Gratitude and a Bit of Frustration

First, let’s get the frustration out of the way! Lately my sourcing has been THWARTED. I’ve been trying to do more online auction buying but I keep getting outbid in the last few seconds. Drat! I recently lost out on some beautiful Victorian-era coral necklaces from England and I’m still kicking myself for not bidding more when I had the chance.

This lot of five necklaces sold for $60, plus $20 shipping from the UK.

The few auctions I have won, didn’t turn out as good as I’d hoped. (Yes, there is something to be said for handling the items in person!)

Take these fabric dolls. (Please!)

I decided since my foray into the teddy bear market I’d dip my toe into a trying to sell a few fabric dolls. There was almost no information about the dolls in the listing but they looked charming and in good condition and were cheap enough to hopefully make it worth my while. Well, they were cute (made by kits from Cranston Print Works), but not as old or as good as I’d hoped with no real profit to be made. Lesson learned!

I’ve listed these two Cranston Print Works dolls, Alice in Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood, for $28 with free shipping.

But despite my online sourcing difficulties, I did get really excited by a few recent finds at my neighborhood thrift store. I spotted these four hand-painted wood plaques with the strangest images. A couple were signed and dated on the back and two had info sheets glued on them. Turns out they are hand-painted replicas of wood door fronts used on beehives in Slovakia. How random is that! The images are from the 1800s.

This image depicts old women being put into a mill and coming out young! Yikes!

The Christmas stuff is out in full force though most, as you might expect, was made yesterday in China, but I did buy this really nice glass bee skep ornament.

I was going to keep it for myself, but I did a little research and turns out it’s a Patricia Breen ornament. Brand new her ornaments sell in the hundreds of dollars!! (I paid $1.49 for mine and will list it for $60.)

This pre-owned Breen beehive ornament sold for $45.

Here are some of the thrift store things I didn’t buy…

Spotted this vintage Coach purse for only $4.99, but it was really worn and scratched with a dark stain on the back and they glued a label on the front! Decided to pass on this one.

I liked this pretty beaded evening bag made in Hong Kong. The exterior looked fine, but the satin lining needed to be cleaned. It was a little pricey at $7.49 and not super old. (I’m guessing early ’90s.) I decided to take a pass on it as I have several beaded bags languishing in my store.

So all in all my sourcing has been a mixed bag–a few highs and a lot of lows. Still, that’s not surprising or out of the norm. It takes a lot of looking to find good pieces at prices with “meat on the bone.”

On the gratitude side, I’m thankful that sales have been strong this month as they were in October. It feels so good to see things go off to new homes. There is a wonderful sense of validation and I’ve been doing a few happy dances. Though honestly a few things were hard to part with…like this carved wood locking box (with key!). I displayed this neat piece on our family room mantel. (Kinda wish I’d kept it!)

$7 thrift store find, sold for $75.

And I was smitten with this Victorian sterling baby ring with turquoise and pearls that makes a perfect midi ring. The new owner loves it too!

Bought for $17 on eBay, sold for $50 with free shipping.

This amazing (11 pound) cast iron dragon bowl with silver overlay just went up the road to San Francisco. It arrived the other day. Hoping she likes it too.

Paid $25 at an estate sale. Sold for $85.

Of course most of my gratitude is for family and friends. I feel so blessed to have so many amazing people in my life. What a gift. Though it is sad that so many of us live thousands of miles away from each other. Still, lots of phone calls help make the miles disappear. And the older I get the more I realize how important it is not to take your loved ones for granted and to make time for each other.

As Thanksgiving here in the U.S. fast approaches, what are you most grateful for?

Happy hunting,


P.S. I have quite a few items on sale in my Etsy store with more being added all the time.


  1. I have the ride riding hood doll, I also thought it was pretty. It has a basket and wolf that comes with it. I had to display it up high on a chair shelf because my son’s cat Sammy loves the color red and he will chew it up and hide it. I always enjoy seeing what you have bought. My newest purchase was this but I am keeping it for my husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the doll info. Alice is also missing her cat, but I figured someone will still want these…maybe! LOVE the story of your most recent purchase…what an amazing art find and so appreciate that you shared its history. All the best, Karen

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great finds, those door fronts are interesting! I live in Santa Rosa so I’m grateful our house didn’t burn in either fire and will be most grateful if we have power over the holidays because we have quite a few shut offs in our area.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi RetroDee. Oh my yes, being safe from the fire is a BIG one. Hoping you have power for the holidays. So far we haven’t been cut. And thankfully there’s going to be rain next week! Karen

      P.S. The door fronts sold today!!


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