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?