Tuesday, March 17, 2020

A Tiny Splurge

Strange times we are living in, right? Went to two sales on Friday, with no idea that these may be the last ones for a while, since we are all supposed to stay away from each for the foreseeable future. My own life is much the same as usual – I live alone and occasionally see other people, mostly at the dog park or the grocery store. But no more crowded estate sales for some time!

Friday’s first sale was for some folks who have moved over to the coast, and were selling the leftovers they weren’t taking. I spent a total of $2 and happily carried off a Pyrex pie dish 

(to replace the lovely vintage one that spontaneously shattered in storage – I could hardly believe my eyes when I opened that drawer!), 

a package of “cushion grip” push pins, 

two little spice jars, 

and a new bowl for Millie (who pushes her dish off the counter from time to time and breaks it, so a quarter is the most I want to spend!).

Then I headed to the estate sale, which was indeed crowded – both with stuff and shoppers. Didn’t find anything I wanted in the house, but out in the backyard I had more luck. I really liked the wrought iron sculpture of cattails and leaves, about 4 feet tall, but the price tag was twenty-five bucks. I just couldn’t do it; plants are a higher priority in my re-landscaping project and I need quite a few (my lot is just under a quarter of an acre). So I sighed and passed up the art. But a few feet away were some rather beat-up metal bell-shaped flowers stuck in the ground. 

They were priced at two bucks each, and when I looked at them I had An Idea. So I picked out three, and when I went to pay the guy taking money was happy with a fiver for the trio.

When I got home I located sandpaper in my untidy garage and scoured out the inside of each one, as well as rubbing off any rust on the stakes. Then I decided they might as well get really clean, so I loaded them in the dishwasher. They looked even rougher when I took them out! 

But not for long – I masked the edges on the backside, 

nestled them into a cardboard box, and sprayed the inner surfaces with copper metallic spray paint that I had on hand.

Wow, what a difference! I love them, and I think the copper surface makes them look quite upscale. 

My little splurge looks like it must have been a much bigger splurge than it was…my favorite kind of splurge of all!

Monday, March 9, 2020

Slim Pickings!

Every weekend I keep thinking that sales will start to pick up.

So far, I've been wrong!

I went to two estate sales on Friday. At the first, I picked up a large Silpat (silicone baking sheet) for a buck, because my ex had recently asked me to keep an eye out for one. This is one of those items I almost never see at sales, so I was amazed to run across one only days after we talked about it. For another fifty cents, I scored a woven basket.

 I've been looking for a wastebasket for my garage near the washer and dryer. For almost two years now I've thrown away lint from the dyer into an old paper grocery bag. 

I'm thrilled to finally upgrade to something so much nicer! This classic basket is beautifully made of split bamboo. My lint is going to feel so upscale from now on!

 Found nothing at the second sale, but had a nice chat with the ladies running it. They were the same folks who ran that once-in-a-lifetime sale three years ago where I got all the cashmeres. (Not surprisingly, I was actually wearing a cashmere sweater and a cashmere muffler from that sale on Friday.) There was so much stuff the sale ran for two weekends (and they said there was still a ton left at the end). The first weekend I spent $48 and brought home 55 items, including a Pendleton blanket that I sold on eBay for quite a lot more than I paid. (For everything, not just the blanket!) The second weekend (when prices were marked to half) I spent another $40 for 75 items, including more cashmere sweaters and several pairs of Pendleton wool slacks. It was so nice to be able to tell the ladies who ran that sale how much it meant to me and my posse. In fact, we get together every year to toast the lady whose things they were. She has come to feel like a favorite aunt whom we still miss, but so appreciate what she left us!

Last weekend I drove up to Seattle to attend the Northwest Garden Show. Lots of gorgeous stuff to see and lots and lots of people (“masses of asses” as KK so succinctly puts it). There was wonderful eye candy but the prices were not tempting. In fact, my only souvenir of the trip was a little cashmere cardigan I found at the Goodwill bins in Olympia, which are conveniently located just off the freeway. This is where they sell leftovers by the pound; the only thing my rummaging turned up that I liked was this sweater - which cost a measly 59. It was quite small, but no matter – I cut off the sleeves to make arm warmers (which I call ‘sleevie wonders’),

and the body of the sweater became a long pair of bed socks.

Just the kind of travel souvenirs I like – warm, soft and thrifty!

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