My Thrift Store Stinks

July 30, 2016


Thrift Store Floral Painting

Hello friends! Well, the dog days of summer have finally arrived in my neck and of the woods and when temperatures and humidity soar, I head straight for the pool....and that's exactly where I've been hiding out for the past two weeks.

Floating, soaking and swimming.

As you can imagine, wet hands and computers do not make good company, so I have not been online a whole lot.

Summer doesn't last very long around here. Pretty soon, the snow and cold will show up again and I will be relegated to indoor activities. I try to stay out of the stores and out of doors as much as I can when the sun is shining.

However, this past week, I did venture into the thrift store. The heat was brutal and I figured I would check it out. Now, I will tell you right off the bat that my thrift store stinks. I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating.

Because it does.

First of all, it's small.

Very, very small.

It doesn't get much traffic, so there's very little turnover, and my biggest complaint with the shop?

It's expensive.

Very, very expensive.

I read blogs and see some great picks go by for bargain prices. I rarely find a bargain price. I have to dig deep to find one and, trust me, it's not like every item I pick up is a valuable vintage piece. Some of the items are relatively new. Some have been recently donated by ME...and are priced higher than what I originally paid for them...at Home Goods!

Yeah.

That's what I'm dealing with here.

Maybe it's geographical. Maybe I am not going to the right shop, but frankly there aren't many around. There are tons of antique shops, but I am usually looking for junk. I have enough heirloom pieces.

I want items I can repurpose or craft with, transform.

So I trudge into my stinky thrift shop every few weeks hoping my experience will be different. I think that may be the definition of insanity, if I'm not mistaken.

But maybe not, maybe I'm just ever hopeful, because every now and then, I get lucky.

Here's what happened this week.


This is a print that I almost didn't notice. It was a dollar. I loved the colors, it was in perfect shape and it was a bargain. Finally! I didn't get it though. Nowhere to hang it in my tiny cottage. 

So I passed. 

Walpole Woodworkers Fish Grillers

These brand new fish grilling boards were so cute and they were only $1.50...half off the sticker price. I don't grill fish this way though and I couldn't think of anything crafty (and easy) to do with them, so pass. 

Next, I came upon two neat items to craft with in the plastic area. The outdoor dining cup was my first find. 

Outdoor cup

This pretty plastic cut crystal looking bowl was next. 

Plastic crystal bowl

Neither was particularly interesting on their own. As a matter of fact, they were both a bit beat up. However, with a little glue and white spray paint, I could put them together and make myself a faux milk glass pedestal bowl that would be safe for outdoor use.

Fabulous!

Plastic Bowl and cup DIY

I bought these two, right? Well, not exactly. No. You see, as I said, they were both kind of scratched and roughed up and they were no bargain at a buck apiece. I mean, I could go to the dollar store for that price and get two brand new ones. Plus, they may already be white, or at least match, and then I wouldn't have to paint a thing. 

No bargain here. I passed.

Wooden Wreath Italy

My last find was this wooden wreath. I thought it was interesting. I didn't buy this either, but I did take a picture of it, because I could definitely make something like it. I could customize my own, pick wooden ornaments for Christmas or Halloween. The idea of it was very fun, so while it didn't come home with me, it was a great find.

I know you must be wondering by now if I did buy anything and the answer is yes. I bought a tea cup for a sweet and easy DIY that you can find at The Kim Six Fix, since I am a contributor there. I also bought two plastic doily placements for a buck. I want to try something. Honestly, they should've been like a quarter each...or maybe a dime...they are not in good shape, but it's for charity so I paid. 

One last thrifting confession. 

I went back and bought that floral print. It was only a dollar and I couldn't get it out of my head. I have a great idea for it.

I just need the temps to go down a little, so I get get out of the pool.

And dry off my hands.

How are your thrift stores? 


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82 comments:

  1. The ones in my former area were not great. There used to be three. One was in a seedy part of town that was later moved. The new location eventually could not afford the rental lot and closed down. The third was savers. A family member worked there and the pieces were good. I do not drive so I could not get out to see any other shops.

    However, we recently moved down South and there is a thrift shop everywhere. I'm not really a Diy person, more of an heirloom and antique type of person and I have at long last found some gems!

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    1. That is awesome!! I have heard that there are a lot of great shops south of the border. I may need to take a trip!! Have fun shopping. :)

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  2. I vote for staying in the pool, enjoying your summer. If the time is short and sweet, make the most of it!

    Sorry your thrift shop is such a disappointment. Get back in that pool!

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    1. Great idea, Kailani! I am happy to stay right there. :-) Thanks for the visit!

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  3. The thrift stores here (also in a soon-to-be cold climate) think everything is vintage, antique or gold. High, high prices (although occasionally we find something). Like you, I see things I've donated for higher prices than I originally paid. It's still fun to look!

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    1. It is fun to look, Betty, agreed!! Sometimes, I have to stop myself from buying back what I donated!! ;-)

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  4. I say stay in the pool too. Ahhhhh just floating with the sunshine on your face. Heaven. Stay there!!! Sorry your thrift store stinks! We have a lot around here too but it is hit or miss even when they are good shops. So hang in there you never know when something fun will pop up in your thrift store.
    Kris

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    1. You have shown some really neat trips, Kris and I am always in awe. Nothing like that in these parts! ;) Stay cool!

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  5. sorry.
    can't relate this time.
    don't shop. don't thrift.
    I see all that stuff
    as something that should and probably will wind up
    in a garage sale! :)
    just a happy cozy minimalist right to the core.
    BUT! and a very important BUT! ...
    I love coming here anyway and reading every single post.
    just because I like YOU so much! LOLOL! ♥
    and because sometimes you show that beautiful kitchen with
    the glorious red in it... and that beautiful bedroom with the simplicity I love!
    and you talk from your heart. and I like that.
    have fun staying cool in your pool dear bean!

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Tammy! I am glad you like my writing even if we don't align on the "stuff" stuff. ;-)

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  6. I use to have the most wonderful goodwill in the world. Not anymore. It is terrible, so nothing worth bringing home here either.

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    1. It really takes the wind out of my thrift shopping sails, Marty! :)

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  7. I love thrift shops. Unfortunately where I live (past 11yrs) the thrift shops are exactly as you described yours. So I go to the local antique markets that have many vendors under one roof. Even at these shops there is a lot of "junk" priced way too high. So when we travel to other states I check out their thrift stores.
    Enjoy the rest of your summer.
    Esther

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    1. Hi Ester! I have often told my husband that I would love to take a trip with the sole purpose of thrifting. He's not at all interested unless I also combine it with a fishing across the states expedition! Maybe someday!! In the meantime, I am stuck visiting my stinky shop! ;) Thanks for the visit and stay cool!

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  8. In our area we used to have maybe 7 or so great thrift stores. Unfortunately over the past 15 years we have lost most of them. And the best ones.

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    1. That's exactly the same story here. I miss them...thanks for weighing in. Glad to know it's not just in my neck of the woods.

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  9. The pool sounds inviting . . .
    I need 'cool' about now . . .
    Lake Michigan is in the high seventies so guess that will be my 'cool' for the summer!
    I haven't done much vintage shopping of late . . .
    I am always looking for white cream pitchers so I best make a trip this week.
    Stay cool . . . how about a "bathing beauty" pic!

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    1. Oh high seventies sounds delightful, Lynne…it’s above 90 here now. I always look for the pitchers, too, but never find. Marshall’s however…I have to cover my eyes when going down that aisle! ;)

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  10. Kim, you never know what you might find, so you have to keep looking. Usually, I think most of the prices are kind of high but as you say, it is for charity. I really thought you were crazy! to pass up that art piece, then you went back and got it, so now I think you are so smart again (always)!!.Have a wonderful weekend..xxo Judy

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    1. Haha!! I know, Judy. I don't know why I passed it up the first time. I mean it was a buck! I was lucky to find it there again on Monday when I went back.

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  11. Where do you live Kim? Unfortunately, here in the South, summer seems never ending. It's my least favorite season. We have a saying here: It's Summer, almost summer, late summer and Christmas. So I envy you some cooler weather.
    Back to thrift stores...well, we have plenty here, but it seems like I miss out on the fabulous finds I see other people getting. I only go occasionally though. Maybe if I was there every few days....enjoyed your post!

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    1. I'm in the northeast, Florence. It's summer, a short fall, winter, more winter and then summer again around here lately! I grew up at the beach and still live here, so I love the summer, toes in the sand, days by the pool, long walks outside. Winter is long and keeps us inside for months at a time. I know you are the queen of thrift finds. Maybe I just need a better shopping plan! ;)

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  12. We live near a church-run thrift store. I always head for the "book nook". Great bargains there. Brand new cookbooks for $1! I can put them in a basket with wooden spoons, fancy paper napkins, a box of herbal tea, some home-made cookies, etc. for nice hostess gifts or for other occasions. They also have some nice dishware, which I usually can't resist. Always a surprise in that store.

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    1. Those are the stores I remember as a kid!! I miss that kind of shop. You are a lucky lady. I am going to keep your hostess gift idea in mind for the fall. The church fairs usually have a decent rummage room and I bet I can get some cook books there! Thanks!! :)

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  13. When it's hot I vote for staying in the pool. Shopping is a good cool weather activity.
    Our thrift shops are so-so. I like the Salvation Army and the hospital thrift shops but I notice that just south of the border in Washington the thrift shops are great!

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    1. I agree with you, I think that the deals are better south of the border. I’ll stay in the pool and I hope you are enjoying the beach! :)

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  14. The thrift stores are horrid too. I go to the antique mall and find much better stuff and it's cheaper.
    Brenda

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    1. I need to find an antique mall, Brenda! :)

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  15. Kim, I love that print and cannot wait to see what you do with it! Not to brag, but my small rural town has the BEST thrift storeS--several, so you are welcome to visit any time and we'll make the rounds ;) I think it is geographical though. My daughters in CO complain about not being able to find vintage and any time I travel and visit others, I always come home convinced "there's no place, like home!" Interestingly I am about 30 minutes away from Fredericksburg which is a big tourist attraction and every time I visit one of their thrift stores I leave irritated by the prices. I can literally shop a few of their antique malls and do better!

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    1. I do think it’s geographical, Cecilia. I love your finds and can say without question that my shops do not have the same selection or price. As a matter of fact, they don’t even put the seasonal merchandise out until the beginning of a holiday month. I want to shop for Christmas in July…but nope. No luck!!

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  16. The most important thing about thrift shopping is to know when to walk away. I've had times when I really loved something but had no where to put it or use for it. I had to let it go. Hard, hard, hard to do. I've also gone back for something, like you did, but usually it is not there. Most importantly, the prices have gotten so high that I could buy it at the Dollar Store or Hobby Store new for the same price. So my shopping hasn't dropped off, but my purchases sure have.

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    1. I agree, Barbara, I can do better at the dollar stores sometimes. I can say that walking away isn't generally a problem since my selection is stinky. Now in Pottery Barn, that's a different story!! ;) Thanks for the comment!

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  17. Kim,I would have to agree with you, here in the Midwest, our town's second hand store is lacking. The merchandise isn't too inviting.
    My suggestion would be to try stores like Dollar Tree, Michael's or Jo-Ann ' s were you can find items to craft.
    Enjoy, the Summer.

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    1. Yes, I do love the bargain bins at the craft stores. I can usually find some fun stuff there. I guess I am not alone, huh, seems like thrifting is stinky everywhere!! Thanks for the visit and I hope you enjoy the summer, too! :)

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  18. I can relate Kim, our thrift stores are crap! I mean, that's what they sell! I envy people who find ironstone, great furniture to repaint or repurpose, awesome linens. Not me, I don't have any luck, that great stuff doesn't exist around here! I get very frustrated when junk shopping.

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    1. Very frustrating indeed, Rhonda! I need to find a new shop! Or a new town! ;)

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  19. It's hit and miss here, mostly hit because we are in Massachusetts and there's a LOT of history here. Translation...lots of old people who have lots of stuff. I think that's key. Having said that, I don't do much thrifting. Mostly garage sales if anything. As a matter of fact,there is one in the neighborhood in about an hour...their sign says 'let our junk become your junk'. J/k...but that would be funny!

    May I ask where you live in the northeast?

    (I'm glad you got the print. It's charming).

    xxx

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    1. Hi Doreen! I like the print, too, thanks. I have plans for the pretty. Every now and again I do get lucky, lots of history in my town too, but it’s high priced history! ;)

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  20. I know what you mean Kim, I don't always find a lot of great deals at the thrift stores. It's seem all the good ones have now raise their prices. I still love the feeling of going on the hunt though. Once in awhile I will get this feeling to go thrift shopping and when I go I hit the jackpot. LOL, Thank you for stopping by my blog. I appreciate your sweet comment. Have a great week.

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    1. It used to be great, Vanessa. I could really get a bargain. Now, unless it's clothes, which I don't buy, everything is marked up so high, it's out of my comfort zone.

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  21. The thrift stores in my area are great, especially Goodwill and Savers. Sorry you have a stinky and expensive one.

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    1. You do have great shops, Melanie. I'm always in awe of your loot! ;)

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  22. Hi Kim, I'm right with you staying in the pool. Too hot for much else outside. So crafting and pool time is getting a work out. Our thrift shops are decent but timing is everything here. Some junkin trips are better then others. Looking forward to seeing your creative idea with the pretty print!
    Have fun! xo

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    1. I think you may be right, Celestina….it’s all about the timing. I’ll keep you posted! :)
      Stay cool in your pretty pool!

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  23. Haha I love thrift store shopping. Yes my thrift store stinks too. Literally.
    Cute post.
    Lisa

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    1. Haha...yes, stinky in all ways, Lisa. Mine too!! ;) Thanks for the visit!

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  24. Hi Kim, you are smart to be in the pool with this hot weather we are having!! Yes and summer goes by so fast. That is too bad about the thrift store. How about trying yard sales? Hope you have a wonderful week. :)

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    1. Thanks Julie. I am staying cool and I did actually find a plate I like the other day. I’ll keep you posted! :)

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  25. Oh, Kim, You have my sympathies. I feel bad that you have a stinky thrift store. Within a short drive of where I live there are several second hand stores and I nearly always come home with something. We have great stores. Or maybe great donations. The town nearest the farm has a second hand store and one that has more estate sale type items. I have found some great pieces at the estate sale place. Most of their donations come from metropolitan areas. The larger town that is about 40 minutes away has a great Goodwill. There is another great Goodwill about 65 minutes away and a large town about 90 minutes away has 4 or 5 places that we try to hit when we are in the area. I spend most of my time in the housewares looking at dishes and glassware. And table linens. I have to say that there is some junk and cheaper pieces but also some some great stuff marked well below their value. My sister and I shop together and have similar taste. We buy a lot of silver and brass, she likes richly colored dishes and I like old china patterns and new or old white ceramic and ironstone. We shop for hobnail for my daughter. Speaking of hobnail, somewhere I saw (pinterest maybe?) where someone was making their own hobnail but attaching dabs of hot glue onto a plain vase in a hobnail pattern and then painted it white. I thought of you my crafty friend.

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    1. You are a lucky, lucky thrifter, Lorri! I think that some of it may be geographical. I often look when we travel, but the family isn't always into it. I think I need to take a girlfriend thrifting trek across the country. How fun would that be? Speaking of hobnail, I did see a vase in my shop the other day. Overpriced as expected. The glue gun sounds like a neat idea. Hmmm. Off to check that one out!! :) Thanks! You always share the best ideas with me!!

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  26. I'm so sorry you have a stinky thrift store and I am so jealous you have a pool!! It is just too hot for NY state, isn't it? I don't live in the South for this reason! Anyways, my favorite thrift store closed so now most of them are stinky around here too. Or overpriced. Way overpriced. I depend on garage sales, flea markets and barn sales now and try to stock up for the cold weather when they will all stop. The life of a thrifter can be hard sometimes :-)

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    1. Too hot, for sure, AnnMarie! Garage sales are becoming a rarity around here, too. They are mostly filled with Little Tykes and stuffed animals. If people are selling good stuff, it’s now called an Estate Sale and then the prices are high again. Grrr. You’re right. thrifting is not easy anymore! :)

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  27. Hi,
    I did go to a Homestead Estate Sale on Thursday. I found a cup made in Czech Republic with blue forget me not flowers. I am with blue, like you are with red. So I did get it for $2.00. :-)
    Carla

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    1. I popped by to peek at it, Carla! It's darling and a steal. Enjoy it! :)

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  28. Hey, Kim. While it sounds like we've both had similar weather troubles lately, I, on the other hand, have been having LOTS OF LUCK in every thrift store I've hit! Even the more expensive one around here. I've decided I have to stop ... at least until I start clearing out some of the pieces I already have too many of! I LOVE that picture you found. Glorius colors.

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    1. Lucky you, Cheryl…and you may be right, finding things might be a bigger problem! It would certainly be a more expensive one!! ;) Stay cool!

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  29. i just adore your cute stories, Kim! i pretty much feel the same about thrift stores around here. Our town, while not small, is mostly new, and the most popular thrifting place is Goodwill. They, too, are quite new buildings, so they are pleasant to browse in but not the best for finding real treasures. I've gone to a few thrift store-antique store places in other (older) parts of Phoenix, but they tend to be a bit pricey. This dilemma suits my hubby just find...according to him we have enough "old" stuff around here. I'm sure he must be referencing himself and not me! Anyway, happy thrifting and have fun making "stuff!"

    Carol

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    1. Haha!! Of course, we’re not old, not us, Carol. ;) And thank you!

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  30. Thrift stores just don't excite me. I wish they did!

    The odd assortment and the odd smell always gets to me. On the other hand, I'm jealous of the amazing finds that other people come home with. I'll live vicariously! Can't wait to see what you're up to.

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    1. Yeah, the smell is not my favorite either. I never buy clothes or linens. It’s my pet peeve.

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  31. We have a mission store in two locations close to me and I've learned to go there first for something...for instance if I have to replace a saute skillet, I'll look there first. I bought all the sheets and things to make a rug there a few years ago. I have found pretty little treasures there and a priceless flower garden quilt...usually on the last day of the month they go to 50% off and that's when I went in for the quilt.

    It benefits our City Mission so it's nice to know that the money is going to a worthy cause. I haven't been there for ages though, come to think of it :)

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    1. It's wonderful that you can actually look for specific items...and they're 50% off? That sounds great.

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  32. Dear Kim ... we don't find much in the thrift shops here. We do better with the antique shops and at the antique malls. On our little out and about days, we seem to find flea markets and antique shops that we find a few treasures to bring home with us. Hugs ♥ Teri

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    1. Sounds like fun, Teri. We don't really have antique malls around here. I need to take a trip, I think! ;)

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  33. I agree. GoodWill has become really greedy. Anything worth anything is on their website for top dollar. I use to find interesting dishes in the past but not today. One piece may be in the local store and another piece could go to another area. Another thrift shop has hardly any customers and too expensive. Another thing I see is people with second hand shops buying up dishes and home dec and these stores saving items for them.
    Kinda defeats the purpose. Disappointing.
    Myrna

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    1. It is disappointing Myrna. Takes the fun out it...

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  34. Sorry. I forgot to comment on the thrift store smell. They use a disinfectant spray when the truck comes in. Sickening smell.
    Myrna

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  35. We have some great thrift stores in our new town. Not as good as in Illinois, but still good. You need to come visit me so we can go thrifting. ;)

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    1. Sounds like fun, Kristi...someday for sure!! :)

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  36. Our thrift stores aren't that great either. I've never found the dazzling items other bloggers come across when bargain hunting. I'd stay in the pool too! Enjoy it as long as you can before cooler temps hit. :)

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    1. Only if I get to come along and chaperone my piano. I couldn't add that much to the freight? Could I?? ;)

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  37. Our thrift store is only open like ONE day per week, it seems, so I never go in there. However, there's an antique mall next to it that I have found some great glassware at, when they have a good sale. I try and tell myself I don't need anything, I don't want to stuff my house. Really, I should be going through my house and getting RID of stuff!!! But, I always end up holding on to it....waiting for the day the girls move out and need stuff for their new homes. Love that print - the colors are beautiful!!

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    1. Thanks Deb! I can't wait to get crafty with it!!

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  38. Hi Kim,
    Well, I will tell you this, I just don't have an eye for Thrift Store finds. I try over and over again and I seem to become overwhelmed.
    You certainly have the right idea for staying in the pool and loving the outdoors, that is exactly what Summer is all about!

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    1. Haha!! I'm with you Jemma, I think I'll sit it out until fall and hope things change up a bit...

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  39. Doesn't like a good thrift store at all! Hope you are having a great week ♥

    summerdaisy.net

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  40. Its been so hot I want to jump in our pond but fear I'd be electrocuted with the waterfall running :-{... I was going to send you back to the thrift store to pick up that print for me...glad to see you found a spot for it. We have some good thrift store around here...

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    1. Lucky lady, a good thrift store is hard to find...and yes, stay out of the electrified pond!!

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  41. Intriguing post Kim. It's interesting to see the items that caught your eye. I rarely visit the local thrift store in town but when I do - I usually find something if not for myself than definitely for my daughter. She is picking out things for herself now - age 4 and it is always interesting to me to see what that is. Enjoy your summer! Your days sound beautiful.

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    1. Four is a fun age...I bet you come home with some real "treasures"!! Enjoy her...and your shopping trips!

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