There’s no doubt in my mind that I have “shopping angels.”  These are not your run-of-the-mill-help-you-in-a-life-threatening-situation-angels.  I definitely believe in those; I feel their work everyday.  But I’m talking here about a specific group of angels that are tasked with the sole purpose of helping me to find exactly what I’m looking for when I’m out shopping.  (If you think, I’m kidding, let me assure you that I’m totally NOT!)

Sometimes my angels lead me to the right store at the right time.  Other times they lead me to find something that I never even knew I needed but come find I couldn’t have lived without.

This week they came through for me again when they led me to the exact thing I was looking for: burlap fabric (I know, random!) and for next to nothing.

You see, I’ve been wanting to cover the back wall of my antiques booth in burlap fabric for several months now.  I want to cover up that God-awful white pegboard.  I just love the neutral color and texture that burlap provides, and I think it looks great next to all that chippy paint of the furniture I redo.  I especially like the contrast of burlap and gold and brass, oh my!

So off I went on Monday to Joann Fabric to buy some burlap.  Ever since I won Joann’s nursery decorating contest last year, I’ve been hitting them up first before my other craft-store-love, Hobby Lobby.  That $500 gift card has seen me through many projects, but now I’m down to just $40. (Insert frowny face!)

Joann CouponDid you know that all of the big craft stores offer 40% off one item if you download their app and scan the code at the register?  The problem is that you, uh, have to not forget your phone at home to use it, which is what I did on Monday.  There wasn’t one coupon to be had in that store, so I left.  I’m not a pay-full-price kinda girl, if you hadn’t guessed.  There was no way I was paying the full price of $40 for the ten yards of burlap, even if it was “free” with my gift card.  I planned to go the next day.

But the following day was a long one.  My baby was sorta cranky, so I wasn’t willing to chance a meltdown in Joann Fabric.  Instead I decided to take him to the local mall to play in one of those germ-infested play areas.  (Don’t judge – I was desperate!)

Down the road we went when a thought popped into my head.  “Why don’t you go to Hope Thrift instead of the mall?”  Hmmm.  That’s a great idea.  It’s right next to the hardware store that sells the new brand of paint I want to try so I could kill two birds with one stone.

As I turned the car around and headed in the direction of the thrift shop, I tried to ignore that little bit of mommy guilt that started to creep in for not letting my son go play.   I swear my son’s first words are going to be, “Ma, seriously…Goodwill again?!”

Instead I just focused on the feeling that I had that there was going to be something special at the shop for me.

I browsed for awhile and then headed toward the linens.  On the first table I came to,  I saw what looked like a queen size blanket.  At least, that’s what the original package from Kohl’s said.  The material was tan in color and the loose weave resembled burlap.  Ohhh, but softer.  This could work!  I started to get excited (think rapid heart beat and shallow breaths).

 Burlap fabric

Before I could even calculate how many yards a queen size blanket was, I unzipped the plastic bag and began to pull it out.  Slowly I unfolded it to find that it was not a queen size blanket as indicated on the package, but…wait for it….approximately 9 yards of the most beautiful, soft, burlap-esque fabric you could imagine.  I did a little happy dance in the aisle.

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But before I could get too excited, there was the little problem of the price tag.  Even though I would have spent $24 on the burlap at Joann, $20 was WAY too much to spend at the thrift shop.   Now, ordinarily I would not ask for a price reduction at a thrift shop, especially one that is a charity organization for a church, which this one was.  But, I felt that this poor fabric was misrepresented as a queen size blanket.  So off to the register I went.  The sweet lady at the register was very accommodating to my request, and when she threw out $3 as the price, I knew it was not only meant to be, but heaven-sent.

How can you NOT believe in “shopping angels” when you are led to the exact thing, (No, better!) than what you were looking for at the exact moment you needed it?!

Booth picThe beautiful fabric is now hanging in my booth at Odd Balls Antiques and I just can’t believe what a difference it makes.  It just warms up the space so much.  And every time I see it, I will think about how my angels led me to it.

Do you believe in “shopping angels?”  Have you ever experience them?  Tell me about it!

A few weeks ago I visited my in laws in New Bern, North Carolina.  New city, which means… new thrift and antique shops to explore. I always look forward to checking out the local junk shops when I travel.  Does that make me weird?

A few years ago we went on an Alaskan cruise. As we were walking around the port town of Ketchikan, my husband pointed out the local thrift shop. What a guy!

There it was in the distance…that famous red shield of the Salvation Army beckoning to me to come search for bargains.

I really hoped I’d find something. Have you ever wanted to buy something in a store “just cuz?” How cool would it have been to have found something fabulous (and cheap) and say “I bought this in Alaska!?”

But unfortunately it was one of the worst thrift shops I’d ever been to (and I’ve been to a LOT).  I did however capture this picture of two dogs hanging out of  a window on the walk back to the ship.  So it was worth it.

I think they were campaign dogs.

The Salvation Army I recently visited in North Carolina was pretty good.  And by “good,” I mean three things:

1) Clean – no funky smell.  I HATE that!

2) Well-organized – I like digging through piles as much as the next person, but I do prefer when things are where they’re supposed to be, and

3) I found stuff to buy. Muah ha ha!

Here’s what came home with me:

~ A wooden serving tray.

I just love the retro-looking cluster of grapes.

I painted it grey and lightly distressed it.  Don’t you love how just a little paint can transform something so outdated?

~Small pitcher – I can’t get enough of these. I price them at an affordable $3-4 in my booth since it’s something people love to collect.
~ 4 ceramic fleur de lis decorative doo-dads
~ A shirt for my son, and
~ A vintage wooden doll cradle.

 

I forgot to take a picture before taking it to the shop, but there is an old-school transfer of a little lamb on it.  Remember those from the 70’s?  I mean, not that I really remember the 70’s, but you know.  It’s so sweet.

The cradle is down there on the left being used to display the pillows.

I put it in the shop for sale as-is and then will restyle it with some pink paint in a few months if it doesn’t sell.

The only thing that bothered me about the NC Salvation Army was that instead of the prices being on stickers, they were written on the bottom of each item in permanent marker.  Hello!? It’s permanent!

What’s the point of getting something and trying to pass it off as expensive if it has $1.99 written on the bottom?!

Luckily I was able to scratch it off with a Mr. Clean Magic eraser.

The last thing I bought was a magazine rack.

They say magazine racks come in threes.  No wait, that’s tragedies.  So scratch that.

I’m not sure if I find things or things find me, but recently I became the owner of three standing magazine racks within one week.

This first spindly one I got at an online auction. I told you, I’m addicted to these!

The next one my dear friend Catherine scavenged, I mean, bought for me.  I introduced her to the Goodwill Outlet, you know, The Pound.  She was texting me live from her maiden voyage. When I told her about my recent auction score, she mentioned that she had just passed a rack.

Not knowing whether it would still be there (to say merchandise moves quickly there is and understatement) she hurried to where she had seen it. Thankfully it was still there.

And lastly is the one I found in North Carolina while visiting my in-laws.

So here are some ways to use these uber-useful racks:

-For magazines next to your favorite chair in the family room.
-For books or other interesting reading material in the bathroom.
-For children’s books in the nursery.
-For files in the office.
-For cookbooks in the kitchen.

Can you think of any other uses?

So what am I going to do with them?  You tell me!  If you’re in need of a magazine rack, send me an email or reach out on Facebook.  I’d be happy to custom paint one the color of your choice as they’re currently all still available (and taking up valuable floor space in my son’s play room.) Poor thing.  It’s a good thing he doesn’t crawl yet!

Thanks for reading!

At least once a week I find myself at a thrift shop or Goodwill store.  I love that you never know what you are going to find.  Same thing with yard sales.  Sometimes I think that things find me.  Ever had that feeling?  You find the perfect item, at the perfect time, and if you’re lucky, at the perfect price.  That’s what I call a Thrift Store SCORE!

Every few weeks I’ll post the treasures I’ve scored and how I plan to restyle them. You can be sure they’ll show up at my booth at Odd Balls Antiques & More soon.  That is, if I don’t decide to keep them for myself!

On Tuesday I went to the Love of Jesus Thrift Shop on Lauderdale Drive in Short Pump.  I love Jesus, and I especially love the prices at this new little shop.  See that brass lamp?   I’ve had my eye on that lamp for about a month now.  I loved the shape of it, but $10 was too much to pay for it.  On Tuesday they had marked it down to $2.50.  Score!

I can’t wait to get my hands on that clock I found for $6!  It reminds me of a clock that was in my childhood home.  (See pic below) My mom gave it to me a few years ago when she moved, and it resides happily in my family room.  The mechanism is broken, but I know that’s an easy and (hopefully inexpensive ??) fix.  I’m still waiting for it to tell me what color it wants to be.  What do you think?

The clock from my childhood home

I am totally in love with this lamp!

The old brass lamp was just screaming out for the perfect peacock blue paint I found at Home Depot (Behr’s Peacock Tail).  So I painted it as soon as I got home from the thrift store.  Isn’t it cool?

As soon as I finish it, I’ll post it in the BEFORE AND AFTER section.   I still need to find a shade, but I’m thrilled with how it looks so far.

 

The remaining items will go in the shop as-is.  I found 4 sweet little china plates and a curvy old decanter labeled OLD FITZGERALD COLLECTION.  Embossed on the front in white and gold is, what I thought in the store to be a peacock sitting in a pear tree.  On closer inspection (and mental clarity – duh!) I realized it is a partridge in a pear tree, leading me to wonder if somewhere out there are 11 other decanters!

Finally, I couldn’t resist a sweet piece of vintage fabric full of cherry blossom branches for $2.99.  It will look adorable on my display table at Odd Balls Antiques & More in the spring.

So there you have it.  With tax I spent a whopping $14.43 and an afternoon of fun.