Spring Break Thrifting.

Spring Break was last week, and the weather in Chicago was so beautiful. Shorts weather, even! It’s started really giving me the hankering for summer, which, really, isn’t that far away. Which means, very soon, I’ll be haunting my favorite thrift stores twice a day. And yard sales! They’re right around the corner! I’m not sure how I existed before I had the summers off. At this point, I think it would be very, very difficult for me to go back to working 12 months a year. How do the rest of you do this?

So I probably hit about seven thrift stores while I was off: the Salvation Army on Devon and Grand; the Unique on Elston and Sheridan; and the Village Thrift on Clark, Milwaukee, and Elston. The Village Thrift and the Unique are the two biggest chains in Chicago, and every thrifter I know has a strong allegiance to either one or the other. I’ve always been a VTS loyalist, because I think their prices are better, but I have friends who swear by the Unique stores. Over the past two years or so, I’ve tried to visit Unique a little more…and last week, I found the best stuff at the Unique on Elston. Basically, a thrifter’s favorite thrift store is the store where they found their last excellent bargain.

Here are a few of my finds from last week. Almost all of these purchases are destined for the booth.

The baby vase in the upper left hand corner was too adorable to leave behind, even though I have had no luck whatsoever selling the half-dozen vintage baby’s ceramic vases I’ve found in the booth. I think they’re so cute. Wouldn’t they be cute in a baby’s room, holding the cotton balls and q-tips? ¬†I guess I’ll have to keep this one for myself…maybe for the next time a friend has a baby. I LOVE the wood bowl. Lovely patina on it and on a cool metal¬†pedestal. The pink planter is for me…can’t stop buying vintage planters! And the Fiestaware was too cheap not to purchase even though it’s new stuff and not vintage.

I love the curves and the scallops on these two pieces. I’ve seen these kinds of dishes before (on the left) — but what are they? They look like cake stands that have been curved upwards on the sides. What do you serve on these?

Yeah, I can’t stop buying milkglass either. I love it so much and I can’t move ANY of it in the booth…but it sold very well at the Chicago Vintage Bazaar — so I guess I’ll hold on to this in the event of another Chicago sale. Although, I might keep that vase on the right — I’ve never seen one like this before.

I’m realizing that a lot of the things I bought were kind of strange. This is a porcelain tray, edged in silver, with fox hunting scenes on it. My purchase of this tray in no way indicates that I condone fox hunting, by the way. I just loved the vintage feel of this. (Makes me think of the scene from Auntie Mame where Mame visits Upton Downs. Love that movie!)

Okay, both of these are odd as well. I LOVE that black –whatever it is. I don’t know what to call it. But it’s heavy and shiny! Very goth! On the right side — what is that for? It’s so shallow, I can’t imagine what it’s for. It’s about 12 inches long, so it’s pretty big. It’s matte white pottery, my favorite, and when you add in that dreamy blue paint on the inside, I was powerless to resist. I just can’t imagine what it’s used for.

April 5, 2010 - 1:51 pm

Ord-Red The bottom bowl with the blue interior is (I believe) a bulb bowl. It was also used for flower arrangements with the large flat flower frogs. Most people just use them as fruit bowls nowadays.

As for the curved cakestand, it’s actually a banana stand. It’s hard to tell from the photo if they are repros or not, but the pattern is pretty common Early American Pressed Glass (aka EAPG).

April 5, 2010 - 5:01 pm

janie hightower That clear glass swirly sided dish might be used for a fruit bowl. The hunting tray is REALLY something I’ve never seen anything like before. (I think it’s pretty too.) The baby vase I haven’t seen one like, either… looks like a 40s baby congratulations card.

April 5, 2010 - 8:28 pm

Lara Jo Ord-Red, YOU’RE BRILLIANT! That makes perfect sense. Thanks for answering the questions that keep me up at night! I think I’ll try to force bulbs next winter in that cream bowl. That would be beautiful, I bet, with paperwhites. Thanks again!

April 5, 2010 - 10:15 pm

Shannon I love the milk glass vase on the right. So simple but classic!