Between the ongoing pandemic, the political unrest in the U.S., family problems and sad news from friends, my stress level has been mounting while my motivation to do anything has been plummeting. Maybe some of you know how that feels! Part of me wants to say “Wake me when it’s over” but part of me knows it’s time to roll up my sleeves and do what I can. So I am slogging away on many fronts including getting orders to the post office in a timely fashion and listing a few things.
As a treat though I went to my neighborhood thrift store at opening time on Friday. And by golly I actually found quite a few things (six altogether for $34). To be honest I didn’t find any WOW items. Nothing crazy valuable or wildly on trend. Just “bread and butter” items. Still it was an interesting, eclectic mix and I was in the mood to buy. Here are five of them…
I’m a fan of natural stone/mineral items and this handsome marble box was a no-brainer. A perfect little box to hold rings or cufflinks or on a desk for paper clips.
TIP: Folks love natural stone book ends, obelisks, boxes and figurines. Beware of dyed geodes–those hot pink and turquoise colors rub off on books and fabrics.
This Chinese brass incense burner is a fun thing. It’s not particularly old or finely rendered, but is usable and would add an exotic touch to a shelf or mantel.
This brass bowl was another exotic thing. When buying metal items weight plays a factor for me and this small bowl had a delicious heft (almost a pound). Turns out it’s one of those Nepalese singing bowls traditionally used for meditation and prayer in Buddhist communities. It would normally come with a wooden mallet or stick.
I was charmed by these little brass salt and pepper shakers with wood handles and their little stand. I believe these are European, possibly French (sel and poivre), and date to the 1960s/1970s.
I picture them in an old French kitchen like this one!
I liked the looks of ceramic vase though I wasn’t sure after seeing the “fabrique en chine” mark. Still it was quite fetching. I googled “Fabienne Jouvin, Libellule” and was pleasantly surprised at some of the listing prices. Turns out this originally had a lid, but with or without it, I’m glad I put it in my basket.
The sixth piece is a signed painting dated March 1973 on the back and almost a dead ringer for the 1970 book cover of “Jonathan Livingston Seagull.” I’m not finding any info on the artist, M. Blaisett or Blaiseth so it may be an amateur piece. Still I think there is something rather poignant about this simple painting.
Then on Saturday I went again. It was super busy at 10:30 a.m. and as soon as I walked in another customer came up and asked me if there were other thrift stores in the city. (Well, no, unfortunately.) Turns out they had come from further away because this little thrift store–my neighborhood thrift store–is on a list of the 10 best in the area! Well, that explains the influx of resellers and increased competition over the months. I’ve saw so many new faces in 2020!
Still, I am discovering I tend to look for different things than most people. Like today. I picked up this heavy, textured clay pigeon/mourning dove. I thought it was fabulous. It was marked “Stan” on the bottom and I assumed it was a student piece. Au contraire! Turns out it was made by Stan Langtwait who created “Shapes of Clay” from the 1950s till his death in 1980. These are collected, coveted pieces made from clay from Mt. St. Helens.
I couldn’t be more thrilled to find such a unique piece of vintage pottery.
And I did spot one other piece of handmade pottery that turned my head–a neat wine cooler by Jensen Turnage Pottery that could also be used as a spoon holder or even a vase.
I can picture it on a warm mediterranean patio like this one chilling a bottle of rosé!
So just the two pieces today for a total of $13.38. But it was fun and a bit of a diversion from real life. Later today I’m thinking about making homemade bread and split pea soup…perfect for a cold, rainy day.
What fun diversions are part of your life these days?