Monday, October 15, 2012

Come thrifting with me

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My pal (blogless) Michelle and I went on a huge, all-day, bring-the-truck thrifting run last weekend.  Friends, if you don’t have the perfect thrifting buddy, you should go and get one right away, because it’s the very best.  Michelle likes almost, almost the same stuff I do, but not quite, and she has perfect taste, so she spots all the good stuff, but we never fight over who gets to buy it.  If I hold up a woven plastic curtain printed with turquoise and gold flowers, she’ll say, “I actually think that could be great.”  

Here’s how we do this:  she picks me up early on a Saturday, and then we methodically visit every thrift shop in two counties.  We are immediately tempted by something huge in the first shop—usually, it’s me who’s tempted, and it’s usually a chair.  She tells me the chair is great, with this subtext: I will totally respect you if you buy this chair no it is not too gross yes I think you could paint the legs I will help you carry it to the car.  I don’t actually need any more chairs, so we manage to resist. (It was amazing!  Perfect!) We keep moving, like sharks, lunging past the slower, more meandery thrifters who are obviously not aware that we mean business, and I fill my arms with more than I can carry, while she chooses one perfect vintage pin.  We will talk about the tempting chair the whole rest of the day.  We agree that the shell-encrusted animals we see literally everywhere are a bit much, but that the owl one is cute.  It is absolutely guaranteed that I will spend twice as much as she does, in every shop, and also in total.  I haul up a ridiculous lamp and four shower curtains and ten stray bags of other people’s leftover yarn and forty-two baskets and a chipped china teacup and a fishbowl, lugging it all in two carts, and meanwhile she’s over there curating a lovely and manageable collection of five awesome things.  Plus, she drives.  Seriously, people, get yourself a good thrift buddy.

All the way home, stuffed and sleepy from lunch at Panera, we kept talking about how we couldn’t wait to get home and start making stuff, and about how lousy it would be if we ever ran out of ideas, and how do people who don’t have ideas for stuff to make get through the day?  We lamented the sad people who have no ideas. 

After she dropped me at home (along with my insane pile of thrifty purchases, which weren’t even as many as last time, but I still made three trips to get it all in the house, which means I have to fill that many bags with outgoing stuff now, so as to not end up on Hoarders) I cleared the table and made this pillow cover.  I didn’t really need it, so much as I needed to make it.  You know what I mean? 

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Fabric=thrifted.  Feather pillow insert=thrifted (and washed in hot water, three times).  Bobbly fringe=thrifted.  Crocheted cabbage roses, leftover from something else.  See, that’s pretty satisfying. 

21 comments:

  1. How fun!! I love thrift shopping...you sound so much like me, I always spend more than I should. I might have to think the thrift buddy thing...I always go alone. Love the pillow!!!!! Shari

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  2. Oh, Kristen, we might live thousands of miles from each other, but we could be mother and daughter! I just LOVE 'tat' shopping in the local charity shops, open markets and car boot sales with my friend Sheila. She always manages to find mega-bargain toys or clothes for her grandsons, while I come home armed with stuff that has 'potential'! Happy hunting xx

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  3. Sounds like you had the perfect thrifting day, wish I lived closer so I could join in! I too have a thrifting buddy. We usually meet once a week and do a trawl of about 5 or 6 charity shops, then have coffee or lunch. We know each other's taste so can spot things for each other but never end up wanting the same thing. And yes, she drives us there. Anyway, show us photos of what you got - how much yarn did you get? :) x

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  4. may I come with you next time??? ;oD
    xxx Alessandra

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  5. Great cushion, love the roses. We don't have thrift shops in the UK, we have charity shops (people donate the stuff to the shops and all the proceeds go to charity). Is that the same - how do your thrift shops work?

    The charity shops sometimes have good clothes but it is rare to find good textiles otherwise (I think anyway). You can sometimes get nice things like vases or pictures though. Charity shops are only small but sometimes very full. I have never ever found any yarn but have occasionally seen tapestry wool or an unfinished embroidery kit.

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    1. Yes, our thrift shops almost always benefit a charity, too. :)

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  6. Gorgeous cushion and crocheted posy. I JUST KNOW what you mean ...do I need another cushion cover nope but do I need to make it Yes yes!!! LOL! When the urge is on me there is no stopping me....what the dickens is a crochet covered sea pebble used for except perhaps as a paper weight....sigh but I had to make it...
    FUN FUN FUN outing!!! Again I have to agree and you just can't go it alone...I do my main thrift shop buying when I get to go back home to the UK and my buddy is my sister.....and its so much....what's the word .....FUN!

    keep well

    Amanda :-)

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  7. Sounds like a fab day! I love that little crochet flower posy. :-)
    Carly
    x

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  8. I am coming along next year, I promise not to take the things either of you want.
    Hugs and great pillow.
    Meredith

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  9. I agree that thrifting with a friend is the best. And I know what you mean by...just because I needed to make one! Once the creative juices are running, nothing will stop them except a finished project. Love the cushion.

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  11. Oh, I would SO fit in on your thrifting jaunts!! Sounded like great fun to me. I love the pillow! I put my Bloomies on pillows and all sorts of things, and I have been making crochet flowers by the dozens! Love them on caps, and pillows and well, just about anything!!!
    XO Kris

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  12. That sounds like a fantastic trip and a great way to spend the day. All for ways to make things. I think I must get into this lark. Love the cushion you made.

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  13. Great post, you really made me giggle ;) Sounds like you had an awesome & fun day with your thrift buddy :) Yes, it must be very sad to be one of those not bursting with the need to make! Very sweet pillow cover - bet it feels even sweeter because of how you sourced all the materials right? Have a great week, Helen x

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  14. I love this post, especially the part about the sad people who don't have ideas or make things- how do they get up in the morning??? I think you should start an annual Thrifters Retreat so we can all come shopping with you and Michelle, because you guys have got this down, not to mention there are some seriously great shops around there. I will rent the U-Haul. Oh yeah, and your pillow is damn cute!

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  15. The creative process...sometimes starting with thrifting...is one of the great fun parts of life, I agree, Kristen. A wealthy woman asked me what I would like as a wedding gift when I was first married. I spotted an old wrought iron lamp in her garage and told her that if she had no use for it I would love to use it. Through the years I have rigged up various lampshades for it...one I made from an old basket and brown paper bags...but I enjoy using it and so many other used things...especially the cozy made things I have had a hand in making like your clever pillow :) xx from Gracie

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  16. I love to thrift but usually go it alone. I am not at the point where I can make a day of it, so I sneak it in when I ought to be grocery shopping. Love your conversation about the sad people who don't like to make things. Many's the time I've wondered the same thing myself. What on earth do they do?:)

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  17. agg! so much fun! and such a beautiful pillow kristen.

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  18. Really pretty! It sounds like you had a lot of fun ... And then... More fun . The pillow is very pretty and the journey sounded like an adventure. :)

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