Life, Thrifting and Carrying On

The other day I had my first medical appointment of 2020–a long overdue skin cancer check. I had an early appointment (7:40 a.m.) and met more medical staff arriving than I did patients. But I was in and out in a flash and my dermatologist didn’t find any problems. I left the building with a huge sigh of relief. My mom died at 65 of melanoma and I’ll admit the closer I get to 65 the more it haunts me.

The next day I had a scheduled donation at one of my favorite up-scale thrift stores. I gave them some neat artwork that wasn’t selling in my online store, a few pieces of pottery (including a Frankoma piece and a Polish cheese plate and lid) and a small bag of books. All good things that I knew they would appreciate. Then I parked the car and went in.

This small store has lovely things, but is often close to antique-store prices. Still, I find it a delightful venue to explore. Wanted to buy this pretty bird tea cup, but at $10 I just wasn’t sure. (Sorry I didn’t photograph the maker’s mark. It was a bit faded and not one I recognized.)

These naive dog paintings (approx. 7″ by 7″) were cute but too pricey at $20 for an unknown artist.

I did buy this S.B. & Co. English silver plate bon bon dish. The maker’s mark on this dates it from 1906-1914. The four little cupid faces are quite worn and it is very tarnished, but I think that is part of its charm. This, I’ll admit though, was a heart buy at $10.

I saw a display of eight or nine of these vintage carved wooden plaques that the sign said were astrology carvings. Part of me wanted to buy the whole lot, but in the end I just picked my two favorites. Need to do research on these.

Leo the lion.
Pisces fish.

One of the volunteers shared the story how she and a friend had found them free by the side of the road while out on a walk and lugged them a mile down the road to their car. I thought two things after she told me this…so glad they rescued them and why do I never find free stuff like this???!

Earlier this week I also found a couple of things at my neighborhood thrift store, like this pretty hand-hammered brass box with a nice hinge and secure fit, possibly a snuff box.

And a bit of outsider art by “KC” or “RC” that I have decided to call “The End of Childhood.” The abandoned toys and broken toy box seem so bittersweet. Will anyone want to this painting? I think so…maybe!!

I’ll likely list this for $45.

And on eBay I bought a few vintage black and white snapshot lots from Daniel (store name: dv33). I’ve been buying photos from Daniel for 10 years or more. I keep the ones I want and resell the rest or use them in projects. Last year I turned some into humorous tags for Christmas presents.

Of the lot I received recently she’s a keeper. Love her smile and that outfit, particularly those lace-up boots.

And this one. I wonder what the story is behind this group of dapper young adults.

And there is something poignant about this old couple with his too-big pants cinched in at the waist with a belt and the ma with her bosoms at hers.

And things are continuing to sell, though it’s slowed down a bit. One sale has my youngest daughter shaking her head. I bought this small handmade brutalist cross while visiting her at college in Bellingham, WA, last year. She despised it and thought I was crazy. But I liked it and was sure someone else would too. It’s heading off to its new home today.

Paid $6.50. Sold for $35 with free shipping.

But not all is good news in my store, recently a young man blasted me with a one-star review on the condition of an item. I was surprised as the photos (including close-ups) clearly show all the issues, plus I gave a write up of the condition in the listing. I reached out to him and it was obvious from his reply that he was very angry. I asked if he had looked at all the photos before purchasing it and he has since ghosted me. (Some of you may be thinking that I should let him return the item. And he can! In fact I mentioned it to him. My store has always accepted returns.)

So there it is, a one-star review for all the world to see, but one that is not warranted in my opinion. It doesn’t affect my overall store rating, nor has it stopped people from buying, but I take my stores seriously. I work very hard at the photos, descriptions and measurements. I take time carefully packaging things and ship them quickly. And I allow returns (which not all sellers do) because I want a buyer to have that option if he/she is not 100% satisfied with the item. So this review irked me. I walked around the house under a cloud for a day, shaking my head and muttering. (I mean honestly people look at the photos and read the description for Pete’s sake!!!)

But I’ve calmed down and am carrying on. Buying a few interesting bits. Listing them. Still collecting food for neighbors in need. Getting back to doing aerobics. And doing my best not to get Covid-19. Hope all is well with you.

Happy hunting in these strange times,



  1. I know exactly how you feel Karen, about receiving a one star review. It happened to me once and I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. I felt horrible for at least an entire day. The item was exactly as described…. but no, people do not read descriptions. I contacted the seller a few times asking her to return it for a full refund. I too had no response. It didn’t affect my overall rating but I felt betrayed. I love each of my items like I know you do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for sharing Linda. In a strange way it’s helped to know I’m not alone in this. This item had such a neat history and I’m sorry that it ended up with this guy who probably threw it away.

      For some items now I am adding “AS IS” or “Please Read Description” in the title.

      All the best, Kaen

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Karen, I’m sorry this happened to you. It’s not the same, but when I sell on Marketplace and other similar sites, I know I’m going to get a lot of questions that people can easily get the answers to if they read the listing and look at the pictures. It’s obvious people don’t take the time to do this and then get angry when they don’t get their way. Anyway, you don’t deserve that.

    I’m happy that things are still selling, and I hope that continues. Our shop is surprisingly doing pretty good. Some weeks are better than others, but overall not bad. And since we miss going to our auctions so much, we spent last night doing some online bidding on one! It was a lot of fun! It doesn’t end until Friday, so we’ll see if I win anything! 🙂

    And I love those old black and white photographs! They are a favorite of mine as well. You just can’t beat black and white photography.
    Take care,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Trish. I’m always surprised when folks don’t look at all the photos or read the description before buying something! Crazy!

      Good luck on your auctions. I buy a number of things through online auction. Course I lose a lot of auctions too. Still it’s fun and I’ve gotten quite a few good things this way.

      Glad your sales are going well too. Such a strange time we are living in. Who would have predicted any of this??

      All the best, Karen

      Liked by 1 person

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