Goodwill, Badwill, Questionablewill — Sad Clown, Wistful Clown, Globe-y Goodness

by Katy on February 19, 2013 · 25 comments

Yesterday, being President’s Day, meant both no school and no responsibilities. And even better, it meant a day for thrifting with my mother and teenage sons. We hit up the Goodwill, Salvation Army and Deseret Industries thrift shops.

But of course, we first drove through the great banh-mi Vietnamese sandwich restaurant for sustenance. Because at $3.50 apiece, those sandwiches are perfection! (Seriously, how awesome is drive though that includes fresh carrots, jicama, cilantro and jalapeños?!)

Lately, I’ve been scoping out lighting sections as my first stop, and here’s what I found. The half-off color tag for the week was purple, which meant that the vintage glass globe went from $2.99 to $1.49. I figured that it was cheap enough to take a gamble on, because even if I didn’t find a spot for it, I could still sell it later for a profit.

Goodwill globe

 I also came across this rather enticing handcrafted mug. I offered to buy it for my 17-year-old son, “To sit on your desk, you know . . . for pencils. Or . . . for nightmares.”

He declined the offer.

Devil mug

The Salvation Army store provided this gem of clown artistry.

For when you are an enthusiast of:

  • Clowns
  • Feminist artwork, (how often are clowns shown as women?)
  • Hidden kittens, (instead of “Where’s Waldo?” It’s “Where’s the Kitten!”)

I like her wistful gaze.


Wistful clown with kitten

 Maybe she can cheer up this poor guy. Should we play matchmaker?

 Sad clown

I ended up using the big glass globe for my entryway light, which had looked like this, from the Rejuvenation seconds department from a million years ago. Perfectly respectable, but still kind of ho hum. 

Light -- before

And here’s the globe in place, super round and groovy. (Sorry the picture is so awful, but my point-and-shoot has a hard time with bright against a dark background. Especially at night.)

Light -- after

Here’s a daylight photo, which shows how the roundness of the new glass globe pairs with the new round mirror. (Like the perfect non-clown blind date!) You can’t see it in this photo, but the sides are faceted, which is very fun. (Scroll back up to the first photo.)

Entryway light

I bought an additional $2 vintage glass shade at the Deseret Industries shop to replace this mid 90’s Home Depot guy. ( I had bought three of these fixtures when we first renovated the house. I liked their vintage-ish vibe at the time, but true vintage trumps vintage-ish all day long in my book!)

Hall light -- before

Look how the he swirly lines create a cool pattern on the ceiling! And when it’s just two bucks on the line, there’s next to no financial risk and it’s easy to later switch it out. (As opposed to if f I were a West Elm or One King’s Lane shopper, and I would end up overthinking my decor decisions and it would be hard to indulge my spontaneity.)

Hall light -- after

My total spent for the day was $3.50, which is always within my budget.

Whether it’s for a sandwich or two vintage globes.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheapchick February 19, 2013 at 10:37 am

Great finds – $3.50 for an awesome sandwich is definitely worth the price. I just noticed your staircase spindles – very neat and Irish looking. Cheers!


Katy February 19, 2013 at 10:38 am

Are they? I’d never seen them that way.



Cheapchick February 19, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Yes, just like shamrocks!


Karen February 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm

And the light fixture with the new globe shade echoes the shape of all but the shamrock part of the cutouts!


Cee February 19, 2013 at 10:46 am

Love the new lights but I am confused, do you not count the sandwich costs in for the day total?


Katy February 19, 2013 at 10:57 am

Nope. I would eaten anyway and my mother paid. 😉



Cee February 19, 2013 at 11:21 am

Ahh, I see. My husband, not being the frugal type, would totally use the “I would have eaten anyway” excuse to buy a $15 sandwich so I can’t ever use that excuse in my house or it gets taken to extremes. It’s nice that you and yours are on the same frugal page.


cathy February 19, 2013 at 11:12 am

I really appreciate that you include your narrative of how the particular pattern/design of your treasures works so well in your house. Honestly, at first I was a bit skeptical on why you’d replace globe #1 with globe #2. But when you show it in your home and explain the aesthetics it’s definitely a better fit! (not that you have to only do what I’d approve of, but it’s nice to be able to see the big picture!) Sounds like a great family day 🙂


Katy February 19, 2013 at 11:17 am

I knew it was a gamble, design-wise, but at $1.49 there was next to no risk!



Judy February 19, 2013 at 11:46 am

I’m jealous that your GW still has a half off tag. Ours quit that and raised the prices!


Laura February 19, 2013 at 11:52 am

I spy the kitten on the stairs in your daylight photo that shows off the roundness of the new glass globe and the new round mirror.


Katy February 19, 2013 at 12:06 pm

I hadn’t even noticed the cat in that photo!



tna February 19, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Love how your kitty knows when there is a photo op.


kate@organizationforthetypb February 19, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Clowns are so weird. I don’t understand their appeal. I love seeing your home decor. I really like the lamp. I don’t have decor skill. I blame it on having no money, but I guess at 1.50 a pop I have no excuse other than laziness. ( my bedroom is still the same “putrid green” I swore we would paint when we moved in. 5 years ago.


Brittany February 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Great new fixtures! What Goodwill do you go to? Are the three shops you mentioned your favorites for a day out thrifting?


Sue February 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Would you share the name and location of the Vietnamese sandwich place. My daughter lives in Portland and I love to find places they don’t know about that have great and inexpensive food.


Katy February 19, 2013 at 8:53 pm

It’s “Best Baguette” at S.E. 82nd and Powell Blvd.



Sue February 19, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Thanks. I know where I’m eating next time I’m in Portland.


TR February 19, 2013 at 5:07 pm

When I see ugly ceramics like the clown, I *really* want to smash ’em to bits.


Katy February 19, 2013 at 5:11 pm

An “oops” moment?



TR February 20, 2013 at 7:17 am

Sure. Or, hurling it to the ground like I’m spiking a football. It would be a favor to all mankind, really. I’m benevolent, yo.


Leigh February 19, 2013 at 10:10 pm

I have the exact same lampshade as the second one. Mine is much-loved in my bedside lamp but wasn’t quite the bargain yours was – it cost $20!


Katy February 19, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Too rich for my blood!



Alicia Epperly February 23, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I knew I lived near you in Portland as many references have been familiar to me. I had it confirmed this week however when I spied the exact same handmade face mug on the shelf 🙂 Fortunately it did not come home with me, although several other treasures did. I will keep my eyes open for you as I’m treasure hunting and say hello!


Katy February 23, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Please do!



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