Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will

by Katy on February 10, 2017 · 48 comments

It’s time for another Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will blog post, as it’s been a couple of months since I’ve published one of these goodies. Today’s items are from a few different visits to my Portland area Goodwills.

First off I present to you this framed print showcasing a couple of famous characters from the TV show Portlandia. (Because when thrifting in Portland, it’s pretty much inevitable.) Plus, I want you to enjoy that both Carrie and Fred are framed by vaginal goodness.

Of course there were a number of targeted savings banks, of which the rocking “Retirement Fund” granny is a popular example. I sometimes wonder if people buy her and simply donate her back, and I’m just seeing the same one over and over again.

I like to think that her name is “Penny.”

I was a bit horrified by this “Mommy’s Little Wingman” onesie, as my understanding of “wingman” is that it mostly refers to a buddy who helps you to pick up members of the opposite sex while barhopping.

I was super intruiged by this vintage burl wood standing lamp. At once turd-like, but also like something dear old grand-dad would have crafted in his workshop.

Check out the detail in the wood, it even had an imbedded stone towards the bottom! I can actually see how this lamp would look really cool topped with a crisp lampshade.

In the category of only-given-as-a-gift, I offer up this pillow/remote control. And yes, it was a real remote, as I could feel the clicks when I pressed on the buttons.

The one item I saw, and really should have bought was this vintage quilt:

The pastel colors would have looked perfect in my spare bedroom, but somehow I just couldn’t pull the trigger. Even though it was only ten bucks.

Another piece that I should have bought was this groovy Steelcase office chair. This is a prime example of sturdy timeless mid-century design that will never go out of style. (And holy hell, that chrome is to die for!) However, I think it was priced higher than I wanted to pay. Although looking at this photo now, I now believe that I made a grievous error.

For those who consider themselves a germ-o-phobe, (or for those who simply shy away from putting their mouths on thrift store items) I want you to revel in this shelf of used recorders.

You know, that unattended kids have probably been blowing them on all day long.

That gag reflex? It’s my gift to you.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Marie February 10, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Re: the “vaginal goodness” in the painting: Don’t you think you’ve been working a bit too hard in labor and delivery lately??

Re: the office chair: Console yourself with the thought that you don’t know what may have been lurking in the upholstered parts.

And re: the used recorders: The way I get DH to remember to brush his mouth guard (we’re both night tooth grinders and both have them) is to describe what my school “flutophone” mouthpiece tasted like after three older siblings had used it!

Anyway, thanks for the post. I always enjoy Portland’s thrift offerings vicariously through you.


Katy February 10, 2017 at 12:42 pm

No. Those characters work at a feminist bookstore based on an actual store here in Portland, Any vaginal imagery is NOT a coincidence!


A. Marie February 10, 2017 at 12:59 pm

Ah. Insufficient Portlandia background on my part. (Glad to hear it, actually. I was starting to worry that your work was catching up with you.)


Stephanie February 10, 2017 at 12:24 pm

How much was that chair priced at? The quilt is a BARGAIN!


Katy February 10, 2017 at 12:41 pm

I think the chair was $30.


Beth February 10, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Thanks for the gift {}

I did like the quilt though…so pretty! My grandma made me a quilt, and it’ll go onto a guest bed once we have a house.


susan February 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm

I am truly amazed that Goodwill even sells those nasty used recorders… and wondering if people would actually purchase them…

You did the right thing leaving the quilt there… looks in the photos to be very faded and used… you will find a better one!


Katy February 10, 2017 at 2:16 pm

“Faded and used” is part of it being an historic object. Actually makes it more appealing to me.


Carol in CT February 10, 2017 at 3:08 pm

While I appreciate that sentiment (faded and used), as someone who has recently repaired 2 vintage quilts, that one is RIPE for multiple tears and would soon be littered with holes, needing repair before it disintegrates. Pretty? absolutley. I would pass unless you have the time and materials to constantly repair it.


Marilyn February 10, 2017 at 3:16 pm

Isn’t there some way to clean and sanitize those recorders? Seems a shame that they couldn’t be reused.


Yvette February 10, 2017 at 4:07 pm

Recorders that are plastic could be soaked in sanitiser then dishwasher ? Otherwise upcycle to use in garden art or make new musical instrument by joining them together similar to a pan pipe or bag pipes attached to a reverse vacuum cleaner .. Aussie humour !!!

Patti February 10, 2017 at 5:33 pm

Our church choir director teaches our after school kids and children’s choir kids how to play the recorder and I think he soaks them in a bleach solution after each lesson, even if they are marked with each person’s name. He just dunks them in a plastic container with the bleach and lets them sit for a few minutes.

Rosanne February 11, 2017 at 5:58 am

I prefer it faded and used If it was pristine and color saturated, it would not have been nearly as nice. IMHO


Jennifer February 11, 2017 at 5:26 am

I love the old quilt! It is exactly the ones I am drawn too. I have a quilt from the 1800’s that used to be in a museum and I love it!


Terrence February 10, 2017 at 2:11 pm

This crap is why I don’t shop at Goodwill. Thanks for the reminder!


Katy February 10, 2017 at 2:17 pm

So many hidden treasures among the less desirable stuff. You’re missing out!


The One Income Dollar February 10, 2017 at 5:23 pm



Cindy in the South I February 10, 2017 at 2:19 pm is awesome!


Roberta February 10, 2017 at 2:20 pm

I would have had a hard time passing up the quilt. Which is why I have so many quilts lying around my house…in southern California.

It’s also why I’m trying to get rid of stuff, and staying away from thrift shops.


The One Income Dollar February 10, 2017 at 5:14 pm

Following your site- its good reading …


Kate February 10, 2017 at 2:33 pm

Well, I think I can ease your mind about not buying the quilt. It is decidedly not vintage, as I purchased the exact same one for my dorm room about 25 years ago. 🙂


Jane F February 10, 2017 at 3:03 pm

hah! love it 🙂


A February 10, 2017 at 7:40 pm

I came here to say the same thing! That was my dorm quilt in 1994 and I still have it. I’m sure it wasn’t expensive, as my high school job funded my buying it 🙂


Lisa W. February 11, 2017 at 4:53 pm

Ditto!! My roommate in the mid-1990s had this exact quilt. We kept it on the sofa for curling up to watch TV. The fabric came pre-faded, if I remember correctly.


Kristen February 10, 2017 at 2:39 pm

There’s definitely an Urban Dictionary form of wingman, but it’s also a legit term: I’ve always used it in that sense!


Carla February 10, 2017 at 4:16 pm

Same! I’m now wondering if I’ve used it and others interpreted it the wrong way…


Jennifer February 11, 2017 at 5:22 am

Me too, kinda like when I had been using the term ‘Netflix and chill’ before the NCA group schooled me on the more commonly known meaning! What can I say, I live a more simple life these days so I miss a few key things, lol.


WilliamB February 10, 2017 at 7:27 pm

When not used for actual combat flying, “wingman” is someone who has your back and is, in one way or another, subordinate to you. It could be in a bar, yes, but also at work, or running interference with your parents, or any number of similar situations.


Kristen February 11, 2017 at 9:44 am

And maybe the aviators on the onesie are sort of a reference to the flying roots of the term?



Marilyn February 10, 2017 at 2:43 pm

I am a sucker for old quilts. Probably would have plunked down my $10 for that one.


Carolyn Arnett February 10, 2017 at 2:55 pm

My personal favorite is the turd lamp. Thanks for my laugh of the day. My daughter and I have an imaginary house we have been decorating for years. The lamp would be a great addition. We started with a painting of Jesus on velvet with a clock in his stomach. See what good taste we have.


Lea February 10, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Oh my goodness! You just made me spit water out my nose!

Thanks for the laugh. I may have to start doing this myself.



Barb @ 1 Sentence Diary February 11, 2017 at 7:48 am

Hysterical! I love it!


KAREN February 10, 2017 at 3:56 pm

I totally would have bought that lamp!


kathleen February 10, 2017 at 4:09 pm

I see a face and arms in that lamp. Can you tell I was traumatized by The Wizard of Oz as a child? Don’t get me started on those flying monkeys!


Gina in Ky February 10, 2017 at 4:12 pm

I’m afraid I would have had to snatch up that Portlandia print!! I love it!!


The One Income Dollar February 10, 2017 at 5:08 pm

I love looking in Goodwill and all thrift stores- especially those great gifts ideas that still are in sealed packages. Now if only I can determine what is worth $$ to sell on Ebay 🙂


Heather February 10, 2017 at 6:19 pm

I know the rocking chair grandma bank gets a lot of flack, but I’m always secretly pleased to see her in a thrift store or in an episode of Goodwill, Bad will, Questionablewill because my grandparents had a matched set. They kept their grandma/grandpa banks on top of their dresser and only filled them with quarters. As I was growing up, I loved that they had banks that represented them and were FULL OF QUARTERS! Those banks were like Beowolf’s hoarde to a kid who could buy a boatload of candy with a handful of quarters. While I have no inclination to own one of those banks, when I see the grandma or grandpa version somewhere, I feel like it’s a little sign that they are still with me.


Jo February 10, 2017 at 9:05 pm

Love your story, Heather! I never see them in our Cleveland Goodwills, and I absolutely want one for the kitsch factor.


Diane February 11, 2017 at 5:39 am

That vintage quilt is perfection. I can see it as wall decor. Such lovely soft colors!


Ruby February 11, 2017 at 6:40 am

I will admit to being tempted by a tiki god clock at the humane society thrift. If it was larger, so that I could see it from across the room, I’d buy it! The turd lamp, not so much. 😀


Leah @ The Frugal South February 11, 2017 at 7:38 am

Thank you , Katy, for making me laugh out loud not once, not twice, but three times in one blog post. That might be a record! This also might be your wackiest (and best) Goodwill post yet. Keep up the great work!


Marcia February 11, 2017 at 2:18 pm

My husband still hasn’t forgiven me for objecting to his desire for a 3.5 foot statue of liberty lamp with a red Christmas bulb in her torch. I have no guilt whatsoever about this. It did not come home with us. At one point we lived near a huge Goodwill furniture outlet in Buffalo. I got one of my best buys there–an authentic Arts and Crafts cabinet, about 15 inches square and 4 feet tall, complete with glass in the doors and intact hardware with key. The unfortunate part was that someone had painted it bright red. It took many hours of work to restore it to a walnut finish, but I still love all $15 worth 40 years later!! Good pass on the quilt–not that unique and would need repair soon. I’ve repaired old quilts and have one that needs another go around. Time consuming.


Mrs. Picky Pincher February 11, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Oh my god, why is there a FULL SHELF of USED RECORDERS? No. Just… no. No no no no no no no.

Ooh, that quilt is a good find, though. It’s always tough though; you don’t want to be a hoarder or impulse buyer so it’s easy to pass up on things that you might regret later.

Good grief, thrift stores really do show some bad sides of wasteful consumption. 😉


Diane C February 11, 2017 at 9:06 pm

Last year, I found two large cross stitched and beautifully framed angels at my favorite consignment store. They were kind of pricey, so I waited until the final markdown, then pulled the trigger and brought them home. I do not need them, but I respect the hours and hours of loving effort that went into them. I assume the creator has gone on to heaven, and I am their next caretaker. I couldn’t stand the idea of them getting trashed or ending up somewhere random, unloved and unappreciated. I know this sounds crazy, but I am frugal with things that are not important, so I have money for things that are. The angels spoke to me, and I’m glad I had the luxury of indulging my whim. I only put them up at Christmas, but they are just lovely.

I thought of them when I saw your quilt photos, but wondered if it was actually hand made. Based on some of the comments above, apparently it is a mass-produced item, so I think you made the perfect call.


Susan February 13, 2017 at 7:56 am

I get so much enjoyment from reading your posts!! Thanks.


Coral Clarke January 18, 2023 at 3:40 pm

My granddaughter buys me a bad taste gift from time to time, my favourite is a toilet brush in the form of a particularly loathsome politicians head, I smile every time I use it!


Katy January 19, 2023 at 2:00 pm

I think someone gave us that exact gift and I put it straight into the garbage as I didn’t want to be reminded of he-who-must-not-be-named every time I went to the bathroom.


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