I’ve Seen the Light!

There’s always a story.
So I have another one. I know, I know, I just told you the Jere sculpture story. But this blog IS called Adventures in Thrifting. And I have another story.
So after finding the Jere on Monday…the fam and I were pretty much home with colds the rest of the week.
Finally on Friday night I ran out to get some groceries and take my quick scan through Goodwill. Cuz…it’s right next to the grocery store. Right.
Anyway, I did my route through the store…clockwise this time, since that’s how the mood hit me. And I wasn’t finding much of anything.
Then I came to the lighting/lamps section. I usually check it, even though I’ve only ever sold 2 or 3 lamps…cute little desk gooseneck ones. I have a bunch I need to list (I know, same old story) but I look anyway.
First off I see the lamp up above. Now, I’m not an Italian Pottery expert. I’m not even an amateur. But I read blogs! (Remember, a Thrifting Education!!) And so the name “Bitossi” popped into my head when I saw this lamp. It was wedged pretty hard into the shelf, so I wrangled it around looking for a mark or something. Nothing.
It was cool.
I knew I could sell it…Bitossi or not.
But it’s huge. About 3 feet high.
And Hubby had just said “I hate shipping! I hate these big, awkward packages”. Okay, maybe those weren’t the exact words, but that was the gist.
So I put the lamp back.
Then I saw this one:

Holy crazy cool lamp Batman! Cool in a weird, that’s-gotta-be-something kinda way. So I start looking it all over…and a lady strolls up and says “Oh I saw that last time I was here. It’s something else, isn’t it?” Meanwhile, having learned my lesson with the Jere…I really start looking it over. I wanted to find another Jere signature so badly!! Nothing.
Oh well. I snap some pictures of the two lamps and go on my way. I find absolutely nothing, go about my errands and head home.
Later that night I’m showing my husband the pics on my phone, and I decide to pop them on Twitter and ask the #thriftbreak folks what they think. Lots of knowledgeable mid-century peeps on there!
Almost immediately I get a response. Referring to the brass one, I get “Oh that’s a Laurel. I hope you got it”. And for the other one “probably a Bitossi. Cool color. I hope you got it”.
A quick internet search for “Laurel lamps” (go ahead…look ’em up!) and I was setting my alarm to get up and back to the thrift store right when it opened. I showed Hubs the internet results and he was all for it.
I reminded him about the shipping but he waved my concerns away.
“Just go back and get them!”
So I did.
Phew. Yes they were still there.
And so I’m working on getting them listed and moved on to new homes. The Bitossi (maybe)..I’m still working on authenticating.
I’ll keep you posted with a follow up!
(sorry…the end of my story is so boring…It’s super late and we’re taking off for a quick 3 day vacay tomorrow morning…just wanted to share my finds before i left!)

Linking up with
Nifty Thrifty

Spoils of Thrift ~ The Finds, Oh the Finds!

You know, sometimes it’s either hot or cold in this thriftin’ biz. The last week or so, the finds were so amazing…cheap, plentiful, one of a kind…
I may have to split this up into a couple posts..or just hit the highlights. It started with a few thrifts earlier in the week. I found this mid century Lane coffee table at an insanely good price ($10). It’s perfect for my downstairs..so this baby is a keeper.

Then on Friday we had another yard sale. We had one last week at our own house..and we are too far into the boonies, we tend to not get the traffic we really need. We did move some stuff..but had a lot left over. So we asked a friend who lives in a primo spot in town if we could use his driveway for the day. So Friday we hauled everything over there. Or I should say Hubby did with my MIL’s help. I had kid duty in the early hours. Right when it started Hubby texts me to let me know that our town was having their City Wide yard sales and that I should get out and get shopping! Isn’t he great? And how perfect for our own sale. We had no idea. But traffic was poppin and we sold lots of stuff.

I hit some of the sales. The first one was a yard/estate sale. The stuff was amazing, but I tried to control myself. First of all..this leather tool bag!

Yes, you see it correctly. FULL of tools and hardware. And not just ANY tools….after some poking around and digging, we discovered that they are typewriter repair tools and parts!! Amazing. This was a repairman’s toolbag. So cool. We have our work cut out for us on this one. Identifying and such. 
Here’s a few other goodies from that sale:
Vintage industrial EXIT signs. I got 2 of them.
It always amazes me when I find holy grail vintage items at regular garage sales. I tend to think of them being at estate sales or antique stores and you’re fighting with other people over them. Well, there I was at a regular sale in my little town and I see a Pyrex dish I’m not familiar with. It turned out to be the Tulip promotional casserole (blue) (i don’t have a picture). Anyway. I’m debating that purchase when my eyes travel down the table to this:
Can you believe it? This is a really hard to find pattern of Pyrex. It’s unmarked. But the story about it is in the listing. I have it listed on Etsy in the Retro Shop now. See it here.
Okay, I’m going to stop there. We hit another estate sale yesterday and one more moving sale today and got great stuff at both. Today my 6yo kept telling the lady that it was an American Pickers sale…he scored a little toolbox that he got to fill up with his ‘finds’. He grabbed some good stuff. I have to hold back from stealing from him. 🙂 
Can’t wait to hear what you think of my finds and to see what you all found too!! 
Linking up to: 
Apron Thrift Girl

The Spoils of Thrift ~ Jumbo Flashcard Edition

Twas a pretty good week, thriftin’ wise, anyway. Our family seems to have been sick this entire month…one after another, and then all over again. I’m so sick of being sick and having our regular schedule disrupted.
Okay, rant over. Life is life.

I did some ‘buying’ and ‘purchasing’ this week, in a couple different venues.
I went to a Junk Weekend kind of show on Friday night. My MIL and a friend were vendors so we went to see their wares and to poke around. Poor hubby was hacking his lungs out, but drove me there and then kept the boys busy playing on the lawn while I shopped. LM1 seems to be all arms and legs right now and can’t be trusted in a crowded, busy show. I’m nervous enough going through the glassware aisle at Goodwill with him right now. 🙂
Anywho, the show is mostly junky, crusty, shabby chic-ish, painted furniture and stuff. I like looking at it…but I generally shop with the eye for resale and that’s not my niche. There was enough industrial and vintage kitchen mixed in, so it was fun to shop. I was also looking for some mid century sleepers…was totally hoping someone had some cathrineholm or Dansk that they didn’t know the value of…but no dice.
I did score one of these at a nice price:

The same booth had some other goodies. She actually had some great retro stuff…but not really at ‘flippable’ prices. I did spot these pretty quickly:

Holy Vintage Paperology, Batman! You may not understand at first glance at how awesome this find is…but I LOVE anything school flashcard related. From 1966. And Giant Size??? Love, love, love. See the top photo. These are 11-1/4″ x 14″. Poster size. They will be listed in the shop soon. Probably a few at a time. I wasn’t sure how the Synonym, Antonym, etc thing would work…but I looked at a few and I can already envision different places that would want to decorate with one of these!! The vendor made me a deal since I bought all 3 boxes…she said she thought about selling them separately but either hadn’t gotten to it…or decided against it. Glad she didn’t!
I also grabbed this Jumbo Old Maid card game. Just cuz. I think the graphics are cute.

The only other purchases I made at the show were from another booth. I focused on her ‘smalls’ which she had at a great price.

I forgot to put this pin in the group picture. It was my ‘sleeper’

The vendor had it marked as ‘Sterling’ which was true….I just didn’t realized it was marked “Norway Sterling  OPRO”. Fun! OPRO stands for Ole Petter Raasch Olsen.
Okay, what else?
These stainless salt and pepper shakers were a Value Village find:

They are marked “Made in Italy ALFRA”, which seems to be an early mark for that company.
I also picked up a couple vintage cookie presses:

The bottom one was from Value Village, but the top one came from a yard sale. It was the only vintage item at the entire sale. The seller said she loved it, just for the box! We agreed that vintage pink is different than today’s pink.
That seemed to be common at most of the yard sales I hit recently. Lots of newer stuff with a few surprising vintage items mixed in. Just shows you never know by doing a drive by!
That was the case with this sale that advertised lots of girl stuff…I ended up going because it was across the street from 2 other sales where I found nothing. Lots of girl stuff…but then Mom was Norwegian and was getting rid of a few things from her decor:

Oh my goodness, I almost forgot!
There was another sale…same thing…almost didn’t stop, but there were 2 side by side. I got a few things for us and then I saw this:

Amazing fondue forks by Laurids Lonborg of Copenhagen Denmark! I was forced to buy a cheesy cheap fondue pot with no lid that came with it…but these were worth it!
Okay, I think that was it!
What did you

 this weekend???
Linking up to:
Nifty Thrifty
Apron Thrift Girl

The Spoils of Thrift ~ Hello March!

Well, March started off with some fun finds! I’ll probably race through them since my throat is kinda scratchy (has been for a day or 2) and it feels like my lungs are tightening up. If this is a cold or virus thingy, it’s a slow moving one. I hate those. Let’s just get this over with!! But in any case, I need to get some sleep.

As you can see from the above picture, our thrifting started with a bang on Thursday night with a trip to Goodwill. Hubby and I both ended up in the dishware aisle and were scanning the mugs. Goodwill and their crazy Starbucks mug prices!! Anyway, all of a sudden I hissed “Heath! Heath! Heath! Heath!”
Hubby said, “What?? You sound like you’re doing Lamaze!!”.

Out of all the pieces, these were the best. And unfortunately, one of the salad plates had a chip that we missed. They are already listed here and here. Better than Starbucks!!

That night at Goodwill we also found a Black Butterprint Pyrex bowl. I swore off picking up Pyrex. The return just isn’t good enough, Hubby hates shipping it and it takes up a lot of room to store. But I still can’t resist the cool colors!

Pyrex Black Gooseberry 443 Cinderella Mixing Bowl 2.5 Quart 

Here are a few other items from that night:

Apple mugs by Lauffer.

Rosti of Denmark red Melamine mixing bowl

And a Russel Wright by Oneida bowl.

So then on Friday, I was with the MIL and all of a sudden she was taking a turn and telling me to get ready to hop out. I was chatting with someone else in the back seat and didn’t realize she had seen a moving sale sign. I didn’t have any money but we decided to scan and either return with cash or scrounge up some pennies.
Fortunately, this was my kind of sale…tons of old stuff and it was priced at 25 cents, 50 cents. Fun!!
First of all, I hit the Free box on my way in.
Found these 4 magazines from the 70s.

I recognized the author as a popular one for Tole Painting. And you can’t beat free!
Then it got really fun.
I went inside and the elderly owner had a box of vintage costume jewelry on her card table where she was taking money. I started scanning (mostly for my MIL who makes purses with vintage, recycled materials) and right away saw some blingy old rhinestone brooches and a black cameo. Sorry no picture, MIL took it for a purse creation. But I asked how much and it was extremely reasonable! So I had to do it.
I asked if she’d consider selling the whole lot.
She said…’sure, I guess’.
I asked ‘How much?’
She thought and thought and finally said ‘Make me an offer’
Darn it!
I hate that. So I thought and thought and delayed. I had seen some good pieces but I didn’t want to insult the lady.
Finally she blurted out a price which was $15 less than the number in my head!
So glad I waited!
We scrounged up the cash and went on our merry way. But I knew I had to come back since I didn’t have time or money. Plus I heard her on the phone telling Hubs to bring her other 2 boxes of costume jewelry! What I discovered was that the jewelry belonged to Hubby Dear’s aunt. Perfect!
It’s always nice to deal with someone who has no emotional attachment.
So here’s the first lot:

Here are a few of the better pieces:

MIL took a lot of the blingy stuff…but I found that many were missing stones, so she’ll repurpose them.
Just a lot of fun.
When I went back I was more selective in the jewelry and ended up with mostly owl jewelry. Auntie Poo loved owls so here’s the collection I ended up with.

Now if you are an OWL fan…you need to stay tuned to the Recycleista’s Retro shop and Facebook page in the next week or so. Got some exciting OWL plans coming up!!

Okay. So much for brevity. It’s highly overrated.
A few more little things from that sale.
All of these items were in one box for one price.

Okay, you need a closeup of one mug.

And I love the pattern on this dishware.

It’s called Devon Peach and it’s by TG Green.
I really like these wine glasses. I can’t believe I didn’t recognize them as being Pfalztgraff in the Village pattern.

And these mid century Libbey glasses balance out the cutesy country-ness of the box.

Are you still with me?
One last item. Vintage linens. I don’t know why. I’m terrible at listing and selling them. But they were cheap. And cute. 🙂

Okay, I lied. There were a couple more items. But I’ll share one more with you. That’s it. I promise.

California Pottery jug by Hedi Schoop of Hollywood, CA. She usually does figurals, so this is kind of unusual. It’s almost so ugly…I like it!

Okay. I’ll stop. Swing on by A Living Space’s Nifty Thrifty for some more great finds! And Thrift Share Monday with Apron Thrift Girl..and Thriftasaurus with Sir Thrift a Lot. I’ll be linking up!

An Estate Sale To Remember

Okay, I’ve made you wait long enough.

So Sunday, I was in a town that I’m not normally in and we were dropping something off at someone’s house. Errand done, we noticed an estate sale just winding up right around the corner. There was a big dumpster out front, and some items on the driveway. As we approached, the people running the sale very tiredly said, “The items out front here are free. We are just so DONE.”

It was mostly canning jars and such, but there were a few odds n ends and so we poked around. Hubby grabbed a huge vintage Lazy Susan that is a nice solid, stained wood piece. That’s his deal, but I can see its usefulness. He also grabbed a cool vintage brass bowl.

Then I saw a stack of dishes.

Checked the mark on the bottom and after turning it around a bit, I made out “HEATH”. Sweet!
Heath Ceramics was started in California by Edith Heath in the 1940s. Some of her designs are in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Later research revealed that the line is called “RIM” and it was designed in the 1960s. It’s still made today, so I’ll have to research the mark a bit more to date these better. One dinner plate on the Heath Ceramics website goes for $36.50.

But it gets better.

We wandered further into the garage but there wasn’t much there so I was starting to get the idea that it was over. There were a lot of people, but I think most people were actually family. Someone asked if we were done or waiting to checkout. (it was confusing). I asked if there was more inside the house.
So one lady said to another, “Well, I suppose they can go look in that one closet….in the kitchen”. So they turned to us (there actually was one other woman customer) and said, “There’s a closet in the kitchen full of dishes that we didn’t even get to, it hasn’t been touched at all.

Did you catch that?

An end of estate sale, untouched by greedy dealer hands (the only greedy dealer hands were mine, the other customer wasn’t a dealer) closet in the kitchen full of dishware!!!!!

So I feigned politeness and said, “If you don’t mind, if it’s not too much trouble….” as I walked into the house.

The woman showed us the closet and it was kind of funny, because the other customer and I were trying to be polite and not rush it. We both kind of peered in, but when I realized we’d be there all day, I jumped forward.

One of the first things I saw was this:

Wasn’t sure right away what it was, but Black Americana is collectible so I put it aside to decide on later. Well, as you can see, I did keep the little chef. Any guesses as to what it is? (answer is at the bottom of the article)

Then it got really good.

I pulled out a large enamel covered cast iron Paella pan and flipped it over. Yup.
Le Creuset.
Then I pulled out a small Dutch Oven (or French Oven) in the same burnt orange color.
Then I pulled out a large Dutch Oven…same color.
The insides are pristine!!
One of the owners opened the bottom of the stove/oven and said, “Oh I think this goes with it too”. It was a small open baker/ pan thing. (not sure the official name)

Note the color and the interesting handles. I assumed from the color that these were from the 1970s and I was right. In 1973, Le Creuset enlisted designer Enzo Mari to do a special line of cookware, which he called La Mama.

Hubby was sweetly standing by, holding our free finds, letting me do my thang, so I picked up my LC (it was so heavy my knees almost buckled) and plopped it over by him.
Don’t get me wrong, the other customer was not into these things at all. She I think grabbed some aluminum bread pans and then when she found a stoneware one, offered it to me. So not a dealer. 😉

But it wasn’t over.

I picked up one more dark brown bowl and flipped it over.

Arabia of Finland.
It’s an open vegetable bowl. I didn’t know it at the time, so I wasted precious moments looking for a lid. It’s listed on a replacements site at 59.99.

I’m sure there was so much more. There just wasn’t time. And the family was trying to finish and they looked wiped out. I was quite happy with what I got. But it makes me wonder what I missed….

So I asked the owner, “What can I give you for this?” She hesitated because I could tell they were just happy more stuff was going out that they didn’t have to deal with. Then she said, “$5.00???”
That was so nice, but my conscience would not allow that, so I gave her more.

It was really an estate sale situation that you normally only dream of. Twenty pounds of cast iron kept me from floating away.

Oh…and the chef? There’s a hole in the top and right as we were paying I realized it was a….
..Pie Vent/Pie Whistle/Pie Bird type thing. Sweet!