Thursday, December 27, 2012

This is Representational Art. I Think.

Is this one of those Magic Eye things?  Because I've always been really bad at those...

I'm pretty sure this actually belongs on Cake Wrecks.

I see flowers.  I can get the flowers...  And then there's that thing in the middle...

After staring at this for a while, we decided that it was supposed to be a girl smelling a flower.  But there's some weirdness going on with the head, like the fact that it's shaped like a kidney bean, and half of the face is missing (zoom in -- it's creepy!), and there's no lower torso -- she (it?) is just floating there like a ghost, splotchy red fabric rippling in the breeze.  Maybe that explains the watery bloodstains around the outer edge.

I'm desperately hoping that this is a handmade home project, though, which would allow us to cut it some slack for being amateur work instead of commercially-produced.  It's on a commercial saucer, but it's just possible that the decor was added after-market.  I wouldn't have a problem with this being a kid's art project in school; but I would be pretty astonished by someone paying money for it in a store.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spheriform Santa

Okay... I know Santa Claus is supposed to be plump and jolly, but representing him as an actual sphere is a bit much:

"Ho Ho Hoooo... whoooaa!" *rolls away*
Yep, that's an actual ball-shaped body. Note that it's not a Christmas tree ornament, which might make sense given traditional blown-glass Christmas balls... it's a figurine, meant to sit around on tables and terrify small children with its rolypolyosity.

Or perhaps this is in the off season, and Santa just puts on weight as he rests up from all that hard gift-delivering. After all, Saint Nick is clad only in green long johns here, instead of his usual fur-lined coat and pants.  Maybe that's what he wears (along with his ruffled red hat) when he goes fishing in the tropics.

Speaking of fish -- in my quest to bring you the most accurate blog post possible, I engaged in meticulous research (read: a quick Google search) and discovered that there is actually a reason for Santa to be carrying a fish here.  There's apparently an Irish folk tale about Saint Nicholas bringing magic fish to a widow.

...Yeah. It's pretty weird.  I prefer the one where he stuffs people's socks full of cash.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Undead Christmas Deer

The holidays are a time when tradition reigns supreme.  Growing up, my Christmas experience was no exception to this rule -- though in my family, it was as much for reasons of frugality as for love of tradition.  My grandparents lived through the Great Depression, and those conservative fiscal habits were deeply ingrained in us at an early age (meaning I come by my thrift-store shopping honestly!).

Because we tended to reuse and recycle rather than buying new things, much of our holiday decor hailed from previous decades.  One house rule was that we didn't buy new gift wrap until we finished off what we already had, including the stockpile we'd inherited when my grandfather died.  This meant that we were still wrapping gifts in paper from the 1960s -- hot pink and lime green and very mod -- until I was in college.  (Around the year 2000 my mother rebelled and started buying gift bags, but I wouldn't be surprised if there were still some 1960s gift wrap in the attic.)  We also have an aluminum Christmas tree (the kind Charlie Brown refused to buy in A Charlie Brown Christmas), ornaments dating back to the 1940s, and loads of vintage decor items around the house.  I attribute much of my fondness for midcentury kitsch to being surrounded by it during the holidays growing up.

So imagine my delight when I happened across these cute deer at Goodwill a couple of months ago!  They're rather shabby and badly-painted, but I quite liked them; they reminded me of the miniature deer I used to tie to Scotch tape dispensers and cram into the branches of our tree.  (Hey, when you're five years old, a tape dispenser looks kind of like a sleigh from the side.)

Christmas kitsch at its kitschiest.

But I noticed something odd -- that seam around the neck.  At first I thought they were containers of some kind, but on closer inspection I decided that it was just easier for the manufacturer to line up the hollow molds there than to do a side-by-side mold with the skinny antlers and legs.

A major problem with vintage items is that some of the materials don't age well.  In this case, it was the adhesive that failed.  Because when I tried to pick up one of the deer...

Well, that was disturbing.  So much so that (after taking the photo) I initially walked away without buying them... and when I went back later to pick them up, they'd been snatched up by some other lover of kitsch.  A week later, I saw someone selling a similar pair of deer for ten dollars, and there were at least five people fighting over them.  Apparently I'm not the only one who's nostalgic about Christmas decor.

Lesson learned: Always buy your undead headless zombie Christmas deer the first time around.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Attack of the One-Eyed Snowmen

There is a horror creeping among us -- a rash of ghostly one-eyed beings of ice, who, with their mocking smiles and curving orange noses, are attempting to infiltrate our homes and spy upon us with their 50% vision.  They masquerade as rosy-cheeked holiday decorations.  Some wear seasonal earmuffs and scarves:

I seeeeee you... but not well.

Others dress more plainly, their features fading in and out of view:

Lumpy snow is the creepiest snow!

(Or perhaps snowmen, like daruma dolls, need to have their second eye filled in by the person who buys them.)

But as scary as these one-eyed snowmen might be, above all, beware the fearsome two-eyed snowmen -- for if you look directly into their icy eyes, you could become... mesmerized.

(And if you have ever attended the Historic Artcraft Theatre, I guarantee you just heard that in Rob Shilts's voice.)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ginger Jesus, and a (Long) Rant

(Not kidding about the rant. You've been warned.)

If you live in the same hemisphere that I do, you've undoubtedly noticed that it's nearing Christmas.  (The stores have been stocking holiday items since July -- they don't let you forget.)  Whether you celebrate it as a religious or secular holiday (or not at all), you probably already know that Christmas is named after somebody.

Just so we're clear, this isn't him:

I'm not sure who this is, but I've read the Bible, and I don't recall any mention of Jesus wearing a mop of wilted lettuce as a hat, or having measles, or wearing Adam Lambert-quantities of eyeliner.  And while we're counting offenses, let's mention the color scheme: I don't think "lily of the valleys" was referring to his skin color.  Nor was there a plethora of ginger-headed Jews running around in the first century, as far as I know.  Adding to the insult is the fact that this torso-less head is perched on an iridescent-glazed pedestal that is finished much more nicely than anything above it, as if the whole bust is no different than a souvenir piggy-bank head of Thomas Jefferson from the gift shop at Monticello.*

I know, I know; that's supposed to be a crown of thorns and blood. But thorns aren't green and leafy; and even if they were, the punctures are nowhere near them -- there's even one down on his cheekbone. It's not an unrecognizable representation; it's just bad.  Really, really bad.  This piece is supposed to represent anguish and suffering -- the passion of the Christ -- but it looks more like someone tried to craft Jesus as a cute anime character with a silly hat.

Admittedly, this is a particular hot button with me.  Bad devotional art (of any variety, or any religion for that matter) has always offended me more than bad generic art.  Anyone making art (/music/literature/etc.) to express their beliefs should be pouring all their effort into their creation; if this is meant to be a symbol of devotion, honoring what is most important to you personally, TRY HARDER. I mean, not every religious work has to be on par with the Sistine Chapel or the Mosque of C√≥rdoba -- but if it's representing what you believe is responsible for your eternal soul, you should at least be able to look at it without flinching.

And I'm equally offended by bad mass-produced commercial devotional merchandise (like the above example), because the fact that it exists means consumers bought it, just because of its religious nature, with little or no consideration for the quality (or accuracy, or intent) of the work.  Just because something is religious does not automatically grant it artistic merit, any more than a book shelved in the Romance section of the bookstore must have intrinsically good story structure.  In fact, I'd argue that "religious" works (by which I mean things relating to or inspired by a belief system, since I think the word religion can be very misleading) should be held to a higher standard of quality than secular works.

I liken it to those engraved name souvenirs you see in tourist traps and gas stations.  Most of them are pretty ugly or trashy -- how many people would really pay $5.99 for a plastic cutout of a flip-flop with a magnet hot-glued to the back?  But when someone sees their grandchild's name, they say, "How cute! Let's buy one of these for little Sarah! It has her name on it."

But really, they don't mean it's cute.  Sarah may be cute, but the magnet is still ugly -- only now it's ugly with Sarah's name on it.  Frankly, if I'm going to own something with my name on it, I'd rather it be something nice that I enjoy looking at -- not a plastic flip-flop.  The considerate thought (gift-giving) is there, but it falls short of full consideration (taste or functionality of the gift).

Merchandising to religious groups works much the same way.  A company can produce something mediocre at the lowest price possible, because they know they can sell it to people of that group without putting in the extra effort to make it good, simply because it's "spiritual" or "religious" or "devotional" or whatever they want to call it this week.  That's how we end up with Ginger Jesus up there, and the Last Supper Canister Set (referenced in my first post), and creepy concrete Buddha garden statues, and chintzy pot-metal necklaces of pagan symbols at the discount store.  Anyone who believes strongly enough in their chosen system to use/wear/read/meditate/decorate with images from it has the right to demand that what they buy is not insulting to their God and/or beliefs!  But often, unfortunately, they don't.

TL;DR: If you're making something on a subject you truly care about, make it good. If you're buying merchandise related to something you care about, make sure it's good. Don't settle for trash just because they slapped your particular label on it.

Whew.  Okay, done ranting for the week.  (Until something else pushes a button.)

* Which, by the way, I would also find kind of demeaning -- though at least Jefferson has the topical connection of a coin with his head on it.  Which you could... put inside his head.  "Yo, dawg, I heard you liked nickels, so I put a bank in your Jefferson so you can put Jefferson's head in Jefferson's head."  Nope; doesn't quite work.  Maybe a heads/tails pun?  Or maybe I should quit while I'm... ahead.



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Nightmare Nutcracker

Holidays always bring out the most... interesting... seasonal merchandise.  In addition to the artfully crafted and expensive holiday wares, stores are flooded with cheap kitschy decorations and do-it-yourself kits.

Some of these decorations are fine for one-time use, or make good inexpensive substitutes for those of us trying to save a little money on our holiday celebrations.  But others can make you question not only the sanity, but the sheer humanity of the manufacturers responsible for them.

Take, for example, this nutcracker figurine:

This nutcracker has been cracking too many coffee beans.

My eyes jump around all over the place when looking at this, almost like it's vibrating.  I can't tell if he's trembling in homicidal rage or just overcaffeinated, but either way, I can tell you that I wouldn't want him in my house, grimacing at me in ochre-faced fury all day long.

UPDATE:  I thought at first that this might have been an unfortunate case of hand-painting, like those kids' craft projects that people buy to keep the little ones occupied while they wrap Christmas gifts in the other room.  But in the past few weeks, I've seen *three* of these at various different thrift stores, all with equally bad paint jobs.  So apparently they're not only mass-produced, but universally donated.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Poor Placement

I'm not sure this comes across clearly in the photograph, so you'll just have to take my word for it... but when I was walking down the aisle at the thrift store, I did a neck-injuring double-take when I saw this candle on the shelf:


Up close, it's obviously a little girl bending over a couple of ducks or geese who are looking up at her.  It's a common motif; here's a less-questionable variant of the same thing:

G-rated version.

From a short distance away, though, my first impression was that those birds were, um, something else (normally associated with owls, rather than waterfowl, thanks to a certain chain restaurant).  My second reaction, once I realized they were ducks and not something requiring censorship, was to wonder if the birds were, uh...  Well, this is an all-ages blog, so let's just say it was a really bad idea to put their beaks pointing that direction, okay?

Once you see what it really is, you can't imagine it's anything else.  But from five feet away, it looks more than a little odd.

Now, you're probably saying, "Come on, that's such a ridiculous stretch that only someone with a dirty mind would even consider something like that!"  Well, possibly you're right.  So to make it up to all you naysayers, I present to you this cute, fluffy, innocent bunny:



...Is it just me, or is that...

NOPE! Not saying a word. *whistles innocently*

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Return to return the nature

It's not really a terror in the usual sense, but it did come from a thrift store.  Here's some painstakingly-translated text from a humidifier box:

And it even specifies that the product's Alignment is EU market.  After that description, I would have guessed Chaotic Neutral.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Tale of the Seaquorn

Today, boys and girls, I'm going to tell you a fairy tale!

Once upon a time, in a place far, far away, was a magical land where unicorns lived.  Now, boys and girls, long ago people thought unicorns looked something like this:

And more recently, people have thought maybe unicorns looked something like this:

But you, boys and girls, know better than that!  After all, you are all smart little boys and girls who paid attention in etymology class, and you know that the word "unicorn" comes from two words:  The prefix "uni," meaning "one," and the noun "corn," meaning "corn."

Yes, that kind of corn.  On the cob.  Like you eat.

What, you don't believe me?  Well, then, how do you explain THIS?

The... Seacorse? Equorn? Seaquorn? What do you even call this?

...Well, yes; it actually does look more like a seahorse than a unicorn.  And it's in water, judging by the blue waves on its base.  But you're missing the greater point, which is WHY THE HECK WOULD ANYONE MAKE THIS?!

Now, I can see that if someone found a stunted, twisted ear of corn, they might imagine that it looked a bit like a seahorse.  But this is not an ear of corn -- this is a ceramic figurine. That someone designed. And pitched to a production company. And got approval for.  And manufactured. And convinced a buyer to stock in a store.  And someone bought.  And had in their house.

So the moral of this story, boys and girls, is... um... don't eat lead.

(Thanks to Yaexrae for today's photo submission!)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiv... ew.

Disclaimer: I am not of Native American descent. That means I can't claim to be personally offended on ethnic grounds by this... representation of... um...

I'm sorry -- I think my history class must have skipped the lesson where obese, rosy-cheeked Indians with heart-shaped patches on their knees brought Concord grapes and rigor-mortis eels to the feed the Pilgrims.  (As if it weren't insult enough that we took their land and poisoned them with European diseases, now we represent them in mass-produced cutesy Americana that bears no resemblance to any native tribe on the continent? Ugh.)

On a more pleasant note:  Happy Thanksgiving wishes to all my American readers (native or imported).  If you're traveling, be safe.  If you're deep-frying a turkey, wear protective gear.  If you're shopping on Black Friday... God help you.

And like the ugly candlestick says, Give Thanks!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Creepy Wallace Berrie, part 2

In case you doubted the creep factor of the figurines referenced in my previous post, here's some more evidence:

Just... no.

Why...? Who would...? And where are his pants?!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Creepy Wallace Berrie

I'll admit that I have never really understood the Wallace Berrie (and imitators) phenomenon; I find the dumpy, monochromatic figurines with engraved sayings ugly and kind of dorky (anything that routinely substitutes "wuv" for "love" just rubs me the wrong way, unless it's The Princess Bride).  But I recognize that that art style was popular in the 1970s; and the people who bought them had probably already had their sense of taste destroyed by the drug culture and double-knit polyester and Billy Jack, so it wasn't really their fault.

But this... this is just disturbing, no matter what kind of drugs you're on:

Because nothing says "sexual assault" like a lip-smacking leprechaun.

Setting aside the grammar error (it should be "lie down," since it's a mandate)...  The lecherous expression; the "Wild Thing"-like solicitation... What recipient would NOT be creeped out by this?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Election Week Special

(A little reminder that this blog is intended to be read in the spirit of good fun.  I don't intend offense to anyone or any group of people, nor am I making any kind of statement. There's enough emotional reactivity on social media during election week as it is without it spilling over into a little snarky thrift store blog.) :)

So there was a bit of a thing in the United States this week...

I got this awesome sticker just for filling in some circles on a piece of paper!

I hope ALL of you (well, those who are U.S. citizens 18 and over) exercised your constitutional right to vote!  As you can see from my shirt in the above picture, I feel pretty strongly about making your voice heard -- even though I live in a state that has been pretty solidly one color for the last 70 years.  (Swing states have all the fun.)

In case you've been living under a rock, President Obama has been elected for a second term.  Media coverage has included all the usual pomp and congratulations, as well as unrelated critiques of First Lady Michelle Obama's wardrobe (seriously?!) -- but what a big media shift from the election four years ago!  Obama's victory in 2008 was considered historically significant, as he was the first African-American to be elected to the office of PotUS.  Recognizing an angle when it bites them in the pants, the media expanded and exploited this (largely invented) racial controversy until it became the subject of referential humor for countless outlets:

Mallard Fillmore, 2/3/2007

Nevertheless, it was a first in history, and significant to many people, and a lot of folks took this to heart.  Shirts and caps emblazoned with "My President Is Black" began appearing in stores, and some people even claimed it as a sort of personal motto.

So, now it's 2012, and our African-American President has been reelected.  But this time, apparently in honor of Obama's repeat victory, Lady Liberty is also getting in on the campaign.  For all you history fans who thought the Statue of Liberty was made of copper, you're WRONG!  That's old-fashioned thinking, and we're ready for a more progressive representation of Liberty.  Now it's not just my President who is black!

Admittedly, "My Statue of Liberty is Black" doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

...or is that racist? It's hard to tell:

Mallard Fillmore, 10/28/2009

In any case, the 2012 election is over -- which means we'll finally be free of mudslinging campaign ads, skewed infographics, inflammatory internet macros and biased media statements!  Hooray!

Well... maybe not biased media.  Some things stay the same year-round.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Donate or Trash?

It's time to play "Donate or Trash" -- the game that answers whether or not things should be donated to a thrift store for resale!  The rules are simple: If the item in question is something that another person can enjoy and would pay money for, the answer is Donate!  If it's an item that would not be appropriate and/or safe to share with others, the answer is Trash!

Ready? Let's begin!

Item #1: Vintage golf practice kit in original box (complete with lightning bolts to show that it's electronic):

Nobody knows what happened to Oscar Senior.
If you answered Donate, you're correct!  Some thrift store-haunting woman might just buy this for her golf-obsessed dad for Father's Day.*

Item #2: An obviously opened and partially-used container of edible goods:

Clearly not sealed for your protection.
If you answered Trash, you're correct!  It's not a good idea to resell potentially-contaminated food product at your local thrift store.

Item #3: Your grandmother's entire 347-piece bear figurine collection:

What do you call a group of bears? A pack? A herd? A cartload?
That's right, the answer is Donate!  Someone whose grandmother also collects bears may need a cheap last-minute Christmas gift someday.

Item #4: A used tube of lip balm:

Um. ...Ew?
If you answered WHAT THE #@$&! IS WRONG WITH YOU, you're correct!  Donating used personal items to a thrift store may result in your shoes being vomited upon, and/or getting beat up in a dark alley.  Just saying.

That's all for today, folks! Join us next time for another exciting game of "Donate or Trash!"

* Yes, I did. And he liked it.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Take A Bobble Out of Crime

There's such a thing as a McGruff the Crime Dog bobblehead?!

Bobbling away at crime since 1980.
I would not have predicted this.  I mean, McGruff's target demographic doesn't strike me as overlapping with your stereotypical bobblehead collectors.

Although, on further reflection, the items in the background of this picture are FAR more interesting -- I'm kind of wishing I'd taken photos of them instead of being distracted by Bobbles McGruff.  What on earth is the red/yellow monstrosity on the right side of the screen?  A child strangling a floral teddy-giraffe-lion, maybe?  And the accordion-playing angel reminds me of this classic Gary Larson cartoon:

(Really, what's most disturbing about this whole thing is that every time I look at head-bobbing McGruff pointing his finger at me, I relive the horror of watching Camillo Teti's Titanic.)

(You're welcome.)

(No, I won't pay your therapy bills.)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Too Weird For Cosplay

Well, it's almost Halloween... the time of year when everyone's thinking about costumes.

Well, for some people it's a time of year.  For me, costuming is a year-round occupation.  I haven't talked much about costuming on this blog, but I should probably mention at some point that I am a hardcore competitive cosplayer.  I attend eight to ten conventions a year, and model between two and five costumes at each of them.  (If you do the math, that means I make a LOT of costumes).  Many of them are made entirely from scratch, but some costumes (the ones I wear just for fun, as opposed to for competition) are assembled from found items.

Usually these found items come from thrift stores; they start as normal clothing, and I alter them to work for my costume.  Every once in a while, I get lucky and find exactly the piece I'm looking for to complete my outfit.  Other times, I find an interesting piece of clothing at the thrift store and look for a costume that I can build around that unique item.

And then there are the times when NONE of the above happens -- when I find a piece of clothing so weird that even I, with my closets full of costumes and dozens of occasions to dress up like a superhero/video game character/historical replica/etc., can't think of a way to use.

This is one of them:

It's... shiny.

I can tell it's a skirt... but beyond that, I have no idea why it exists.  It's made of that cheap shiny stretch fabric that doesn't actually stretch (the silver spots are where the color has rubbed off the fabric).  It has a lace-trimmed tulle petticoat that hangs down (unevenly) below the hem.  The front panel is foam-reinforced.  The belt is more-or-less attached to the skirt.  It has a commercial tag sew into the back, so it wasn't homemade for a play or dance recital or something.  This was a retail product that someone paid money for.

From the godawful construction, the only thing I can think is that this is a remnant of one of those cheap prefab Halloween costumes (the kind that come in a bag for $24.99 in seasonal stores).  But seriously, I can't even make this work as part of a Halloween costume.  What costume would it be?  Lolita Supergirl?  Chambermaid Cheerleader?  Sexy Hipster In Short Blue Skirt With Lace?

And the even more mind-boggling question is... why did I buy it and bring it home to add to my random box of costume supplies?

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Censored Clarinetist

I am an artist.  I understand that sometimes artists run out of storage space or just don't have any use for pieces, so they end up donating them.  Several of my own ceramics pieces have ended up at Goodwill, because they were just things I had made for class assignments and wasn't really attached to.  So I can't be too critical of the craftsmanship in this obviously-handmade piece, because I don't know why the piece was made or what the sculptor was aiming for.

After all, it's entirely possible that the artist was good friends with a clarinet player from the local nudist colony, and made this shelf-sitter as a gift for him.  That's really the only explanation I can think of for why there would be a naked and anatomically-correct clarinetist sitting on the shelf.

Picture has been censored for your protection. Sorry, you'll have to get your nude-clarinetist kicks elsewhere.

Is this a thing?  Naked musician shelf-sitters?  I have not encountered them before... but if there are more of them out there, somebody please forewarn me.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Don't Eat the Yellow Snow

Normally I don't have too much trouble identifying figurines, but when I passed this one on the shelf, I had to stare at it for a while (which, as you can imagine, was a trying experience).  It inspires a plethora of questions:  Is it meant to be the ghost of a demented clown, or a small snowman that the neighbor's dog hiked his leg on? Are those things on its cheeks faded rosy spots, or tears of anguish?  Why is it so severely pigeon-toed? And I'm not sure what the protrusion on the right side of its head is -- a hollowed-out turkey leg worn as a hat, perhaps?

Be careful.  It wants to give you a hug.
But the biggest question of all:  How did somebody live with this thing staring at them in the first place?

Friday, October 19, 2012

About Thrifty Terrors

Welcome to Thrifty Terrors!

This is the requisite introductory post, which will explain what this blog is about. I fully expect that no one will read it (you all want to get to the funny stuff, right?), but it's here for those dedicated few who are completists.

Why thrift stores?

For years, I have been a hardcore thrift-store shopper.  The majority of my clothing and home furnishings are from secondhand stores. I'm basically a cheap person (why spend $50 on a new pair of jeans when I can buy a hardly-worn pair for $5, and they're even pre-shrunk?), and I'll confess that I enjoy the challenge of finding unique and interesting items for a fraction of retail price.  I've gotten so good at it that I even take requests, now; my family calls my ability to find things at thrift stores a superpower.

Why terrors?

However, there's a darker side to thrift stores:  The grayware that wouldn't sell at regular stores.  The weird items of clothing that you can't imagine anyone putting on their body on purpose.  The gifts, still in original packaging, that were so awful they couldn't be re-gifted. The bizarre trinkets from someone's midcentury kitsch collection, donated en masse after a relative passed away.

Mind you, I have nothing against kitsch.  In fact, I have a great appreciation for the humorously bizarre:  My family once took a summer vacation to drive down every extant mile of Route 66, stopping into each remaining tourist trap.  I have played mini-golf among concrete dinosaurs.  I have paid money to visit "mystery spots" along old highways.  I have ugly ceramic figurines and old plastic toys and weird family memorabilia in my house, so I understand that emotional attachment has nothing to do with the attractiveness or usefulness of such items.

I also understand that people have different tastes, and what looks silly to one person might inspire a strong emotion in another.  For example, this sort of thing is not to my taste, but I recognize that somebody somewhere probably thinks it's cute:

Cutesy cherub thing falling on its head. Meh.

On the other hand, there are things in this world that any rational person, no matter how emotionally attached, must admit are a little bit strange:

"Peeeeekaboooo... I seeeeeeeee you!"

Over the years of my thrift-storing, I had occasionally taken photos of weird items to share with friends and laugh, but what pushed me over the edge to start this blog was a set of ceramic kitchen containers at the local Goodwill store.  These containers were special -- they didn't say Flour or Sugar, like normal canisters.  Instead, each one was imprinted with a terrible three-dimensional transfer of The Last Supper, turning Christ and his disciples into amorphous blobs of glazed clay that someone, somewhere, had once lined up in a row on their kitchen counter.  And looked at.  And possibly eaten food from.

Sadly, I didn't take a photo then -- but the longer I thought about this travesty (did we really need to replicate da Vinci -- badly -- on made-in-China kitchenware?), the more convinced I was that someone needed to share such amazingly tasteless things with the world.

And that, dear reader, is what I intend to highlight in this blog.  The bizarre; the disturbing; the oh-dear-goodness-what-were-they-thinking sort of kitsch.  The accessories that would have looked out of place even in the wildest eras of fashion.  The merchandise that never should have been produced for the consumer market in the first place.

And most importantly...

It's all in good fun.  Yes, I'm snarking about things that once belonged to real people; I recognize that there is probably a risk of offending someone.  My goal is not to make fun of the people who owned (or invented, or marketed) these items; it's just to point out the inherent humor of the silly things we become attached to (particularly when taken out of context).

And bear in mind that I am just as ready to mock myself and my own weird collections as anyone else's.  Just to prove that, here's a picture of me being stomped on by a dragon: