Sunday, September 7, 2014

Finding Feathers

It’s starting to feel like fall, but instead of a nip in the air we had temperatures in the high 90s this weekend. But neither rain nor sleet nor hot afternoons can keep us from our self-appointed rounds. Perhaps because school has started, Friday was pretty quiet. Not too many sales and not too many shoppers. And not too many bargains, though I’m happy with whatever I find. In this case it was what I believe is linen string

linen string

(I’m sure I can find something cool to use it for, and it cost a quarter) plus a pashmina-and-silk shawl that I will enjoy draping myself in (especially for 75 cents)

pashmina shawl

and a homemade cup cozy (also a quarter).

button on cozy

I just wanted the button!

Saturday morning I grabbed Judy, who was waiting at the foot of her driveway, and we sped to the sale where I’d seen something I really wanted in one of the pictures on their Craigslist ad. When we pulled up in front of the house, I just knew I’d been there before. “Do you work at the hospital?” I asked the lady minding the sale. “I remember you, you came to my last sale!” she exclaimed. “When was that, three or four years ago?” “Three,” I said with complete certainty. Are you wondering how I knew? Hers was the very first sale I went to after I retired and moved to Salem. I’d been here all of two days. We had a lovely conversation; she certainly couldn’t have remembered me for what I spent there, because it was one whole buck for some Lake Woebegone tapes.

I immediately asked about the item I was hoping to buy. And was heartbroken to hear it had gone the day before (didn’t even know about her sale on Friday or I would have been there first thing). It was the footstool that matches my beloved Siesta Chair, which was scooped up by some guy who grabbed it, paid the five bucks it was marked, and left. I have to keep telling myself it’s okay, it wasn’t meant to be, it’s only a footstool…but I really really wanted it!

But maybe the garage sale gods felt a little sorry for me, because I found great stuff all morning. From this first sale, I got two extremely warm wool sweaters for the hubs

wool sweaters

and some beautiful handknit sweaters

handknit sweaters

and a pair of down-filled slippers. No cold feet at my house this winter!

warm feet this winter

Even though I love the green billfold I found recently, I picked up this little painted one.

painted billfold

Just big enough for the basics. I think I’ll use it in my fanny pack to leave more room for the camera.

smaller billfold

So I can keep taking pictures like this one of Scruffy.

Scruffy sniffs

They found Scruffy at the shelter when he was about 6 months old (several years ago). “He was so peculiar looking I wasn’t sure I wanted him,” the lady told me. “But I kept thinking about him so I went to see him again.” “She called me and made me come look at him,” her husband chimed in. “And now we wouldn’t take anything for him.” They made sure his Mohawk on top of his head was standing up for his picture.

Once we’d finished with a few sales in our part of town, Judy and I crossed the river for the neighborhood sale in one of the local retirement neighborhoods. The first stop there had a large pink sign proclaiming theirs “The Best Sale of the Day.” And I did indeed find what turns out to be quite a bargain. There were some nice looking shoes, and I tried one on, and it fit perfectly.

blue Mary Janes

Tried on a couple others and one more pair was Just Right.

brown Waldlaufers

Both pairs are brand new, five bucks a pair. I’d never heard of the brands so I looked them up when I got home. The brown ones are German and the price tag I found on the shoe box was $159.95. The blue Mary Janes would run $140 or more in a store – and they’re fitted with after-market insoles that start at about $45. So five bucks each? Such a deal!

As we paid I asked the lady if we should just skip the rest of the sales in the neighborhood since her sign said theirs was the best. She thought we’d be safe doing that, but we kept going anyway. A little later we were at one of those ridiculously overpriced sales and Judy commented dryly, “They need a sign here that says ‘We just THINK we have the best sale.’”

At another sale Judy spotted something I’ve always kind of wanted.

pecking chickens

Yup, I’m the kind of person who’s always wanted a pecking chicken toy. I also found a couple of linen tea towels. Don’t you love this vintage one with the cheerful singing hen?

singing chicken towel

I’ve been wanting to make that pieced quilt top I found recently into a lap quilt. I don’t care much for regular quilt batting, so I was happy to find the perfect thing for the middle layer. Not sure if it was a tablecloth or a blanket, but it’s soft and cotton and will just give the right amount of weight.

lap quilttexture

Now I just have to score the perfect fabric for the ends and back and I’ll be ready to sew.

We all got a good chuckle over this vintage cookbook.

Well FedWell Fed author

In fact, the lady having the sale decided to keep it!

This instruction book may encourage me to expand my knitting projects to the dogs.

knit for dogs

One other sale was billed as ‘The Dollar Sale.’ Anything for a buck. I picked up some brown wool tweed fabric, about 3 yards, that probably won’t be right for the upholstery project I was thinking of. I’ll just hang onto it until some other inspiration strikes. Also bought this kit for adding appliqués to a shirt.

falling leaves kit

I’m not going to decorate any sweatshirts, but for a dollar, the two packets of buttons are a steal.

           autumn leaf buttons          

We drove away laughing over something else he had for sale.


I kind of think he didn’t want anyone to open the feathers.


  1. Oh what luck you had!! I especially envy the Pashmina, it looks so lovely and soft. The "Falling Leaves" buttons are so cute too. Is n;t it fun, looking for bargains on stuff we didn't even know we wanted?

    1. It certainly is fun, and isn't it amazing how much you find you want? Good thing these items are on driveways!

  2. Oh, I'd have snapped up that cookbook in a second! Guess you're not surprised, huh?

  3. This is my first time visiting but I love how joyous your blog is! Its more like a diary :D

    1. I'm so glad you found us! I don't think I've ever had a bad day out garaging. It's always fun!

  4. You really scored on those cute shoes! Can I borrow the dog sweater book when you're not using it? I know some chilly Dachsies who need sweaters!


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

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