dude, I'm so helpful (small town antique store edition)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I've accepted the fact that I'll be moving to NYC pretty soon and can only take a few suitcases with me.  This really hinders my random accessories buying habit...  I always say that you can easily and cheaply find the little tchotchekes you need to style your home well; you just have to look.  I know that so well because I'm always buying little random cheap things and it's been really hard the last few months to not indulge in a little thrifting.  Instead of going cold turkey, I've decided to use a patch and just take pictures of all the things I could be buying.  My frustration is your information.  Dude, I'm so helpful...
(alternate post title: get stuff to make your shelves look like this)  

I constantly have a wish list of things I'm looking for at a great price.  For me, this usually includes big pieces of furniture or pieces that are usually expensive.  So, when I'm shopping for accessories for a new bookshelf, I'll still keep a look out for a good condition, well-shaped, overstuffed chair or an awesome vintage rug.  I usually don't buy the big stuff unless it's at a ridiculous price, but I always seem to find the killer rug or dining room table when I'm just looking for some vintage books or a non-heinous floor lamp.
I found this rug at Goodwill when I was looking for cut-glass tumblers.

Despite all that I just said about keeping an open mind and ABLFBS (always be looking for big stuff), I know that a thrift store can be overwhelming... If your budget is small, it can feel especially chaotic.  So, divide what you're looking up for into groups.  You should go in there with that open mind, but if you're having a hard time finding the good stuff, it can help to get specific.  These are the things I look for (especially if it has to be a quick trip): dishes/glasses/serving ware; small accessories (like the little dog or elephant on the bookshelf above); wall art; and collections.  You can also say, "can I use this as it was intended or can I display it decoratively?"  

With this in mind, I took a bunch of pictures at Witherspoon's Antique Mall during our yaya weekend.  I didn't buy any of this stuff (though I did get a few Christmas presents, for which I am so proud of myself!)  Let's break it all down into my categories...

Dishes/glassware/serving pieces:
I didn't find (or photograph) a million pieces, but I did get a shot of these adorable little saucers.  You don't have to just use dishes in the kitchen; this would be adorable on your dresser to corral your bobby pins or by your door to hold your keys.

Small accessories: when I said inexpensive, I meant it!  These are the little things you collect so that the tops of your dressers, shelves and tables don't look so bare.
a vintage scale ($14), an old medicine bottle ($3.50) and a metal scottie dog ($5)
vintage cleaner can ($1.50), ginger canister ($?), oil cans ($14 and lower)

Wall art:  what you put on your walls definitely doesn't have to have been created for decorating your walls.  I'm a big fan of non-traditional wall art.
(coffee filters! I miss my cute little living room)
gas station thermometer ($?), porthole window ($?), and old high school diploma ($45)

I freakin' love this diploma; this is definitely going to be a new item to search for on etsy/ebay.  The thermometer looks cool on the old wooden wall, but would be even better in a sleek and modern room (Maybe a nursery?  Such a bright pop of color!)  Hang that porthole on the wall if you're going for a bit of nautical style...

Collections: I had this idea that I was going to have a giant trophy collection (which wouldn't included any I actually earned) and it would be funny/adorable.  See, I'm not the most athletic person in the world, so having a shelf full of soccer and track prizes would be pretty funny.  However, I got derailed from my original goal when I found these three vintage trophies.  I realized it couldn't get any better than this.
They're some of my most beloved possessions, and though any of them would look good on its own, they're a million times better in a group.  I've got a collection of vintage tennis rackets; none of them would make any sense displayed by themselves, but as a group they're striking.  (Get it?)  If you're always seeing cool old board games or vintage paint-by-number landscapes, start buying them when they're priced well.  Get three or four and voila!  Display them together and you're set.
I'm well aware that these are ridiculous, but I'm really liking the idea of a vintage wedding cake topper collection.  These are kind of cheesy, but they've got some really cool old ones out there.  Ok, ok... you're right; it's pretty insane.
I know I already showed the middle photo, but this is a perfect example.  I was looking at these oil cans as small accessories to use in styling a table top or shelf, but as I looked through my pictures, I realized how many I'd seen that day.  Instant collection!

Using something as it's mean to be used: well, duh.  This is a no-brainer and probably the easiest way to look for things.  I kept all of my grains, beans, flour, sugar, etc. in these glass containers from IKEA, but these vintage ones are way cuter.

"Stuff" as art: personally, this is my favorite way to go at thrifting.  Stuff.  Cool (usually old) stuff that can be styled interestingly.
Horribly lit/taken photos, I know... but great ideas!  Set that trumpet alongside a little vignette of books and a candle; set one of those old hats over a big rock and use it as a bookend.  (The rock would be hidden inside, of course...)

Find a meat grinder at a garage sale?  You know what to do with it now...

this is everything I ever wanted in anything - via funkytime

Longest post in the world, I know.  At least if I couldn't buy any of these things, I can share them with you.  Then maybe you can go to Granbury and buy them and give them a loving home...


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