Avon Betties, Tupperware Gems & Milk Glass Vases

Welcome to the first post in my new series {thrift with me}. If you are new to the blog – I am a born & raised thrifter. You can read more about it here in A History of Thrifting. In this series I am going to be taking you along with me on my thrift trips. I’ll be spilling some secrets along the way, sharing many tips to unearth treasures and providing many pictures of my spoils with you. If you have happened upon my blog and stuck around, it’s possible that we have similar taste – but if we don’t that is totally fine, you can still benefit from learning the art of thrifting by applying it to your personal style.

A couple bookkeeping notes before we start: the paragraphs I post correspond to the picture BELOW my words and all the pictures were taken with my iPhone. It would be a little obnoxious & unwieldy if I was toting around my DSLR. So the quality and lighting isn’t awesome but hopefully you’ll get the point 🙂

I live in a small town of about 20,000 people. We have four thrift shops that are open on a regular basis (meaning I could hit all four of them on a regular weekday in a few hours without worrying about wonky store hours). I generally shop without my kids, so my thrift adventures are only 1-2 times a month. Today my kids are with their grandparents for the remainder of Spring Break so I did not have a time constraint – regardless, I still stuck to my normal routine and was done in about two hours.

The first thing that caught my eye at my first stop were these four tall glass vases. The colors are really fun but all told, the colors & shapes are too contemporary for my taste.

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Right below the tall vases was this white ceramic planter. I did buy this one because it has clean lines and it is white so very versatile with my decor. I am super picky about adding planters to my collection because I have many. I am forever repotting and adding new little plants to our decor so this one made the cut because I don’t have anything like it. It is unmarked and potentially vintage – but regardless, it is sturdy and classic so in the cart it went!

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I have 5-6 milk glass vases and I think they are so pretty. After I have collected several of a certain type of thing, it pays to start being picky. I have two similar to the first and second vases. I have never seen one like the far right vase so in the cart it went!

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The next two pictures are an example of what I do when I’m on the fence about buying something. At first glance, this little vase is unique and has potential. I do have an enormous vase collection so in order to add to it the vase must be vintage and different from anything I have. It passed the unique test, but I always turn it over. This one has a barcode underneath all the stickers that is too new to be a vintage piece. Back on the shelf it goes!

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Same goes with this guy – at first glance it looked unique but upon turning it over I discovered it’s fresh from Hobby Lobby 🙂 Back on the shelf it goes! Often times I will look closer at items not because I necessarily want to buy it, but because it’s different than anything that I’ve ever seen and I want to learn more about it. I am constantly learning brands and styles because it makes thrifting easier when I can pass by, name a brand and decide yay or nay without even picking it up.

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Part of the fun of thrifting is periodically seeing collections like these. Three large shelves filled with vintage Avon perfume bottles. I love stories, and I can imagine the story that the woman who collected these has to tell. I imagine she was very proud of her collection and would talk about them to anyone who asked!

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These two plus a gold giraffe bottle had to come home with me. I don’t normally collect little knick knack type items but I could imagine the perfect spot for these at home as conversation pieces. The pretty pink girl is a 1960’s Miss Lollypop Cologne Mist bottle – her hat removes to spray. The little girl next to her is a 1970’s vintage mod Small World SPLASHU African American girl cologne bottle. Her necklace is what sold me! They are in impeccable condition minus a tiny smudge on Miss Lollypop’s cheek.

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This piece is an example of me being totally conflicted. I have had my eye on this cool bronze and gold piece for over two months now. It’s cool, it’s rad, it probably saw the light of some very stellar parties. I’m not quite sure what it is (looks like a food warmer of sorts), I would probably never use it – but it is most definitely mid century awesomeness. For now it stays on the shelf!

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This tiny little milk glass vase is cute and unique for sure – but it’s times like these I have to be honest with myself to avoid taking home yet another vase. It’s about 4 inches tall, and I will most likely never have a use for it. On the shelf it stays!

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I collect melamine dishes from the 60’s-70’s. We use them for almost every meal, so I don’t feel bad picking up a new piece here and there. You can’t tell from the picture, but this one was faded and had been melted at one point because the circle is wonky. It might be the last melamine on the planet, but I only collect them if they are in like new condition. This one stayed in the store!

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Again – part of the fun of thrifting is just seeing the cool stuff that has graced households over the last century. My grandma had some of these rope plant pot hangers. These were in great condition but I could imagine where I might put them in my house so they stayed. These are an example of a  “maybe”. I was able to leave the store without them but I am likely to revisit the idea of buying the pretty grey blue beaded one on the right if it is still there next time. Nostalgia can be a good reason to buy something, as long as it’s something you’ll use. Definitely one to think on!

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This pillow is 100% something I would buy brand new in a store and is definitely my style. This plush dark faux fur is an excellent dimension to add to any couch or bed. Upon examination it is down filled and suede on the back. Definitely was an expensive pillow. Upon closer examination, it had some stains and pet hair on it. This was one of those tough decisions. I am willing to buy almost anything used, but was I willing to spend $25 to have it professionally cleaned when I could buy a new one for $50? I’ll keep it in the back of my mind. I know someone else is probably going to snap this pillow up, but I wasn’t willing to make a rash decision to save $25.

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These fun finds are always good for a smile. I grew up with this version of The Game Of Life. If it wasn’t in such rough condition I would have bought it to show my daughter. The new version is kind of ridiculous if you ask me 🙂

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Another find that is still in the back of my mind. We camped and hiked every summer during my childhood, and we had a couple of packs very similar to this. Aluminum frame, vinyl body with canvas backing. Now this is an example of nostalgia that I run into almost every single thrift trip. I love it, it has an awesome vibe…but will I use it? Probably not. I could probably get a couple of cool photo sessions out of it but it will mostly collect dust. I have more modern packs for camping trips that do get use so this is probably an unnecessary purchase. But if it’s still there next time I can’t promise it won’t come home with me 🙂 Update: I did return to buy this pack. I am using it as incentive to hike a fourteener in Colorado this summer because the picture’s I could get with this awesome pack would be super fun.

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This chrome and glass table caught my eye because I’ve seen similar ones in decorating catalogs lately. If it was a pair I might have snapped them up to resell but it’s a loner, plus the masking tape on the corners tells me it might be broken.

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And just because I always find something on each trip that is a little shagadelic. 😉

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I collect vintage crocheted blankets for photo shoots and for family use. I am extremely picky about the condition and colors. They are always popping up in thrift stores and antique stores so there is no lack of them. They cannot have snags or holes and there must be a cohesive color scheme. Just like with any other art, people who crochet either have an eye for color or they don’t. Neither of the ones in the store today passed my test.

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I was super stoked about this little guy. We had this exactly container when I was little. It was filled with markers and crayons and we used it almost every day. It went in the car, to church, outside, in the living room, I dropped it probably over 100 times. It’s from Tupperware, it was in really nice condition and I’m really excited to pass along the exact same memory to my kids!

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I am always on the lookout for coffee table books. Nothing caught my eye today!

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I collect old cameras. I’m not picky about the era or whether or not they work (unless I specifically bought it to work) because I just use them to decorate and for photo props. I am picky about how they look though. I didn’t buy this one today but I think I am going to return to buy it. It looks very interesting and was super heavy duty, plus I have never heard of the brand and I’m always looking for conversation pieces. Update: I did return to buy this neat camera.

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Vintage scarves. I passed them by – I have no use for them but they always evoke a feeling of nostalgia because both of my grandmother’s wore scarves.

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I really like the blue and green striped one but it’s not big enough to be of any use. Again, these scarves are an example of things that evoke nostalgia but would be a wasted purchase.

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I love love love these jetsetter travel bags from the 60’s and 70’s. They just bleed chic coolness and I would own one in every color if I had a use for them. I inherited one and bought another at an estate sale – they don’t make it out of my closet much! This white one is really fun!

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I just bought a set of four of these copper containers last week, otherwise I might have been tempted by these two. Stainless steel and rose gold, they would look really cool in my kitchen.

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These little salt and pepper shakers caught my eye. I am a sucker for a color pop. Now that I see these in a picture, I realize that they are too contemporary for my taste.

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Now these are fun and retro. But that leads me to one tip that you must adhere to! The bottom cork was broken and half of it was missing. Yes, they are cool and I would have definitely taken them home if they were whole. If an item is broken or is going to take some work to fix it – no matter how cool or name brand it is, save yourself the grief and don’t buy it. There are some exceptions – if you know how to fix it easily or have plans to do it ASAP when you get home, by all means buy it. But over the years, I don’t care if the shopkeeper said they would give it to me for free – I do not buy broken items. They end up cluttering my house and causing more headache than they are worth.

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The belle of the ball today – a pretty pink LuRay Pastels serving bowl for only $1.50. I can totally appreciate these gorgeous pieces now that I have seen one in person, I don’t collect them but my good friend does so I picked it up for her!

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And just for fun. Retro vinyl roller dining room chairs!! They were in really awesome condition, they owners must not have had children….

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Hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into my thrift trips, maybe picked up a tip or two! Stay tuned for my next bargain hunt 😉

Have a blessed day!

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I'm a mom that loves blogging.

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