Memories: thrifting

Funny how chic thrift stores are now, what with the refinishing/repainting/revamping potential that their treasures inspire. Or perhaps it's always been chic to thrift shop and it's thanks to the astonishingly creative DIY bloggers out there that the concept is finally receiving accolades.

When I was a bossy little booger younger, I'd accompany my mother on thrift store trips. In those days my parents were just starting out with their careers, which meant pinching pennies until Dad got promoted and we could "move on up". But before all that, it was all about the thrift stores.

Funny as it sounds now, it was quite the outing for us. My mother would put my hair up in curly pigtails, wriggle me into a dress and patent leather Mary Janes, put on her best "about town" coat, plop my little brother in his stroller, and we were off. My mother's the type of person who, if we had a maid, would clean the house first so that it would look presentable for the maid. Ma, it's not like we were going to Tiffany's.

No, we were just thrifting. I vaguely remember wandering amongst those aisles displaying the once-loved belongings of other people. Back then and even now, being in a thrift store felt like I'd wandered into someone's mysterious home, a bit like a treasure hunt. My mother would purchase household things like vintage dishes, knicked-up, overly varnished furniture, and sometimes clothes. But when it came to our clothes (my brother's and mine), they were always new and unworn from department stores. So you see, she loved thrifting so much because it allowed her to save money towards "nicer" stuff for her children. After these sort of trips, she'd reward us with a treat from a little foreign candy shop down the street. Once, I ate so many sour candies, my tongue felt fuzzy. This other time, I fell asleep while licking a lollipop and woke up screaming because it got stuck to my pigtail (can't remember which one but I was like "What just happened......").

So I guess you can say thrifting holds some fond memories for me. Whether it's a Craigs List find , the local thrift shop, gently used furniture store scores, garage sales, curbside giveaways, or my parents' attic, I've never turned my nose up at them. Half the fun is realizing the potential in this type of "treasure hunting"; saving money is the icing on the cake.


Mostly, it's the memories that I love......the ones from my own thrifting experiences and the imagined ones belonging to the pieces I stumble upon. For instance, I wonder who owned this ornate mirror that I almost walked by because it was tucked behind a rack of coats and a swan-shaped basket?



For $10, I brought it home with me. I have no idea where it's going but I just couldn't abandon it....who knows how long before someone else realized its potential? I keep envisioning it in a future girl's nursery. (No, I'm not with child, sorry family.)

27 comments:

  1. This is great. Sounds like wonderful memories. I hope my little girl will feel the same way about our outings. Of course, I'm too lazy to get her dressed up for them. :)

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  2. YOur mom must be my mom!!! We would spend Staurdays at 22nd Street Thrift Store and I have such a fond memory of that place...bought my first Guess Jeans there (with my own money) -- and found $20 in the pocket and a BEAUTIFUL bride doll. Hehehe! :) Why am I surprised that we have similar memories.

    Cheers~
    e

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  3. FC, I bought a mirror JUST like that at a yard sale last summer, also for $10.00. What a find!

    jbhat

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  4. Oh, and look how beautiful your kitchen looks in the reflection from the middle shot. Nice!

    jbhat

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  5. Wonderful memories. And that mirroe is BEAUTIFUL!! Question -- where is the chair its on from?

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  6. This blog cracked me up! I think your Mom & mine were lost at birth. My Mom now has a house cleaner and always cleans before she comes because she doesn't want to look "filthy" to the house cleaner! However, it's rubbed off on me too - now I'm the same way darn it!

    Love the mirror as well - what a steal & a beautiful home as well!!

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  7. What a great find! I've been looking for an ornate mirror for quite some time now, but it seems like all my best finds are things that I was never looking for.

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  8. I love thrifting, and I did not discover it until college. It makes me happy to know that your mom got you guys all gussied up for the thrift shops.

    The thrifts in my area are populated with (me, and) these unkept, sometimes smelly children with frazzled, impolite moms. I often wonder to myself if I will become one of those moms one day, or if I can somehow take my kids thrifting without turning them into ragamuffins. Thank you for telling me yes. :)

    AND that mirror is GORGEOUS. I can hold on to it until you have a girl... if you know... it's taking up space and whatnot... ;)

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  9. Unlike you, I DID used to turn up my nose at garage sales, goodwill, anything used, etc. I have now come to appreciate thrifting, even though I'm not very good at it yet.

    That mirror is fantastic!

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  10. I feel just the same about thrift stores :)

    GOSH I love that mirror. Ten dollars? Amazing!

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  11. I love the mirror. Great find! And, what a great story about going thrifting with your mom, and it is so sweet that she saved it so she could get new things for you. Wow! A mother's love, right?

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  12. That is a beautiful mirror! What a great find. =)

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  13. I have so many mirrors I don't even know what to do with them, but if I like their shape they come home (we bought a long oval gold one recently that is going to be my dressing mirror once it's painted). I have a thing for mirrors, and most I've gotten for pretty cheap (the gold one and another huge one that I think is going in my living room were each no more than $10).

    Great find, I cannot wait to see where you put it!

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  14. I love that mirror! I also couldn't help but notice the chair it was sitting on- is that one of the dining room chairs you purchased with newly painted legs?

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  15. Darn it, you found the mirror I went looking for today.
    I would love to find one like that to paint and hang in my little ones playroom for dress up. Its a new girly thing for her so Im pretty excited.
    Great find!

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  16. I really need to work on getting my thrift on. My good friend loves it, but we haven't hit our 2 giant thrift stores. When there's a will there is a way.

    Tiffany
    http://liferequiresmorechocolate.blogspot.com/

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  17. Aww, I love this post! I can picture Miss Freckles Chic all dolled up looking for treasures!

    The mirror is a fabulous find and I love your photographs. It's so fantastic next to your creamy dining chairs!

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  18. Some of my best memories with my mom were going to estate auctions, buying too much and trying to fit it into the car, driving up the price because someone was being mean, drinking bad coffee and furnishing my entire college apartment! Just think we were green before green was cool!

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  19. Sounds just like the outings I used to go on with my mom!
    I love, love, love that mirror. What a great find!

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  20. I never find anything good. *pout* Lucky girl, that's a lovely mirror!

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  21. How funny, I bought that same exact mirror a few months ago at a thrift shop. I haven't done anything with it yet, I just thought it was so pretty I had to get it. Post when you do something with it! I can't wait to see, then maybe i'll make up my mind about what to do with it!

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  22. @ jbhat: Thanks for noticing our kitchen in the reflection, jb! I didn't realize that until after i downloaded the pics--yay!

    @ tellalucca & Anne: Yup, those chairs are the ones I got from (wait for it....) Sears! I added nailhead trim & painted the legs black. You can read about them here:
    http://freckleschick.blogspot.com/2009/10/more-adventures-with-nailhead-trim.html

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  23. Oh I like, I doubt I would pass it up either!

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  24. Hey we have the same mirror! It use to be my hubby's grandma's in her old home. I just painted it, but I have no clue where I want to put it yet.

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  25. Such pretty detailing in that mirror :)

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Let's get weird up in here.
xoxo
~Freckles Chick~