Leather, Pewter & Ceramic Finds

Preface: I am still in my slow-downed buying phase, but am allowing myself to go sourcing a little with the caveat that I buy just a few quality pieces. 🙂

The other day I was perusing Craigslist to see if I could find well-priced vintage goodies for my Etsy store. Craigslist is not a huge source for me but I have found a few cool things over the years. Then I spotted something that might solve a travel problem I have. When I fly I typically check in my suitcase but still end up schlepping a big purse, a computer bag, and after security, a bag with a sandwich and a drink. By the time I board the plane I feel like a harried pack mule. (Maybe you know the feeling!) So I’ve been wanting to find a tote that could fit everything, but still squeeze under the seat. And I think I’ve found it…an Andrew Marc vintage-style, leather weekender duffle bag.

This duffle would be big enough for my computer, phone, chargers, makeup, medicines, essential oils, jewelry, wallet, a spare shirt, snacks, book, my journal–the essentials!

According to the listing they’d paid $300 for it and only used it twice. True? Hard to know but I thought it was worth checking out. I contacted the seller, and yes, the bag was still available, but she lived 20 miles. Now it just happened that I was going to lunch not too far from her the next day and perhaps she’d be willing to meet me at the restaurant. No such luck. I decided to bite the bullet and go to her house.

Glad I did. The duffle was well made, in great shape with soft luxurious leather. I happily paid the $40 she was asking and went on my merry way to a much-anticipated lunch with dear friends. (Can’t wait to try out my “new” bag in a few days when I fly up to Seattle to visit my daughter.)

Even though it was pouring rain when I left the restaurant, I decided to stop into the antique store that I’d be passing on my way home. This particular store has some darn nice things and prides itself on not allowing dealers to have new items. Everything is 1960s or earlier (except for some vintage clothing). That said, it’s pretty hard to find things at prices that I can resell online as the dealers are all super savvy. Still I love looking!

I did spot this well-made oddity with a captivating Arts & Crafts design (reminiscent of Ruskin brooches!) and decided to take the risk, hoping against hope, that it might be unmarked sterling silver.

It’s a dress or fur clip. (The clip itself is patented for #1852188 which is owned by EA Phinney dating to 1932. ) I tested if for silver and it failed. Poop! I think it’s pewter. So it wasn’t quite as good as I’d hoped, but still a unique piece that appears to be handmade. And certainly atypical for a vintage dress clip as those are often fancy and studded with rhinestones. Not sure what I’ll be able to sell it for. (More research needed!)

And this morning running errands I made a quick jaunt into my neighborhood thrift store. Wasn’t finding anything good. My thrift store friend Patty (a spunky octogenarian) and I were perusing the jewelry case together and both commented on all the jewelry bags they’d just added (NOT common in this store). Last time I saw some they were $99.99. The time before that $89.99. As I was crouched down looking at them Patty asked me what they were going for. Good grief…$129.99!

We both gasped a little. Patty shook her head. “That’s ridiculous.” I agreed. Though I’m sure in a day or two they’ll be gone.

In the end, this thrift store trip yielded just one thing– a whimsical, artisan-made ceramic set of two coffee cups and two plates. They looked like something belonging in Alice in Wonderland! The cups are fabulously wackadoodle.

I just couldn’t leave these behind. They are dated 1983 and signed (possibly “Levy”). Will anyone want them? I think so. Someone creative who loves things that are handmade and unique.

I’ll close for now, wishing you happy hunting,



  1. Hi Karen –

    If your daughter lives up here, surely you have heard all about Snowmageddon! We live about 25 miles south of downtown and we got 9″ in about 18 hours. The prediction is for another system to come in Tuesday with a LOT of accumulation, and because temps are so low, there won’t be much melt of the existing snow. So I wish you safe travels (with your awesome new duffel) and some fun Snow Days with your family!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Lisa. Yes, my daughter’s been keeping me abreast of the weather. They had a snow day last week with classes canceled. I’m not flying in till Friday so hopefully my flight won’t be delayed or canceled. But I’m scrambling to find really warm clothes to bring! Hope you are keeping safe and warm. 🙂 – Karen


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