Sunday, March 30, 2008

The Queen of Fifty Cents Begins Her Blog

Call it what you like—thrifting, sale hopping, I prefer the term garaging— my favorite form of gambling is a sport that requires little cash outlay and repays my efforts handsomely. Aside from the sheer fun of poking through other people’s stuff I find incredible deals, which I'll be sharing in this blog. I believe that along with the item you’ve bought, you also get bragging rights. Thrifters love to compare their best scores. We should have conventions--it would be like a family reunion, with attendees swapping tales about their best buys and lamenting the ones that got away. Like the vintage Morris chair at the estate sale in Minneapolis we saw moments after someone else had bought it. For five bucks.

But that was over thirty years ago and I'm over it. Almost.

Most of my garaging stories have happier endings. You do have to be disciplined or you can end up with so much stuff that you have to throw your own garage sale. (It's much more fun to go to them.) I still occasionally bring home something that isn’t a keeper. But my mistakes cost so little that they’re hardly likely to break the bank.

Quite the opposite. Some of the things I buy on Saturday morning are resold, usually on eBay, sometimes to a friend or colleague. One Saturday a few months ago I sold something out of the back seat of my car while I was still garaging…a story I'll tell you another time. It involved King Kong. Stay tuned.

Today was a good garaging day. I spent a total of $10.55 cents. I came home with:

Two hand puppets and a six foot long dragon, which I will give as door prizes in my next meeting with the children’s librarians I work with.

The blue goat is especially fetching. His tag says he’s by Baby Einstein, and that “Einstein and Albert Einstein are trademarks of The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.” Can't help wondering how Albert would feel about becoming a trademark. I suspect he would approve of Van Goat though.

These butterfly wings will be another door prize. The theme for the Summer Reading Program is Catch the Reading Bug. Can't you see your local children’s librarian in these?
Three videos. I shall indulge in an Anne of Green Gables festival soon.
A cute black and white checked cotton hoodie from Chico’s Design--destined to be sold.

A velveteen runner for my hall table at Christmas. Or maybe I'll wear it as a stole to some soiree in December.
Four wool sweaters for felting (well, one is cashmere--when you find cashmere for fifty cents you can felt it with impunity). I've thrown them in the washer and dryer already and they felted beautifully. One is as thick as shoe leather. I foresee some slippers in my future.
A bagful of free magazines…

…some ten-cent cooking magazines, a new enameled iron trivet, and a Mary Engelbreit scrapbook.

A planter that looks like copper.

Probably not really copper, but it cost a quarter and will look fabbo with flowers planted in it.

This great toy where the front part of the boy’s face is made of thin chain, so you shake the thing to give him different profiles. I anticipate endless hours of fun with this.

And this sweet porcelain figurine (originally a nightlight, but it's missing the light) of Pooh and Piglet in bed sharing a bedtime story. This will go live in my office, among my collection of children’s literature toys.

Besides the great stuff I found, I petted a mutt of mysterious lineage named Samantha and a fabulous golden retriever/Corgi cross named Moss (yup, he looked like a golden standing in a hole); and admired in someone’s garage a turquoise Rambler Ambassador—with fins. Saturday doesn’t get any better.

Hope your thrifting adventures were as much fun. I'll be back soon with more.
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