Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Rummages, White Elephants, and Garage Sales

Well, a couple of weekends have passed since the White Elephant sale and I did come home with a couple of things including these glasses for 10 cents each and the little blue fish bottle for a quarter.  I found two big bags of envelopes in various sizes for 75 cents a bag.  Trouble with them, I found out, is that some of them do not have any adhesive on them.    The doilies in this picture were found at a rummage sale at one of the churches in Barnegat this weekend.  (25 cents each)

Also scored at that rummage sale were these balls of crochet cotton.  The box was marked 50 cents.  My boxman, sans box, was a bit incredulous as I just kept digging deeper and deeper into the box and pulling out all these balls of cotton thread.  The even more incredulous part of this is that we were at this sale on Saturday - 1/2 price day - so anything that did not have a red dot (and these did not) was 1/2 price.  They charged me $3.50 for all the cotton thread and the two doilies above and I was smiling ear-to-ear when I left as I explained to HWNSNBP that one ball of thread new in the store would probably have been that much.  I ignored him when he said "Yes, but what are you going to do with it?"  

There were garage sales galore that day and we had stopped at a few before the rummage sale.  My only purchase before the rummage was a bag of fairly new and large buttons.  The woman who was selling these had some sandwich bags filled in a box on the table and I asked her how much she wanted for one of the bags because I did not see a price on them.  I don't know why I always seem to be interested in things that do not have prices.  But back to the story.  She asked me what I would pay for it and I offered her $3.  She looked at me kind of funny and said to look at the price on the box which was turned and facing to the side (so that's why I had not seen it).  It said 25 cents.  I think she was thinking she could get 25 cents per button and when I offered her the $3 for the bag with all the buttons you see on the tray below, along with the hot dog, it brought her back to Earth.  She countered with $4 and I quickly said yes and then she told me to pick out 4 more loose buttons from the box - the four dark blue ones top row.

After the rummage and picking up some lunch we went out to run some errands and came across another cluster of garage sales.  I found these aluminum containers - not food safe - for 25 cents a piece.  I have some of these already and paid $1 a piece at the Target dollar spot I think.  They are perfect for holding spools of ribbon side-by-side so you can see all the ribbons.  (If you're wondering if I have enough ribbon to fill them you need not.  I am a ribbon addict too!)  The little aluminum tea ball was a quarter and I have an idea for that that doesn't involve tea.

But my "catch" or "bargain" or "steal" of the day was this tin full of...........................

BUTTONS!!!  Old, colorful, buttons.  Usually when I see people selling buttons anymore they are pretty much sorted out to only have white and brown and black with maybe some metal ones thrown in.  This tin wasn't marked and when I asked the woman what she wanted I found myself holding my breath and mentally trying to decide how high of a price I would pay.  She mumbled, "ooooh those are very old...............three dollars."    Quick as a wink I snapped the lid back on and gave her the $5 for the aluminum containers and the buttons.  

Sifting through these back at the condo I was transported back to the playtime currency of my youth and my grandmother's button tin because there were a lot of buttons that seemed familiar in there.  While HWNSNBP was doing some painting in the afternoon I set about to rinse these and the others off and to take my pictures.  

I know that the tins that we had when I was young were just full of buttons, but many times now I've seen buttons mixed with other sewing notions like pins and needles and in this case there were tacks and nails and game pieces and pieces of chalk and crayon amongst other things.  So you really have to be careful not to get stuck by something that might hurt you.  Also, some of the buttons had disintegrated and some of the metal things had rusted leaving the buttons themselves pretty dirty.  

I tend to hoard my buttons.  I have jars full of them and can't resist picking them up at sales when I see them unless they are outrageously priced.  Speaking of outrageous prices, we found that a lot of the garage sales that we had stopped at had prices that were ridiculously high.   And come to think of it, we didn't see too many people buying things but there were certainly a lot of lookers!


  1. LOVE your haul Lorraine!!!!! All of those buttons are gorgeous!!!! What a steal!!!!! Can't wait to see what you do with the tea ball since it sounds like you already have a plan in mind ;) The loaf pans look like a lot of fun too! And I'm sure that crochet thread is destined for a wonderful creative journey!!!! One of these days maybe we'll get to garage sale together :)

  2. I envy you your garage sales. Way down south, the only thing being sold out of garages is crack.

  3. What great finds! Our garage sales where I live are sort of junky . . . don't usually find things like this. It reminds me of when I go to sales with my mom and aunts in Iowa. Sounds like you had a good day!

  4. Buttons and more buttons :D. I love the colours of your smaller purchase, but rooting through the tin must have been enormous fun. Plus I'm sure you'll use that little key and the unusual puzzle piece. And the glasses, I can't believe the price! Never seen anything like the fish bottle - that's home decor for the condo, I guess.


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