Thrift store shopping, in and of itself, is a delight, a joy and sometimes even a celebration when coming across unexpected treasures. But when you find a ‘twin’ to something you’ve already purchased, or even a ‘cousin’, it just takes the whole experience one step further. The inspiration for this post came from finding thrift store items that are clearly either a twin or a cousin to other items I found previously, in a different store, and or even a different city.
I have 3 instances of this of phenomena, which in and of itself is kind of amazing.
Let’s start off with a pair of ‘tea for one’ teapots. They are in two parts; the top part is a little mini, single serving teapot, and the bottom part is the cup! They’re teapots! What’s not to love?
I found this one in my favorite thrift shop in San Diego, the American Cancer Society Discovery Store in Point Loma (it’s a great store for any of you in Southern CA). What I truly love about this little piece is the colors; they read ‘fall’ to me in rich shades of comfort and tranquility. The background maroon color, the sage green around the edges and the handle, the fruit in purples, and the pretty mustard colored ribbon all feel soothing and calming. Plus, the raspberry button on the lid is just all kinds of cute.
But even more interesting is the artwork in the bottom of the cup itself.
The watermark on the bottom is “Tracy”, “The Octavia Hill Collection”. I researched it to see if I could find more pieces in this beautiful color combination. There are lots of pieces available on eBay, but honestly, this ‘tea for one’ teapot is the prettiest piece in the collection.
I’ve had this teapot for 5 or 6 years, thinking it was an anomaly. But no.
I have luckily and happily been able to find and make friends in this new city we live in. And even more serendipitous is finding friends who share my obsession, I mean, passion for thrift store shopping. I was out one day with one of these said friends, exploring a huge antique mall. I was happily meandering through this antique mall, until I came to a hard stop in front of this.
It’s twin. I simply stood and stared for a few seconds. What were the odds ? They are twins, right down to the little raspberry button on the top of the lid! As much as I love the teal, the actual pattern doesn’t really move me. Nonetheless, it came home with me, to be displayed with its twin in the maroon color. The watermark is also ‘Tracy’, but it reads “The Blossom Collection”.
I have them displayed in a book case in my office.
They flank another teapot found in a different thrift shop, which also has its own set of ‘twins’.
When I found this teapot, I was enchanted by the leaf design that encircles it, the pretty green color and the classic shape. The watermark reads “Made in Portugal”. It was a little expensive (okay, maybe more than just a little…), and I wanted to think about it before purchasing it. In order to make sure no one else bought it in the meantime, I tucked it behind another pitcher on the shelf it was sitting on. It wasn’t necessarily hidden, but neither was it front and center! However, I did make good on it and bought it a few days later.
Not very long after that, in a different thrift shop, I spotted this creamer and sugar set. Due to the pattern on them, I realized that they were not twins to the pretty green leaf teapot. But I thought the colors might be a good match. Again, I left them there to think about it. (And no, I didn’t ‘hide them in plain sight’. I can’t believe you even asked!). I went back (on Senior Discount Day!) and bought them.
The greens are a little off, but not by too much, which is what qualifies them as ‘cousins’! And I love how they look together in a grouping. Unfortunately, I have not yet put them out as a little three-some; one day an idea will come to me and I will find a spot to display their happy charm!
And here is my 3rd set of twins and cousins. These two…these are most definitely twins.
My friend Brenda ‘dragged’ me (ha!) to a thrift shop in a part of town I am not familiar with (she has lived in Fort Wayne her entire life). We were wandering the shelves of ‘smalls’; bowls, plates, cups, figurines, napkin holders, trays, etc. She picked this plate up to inspect it and said: “This is so pretty and I really like it, but it wouldn’t look right in my house.” Then she turned to me and said: “But it would look good in your house!”. I studied it more carefully, finally realizing how beautiful it is. At $2.99, you’re darn right it came home with me!
And not a few weeks later, in a thrift shop that’s in my regular rotation, its twin showed up. I picked it up to make double sure. The lemon plate is very heavy, and when I picked up the berry version, it was just as heavy. Then I checked the back, and like the lemon plate, the ‘watermark’ information is literally indented into the back side of the plate. But I paused…at $3.99, the price was so much higher. By $1.00. Okay, I didn’t really pause. It came home with me, too.
This little corner shelf unit is the perfect way to display these plates. I have it in a corner next to the blue & white love seat in the living room. But try as I might, the pictures I took were dark and muddy. So, I pulled the shelf unit out to a spot where I could get more light, and loaded it up with the plates on the top and middle shelves.
On the bottom shelf you see this. I am giving this charming little yellow ceramic container Honorable Mention. It doesn’t qualify as either a twin or a cousin. But, it looks absolutely perfect as a supporting player to the two plates. And yes, I found it in yet another thrift shop. (I’m there so often, I have my own parking spot!)
This little container has a very odd shape. It’s not very wide and is kind of a narrow oval. The color is so pretty…a soft, light yellow. But it’s that pattern on the side that called out to me. Well, that and the scalloped edges. Still, she sat in my tchotchke closet for months; I couldn’t seem to find the exact right spot.
Then, when I brought home the lemon plate and put it on the middle shelf of the corner unit, I realized that the little yellow container would be a perfect fit on the bottom shelf. And honestly, she looks lovely with both the lemon plate and the berry plate. She definitely deserves Honorable Mention.
Circling back to the this picture. I can’t believe how many times I have talked about this little corner shelf unit, but here I go again! I saw it in a consignment store in San Diego, loved it, and told myself not to buy it because we were moving to Indiana. Nonetheless, I picked it up, paid less than the sale price listed on the tag, and scurried out the door with it. And of course, it looks perfect in this living room! But here is the rest of the story.
Every single thing in the picture of this little shelf unit is from a thrift store (except for the greenery). (Sorry for how dark the picture is; I just wanted to capture the shelf unit in its “natural habitat”.)
Now, how do I say this politely to my dearest friends who swear up and down that wild horses couldn’t drag them into a thrift shop? Look at what you can create by thrift shopping. A simple, welcoming corner display of pretty, understated elegance. Curated. (I love that word!)
I’ve said it before and I will say it here again; I have never understood how people can let go of such beautiful things. I’ve said this before too, and I will say it again: buy what speaks to your heart, even if you’re not really sure you will use it. If you stay true to your style and taste, eventually your thrift store treasures will come together to create warmth, beauty and comfort in your home. And if you’re only out a few dollars, it’s worth the risk.
Not sure how I could spend 1,500 words on a few tea pots and a couple of plates, but apparently I have. This is the first of several posts to come about thrift store shopping and the treasures to be found. For previous posts, please read this post: “7 Tips for Successful Thrift Shopping“, and this post “The Joy of Treasure Finds by Thrift Shopping” (the full story of the corner shelf unit is in this post).
From our home to yours~
I am linking up to these parties:
My Family Thyme – Tuesday Turn About // Karin’s Kottage Link Party // Eclectic Red Barn // Decorative Inspirations Home Imagined // Our Hopeful Home – Vintage Charm // Follow the Yellow Brick Home – Thursday Favorite Things // Country Road 407 – Farmhouse Friday // Vintage Home Designs – Fabulous Friday // Create with Joy – Inspire Me Monday // The House on Silverado – Sundays on Silverado // Life & Linda – Love Your Creativity // A Pinch of Joy – Busy Monday // My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Inspire Me Monday // Between Naps on the Front Porch – Monday Metamorphosis // Yellow Brick Home – All About Home //
Ellen C says
Kristine, as a new subscriber to your blog, I was entranced by your finds! I love to shop in thrift stores and have found many items that I am still in love with. Having said that, I have also brought home items that just didn’t seem to fit once they arrived and, sadly, have passed them along with love to relocate to their forever home. I find the idea of “twins” and “cousins” interesting and thank you for passing along that thought. I look forward to future posts and will now be going backt o previous ones for enjoyment (and learning experiences).
Ellen – Thank you for subscribing to my blog, and especially thank you for your very sweet comment! I also have my share of ‘oops’ purchases, but that’s part of the learning process of selecting treasures that really speak to your heart! I hope you find even more inspiration in some older posts that fuel your creativity! If I get lucky, I may find even more “twins & cousins” to write about! Thank you again so much!
Barbara at Mantel and Table says
Kristine! I just read the wonderful story about your move from CA – what a time! And what an adventure! 🙂 I’m so glad you ended up in a place with thrift stores, and friends to shop with – plus snow! Loved this post too, and I’ll definitely be back for more. Take care and thanks for the great stories!
Barbara – I have to confess; pulling away from our home in California was pretty frightening. I/We had no idea what lay ahead of us in Indiana. But every single day, I am more than grateful we made this move, and we have honestly been incredibly blessed and lucky to be where we are now. And, as you say – plus snow! Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kind comment!
Wow!! What lucky, lucky finds, they’re all beautiful and unique and I can’t believe you found twins and coordinates. I need to go shopping with you!!
Kim – I wish I could take full credit for my lucky finds! But honestly, this city is drowning in thrift shops! You can hardly drive more than a mile without stumbling over one! And I haven’t even gotten to some of the smaller towns that surround Fort Wayne, to explore THOSE thrift shops! The flip side is, of course, knowing that it’s okay to walk out empty handed. It has yet to happen yet, but….! Thank you so much for your kind words!
I love thrift store shopping too, and also enjoy reading about other people’s great finds!
Id love for you to share your adventures over on my link party: Sundays on Silverado at https://thehouseonsilverado.com/sundays-on-silverado-127/
Hope to see you there!
Nike – thank you for the invite to Sundays on Silverado! I will be there! Thrift shopping is such a universal past time, it’s just so much fun and rewarding!
I was just reading your post on twins and cousins. We like to wander around used furniture places to see if we can find anything we can’t live without. We were looking for cabinets to put on either side of our fireplace. We have a cabinet that we bought for my husband’s mother from Ashley over 12 years ago. As we went through One of a Kind and More and I came to a dead stop. In front of me was the exact same cabinet in good condition. My husband was not convinced that it was the same cabinet so it did not come home with us that day. But after we got home and compared our current cabinet to the picture form the thrift store he knew it was a twin. I hoppy went back the next day and offered a lower price – we settled in the middle. I now have twin cabinets and could not be happier. I gave away sooo much of my glass stuff when we moved here due to truck limits and now which I could have those items back. Those items were donated to a thrift store so like you said someone will be getting a bargain on some great pieces!
Patti – I am still shaking my head over your ‘find’! That is definitely a ‘hall of fame’ twin match! We really like that store too! I was just wandering around, enjoying the array of treasure, when I realized I had lost Sailor. I found him wedged between two dressers, staring hard at one of them. I said “If you like it, let’s go! Let’s buy it!”. Well we did, and it is the perfect addition to our master bedroom! I am more than happy to help you find replacements for your glass pieces you couldn’t bring with you! Thank you for stopping by!!
Decorative Inspirations says
Kristine, You found some amazing twins and cousins. I love when this happens. Thrift shopping is a favorite of mine and I have been lucky enough to collect some like pieces too. Great post! Those tea pots are so darn cute. Thanks for stopping in to the Home Imagined Link Party.
I’ve spent some time on hour blog, and really admire the beautiful green & white china in your hutch! So impressive that it’s all collected! Thank you for hosting Home Imagined Link Party – you will see me there often!!
Kathy A says
Really enjoyed this post; I love the idea of twins and cousins–it describes many of my collections. You are blessed to have so many thrift stores in your area. Where I am in Maine, it is mostly high priced Goodwills and auctions. Yard sale season is MUCH TOO short! I would rather go to a thrift store than a Wal-Mart or Target! Now being retired and costs going up, I look seriously for craft and sewing items, but gernerally not clothes; I already have 2 closets full of nothing to wear!!! I have a vintage/craft booth and look for treasures for myself, family, and resale. My newest goal is collecting Christmas village houses and accessories for my 17 yo granddaughter!
Kathy – So sorry to hear there are so few thrift stores in your area. I completely agree with you about skipping WalMart or Target; mostly because the quality is not always there. I can well imagine that yard sale season is pretty short! How neat that you have a vintage/craft booth; I think that’s a very impressive accomplishment. I hate to tell you this, but my favorite thrift shop had an entire table full of Christmas village houses out in Nov/Dec. I hope you are able to find some for your granddaughter in your area! Thank you for stopping by!
Those tea pots are adorable and I love how you’ve styled them with coordinating books. But the best thing is that everything came from a thrift store! We don’t have good thrift stores around us here in the Dallas area but when we go to Navasota where the farmhouse is located, I can find excellent treasures. Looking forward to seeing more of your (and my) thrifty finds this year.
Cindy – I am surprised to hear you do not have good thrift shops in Dallas, although I have never been there. Where do people go to donate unwanted but still useful and attractive items? So glad to hear Navasota balances that out with great finds! I will be looking forward to your treasure finds, and you can bet I will continue sharing mine (I have a whole list to get through!!) Thank you for stopping by!
You surely made some amazing finds! Everything is so pretty and such good quality. God bless you in this new year!
It has been a lucky run and I am most grateful to all the people who (indirectly) ‘gift’ me their beautiful treasures. Thank you so much for stopping by!
It’s so fun to think of the previous lives of our new found treasures — but you’ve taken it a step further even thinking about their genealogy and lineage.
Thanks for sharing this fun post at the Fabulous Friday Link Party!
I think what triggered it was finding those 2 plates within a few weeks of each other, but at two different stores in different parts of town! And finding those teapots…that was just amazing! Thank you for hosting Fabulous Friday Link Party, and for stopping by!
Anna Price says
Kristine – I can’t believe the items you found when you were thrifting. Those hand painted plates are amazing! The quality of the items you found it truly stupendous. Thank you for sharing your post on the Home Imagined link party.
Anna-Those plates are indeed a gorgeous find. And the mere fact that they are so heavy I think speaks to their quality. I was very lucky to find both, and be able to show them together or switch them out. Thank you for hosting Home Imagined link party, and for stopping by!
I’m happy to shrare your post as a feature tomorrow on Sundays on Silverado! Thanks for stopping by!
Niky – Thank you so much for the feature !! I am honored and appreciate it so much! And thank you for hosting Sundays on Silverado!
Linda Primmer says
Such a wonderful shopping trip. I adore the cabbage design. I am happy to feature your thrifty shopping at Love your Creativity.
Linda-Thank you so much for the feature. I do so appreciate it! And thank you for hosting Life and Linda; the link parties like yours are so helpful to small bloggers like myself. You will be seeing me lots!!