Tag Archives: Thrifting

Little Big Shop Sale!

17 Dec

Here’s what’s up in the shop!

Recent Additions to the Little Big Shop:

Embroidered Vintage Clutch, granny chic.

Daisy Wall Plaque, your bathroom needs this.

Thrift Store Gore – White Elephant Gift Exchange Gifts:

(Confused about this section of the store? This should clear it up.)

Frightening Anne Geddes Bear.

Handcrafted Abalone Lamp.

Instructional Romance Book.

Speaking of the Grandchildren Photo Album.

Burned Down Schoolhouse Commemorative Plate.

Remember! Lucky buyers of Thrift Store Gore will get a photo of drunk Santa for your troubles. Someone’s been naughty this year! SPOILER ALERT: It’s Santa.

Little Big Shop Sale Items:

Designer Chrysanthemum Mug, price lowered by $6.00!

Vintage Baby Book, price lowered by $10.00!

Copper Parthenon Ashtray, price lowered by $6.00!

Vintage Glass Storage Jars, price lowered by $10.00!

Keep checking back as I’m adding more items all the time! Sale ends in a week or so or when I remember to change it back.

Thrifty Living: 12 Creative, Thrifty Ways to Wrap Gifts

6 Dec

Here are my favorite creative and thrifty ways to wrap presents for the holidays. Have an idea? Add yours in the comments.

1. Stock up on thrifted tins. I always check out tins while thrifting and stock up for the holidays. For a quarter I can buy a unique way to wrap a gift that can then be reused and repurposed later.

2. Use colorful paper bags and printable gift tags. When I still worked at the library I did a whole lot of gift-giving: coworkers, office staff, friends and student aides all got gifts from me. The cheapest way to wrap these gifts turned out to be colorful paper bags and ribbon from the craft store plus printable gift tags that I made myself. This was the perfect way to distribute baked goods and they looked so cheerful. Free printable gift tags can be found all over the web, but my favorites are found here.

3. Wrap an ugly box collage-style. I bought a lovely necklace for my MIL one year and of course the only box I could find to put it in said something dumb on it. I used a page out of a magazine to cover the top of the box and glued origami paper to the sides and it was transformed. She ended up loving the box as much as the necklace.

4. Try fabric scraps and yarn. One year I ran out of wrapping paper altogether so I raided my fabric stash and found this vintage green cotton fabric I found while thrifting. I was able to secure this fabric with scotch tape even though it was a decently heavy weight.  Wrap as you would normally for wrapping paper, add some yarn, and you’re good to go.

5. Embellish a plain gift bag. I can’t remember if this bag was plain or if it had a logo in the middle, but either way it benefited from some scraps from my collage file.

6. Reuse a pretty jar. I save jars like this throughout the year because I like to give spiced nuts and candy at Christmas. If your jar is pretty enough, only a ribbon is needed, though you can always paint the lid.

7. Use sheet music instead of wrapping paper. I have lots of musician friends so I had the idea to wrap their gifts in sheet music. I happened to have sheet music lying around, so I made copies of it specifically to use for wrapping. Collage paper, doilies, and some pink yarn finished it off.

8. Wrap with tissue paper and add a colorful bow. Many times the tissue paper is lovely enough to use as wrapping. I keep a few spools of colorful ribbon on hand for wrapping. I get it when it goes on clearance at the craft store.

9. Use a small piece of fancy paper for accent. A very creative friend of mine made me a necklace and sent it to me in this lovely packaging. I like how she decorated a plain box by adding a strip of fancy paper around it. I bet the sheet of paper was pricey, but using it sparingly makes it last.

10. Reuse a gift bag. I saved so many gift bags from our baby showers that I finally had to go through our gift bags and get rid of some. I didn’t throw them out, though! I donated them to Goodwill. Speaking of, you can find all sorts of lovely gift bags at good will for cheap.

11. Just add a huge bow. Sometimes one large statement is all you need.

12. Add a creative card. I don’t recommend giving tequila for every occasion, but in this case a lime made the perfect card.

Little Big Shop

5 Nov

Here’s what’s up in the shop:

Hot Air Balloon Lightswitch Plate Cover, so cheerful.

Balloon Lightswitch Plate Cover, Balloons make me happy.

Handmade Owl Wall Hanging, so cute.

Brown Ceramic Butterfly Dish, so feminine.

Vintage Snowflake Plate, I imagine this holding a stack of cookies.

Thrifty Living: Toy Kitchen

3 Oct

It started while I was thrifting, when Isobel tagged along beside me, grabbing things out of bins or trying on hats when she thought I wasn’t looking. Or maybe it really started before that, when she sad on the ground as a baby, digging through my measuring cups and playing with spoons. Then, it occurred to me: I could start building her a collection of thrifted kitchen items to play with. Her own mini thrifted kitchen.

You can probably tell my favorite area of the thrift store is the kitchen paraphernalia. I’ve talked about it a couple of times. (And I have more planned for the future.) It’s just that vintage kitchens are so charming and so interesting and generally very well-made. It was only natural, then, especially since I have Isobel along with me when I shop, to start buying toys for her in this aisle.

Children’s kitchen toys aren’t expensive. In fact you can come by them very, very cheaply. In many cases there is nothing wrong with a regular ol’ pot and pan set, and you can even find some really cute ones without looking very far. Why then, go to the effort of building a thrifted kitchen? Simple: It’s more fun. You can build a whole cooking set based just on things you find secondhand. The best play knives I’ve seen were actually (totally blunt, completely dull) cheese knives in the bin at my favorite religious charity shop. I could find a dozen small saucepans and mini loaf pans in under and hour if I wanted to. Spoons, ladles, all manner of spatulas can be found for a few cents and make wonderful accessories to a child’s play kitchen.

The first thing I bought for the thrifted play kitchen was plastic fruit and vegetables. These are better than all the plastic food versions I’ve seen for kids, and it was less than a dollar for all this and more (Isobel was playing with some of the fruit at the time). The best part about this display food is that it’s healthier than most of the fake food items you can buy. I bought a bag of children’s play food for a dollar at a yard sale before Isobel was born. The healthiest thing in it was frozen carrots. It seems like I can find some healthier versions now that don’t include only canned or boxed vegetables, but I’ve yet to see a set than includes the variety and detail that this set has. Sure, it might be out there. But I found this (in an attractive display basket) for fifty cents.

(A word of warning, as with anything you give your child, especially if it’s not a toy meant for young kids, watch for hazardous parts. I have several bunches of plastic grapes that I put in the attic because she could pluck off those plastic globes and choke on them.)

You can find full-sized small saucepans easily, as I mentioned, but Isobel loved playing with these metal measuring cups. She put them the DIY kitchen my Aunt made her before we bought her a toy kitchen. She filled them with plastic hot dogs and wooden wedges of cheese. She’d shake her sealed jar of pink sprinkles in for seasoning and then she’d lift it directly to her lips, sipping loudly, before exclaiming, “Yummy!”

This mitt is perfect for a four or a five year old.

I’m not exactly sure what these were used for, but their long handles suggest they are for open fire cooking, maybe part of a camping set. I really don’t know but I adore their orange color.

I bought these at an estate sale wherein I had a very embarrassing moment. I walked in the door and immediatley I could see three paths to take: the living room, the family room, or the kitchen. Obviously, I chose the kitchen area and became fascinated by an antique kettle. I rushed forward for a closer look (sensing others in the kitchen who might also want it) before realizing it was full of hot coffee and the ladies in the kitchen were running the sale. Which was all piled in the living and family rooms.

This thrifted gravy  boat is perfect for Isobel’s kitchen. It’s to tiny, yet perfectly proportioned like a real gravy boat. Zorro must have known I’d want to take a photo of it next to something else for scale, so he obliged.

I found this miniscule whisk and this small ice cream cup on the same trip, and Isobel loves to play with them together as if she thinks they are part of a set. Usually when I’m cooking she’s on a step stool right next to me and sometimes she’ll be stirring her little bowl with this whisk while I cook.

The pot in the background was my great aunts and it was hers as a child. It’s circa 1900 and has held up remarkably well. The miniature pan next to it came from my Nana and is surprisingly not a toy. It was part of her Revereware cookware set. It’s the perfect size for melting butter or heating up a bit of leftover sauce or chocolate in the days before microwaves. Little saucepans like this used to be common.

The watering can is usually kept with the kitchen stuff. It just is. I pulled it off a wreath for a nickle and Isobel likes to “water” indoor things with it.

The tiny rolling pin came from the same estate sale where I totally embarrassed myself and the tea scoop is a measuring cup for flour. I talked a bit about the blue tea cups here.

Collecting all these things only serves a purpose if your kid likes them enough to play with them.

Which, fortunately, mine does. They are some of her favorite toys and the first thing she reaches for when she wants to play, “cook.” I’m always thrifting and on the lookout for more items to add to her collection. In terms of price and charm, secondhand is definitely the way to go.

Follow Friday: Giant Yard Sale

30 Sep

Once a year my parents’ neighbors hold a giant yard sale. Their house sits on two lots and their entire front lawn takes up one of them. They divide the lawn into plots and people rent spots and set up shop. I always find great things, and this was the sale where we found those vintage books I was telling you about. Although I didn’t buy what is shown in the first three photos (though I would have loved to take it all home except for the mirror), I did buy the succulent and the gorgeous silver scroll work dish. Honestly, I really wish I would have bought Dragon Dominoes for the cover art alone.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

jenifersf I just thought to myself, boy, I need a drink. Realized I was 3/4 of the way through a beer.

johnmoe All Sportscenters and TV news sports casts should begin “Just a reminder, none of this matters. Not really. Now, on to numbers and videos!”

sgnp Back when I got fired by that dominatrix she said I could let the door hit me in the ass on the way out, for old time’s sake.

MeganBoley Sometimes I hear “no naps for you!” in my head. In soup nazi voice.

misskubelik my all time favorite is the 7 year old who asked for BOOGIE NIGHTS. Turns out he meant BOOGIE *K*NIGHTS. Slight difference.

danforthfrance I’ve had a lot of coffee. Allow me to strip to the waist and I’ll wrestle that giant octopus and save your seaside village.

sarcasmically I’d like to tell you I haven’t spent an hour pasting Burt Reynolds’ face onto Jesus’ body, but I don’t want BurtJesus to hear me tell a lie.

badbanana Just completed a wildly successful first test of my new robot intern at work. At least three dead.

mat I’ve gotten zero spam @ messages since signing up with laterspam.org, which is actually kind of disappointing. I want to play. iPad? Viagra?

jillsmo I had some red stuff between my toes and I thought it was blood. It was jello.

FakePewResearch 100% of lasers are FUCKING AWESOME.

hotdogsladies Guys, explaining a joke is like telling Hannibal why to bring lots of peanuts to Carthage—either you get it or you’re already on Wikipedia.

RailbirdJ Klout thinks I’m influential about John Boehner. I bet its from all those orange erection jokes.

UnicornFlavored I can’t tell if I just saw Ricki Lake’s nip, or if it was an optical illusion.

maggiesox I should not watch Ron Paul before I go to bed. I should not watch Ron Paul before I go to bed. I should not…oh, fuck it.

johnmoe The Playboy Club show is bound to appeal to men. If there’s one thing men love about Playboy, it’s clothed women talking about stuff.

markleggett I’ve been stressed before, but never “infomercial mom” stressed.

InfiniteChicken Take the name of the street you grew up on + your gross income/withholding = your HR Block name.

tommycm Is there such a verb as ‘to verb’?

jberthume Nooooooo I hafta get a shot nooooooo. Wait, actually, that’s probably best and fastest. Oh man, now I’m a grown-up noooooooo.

ColinPeters Puberty is the time in your life when you become extra greasy so you can slip out of your parents’ grasp.

JimGaffigan “How old is your baby?” is the “How about this weather?” of parenting.

antigone_spit Irony is the “Stress Management and Relaxation Training” online class being the most difficult and frustrating class of ever.

MassageByTed Up next on “Today”: cockblocking. What is it, who’s doing it, and how can you protect your children?

MmeSurly Indianapolis Police: “We will not say how they died, but we are looking for a shooter or shooters.” I love mysteries!

ebertchicago “If you go home with someone and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.” — John Waters

sarcasmically Adults who buy a hot dog combo lunch and eat it alone in the Target snack café should get a free pity hug with purchase.

TheSuniverse My hair looks like Hagrid’s today. Fucking humidity.

sween When my wife’s away, I make poor dietary choices. I ate a bowl of Lego this morning.

MrWordsWorth ‘Some side effects are swollen earlobes and a sexual attraction to the letter Q.’ – rejected drug ad copy

FlyteAphrodite My horoscope says I’m on edge but still appear calm. It also says I will be admired if I don’t hide my feelings. *runs in circles screaming*

MoistPork I’m thinking of starting an all-female moped gang. We’ll call ourselves the sCooters.

Its_Death Nevermind is 20 years old. Remember, how the Beatles seemed old back in 1991? They broke up 21 years before. You’ve become your parents.

SpaghettiJesus With my next tweet and my previous tweet, I came to the realization that I’m the Tosh.0 of slightly educated people.

WowItsStephen I’m calling tomorrow “FUNday” b/c I have a perky, upbeat personality!! I’m calling Tuesday the day I finally murder myself.

JillMorris My body is always sending me mixed signals about whether it wants to be alive.

hereslizz When you realize the irony of trying to find an online class for Interpersonal Communication? That.

marklegget tBefore criticising a man, walk a mile in his Crocs.

MmeSurly Every piece of popcorn chicken is unique, like a beautiful meat snowflake.

neiltyson Just saw “Moneyball” — The power of mathematics over tradition & superstition. Should probably be renamed “Mathball.”

shinyinfo Do you know who isn’t a Merry Man? Worf. Worf is not a Merry Man.

bebehblog I’ve been really hungry for a couple of hours, but too lazy to get off the couch. I AM A DIETING GENIUS.

slackmistress I hate unpacking with such a white-hot fury that you’d think it killed my grandma.

CanuckLibrarian Reading tweets that there are too many plot lines in a tv show on now. I guess there’s a reason those types watch tv instead of read.

80sMomKara I swear that we just got ‘fat free, sugar free’ ice cream. What the hell is it made with? Is it liquified packing peanuts? Soylent Green?

EvenMoreSarah I kind of wish the people at Dunkin had accidentally given me a donut instead of this dumb wheat bagel I asked for.

louisvirtel Happy birthday to Will Smith. Hope he’s spending some quality time with his wife and kids’ money.

luckyshirt I spilled Head and Shoulders on my feet, and now I don’t know which half of my body to cover with pants.

NicLewis Just saw a Target employee as nerdy as me hit on a coworker out of his league. Star Trek tells me this won’t end well for either redshirt.

MmeSurly I just made French toast with apple cider and pumpkin pie spice, so if y’all need me I’ll be marrying myself and maybe doing sex to myself.

thecorbettkid *someone* refused a nap at the appropriate nap time & is now melting down into a puddle of tears & snot. fyi: it’s not me. could be. but no.

ruthakers I want all my online passwords to try on swimsuits in the harsh light of a dressing room. We’ll see how secure they are then.

Whereismyrobot Trapped in the Closet still holds up.

WhyIsDaddyCryin I love finding a FB wall post with a lot of comments on it an adding my own that says “cats are soft”

notthatkendall I like it when Klout sends me “Important Updates,” and I get to remember just how ridiculous everything is.

lovegrrbottle Taking a video of Sonora starting to crawl and got video-bombed by the dog humping her toy in the background. :/

bookishbella The “It’s official: facebook will start charging” meme is going again. Somebody’s kid needs to tell them how the internet works.

stevetweeters I hope I don’t sound too dramatic but I accidentally poked myself in the eye and it hurts just like natural childbirth.

apelad Whenever I play a race car video game I try to cause the biggest crash possible as I cross the finish line.

susanorlean Someone actually did move my cheese.

ohrebecca Yayyuuuuuyyyyyyyyayyayyyayyuauuyyauu vodka!

TheRedQueen Listening to “Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta” while I clean the kitchen. I am fairly confident I am this songs demographic.

nick_hubert Ikea was busy. I only managed 2 fights but won both of them. I bought a highchair.

rstevens Googled “search engines” and now I can see forever.

theneener OH at the Labs: When did you eat? Is it safe for me to throw you up in the air?

geekandahalf Shout out to the person who flaked on going out tonight. I’mma drink at home for free and watch Project Runway. #winning

EvenMoreSarah I’m talking to myself in my dog’s imaginary voice so I should probably be sent home.

sarahbartlett I’ve officially wasted 15 minutes on an email about watermelon. #isitMonday

MarinkaNYC I don’t understand people who talk to me while I’m obviously tweeting. It’s like they were raised in a WiFi-less barn.

Mike_FTW When you put that uniform on you are a US soldier. You aren’t a gay soldier. You aren’t a straight soldier. And you deserve our respect.

PopCulLibrn So Spouse just set up an XBox Live account for the 9yo; it randomly gave him the username WagglyDuchess13. He’s scarred for life.

thejohnblog It’s probably not a good idea to have Santorum standing next to the Google logo. #tweetthepress

danforthfrance I don’t believe in Hell, but for Santorum I’ll make an exception. #tweetthepress

Cheeseboy22 Fun stat: Even when I wear my Hammer pants, I am still the most normal person in Rite Aid 100% of the time.


LastMomOnEarth Kurt google searched for my blog by typing, “Last Mom On Earth Amanda Kurt sexy piece of husband” so that I would see it in my stats.

TheProvArchive My x-ray report finishes off with ‘The rest of the foot is unremarkable.’ …I still love you, foot. No matter what they say.

johnmoe “I like their later stuff. After they sold out. When they played big arenas and teenagers liked them.” – Hipster hipster

jillsmo Do you ever feel like you spend every waking moment constantly in motion? And if that’s so, why am I not thinner than this?

mommywantsvodka Pretty sure I inadvertently mooned my neighbors. Not sure I’m unhappy about that.

badbanana Here’s how you end any meeting early. Just approve everything and walk out. Works even if you have no authority.

heyrenees I’m reading these match.com profiles and I have two thoughts. 1. Men, there are other writers besides Palahniuk. 2. Dying alone seems fine.

iasshole Attempts at deep feminist readings of The Magic Treehouse are being met with confusion and indifference.

palinodeWhy didn’t they rename “The Hills Have Eyes 2” as “The Hills Have 2 Eyes”? Because duh.

What is Follow Friday? It’s a Twitter meme that I have taken a couple steps further.  Learn more about it in my FAQ. See my nomination for a Shorty Award for Follow Friday here. You can read more Follow Friday goodness here.

Thrift Store Gore: Buy Rite

14 Sep

It’s time for another round of: Thrift! Store! Gore!

Everyone remembers the Little Big Thrifting Pyramid, yes?

Okay then! First of all, look at the photo at the top of this post. You know you are going to find good stuff just by the paint job. In fact, I’ve seen velour track suits in thrift stores that would coordinate perfectly. This particular store is different from most of the places I shop. For one thing, they have security. They check your bags before you leave and look you over when you come in. Any backpacks or too large purses are to be left by the door. They won’t guarantee your items will still be there when you leave, but you can’t take them with you. This store is hard core.

For all that hassle, you go inside and this store is packed, I mean packed, from floor to ceiling, with a secondhand wonderland. Most of it, I’ll tell you right now, is crap. But the sheer number of crap guarantees a few treasures. The inside isn’t just full of junk, either: on a daily basis that store is as packed as a Ross Dress for Less. It’s insane. Back in the day this store was held in a building three or four times its current size (and it’s not exactly small now) and in high school Anthony or Angela and I used to make the trek a couple towns over in some unreliable car or another and load up. Back then, though, thrifting goodness practically grew on trees.

This skirt was amazing. It was velvet and even brighter in person than it is in pictures. It’s full-length, because you want as much of your body covered in this fabric as possible.

Oh man. When I look at this commuter mug I think, “Damn! That is an awful mug.” And then I think, “Damn! Why didn’t I buy that cute brown mug with the fruit on it underneath that ugly mug!”

This is another one of those Thrift Store Gores that I wish I would have bought. “Grandma,” in Old E? Dude, Grandma is gangsta.

I would like a matching doll that says, “I Have A Restraining Order On You This Much.”

Melynda found this book and I thought it was hysterical. I have never heard of the Pet Psychic but probably everyone else knows about her because she’s on TV. I am glad I have no idea what my pets are thinking. I can only imagine Jupiter’s thoughts are appalling.

Part of me wishes I got this board game to give to my friend Scott. Scott is German so he might appreciate it. Then again, if you look at the illustration of the guy on the front it looks like this game causes nervous breakdowns and possibly intestinal distress, so maybe he wouldn’t appreciate it after all.

The only thing more gangsta than a grandma mug would have to be a bright orange Bob Ross shirt. You are killing it today, white people! Killing it.

I also regret not buying this “Senior Adults Have More Fun” backpack. Maybe they do have more fun, but I don’t want to hear about it. Eeeew.

And finally, we have the 1970s version of the pillow pet, except instead of a reasonably normal-looking stuffed animal, we have here a baby doll’s head in a crazy yellow fur suit.

“Snuggle me!” its face commands. “Lay your head on my butt!”

“I’m a bargain!”

Thrifty Living: The Jellyfish Tent

8 Sep

At 7 a.m. my friends Angela and Melynda were putting the last items on the lawn of the yard sale. I rolled up, coffee in hand, and told them I wasn’t to take anything home. I was there to help. And then, of course, I saw this: a hoop of netting meant to drape gracefully at the head of a bed or even a cradle. Netting fine enough to see through but still keep the mosquitoes out. I knew I had to have it.

Anthony wasn’t so sure when I bought it home. He wasn’t as confident as I was that Isobel would like it and he was sure Poppy or Jupiter would tear it to shreds. He hung it up in the Pencil Room (soon to be Isobel’s big girl room) anyway.

Isobel, of course, loves it, and calls it her jellyfish. As Anthony was hanging it I remarked that it looked a little like a jellyfish trailing netted tentacles and the name stuck.

Mel was going to charge 5 bucks, which is a steal compared to what she paid for it, but in the end Anthony bought her a life-sustaining toasted bagel and mango smoothie and we called it even.

Originally I just shoved some old pillows under there after Anthony hung it in place, and that was fine for awhile. But the pillows were old and gross and I decided cute pillow covers were in order. Then while thrifting I found this felted blanket lined with pom-pom trim. God, am I a sucker for pom-pom trim. It was a dollar.


A quick but thorough Etsy search revealed these two pillow covers, and I couldn’t be happier. The gorgeous brown one is from this seller, and you need to check out her shop because this pillow cover is fantastic quality, came beautifully packaged, and the seller is one of the nicest I’ve met. Also, as if that’s not enough, look at this, this, and this. Such gorgeous covers.

I bought the pink floral case from this adorable shop. How can you not love a store called pillow happy?! Impossible. I wanted cases that coordinated without matching, and I think they look perfect together. She also has some really great stuff, like this, this, and the scrabble tile cases.

I couldn’t be happier with out they turned out, especially since those pillows were so old and mangy before.

I suppose I should mention I have not been compensated for those mentions, nor do those sellers even know who I am. I just love these pillow covers, and think that you should, too. Isobel, for her part, adores them.

It’s so calm and serene in the jellyfish tent. It almost makes me forget about the chaos just outside it.

Scrapbook: Kingston’s Glasses

18 Aug

Wearing glasses from Isobel’s thrifted dress up chest.

(I put together a thrifted collection of dress up items for Isobel as per my Life List. More on that later.)

Thrifty Living: The Thrifting Basket

15 Aug

Today I wanted to let you in on a secret. Well, it’s not a secret really, but it is a trick of the trade–the thrifting trade. When you go on as many thrifting expeditions as I do you figure out some ways to make your life easier. I’m going to share a few things with you over the course of several posts that I have learned along the way, starting with the most important: the thrifting basket.*

In the photo above you can see this basket in use. I took this photo on the floor at Goodwill after realizing that I never really see people hauling their own baskets with to thrift stores or yard sales.

You may have had the experience of traipsing through an estate sale, clutching the awesome things you’ve found to your chest while futilely attempting to grab more second-hand goodness. Estate sales are the worst in this regard, as they usually offer nothing in the way of bags or carts to help you carry your wares. Sometimes they’ll offer you a box if there are some left over from moving the previous occupant, but more likely than not, you are on your own.

Thrift stores are hardly better. My favorite thrift store has the worst selection of baskets. The handle comes up right in the middle, leaving you in inconvenient ring of space to store your goods.

Somewhere along the line I got tired of all this so I started bringing my own basket. I’ve bought many a thrifted basket before so I can tell you they are both abundant and quite cheap. The basket I use, however, came from my late Nana. It’s weirdly shaped in a way that I find not at all attractive but its angled handle is perfectly ergonomic. The flat side rests against my body while the handle settles neatly in the crook of my arm.

A basket is ideal for me because I felt that carrying a large bag or stuffing my finds into a purse would look suspicious, even though I of course plan to pay for everything. A basket is not without risks. Sometimes, when you are not looking, someone may slip a fugly piece of basketball memorabilia into your basket. Scott.

We recently added another wicker member to our family of thrifting baskets. And by “we” I of course mean “Isobel.”

As you might imagine, Isobel goes thrifting with me quite often. Now that she’s old enough to walk beside me I ditched the much-coveted-but-difficult-to-both-find-and-steer cart and she walks beside me. The last time we went she made a beeline for this tan basket covered in yellow flowers. I hoped it was going to be something she abandoned easily, but she held onto that basket with a death grip, and I soon saw why.

She has decided that this basket is her thrifting basket.

She followed me around the store, carrying her thrifting basket, grabbing stuff off the shelves. She wasn’t grabbing just anything–you could tell by the way she looked over it, frowning in concentration, examining it in detail. If it passed whatever toddler rubric she employed, into the basket it went.

By the time I was ready to leave the store she had collected a plastic peach, a set of wooden heart-shaped knickknacks, and, mysteriously, a sealed jar of water containing a single seashell.

When we got to the counter I told the perplexed cashier that we’d take the basket, but not the stuff inside. In addition to being useful, the basket made a great toy, apparently, because she played with it all the way home. (And picked off many of the flowers, as you can see.)

Most thrift stores are used to seeing me with my thrifting basket these days, but I still occasionally have to tell people that it’s mine so they don’t charge me for it.

(*The “Babies” book, by Gyo Fujikawa, appearing in the top photo, is one of Isobel’s favorite books and a fantastic find altogether. It was groundbreaking in 1963 because it was one of the first books to show babies of multiple races playing and growing together. I highly recommend it and all of Fujikawa’s works.)

Thrift Store Score: The Rocking Horse

8 Aug

We got this baby for five bucks at a neighbor’s yard sale. Five bucks! We’ve been looking for a rocking horse for ages, and although Isobel’s pretty much outgrown it, we can save it for the next kid and then pass it on. That’s not to say Isobel doesn’t use it. She’s just more likely to put necklaces around its neck and talk to it rather than ride it.

The hair has matted into dreads, which I think is pretty funny. Someone spent a lot of money on this when it was new. It was purchased at a fancy homemade toy store in the foothills.

;Here’s Isobel trying it out.

lIt’s really sturdy and can even handle the weight of a small adult. Don’t ask me how I know that.