Truly my favorite event of the year in the Austin area!
A couple years ago a colleague invited me to attend the Austin Settlement Home for Children's Annual Garage Sale. I had such a wonderful time looking at, and finding, many great treasures for very little money.
This year was no different. Despite arriving a couple hours later than planned, I still managed to find some really great pieces.
Upon entering the cavernous event center, I took the first right which landed me in the sports department. A couple years ago I found a great old pair of ice skates and some thick, wool socks that I use for a holiday display. I figured it was worth my time and effort to at least do a quick walk through. I'm so glad I did, as I found this great pair of vintage thermoses!
As an avid collector it's always such a thrill to find some I don't already have, particularly when they're in such great condition..and at an incredible price!
The red one cost a whopping $1, and the green $5.00. What a steal!
As I headed over to the office supplies I had to pass through the furniture department. There were some really spectacular pieces, but I was only on the lookout for an inexpensive, simple wooden chair to use for a Veteran's Day white table display. This darling, white, bentwood chair caught my eye. Not wanting to carry it around with me while I shopped the rest of the event center, I decided to let it go.
I finally made my way over to the office supplies. I was really hoping to find some vintage office tools - stapler, hole punch, tape dispenser, Rolodex - but there was nothing of interest. However in the housewares/trinkets aisle right next door I found this set of 4, silver plated coasters. Recently I've been taking a glass of water to bed with me, and many times have thought to myself, "You know, I really should keep my eye out for some coasters."
And so, when I stumbled upon this darling little silver plated set, I snatched 'em up for a measly $3.
Having no luck in the hardware, housewares, clothing, nor toys departments, I headed over to the antiques. Typically I only look through this section. I do not pay antique store prices for the stuff I buy. I'm a junker not a antiques buyer.
I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find this great vintage, American kitchen scale priced very reasonably and happily turned over my $12.
As I was waiting for my scale to be wrapped and bagged, I spied this gorgeous, crystal, brandy decanter. It was exactly what I'd been looking for. I often find decanters at the thrift stores I frequent, but usually they are just cut glass and rarely crystal. As I was debating whether or not to buy the decanter, an announcement was made that prices over in the furniture department were being slashed! Nothing like the sound of slashing prices to get my attention!
The little white, bentwood chair came to mind. I politely asked the sales woman to hold the decanter for just a minute while I headed over to the furniture.
While the furniture department salesperson was finishing up with another customer, I began planning my bargaining strategy. I'd decided I'd offer $7. Before I could even present my offer, the saleslady said, "I'll give it to you for half price. Does $5 sound fair?"
My response, "Yes, yes it does. I'll take it!"
Now with my amazing $5 chair hanging from the crook in my arm, the bags with my other purchases in hand, I clambered back over to the antiques department to finalize my decision on the crystal decanter. I approached the counter from a different angle this time, and wouldn't you know I caught a glimpse of a military box sitting quietly under a table. I've been mildly obsessed with military memorabilia recently, as I've been preparing my students for an upcoming Veteran's Day celebration at school, and this box, like a sniper, had a bead directly on me!
I set my packages down, and gently pulled the box out from beneath it's cover. It was just a large wooden, military storage box, but I immediately saw potential for a re-purpose project.
I secured the purchases for both the military box and the crystal decanter, and then headed to the checkout line.
When junking, one must know when to call it.
I had found so much more than I expected, I was thrilled with my purchases, and I still had a little cash in my pocket!
All photographs taken by Paulette Rodriguez.