Now that the kids are back at school and the steady stream of visitors has been reduced to an occasional drip, I’ve had the time to venture out.
We all know what happens when I’ve got a few hours on my hands and I’ve got the itch to treasure hunt.
Yes, I’m talking about my love of a leisurely Goodwill Bins outing.
Regular readers and Portlanders are familiar with these Goodwills, but for those unfamiliar, here is where thousands of pounds of donated merchandise ends up in these giant stores. Nearly everything is sold by the pound (with books and videos sold individually).
It can be a lot of work to scavenge through these bins, but the bargains and treasures you can find are worth the effort. Now hundreds of people in Portland alone now make a living by buying and reselling that which they pick up at the Outlets– clothes, books, housewares, and pretty much anything sellable you can think of.
I’m not doing my digging for profit- just for kicks and for sharing with those I love.
I’ve received countless emails from those of you who like me are vintage/scrappy/crafty/junky fans so this post is for you.
Let’s start with Halloween decorations I’ve found in the past month or so (and almost all from the Bins).
I don’t think this paper mache-like owl is vintage but he’s enormous and super cute on my mantle and I think I may put an votive in there.
This ceramic vintage witch looks right at home nearby.
(They probably each cost less than a dollar.)
I found this vintage cut-out at the Bins, too, and although he’s not in the greatest shape, I still love how he looks in my window.
I’ve also picked up a number of owls and they’ve been put to good use around my house and porch, too.
I think this blue one was intended as a trivet — but he looks happy on my porch.
This fella I paired with a rare Gurley candle I picked up at a vintage shop on the coast.
I picked up this Gurley candlestick candle (maybe manufactured in the 50’s) at the same time and paired it with another Bins owl.
My few Halloween pickups were just the tip of the iceberg.
I bought a red felted tote that’s ideal for storing food drop offs either to teachers or friends.
Something like this would fit in perfectly.
I love these little ceramics I stumbled upon amongst dozens of drinking glasses and jars.
I may just do something crafty with them or tuck them into one of the terrariums I have tucked around the house.
(Because they are glass — which is even less expensive–they were probably a dime each).
What else can I show you?
These glassine drinking straws were still in their original, unbroken packaging and they are so fragile yet the green is so vivid.
Perhaps I will offer them up to my friend Laurie, the crazy talented woman known to the blogosphere/crafty world/Instagram as Magpie Ethel. (I wrote a piece on her and her unbelievable house and craft cottage last year).
I adore Laurie and am so in awe of what she does with the odd vintage pieces like these straws, tiny glass ornaments or ornate ribbon spools… She’s a genius.
Speaking of Laurie and Halloween, once again I picked up a number of items at her epic, Insta-worthy annual garage sale this past June.
Among a huge pile of chosen items I came home with some Halloween themed framed wall art she’d put together.
This one looks like its vintage crepe paper and it looks wonderful in my kitchen this month.
Another framed piece I got from her has a vintage party invite and party hat?
It’s so cute.
I currently have a big box of odds and ends I’ve pulled from the Bins and estate sales just for her. There are some fun things in here and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do with them.
Let’s see what else I’ve picked up at the Bins.
Oh, I found a couple of cards tucked in an old box.
The vividness and sweetness of these vintage cards always made me swoon — and also a little melancholy as I look at the inscriptions inside and careful cursive writing.
How’d this darling card from Grandma end up in a pile of old clothes at the Bins?
Here’s another fun piece. I was tickled with this vintage paper cut-out and I’m sure I’ll be pulling this out in another month or so.
Also, I’m always thrilled to add more to my enamelware collection.
I found four bowls and two large dinner plates.
And here’s another thing I found Binning that I love.
It’s a 1950’s-60’s plastic tray (vanity organizer?) that I’ve converted to a countertop salt organizer.
It currently holds Maldon Smoked Salt, Lemon Flake salt and Fleur de Sel.
It’s such a great color that always makes me smile, and its proximity to my cooking means that I use these finishing salts a lot more often.
Like here in today’s early lunch.
Say howdy to saffron ramen with pork, asparagus, jammy egg and topped with Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend, lemon salt and a flurry of Vietnamese cilantro leaves.
And now I’m off to enjoy off some of the killer biscuits I made for my crew.
Perhaps I’ll serve them up on the oilcloth tablecloth I also found at the Bins yesterday during a quick pop-in — all folded up and ready for purchase (again, for about a buck?).
(Do you live in Portland and want to meet at the Bins? Email me. I’ve met perhaps a dozen of you there and enjoyed it every time.)