When I was up at my parents’ place last month, my mother and I went thrifting. They live in a town that has some very good thrift stores, so we usually go to see what treasures we might find whenever I visit.
Here are the things I got. It might look like a lot but we went to three stores, one of which I always seem to have good luck at. It’s a Goodwill and it is jammed with things. You really have to look carefully because, while they try to keep things in departments, the items are all just stuffed together on shelves, the good mixed right in with the junk. I find the search fun and don’t mind the mess, as this means less is spent on staffing and so more of what shoppers spend finds its way to the hands of the charity.
We’ll start with the things I got at Goodwill then …
A fine china teapot made by Seltmann Weiden Bavaria. Nick and I have recently both gotten into tea in the past year and we needed another pot with a good non-drippy spout and this one was in perfect shape and just waiting for me.
Speaking of tea, I’ve mentioned before that Nick has invented a delicious cocktail made with rum, molasses and a particular blend of teas. Since it is a hot drink we won’t be having it so much now that summer is here, but I got these amber coloured cups specifically for his ‘Sinner’s Tea’. They are made in France by Duralex and while they look fragile they’re quite strong, as this manufacturer is known for their technique in tempering glass. I found a story about the company and its glass making here if you’re interested.
A vintage pressed glass tray, again in amber coloured glass. It looks to be from the 50s.
Different eras but the same colour …
A second small tray, this one made of stainless steel.
I found this platter at the very back of a crowded shelf and liked the mod look of it. I’m not sure if it’s vintage or new, but know it will be handy for serving hors d’oeuvres.
An oval shaped wooden cutting board that has never been used.
A pair of stainless steel salad-serving forks.
Oh, and I mustn’t forget the rabbit figurine. It now sits happily in my glass-fronted cabinet, beside the cute squirrel given to us by our friends Julie and Guy (seen here.)
Next are the things I got at the Salvation Army Thrift Store …
They had a separate section for items with proceeds going directly to their summer camp for kids in need, so I got this beautiful silver-plated large coaster from there. It is now on my bedside table for my water glass and I love it. It’s easy to aim at in the middle of the night!
You wouldn’t recognize one of my thrifting posts if there wasn’t at least one piece of Corelle dishware amoungst my haul! These bowls are a tiny size that I’ve never seen before. I think this size of bowl is called a nappy, but I don’t much want to put something called that on my table, so let’s just call them small bowls. I put the bigger cereal bowl in there for size comparison. I bought that one during this thrifting trip.
Finally we went to Value Village. This is one of a chain of thrift stores in north America and when I usually post about thrifting trips, I’ve been to the Value Village in Toronto. VV is a corporation in the business of helping a variety of registered charities raise funds. They get their items from the charities, who collect donations directly from residents. For example, a couple of weeks ago a driver from the charity we choose to support came to our home and picked up 5 large bags of things we were ready to part with. We just label them and leave them outdoors on the agreed upon day. Then the charity in-turn will sell the goods to Value Village.
Their stores are a lot more organized than other thrift stores and they have quite a few employees stocking the shelves with new items and keeping things tidy. Everything for sale is clean and the textiles all appear to be have been laundered and pressed. Going to Value Village is kind of like going to a regular store but the things that are for sale change every day and they are all secondhand (although not always used). This being so, the goods at Value Village are relatively more expensive than they are at other thrift stores. They’re also familiar with the value of vintage items that people like to collect (like Pyrex) and try to price them accordingly. I say try because they don’t always catch everything and I have found some great deals on true vintage things at Value Village, but you really have to look.
The higher prices at VV mean shoppers are more selective about what they put into their baskets. In fact, I missed a really pretty cake-stand by walking away from it because it was marked at $8. Then a couple of aisles over I began thinking to myself that that was not at all expensive for such a nice item, so I went back to get it and of course it was gone. After going to Goodwill and Salvation Army where you can basically get anything you like because everything is only a couple of dollars or so, $8 seemed really high, but a nice glass one bought at retail would cost considerably more. Then again, I didn’t really need the cake-stand either, so I guess the higher prices at Value Village saves me some cupboard space!
Anyway, here is what I did come home with from Value Village …
Two Books I’ve been wanting to read. Both are titles I’ve seen on other bloggers’ ‘Must Read’ lists. The first was ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn, which I’ve already finished reading. It is a very intriguing mystery. The second was ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy. This was her first book and won the Booker Prize in 1997. I can’t wait to read it.
And that is all! Three stores shopped over two afternoons. My mother also got some nice things, including a lovely vintage ceramic pitcher with a rose decal on it, a black and silver beaded necklace, and a couple of cat statues to add to her collection. I tried to get a shot of her tastefully displayed mismatched cat family but it didn’t turn out, so I’ll have to try again next time I visit. And you can be certain that I’ll have another thrift store shopping story to tell you about at that time too!
Thank you for taking a look,