Hey there oompaloompas! Mr. Bug and I went on a shopping safari over the weekend – like many couples, garage sale-ing is a perfect meeting place for my avaricious love of acquiring pretty things and Mr. Bug’s love of frugality. We both like the potential for finding the hidden treasure, smokin’ deal or just plain old oddity to be had at garage sales, thrift shops, antique shops and the like.

The thrifting and garage sale-ing scene is different in our little part of Texas! In general, I’ve found that the thrift shops like Goodwill are ‘junkier’ than what I was used to in Minneapolis. Of course, I’m just speaking in terms of household goods and furniture – I suspect the clothing thrifting is MUCH better down here, I just haven’t checked it out. And I have seen ZERO sewing stuff in the thrift shops so far! One could be relatively sure to find some good wood furniture or a wing chair or two at the big Salvation Army under the bridge in downtown Minneapolis, but I just don’t see anything like that at the thrift shops we’ve visited near our new house. And the garage sales in the subdivisions have been a total bust. We suspect that since the suburb we live in is relatively new – most of the homes were built in the ’90’s or later – folks just don’t have as many older things (the kind that appeal to us) since they’ve moved and purged along the way.

We HAVE figured out that the garage sales in the less populated part of our town  are much, much better. There are horses and barns there, older homes and the accompanying lifetime of accumulation out for sale at the garage sales. We’ve also figured out that estate sales and moving sales are more to our liking and if the craigslist ad mentions ‘baby’ it’s probably not the sale for us!

Armed with our Garmin, gatorade, the garage sale app on Mr. Bug’s iPhone (it pulls from craigslist and shows the sales on a map! Awesometime!) we headed out at 6:45 to fight the other early birds for our two dollar treasures!

The first few sales didn’t have much that I was interested in – I generally look for sewing things, cool household items, solid wood furniture that I can paint or anything of a more decorative nature that’s made from wood or metal. Mr. Bug’s been on the lookout for tools and fun stuff for his poker room.

Mr. Bug, who has WAY more perseverance than I, found this stack of old Hardy Boys books in the bottom of a bin full of woodworking books and old cowboy novels. Fifty cents each! It was super interesting to research how to date Hardy Boys books – the copyright dates printed in the front were not changed with each revision, so we have two books in the stack with a copyright date of 1929, but only one of them was actually printed in 1929. The other was probably a reprint from the 60’s. These are  destined for the poker-boy-room. After I read them!

My favorite find of the day was this elaborately carved wooden card box. I love how it looks and it’s perfect for the poker room!

The box was on the ‘three dollar table’ at a garage sale we found by just following signs – no app for that! I found this wood mortar and pestle on the same three dollar table…

I’ve never really been much of a collector, but lately I’ve been looking for interesting kitchen tools and utensils. I like the really old, odd ones. This little guy fits in nicely with my other little odd things…

Mr. Bug found a few board games at the same sale for $2 a piece. Classics, and good for the poker room!

After the garage saleing, we hit a few antique shops in Dallas. I was super excited when I saw this little, um, pitcher (?) in the clearance room of one of the shops. It perfectly matches a few bowls I bought at an estate sale a few weeks  ago (sitting in the background.)

I’m not really sure what these are all made from, they’ve got this tinny, coppery thing going on and all four pieces that I have are stamped ‘made in Egypt’ on the bottom. I really love the color and was surprised to find the matching pieces!

I really like clipboards – I think they’re cute as an alternate to frames. These were stashed away in a booth at an antique mall that was more ‘retro’ with lots of stuff from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. I paid $10 for the two of them and really like the scribbles on the little one!

We made one big purchase as well. Mr. Bug has been hunting for a gumball machine for the last month or two for his poker room. Unbeknownst to him, I’ve had my eye out for one for the last few years, thinking it would make a good Christmas gift for him! I never found the right one and we didn’t really have a good spot for one in our house in Minneapolis. But, since I’ve been hunting them down I have a relatively good idea of what they go for. This one was $195, which is on the high end price-wise, but it’s very solid and the mechanism works really well, AND it’s from the 40’s! I found during my search that the gumball machines that were actual vintage machines didn’t work very well, and the ones that worked well were newer, reproductions or more industrial and didn’t look as nice! So, even though the price was a bit dear, we’re really happy to have a solid machine with so much personality!

All in all, a pretty good haul!


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