I'm a diehard thrifter and garage sale addict! I love the thrill of the hunt! And I love making CASH from trash so I also resell on eBay and Etsy. I share my successes to inspire you ... and my failures so you learn from my mistakes. Please join me on this wild and crazy ride of making cash from trash!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Thrifty Treasures Monday

No yard sales this weekend.  Looks like the peak of saling season is coming to an end as folks prepare for the fall and winter seasons. But this past Thursday, Mimi and I made it to the Salvation Army and our favorite little church thrift store.  And, they were both having sales!


The little thrift store had their clothes on sale for only $1.00!  I picked up a nice suede jacket for me and a girl’s winter jacket, both in great condition.  I also found this neat 2-shelf wicker unit in for only $1.95.  I have the perfect spot for it, but first I’m going to repaint it.

Saved Pictures

This black double-candle holder was only $0.55! I think it’ll be great for Halloween décor.  And, what about this cute 101 Dalmatians juvenile sheet for $1.55? It’s perfect as a backing for one of my quilts for kids.


 Mimi and I then made our way to the Salvation Army, where they were having a 25% sale on certain items, including all their wood knick-knacks.  Here’s what I found:


  • Solid wood shelf ($2.99) – will repaint and find a place for it
  • Wood sign ($1.99) – another crafting project
  • Pair of vintage wood bobbins ($1.77)
  • Two stained glass hangings ($2 each)
  • Double-arm glass candleholder ($0.50)
  • Wood game chest for checkers/backgammon ($2.87)


Then on Friday, I went thrifting with my BFF Viv and her darling GS.  Isn’t he a cutie?!

DSC00174[5]We met up for lunch and then went shopping for crafting supplies to make Christmas ornaments.  Afterwards, we headed to the GW; and right next door were a couple of thrift and antique stores so we hit those too.  One of the small thrift stores was having a 50% off sale so I picked these up:


  • Two milk glass lamps from 2 different stores ($4.00 and $5.20, both on sale)
  • Milk glass mugs ($1.00 each)
  • Rose rubber stamp for $1.50 (so much cheaper than the $7.99 at the craft store)
  • 8 sheets of designer wrapping paper at $0.25 each


Didn’t find too much at the GW, but did pick up this 2-photo picture frame ($2.99) and a quilt book by a favorite designer ($0.99).  And my score of the day:


This beauty is very solid and heavy; and is 2-1/2 ft. by 4 ft..  It has four drawers on one side and I just love it.  Best of all, it was only $50!  I’m sure something like this would cost at least $200 retail.  It does have some minor surface wear, but I can easily fix that.

All in all, we had some great thrifting adventures, and I do believe I found the “thrift” in thrift stores again!

So, Rhonda @ Southern Hospitality is taking a break this week from Thrifty Treasures Monday, but be sure to visit her blog this week for some great guest bloggers.

Until next time … happy thrifting and Goodwill haunting!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Freecycle and Mimi’s Trip to the Thrift Store

DSC00173[11]So, this morning during our breakfast of toast and coffee, Mimi tells me she wants to go for a ride.

“Mama,” she says, “you bought me that pretty bag yesterday and I want to try it out!”

“Well, sweetie,” I tell her, “I do have to go pick up some free boxes that I got from Freecycle; and then we can go visit the little thrift store from the church.”

Mimi got so excited, you see, because she is a BIG advocate of recycling and repurposing and reusing.  She says we should all GO GREEN!

“Mom,” she says, “don’t forget to tell all your blogging friends about FREECYCLE so they too can get FREE things.  And, you know what, Mom?  If they have things they don’t need or want any more, they can offer them to someone else.  That way it all stays out of our landfills and everyone wins!” (Most of the time Mimi calls me “mama”, but when she’s serious, which is not often, she calls me “mom”.)

If you haven’t heard of FREECYCLE, be sure to click here to learn about this great grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns.

I’ve gotten free bubble wrap and boxes for my business.  That is a huge savings!  You can easily pick up furniture, baby items, clothing, shoes, toys, computers, TVs – just about anything.  It’s first come, first served so you have to be quick on the draw!

Mimi asked me to take her picture with the pile of free boxes we got because she wants you to know that this is very important.  Afterwards, we made our way to the little church thrift store and, yes, even the Salvation Army where I picked up a couple of thrifty treasures. (Please click here for my thrifty treasure post.)


I’ll end with a picture of Mimi in her new carrier, patiently waiting in line at the thrift store.  She’s so cute!  I just love my Mimi.  Until next time …

Live well, laugh often, love much!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thrifty Treasures Thursday


I love reading about all the great bargains everyone finds at the thrift stores and yard sales.  I especially like to read about the awesome transformations and how you all use your treasures to decorate your homes.

I’ve been so inspired by all the blogs that I’ve been buying thrifty treasures to repurpose, reuse and redecorate.  Here’s a list of my thrifty finds from yesterday’s and today’s trips to Goodwill and Salvation Army as pictured in the collage above:

  1. White plate with ribbon hanger ($2.99).  Thinking of using it as a frame with a picture in the center.
  2. Glass brass lamp ($4.99). Think I’ll repaint the brass as I saw in a blog.
  3. Bamboo birdcage ($5.99). A gift for my friend who creates beautiful floral arrangements.
  4. Pet carrier ($5.99) for my Mimi.  Now I can take her with me to the thrift stores and won’t have to leave her in the car.
  5. Milk glass pedestal compote ($4.99). Milk glass items are hard to find; the SA wanted $10-$12 for theirs.
  6. White stoneware pottery container ($4.99); rabbit planter ($2.99), a gift for a friend who collects bunnies.
  7. Gilded frame with botanical prints ($5.99). I plan to paint the frame white and replace the prints.
  8. Brand new frame for four pictures ($3.99)
  9. Vintage Samsonite attaché case ($4.00).  Love it as is, but may repurpose it.
  10. Anchor Hocking glass jug and cover ($1.16) for my bedside table
  11. Vintage Wheaton coffee canister ($1.17).  Matches the sugar and flour canisters I already have.
  12. Large wood candlestick ($1.16) to be repainted black
  13. Another bunny planter ($1.16)
  14. Hardback books!  Paid $1 for most, two were $1.99

The trip to GW was not very thrifty!  Buyer’s remorse started to set in as I drove out of the parking lot.  Looking at their prices, I wonder where the “thrift” is in their thrift store. 

I did better at the SA but many of their prices were still high.  I have been very disappointed recently with GW and SA; and resent how they have raised their prices in this economy.  I wonder if this is a phenomena only in So. California.  I read about folks in other states getting real bargains at their thrift stores.  In spite of it all, I am happy with my items and now have several projects to work on.

Be sure to swing by the following blogs to read about more thrifty bargains:



Until next time … happy thrifting and Goodwill haunting!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Monday Thrift Treasures


No saling this weekend since it’s a holiday weekend, but I did make it to the SA on Friday for 50% “Friday Madness”.  I found a few goodies:


I’m trying something new with the pictures of my thrifty treasures.  I made this collage using the Picasa photo program.  And, instead of posting a picture of each item, I will number the picture on the collage and list the item below.

  1. Set of 3 glass jars to use in the bathroom for cotton balls and swabs. A green jade cup and a small lead crystal Lenox bowl. ($1.00 each)
  2. My favorite! A black metal Partylite Halloween candle holder.  It has 7 little ghosts and will look so cute with an orange candle. ($1.17)
  3. Some crafting supplies: a pillow form for a quilted pillow cover I plan to make; and some floral foam for floral arrangements. (50 cents each)
  4. I love these glass grape clusters.  Five bottles with screw-on caps, made in France ($2.00)
  5. Nice Dr. Pepper solid wood tray – may resell it or repurpose (50 cents)
  6. Brand new cookie jar for my collection.  It’s a red Cardinal and is perfect for Christmas. ($4.00)
  7. Two pairs of short black boots.  I plan to make fall or Halloween floral arrangements with these. See photos below for my inspiration. ($1.50/pair or 75 cents per shoe)
  8. A hammered aluminum tray with handles and a very tarnished cheap silver plated tray.  Both will be repurposed. (75 cents each)
  9. A BRAND NEW Cuisinart Chef’s Classic ceramic stone casserole.  Paid $7 but I know this retailed at $45 and is now discontinued.
  10. Pretty hobnail glass platter; not sure if it is Indiana glass.  I have the matching deviled egg dish. ($1.00)

My total was just a little over $25.00.  I don’t think I’ve seen anything for less than $1.00 at any of our Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift stores; and I think many of their items are overpriced.  I should check out the small thrift stores; maybe they’ll have more reasonable prices.

Here is the picture of the Halloween floral arrangement using a small black boot.  I thought it was so clever and unique!

I’m again joining Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality for Thrift Treasures Monday.  Do you have any thrift treasures to share?  Be sure to join the party.  I hope I can visit everyone and see what fun things you all got.

Until next time … happy thrifting and Goodwill Haunting!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Warning: Consumer Product Recalls and Thrift Store Finds

Because so many of us shop at thrift stores and yard sales, I want to bring a very important matter to your attention.

Not only do we all love to find bargains but we also give away many of our wonderful finds as gifts – or in some cases, sell them on eBay or Etsy.  I want to tell you about a recent experience I had on eBay with this little bear.

I bought this cute bear about a week ago at the SA.  He is the “Good Neigh-Bear” from State Farm Insurance, and these bears were given away by their agents and at special events between 2005 and 2007.  I listed him on eBay thinking that a collector of advertising bears would be interested in him.


Today, I received a message from eBay informing me that my listing had been cancelled because the Consumer Product Safety Commission had identified him as a potentially hazardous product; and that State Farm had recalled all 800,000 of the bears.  Apparently the eyes on these bears can come off posing a chocking hazard to young children.

So, I decided to check out my little bear and see if his eyes really did come off.  First, I tugged on his right eye and it wouldn’t budge.  Then, I tugged on his left eye and – OMG, the eye started to come off!  Sure enough, I was able to pull that left eye right out of its socket.


I am so glad that eBay and the CPSC work together to keep us all safe.  I had no idea the bear had been recalled.  Now it scares me to think that someone could have bought the bear from ME and given it to a small child.  I shudder to think that something horrible could have happened.


So, please, everyone, keep this in mind when you buy things from thrift stores and yard sales.  There are many products that have been recalled due to hazardous conditions, and many of these items still show up on the secondary market.  Check out this ABC News investigation about our flawed product recall system.  Before giving anything away or selling it, be sure to check the Consumer Product Safety Commission website.  Let’s all be safe!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thrifty Treasures Thursday


I usually go to the GW on Saturdays but somehow I ended up at the thrift store on Wednesday.  So this is my first time linking to Homebody Holly’s Thrift Store Thursday.  Also linking to Leigh’s Tales of Bloggeritaville Thrift Thursday.

I found this lighted church building from Mervyn’s for my Christmas village.  I have discovered that you can pick up these villages throughout the year at a thrift store for much less money than you’d pay retail.  Cost: $4.99.

I originally thought this toy van was the Mystery Van from Scooby Doo.  But even though it’s not from Scooby Doo, I still thought it was a cool toy: a couple of surfer dudes in their surf van that bounces and has headlights that flash.  Cost: $2.75

I bought the Starbucks coffee mug for $1.99 to sell on my eBay store.  These are very collectible and always sell well.  Check out the retro stainless steel Cake Holder with Cover.  I paid $7.00 for it … much more than I would have liked, but I will put it in my Etsy store where I’m sure it’ll sell quickly.  I recently listed a set of 4 retro stainless steel kitchen canisters and they sold before I knew it.

This Snoopy Sno-cone Machine has got to be my best buy of the day at only $2.99.  My DD recently emailed me and told me that she has wanted one of these ever since she was a little girl.  She asked me to get it for her if I ever ran across one.

I also stopped at Michael’s craft store to pick up some clear glass ornaments for crafting, but they didn’t have any.  Instead, I did end up buying a few frames that were on sale.  I never, ever buy brand new frames since I prefer to get my frames from the thrift store. But I’ve been wanting some nice matching frames for a few special family pictures … and these were at such a great price that I just couldn’t pass them up.

Please be sure to visit Homebody Holly’s blog and Leigh’s Tales from Bloggeritaville blog for more great thrifty treasures adventures.

Until next time … happy thrifting and Goodwill Haunting!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tour of UC Berkeley … and a Tea Bar


This past weekend, DH, DS#1 and I drove north to visit the UC Berkeley campus where DS#1 hopes to transfer to next fall.  We stayed in Oakland and had a great view from our motel room window.


Our room faced the waterfront and we could walk right out the front door to the marina.


On Friday evening, we ventured out to Jack London Square.  The tiny cabin pictured below (with DS#1) was created from wood materials from an original Jack London cabin discovered in the Alaskan wilderness.


We had dinner at Hahn’s Hibachi, a Japanese restaurant.  I had my first-ever taste of green tea ice cream and red bean dessert – tasted much better than it looks.


The next day Saturday we drove in to Berkeley for our 10:00 a.m. tour of the campus.  There were between 50-60 parents and kids waiting for the tour.  Folks came from all over the US and many came from other countries.


There were 5 guides – all Berkeley students –and our guide was a graduating senior linguistics major.  This was her final day as she was leaving Berkeley the following Monday to spend two weeks at home before leaving for China.


DS#1 wants to major in Engineering or Math, and Berkeley is #2 in the country – only after MIT.  Berkeley also has 4-5 Nobel Laureates on their staff – no other college can make this claim!


After our tour finished, we ventured into the city which has a very bohemian vibe, which suits us just fine.  Sidewalk artists were selling their crafts from jewelry to pottery to clothing. We then found our way to a local toy/game store where we purchased a few souvenirs.  We then ended up in a used bookstore run by the local Friends of the Library.


DS#1 and I both love to read and we came out of the bookstore with a bagful of books.  We were doing the “happy dance”!


We also visited a “tea bar”.  I found out DS#1 is also a fledgling tea connoisseur.  He strikes up a conversation with the owners about the different teas he’s tried and the virtues of each one.  I discover that, like wine, teas are also cultivated and nurtured.  The older the tea, the more refined the taste.


As the owner prepared and served our tea, he also gave us a mini-lesson the tea.  We had several infusions of each tea – and with each one, the strength and hence the taste was different.  I not only learned something new but also shared a unique experience with DS#1 that I will always remember.


After lunch at a an Indian restaurant, we went back to our motel.  Outside our room, was a small park setting with a picnic bench where DS#1 and I sat to read our new used books and to enjoy the beautiful weather.


Even our little Chihuahua Mimi enjoyed the view and weather!  Alas, the day ended all too soon and our trip to Oakland-Berkeley was soon over.


The next day Sunday we took the 7-hour trip south  to our home and brought back memories of the wonderful time we spent together.

Until next time …

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thrift Treasures to Share


Hello!  It’s that time of the week: Thrifty Treasures at Rhoda’s!  I didn’t go to any yard sales or thrift stores this weekend because we were out of town at Berkeley, CA.  But I do want to share a couple of thrifty finds from the previous week.


Check out this cute wire carriage-type “basket”.  I’m really not sure what it is, but it reminds me of Cinderella's carriage.  I think I paid $1 for it at GW.  I’m planning to give it to my BFF Viv; she makes the most beautiful floral arrangements using all kinds of containers, even bird cages.


And, I just fell in love with these two framed cross-stitch pictures that I paid $4 for each at the SA thrift store.  (UPDATE: sold on eBay in 2010 for $35.90)


I paid $2.80 for this vintage Friley Fistick terra cotta trivet from the 1950s.  It’s part of the Kilnforms company and a good representation of Ohio pottery.  (UPDATE: Sold in 2010)


I think my favorite find is this set of 3 Russian dolls. They’re not in perfect condition as they are missing some items, but I love their pretty faces.  I paid $3 for each doll – more than I really would have liked but I think they’re great!  (UPDATE Sold these in September for $40.71)

That’s it for today!  Please be sure to visit Rhoda’s Southern Hospitality blog for more great thrifty treasures.  As always …

Happy thrifting and Goodwill Haunting!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Keeping Cool in Big Bear

Went to visit my BFF Brenda in Big Bear this past weekend, and we had a great time – as always!

I just love the mountain community of Big Bear with its lake and am so fortunate to have a great friend who lives there.  It’s a 2-hour drive to get there so I usually spend the night. It’s so peaceful and relaxing – except during the holidays when the tourists take over.  I try to visit her as often as I can during the summer months where it is so much cooler. 

During the winter, however, the drive up the mountain can be difficult.  And when it snows, the roads may be inaccessible.  But once the roads are open, all the city dwellers head to the mountains for skiing, snowboarding, etc.  Not me!  I head out to visit my best friend!

I was up there this past February and experienced my first snowfall!  Here’s a picture of a little quilt store in The Village.  Even the snow couldn’t keep us away from shopping!

 And, here’s a picture of us as we were leaving the parking lot after lunch.  We just stayed too long in town and got caught in the snow storm. 

It’s been so very hot here that I thought I’d share these pictures.  Maybe I can “think” about feeling cooler.

Tomorrow Friday we’ll be heading to Berkeley to take a tour of the UC Berkeley campus on Saturday.  My DS#1 hopes to attend there in the fall and wants to major in engineering.  It’ll be a short trip so we should be back on Sunday.

P.S. Here’s a picture of the little quilt project Brenda and I worked on while I was there.  It’s still not finished but will be a wall hanging once it’s completed.

That's it for now … until next time!