Fabulous Frugal Find — Roseville Vase

by Katy on September 11, 2011 · 11 comments

Today’s Fabulous Frugal Find is from Laura, whose trash picked Roseville vase is brag-worthy enough to share with The Non-Consumer Advocate readers.


Katy Wolk-Stanley


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


Stop and Smell the Rosevilles

I’m a peddling peddler; I love cycling and selling things in my online shop, Laura’s Last Ditch.  Wedding two interests by searching for wares on my bike rides, trash day eve sometimes finds me tooling through the neighborhood, scouting cast-offs ripe for rescue. I’ve found countless items, some worth hundreds of dollars. With a large pannier-style bike basket and a trio of bungee cords, I heap a head-turning load on my bicycle.

I’ve inherited a love of art pottery from my dad. He admires–and sometimes purchases–Roseville vases and hanging planters when we go antiquing together; I tend to browse only, unwilling to pay the price attached to the finds I most appreciate. Imagine my chart-topping glee, then, when I slowed my bike to peer into an inauspicious curbside box crowned by a dirty garden hose and other landfill-bound detritus, to find a forsaken Roseville vase, whose sole purpose, for years, obviously, had been to shelter the six- and eight-legged denizens of the garage.

Were I to cling to my finds, the house would mimic an episode of Hoarders. Instead, I turn the merchandise I acquire, marrying occupation with a lifelong near-obsession with frugality and waste reduction. I was green back when it was only a color.

This time was different, though. It’s not every day you trash pick Roseville. And this was a gorgeous pattern. It fortuitously matched the dining room, and the china cabinet was serendipitously bare. A chip in the vase compromised its value but not its aesthetic appeal. All of this pointed to the irrefutable fact that this was my vase, for keeps. I cleaned it up and put it on display.
In several years, I’ve only used my prize once, to hold an oversized 1960’s kitschy plastic flower bouquet for a Laura’s Last Ditch photo shoot. Yet, this Roseville vase stands testament that a frugal non-consumer can have some of the finer things in life–if she’s patient, can see the beauty in a trash pile, and doesn’t mind a rough edge here and there.
Like drooling over other people’s Fabulous Frugal Finds?  Well then, you’re in luck!

Glamour Edition


High End Designer Furniture

Hand Knotted Oriental Rug

Fancy Velvet Dresses

Pot Belly Stove

Free Girl’s Sleeping Bag

Patio Set

Priceless $1 Painting

Rejuvenation Light Shade

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie September 11, 2011 at 11:56 am

Wow! Laura, go to the head of the trashpicking class! I’m not nuts about Roseville in general, but I’ve never seen a vase like that one, and it’s absolutely gorgeous.

I am now largely retired from trashpicking due to age and injury, but I’ve had more fun than the law allowed with it back in the day. Much of my stock of casual wear and kitchenalia used to come from curbsides in the nearby university neighborhood during graduation week–not to mention leave-behinds in my husband’s rental properties. Sigh.


Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares September 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm

@A. Marie: It sounds like you probably have stories of lots of finds as well! Those who haven’t tried it have no idea the fun they’re missing out on. I, too, have fond memories of trash-picking and Dumpster-diving during university move-out week.


Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares September 11, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Thanks, Katy, for posting my story!


Shannon Breen September 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm

Wow! I’ve never got THAT lucky. 🙂


Allison September 11, 2011 at 5:50 pm

Wow! Kudos to Laura. Trash day is tomorrow in my neighborhood – I’ll be casting a more appreciative eye at the bins than ever, with Rosewood in mind


Jean September 11, 2011 at 7:44 pm

The Roseville vase is an incredible find! And in the TRASH?!! I haven’t trash picked in a long time, although my daughter has done her share of dumpster diving in furnishing her charming home. The closest I came to a find like this was a box containing nearly 2 dozen unchipped pieces of the Royal China Blue Willow I have collected for nearly 40 years at an estate sale for $5. Purchased two Anchor Hocking pie plates for my daughter at the same sale for $1.00 apiece. I almost felt guilty. Out of curiosity I clicked over to “Last Ditch” to check out the wares–I was stunned to find out that I have a kitchen full of “vintage” items–still in everyday use, many of which were shower and wedding gifts back in the seventies! I’ll have to let my children know where their inheritance lies!


Laura's Last Ditch--Vintage Kitchenwares September 12, 2011 at 4:29 am

Jean, don’t be fooled! I work VERY hard on the shop, and an item I sell for $20 is usually $20 worth of work, so it would be kind of like telling your kids that their inheritance is getting the opportunity to work a second job!


Madeline September 12, 2011 at 3:21 pm

This may sound like a tacky idea considering you found ROSEVILLE.. but when I find a pottery type thingy I love but it has a chip or small defect,I use a product I find at Michaels called SCULPY.. it can be rolled in your hand, into the shape you need,and you can fix , or fill in small defects. I usually get the color scuply I need or use a light color scuply I keep on hand which I can then use my marking pens to color in. I have a MOOSE knick knack I love (don’t laugh) that had an antler missing.My dear husband made a small antler out of sculpy,stuck it on and I colored it brown. New!

Also— if small chips are the problem ,I just use my craft colored Tombo markers to color in the chip.It will wash off (i use this on serving dishes too..) but then next time you use it you just color it in again!! I have a huge old,beloved FISH SHAPED PLATTER with chips all around the edge.. but just fill them in with marker every time I use it..



Rachel September 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm

Been known to do a little “bin diving” now and then. My favorite find is my son’s antique oak dresser. I refinished it and put on new handles – and it’s gorgeous! But I’m always up for finding some Roseville!


Kelly September 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm

My greatest find trashing picking was an old dresser that I painted white. It had nicks and scratches which I filled in with wood putty, painted it and it sits in my studio holding my art supplies and paper supplies.
Trash picking is fun and geeze Louise it’s the thrill of the hunt isn’t it??


Whimzy Thyme September 13, 2011 at 4:56 am

Great story Laura! I love Roseville. What a fabulous find.


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