Thursday, June 02, 2011

Thrift Thursday - Avon Calling

When I was a kid we had a frog-themed bathroom. It had frog wallpaper, frog-appliqued hand towels (I mean, frogs didn't applique them but there were frogs appliqued on them), a framed needlepoint frog my mom made, and a dish of frog-shaped soaps that we weren't allowed to use because they were just for decoration. I loved playing with those soaps and smelling them and scratching the bottoms of them to carry their scent around with me under my fingernails. It's funny the weird childhood details that stick in our brains.

I also remember my mom bringing home Avon catalogs from her substitute teaching jobs (the cafeteria ladies sold Avon). I couldn't read, but I liked looking at the pictures of shaped soaps in fancy packaging, eyeshadows and lipsticks (I vividly remember once getting tiny lipstick samples, I loved those), and jewelry like jumbo owls and lockets that held perfume-scented disks. Oh, and the elaborately shaped perfume bottles! My friend Cindy Kellenberger had a shelf full of those perfumes. We would dab a little of each on on our necks and then feel woozy for the rest of the day. I'm pretty sure some of those perfume molecules are still stuck in my nose.

(Photo mosaic by m kashahara in flickr)

Occasionally my mom would let me pick out one thing from the catalog - a bath toy or fancy soap or jewelry from the kids section. Waiting for it to arrive made it all the more special. I coveted the jewelry and took special care of it so I could give it to my daughter. When McKenna was 2 I gave her my frosted glass snowman necklace with a tiny gold top hat. That was a poignant moment, putting my old necklace on her, a moment I'd looked forward to for 30-some years. Less than an hour after I put it on her I noticed all that was hanging from the chain was a tiny gold top hat and the snowman was gone forever. Sigh. I held off giving her my other favorite Avon necklace - the mama and baby ducks - until today when writing this post reminded me of it.

I'm sure she'll lose it soon.

So why am I thinking of all this? Because earlier week at St.Vincent's Charity thrift shop, as I was checking out, these caught my eye:

I would have purchased them for the packaging alone, but after a quick inspection I discovered they still contained the soaps. For only a buck each I immediately bought them and waited to completely unwrap them at home. How cute are these?

Hansel and Gretel!

and these:

Three Little Birds! And a soap dish... shaped like a nest! Be still my thrifty heart.

If you come over to my house you'll find them sitting by my bathroom sink. Don't use them! They're just for decoration. I'll let you scratch their bottoms though.

1 comment:

Cydne said...

I had the same snowman necklace when I was a child. Sadly, the niece of a friend walked off with it one day & I never got it back.

I just found one through an online antiques store for less than $10! I was so excited.

It's not exactly the same as if it were the original, but perhaps you could find a replacement? Check out - they had one left when I got mine.


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