The Home and Garden Journal of Kayla Pins

Thrifted | Sock Monkeys and Premeditated Trash Picking

Thrifted | Sock Monkeys and Premeditated Trash Picking

My Thrifted posts are over for the year as soon as they begin! (More on that later…) This week I’m sharing two adorable sock monkeys and two trash-picked workhorse home-ec sewing machines.

My sock monkey collection has reached critical mass: It no longer fits in my basket that sits on top of my treadle. Although I’ve decided not to buy more monkeys, I didn’t complain when two monkeys recently found their way home.


The first was a gift from my husband’s weekend trip to Minnesota. He is totally sweet! (Both the monkey and my husband!) His ears are lopsided and his arms are crooked (only the monkey) which makes him all the more loveable. He has some pretty groovy loopy hair.


He also has the sweetest little corduroy shoes that are blanket-stitched on.

Very shortly after Spencer brought that monkey home, my Mom posted on Facebook that she found another monkey. She almost considered not buying it because she knew I had “quit” collecting monkeys! But he is perfectly handmade, worn in the most adorable way, and he has my initial on his hat!


He is in well-loved condition, but Mom remembered that I love my monkeys that way and resisted the urge to patch him up.

Last week a fellow FACS (Family and Consumer Sciences) teacher let me know about some old sewing machines that her school was getting rid of. As part of the process for letting go of equipment, she sent out photos of the machines to our Area Education Agency and waited two weeks for teachers to respond.


I recognized the machines immediately because they are the same model as my mom’s beloved Mildred: A Singer 717.

No teachers responded and the custodians at her school declared the machines “junk” instead of going through the process of selling school equipment. The teacher let me know the day they were put at the dumpster and I scooped them up!


I have not worked with them enough to know if they are indeed junk, but I am excited to try! So far, the lights turn on, which is a good sign. I don’t mind if I have to put a little money in them considering my initial investment. 😉

…and their immense cuteness factor!

And now, my thrifting posts are ending as soon as they began. Spencer and I are so very close to accomplishing Dave Ramsey’s baby step 3 (Saving 3-6 months of expenses) and are on a spending freeze until the end of the year. Besides the obvious like gas and groceries and some spare change spent on coffee, we’re doing well so far! I didn’t realize how quickly the little things add up until I stopped purchasing them. Yes, I realize we are less than two weeks in…

If you think quitting spending from October through the end of the year is no big deal, consider that it is 25% of the year! Likewise, if you think I’m undertaking a monumental task, you should see my yarn stash! I’ll have no trouble keeping up with my charity crafting marathon… I have a baby blanket on the needles and a whole sweater’s worth of impulse-purchased wool that will be great for donations to Syria and Pine Ridge Reservation.

My biggest challenge will be curbing dinners out, Amazon impulse purchasing, and thrift shopping. But I’m awfully optimistic! (And yes, again, I realize I’m only two weeks in.)

Have you found any awesome thrift finds lately? Please leave a comment! C’mon, I need someone to live vicariously through! 🙂

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