Temporarily Out of Order!

I have been out of commission for days thanks to a painful bacterial infection. On Monday I got meds from my GP office’s but they didn’t seem to be helping. Since the office had recommended I see an Ear/Nose/Throat specialist I made an appointment for Wednesday morning. Sooooo glad I did! Turns out I was on the wrong antibiotic and inflammatory for the problem. Now I’m on the right stuff and I am starting to feel better…finally!

All that to say I have not done any thrifting or antiquing or much of anything for days. I’ve been a lump on a couch. But that will change this weekend. And today, while still staying home, I thought it would be a good opportunity to chip away at some of those pesky items I keep putting to the bottom of the inventory pile as well as pare down more of my personal collections.

A Few of My Pesky Items

I bought a heavy beaver totem back in September 2020. I did some research and it looked like it could be a Native American piece carved out of argillite. But was it authentic? Pieces that are the real deal can sell in the hundreds to thousands of dollars. Well I contacted an art gallery in Canada that sold these type of pieces and offered free appraisals. They never got back to me and I dropped the matter. But now I need to move these on one way or the other and went back to researching online.

Here’s what a real Native American carved beaver looks like

Here’s mine. Really a night and day difference.

Here’s what I’ve concluded about my beaver:

  • it’s unsigned, which is very odd compared to other Native American pieces
  • it has this weird hollowed out area in back which makes no sense and no other piece I’ve looked at has this
  • one ear was broken off and reattached
  • the base was attached with a wood dowel…again very unusual
  • it’s not the same quality

My conclusion…my beaver is a reproduction made of a stone composite in a mold. I will be redonating it (Loss: $7-8)

I also have a backlog of sterling silver charms and charm bracelets that I need to get listed! When I bought this bracelet I was planning on dismantling it and selling most of the charms individually which would have brought a reasonable profit. But it seemed a shame to dismantle this one with its mostly Hawaiian theme, circa 1940s/1950s. I pulled off a few charms to sell separately but am leaving the rest as is. Not a great financial move on my part as when all is said and done I will make little profit. 😒

A Few Finds This Weekend

Finally got to my neighborhood thrift store. After being absent for a week it was grand to see so much new stock. I found a nice Bing and Grondahl Danish vase. It doesn’t ring my bells but I think someone will like it.

Will list for $40.

But I think this painting is absolutely FABULOUS. I know some of you are going to think I’m crazy, but the more I look at this naive folk art painting the more I like it. It’s delightfully weird and the inner-city street scene has so many little messages in it. (My photos don’t do it justice.)

Like in this part…the women in front is green with envy at the woman in back. Now notice the black and white wall behind them. It’s mostly skulls but where the woman in back is it has dollar signs!

When I showed it to my youngest daughter, she wasn’t too sure about it, but after a minute of looking at it said, “I think we should keep this for a while.”

It is professionally framed and double matted, though it has no signature that I can find. I will put it on Chairish which attracts more interior decorators and people I think who will appreciate this. Price? Possibly $150.

Total cost for both thrift store items: $19.48

What I’d love to find in the wild is a painting by Michelangelo Lovelace Sr., who sadly died at age 60 this past April. He painted incredible street scenes of urban Cleveland. (They typically sell in the $$$$.)

This is one of my favorites of his.

FreeCycle Find

And I noticed on FreeCycle a new listing for lab glassware. Now mind you I have plenty of lab glassware from an another pick this year. Boxes of it with 60% still unlisted though I am chipping away at it.

Here’s what I have listed right now…

But this glassware was free and I thought it behooved me to try and get it! These are smaller pieces which I know folks will like. The guy told me as I picked them up that there had been a lot of interest in them! For once I got there first.

Two Garage Sales

I finally managed to get to my first garage sales in 18 months. Typically they are not good sources for me, accept when it’s on the citywide sale day. But both were nearby so I decided to give them a try. Sadly they both had only newer and lower-quality things. Not a vintage thing in sight. At the first sale I did buy this 8-pack of pencils because I still love to use pencils. Maybe because it reminds me of being in school. I figure these should last me the rest of the decade!

Cost $3, which is normally the price for one pack!

At the second sale I really wanted to find something to buy from this young couple with a 4-month-old baby but I really couldn’t find anything. I did talk to the mom asking her how the delivery went during the pandemic. That was interesting.

On the Mend

It feels great to be getting back to normal. Besides being almost totally painfree I am able to eat solid food again. I was weary of applesauce, yoghurt and chicken broth.

Would love to hear what you’ve been finding!



  1. Hi Karen, I always find your posts so interesting – even though I’m not a customer (we are in a serious mode of downsizing right now.) I am thankful that you have recovered from the bacterial infection – and that’s why I’m quickly writing. A dear nephew of mine, my sister’s younger son, is hospitalized in Milwaukee with a severe sinus infection that went into his brain! At first they thought he’d had a stroke, & they haven’t determined the bacteria yet. This next week a procedure known as brain-washing is scheduled. I did speak briefly with him yesterday and he was improving, thank the Lord. Prayers for Scott are definitely appreciated! (He has a wife – but separated – and five children.) Thank you, Karen.


    1. Oh Judy. So sorry to hear about your nephew Scott. Will pray. The doctor told me on my follow-up visit yesterday that if I had stayed on the original medications, I would have ended up in the hospital. It was a chilling thought. Hope your downsizing is going well! XOXO, Karen


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