Sunday, December 8, 2013

thrift store spoils, ch. 13: beetles from Japan, Taylor & Ng, and E.T.

By my standards, I'm late in posting my latest chapter/update. But I have good reasons: I took a trip to see my parents (the trip provides me with most of the content below, by the way); I finally opened that Etsy shop, as I’ve been threatening to do for forever (gosh, I have lots to learn); and—like everyone else out there, I suppose—I hosted and cooked for Thanksgiving (and we know what all that entails).

But I’ll jump right in.

As always (and as I’ve written about before), whenever I visit Mama and Daddy, Mama and I make a point of stopping in at the Shops of SafePlace thrift store there in their North Carolina mountain town. A whole large back room in the place is dedicated to housewares and the like. Yippee.

Funny, though. I make it down to North Carolina now and again, but in that store I see some of the same merchandise over and over. I guess they don't have much of an inventory turnover.

For instance, check out these cups. They’re that Mexican Pyrex knockoff stuffbut I really like them. Well, I’ve been walking by them for over two years. No lie. They’re like old friends. But that price is way too high for those mugs in that town. Mama thinks I should go mention to an employee that they need to move inventory. She thinks I need to make those folks a low-ball offer. 

But, no. I'm having more fun reuniting with them every time I head back down to North Carolina. Hello again, precious brown and yellow flowery mugs! I'm back.

I did not buy this Pyrex Deluxe Cinderella Casserole in the Golden Hearts pattern (a promotional piece from the late 1950's). It was in good condition. It included an undamaged lid. And it was marked at only five bucks. 

I know. I’m crazy for leaving it there. But I just couldn’t bring home one more casserole dish unless I wanted to go to the trouble of trying to sell it (which means I'd also have to pack and ship it).  I just  didn’t want to. So Mama and I stood there in the store and admired it. Then we left it by its lonesome.

Just yesterday Mama texted me that it’s no longer in the store. So good: some other thrift store shopper had a happy Pyrex day.

I did not buy the above lovely item. Duh.

This store always has the coolest uncool vintage clothing. (Half of it is polyester!) Once I did find a great vintage coat by Boden, but, alas, it was a couple of sizes too big. I almost bought it anyway, though. 

But on to what I did buy: a short plant stand, which is unimpressive to anyone but me, so I didn't take a photo of it. But near the exit door was a table of Christmas junk.

And here is where I found the other item I bought there that day.

It’s an E.T. ornament from 1982. (By the way, I watched the original movie when it first came out—pre-deleted scenes like those you find today in the DVDin a Louisville, Kentucky, theater.) 

A couple of days ago, I listed the ornament on Ebay, which I’ve never done until this past week. So far, I’m bombing with Ebay, by the way. It confuses me. I’ll keep you updated.

That day of shopping, Mama and I visited only two thrift stores. And she bought two vintage things.

She found this magazine rack that pretty much matches the one she got this summer when I was with her. And she paid only two dollars for this box of mix-and-match Shiny Brites. Score! (She now has the Shiny Brite fever, by the way. She texts me with updates me on her hunts, including photos of what she finds and everything. She's a nut.)

So then on my drive home from North Carolina (because I was by myself and answering to no one), I stopped at several thrift stores in the Boone area. Hey, why not?

I bought a couple of things that I didn’t take photos of (like a mustardy-color Mikasa Cera Stone salt shaker). And I saw these ultra-cool chairs. There were six of them, and they wanted only $100 for the lot. Seriously. 

I texted a photo to Mama, and I think she thought I was crazy. (Sometimes our tastes diverge.) But, I swear, had I not had 300 miles in front of me (and had I enough room in my SUV), I’d have gotten them. You just don’t know how much they remind me of my Florida Mamaw—who was color blind, by the way, and her home décor attested to this fact. (Of course, had these been in Mamaw's house, they'd still have the furniture store's original protective plastic covering on them.)

I think I’ll stop in at the store the next time I head down to see Mama and Daddy, in case those chairs are still there. But they won’t be. I missed out.

Now a quick review of things I've found since my trip

Explanation? I like sour cream glasses, and I collect Bicentennial items.

I’m not a big The Far Side fan, but others are. This mug is on my Etsy site now.

These Christmas mugs by Corning are adorable. They’re for me.

Gotta love a beetle mug, particularly one made in Japan. It's on my Etsy site.

These bowls are Marimekko by Pfaltzgraff, and I have them on my Etsy site. I bought two salad plates that match a couple of weeks ago, and they’ve already sold. Success!

The inlaid image on this Couroc plate reminds me of the Philippines, where the hubby and I served in the Peace Corps a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Some folks there lived in Nipa Huts. They looked something like the above abode (without the surface scratches!).

Okay. So I hesitate to write about this mug. But I've seen these Taylor & Ng mugs on other bloggers' sites, and folks seem to have no qualms about the more-than-naughty behavior displayed on them. I've never, ever come across another Taylor & Ng around here, so I grabbed it.

It's dated 1979, and I bought it to sell on Etsy. (Goodness knows I can't have it in my house permanently!) But folks apparently collect these mugs. What the heck is so appealing about domesticated animals and debauchery and morning coffee, anyway?

Okay. Enough about this mug and my issues with it. It'll soon be on my Etsy site. I'm a sellout.

And how's the Etsy shop doing? Well, it's pretty heavy on mugs right now. (I've listed those mostly, because they're easier for this newbie to ship.) And I also have lots more vintage goodies to list. But I've sold six items in about two weeks, so I'm pleased.

Ebay? I have no clue what I'm doing there. 

As usual, much appreciation is sent to Sir Thrift-a-Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm, and a living space for the opportunity to link up.


  1. Six items is nothing to scoff at! I've been slowly selling through eBay but taking today off. Its so time consuming because I get caught up in "research" which is really just me looking at everyone else's stuff and not bidding LOL

    I love the Marimekko plates, that is a new pattern for me. I would have passed on the pyrex too but only because I hate shipping akward stuff.

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement. And, by the way, I really enjoy reading your blog. You seem to find stuff at great, low prices, and you offer fun ideas on odd things to buy and resell--things I'd never think of myself. Makes me wanna stock up on DVD's!
      But I'm like you on the research: I end up just looking at everyone else's stuff, too.

    2. Thanks! I've been selling on eBay for ages but it was always "randomly find a cheap item and sell it." I've only been expressly shopping for stuff to resell in the last two months. There is so much information out there its easy to get bogged down!

      Also humbling to realize a lot of the stuff I find to be beautiful is monetarily worthless. On the flip side I've become a Kosta Boda snob and I'd never even heard of them this summer LOL

    3. Okay. I had to look up Kosta Boda. Beautiful colors!

  2. I've sold a few of those Taylor and Ng mugs for a pretty penny and they always sell quickly. I don't get the appeal either. Congrats on your Etsy shop, you are off to a great start.

    1. Thanks for the input. I think I'm ready for this.I will list the silly mug and hope it goes fast. (And I'll try not to post anything smarta** in the product description.)