Thrifting in BC

It’s no secret that I love thrifting – I love the thrill of finding something amazing (or something ugly that could be amazing) in a pile of what can often sometimes be described as junk. I find however that in Toronto it’s hard to find that amazing score – I don’t know if it’s because there are just so many others in town that have the same affinity for the hunt that I do or, if it’s just a case of luck not being on my side whenever I head to the local stores (which aren’t that local when you don’t have a car).

In August I visited my parents in BC and on a couple of occasions my mom and I went out to explore the local second-hand stores. They live in a small-ish town that has what seems to be a larger number of thrift stores in comparison to Toronto. It may be the demographics are different – there is a large retiree population, but they also have a number of stores which are run in benefit of local charities like the Hospital Auxiliary and the Woman’s shelter which I haven’t seen here (I’m sure they exist – I just haven’t found them).

I don’t know what it was on this trip, but I found a number of great pieces. So many I had to get creative when packing to get them back to Toronto.

I finally found some milk bottles – these are originally from The Dutchmen Dairy in Sicamous, BC, which is, according to my mom, a mandatory stop when traveling on the Trans-Canada highway. I’m not entirely sure if these are ‘vintage’ as apparently this dairy still sells milk in bottles, but they were just $2 each.

Dutchman Dairy Milk Bottles

I’m sure this coffee can isn’t vintage, but for only $.50 I figured why not? It has the look and now I just need to figure out what to plant in it.

Maxwell House Coffee Tin

This little Scheurich ‘onion’ vase caught my eye for the vibrant colour and the MCM pattern. It was $8.

Small Scheurich Onion Vase

Ever since I purchased my large Kaiser vase from the Junction flea a couple of years ago I’ve been on the lookout for more pieces. I did find one more small vase at the Aberfoyle antique market (I never shared it here, but it looks like this), but other than that I haven’t had any luck. I love the matte white look of the pottery which I think is timeless (I love it so much I’ve even started a whole collection of MCM white vases on Etsy in case anyone wants to buy me one  – ha!).

Anyways, I was lucky enough to find two Kaiser vases in BC, so I’ve got the start of a little collection. The first round vase was $7 and the second, slightly larger vase, was an incredible $2.

Round Kaiser Vase

Medium Kaiser Vase

Hopefully over time I’ll be able to find some more Kaiser vases and eventually be able to showcase them like this. If anyone happens to find one while out thrifting please let me know ;)

Does anyone else find a difference when thrifting in small towns vs. big cities? Or was I perhaps just lucky enough to be visiting when there was many great things for sale?

DIY Gold Stripe Tray

When I was considering adding the tulip table to my foyer I wanted to have a little spot to corral the mail, my keys and other things when I come in the door. I knew a small tray would be ideal for that purpose, so I set out to find one that met my criteria – it needed to be rectangular, not too expensive, and it needed to have some colour given the table and the walls in my foyer are white.

To be honest I had absolutely no plans on DIYing anything, and I actually did find a lovely contender for the spot at HomeSense that was just $13. Then of course I went to the thrift store and found a tray for $1.99 and my plans changed.  Given its thrift store provenance the tray was predictably ugly, but it was the right size and shape and I knew that making it prettier would be easy.

Thrift store tray before

I’ve been in LOVE with this tray forever, and if it had been the right size I may have been tempted to buy it for my foyer (but only if it also went on sale). Since the original wasn’t to be I decided to make my own version using my thrift store tray and spray paint I already had on hand.

Thrift store tray painted white

(Apologies for the bad cell phone picture)

After spraying the tray white I set out to mark off the pattern on the top of the tray using masking tape. I eyeballed the pattern and used a small piece of tape to help with the spacing between the lines.  I did have painters tape on hand, but it was too wide for the scale of my tray so I ended up using the regular masking tape (I use it in class to tape my drawings to the drafting table).

Thrift store tray painted gold

Once the pattern was complete I sprayed the tray top and bottom with gold spray paint, and when it was dry I peeled off the tape and voilà – a gold stripe tray.

DIY Gold stripe tray

There was some bleeding under the tape that more than likely wouldn’t have occurred if I’d used painters tape, but I’m honestly not too concerned.

DIY Gold Stripe tray.

Not bad for $2 right?

Thrifty Thursday – Recent Finds

I’ve had some pretty good finds recently when shopping at my favorite stores – namely Value Village and the Salvation Army, and since I haven’t done a Thrifty Thursday post in a while I thought I’d share a few things.

Thrifted Cake StandIn all honestly I have no need for a cake stand. I’ve never used one and cake is more likely to end up in my belly before it gets anywhere near this but at $3.99 I couldn’t pass it up. I love the pattern – the repetitive bumps and the scalloping around the edge are pretty. Maybe I’ll use it to display something other than cake.

Thrifted Le CreusetI have to say, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this on the shelf – a 4.2L Le Creuset French oven, but there it was. It’s got some damage (crazing) to the enamel on the inside and some burn marks on the bottom, but I don’t think it’s too bad. The pot was rather filthy when I bought it, but some scrubbing with a magic eraser and then with some baking powder cleaned most of it up. I think it looks pretty good for a $10 pot.

Thrifted Time Life CookbooksThese cookbooks are currently my favorite thrifted find as I’ve been looking for some of these for what seems like forever.  I know you’re wondering why the heck I bought 15 cookbooks (without pictures!!) from the 70’s, and the reason is simply because my parents have them, and some of my favorite dishes come from these books.

Thrifted Time Life World foods cookbooksThe books are part of the Time Life Books ‘Foods of the World’ series. There are still a number of other books that I haven’t found including the recipe index, so the hunt continues.

I must remember to ask mom and dad which recipes they use a lot and if I don’t already have the book it comes from to keep a lookout for it.

What do you think of my finds? Would you have been tempted to bring them home?

Thrifty Thursday – Miss Nancy Drew

A few months ago I shared with you my thrifting find of some Hardy Boys books, and explained my rather short-sighted decision as an early teen to sell my collection of Nancy Drew books which I regretted almost immediately.

Over the years I’ve spotted some Nancy drew books at antique stores and markets, but they’ve always been priced at from $6-8 each which I’m unwilling to spend (especially when you consider the guy who bought my rather extensive collection got the whole thing for something ridiculous like $10).

After Christmas I went into a Value village and look what I spotted: Thrifted Nancy Drew BooksYay! They were priced at $1.49 each, but when you buy 4 you get the 5th free. So for $12 I’ve restarted my collection.

PS – I always thought that if I ever had a little girl I’d share with her the Nancy Drew series that I loved so much as a child. They were my first big-girl chapter books and I spent hours reading and rereading the pages. Since finding the books above I’ve reread some of them, and I may change my mind – there are some things in the books my modern female self has some issues with, so that plan might have to rethought.