A Visit to Idaho Reveals Some Real Gems

Beloved Husband and I have been on a driving rampage this summer.  First east, and now west to Oregon and Idaho.  We did all the usual stuff like hiking, swimming, and playing putt-putt golf.  Because my friends know me so well, they also led me to a couple of outstanding consignment/vintage shops and of course, I found some gems!  Thank goodness Colorado doesn’t have the market cornered on bad taste.  We even saw a new name for second-hand stores–Juntique Shops.  The name was pretty accurate–there was lots of junque to be had.

First, I want to share a picture my friend took on one of our hikes in Oregon:

Oregon hikeYou deserve to see something pretty first.  You’ll be thanking me as soon as you see some of  the other pictures in this post.  If you look closely, you can see that it was hazy from the wildfires.  The west has been burning for two summers now; eventually we will run out of fuel to burn, or get enough moisture.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed for rain.

Owls continue to be popular–even in thrift stores:

A Whole Wall of OwlsThis must be someone’s collection of owls from the 1970’s.  How many carved wooden owls could one person own–apparently right around ten!

I was so busy looking at the most unusual planter that I almost missed his friend:

Two, two, two horrors in oneIf there is anything worse than a folded magazine angel, it has to be the plastic canvas angel.  Shudder.  The planter in the front is from Japan, and I’m not exactly sure what race they were shooting for with the male figure–South Sea Islander, Native American, African?  Some combination of all three–who the heck knows?  There he sits, and I bet if I go back in a year, he will still be sitting there.

I find this pillow unsettling:

Not my kind of pillowsBeloved Husband was thrilled with the tiny hats (it’s a tag that he added to the blog, and he searches our pictures diligently for any tiny hats–what can I say?  I write a blog about the bad things we see in thrift stores!).  The huge bald heads are kind of weird on a decorative pillow, but the worst thing are those big pink lips that any Hollywood actress would pay thousands of dollars for.  Their eyebrows seem suspiciously well-shaped too!  It makes for a creepy kind of decor.

Most times simpler is better.  Take this candle holder:

Hey, leave that poor duck aloneIf they had just stopped with the rose bud, it would have been okay, maybe kind of boring, but okay.  What in the world were they thinking when they added the duck?  I can hear the makers saying to each other, “Hmmm, it needs something.  I’ve got it–a mallard duck would be just the thing to give our candlestick some pizzazz”.  I would have gone for using a showier flower myself, but did anyone ask me?

We went to a different shop, and things got both better and worse.  I bought a great vintage picture of a dog (see the end of the post) and saw some really nice things.  Then we saw this bowl:

Lobster bowl  Lobster bowl2

You need to know that you could carry the porcelain bowl by its handle, the lobster tail, if you wanted to.  I have a few questions that I would love to ask the former owner of this bowl: what did you serve in it (too shallow for lobster bisque), why is it both that pinky-purple color and bright red, why did you find it decorative, and why is there a freaking life-sized lobster in the middle of this giant bowl in the first place?  These kind of questions could keep a weak-minded person up at night; I let it all go after a stiff G & T.

This couple caught our eye:

The Odd CoupleThe costumes are unusual and the painting style is primitive, but it was the eyes that got to us.  The edges of the iris are curved the wrong way–unless they have white eyes without pupils and are cross-eyed.

I love this old Detecto scale, complete with the central carrying knob:

Living the dreamI couldn’t resist  making it read 115 pounds–a Barbie-approved weight that I haven’t seen since my teens.

There was nothing lovely about this frame and contents:

Duck, duck, gooseI’m not sure exactly what this duck carcass is; it kind of looked like a hat, but when I picked it up, it felt so freaky that I just put it down again.  Some answers aren’t worth the price you pay for them.

Wild horses couldn’t force me to pick this up:

What happened Rikki-Tikki-Tavi?It’s a stuffed mongoose locked in mortal combat with a snake.  It’s hard to tell which one is winning, but they both lost to the taxidermist.  I took another picture from the front, but it is just too ghastly to post.

We went to another little shop in the same town; this time it was all good:

Lucite ChairI love lucite anything and have never seen this chair before.  The proprietor had another matching chair and a table, but someone bought them.  I can’t understand why they would leave one chair behind.

I’ll end with a true confession.  Someday I’ll bite the bullet and do a couple of posts about my dog collection.  The collection is made up of lots of different kinds of things–books, pictures, pottery and porcelain statues, linens, and occasionally I find an orphan portrait.  In Idaho, I found this portrait of Hero which was taken in 1935, according to the writing on the back of the picture:

Hero the dogI think he’s lovely, so I adopted him.  Now to find some wall space to properly display him.

Thanks for traveling with me to the Northwest.  I highly recommend visiting thrift stores, garage sales, or juntique stores while traveling, just to get the flavor of the area.

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8 Responses to A Visit to Idaho Reveals Some Real Gems

  1. Okay… you win. You stunned me with the carcass-in-the-frame. I can’t image any woman in her right mind allowing her husband or teenaged-son hang that abomination on the wall. Which may explain why it is at a junque shop.

  2. Terri Gold says:

    The couple with the unusual eyes look like characters on a deck of playing cards. Interesting. I love that your husband put ‘tiny hats’ in the key words. He’s paying attention. What more could you ask? The characters on that pillow look like Buddhist monks in miniature – the draped cloth garment reminds me of that. The hats? I have no idea.
    Did I ever tell you about my pig collection? LOL

    • kathydeb says:

      That’s what that couple reminded me of–playing-card characters!! I didn’t think of Buddhist monks either; I was fixated on the hats and lips, but that makes sense with the shaved heads and robes. Is your pig collection still intact? If so, we would love to publish it! I’m so lucky in the husband department–34 years and counting.

      • Terri Gold says:

        Much of my pig collection is still packed from the house I lived in 18 years ago. I need to sell it or chuck it. I also collected artist figurines and tennis players. Why is it that we want to immortalized ourselves into dolls and/or collectibles? The pigs started out meaning something and ultimately got out of hand. BACON OVERLOAD

      • kathydeb says:

        That’s a very insightful comment, “it started out meaning something and ultimately got out of hand.” I think that sums up a lot of my collections, but it is so hard to thin them out. I wish I could recapture the excitement of when I first started collecting things; maybe I would be more excited if there wasn’t sooo much. Hmmm, something to think about. Thanks Terri.

  3. “How many carved wooden owls can a person own?”

    Someday I’ll have to take a picture of my SIL’s owl collection. Though admittedly, almost all of them are in better taste than these!

    • kathydeb says:

      Wow, sounds like quite the collection! We would love to see a picture Shelia, if you can get one without causing problems in your family. Don’t ask me why I think owls are weird when my hubby has a beaver (the animal!) collection that has to be seen to be believed.

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