For as long as I can remember, my Mom has been getting us up early Saturday mornings to go yard/garage/tag/estate saling. In Fresno it was big. When I was five it was sort of boring. When I was 10 it meant spending all of my allowance to get that pink My Little Pony with the ratty tail from the last five year old who loved it. When I was 16 it meant I had to drive while my mom navigated and hopped out of the car first. I got good at making illegal u-turns and waaaay too wide, brake-squealing turns so as not to miss what was surely the best sale EVER. When I was 18 it meant being excited to get up early to try and find the best stuff to outfit my dorm room. I started to get excited at the prospect of snagging something at a bargain price, putting a little elbow grease into a shabby table to make it perfectly cute, finding vintage bottles and jars and sewing notions. Eventually I started waking my mom up.
In middle school I can remember being so embarrassed at the thought of my “friends” finding out we shopped at yardsales or thrift shops, or God forbid, ROSS. It was uncool to take a hand-me-down. Everything had to be brand new, from the Limited, from the Gap, and ohemgee am I glad that’s over and done with. BLEH. Now, when I find something second-hand and fix it up, I’m praised for being “crafty.” And let’s face it, it’s not used, it’s vintage, right? Riiiiight… And that makes it all okay. Shabby is in. Saving money is in. Being crafty is in.
And it’s a good thing, too, because that’s just how I roll.
Don’t get me wrong, I like new things too. The Pottery Barn catalog is like crack to me, but I can’t fathom actually paying for it. Not when I can find a close match that is cheaper, has its own personality, that I can fix up myself. I feel so much more satisfied knowing that the vast majority of the items in my house were added piece by piece, over time, affordably, with a unique spin of my own to them. I hate walking into a house and feeling like I’ve just walked into page 32 in some catalog. It may look okay, but you just don’t get the same feeling of home.
And lucky for me, I have not only my own mama - who is constantly finding awesome things for me, and helping me sand/scrape/paint and arrange and rearrange 8,472 times until it looks just right – I also have my surrogate Vacaville Mom, Terri, who gives me the heads up when she finds things she thinks I’ll like.
Like this hutch.
Yes, $35. I know, right? Good thing I had the truck that day. I’ll never forget bringing it home and Eric shaking his head, and dragging it to the shed. And it sat there for a while. To be honest, it sat there for probably five months until my mom finally motivated me to paint it. And let me tell you, that thing is bigger than it looks.
It took two days and lots of help from Mom, but the final result is so great. I love it! I'm not quite finished filling it up, though. I keep going back and forth between storing pretty dishes in it that will never get used, and storing pretty decor/albums/display pieces. And I left the doors off of the bottom so that I can add the perfect baskets to the shelves. Now I just have to find those damned baskets...
Foam Brushes/Rollers: $10
Not having to nag the hubs to buy a brand new shabby hutch: Priceless.