Sunday, October 24, 2010

Polishing, frogging and keeping it warm

I mentioned in my last post that I had bought a few things last week.  

The first thing that caught my eye was a cotton sweater that looked good for unraveling.  Here's a tutorial in case you're interested in doing this yourself.  I made sure that the seams weren't serged, but separate finished pieces sewn together.   That's how I *thought* it was put together, but not really.   The back and sides had been cut at the top seams, so I ended up wasting a bit of yarn getting through to the body of the sweater.   I also wasted a bit of yarn on the top yoke, as it had a buttonhole that had been cut into it rather than a knitted button opening.  All in all, it took about two hours to completely unravel but since my time is pretty cheap these days, totally worth it.

Here's the sweater, pre complete-frogging.   The yarn looks to be a white cotton ribbon that has brown thread woven over the ribbon.  The yarn looks very oatmeal-y.

A few more pictures showing the progress.  You can see the cut threads on the top of the front piece on the picture on the right. Thankfully the bulk of the piece was salvageable.

I also bought this cute little teapot.  I didn't think I'd get it clean enough to actually use it as intended, and I didn't.  It's a candle holder, and it lets out such a pretty, warm glow.

$2.42 less 25% off.

All scrubbed and ready to go
I figured I could use a thermos as well, and since it was priced pretty well, I grabbed it.   It was caked in grime.  A little bit of elbow grease, a generous amount of Dawn dishwashing liquid and it's almost as good as new. 

A bit scratchy, but clean and serviceable
I'm realizing how crappy these pictures are.  I desperately need a new camera and think I'm getting this one.  My new friend Nelly uses this camera, and it (or her) takes amazing shots.  I also read a great tutorial on blogging tools at Chez Larsson, and she suggests never using a flash.  I think I'll try that next time.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The People Have Spoken

I'm back from a morning of thrifting.  I ran into three of my friends this morning, and they each warned me not to talk about our store.  It's like a great neighborhood restaurant - we all want to enjoy it, but we worry about it becoming so popular that we can no longer find a seat.  In honor of my fellow thrifters, I'll refrain from the shout-outs.  FOR NOW.  

It's not like anyone but me reads this anyhow.

Here are my friends Rachel and Laura sifting through the racks.  You can't see her footwear, but Rachel is wearing a pair of knee high black leather Birkenstock boots. Bought, of course, at the store that shall remain unnamed. 

Laura might be wearing a thrifted coat.  I like the houndstooth, and I think I may steal her handbag.


Also at the store? Johnnie Niell of The Donovan Ensemble.  He was holding on to an American Flag as well as a very cool vintage Malboro shirt.

Johnnie's the one I wrote about last week - he bought a great cabinet, but couldn't take it home on his 10 speed.

If you're looking for some live theater, make sure you check out The Donovan Ensemble.   They perform all over and the show is fantastic.  Johnnie has great legs, and Joe has a wicked pencil-thin moustache.

Did I buy anything?  Yes, a few pieces.  I'll take some pics and load them up later.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

All I bought was a water jug!

It's Sunday, and not normally a day that I'd be at Unique.  But there I was.  

I had no intention of heading to my favorite place, but a call from a friend this afternoon soon meant a change of plans.    Johnnie, a fellow Unique regular, wanted to buy a beautiful chest of drawers.  Not exactly something he could sling across his back and ride home on his ten-speed, so he needed to find a way to get it home before he could even consider buying it.   I was in the checkout line at WalMart (curtain rod, two pumpkins and a turkey platter), so it was no problem and not at all out of my way to swing by.

15 minutes later and I had a ceramic water jug in my hand, was seriously considering a set of light blue dishes and was wondering whether it was too early to lay out Christmas decorations that caught my eye.

Thankfully Johnnie was ready to pack up the chest, so some serious decisions had to be made.   It was a full price day, so I needed to be judicious.   Five minutes later the dishes were back on the shelf, the Christmas decorations dropped at the counter and I left with only a water jug.  Close one.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Official, I'm Addicted

It's Thursday, so it must be 25% off for members at Unique.   Today's deals weren't as great as Monday's (50% off), but still pretty decent.   The bonus of shopping on a Thursday is that it's much calmer, and you still get a decent discount.  

I went to Unique for some specific items today.   I've started running my very own BnB,  so lots of the recent purchases have been to furnish the room.   Everything with the BnB is going great, so I'm expanding by adding the next spare room.   A badly timed double booking last week forced us into buying a bed a bit earlier than we had budgeted, but I got a good deal on the mattress set and frame.   I ended up buying a queen size bed, hence the purchases of the flat sheets last week.  The rest of the room is pretty bare, so it's a pretty clean slate.

I decided to go as classic a decor as I know how.  To mean, that means very simple bedding, curtains, prints, etc.  The walls are kind of cream, so I wanted to do everything in very neutral tones. I haven't quite decided what color my 'punch' will be....I'm leaning towards black accents.'s what I bought today:

Table lamp with a beige lampshade and crystal (ok, not real crystal - either clear resin or plastic) base. Original price - $14.99, on sale for $11.25

Twee little Wedgewood Beatrix Potter bowl.  I have no idea what I'll do with it, but it's so cute.  Maybe I'll put some thread on wooden spools and some needles in it - a little sewing kit.  Original price $1.00, on sale for 75¢.  BTW, just learned the shortcut for ¢ on MAC, therefore I'm using the ¢ key as often as I can.

 Set of two floor to ceiling pleated looseweave linen curtains. Lined! Original price $9.99 on sale for $7.50

King size cream covered duvet - polished cotton.  This will be a bit big for the queen comforter (purchased last week), but it's easy enough to take in if it's too massive.  Original price $6.99 on sale for $5.25.  I've been home an hour, and this duvet cover is already on the last cycle of a boiling hot bleach wash.  Safety first!

Four wood framed fruit/vegetable prints for kitchen wall.  Original price $1.25 each, sale price $3.75 for the set of four.

Sweet strawberry and polka dot hankie.  Original price $1.00, on sale for 75¢

I am not allowing myself to go back to that store unless I have a list of specific items to look for.  I will not allow myself any deviations.  Ha.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Columbus Day Sale at Unique

Do you know about  Unique?  It's a for-profit chain of thrift stores in New Jersey.   Unique is officially my favorite thrift store of all time.  What they do is buy bulk lots of donated goods and re-sell them.  Some people might find this business a bit shady, but just because it's a thrift store, that doesn't mean it's a charity.  They buy from charities, in this case,  mainly the Lupus Foundation.  

My local Unique is a few blocks away, so I end up going once a week or so.   There's a group of us that scour the racks on a regular basis and we love talking about our finds and our deals.  Yesterday happened to be 50% off day, since it was a holiday.  I almost forgot that it was a super-deal day, but remembered as soon as I saw the packed parking lot.

Here's what I bought yesterday:

6 matching juice glasses - really pretty footed glasses.  Original price 99¢, final price $3.00 for six
Queen size Kate Spade flat sheet (white with embroidered top border).  Original price $4.99, final price $2.50
Queen size West Elm flat sheet (white with patterned top border). Original price $3.99, final price $1.99
J. Crew Madras Patch shorts.  Original price $3.99, final price $1.99
Geoffrey Beene paisley silk tie for Jay.  Original price $4.99, final price $2.50
Charles Tywhitt mini-gingham checked dress shirt with french cuffs.  Original price $14.99, final price $7.50
Charles Tywhitt blue checked dress shirt.  Original price $9.99, final price $5.00
Bristol White formal shirt (initials ERP on cuff).  Original price $14.99, final price $7.50

That's it - my shopping trip was a success.  I spent over an hour picking through piles and racks, and only spent around $40.