Finds of the Week #59: The Mother Lode

Happy Thrifty Thursday friends!

I hit the mother lode this week. Woo hoo!

Now Marilyn may have sung that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but I’m a simple girl and I’ll take patina over karats any day of the week.

Silver is a most definitely this girl’s best friend… real or plated, doesn’t matter to me. It’s all good. 🙂

Sometimes I’ll shine it up like my silver tray clock, but most of the time I’ll keep a patina just the way I find it. There’s no real rhyme or reason to that. It’s just a piece by piece, project by project, decision that I make with my gut.

Check out my recent haul from a few of my regular thrifting haunts.

silver trays and platters

I see garden plates flowers and wind chimes….


silver trays and platters

and maybe even a few new repurposing ideas. The middle one is my favourite of all of them… the patina is just incredible.

I got all of the trays and platters at the same thrift store for 50 cents to $1 each.


silver trays and platters

I’ve been collecting pot lids of all kinds for some future projects. This silver plated one has a lovely soft patina.


75th anniversary silver goblets

If you’re a regular reader you know that I have a rather unexplained fascination with goblets of any kind, but especially silver, and I have quite a collection... which apparently is still growing.

A few years ago I used some in this silver goblet wind chime, and I have to admit I’ve been itching to give that another go.


5th anniversary silver goblets

But probably not with these two because they have engraving on them. I love that, and there might be someone out there who will want these as a keepsake.

In my research I found out that U.A. stands for United Association. It’s a North American union for journeyman and pipe fitters, and the Local 527 is the Kitchener/Waterloo branch, which is an hour and a bit from here.


silverware lot

I can never have enough silverware for making my wind chimes. Sometimes I can go for months without seeing any so I have to pick it up whenever I see it.

Altogether I paid $6 for the above, there are some matching pieces and some odds and sods.


vintage 4H silverware

Here’s some I found at the local flea market. The two vintage butter knives and the makeup brush were $1 each. That’s a little pricey for me, but I thought they were interesting.

I don’t see butter knives with pretty decorative handles too often around here and I like to use them in some of my wind chimes.


vintage 4H silverware

This vintage lot of Ontario 4-H Homemaking Club teaspoons was $2. I found 2 more of the spoons on the left, which are marked Community, in my stash so I now have 8. The two on the right are marked Heritage.

The 4-H club is a youth development program run by adult volunteers. They have a wonderful pledge that is said at the beginning of every 4-H meeting and event: “I pledge my Head to clearer thinking, my Heart to greater loyalty, my Hands to larger service, my Health to better living for my club, my community and my country.”

Isn’t that a fabulous pledge?

If these polish up nice I’ll probably see if they sell in my etsy shop. There might be a fellow Ontarion out there who collects 4-H stuff.

If they don’t polish up pretty I’ll use them  in a wind chime project. Surprise, surprise. 🙂

Or because they’re a little smaller than the average teaspoon they might make lovely spoon flowers. I’ll have to wait and see what their fate will be.

silver sugar bowl occupied Japan

And last and certainly not least I found this sweet little sugar bowl at a garage sale for 25 cents. It was the only thing I bought. I’m not sure if it’s silver or silver plate.

It was its teeniness that got me. It’s only 1 3/4″ tall.


silver sugar bowl occupied Japan

My research tells me that the Made in Occupied Japan mark dates it to between 1945 and 1952. I’m not sure what the bird with the T means. Anyone know?

I haven’t decided yet if I’ll try to polish it or not.  It’s in pretty rough shape patina-wise, but I thought somebody should love it… so I guess it’s going to be me. 🙂

Have any of you hit a mother lode lately?

Thanks so much for reading and until next time…

keep on keepin’ on!


I sometimes share my projects and posts at these fabulous parties listed here.


Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Heather Guzik says:

    So love hearing about your finds and projects! I too love the silver and like a crow am drawn to the shine! I have a collection of pieces as well and can’t resist picking up new pieces when I see them. Have made some wind chimes for the garden and so enjoyed making them. Shame you are so far away…would love to see your stash.

    1. Thanks Heather! I think it must be the shine for me too. Even when it’s tarnished it’s still shiny. I love storing my stash of silver trays as a window valance because it’s ever changing as I use pieces and add new thrifted ones.

  2. Mother Deer says:

    Wow, what a haul! I have never seen a make-up brush like that…is it vintage? The pot lid really caught my eye too. Can’t wait to see what you do with it 🙂

    1. Thanks Mother Deer. I’ve never seen a silver makeup brush before either. It’s unmarked so I don’t know too much about it. Since I don’t use powder makeup it will be used in a project one day.

  3. Lorraine Castellon-Rowe says:

    Such beautiful and unique finds. Love seeing the whole haul. Thanks for sharing and for all the information on the pieces.

    1. Thanks Lorraine! I don’t often find so much of one kind of thing in a short span of time. It was a very lucky week for me.

  4. Yep, you sure did hit the mother lode! What a fabulous haul! I rarely see any silver or silver plated items in thrift stores around here. Once I asked about them and got a vague answer. I think the folks who are in the business of reselling scoop them up first early in the day before the public have a chance. Anyway, you have a good stash to make lots and lots of beautiful wind chimes and the like!

    1. Thanks Gail! Silver and silver plate pieces are not very valued around here. I seem to be the only one around here buying them. I left behind a few pieces that I didn’t really care for, and I bet they’re still at that same thrift store there this weekend. If they are I just might change my mind and bring them home this time.

    1. Thanks Kris! It is sweet, and may make a cute little wind chime some day.

  5. What wonderful finds – so pretty! Silver and silver plate are much more expensive in the thrift stores around here (Chicago area).

    Love the teeny bowl. Do you think that it might be an open salt cellar?

    1. I never thought of that Lori. I suppose it could be. Silver and silver plate pieces are more expensive in the city thrift stores here too. I’m lucky to be living in the country boonies where my little thrift stores still have great deals.

  6. I love the engraved silverware. I want to start collecting old hotel silverware so if you ever find any of that keep me in mind!


    1. Thanks Tania! I’ll most definitely keep you in mind if I find any.

  7. Wow you hit the silver treasure chest! Silverplate is getting harder and harder to score at an affordable price in my neck of the woods, seems all the thrifts and sellers are onto us repurpose junkies round here,…. nice haul!

    1. Thankfully it’s not like that here yet. Lucky for me. When they have it silver pieces are still cheap here. Although I am a regular at my local thrift stores they don’t seem to care what I buy. They just want to sell stuff ASAP so they can bring in more stuff. They’re small stores and need to move things quickly, and there’s new stuff on the shelves every day.

  8. Jess Gregg says:

    First nice finds! I’m jealous! Second, from the stash of tchotchkes that I received from my gramma, I’m not sure but I was told that anything marked made in occupied Japan was specifically sold to American GIs to send back home and that’s why you’ll see a lot of those markings that can actually be traced back to someone that was serving in Japan during those times ! That’s what I was told I’m not sure if that is true or not but it made sense to me

    1. Jess Gregg says:

      I meant to tell you there’s a Facebook page for occupied Japan collectibles and they might be able to help you. I searched “occupied Japan” on Facebook and it came up

      1. Thanks Jess! I’ll check it out.

    2. That’s so interesting Jess. Thanks for sharing that info. 🙂

  9. You really did hit the mother lode this week! You know, I clicked back on the ‘goblet windchime’ link and sure enough, I had posted a reply! Three years I’ve been stalking you! I’ve learned so much from you, I guess I’ll stick around another 3! Dona

    1. Wow Dona, time flies when we’re having fun right? I always appreciate your comments and support. Thanks so much for sticking around.:)

  10. Hi Tuula!
    Wow, you did have a lucky streak! I’ve never come across a silver handled makeup brush.
    Very cool loot- and I can’t wait to see what you’ll make with it all. xo, T.

    1. Thanks Tina! It’s the first one I’ve seen too so I sprang for the whole dollar. In the store that sounded like a lot to me, but now… not so much. No wonder I’m shocked whenever I go to thrift stores in the city.

  11. You did find quite a haul of silver. I find it hard to resist when I find it at a good price which is getting harder to do around here. Prices in general in the thrift stores around me are on the upward trend. I see a lot of repurposing in your haul.

    1. Thanks Sharon! I hear that often from other bloggers about thrift store prices going up. Hopefully I’m far enough away from the cities that it won’t start happening here. Whenever I go to a large thrift store in a city I’m usually quite shocked at the prices and don’t buy much. I find small town stores are much better.

    1. Thanks Kathleen! The little sugar bowl is very sweet. I’ve never found an Occupied Japan piece before. How fun that your son is in 4-H. I’m sure he enjoys it.

  12. Love these great finds Tuula! I love me some patina… my mom shudders every time she sees my unpolished silver.. I just like it better all grungy.. I am weird 🙂

    1. Thanks Sherry! I guess we’re both weird then. 🙂

  13. Love all the treasures! I live in Toronto and frequently visit thrift stores Value Village,
    Good Will, Thrift Store etc. but the prices are unreal!

    Love love all your treasures! I live in Toronto and frequently visit the thrift stores, but our are unreal! Where do you score all you beautiful thing? Thanks

    1. Thanks Liz! I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes we go up to Owen Sound and the Value Village there is pretty pricey. I don’t tend to get too much but every now and then I find something. The small town thrift stores are the best source for me.

  14. You did hit the mother lode. You bought some gorgeous items and whether you polish or not the beauty shines through.

    1. Thanks Debra! I agree with you… polished or not silver pieces are beautiful.

  15. Wow, you did good on adding to the collections! I see millions of projects ahead for you! As soon as I said in a recent post that there wasn’t any good vintage Fall décor out there, that’s all I have been finding. I have been hitting the mother lode every time I go out now. Lot’s of Barn Sales around here. Now to get this stuff sold!

    1. I see a million projects too. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. lol. I rarely see cool vintage fall stuff around here. I’m now waiting for the Christmas stuff to start coming out. I have a bunch of stuff to list that I found last year. Barn sales sound like so much fun. Even though we live in farming country they don’t happen around here.

  16. You hit the silver jackpot Tuula! I don’t see too much silver around here either, & certainly not much of it ornate. I kind of like seeing patina too. Since I don’t have much repurposing talent, I tend to polish & sell on Etsy. Trays do well for me. Other items…not so much. I’ve never seen a silver makeup brush…pretty cool.

    1. Thanks Florence! This is the first silver makeup brush I’ve ever seen. I just might have to keep it myself. I often think I’m going to sell some of my silver pieces in my etsy shop, but they seldom make it there because I change my mind.

  17. Jann Olson says:

    Wow, you really did hit the mother lode of silver. Really some amazing pieces!! I love leaving the patina on silver often as well. Thanks for sharing with SYC.

    1. Thanks so much Jann! Patina really is a beautiful thing.

  18. I hit a huge mother lode for my altered art work. A monsterous moving box, full of vacuum tubes (389+) for only $10! I usually see them for rock bottom at $1 each. I almost cried – okay I DID cry but only after I got back to the car. Didn’t want the flea market vendor to wonder who the idiot woman was.

    1. lol. That sounds like an amazing deal Ruth. Good for you!

  19. I just saw 5 bags of silver stuff at the thrift store and stood and stared at them, trying to come up with a reason to buy them. I didn’t because I don’t know if they would sell well thru my etsy shop. Maybe I need to research some projects to make with them. Your chimes are so cute but I don’t have that talent.

    1. Yikes Kim! I’m so envious! I would have had to grab those bags, assuming they were a good price. I’m very cheap. lol.

  20. Tuula your mother lode – and what a mother lode it is – is our feature for tomorrow’s Sweet Inspiration Link Party. Come on over and get your feature button.

    1. Thanks very much Mary! I really appreciate the feature.