Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Artist Date: St. Francis Thrift Shop

I've long held that anything, really, can be turned into an Artist Date, as long as I use the experience to re-energize and "fill the well" of ideas and images that feed my creativity.
"God sees you even if we don't"--
one of the best deterrents to shoplifting in a Catholic
 thrift shop that I can imagine!
A trip to a thrift shop, then, is as good an Artist Date as any!  Thrift shops offer such a variety of objects, each one with its own history to imagine, new uses to consider, and colors and textures to explore.  Most recently I visited the White Elephant, a thrift shop attached to St. Francis of Assisi, a Catholic community in Springfield, PA, where I live.

I took some photos during my visit, even though I felt a little conspicuous doing it.
Even a table full of ugly lamps can get me thinking:  What fingers have turned these switches?  In what rooms have these lamps lived?  What sights have these bulbs shed light on? 
I played with very few dolls as a child, and my children appear to have inherited my aversion.  And yet I find them aesthetically appealing...as long as they aren't in my own home!
Some thrift shop items lead me to marvel:  A partially-used bottle of scented bubbles?  Really?
Some thrift shop finds tempt me:  I really wanted this stack of four coffee cups for $2, but I knew in my heart that I did not need them in my home.
I enjoyed the care that someone took to create thematic displays:  a collection of red in the glass, apples, watermelon, strawberries, cherries, and ladybugs, above.
I have to admit these little piggies look awfully cute--more so in a photo than anywhere in my house, though.
Clowns seriously creep me out, but this cash register sent me straight down memory lane, to such an extent that I've ended up with an entire Pinterest board commemorating the toys, TV shows, movies, games, and styles of my childhood.
At the end of the day, my thrift shop foray led me to these new acquisitions:  a Rolodex file, complete with blank cards, for a dollar; two books for my kids; two lunchboxes that I'd like as organizing tools for my craft room; and a set of wooden blocks that I envision painting, decoupaging, and otherwise altering for upcoming art projects.

All for under $10.  White Elephant Thrift Shop, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship!

10 comments:

Beverley Baird said...

I so love your opening sentence - so true.
I love going to thrift shops - you just never know what you will find. lately it has been old books to use for art.
Great finds!

Adriann said...

Nice thrift store finds. Love your pin board. It brought back memories.

linda said...

What fun! I love thrift shops too. Those fantastic finds are hard to resist.

Janet said...

I can't believe you found a Rolodex for $1...with cards, too! I love thrift shops but all the ones we have around here think they're antique shops. Their prices are ridiculous so I quit going. I do miss thrift store shopping though.

Maria Ontiveros said...

What a great place for an artists date. This week I'm hoping to get back to blog reading and commenting. An injured leg and stomach virus sidelined me a bit I'm afraid! I enjoyed catching up today.
Rinda

Tina said...

Ohhh I love thrifting and love your pictorial walk through your thrift shop! Can't wait to see what neat stuff you do with the Rolodex cards and do I spy "Mr. Popper's Penguins" in the book stack? One of my kids' all time favorites when they were little (now 19 and 17, sigh...)

Patty Antle said...

That's a lot of good stuff for $10. I love to go to thrift stores too. I wonder why you didn't like dolls?

Anne said...

I'm seriously envying your Rolodex file!! What a fun place to wander.

Parabolic Muse said...

This made me smile, because I know all those feelings that spring up at a thrift shop. Where did this item live before now? Why did someone not want it any more? The displays can be so pretty we start to feel we want to take things home, but it's so much better when we don't sometimes. That rolodex file is a great find! What a price!

I have the hardest time saying no to maps, postcards, or old patterns.

Carolyn Phillips said...

I love this, and go thrift shopping every few months. I find like you that anything that makes me think, feel inspired or just revitalised counts for me as an artists date.