Thrift Store Shopping in North Atlanta: My vintage photo finds! (and other awesome stuff)

I’m so excited with today’s finds whilst scoping out local thrift stores in North Atlanta. I found several places mentioned on chat boards that were noted as something special and, during the hottest part of the day when the 85 temp indoors became unbearable, I set out for some nice thrifty shopping.

My goal was simply to locate some good places to find still-life material for my drawing classes (and hopefully collect a few such finds) but the trip turned into a bit more when a twist of fate stuck me in some traffic right next to a  flea market that hadn’t made my list. My first stop was My Favorite Place Flea Market in Chamblee.

My Favorite Place Flea Market, Chamblee, GA

I was a bit perplexed and slightly annoyed by the overpriced nature of a lot of the garage-sale quality items in the store, only pausing periodically to optimistically turn an item upside down, hoping for a $2 or $3 tag and coming up with $16.50 or $27 instead. And there was a LOT of stuff.

My Favorite Place Flea Market (interior), Chamblee, GA

It seemed more of a hotbed of dealer and interior decorator resources more than anything – the kind of things you buy, fix up a bit and resale or recharge for exorbitant amounts. I really wanted a taxidermy dear head for the still-life collection because it was just the kind of morbid-twisty-and-slightly broody thing college art students eat up but at $70 (and poor condition at that) I had to pass.

Mounted buck head (sadly $70), My Favorite Place Flea Market, Chamblee, GA

Eventually, the shopping gods smiled on me and offered up three boxes of vintage photos to sift through – all of which were dated in the 1950’s. I proceeded to spend the next hour (yes, hour) looking through every last one of them. I came up with some unexpected gems:

“Hover” (found photograph c. 1950’s)

I was drawn to photos with anomalies primarily, though a couple of landscape images and a first communion pic seduced me as well.

“Bear Mountain” (found photograph, c. 1950)

My photography background pretty much tells me that (sadly) none of these anomilies are likely paranormal in nature but I’m delighted by the atmosphere of each and found myself naming them like they were little works of art.

“Caress” (found photograph, c. 1950)
“Conjure” (found photograph, c. 1950)
“Emerge” (found photograph, c. 1950)
“Obscure” (found photograph, c. 1950)
“Envelope” (found photograph, c. 1956)
“Evade” (found photograph, c. 1956) – one of my personal favorites
“Manifest” (found photograph, c. 1956) – my favorite find – I adore the look of possession in the little boys eyes.

I’m not sure what these will end up being used for/in/with but they excite me.

My next stop was the Last Chance Thrift Store right down the road (and next-door to a hotel furniture re-sale shop) which was actually mentioned quite frequently online as a great resource for junk as well as clothes. The whole place was sort of Salvation Army meets Goodwill – and as expected, pretty good in the selection it had to offer – a definite place I’ll return to for still-life objects though the clothes (largely 80’s in style) were slightly overpriced and outdated. 

Last Chance Thrift Store, Chamblee, GA
Grr… Argh…

I did find this charming little fellow though – for $1 – so, SCORE. The staff were really nice too.

From there I went to Norcross, GA to hunt down the “Best Thrift Store” which online reports rated quite highly. Sadly, the address online is for an abandoned building so no luck there. Fortunately the “Fur Kids” Thrift Store was nearby, making the trip to Norcross worth while.

Fur Kids Thrift Store, Norcross, GA

I liked this place for still-life objects and jewelry. They also had a fairly nice selection of household items too – they were all pretty clean and well priced. I left with two fake plants and a kitchen tool of unknown purpose for the still-life box and only spent $7 (which went to support the areas only no-kill animal shelter – Hazaa!).

Does anyone know what these gadgets are? At least they’ll be interesting to draw.

At this point I was tired, my feet hurt, and I felt pretty satisfied with my artsy finds – I did not expect to find anything to use toward my own purpose and voila – vintage ghosty photos. Makes for a good day – the kind that almost makes you forget your house is hot and sticky.

Thank god for art – it really does make the world a better place.


  1. The objects in the last picture are actually a bar set. The weird looking wire coiled thing is actually a strainer, the spoon was (and is) used a lot in creating layered drinks or helping to disolve sugar sometimes in certain drinks. The two sided cup thingy is a jigger, usually 1 oz on one side and 2 oz on the other. 🙂

    1. Ha! That’s what my students said when I brought it out this past week! They couldn’t tell me what any of them were though (thankfully since most are underage). Thanks!

  2. Love the found photos especially “Evade” and “Manifest.” I’ve looked over them several times now, and excitedly showed my roommate!! Great finds!

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