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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Damn I love garage sales

I grew up on garage sales. My family always went, pretty much every saturday morning. Most of the time I went, because my family motto "Ya never know!" was a powerful one. What if you missed that ONE THING you never knew you needed? That perfect item that would make your life complete? Powerful indeed, so I usually went. I hadn't gone "garage-saleing" in a long time (partly because my Dad's driving scares the crap out of me. Sorry Dad, but yeah...), and when my Mom and my sister invited me along while my Dad is away this weekend, it sounded pretty damn fun.

Oh boy did I score today. My parents have found great sewing and crafting stuff for me in the past. For example, I have never had to buy a zipper retail. Huge boxes of zippers, ric rac, bias tape, etc..etc., all left behind by wonderful crafty old ladies who have gone to that big crafting studio in the sky. My fore-mothers, I salute you. Anyway, among the garage sales today was a rummage sale at our local Elks Lodge. This is usually a goldmine for vintage stuff, since the donators are retirees for the most part. Bless those people who save everything, especially from the 50's through the 70's. I found a cute little owl figurine (I passed on two porcelain owls, because I really have nowhere to put them....yay for me with the willpower!), and wandered around the whole building. My Mom called me over and said "there's fabric here, take a look!" Oh. My. Goodness. Jackpot. Obviously somebody had been a big time quilter or seamstress in general, because there was some great stuff in there.  I rifled through a couple of boxes while Mom perused another pile. Even if I never use some of it, it was so spectacularly cheap, I knew I'd kick myself if I didn't grab it. I didn't take ALL of it, thankyouverymuch. I cherry picked the good stuff, squealed and gasped at some of it, and made my pile. My pile turned into a box. Then the box turned into a box and a giant bag. I had to stop before I bought everything!

A very intriguing vintage cross-stitch 
Anyway, enough jibber jabber. Here's what my haul was from today, for a grand total of about $20.

Beautiful chinese embroidery on silk, and a pre-made quilt block for future use.

I actually squealed and hugged this blanket when my Mom pulled it out. Very soft chenille, red gingham. Nuff said. 
I really did. I hugged this blanket, jealously guarding it from any potential yoinkers. You know, YOINK! And it's gone. It doesn't even smell! Oh, come on. Anyone who's shopped at garage sales knows exactly what I'm talking about. Don't pretend like you don't.

One is a walnut sack, the other I'm not sure.  
These two sacks are in perfect condition. One was for walnuts, and I'm not sure about the other one. All I know is they're very thick, but still soft, and I read enough Country Living Magazine to know crafting GOLD when I see it. MINE!

Rowan, MOVE!

Oh, I'm sorry! Did you say something?

I could have sworn it says "dog bed for Rowan"

No? Then I'll just take this fabric instead. 
The above must have been a bedsheet. Really really cool woodland trees print in a very pretty green! Don't know what it'll be yet, but I had to snag it.

 Okay, so I saw this twin size bed skirt and thought "ooh! Yellow polka dots and ruffles!" But what the heck to do with it? Well, I'll show you what I did with it. It took me about an hour this afternoon:
I chopped off the ruffles and quickly sewed them onto the top and bottom of my curtains! But first I chopped several inches off the bottom of the curtains. What do you think?

Oh come on.  It's pretty. Admit it. It's not like I hadn't gone all "crafty granny chic" in my room already anyway!

The fabric....OH THE FABRIC! 

Most of these are a quarter yard, or more. I also squealed over the multiple strawberry prints. Just ask my Mom. 

More strawberries!!

And birds. How could I pass up the birds?! 

This one has to be one of my favorites. 

So, am I wrong, or are some of these reproduction 30's prints?

A bit of ribbon I threw in the box because it was cute.
This one is a thick linen type fabric. Also one of my favorites. 
Very mysterious. There was a ziploc baggie with these in them. 
These are a little bit mysterious to me. They open at the shoulders of the "dress". I figured I could use them as scraps when I finally start learning how to ACTUALLY quilt. I LOVE the red/white bird fabric. I would have killed to have found yardage of that one. 
These three are my favorites of the weird dress scraps. 
And why are they so mysterious? Because when I opened some of them, they had these put inside:
Dancing favors or something? Which table you'll be sitting at, and which couple number you are? Strange.
An old kimono I'm going to cut apart for its embroidery. It's stained and torn anyway, so it's not really desecration.

Eh, you can always use some lace hanging around.

My Mom loves cowboys and old west stuff, so I'll find something for this cute fabric.

I'm assuming this was a tea towel or something someone had sewn together, with a huge opening along the side.
The above was another one I gasped at when I found it. Wonderful thicker linen-type fabric with a GORGEOUS blue print on it. I thought I was going to have to stuff it with fiberfill myself, but went "hmmmmmm...." when I noticed it was about the same size and shape as a down pillow from Ikea I had lying around. Here's what wound up happening:
Detail of the texture and print. Fabulous, no?

AAAHHH!! It fit perfectly! I even put in my first "hidden" zipper. I'm so in love. I'm lying on it right now. 
By the way, the red gingham pillow came with a mate. Two of them! Where's the other one? I'll show you.
I am happy like a crafty pig in a waller. 
Some more odds and ends I found at the Elks Club:

I could die over that pillow. Every bit of it was HAND EMBROIDERED AND SEWN. *swoon*

And how cute is the owl figurine? The black blob is giant ric-rac, which I've been searching for recently. The three iron mushroom trivets were too irresistible to leave behind. The buttons are leather, I think. But they're retro-groovy anyway, so into the box they went!

A belt that I picked up for $0.25 that I'm going to convert into a camera strap. 

This one was interesting. Obviously from the 40's, since they reference Hitler and Mussolini at one point. It had jokes and puns and such. It was $1, so I figured I could scan it for its graphics and possibly use it for decoupage at some point in the future. Or maybe I'll just keep in intact. Don't know yet. 

The embroidered animal pillow, the red gingham blanket, and the cross stitch all happy in their new homes. I'm happy too! Beyond happy, actually. What luck today! I also picked up a couple of tops. One all the way from Marks & Spencer in England!
I'm SO ready to be a supermodel.
So garage sale chic!

What an awesome saturday. Can you believe ALL of this was about $20?! Lucky lucky, even for seasoned garage-salers like my family. Oh jeez! 4:30 already! I need to shower and get ready to meet my friend Kathy for bbq burgers and Midnight in Paris! Gotta jet. Hope you're all having a wonderful saturday!


  1. Holy crap! That is one sweet-ass haul! JEALOUS? Yes. I love everything!!!! Oh gorsh, I need to yard-sale soon...

  2. Jaclyn - Today was an unusually lucky day. I mean, there's the occasional scores where you can't believe your luck, but today was almost like the universe's way of apologizing for all the hard stuff lately. But there have definitely been times where we came home thinking "wow, that was a total dud of a day". Like we always said: "You never know!". :D

  3. You know, we don't have garage sales here? Sometimes a church rummage sale, or a car boot sale. Basically all that stuff ends up in charity shops. I really miss garage sales!
    You got some awesome swag! I love the embroidered pillow, and your curtains look so shabby chic! Well done, and I am so jealous! Not even going to mention all that fabric...

  4. wow! that is crazy! LOVE the pillow with the embroidered woodland creatures.

  5. Kristine- every time I look at it, I just can't believe it. Who says grannies aren't cool? That pillow is something you'd pay out the wazoo for at Anthropology!

  6. Ok completely jealous, I may just start stalking you next time you go Garage Saleing(newspaper with cutouts for eyes, and fake nose stylee) because that is a serious haul. Those mysterious scraps would make an amazing quilt (or cushion cover) with them used as dresses, or even shadow box style as cutesy teeny weeny dresses in your sewing area, so cute!!

  7. We are crafting sisters. Fabulous score!

  8. Ruby! Hi! Your comment made me laugh out loud and startled Loki, who's currently lying on my legs and feet as I type in bed. I got SO wrapped up in all the vintagey style at the Elks Club, I eventually had to tell myself to STOP. If you're ever in the South Orange County, CA neighborhood, I would love garage sale company! How fun would that be?! On the other hand, I've seen knitters at a yarn sale....the competition ain't a pretty thing. BITCH I SAW THAT BAG OF FABRIC FIRST! RAWWRRR!!!! Kidding, kidding. I really do think it would be a blast to get some crafters together for garage-saleing or thrifting. Thank you so much for visiting me here, you made my day. :)

  9. Emily - Want to join our theoretical garage-saleing crafter get-together? Oh the fun we could have!


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