Tag Archives: yard sale

Saturday’s rummage finds (the bargain hunter in her natural habitat)

I hit 2 rummage sales and one yard sale this past Saturday and want to share what I got. I’ve said it before, but Show and Tell was my favorite thing in early grade school.

Before I launch into the finds, let me reiterate that I’m definitely anti-clutter and have unloaded A LOT of stuff over many years and routinely get rid of things. Just last week I was in a certain kind of mood one day and told myself, “Find five things to get rid of” (which makes it kind of a game). It took about 1.5 hours to hit my goal which I took as a very good sign – it means I’ve already gotten rid of most of the stuff that I should. Along the way I found a couple things for recycling too but they couldn’t count in the 5 items.

So, onto my acquisitions. At the first rummage sale, one with many tables at the fire house, I took my time and found a couple good things.

On first glance I thought this necklace might be a vintage costume piece. It wasn’t but for a buck, I still liked it. These pictures don’t do it justice; it’s a brighter more attractive gold.


It’s huge! 6″ end to end


Scented candle in tin, so nice in winter


Eye shadows and a .10 Scunci brand hair clip

Modeling the hair clip (I’ve been growing my hair & this clip particularly makes it look super long):

I next went to a church holiday fair which included “White Elephant” items.


$1 for a 100 white light strand (I’ll be attaching them to a 100 light strand I already have and will use to decorate in December)


I was delighted to find this plug-in light Jack-o-lantern for a dollar


The sales lady gave me this gorgeous 13″ candle along with my jack-o-lantern; I don’t think she expected many shoppers to want Halloween stuff at a Christmas fair

My last stop was a local yard sale. I didn’t get much but it was worth stopping.


Unused lamp switch and a Craftsman screw driver, for a quarter together!


Easy Spirit shoes, lots of use left, for just $1; here they are fresh from the washer

For under $6 I got all these useful-to-me finds. And it was fun.

Finds at the Nursery School Yard Sale

This is a just-for-fun post. I went to the cooperative nursery school’s annual yard sale yesterday. It started at 8am so I was up and out early on a quiet, cool, foggy morning. It was worth it though, since I found a couple good things. I was surprised to find plenty of people already milling around the picnic tables and tarps loaded with goods, especially because rain threatened.

The shoes weren’t promising but rooting around through the clothes yielded two tops, one a deep purple Reebok zip-up top and another a velvety, deep emerald green long-sleeved top. I’m afraid my tablet photo doesn’t do the green top justice; it’s prettier than it looks. I don’t usually buy clothes I can’t try on first unless they are dirt cheap so I kept my clothes purchases minimal as clothes were $2 (my idea of cheap is .50 or $1, just saying).



The best find was a beautiful, wool, chocolate brown Downton Abbey style hat. I have been lucky enough to previously find a blue/gray Downton Abbey type of hat at a thrift store last year. I LOVED the hats on Downton Abbey and would have been attracted to them at any time but in the past hats like this didn’t turn up in my second-hand searches. Maybe the show is to credit with the availability/production of such hats; I don’t follow fashion closely enough to say for sure. I’m just glad I have two! For a buck apiece! Anything that I buy like this I wash; in this case I hand-washed the hat and spun it in a laundry bag in the washing machine. (And? Have you heard? A Downtown Abbey movie is in the works, yay!)

This sweet shell bracelet was just .50. It’s lovely.

The last find was an Old Navy lined carryall bag (I didn’t realize that’s who made it until I looked at home) that was also a total bargain at .50. This bag looks like summer to me: beaches, pools, and picnics. I washed it and will put it away for next summer. It had a big yellow pompom on the strap and I promptly dispensed with that.

Note: Please forgive a day or two’s delay in responding to any comments.

It’s May show and tell time!

A number of nice, free or cheap things have come my way in the last month and I’d like to share them with you. I always loved show & tell in grade school and well, I still do. I figured I’d pack a bunch into one post.

I lucked into these Sloggers rain boots in my size at the small local church thrift store. Sloggers is a U.S. brand that makes oh-so-cute rain boots and garden shoes. I already had some I bought from Amazon. They have nice thick treads and since I don’t have a car and walk a lot  I wear them often. This particular pattern is one I’ve covetously eyed and knowing their usual price, I didn’t mind paying a modest $5 for a second hand pair, ones which are perfect for spring/summer in this beautiful pastel shade.



Last week I saw what I thought was trash in the street and I was going to get it out of the roadway (doing a good deed natch) but when I got closer I saw it was two Holmes window fan boxes with fans inside. I wasn’t optimistic that they’d work but I took one home to see and lo and behold it was a working fan so I fetched the other one. My best guess is they’d been left on the curbside but the grass cutters mowing a “common” area had knocked them into the street. It was odd there wasn’t a “FREE” sign on them; if I hadn’t picked them up they’d likely have gone to the landfill because who expects random roadside appliances to work?? Especially when they appear to be trashed boxes.

They were really dirty, especially one, so I had to take it apart, even breaking a small, unimportant piece in order to clean it but I looked online and these sell for $40 each at Target so not such a bad deal. Not only are they digital but they have a reversible “exhaust” feature.



I paid $2 at a community school yard sale for these Levis 314 “shaping straight” size 29 jeans. The people were nice enough to let me take them into a close-by building to try them first and they were perfect.


Someone tossed out a small set of drawers. The drawers were cheaply made and I didn’t want them but the solid metal drawer pulls were great so I only took them. This isn’t typically something I’d do particularly if I think it’ll render an item useless for the next potential grabber (I once didn’t take an IKEA bed frame because I only wanted it for the lumber and it seemed right to leave it for someone needing a bed, only to later learn from another person that a fellow came along after me and took it for the lumber!). However, drawer pulls are easy enough to procure so I didn’t feel too guilty.


I set them in the dish drain to take the picture to show you

I’m not sure what I’ll do with them; they could be drawer or door pulls or if I attached them to a board I could make a little rack for hanging things.

Someone advertised a large, free glass bowl on line along with other items. I was delighted to be the first person to request it. The bowl turned out to be good quality Anchor Hocking, perfect for making breads. It was great timing because I’ve been looking at large bowls online but thought they were too pricey. Here it is next to a measuring cup to show size.


I think this next is my favorite. I happened to see this IKEA Poang chair on the local Freecycle group (other than to give stuff away I rarely look at it because the group is very popular and nice items get plenty of replies). For whatever reason though, I saw this listing with a photo about an hour after it went online and somehow I knew this chair was mine. Sometimes I just get those feelings. I was right! The lister contacted me and I picked it up promptly. The cover needed a thorough washing (not dissing the owner; it had been used on a screened porch and abandoned by the previous home owner) and the arm rests needed sanding, both of which I did right away.

It happened that I found a tossed-out IKEA Pello chair several years ago (and after cleaning it and washing the cover of course) I put it in my room. It’s been fine but the white cover gets messy fast and it’s not my favorite shade. I thought I’d swap it for the new chair. However, a Poang chair is a bit larger than the Pello and it seemed too big for my little room. I had an idea: I swapped the covers! Even though each is made for its specific chair they still fit the other. So, here is the Pello chair I already had with the “new” Poang cover.


After having a plain white chair for years this in-your-face print is a big change but I love it! I put the Poang chair with the white Pello chair cover in the living room. Perfect!


Let me tell you about these two chairs. When I sit down in either I say, “Oooooohhhh“, close my eyes and promptly start yawning. Either I am too tired or these chairs are quite comfortable. I mean look at that chair above – it even appears to be leaning back & relaxing by itself!

And finally, I just got this ” glider” style bench curbside. You can make it move back and forth with your feet. Or you can just sit there sprawled on its unusual depth. It was kinda blackened when I found it but I scrubbed it up. I “willed” a new bench to come my way because another I’d found and had for many years finally had to get trashed; I’d made several repairs over the years but the wood had deteriorated too much. What’s cool about this one is I could remove the glider mechanism if I wanted and just have a bench. It appears from the bottom of the wood that it sat directly on the ground without protection so I may have to get rid of that part eventually. Benches like this are expensive and I love getting them as freebies.


think that’s everything – for now.

p.s. The day after I wrote this I found a beautiful 7′ umbrella thrown out for trash. I had to add it to this post!


Adding ethnic “touches” (to my decor)

A little while ago I noted the absence of ethnic decor in my home. I wanted more diverse touches. I scored just the sort of thing I had in mind at a yard sale last weekend and added them to this high, narrow shelf. Two of the wood animals were .50 apiece and the third was .75. I was smitten with each (I don’t want to buy things just to buy them – like slapping a big tribal mask on the wall so I can say I have something “ethnic” – it needs to resonate somehow and animals do).


The newcomers work perfectly here.


This little guy is heavier than he looks. Very solid.




This flat fish says made in Bali. Isn’t it gorgeous?!


I noticed after-the-fact one of his ears had been broken and glued but I would have bought him anyway. Now I won’t worry about ME busting off one of his ears.



Outfit for a Special Occasion (bargain style)

I had a special event to attend on a late Spring evening and I wanted to dress up. I’d be walking outdoors in prematurely hot weather and then be inside with air conditioning. Here’s my outfit:
This is a favorite dress – “a most excellent dress” – I bought new for $10 over ten years ago. I haven’t worn it too often so it’s still in nice shape. It’s probably the lowest cut piece of clothing I own; I’ve never been too comfortable with showing a lot of boobage. Short skirts & dresses, yes. Still, I’m at ease with the neckline here because not only is it fitted to the body and not gaping, but the ruffle adds another layer of material to the top.

Did I say this dress is short? I’m a good bit older than when I bought it and while I’m not ready to stop showing my legs, I could see it was too short for me now. I toyed with sewing a piece of fabric to the hemline but happily (since that was going to be boring hand sewing), just letting out the hem with a seam ripper gave the dress another solid inch of length and voila! That did the trick. The dress is now about 35″ long. (Should I still have this dress in five or ten years, maybe THEN I’ll sew on an extra piece of fabric!)

Comfortable flats for standing & walking.

Comfortable flats for standing & walking.

I knew I might get cold inside so I took this little jacket purchased from a thrift store or rummage sale (can’t remember which).
It’s so cute, not to mention a great match for this dress but for some reason I never seemed to wear it. I studied it to figure out why. The problem was it had two sets of snaps where the two fabric flowers are but none higher, so the loose fabric of the jacket hung open oddly at the top when I put it on, threatening to slide off my shoulders. To remedy this, I removed and re-sewed two snaps closer to the top, which made it fit much better.

When you have a special garment like this dress, it’s best not to over-accessorize in order to let it take center stage. Dress and skin are enough. For jewelry I paired earrings I made with this Avon necklace I got at a yard sale which I wore as a bracelet by wrapping it twice around my wrist. (I originally got that slick idea from a magazine or book.) Not all necklaces can work as bracelets but this one was perfect, especially since with all those loops, it could be hooked closed wherever I wanted.
(And here’s the necklace looking like a necklace:)

At a yard sale a few years ago I was delighted to find this and picked it up just in time I guess because another lady quickly asked if I was taking it. Oh yes I was!

At a yard sale a few years ago I was delighted to find this and picked it up just in time I guess because another lady quickly asked if I was taking it. Oh yes I was!

If I wasn’t going to be doing much walking and/or wanted to shake things up to make this outfit more fun/sexy, I’d bring in red touches. These sandals have about a two inch heel. A red purse would be really cute too but I don’t have a red purse. (Note to self: keep thrifty eyes open for red purse.)