We're road tripping this weekend and one of the things I love about road trips is the off-the-beaten-path poking around. The town where we're going has 3 or 4 excellent antique shops, and I will be all up in 'em this weekend. I love antiquing (something I've done with my mom since I was little), and can't see a sign that says "antiques" without pulling over to check it out at least once. There are certain things that I love to collect (Bauer bowls, McCoy vases, lusterware, sterling silver utensils...), and I can usually tell at first glance whether a place will have what I'm looking for.
Poor J. has suffered as I poked around every kind of trinket and treasure store from here to Timbuktu. In my mind I differentiate this from thrifting because I'm not interested in clothes (anymore) and my delicate sinuses just can't take the thrift store dust, mold, and stank. However, I love the homewares and collectibles and books and jewelry found in any good Main Street U.S.A antique store. And I love the art of the hunt: finding a $50 bowl for $5 or a set of silver serving spoons with my monogram on them or a big round mirror from the '30's that is perfect for above a mantel (which we got at one of the stores I'll be revisiting this weekend).
As we've been preparing for our move, we've been making lots of trips to Goodwill to donate stuff we don't need. The girls are more interested in coming with me if I promise we can poke around inside for a few minutes afterwards. I tell them they can choose anything they want knowing I'll get out for under $5 or so. At first they always went straight for the toy section, but then they got tired of seeing toys they already had or were discouraged by my absolute zero-tolerance policy for used stuffed animal purchases. Now they are content to follow me around as I look through the glasses, bowls, and dishes. The top of their dresser is filled with all manner of porcelain trinkets and whenever I see something that looks like it matches what they already have, I point it out. Thus begins the next generation of collecting, 50 cents at a time.
Not spending money on stuff is hard and might be necessary, especially now, but can you really fault spending some loose change on an item that will bring happiness every time you look at it? Sometimes, you gotta.
The owl above was peeking out from behind a martini shaker. It looks just like every owl I've seen on every craft, paper, and baby goods site for the past year (owls have replaced sparrows as the hipster bird of choice), and I bought it for that very reason. And also, because he's kinda cheeky. And definitely ca. 1972. It's my homage to the 2008-2009 hipster. It makes me happy. And it cost me a dollar.