Monday, November 2, 2009

On The Thrift

I promised tales of thrifting goodness, and I have some thrifty goods to share, but first, a little bit of rambling on the subject...
While I have felt no real struggle yet, to keep up the brave work of the 'utmost challenge', I have discovered an unforeseen side effect. As I have been perusing the adventures of fellow challengers, I have been exposed to their clever, crafty, and thrifty ways. I've been letting out little oohs and ahhs over their lovely finds, I have been on the edge of my seat reading stories of all the treasures they have hunted and the bounty they have brought home.
The effect this has had on me, is one of re-igniting a spark within, re-awakening my love of the thrift store haunt. Feeling that pull again, that sweaty palmed, itchy fingered anticipation, to search for 'the best find ever'! Oh, it is a dizzying be 'On The Thrift'.

I come from a long line of second hand sleuths. My mother began teaching me the ways of charity shops, estate sales, yard sales, flea markets, and overlooked antique stores when I was knee high to a grass hopper. Her mother before her, had an eagle eye for jewels amongst other peoples discards. My paternal grandmother taught me how to ferret out an old homestead's slop heap - to find bottles of cobalt blue, faded lavender and medicinal green. My father searched prairies for rusty farm tools, arrowheads and old toys. I once hiked into a jungle to find an abandoned shack and unearthed china and silver filigreed perfume bottles. I am down deep, a treasure hunter.

However, not since the small one was even smaller, have I allowed myself to give in to the thrifty fix, to answer the call of the early morning garage sale, to follow my palpitating heart into the tiny eclectic junk shop that is merely a block from my door. No, I do my second hand shopping when it seems ridiculous to pay top dollar for new merchandise that can be had for much less and be recycling at the same time. For instance; children's books, baby clothes, weekend sweaters, tea and coffee mugs, holiday costumes, storage containers, etc. It is purely a practical errand. There must be a clear objective, a target item and we do not stray from the path of need. How do I do this you ask? I am kept in check by an always active, occasional runaway, (who really does try to only look with her eyes, but honestly can't help herself with so many fascinating things to touch) whirlwind of a child.

Still, what may have lain dormant for a time, has been rekindled - and I have begun to heed the call on the odd occasion. So unlike some, who have found their bankrolls benefited from the challenge, I cannot say the same. I found a boon of $20 in an old winter coat just before dropping my child off at school for 2 hours; did I offer it up to the family pot because "sharing is caring," or did I drive, as if in a trance, to the nearest thrift shop and let the devil in?

You tell me.

Big Granny Square Blanket for The Buddha Cat = $1.99

Vintage Poinsettia Tablecloth = $3.99

Various Vintage Linens = $9.96

Vintage McCoy Dish = $2.99

...There was even change left over!

Happy Monday!


Floss said...

Well, you came out with change..!

I found I shopped similarly, both before and after our boys were born, for similar reasons. I've really only got back onto my former vintage vibe in the past year or so - it seemed crazy to live in France and ignore the vintage possibilities, and then blogging also had that effect on me too!

I love your finds, and I'm sorry to be one of those who led you astray!

My mum has that poinsettia cloth.

lifeshighway said...

I have to admit to looking up "McCoy dish" because I didn't know what it was. Surprised to find out it was a maker and not a function!

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Oh, that my thriftin' roots went back as yours does! Mine are all self-imposed, as none of my family ever bought gently used.
I, on the other hand, get breathless when a tag sale sign is spotted, and come unglued if I chance upon an estate sale. I have been on the look-out for bits of yarn to do up some colorful pillows, and alas, there is none to be found. I finally bought a very small variety at a local grocers. YIKES!

Anonymous said...

The "yard sale" gene runs through my family - and Mom was an expert at finding things. We also love thrift stores!

Nancy in Iowa

Pia K said...

i'm not even on the challenge but i still get all inspired when reading about the finds too! we do have lot of antique shops, flee markets and thrift stores all over sweden too, but you really have to get quite a long way from the big cities to be able to make really finds. although we do enjoy a charity store (yes it's that big) in the neighbouring suburb which do offer great finds and lot of new stuff every week. i enjoy going there, my best finds there are probably a red chest, a whole lot of books and doilies.

the vintage fabric and the little bowl of yours are my favourites, and wow to even have some change left, well done:)

dottie angel said...

hurrah for the devil within, the one on your shoulder and his friend in your head... i'm so glad you did not go down the path of 'sharing is caring' dearest lola.
i see quite clearly that thrifting runs deep within your veins, it would be criminal not to use your instincts more regularly when it comes to 'the hunt'

what a fab day for thrifty finds :)

Lola Nova said...

Thank you all for validating what I know to be part of my 'nature', I knew I could count on you!

Floss, I am quite pleased that you have helped to inspire my inner 'thrifty mama'. Funny about that cloth, It was (I thought at the time) an iffy purchase, but once I ran it through the wash, the vision came to me for it's ideal use. It may not remain a tablecloth for long.

LifesHighway, yes - I speak 'thrifty nerd'. I blame my mother :)

Mare said...

ohhh you did REAL good with that $20!!! I love all your finds!

Pomona said...

I loved reading about your thrifty rationale! I had stopped going to charity shops because I felt guilty spending money at all - after all, how much do we really need? But like you the Challenge has reinvigorated that urge to dig out other's rejects, and I can now blame: you, Tif, Floss ... for my renewed extravagance!!! Still, it does mean that I can go and have a jolly time in town, come home with bags of stuff, and still have change from a £20 note - so it can't be that bad - as I tell my husband, most women would have spent much, much more (cough!). And it's really worth training children from an early age - it means that when they go shopping in the non-thrifty places they are too horrified by the prices to want to buy anything (mostly).

Pomona x

Leahdis said...

Its addictive I tells ya! Great finds and now the question is do you go back with the change another day! Hehe

diane said...

yay devil!

Joy said...

Whoooo-hoo!! Awesome finds! I love to do the thrift stores and dumpster diving is a real rush. I was going to hit my neighborhood second hand store today, but I would have had to put on make-up... maybe tomorrow.