The Economy of Swapping

by Katy on April 30, 2011 · 9 comments

I am lucky to live in a neighborhood that provides pretty much everything I could hope for within easy walking distance. Restaurants, library, a Boutique Goodwill, food carts, Groceries and one of my favorites, Old Portland Hardware. My neighbor Nancy and I were leisurely walking home from a breakfast outing yesterday when we stopped in for a look-see. This store’s motto is “Pieces of history for your home.” although I see it more as “Eye candy for your home,” because the objects and creative reconfiguring of antiques are sweet enough to incur the wrath of dentists worldwide. Seriously, check out this photo:

I wasn’t there to shop, as my family’s finances are still reeling from this year’s tax bill, but this store is always worth a visit. I was wandering through admiring everything, when my eye fell upon a couple rows of the most darling antique Kerr canning jars from 1903. Wavy glass, air bubbles, hefty weight, these jars had it goin’ on! And the best part was the addition of the word “Economy,”  jauntily flowing up at a diagonal on each jar. Priced at $4 apiece. But wait, I had a vintage faucet that my mother had passed along to me a few months back when she converted her clawfoot tub into a shower.

Thinking these would make the most adorable vases, I walked home, bringing the faucet back to the store. The owner happily swapped out three jars for my faucet. No fuss, no muss, and no money switched hands.

Man, do I love my neighborhood!

Katy Wolk-Stanley

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


{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Ciara April 30, 2011 at 11:28 am

oh wow, this store looks amazing. i live in north portland, but may make a special trip to check it out.

how are the prices?


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl April 30, 2011 at 11:29 am

I love your jar picture, Katy!


Katy April 30, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Thanks. My point and shoot limits my photography, but I make do.



Ann April 30, 2011 at 1:53 pm

Speaking of Mason Jars…what about your new logo??


Katy April 30, 2011 at 3:54 pm

These things take time. I’m in no hurry.



Ann May 1, 2011 at 8:08 am

Not rushing…just asking. 🙂


ellie April 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Are the jars your new logo? Love the pictures and the story!


Anita April 30, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Katy, that is so totally cool. I think in terms of conservation you have it made. I can walk to almost nothing…ok, 3 schools, one grocery I do not like, and a few “chain” stores in the mix. Those are about 1.4 miles away, so close but not really handy, if you get my drift.
Enjoy those new jars!!


Jean May 1, 2011 at 2:44 pm

I have some of these jars! And I got them free too! When an elderly neighbor was having to leave her home, her sons cleaned out her basement,piled everything they didn’t want in the yard and told us to take whatever we wanted before the trash service came to get it all the next day. This was probably eleven years ago,and I am still using gobs of canning jars that came from that pile, a vintage galvanized washtub that we use for icing down drinks at outdoor parties, some flower pots and other garden items. Like you, I tend to use the oldest jars for flowers or other displays–and I never give away the pickles or jams I can in the old jars.. I give a lot away, but only those in newer jars (purchased at thrift stores of course!)


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