Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thrifty Thursday #153

Hi! It's #153 of Thrifty Thursday!  I am your host, Leigh. Thank you so much for stopping by and additional thanks to those who also participate in Thrifty Thursday! I am most delighted to have you join in..for it's YOU who makes it a "show and tell party". I also participate in Tablescape Thursday the host of that fun carnival is the Hostess with the Mostess...Susan of Between Naps on the Backporch. That's no lie or exaggeration, each week I visit Susan's porch and just long to be a guest at any of her tablescapes...especially those held on the porch.
(You can click on any pictures for a closer view)

*Thrifty Thursday takes place each Thursday and is hosted here at Tales from Bloggeritaville, but the party is a progressive one, visit the links to see all the Thrifty Thursday links to see the thrifty treasures participating bloggers have to share.

*Don't forget to copy and paste the Thrifty Thursday logo button to your computer so you can add it to your side bar and your Thrifty Thursday post. That way visitors will know that your are participating in Thrifty Thursday.

Today, I waited til the last minute to work on my Thrifty Thursday post. I was photographing my project when I got a call from a childhood friend. She told me that my best friend's father had unexpectedly passed away. She and I immediatley began to decide what we could do and everything else fell to the wayside. Thus my posting late tonight. My apologies. I did decide to pull out an old post from 2009 from Miss Mustard Seed, giving some FABULOUS advice on thrifting. I hope you will enjoy.

LIVE*LOVE*LAUGH...and have no regrets. Life is a blessing!
<3 and hugs to you my friends, Leigh

Last Thrifty Thursday Marion, aka, Miss Mustard Seed shared some wonderful tips and suggestions on Thrifting.  I asked her if she would be a guest blogger today in Bloggeritaville and share her tips here for anyone that missed it. She was very kind to oblige. And now, here is Miss Mustard Seed...

One of the questions I am asked most frequently is how I find such wonderful things at ridiculously low prices. Today, I am going to share the secrets of my thrifting success. Unfortunately, I can't help with the most important aspect of finding great things (luck), but I do think you can improve your chances by following some easy tips.

1.) A.B.H. - Always be hunting. There are times when I go out to intentionally look for things, but I hunt even when I am not hunting. I even look up thrift store locations to hit when I'm traveling. There have been many times that I have yelled, "stop the car!" or done a (sometimes illegal) u-turn to check out a yard sale or piece of furniture on the side of the road when we're running an errand. I found this French style sofa at a yard sale for $50.00 while on the way to a Labor Day picnic.

2.) Be willing to roll up your sleeves and dig. Junking can be dirty work. If you're not willing to dig through boxes, hurdle chairs, or brush off some cobwebs, you might miss some of the best finds. I found this chandelier late in the day while I was out yardsaling. The reason it wasn't snatched up earlier was it was in a pathetic looking box that no one else had bothered to opened! The chandelier was in pieces, but all of the crystals were there and I knew it could easily be rewired. I ended up paying $4.00 for it! 3.) See what something can be, not what it is. Having a vision for a piece is a gift, but I do believe it can be learned through trial and error. If you spend $1.00 on a piece of furniture (like I did on this table below), it's ok if you mess it up and it ends up in the trash. Know your limits if you're going to spend more than $20 on a piece, though. If you are just not gifted with the vision, bring along a friend who is. (And remember, you don't have to use a piece the way it was intended. Have an open mind.)

4.) When buying furniture, look for quality. Most of the furniture I buy looks like it's in pretty sad shape, but I always look for some key things. Make sure it's solid wood, has dove-tailed drawers, quality construction, and good lines. Stay away from pieces that have been poorly repaired, are stapled, made of "press board", have severe water damage, are missing pieces that would be costly to replicate, or ones that are saturated with smoke. I know some brave souls who take these pieces on (and I have on occasion), but as a rule it's not worth it. Again, know your limits.

5.) Buy what you love. You will never go wrong buying things that you love and that "speak to you." It's easy to get swayed by trends or to be tempted into buying something just because it's cheap. Trust me, if you don't love it, it won't stay in your house for very long. I love ironstone, so I buy almost every piece I come across that's reasonably priced and I rarely pay more than $5.00 a piece.
6.) Don't be scared to "dumpster dive" and pick up furniture off the side of the road. Sometimes people just want to get rid of a perfectly good piece of furniture. I'm not sure why they stick it out on their curb instead of donating it to a thrift store, but I'm glad there are people like that! It can be a little embarrassing, even scary to pull your van over and pick up a piece off the curb. "Am I going to get yelled at for stealing? Are people going to think I'm crazy?" Possibly...sure, but I've never had the former happen and I'm sure the latter happens all the time. I'm ok with people thinking I'm nuts. This chair was our most recent curb freebie. It was a little wet from sitting in the rain for the morning, but surprisingly it didn't stink and was in great condition. It just needs a slipcover.
7.) Talk to people. Just about everyone I know, knows that I love antiques, vintage pieces, furniture, whatever. And I have people offer things to me all the time because of this. I get freebies from family members, friends, acquaintances, friends of friends, lots of unexpected places. I even talk to people at yard sales to see if they have more furniture that they are looking to get rid of. You wouldn't believe some of the things people have pulled out of their garages to sell to me for a few dollars. I'll leave my card with people who are selling good furniture at reasonable prices and tell them to call me when they want to get rid of anything else. I also get to know the people who work at my local thrift stores. They'll often give me a better price on something because they know me. I got the piece pictured below (salvaged from a sewing factory in Gettysburg) from a woman at the parking authority when I was paying to rent a spot for the day. She told me that she was moving and wanted to get rid of some things and invited me over to see if there was anything I wanted! She gave me several of these interesting wooden pieces, some antique windows and shutters.

This beautiful 100+ year old piano was given to us for free as well. It didn't sell at our church yard sale, so the receptionist asked my husband if I would like it. My sweet guy rented a U-haul, enlisted some help, and surprised me with it one evening. In addition, the owner of the piano gave us an antique pram that was in mint condition. I also got a ridiculous amount of antiques and furniture from my neighbor, including this pocket watch for $2.00 (and it still works.)8.) It's ok if something isn't perfect. In fact, you should expect that it won't be. There are a lot of things that have been and are currently on my wish list that are very expensive if bought in antique stores in mint condition. I learned that I need to be willing to compromise if I want to get a bargain. I had wanted one of these enamel pitchers for years, but they were always too expensive for me. I finally found one at an antique store for $18.00......the bottom was rusted out, but since I wasn't planning on filling it with water, it wasn't a problem for me. This gorgeous French rocking chair was only $10.00, because it was dirty and there was a rip in the caning. Both things I could either fix or live with. 9.) Get to know Craig. If you have not checked out Craig's List, you must! It's basically an online yard sale. I know "The Craig's List Killer" and stories of robberies and fraud may have frightened some of you away, but that is the rare exception, not the norm. Some Craig's List tips - be particular, never pick up something alone, don't be afraid to negotiate, and if something doesn't sound/feel right, just let it go. I purchased both of these pieces on Craig's List (these are the "after" pictures.) The desk was $15 and the hutch was $30.

10.) Go to Auctions. I went to my first auction a few months ago and I feel like I've been a sucker for years for shopping at antique malls. You can find really cool stuff at rock bottom prices at auctions. I've come home with a van load of furniture and antiques for less than $80. Auctions are amazing. You can check out local sales in your area at Auction Zip. A few tips:

~ Don't get carried away with your bidding (it's very easy to do)
~ Come prepared. You have to take things home with you that night. With small pieces they actually carry it to you and drop it in your lap. Don't bid on something you can't get home or discuss arrangements with the auction house in advance
~ Know how the bidding and payment works. Sometimes you have to pay a buyer's premium at auctions. This means there is a fee added to what your bid was. The auction house I go to charges a fee if you use a credit card and you have to be pre-approved to use a check. Just know what you're dealing with, so there are no surprises.
~ Wait to bid on something until you feel comfortable. Some auctioneers can be very difficult to understand. Make sure you know what's going on before you raise your number. It goes fast and can be confusing.
~ Talk to "auction veterans" and ask questions. Most people are happy to help (as long as you're not bidding on something they want!) You can normally tell the people who are there for fun and the people who are dead serious about it. Talk to the former, not the latter!

The woman who owns our shop found this antique toy phone in a box with other vintage toys for $4.00. I loved it so much she gave it to me. This would've cost a great deal more in an antique shop.

So, get out there and score some junk! I hope this is helpful and valuable information. I get giddy about finding things, so I am happy to pass my secrets along to you!

Thank you Marion, "Miss Mustard Seed", those are wondeful tips. I appreciate you sharing them here today in Bloggeritaville for Thrifty Thursday! You can read more of Miss Mustard Seeds blog by clicking here.

decorative painting & murals
I would also like to  invite you to stop by my food blog, PLATES &amp; PLACES, for Foodie Friday!
In fact on over there now. I have been cooking up a "messa" food!

Thanks to all of you for stopping by and participating in today's Thrifty Thursday. Please use Mr. Linky below to link up your blog.

I encourage you all to spread the love and visit the other thrifty Thursday participants, for that's what half the fun is. Aside from seeing a cool treasure it's making friends!

And speaking of friends.....
You can always visit me on FACEBOOK,
I love me some friends: be they new friends or old friends!
Thrifty Participants:div>


Creations By Cindy said...

Great finds Leigh. Thanks for hosting. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Rebekah Greiman said...

Yeah for link parties-Good Morning! I have a recipe for DIY Organic Eye Makeup Remover. It only takes two ingredients-super simple and cheap. It's very gentle on my skin and I Iove it. I hope you enjoy it, too. Thanks for hosting the party once again. Have a great day!

Rose :: Fine Craft Guild said...

Thank you for a great party!

Alicia @ Sweet Ava Kate said...

Thanks for hosting! Just linked up! Following you now too, hope you consider visiting and following me too!
Have a great weekend! Cheers!