Saturday, September 16, 2006

Have car, will thrift

In an ultimate act of thriftiness, my husband and I decided to try to live without a car almost 5 years ago. So far that's worked for us, although we are planning to purchase my parents' Toyota Camry when their new Camry hybrid comes in. Just in time for baby. So when I have access to a car (we rent one to go out of town and occasionally borrow one from friends), I'm psyched. This weekend, thanks to our generous neighbor going on a trip to Hawaii, we had access to his van, what he calls his "city car" (ie, he's not bummed when someone dings it or keys it, and parts of it are held together with duct tape!) So I decided to hit garage sales where I normally couldn't go. On Craig's List, I saw an estate sale in Winnetka (fancy North Shore suburb). Did I get a few dirty looks while driving in this!

This is the 8-bedroom house where the estate sale was, which was nothing special in this neighborhood. To be honest, I used to love driving up Sheridan Road to see the mansions, but this time I was uncomfortable. I stopped at a garage sale on the way and the lady was selling simple stuff (like a wooden mirror that looked like it was from Pier 1) for $50. There's just too much wealth up here, and as I dream about a SFH (single family home) where we might raise our family, I'm thinking more of a tiny bungalow in the city than a mansion in Kennilworth (not that the latter was ever an option!)

Anyway, despite an advertisement of a house full of stuff and arriving 15 minutes before it "started." the place had clearly been cleaned out already by the professionals. All that was left was some paintings, furniture and rugs and few things in the kitchen. I saw a fabric covered box that was pretty and discovered it was full of jewelry. As soon as I opened it and started going through it, I attracted a bunch of other buyers. But I got first choice. I picked out 7-8 things and asked for prices. Originally told it was "inexpensive, maybe $5 or $10 apiece," the check-out lady quoted $20 for the necklace and bracelet set, and $5 for the blue stone necklace. I offered $20 for all three and left the rest (nothing special). Not a huge bargain, but I really love the cuff bracelet (I have a similar pink one from my mom). But this set has a really cool luminescent shine. And the necklace has a nice invisible clasp in which a post just inserts into one of the beads. I wore this already tonight to the Goodman Theater's production of King Lear--a Christmas gift from my sister and her husband, and a lovely night out. (Stacy Keach in the title role was excellent, and it was a very modern, interesting adaptation of the Shakespeare.)

I stopped at a few more garage sales up in the North Shore (lesson: fancy suburb does not equal good stuff, or bargains), then saw an antique fair in a church parking lot in Wilmette. Since I rarely get to go to my favorite antique fair in Sandwich (see "no car" above), I decided to stop. There were some good things there: one woman from Michigan had cool vintage clothing, notions, aprons, etc. Unfortunately I lost her flyer with contact info. I was hoping she had a blog or website! Her prices were not astronomical, but weren't the cheapest either. Of course, she has to make a living. Then I saw one huge vintage jewelry booth that had bins of less expensive items. I dug through the pin bin, picked out five, marked a total of $13, and offered $10. Don't you love the little scissors? My favorite is the pink dress. The one in the top left is a dress piece that can be sewn on. I plan to put most of them on felted purses, I think.

Finally, I stopped at one last garage sale in Skokie (where there were lots of Orthodox Jews out walking from temple. I think today is Yom Kippur.) This sale had lots of baby stuff, but luckily I'm pretty set for the big stuff. So I got two pair of shoes for Sam for $1. You can see them here. All in all, a decent day, although I have to say I prefer my bike. No traffic.

1 comment:

Purl Needlemeyer said...

Hope to see you making a mint on Antique Roadshow!!