My first break came when I dashed in to the Salvation Army thrift store after my granddaughter's swimming lesson. I don't get down that way very often, and I didn't really expect a whirlwind search with a four-year-old in tow to yield much, but I was happily surprised in the craft supply section to find scads of bright, vintage 100% wool worsted yarn for 88 cents a skein in an array of lovely colors!
Won't these make a fabulous striped sweater? I got some red and brown as well as these wonderful hues. I'm thinking another Elizabeth Zimmerman "Surprise Jacket", like this one I found on Pinterest:
In total I bought 32 ounces of wool worsted for a total of about $7.00, which is roughly the minimum I'd expect to pay for a single skein of wool worsted if I purchased it new.
Now for the purely ridiculous, I show you the "twenty-five cents or less" stuff I nabbed today at some local sales.
I have an inordinate passion for vintage plastic. I can't say why, but it draws me irresistibly. Wonderful bright colors, purely tacky designs... What's not to love? All of these goodies, apart from the lion, are plastic. The two flower power storage bins are straight from the 1970s, at the latest, and probably the red silverware organizer as well. Ditto the plaster lion bank, which was made in Taiwan. The dog bank is older, I think, as it's marked Hong Kong. It's a hard, lightweight plastic of some sort, I think a "blow mold" piece though the plastic is sturdier than most blow mold pieces I have. The Dole pineapple bank I got from a free box just because I got a kick out of it. I don't know when it was manufactured. I've looked online for info but haven't found any date yet, but I was surprised to see that a number of these have sold on eBay for anywhere from a few bucks to $15 dollars or more. Apparently I am not the only one with a penchant for plastic absurdities.
My next goody was marked $5 but I got it for $2. (I love it when a guy is left in charge of the family garage sale, because he'll usually cheerfully jettison anything that isn't tool- or vehicle-related at a fraction of what his wife priced it for!)
This little musical Christmas carousel decoration is in near-mint condition and is still in its original box. It was made in Japan for a local (long-defunct) department store probably in the 1960s or even 1950s. It stands 8 inches tall, and rotates on its base as it plays "Jingle Bells". So fun!
I've found a few other carousel Christmas items from the same era on Etsy, but none of the same design as this one. These would be fun to collect, but I'm trying to behave myself and refrain.
This one's very sweet (I'm a sucker for reindeer) at $24.00 from
And here's one on clearance for a mere $12.00 at www.etsy.com/shop/RadioSmile2Vintage. Great bargain, and it's in amazing condition by the looks of it.
Okay, now for the Big Kahuna. I cannot tell you how tickled I was to see this crazy fellow regarding me with his big orange eyes from a table laden with car parts and camping gear! I made a beeline straight for him and forked out the $3 asking price to the astonished, disbelieving seller before she could change her mind. Not that she would have--she was convinced it was so awful no one would want it!
This amazing 1970s ceramic hanging swag lamp is massive, standing at least a foot tall and about 8 inches across. I can't wait to hang him up in my living room! I have found only one lamp similar to this one, in a sold listing on eBay. It went for $30 and it wasn't nearly as brightly colored as this one--just brown. But I'm not selling mine... not for a good while, anyway!