Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Yardsale Treasures

I discovered this article today and thought it was really good. My mind is reeling from all the different decorating styles, my itch to create something and my last two projects all finished up. I guess my decorating style is "hodge podge" because I have a little of this and a little of that. I can't stand a whole lot of one thing so I can't find myself a category. I am category-less. Isn't that sad? I know. Thanks.

Well, the good news is that I love yard sales and yard sales lend themselves well to my style-less style. hehe So the following is great advice if you are shabbycountryprimcottagetraditionalchic or ...not.

Part of the charm in cottage decorating is hand-me-down
furniture, antique mismatched china, and vintage fabrics and
linens……all of which can be found at garage and yard sales.
This is the perfect time of the year to get out there and find all
those treasures that you didn’t know you couldn’t live without!!
In years past, I would just get in the car on a Saturday morning
and start cruising. Today, with gas charges soaring, it’s probably
a little smarter to plan your day. Some of the best sales are the
neighborhood or “association” garage sales. It’s easy on your gas
because there are many sales in a small area. Map out your route
ahead of time to save on gas and time. There are many strategies
that have come from hardcore garage sale shoppers. Usually held on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday, many will tell you to shop on the
weekdays to avoid crowds. Some say to be there when they open to
get the best selection, but frankly the best deals usually come on the
last day of the sale within a couple of hours of closing. Sellers not
wanting to box things up again, lower their prices. No matter what
your strategy, be prepared to spend some time looking for just the
right pieces.“Think outside the box” when searching for decorating
pieces and look beyond its intended use. Don’t overlook a table full
of vintage jewelry because you are not interested in jewelry, but think
about the other possibilities. A crystal necklace or pendant can easily transform a chandelier or lamp, vintage pins can accent a favorite purse
or tote, an old quilt or bedspread may have some worn areas, but maybe
some of it can be salvaged to use for a pillow. I know a very
creative woman who transforms vintage needlepoint into gorgeous
one-of-a-kind pillows. I have used vintage tablecloths in the
construction of both pillows and totes. If you like to paint,
transforming furniture is a lot of fun and in the end, you have
a totally unique piece. I have an affinity for old sewing chests.
Even if you are not a seamstress, there are tons of other uses for
these unique pieces. Just make sure that they are in sturdy condition,
paint them the color of your choice and add some pretty cottage roses.
If you don’t have that artistic touch, a wonderful variety of stencils can be found at all craft stores and they are a great alternative. Purchase an old footstool and recover it with an old quilt or fabric from old draperies.
Paint an old bar stool and use it as a plant stand or even a bedside stand.Vintage china is another great choice. In my mother’s day, it was
a status symbol if all of your dinnerware matched! Today, some of the most gorgeous table settings are made up entirely of mismatched china.
A common theme and color is all you need, plus a little imagination. If you
find china that you like, but it is chipped, consider using it as part
of a mosaic. Put a little votive candle in a teacup and you have a
wonderful candleholder. If you are looking for upholstered pieces, such as
chairs and sofas, consider spending less on a garage sale find, as long as
it is in clean and sturdy condition…..then sew up some pretty slipcovers
and change your décor with the seasons. If you aren’t handy with a sewing machine, there are many readymade slipcovers that will do the trick.
You end up with a great custom piece of furniture that fits your décor
and can be changed whenever the mood strikes you.Whatever you do,
keep your mind open. I have many times come home with treasures
not having any idea of how I am going to use them. I may not use an
item for its intended use, but many times I come up with something
even better!

Marilyn Kelley is a self taught decorative painter and
seamstress and owner of Casual Cottage. Casual Cottage is an
internet boutique dedicated to unique cottage style home decor and

If you would like to use this article on your website,

it is available upon the following conditions.
* It must be published "as is" with no changes to the content.
* A link must be provided to Casual Cottage along with the bio and contact information of the author.
* A courtesy email is appreciated to let the author know where the article
will be reprinted.
* Your website MUST be family friendly.
There are no exceptions to this.

You can find this article and some pretty nifty cool stuff at the Casual Cottage.

Hope you enjoyed the article and the website. Makes me anxious for the weekend. :)


Mrs.B. said...

Lisa, you have a decorating's called 'Ecclectic- country chic'!

I made that up, do ya like it?!? (o;

Besides, I think that's a more interesting way to decorate....each piece being specially picked out instead of 'matchy-matchy'. (o:

Mrs.B. said...

I just noticed that you link to me and I wanted say 'thank you'! And to let you know that I just added you to my links. (o:

Kelleigh said...

It must be so enjoyable persuing the markets for new finds! What a fun pastime! I agree with Mrs B, home decorating can be too 'matchy matchy'.

I'm currently looking for a new (budget conscious) 'style' for our home. Since blogging, I've become quite conscious about how plain our interiors are. I've not really been an attentive homemaker in that department. I've almost settled on a mix of American and French country style. The change to our large items of furniture will be minimal - just to recover our sofas, which are getting worn (they are second-hand). I'm thinking of going for a colour theme based on black and white (trying to describe it to my husband - he's a bit worried).

Lisa said...

Ecclectic-country chic! I like it Mrs. B. That pretty much sums me up, for sure.

You are so sweet to add me to your links, Mrs. B. You have been on my sidebar for weeks, being one of the very first I ever added after the initial cross-stitch blogs I listed there.

Kelleigh In the past, people have called my style French Country. (when I lived in a brick cape cod a number of years ago). I think it's such a pretty style and I just love black and white. I did a kitchen in black and white in our last home. It's very clean looking but can also be warmed up. Tell hubby not to worry. ;)

deb said...

Lisa, I really enjoyed reading the article. Some people are so creative that they can easily look at yard sale "junk" and find great uses for anything--like the vintage jewelry idea. We just need to go yardsaling with some creative glasses on to see all the possibilities!

I have had so much going lately that every weekend I want to just sleep in instead of getting out. Then I wonder what I missed at the sales!!

My style is definitely country and probably more homey country instead of classy country. Everyone that comes here says... "aahh, it's so...homey." I'm glad folks feel so "at home."

I think maybe my style would be described as "simple-ecclectic-country-homey.

Anonymous said...

Mrs B! I was just thinking to myself "I'm going to put Lisa you have an 'ecclectic' style in the comments", isn't that a coincidence! Great minds think alike ;o)

There is something so dull about magazine show house style (to me that is - not wanting offend those who do like that style). I love it where a house has been made a home with lots of memories and things picked for their beauty and history rather than that they simply fit in with a colour scheme. My home is very ecclectic - although with two little ones I have very few ornaments on display. Most of my ornaments and household items are from charity shops or were gifts from family and friends. The desk I am sitting at, for example, was transferred from next door. My dining furniture and display cabinet were a gift from my Mum's next door neighbour.

Unfortunately, in England we don't have yard sales, we have car-boot sales where everyone meets in a field and sells items from their car-boot. However, these are nearly always on a Sunday and we don't shop on a Sunday so we can't make use of them. So I visit the charity shops around here quite often and have picked up some lovely things.

Mrs.B. said...

LOL Mrs. Blythe! Yes they do! (o:

Hulda said...

I really like the website, and I agree with the article. It is true; at yard sales you can find treasures and transform things from the things you find. I love flower china, and a lot of it is not from the same set, but they suite eachother anyway. And a fabric can be used f.ex to sew pillows. I use to do it.

Roberta said...

As I read your post my first thought was "Eclectic is a style." So I join in with Mrs. B and Mrs. Blythe. I prefer a home filled with treasures linked to memories and character than a stiffly followed style. (Even if the only memory for me is "I picked this up at a thrift store and it only cost a quarter!) :)

Kelleigh said...

Thanks Lisa! That's just what I needed to hear! Bless you!

Lisa said...

Wow. I enjoyed reading all these comments. I've been out of state all day. hehe Sneaky, huh? My mom gave us a car and we went to pick it up. I got us lost 6 times. LOLOL Oh I am so, so bad. Hubby says I'm "directionally challenged." On top of being directionally challenged, they keep changing things so much in WV. It is growing so much with businesses that nothing looks like I expect it to.

We haven't been home long and I have a splitting headache, so I will respond to your comments tomorrow if that's ok. I looked forward all afternoon to seeing comments because I enjoyed that article so much myself. I am tickled that there are so many. :)

This is the most encouraging group of people I have ever known.

Good night...see ya in the morning.

Anonymous said...

Lost 6 times, tut, tut Lisa! Hope your headache is better this morning. Blog ya later. :o)

Lee-ann said...

Lisa hello from central victoria in australia............I was just hunting around for treasures like the china I have in my home and the life style we lead here at pear tree cottage and I found your lovely blog. I thank you for sharing your "yardsale treasures" so right and mix and match from the past is the most special part of setting the table at night and wondering who used them before I was lucky enough to now be the owner. thank you for sharing your blog.

Lisa said...

Deb, I haven't forgotten about that star. My routine was upset this week and I feel like I've just been running. I intend to get to 2 P's in a Pod soon and also that little shop in the mall where I saw the stars. I think what started the craze was the Idea House on HGTV a couple of years ago. That was the first time I saw one and then they started showing up in magazines and pretty soon they were everywhere. I even saw smaller ones at A.C. Moore. I think they're really neat.

Sarah, a car-boot sale sounds like fun! I guess we have that here as well and call it a flea market. (a true flea market, unlike the perpetual booths set up in run-down malls).

Hulda, It's so much fun to take something that seemingly had no use and create a use for it! I agree.

Roberta, Yes..or I found this in the basement. LOL

Kelleigh, Good :) Bless You, too.

Sarah, My headache is better this morning. I couldn't sleep because of it and finally took some Advil. That knocked it right out.

Lee-Ann Welcome! I'm so happy that you stopped by. I like your blog a lot and will definitely be back there.

Mary Ann said...

I love this article, Lisa. My decorating style comes from whatever I find that I think would go with my collection of yard sale, hand me down, or thrift store furniture. Shopping on a tight budget at yard sales and second hand stores can really help you develop your creativity! (I've found this to be true for me.:-)

Lisa said...

Mary Ann I couldn't agree more! Even if I had lots of money, I would continue to yard sale and go to thrift stores. It's just fun and makes me feel I accomplished something.

Good to see you. :)

deb said...

Lisa, a friend is looking for stars in PA for me today (Fri) while shopping with her friend who lives there. I'm hoping she comes back with something, but if not, I'll keep star hunting. 2 Peas in a Pod sounds like a neat shop. I'll for sure let you know if my friend doesn't spot anything decently priced. Thanks!

Lisa said...

Deb, Oh good. I hope she finds something for you. Two P's in a Pod is a new shop. I heard the girl say that their names are Paula and Pamela (I think that's right), thus the two P's. hehe They have some painfully cute things! I want to take it all home with me and their prices are really good. If the kids hadn't had a short day at school today, I might have gone over there.