Thrifty Treasure Everywhere

August 3, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Posted in auction, budget, chinese, flea market, lion, thrifting, thrifty, treasure hunting, weekend | 2 Comments
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First off, let me clarify about my no-shopping-for-two-weeks rule. I am given a weekly budget for ALL expenses. This includes groceries, fast food, clothes for the kids, EVERYTHING. I’m allowed to spend that budget amount however I see fit. The no-shopping rule applies to spending money over and above that shopping amount. It might sound easy. Heck, for most people, it probably is. For me – not so much. To give you an idea of how hard this is, I had this terrible dream last night that I was flying to France at the last minute and only had the money (the actual money) in my coin purse to spend once I got there. No credit card. No way to get around. And my daughter was with me and I was trying to get my dad to pay for her ticket and passport. I was panicked because I was so tired and unable to think clearly and also because I didn’t have a backup plan or a credit card. Okay, I know that sounds dumb. But that is what my nightmares usually consist of. Either trying to pack up my valuables and escape somewhere or shopping and not having enough money or time. I’m weird like that.

ANYHOOOoooo…..so this weekend, I redeemed my recyclables and took my two daughters (armed with their saved up allowances) to a local ‘flea market’. It isn’t like your normal, every day flea market. It is populated by a handful of old ladies and gentlemen raising money for their bingo clubs or grandchild’s schools and who charge 25 cents for everything (mostly). There is of course, always that one granny who thinks that everything they own is treasure and who want 15$ for each item. (We don’t shop at their tables.) Since we went in the afternoon, they were willing to give us deals on top of their great prices to get rid of things. And on the way home, I stopped at a couple of yard sales that were just wrapping up as well. I know the best stuff is what you find before anyone else gets there. But if you go at the end, you get everything for almost free which is a thrill and a half!

BUT we got tons of treasure! My oldest spent 4$ and picked up this giant vintage barbie airplane with wings that fold up and let the thing turn into sort of an RV. Very cute but giant. She’s still not sure where she is going to store the thing. It is three feet long and a couple feet wide. Alas, that is one lesson that needs to be learned when thrifting. Is it really a bargain if you have no place to put it? My youngest bought herself some plastic adjustable roller skates for a dollar and some matchbox cars that the seller threw in for free with my purchases.

I got an awesome piece of red vintage Samsonite luggage for 2$. The closures are really interesting and took me a few minutes to figure out because they spin instead of moving right to left. I got a really cool straw picnic basket for a quarter. I got some vintage patterns (free), some large mats for framing (free because they were grouped in with other things that I got for a price of a couple dollars), a vintage aluminum pan with copper lid, lots of bits and baubles, some vintage books and romance booklets (gorgeous pictures which I will use for a mixed-media piece if they aren’t particularly valuable otherwise), and a whole lot of flotsam and jetsam. Here are a few photos….

As you can see, even though I don’t celebrate Xmas, I picked up some adorable little vintage tree decorations. I like to hang them on the curtains in the kitchen or art room for a little color. Maybe I will sell them on Etsy or eBay. Not sure yet. Sometimes I just see something shiny and like a magpie, I have to bring it back to my nest.

Here’s a closer view of the little baubles. The stack of plates are made of bamboo and printed with Chinese works of art. Normally I avoid anything ‘made in china’ but they seemed sort of fragile and old and had a vintage quality about them that made me think that they likely weren’t manufactured in this century. The little green lion has holes in the top for either flower stems or pens and drying paintbrushes. Not sure which he was created for or where he will end up . He just seemed so cute and cartoony. The little reclining Asian statue was adorable. I need to do some research on her. She ran me a whole 50cents. I try to only bring things home that I wouldn’t mind keeping for myself in case I can’t sell them.

Honestly, I haven’t sold anything online in a couple of years. I used to be quite savvy. Besides http://www.etsy.com and http://www.ebay.com, are there any places that you like to shop or sell for vintage goodies?

I ran across a couple of sites today that piqued my interest. One is www.boocoo.com which is an auction site where the money goes to charity. The other is Ruby Lane which is populated by individual vintage shops. I bookmarked them both for further investigation. I stumbled upon the Ruby Lane one while researching a set of tiny pretend plates or coasters (not sure which) that are tin, made in Brazil and have the maker name that I need to dig out a magnifying glass to read because it is printed so small. It is is Meister or Meisler and has little pioneer families on them. Dutch maybe? not sure. In the pictures below, it is the tiny plate on top of the odd shaped Denmark (“Danmark”) plate. If you know about either of them, please let me know.

I also got some utensils with neat wooden handles (Scandinavian of some flavor), some books, an L.L.Bean Red Barn coat for a dollar, a multi-level corner shelf for 5$, an adorable winter dress for my youngest for a dollar that is red with ‘doggies’ along the bottom, some metal leaves that hang on the wall, a leather, fabric lined clutch, and some other little things.

Afterward, my husband was frustrated with me for not saving my 12$ of recycling money for my upcoming trip to Boston. But considering the hours of fun that I had with my girls, I think that 12$ was VERY well spent. *smirk*

(Click them for a closer look )

vintage romance booklets

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2 Comments »

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  1. I love the lion & vintage Christmas ornaments! The flatware you got sells well on etsy…

  2. I love the flea market and you got some terrific finds! I feel that same way about Goodwill and the Salvation Army 🙂 Great blog!


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