Saturday, August 22, 2009


My friend Stephanie came garaging with me today. It was her first foray into thrifting on driveways, and she did very well. For less than ten dollars she went home with a shirt for her husband, a brand new dress with a sequined bodice for herself, a large Indian cotton tablecloth or bedspread (started to type breadspread…perhaps because soon I have to do the next step on the bread I'm making!), Italian spoon rest and matching salt and pepper, and the cutest little sequined Hello Kitty coin purse you ever did see. Might have been more, that’s all I can remember. Pretty darned good, huh?

She made one little guy’s day—he had a lemonade stand going at his mom’s sale, and she was his first customer. Mom seemed very proud of her little entrepreneur. Across the street we met another budding tycoon. Little boy about four years old was sitting by a small table, counting and sorting some coins. His mom told us he had come to her earlier and asked for some money, so she gave him some change. Then he told her that from now on, she would have to pay for any kisses from him!

One sale had a number of handmade wooden items, and the open garage door revealed a really wonderful shop. I was most intrigued with the flooring—the entire space was covered with short lengths of hardwood.

Probably not what you would want in the house, but it looked great in the garage/workshop. We talked for a while the gentleman here, who teaches woodworking at a community college. Just about everything he had for sale was a prototype of what his students made in class. One semester they all made interesting candleholders for tealights, blocks of wood of varying heights fastened together, all with beveled edges. He said this was a popular project, and a lot of the students gave them to their girlfriends for Christmas. Some students had to hurry and make two or three—because they had more than one girlfriend! He assured us it had a money-back guarantee: “If those candles won’t light I'll give you a full refund.”

He was very proud of this ingenious piece that does triple duty: ironing board to stepladder to chair!

When we left he invited us to take one of his classes sometime. He said he has lots of women students, including recently an 82 year old. Her husband died and left a whole garage full of tools, and she wanted to learn to use them all. “I wish I had as much energy as she did, and she’s eighty two,” he said. I commented that sometimes ladies have more energy after the husband dies, which perhaps was naughty of me. He pretended to be shocked, but he was laughing when he repeated it to his wife. And she laughed too.

Met a few pets today. The first was this handsome kitty, whose name has escaped my brain.
He came right up as though he wanted petting, then swept on by, twitching his noble tail. We stood there gaping with outstretched hands. His owner said he likes to be adored for a couple of minutes at a time, then off he goes.
Little Clementine had no time to notice any of the shoppers at their sale. She was completely focused on the piece of bread someone was eating.
This beagle is named Nigel. Isn’t that perfect? I believe he was a shopper rather than a resident dog.
Speaking of prototypes (I know, that was several paragraphs ago, but you can handle it!) take a look at this amazing instrument.
The seller told us a long story about how this was made as the prototype for a new type of marimba, back in the Twenties or Thirties I think she said.
I was listening with only half an ear because I was busy tapping out a tune with the handle of a candle snuffer, there being no mallets. I really wanted this piece, but it was a firm $300, dang it. And even if I now convinced myself that I could spend that much (and figured out where I would put it!) I no longer have the slightest idea where the sale was! So I guess my bank account is safe.

It is however $11.60 smaller than yesterday, thanks to these buys:
Two CDs
Two DVDs…if you’ve never seen Tender Mercies, please do, it's quite a lovely film.
One VCR, just in case our current machine dies. They SWORE it works.
Hmmm, guess I could have dusted it before taking the picture!

Found some door prizes for children’s librarians…magnetic letters and finger puppets and a headband with doggie ears.

I don’t even know how to describe this ball.
It's fringed and squishy and jiggly, and I discovered when I got home that there’s a light inside that changes color when you throw it. Hey, it was a dime. I’m sure I'll get ten cents worth of enjoyment just squishing it!

Thought this tiny bunny should hang out with my other bunny things, at least when he’s not delivering those Easter eggs. He’s all of 2” long.

One of the dogs ate the lid of a Tupperware container this week, so I found this Rubbermaid thingie to replace it. I think Edward was the culprit, his tummy’s been a little growly.
A stoneware crock to hold fresh roasted coffee beans.
This vase tempted me because of its heaviness. No cat is going to push this off a table! However, when I got home and looked at the shelf where I keep vases, I realized it's full, and I should have passed this by. So we’ll either have to weed out a vase to make room for it, or donate it, or find another use for it.
Probably should have passed by this Noritake sugar bowl too.
Just thought it was awfully pretty. Didn’t really want the pitcher since it has a chip out of the rim, but she made me take it. Hmmm, maybe I can put part of my button collection in them.
At least I have no guilt over this last item—a brand new Crate & Barrel spatula, the silicone kind that I use for cooking. And this is the only one in my collection with a gingerbread man embedded in it!

We’re taking a little trip up to Oregon next weekend to see friends and family, so I probably won’t have a dispatch for you until we get back. In the meantime, happy thrifting!


  1. Good morning...or the case may be. Can't sleep..prowling blogland. You always find the neatest things. That fringy, squishy ball thing is called a Koosh Ball. My sons used to have a weird fascination with these...they came in all colors and a myriad of sizes. Jason, my "baby", always wanted the one in the bottom of those machines that eat Mom's quarters. happy Sunday *elaine*

  2. Lots of great finds... Have a great week. Julie

  3. That guy sounds like a character! :)

    Great finds! love the little crock!

  4. Hi! Thanks for commenting on my blog, it's always encouraging to know that I'm not just writing for my own amusement, lol! You have inspired me to get to some garage sales and take my camera - what cute photos :-) I use a lot of planters to hold things, depending on the size that heavy glass vase might work for cosmetics or something in the kitchen.

  5. hi there! just hopping around blogland and landed here! thought I'd say hi!


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

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