing with new eyes. Just completed my first upcycle that started with a linen sweater

Linen sweater Linen sweater detail

a pair of linen blend pants

linen pants

and a little silk shirt, and became this.


I especially loved adding some vintage buttons from my stash.

Vintage buttons

I think this is going to be really fun. Figuring out ways to combine things to make something new, unique, and comfortable…not to mention frugal. And thanks to those church rummage sales and the Goodwill bins, I have wonderful materials to work with. Materials that cost so little I can experiment with complete impunity. That upcycled sweater has less than a dollar invested in it!

So we waded through bins, looking mostly for linen (and cashmere, for next winter). I got to chatting with another lady and noticed a black linen dress in her cart.

Linen dress

“Holler if you see more linen,” I said, and she told me to take that one. “I have no idea if my daughter would ever wear it,” she said, and put it in my cart. So now I’m not just shopping the bins, I’m shopping in other people’s carts!

Ended up with a whole new stack of possibilities.

Goodwill bins

In these end-of-the-line bins, once you stop looking for something in a particular size there are wonderful choices in fabrics. A retro print

Retro rayon

and some printed silk

Silk print

that might work with this embroidered linen.

Linen shirt

Charm galore

Cute Jacket

and hand embroidery.


I can hardly wait to play with all my textiles. But I will have to wait, because I’m taking a little trip! I’m driving to San Francisco to meet up with my friend Marcia. We’ll be going to the San Francisco Garden Show, and seeing old friends, and going to fun restaurants and generally being happy retired ladies. This is exactly the kind of jaunt I fantasized about while I was waiting to retire!

I did find one other thing in the Goodwill bins that turned out to be the exact right size – but not for me. As I was rummaging I spotted a dog coat and picked it up. And got really excited when I saw the logo. A real Thunder Shirt in Zoe’s size! Zoe in ThundershirtSee, some dogs are soothed by being swaddled during thunderstorms or fireworks. We tried it with Zoe last Fourth of July when she was so upset by the bangs, using an old t-shirt and safety pins. Definitely helped her. I looked at buying her one of the commercial wraps, but they cost $30-40 and I figured we’d be fine with the homemade variety. But I’m more than happy to be able to strap on the real thing when I can buy it for about 80 cents!

Thundershirt logo



  1. I'm jealous because I have to go out of town to find the Goodwills with the end of the line bins. Interestingly, I was just talking with a vendor at the flea market about thunder shirts. The hotel they were staying at was right by the airport, and the planes had been freaking their cute little dog all weekend. They forgot to bring his shirt with them when they came into town for the flea market.

    1. Well, holler when you make it to Salem and I'll take you to our bins! We'd have a ball. And tell that vendor a t-shirt and some safety pins will work in a pinch.

  2. I hop-e the thunder shirt works for Zoe! GREAT price!! I've missed you. Hope you are doing well! We are okay. Just very busy with life.

    1. Since I bought the thunder shirt, we've had no thunder. Maybe it will keep the 4th of July quiet too!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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