Thrift Store Finds : Valentine-esque Version 2020

Follow Up : Hi. I used all of these thrift store finds within our Valentine’s decor, which you can see here, if you’d like.


Greetings online friends!

Hopefully you enjoy seeing items that were found at the thrift stores, as, today, that’s what I have for you. Here are some thrifted things I’ve picked up in recent months, selected for this particular post because I plan to incorporate them into some Valentine decor over the next couple of weeks.

Once everything is set up, I’ll take photos of each piece in action, so you can see how cute secondhand things can look, while costing next to nothing.

Everything except for two items (which I’ll point out when we come to them) , was found at the Value Village at Lansdowne and Bloor Street West, in Toronto. That’s really the only thrift store I go to regularly because I don’t drive and it’s near a subway stop, but before Christmas, my sister and I drove west of the city, to Etobicoke, where we found a Thrifting Utopia area with four big stores.

The most expensive thing, at $4.99 Cdn, was the handmade quilted table runner. Everything else was in the $1 to $3 Cdn range.

While I personally veer more toward vintage finds when I thrift, because that’s the look I go for, I also pick up some newer items, too. In this case, the more current things include a glass vase, a couple of side-plates, a cotton tea towel and some place-mats.

Let’s begin with some vintage figurines :

One thing that is always near the top of my “Thrift Wish List”, is an authentic old Valentine figurine, such at those made by Lefton in the 50s and 60s (search images for Lefton Valentine figurine, to see what I mean). I’ve yet to find one “in the wild” but was quite happy to find these three pieces that will work for Valentine decor, but can also be displayed at other times of the year.

↑ This ceramic planter has no markings on it but my online reasearch identifies it as Shawnee Pottery, made in the 40s. Located in Ohio, USA, this company produced pottery from 1937 to 1961. I found it at the Value Village in Etobicoke. ↑

↑ Aside from a little cut behind the lady there, which is very smooth and glazed over, so happened during manufacturing, it’s in perfect condition. ↑

↑ This adorable bisque figurine was covered in dirt and dust when I spotted it on the shelf. I actually left it there, but went back for it before checking out. I’m so glad I did, because it makes me happy every time I look at it. Based on the worn paint in some spots, I’d say it’s pretty old, but I have no idea when it was made, or if this girl and her dog are characters from a book or comic. The only markings are a “Made in Taiwan” sticker on the bottom. ↑

↑ This ceramic Persian kitten was glued to a very ratty looking fabric cushion thing, that I pulled off as soon as I got it home. There’s still a solid layer of glue underneath that won’t easily come off, which is obscuring any markings but I know that Lefton made kitten figurines much like this in the 50s/60s. ↑

Now, onto vases :

↑ Here’s the newer “non-vintage” vase I found in the fall and have been using it since (so you’ll already have seen it displayed in our Halloween and Christmas decorating). It has a sticker on the bottom indicating that it originally came from West Elm. It’s a beautiful, smooth and heavy piece of hand-blown coloured glass that I was surprised to find at the thrift store. ↑

↑ I think these two have an Art Deco era look about them, but they’re unmarked so I don’t know for sure. The black cornucopia vase is glazed ceramic and the bud vase is white glass. ↑

↑ This is the second item that didn’t come from the Lansdowne and Bloor Value Village. I found it at The Salvation Army Thrift Store in Etobicoke. ↑

↑ This handmade chrome or stainless steel bowl has a signature of the artist who made it on the bottom, but I can’t make it out. It looks like Hanji but nothing comes up in a search. Regardless, it’s a nice size and shape and goes well with my collection of stainless steel pieces. ↑

Follow Up : I found out more about this bowl. It was originally offered by Michael Aram. As described on his site here : “Each piece of Molten is made by a craftsman dropping individual welds along the edge of the object, not for the function of joinery but for the beauty and spontaneous quality that molten metal can create”.

↑ These three candle related items came together in a grab bag. I was particularly after the chrome snuffer, with a head that pivots nearly 360 degrees, so can be used in any kind of candle holder / jar, but am pleased with the taper holders that came with it. The fancier one is marked silver plated on the bottom.

↑ This old print goes perfectly on my wall of various portraits. I especially like the round frame. ↑

↑ There’s no indication as to how old it is, but someone did write the name “Nicola” on the back. ↑

That’s it for decorative items. Now, onto a few textiles :

↑ This quilted table runner was handmade (using a sewing machine). It appears to have been made and then stored away and never used. Clearly, a lot of work went into it, and it kind of breaks my heart that it wound up at the thrift store and not as a family heirloom made by a beloved relative. For example, the square motif you see there is actually four triangles sewn together to form a perfect square. Now, it shall be properly loved in our home, especially around Valentine’s Day because there are some hearts in the charming print. The other side is a gold filigree print all over, which can be used any time of year. ↑

↑ Nothing fancy, but fresh, clean and useful – A cotton tea towel and a couple of place-mats. ↑

And now, onto dishes and table-wear :

↑ This pretty glass coffee cup was made by The Duncan and Miller Company in the USA. They ceased manufacturing in 1955, so, at minimum, it is 45 years old. ↑

↑ These cut-glass wine glasses are nice and thick, and feel like they won’t break or chip easily. So, they’ll be added to the glasses we regularly use. ↑

↑ I didn’t know we “needed” a set of black napkin rings until we got these! We’ve used them quite a bit already and they look quite good on the table. They’re nice and smooth and heavy for their size, likely made in the 70s from lucite / acrylic. ↑

↑ Dishes, some very old, some pretty old, and some that may have been made last year. ↑

↑ We have some of these handled bowls already, in a Peach Lustre finish seen in this post, and use them quite a bit for snacks. So, I picked up these three white ones when I saw them. I assumed they were “Fire King” like all the others I’ve seen in this style, but upon closer inspection I see they are marked “Anchor Hocking“, which is the American glass company that created the “Fire King” brand in 1942. That means that these probably predate “Fire King”, so are more than 58 years old. Their advanced age won’t stop us from using them, though, as they’re tough and highly chip resistant and we only live once, after all. Might as well use the nice things! ↑

↑ These side-plates are Corelle in the “Enhancements” pattern, which is still being made today. This pattern of dishes are our everyday ones; I bought some new ones as my very first set of dishes right after graduating university and most of them have survived until now. We still really like them, so I pick up pieces from this pattern when I find them in good condition at the thrift store. ↑

↑ Not only do we use currently manufactured Corelle dishes everyday, I also collect old ones in discontinued patterns. I’ve never seen this pattern before — It’s called “Winding Gate” and was discontinued in the late 90s. While I don’t love it as much as my faves, (“Blue Onion” – discontinued in the 70s, “Butterfly Gold” and “Spring Blossom” – both discontinued in the 80s.), I liked the black and white colour scheme enough to bring them home. They’ll go with another black and white pair I have in a gingham pattern (seen here). ↑

And that’s it for now. Thanks very much for checking out what I’ve found at the thrift store recently.

Wishing you an excellent weekend, xo loulou