Monday, April 23, 2012

Yard Sale Finds

I don't go to many yard sales. I liked to go when the kids were young and gas wasn't so high. I enjoyed looking for bargain clothing for them when they were little - and not so picky about what they wore and got dirty outdoors. However, there was an ad in our local paper that caught my eye this weekend, in the midst of all the goodies listed were the words "stamping up" . Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....... I decided the weather was great so it might be worth a drive early the next morning. I had a few errands I could do while out anyway.

That four family sale had lots of neat stuff, but nothing I really needed (which is another reason why I don't go to sales any more, I don't need more "stuff"). In the middle of all the boxes upon boxes and tables of "one families junk is another families treasure" was a single box with eleven stamp sets, a Stampin' Scrub, a heat gun,  Stampin' Pastels. I snagged four of the stamp sets for $20. However, in my giddiness at finding a few sets I didn't have for a great price (and in my haste to get them before someone else!), I didn't look closely enough at them.

Now here is the tip I want to share about buying used stamps if you ever have the opportunity: 
BE SURE TO LOOK AT THE RUBBER IMAGE SIDE OF THE STAMPS !  Also, you will want to make sure that the rubber is still soft, not hardened or cracked due to improper cleaning or storage. 

Yep, the thought never crossed my mind that they would be so poorly mounted. Sure, I took a quick glance and noted that the rubber hadn't been trimmed, but I had no idea because I didn't take the time to examine them as to how poorly they were actually trimmed/mounted. Warning, this image I am going to share may make some die hard stampers sick !!!! Ha, ha .  I was quite sad when I got home, ready to start remounting them and realized how they were mounted, cut improperly (gasp!).

note the three stamps to the far left of the image;
the person that mounted them cut through the rubber stamp designs 
to make the square piece of rubber fit the wood blocks !
This set is also missing a piece I discovered 
when I found it in an old catalog. 
On the bright side (?) the piece that is missing is the 
other part to the two step rose image that was ruined. 

Note that the squares of rubber are hanging off the edges of the wood blocks.
I can only assume that they learned a lesson about cutting through the
rubber stamp images on the previous set so they didn't trim this set at all ? 

So after a few hours of unmounting, trimming, removing glue, matching up proper wood block sizes and stickers to the proper images then regluing them back on, I have usable stamp sets.

Soft As A Feather

Hand Painted Petites
The three images that were ruined are outline in red.
I carefully trimmed them with an Xacto knife.
The double "vine" is now a perfectly usable single, yaay.
The swirl might work, just shortened.
I don't know if I'll use the solid two step rose image;
it stamps okay with some careful cleaning up of the cut off edge,
but without the top part to the set it won't look rose like.
Maybe if I ever think about it, I could use it as a tiny scoop of ice cream ?

The other two sets were not as bad, but they have a name written in
permanent ink on the side of each block.
After some research, I was able to find the names of all the sets.
The other two sets are Gifted Glove and Wishing Well.

                                       Lesson learned: should I ever go to a yard sale that has stamp sets again,
I will open them up and inspect them well.
I did get them for $5 a set, so I can't complain too much =)

Oh, I also walked away with:

  •  a two piece set of Farberware skillets for $5. New in package, red colored that won't go with the kitchen and deeper than I would normally use, but I did need new nonstick skillets. 
  •  a Martha Stewart griddle new in package for $2, aquamist colored. The color doesn't go with the kitchen (or the red skillets!), but I've never had a griddle skillet ! 
  • a yoga mat new in package for $2, my son has been wanting one so he is thrilled.
  • a new in package pop up hamper for my daughter, 50c. Even if it is neon green (by the way, did you know that neon colors are "in" again this year at Target stores? 1980's flashback!), it is a decent size and she needed one for her room. 
  • an old milk can (?) that I will decorate with paint, put a potted plant on top. It is ugly, repainted white and the lid will not come off, but I thought it would be neat to put on the porch -  $2 !
  • a  super soft stadium length lightweight black leather coat with liner. It is in good shape other than missing the belt (that I wouldn't use anyway) and still has that leather smell. It is sooooo not me (my son said it looks like something rich ladies wear),  but for $7 I couldn't pass it up. I spent a little time cleaning the leather and wore it last night since it was so cool outside again. Nice, medium weight coat that I didn't happen to have until now =)  I did pass up several nice tops because I won't buy clothing for myself at a yard sale. It is difficult to find things to fit properly so I prefer new items (on clearance!) I can try on in a store. 

53 miles round trip  = 4 gallons of gas in my gas hog SUV = $17 for fuel to get to these bargains
Yeah, I suppose they are still bargains after all  =)


  1. Oh you are so funny! And soooooo like me! The milk can was a great deal from what I see around here and probably the coat. The stamps... I have learned I don't buy unless I know the owner or they are new! Have been disappointed so many times!

  2. Thanks bunches for the tips. I wouldn't have thought to inspect the rubber ... and certainly wouldn't have expected to find them trimmed (NOT), like yours.

  3. LOL! And I thought I did a poor job of trimming my first set of SU stamps! No wonder they were selling about difficult to use!! You did an amazing job fixing them and at only $5 that's still an awesome deal!
    I used to love going to yard sales, but anymore, people want almost the retail price for the things they are getting rid of and I refuse to 'hunt' through lots of stuff and then pay full price too! Sounds like you did pretty good on your trip!


THANK YOU for taking the time to leave your comments. I hope I've inspired you to get a bit crafty today ;)