Sunday, January 18, 2009


I was bemused the other day when I ran across this picture on Martha Stewart’s website:

Dang, I thought, she sneaked into my house to borrow my pot!

This is an YiXing pot, picked up several years ago at a yard sale in San Mateo, where we used to live. The original owner said she made a trip to China right after it was opened to trade with the US, and this was the souvenir she brought back. We love this thing, which started us on our little collection of YiXing (pronounced ee-shing) pots, now up to four. It's one of the things I always look for at sales, and find so rarely. I'm guessing Martha probably paid more than two bucks for her pot. Of course, if she did sneak in to borrow mine, she also sneaked it back again. I'm betting Edward helped.
He's a very helpful boy. This is how he helps with the laundry.

Went garaging Saturday with two friends, Marcia and Diane, and we had a ball. Everyone found good stuff—Marcia bought a set of Mills Brothers albums and a lovely silver chocolate pot set; Diane scored big time with a nice end table for her living room, purse, skirt from France (more on that), framed picture…I can't even remember all she got. I came home with four new things; I'm happy to report that I was better at remembering my resolution not to buy every good deal this year. And thinking of the things I almost bought and didn’t…they were good things, but I'm just as glad I left them. Whew—no regrets!

The first sale was two-in-one—a nice young couple had their wares set up on the double driveway, and an older lady (perhaps the mother of one of them) was sitting in a chair on the lawn guarding a collection of clothing spread out on a sheet. She was a hoot—bright red dyed hair, rhinestone sunglasses—but perhaps not as ready to part with her wardrobe as she needed to be. Diane overheard her arguing with a customer about the price of a shirt. “Why, I paid $150 for that!” she exclaimed. Our reaction was 1) why would anyone pay $150 for a shirt, and 2) it's a yard sale!

We encountered the other end of the spectrum a few stops later. Not only were these people ready to part with their cast off clothing, they were ready to party with them as well. When we walked up, the husband of the original owner of this skirt was showing off the wares. In fact I think he would have modeled every piece of clothing on the driveway with the slightest bit of encouragement.
He was quite happy to pose for a picture, which I said was SO going in my blog. The paint-spattered boots are the perfect accessory, don’t you think?

After our photo session he draped the skirt over the side mirror on the truck parked in the drive. I sidled over to look at it—gorgeous light weight wool classic pleated skirt from France. Sidled back over to Diane and told her to take a look, seemed to be about her size. Price was a dollar—or if she would also take the guy who modeled it, they’d pay her twenty bucks. The two ladies having the sale swore he is a really, really nice guy. Diane, having a really nice guy at her house already, declined the offer (we didn’t have room for him in the car anyway). He professed disappointment both at not getting a new home and the loss of his pleated skirt, so I picked up another skirt from the pile on the driveway and handed it to him. He promptly pulled it on and began to dance around. As we left, they called out to come back soon. Not a chance! we called back, but we all waved to each other as we drove away.

I spent $4.00, but got twenty five cents back. The last thing I found was this box:

It's quite dirty, but I'm picturing it cleaned up and lined with some interesting cloth. When open, the lid looks like a little stage; maybe I can make it into some kind of art piece.
There was some random junk inside, including a handwritten note that says Pure Play (I'm sure that’s just red ink on it…) some Mardi Gras necklaces, and a quarter.
I have found money a couple of times while garaging, but I don’t think I ever bought something with money in it before. And yes, it's only a quarter, but remember, my husband’s Land's End cashmere sweater cost a quarter!

Also found another pair of embroidered pillow cases. These look like Grandma finished them and they were put away and never used, but rest assured they will be used now!

I was able to replace my hummingbird feeder, which recently bit the dust. We have quite a few hummers year round, and I've missed feeding them.
Unlike buying a feeder in a store, this one came with handwritten instructions for making your own hummer food, rather than advertising pre-mixed sugar water.
I love hummers, and they do love to be fed. Last summer one day the feeder was empty, and a hummer kept flying back and forth from right in front of my face over to the feeder. You could practically see her hands on her little hips and her foot tapping impatiently. Come on, get the danged feeder filled!

I absolutely adore this piece, a two-inch high silver cat. Made by Dansk, wonderfully abstract—and heavy. Can't be solid silver, it weighs almost half a pound! It was pretty tarnished, so after taking the before picture…
…I went looking for the silver polish. Which is lost. How in the world did we lose a tin of silver polish from under the sink? Undeterred, I used my backup silver polish: toothpaste. Yes, my dears, it does a dandy job removing tarnish

and your shiny object smells pleasantly minty afterward as well!


  1. Edward was just sorting the clothes.

    Nice stuff you picked up. You may be cutting back, but you sure got quality items this time! Love the kitty.

    If I hadn't had my husband in my sights all day, I would have sworn that was him modeling the skirts. Not exactly the same in looks, but definitely in attitude and silliness (and boots.) I love a guy who's secure in his manhood.

  2. What great finds! I love the cat and pillowcases. And the picture of your...ahem...model, is hilarious!

  3. I am soo jealous about those beautiful pillowcases! And thanks about the silver polish tip. I always look around stores like Target or Walmart for it, but never find it.

  4. I love the pillowcases and the silver cat. Good finds!

  5. i agree, lovely cat figurine. luckily i'm more of a dog person - and if it had been a doggy silver figurine, you might've had a fight on your hands ;)

    that hummingbird feeder is very pretty also. talk abt luck finding one of those! i've never ever seen one of those for sale around here.

    i actually went garaging myself on the weekend and thought of you ( as i rummaged through some clothes, and lo and behold found a 100% lambswool sweater for $1!!

    off i went, lugging it home and tried my hand at felting it in the washer. not sure it worked 100% - i dumped in two pairs of shoes as well as some other miscellaneous laundry, and the fibre does seem a bit more matted together, but not sure if i should run it through another cycle or not. i ended up just hanging it on the line to dry.

  6. I love the pillowcases and that Dansk cat is a real beauty!

  7. Hey Sandra--I usually buy silver polish at the grocery store, the two or three times in the last 35 years that I've bought it (silver not playing a huge part in my life). But toothpaste is ever with us.

    Enigmatic Butterfly, sometimes I rewash a wool sweater to see if it will felt more. It's more art than science, but however it turns out you can use it for something. I'm immensely flattered that you thought of me while garaging!

  8. E. Butterfly~
    try washing it again and then put it in the dryer. That can help felt it also.
    Queenie~That box intrigues me. what is the exterior? painted wood, or does it have a texture? An interesting find!
    I was at Goodwill on Friday and found a beautiful teal top decorated with very fancy ethinic embroidery. I am hoping to take the embroidery off and put onto another garment, and use the pretty teal fabric for a doll dress. Price: $1.50. Not bad for a second-hand store!

  9. I'm *swooning* over those embroidered pillowcases... so lovely!

  10. Hi there!
    Thanks for visiting me :)
    You have way better luck than I do with your thrifty finds - you have some great things.
    Those pillowcases are just gorgeous - I love an embroidered other half is not so sure!!

  11. I've just spent the last hour and a half or so reading your blog! I'm really jonesin' for a good yard sale, but it's cold here in Alabama! My Mom and I have a tradition of getting a twenty dollar bill a piece on Saturday mornings and yard sale-ing until our hearts are content!

    For now, it's thrift store season, until it's warmer. Not as nifty and full of character as yard sales, but at least we get our cheap find thrills!

  12. Oh, that silver cat is so beautiful! And that box is fabulous as well.
    Thanks for all your comments on my blog, I always enjoy hearing from you!

  13. Hi there-thanks for stopping by with your lovely comment!! Your finds are soo awesome, I also checked out the quilt and left a comment there too! I adore the silver cat find, how adorable!!

  14. I just found your site..I love the manskirt!. I like thrifting too...went to the Sr. thrift center tday...I found two brand new cashmere sweaters from italy for $5.00. I've never owned cashmere....but it is sooooo soft and squishy,cozywarm!

  15. That box looks amazing! I think it will be very pretty once it's cleaned!

  16. love the kitty and the box.... nice pillowcases as well.


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

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