Cheap thrills.

While browsing several Goodwill stores over the past couple of days, I picked up some fun little gems to add to my never-ending collection of thrifted decor…

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When I came across these brass swans, I knew they had to be mine. Very Mid-century. I posted them on my Instagram, and someone commented asking if they were for sale! That made me feel kinda good. I replied, “Not at the moment, but I’ll let you know if that changes!”

To be honest, at one point I had considered going the thrifting-and-flipping route with a friend. I follow a lot of Instagrammers who do that on eBay. It has always struck me as a fun hobby. Plus, the extra cash wouldn’t be so bad. I guess I ultimately figured it would take up too much time and energy. But, now that it’s summer, I have time and energy.

So… should I sell these, or keep them? I mean, I like them, and they were a great find, but I’m not wedded to them. Out of curiosity, I looked them up on eBay and people are selling them for anywhere between $20 and $100. I only paid five dollars for the pair.

Next…

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Gotta love pretty little white vases. The one on the right I found at Goodwill for a buck or two, and the one on the right was a gift from my friend and colleague Melyssa (also thrifted). All they need now are some pretty buds.

Lastly…

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I know, I know — I’m obsessed with brass, especially brass pots/planters (see here..and here…and here…). This one is fairly small but does the job. Fun fact: the plant inside belongs to my friend Karly…I’m just babysitting it for a while. 😉

I also scored a couple of cool items from a local Salvation Army store, but I’m saving those for a future post.

Enjoy your weekend!

Beth ❤

Long overdue update.

Well, it’s been a while. School started and I got very, very busy.

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Here are a few pics of my classroom. Note the purple rug from IKEA…very frugal buy at a mere $25!

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The sets of plastic drawers were cheap yard sale buys!

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Though I have been pretty occupied, I’ve manage to procure a couple of cool things over the past few weeks…

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Pretty yard sale scarves…25 cents a pop!
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Lovely ceramic vase…$4 from Ryan’s Relics.
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Just a couple of bucks for blue and white. Gets me every time.

Hoping to go on a thrifting adventure soon. Stay tuned. 🙂

Jo’s story & fabulous stuff.

Today, enjoy this guest post from my faraway friend, Josephine!

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Jo: I have always been a thrifty person. It may be because my parents grew up in Sweden and England during the second World War (not baby boomers), so frugality was highly praised in my family. My father worked in the hospitality industry and often purchased secondhand furniture from his place of work when they remodelled the lounges or dining rooms. My mom was a self-taught seamstress, upholsterer and furniture refinisher. Our house was always well-decorated with her unique touch. Cushions, curtains, valances, armchairs, sofas, plush headboards, Halloween costumes, prom dresses–my mom could do it all and on a thrifty budget. Of course, my dad also did his share of DIY projects: finished basement, living room extension and an epic two-floor tree house with crows nest lookout and fire escape.

When I look around my condo, which was itself a thrifty find, nestled inside a 1913 character bldg in need of some TLC but in a fantastic neighbourhood, I realize that 90% of my furniture is used or secondhand. Antique markets, Craigslist, Kijiji, Sally Ann, Value Village, MCC thrift, the IKEA As-Is dept and the Old House Revival Co. are my favourite shops in Winnipeg, Canada’s most Cheap and Cheerful bigger city. It’s slightly isolated but with an unparalleled vibrant cultural scene and affordable cost of living (if you can embrace the winters.) Many of my pieces also come from my life abroad in Sweden, France, Morocco, Turkey and Afghanistan.

When I lived in Paris, I was fortunate to get a contract teaching English at Vitra, “manufacturer of the works of many internationally renowned furniture designers” such as Eames, Panton, Saarinen, Citterio, Morrison etc. I had absolutely no knowledge of design at the time and this was a fabulous entry into that world. You can imagine my excitement when I acquired this Saarinen tulip coffee table knock-off at Sally Anne for $10 CDN.

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It looks fabulous with my knock-off Acapulco chairs in my mom’s backyard.

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Since returning to Canada in 2010, I’ve fallen in love with vintage Pyrex bakeware and Norwegian Lotte Figgjo dishes. Here is just a smidgen of my collection.

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Finding the elusive red Primary Colours mixing bowl thus completing my set, has been the highlight of my collecting career so far….and for $8 CDN at the Mulvey Flee Market. The dish rack, a splurge and similar to one I had seen in the Conran Shop, comes from India, ordered from this UK website. http://www.theplaterack.co.uk.  

Pretty nice finds, eh? 🙂

My first eBay purchase.

Recently, I discovered the exciting world of bidding on eBay. As mentioned in a previous post, I have been on the hunt for a mid-century ottoman. It turned out that there were quite a few mid-century ottomans for sale on eBay–most of which seemed overpriced, especially including shipping. However, I eventually found an affordable one that I liked.

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Photo from eBay.

I sat on it for a couple of days. Then, as if reading my mind, eBay sent me a little surprise…

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Well, folks, I just couldn’t turn down this deal. The ottoman was originally priced at $49. I bid $44, and the seller accepted. Shipping was set at approx. $10, but with my $10 coupon, it cancelled out. So, I spent a total of $44 on both the item and shipping!

The ottoman arrived the other day. I’m pleased with it for the most part–it’s the right size, structurally sound, no damage.

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However, it seems to me that the ottoman’s actual color differs from the color pictured on eBay. It’s got kind of a mustard/tan vibe going on, while the seller’s photos made it seem more of a creamy ivory (likely due to using a flash rather than natural light). I was a bit disappointed about this at first, but I’ve come to accept it. I think it looks good in the space.

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Well, that’s all for today. Next time, I’ll post some photos of cheap school supplies I collected over the summer, as I’m in the process of setting up my classroom! 🙂

Finds for friends.

Yes, yes, I’m still reeling from my most recent yard sale win, but I wanted to share two other items from my weekend hunt that I bought for close friends.

Let’s start with Alex, who just got back from what sounds like an amazing trip to France. While in Paris, she had the opportunity to watch the last stretch of the Tour de France as the riders cruised along Champs-Élyséés. As Alex is an avid cyclist, this was a special experience for her. Moreover, she loved exploring the city and found Parisian culture incredibly charming and alluring (as I’m sure many of us do). Thus, when I came across this lovely wall art, priced at a whopping $3, I felt compelled to buy it for her!

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Painting? Print? Reproduction? I found it adorable and hopefully it’ll serve as a nice reminder of her Paris experience. I honestly have no idea if it’s her style (I told her that she is totally allowed to hide it in her basement), but I’m confident that she appreciated the thought.

On to Katie, whom you might remember from a previous post. A full-time doctoral student, Katie spends her (limited) free time baking, playing with her new puppy, and, well, baking. I immediately thought of her when I saw these cute ceramic measuring cups at a yard sale for just a few bucks.

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Katie absolutely loves them! I suppose they’re more decorative than practical, but who cares?

I truly love thrifting and gifting. It makes loved ones smile and gives you an excuse–I mean, a purpose–to wake up at 7 AM on a Saturday or spend happy hour at Goodwill. 🙂

Can’t say no to retro.

Guys, this may be my biggest win yet. Seriously.

This morning, at a yard sale, I purchased this mid-century industrial style chair for TEN BUCKS!

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How awesome is this find!? I am over the moon. 

There is a small tear in the red vinyl seat, which I’m hoping can be repaired.

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Does anyone know if/how/where I could repair this tear? Will I need to replace the entire upholstery? Please comment if you have any ideas.

More brass love.

In an older post, I mentioned that I had picked up a pair of brass candlesticks at yard sale for $5. I polished them as best I could with some Brasso™. So, here they are.

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I’ve never owned taper candles, much less candlesticks in my life, so this is a fun new addition to my home.

Additionally, I had previously mentioned scoring a small brass decor item from Lancaster Creative Reuse. Honestly, I’m not quite sure what it’s purpose is or what I should do with it. But I like it, so I thought I’d share it.

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What am I?

It’s fairly small–maybe 20 inches long. Got it for a mere $1.50. Any ideas about what this is, or what I could use it for? Comment and let me know! 

Tiny treasures from LCR.

Yesterday I visited one of my favorite thrift stores, Lancaster Creative Reuse. You might remember this place from my post a couple months back (“Spotlight: LCR.”). Anyways, yesterday I picked up a bunch of cool items for a whopping total of $7.47!

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I even decorated my receipt.

 

So, here are my cheap thrills from LCR.

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Teeny brass incense holder.
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Assorted bits of tile. So pretty!
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Mix & match Scrabble letters.
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Small blue & white flower pot.

 

In addition to these tiny treasures, I also picked up a glass jug (which I proceeded to break within a couple of hours), and a rather perplexing brass decor item that I will share with you at a later time.

Do you have any tiny treasures? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Yard sale spoils.

Folks, the yard sale gods were on my side this weekend.

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I went to a multi-family neighborhood sale on Saturday morning and a single home sale today. Arrived at both of them at 8am–right at the start–and it was good I did! It always seems like everything’s been picked over if I get there any later than 3o minutes after they start.

On Saturday morning, I scored a funny sign that I plan on hanging in my classroom (only 75 cents!), and a pretty silver necklace ($3). I also picked up a great pair of brass candlesticks for $5, but I don’t want to post a picture of them here until I’ve had a chance to polish them.

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75 cent sign 🙂
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Looks and feels like sterling silver. Goes with everything!

 

This morning, I picked up an imitation Fiesta™ serving plate in one of my favorite colors (only a few minor scratches), and a secondhand copy of the novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safran Foer. If you haven’t read it, you absolutely should.

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Only a buck each!

 

I also found this small dry erase board in good shape–only paid a few bucks for it! Another win for the classroom, since I only have chalkboards.

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Playing with the meme feature on my photo editing app.

 

I’d say it was a pretty successful bargain-hunting weekend! Stay tuned for a photo of the brass candlesticks in the near future.

Happy thrifting! 🙂

Help wanted.

Okay, I’ll get right to it: a couple of years ago, I scored this adorable blouse from the clearance rack at a local boutique (orig. $48, sale price $20! ). 

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Super cute, right? The soft blush tone against the unexpected snazzy collar…

Well, I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t worn it ONCE since I bought it. Literally, the tag is still attached! It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that I’ve never been able to figure out how to wear it. Like, what do I pair with it? Pants? Skirt? What kind? How long? What color? Tucked in, or loose? And for what type of occasion?

After scoring such a good deal on this top, I’m determined to wear it at least once this summer! Please, please, PLEASE comment with any and all styling advice. Do this bargain justice.

Merci  ♥  (I feel like this blouse would speak French)