Monday, October 10, 2016

The Art of Thrifting : Ramblings of a Southern Girl

I am delighted to welcome 
to my Art of Thrifting Series.
You are in for a special treat!

Hi ya'll!  ...Rhonda, from Ramblings of a Southern Girl.  And I'm elated to be here for an exciting series Laura began just a few weeks ago, The Art of Thrifting!   Thrifting is very dear to me!  Thanks so much for having me over, Laura!

Thrifting series

Laura and I are soul sisters at heart when it comes to thriftin', sharing the passion ignited in me while in high school. I was first introduced to collecting second-hand treasures by my Grandmother Butler. Grandma B and her DIL, Aunt Hilda, were avid yard sale enthusiasts back in the 80's. My aunt, an impressive looking woman herself, lived in an upscale neighborhood. On trash pick-up days she could be found scouting the roadside cast-aways, scoring some really nice finds from her very own neighbors. She had no shame, got to admire her for that, and for the amazing stuff she rescued. One thing I specifically remember my aunt collecting, was Iris Herringbone Depression glass. She amassed quite an assembly, mostly inexpensively from yard sales, before it regained it's popularity once again.  Most antiques and vintage items, go through cycles of demand, making their value a roller coaster of sorts.

Buy what you love, not things just for investments.  The vintage and collector's market fluctuates!

When depression glass began to "lose it's sparkle," and prices began to fall, I picked up a few pieces of Iris Herringbone here and there. They fondly remind me of my Grandma and Aunt, and the thrill of the hunt they instilled in me by their own eager example.

Iris Herringbone Vase from an antique mall vendor,  paired with a thrift shop Italian pottery platter.

On weekends spent with my Grandma, the highlight was loading up in her old beige Nova and hitting the Saturday morning yard sales.  Grandma B was an upscaler way before it was popular.  An independent little lady, she was handy with most any power tool, and a well noted seamstress.  The lessons in thrifting she taught me served me well when I branched out to furnish my college apartments, and later my first house.

It was while in college, I feel in love with white milk glass.  I also discovered thrift stores, where I found most of my pieces for just a few dollars or less!  If I reveal how long I've been collecting milk glass, I'll be telling my age... let's just say it's been awhile, and my collection has become quite large.

Towards the end of college, I started frequenting auctions on Friday and Saturday evenings.   Forget partying in the dorms, nothing excited me like waving that numbered card in the air as the auctioneers presented and paraded their wares!  And the cadence of an auctioneer's voice, now that was sweet music to my ears!  

If you're looking for good quality furniture, particularly large pieces or antiques, auctions are the place to be.  Most who buy large pieces at auctions are dealers, with a set budget based on what they predict they can resale a piece for.  And few people come prepared to haul larger pieces, all resulting in typically low prices for what a piece may retail or be worth.

Antique Ice Box

I soon felt the itch to turn my passion for junkin' into a side business.  By this time, I was working a full time "day job," and "moonlighting" I suppose one could say, as a junk dealer on the weekends. On our third date, Mr. Ramblings accompanied me to an auction.  Bless his heart, it wasn't long before he drank the kool-aid, too, and was buying old stuff of his own!   We were married just months later!  :)

Our first years together were lean at times, as most young couples' are, but we never seemed to want for anything and I created a home I was very proud of, on very little.  Our income has increased over the years, and yet, still I thrift, the passion remaining strong.

Cecilia, from My Thrift Store Addiction, did a previous guest installment on The Art of Thrifting, and offered some wonderful tips.  My favorite was Declutter and Resale... true words to practice!  Be sure to check them out!  I just have this to add...

I've not only been on the buying side of junk, (I say junk with the fondest of affections), but on the selling end as a peddler, as well, in and out of the business over the years.  So where do I find my best stuff?

Yard sales have always been one of my primary sources for thrifting.  Although you truly never know where the good stuff may be, yard sales in upscale neighborhoods, at churches, old homeplaces, and community-wide sales have the most to offer and usually for a very decent price.

$5 Blue Satin-glass Lamp

My other "go-to" favorite is thrift stores.  I tend to gravitate to and find the best stuff at hometown stores that support a local charity cause or religious organization.  I really shouldn't being giving away all my secrets :) ...but three of my favorites in our part of the state are:  The Rescue Mission on 5th & Castle, in Wilmington, NC, Cause For Paws, (Saunders St location) Raleigh, NC, and The Dorcas Ministry Thrift Shop, Cary, NC.

Thrift Store Bird Pitcher/Vase

Upcycled $3 Wood Angel from Dorcas Ministry Thrift

Thank you for letting me share my story on thriftin' with you all!  I like to think of thriftin' as living a green life... reycyling and improving what we already have!  I'd love to have you visit me over at Ramblings of a Southern Girl.  I'll close with a few pictures of projects I've upcycled/ recycled...


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quakerhillfarm said...

Wonderful post! I love to thrift also. One of my fav places, when we are in Florida, is St. Matthews house in Naples and Bonita Springs. One can find wonderful pieces for little money!

Rita C at Panoply said...

Love to hear of like minds, sharing and caring in the world of thrifting, rescuing, buying and upcycling vintage! It's my hobby sideline too, and I can oh, so relate.
Rita C at Panoply

Lisa said...

Wonderfully informative post! I love hearing about your journey and seeing all the things that speak to your heart.

Katie Mansfield said...

Great examples of thrifting. I love when stuff gets a new purpose and life. I love this series.

Theresa said...

Wow, so many pretty things:). Love the $5 lamp, my fave! Hugs

Stacey said...

You, Cecilia, and Rhonda have definitely convinced me. Thrifting is definitely the brilliant thing to do!

Jeanie said...

That antique icebox is a special gem! I think I must go on a "hunt." It's been too long!

Susan Freeman said...

What I love about thrift, consignment, antique shops, auctions and estate sales is that one can purchase good quality pieces at affordable prices. So much of the furniture today is so cheaply made and not meant to last. The other reason is that you can give your home a unique and not cookie cutter look by adding vintage and one of a kind pieces to your decor. Love the icebox!

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley

My thrift store addiction said...

Hey Rhonda, thanks for the shout out! It's always a blessing to find another kindred thrifting spirit ;) Loved your post and tips and oh my, that ice box! Praying for you and your community in the aftermath of Matthew. Laura, this was such a wonderful idea for a series--loved participating!

Creations By Cindy said...

Great post. My favs too would be the yard and garage sales. Talk about white milk glass....WOW...last time I spotted a piece at a thrift store I about fainted. The price was crazy...or maybe I am just truly CHEAP. LOL! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

Pat said...

Great post, dear one!
I, totally, agree on the editing process!
My collections are fewer, but oh, so much more pleasurable!
Thank you for sharing your great places to shop!
Pat said...

You really have an eye Rhonda, I love all your recreations!


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