Archive | Thrift Shopping Lessons RSS feed for this section

Blue After Christmas

29 Dec

Had to go to Farmington yesterday to take my Kitty to the vet.  He was admitted and had to spend the day, and luckily I brought my computer and about five bucks. Before heading to the library, I decided to get a little thrift fix at the Farmington thrift store on Broadway.  I’ve never much liked this thrift store–it smells like moist dog, its not very organized, and the behind the counter people are not really that friendly, but I was looking for something specific and I thought I had the best chance of finding it here.

Redneck wine glass

Redneck wine glass

I was looking for clear glass candle holders.  My friend Gretchen crafted me up a redneck wine glass for Christmas and man!  Those things are worth recrafting and so simple. Just epoxy the candle stick holder to the bottom of the ball jar, and cheers!

To make a medium-sized story short, I didn’t find the candle stick holders, but I did find these wicked cool blue sneaks. I’m a little leery of potential germs when I thrift shop, but for four bucks, I thought I could figure out how to kill some germs. With a little alcohol and baking soda, they’ll be new to me. Happy thrifting!Blue Addidas Sneakers


GF Thrift Swap

20 Nov

For a good time, get together with some girlfriends, some wine and cocktails, about 10 loaves of bread, and 10 bags of old clothes. Our second annual swap was again, a success.  Highlights…Tra trying to swap a sex toy, Liz trying on fake boobs, Jenny scoring a good luck job interview outfit, Stiffy’s chocolate wine, and really, 10 loaves of bread…

new jacket

new jacket for Jenny


Tra in her new fab polka dot skirt

Sparkly sweater

Not quite her style but funny to try on...

Leather suit top

Old leather suit top--a must have this season

work out clothes

Liz is very excited about her new work out clothes!


Consigning at Find in Portland, Maine

12 Nov

So I collect things from thrift stores that I think could be cool or useful some day.  After a while, this thrift stash builds up, starts to take up space, and proceeds to drive me a little nutzo.  Solution:  time to consign.  My stash was a small collection of vintage finds.  I wanted to take them to my fav consignment store in Portland, Material Objects, but getting stuff into Material Objects is like getting into college. Application, interview, etc.  Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little.  You have to have an appointment and you can call 207-774-1241 to make that happen. I didn’t have an appointment.


Find, Portland, Maine


To Find I went. They are a “clothing exchange and style gallery.”  Now Find is a pretty great place, but it is, to be honest, really expensive for a second hand clothing store–unless you consign there. The deal with Find is that if you want cash on the spot for clothes, they’ll give you 30% of what they think they can make on your stuff. Or, if you want in store credit, they’ll give you 50%.  For my measly little bag of clothes, I earned $70 in store credit. This translates to a couple pairs of really nice jeans,  or a few shirts, or one excellent score (jacket, boots, bag) and I’m psyched.  I’m liking Find more and more.

Steph found this awesome bomber while we waited for my clothes to get sorted.  Find is at 16 Free Street in Portland, Maine.

Find in Portland

Mad bomber hat from Find

Everyone’s Resource Depot, Farmington, Maine

28 Mar

Looking for crafty material? Looking for office supplies or business materials? Looking for a birthday, Easter, or Christmas card? Looking for wrapping paper?Everyone's Resource Depot, paper

Looking for drawer pulls? Looking for storage containers? Everyone's Resource Depot, more crafty stuff

Looking for school project materials?  Everyone's Resource Depot, craft supplies

Everyone’s Resource Depot will have it. You’ll spend less than even seems reasonable, and you’ll be reusing materials that would have been thrown away. You can also donate materials instead of recycling them or throwing them away.Everyone's Resource Depot sign

The year round hours of operation are
Monday-Friday 3 – 5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m. – 12 noon.
During the Fall and Spring semesters when UMF is in session they are also open
Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 12 noon.


Destination Bangor, Maine

11 Mar

A Thrift Tour

Took off with thrift sister, LT, this morning after dropping off Awesome with M for his first day of care. The ride was crystal clear thanks to a minor ice storm that swept through most of Maine the day and night before. The trees were ice statues on the blue sky and the sun, bright as day, needed another log on the fire if it was going to free branches. We drove directly to Goodwill to meet Becoming Crafty, LT’s college roommate and thrift sister of another mother.

I’ve been to this Goodwill before and I knew it’s treasures. They should rename this one Greatwill.  After hugging, chatting, and hugging again, we got down to the biz at hand. We spent a good hour or more here (we didn’t get through the whole store) and LT came away with some jeans, some summer earrings, and a Bar Harbor, Maine sweatshirt. She likes Maine things—shows her true colors back in Cali. Becoming Crafty held up a bubble gum pink blazer to LT. “What do you think?” In true friend fashion, LT replied, “ummm, try it on for me.” BC swung the jacket over her shoulders and her face brightened from the flash of pink into a bubble gum glow. LT: “That’s a definite yes.” BC bought the jacket and wore it for the rest of the day.

We moved on to Hands of Hope, BC’s fav thrift store.BC and LT going into Hands of Hope, Bangor, Maine

This store has a great home section and she buys cheap decor, re-decors it, and sells it in Serendipitous."Becoming Crafty" at Seredipitous

Minor tragedy struck here. I found a thing-grabber. It was old with a wooden handle and metal components for the grabber function. I tried it out by pinching LT’s butt from a good distance away. It worked perfectly! But, being the spacer that I am, I left it on the dressing room floor while I was trying on clothes and left it there when I walked out. Sad face. A thing-grabber is a true find.

After lunch we headed to downtown Bangor. We found a new thrift store, the Yankee General Store. This place was an interesting mix of random movies, clothes, candy, and camp chairs.Yankee General Store, Bangor, Maine

Almost directly across the street was American Retro. American Retro, Bangor, Maine

A skinny little place, it was packed. A mix of old and new, a few vintage finds among urban ins. Here I tried on jeans, a vintage Woolwich vest, a tank top with one side strapless, and another tank top that looked much cooler on the rack than it did on my bod. Everything was too small. I hate that. I always feel like it’s my fault. I scored inspiration here–for cutting up a few t-shirts into the lopsided tank for the summer. The chic behind the counter here said to BC, “That’s a great jacket.” BC looked through her arm load of clothes to try on, looking for the jacket counter girl was speaking of when she realized it was the little pink jacket she was wearing that was the topic of the compliment. “Sweet! Thanks! I just got it at Goodwill!” Love it!

Whilst in town we visited Bella Luna–a store featuring FX Dressed, a thrift find altered fashion line. I’m going to include FX Dressed in the list of thrift crafters I admire. Anyone who can hop on a sewing machine and jam out fashion leaves an impression on me. This store, while far more expensive, is worth noting and worth visiting.

The last store on the tour was another not-quite-a-thrift-store store. Metropolitan Soul was a gifty place featuring lots of Maine crafters including one of my favs, Funk Stitch. vintage jewels at Metropolitan Soul, Bangor, Maine

There was a quaint room in the back with vintage clothes, shoes, and jewels and a FREE bowl. Yes, a FREE bowl. I’ve never seen such a thing. Here I found a t-shirt for LB. It was designed and printed by Myklo Designs. A Myklo Design at Metropolitan Soul in Bangor, MainePerhaps the next thrift tour should be by bike?


Name Brand Deals

4 Mar

Mystery Pants From New Beginnings

Maybe because I am reading a book by Anne Brashares, My Name is Memory, and she also wrote Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (great for 9th grade girl fluff), or maybe just because it sometimes takes a while for me to notice these things, this morning I pulled on the same pants I had been wearing for the past two days. Some of you reading this might think wearing pants this long is likely to bring on the stink or another weird side effect, while others are thinking I still have a couple good days with these pants before a wash. My practice is to wear something until I get sick of it or it gets sick of me. I can tell with these pants, It’ll be a while. These pants are what I would call a Good Buy.

The last time the girls’ club was in Portland, we stopped by Freeport on the way home. For some reason we all wanted to check out sunglasses and so to the Sunglass Hut we walked. Fortuitous move! Right next door, to our elation, was a brand new consignment store, aptly named New Beginnings. This store was quaint, a good mix of new and old, accessories and shoes, jackets and purses. Here I found a bunch of deals, including the aforementioned pants. But now, this morning, as I pull on the pants, I realize they are no name pants, a mystery. I check out the buttons, the tag spot, the pockets, to no avail. They are nameless.

Sometimes when I shop, I wonder about why a brand name matters. If I like something, I like it (as must have been the case with these pants), but then there’s also the concern that if I could buy the Walmart shirt for cheaper at Walmart, what’s the point of thrifting? I want to know when I’m looking at a Walmart shirt.  I sheepishly admit, I am a part of the we who are driven by names and brands and when I find something by Patagonia that fits and is in good shape, I get all sillyexcited, like I outsmarted someone.

It makes me almost cranky not to know where these came from. Around my waist, my belt on the third hole, the pants land in the sweet spot, neither cutting in or falling down. These pants are corduroys, thin blue whales with yellow underneath giving them an iridescent sheen. They have these little folded pleats in the knees, shaping them for action in the precise action area of my legs: no pulling when I bend over exposing the back cleavage. They are long enough to squeeze in a roll at the cuff, or not, depending on the outfit/mood. They look great with a fitted jean jacket and a messenger boy hat and equally good supporting a dirty Carhartt sweatshirt.

So I guess I still feel these pants are a good buy even though they may be some cheap brand that I ordinarily wouldn’t buy, no matter the price.  They are thrifted pants after all, and since this is a thrift blog, I can still feel good wearing them.


Thoughtful Thrifting

25 Feb

The Best Things Come In Small Packages

Today I’m going thrift shopping for one reason and one reason only: to try out my new undies.:)

Hall Cred Med and I celebrate Christmas a little differently than most friends. We usually get together no sooner than Valentine’s Day to exchange our gifts. Though I always feel guilty about not getting together during the giving season, I’m always happy to extend the gift giving that much longer. Plus, Med is one of the most thoughtful gift givers there is, and this year she exceeded her own high standards.:)

She watched as I opened the bag. On top of some crumpled up news paper was this pretty little pocket. Intrigued, I pulled it out, opened it. It was stuffed to the max with…undies! She loves me, obviously, ’cause she’s helping to change my reckless habit of thrifting commando. I try to remember, I really do, but undies just ain’t my style and Med, sweet, smart Med, saved me from myself. Purse undies! Effing brilliant! This Friday, I’m safe, I’m prepared, I’m going thrifting! Thanks, Med. I love you!