One Man's Trash...

Well it's cool and kind of funny
When the cashier calls me honey
She never takes much money
Down at the thrift shop...
~Dan Zanes & Friends*

Love that song by Dan Zanes.

Know what I love more?  Thrifting!  (Yes, at some point thrift store/secondhand shopping got its own verb--though nobody seems to have told spell check).  

My romance with thrifting began as a teenager when I went through a Grateful Dead/hippie-esque phase.  What better place to buy old dashikis and Indian printed skirts than the thrift shop?  Eventually my tastes changed, though, and the thrift shop was replaced by Limited Express (Forenza sweaters anyone?)

I probably didn't venture into another thrift shop until I was in my 30's.  Suddenly I had two little girls.  And what's the best thing about little girls?  Why dressing them up, of course!  (Okay, there are plenty of things that are even better than that but you've gotta admit, the dressing-them-up part is pretty fun.)  Suddenly I was drooling over adorable little dresses in boutiques all over Chicago.  However, the thought of spending $40-$140 (!) on an outfit from Baby Lulu or Oilily was completely outrageous to me, so I did what any smart shopper would do.  I turned to ebay.  (Etsy didn't exist at the time.)

The more I perused ebay, the more intrigued I became about the sellers and what they were selling.  Despite vague descriptions about "gently worn" clothing, I just had a feeling that the clothing being sold didn't come from these sellers' closets.  Then it hit me!  Thrift shops!  I realized that a lot of these people were buying clothes at thrift shops and reselling them on ebay.  I wanted in on that action.

It only took one or two trips before I found my first Oilily (one of the perks of living in a city like Chicago: the thrift shops are filled with good stuff!)  Needless to say I was hooked.  I ended up selling on ebay for a year or two.  It was fun and satisfying and profitable.  But the inventory started to overwhelm me a bit and as my kids grew out of the cute boutiquey clothes and into their own styles, my interest waned.  When my inventory had whittled down to a manageable amount I sold the rest at a children's consignment sale for a small profit.  

It was right about that time that we bought our house.  I soon found that my love of thrifting carried over from clothes to home decor, or what my husband lovingly calls knick-knackery.  (And by lovingly I mean the exact opposite of lovingly.)  

So I thought today I'd share a few of my finds, from things I've loved and kept to things that will populate that barely-existent etsy shop I keep talking about.  You can also read about other finds (and thrifting adventures) here and here.

One of my favorite things to buy at thrift shops is vintage Pyrex.  There is just something about those fun colors and patterns that's addicting.  In a perfect world I'd be a girl with a beach house.  And in its cute, white, weathered kitchen I would use lots of vintage Pyrex in fun colors like pink! and blue!  But alas, the world is not perfect.  For that reason I will likely be selling these finds in my shop:

I'd also keep that beach house stocked with milk glass.  (I believe I've already discussed my love of the milk glass.)  The pieces below?  They're vintage pearlescent milk glass custard cups by Fenton.  I found them at a Goodwill in Palm Springs.  They'd probably do nicely in a shop but I have a feeling they're going to end up in my daughter's room.  I can just see them on her dresser (or nightstand) filled with rings or other small valuables.

The milk glass hen on a nest?  She's going into the store...

...and so is her friend the turkey...

...and the brown hen.

I also love finding pretty tins.  Not sure yet what I'll do with these two Amvets finds:

These lanterns from Goodwill are definitely staying with me.

And I can't sell this Pottery Barn charging station on etsy because it's not vintage.  It was $6.50 on a half-price day at Amvets and I just couldn't leave without it.  (Note the original price tag.)  I might clean it up and sell it on ebay or maybe I'll paint it and give it to one of my girls.  I don't need one because I actually made my own.   (More on that in a future post.)

So, what interesting thrift finds have you made lately?

*Not entirely sure those are the exact lyrics; couldn't find them written out anywhere...


  1. I love pyrex and found some orange and the blue with the hens recently! Great finds!

  2. What are you talking about? You are selling that turkey to ME!! My grandma had one exactly like it and I think my sister nabbed it, along with my grandma's beautiful record player.

    Hey, I know someone who just had a birthday...Buahahaha

  3. I love how big that charging station is! I have far too many cords and gadgets to plug in...

    Nice finds!

  4. I know. I really want to find somewhere to use it in my house but I've already made one in a drawer. Thanks for the comment!

  5. There is something special about old pyrex, makes me feel like I can cook.

  6. I can't get enough of vintage pyrex. I have a set of blue and white mixing bowls just like the one that you found that were my grandmother's. I always keep my eye out for pyrex when thrifting but haven't found any lately.

  7. gah! i know about spell check not recognizing "thrifting!"

    that brown hen is quite delightful!

  8. Oooo I love milk glass, too! I haven't found much around here, mostly vases. But I have at least one of each style that I've found :)

  9. Oh, I love that blue Pyrex, I've never come across that before. I did have a small mixing bowl that was pink (a rare find) but it was broken in a move.
    Do you still have the blue?


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