Goodwill, Badwill, Questionable-will — Toilet Seat Handcuffs, Women’s Libber Table & a 1910 Cranky Baby

by Katy on September 16, 2013 · 24 comments

It’s time for another Goodwill, Badwill Questionable-will, and boy-oh-boy is it a doozy! It all started with the chore of needing to return a pair of Levi’s to The Mall.

At this point, you may be questioning my non-consumer cred, as I normally shout far and wide about only buying used. But I’ve been carting around a JCPenney gift card for a year and a half, and finally succumbed to my younger son’s valid whining about how he only owned a single pair of jeans. (Note: He used to own multiple pairs, but swore he hated skinny jeans, so I mailed them all to his cousin in NYC, but that’s a story for another day.) Unfortunately, I had trusted him to try them on without any parental input. Which of course meant they were waaaaay too small. (Poor kid doesn’t know about how new clothing shrinks with washing. And before you start a collection to buy the neglected kid some jeans, he actually found a great $14 pair of used Levi’s at Buffalo Exchange right after the mall jeans had been found to resemble sausage casing.)

So yes, I needed to go back to the mall to return the jeans. However, it’s a bit of a schlep, so I decided to incorporate some thrifting along the way.

First off was the Goodwill on S.E. Powell Boulevard.

My eye was immediately drawn to this vintage juice jar. Just the embodiment of perfection, with wavy green glass and embossed “Juice” and “Water” written down the sides. Priced at $2.99, it had no choice but to join my family of vintage jars.

I’m polyamorous that way.

Vintage Jar

I was tempted to bring home this colorful piece of vintage pottery as well. The drippy glazing was truly wonderful, but it had a teeny tiny hairline crack along the top, and when it comes to ceramics ya’ll know that crack is wack!


What I was not tempted to buy, but still had to photograph was this truly bizarre pair of enormous silver plush handcuffs. Not just because some savvy Goodwill employee styled them with striped pajamas for that ole-timey prisoner look, but because they oddly resembled toilet seats.

See it?

Handcuffs + toilet seats = made my day.


And of course, I came across an obligatory targeted savings bank. Will they ever end?!

Casino Money!

My next stop was at the Salvation Army shop, where I found perhaps too much stuff.

If you are a female child of the 1970’s, you hold Ms. Holly Hobby in a special place in your heart. Clever marketers played on our love of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and gave us Holly Hobby lunch boxes, (had one) Holly Hobby dolls, (had two — a big one a small one) and an extended family which included a brother . . . Mr. Robby Hobby, (had him too!) So when I saw this $12.99 new old stock set of Holly Hobby glasses I actually gasped loudly and squealed in a way that is unusual for those over the age of nine.

Yes, I ostensibly bought the set for resale, but I have no problem keeping her around until a new home can be found.

My heart aches when I look at this set. That’s how much I love the girl.

Holly Hobby Glasses

I was tempted to snag this mid-century poodle-bookend-pen-holder. Priced at $1.99, it would have been pain free. But the profit potential on this guy was not impressive, (maybe sell for $10-$15?) so I left it there.

Poodle Bookend

I’m glad I kept my hands free though, as there was no effing way I was not buying this antique Roseville Jardiniere! Priced at $8.99 it was a steal! These puppies sell for $150-$175 on eBay, so the profitability potential was right up my alley.

I already have it up on Craigslist for $100. No buyer yet, but it only takes a single person who wants your item to make the sale.

Roseville Janiniere

I also bought this console table for a cool 35 bucks! (Didn’t actually get a photo at the store.)

I’m calling it my “Women’s Libber Table.”


Because the male clerk was horrified that I had carried it to the cash register without any manly assistance. And when I declined help getting it to the car he asked:

“What are you, some kind of women’s libber?!”

To which I laughed and replied:

“What are you, a time traveler from 1975?”

This too is up on Craigslist, also for a hundred bucks.

Console table

My next stop was yet another Goodwill, (82nd Avenue is da bomb when it comes to thrifting!) where I was briefly enchanted by this inebriated gentleman. I think the whole genre of sweet drunken tchotchkes is hilarious. Who decorates with “drunk” as a theme?

Boozy Boy

The one thing I did buy was this vintage Oregon souvenir tray. I will be visiting my sister in New York City next month, and I’ll need to bring a hostess gift. And for the low, low cost of $1.99, this funky tray will fit the bill.

My last 82nd Avenue stop was to the Deseret Industries thrift shop, where I succumbed to this $1 West Elm vase. (How did I know it was West Elm? Because it had a sticker on the bottom!) My best friend Sasha just had surgery, and it would be a perfect way to bring her some flowers.

West Elm vase

But my hands down favorite find of the day was this 50¢ framed set of photos of a father and his baby. The three connected oval frames are metal printed with a wood pattern, and absolutely melted my heart. I love how the photo on the left shows a cranky baby, most likely due to the sun in his eyes. There is a heart breaking timelessness to these photos that transcends outdated apparel and other such chronological identifiers.

I put this photo up on the Non-Consumer Advocate Facebook Group, and my mother shared it as well. The best consensus based on style of collar, tie and hat is that it’s from around 1910.

Gone but not forgotten.

Papa and baby

Do you not agree that this was the best day of thrifting ever?! Hopefully, I’ll profit a couple hundred dollars to fluff up the better-late-than-never college fund, and I’ve brought a few wonderful new items into my home. And in case you were wondering, JCPenny gave me no flack about returning the jeans. So I can keep my non-consumer cred intact for one more day.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Linda M September 16, 2013 at 10:50 am

You brought a big smile and memories back with those Holly Hobby glasses. Our daughter is a little younger than you but loved!!! Holly Hobby…..we used to have “tons” of character glasses….Smurf ones for the son, McDonald’s ones from trips with grandparents, etc. My husband used to rant “When will we ever be grown up enough to not have to drink out of kiddie kups???” Well, as time marched on, we did indeed “graduate” to no kiddie kups and sadly, no kiddies in the house. Made me chuckle…although my husband has never lamented the getting rid of the kiddie kups ….he much prefers adult drinking glasses. (Maybe I should bid on those as a Christmas present for him…he would just Adore!!! them…tehee!)


Susan September 16, 2013 at 8:26 pm

I had those Holly Hobbie glasses too! I’m kinda missing them at this late hour of the night. I also had the bed comforter, the doll, etc. Aww, good times.
I’m also impressed, Katy, that you have such a knack for picking out the gems. Not only that, you actually buy the gems. I chicken out when I find something at Goodwill that I *might* be able to resell.


Betsey September 16, 2013 at 11:04 am

My daughter had a Holly Hobby sleeping bag and dragged it to every sleepover she had!
Katy, I do not know how you can tell junk from sellable things, but you do! I would gave a basement full of unsold junk if I tried what you do. Good luck, and may your college bills be small!
PS. I would have bought the handcuffs for a gag gift to my sil.


Katy September 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm

So far none is it has sold, so hold off on giving me too much credit. 😉



Loris September 16, 2013 at 11:12 am

I have a Holly Hobbie comforter that my parents bought for me in Korea in 1986 when I was a toddler. I guess it took that long for the fad to work its way around the globe. We left it behind when we returned from overseas 17 years ago, and this spring, a fellow ex-pat who stayed found it and brought it to me!


Vanessa September 16, 2013 at 11:53 am

I still have my Holly Hobby porcelain tea set from when I was a kid. Missing one lid and a crack in one piece but is still enjoyed by my kids.


dusty September 16, 2013 at 11:59 am

I love everything you bought you crazy women’s libber you!! I live in FL and am constantly called a yankee, which of course I’m proud of but I can’t believe they’re still thinking about the Civil War. Move on, people!! You wanted to know who would decorate with drunk knick-knacks, my family would that’s who. Yes, our decor when I was growing up was quite lovely!!


Amanda B. September 16, 2013 at 1:09 pm

I loved Holly Hobby so much that my grandmother made me a sort of stylized version of Holly Hobby curtains. I wish I still had them. The side note to this story is my grandmother was a mean woman and made the curtains out of my favorite sheets. HAHAHAHA


Amanda B. September 16, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Here’s a pic (for reference) of the girl on my curtains. Oh and I meant Holly HOBBIE not Hobby. Typos make me sad.


Sue Robinson (Grammy Sue) September 16, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Boy did you give me a laugh today. I alway knew you were one of those wimmins libbers! But the juice jar!! What a find. I have ‘way too many jars. It seems like I have somewhat of an obsession. I am trying to cut back, but I would have swooped up that jar in a heartbeat!! These are my favorite posts and I look forward to them!


Elizabeth B September 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Holy schniekies. “Women’s libber”? I’d have been speechless. No, you Neanderthal, you’re just fifty years out of date.


Katy September 16, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I took it as the the best compliment ever!!!!



Karen fr/ NE September 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I love your Goodwill/Badwill posts! I would have a hard time parting with that Roseville pot–it is gorgeous. But…I guess it is a good investment to send your son to college so he can take care of you in your old age:} And good comeback on the women’s libber comment!


CarrieP September 16, 2013 at 8:21 pm

You are hilarious, Katy. Like another reader, I admire your judgment in buying things at a good price and knowing what will sell. I love reading your posts and especially appreciate you telling the prices. I get frustrated when other bloggers are vague about how much they spent while calling themselves thrifty. Keep up the fun & helpful posts coming.
BTW, love the Roseville pot. That’s what I would want the most of all your fab finds.


AnnDenee September 17, 2013 at 2:03 am

Fun findings!!

Growing up, we had a juice/water jar, but it was clear. I would love to find one now because I hate putting juice in the fridge in an open pitcher. Thanks for the reminder about this jar. I’ll watch for one now.

Holly Hobbie… *sigh* I had the sleeping bag and a doll.

Thank you!


Alison September 17, 2013 at 2:46 am

I have one of those green juice jars too. I got mine at Goodwill for .99 about 2 years ago. I love it!


Kate September 17, 2013 at 3:24 am

I had a Holly Hobbie bedroom ( quilt and curtains ), doll and lunch box 🙂


Mary Ann September 17, 2013 at 5:06 am

The green jar took me back to my childhood. My Mom had one just like it. If I could find one now, at a good price, I’d snap it up.


Rachel C September 17, 2013 at 6:00 am

Your thrift stores are still way better than the ones I go to! And women’s libber? You better believe it!


Katy September 17, 2013 at 7:57 am

Those thrift stores were magical that day. Cannot argue that point.



Becky September 18, 2013 at 5:22 am

Holly Hobby doesn’t bring fond memories back for me, sadly. In 4th grade my mother made me wear a frilly white blouse with plaid-ISH Holly Hobby bell-bottom pants. I cried myself to sleep the night before. Apparently I made enough of a stink that I never had to wear them again.


Coral Clarke December 6, 2022 at 6:56 pm

I rally feel that your skill set deserves recognition, you are a highly skilled and experienced vintage expert, as well as having graduated “ cum laude” in the area of Consumer Cognition! Let’s hear it for the amazing range of expertise Kay has acquired over years of “ in the field” study!!


Katy December 6, 2022 at 8:54 pm

I just lookup things on eBay “Completed Items” that look high end, vintage or otherwise unusual.


Cindy in the South December 7, 2022 at 5:20 am

Women Libbers Unite! I want a t shirt that says that and will wear it proudly!!! God, I love vintage stuff tho. I would have a hard time parting with any of that so I don’t go thrifting much these days. The table is divine!!!! Cindy in the South


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