Thrifty Finds #1

I haven’t posted any of the great finds I’ve discovered lately, so I thought I’d share them with you.

My BFF (we’ll call her Buffy) and I met in Columbus back in November. It’s half way for both of us, so we thought we’d hit up some thrift stores while we were together. Besides being the best friend a girl could hope to have, I also (ba-dum ching) found an amazing chandelier for Buffy’s dining room that she’s been redoing. It was marked at $8 which I convinced Buffy “was a great price, yes it will work, it’ll look great, buy it, buy it”…only to get to the register and have it ring up at 50% off! Cha-Ching. Turns out a friend of hers saw the exact same fixture at the store for $90. See? I AM a great friend to have around.

Anyhoo, while in the same store, I discovered this coffee urn.

silver plate coffee urn

I paid $5 for it (who needs those 50% discounts – pfffffft). It’s huge. It is missing the lid, but the spigot works. I used it as a vase this Christmas for a Dr. Suess looking flower arrangement. I found a similar urns on ebay selling for about $250. Score!

Fast forward to yesterday when I was dropping Hubs off at work. On my way home, I spied a sign for an estate sale. I love estate sales. It was still a little early and it was snowing so I figured I’d pretty much have my run of the place. Which was true. Except, when I pulled up to the place, I was a little nervous. It was in one of Mansfield older neighborhoods. Mansfield has some of the most beautiful historical houses I’ve ever seen. The town is full of these gems. However, 99.898% of them are sorely abused. It’s really hard to tell the “I Lived in the Same House for the last 60 Years but Couldn’t Properly Care For It” houses from the “I Just Got Released From the State Penitentary and I’m Setting Up My New Meth Lab” house.

After talking on the phone with Buffy about my reservations in entering one of these houses, I finally figured that luring estate sale enthusiasts to their death with electric green signs was not a typical bad guy move. I hiked up my Big Girl Panties and went on in. I was scared. Buffy was a text message away. Upon entering the home, though, I recognized the folks as the ones who ran the sale where I got my dresser and my chairs. Phew!

Here’s what I scored yesterday:

Cardinal Bird Bath Figurine

Bird Bath Cardinal – $1.00 He has a clamp underneath him so he can sit on the edge of a bird bath.

clothes pin bag

Vintage Clothes Pin Bag – $3.00 This baby was used. I thought it’d make a cute pillow. But then I discovered these:

Vintage Clothes Pins 

I got the whole box for $2. They look right at home, don’t they?

Vintage Scale Glass Love Birds

Since we were the only people in the house, I got to telling the sellers what I did with the dresser. They remembered how beat up it was and the man said, “Have you looked in the basement yet? That seems like your kind of stuff.” Oh, Sweet Mother Lode! He didn’t even know. I think I nearly wet myself in my excitement. The metal and the tools and the dust. Oh My! I had almost reached my budget limit, so I had to pass over the vintage fan because I wasn’t $20 in love with it.  But that scale there? I definitely was sporting a $10 love for it. It cleaned up very nicely. Those little glass love birds were $3 each and needed to fly home to my nest.

I also scored these folding rulers for $1 each. They are framing my grandmother-in-law’s vintage paint-by-number paintings she did. I’ve been looking for a way to frame these and I kind of like this solution.

paint by numbers winter scene

paint by numbers winter scene 

My favorite find of the day, however, was this Vintage Sign Maker’s kit. It was just sitting on a table in the box. The lid was closed. Being the curious gal that I am, I lifted the lid. Boy, am I glad that I did. It was $25, which slowed me down for a few seconds. I quickly accepted the fact that if I left this behind, I’d be mad at myself for a good, long time. Perhaps, forever.

vintage sign maker kit

It has all the upper- and lower- case letters. It has all the numbers. The “And” and the “For” stamps are a flourished word with a swoosh under them. Take a closer look at the top row. Those are all various flourishes, swooshes, flowers. Here’s the label:

 Superior Sign Marker with Rule and Gauge

You can see that someone stamped the Zero in the bottom, left corner, and the upper-case “N” in the middle of the label. I’ve tried using the stamps. You get a pretty rough image. The rubber is so old, it’s all cracked and makes poor image. But it is still seriously cool and I love it, but I honestly have no idea what I’ll do with it. Take a look at the stamp pad. It has a metal lid.

Vintage ink pad with metal lid

There’s even an old tube of paint and a very tiny, thin paint brush. It’s ridiculous how happy this kit makes me. I don’t even know why. It just does.

I used a majority of these things to decorate my buffet with a winter theme. I went more masculine in the feel because I have a house of “men.” I know my sons are technically “boys” but when they tower over you and sound manly, it’s hard to keep thinking of them as boys.

Winter Buffet Display - right

Recognize that pumpkin? Yeah, that’s the Liberace Pumpkin. He’s still holding his own. I check him every few days to see if he’s starting to rot, but he’s still pretty solid. I love him so much that I’m holding on to him ‘till the bitter end. It also looks like I need to glue the bowl with the red hots onto the candle base. That’s looking kind of precarious. Um, I may need to dust, too, but don’t judge, ‘kay?

buffet - left

See that antler, I discovered that in our basement the other day while helping Hubs find some camping gear. Hubs said, “What do you want with that?” and then he immediately said, “Oh  yeah. Decorating with antlers is big right now.” See why I love that man? He totally gets it, even if he doesn’t really want to get it.

The Cheese Dome Cloche (à la House of Hepworths) should technically be listed here too. It’s a $1.91 find from the local Goodwill store. The candle base was $.25. I glued them together and painted it with ORB. However, I used my embossing technique – piping style – to write on the edge of the cloche. It says, “These are a few of my favorite things.” I want to hit the embossing with some silver Rub ‘n Buff but I keep forgetting to pick some up.

After we got back from watching True Grit last night and I pointed out how “manly” the buffet was looking, Hubs went and added his spurs to this vignette. I put them in the cloche.

cloche with spurs

Here’s the whole look, only it now has spurs on it. Spurs. Real cowboy spurs bought from a real cowboy when Hubs was living in Blackfoot, Idaho. The things we do for our men.

winter buffet

I’d add it all up for you but it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of “I’d rather not know.” However, if I amortize the cost over the last few months of thrifting, I guess it’s in the range of “Eh, I can deal with it and it’s way cheaper than therapy.”

Thank you for reading Frou-FruGal. For more projects, please click to my site,

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