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Thrifting at Midnight

September 22, 2010

It’s no big shocker that I love the thrill of finding something fantastic stuck on the bottom shelf at a thrift store.  I love that kind of retail therapy more than anything else.  I don’t usually hit up garage or yard sales though.  But on Saturday night at about 10 o’clock my friend Kim called me with fantastic news.  Her aunt was setting up for an estate sale the next morning, and if I was interested I could swing on over right now.  At ten o’clock.  At night.
peacock purse

[ Peacock green/ teal blue leather purse.  Brand new as far as I can tell.  $12 ]

I was sold.  I dropped everything I was stitching and grabbed my shoes and keys.  In between my front door and my car I sent my best thrfting buddy Betsy a text asking her if she wanted to come too.  She was in.  We followed cryptic (slightly wrong) directions and drove up to a house on a hill with a front yard full of stuff.  We both grabbed flashlights and started looking through boxes.  There were a LOT of boxes.  This woman was a near hoarder.
daisy bowl

[ Pyrex bowl, Butterfly Gold $1.50 ]

She had about 50 purses, most of them unused.  She had piles of magazines and books.  She dry cleaned her sweatpants.  She had her name stamped on everything.  Sometimes in three or four places.  There were typewriters (but not pretty one’s) and furniture and tools and lamps and boxes and boxes of shoes, some never worn.  It was thrifting heaven.
tapestry purse

[ Vintage tapestry evening purse with silk lining and mother of pearl accents.  $1.50 ]

We spent a good two hours digging through every single pile with our flashlights and both came away with some fantastic stuff.  It was a wonderful way to spend a Friday night.  And the next morning Betsy and Creamie and I went out again.  We hit up four different thrift stores before stopping for lunch.
gaffer tape

[ Six new rolls of gaffer tape from seven gypsies. $1.50 ]

Saturday morning was less successful.  And shopping in the day is just not as exciting as shopping at night I guess.  Saturday night Scott and I were on a date, killing some time between dinner and our movie and we happened to drive past yet another thrift store.  And you know me.  I can’t just drive by.  I have to see if there are any treasures that need rescuing.
paisley hangars

[ Three paisley padded hangars. $1.00 ]

Don’t worry.  There were.  And some “treasures” that didn’t need rescuing at all [ read big old stained ugly tanning bed for $500… really? ] Sometimes you just have to laugh at the things that turn up on the thrift store shelves.  And as if I hadn’t had enough thrifting in 24 hours, on Monday morning I went again.
vintage trims

[ Three spools of vintage Christmas trims. $1.00 ]

I actually think Monday mornings are the best time to go.  Way fewer people than on a Saturday, and for the shops that accept donations, you get first dibs on what was dropped off at the end of the weekend.  When everyone has finished cleaning out their parents garages or their grandma’s attics.  Tuesday’s after Monday holidays are also fantastic.
fan necklace

[ Vintage fan necklace.  The fan opens and closes, and on the reverse is a gold on gold design.  This is my very favorite find of the weekend, from the estate sale on Friday night.  It was $ .25 ]

This isn’t even everything.  There are plenty more little bits that will show up here in the next little while.  I’ve picked up some great clothes for Creamie recently.  Her entire winter wardrobe, and jeans to last through next winter.  A few dresses, some shoes and tights, and the cutest striped sweater I’ve ever seen.  I can hardly believe my streak of recent good luck.  And that’s mostly what it is.  Being at the right place at the right time and having your eyes open.  So what have we learned here?  Keep your eyes open and keep a flashlight in your car.  And extra batteries.  You may never know when you’ll have the opportunity to go thrifting at midnight.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. September 22, 2010 9:04 am

    Wow! Great finds, indeed. The thrifting by flashlight sounds very exciting and borders on covert. Undercover thrifters!

  2. September 22, 2010 11:50 am

    ok, so i REALLY wish we lived closer… you have way too much fun thrifting and i want to join in!!

  3. September 22, 2010 1:46 pm


    I’m sorry I missed out on the new shoes and purses.

    Also, I’m totally laughing at the gold butterfly pyrex. My mom had that pattern on our dishes (plates, cups, bowls, serving pieces) growing up. We were really sick of them, so for Mother’s Day one year (in the late 80’s, I think) we replaced them for her. Now I keep seeing that gold butterfly pattern pop up everywhere as a ‘thrifted treasure.’ Who knew? I could have saved her old pieces and sold them off one by one and made a fortune. Oh, well. Maybe when we all get sick of the pattern she has now, I can save it for another 20 years and make my fortune that way.

    xo -El

  4. September 22, 2010 10:23 pm

    Sounds exciting, I’m very jealous! I love the blue bag the best!

  5. September 25, 2010 11:08 pm

    I went to a flea market in search of tools and saw more vintage pyrex than I have ever seen in my life, several large shelves taller than me full of it and thought of you.

    Some complete sets, others not quite complete, more colors & patterns that I knew existed. I looked at some of the prices quickly, one stack of 4 larger bowls that fit inside each other, with no scratches, chips or stains in a pretty dark pink color was $10.00. Another stack of 4 smaller bowls in a blue color was $7.00.

    Shall I take pictures for you?

    The flea market is Plainville, CT.

  6. October 17, 2010 6:09 am

    All I got to say is: Thrifting in the dark with flashlights= awesome.


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