Treasure Box Wednesday: Souvenirs and Savings

I haven't been doing a ton of thrifting lately, largely because I haven't been doing a ton of anything lately. Recent days have found me getting over one of those headcolds which make one question the similarities between a stuffed-up sinus cavity and a clown car.

Yes, when your blog mistress goes AWOL, you know there's a darned good reason. Something is keeping her from enjoying the Power of the Thrift.

So I've consolidated a few weekends of minor thrifted goodies into this post. And as far as I can tell, these simple items fall into two categories. Savings and Souvenirs.

Like this floral tin bank from Germany I'd found at the Goodwill Outlet in North Versailles...
I've seen these types of tins as simple containers, but never a bank. And seeing as I will carry around so many pounds of change, my purse starts to cry "Uncle!" I thought the decorative bank might come in handy.

I also uncovered this nice one-stroke Shabby Chic style painting...
Between this and the bank, I think my total came to $2.12.

At the Goodwill in Monroeville a few weeks back, I found this interesting medieval-style plaque with a crest on it...
Or rather, my friend Scoobie spotted it and pointed it out. It looks like it's wood, but seems to be some kind of pottery. And I'm guessing it was a souvenir plaque from... Germany? England?

I'm uninformed for now-- must do research at some point and find out. :)

Lastly, one more item falls into the souvenir category... This cute little sparkly castle made of sand...
Growing up, the too-girly inner-princess in my had always drooled on these magical bits of statuary at various tourist destinations. But it had been an off-limits buy at the time.

So now, I pick up other folks' souvenirs when I uncover a castle I like. And the nice thing about these mini-chateaus... they are cheap! At under a dollar, you can't beat the property value.

And that closes the deal on this week's Treasure Box! Happy hunting!

Romance at Pottery City Antique Mall: Rediscovering Lost Loves

Cabin fever and a driving need for Fiestaware led my buddy Scoobie and I to take a short roadtrip to Newell, West Virginia and East Liverpool, Ohio. While Scoobie had one of those magnificent days of treasure-hunting luck, where pretty much everything she collects was presented to her on a silver platter and even the platter was half-price, I uncovered treasures of another type...

I got the chance to hear tales of my fellow antique archaeologists on their quest for once-lost gems!

It began with the lady standing in front of a display of discontinued Fiesta colors, and I'd enquired about the color she had in her hand. It was a beigey-peach shade I hadn't noticed before, which she told me was "Apricot."

It turns out, this lady had begun collecting Fiesta years ago because the cheerful colors had helped soothe a day of depression, and recently some of that beloved china had come a-tumbling down off the shelf in a tragic display of gravity, broken pieces and a broken heart.

She lost sets in periwinkle, apricot, and lavender (adding to the tragedy, lavender is super-expensive these days) and now she's working to replace her loss.

Well, it turns out the apricot set before her was entirely too pricey-- five pieces for $200!-- so she said she planned to amass what she could separately from various booths in the mall.

I had the fun of encountering her in various spaces throughout the four floor mall, as she'd hold aloft a new missing piece like another important element of her quest. Here a saucer! There a tea cup! Here a bowl! There a plate!

Scoobie and I would cheer with each new discovery.

And I found myself-- having never noticed apricot before-- suddenly seeing apricot everywhere in my travels and wondering if my new friend would stumble on the piece herself in her search.

By the end of her shopping, the lady had recovered almost all the pieces she needed at prices she wanted to pay.

Hopefully joy, Fiesta, and a few stronger shelf brackets, will now be a staple in her home.

It was while Scoobie was checking out at the cash register, that the second tale of antiques redemption came to us. A middle aged man came swiftly to the customer storage area brandishing this wooden contraption and grinning like he'd won some grand prize.

"Have you ever seen one of these before?" he asked everyone at the register. The item in his arms was painted red and had a seat on it along with a long curved rail on the opposite side. I was wondered if it were some kind of a weird farming implement when he explained it was a sled-- a one runner sled-- some kind of "jumper" I believe he called it.  

My thinking was if you did much jumping in that thing, you had better have some wicked kind of good balance or you'll also be doing some cracking and breaking to go with it. But he said, no, it wasn't hard to use and didn't require much balance.

He went on to explain it was exactly the kind of sled he'd had as a kid and had spent years trying to find one like the sled he'd lost.

Saturday had been his landmark moment, and he assured us the jumper would jump again.

But, hey-- that's the romance of secondhand scouring. It may take time, but eventually you're reacquainted with that old lost love, no matter what your personal beloved may be.

Wishing all you nice readers a Happy Valentine's Day of your own. Here-- sniff these...

And have yourself a great day!

Of Peeps and Postcards: Thrifty Easter Fun

The grey of skies and the white of snow made some Easter decor I uncovered this week at Tuesday Morning seem all the brighter and pastellier! 

What I liked in particular about these finds are they all are straight from original Victorian postcards. Like this cute pair of chicks here brandishing colored egg bouquets...

Chicks just like these were mainstays on postcards from the early 1900s, and it's just as whimsical for me to see them hatched to life in 3-D here.
I have a number of cards like this in my collection but would hesitate to display them on my front door, which gets a lot of sunlight. This way, the good ol' cards stay preserved but the look is very authentic!

You can see a few of these cards up more closely. Here children ride on Easter eggs pulled by energetic donkeys...
Here, a boy and girl stand in a garden of garland, eggs and glitter.
And my favorite, this young lady rides in the stylish Ford Yolkmobile, which sports a dual-lamb engine.
And now, after that pun, I run sheepishly away until next post!

Construction Junction Adds Function for Artists with Gumption

A weekend visit to Construction Junction, one of the Pittsburgh area's main architectural salvage stores, illuminated more this time than your standard house parts salvage and furnishings.

It seems there is now a second and third floor loft area devoted entirely to offering reused items artists and other creative folks can use for projects.

It's called Creative Reuse Pittsburgh, and according to the nice, informative cashier I spoke with, the place has been in operation for a while but only had been open on Wednesdays until recently.

Me, I got this awesome discontinued Royal Dalton wallpaper sample book filled to the brim with rose patterns and papers I can use for decoupaging, scrapbooking, or what-have-you.
But there was far more among the aisles of this attic treasure trove than that. Think office supplies, fabrics, yarns, paints, modeling clays, various decorative papers, picture matting, unused canvases, CDs, old magazines, prints, novelty items and so much more.
All of the items were donations to this non-profit organization. So if you have some items that might make innovative craft supplies, you might want to consider donating it their way.

Store hours are: Wednesday to Saturday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
And Sunday from noon to 4:00 PM.

One other thing of note, they're cash only. But the prices are good, so even if you only have a few bucks on you, you can still come away with some artistic goodies. While I was there, my brain actually imploded a little over all the possibilities, so once I have a better what I need for my next project, I will definitely be back.

Their contact information is below, and it looks like they're on Facebook, too.

Creative Reuse Pittsburgh
Inside Construction Junction
214 North Lexington Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
(412) 202-4036

Happy rummaging!