Thrift Tales #6: February 2021

Greetings! I’m sorry I have not been sticking to my once per week posting goals lately. I have an exciting excuse though: I’m moving! Ugh, I know – moving is tough. You have to admit though, it’s still exciting! So I’ve been very busy cleaning the house and going through stuff. We have lots of projects on the horizon and ever so much to do. And this is only the beginning!

You know what’s super exciting about moving into a bigger house though? More room for thrifted things! Not that we need more “stuff” – my husband even said, “You know, just because we’re moving into a bigger house, doesn’t mean you need to fill it with more stuff.” But it’s heartbreaking to find a stunning piece of furniture secondhand for a steal and have to pass on it because you’ve already done that too many times. I’m painting a bad picture of myself here though. I in no way believe in clutter. I’m a clean freak who also hates cleaning, so I view everything I buy as another thing to clean. I agonize over every purchase. If something doesn’t bring me joy or have a purpose, out it goes!

On that note, time to talk about how necessary I found this month’s thrifted finds. February brought much better luck early on than January left me with. I visited a fun store I had not been to in a while and saw so many neat things…

First I found this little brass unicorn bell, but they wanted $17 I think for it and that price just outweighed how much I wanted it. I didn’t snap a picture, but they also had a vintage View-Master and some reels, but it was the exact same Model C I got a few months ago.

They had a lot of vintage irons, including these miniature ones. They were tiny! I did some research and found that these old solid metal irons were called “sad irons” with “sad” being an Old English word for “solid.” The only thing I could find on the miniature ones was that they were likely for children. (Source.)

What I did bring home from this place were a couple of glass insulators at $4 each. I wonder if these are as common everywhere as they are here. Both of my grandmothers had them and people frequently used them as doorstoppers. My dad used to talk about how people would bust them for fun when he was a kid. They were everywhere! Anyway I decided a while back that I want to try to collect a “rainbow” of them. I just want to find them organically, so that’s probably a relatively impossible goal. A quick dip into the world of glass insulator collecting reveals there is a lot to learn and consider! Here’s a link to a gallery of “North American Threaded Pintype Glass Insulators” by the National Insulator Association. This shows what I’m most likely to find, and these mostly come in cool-tone shades and clear.

I already had the lightest shade of blue which I inherited from my grandmother and it is a Whitall Tatum brand. I also have a trio of blue ones I thrifted years ago which are out on my back patio. I have used them to hold down drop cloths for painting outside, so I need to clean the paint off of them! The two newest ones I thrifted are a Hemingray (blue) and an Armstrong (black). So that’s some progress anyway! I like them.

At another store I found another brass bell. This one was gorgeous! It had what I think was an antler on top and a nature theme across the body of the bell with leaves, vines, berries, and such. Again I talked myself out of it though.

I did get this Smokey Bear ruler for $2.50. I love vintage Smokey Bear! I saw this a while back and regretted not getting it, so I was glad it was still there. I did something cute with it which I’ll show you soon.

Another store brought another insulator. Maybe I should have bought this one, but I decided to stick to collecting glass ones for the time being. It was white porcelain. I kind of regret not buying it, so I might pick it up next time if it’s still there and just not display it with my glass ones.

So the two glass insulators and Smokey Bear ruler are my new items from February. Not much I know, but it made me happy! It’s pretty good considering how busy I’ve been. I’ll share what I did with the ruler very soon and as always, I’ll leave you with a few of my other finds. Happy hunting!

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