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Monday, December 17, 2012

Cheap Calendars

I like to have several calendars in the house, as well as a monthly planner on my desk and a small planner in my purse. I'd already gotten a nice free calendar from the feed store, but I wanted a couple more. I bought these today at Dollar General in Rocky Mount:

Office supply stores want way more than $1.50 for a monthly planner, my most expensive purchase. I think I got a pretty good deal.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Pin and Pottery

I got a couple of good deals at Goodwill yesterday. At the Westlake store, I found this neat metal pin, which I thought was a cat's face.

It cost a dollar, but I thought it might be worth at least ten. Info on the brochure told me the creator was David A. Wright, which helped me track down his website, Mud and Metal. On the site, I found a similar "cat face brooche" priced at $14. I also looked around eBay and found another cat face pin: 

Looks like my impression of the price was about right!

Another item I bought was this ceramic thingie. Info on the bottom told me it made by Emerson Creek Pottery in 1998.

The piece is five inches tall and about four inches wide. Inside, the bottom is kind of wavy, not smooth. It has holes on both sides, so I'm thinking it might be a candleholder of some sort. I didn't see any pieces like this on Emerson Creek's web site, so I assume whatever it is isn't being made anymore. Anybody know for sure what it is?

 Apparently the pattern isn't made any more, because I couldn't find it on the web site either. I did learn from a bit of Googling that it's called "Summer Bouquet." (I found a mug in that pattern for $8.)

Anyhow, I think the pottery piece—whatever it is—is worth way more than the 50¢ I paid for it.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cheap Light Fix

I've already posted about this in my Peevish Pen blog, but thought it was appropriately frugal for here, too, so I'm reposting:

The light fixture in the family room died the other day. None of its ugly florescent tubes would come on. The plastic that used to cover the tubes had succumbed to crumbling last year, and we'd never gotten around to replacing it. Electrical engineer hubby put up a temporary fix while I checked prices of replacement fixtures. The temporary fix was functional but not a thing of beauty.

For the new fixture, I wanted a country look—but country looks cost big bucks. Meanwhile, I remembered seeing a picture of a chandelier that someone had spray-painted and made into a candlebra. We had a couple of vintage mid-70s chandeliers lying around somewhere. 

This truly ugly chandelier used to hang in the dining room before we upgraded. I don't think I'll ever use it again. I figured I had nothing to lose if I spray-painted it. First, I wrapped and taped the parts I didn't want to paint:

I had a full can of blue—my favorite shade of blue. Let's see what happens. . . . 

I needed to turn it over to paint the underside, and I happened to have an ugly silver-painted flowerpot that would hold the chandelier while getting itself painted at the same time.

Finally it was dry enough for hubby to hang. But we needed to check to see if it would work before we added all the bulbs and globes. 

Yes, it works!

After adding bulbs and vintage 70s globes, we now have this:

And all it cost me was a can of spray paint that I already had.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

August Purrfect Treasures

I stopped by Purrfect Treasures today and bought a few items—a decorative plate with a black and white cat on it:

A wooden wall hanging:

Three pins (two are cat-themed):

Total spent: $14.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

July Pottery

On July 31, I saw some interesting pottery at the Westlake Goodwill. Since these pieces were blue, I had to get them:

This large oblong bowl looked and felt handmade . . .

. . . but it had no mark whatsoever on the back—except for the $2.95 price tag. It was a big bowl, so it was worth the price.

I loved the look of these two flowerpots. The other week I bought a gold version of the blue one ($1.95).

The blue flowered one (95¢) had Val Do Sol on the bottom. This is a pottery in Portugal.

But the one that called out to me was this green one ( (95¢) with a subtle blue design. I could tell it was handmade . . .

. . . and when I turned it over, I knew it was meant for me.


Monday, July 23, 2012

July Discovery Bargains

This week, the Discovery Shop at Westlake is having a 25% off sale of everything but books and jewelry. I didn't really need anything but decided to stop in and have a look. Here's what I bought:

I saw the wooden farmer pig in a big display of various pig stauettes. The Appalachian girl, whose purple tag denoted another 25% discount, looks handmade but isn't signed. I think she's either a book holder or a letter holder. The tote was in the 25¢ bin. Here are the other prices before the discount:

After discounts, I paid $4.50 for all three items. Of course my purchases had to receive a cat scan.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Old Mantle

I've already posted about recycling this old mantle over at my other blog, Peevish Pen, but figured a post about it belongs here, since what I did with it counts as frugal. So I'm recycling a blog post as swell as a mantle:

About 50 years ago, someone gave my father a mantle from a house that was being demolished in Old Southwest in Roanoke. He stored it in the cabin on the farm. Even though it was oak, it was in pretty sad shape.

A couple of years ago, my husband and I loaded it into my truck. . .

. . . and brought it home where I cleaned it up a bit.

I'd planned to refinish it, but I couldn't get all the white paint off.

I worked on it off and on the past couple of years, but mostly the old mantle lingered in my, uh, project pile on the patio.

Lately, I started imagining what the old mantle might become, so I started working on it again. I sanded it some more and painted it off-white.

However, I have no place to put this mantle anywhere in the house. Then it occurred to me that maybe I could fix up a little area of the patio to incorporate it as a design element. So I got to work. After the paint was dry, I added a wallpaper border. I imagined how it would look with some furniture around it to encourage folks—or more likely my cats and I—to sit a spell.

I have a lot of old furniture—like a little rocker my great-great grandfather made.

I have a lot of plants on the patio, some of which—like a fern that I found last fall at the dumpster—might look pretty good with the old mantle. I started experimenting.

I'm not done yet. It's still a work-in-progress. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

$5 Discovery

It's not often we go to the Discovery Shop at Westlake two days in a row, but yesterday we were at Westlake for my husband's eye appointment and stopped in the Discovery Shop on the way home. 

The shop is going to install new carpet this weekend, and they were trying to clear out the store by offering a 25% discount on everything. John bought me a ceramic cat that was marked $5, but cost him $3.75. Here's the cat on one of my memorabilia shelves in the den.

I found a star-shaped pin that, marked down, cost me 75¢. It joined the two pins I'd gotten earlier at Goodwill for a dollar each.

Today, we were at Westlake Krogers to use our 1,000 points to buy gas at a dollar off per gallon. We had the back of the truck filled with gas cans so we could get as many gallons as possible for the price. We had to pass the Discovery Shop on the way home, so we stopped—and saw this:

This sale had just started today and applied to the room where housewares, fabrics, and electronics were displayed. Well, we got a bag and commenced to fill it.

Then we filled it more. We got some stuff we didn't really need because the stuff was such a good bargain.

At the checkout counter, our bag filled several paper (and one plastic) bag. Luckily we had a bit of room in the truck.

What did we get? John bought a lot of electrical stuff—assorted cords, etc.—that I didn't bother to take pictures of. But here are some pictures of some of our more interesting loot:

Tablecloth, two brass wall sconces and a brass candlestick, candles, a crystal candleholder, pewter Jefferson cup, pewter tankard, pewter goblet, three chargers, an old telephone insulator, a yellow linen tablecloth . . .

. . . a red tablecloth with heart appliques, some craft stuff, four washcloths, four green napkins, three small flowerpots, some picture frames, a hanging bird feeder, etc.

Going by the prices on the items, we would have spent about $90 for everything (well, 25% off $90-something). I'm glad we discovered this $5 bargain.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Creative Blog Award

Thanks to Deirdra for awarding this blog a Creative Blog Award from A Storybook World.

When being frugal, it often pays to be creative.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Down the Road Deals

I didn't have to leave the neighborhood to get some bargains today. I found a few interesting things just down the road. After hubby and I visited our Union Hall farm this morning, we stopped at Clay's Consignment Shop to see if he had anything interesting. He did.

I got a sugar bowl and creamer in the International pattern Ella's Rooster to match the dinnerware I'd gotten from Clay at his other location four years ago. I almost didn't get them, but then he lowered the price to $4. I also saw a cute cat plaque that matches both my decor and philosophy—$2.

Did I get a deal? Let's see. A bit of Googling produced these results:

Looks like I got a very good deal on the sugar bowl and creamer!

Hmmm. $8.99 for the cat plaque. Looks like I didn't do too badly. 

Next door to Clay, Pete Pasley was having sale of some of his sister's things. I saw an 8" Revere Ware skillet that I could use. It was $1.50

The bottom is copper-clad.

The inside of the lid and pan revealed they were in great shape.

But did I get a deal? Looks like I did.

I also paid 75 cents for this microwave bacon cooker in its original box.

It had never been used. One side microwaves bacon . . .

 . . . and the other makes potato chips.

Did I get a deal? I don't know. I couldn't find it priced separately, but I did find this:

I guess I got some good buys today.