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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Trash to Cash Wednesday

Last week I made enough to pay for a little over half my ticket to Boston. Let's see how this week went. Craigslist:
I paid 15.00 for this new bartop table. A designer bought it to stage a model home but the contract got cancelled. I sold it for $50.00. Remember these two pieces?
French dresser and nightstand. I had ask the My Dear Trash readers to help me price these pieces- (See the post here with before pics) Suggestions ranged from $200-$400 with most people averaging 250-300- Well you guys were right. I sold them together for $275.00. If you remember I had invested $150.00- so it's a nice profit. It took 6 weeks to sell these pieces, which is a little longer than usual- I wanted to let you know I've notice craigslist has slowed down for the summer here in Arizona. So, If you have things listed that aren't selling, be patient. Don't be too quick to lower your price during the summer months. Now, on to ebay... I was blessed one day at goodwill to find several new with tags dress pants all in plus sizes for just $1.00 each. They all sold for $8.00 a piece. Here's a few examples...

Dockers size 18 khaki pants
Dockers size 18 chocolate brown career pants.
Bloomingdales size 24 black career pants. I bought 8 or 9 pair that day and they've all sold. Here's some other top sellers...
Venezia by Lane Bryant size 16 jean capris, $11.00.
Ann Taylor size 14 embroidered skirt sold for $16.50.
Lands End size Xl navy blue knit dress sold for $16.92. Super great week- here's the totals...

Ebay Profits: This week: 371.67
Craigslist Profits: This week 325.00
This weeks Costs: 99.00 (clothes) -45.83 (ebay fees) -31.26(paypal fees) -165.00 (cost of craigslist items)
Total Profit: $355.58

This will complete the $550.00 for my ticket to Boston and start our fund for the actual trip.
Keep your success stories coming. Love, Kelly.

$5.00 Gift Card Trash Week #1

A few weeks ago during breakfast, the kids and I found this gift card in a box of Golden Grahams.
I find it hard to believe a $3.00 box of cereal was giving away credit cards worth $5.00, but I’m good with it!

So, what did I do with the $5.00 (after Reef colored on it with green marker)?

I wanted to do something creative, something resourceful, and something to blog about.

Here’s what I did.

I went to $1.00 day last week at Goodwill and purchased these 5 items. Here's what they sold for.

This Motherhood Size 1X XL Long Denim Jean Straight Skirt sold for $8.99.

These Women's Union Bay Large Denim Jean Overalls sold for $7.99.

My profit? $44.97.

Keep in mind I paid with these items with my awarded gift card, in other words, these items were free.

This really excites me. I want to make a trail of trash and follow it for the next year.

Here’s what I’m going to do.

Out of my profit for the week, I’m going to give myself back the original $5.00.

Next week I’ll use it to buy 5 more items at Goodwill again.

I’m curious to see what I can make in a year if I keep crediting myself back the $5.00 and use it again for future $1.00 day purchases.

I want to do something special with the profit; something special for the kids. I wonder what they'll come up with.

I’m trying to think of a catchy title for this idea.

Any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This weeks Garaging Finds

It's the good ol summer time, but garage sales are still going strong here in Arizona. How do we brave the 100 plus temperatures to shop through other people's trash? We go EARLY! This week we left at 6:30am- and I'm so glad we did. Here's what we found...Lets take a closer look and reveal prices...
These very ornate candle sticks were $2.00 each- They will look great in black. The plastic bin is full of note pads and sticky note pads- all for $2.00. The classic Winnie-the-Pooh toy was $3.00, which seems like a lot for a garage sale, but it was a benefit sale, there was no negotiating and a good friend of mine is doing her nursery in Classic Pooh- So I had to have it. The original price tag was still on from the Disney Store for $25.00. My 12 year old staged the items and took these pics for me- so she included a few little toys my 6 year old picked up. A highschool musical microphone that really works and plays music for 1.00 and a crown for .50.
The "Be's" embroidered sign was $2.00. The crate of paints and brushes were just $3.00- You can never have enough paint and brushes at my house. Do the star soap look familiar? That's because they're from last week- but I hadn't put them away yet- so my daughter put them in this weeks picture.
I love these glass containers! They were just $2.00 each. And the marshmellow gun was a find for my 11 year old at just 1.00.
More clothes! I hit a couple great sales this week- all nordstrom brands at one sale and all Lane Bryant plus size at the other. I even scored a few "New With Tags" items. All of this was just $14.00- Can't wait to see what I can turn that in to on ebay.
Does the little tikes climb and slide look familiar? Don't worry, this is from this week. I picked one of these up before and sold it on craigslist. This one was just $5.00 and I hope to sell it for $40.00.
More little tikes. It's a little embarrassing, because I actually saw someone getting ready to load this into their truck while we were driving down a street on our way to a garage sale. I pulled over and asked if she was just moving, or if the kitchen was for sale. She said she was on her way to a garage sale to sell it. I said, "How Much"- She said, "$20" We loaded it up right then and there! I hope to sell this Little Tikes Victorian Kitchen for $65.
I know, I know... I went a little, Little Tikes crazy this weekend. I picked up this electronic Magichef Little Tikes Kitchen for $20.00- I'm hoping to sell it for $45. Meanwhile my little girls are in heaven playing with all these toys. Hope you had a good one too. Check in tomorrow with my Trash to Cash post- I've had a really great week and I can't wait to show you. Love, Kelly.

I Love To Give Things Away

Because of the quantity of time I spend shopping for trash, I usually come home with more then I need. This used to be a problem.

Not only did I keep more in my home then I needed, but I gave too much stuff away. For example, I’d see something great at a garage sale. I didn’t need it, but I knew someone who did.

A new neighbor in need of furniture and I’d find a kitchen table for a great deal at a yard sale, a pregnant friend and I’d hit a sale where a couple was cleaning out all their baby stuff or how about my sister in love with Nelly Furtado and I found a pair of Apple Bottom jeans at Goodwill.

I had to buy it all!

My friend loves gardening. It's only $1.00. I have to get her this.

In theory this is really sweet, but week after week it added up. I was spending too much time shopping and giving things away like there was a birthday party around every corner.

I had to face the truth.

I love to shop.

I love to give things away.

If I saw a professional, I’d probably be diagnosed with shop-a-holic/give-away disorder.

Thankfully for me, I found the answer.

I get to shop all I want as long as I sell it on Craig’s list or EBay.

This works great for my somewhat strange and misunderstood personal illness.

What’s fun is I get to experiment with some of my purchases before selling them.

This $5.00 purchase from Salvation Army was used for a short time in the boy's room before I sold it for $45.00.

This $1.00 mirror from Goodwill was displayed in my living room for several years. I recently sold it for $50.00.

I just found this buffet table for $40.00 at an estate sale (this is a picture I took at the sale before I purchased it). It's still sitting in my garage, but I think I'll use it in my kitchen for a while. If I don't like it, you know what I'll do with it.

These chairs – all trash and all used in my home for a short time before selling them for a profit.

My kids loved this chair.

We used it for movie night. The three oldest boys cuddled up on it with a bowl of popcorn. I paid $32.00 for it at Goodwill and sold it the next week for $95.00.

I really liked this vintage chair. I paid $20.00 for it at Goodwill. I went back and forth between wanting to keep and wanting to know how much I could get for it.

After several months of having it in my living room, I decided to sell it along with this $7.00 retro end table. They sold as a set for $95.00.

A few weeks ago, I found this chair and ottoman at Goodwill on half-off day for $15.00.

I brought the set home and my fingers started itching. I paced up and down the hallway. The chair was like money burning a whole in my pocket.

I had to know what I could get for it on Craig’s list, but my kids were already begging.

“Please Mom. We love this chair. Can we keep it?”

My children will probably have attachment issues because of my inability to hold onto a piece of beautiful furniture.

Several weeks later, the chair is still here. I think I’ll keep it for a while. It looks great in my living room, especially with the rug I'm desperate to give away.

I still give plenty of things away. Last week I went school shopping on Goodwill’s $1.00 day for a darling friend of our family. Here she is with Eden in one of her new outfits.

She went home with two huge garbage bags full of clothing and a smile on her face.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Thrift Store Culture Part II

I was out last week, making the rounds, shopping the racks at the thrift stores I love. I always see a familiar face; wave hello to my favorite cashier and look forward to finding a new piece of trash.

The store is full of excited shoppers like me, pushing through garbage hoping to find the good stuff.

Thrift store culture is an interesting group of people, many unforgettable characters who as a whole make an unbelievable shopping experience. Today its 110 degrees and I’m in a store with questionable air-conditioning. On the overhead radio a catchy 1980's tune called 867-5309 is playing.

Great, I’ll be singing this song all day.

Next to me, a middle-aged woman shops in her swimsuit. In her defense, I must say it is the type of swimsuit that has the little skirt around the midriff so it works in a cheerleader skirt sort-of-way, but still we are no wear close to a beach and she is no where close to looking like a cheerleader.

The next isle over a mother hushes her crying baby by singing him a Spanish lullaby. In the meantime, her other young children hide in the clothing rack with the full-length prom dresses. Peach and teal green taffeta is flying off the racks and being used as the perfect hiding place. The children bury their faces into the sheer fabric, then giggle and run down the aisle. It only takes a minute before I hear the politically correct PSA announcement read off by the cashier

“For the safety our customers, please keep your children with you at all times while in the store at all times.”

I don’t know about you, but I just don’t buy this. I think what the cashier really wants to say is:

“For the millionth time, will you get your wild kids and tie them to your shopping cart. If you don’t do this now, I’m going to scream! They take all the toys off the racks, ride the bikes with flat tires down the aisles and try on women’s shoes. I don’t want to clean up after them, and by the way, they might crash into a customer while on that bike.”

In the back of the store are the traditional bookies, many of which are wearing reading glasses perched on the tip of their noses (reading glasses most likely purchased at this very thrift store), reading a back jacket of a New York Times best seller. These are the people who come in day after day and buy book after book. In the mean time, their carts fill with random items like old record albums, a toilet sit lid and a worn-out welcome mat.

A few aisles over is a grandma in a florescent pink shirt and a wide brim straw hat. I think she thinks I’m a threat. By the way she looks at me I can tell I’m on her turf. Her cart is full of several items I’ve passed on: a pair of high-waist Wrangler jeans, a two-piece brown wool skirt/vest outfit and a windbreaker jacket that has the logo “Super 8 Hotel” stitched into the upper breast pocket. I get the impression she buys all these clothes for herself, not to sell on EBay. I don’t want to step on her toes so I walk over to the children’s section.

So what about me? I myself might stand out to these other shoppers; the woman with unkept hair rushing through the aisles, examining each piece of clothing like I’m some sort of inspector.

By the time I get to check out, I know I stand out too. I’ve got 50 things to purchase, 50 empty hangers and I’m looking for a place to hang them all.

I walk out the door and there’s a man sitting on the hot cement ground surrounded with palm tree prongs. His fingers work fast as he weaves the leaves together, in and out. Next to him are several palm tree leaves formed into Christian crosses. One or all are available for purchase, if I so desire.

Oh, beloved thrift store, you are my home away from home. Thank you for gracing me with your influence. You know I’ll be back next week.

To read Thrift Store Culture Part I, click here.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Front Door Friday Part Four

Yes, I'm still working on that front porch! Remember how it looked last time...I have to tell you I couldn't live with all this stuff on my front porch- It seriously felt so cluttered (I'm totally OCD so clutter drives me crazy) I wasn't sure what I would decorate with since there really is a big blank space between two of our window- until I found this...
Isn't it fabulous. I picked this up at the benefit sale My Dear Trash sponsored for Leah. I knew this was the artwork I was looking for that blank space. After some sanding, painting, stenciling, distressing and aging here's how she turned out...
I'm not happy with the Herb wagon- It's too small and the color matches the house, but I love my new, There's No Place Like Home sign. Here's a closer look...
If you'd like to see how I hand painted the letters go here. I just love the vintage door knob. Here's a closer look...
I took this off of an old bird house I acquired at the swap in February. The star that used to be here has been moved to one of our gables (I'll show you that when were all done) and the rest of the "Clutter" has been placed on craigslist. I have one more project I can't wait to show you for the front porch- Then we'll do the big reveal. Hope you're enjoying the journey as much as I am. Love, Kelly.

Linking Up To:
Frugalicious Friday@ Finding Fabulous
New Friend Fridays @ Trendy Treehouse
Remodelaholic Anonymous @ Remodelaholic
Feature Yourself Friday @ Fingerprints On My Fridge
It's A Hodgepodge Friday@ It's A Hodgepodge Life
Friday Fun Finds @ KOJO Design
I'm Lovin' It @ Tidymom
What I Made This Week @ Simply Designing
Show And Tell Friday @ Romantic Home
Frugal Friday @ The Shabby Nest
Spring Has Sprung @ Fun To Craft
Favorite Things Friday @ A Few Of My Favorite Things
Plant A Pumkin Seed Party @ Pumkin Seed Productions
New Friend Friday @ The Girl Creative

An Apron-Wearing Momma

My beautiful friend Amberlee is a mother to four young children. She has three sons and recently had her first daughter.

I featured Amberlee in January on My Dear Trash when she came to my home with a bundle of potted-flowers.

She pulled weeds and pine needles out of my front-yard flower beds and planted a Garden of Eden.

She did this as a gift for my baby Eden, who at the time was a few months away from being born. The flowers have been a symbol of her love for me and my daughter.

Amberlee is a happy girl who celebrates life through all sorts of outlets: cooking, sewing, sharing, and loving, but something that sets her apart is she’s an apron-wearing momma.

I know aprons might be a thing of the past, but her apron is not what you expect. Her apron has style, flair and presence. It’s downright gorgeous. I’ve seen her wear it over blue jeans and a t-shirt; I’ve seen her wear it over an elegant Sunday dress. When she has her apron on it’s because she’s working, serving and loving.

Last year Amberlee brought me a home-made gift. It was an apron; my very own apron.

My apron has followed many paths; working in the yard, cooking in the kitchen and taking care of children, but I’m not the only one who wears it. This apron has become a symbol of service and good luck at a variety of My Dear Trash benefit garage sales.

Just ask the lucky one’s who have been graced with its fancy fabric and sequins.

Linda Call Benefit Yard Sale

We raised 2,000.00 to help pay for Linda's funeral expenses.

The apron has a large pocket in front, perfect for holding all the $1.00 bills I collected.

Garrett Tanner Benefit Yard Sale

We raised $500.00 to help pay for Garrett's physical therapy.

My sister Becky and our friend Ashley rocked the apron look.

Leah Lowe Benefit Yard Sale

We raised over $2,000.00 to help pay for Leah Lowe's expenses while she goes through cancer treatment.
Here's Kelly and Lora sporting the apron look.

The below poem was sent to me by my own apron-wearing momma. Isn’t my mom beautiful! Here she is directing our annual Easter egg hunt.

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few. It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for moving hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow,
bent over the hot wood stove.

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.

From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill
to thaw.

They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love...

The end

Thanks for the apron, Amberlee. I had no idea it could mean so much.

Linking up to