Friday, September 30, 2011

Goodwill Friday

For much of my life, I shopped and dropped (left items) at our local Salvation Army. Mind you, I was mostly there to find a costume for high school musicals and, now, community theater productions. Heck, it's where I picked up most of the furniture that I've got on my reupholstery to-do list. Then, one day, I found our local Goodwill.

It's so close I could walk a few blocks and actually get some exercise - but what if I find a piece of furniture? It's not in the greatest of areas, so picture me lugging home a random side table, wrestling with my super-cute purse (secretly hoping not to get mugged) walking past one of the busier drug intersections in the area. Side note: Strangely enough, it's also within eye shot of the police department AND a jail...isn't it weird how that happens? One stop service, I suppose.

The thing about Goodwill is that you'll find items that are often seconds from stores; hence, some of the clothing, furniture, shoes, decor, etc are brand spankin' new. Otherwise, I wouldn't even glance at the shoes. But, when you see an original tag? Why not!? Not to say that everything’s new; some stuff is slightly damaged, while still more is donated.

While it's another great place to search for costumes, I also find the prices on furniture to be a bit steep (really? I guess that term is relative); this is one area that I prefer Sally Ann's. (God, why do I still CALL it that high school-ish name? It's like saying "Tarjay" for Target. Only moms do that.) I guess I’ve come to look at a piece of furniture as reasonably priced when I can take two pieces out to my car for less than $20 – and it’s made of solid wood. Although if I could’ve found a use for two awesome bamboo stools I saw at Goodwill today…eh, too bad.

So, at the end of this truly trying week, I decided to give myself a chance for a shopping spree...yes, at Goodwill. I glanced at the clothes (I’m Elaine in “Arsenic and Old Lace” – any ideas?!), found nothing to my liking in the furniture, and even ridiculed some of the Halloween decorations...but, upon further glance, found inspiration in the home goods section. Come along for a look-see.

On a side note, I've been greatly inspired by some decor blogs lately that revolve around women who are either passionate or have found their life callings in using antiques and various vintage items (grain sacks, anyone?) in decor applications. It has definitely allowed me to open my eyes better to what my searching of thrift stores, antique shops, and (dare I even CONSIDER becoming such a person?) yard/garage sales. So, those are the glasses that I wore while sifting through the stacks o' crap.

First, we have some frames. While the pictures in them are pretty white bread (except for the square one on the bottom…that’s pretty rad, but in real life is way cheaper than it looks), I’ve been needing some interesting SMALLER frames to work on a wall collage. Let’s just say we’re dying to do a wall collage – wait, edit that – I’m dying to do a wall collage and Dave’s dying to get stuff hung (I’m not sure he knows what a wall collage is…except maybe for the wall of theater art we’ve got hanging on our up-the-stairs wall). So, needless to say, these neat, small-ish frames will do the trick to offset the larger, personalized hangings we’ve got on hand. Oh, and the two on the right were $.99 each while the two on the left were $4.99 each. I normally wouldn’t spend $5 a piece, but I need some roundness to end the corner competition being put forth by all of my square and rectangular pieces.

These are kind of more modern than I’d like to collect, but a) they were $.99 each, b) with a price like that, we can use them regularly and I won’t cry when they break (unlike my 1960s astronaut plates…*sniff, sniff*), and c) they’re made in England, true-to-life Ironstone. Obsessed. ‘Nuff said. Can’t wait to get more Ironstone!

Hee hee…is it horrible that I didn’t realize until I got home that this whole piece is Japanese, from where it’s made to the scene that’s depicted on it? That must be okay, right? Well, it cost $.99 (running theme?) and is a heavy sucker, AND has charm to boot. Plus, it must be helping my karma after all the Japanese folks my grandpa killed, right? RIGHT?!

This guy’s just dang cute. And kitschy. And has spots for pencils/pens and note cards. I’m considering cleaning him up a bit and trying my hand at Etsy, given the fact that he’s got kitsch and style coming out the wazoo…which, incidentally, isn’t a word.

The small red lantern is real, and adds a burst of color to our kitchen. As you can see by the background, we’ve done some painting in this room – but I’ll share more of that when I can finally say that “Paint the kitchen” is 100% off the to-do list. Currently, working on the rest of the semi-gloss whiteness.

And this wouldn’t be a post by moi without gratuitous kitty pictures. Sooooo, here’s Winston checking out my goodies. He and Jasper couldn’t get enough of the interesting smells coming forth from the plastic bags (we reuse plastic bags in this house, and don’t get any when grocery shopping, so don’t worry…this was still a green endeavor…especially given that I bought locally AND am reusing old goods). Or perhaps he has a taste for old stuff. Given that he’s probably our “gay kitty”, he’s probably just got a good eye for fabulous finds.

Speaking of Jasper…here he is perusing my deals. Seriously, he truly appears to be giving a show of approval for my $.99 stickers. Thanks, lil’ buddy!

My total for this Friday shopping spree? $21.56 (under $19 before tax), which averages to just over $2 an item. (Of course, that's not really how it averages...let's just say that some were better deals than others and leave it at that.) But, doesn't it give you a shot of confidence when you find beautiful things (or things that will BE beautiful...eventually) for such crazy prices?

So, how far will you go for a bargain? Do you thrift? Are there particular stores that you prefer? Or are you more of an antiquer (I love made-up verbs!), or couponer? Or a *gulp* Walmart shopper? Hey, whatever ya gotsta do to keep in the black! And while we’re on the topic, what do you do when you feel deserving of a splurge? Retail therapy? Or is it more along the lines of chocolatechocolatechocolate? (Yes, I said chocolate thrice…and without spaces. If you’re a girl, you get it.)


  1. I Love "The GW" (a term I took from my friend ReAnne who is still in the biz) and oooooooooooh so much more now that I don't work for it anymore ;^) If you do find a piece of furniture, ask what the policy is on pick up! At the store I worked for, we gave people 48 hours to pick up their furniture, since it is such an Impulse Buy store. LOL CHOCOLATECHOCOLATECHOCOLATE I DO get it! I tend to go that route once a month *aHEM* but I like to plan something awesome to do with my sweetie for a weekend and spend what little I can from the "splurge fund" that way. I believe in experiences more than items (hence all the photos I enjoy sharing) but I find it fascinating how people like yourself can really put a nice looking room together 8^D Love You!

  2. Awww, love you, too! And love your comment, as usual. :-)