More garage sale finds

So when I said I was going to give myself a vacation, I didn’t realize how disconnected I was going to get. From the Internets, that is. I didn’t check my blog, my etsy, my reader, and only my emails a couple times. It was like I forgot they existed, I was having such a good time. I didn’t even read the book I brought or work on my blanket. But man did I sleep good every night. It seems I needed a break.

But what I did do was spend some quality time with a lot of people I don’t get to see enough. Both of my grandmas, good friends from high school and college, my parents, my sister. Good stuff.

Oh, and then there was a little garage sale-ing, of course. My mom and I went out twice, and then I sorted through some stuff that my dad and Bonnie were going to sell in their garage sale, and “shopped” in my mom’s house.

You can see a LOT of it in my Etsy shop. I’m taking a stab at selling some of the vintage Pyrex, Fire King and Temporama dishes I found, among other things.

Then I kept a few things for myself. Thought this stripey juice glass would be perfect in the bathroom.

And this shelf will be great for displaying items at craft shows.

It just needs some new pulls and a little cleaning spray. At first I thought it was white, but it’s really light green. Real sturdy wood for only $5!

My mom wasn’t able to sell this adorable Fire King dish, so I took it for myself…

She was going to put this thing in her ’70s display at the antique mall, but I just died laughing over it and then I took it for my kitchen.

I thought these mugs would be good for morning coffee or photography purposes. Love the colors.

I also took a giant ornate mirror that I’m going to transform into a sign for craft fairs, but I think I will share that when I’m all finished with it.

Considering my budget was nil, I still managed to have a blast spending only a few dollars on these things. It’s the thrill of the hunt!

Maybe in another post I’ll show you what we got digging through bargains at an NBC store. Do you know about NBCs? (not the TV station). It’s like Filene’s Basement but even crazier, and only the strong survive all the racks. Since department stores are probably struggling more in this economy, there are more bargains than ever to be found. We found some. Of course. More later.

Freelancing: month one

Talking with a friend last night, we both realized it was almost August already. And that made me realize that I’ve made it through my first month as a freelancer!

It’s been good. Really good. Kind of strange, given that a week of it was spent in Lawrence doing basically nothing, a week in Nia training and another week getting ready for and then riding in Ragbrai. But considering that I’ve spent this week actually working, and almost being overwhelmed by work, I feel like things are going well. I even got paid for a couple things today.

There’s always this fear that hangs over you. Like, OK, I can pay my bills this month, and next month. But what if shit hits the fan in October and I’m totally screwed? Which is not a very positive place to hang out, so I try to keep those thoughts as fleeting as possible.

Another interesting tidbit. This month I had time to thrift, and then I put up a bunch of those items on Etsy just to see if anyone would buy them. And they did! My handmade stuff rarely sells as quickly as this stuff has. So now I’m pondering making vintage a larger part of what I sell. It’s hard, because you want to stay committed to your original plans, but eventually you have to decide what’s worth your time. And I so love the thrill of the treasure hunt when I find this stuff at garage sales, so I’m happy to keep doing it.

I would say, though, that the number one reason I’m doing so well right now is that I did take several months to plan my departure, and move my debt payments into saving for this change. I would highly recommend that you do that if you’re pondering working for yourself. A lot of things have not panned out yet (though I believe they will eventually), so you need to be ready if you’re not making a full income right away. Don’t do something crazy like go without health insurance or start spending your 401k money – that is last resort type of stuff.

I’m also still struggling with time management a bit. I’ve checked quite a few things off my to-do list, but I’m finding that the less desirable things (like working out!) will still fall to the back burner if I don’t schedule them in. Because who’s gonna make me do it but me?

If you ever have any questions for me about how I’m making this work, feel free to ask.

Garage sale finds

I almost forgot to show you what my mom and I found on our morning of garage sale-ing (and as I poked around her house to grab a few things before they made it into her antique mall booth).

There weren’t many sales going on in Lawrence that day, so we headed to Topeka instead. Right away I found a huge box of old fabric scraps for $2. I sorted it later, and found a lot I could use for my vintage fabric covered thumb tacks, and left the rest for my sister to plunder for sewing projects.

Later I found this great typewriter table with a wood top.

I think it was $5. With a new coat of paint and some love I think it could be really lovely, especially with my old typewriter on top.

I also just couldn’t leave without this plastic pitcher. It just has such a cool shape and color. I’m keeping it in my office to water the plants.

I didn’t take photos of the other things, but I did get some more partially burnt candles to remelt, some extra large glass canning jars (I’m thinking they might find their way into a wedding centerpiece), and a hardback book.

I’m kicking myself now for not taking photos of what my mom found: A great retro looking TV, two metal tables that look like something out of Austin Powers (think hot pink flowers) and the most amazing ’60s swimsuit that looks like the retro styles you’re seeing now in Anthropologie and such.

In addition to more fabric, I also grabbed this great feather duster and a bright red Samsonite suitcase that I think I’ll remake on the inside and use as a display at craft fairs.

And finally, the very best score, a Pyrex polka dot bowl.

I have been wanting one of these for a long time. Now I’m on the hunt for the rest of the set!

The monster candle

I just had to show you this. It’s the whopper candle I found at a garage sale the other day. It was so heavy I could barely hold it up with one hand.

The cranberry scent is divine. I felt a little bad about smashing it up with a hammer, but now that it’s become four cute jar candles (with more to come) I’m feeling better about it.