Mexican tin art is a mainstay on my Mexican Christmas tree every year. I love the shapes and colors of these lightweight ornaments. I’ve collected them since the 1990s and always look for stores that carry the ornaments in particular. My last big haul was last year when I visited Austin, Texas at a cool store called Tesoros. They had quite a selection to choose from and wish I could have come away with more but honestly…I had to leave some for the other shoppers too, right?!
Last week my mother paid a visit to my favorite thrift store – The Salvation Army in Hoover. She confessed she went in only for a few moment and now two hours later she was still roaming around and finding all sorts of goodies! After a few trips around the knick knacks, she spotted a sandwich bag with something shiny and colorful. Turned out to be a baggie with 10 Mexican tin ornaments! For one dollar!!!!! She brought them to me that very evening and while they look a little worn, they are still so beautiful to me. I think the wearing of the tin and the color gives them a certain antique character. And I also think I might need a bigger Mexican Christmas tree this year with all these new ornaments!
Meanwhile, this past weekend I went to the grand reopening of another favorite thrift store – the Salvation Army store in Homewood, AL. The place was a madhouse! I found a few items but nothing that I couldn’t live without, especially with the length of the checkout line! Then I went to the jewelry counter – which was also packed – and gave it a look. Loads of beautiful things…still that growing line was a concern. I turned to walk toward the door when I spotted a long table filled with Christmas pins! Wow! I felt like I hit the mother-load of pins – something else I love to collect. I spotted one vintage Christmas tree pin and then another…and a lady holding one handed hers to me when she saw my interest. I thought that was nice! Then a saleslady showed up and said, “let’s put these in a baggie with your name on it and it will be ready for you when you check out.” I thought – “ok, let’s do this!” Then the saleslady started suggested pins and earrings to me to help me fill my bag. It was rather amusing. I’d say – “sure, put it in the bag!” And she would!
The most unusual item I found in this sea of pins was a necklace. I wasn’t sure what it was at first all clustered together on the table, but it was made of Mexican tin – I knew that for sure! The saleslady picked it up and said it was a nativity scene and she thought it was beautiful. I agreed but then again, the necklace had me at “Mexican tin” and so I told her to add it to the bag!
Well, the line to check out got even longer while I was browsing these pins, earrings and the necklace. I figured I would leave the store to run some of my errands and come back before 7 p.m. to pick up the jewelry. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it back and figured it was just as well. Wasn’t meant to be and all that. Still, I kept thinking of that Mexican tin necklace and how unique it was…
So Monday at lunch I decided to take a ride over to the store and look around minus the 250 people who were there on Saturday! I went right to the jewelry counter and much to my surprise there were no Christmas pins anywhere! That was puzzling with all that they had on Saturday. Had someone come in and bought the entire table of pins? I checked the other jewelry counter and but found nothing there either. Then I saw several baggies of jewelry on the back of the counter. Mine was still there! SCORE!!! Was I excited? You bet! Couldn’t believe my good fortune!
I left the store Monday with a baggie full of vintage pins, the Mexican tin necklace and also a talavera pottery piece that I spotted right before check out! The colors on this talavera piece are perfect for my kitchen. It will be a nice addition to the Zuniga-Odom talavera collection! This is why I love thrift store shopping so much – you never know what you’ll find!
I found the Mexican tin necklace!!!! After looking for it all around Northern NM, I found it on Ebay! My Mary and Joseph are reversed and mine also looks like a figure is missing from between the cradle and Mary (Joseph on yours.) You set me off on a wonderful search. I love your pics too.
Oh my gosh!!! I’m go glad you found one! Honestly, I haven’t seen another one since I found mine so I’m curious about others! Thanks for sharing your good fortune with me!!! 😘
I stumbled across your post because I have this necklace, too and either got it at a garage sale 20 years ago or maybe at a thrift store…but I used to go to garage sales a lot back then. Mine’s always been missing Mary so I’ve been on the hunt for another and honestly shocked that I couldn’t find more. Well, glad to see someone else that loves the art of this culture. I have been making my own tin art and tree of life sculptures and collect Talavera!
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I was so excited to find this and I haven’t seen another one since. And I do absolutely love Mexican art and talavera pottery! I’ve been fortunate to find a lot of mine at thrift stores over the years. I’m always amazed at what people get rid of but I’m thankful to find these treasures!