Monday, September 16, 2013

Thrifty Finds

I've been trying really hard to keep away from the thrift stores pretty much all summer.  With my daughter going into a rental house for university, I did venture in for the sole purpose of outfitting her with a few things.   I picked up a chair to round out the four I purchased through Kijiji, and a very nice set of all-white dishes (sorry no photo there), among other helpful "necessities".


But for myself, I curtailed my shopping because it was actually starting to bring me down a bit.  My house is full.  My cupboard space is full.  My closets are full (and I don't have a lot of closet space in the first place).  And I started to question over and over again "do I really need any more things??!!   The answer, as you might guess, is a resounding "NO!" 

But the sign above my local thrift shop states that thrifting is "the ultimate treasure hunt".   I wish they would take that sign down, because it reminds me how much I like to go on that treasure hunt. 
 
I went over to visit my dad on Saturday.   My visits with Dad are not always pleasant.  For the past few weeks he's been in a miserable mood, and making me feel like a total B***H of a daughter to him.  I know he's not mentally himself anymore, but his words are harsh and bitter.  One thing my dad always liked to do is sing.  He had quite a repertoire of songs that he would regale us with over the years.  Musical plays were a favourite of his. 
 
So when he started again on the topic of what a miserable bunch of wenches we all were for not letting him live with us, I started to sing "All I Want is a Room Somewhere" ("My Fair Lady").  He was hooked.  Oddly enough, although he can't remember my name, or what town he lives in, or even what "a.m." on his clock radio means, he can remember most of the words to his favourite old songs.  I read once "the brain forgets, but the tongue always remembers".   After these rather trying visits, I've been treating myself to the thrift store ... and what do you know!  A Gilbert & Sullivan song book awaited me ;)
 
 
Did I mention my dad has been ornery for the past few weeks during my visits?  Yeah, so I've been to the thrift store a few times lately and picked up more treasures.  But I honestly had my little cart filled with much more and I was quite proud of myself that I was able to return most things to the shelf once I had a little time to think about what I truly wanted to keep.
 
Ceramic jars ... with lids! ...
 
 
... still a weak spot for me.

 
A nice-sized bean pot for Baked Brown Beans this winter ...
 
 
It's got that nice two-toned brown & white that has been appealing to me lately.  AND!  I have Mom's old recipe for the baked beans :)
 
 
A trio ...
 
 
... of nesting boxes ... with lids!!
 
 
I'm pretty sure these are Ikea's seagrass boxes, and they don't look like they've been used and still smell like seagrass and not someone's basement.  Do you sniff items like this before you buy them?  I try to do it discreetly ... sometimes you just can't wash a smell out of an item, and I'll leave those on the shelf.  They look nice all grouped together on top of the dresser ... great for hiding away bits of jewelry ... or thrift store receipts!
 
 
In hindsight, I should've left this figurine on the store shelf.  She's cute, but I bought it out of pure impulse and it's not my usual type of purchase.  It reminded me of a little figurine of a boy by "Hummel" that my mom once had (and I ruined it when I was young and always felt badly about it).
 
 
Maybe I bought it to appease my guilty conscience.  I think I'll set her in the bathroom on a tiny shelf ... my bathrooms all lack any sort of decoration.

 
A blown glass ball.  This one had some inner strands of glass and a small tag attached described it as "The Tree of Life".  I have a few other glass balls hanging in my sunny windows that Mom bought for me at craft shows ... the collection grows ... the window space doesn't.
 
 
And I know we're not there yet (nowhere near, right?!), but I liked this little cookie stamp.  This is from a set that I believe Eaton's had out one year.  My husband bought me one with Santa on it, and my kids and I make shortbreads using the stamp and they used to be the cookie set out for Santa on Christmas Eve.
 
 
The ceramic cookie press on the bottom is fairly cute, and I'll be making more shortbreads with it soon.  My kids don't leave cookies out for Santa anymore, so the entire task of eating the cookies falls to us ... sigh ...

 
This next piece I bought last year sometime, but I don't think I ever blogged about it.
 
 
It's a very delicately thin decorative pottery plate.  The only name on the bottom is "Joanie", so it makes me think that Joanie made it up in a pottery class at some time.  I really like the colours in this fish, and think it will eventually be hung on the wall somewhere.  It's been sitting on a bookcase for the past long while, but I'd like it to be more visible.
 
This little stove-top percolator caught my eye in the housewares.  I put it to use this afternoon and brewed one very strong pot of coffee.  Usually I make coffee in a coffee maker, and not that often (prefer tea), so I need to experiment with this cute little pot a bit more before I dare serve my coffee to anyone else. 
 
 
 
And that's it!
 
I hope you're also able to keep your treasure hunting in check, or our kids will be lamenting the day we ever discovered thrift store shopping.
 
Thanks for stopping by!
 
Wendy
 
PS ... this is my 100th post!
 
 
This Downy Woodpecker visited me beside the patio on Sunday :)
 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 

32 comments:

  1. I love all of your finds. I wish our thrift stores had so many nice things, I feel like they're just junk stores here. I almost never see anything I could imagine wanting to put in my house! Ha. I'm sorry about your dad. That sounds really hard. I've been there too. Just remember that you're doing the best you can and that you are a good daughter.

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    1. There are some rather disgusting stores in our area too, which I just can't bring myself to step foot in. I know I'm not alone in caring for an aging parent, and this has only been our lives for the last couple of years. I'm just glad that he's now in a retirement home where he's safe, as all my siblings and I live far away. Thanks Jennifer :)

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  2. I've actually been wanting to go treasure hunting lately but it's been SO hot and I've been pretty busy. I like the idea of rewarding yourself after a tough visit with your dad. Visiting my parents has become very frustrating and upsetting to the point that I'm avoiding it most of the time. Rewarding myself with some treasure hunting just might be the solution...maybe. ;-) Looks like you found some great things. I have the same set of IKEA baskets. They work great on the back of the toilet. The biggest one is perfect for toilet paper and the two smaller ones work great for other necessities. The coffee pot is so cute! I like the shape. Same with the bean pot. I don't buy as many "treasures" as I used to and I try to go through things often and donate back. It helps a little. But, somehow, my cupboards are still filling up too. Have a great week! :-)

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    1. I guess a lot of us are brought into this new territory of caring for our parents eventually. I just wish there was more happiness in it. It's taken quite a toll on my entire family. I go through my stuff a lot too and get rid of things regularly. My house isn't big, so I have to be careful with my purchases.

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  3. Congratulations on your 100th post!!!

    Would you believe? I don't do "thrifting". Imagine that?!? I just don't want more "stuff."

    Oh dear, I hope you didn't faint, when reading that last line! -gigggles-

    I know. I'm so different, than seemingly every other blogger. I know. I know. But we gotta' march to our own drum or whatever... ,-)

    But with the trying visits you have to make, I'm glad there is something to pull your spirits back up, after. -sigh- -sigh- -sigh- {{{{{Wendy}}}}}

    Tessa~

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    1. Thank you Tessa. I've always enjoyed looking through flea markets and antique stores since I was a teenager. It was entertainment then, just as it is now. I mostly just like looking at old stuff! I try and limit my buying to things I can actually use or are just plain pretty :) I've returned things that don't work for me and don't feel badly because they only cost a couple of dollars anyway. I don't think it's strange at all that you don't go on the treasure hunt ;) Enjoy your week!

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  4. We are experiencing similar concerns with my husbands parents-it is challenging and everyone seems to have an opinion on what should be done. I wish you the best with what you are facing and please know that you are doing the very best that can be done.
    Your thrifty finds are beautiful-
    Warm Hugs,
    Jemma

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    1. Thank you so much Jemma. A lot of things have settled into a comfortable pattern with respect to my parents. We had a lot more turmoil a few years ago, and you're right ... everyone felt they knew how my family should be handling things. I think we did pretty well, although it did tear a few holes in our relationships. I don't think I'll ever feel like I've done enough for my dad now that he's on his own, but I can't see a way to change it either. All the best to you with your in-laws, it's not a road anyone really wants to follow, but we muddle along somehow and hopefully do the right thing.

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  5. What a lovely collection ! I really like the the little blue ceramic container and percolator, which has a vintage feel to it. Congratulations on your 100th post !!.......... and as always I enjoy reading your blog.
    have a wonderful week. - Gaia

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    1. Thank you Gaia, I did enjoy my little forays the past couple of weeks, and felt I came away with some decent finds. I hope you have a great week too :)

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  6. I'm sorry to hear about your dad....that song book was more than meant to be for sure. Your treasures are spectacular! You have such a knack for finding such lovely things!! Loving those lidded pieces!!!! You hang in there....I will be thinking about you friend....all the best this week....Nicole

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    1. Thanks so much for the kind words Nicole :)

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  7. I've never really gotten into thrifting. I never see anything that is worth bringing home. But I am always impressed with what others find at thrift stores. Your finds are amazing!! I have similar glass balls made from mt st helens ash. I think this is a good way to relieve a bit of the stress in your life. How frustrating to hear those words from your father.

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    1. I used to be more into antique markets, but antiques in my area seem to have been depleted and the prices have skyrocketed. I just go to a 'chain' thrift store because it's fairly clean :) I've been to some pretty grubby flea markets full of garbage that just turn me off completely. Yeah, Dad has a real talent for this ... most days I can let it go, but when it builds up over the weeks I find myself slipping into depression and guilt.

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  8. Thrift shopping therapy - it's much less expensive than the new-stuff version. And way, way cooler. You find the best things! I'm so sorry about the difficult visits with your dad. Such a gut-wrenching experience.

    Hugs...

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    1. Thanks so much Wabi-Sabi :) I agree, there are more expensive ways to raise my spirits, but this works for me. Dad's been fortunate to live in his own home for 88 years, so it's hard to hear him grumble about how unhappy he is now.

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  9. Oh, and I've been staying away from thrift stores too this summer. Because I've been going to yard sales instead :P

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    1. HA!! I'd go to yard sales too, but my family refuses to allow me to stop!

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  10. I think you gave your dad a wonderful gift -- the gift of song.

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    1. Next weekend I'll have to sing along with him too. He can't figure out a CD player (or radio, or TV) anymore, so any music has to be 'live'. Thanks for stopping in Stephanie ;)

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  11. OK pleeeeeeease don't cross me off your blog list...I don't collect anything. I used to,oriental pottery but now I find that if I have it ...I have to dust it,and the pleasure is gone. I dream of clear surfaces everywhere. I've gone all minimalist as I age!
    Jane x

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    1. You're in luck ... because I don't know HOW to cross anyone off my blog list ;) I like clean surfaces too, and only have a few things out on end tables & my buffet. Now that I have a nice tall china case, I can display my most treasured pieces (because I don't like dust settling on them). And I like just a few interesting objects tucked in a bookshelf here and there.

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  12. Congatulations on your 100th post ... lovely thrifty finds, I can't stop either ... Bee xx

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    1. Thanks Bee ... well it is fun to do, isn't it!

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  13. Congratulations on your 100th post :)
    Great thrift find, there are some real treasures in there. I like the little girl and cat figurine. I used to have a similar one when I was little, it might still be around somewhere, not sure exactly where though.

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    1. Thank you Hilde. Yeah, the little girl is cute, and reminds me of something my grandmother would probably have liked. She just doesn't fit with most of my other things, so she needs her own place :)

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  14. Wendy, I'm pretty sure I know the "matcher" of that little girl... It's a little guy playing something too with a puppy at he's feet! I am pretty sure it was in my Grandma's house, on her mantle, when we were growing up. The minute I saw it, I knew I had seen it before... I must hunt them down!

    Also a cookie stamp... Dolly would die! Perfect for Santa cookies for sure! Have a great week my friend! You are some treasure hunter! Hazel x

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    1. There was another figurine beside this one at the store, but I don't think it was a boy & puppy ... but that would make a nice little set. The cookie stamps work really well too, especially for shortbreads ... all that butter keeps them from sticking to the stamp.

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  15. That is quite a haul Wendy. I can't imagine what it would look like if you weren't cutting down! I'm happy to hear you found something to make a connection with your Dad.

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    1. I thought I was very much in control ... this is what I collected over the last month or more.

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  16. ooooo so sorry about your dad that must be so tough! Love the find, i have exactly the same set of brown wicker lidded pots but also a haunted en-suite ad whatever is in there always messes with the littlest lid...seriously!!the little figurine you said you shouldn't keep was my favourite xxxxx

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    1. What a strange room to have a haunting in! Maybe they're looking for something in that little wicker pot. The little girl is now in my china cabinet (because I have to first FIND a little shelf for the bathroom for her to sit on).

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