Weird, Worn and Wonderful Finds

First a story–I popped into my neighborhood thrift store the other day hoping to exchange an item I had bought the day before. I had been on the fence about this large resin Madonna wall hanging, putting it in and out of my basket, but in the end decided to buy it. But by the time I got home I was kicking myself for paying too much. So now I needed to find enough items to make an exchange.

Paid $7.99.

As I was wandering the aisles I saw a short, white-haired lady looking a bit out of her element, kinda lost. I said genially, “Haven’t found anything yet?” She looked at me and replied loudly, “Honestly, I don’t know who shops at places like this!” She then went on to clarify that she was just looking for cheap vases for her priest to use when he delivered flowers to shut-ins. And I realized that 1) she was a bit embarrassed to be shopping at a thrift store and 2) she didn’t want me to get the impression that she needed to shop here or was buying anything for herself. Alrighty then!

Attitudes about thrift-store shopping have changed so much in the last 10+ years that I forget there are folks who still see them as undesirable and just for the “income challenged.” I wanted to assure her that folks from many socio-economic backgrounds shop at thrift stores these days and there were good, no make that great, things to be found, but I decided to save my breath. I had a feeling my little speech wouldn’t remove the stigma for her. Oh well….


Now onto the good stuff

I love finding unusual things both for my store and my home and get excited over the oddest things. Some of you may remember this decrepit marionette estate sale purchase from last month. My family was not impressed, but I thought she was fabulous.

Well I removed her head and paper mache hands and listed them as a lot. They sold in a week!

Paid $1, sold for $45 with free shipping.

And firmly in the weird and worn categories I won an online auction of nine old Chinese finger puppets. They are hand painted and appear to be made of a pressed wood product?

Aren’t they intriguing? I think they are fairly scarce and despite the many condition issues, I am confident someone will want these. I’ll sell them in two lots. Not sure about price yet.

Here’s an item I didn’t even know I’d bought! It was on a sterling silver charm bracelet I’d won in an online auction. Well, the bracelet arrived a few days ago and I started removing the charms and there it was–the man in the moon, ahem, pleasuring a naked gal!! It sold in less than 24 hours.

Sold for $27 with free shipping.

On the wonderful, lovely end of things I didn’t hesitate to pick up a little box of vintage starched battenburg lace coasters, which I also think would look great as Christmas ornaments. There are eight smaller (4″ ones) for wine glasses and one large (6″) for a wine bottle.

Paid $3.49.

And I so appreciate the quality and feel of this 1950s faux pearl choker. (One of my rare thrift store jewelry finds.) These pearls are so much heavier than modern ones made today and such a pretty champagne color. I’m tempted to wear these beauties before they sell.

Now the next find was truly serendipitous. Here’s the backstory–this summer I had spotted these wonderful ceramic balls at a craft fair. I fell in love with them. But they were $40 each and I would want to get three and wasn’t sure I wanted to spend $120 for them. (Thrifting has ruined me!) So I didn’t.

Now fast forward three months and I found three pretty stone balls at my neighborhood thrift store for $1.49 each! How cool is that. I love the tactile feel of these–the smoothness and heft. They are like big (2+”) worry beads!

They are much prettier in person.

I plan on hanging on to these.

Now I am not a fan of heart-shaped items. Period. But these two small hand-made ceramic dishes were so delightfully wabi-sabi, that I had to say yes, even given the price of $3 each!

I think they would be sweet candy dishes or perfect vessels to corral rings on a nightstand.

I’ll close for now. Excited to be flying back to my hometown in New York state on Wednesday to visit family and friends, eat a lot of good food and do a little antique shopping! Hoping to find lots of goodies to share with you.

As always, happy hunting,

Karen

P.S. I have a number of things on sale in my Etsy shop.

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