Wednesday, September 22, 2010

GRAB BAG...

When I was an elementary student, every fall, our school would host a carnival to raise money for school needs. One of my favorite things was a big galvanized trough full of grab bags. The grab bags were sold for $1.00 each. Each inconspicuous brown paper lunch sack stapled shut held endless possibilities as to the prizes inside. I can remember standing there agonizing over which one to choose, hoping to get one of the ones with a cash prize inside along with the trinkets and candy. The draw wasn't so much the candy, prizes, or even the possibility of owning my very own five dollar bill but the mystery and anticipation of what I would find once I opened the bag. It was all about the surprise.

I revisited this anticipatory feeling recently while flea marketing with my friend, Pam. We were looking at some rolls of fabric in a booth when I spied a plastic bag stuffed positively full of fabric scraps. It was a grab bag for $1.00. I dragged it out and started to flip the bag this way and that getting little peeks of what surely were to be prizes. We both looked the bag over really good and she said it was probably not worth it, that the scraps were more than likely small. I did not agonize over the decision for long, after all it was only a dollar, not a million, and I was feeling lucky.

As soon as we got back to my house we went straight to the studio and opened the bag, spilling its contents onto the eleven foot work surface. At each unfolding and disentangling I grew more giddy. These were not small scraps left over from a seamstress project but for the most part larger usable scraps that could be dyed and used in art projects. (Sorry about the dim lighting of the photos, these were taken before I got the new lighting put in.)

The bag contained a bit of country kitch, not exactly what I was hoping for...There were some pink pastel clown stripes, not exactly my type...I think a candy stripe volunteer lost her uniform, better keep grabbing...How about some groovy gathered green velvet?Or some polished cotton floral prints perhaps?Maybe I might prefer something pretty in pink? Yes, those were baby clothes stuffed in amongst all the fabric scraps, weird. You never know what you are going to get in a grab bag, like a bit of cheerleader uniform or prom dress satin... Or drapery and upholstery samples...Even a few stray ribbons...Enough of this nonsense, lets get to the good stuff! A big pile of creamy dreamy fabrics in all kinds of textures and hues...Luscious laces...Cotton lace edged doilies and the teeniest tiniest apron...And the thing that caught my eye and made me want to take a chance in the first place, silk brocade, two generous pieces!OK, so only the latter half was worth grabbing. I totally admit being caught up in the element of surprise and the thrill of discovery. Earlier in the week I also found some pretty rolls of fabric at the same booth with some generous yardages for a 25, 50, and 75 cents price range...I think I might have a six dollar investment in it all and I don't think I will need any fabric for quite some time to come. After it was all sorted I disposed of some of it, washed up what remained and divided it all in half. Half of it I coffee dyed and the other half I left in its original color story. It is all neatly folded and resting on a closet shelf awaiting its turn to be put to use in an art piece.

This was almost as fun as standing in front of a tub of brown paper bags and wondering what I was going to get. One year I did get the bag with the five dollar cash prize inside and a girl named Oletia, merciful heavens some southern names are strange and so was she, tried to say I stole the bag from her. Thankfully stern old no nonsense Mrs. Vines, the librarian, was keeping careful watch over who was grabbing what and I was vindicated. Here is the funny twist to the story, that year I was in the sixth grade and had just learned to sew. Guess what I spent the five dollars on? Fabric!

Have you grabbed a bag of bargains lately, if so, I'd love to hear about your latest score!

Hoping you all have a wonderful Wednesday!

Blessings,
Miss Sandy

9 comments:

marie said...

Love the brocade and the tiny little apron! I'd say you got your money's worth on that grab bag.

Vee said...

Wow! Your dollar went a very long way with that grab bag! I see many delights.

We fleamarketed this weekend as is our habit. I saw a gallon ziploc bag stuffed to the brim with old lace and bits and pieces of crochet. It was selling for $6 so I didn't buy it; although, now I'm thinking that perhaps it was worth it even at that price. I've never seen the bargains that you find!

Vickie said...

Wow - you hit the jackpot, Miss Sandy! That brocade is beautiful as the laces. Can't wait to see what gorgeous art pieces you make from some of these goodies!

Omi S. and her dog, Bender Oak Cannon said...

Oh! this is so great... There used to be a market in Norfolk, VA that my grandma would sell at. Inevitably, near the middle of the afternoon, my little brother and I would have a couple dollars to go wander around. We both would go to different vendors that had grab bags. He'd always get bags that had two matchbox cars, and a pack of gum stuffed inside. I always went random and whatever grab bag someone did, I'd get. One time, I got a back full of cassette tapes, another, a bag of tarnished old silver flatware.... lol!

Bonita said...

You always find such cool stuff. God must really love you!

Ruth said...

Wow Sandy.... Great deal and it sure didn't break the bank! Congrats!!

Just returned from a local thrift shop myself and came home with a few goodies to use as displays for an upcoming craft show (my first). Found some pretty doilies for projects as well.

Love your stories, they jog my ever forgetful mind. Thanks for sparking my memory banks!

Ruth ;)

Jean Tuthill said...

I think you got a very good deal! All that fabric for $1.00! I should be so lucky.....

Lorrie said...

Being will to take a risk with the grab bag resulted in so many wonderful things! Sorting the good from the best would be fun!

Enjoy creating.

Darlene said...

I just found your blog. I love your Vintage Paper Snowflake Ornament. I just did a post on your tutorials.

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin