Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Hey!  I'm back.  Just took a little year long hiatus.  NBD.  If you wanna read about it here you can.  If not - whatever.  I'm back in business and ready to teach you the ways of thrift-therapy.


So, my hubs is out of town for work and I got really ambitious and took both my kids with me to a favorite thrift spot today.  Sit back and check out the cool stuff other people threw out that are now MY treasures!

I collect vintage salt and pepper shakers.  My Granny Opal did when she was alive, and now I have picked up where she left off.  It's cool - you should see my collection.  I will say that it is pretty rare to find full sets of shakers at thrift stores (that's what he said?).  But I got lucky today.  I left the set with the black lids and bought the little, cute glass ones.  You can toss the lids and use them as mini vases!

Ahhh, Bocce Ball - Italian lawn bowling.  A very fun game if you've never played it.  Believe it or not, but I have actually been talking to my husband about buying us a set of bocce balls and then lo and behold right under the used ski section there it sat.  BRAND STINKIN' NEW!  I bet someone didn't know how to play and it was given to them as a gift or something.  This is like a really nice set of bocce balls, people; these are professional grade!  Retail from $50-$70, and what did I pay?  $10.10.  

Saw this vintage washboard bathroom cabinet/towel rack and thought it was cute.  I don't need it, but it's vintage flavor drew me in.

Check out this rug!  Only $40 and completely brand new.  Too bad I just bought a new rug this week.  Typical.

Too bad they weren't my size...

Onto to the kids clothes.  Always a little daunting staring at a rack like this.  

Here are my secrets:

1) Patience is key, but not always practical when my kids are with me.

2) Start left and go right.  Usually the clothes are arranged by size.  You can see above that it goes from small to big.  Then after that it goes from short sleeve to long sleeve.  Pace yourself.  Drink water.

3)  Check the tag.  Even if it looks like the right size it's always good to check under the hood and see where it came from and what size it says.  Remember too that used clothes may have shrinkage issues (and that's why they were dumped at the thrift store).  Even if it says 6-12 months, hold it up, examine it and see if it would fit your kid.

4)  Check for stains.  Babies and kids can make messes of their clothes, but they also grow out of them uber fast!  If your luck is as good as mine maybe you'll find some clean outfits that some rich kid grew out of before he could get grass stains on them!


Alright so my kids kinda flipped out at the store squirting apple sauce all over each other - so I stopped taking pictures and checked out as soon as I could.  Picking right back up where we stopped....

At most thrift stores they toss all your stuff in a big plastic bag like this.  Which I like because when I get home it feels like I'm digging into Santa's Christmas bag finding presents!  And since everything was SO cheap it really does feel like a treat.

awesome 1980's shirt with cute pocket.  I will probably cut the neck out of it and hem it under.

Forever21 high-waisted banana leaf skirt - hot!

Forever21 strapless polkadot dress.  Double hot!

found this.  thought it looked cute on the hanger but couldn't tell how cute...

I tried it on and oh yes, is it cute.  And $4 is the cutest part about this cotton, navy striped dress!
I did however discover a tiny rip in the armpit whilest I was wearing it.  Easy fix though.  Two seconds on the sewing machine and wha-la!  Good as new.

Super cute 1980's butterfly elastic belt.  I seriously have like 5 of these and all different colors that I've scored at various thrift stores.  I have one that's even thrifted from Germany!  But I didn't have a white one, so I got this little belt for $1.50

On to the rest of the Kids clothes I found...

Adorable red vintage shirt for Sparrow when she's like 4.  I just HAD to get it for her though.
And I love the 2 piece tan tropical dress and bloomers.

My girl has outgrown all her 6-9 month jammies and was in desperate need of new ones, so I grabbed all of these for about $8 total.  The pink one on top is a Zutano Baby and usually sells for $30.  There's also a flowery Calvin Klein (new with tags!) that was probably $20 originally.

Love this owl shirt and the purple 2 piece outfit is from India!
 H&M baby pants

 Picked up these 2 infant outfits for my niece - coming soon

Noah is growing like a weed and his current favorite color is red so I found him a couple red shirts, a Lightening McQueen shirt (his favorite) and some camo shorts.

For the Home I scored these treasures

 white watering can, those S&P Shakers I pointed out earlier and a nice glass pitcher/vase

I also found this awesome bright turquoise polyester tablecloth with a white lace trim.  It had one little stain, but I love the color so much I don't mind.

So there you have it.  My latest rendezvous with thrift shopping.  It was surely successful (apart from the children squirting applesauce all over each other).  Although I have seen children behave worse at thrift stores.  Touche'...

If you keep your fingers crossed AND become a follower (elbow nudge) I may just make this a more frequent occurrence for your viewing entertainment and educationment.

Coming soon....Around my House: What I have thrifted over the years

Almost forgot - found this sailor dress for $2!   


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

documentary #1 - Value Village

welcome to value village.  these fun "department thrift stores" can be found all over charlotte - and probably other regions of north carolina.  today i went to the one on south blvd.  i got lucky and took a lot of photos.  follow me as we dive into the junk.  

when i walk into the store i always check for this sign.  they change the colors every day (or week i'm not 100% sure).  sometimes the colors look ambiguous; like is the 75% off purple or pink?  if you're ever undecided, just ask a sales person.  the sign just indicates that if you have an item with that color tag, the register will take off the said percentage from the price on the tag.  = AWESOME

today (like most days) i was hunting for cheap baby items.  here are some treasures i found:
as you can see, the adorable pink dress was only $0.50, and the 2-piece boys onesie and pants was $2.00.  i looked through ALL 
of the baby clothes one by one and pulled out some more treasures.

 next i moved on to purses and scarves.  i found a fantastic magenta clutch that would be perfect for a few diapers and wipes or for the stylish woman on the go.

i always stop and look for scarves.  they are priced so cheaply and make great gifts, and even gift-wrapping!  the scarf racks can look like too much mess, but look beyond the mess and find a treasure!  this beauty was only $0.80!

a few random shots of things i found today. 

the woman in line behind me for check-out had this scary doll in her cart.

two antique phones for under $10 and a unique old school hand-held radio

next i wandered over to the kitchen section to see what i could see.  this shelf of carafes looks pretty boring, until.....

i discover a fantastic 1980's-looking perfectly clean and working carafe!  i would have bought it, but i already have 2 really fantastic ones i found at thrift stores.  these are great for parties and picnics.  the pump on top pumps out the hot beverage.  this one is still on the shelf for $4.50!

if i needed one this would have been a steal!  it's not often that i see clean and in-tact baby items like this eddie bauer infant car seat!  it was spotless and only $10!

i am a music lover and have always been a cd collector.  some habits die hard and my cd collecting habit always steers me to check out what's been thrown out.  here are a couple gems i stumbled upon today.  i learned how to dance to that c & c music factory cd.  no lie.

moving on....i have also been on the hunt for some nice summer dresses that can accommodate my growing mid-section.  true, there are a LOT of dresses to pick through at value village, but if you're patient you'll probably find at least one good find.  in today's case, i found two - the one pictured just didn't fit my baby bump.  but it was from forever 21 and only cost $3!

one of my favorite spots to find cheap, but fun gifts is in the jewelry case.  the most annoying part of finding good treasures here is that a lot of times the tags are overlapping the pieces, and then you have to hunt down a sales clerk to get behind the glass for you and they usually act like you're wasting their time.  don't mind them....just take your time and pick out the pieces you're drawn to.

vintage broaches are a fantastic accent piece to almost anything.  i crochet hats that i sell on etsy and often attach a vintage broach for flare.  i have them on my sweaters, bags and on my own hats.  they make great gifts as well and usually cost no more than $5.  check out what i found!

i really love the antique-looking box in the upper right hand corner.  you could use this for business cards, toothpics, q-tips, cotton balls, or jewelry!

for sure this wall of bagged junk is one of the most difficult places to find treasures.  i mean, how are you supposed to look through all those bags when they're stapled shut?  i did manage to spot two things i would buy on this wall of bagged chaos.  the bottom left is a cute dinosaur night light.  so often when we travel with Noah (my son), they're aren't any night lights, so this was a good find.  the other bag i circled is a bag of ribbon.  ribbon can be expensive at craft and fabric stores, so this bag for $0.80 was a steal!

behind the counter at value village is a big shelf with lots of random things on it.  i suppose it's a manager who decides, but apparently the items behind the counter are somehow more special and are priced up a bit more.  i got lucky today and found an original 1970's fisher price garage and parking deck for $9!  there was also the old school fisher price school house, tool box and airplane.  i decided only to snatch the garage because my son is crazy into cars right now.  and as you see from the picture, he absolutely LOVED it!

here's the other HUGE steal i found right before i checked out.  hanging on the wall was a huge box with a 91 piece wooden train set in it.  i took my chances that it was complete because the box was in great condition and taped shut.  when i brought it home, it looked as though it had never even been played with!  every piece accounted for - nothing broken, no crayon marks, no bite marks, nothing!  an amazing find.

books are one of the easiest things to find.  people are always getting rid of books and value village prices them so well, i can't help but grab a couple new ones for my boy every time i go!  here are a few board books i found, each was only $1.00 or less, when they usually cost $5.00-$10.00 each!  hooray!

i checked out and got some help to my car from a manager friend who works there named randall.  then the first thing i do when i get into the driver's seat is wash my hands.  i keep this in my car at all times.  this is a good piece of advice, people.

thanks for joining me on the first documentary of many!  i invite you to share your thrifting experiences and email me your finds.  i would love to make this a collaborative site where thrifters unite and share their treasure-hunting secrets!  hope you enjoyed my shopping day!  if you have any questions or you want to send me your stories, i would LOVE to post them on this site.  my email is thelostandfound.designs@gmail.com

i am also available for hire

love always,
jessie mathis