Normally I revel in the potential histories behind the pieces I find in thrift stores, but sometimes I'm reminded that items can make their way into these shops for not so cheery reasons. Once I found a beautiful silver frame with what I thought was a fake wedding photo in it - you know, the stock photo they put in to sell the frame. When I got it home I went to put my photo in the frame and found, underneath the "fake" photo, the actual stock wedding photo. The couple I had initially looked at in the frame was the real couple. They looked so happy there - what were they doing in a thrift shop and what happened to them?
I had this same feeling when I found this self-portrait of a child, with her name and school written on the back, in my local thrift shop for $1.99. I thought it was such a beautiful use of colour, such a lovely self-portrait for a six-year old - I wondered how a parent could let it go, how it got here? I couldn't leave it there. I bought the frame you see it in at the same thrift shop for $3.99 and now it's sitting on my wall, with all my other thrift store art.
I had to give it a home.