Wednesday, March 7, 2018


The daffodils that are starting to bloom in my yard are definitely a hint that spring is around the corner, but they are not the only one.

How does a thrifter determine that spring is coming? By the advent of church rummage sales, of course!

We ran over to West Salem for a moving sale that started early Friday morning (before heading to one of our favorite rummage sales). It was one of those that you immediately are positive that there will be nothing you want among the dribs and drabs on display, and then find something you like. (I love that kind of surprise.) My first surprise was a sweet little blue vase from Sweden, for the window ledge collection.

It throws a lovely blue shadow in the sun.

Then in a back corner of the family room, I spotted what has to be the epitome of midcentury atomic kitsch.

I bet most of us remember these salt & pepper shakers. Everyone had them back in the day; with the snap-on lids they were perfect to carry in a lunchbox or with your camping gear. I love the font.

But the stand! What a hoot. And apparently a hollow in the top of the knob is for toothpicks. So practical!

So all the omens were pointing toward a good day, and the rummage sale did not disappoint. This was the annual sale at the Methodist church where you buy a big paper bag for five bucks when you go in, and anything in the main room you can stuff in is your loot. As we have previously established, I'm a pretty darned good bag stuffer. So how did we do this year? Well, KK only found a couple of items (linen pants and a wool muffler), so into the bag they went. Then a toothbrush, new in package, always good to have a spare; and a piece of felt to practice sewing paper onto it before I try it with my vintage picture book. There was a mixed bag of embroidery thread (that's Millie at the top of the picture, who very much wanted it for her own), 

a large cone of sewing thread, and a linen jacket (it's too small for anyone I know; I want to try embroidering some of the motifs and making them into cute little pins). 

Plus two floral linen shirts, 

a pair of Travelsmith linen & cotton slacks with a hidden zipper pocket, 

and a Lagenlook-style top and matching skirt. 

When I looked up the brand, I found it was made for an exclusive shop up in Portland and must have originally cost at least a couple hundred bucks. I'm not a regular wearer of skirts, but somehow I love this one. And the top is the perfect showcase for my fabric necklaces. All of it great stuff, averaging less than 42 each. Woo hoo!

And that wasn’t all. As always, they had the “special” room with items deemed too valuable for bag stuffing. Fortunately this year the prices were better than I remember in the past, because I found a wonderfully ridiculous sweater that yes, I will wear, though I'm not sure anyone else ever did.

NOT a Christmas sweater, but a country music one! With lots of amazing beaded motifs 

and even a beaded lariat. 

Looks like something you should wear line dancing—except you’d die of overheating if you tried to dance in something this heavy.

We were on our way out when we remembered the jewelry room. I’ve never found anything there before…but this year I did. These Graffiti 93 brand mixed-metal earrings hang long on me but I care not, I love them. 

Notice that they are not identical - the heads are different shapes, as are the decorations on the clothing. The wires look to be handmade.

And the vintage clip-ons are actually comfortable to wear, which I find astounding. They’re so three dimensional. Aren’t they cool?

So that was Friday. The next day was the other big church rummage sale we usually go to…though I think this may be my last visit to them. The first year we went I found some great stuff, including a wonderful stash of yarn. But not so much since then. It is an astounding madhouse of cast-off stuff and hordes of people in a huge echoing gym—I can't help thinking of that painting of Hell by Hieronymus Bosch. And it's made even worse by the terrible blast of thumping rock music they play all day (being forced to listen to music I hate is my personal vision of Hell). When all I picked up was an admittedly lovely silk scarf and a blank book 

(I was lucky enough to find a rather hidden pay station back among the furniture so I did not have to stand in a long line to hand over my buck and a half) I decided this is probably the last time I'll attend this one.

But that’s okay. There will still be the big downtown church with its bag sale, and the Episcopalians, and of course our lovely Methodist ladies to look forward to each year, heralding the arrival of warmer days and sunnier skies.


  1. love to see what you do with the architectural print pins!

  2. Those are such great finds. I remember those salt and pepper shakers. What does that say about me?

    1. Hmmm, probably says you are either my age or you have a good relationship with your granny!

  3. Those S & P shakers are so great! Love the book and scarf also. I bought some great dresses for Scout the other day and it made me so happy to save money and find cute clothes!

    1. Oh, the kids' clothes we see! So happy you scored some!

  4. So many nice finds! Where do you look to find upcoming garage sales?

    1. Mostly from good old Craigslist! I also signed up for notices from which is handy sometimes. Happy hunting!


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

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