Tag Archives: Talavera

Tales from the Thrift – Part Two

J Crew statement necklace for $1.99 – thrift store find!

As you read in Part 1 of Tales from the Thrift – I love a bargain!  I’ve been perfecting my thrifting “style” over the years and I believe I’ve turned a new leaf this year when it comes to the hunt.  This happened when I began photographing my finds and keeping track of these new-found treasures.  When I find something these days, I ask myself a few questions…(1) do I really like the item?  Sometimes it’s a name brand item but it’s not my style.  This could be clothing, dishes or glassware, jewelry or collectible items.   (2) Will I use it?  This could mean, does it go with any of my collections or is there a spot in my house that needs sprucing up and this would make the difference?  Will i wear it?  and finally (3) Is this something I can I’ll use while entertaining or for an event?  For instance, I host an annual cookie swap party, so is it something that I could use as a theme for that party or another?

This past year, I’ve lucked up on a lot of great jewelry at the thrift stores!  Last year, I wrote a post about all the vintage Christmas pins I found.  I have a collection so this fit right into my criteria and I do love using them during the holidays.  This year it’s been about silver jewelry and pearls with a dash of statement necklaces!  During one trip I found two very different pearl bracelets…one gray wrap bracelet ($2.99) and the other a white pearl and gold cuff ($3.99), still with the original tag on it, I might add!

On another trip, there were a multitude of silver jewelry to choose from and I walked away with another bracelet and 3 pairs of earrings.  The bracelet was really an exciting find for me.  It’s a Mexican Cabochon link bracelet with all the markings on it.  I paid $9.99 for it which was a steal when I’ve seen them for as much as $80 on Ebay and other online places!  I have two others already, one from my mother and one I found in an antique store.  I paired all three together for a beautiful look recently.  The earrings I found are all very vintage looking and very timeless.  One pair is a drop pearl, and you can’t go wrong with pearls!  The other two can be change based on your wardrobe – casual or dressy.  I like stuff like that!

Finally, I love a good statement necklace!  I have several I’ve collected over the years and I look for unique pieces that you don’t see coming and going.  This amber stone necklace has a Chico’s tag on it and if you’ve been shopping at that store, you know these are rather pricey!  When I saw this one I knew it would be a great fall piece because of the color.  It was $5.99!   The other statement necklace is from J.Crew and was $1.99.  I plan to wear this over the holidays because it has bling! (This photo is posted at the beginning of the blog post.)

Chicos statement necklace – great fall color!

Finding Mexican made items is also something I’m always on the lookout for, especially talavera pottery.  It turns up here and there and I’m always thrilled!  Recently I found this planter for $2.99.  I have several in various colors and designs and I love adding more to the mix.  I also walked into the thrift store a few days before Day of the Dead this year and found these punched tin lanterns.  They were perfect for my dining room altar and are marked Mexico.  Timing is everything plus when I find things like this I always have the belief that they were there just waiting for me to come and get them!

Fiesta dishes are also a love of mine!  A few years ago I decided I wanted a set in every color I could find at the time and Kohl’s had a great sale and I took advantage of THAT sale!  I’ve been able to find various Fiesta vintage pieces while thrifting.  A few weeks ago I lucked up on bowls, mugs and plates in three colors.  Each were priced individually at $1.99.

Wow…I still have more to share so I guess there will be a Part 3 after all!  Stay tuned for more Tales from the Thrift tomorrow!

Tales from the Thrift – Part 1

Vintage Coach handbag from the thrift store!

If you’ve followed by Instagram or Facebook page, you know I’m a big thrift store shopper.  I blame my sister Kanista!  She got me started many moons ago and I was always amazed at the incredible things she would find.  I wasn’t all that into it for a while because I never seemed to be able to find cool things like my sister did.  But once I started going with her and watched how she worked through a store, I started to catch on!

Now when I walk into my favorite stores, I have a system that I follow – much like my sister.  Some days it’s about clothes and other days it’s about the tchotchkes!!!  Some days it’s even about furniture…more on that later…

This year, I decided to do something different with my thrift store finds.  I started a photo album of everything with an explanation on how much I paid and other information, like how much I found it online for and so on.  So when I was preparing this post and downloading photos to use, I realized I was going to have to separate this into several posts or this one would be too long!  Mind you, this was even after selecting only my most favorite items this year so far!!!  So here goes Tales from the Thrift Part 1…

This has definitely been the “year of the bag” or “bag lady” year for me.  I’ve found several gently used or brand new purses.  The beige and black Franco Sarto was brand new and I have used it almost daily since I found it for $6.99.  Incidentally, most of the handbags seem to be priced at $6.99 at The Salvation Army.  I don’t know why that seems to be the magic number but I’ve bought several for that price this year.  I also found two Coach bags!  The first one – a very light beige bag was priced at $14.99 but it was Memorial Day Weekend and everything in the store was half off so I score big time on that purse!  (Incidentally…I gifted that purse to my sister Kanista because she loved  it so much when I sent her the picture!)  Then a few weeks later I found a brown Coach purse for $3.99!  I like this one because its small, goes easily over my shoulder and forces me to NOT load it up with unnecessary items!

My glass obsession took a huge turn this year when I found almost an entire set of Mikasa crystal!  When I walked into the store I saw the set and I think they must have just put them out!  This was one of those times when the store wasn’t real crowded and I didn’t grab a buggy or a basket…you wonder…should I run and get a buggy?…should I take a few with me and grab one?…what if someone sees I’m interested and comes over and grabs some from the set???!!!  Such a dilemma!  Ha!  I did a little research into these glasses and they are a discontinued line called Jamestown with a platinum trim.  You can still get some of them at Replacements, Ltd. so of course I went there to see the replacement costs.  Most were about $20-$25 while I paid 99 cents for each glass!

My sister is also hooked on glassware and tends to go for mid-century modern designs.  She told me about Dorothy Thorpe glassware when I visited her last year in North Carolina.  Then in January I was in the Hoover Salvation Army and a bunch of boxes had been put out waiting to be placed on the shelves.  Usually people are swarming around these containers but that particular day there weren’t that many people in the store.  I spotted a glass that was part clear and part gray and silver.  Then I spotted another…there were six total!  I knew I had something special because of their “look.”  So I quickly googled and discovered that I had a set of Dorothy Thorpe vintage silver fade “ombre” highball glasses priced at $1.99 each!  When I googled this set I found it anywhere from $45-$75, the higher price included a caddy!  My sister Kanista “might” get these for Christmas…just thinking out loud!

Dorothy Thorpe vintage silver fade ombre highball glasses – found at the Hoover Salvation Army for $1.99 each!

I love finding pewter and talavera items too.  This year I found three pewter crosses in one visit.  Someone must have been redecorating and I benefited from it!  Bonus is that they are all “made in Mexico.”  Finding the small talavera cross was a nice addition to my downstairs hallway.  The colors are a perfect complement to my décor.

Sometimes after I post a great “find” I get comments and people who want to go thrifting with me.  I’m game anytime folks!  Some want to know the best time to go thrifting.  That’s harder to define because it’s really hit and miss!  I mean, when I’m looking for something specific, that’s when I’m not going to find a thing.  Other times, I stumble upon some unique and valuable items…like the Steuben glass vase I found a few years ago for $2.99 (on Ebay for $135) or the House of Black Diamonds Goldstein mink coat I found for $60 (on Ebay for $3K!!!)   I tend to find the best things when I have ten minutes and I just pop in to see what’s there.  My store strategy – the way I work the store – seems to be working for me!

I also think the key for me is to go into a thrift store with a creative mind-set.  When I do that, everything in the store takes on a unique quality.  Like the amber chandelier I found just a few weeks ago.  I picked it up, turned it over a few times and thought….hummm, how could I use this?  Then I remembered the gazebo tent on our deck.  Then I also remember thinking a few months back how fun it would be to have a chandelier hanging in the middle of the tent!  Eleven dollars later…and a hook from my husbands tool box, it was hanging in the gazebo tent and I was loving the look!

Stay tuned to Part 2 of Tales from the Thrift tomorrow!

Thrifting Treasures


No matter where I go, I look for thrift stores and these little treasures were waiting for me at a thrift store in Denver, Colorado this past June!

You know the saying…one man’s (or woman’s) trash is another’s treasure…well, it’s just amazing what you can find when you go on the thrift store hunt!

My sister Kanista, who lives in North Carolina, really got me hooked on thrift store shopping.  Her normal Saturday routine is to hit her local thrift stores and she definitely has an eye for vintage and unique!  When I visited her last year, she took me to her favorite places and we had a blast loading up on great clothing pieces and a few household items.  Her home is filled with beautiful finds.  Now, since I’ve started my own Saturday morning hunts, we text each other with photos of our latest finds!

In Birmingham, there are a few thrift stores that I frequent.  The two Salvation Army stores – one on Green Springs and one on Highway 150 in Hoover – are two of my favorites.  I especially love hitting them on Wednesdays when everything is 25% off.  On other days, they have a color system and clothing is 50% off.  Either way, you get a great bargain!  Another favorite is Lovelady Thrift store and I never fail to walk out of this store with something special.  I’ve been lucky enough to find a few Groupons too for $40 worth of merchandise for $20!

What I’ve been most surprised about lately is how much Mexican pottery I’ve been finding at these stores.  From a previous post, you know about my love of Talavera pottery – well, I’ve been adding to my collection with several smaller items.  I also keep an eye out for Fiesta dishes and my latest find was a large yellow platter from around the 1960s.  Couldn’t believe my eyes when I stumbled upon it at Lovelady a few months ago!

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IMG_7548Another place I love is a little place in Pelham called Treasures.  I bought a mink coat there last year – but that’s another story for another post…  Meanwhile, I found a really interesting Talavera piece there recently.  I wasn’t quite sure what it was until I got home and took a good look at it.  Turns out…it’s a soap dish!  I placed in my powder room which has quite a few Talavera pieces adorning it.

Some other items I’ve found are Mexican serape blankets that I’ve used quite often at Fiesta events.  I found one huge and colorful one at Alabama’s Thrift in Center Point last year.  It’s been quite useful for Fiesta promotion events to cover a table and set the scene for TV promos and other media events.


This is the first time I’ve found a Mexican blanket like this one. Usually they are just striped and very colorful.

These plates were found at Alabama’s Thrift in Alabaster.  I couldn’t believe my luck when I found not one plate, but three!  Very beautiful and the perfect addition to my family room coffee table.  A quick note about the Alabama Thrift Stores…they also have a color discount system and so it makes “the hunt’ all the more fun.

Meanwhile…tomorrow is Saturday and I’m itching to get out and see what I can find…so stay tuned!!!

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More Tales of Talavera Pottery

After scoring the “Hey Lady” Talavera pottery vase, (see previous post), one of my biggest Talavera pottery scores came from Home Goods, right next door to my local TJ Maxx.

I went into Home Goods one day with a specific purchase in mind and it wasn’t Talavera pottery!  The first thing that I do in any store is walk down the clearance aisles.  On this particular day, I headed directly to the clearance aisle and I spotted the most glorious sight!  TALAVERA!!!  Lots and LOTS of Talavera!  And it was on CLEARANCE!


La Maceta Talavera pottery that I found on the clearance aisle at Home Goods for $16 and $12 respectively!

Unlike my first experience at TJ Maxx, when I didn’t grab a shopping cart for the “Hey Lady” vase, this time I walked swiftly and with great purpose to the front of the store and grabbed one.  A plus to this visit was that there were hardly any people in the store at that moment.  So, there I was all by myself, with a cart in hand and a selection of Talavera Mexican pottery so gorgeous that I didn’t know where to start.  I began looking over the pieces and carefully but eagerly selecting the ones I wanted.  I placed them ever to gently in my cart.  So many assorted colors and designs!  YES!  I felt like I was in Talavera heaven!

By now I had about 5 vases of different designs and styles in my basket.   I was trying to decide on a rather brilliant colored vase I was holding when I decided to put it back on the shelf and give it some thought.  At that same moment, a woman rounded the corner and began taking a great interest in what I was doing and what I had in my basket.


Talavera pottery finds from Home Goods.

Women: “Ooooohhhh!….what are those?”  Me:  “They’re Mexican pottery pieces.”  Women:  “Ooooohhhh!  They’re pretty!” (as she heads straight for the piece I was trying to decide on but stupidly put back on the shelf.)  Me:  “Yes they are!” (growing anxious and resisting the urge to grab the vase back off the shelf!)  Woman:  “So what would you do with one like this?” (…as she picks up the vase that I NOW WANT and begins admiring it.)  Me:  “Well, with that one I would probably either put a plant in it or use it in my bathroom for hand towels or… (I rattled on with other amazing uses for Talavera pottery while my brain is yelling for me to SHUT UP!)  Woman:  “Oh okay!” (as she places the gorgeous piece in her basket and I continue to talk – while simultaneously kicking myself for being so incredibly convincing about the uses of Talavera pottery!!!)  I still wound up with some incredible pieces that day that now grace the wall unit of my family room.


Small flower pot vase from Alba Talavera, Guanajuato, MX. Found on the clearance aisle at Home Goods!

TJ Maxx and Home Goods still get Talavera pottery pieces on occasion, but now I approach them cautiously and act disinterested so I don’t attract attention!   On a side note, my “Hey Lady” vase cost me $70.  On this day at Home Goods, I bought 6 Talavera vases from the clearance aisle for about the same price.  I definitely hit the jackpot that day!







Tall Talavera Vase – purchased on sale at Home Goods.


A closer look at the details of one of the Talavera vases.


Closer details of one of the Talavera pottery vases purchased on sale from Home Goods. This one reminds me of a dragon fly…

The Legend of the “Hey Lady” Vase

I LOVE TALAVERA POTTERY!  I’ve been collecting this style of pottery for years and I have a story about pretty much every piece I have ever purchased…but this is the story of my first Talavera pottery purchase.  It is a rather large vase that sits on the stairs of my foyer.  My kids call it the “Hey Lady” vase and this is “her” story.

My "Hey Lady" Talavera Pottery Vase from TJ Maxx.

My “Hey Lady” Talavera Pottery Vase from TJ Maxx.

One day many years ago, I went to our local TJ Maxx armed with a $50 gift card and determined to find some sort of treasure.  After browsing the home section for a little while, there it was – tucked away in a corner, just waiting for me to find it.  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  It was as though light from the heavens began shining down on this beautiful vase, lighting the way for me.  This vase knew it would soon be making it’s home in MY home!  I approached it, turned it around and admired the beautiful colors and then thought to myself – this is a BIG vase!  Should I grab a buggy and come back?  Would I drop it on the way to the register?  Would someone else grab it while I went to grab a buggy?  Do I take that chance?  You know how it goes…the moment you show interest in something at a store, suddenly everyone around you wants what you have!  And of course, this is exactly what happened.  I noticed people around me watching, just waiting for me to walk away so they could scoop my vase up.  So right then and there, I picked up this huge vase, cradled it in my arms like a baby and started walking carefully through the store to the registers.

IMG_6748Along the way, no less than 3 people stopped me and asked “Hey, where’d you get that vase?”  Me – “Back in the home goods section, but I don’t think they have anymore.”  (I know, I checked!)  I finally got through the checkout line and was heading to my car, still amazed at all the attention this Talavera vase was getting, when I heard a woman yelling – “Hey Lady!”  I kept walking.  Again she yelled, “Hey Lady!” – louder this time.  I slowed down a bit, not sure…  Once again, “Lady!  Hey Lady!”  I stopped and turned, realizing this woman was yelling at ME!  So I said, “yes?”  Yelling woman – “Hey! Where’d you get that vase?”  I told her “TJ Maxx” and she RAN back into TJ Maxx as I added, “but they don’t have anymore!”

By now I was laughing pretty hard, as I got into my car to head home and find the perfect spot for my much coveted vase.  I couldn’t wait to share the story with my family and after much more laughter, the legend of the Hey Lady vase was born!