Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will — Steampunk Monkeys, Hobo Warren Buffett & a Flamboyant Newt Gingrich

by Katy on March 25, 2013 · 30 comments

It’s time again for Goodwill, Badwill Questionable-will, where I share some of the rather spectacular things I come across during my thrifting adventures.

First up is a very special treat for you. Why? Because it combines steampunk with snails, clocks and monkeys. Plus, it’s priced at $19.99, which I would expect from a priceless antique, but this bizarre juxtaposition of whatnot is plastic, as can be seen by the broken off right foot.

Truly baffling in so many ways.

Steampunk monkey

Next up is a pepper shaker sporting glued on florist marbles and wire. I have asked you before to stop gluing florist marbles onto stuff. It is ugly, it has always been ugly and it will always be ugly. Nobody wants to receive it as a gift, not your gramma, your aunty, your momma, your mammy. (<– Macklemore quote!)

I beg of you, please.


Remember how I always come across targeted savings banks? Well today was no different from any other day. (<– Passover reference, yo!)


My old friend Hobo Warren Buffett made a repeat appearance, this time sporting a rosier nose and a dirtier plinth. (Seriously, compare him to his doppelgänger above.)

Hobo savings plan

Not to be outdone is the new-to-me Trip Money bank. She fits quite nicely with her brethren:

  • Retirement Fund
  • Wine Fund
  • Green Fees
  • Girls Night Out
  • Therapy in a Jar
  • Casino Money
  • Tax Money
  • Swear Jar

They like to travel in groups.

Vacation savings plan

And although “Katy” is far from a rare and exotic name, “Katy with a Y” is. Which is why this placard caught my eye. Luckily my younger son was present to snap a quick photo of me posing with my namesake. I did not buy it, as I have come to the point in my life where I can procure that shopping rush from photographing instead of buying fun but unnecessary (an unwanted) items.

A key towards my goal of an uncluttered home.


I saved the very best oddity for last because that item, my dears is:

Flamboyant New Gingrich!

You know, from how Liberace would display a photo of Newt.

  • Rhinestones? Check.
  • Cloisonné? Check.
  • Exotic Key West-style bird? Check.
  • Newt Gingrich with a come hither hand gesture? Check.

Man, do I love Goodwill!

Flamboyant Newt Gingrich

What did I buy?

Just this small Jonathan Adler-esque flower pot. I have been wanting to start adding indoor plants to my house ever since I read The Crunchy Chicken’s Non-Toxic Avenger book. You know, for purifying the air. So why not do it in style?

The flowerpot was priced at $2.99. However, it was half-off as it had a purple tag. (This week’s 50%-off color.)

And $1.50 is well within this Non-Consumer Advocate’s price range for impulse purchases.


See how well it pairs with my Adler-esque lamp?

Adler-esque flowerpot

Mind you, it’s no flamboyant Newt Gingrich, but a girl can’t ask for everything in life.

Have you been finding treasures in your thrift shops lately? Please share your stories in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan March 25, 2013 at 11:36 am

How, oh how could you resist the Gingrich item?? The true loveliness of it all brought me to tears!
I get such a kick out of your Goodwill posts. My mom (84 years old) and I go every Wednesday morning which is Senior Citizens’ Day. Everything is 30% off. We have seen our quota of ‘interesting’ things as well. Keep posting your finds!


Katy March 25, 2013 at 11:46 am

Try and stop me! 😀



BRB March 25, 2013 at 11:37 am

That monkey looks like the tag was switched with another items price tag. I’m guessing someone got a bigger ticket item for practically nothing.


Katy March 25, 2013 at 11:45 am

Nope. The Goodwill price tags tear into pieces when removed to avoid this dishonest practice. it’s impossible to remove them without leaving a crime trail.



Kim S in VA March 25, 2013 at 12:52 pm

I passed this post on to my boyfriend and he let me know that his mother absolutely loves the steampunk monkey and now she wants it!! 🙂 She’s really into steampunk and goes to all sorts of festivals. I don’t know much about it all, but she seems to have loads of fun. Thanks for sharing!


Anna March 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Oh how I wish you were closer! I am cleaning out excess Fiesta dishes from my kitchen in my declutter the house campaign. 🙂


Katy March 25, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Thanks, but I have enough! Sell it on Craigslist!



Anna March 25, 2013 at 1:53 pm

Oh not to worry….they hit Ebay this morning! 🙂


Anna March 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm

Thank you so much for blogging several times weekly! I look forward to your wise and witty posts! 😉


Katy March 25, 2013 at 2:46 pm

“Several times weekly?” Usually six times per week.



Anna March 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Yep. And I love all six! 🙂

Kasey March 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I love your goodwill posts. I shop at thrift stores and found a lamp I plan on “fixing up” thanks to your recent lamp facelift. I also find random weird stuff at the thrift stores here in Utah.


kate March 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Ah! This is the funniest thing I have read all day. It never ceases to amaze me what people buy ( and then cast off to good will). I can just imagine someone saying, “flamboyant Newt seemed like a good idea at the time…. ”


Becky March 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm

I think those marble & wire numbers breed in captivity. They are always in the thrifts, always.

I am just not at all sure how I feel about that Newt. So many emotions….


Lois March 25, 2013 at 3:51 pm

That Newt is horrible 🙂 Love your planter, it goes well with the lamp. And that monkey, either it’s really popular or worth some real money to be priced at $20. Okay or someone there is hoping no one buys it until they can.


Rebecca March 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm

I actually like the rhinestone bird picture frame, but Newt would have to go!


Practical Parsimony March 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm

I must say, the picture frame was really pretty. However, I might enjoy destroying the picture more than I would enjoy the frame. Sometimes, I just have to have gawdy in my house.


Rachel in Portland March 25, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Goodwill, now with more Macklemore, Passover, and Steampunk. Thanks for making my day!


kathleen March 25, 2013 at 7:04 pm

Funny coincidence…I thought of you today as I surreptitiously snapped a pic while browsing through Goodwill. It landed firmly in the Questionable-will to Bad-will range…a scarlet lace teddy complete with garters! <<>> I have nothing against sexy lingerie…just seems like a really creepy thing to buy at Goodwill. Thought it might make a funny blog post, but geez I hope no one saw me photograph it! 🙂

Happily I did walk out with a lovely vintage and very substantial copper canister, a really cute wooden pumpkin for next Autumn, and right up by the register I found exactly what I’ve been hoping against hope to run across…a truly vintage (50’s maybe?) globe. Woohoo, my lucky day!


Katy March 25, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I love old globes!!! Great score!



JaneUlness March 26, 2013 at 7:22 am

The biggest thing is assuming my husband will fix thimgs when they need to be fixed. he was a service manager for years, I think he is burnd out. Waiting means the parts get lost and then they wind up in the garbage because they can’t be fixed.


Lilypad March 26, 2013 at 8:11 am

I didn’t see your Passover reference till after the seder, but it made me laugh. Chag Sameach!


Katy March 27, 2013 at 8:44 am

Back at ya’, bay-bee!



tna March 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I’m thinking sweet basil or mint in your planter. yum.


Katy March 27, 2013 at 8:43 am

I’m actually going to plant it with a spider plant, as they are apparently good at cleansing the air and next to impossible to kill. That, plus I have a free source. Whatever I plant in it will have to thrive in less than sun soaked conditions.



Claudia March 26, 2013 at 12:37 pm

What, no Mrs. Butterworth today? 😉


Katy March 27, 2013 at 8:42 am

Sadly, no.



Jenn March 26, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I’ve had great luck lately. I bought a practically new Vera Bradley bag for $3.99 and ended up with a $10 in store voucher because I’d earned enough points with my Goodwill club card. Score!


Sue G. March 28, 2013 at 2:36 pm

OMG, Liberace’d Newt is awesome! Thank you for sharing; made my day!


Katy March 28, 2013 at 8:16 pm

You’re welcome!



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