Monday, October 11, 2010

thrifty finds: good, better, best edition

GOOD: Michael spotted this bench in our neighbors trash. It is sturdy and in great condition. It's a little country but after I paint it it is going to look fantastic!

BETTER: We scored this small (only 73 keys) and simple piano for $100. It is the perfect size for our little house. Now the kids can take piano lessons (what is a good age to start that??). Ezra, my two year old, is already driving me nuts opening and closing the top and pounding on the keys. I have to keep reminding myself "I wanted a piano"!

BEST: Two Herman Miller fiberglass shell chairs in the awesomest orange color- $4.99/each!! I never thought I would find something so cool and valuable (these go for hundreds of dollars on ebay) sadly, I don't get bragging rights for this find. I had a ton of big heavy stuff to drop off at Goodwill and needed Michael's help to load/unload it. As we were unloading Michael spotted these chairs in the backroom. If you are a thrifter you know they won't sell or even answer questions about items in the back room. I staked out the store for the rest of the evening and snatched them up the second they were brought onto the floor.


Char @ Crap I've Made said...

You lucky sucker!

I've been told that 1st grade/when they can read is a good age to start piano. My oldest 2 take. One is good. The other? Not so much...


The Fear Fam said...

I am so jealous about the chairs! And the piano, too! Great job!

Heidi Rose said...

You got some wonderful stuff there!!!
I have learned that it's best for kids to start learning piano either BEFORE they start reading or AFTER they have a pretty good grasp on it. Learning the piano is learning a different language and it makes it difficult if they are in the middle of trying to learn one already.
Hope that helps!!

merathon said...

those are definitely some sweet finds! so how did you stake out the store? did the kids all have to hang out and wait with you?

Sara said...

Um, would you be my shopper for a finder's fee? Good job!

Jenni said...

Wow... that piano looks amazing for only $100. That's on my wish list. I can't wait to see what you do with all the finds.

PonderandStitch said...

omg- those chairs!!!!! LUCKY! The piano is wonderful, too- so is the bench. You scored!

Diana said...


I think 7 is a good age to start piano lessons. It really depends on your child's responsibility level.

I wish I could find a bench like that! Perfect!

jenn said...

WOW...those chairs!!! you are SO LUCKY :)

Jenn-Lee at Moments said...

I am so excited for you Erin! I love new fun thrift finds. Those chairs rock! Pics of your kids on them would be so cute with a plain wall backdrop. Maybe a modeling spot for something you sewed? The piano- wow! So fun! I hope for a piano with character one day when we get a house. Great post! Thanks for showing us your fun finds! I love those posts!

mon cherie ♥ said...

Erin, you are such an inspiration. I love the chairs and the piano - only 100 bucks? Wow. And I can't wait to see the "After" of the chair. Great finds. i love thrifting!

Amanda @ Heart Tree Home said...

Wow. I want your chairs. What a lucky find!

janimal said...

You are a FABULOUS shopper. Well done! As for piano lessons, I think it would depend on the kid, right? I think having a piano around to bang on early is a good thing. I want one too!

she wears flowers said...

I see lots of HM chairs around here on Craigslist--maybe because it's Michigan? Maybe I should be a better shopper!!

I can't wait to see that bench after your magic touch. I love it!

Nellie said...

You are the thrifting queen! T.J. and Michelle start their kids at 5. I am going to start teaching Riley the basics in a few months. T.J. and Michelle love their piano teacher, and I think she is pretty reasonably priced. She lives over by Crismark. I can get her contact information if you want.

Amy said...

I can't even begin to tell you how jealous I am of those chairs! Way to go! We have an Eames lounge chair (knock off) in our living room that was scored at an estate sale. Fiberglass chairs are our next purchase!

Brian and Kendra said...

Great finds!
My mom is a piano teacher and she just wrote a great post about what age you should start teaching your kids and how to know if they are ready.

Erin said...

Thank you for all your suggestions about the appropriate age to start piano! It sounds like right now is the perfect time for Liam to start- he is 7 and in 2nd grade.

@Kendra- I really liked your mom's suggestions, thanks for linking to her blog!

Jennifer said...

Erin! You have angels that follow you when you go shopping! Those chairs are perfect!

Andi said...

SO jealous!! I swear I will never find good stuff at the Goodwill here. I've tried and tried. Someday...

Kim said...

what a score! I can't believe someone was throwing that bench in the trash. So what if you don't need it/like it, it's in perfect condition. At least donate it.

LOVE the little piano and chairs. You have some fun new things. Happy day!

Anonymous said...

My kids started in the 7-10 range because we didn't have a piano prior to that. They mostly did well and got degrees in piano. The younger ones have gone farther (doctorates.)

My advice:

1. Get the best teacher in your area even from the beginning. Don't waste time like we did with a teacher who can't or won't teach well--theory, memorization, deep foundation in true music (baroque, classical, romantic,) technique. If you live near a university with a music department, check it out. Pay through the nose for the teacher. (I'm not one, by the way.) If one teacher doesn't work out, don't be afraid to find someone else. You only get one crack at this.

2. Eventually get a piano with excellent tone and action. It isn't enough that it just sounds the notes. I'm also not a piano dealer; this is just something I found out quite late in the game. It's no fun and not productive to struggle with an instrument that doesn't work properly or doesn't produce a beautiful tone. As far as brands, Steinway is famous for a reason. I wouldn't pay a lot for a Yamaha or Kawai.

3. Performance opportunities, camps and festivals are essential. Go after those. Don't listen to bad music in the house or car. Train those ears. Get formal aural and theory training as early as possible.

The Bridges said...

Love your site! Was sent by "How Does She" and am happily your 700th follower. :)

4kids said...

Very cool chairs! I work for the company that makes them and I live in Zeeland....the little town that is printed on the sticker under your chairs. Fun to see. Can't find those chairs around my area...especially for that price! Amazing!!

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