Monday, June 20, 2011

Yard Sale Treasures1

  This weekend I went out to my first yard sales on Salt Spring Island, on a delightfully guided tour with my friend, Amy Melious. I haven't done much yard saleing since my sons were small. Maybe because we've been building houses, and traveling, so hardly ever had anywhere to store anything and items brought into the space had to be carefully considered.
I don't go out looking for anything in particular, but found a wonderful array of goodies for wool craft and my new studio space.
 Yummy Peace Fleece yarns. I love their wool, their company and their philosophy. The seller also had three skeins of black, but I just knew I would never use it myself, so I left it for someone else to treasure.
2 x 100grams for $2.00
 Hand dyed Merino soft...I like to collect bits and pieces. They may be knit or crocheted as they are,  felted into pieces, or used in classes.
2 x 100grams for $3.00
 More merino...Hard to resist. This is one of those cabled yarns. I quite like the texture they give. I imagine I'll over dye this.
10 (yes! 10 balls..all in one colour!) x 50 gram balls for $3.00
 Cotton damask tablecloth. I recently saw some of this Eco- Printed and over dyed which brings up the damask designs. Very excited to play with this!
 Two balls of crochet cotton. There was a whole box of it...all going for $3.00. Maybe about 20 balls. But I just don't need that much. In fact, I don't really need any of it. I bought this for one of my sons who seems to always be asking me if I have any string for his various projects. So now he does!
(Oops...thinking...thinking.....I could use some of this for the stitching on my storytelling felt pieces. The cotton would integrate in an interesting way, and I love that it already has a history with someone else. it has already been on a journey. Now I'll have to ask my son if I can use some of his string!)
2 full balls for $0.50 (The seller only wanted a quarter, but I felt like I needed to give her a little more!)
 I pick up scarves second hand wherever I can. I like to cut them up and felt them into different projects. As well as being an inexpensive source of silk, velvet and cottons, it also adds to the provenance of apiece I think. I don't know where it has been worn to, seen at, given comfort during, shielded against, caressed, but each imagined story adds to the finished work.
Velvet, silk and cotton scarves for $1.50 (for all three)
 Mmmm....this is an interesting collection....A cone of super bulky alpaca, and two hand dyed balls ...more merino from the feel of it. It's very fine. Added to the playbox...
3 balls for $1.50

  What a fabulous box of fun! A great big box of basket making supplies. Cane and reed in different sizes, plus a few half finished treasures. I like these projects started by someone else. I love to sit back and look at/appreciate their work, and then add my own touch to it, in completing it. Either holding to it's original form or changing it completely. Basket making is something I like to do on the edges of  my creative space. It is not really my thing, but I find it balances out all the wool sometimes. (And gives me great vessels for storing it all!)
Big box for $10.00
A great mirror for my new, soon to be studio/shop space....I like the rounded edges and simplicity of the design...and the price! Woohoo!
Mirror for $0.50
Two really big bamboo blinds for felting surfaces.  I used bamboo blinds for felting for years, then switched to solar pool covers. But I couldn't pass these up. I think both types of surfaces have their applications, and these will be great for workshops and large projects.
2 x bamboo blinds for $5.00
I love old wooden windows. They are not great for insulation, but really no window is, and these have such character. These will be incorporated into the new studio space. They'll be a little tricky to frame in (but I know Graham will manage it!). What a great shape. I might put them on either side of a glass door....or right next to one another like they are in the photo...Today I'm working on the floor plan for the studio space, so I'll figure out where they belong...
2 x old wooden windows for $25.00

And last of all- two fig trees. We have a thing about fig trees. It reminds us of our time in Australia. Such a wonderful time in the tropics, camping for almost a year with our three boys. We had two fig trees back east that we gave to some dear friends to foster while we went traveling in 2008. They still happily thrive with one another (the people and the fig trees!) in the months of preparing to move, and solidifying our decision, we kept saying to each other- if we move to Salt Spring Island, we can have fig trees-outdoors...And here we are, on salt spring, on our own land, and acquired at our last yard sale stop for the day- 2 fig trees....Yard sale goodness! For $3.00 each
Total spending for the day: moderate- $58.75 (the windows kind of throw the budget a little!)
Happiness quotient: high!
Warm wishes,


  1. Wow, really made out like a bandit!! I like how thoughtfully you chose each purchase...and I relate to how you feel about using/finishing things that other hands have touched/started.
    I feel the same way about hand-stitched they connect us to our fore-mothers or fore-grandmothers in an intimate way. XXO-

  2. Hi Heather!
    It was so much fun! I saw a beautiful piece of half stitched linen...I considered and considered, but it just didn't jump out at I left it...I do get that feeling of connectedness to past generations- everytime I dye with plant dyes, wild harvested or from the garden, I feel an ancient good...

  3. Hello! I cannot seem to find an email link to send you a note, so I am leaving my note here in your comments...

    Thank you so much for visiting me over at my blog we bloom here and leaving kind comments about my felt birds & wish-babies. As an admirer of your work (beautifully highlighted in Living Craft) I esp. appreciate your words...