Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will — Thrift Store Paintings, A Googly-Eyed Owl & The Ugliest Shoes Ever Created

by Katy on January 27, 2014 · 20 comments

It’s been over a month since I’ve done a Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will post, and that’s due to a couple of factors.

  1. I’ve been trying to not go to Goodwill so often.
  2. Somehow the Goodwill stuff I’ve run across has been has been, meh . . . kind of ordinary.

However . . .

I had an idea to give thrift store paintings to my sons for Christmas. Not to enjoy as-is, but as a creative prompt. Have you seen the trend to take thrifted painting and add crazy stuff to them? It’s freaking genius! Unfortunately, I didn’t come across any worthy ones during the gift giving season, but I spotted this $7 beauty and knew she had to come with with me. The woman is just so incredibly perfect, with her feathered bangs and her voluminous skirt!

Lake girl

The bangs! The bangs!

I wonder how she would feel about a monster or two coming out of the water and from behind the hills?

lake girl detail

I was tempted by this painting of a dead eyed girl holding baby chicks, but the lack of any background detail kept this girlie from coming home with me.

dead eyed girl

I couldn’t resist these vintage bakelite knives priced at 29¢ apiece. Bakelite gets ruined when put through the dishwasher or left to soak, so it’s rare to find them in such good condition. I can see putting these out when we have dinner guests and actually serve need-to-be-spread appetizers.

So very pretty . . .

bakelite knives

These $2.99 vintage bookends caught my eye, and I actually bought them only to return them a few days later. I love the color palette, but they’re oddly light, which kind of kills the functionality of them. Also, I have no good spot for them.

Crap. I’ve started liking them again.


However, I brought home (and kept) this vintage granite jewelry box. Priced at only $3.99, it will work perfectly on my bedside table to hold my odds-and-ends, bits-and-pieces, accumulation-of-ephemera. Stuff.

The stone has incredible patina, nicely aged without being beat up.

granite box

Something I was not tempted by, and am boldly declaring to be The Ugliest Pair Of Shoes Ever Created.

  1. Part Converse.
  2. Part Victorian granny shoes.
  3. Part stripper heels.
  4. Part rain boots.
  5. Completely hideous.

A Frankenstein compilation for fashion victims everywhere!

shoe hell

I did fall a little bit in love with this vintage lamp. Because what’s better than a vintage rubbery owl lamp with googly-eyes? Because, you know . . . it’s a good idea to repeatedly shake a lamp.

Maybe a good lamp for those living along the San Andreas fault.

“Hoo-ever is shaking me needs to cut it out!”

Said the owl. Lamp.

vintage owl lamp

Have you come across any good, bad or questionable items during your thrifting adventures? Please share in the comments section below!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Maureen January 27, 2014 at 11:19 am

The girl with the bangs must be from the early 80’s — Farrah Facett-styled hair. Oh the memories of my wedding picture!


Beth January 27, 2014 at 1:20 pm

My daughter would WEAR those shoes! ack!


Katy January 28, 2014 at 8:46 am

We all have our forays into the realm of “fashion victim!” 😀


Kim Stewart January 27, 2014 at 2:08 pm

Today I went to the cardiologist for a follow up so I decided to pop into the Hospital’s resale shop. Found a Harlequin mauve blue ball jug for $12! It was marked on the tag “Fiesta like lemonade pitcher”. We collect vintage Fiesta, Harlequin and Riviera so I was quite happy!

Also got the Complete James Dean DVD Collection still sealed for $6 which I’ll sell on Amazon.

And yes those shoes are scary!


Katy January 28, 2014 at 8:43 am

I love Harlequin as well!


Tina January 27, 2014 at 2:35 pm

I think the little girl with the baby chicks would look great with an added background of flames.

I have a little hole in my heart for that owl lamp. I really really do.


PoppyEcho January 27, 2014 at 10:08 pm

YES! or a big mama chicken about to peck the kid to death.

That lack of background is crying out for embellishment, and the painting is just so bad. But I must protest doing anything to the 70’s bangs painting. That one is so bad it’s GOOD.


Katy January 28, 2014 at 8:23 am

The skill of the bang-lady painting is actually quite good. But it really is missing evil creatures.


cathy January 27, 2014 at 4:56 pm

The bakelite knives are an incredible find! And I think the boots are actually for a female superhero. You can tell from the sort of lightning bolt logo 😉 I really think that come Halloween you are going to really regret not picking them up! LOL!


Katy January 28, 2014 at 8:36 am

I have a soft spot for Bakelite, and have a hard time saying no.


kathleen January 27, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Oh how I love these posts! I guess the best thing I ever found at Goodwill was a brand new never-out-of-the-box Keurig for $35. And the most questionable was a red lace oh-so-sexy teddy WITH garters. I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of bodily fluids might be remaining on it. {{{shiver}}}


Katy January 28, 2014 at 8:48 am

Umm . . . I think you already know what kind of bodily fluids were on that teddy. 😉


Christine January 27, 2014 at 5:35 pm

Oh my goodness–this post had me belly laughing. My daughter came over to see what was so funny. Love the owl lamp.


Katie January 27, 2014 at 8:27 pm

The lady painting is just awesome. If your son takes that to college next year (with or without added monsters), he will be the toast of the dorms.


Sarah January 28, 2014 at 2:45 am

I SO agree on the shoes. They are just hideous!
Nice jewelbox though!


dusty January 28, 2014 at 3:47 am

The girl with the bangs is every girl in my high school class of 1976. Unfortunately when I go back to visit, some of them still have the same hairstyle!! I usually only go to thrift stores for clothes (mostly shorts) and books. Found three very good books last week, was making a drop off and decided to go in. 1.99 each and now that I’m 55 I get a discount YEAH!! The guy in front of me was too embarrassed to ask, not me.


Diane January 28, 2014 at 5:25 am

I don’t frequent thrift shops anymore due to budget constraints and fear of bed bugs, but I did step into Savers last week just for a quick browse, There waiting for me was the perfect white cotton top made in India with embroidery around the neckline and on the sleeves. It fit well and is something I will wear forever. A terrific buy that I probably never would have found in a regular store.


Katy January 28, 2014 at 8:21 am

Ooh . . . sounds pretty!


AnnW January 31, 2014 at 9:09 pm

If those are real bakelite handles, sell them on ebay. They are worth quite a bit. I just found out that many old mahjong and backgammon sets had bakelite pieces. They sell for a lot. I’m testing everything in my house.


Thyrza February 4, 2014 at 12:35 am

That skirt is eating the woman in that first painting…maybe the skirt is the monster!

Another idea is that she seems like a 1978 Snow White…maybe she would have seven 1978 dwarves hanging around….tight jeans , feathered hair, graduated tint sunglasses, roller skates….rainbow suspenders…etc.


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