front porch trash

front porch trash

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I'm a big fan of homemade cleaning supplies.Our grandparents didn't have individually packaged dish washing detergent or two grocery shelves of laundry stuff just to prepare their laundry to be washed. Or fabric softener to make their laundry smell good. They had just the basics cleaning supplies and fresh air.

I have a basic list of cleaning supplies that I use and I haven't bought laundry soap in 3 or 4 years now. I don't use fabric softener and balk at paying the high prices for cleaning supplies.

So, on my internet search I found a homemade recipe for a laundry stain remover, similar to Shout.
The recipe is very simple with only 3 ingredients, plus water. I made some several weeks ago and have been using it on soiled collars, spots and just dirty areas. Works great and now I am ready to share. I don't like to pass out recipes without testing first.

Here is what you will need:

2 cups hot water
6 Tbs baking soda
2/3 cup Dawn dish detergent
2/3 cup household ammonia

That's all. Here is what I did.
Heat your water to very hot. Add the baking soda.
Not really boiling, but it helps the baking soda dissolve better. 
Add 2/3 cup Dawn and 2/3 cup ammonia.
Done, well except for the shaking once you get it in the bottle.
This recipe makes about 24 ozs., just enough to fill an empty Dawn bottle!

I keep a small brush on the washer, next to the bottle of treatment and squirt it on and then rub it in with the little brush. This is what I made today.

The original recipe calls for a spray bottle, but I found that it's too thick to spray well. The baking soda doesn't dissolve very well and I put mine in a recycled Dawn bottle so that I could shake it and keep it mixed. Every time I do a load of clothes I give the bottle a shake. That little shake keeps the baking soda from clumping too much in the bottom.
What? You don't do laundry every day? Just shake when you do.

If you just want to try this recipe do what I did and cut the recipe in half. Dawn is expensive but the grease cutting stuff in it helps with the stain.

One more weapon in my battle with store bought stuff we don't need when we can make our own.

Friday, September 28, 2012


I have lots of stuff.

I don't need more stuff.

And yet, here I have another pile of stuff.

I have been really good about listing my stuff this past week. Over on ebug we have had a challenge to Strive for Five. List five things every day. I have been able to do that and several days I listed more than five. I had boots, shoes and Halloween stuff that needed to be listed and those days I listed more than 5. It hasn't really helped with sales for the most part. (One day I sold a pair of Sanita clog boots and now I get an email that they are too big and she wants to return. Have you ever worn clogs before? They are supposed to be loose.)

With that being said, I went shopping again on Thursday.

I have found that Thursday is the day that my favorite thrift cleans out the racks. Last week was a bust. Not much new stuff. Everything was picked over and some plain junk. I only managed to spend about $5 in the 4/$1 bins. That's like nothing for me. It could have been because they are opening another store across town.

This week was much better. You could tell that the bins had new stuff laying on top. Bingo!! So of course I went crazy and spent $14!! Five of that was for a bag of FP Little People Castle figures and furniture. That was a good deal!  I'll get my money back for my entire shopping trip from that little $5 bag.

Well, here is my pile before I sorted to get the laundry going.
In there are about 5 wool sweaters, 6 new t shirts, cotton pj's, a vintage sheet, several women's silk blouses and men's shirts.

Also went to an area church run thrift that is really big. They have a lot of different churches involved in this thrift and it is always really clean and well organized. I usually find stitchery kits or charts but today they didn't have any complete kits. Just a bunch of bags of odds and ends. But in the fabrics they did have these:
Those are Daisy Kingdom fabric panels of Raggedy Ann and Andy and also fabric panels of clothes for the dolls. These have a great sell thru rate. They only had one panel of the dolls but several of the clothing panels, $1 each. Also had a few other seasonal applique panels that I picked up(50 & 75c). Picked up two cashmere sweaters, $3 each and 3 good skirts(one suede) for $3 each. Their prices are just a bit above 25c, but the quality is really good and almost all of their things are inspected and are really clean.

Also found this in the toys. Like I need more toys. It is from 1992, so not vintage, but all the pieces are there($1). The 7 and the Princess. And you get the thrill of setting up a 3D game.(yeah?)

So, hope your thrifting was good this week.
Now forward to laundry, photos, editing and listing.
The fun stuff is over. Now down to work, Ugh!!

Friday, September 21, 2012


I knew I shouldn't have promised myself.

It never turns out pretty.

Yesterday was inventory acquisition day and I passed by the mugs twice without stopping and then I saw this...

 How could I pass up this much Cattitude? Two pink mugs and two green mugs, why that is a set of mugs. And it made it much better that the original sticker was still on the mugs. Of course the zealous TS clerk made sure to put the price right on top of the bar code. Huesnbrews is the name of the mugs and they are kinda pricy. The teapot goes from $25-40 and the tea for one goes for $20+. An ivory mug recently sold on Bonanza for $18, one gently used mug.

I hope I can forgive myself for my transgression.

I also got a Dilbert and a Sandra Boynton mug for free at my favorite thrift. Nothing wrong with them so I haven't a clue why they were in the free box. But they are mine all mine.....

See the tea cup on the front left. It is Pillivuyt French porcelain and new. That was acquired on my recent Atlanta trip. The thing on the left of the cup is an infusion basket and lid for the cup so you can use tea leaves or herbs. I haven't found one online yet so I don't know what it will go for. I sold some luncheon plates in a similar patter of Pillivuyt this year for $25 each so I know I can get a good price.

Well so much for my resolution to not buy any mugs.

I think I shall kick myself all the way to the bank, hopefully.

Monday, September 17, 2012


I have one and I'm sure you do also.

If you are an ebay or bonanza or etsy seller or a seller at any other online site I bet you have a reject pile.
You know, the stuff that looked good in the thrift store but when you got it home it looked less than perfect.

I try not to let my pile get too big but sometimes I'm just not paying attention and pick up something that I really shouldn't. 

I thought about saving all of my stuff for a yard sale. But it is more fun to GO to a yard sale than HAVE one. So I had that thought for about 3.5 seconds. I usually end up taking the stuff back to the thrift store. I don't always take it back to the same thrift store I purchased from, just to make it interesting. This latest batch is from my thrifting trip to Atlanta and on the way home.

This really isn't all of the stuff that I have rejected once I got it home, just the latest. I currently have in the back of my van about 3 boxes and 2 bags of stuff and also a very rusty trunk that needs to go to some where else.  I have an excuse for buying everything, really.

The purse I picked up because I liked it. I didn't see that it said Kate Spade on the tag. Kate Spade would not have made it to the bargain center or have been overlooked by the two "ladies" who grabbed all of the purses that even appeared to be good. Bad move. The beige shoes were picked up in the bargain center as well for two reasons. They were a size 10 and I didn't recognize the brand. When it came time to sort through everything I was tired and just let them go on the scale. When I hauled them home I found they were vinyl, not leather, and not in good shape. Bad move. The cute little rain boots I did examine. They were fine, just dirty so they came home with me. They got squished in the bag with all of the tennis shoes and ended up in the hot car for two days before being unloaded. When I was getting ready to clean them I noticed that they were cracked on the front, not one but both of them. Bad move. The little cup was so cute that I picked it up at a thrift in Atlanta. It was $2 and I did check the sales before I paid. Sell through was around $10-12 so I picked it up on the reasoning that it was cute, different and I liked it. Bad move. When I was getting ready to wash it I found two small chips on the handle that I KNOW were not there when I purchased. I must have damaged them myself in the trip home. I wrapped it up and put it in with soft stuff, but I guess I didn't handle it carefully enough. Bad move.

The rusty trunk in my van wasn't a reject because of the rusty trunk. I purchased it several years ago at an auction for $5 and it was filled with 60's and 70's vintage fabric, trim and buttons. I have already made my money back on it 10X and have only sold the trim, buttons and a couple pieces of fabric. I still have a big tote full of fabric from the trunk that should bring in another $100 in the long run. Not a quick return, but a big one in the end.

So next time I think instead of buying junk that I will just throw $4 out the window and let someone else benefit from my mistakes.

So, what is in your reject pile?

Monday, September 10, 2012


 I made it back all in one piece. No mis-adventures, none that I am willing to talk about. In this case if it happened in Atlanta, it stays in Atlanta.

My daughter and I took a little road trip to Atlanta Labor Day weekend and the week after. Smarta** went to DragonCon in downtown Atlanta and I took the opportunity to thrift in a different town. She was originally going to drive by herself but she does not like (absolutely hates) interstate travel and that was all there was to get to Atlanta and around town. So we worked out an arrangement for the driving. I drove and she slept.
Downtown  Atlanta Freeway
I dropped her off every day at the convention and then I took off thrifting in a different direction. I must say it was an adventure and very interesting. I don't get to go to Value Village very often. The nearest one is in Charlotte, 4 hours away, and we don't have any St.Vinnie's either. My favorite at VV is the little bags with a hodge podge of stuff. It seems like they aren't as good as they used to be. All I found this time was tiny stuffed animals, Beanie Babies and broken stuff and bags of puzzle pieces. I did find two vtg MLP in one bag for 60c. The stuff in the bags really makes no sense at all. In the MLP bag were the two ponies, a 1/3 c measuring cup, a golf ball and a magnetic clothes pin from Publix. I guess they just grab stuff to fill the bags and you get the luck of the draw.

Here in Eastern NC we don't have colored tags at Goodwill and there is no sale days or senior discount. Heck, they don't even have a bathroom that customers can use. So it was good to go to Goodwill and look for the color of the week and  get a senior discount. 

On the way home we avoided Charlotte because of the Democratic convention. We came back through Savannah and Charleston. And of course we got to thrift in each of those towns. Savannah, not so much, but we did get to go to the Outlet Store in N. Charleston where everything is sold by the pound.

We got to the outlet store before it opened and got in line. There were two "ladies" who knew each other and they took command of the purse bin. No one else even got a whiff of a decent purse because they got them all first. They must have missed the padded guitar gig bag and the Camelbak, complete with bladder.I did get about 20 pair of shoes and some other assorted stuff.

The back room at this place was the worst place I have ever seen. Rows of bins filled with trash. I mean TRASH. Broken glass, broken toys, odd pieces of stuff and just plain junk. Piled high on the table were boxes and plastic totes of stuff. It would have been much easier if they had just removed the boxes and totes so you could actually look through the stuff.
I did get command of the shoe bin for a few minutes and managed to get a few good pair.

This was at VV. So stinking cute that we had to set it up in the hotel room just to ooh and ahh. Alas, it is too small for us to use for a sleepover!!

Of course a bag of plush and a doll or two
This and more was packed very carefully in the car.

So far, this is all I have cleaned.

I asked Smarta** if she would go back next year and she will try to get the holiday week off. Her boss doesn't like to give employees the same holiday off too many times in a row, so she may not be able to get off. If she can, we plan to go back next year.

It was fun. Now to get all of this crap store inventory cleaned, photographed and listed.