Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

May 22, 2012

Treasure Hunting Report: Bowled Over & One Friend Less?

Sigh.  My last couple of weeks have been a little rough.  A few of the relationships in my life have become very emotionally draining.  I don't think I ask a lot of the people in my life (except Hubs), but some folks seem to want a lot, even when they're not really giving of themselves.  It wouldn't be as big a problem if the same people weren't accusatory, demanding more, and then disinterested in actually working on these relationships, together. Worst of all: I feel like these few relationships are distracting me from committing fully to the amazing people in my life.

I don't often bring my drama to the blog, but I have to mention it this time because I think that's why I have hit the thrifting especially hard of late.  My treasure hunting reports are increasing in frequency because I think thrifting and yard saling have become my new stress relievers.  Oh dear!

Case in point: I stopped by my favorite Value Village and scored again.  I bought a fabulous vintage enamel covered bowl for $4.99.  I love everything about it: the clashing inside & outside, the minty-turquoise (!) and the scale.




Along with the lilacs, it's another bedroom addition, and it makes me smile.  Ahhh, feels good to smile.



One the subject of tchotchkes, because I don't wanna talk drama all post, my Mom & I have noticed that small tchotchkes are harder to style with.  One or two, sure, but a herd?  Headache!  It is so much easier to plonk down a large bowl, vase, dish or other statement piece.  We talk about our tchotchkes (and who has bigger ones) a lot and it makes Hubby uncomfortable.  He might not know what tchotchkes are. . .

What do you think?  Are bigger ones easier to style?  Or do you fall for the wee trinkets? Are you scooping up thrifty finds as a stress-reliever too?
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25 comments

  1. Bahaha. My guy wouldn't know what a tchotchke is, either.

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    1. If you don't know what they are, the word sounds saucy, doesn't it?

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  2. Some relationships are definitely hard. I think you just need to focus on the people who show that they want to be in your life. You can only give so much, right?
    I completely agree that the bigger tchotchkes are easier to style. The one exception would be a large collection of small things that go together (such as my turquoise Mason jar collection). If you put a bunch of them together on a shelf, you get instant impact.

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    1. I find it frustrating when people SAY they want to be in my life but that's it. I'm not one to give if another person isn't. Some people say that's wrong, but I've been in too many lopsided relationships to do that anymore.

      And, to be honest, I'm a little ambivalent about some folks being in my life so I don't really try. But when they don't try either and then get on my case for not trying? So frustrating.

      And I agree about collections: my McCoy collection is so easy to style because I just group them by colour and call it a day! And they aren't all statement pieces. But it's the random little things I have a hard time making work . . .

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  3. great find. I think this summer I will venture out and actually thrift!

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  4. Big ones are waaayyy better! I am teaching myself this: while small ones are cheaper (yay), they look cluttery and end up destined for the Goodwill pile sooner rather than later (or corralled into a lonely drawer somewhere). I'm trying to focus on getting big statement pieces!
    Sorry to hear about your friend. If you two can mend the damage, wonderful, if not, it's too bad, but I'm sure that either way, you will feel that a weight has been lifted. Hang in there!

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    1. Thanks Staci! I appreciate the words of encouragement.

      I am trying to teach myself the same lesson, but splurging on bigger items (even thrifted) is a hard hurdle. I hate parting with bills. Coins are easier, lol. And little stuff is so cheap! That's why this bowl thrilled me - $5.00 and it's pretty sizable.

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  5. That bowl has a great texture and looks awesome on your nightstand! I've definitely been learning recently that bigger items are easier to style, but Chris particularly loves little things so we have tons of them that often end up looking like a mess... We've been trying to find a good balance so we can show off our cool tiny things alongside some larger objects to ground it all. We have a little hanging shelf in our eating space that works really well for displaying small stuff -- since it's all unified by the shelf it feels like one big thing instead of tons of small ones.

    Thrift therapy is the best because it costs way less than real retail therapy, so you can actually enjoy yourself instead of feeling bad for spending too much money :)

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    1. Yay! Support for the (thrifty) retail therapy!

      I love the idea of corralling little bits and bobs onto one shelf - what a fabulous idea!!

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  6. i love the bigger nes if i have a smaller table, but for a larger area, sometimes its nice to group small ones together!

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  7. Friendships can be so hard. I had one for many years that I worked hard at: always being there for her, supporting even when I didn't agree, encouraging when she was down (which was frequent) etc. Then she has the nerve to dump me (after 10 years) because I was going thru a rough time and she "couldn't handle it". It has totally changed the way I view friendships. I guess I didn't have boundaries before. Now the friendship has to be a fairly equal two way street. If I'm putting in the effort so should they.

    If your friend doesn't value the friendship, work as hard at it, etc. as much as you do, talk to them. If it doesn't change I say end it. There are so many positive areas and people to devote your time and energy. Life is short, don't waste it. Just my opinion.

    I also agree one or two bigger accent pieces are better than multiple small ones. I've tried moving a bunch of my random small items to my china hutch. The rest of the house looks better, but now the hutch looks random and cluttered. I need to edit/sell on eBay.

    It's so hard not to purchase the small inexpensive things. They are so pretty and you think you can put them anywhere and space isn't an issue. So not the case. I've switched and stopped buying little things at the thrift store and now just buy a new nail polish when I want something new and pretty. I still shop for a bigger statement piece but I really don't have room for anything new. Which makes me sad!

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    1. Thanks, I appreciate the words of encouragement. Sometimes it helps to have someone say that it's okay to not want a certain relationship.

      And, about stuff, it is SO hard not to amass little stuff because it can be so cheap!! Even thrifting, larger items can be a monetary commitment. I'm going for less stuff, better stuff. We'll see how I do . . .

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  8. Hhhhh - I love to get lost thrifting when I need a pick-me-up. Totally get it! And the bigger the tchotchkes, the better ;-)

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  9. I totally hear you sista! I had to make some serious friend decisions, unfortunately right before my wedding :( (they were actually Bridesmaids..eek!)but sometimes if a friendship is more work than anything, you need to let it go. Shopping always helps!!! Keep smiling and thrifting away! That bowl is seriously awesome!
    xoxo, Sarah

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    1. Wow! What a terrible time to have to make friend decisions. Well, if you can make those tough decisions for bridesmaids, you're making me feel like I can make these decisions with much less pressure. You're helping me gain a spine :)

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  10. i'm for bigger impact tchotchkes with a pop of color. i used to enjoy the small collecty things in my white shabby chapter but realized the clutter made me anxious!
    when i look back at that chapter i can see myself swirling toward borderline hoarding tendancies from that decorating style.
    less is more in this chapter and easier to clean and keep clean.

    ps. right around the same time i dumped my cluttery decor i cleared out the cluttery anxious drama filled relationships in my personal life too. fresh starts are refreshing... less is more ;)

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    1. Oh no! Happy to hear you saved yourself from hoarder-dom. It does seem that a cluttered home sometimes reflects a cluttered life and purging the unnecessary (stuff, people) is never easy but sometimes essential . . . I'm slowly learning this.

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  11. Thrifting is never, ever wrong. Thrift that stress away if it keeps leading you to such amazing finds!

    I also have one particular relationship that is a bit draining. This person always asks from me and I'm very willing to help, but, isn't very kind or nice to me as it is so it's hard to do the favours with a whole heart. It's very difficult to imagine losing someone to save yourself stress but sometimes it just has to happen. :/

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    1. Awww, Lesley, that sounds like a very draining relationship. And you're right - sometimes both parties are better off ending a relationship than trying to force it.

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  12. Sorry to hear that you're having a difficult time lately with someone. Drama is no fun. :(

    At least thrifting gives you a little bit of a pick me up. :)

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  13. Hope things improve on the relationships front; that's no fun. But this bowl could cheer anyone up! I like how you've styled it beside your bed.That photo could belong in a magazine!

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    1. Thanks! I appreciate your kind words and your compliment (that is making me blush).

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  14. Tanya, I'm catching up on everything I've missed and just have to tell you how incredibly beautiful your sense of style (and photography!) is. Love it all!

    Jenny
    www.simcoestreet.blogspot.com

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    1. Awww, thanks Jenny! That means a lot coming from a stylish gal like you.

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  15. I know this is an old post, but I wanted to say I hear you! The ability to thrift is my canary in the coal mine for knowing when life is getting me down and when I'm getting me down. If I still want to thrift or can thrift and enjoy it, I'm okay. If not, then it's bad-o time. I think it has to do with how thrift stores are both fascinating (this unexplained barely curated museum of what exists in the world) and full of potential & the future.

    I hope your relationship drama has settled down, though I do love seeing people's thrift store finds!

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