Lisa finds the most beautiful things!
Wow! Today was quite exciting! As many of you know I underwent total hip replacement surgery almost exactly three weeks ago and today I was able to go out and about with my cane! Since I was feeling so much better, I called my fellow Flea Marketeer, Lisa and gathered up my husband and together we launched an all out assault on the estate sales in our neighborhood.
Since there were two estate sales in my condo complex and since they tend to sell out fast, Lisa and I hit one and Pete the the other. We have long since realized that the Divide and Conquer method of estate saleing is the most effective. Armed with cel phone cameras and fingers twitching to text, we strike out early and find everything we want. We all had our lists of things we needed and what we were looking for. We shared our lists and made mental notes. My assignment was to come back with a nice side table for my son’s bedroom.(I found a gorgeous one BTW but it was on its way to him before I could take photos.)
The other thing I always look for, especially around the holidays is gifts that work in place of gift bags or gift wrap for holiday gifts. I look for pretty vases for flowers instead of giving the generic plain glass ones. I look for creative ways of wrapping wine bottles as many of the people we knew love good wine, and I look for baskets because these are always fun and easy to fill with goodies for the people who already have everything they need. Who doesn’t love a gift basket filled with your favorite indulgence?
The first estate sale was a gold mine. I found these beautiful “only one” teacups. Each one is so pretty and so delicately crafted that they make wonderful vehicles for something nice. You could fill them with candy, little soaps or, as I plan to do, nice little bags of different loose teas so that the recipient gets three teapots full of tea and the pretty cup from which to drink it.
In another room I found a beautiful rocking chair with mother of pearl inlay. This and a couple of pretty pillows are the perfect gifts for a new mom
As I was leaving one room of the sale I almost missed this!
It is an antique phone table complete with a little shelf for your phone book. It is so old school! It has a little shelf for your rotary dial phone and a little seat where you can get comfortable. The only thing missing is a built in ashtray which would also be super old school! This piece needs a little TLC but the great thing is, like the rocker, a little strategic sanding and some spray on polyurethane will spiff it up nicely. I would not want to strip it completely and make it look like new. I like that the stain has worn down where peoples bums and hands have rested over the years. Leaving these characteristics gives you more the impression of the movement of time rather than a snapshot of days gone by.
In many of these estate sales, you can find some very interesting possibilities. I found this amazing wine decanter with a little glass bubble protruding into the decanter where you put ice to cool your white wine without watering it down. This is great for hot summer lunches where you don’t want to keep jumping up from the table to put the wine back in the fridge. This with a beautiful bottle of Riesling or better yet, Prosecco make a beautiful gift for your favorite wine lover.
Finally, one of the things I look for are little boxes. They make great “gift wrap” but are much more classy. These little boxes cost me $1,00 each. If I were to purchase a gift bag ($5.00), some tissue ($3.00) and a nice card ($5.00), I’d be out $13.00 just for the gift wrap that then has to be thrown out. I’d so rather take that $13.00 and put it toward a nicer pair of earrings or the more expensive cookies or tea. And there is a lot to be said for presentation. If presentation were not important, no one would think of spending $13.00 for gift wrap. If you buy a nice piece of jewelry and present it in one of these, well it just makes that much more of an impact. We can also be happy in our knowledge that we are saving planetary resources and not contributing to the accumulation of trash.
Flea markets, estate sales and even your local second hand store are marvelous places to find unique items. A little creativity goes a long way in making a normal holiday gift extra special with very little money. And, as Flea Marketeers all know, the journey is where the fun is! Take a Saturday morning, grab a newspaper and $100. and go! If you think of different ways of using beautiful items, you can save a huge amount of money and give gifts that the recipients will know you took time and thought over.
Go find some treasures and send me photos of your cool finds!
Happy hunting fellow Flea Marketeers!