Sunday, October 04, 2009

Nice Saturday If You Can Get It

Y'all know that one of the things I love to do on a Saturday is go to garage sales. It started as a way to make some money re-selling stuff on eBay and it just kinda stuck. I don't do the eBay thing so much anymore (hardly at all - too much effort, not enough payoff) but I still like to find bargains.

Another of my hobbies is candle making. I do it mostly around the holidays because I find it relaxing and handmade candles make wonderful gifts. When I saw an ad in the Friday paper for a garage sale that included candle making supplies, I made sure it would be my first stop even though it was about 5 or 6 miles outside of town.

I arrived right about 8:00am when the ad said they would be starting. I am quite often an early-bird but didn't want to drag my butt out of bed quite so hastily. I walked up and the lady told me that two older ladies who always show up to her garage sales very early (they had been there at about 7:10am) had all but cleaned her out. Although she still had a respectable amount of items left, I panicked. Older ladies who frequent garage sales tend to be the arts & crafts types. I feared the candle making supplies were already gone so I immediately inquired about them.

My fears subsided as she gestured to them and said, "They're right over here." She then proceeded to show me all of the items included. There was a nice stainless steel double-boiler that is about the size of the two I already have if you combined them and there was a pouring pitcher. I've never purchased one of those because they are a simple aluminum pitcher that is way overpriced ($16-$20) just because it says it is for candle making.

She pointed out a box of wax with the better part of 20lbs still in it, two large fragrance oil bottles, a couple of medium-sized bottles of fragrance and there were some "sampler" sized fragrance oils as well. I could clearly see the two 4" x 4.5" and the two 4" x 6.5" seamless aluminum round candle molds. Also included was a spool of wicking, several other small bits of wicking, and misc. equipment such as wick holders (for centering the wick), wooden spoons, a glass measuring cup, etc.

I started adding up the value in my head. First, double boilers are not cheap and they're not particularly easy to find in stores. The first one I got was at a garage sale for $0.10 (a lucky lucky find). It is aluminum and holds about a pound of wax. The next one I got was about the same size (also aluminum but Teflon-coated) but I had to buy the chocolate-making kit it was contained in (I gave the molds to a friend who made chocolate) and that cost me around $15. The molds are about $15 each at Hobby Lobby, 20lbs of wax will set you back about $25, the large scents are $20 each and aren't available locally... I figured there was at least $150 to $200 worth of equipment and supplies.

As she finished showing me what she had and before I could ask, she said, "and I'd take, for the whole thing..." The word "twenty" came out of her mouth. I said "Sold!" and as she unnecessarily continued trying to convince me of the value by saying the molds were worth at least that much I had a $20 bill outstretched in my hand before she finished the sentence. This was a big time score. I hadn't lucked into anything like that since July of 2007 while I was in Boise when I would have liked to clean them out (they had a bunch of stuff) but didn't have the financial resources.

As if that wasn't enough, while I was driving to the next garage sale heading East on highway 51, I saw a deer bounding across the road well in front of me. I watched where he went and as I passed the clump of trees, I saw that he had a companion with him (or she with her - neither had antlers). Then as I was driving down 26th street near the house, I passed another deer by the side of the road so closely I felt I could reach out and touch it. This one, too, had a companion. Yesterday certainly was a lucky Saturday.

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