Saturday, January 8, 2011

A few of my favorite finds in 2010

2010 was an anomaly of a year at the thrift store for me, the Golightly budget tighter than ever. Thanks to a pair of Snake Eyes, that didn't necessarily translate to an austere lifestyle. Some of the best creativity is found during times of scarcity.

I went to the thrift store about half as often as in years past but still managed to score a few treasures. Though I've always held a deep appreciation for what I'm fortunate to find, I think this year's haul meant more.

My favorite find was this vintage Simplex copper whistling kettle. It must have been a hit because Simplex, a long standing British company, still manufactures this same model today. I paid $6 for it. Funny how something as simple as an efficient whistling tea kettle can make a family happy. We drink more hot tea thanks to it.

For about $3-$4 a bowl or pot, I added several items to my collection of vintage graniteware and learned there is actually a National Graniteware Society though I'm not a member. Cooking and serving with these colorful pots, pans and bowls makes me happy. I find these gorgeous vintage items for less than half of what I would pay for a piece of plastic or glass at a discount chain retailer. Color evokes feelings. Think about a gray winter day and then seeing a woman walk by in a flowing red coat. The image would evoke a smile, a feeling of happiness or some sense of warmth.

It is worthy to note that I had never heard of Simplex tea kettles or graniteware until I took up thrifting. Shopping thrift extensively broadens product education.

Little Pie is a little Buddha. I found her this darling vintage, hand-painted Japanese incense holder for $3. She lights rose scented incense and sits in the lotus position to briefly meditate when she needs to make a challenging decision. She's nine. Those moments are priceless.

I picked up this Invisibility Cloak (a reference from the Harry Potter series) at a half off day for $4. This relatively heavy throw helps pull our eclectic living room together and keeps us warm while reading on the fainting couch I rescued from the alley several years back. The tapestry of this throw is magical and I don't wish to think what it's original price point was.

Many confuse frugality, equating it to practicing economy in a miserly fashion, which means parsimonious - or stingy - even "cheap." I believe that Mr. Golightly and I were frugal in this $50 purchase of an 1867 oil portrait by L.R. Evans in this ornate frame. We scored it at a 50% off Saturday at Goodwill and were the envy of nearly everyone in the packed store. It's nice to have original art in the home. Though I've not researched this painting of young Edward Jones I've no doubt the gilded frame alone is worth far more than the $50 we paid. As for now, Edward is a regular guest in our dining room He's almost family, even if we haven't quite figured out who he is.

Of course there were other wonderful finds, hand knit sweaters and a skirt from lele knits for $3. The never been worn pink and black vintage leather gloves with cashmere lining for Little Pie and Petite Poe were quickly welcomed in at $3 each.

Mr Golightly's favorite find? This extraordinarily old hand forged copper pot for $6.

It no longer holds water thanks to a tiny leak, but we always have use for containers and this copper pot is better than anything plastic. We're no Antique Road show, but, we do know this pot is very old.

We haven't completed our research yet - but handmade, dovetail-jointed copper and brass pots were never mass produced. Any ideas?

What were your extraordinary finds of 2010?


Willo said...

LOVE the copper. I need to find more of that around here! There's some on CL near me right now but it's a little too shiny...if that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

The copper pot is so beautiful. Aged, full of imperfections, and lots of character -- just like me!

Van said...

LOVE the pot and the sweet story of the incense holder. Aw!

It would be hard for me to pick favorite finds of 2010! Kudos to you for making a round-up :)

grace said...

Wow, what great stuff! I especially love the red pitcher.

Anonymous said...

I'm often envious of what you have available to you over there in thrift shops - I'm sure you will continue to acquire more lovely finds in 2011!

I started the thrift year off on a great note yesterday - I picked up a barely worn pair of hand made leather R M Williams boots (an Australian icon) -normally retailing at around $350 -for $10. They will last for many years and improve with age as they mould to my feet. Very satisfied thrifter here!

Happy New Year!

shamanaccount said...

My its raining copper here. Love the rugged looking copper pot, its like history is etched in every imperfections. Love to watch it as the main decor in my green house.

Toocutedobs said...

Wow! Very elegant purchases--love them all.

Daisy said...

As long as you keep posting the portrait of Edward Jones and his name, some day someone may run a search for him and find you. Wouldn't it be fascinating to find his descendants?

Anonymous said...

My extraordinary finds? There were, fortunately, many....but I think the most memorable was last
Feb. finding an interesting piece of glass at GW. It looked a bit like some kind of vase. I knew it was old, but in perfect condition.
Iridescent with a swirled pattern and bullseye bottom, I didn't know if I wanted to pay the $5.99 it was marked. I couldn't get it out of my mind so went back the next day and it was still there. It was the only thing I bought and when I got to the cashier she turned it over, saw the price and
exclaimed, "That can't be right!"
(I think she thought it was a large water glass). She rang it up for 99 cents!! It was senior I paid 79 cents!!! Six months later at an informal antiques appraisal, I was told it was a turn of the last century
"spooner" worth about 100x what I paid. I think it is gorgeous and the story of how it came to live with me keeps me going back
to my local GW! I LOVE reading your blog...........Marie

p.s. Thanks for the term "snake eyes". They are what scored me my spooner.

Colorado Girl said...

I really enjoy your posts and stories!

I sent you an award. Go to to get it!

Shopping Golightly said...


Yes, I believe our young Edward is trying to find his true home. He's happy to feel like family for now.

Anonymous said...

I was pregnant during much of 2010 (just had my baby boy on January 6) and I'm proud to say that all of my maternity clothes were thifted or hand-me-downs.
Nursing clothes, however are harder to find. Guess I'll just wear button down shirts.

Pixie said...

Incredible finds of 2010: vintage leather boots (20p), fun and funky Charlie's Angels Dress (£1), various wooden toadstools and vintage garden gnomes(never more that £1 each), Firetrap brand jeans, brand new with tags (£3),fantastic hand painted portrait of a robin (for my in-laws for Christmas-£4)...and the list goes on. I always shop thrift when I makes sense and it is loads of fun!


Sabby said...

It is amazing that despite hard economic times you still managed to find resources to spend on collectibles, the copper teapot looks amazing, it's like a brand new one.