Welcome to Tumbleweed Tidings! Here in southeastern Washington it has been hot and smoky for the past few weeks, due to fires from as far away as California and British Columbia, as well as those burning nearby. Staying inside has been the safest option, which has given me time to play with some thrift shop treasures purchased in the past couple of months.
I don’t know about you, but I love going into good quality thrift shops and looking at all of the unique things people have donated. Many of the shops we frequent are so beautifully displayed and curated, you’d think you were in a brand new retail boutique. These shops are usually run by volunteers who spend their time putting out merchandise, helping customers, and enjoying fellowship with others, and their profits typically benefit a charity.
One of the things I enjoy most is the feeling that you never know what you will find each time you visit. A beautiful vase? A unique picture frame? A cookbook I had wanted but was too cheap to pay full price for? Ahh, the joy that awaits…which brings me to today’s selection of thrifting treasures.
While in northern Idaho recently, we visited one of our favorite shops call Bazaar Bazaar in Sandpoint. This small shop is displayed and managed beautifully. On this trip, I found two clear glass covered butter dishes. They had three, but one was chipped, so I took the other two for $3 each. To most people, I realize a covered individual butter dish sounds like a useless item, but for me it was pure thrifting gold! We have gone to restaurants lately where bring these out with the bread basket and they are over-the-moon chic. These butter dishes had stayed in the back of my mind, and it was like I had manifested them when I found these beauties at the thrift shop.
For the butter dish, I filled it with softened butter, and then for a little embellishment, topped it with sprigs of fresh basil and rosemary from my herb garden, as well as a sprinkling of Himalayan pink salt that we get at Costco. This little dish of wonderfulness turned out so nice it was almost too pretty to use, but I put it out with our steamed asparagus that night and it perfect.
Another great way to fill covered butter dishes is with herbed or berried butter blends, which I posted about a few years ago. They are so easy to make, I promise you will be hooked on blended butter and keep logs of your favorite in the freezer year-round. You can see how I made my blended butters here: Using up Fresh Herbs…
A sad aside to the covered butter dishes is that when I had them home, I loved them so much I had them on a tray on the kitchen counter. One day I opened the cabinet above where I keep my spices, and a large glass spice jar fell out and landed on one of the butter dishes. It broke in half, and as I sat there staring at what had just happened, I was as sad as if I’d just lost a family crystal heirloom rather than a $3 thrift store find. Oh well, how many small covered butter dishes does one family need?
The same day I purchased the butter dishes, I found a small framed wall mirror. It was green and speckled gold and measured 10″ square. It was also $3, and just too good of a deal to pass up. I loved the green embossed detail, but the speckled gold part was bothering me some. That was no problem, as I knew just how to fix it…Rub ‘n Buff. If you haven’t tried Rub ‘n Buff before, you are missing out. I first learned of it from my mother years ago as a way to touch up frames, door hardware, light fixtures, and many other items. When I had my home decor store in Hawaii, it worked wonders on repairing little chips and dings that occurred in shipping. It comes in various metallic finishes, as well as black. I ordered a new set of four from Amazon, that I will use for future projects.
Armed with my Rub ‘n Buff, I used my finger to cover the speckled area and outside of the frame with gold. Once it is dry, as the name implies, you buff it off with a soft cloth. The speckles were all gone and the frame turned out great! Because I have a lot of green accents in my dining room, I hung it on a small side wall to the left of the window and it works well there. For a $3 thrift treasure and a few cents worth of Rub ‘n Buff, I had a lovely addition to our home.
The last item I found recently was at an antique and thrift store in Dayton, Washington, about a half hour from my hometown of Walla Walla. We had taken a drive up there for lunch one day and then walked around Main Street looking in stores. In this particular shop, I found this rosemary pot with a fresh rosemary plant in it for $12. While I think the pot is somewhat new, I loved the way they had put the small rosemary plant in it, covered with small shiny pebbles. And while I have two rosemary plants in my herb garden by my patio, this is a nice addition to my kitchen, just ready for my latest recipe.
If you are keeping track, these three thrifting treasures cost me a total of $21 plus tax. For that price, I have three new items that I will use and enjoy for years to come. We are at a phase of our life where we could pay more for items, and sometimes we do. But for us, the fun comes in finding a deal, and figuring out how to make it work perfectly for our everyday life. And that is the thrill and fun of thrifting!