Yes, I’m Still Alive

October 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I have no idea how long it’s been since I’ve posted here. I pretty much keep up with far away friends with Facebook and email so there isn’t a whole lot of my life left to discuss on here! I’ve cut back on my thrift shopping of late although I’ve been evolving stylistically so lots of items in my wardrobe are headed out the door to the next Clothes Swap and lots of linen and cotton layers have been replacing them (thrifted, of course!). I’m really into a style referred to as “Lagenlook” which is a German word meaning ‘layered look’. It’s a little bohemian, a little Japanese, a little Swedish…

I’ve been loving Portland’s (Portland, Maine) First Friday Artwalk and have several arty friends who display work both on the street and in galleries. Very exciting! Below is a photo from our last FFA.


I’ve become completely, unabashedly addicted to Pinterest. If you’d like to see what I’ve been up to, you can see reflections of my interests and bits of my life by looking at my boards. Lots of art, household tips and tricks, style guides, thrifting tips – you name it, it’s probably there. Here is a link:

Hope all is well with you!




June 8, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Posted in budget, Goodwill, NEAT STUFF, recycle, shopping, thrifting, thrifty, treasure hunting, Vintage | Leave a comment
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So here and there I’ve mentioned Maine’s first Goodwill Outlet called “Buy-The-Pound”. It’s located in the Gorham Industrial Park, off route 25.


The wonderful thing that differentiates the outlet from the standard gw location is that the more you buy, the cheaper it is! Here is the basic pricing structure:


If you find something wonderful but unusually heavy (and not cloth), ask an employee for a price. They are super nice. The furniture and appliances usually have a WHITE price tag with the outlet price. If you see a price tag of any other color, just ignore it. Those are the old prices from when they were for sale at the original GW location.

Here is a series of photos taken from the vantage point just inside the entrance looking from left to right.



The bag bin contains purses, totes, hats, gloves, scarves, belts, and other random accessories.


There is a set of large double doors at the back of this wall and as they open, you can watch them roll out the newly refilled bins. They emerge to replace a few of the existing long bins every couple hours.

The two bins of each row, closest to the entrance are taken away every couple of  hours. Then the two bins at the back of the row are pushed over to replace the ones toward the entrance. Then they will bring out two new bins to fill in the row. This is important to know because you will want to look through the bins that are about to be taken away. You will also want to pay attention when they start to roll away the “old” bins because, as soon as they are gone, the new “fresh”, refilled bins will be emerging soon!


There are lightbulbs and empty outlets for you to test anything with a plug. I’ve purchased lamps, a breadmaker, and other items from these shelves and every one of them worked Great!




This includes toys, pictures, kitchen items, you name it – anything that isn’t cloth.


Once the bins have been picked over, any remaining pots & pans, rugs, dishes, pictures, books, stuffed toys, and luggage are taken out and put into their respective areas of the store.


The restrooms have always been neat and clean. You go out the “exit” door into the main part of the warehouse and follow the green and white tape on the floor to find the restrooms.

You’ll notice in this photo that there are several filled shopping carts along the wall. STAY AWAY from them! These are the treasures that other people have gathered. If you fill a cart but have more treasures yet to gather, you park your full cart there so that you can get yourself another one and continue shopping. (Word to the wise…. You may want to cover your full cart with a sheet or blanket so that your treasures don’t tempt anyone. Out of sight, out of mind.)


(This is one of my fav treasures found there.)

Happy Thrifting!!

New Windham Goodwill

June 1, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Last week the bigger brand new Windham Goodwill opened its doors for the first time. The old location was small and, except for their books, there was not ever enough space to have much of a selection. The construction of the new location (off of 302 down the same driveway/road that you take to go to Walmart) had me pretty excited all winter in eager expectation of the grand opening!


So I finally checked it out today for the first time. The floor plan is identical to the fairly new Auburn location. Like the Auburn store, it was well organized, clean, and well lit. However, like most of the Goodwills I’ve been to in the past six months or so, the prices were higher than they really should be. When the sign reads, “Dresses $4.99”, then the majority of the dresses should be that price. Not $7.99, 9.99, and $14.99! Come on now, Goodwill. You get the clothes FOR FREE. Why do you have to be greedy about it?

However, one good thing about a grand opening location is that it is stocked full of the best stuff for at least the first few weeks or so. This means lots of items in like new condition or with the original tags still on them. Normally, if I see an item marked at more than the standard rack price ($4.99), if it isn’t on sale, I just keep on walking. However, today I ended up trying on a few of them and falling so deeply in love that they came home with me. Not all of them, mind you. But several. I found a well made, heavy weight cotton DKNY sundress, tags still on it, that wasn’t see through, can be washed, and fit me like a dream! I’ve been searching recently for a bright white light sweater made of natural fabrics and found a gorgeous cotton one by Bass that was just what I’ve been searching for and was brand new with the original store tags to boot! I found a few other like new quality pieces and some really cute kids clothes (at the standard $1.99 price point Sweet!) for my girls.



I also found a pair of vintage lace-up shoes that were new old stock. There were a couple of identical pairs with traces of the tissue paper they were wrapped in still on them. I’m guessing they are from the 60’s or early 70’s. Love! I also noticed a large number of pairs donated from L.L.Beans. Typically, GW marks them way too high so I just wait till they go on clearance or end up at the Buy-The-Pound location (more on that later). But I found a pair of kid-leather soft tie up booties that were mistakenly displayed in the men’s section. (Not only do female customers hide shoes in that isle, but there are enough careless/dumb employees who stock women’s shoes in that isle that it is always worth perusing, just in case.) They were brand new but marked a crazy $14.99. I put one on before I realized this and the softness and comfort had already sucked me in. I walked around the store for the next hour or so with that one bootie on one foot and my croc on the other, just to test it out to see if the cushy softness would eventually wear off and dissolve into discomfort. Surprisingly the cushy soft magic didn’t wear off in all that time so I ended up reasoning that I’d never be able to afford those boots, even on clearance outlet prices, if i bought them anywhere else. So with that justification in mind, they also came home with me.

While walking around, I overheard one woman say to her friend, “I’ll be honest with you – I’m not impressed.” I heard this same basic conversation several times. Also, sometimes the people doing the pricing get a little TOO excited when an item still has its store tags. Every so often, you find one that is priced at MORE than the original tag. Tsk, tsk! Shame on you, GW!


All in all, it was a fun afternoon and I left with quite a bit of stuff I was excited about. I don’t have any plans to rush back there anytime soon. But I did leave with treasures, which IS the real point to a trip to GW, afterall.


November 1, 2010 at 9:36 am | Posted in addiction, Day to Day Musings, thrifting, thrifty, treasure hunting | Leave a comment
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In case you don’t know her already, let me introduce you to one of my favorite blogs, Apron Thrift Girl. She is all about buying thrift and reselling her treasures here and there. She offers pictures of her treasures and tips on reselling them. I adore her!

Today, Katiana and I are watching Nick Jr. and dancing and singing along to music about bugs. Charlie is feeling insecure and requiring extra affection to be reassured that he is the top short person around here (four-legged person but hey, still a person).

Last week, I got another great haircut from my top hair girl, Yvonne at Salon Y. She is awesome. If you live in the Portland area, I highly recommend her. Plus she knows where the greatest thrift stores are!

I also went to see Guster at the State Theatre. Honestly, they aren’t my favorite group but they put on a good show and always have great opening bands. Last time, Rogue Wave opened for them and they ARE one of my favorite bands now. This time they were opened by Jukebox the Ghost. Love them now too!

For some reason, now that I have a gmail email account (please don’t send me mail at the hotmail one anymore), blogger doesn’t know me anymore and has forgotten all about the hundred or so blogs I was following. This is tremendously frustrating since I didn’t bookmark any of them and now I can’t find them at all. ARRGGGHHH…..stupid Today, I hate you.

For anyone trying to get ahold of me, my email address is sondic3 @  I got hacked so many times at hotmail that I dumped them. Stupid msn. I hate them today too. And yesterday. And likely tomorrow.

Have you heard the Creative Everyday challenge for November? I have more excuses then I have completed works of art. I’m digging this challenge. Anyone else wanna try it with me?

I’ve been thinking a lot about my shopping addiction lately. I only shop thrift, discount, and salvage (except for perishable groceries) but still, I enjoy shopping way too much. There are just so many great thrift stores nearby. They call to me….”Your treasure is here! Come find it!”. And I answer this siren call. I have boxes and boxes of treasure waiting to be sold on eBay and etsy and boxes of books waiting to be listed on ebay and alibris. Anyone else have this affliction?See the glasses the cashier is wearing? Those are my “new glasses”! I picked them up a couple weeks ago from the optometrist. But because they are vintage, they had trouble fitting the modern prescription glass into them. I have to take them to their offices in Gorham to get reground to fit better. But they are pretty great….a very light pink aluminum with little beads in their catty corners!

I will try to get my picture taken wearing them and post some pictures!

Trade me?

August 3, 2010 at 4:15 pm | Posted in budget, flea market, NEAT STUFF, recycle, thrifting, thrifty, trade, treasure hunting | Leave a comment
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I found an interesting recycling site today. The premise is, if you have stuff you don’t want, you take a photo and add it to the rehash site. They have an area for clothes and one for books and one more (can’t remember what it’s for).  You sign up for free. You list your item and tell them what you would like to exchange it or sell it for. Then someone looks at your listing and decides if they would like to trade you something for it or buy it. Very cool idea!

So has anyone tried this site before? What was your experience with it?

Also, another site I also found today (Yes, I’m so VERY busy) where neighbors and friends and social groups trade stuff, borrow stuff, and last but not least, sell stuff to people nearby. (I signed up) It just launched officially last week so it really needs a bunch of people to sign up to get the ball rolling. Wanna join and swap stuff with me? You can borrow art that won’t fit on my walls and loan me junk jewelry that you don’t wear anymore. Whaddya say?

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… 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 and, 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 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

Goodwill ROCKS

January 2, 2009 at 11:59 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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I got to contribute a little something over at the Goodwill blog as a guest blogger. After reading it through, there are some glaring typographical errors and one or two sentences that sort of make no sense but hopefully no one will look to closely.

Anyhoo…if you want to check it out, it is about thrifting, my second favorite pasttime!


July 11, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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IKEA (1)

My friends, Kimmy & Chelle agreed to a mini roadtrip to IKEA on Monday. So the three of us piled into the van and hit the road. After a three hour (or so) drive to our nearest IKEA location (in MA), I was practically jumping up and down with excitement. I spent quite a while preparing for this trip by reviewing the catalog and their website and carefully calculated how much room I could get for the dollars I had to spend. So with my list firmly in hand, we grabbed carts and got started. Kimmy immediately fell in love with this light wood bookcase.She is a sucker for organization, which i love about her! The next picture is Michelle in her dreamy purple room. One of those SOMEDAY….kinda dreams. A large relaxing room with every shade of purple imaginable. Totally her dream come true!

For more pictures, I uploaded a mini photo album of our day. If you look to the right and scroll alllll the way down, you can click on the album and see more!

Once I get all the pieces put together and in place (i.e. once the playroom is finished), I will post more pictures. I can’t wait to be able to show the final product!

IKEA (4) IKEA (10)

‘DIPPY!’ or ‘DO!’……you be the judge

June 11, 2008 at 6:51 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

For anyone unclear on the concept, there is a REASON women travel in packs.

For instance, we go to the restroom together, both for social and emotional support ("He was SO not checking out that blonde! He loves you!"). We also avoid going solo because only your most trusted, loyal friends will let you know when you have toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe or spinach in your teeth. They are there to help you maintain your self-respect and dignity.

Anthropolgists would also tell you that women travel in packs when shopping as well. In addition to the reasons stated above, there is another, more vital function that they perform. They serve as critic and morale-builder. They will keep you from buying something in a color that makes you look like you have a perpetual case of the flu, or point out that yes, that skirt does make your butt look big ("and no, it is totally the skirt's fault and not your butt at all. Your butt is great").

Having now brought you up to date on some of the hunting-gathering rituals of womanhood, I want to direct your attention to a purchase I made recently that did not involve girlfriends. I have wanted a pair of oversized white sunglasses for like….forever. I was pretty sure that most pairs of white sunglasses I had tried on looked bad because, for most of the year, I am almost albino (minus the pink eyes). Some people would describe my skin as "fair" or "porcelain". These people are just being kind. My skin is SO white that you can see through it. Not 'white', more like 'Translucent Pink'. Just glancing in my direction gives you a clear view of veins, arteries and muscle tissue. Seriously – SO WHITE.

But, having hung out with my oh-so-stylish sister (when i grow up, I am SO gonna be her!), I wanted an oversize pair of glasses just like hers. After trying on lots and lots of pairs of sunglases, the only ones I could find that seemed to be the right proportion and shape were white. I was going to ask a fellow shopper who was also trying on glasses for her opinion. That is, until I noticed that she was using the opinion of her stroller-sized toddler son as a critique. In a high pitched, sing-song voice she was all, "Doesn't mommy look silly? Wow, what do think? what do you think? what do you think? Is mommy silly?". You get the idea.

So I decided to go with my gut and get the glasses. They were like my dream sunglasses, afterall. When I got to the counter, (as they were announcing that the store was "closed for the night and would you people go home already?"), I decided for a last ditch effort at a female opinion and asked the clerk what she thought. She made a face. "So they're no good? Too white for my skin?", I asked. "No", she says. "They are too big." To which I responded, "Is that even possible? TOO big?". She just looked at me like I was an idiot and rang me up.

So I proudly wore my new sunglasses the other day. They were great! I felt like a movie star AND no sun was able to reach my eyes from any direction. I could even drive with the windows down on the highway without my contact lenses drying out because they acted as a giant barrier. Genius! Then I wore them again around my girlfriends, waiting for them to notice my GIANT new glasses. (In the meantime, my five and two year olds both accused me of stealing their 'pretend' glasses from the playroom and demanded that i give them back.) Only, no one even mentioned them. Sooo….either they honestly didn't notice…..or they were just trying to be nice….hmmm…..

So….here are a few pictures.

First, me with my adorable sister in her glasses. Then two pics of me in mine.

What's the verdict folks? Are they dippy?


 May 9 TessSondi

White Glasses White Glasses (1)



May 6, 2008 at 10:53 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention my little Saturday Night Adventure

So saturday afternoon I was doing the last errands before our trip. That means that I had to hit several different stores for last minute items to be packed (small bottle of gesso and a sweater that will go with my sundresses) and stuff to keep the house running (clothes detergent) and food for the fridge, food to fill up the freezer for Richie while we’re gone, and also snacks for the plane.

As night fell, the rain started coming down hard and I was hurrying from the store to the van with a cart full of food, trying to avoid being completely drenched and/or run over by the cars racing around the parking lot filled with other harried weekend shoppers.

Then i drove to my last stop of the night, Walmart. (I hate that I still have to shop there. To ease my conscience, I try to buy as much as I can from OTHER stores who don’t fund China’s sweatshops and fire butchers in response to them forming a union).

So I fill my cart with dairy, breads, and freezer items and then head to the checkout. The friendly cashier finishes ringing me up and I reach into my purse for my wallet. Then I start to search my purse more and more franticly for my wallet.

It is not there.

Then I remember the different people who kept bumping into me while I was shopping and I mentally kick myself for leaving my purse open and exposed to theives and not burying it at the bottom of the cart. But maybe I left it at the counter at the grocery store. So, with a sense of hope, I leave my cart full of bagged groceries at Walmart in the trust and care of the friendly cashier, who reassures me that this happens all the time, and drive back to the grocery store.

I tried to avoid getting into an accident as my tires squeal around on the dark rainy streets, as quickly as humanly possible. I frantically explain my predictament to the store manager and they search all the cashier islands for a wallet that may have been left behind.

No dice.

So then I call my husband and tell him what is going on and that he may need to drive to walmart and pay for the groceries because I no longer have a wallet. He reminds me to ask around at Walmart to see if someone has found it. Then he suggests I look through all the trash cans because if someone swiped it, they would have likely just taken out the cash and tossed the wallet into the nearest trash barrel.

So I go to the information/returns desk and WAIT IN LINE FOR TWENTY minutes so that I can ask if someone has seen my wallet.

By now, I’m praying, "pleaseletmefindit, pleaseletmefindit, pleaseletmefindit" and I’m hovering between tears and throwing up, thinking of the quickly melting frozen goods in my cart and the airline that I will need to deal with in a couple days, trying to explain why I have no driver’s license, charge cards or wallet contents of any kind. How do you travel with no money???

So Walmart confirms that they don’t have my wallet and my husband agrees to come to the store and pay for the groceries. While I wait for him, I walk franticly up and down the isles in case the thief has tossed the wallet under a shelf or in the freezer case or in a trash can. (Oddly, only like one person in the whole crowded store looked at me funny while I looked in ALL THE TRASH CANS. Oh brother.)

Richie called then. He said that he had cancelled the credit card and then got a call from the grocery store saying that they had found my wallet.

Finally, I could breathe.

So, maintaining my non-throwing up and non-crying status (barely), I again drove thru the huge, winding walmart parking lot and squealed around on the wet, dark, slippery streets back to the grocery store. They happily returned my wallet that the cart collector had found soaking wet on the pavement.

I was shocked to discover all of the wallet’s contents intact as well as the cash. WOW, who knew there were still that many honest people around? I mean, I know this is Maine and all, which is kind of retro in a lot of ways….we are mostly living in the sixties and seventies and eighties here. But still, wow.

The still-friendly cashier at walmart finished with the customers who were in her line and rang me up again. She reminded me how unusual it was that I got my wallet back with nothing missing. I said a quick thank-you prayer and tried not to cry, this time in relief.

So that was my Saturday night.

Fun, right?

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