A Tale of Two Candle Trees

They were the worst of finds… because I stupidly left them behind.

Yes, stupidly. I’m not afraid to say it. Has this ever happened to you? You visit a thrift store like you normally do, looking for the unique, the unusual, the trash that you can turn into treasures.

And somehow you manage to leave the store without the things that are treasures already… and later you regret it. Oh how you regret it!

You left them behind. Even though they were calling to you with every fibre of their beings. Begging you to take them home. But, for some strange reason your hearing wasn’t working that day… or you just weren’t listening.

That’s exactly what happened to me last Friday when I left a pair of fabulously rusted candle trees at the thrift store. Was I out of my mind? I think I must have been sleep-shopping or something.


The Thrifty Rebel

Or, I was distracted by the bright and shiny things that can be so noisy in their newness, and have no shame in screaming above the natural treasures.

Or, was it because they were $4 each, and I am the “Thrifty” Rebel after all? But how cheap thrifty do I have to be?

Honestly I’m not sure what it was, but later that night I realized what I had done. It was like a lightening bolt hit me, and suddenly I was filled with regret. They were absolutely perfect for a garden art project. Perfect!!!

The Thrifty Rebel

How could I have walked away from such rusted perfection? (OK, I’ve established that they were perfect. Enough already!)

In my defence I didn’t come home with any bright and shiny things either. I was in no mood to reward them for their rudeness. What do they think they are anyway?

As much as I loved the candle trees I couldn’t bring myself to make the half hour trip each way, through the wind and the snow, to the thrift store on Saturday.

The Thrifty Rebel

I convinced myself that there was no way in heck that they would still be there anyway, and I would just be spending my gas dollars on a wasted trip. This made me feel a little better, but not much.

I told myself that if they were truly meant to come home with me they would still be there on Tuesday when the store opened again. (The store is closed on Sundays and Mondays).

The Thrifty Rebel

So yesterday I went to work as usual, and anxiously waited for lunchtime so I could make my way to the thrift store like I always do.

I told myself all morning that I shouldn’t be disappointed when I find that my lovely candle trees are gone… long gone.

There will be other treasures, I told myself, again and again.

The Thrifty Rebel

So, I could not believe it when I walked into the store and there they were… sitting in the exact same spot. Just waiting for me!!! I literally ran over and scooped them up into my arms and happily, and I mean happily, paid the $8.

Clearly, they were meant to grace my garden with their fabulousness.

The volunteer behind the counter looked at me with some suspicion I must say…and she asked me if I was going to paint them.

“Oh no no no”, I said. “They are absolutely perfect just the way they are”.

The Thrifty Rebel

For the rest of the winter my candle trees will be hibernating in my greenhouse, patiently waiting for spring… when they’ll blossom into pieces of garden art. And they’ll live happily ever after.

They are definitely the best of finds… and absolutely fabulously mine.


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  1. Tuula, that has happened to all of us at one time or another. Regrets . . . I'm glad you had a happy ending! When I saw them posing in the snow I knew you had scored a big win!!! Good for you!!!

  2. Fabulous! Can just see them entwined in a vine:)

  3. Those are great and will be so neat in your garden. They look pretty good even in the snow. Glad they were there waiting for you,.


  4. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about the ones left behind. They are full of rusty goodness! Happy they were still there.

  5. Oh Man I know what you mean. I left behind a old school oak table. $20 Bucks was all it was…TWENTY BUCKS. I left it. And I support this thrify store since it supports a local Christian High School. I did not go back like I told myself I would. But my husbands favorite pizza place is right across the street. When we went that weekend, someone was loading it into their car. I yelled and my husband didn't know what happened. I just pointed to the lady loading my table in her car and sighed…

  6. You lucky thing for finding these great items…and for going back to find they were still there. Well done!!

  7. so happy they were waiting for you. meant to live with you! love them.

    stopping by via myromantichome and invite you to pop over when you have a moment to hang out, dream, reflect, and see the lovely: http://hellolovelyinc.blogspot.com.

    smiles to you.


  8. well hello there!!! I am so glad I found your site…from the look of the snow…you may just be Canadian like me! I am from Alberta…where are you located??? I am off to keep snooping on here…and am your newest fan!

  9. I am never as lucky as you. I go back the next day and things are gone. So, one resolution this year is to "go for it". If I like it, I buy it.

    Your candle trees are wonderful.

  10. Oh these are going to look fabulous in your garden Tuula – can't wait till they blossum!

  11. How lucky your are Tuula that they were still there just waiting for you. When I do that, I just tell myself if they are still there, then they were meant to be mine … if not … so be it. They will look great in your garden.
    Audrey Z.
    Timeless Treasures

  12. Thanks so much for sharing this cute story at Simple & Sweet Fridays. They look so pretty in the snow.


  13. been there-done that!
    I'm so happy they were still there when you made your way back. How did you work all morning thinking about them?
    Can't wait to see this this spring in all their glory.