Thrifting Life in Spring 2021

After the sourcing bust on my mini-vacay by the ocean, it has felt good to find nice things at my old standby…my neighborhood thrift store just a mile from my house. For nine years this store has been a honey hole for me. And a few years back I got to know some of the other 9:00 a.m. Sunday folks–Patty, Jean-Jerome and Mikey. We become friends though we never exchanged last names, phone numbers or email addresses but each Sunday we greeted each other with smiles and kind words and exclaimed at each others’ finds.

Patty in 2019 finding the bargains!

It’s been 14 months since I’ve seen Patty and 10 months since I’ve seen Jean-Jerome or Mikey. We didn’t know each other well, but Patty was a loving grandmother who swam regularly at a pool on Stanford campus. Mikey worked at Stanford but lost his job due to the pandemic. Dapper Jean-Jerome worked at IBM and at one time lived in Montreal. He used to joke that the store should have coffee ready for us on Sundays. I agreed! Is it strange to say I miss them? Cuz I do.

Nowadays I see bunches of new people. Tons of new people. We don’t talk to each other. We don’t get to know each other. When I walk in it’s all business. Well, it is what it is. Still I have found a few lovely things lately…so I can’t complain…but I do miss my picking friends! 😔

But on a Happier Note, Some Lovely Thrift Store Finds for Spring

This hand-blown glass vase was a stunner. The colors are not the colors I typically gravitate to, but I find these…refreshing! I flipped it over and saw what I was hoping to see…an acid-etched signature. Turns out this is a piece by Mad Art Glass Studio in Southern California who are known for producing colorful, whimsical vessels. They sell most of their items in the $80-$210 range.

And this Impressionist-style Paris painting was a winner. It was in a 1970s frame that was falling apart so I removed it. I think the painting displays nicely on its own. This cityscape gives the the impression that there’s just been a spring rain! It is unsigned, but in the style of the popular Caroline Burnett Paris paintings.

I love this unusual chunky pottery compote. Likely mid-century modern, this striking piece has three bullseyes carved into the sides. On the bottom it has an incised number and likely the word “Italy” or a maker’s mark. (Haven’t figured it out. ) I think someone is going to love this because it is so bold and graphic!

Everybody was walking past this metal Jerusalem paperweight without giving it a second glance. Here’s the thing…it has a sterling silver overlay! I sold one a few years ago for $75. (There are more on the market now, so I’ve priced this a little lower.) A great gift idea for anyone who loves the Holy Land.

Total paid for glass vase, painting, compote and paperweight: $33.00

Mind-Blowing Freebie

I do look on Freecycle and other sites for free or low-cost items as part of my store sourcing. And one listing popped up in my email feed as a “Beaded evening purse”. I clicked through to the site, but the listing was grayed out, so I decided to contact the owner through the email link. Well she got back to me right away and said it was mine and she’d put it outside for me. Her name sounded familiar and it turns out that she’s been one of the folks in my neighborhood who drops off canned goods at my house that I later take to a nearby food pantry! I’ve been doing that for the last 12 months and she and her husband have been regular donors. What a neat connection!

Well, her “Beaded evening purse” was an antique Whiting and Davis enamel mesh purse! I gasped when I pulled it out of the bag. It’s in beautiful condition other than a bit of color loss to a few of the mesh pieces. (You can see it near the top.) Thankfully it wasn’t a family heirloom and she confessed she didn’t remember where she got it.

Sold (and listed) prices are all over the place for these bags, but I’ll likely price this in the $80-$90 range. But first I’m going to display it and enjoy it for a while! It’s a beauty. 😊

Wishing you happy hunting,


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