Today I want to share with you some treasures I have found recently---that are mostly kitchen related.
I was thrilled to find this stainless steel citrus juicer! The brand name on the bottom was way too small to read at the store without glasses, but I knew it looked sturdy and well-made and it was going to be a big improvement over the yellow plastic one I've been using since I was a newlywed!
When I got home, I looked at the brand name closely and found out it was a Tramontina! (A lovely company that started in Brazil in 1911. Read about it here.) Available at Williams Sonoma for $29.95, new. Or on eBay for $18, used!!! What a steal for $1.50 from the thrift store!
I love blue and white. Always have. I haven't varied in my love of it since I was a child! So when I found these hand painted lovelies, I couldn't pass them up! $2.00! And Oh-so-pretty! I'm not exactly sure what the bowl is for. Probably sugar. There was no sticker or any other indication of where they were made or who made them. I'm thinking they came from Mexico. I love the way they feel and the authentic nature of the hand glazing!
This plastic tray and teak bowl also came from the thrift store. I collect teak. It's one of my weaknesses. Remember? Technically, they are not kitchen items. We use them in the family room. For snacks and drinks on movie nights! The plastic tray is a Guzzini. An Italian designer plastics company that has been around since 1938! Very popular in mid-century modern designs. I think they made the first mushroom lamp! I'm not sure what era this tray if from---but it is very fun to have! A little bit of lucite! And very functional sitting on our ottoman to hold drink glasses and the like! Both items were one or two bucks.
These wooden duck/platypus bowls are my absolute FAVORITE! And they come with a good story. If you shop thrift stores very often, you will realize that there are some regular customers there. People who wait by the back doors for new carts of stuff to come out. People who probably come to the thrift store every day to find treasures. I think some of them own their own eBay stores. Or they run their own smaller thrift stores on the side. Or maybe they just love to collect stuff. I'm never sure. But I've seen them there often enough to know that they are "regulars." One day I saw these lovely wooden bowls in the cart of one of these "regular" thrifters. I commented to him on what a great find they were. It was a genuine compliment---as sorting through the trash to find treasures is a true skill! He thanked me and then modestly said that he wasn't really sure if he needed them or not. I remarked that if he decided not to get them, and I was somewhere nearby, he could surely send them my way! I didn't really think he would. I went on shopping for quite some time. But this nice man came all the way across the store and found me about 15 minutes later. He sweetly gave them to me and walked away! Whatever reason he thrifts and whatever reason he didn't want them, I do not know. But I know they were worth a lot more than the measly $2.00 price tag. And if he made his living off of reselling thrifted things, this was an obvious sacrifice on my behalf. I felt very honored that day.
After a brief search on the internet, I was able to find a few of these bowls for sale on places like eBay and Etsy. But never a complete set! I found out they were carved in Yugoslavia. And I treasure them! Because they are wooden bowls (which I love). Because they are really cool! Because they are now our individual popcorn bowls--as well as a decorative piece on the end table in the family room. But most of all--because they remind me of the kindness of a complete stranger!
I make it a point now to "pay it forward" in the same way. If someone eyes something cool I've found in my cart---and I don't really love or need it---I will pass it on to them.