A Bargain Isn’t Always a Bargain

My mom worked retail for 30 years, and I managed to absorb some little nuggets. One of them was that January means inventory (weird work hours when your mom’s not home) and sales (because people want to have less merchandise to count).

So I wasn’t surprised to see lots of “white sales” during January. When me and the MR played hookey on MLKJ Day and headed to the mall, we checked out some furniture I’d been eyeing and then went to see about a bedspread. It was linen, it was on sale, it looked fine, and it was 30 percent off.

When I asked the MR for his opinion, he didn’t care. I told him it was OK, but I didn’t love it. He told me that was my answer and that he was surprised I even thinking about it. Hmm. That man has such wisdom sometimes.  If you feel ho-hum about it, why lay down a ton of cash?

I came home and decided to look online. For around $75, I bought a comforter and two shams for the bed on Joss & Main. It’s lightweight, yeah, a tightly-woven fabric, yeah, and has enough quilted pattern to hide dog fur and drool, yeah. Seems like a great deal.

I know I just bought a new patterned bedspread a year ago, but Cocoa’s paws have snagged it up horribly. And while she’s good about staying down when we’re home, there’s a definite dog-sleeping on the bed indentation when we arrive back from work or errands.

I’m rather excited about the matching shams. It might be too much gray, but for now I’m giving them a trial run.If it’s too bland, I can swap the shams for the ones I made ages ago. Perhaps they’d add some softness to the daybed in the sewing room. Lots of options, and no snagged fabric. I’m happy with my bargain.

Any shopping tips to share?

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That Trickle Down Effect

The MR was telling me about some friends who are redoing their bedroom. It all started with new throw pillows that made the built-ins look too dark, and before you know it they were in full remodel mode.

I know the feeling. Sometimes one little change leads to another, and then another, and then another. You get the idea.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised when the new coverlet for the bed arrived. After five years of sunshine and dog drool, I thought something with pattern might hide fading and tufts of fur.


I didn’t factor in that little dog paws can snag a loosely-woven fabric. That my mild compulsiveness would make me very concerned about keeping all those stripes straight. And that the shams with all that texture—that I made using dinner plates and gathers—might look washed out against the new coverlet.

I get all foolish and sentimental. I made those silly shams, and Adding Some Softness was one of my top blog posts ever. Oh well, I have new decorative shams on order.

And now let’s move on to sheets. A new bedspread deserves nice sheets, but all our sets are tearing. Don’t sheets last forever? These are barely five years old; they should be fine. I still have sheets from our wedding…

I was in denial, and then another bottom sheet would rip. We’re clean, we bath, we stay well-groomed, we don’t sleep with knives. I was perplexed until I read up on hard water. All those minerals from our well can make fabric brittle and tear. A-ha, things are starting to fall into place. Maybe inexpensive cotton sheets from TJ Maax aren’t my best option.

So I started researching soft, sturdy sheets that will also keep you cool. Bamboo and linen were my top candidates, and I bought a set of each.

Cariloha bamboo sheets were the first to arrive. These sheets are silky smooth and actually slide around on the bed. While I like the feel, I also like my bed to look neat and tidy, so I’m not 100-percent sold on these. They are a lovely bright white, and feel cool against the skin, but I need to see how they hold up under normal wear-and-tear.

Next came a set of linen sheets from Pottery Barn. This set of bedding feels much more substantial—shall I say sturdy? The sheets just have a lot more body and weight. Pottery Barn made it easy to add an extra pair of king pillowcases, and I do like it when everything matches. While I was tempted to buy a linen set on Etsy, I decided to buy from a national chain in case I wanted to return them.

Both linen and bamboo are advertised as fibers that will keep you cool. With the summer months upon us that seemed like a bonus especially in the absence of air conditioning. I’ve been hesitant to write about the new sheets until we’ve had a little more time with them. I imagine the linen will get softer with each washing—like a favorite t-shirt—but we’ll have to wait and see.

With the holiday weekend just a few days out, I’ve been getting lots of sale emails. Who wouldn’t want to save 20-percent on new sheets? So I thought I’d go ahead and share some of my recent purchase with you just in case you’re in the market.

I’m curious. Where do you buy your sheets? Any favorite brands or fiber content? Inquiring minds want to know.