Friday, April 23, 2010

My Great Adventure...And How I Did It! Plus, a little guessing game!

A while back I told you all I was planning a little adventure. Well, I did it!

Most of us like to treat ourselves every now and then. Whatever the reason may be...finish a big project, hit a milestone, have a major accomplishment...we're ALL entitled to these little rewards. Some may treat themselves to a day at the mall. Others, an afternoon at the spa. And even others to exotic trips. Well, I decided to treat myself to a day of shopping!

Now this was no ordinary day of shopping! I decided to go after a record; and needless to say, I definitely broke my own record. I thought about calling Guinness, but I didn't want them hoarding in on MY day! LOL! I'm SURE I may have broken a world record here, though! I mean...who else would even ATTEMPT to accomplish what I did on Wednesday! In less than 8 hours...7 hours and 47 minutes, to be exact...I hit
I had been planning this little excursion for weeks now, mapping out all the stores and making sure I had the best route possible. We live within the metropolitan area of Seattle. Here, we have town after town after town, all running into each other. Each town has at least one Goodwill and some towns have at least two or three other thrift shops, as well. And believe me...I know where each and every one of those stores is! I only needed a twenty mile radius of my home to hit the 21!

I started by getting up bright and early. So when the alarm went off at er, um, 9:15 AM, I jumped out of bed eager to start my day! I decided to treat myself to breakfast first! I knew I would need a hearty breakfast for all the energy I would need that day. So, stopping at one of my favorite donut shops, I grabbed a cup of coffee and two maple bars. I saved one for later, for that afternoon "pick me up" I was sure I would need! And I was on my way! I was at the first store when their doors opened at 10 AM. In and out in 10 minutes flat with nothing in tow. Not a good start to my day! But when I walked in to the next store, I immediately saw this red pip berry wreath. I needed these SO bad for my Americana gatherings I'm working on! I found the orange pip berry wreath later in the day.

After I hit the three thrift stores in my town, I set sail for Bellevue, the town north of me. I was amazed at how the traffic lights were turning green for me and the roads seem to "open up" when I needed to pull out into traffic. I knew I had divine intervention on my side! I hit two more there and then headed west on I-90 towards Seattle. My next stop was on Mercer Island. Now, this is NOT your ordinary island. Homes here START at the million dollar range, and those aren't even the ones on the water! When I first discovered this shop, I was surprised to see a THRIFT store on THIS island. But then, rich people have to have someplace to donate their junk, too! I don't usually find much here, as their high dollar junk is not quite the kind of stuff I look for when making my primitives! However, I got lucky and found this wonderful rusty tin milk can there for $2. I can't wait to make a sunflower gathering in it!

From there, I headed to Seattle. As I drove across the I-90 floating bridge, I could feel my heart racing and my palms getting clammy. And it wasn't because I was driving over a bridge that literally FLOATS on the water! No...I knew where I was headed next! It was the MEGA store of Goodwills....the Goodwill to outdo ALL Goodwills! The granddaddy of them all! Why, you could fit at least three, maybe even four, regular size Goodwills in this one store alone! My brain was racing! I needed a plan or I knew I wouldn't be able to meet my goal. Up till now, my pace had been quick. I know what I am looking for when I hit the thrift stores. And I only shop certain sections. Up to this point, I was in and out of each store in 10 minutes or less. I couldn't let my guard down.

I drove up into the parking lot, and low and behold, they KNEW I was coming! For right there, at the front of the a parking lot I ALWAYS have to hunt a spot for.....right THERE was a parking spot...just for ME! I went in and stopped at the collectibles section first. I hardly ever buy anything from this section, but for some reason I decided to walk in. And today I got lucky and found a set of four plates and a platter of the dishes I collect. These are old plates from the Blue Ridge collection. I collect the apple, crab apple and cherry patterns. I got the five pieces for $15!

You can see some of the dishes I already have in the photo below. I was thrilled to find these!

I ran those back to the car and went back in. I walked quickly through the huge first section, which was filled with clothing alone, and headed to the back room...a warehouse of a room, filled with everything else. As I walked down isle after isle of various housewares, I could feel my pace start to slow down. It was a lost way could I go through this store at a quick pace. I found a few goodies and was out the door.

I see a couple of Americana gatherings and a couple of decorated candle sticks in the making with these above!

Think this might be a table cloth, but loved the print and will be using it for some of my Christmas creations!

I knew the hardest part of my day was over. But I still had 14 shops to hit and lots of miles still to cover. I trekked on and stopped at Goodwills, Salvation Armys, Value Villages, St. Vincent DePauls and a Deseret Industry. And at the end of the day I had driven 95 miles and hit 21 thrift stores! And I still managed to finish with two hours to spare. I was home in time to have dinner with my family!

Needless to say, I was quite tired! I had only spent around $75 dollars, but I had found some great items to use in my creations. I won't be doing this again any time soon, although I quite often do a "thrifting day" with about half the number of stores. Here's just a few more of the things I bought. I also bought a nice cutter quilt, but it's in the washer at the moment!

I LOVE this piece above and plan to save it for a Christmas gathering. I was so excited when I found not one, but TWO off round wood bowls. They just need a little cleaning up.

I'm always looking for enamelware and was so excited to find the sugar dish and two beat up bowls below. I see gatherings in the future for all three of these!

So, I'm almost done organizing my new craft room. I just have a few bins to put away, curtains to hang and a couple of piles of fabric to put away. I'll be back to show you THAT accomplishment later.

And now..................for the fun part! I do quite a bit of thrifting, and one thing I've noticed is the large number of wood knife blocks I see at every store I visit! I mean, NO ONE should EVER buy a brand new knife block. Just walk into to any thrift store and you'll have your pick of all sizes, shapes and designs. So I decided to count the number of knife blocks in each of the 21 stores I would visit. My first task when I got back into the car was to write down the number I had counted in that store. Sooooooooooooo.......if anyone can guess the number of wood knife blocks I saw on my thrifting adventure on Wednesday, you will win a prize. won't be a knife block! But it WILL be one of my little creations! So start guessing. First correct answer wins (one guess per person, please). After three days, if no one guesses the correct number, the person coming closest without going over will win! Here's a couple of hints....out of the 21 stores, there were only two stores in which I didn't see a single block. And in the MEGA Goodwill store I get this....I counted 40 wood knife blocks! So there's your hints. Start guessing!

Hope you enjoyed going along with me on my thrift store adventure. Wish I could have taken you along physically! It's always more fun when you bring a friend along!


  1. Oh that would have been a blast to go with you...Next time give me a heads we can meet up..okay here is my guess for how many wood blocks you found..230...;) have a great weekend..;)you got some pretty cool stuff..;)

  2. Sounds like you had a blast Annie. Can't believe you saw so many wook knife blocks. Too bad you couldn't work with those. My guess is 79.

  3. How fun! I know that feeling of the adrenaline rush - it's intoxicating when you score at the thrift store! I can't imagine hitting so many in one day!
    Hmmm, as fas as knife blocks - my guess will be 90.


  4. Sounds like you had a great time and found some sweet goodies. Okay, my guess on knife blocks is 98. Have a great weekend, Dawn

  5. Oh what fun! Love all your great finds too! My guess would be 89..:)

  6. Annie, sounds like a wonderful day and looks like you found some good items. My guess on the knife blocks in 122....

  7. got some awesome finds....wish I could find thing like that around my guess is 114

  8. What a great day you planned for yourself! I don't have near that many TS in my area :( and what great finds too!
    Enjoyed the trip even if it was just by reading along.
    My guess is 87
    Have a great weekend~

  9. Woo-Hoo girlie!! Sounds like a FUN filled day, my palms were sweatin' just reading about your great adventure! I would love to visit that *Grandaddy Goodwill* LOL! Ok, for the knife blocks, Hmmm.. I'm gonna guess....110!

  10. Sounds like a fun "thrifting" day -- wish I could have gone with you, too. My guess is 69.

  11. You found some great stuff on your day trip! I really need to figure out where thrift stores are around here, but garage sale season is almost upon us too, can't wait!

    I'm really surprised at the knife blocks! I will guess... 77. :)

    Have a great day!

  12. wow,sounds like you had a busy and profitable day.lucky you!!

  13. Annie, Even though I'm in Colorado, and couldn't be with you to go on this wonderful adventure; I felt I WAS there just reading about it. Why, or why did I have to move away?!! Hugs, Kristine

    P.S. I guess 135 on the knife blocks. :-)

  14. Sounds like my kind of "vacation"! LOL!! My guess is 73.

  15. What a fun day of thrifting you had!! I wish we had that many thrift shops around here.
    My guess on the wood knife blocks is 86. Can't wait to hear how many there was!!

  16. sounds like a fun day, 21 shops! wow..I don't think there are that many here at all.....but we are in a small area...
    my guess is 134...



  18. Sounds like a great day but I would need my trusty hubby to help. He knows what i look for and he loads my purchases--LOL
    great stuff----I guess 71 knife blocks and I don't have even 1. I use the sheaths they came in.....

  19. Such a fun post to read. My guess is 71. I see them a lot around here too.

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  21. As I was trying to keep up, I could feel the excitement in the air!!! What fun! Thanks for taking us along on the hunt! My
    guess is 59...

    Bear Hugs~Karen

  22. What a day you had!!!! Great finds. Can't wait to see what you are going to do with them!!!
    I can't believe that one store had that many. I just saw one on Fri. and I don't think I ever saw them in this store before. My guess: 119.
    Lois L.

  23. Hmmmm, knife blocks, hmmm...131?

    You really must have nerves of steel to drive all around that area. We had big ol' scared eyes when we had to drive thru Seattle. And that crazy floating bridge -- ha, sinking deathtrap is more like sure got some wonderful item, tho...

  24. What a great and exhausting day of thrifting!! :)

    My guess is 215

  25. Well.I never had a knife block and my guess would be that no one that had one really liked it (even if it was a gift from an in-law) they got rid of it..I made my own out of pottery and my guess is 97....If I win I will tell you how I came up with that number :)

  26. Oh Annie, what a fun day thrifting!! You got so many great things too.
    I'm going to guess that you counted 67 knife blocks. It's probably quite low but it's the first number that came to my mind and that is the year I was born so I'm sticking with it.
    What a fun thing to do! You amaze me. :)
    Hugs & blessings to you~ Birgit


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