Posts Tagged ‘thrift store’

Smarty Pants…. not really.

April 26, 2013

Thinking I had scored a major victory at my favorite thrift store with a pair of chocolate brown capri pants, I sauntered to the sewing machine for a minor quick fix.  These were TOTALLY cute capris with little buttons and tabs on the pockets and cute twill tape ties at the bottom of each leg.  One glance and I figured out why the previous owner had sadly parted with these adorable pants.  The wide elastic in the back of the waist band had flipped and to the untrained eye appeared to be stuck in that position. But no.

Having taken self-taught home-ec sewing for 13 years before leaving home (Okay, my mom did initially show me how to sew forward, backwards and zig zag on the ancient Sears machine), the necessary remedy for the brown capris took a few straight pins and some determination.  Seriously, even with the thread change on the machine to a delicious chocolate color, the entire process took fifteen minutes.

Proud did not even begin to explain my feelings of accomplishment.  Waltzing into my closet, I pulled on my new favorite pants, buttoned the waist, slid the zipper in place and unsuccessfully tugged on the brown twill tape that circled the waist.  It seemed to be stuck.  There was five inches sticking out on the right side and 14 inches sticking out on the left side.  What in the world?  Tug tug.  No go.  Then I realized, in all of my smarty-pants-ness I had flipped the elastic and stitched not only the elastic in place but also the draw string for the waist.  Bummer dude.

I have yet to remedy the situation.  I simply tie them really far to the right in a teeny bow and tuck ten inches of twill tape inside the waistband of the pants.  Honestly, it would only take five minutes to pull out my stitches but I simply haven’t done it.  I keep tying the miniature bow and hiding the leftovers, hoping no one will see what a mess I made of my new almost favorite pants.

Thankfully November is Here!

November 1, 2011

When the scary ghosts and goblins start leaving the neighbors’ yards I’m always thankful.  Someone told me that Halloween spending is second only to Christmas… really?  We spend no money for Oct. 31st.  If the kids want to dress up and gather candy (that I secretly throw away in small chunks over time) that is fine and even fun, but we’re not spending a dime on costumes.  This drives my children’s creative genes…. as you will see in the picture that follows.

Austin (my personal favorite this year) was Nacho Libre, the luchador, in his stretchy pants.  He already had the mask and he made the rest of the costume from a blue t-shirt and a red under armor long sleeve hockey shirt….. AND the glue gun.  It made me laugh… several times last night.

Larisa (who spent her own money on a Goodwill dress) was Marilyn Monroe… not the scandalous Marilyn, she explained to me…. the musical participant Marilyn.  Sure.  Every year Larisa works a costume around those false eyelashes.  :o)

Nora (her FIRST Halloween!) loved being Belle from Beauty and the Beast.  She had never been trick-or-treating, so that was fun, other than her princess shoes hurting her tootsies.  Thankfully we live in Phoenix and it was warm enough to go barefoot!

Keeve (decided to dress up five minutes before we were leaving) went out to the dress-up box and pulled out the Yoda costume from 2001.  It’s a mini-skirt now, but the mask works.  He quickly sawed off a broom handle and had a cane.

November is here and I am thankful!

It’s Connie’s Fault

March 30, 2011

Connie is my friend.  We’ve been friends since we were single and had no kids.  Now we have eight kids between us. (This may seem like a repeat of the last blog, but the ending is even better!)  We have many similar addictions, including but not limited to: collecting Fiestaware dishes, garage saling, loving a blue and yellow kitchen, chotshky old quilts, re-upholstering furniture, gardening, homeschooling, scrapbooking, playing games, framing pictures of our kids and she is the one who introduced me to Goodwill.  (Even before Darla!)

Goodwill logo

That’s all well and good, but Connie also introduced Larisa, my then 13-year-old non-thrift-store-shopper, to Goodwill and boy, did we have a laugh-til-you-cry time of it! At the mention of a Goodwill store, Larisa’s lips turned up a bit, like when you’re smelling a distasteful odor, but you can’t quite figure out where it’s coming from.  She had never shopped at a USED clothing store.  She was grossed out at the thought of wearing pre-owned clothing.  You would have thought we told her that we were going to pick through a garbage dump in Mexico!  So we made the most of it. (I’ll admit that I originally fostered the same feelings and lip-curling, but I had been won over by this point in time.)

We were heading to the mecca of recycled merchandise with Connie and her three daughters who were quite accustomed to shopping at Goodwill.  Larisa’s lips were stuck in the “bad smell” position.  Larisa started asking questions like, “Do you try on the clothes in the store?” (…. and the F U N began…..)  I don’t quite remember which of us gave the terrifying answers to Larisa, but we all joined in the mortifying fun without cracking a smile! 

Us: “Yes, but there are no fitting rooms.”

Larisa: “Then where do you try them on?”

Us: “You try them on over a bathing suit.”

Larisa, horrified: “WHERE?”

Us: “Right in the aisles.”

Long pause for embarrassing mental images on Larisa’s part.

Us, reassuringly, “Don’t worry, we stand close and make a circle around you so no one sees.”

Another one of us:  “Didn’t you wear your bathing suit underneath your clothes?”

Larisa: “NO!!!”

Us: “Don’t worry, we’ll get you one there, so you can try on the clothes.”

Larisa: “…. um….  ewww…..”

And we let her believe it all until we were in the store and she saw the dressing rooms.  It was priceless.  To this day, when we are heading to Goodwill, with Connie and her girls, or Darla and her girls, we ask Larisa if she has on her bathing suit so she can try on the clothes.  Bwahahahahahahaha!

Larisa has come a long way… last weekend, she wasn’t impressed when I ventured off to TWO Goodwill stores without her… on 50% off day!!!  So she jumped in the car and went by herself!  Thatta girl!

It’s Darla’s Fault

March 28, 2011

Darla is my friend.  We have been friends since we had a combined total of four kids.  Now we have seven kids.  We have multiple similar addictions including, but not limited to: scrapbooking, collecting scrapbooking supplies, visiting voting booths with sick kids, decorating our kids’ rooms, making crafty decor items, killing centipedes, refinishing old furniture, playing games and finding BARGAINS! But most recently, she has led me to my current addiction: shopping at Goodwill on 50% off day.

It all started last summer in the dark of a Friday night when my phone rang.  It was Darla.  In her most sinister voice she asked if I would accompany her the following morning as an accomplice to score some goods.  I agreed.  She had been to Goodwill on Friday night and scoped out some dandy items for her girls’ rooms.  “Pre-shopping the sale” is what this is called. 

This was not a beauty pageant, in fact, I think she asked if I would at least brush my teeth before she picked me up in the get-away car at 0-dark-thirty.  Saturday morning, the alarm rang, I grabbed some sweats, brushed my teeth, found a hat and was out the door.  She looked a little worse than I did, as she had not found a hat.  Her red hair was sticking up a little more than usual.  Possibly it was a scare tactic.

As early as our arrival at the store was, 30 minutes prior to the doors opening, we were not the first people in the race for the 50% off pre-owned merchandise.  There were five people ahead of us.  Darla was eyeing up these early morning shoppers and she figured only one lady with a toddler might cause some grief. She was fairly determined that she could outrun (or trample) her on the way to the furniture section.  She carefully emptied her coffee cup in the bushes by the front door and secured her travel mug in her purse for the pending pursuit.

As we stood in line, Darla outlined the open door procedure for me in a hushed voice.  She had scoped out a shelf, a table and a crib mattress that she was determined to SCORE!  However, the furniture always goes fast, so if she took time to get a cart, one of her items might be grabbed by an offending shopper.  So, Darla instructed me to take her purse, as well as my own, and head straight for the carts.  I was to immediately drive to the furniture section at the far southeast corner of the store.  She would single-handedly seize all three items.

NINE O’CLOCK on the button the doors opened and the stampede began.  Darla was gone in a red-headed flurry.  With both purses encircling my arm, I acquired the first cart I found and bee-lined to the southeast corner.  Darla is good, baby.  Within 27 seconds, she captured the mattress, threw it on her desired table, clutched the shelf in both arms and sat on the mattress on top of the table.  Still makes me giggle thinking about it!  SWEET SUCCESS!  That toddler’s mother still doesn’t know what happened!

Even when Darla and I are off on scrapbooking retreats in Prescott, Arizona, we make sure we hit the Goodwill store on 50% day.  The deals are simply too good to pass up…. and after all, it’s now an addiction.  (I visited two stores this past Saturday…. 50% off day, baby!)