The Best Of Thrift

Caron Dann wrote a post not too long ago about odd things she owns. Since it’s Saturday and I’m in my house, I thought I’d share with you some of the odd things that live in my house that are not a dog or a cat.

I go thrift store shopping a lot. I’m actually not quite sure where I picked up this habit since no one in my family thrift shops. When it came time to go shopping for clothes for the new school year, my mom, grandmother, sister and I would trundle off to the department store. We bought new clothing off of expensive racks. That concept kind of gives me the willies now. I can’t imagine paying full price for anything.

I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that I’m poor and I have been since I started working at the age of fifteen. When you have to support yourself on minimum wage, you find ways to stretch your money. Thrift store shopping became a common thing for me.

The thing is, even if I had tons of money, I’d probably still go thrift store shopping. Instead of rack upon rack of new items that are all the same like a department store, you find rack after rack of unique, individual things with character at a thrift store. Each of those items has its own story. They have character. While I still do a lot of my clothes shopping at thrift stores, lately, since I moved, I’ve been leaning more towards the housewares section and have found some neat stuff.

You, lucky reader, get to take a trip inside the inner sanctum of the fish, the goldfish bowl, if you will. Welcome to my home.

Entertainment center

When Male left, he bequeathed me a lot of stuff. He left me his California king size bed, his giant television and a PlayStation 3. Yay me! I lived in a tiny room before and I used bookshelves for everything. My bookshelves held books, but they were also used as a place to feed the cat where the dog couldn’t get to his food, a closet, a vanity and an entertainment center. This giant new TV wouldn’t fit on my bookshelves so it needed a new home. I searched long and hard and finally found an awful, ugly, fake wood, press board thing. I painted the hell out of it until it turned into this:

2013-11-02 08.22.54

Actually, that’s my dog ruining another picture. This is my television stand:

2013-11-02 08.32.30

It turned out better than expected. I paid $20 for it. That thing in the right side is a hidden storage panel that swings out. I lazied out and didn’t paint the inside of it. No one will see it, right?

Coffee table

A long time ago, I bored you all with my do-it-yourself-ness. I talked about painting a coffee table, but I never did show you the finished results. Here it is in all of its purple glory:

2013-11-02 08.23.17

It also turned out better than expected and accidentally matches the rug I already had and my new sofa cover. That thing is a solid wood table and I might have left it if it as it was if didn’t have a giant burn mark on the top of it. Honestly, I’m glad that it had the burn mark because it allowed me to paint it without feeling guilty and I like it much better this way. I paid $12 for it.

Vanity stool

My gigantic bathroom has a built in vanity. I know, how swank! It did not come with anything to sit on though. So, I found this pink glittery footstool with storage for $7. It had feet on it, but I wanted it to roll. So, I installed some casters on it and now it rolls around my bathroom with ease and stores all of my extra toilet paper.

2013-11-02 08.27.39

Owl can

Also residing in my bathroom is this incredibly busy trash can. Fortunately, it’s rather small so its garishness isn’t too obtrusive. It was dented when I bought it for $1. I took a hammer to it and smoothed out the dent. Now you can’t even tell.

2013-11-02 08.27.19

Ugly lamp

Ah, the ugly lamp. Ugly lamp was left in my care. Ugly lamp is not mine and will be claimed again one day by Male. Ugly lamp is huge and lights up orange on the inside. Male had an awful lampshade on ugly lamp that was all bent and crooked. I found this one at a thrift store for $3, and other than its size, which is sort of on the small side, it fits ugly lamp perfectly.

Chest of drawers

I just bought the colorful flower chest yesterday for $3. My original intent was to use it to store art supplies, but when I got it home, I realized it wasn’t deep enough to store my pencils. So, it lives on my desk now and stores batteries, paper clips, etc. On the side, in scrolling little girl cursive was written the name Paige in pencil. It came right off with some cleaner.


When I first moved in to my new home, I had a ton of wall real estate that needed to be filled and I had a ton of art to frame. One day, when looking for frames, I stumbled on the robot in the frame. He came exactly as he is for precisely $1. I absolutely love him.

2013-11-02 08.21.45


Moving on to the bric-a-brac. Somewhere in this house, I have a real blowfish that I got in Florida as a kid. He’s all puffed out and lacquered. Honestly, he’s kind of gross. When I went to take a picture of him this morning, I couldn’t find him. I found this guy at a thrift store and for 50 cents, he was too good to refuse.

2013-11-02 08.23.32

African dude

With the exception of the lion bank poking out on the far left and the little mouse carved by my dad, these are all thrift store finds. On the left, we have the little African man with a very erect penis poking out from under his grass skirt. I didn’t realize he was, ahem, so happy to see me until I got him home.

Unibrow bear

The unibrow bear, as he has so been dubbed, is actually a lamp. I can do a lot of home improvement type stuff, but electrical is not one of them. I bought unibrow bear because he is so damn ugly. I feared that no one else would want him, so I brought him home with me.


The fish I’ve had for a long time, but he was also a thrift find. He’s intricately carved out of an animal horn. he even has individual teeth. I think he was originally an ashtray since the wooden holder is ashtray sized. I put the rock there to hold him steady instead.

2013-11-02 08.24.33

Purple cow

I absolutely adore the purple cow. I paid way too much for him, probably something like $10, which is exceptionally high for a thrift store piece of bric-a-brac. Normally, I never pay over $5, but I loved him the moment we met. He’s made of porcelain and might actually be worth something, but I’d never sell him.


The elephant is made of wood and is actually a candle holder. I always have an elephant in my room facing away from the entrance. For some reason, somewhere along the way, I heard this tradition. It’s supposed to be good luck to have an elephant with his butt facing you as you enter a home. I’m not superstitious at all, but I do love a good story. I had to turn him to take the picture. He normally faces the other way.

The Red Goo

Behind the cow and elephant, there is a little canister of red goo. There is a story behind the goo that is on my list of things to tell you about this month. You’ll have to wait until then.

2013-11-02 08.25.46

Well, that’s about all I have time for today. Maybe someday, I’ll share some more of my strange and wondrous collection of weird things that litter my home. Thanks for stopping by!