Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Thrifty Searching

Over the past year I've evolved into a thrift store shopper. I mean, I did do my share of Value Village clothes shopping back in my college days (although originally I thought Value Village was gross), and still have a college full of some pretty sweet wool sweaters that remind me of many trips with good friends to Regina.

But in the past year I've expanded my shopping horizons to the non-clothes items, and my closet and dresser are full anyways. I look for dishes and furniture and craft items and things that can become craft items and fabric and things that can be cut up and sewn and etc. And our local thrift store has a cruddy clothing section from what I've observed. I have found a lot of good sewing supplies and fun dishes. The green teacup I keep pins in, the blue one holds bobbins currently.

One of the local towns around here has a big town-wide yard sale every June, and a lot of people I know look forward to it every year. The town is packed with cars travelling from street-to-street in search of deals. Last year I went with a group of friends at something ridiculous like 7:45 in the morning (but you have to go early to get the good stuff before everything is gone!), and we went around until about 12:30 and still hadn't seen everything. I spent $11 and got all kinds of good stuff. The find of the day though was about 8 working colour televisions for $2 each.

I was reading on a craft blog a couple of weeks ago "strategies for thrifting", of which I don't know that I have any. I do keep a mental list of things I'm searching for, which currently includes the following:

CD holder racks: my CDs are mostly in a CD book because when I flew out to Ontario in May/04 for the summer (which turned into "forever"), that's how I brought them. But at my parents house I still have all the original jewel cases. And the CDs I've bought since coming to Ontario I have in a pile on my armoire and I'd much prefer to organize them in a rack.

A cotton chenille bedspread: preferably white, but I'd probably settle for another colour too, I generally like any of them that are one-colour). When I was a kid my parents had one of these that we used to drag outside to make tents out of. I don't want to make a tent out of it though, I want to use it for a bedspread.

A bobbin holder: Since becoming a more voracious sewer, I've amassed more bobbins than the little 4-bobbin holder built into my sewing machine will hold. So thus, the blue teacup holds bobbins, but it doesn't do a very good job. So I'm on the lookout for a good bobbin holder.

Assorted thread: Thread is expensive. Thread that people don't want any more is cheap. And I often find that old thread is better quality than new thread. And usually you get such bizarre colours that it's kind of humourous.

Vintage fabric or sheets: For sewing. Some of my favourite purses have been created out of old sheets and duvet covers. Shh... don't tell anyone.

Vintage metal cannisters: These things are invaluable. I keep all sorts of stuff in them, beads, sequins, ribbon, etc. etc. etc.

Grindley "Laburnum Petal" dishes: My Gramma has a couple of these pale yellow scalloped-edge dishes, I love them. I've seen them in antique stores for outlandish prices. And you can even get them in pale green and pale pink. They're hard to find.

Paint-by number paintings: I have a collection of ones of trees, and one of a barn. My Mom did one when she was younger that's always been hanging in my Gramma's attic. I think that's probably why I like them. Anyways, I totally love them.

Other tree paintings: Last year at a local thrift store that has one of those auction things where you bid on stuff leaving your bid in a book, and whoever bids the highest after two weeks gets the thing, I bid on a really neat little tree painting. But I didn't bid high enough because I never got a call. But, at the big town wide sale I got a great tree painting. I asked the lady in the yard how much it as for and she said "Five dollars. But if you really love it, I'll give it to you for $2.50." I told her I really loved it. And I do. Generally I like trees. And tree photos. And tree paintings. And tree art.

Old linens: As in tablecloths, napkins, etc., for sewing and decorating. I should have a good story about old linens, but I don't. I did use an old cherry tablecloth that I got from my Gramma for a curtain for a long time in my dorm room at college.

Small filing cabinet: I have one of those plastic accordion-style filing thingies, but it's getting too full. A small filing cabinet, or one of those filing box things, they would come in very handy for filing papers of a million kinds. Second hand would be a lot cheaper than new I'm sure.

That's what I have on my mental list for now. But often I find things that aren't on this list that I can't pass up buying. :)

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