Archive for the ‘thrift’ Category

trash picking season

trash picked chair

There is still snow on the ground (and in the forecast) but it is officially spring and trash picking season has begun! woohoo! thrifty may be good, but free is better. I picked up this beauty from the curb in a frozen rain the other night. And I might have spent all my good trash karma on it (trash picking is my thoroughly unglamorous hobby). I mean seriously, who throws good danish chairs away?

danish side chair

I’m thinking about recovering it with oil cloth, because my children always seem to be covered in peanut butter. All the cool kids are coming out with oil cloth lines these days too. Naomi Ito has a beautiful one, of course, but it might be too matchy matchy with my pillows (which I was going to link to, but I guess I never posted about them-oh well). I know Anna Maria Horner had some little folks oil cloth a while back. Any other good laminated fabric you know of? Not too girly, not too theme-y. Something just right.

things that came home with me from the thrift store

tin container with wooden top

-a metal container with a beautiful wooden top; I want to say teak because it sounds fancy, but really I have no idea.

vintage bunny tin

-a slightly creepy bunny tin.


-a basket to put the baby my yarn in

stripey blanket

-a super awesome stripey blanket

blanket artfully draped on the couch

grand total: 10 bucks. I forgot how awesome the thrift store can be, how did that happen?

fisher price cash register

I went back and forth about buying it, because it was ten bucks, but in the end I got it and I’m glad I did. I duct taped some batteries in (why do we have a thousand C batteries on hand?) and the sucker works! Push the green button and the conveyor belt moves, slide something across the scanner and it beeps, and if you push the yellow numbers a bunch of times the receipt pops up.

On the conveyor belt: bananas, a calorie counter book (really, why?), gouda, asprin, toothpaste, cookies and shoe polish. This is definitely an old man’s shopping list–a slightly overweight old man, in the eighties with a hangover. Meet the toy designers of the past.

art swap

There is a fantastic store in my neighborhood that hosts an art swap twice a year in their backyard. It’s just what it sounds like: you bring some art making stuff you don’t want and take some things you do. There are rug hooking kits and mat board and broken lamps and weird little rusty bits and bobs. This year we even scored some pool noodles. I love it because it is so random and so neighborly.  We always get enough paper and markers to last us until the next swap. I was excited to find some dot matrix printer paper (nerd!) for making banners. Remember how many banners we used to make with that stuff with the letters made out of lots of little letters? If you don’t know what I’m talking about you are far too young.

My daughter found that odd wooden bear along with many, many little treasures. And I found a nice stack of knits. After kids clothes week I’m feeling more confident working with them, so I’m sure there will be even more 90 minute shirts and leggings in our future. Anyone know of any good kids clothes patterns for knits (I don’t have enough fabric for anything for me)? I also found this cardboard tub with a metal rim that reminds me of ice cream in the summertime and though it’s sure to get broken in this house I brought it home anyway (along with some snazzy sewing patterns).

I’m really trying not to bring more shit into the house, but I think art supplies should really be an exception–for the kids and for me. And I’m happy to say I brought more things to the swap than I took away, so we are still have less total.  I did find two Taro Gomi coloring books at the thrift store yesterday that I bought. I have been coveting them for quite a while now and I never expected to find them at a secondhand shop. They were a couple bucks each with only a little bit of coloring in one. I think I’ve used up my thrift mojo for while with these.

Speaking of swaps, Melissa over at tigerlily tinkering started a crafty barter marketplace that I think it a fantastic idea. You post about what you want to make, look around to see what other people are interested in making and then see if they would like to trade.  It’s fun to sew little things, but really how many hot water bottle covers does one person need?

teeter tot


Some friends of mine started a fabulous kid’s consignment sale here in Madison a few years ago called Half Pint.  They have children and jobs and husbands and thought hey let’s have a business too! I really don’t know how they do it, but they do and twice a year to boot. It get’s bigger every year and I’m so happy for their success.  And happy to get a bunch of  fantastic kid’s clothes and toys on the cheap.


I’ve had some great finds at Half Pint (pink high tops, green sneakers, red white & blue speedos) but this little rocker takes the cake. It’s called a teeter tot. And though I can’t tell if it’s actually old, or just faking it I love the look of it–much more than the exersaucer at least.  The baby likes it a little (I really need to make a little seat belt so he stops sliding out) and the big kids love it. They sqeeeeeze in and play baby.  While I’d like to think I’ll pass it down to my kid’s kids I’m guessing it will end up back at Half Pint. If you are local and want to find out about their next sale, and other kid’s stuff too, head over to their blog.