Jan 29, 2014

white elephant treasure chest

Over the weekend I attended the Annual Oakland White Elephant preview sale for the first time and I have some fantastic treasures to share with you all. I have attended this sale for the past 2 years but this year was the first time going to the preview sale. WOW, it was CRAZY packed! Almost more crazy than the public sale. So for those of you who don't know about this event, let me fill you in. The sale is to raise funds for the Oakland Museum of Art. Each year people will donate things to the cause and then a HUGE sale is held. Last year the event raised $1.8 million dollars so you can imagine how massive this thing is. And what's even more crazy is that the money is raised in only 3 days!  And since they only accept quality donations you can score some very high end items, furniture, vintage, linens, kitchenware like Le Creuset, musical instruments, books, art, shoes etc.. It's all there under one roof.

a sneak peak inside (pic taken from last years event)
The first year I went, I got there about 10 minutes before they opened and was so shocked at how many people were already there. I mean this line stretched for at least 6-7 blocks!  It was nuts. So last year I decided to get there really early to avoid this and get better parking. I got there at 7am and was probably #60 in line. I was thinking for sure I'd be right up front too. I was totally shocked again. So this year I decided to go to the preview sale which is held 2 months before the public sale. You pay $20 to get in but you get to have first pick of everything. This is crazy to me, because being someone that has attended in past years and not attending the preview sale, I can't tell you how many great things I have found at the public sale. So knowing that things had already been picked thru in the past and I still walked away with some nice things,  you can only imagine how excited I was to get to see the first round this year. I knew it was gonna be good!

waiting in line, it's practically still dark!
But it was insane! Gus came with me and brought the truck because we were on the hunt for furniture for the little guest room and things for our house. I had to get Gus prepared for shopping madness and he was such a trooper and actually was pretty intrigued about this event. I told him there would be  lots of guy stuff like tools and camping gear etc. so he was down for the adventure. We got there at 7am and so many people had already beaten us. I would guess we were about 100th in line or so. The people that were first in front camped out the night before. Some people are really hard core!  Gus left me in line and walked over to a cute little breakfast spot called The Little House that I had researched before hand. Having breakfast before this event is a must! In past years I didn't manage to eat before  and by noon I would be walking around the event with the worst headache. But not this year. Gus came back with eggs and spinach for me and a tasty coffee to share. He's such a sweetie. We watched the sun get brighter in the sky as the time passed by and the arrival of many many new people that joined us in line. Some people brought chairs and blankets, card games and a boom box. And then about 20 minutes before the doors opened, husbands were packing things up and taking stuff back to their cars. I was laughing to Gus at how many men were doing this for their wives. It was pretty funny. I'm glad we didn't have to hassle with that stuff. It was fine for us to just sit on the ground and eat our breakfast, although having a simple little card game to play would have been nice. But time, in some weird way,  goes by kinda quick. Maybe it's just all the excitement and anticipation and the build up.... because before you know it, the time has come! 10 am finally arrived, the doors opened and the crowd cheered and then the line started to move in and fast. The first people in line literally ran inside. I was hoping it wouldn't get pushy and I'm glad to report everyone I was near was pretty respectful.
the line growing by the minutes
 I knew exactly where I wanted to go and went right to my spots. I was one of the first to hit the ladies vintage and looked thru the racks in search of something awesome. I scored a few things and then ventured on to linens which is one of my favorite sections. I quickly spotted a King size duvet cover for our down comforter and some beautiful embroidered pieces. Then it was off to the sewing section. By this time it was starting to get kinda crazy as more people filled in. Lines were starting to form at the check out spots so I quickly scanned thru this section and then I was off to the baby vintage section. Now in past years they had this section in a different spot and I think it helped keep it kinda hidden because I found some amazing things there. But this year was different. They swapped sections with the women's accessories, so by the time I made my way to the baby spot, most of the really good stuff was gone. But I did find some cute things. I'm sure some of you  are wondering why I'd go there, and no I'm not pregnant but my sister is and I have plenty of friends that are or just had a baby so I'm always collecting for that reason alone. But of course I do hold onto a few things for myself for that "one day" when I'm ready : )

amazing skirt from probably the 50's
silk/lace bed jacket with tiny ribbon detail

this is a sweet little rooster decal sticker- 50cents!
silk applique collar piece
unfinished embroidered pot holder - gonna make use of this!
vintage applique placemats

such a soft cotton baby dress with sweet details

look at all this hand stitching! so incredible, I hope to incorporate this in a dress someday

crochet blanket to go in guest room

can you believe these pieces were only $4 each! So much detailed work went into these
baby romper with garden embroidery detail!

cherries dress

wool baby jacket with sweet french knot details

By the time I got to the furniture many things had already been swooped up or were just too expensive for my budget. I was feeling pretty overwhelmed by all the people. It started to feel a little too crazy for me. I went back to the vintage to check it out again and then I heard someone say over the intercom, "Will Gus please go to women's shoes" And then I thought to myself, oh no this is for another Gus, but I know my Gus will think I called for him. So I went to the shoe section and waited and sure enough he came. We laughed when I told him it wasn't me that called for him. But it was good timing cuz we were both  getting hungry and I wanted him to check out a cedar chest I was looking at. He thought I should get it so we paid and loaded things up and headed out.
cedar lane trunk

We went to Berkeley for lunch at La Note which is a really cute French breakfast/lunch spot. We started to get our energy back and then decided maybe we should go back to the sale since the lines and people would have died down. We pondered at the idea over our lunch and then at the last minute we decided to go back. And we were right, the crowd was gone, no more lines, and you could actually move thru the sections. There was so much I hadn't seen the first time around. I didn't even realize there was a whole brick a brack section full of rad baskets and decorative things for your house. WOW so much to see.
yummy french breakfast in Berkeley
mocha to keep me going for round 2
After leaving the sale, we headed to San Francisco to meet with a few craigslist people to pick up a bed and a really cool headboard for the guest room. I am so excited to get this room all fixed up because Gus's mom, Darby is coming for a visit next month for a week and I want to have the space all ready for her. Gus got the flooring in and painted the walls and now he just has to finish up the wood ceiling and put trim around the windows and then I can decorate! Here's some photos of the guest room back in April when Gus moved it up to our land. It had to be placed on a trailer and he hauled it 17 miles up a dirt road. It took him over 2 hours and he did it all by himself!

guest room on the trailer

loving its new placement

putting a new roof on
got the roof finished just in time for the snow
walls are up and spackle complete

insulation and electrical complete
Oh yeah before I forget, so the public sale starts March 1st-2nd. If you loved what you saw on my post, love thrifting and don't mind the crowds, hit this up! There's something for everyone and the money raised goes to a good cause.  It's located at 333 Lassen Street in Oakland and its a 10,000 square foot warehouse of some truly amazing things for thrift store prices minus the really high end stuff.
I bought a grab bag of fabric scraps and this sweet heart was hidden inside. what a deal for  50 cents

1 comment:

Rachelle said...

Wow! you got so much cool stuff!! you really scored. ps. im in love with the cherry dress ;)