Sunday, June 13, 2010
A Shelfski, known as "Putting your best side forward."
SHELFSKI: (noun) An item that is imperfect but not without some merit in use as a decorative object only, as in form without function. No, you won't find this word in Websters Dictionary nor can I say that I was creative enough to have coined the phrase; however, I did write up this proper definition.
I first heard the word from a flea market dealer while he was trying to convince me to buy a Weller vase that had a crack, albeit only a hairline crack at best. His remark needed no explanation, I immediately got the concept. With a Shelfski, the crack, chip, missing piece, paint discoloration and any other flaw, simply faces the back of the shelf. This allows me to display pedigree pieces of pottery, that I otherwise would not be able to afford such as Majolica and Roseville. I do not purchase a Shelfski with the intent of resale, but rather, personal use only.
So I decided to display a few of my favorite Shelfski pieces for Rhoda at Southern Hospitality's Today's Thrifty Treasures, Linda at Coastal Charm for Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays, Diane at A Picture is worth a 1,000 words for 2nd Time Around and Suzanne at Coloradolady's Vintage Thingies Thursday. Please be sure to join these fun ladies for their parties to see what the other guests are showcasing on their respective days.
My first piece is the cream/tan Weller Vase (next to the birds). I had been looking for this color combination for my family room and was thrilled to find the piece. It was this seller that gave me the word Shelfski. He successfully argued that the hairline crack would not be seen on the shelf under normal viewing circumstances. (In fact, it took me a moment or two to even see the crack as I was holding it.) So for $8.00 I bought it and I love it.
My dining room is rose colored and until recently, the china cabinet contained pretty-in-pink dishes and glassware. I found this lovely Roseville vase at a lawnsale for only $1.00. I was surprised to have even found it as I recognized several dealers just leaving the sale as I was walking in.
Then I turned the vase around and saw the 2 chips along the rim. But hey, Roseville for only $1.00, I knew it would be perfect for a dining room hutch Shelfski.
This Nippon teapot, a $.50 cent lawnsale find, makes a lovely vase filled with peonies fresh from the garden.
One would never know that the backside is missing a chunk along the rim, especially, when filled with the flowers.
This is a McCoy plant pot (thank you Angela at I'm Like a Little Bird for the correction) purchased at a lawnsale for $1.00. It is a hanging plant pot. You can see the holes for the chain along the top of the planter. I love the color. It is in an upstairs bedroom (I removed the plant for the photo) and no one is the wiser as to it's little flaw .......
a rather large chip located on the underside of the planter.
The two cream pitchers on the right side of the photo were both recent Goodwill finds. Since I am redoing my diningroom china cabinet to a cream/ivory palette, I thought they would be perfect. However, both had very large cracks which someone had tried to repair.
Now I will spend $.25 - $1.00 at a lawnsale for what is obviously going to be regulated as a shelfski-only decoration. I will not spend $4.99 as each was marked, for something that most would consider simply trash. I love my Goodwill stores, don't get me wrong. It is just that the employees are taught to recognize certain names as being valuable, whether it is in housewares or fashions. They are so intent on the search for names, in this case Spode, that they don't consider the condition of the item. Don't even get me started on the ridiculous prices for dishwasher-over-washed-destroyed-design-and-scratched-up-Pyrex. Realistically, these pitchers should not have been donated, much less stocked on a Goodwill shelf. After a brief talk with the Manager, the pitchers came home with me, both for $.99 cents.
The discolored brown lines identify the cracks on each piece.
I know what you are thinking, aren't these the mushroom canisters that I just showed for my "Orange you glad to find such treasures day". Well they are the same, but not the exact ones. I just found these 2 pieces at a church sale this weekend. I had sizes 2 & 3, these are sizes 1 & 4. Both for $1.00. I was very happy. What are the odds of finding mushrooms 2 weeks in a row, at 2 different places. Mushrooms are just popping up all over. (It must be all the rain we are having .... sorry, lame joke.)
I didn't realize till I got home that the smaller piece had a crack and chip. On the shelf it is fine but I think I will be using it for holding pens and paintbrushes in my craft room.
My last piece isn't a proper Shelfski in the sense that the flaw is hidden from view. It is a piece I received from my mom that I grew up with and loved. It is a sugar canister that belonged to dad's mom, my grandmother, and her mother before her. From my earliest recollections, the crack was always a part of the piece. It doesn't matter. Whenever I look upon it, I am brought back to the kitchen of my childhood, where it was warm, safe and cozy, and always smelled of something good cooking. Not just a Shelfski, this is a priceless treasure.
So the next time you are at that lawn, church, rummage, tag sale or flea market, just remember, that the occasional Shelfski is okay. Just between us friends, don't we all have a few on our shelves and in our cupboards? Come on, you can admit it.
Be sure to check out all the parties and have a great day.
Got it at Goodwill