Thursday, September 13, 2012

Pick Up Artists Are Thrifters Too!



Dear Helen Hartman,
I hear all the time about people who have collections that get out of hand but what about us poor vaguely vintage vagabonds who never got a collection IN HAND to begin with? No, not whining about missing out on good pieces but about having too many bits and pieces. Nothing matches. I just buy what I love, especially if it’s cheap and cute and one of a kind.

Dear Loved a Little Bit of Everything So You Bought It One,
Helen hears you. Actually she hears herself. Often saying things like “I have no use for this but I have to have it!”

And that, Loved Ones, is how Helen ended up married. Also how she ended up with this wedding cake topper. $2 How could I not buy it?

You really have come to the wrong person. Helen is an impulsive, distracted, judgment impaired thriftier of the first order.

Impulsive. Distracted. Judgment... So in other terms Helen is a first class IDJIT!
 Ps is that lady wearing flip flops to shop? Wow, Nothing is really new, is it>


For instance, no matter how many times I tell myself not to, I can’t stop picking up cute girls.

Little girl writer girl with ponytail. She HAD TO BE MINE.
While writer girl at least has a personal connection, that in no way explains why I HAD to buy a Mermaid wallpocket. Even if my wall needed a pocket there is NO Room for one.

I thought if I began buying smaller things it wouldn’t matter but it actually made it worse.

Helen thinks: Mmmmmm ANOTHER piece of vintage jewelry.
While Hubby Hartman laughs and thinks: She is up to her neck in vintage necklaces. Get it? Up to her neck. Hahaha I really crack myself up sometimes.

Because with small stuff I always have room for more! I just can’t say no!

Can't say NO? We heard that about you! That's why we're inviting you to join us - the gals who show up on first dates with overnight cases!

I even buy things I can’t possibly use. Especially if they’re a bargain.

$2.99 at Goodwill. Small size Samsonite suitcase, pristine inside (notice the same kind of luggage in the circa 1946 pic above?) My folks had this set in green but this is PINK! Perfect for PINK Saturday.

What should I do, leave it behind and risk somebody getting it who wouldn’t appreciate it like I would? I think of it as rescue work, really. Yes, that’s it. I am not gathering useless random junk, I am saving the world of vintage treasure one useless random piece of junk at a time. Who cares if it actually constitutes a collection, it’s… this isn’t helping you, is it?

The gloves are coming off. Not because I mean to get down to work and be helpful but because I need to smooth down my hair. Helen always says, you can't always Do good, but you can always LOOK good.

Okay – collections are over rated unless a collection is what you want. Find a place for what you love and make it work. That's the best Helen can do right now because she just realized the HUGGGGE flea market in Springfield Ohio is THIS weekend and she just might chuck her plans and go! 

I plan to drive until the only thing familiar I can see in my rear view mirror is how FABULOUS I look in my Ray Bans!

So, tell me -  Are you a meticulous collector or just another IDJIT like Helen?

50 comments:

  1. Hello Helen:
    Mr and Mrs more is more and even more is even better here!!! Maximalist is our middle name and clutter is our game. Such a pity that Ohio is not just down the road for us as we should surely have the most wonderfully jolly time with you there!!

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    1. So true. I have never understood the Less is More philosophy - not in filling one's plate or decorating one's home. More is usually not quite enough in Helen's book!

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  2. I'm doing better...my sister and I would buy anything "vintage" whether or not it was worth saving. Occasionally I would clean out my "vintage" stash and box it up for a return trip to the thrift store...only to have my sister beg me to let her have the boxes of stuff. When she moved this spring...the camera crew from Hoaders were there...I found boxes and boxes of damp and dusty stuff I gave her in the basement. It took days to dig her out. Please reconsider your wicked "collecting" ways and only "save" those items you legitmately collect! =D

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    1. Wow Shirley that makes me so sad to hear. Not sure how that switch gets flipped but it's so destructive when it does. I honestly don't collect just anything so much as I don't have collections of things - like salt and pepper shakers, or a certain kind of pyrex. I have a little bit of everything and in fact my trip to the Goodwill where I got the suitcase was to drop off stuff. But it's a wise reminder to keep your perspective.

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  3. First off, I don't believe Helen is an idjit. That said, I think that I might fall somewhere in between meticulous and enthusiastic (like Helen). The budget has dictated most of my decisions of late. That and the move from NJ to KY some years ago where hubby kept muttering about how much stuff we had. (Never mind that hubby, me, and 3 adult kids made said move from a home we lived in for 16 years...If you saw all the stuff we DIDN'T bring...) Anyhow, was just thinking about my collections the other day - tins, crocks, a few stoneware pitchers, and wondering where I was headed with it all. A visit downtown to the antique stores might clear my head, don't you think?

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    1. LOL _ the perfect solution Karen! I'm with you, just a little bit of everything that doesn't seem to form any theme around here.

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  4. Well first of all, let me just ask, does that first 'cute girl' have a unicorn coming out of her forehead? Second, you found that suitcase for that cheap!? I've gotta come to your Goodwill because mine seems to think it's an antique store! My Grandma had those suitcases in navy blue and I love them! The collection thing is a disease, it's in the silver bindings of Little Golden Books for me, something addictive, you touch one you need more! Now there are over 500 of 'em and I have to list it in an Excel spreadsheet!

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    1. LOL Tammy - I Had to run check the figurine out - it's supposed to be a curl, I am sure but it DOES look like a horn! Good eye. 500 Little Golden book? At least you have them 'curated' (that's the term I learned for Collection Intervention, spiffy huh?)

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  5. I am working at streamlining my shop into things I personally adore. It is hard to see fabulous vintage items that I know SOMEBODY will love, and not stock them. Haaaaarrrddd.

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    1. I can just imagine. I Have been thinking of trying etsy but I might have to make people fill out a form like the ones people have to fill out to adopt a puppy, just to be sure everything went to good homes!

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  6. I enjoy - laugh - remember when I read this. You are so funny and talented. The pink feather dress with all that hair too - wow.

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    1. That dress just gets me - who wore that? It would be impossible to sit or walk or eat in!

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  7. Thanks for leaving a sweet comment on my blog -- so very much appreciated.

    Wow -- what a nice pink suitcase for an unbeatable price. Well done!

    Sunny greetings from Munich,
    Birgit

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    1. Thank YOU for coming by to say hello. I do love that pink suitcase, too.

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  8. Can I join your society of impulsive, distracted, judgment impaired thrifters? I cannot resist stuffed animals, framed prints, 35 mm slides, ANYTHING kitschy(yeah, I'd snap up those ceramic cuties too).

    thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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    1. We need to organize and conquer the Kitsch World! Only we'd always be trying to sneak around and get the good stuff for our selves!

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    2. I knew when I saw the picture of Bev's PS that it was you! I kinda feel like kindred spirits because we started our blogs around the same time.

      Popped in from Pink Saturday.

      thriftshopcommando.blogspot.com

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  9. In my experience, most people don't know how to arrange a collection well. I've found that when I collect something, the whole things just starts to look cluttered and junky. But when I buy random pieces, I can place them strategically around the house, and they look great. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

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    1. Dana - when I see what you sell I know what you keep is amazing.No doubt your house looks fabulous.

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  10. i'm both. i have LOTS of collections, and i also just pick up anything i like. And it is mostly little knick knacks. I'm fighting the "my house looks like a thrift store" thing constantly. i'm pretending i'm winning. haah!

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    1. Thrift shop chic is the new rage - you are a trendsetter! I have a couple of 'collections' - many tablecloths and Ruby red glassware but this past year or so it's just find what's fun and run.

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  11. I love to shop for random, useless, ju...treasure. My problem is being allergic to clutter overload. What's a girl to do?

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    1. Share your allergy with others. I WISH I was allergic to clutter. I am blind to it!

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  12. Glasses... not the eye-wear, but the drinking... I'm up to my nostrils in them. I just wish I'd come across a vintage china cabinet, but so far, no luck, yo.

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    1. Cool - what kind? Classy or cutsie? I can see you with either style. Best of luck with that cabinet. I never find furniture when I need it.

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  13. I am currently in a declutter mood, but who knows where my whimsy will lead me next :)

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    1. Don't declutter yourself into a corner and suddenly decide that corner needs some stuff in it!

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  14. Idjit here-Trying to Un-Idjit herself as I write- xo Diana

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    1. Un Idjit - love it - tell me if that works so I can try it too!

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  15. Oh, I'm an Idjit of the first order! These days I'm trying to limit things to serving pieces/kitchen toys I can use... I did say "trying":@)

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  16. You are so funny! Your blog always makes me chuckle.

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  17. 'a meticulous collector or just another IDJIT'...or those our only two choices? I buy whatever I like, at the moment! lol I do buy a lot of small items thinking I can work them in somewhere! So I end up with a lot of what nots! But I love lots of pretty things...for a bargain price, of course! HAVE FUN!

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    1. Just as long as they aren't what NOTS! There are more choices I'm sure but for me, it's one or the other, I can't juggle a third option.

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  18. Can I just mention one little thing? Those "flip flops" the gal was wearing up there? Back then they were called "THONGS"....yes, they were. And occasionally I still call them that and get such looks from people! But back then the 'Thongs' we know today were 'G-strings', so things weren't confusing. Or are they/am I? Whatever...

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    1. LOL - I remember thongs, but they were usually for beach or shower wear, right? I don't think my mom would have gone shopping in them in 1966. Thanks for the reminder and laugh.

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  19. Ha! Your are the bright spot in my day when I read your posts! Youre right! Buy what you love, then find a place for it!

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    1. I am going to quote you all the time - esp that part where you say "You're right!"

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  20. I believe I'm a bit of both. I'm always on the lookout for horror-genre thrift finds and am developing a respective collection of children's novelty LPs I find them cute...and a bit creepy, especially if the record is a tad warped and there's an added warble to the sound. (I'm a little odd. I know this). But then there's also the miscellany of vintage oddities that just call out to me. "BUY ME, I'M CHEAP!"

    Generally, I practice self-control. But if I'm that fascinated by the item and the price is right, I'm making room for it.

    PS: That Pink Samsonite is adorable.

    <3 Jackie @ Let's Go Thrifting!
    http://LetsGoThrifting.blogspot.com

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    1. Warped is just another way of saying interesting. Love to see what kinds of things you collect so am off to your blog as soon as I finish this sentence. Wait, as soon as I say thanks for coming by and finish THIS sentence.

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  21. Hahahahaha what a darlin post, Helen!

    Last week I was at my favorite secondhand store and my shopping cart was just full to the brim - and there was this one last thing I wanted, but it was delicate so I waited till the end of my shopping to grab it and watched helplessly as some saavy gal picked it up and bought it.

    I have actually been depressed because of it.

    I get it. Idjit? Oh yes, maa'm, very much so. You should see my basement of goodies.

    My name is Michele and I am a thriftaholic.

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    1. LOL - Grab first, decided if you want it later. Actually I never pick up anything unless I can't live without it. If it's still in my thoughts at the end of shopping I probably go back. But you DO run the risk it won't be there.

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  22. I have to confess...I am an IDJIT! But thats, OK as I am happy that way and have a lot of fun!
    ♥ Jil

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    1. Yes, I should have identified that Happy IDJITs have no reason to fret, they are fine the way they are, right?

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  23. I must confess, I am just an idjit! I am a prolific idjit, does that make it ok!

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    1. Love it Prolific Idjit! Be proud of anything you excel at!

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    2. I really AM an idjit of the first order. Not only is my house overrun with wonderful vintage bargains that I can't keep dusted...but neither could I find the comment button so I'm replying to SavannahGranny. Can't WAIT to get to the States next week to feed my addiction.

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  24. Oh...THERE"S the comment form. Hmmmm. Blinded by all the excitement this post stirred up in me.

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  25. I think I've stopped buying odd things. Now the only thing I'm collecting is money.

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