I LOVE shopping at thrift stores! Looking around my house, I think that most of the things I love best have come from thrift stores and yard sales--and my favorite collections have developed from thrift store finds. I think I'll feature thrift store scores on Thursdays!
I came across this fabulous 18" enamelware tray for$1.50 recently as I wandered around the thrift store, and I picked it right up! It has the fruit theme and the colors I'm looking for. There were actually two on the shelf, and I chose the one with the most character (read: coolest dings and wear). I love it! It's nice, heavy enamelware with an almost dimensional finish, and I could hang it on the wall or use it as a tray. It's probably a 70's item--I think this is a good example of how some items of a particular era still work and are not necessarily dated, and some are--it must have to do at least partly with good design. And cool funkiness!
I myself think the thrift store is the place to shop for unique and interesting items at reasonable prices--chances are that a thrift store item you love will work for you for a long time, and if not, it's a small investment, and you can always send it back later!
Thrift store tip: persistence pays--not every outing will produce a great find! Some trips are simply duds, others inspired. Go with the thrill of the hunt and keep your eyes and mind open. Notice what tickles you, and why. It took me a while to notice that I am always attracted to small wooden boxes, now a favored collection. And I only recently noticed how I love round things!