Sunday, April 27, 2008

A whole week and not a thrifty find to be had. I guess I am going to have to hit up the thrift stores this week just so I can update by blog. What a burden.

DH recently find something worth posting though, so I just decided to borrow his find for my blog. Below is a fairly cute vintage typewriter from the Goodwill.
DH teaches at the local art school where typewriters are always in need, so he picked it up "for his students." I think he really just thought it was cute and needed and excuse to buy it. Whatever the reason it now has a home and will hopefully see some action now that it has been rescued from the obscurity of the Goodwill.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

We're moving out of our apartment building soon and aside from my lovely friends and neighbors there is not much I will miss about our apartment as it is pretty much a big white box. One of those few things I will miss is the free table located in the entryway of the building by the mail boxes. Mostly people just put old magazines down there (which totally rocks because someone in the building subscribes to People) but every now and then people put hats, books, pots and pans or other random household goods. Recently I found these on the free table:
Brown, Mary Jane-type Danskos that, amazingly, were my size. The elastic on one of the shoes was broken so I took it to our neighborhood cobbler (doesn't it seem like cobblers only existed in the middle ages?) and got it fixed for $5. So basically I got a new pair of Danskos for my $5 investment. Its great to go searching for free stuff without even having to leave your apartment and sadly it is something that I soon will be unable to do.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Free Maclaren Take Two

Last Saturday I was awoken from my Tylenol PM-induced slumber by DH knocking on our bedroom window. Since he has turned 30 he has taken to doing old-manish things like taking a morning constitutional around the neighborhood. I assumed he had forgotten his keys, but when I looked out I saw him with this:

This is a Maclaren double stroller. Veteran readers may remember that finding a Maclaren stroller by a dumpster is what motivated me to start my blog in the first place. Now DH finds another one. To be honest when I saw him with it I worried he unintentionally stole it. (people do leave strollers in their front yards after all) However he said it was all folded up by the garbage in the alley and once I saw it, it was clear that it had not been used in a while. It looked a little worn and the gears that open and closed it were rusty, but after he used some WD-40 and I scrubbed it a little it barely looks used at all. This was actually the double stroller I was planning on buying when our adoption goes through and we get baby #2. What luck!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Le Creuset?

I assume the answer is no, this pan is not a Le Creuset pan but an imitation. However it did have a few good things going for it as it was free, felt pretty sturdy and was in good shape. It was in a box on the side of the road so DH and I picked it up on the way home. Actually the truth is we saw it in a box on the way out of our apartment and DH suggested I try to get it into my purse. Its not huge, but it is a frying pan made from cast iron and we were on our way out to dinner and I didn't want to look like I was bringing my own cookware to a restaurant so I politely declined his suggestion. We agreed if it was still there on the way home we would pick it up. Lucky for us other people don't seem to want to cook their breakfast in things found on the street.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Blue Tags Are Half Off is expanding and updating. You may notice the new layout (this involved choosing a different template from Blogger, not too tricky.) and now I have a new feature - Book Review! My inaugural review is of Amanda Blake Soule's book The Creative Family. It will be most interesting to parents, as you may have guessed from the cover to the left. Although its more about cultivating a creative spirit in yourself, your home and your children than thriftiness, she has a strong thrifty element to her approach. She gives lots of great ideas of ways to incorporate found and reused objects and thrifted materials into a creative life. It is a really fun and inspiring read and well worth a look. You may also noticed I posted a link to her blog (Soule Mama) on the site as well. Her stuff is really fun and may give you some ideas for new ways to work with stuff you have and get creative.

I don't sell these shoes

You may think I sell Robeez since I have now posted about them twice in quick succession. The shoes below are actually not my find, but were a gift for my DD from her talented thrifter of an aunt, Kara. She found them at her local Fort Collins Habitat for Humanity thrift store (who knew they had thrift stores?) which I had the pleasure of visiting while I was in Colorado recently. They were $.50 , which is fair to call a good find. The last pair I found I sold on Ebay for over $10, but these are Hannah's size so we're keeping them. Hannah calls them slippers and wears them around the house a lot, which help protect her feet from the shards of broken glass that seem to always be under foot. My combined two bad habits of dropping glass things and not really vacuuming as much as I should have meant that all of us have started wearing socks around the house. (those little shards seem to ricochet everywhere even if you broke a glass in the kitchen) Wow that is sad to admit. I'll do better I promise.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I began this post while I was up last night at 3am googling insomnia. Apparently working on my blog is enough to put me to sleep so I am finishing it now.

Yesterday I got a chance to thrift shop all by myself thanks to a childcare swap with my friend Addie. I hit up all my favorite Ballard area thrift stores and was really disappointed with the Goodwill. They seem to have caught on that they have some good stuff because everything was way overpriced in my estimate. Judging from some comments on this blog others have noticed that as well. Its always very disappointing to see something very fun sitting on a shelf and think you have found a treasure only to see that is cost more used than new! However I did get a chance to go to my favorite hole-in-the-wall charity shop that I have blogged about before and managed to find some good deals.
A retro-y pair of earrings, three little girl t-shirts and a new Yankee candle minus the label. All for under $7. Nothing beats those little thrift stores.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

It seems that, by their nature, balls disappear into the bushes or down the street. I understand this. However, they also seem to be abundant in boxes of free stuff around the city. I am not sure why. Maybe they are hard to store or maybe they are seldom used. I mean who remembers the last time they threw around the old pig skin? Anyway DH or I have recently found a free basketball (just needed a little pumping up) and a free soccer ball (complete with a patriotic color scheme). On our last road trip we also found a football hiding deep in the bushes of a camp ground (lets just say the bathroom was way too far from our camp site). Since the sun is starting to come out more we've actually gotten some use. Below is a pic of the soccer ball and football. Sadly the basketball is downstairs in the storage area, so maybe I lied about getting some use out of these.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Usually I don't post retail finds. This is because in this consumer culture we live in almost anything that someone buys new can be found used somewhere (excluding disposable goods of course). People seem to just go through stuff rather quickly in the US. However, last year I read an article about Japanese dollar stores coming to America. The article listed the first of these stores as opening in the Lynnwood mall, which is not too far north of Seattle, but never on the way to anywhere I go. I will be heading up North soon and thought maybe I would check it out so I went to there website ( and found that there is also one conveniently located at Westlake Center in downtown Seattle. Now dollar stores are usually full of cheap and low quality goods, but somehow when those goods have cute Japanese packaging they look like a lot more fun. They also had some really cute stationary and fun ceramics. Most things are priced at $1.50. I resisted many of the fun things to buy and contented myself with this:

Its a set of play dough accessories for DD to use with my homemade play dough. I realized the hard way that just giving her things out of the kitchen drawer can be messy and hard to clean up. Anyway if you get a chance I recommend checking out these cute stores.