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March 6, 2009

Thrift, Glorious Thrift

The other day I was reading a post on the Queen of Fifity Cents about how sometimes garage sale days are theme days, where you go from sale to sale stumbling across the same thing.  Why does it happen?  It is a question of cosmic proportions. Unfortunately, when you thrift at Goodwill and Salvation Army, the answer to that question has kind of a squick factor.  

For example, a lot of great thrifting stuff yesterday was stuff from the 1970’s.  And my part of my brain asked itself: So why 70’s stuff today when last week it was mostly 50’s stuff? And the smarter, more motherly part of my brain (which made me wear a scarf yesterday) said: Well, honey, because it’s someone’s estate.  

And I can never truly be super excited at an estate sale. Oh sure, when I get my stuff home I am pleased, but while I am walking around, looking, I always think: This was someone’s life. And we are all scavengers.

But then I remember that they are just things. I mean, I would be happy if someone made use of all my stuff after I was gone. So I shouldn’t feel guilty, right?

But enough of being maudlin!  It is a great day, warm out and sunny for once, and I picked up some great stuff the other day while thrifting. So much stuff, in fact, that I am going to have to split it into two posts!

As I mentioned above, almost everything was 70’s themed.  There was some great Tupperware, cool glasses (which I missed getting by a second. RRR!) and some great linens.  Here is half of what I picked up.

Vintage Finds Table The vintage Tupperware is great. I love the look of the old stuff.  One of my friends needed some storage stuff, so I gave it straightaway to her, lest I be tempted to cram it into my kitchen.  She was very excited. She loves vintage, too!

The linen underneath was a mystery.  It is woven, but thicker than a tablecloth.  It is almost like a blanket, but not quite, and it isn’t thick enough to be a rug.  It intrigued me, and it was pretty, so I picked it up.  I asked the person checking me out at Goodwill what she thought, and she said that her mother had a bunch of these and used some as rugs and some as tablecloths. Anyone out there know what these are for? Let us know if you do!

Pyrex DecanterThe next thing I got was this great Pyrex pitcher in the shape of a beaker.  I loved it, because Hubs is a chemist, so he loves science-y type stuff.  Not sure what his take is on it yet, but I like it!Melamine Gravy Boat

Last, but not least, is this great melamine or melamac gravy boat.  I am not sure, but I think this is more mod than 70’s, just because MidCent Keith bought one that reminded me of it and posted a picture on Flickr.  But I love that this one looks like a whale’s tail.

Jealous of my boat?  Well, I found one exactly like it, except pink, here on Etsy. For $5, which isn’t bad, so you too can have the mod glory! 

A pretty good day, I would say. Stay tuned for the rest of the booty!

* Update: This post has been linked to Songbirdtiff’s Good Stuff Thursdays post! Her blog is really cute, so check it out!

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4 Responses to Thrift, Glorious Thrift

  1. 50s Pam Reply

    March 6, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Ruth, I have the exact same feeling at estate sales: Utter excitement – and mortification at the same time. Plowing through a person’s LIFE’S BELONGINGS – horrible. The finds: Wonderful. The payback: Someday someone will be doing the same thing with MY STUFF. Karma

  2. Sara in AZ Reply

    March 6, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    Oh My GOSH! My Mom had all of that Tupperware when I was little, I totally remember it – and these funky salt and pepper shakers from Tupperware too. Really great finds Ruth! The gravy boat and pitcher are super cool too. I have to admit, I feel the same way going through Estate Sales too – really kind of sad for that person, and like I am picking through the remnants of their life. The worst is when you find tons of photos or Scrapbooks and I wonder to myself why in the world no one in the family wants these things. I picked up a Wedding Scrapbook from the 1930’s that you could tell was completely handmade for around $10 on the last day of the sale. I knew they would toss it if I did not pick it up. And the saddest part about it was the woman’s only child, a son, was there and he did not even want to keep the Scrapbook from his Mom and Dads wedding. I felt I needed to get it, so I rescued it! Her beautiful 1930’s wedding gown was also for sale, but at $200, I could not afford it. I shudder to think what happened to it.

  3. Queen of Fifty Cents Reply

    March 7, 2009 at 2:47 am

    Your gravy boat reminds me of Eva Zeisel’s designs–lucky you! Estate sales can be weird, but I hope when I’m gone my stuff will go to folks who are thrilled to find it.

  4. Pax Reply

    October 11, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    OK, I also work at estate sales and have fallen rather in love with some of the people just because of what you learn while setting them up. That predatorial feeling you speak of happens to us all. On the other hand, thank goodness there’s an other hand, the families who have all of this ‘stuff’ to care for seldom have anywhere near enough space in their houses and have usually cherry picked the things that mean the most to them or, sadly, some people have no one and the lawyers don’t really care what happens to it.

    So, if you didn’t take your little treasures home with you they frequently would end up in the dump. Now THAT is a real tragedy don’t you think?

    I hope this might help a little…

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