Friday, January 20, 2012

Your Local Treasure Trove

If you don't do the junk stores, you don't know what you're missing. My mother, Julia and I are faithful attenders, each Friday. We have three stores. We don't want to add any more, because we wouldn't get back home before dark. You can go to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or Habitat, and they're fine; we prefer the more local, individual stores. These first pics I took this morning at our very-small town junk store. They use their profits to deliver meals to the elderly. Their prices are Rock Bottom. (As in, all clothing has been priced at $1/item, for months.)
Here's a pair of gently used baby boots by Gymboree.
Two random ladies coats. See those labels? I regularly see Talbots, Coldwater Creek, LL Bean and others in this store.
Even the book department can offer a feast for the eyes.
Many people are wishing for 60s, 70s or 80s era dish wear. How 'bout this set? Isn't it cute? The shapes back then were clean and classic. I love those little bowls with the side handles.
A nice, old aluminum sugar canister. Cleaned up, this would be great on your counter. It's 50¢.
This very cool chafing dish with heating element was $1.50.
These are beautiful cups -- thin china, perfect handles. This is the classic teacup with a widely flared lip, for cooling the tea and sipping safely. None of those deep, straight mugs that blister your lips when you try to take those first sips.
This set is neat! It's that lovely hard plastic. It would brighten your kitchen! I think the set was $2.50.
Need a cool, retro Thermos carafe? Love this!
Lots to decorate your mantles with. I like that set of three stands.
This cooling rack is the kind of thing I adore -- simple, useful, classic lines. I resisted.
So, what do you think? Isn't it fun to shop in places that offer that kind of unexpected variety, instead of boring department stores that show you four shelves of the same bowl, or a whole rack of the same blouse?
On to the next store! This one supports the eradication of domestic abuse and violence. Their prices are slightly higher, their wares slightly better. These three sweaters? Susan Bristol, Orvis, and Woolrich. All three great brands. $3.50 each. Sweet colors.
Furs? They have furs. They have wedding dresses!
The last store is a bit more "upscale," as they say. It's run by the local Episcopal church. Truly elegant fare. And the lady who labels each item individually has some sense of humor; one of these days, I'll do a post on hysterical descriptions on the labels in this store :) What about this fine alabaster box?
A tray of antique handkerchiefs. Some women still carry them, you know. My mother did, and only recently did she finally succumb to Kleenex.
Two more boxes, exquisite inlay. Perfect condition. The one on the left is for $10.50.
Where else can you find a basket of soft, leather 50-year-old gloves?
These wonderful cups and matching luncheon plates have been in the stores for months. It seems no one uses luncheon sets anymore. They came back into style very briefly about 15 years ago, just long enough for me to accumulate about 20 or so sets at yard sales. Then I never used them. (I wanted to save them for Anna's graduation party, or wedding showers, and she was only about 7 years old back then!) But they were the clear, clunky kind, and not as irresistible as these.
Mother and I were both amazed at this mammoth soup tureen. At least, we assume that's what it is. It's from Taiwan, and has two small vent holes near the handle knob. Perhaps for rice? It's extremely large; I put my fingers in the photo, hoping they would give you some sense of its size. I bet it would hold at least 10 cups of rice.
So, what do you think? Aren't junk stores (or resale, or consignment ... pick your term) fun? We think so. We see so many truly beautiful things there, and I must admit, my mother has a weakness for beauty. I believe this is why she has attracted an inordinate number of friends over the years who are serious artists. Her walls abound with their work. She feels almost compelled to "rescue" beautiful things, to love them, to appreciate them. It's a noble task. But she finally admitted to herself that she could have have all the beautiful things of the world, in her home. She's paring down. I didn't buy anything at the stores today; I usually don't. But it's still fun to appreciate.


  1. I would have snapped up those handkerchiefs -- I inherited a couple of dozen hankies from my grandmother, etc., many of them never-used. And I try to keep a couple in my purse and pocket -- like them so much better than Kleenex, and if I miss one when doing the laundry it's not a disaster. I sewed some plaid handkerchiefs for my husband that he likes, too!
    I don't get to thrift stores often enough. Thanks for sharing the sights!

  2. GJ, my husband's grandma also left me a stack of old hankies. They're so sweet, and some so elegant! I'd never thought about the advantage they have over kleenex, in the laundry. Good point!!!


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