About six years ago I discovered a delightful activity that is fun, rewarding and relatively inexpensive. The activity is thrift-store shopping.
I am absolutely ecstatic about some of my "finds." Two of my favorites are 11 panels of lace curtains that originally came from J.C. Penney's. I had been looking at these very same curtains with a rose pattern in the catalog for a long time, wishing that I could afford to buy them. The curtains would have cost $300. I purchased the curtains for $25 and they look fabulous in my living room.
Another favorite purchase is a counted cross-stitch picture of a pink rose that is 22 inches by 16 inches that cost me $25 and is beautiful. It sits between two solid brass sconces that I bought at the same thrift store for $5 for both.
I have found furniture, clothing, sconces, pictures, shelves, bedding, tablecloths and many more beautiful items. I even bought an Ethan Allen table for $10 that matches my living room furniture to a "tree." Every single room of our home is decorated with items from thrift stores. I joke with friends that if it has pink roses, hearts or the color blue, it will probably get purchased by me.
My physical therapist told me I need a walker with wheels for my severe arthritis in my knees. I found one for $6. The identical walker at a pharmacy was $129.
I feel incredibly fortunate that I have found so many beautiful things that fit perfectly with my décor of our home. Several friends who have come through my home have suggested that I write a book about thrift-store shopping. I try to go shopping at least once a week. The things that I have mentioned here are just the tip of the iceberg of the great things I have found.
All of the thrift stores that I frequent go to support nonprofit organizations or do great things for the community. My most favorite thrift store is the Assistance League of Bellingham. This is an all-volunteer store. The items that are sold are all donated. The money goes to purchase clothing for school kids, more than 1,000 a year, provide clothing to hospitals for rape and accident victims, to WomenCare shelter, nursing homes and $40,000 in scholarships. It is located on Cornwall Avenue near Chase Bank.
Another favorite thrift store is For the Love of Hospice. This store supports Whatcom Hospice. I have some great counted cross-stitch pictures from this one and some great movies and magazine holder. It is located on North State Street next door to Pepper Sisters restaurant.
There is another one on State Street called Wise Buys that supports Lydia Place. I have beautiful wooden candelabra with a heart cut out of it from there, and a beautiful container with roses and gold trim.
Another great thrift store is located on Axton Road in Ferndale. It supports the Christian Frontier campground for youth. I found a beautiful solid maple shelf for $7.98 that hangs in my living room, a pole lamp for $5.69, and a chair that is identical to our wooden chairs around our dining table in our family room. I have a sconce and clothing and shoes from there, also.
The Crossroads Thrift Store near Cost Cutter off Cordata Parkway is a great place to find things, as well. They support several nonprofit organizations. They have furniture, clothing, knickknacks, lamps, movies, and more. I found a blue glass lamp with hearts that I really like from there.
The Habitat for Humanity store on Pacific Highway has a little bit of everything, except clothing. I have some great curtains from there and other knickknack stuff like vases with roses. I also have a beautiful lamp with pink roses in my living room that fits in perfectly with my décor.
I highly recommend thrift-store shopping because you never know what you are going to find and the prices are excellent and it is so much fun.
ABOUT WINDOW ON MY WORLD
Window On My World is an occasional essay in Monday's Bellingham Herald that allows Whatcom County residents to share their passion for what they do, an idea or cause they support. Send your Window On My World, which must be no more than 700 words, to Julie.email@example.com.
Kathy Chasteen of Bellingham started the Community Wide Garage Sale in 1988 when she was director of the Ferndale Chamber of Commerce.