Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Alternative to the Dollar Store

Wouldn't you trade cashmere and suede for these?

The Dolls of St. David

Dollar Store Dream

Ah, the dollar store. It promises too much. I hadn't run across them being isolated in Alaska where they haven't yet overrun. I think they tried a $1.50 store in Fairbanks but that kind of loses it's luster in it's disclosure. I remember being quite excited my first visit to a dollar store in the States but quickly have become disenchanted with the offerings. I'm wondering, do Europeans have Euro Stores now?

What I'd really like to talk about is my fantasy Dollar Store. I do believe I've found places that you can actually get a good deal for a dollar. I was perusing an antique store in Bisbee, Arizona and found a box or two in the dusty basement chock full of ephemera for a buck a piece. I practically needed a drool bucket nearby so as not to drench the precious papers. I allotted myself $30 or so. There were a few pieces that were less than pristine, wonderfully dog-eared actually so I took it upon myself to ask the owner if he would consider 50 cents a piece on some of them. To my delight he added up the whole bunch and gave them all to me for that!

Then the other day on our way to Tucson for a shopping trip we stopped in St. David, a quaint little Mormon town along the way. This is the shop that I found porcelain doll parts of different
sorts. Some quite patinated with dirt but others in fairly good shape. The clear glass head was definitely one of the best scores. the lady behind the counter wished that she had seen it first!
Also they had Lea & Perrins Worcestershire glass stoppers, some with a delicate dichroic patina and iridescence. Imagine, 3 for a dollar!

My other good score of the week was when a friend had given me a pile of clothes to go through. My friend Rosalie gifted me suede jackets and cashmere sweaters in abundance.
She told me that any I didn't want could go to the local thrift store for a credit exchange for future purchases. I held on to several pieces that might upgrade my wardrobe to the dressier standard that I expect to experience on our upcoming Spain trip. I kept the black suede jacket and several other cashmere pieces. I subscribe to a very informal, casual (maybe even ratty) Alaskan standard of dressing which means my dressing up translates to just a bit shabby by international standards. I mean I've seen gals in spike heels trotting about on cobblestone in places like Estonia, Latvia and Cuba. I'm flat-foot Crocs and Chaco sandals all the way.

Unfortunately I couldn't abide the fuchsia suede coat or the neon peachy cashmere sweater ( it brought out an awful tone of my skin) I marched down to Penny Lane thrift store here in Warren and traded for the most lovely old distressed door locks and door plates.

Now you're beginning to see where my priorities lie. Trading in suede and cashmere for vintage thingamajiggies!


  1. My alternative is a place called Roller Mills in Lewisburg, PA. And antiques "Mall" but I have found the most wonderful hatpins, buttons, postcards, hoodads, silly stocking things. I LOVE this place because it is a mixture of the exuqisite, the sublime, and the truly ridiculous. I found a Hawaiian crab nightlight made of shells once. UGLIEST thing for $3 every. I went into a Dollar store once and ran out quickly. All the brillo/sponges I can use for a buck. Nope.

    Ratty CHIC is Alaskan dress... Take care, please! (Wrote about Christmas when I was, I think, Six)

  2. The kitschy stuff sounds like a place in Seattle called Archie Mcphees, except it's all new stuff with some old finds thrown in.


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