Thursday, September 30, 2010

Garage Sale Thoughts

Whoever thought of the idea of garage sales was brilliant! Think about it! All of that stuff being kept out of the landfills, it is amazing. Not to mention, all of the money that we all save by going to garage sales. Here are some thoughts I was having about my garage sale escapades:
1. Cost: I read a long time ago that generally speaking things at garage sales should cost about 10 cents on the dollar. Hence, a ten dollar item new should run you about one dollar at a garage sale.
2. Set a price you are willing to pay for an item in your head before you start bargaining. Then try to keep to that price. Otherwise, you may be overpaying for something you really did not want to spend that much money on.
3. Don't walk away from something because it is a bit over your price if you really NEED it or LOVE it. I have done this before out of stubborness and it was a mistake. Then I had to go to the store and pay (I hate to even say the words.....) FULL PRICE! lol
4. Be polite. People have the right to charge what they want for their junk but you also have the right to negotiate on the price. The trick is to do it politely. Very often people having garage sales don't really know what they should be charging for something. People having garage sales may not have even been to someone else's garage sale before. So, offer your price, and if they don't accept, you can ask again (nicely or bargain with a higher price.) If they still refuse, just say thank you and move on. You will probably find the same item at another garage sale for the same price or cheaper.
5. Know where to go when you have to go. Okay, so what do I mean by this??? It is always good to know where a Starbucks or a MacDonalds or a Dunkin Donuts is when you have had a big cup of coffee before you left home early in the morning. Get my drift??? It is also polite to patronize the business, so buy a bottled water or a donut on your way out. They provide a valuable service.
6. GPS makes it easy! If you have a GPS, use it! Sure does save time!
7. Check out the local sales in your local newspapers. That is where I look and I am sure to find some good sales. The sales you find advertised on the street as you are driving are considered "bonuses." Sometimes these bonus sales are not as good b/c they have not comitted to buying an ad in the newspaper. They are just "trying their luck" and may have less valuable items to sell...but not always!
8. Beware of signs on the street that point to where you should go. Why??? Because you may be driving alot further than you really wanted to.
9. Go early. Have you ever heard the saying that the early bird gets the worm? Well, that is because it is true! The best things go first. However, the last things are usually the cheapest. So chose your poison! lol
10. Have fun! Sometimes I have things I am looking for, other times not. One thing I am always wanting from my garage sale escapades is fun! My husband and I and sometimes my daughter, too, go out on a Saturday morning. We bring drinks and food and lots of stories to tell. We laugh and joke and marvel over our finds. We dream about what new thing we can make from that old thing we just bought. The key word here is FUN. It is amazing to see what treasures you can unearth on your garage saling escapades.
HEY! We would love to know what your BEST find was and what your WORST find was. We will be waiting to hear!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Second Hand Rose: A Guide to Garage Saling!

'Tis the season for one of my all time favorite hobbies: GARAGE SALING! Fall is the perfect time of year to get out and about in your local neighborhoods to seek out some new treasures! Grab a coffee to go, a wallet full of dollar bills, your old reliable GPS and a full tank of gas!

Why do I love it so much? Well, there is a definite thrill of the hunt and excitement of the find but it is more than just that. It's finding things that are able to be repurposed in my home, finding things that I wouldn't normally buy for full price but have the luxury of purchasing for ten cents on the dollar (give or take).

Let me tell you a secret.....if I am looking for the perfect...whatever...I ALWAYS, ALWAYS find it at a garage sale. I have such a hard time paying full price for anything because I know it will show up at the next garage sale that I go to....and in great condition at that!

So, who was the one responsible for instilling in me this great yearning for wanting to get out of the house on a Saturday morning by 8 am and sort through other people's junk? It was my mom, of course! Before the days of GPS, she would gather newspapers and printouts of the local sales. Then she would get out her Hagstrom map, a bunch of sticky notes and stick them on the map with tiny little circled numbers to plot out the perfect garage sale route for that particular day! This was done EVERY WEEKEND!!! My mom always boasts that her house is furnished in "Garage Sale!" and now I do too!

Why am I telling you this??? My mom and I are going to share with you some of the all time garage saling tricks-of-the-trade! We will give you the inside scoop on how to go about doing it, some tips on buying and bargaining as well as share with you some of our best finds!

Stay tuned so you can BE INSPIRED

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall Inspired Arrangements


Autumn is my favorite season! With the anticipated change of weather, crisp leaves, pumpkin patches, fall scented candles and Halloween candy, I can't wait to decorate my house for fall!

As a brand new stay-at-home mom, who recently resigned from teaching high school art for five years, I decided to become involved in a couple of activities. This year, I adopted a position in MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) as the arts and crafts coordinator and publicity leader...more about that later.

Today, I am going to share a crafty idea with you that was inspired by AUTUMN that I created for my mom's group. It is a very simple craft idea that I made for under $5.00! I call this craft the "FALL ARRANGEMENT."

As you can see  by the photos, it is a beautiful floral arrangement that can be displayed in your own home or given as a gift to a hostess when you are an invited guest for dinner (Thanksgiving, perhaps) or even just as a thinking of you sentiment for someone who needs a pick-me-up.

A list of the materials are as follows and can be purchased at a local craft store.

• small terracotta flower pot-you can go larger if you are so inspired (I purchased for 89 cents)
• two sprigs of fall flowers-with pumpkins, berries, corn, leaves, etc.
 (I purchased for 75 cents each--they   were on sale for 25% off)
• floral foam (a small enough piece to fit inside of your terracotta pot)
• a bag of scrunchy shredded paper from the dollar store for filler
• hot glue gun/glue sticks (always be careful when using the glue gun---it gets really HOT!)
• raffia, ribbon, glittery leaves--optional for dressing up the arrangement even more.

1-Glue the floral foam into the base of the terracotta pot using the glue gun.
2-Squeeze a stream of glue on the foam and take a handful of scrunchy shredded paper and press down to cover the foam.
3-Take one of the floral sprigs you purchased and stick it directly in the middle of the pot ensuring that it goes into the foam.
4-Take the second floral sprig and pull it apart. Use your judgment in placing the rest of the pumpkins, corn, leaves, etc., in the arrangement to make it beautiful.
5-If you would like, you can add raffia to dress up the arrangement either around the pot or adding some into the arrangement itself.
6-I added ribbon around the base of one of my arrangements and a few glittery leaves on the other.



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