Pretty Plates

Another reason to hit thrift stores: I started collecting mismatched vintage plates for a plate rack that is in the works.  Here are a few favorites:IMG_7788 IMG_7787IMG_7834 IMG_7836 IMG_7839 IMG_7841 IMG_7844 IMG_7849 IMG_7850 IMG_7852 IMG_7853 IMG_7854 IMG_7855 IMG_7858IMG_7847 IMG_7860

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Thrift Charms

The whole world is full of creativity and talent: all these goodies were at one time dreams in the mind of their creator. I never thought I’d be a girly girl, love pink, prissy, frilly, lacy, flowery, foo foo femenine stuff. But here I am, putting together little collections of treasures I’ve picked up for pennies and launching them to stardom.  Oh, I could resell them on ebay, but not just yet.  That would be like putting an old racehorse out to pasture before it ever hit the track!  Ahhh…savor the charm and playfulness of days gone by.

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Snowflake Angels

Found these little cuties for twenty-five cents each on one of my thirft outings.  They were dying to make an appearance here on my blog, so I set them up in a few different poses…and…well…a star is born..or a snowflake..or something like that. 

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 Been adding to the vintage ornament collection too!

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Here’s wishing you many magical moments! 

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Quilting Dreams

Feeling light, floral and inspired I started with a stained antique linen towel with cute embroidery. I saw this on henhousehomemade.blogspot.com and fell in love with the idea. miaslandliv.blogspot.com  is  another wonderful site from Norway!   

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Update: Oh this is getting fun..:)

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Thrift Therapy

4132579932_2c806b60edSometimes things just keep on piling up!  No, I don’t mean thrift store finds and other junk.  I mean life!  And with many sad things happening all at once, it is such a magical thing to walk into a Goodwill in a Goodtown.  I forget sometimes that the key to great thrifting, or yard saling, or any bargain shopping for that matter, is to shop in the right neighborhood!  Having a dental appointment an hour from home landed me in shopping country with a mall and a Goodwill only yards from each other.  Needless to say, I went a little crazy.  A lot giddy.  And self-control was out the window!  I haven’t felt this good in weeks!  Being immersed in isles and isles of clothing where scanning for the cashmere or linen isn’t necessary because high-end fabrics abound.  Here the game is to decide how many will go to the fitting room.  The cart gets swamped, burying glassware and goblets with denim name brands.  The fitting room won’t allow carts, so there is the added adventure of popping out to spy.  Is someone shopping from my parked cart?  Oh the joyous stress and mischief of it all!!   Okay. Without further ado, here is my loot!

IMG_7399Ahh fall! Denim, sweaters and plaid! Love.IMG_7396And the best things in life are NOT free!  A pair of perfect fit Matchstick jeans go for WAY MORE than sensible!  Unless you find them at Goodwill! IMG_7402Oh you thought I was kidding when I said goblet?  Pier One, Dollar General or Antiques…I could care less!  They’re mine now!IMG_7405IMG_7401Oh my! A little festive eggnog or cocoa with a foamy frothy top perhaps? Christmas is coming!! IMG_7407Holy Moses!  I’m losing my marbles! IMG_7409IMG_7415Here’s a sample of vintage finds: Pillow from my sis, lampshade from a Tennessee yard sale, picture frame from Salvation Army, and of course marbles marbles marbles! IMG_7419Okay, now I’m bushed.  Time out for tea!   Happy thrifting!

The Quilt Saga Con’t

I was up before the sun. With the time change, that’s not hard to do. But for me to get up while the house is dark, start some coffee, and pull out the sewing machine, something is truly amiss. But last night I decided to iron the pin job I did on the edges of the quilt and see if I could build my confidence to just finish it! The quilt is an ebay find. I lusted after it and sent the listing to Anne telling her that birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day, or any other occation would be complete with this quilt. To my surprise, she actually bought it and brought it to me as a housewarming gift last spring!

IMG_4016It was even more beautiful in person. But I quickly realized it was a quilt top, and not a finished product. I was still thrilled, and planned to ask my talented quilting friend, Shelly, to complete it for me.  But then a twist of fate (and a new job) introduced me to another quilter.  She assured me I could finish this myself, and volunteered to help me.  She bought all the batting and backing and pins and sandwiched it for me. And I got busy tying.  The tying was fun and easy and I couldn’t wait to take the pins out.  Finally the big day arrived, and I unpinned the beauty.  Then I messed it up.  I sewed around the outside of all the ties, and was none too pleased with the result. So the quilt sat for a while. I was afraid if I finished the edges I would wreck it even further.  But one night, watching TV, I started pinning the edges together, and last night I ironed the edges where  I had pinned, and when I awoke this morning, I knew that if all went smoothly, I could finish this sucker once and for all before my first cup of coffee!  And that is just how it happened.

As I sit in the wee hours of the morning with the sewing machine rumbling, I think of my mother. I think of all the quilts on our beds when I was a kid. I think of home-made Halloween costumes.  The back yard grows lighter and lighter, while the hot air kicks out from the furnace.

I’m not much of a sewer, I think to  the woman who sewed this quilt top. I imagine she winced at the thought of it being finished on a machine. But as much as she hates the idea, she’s  grinning because her quilt didn’t end up on a garage floor somewhere, or in a box in an attic, but instead it’s adored and appreciated, even if the new owner is completely inept.

I think of the word “domestic” and I become an Indian descendant: determined to keep the traditions of his fathers alive, and preserve a way of living that is vanishing from the modern world. But it’s my mother’s tradition: the way of the home; industrious, creative, and skillful; refinishing furniture, sewing curtains, knitting socks, baking bread.

The coffee beckons as I finish up the last side. I am not thrilled with my work, but I am thrilled that it is finally finished and I can throw it over a bed.  I am also excited to finish two more quilt tops that I found over the summer.

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But mostly I am ready for coffee!

Sweaters, Sweaters, and Summer’s Still Here

Since I am spending the days by my lonesome I decided to share my morning’s adventure and do a spot of writing on my blog.  First of all, thanks to all who enjoy reading my ramblings and looking over the images I capture.  It is with sharing in mind that I take photos in the first place. It isn’t only the freezing of time, or the capture of a moment, it is also just the beauty of being able to share a simple, “Check this out!”  It is as if I have you walking down the sidewalk with me, and I’m pointing to this or that and interrupting whatever you may be thinking or doing to show you something.  Something as miniscule as a how the wild flowers are the exact same species here, but look a little different.  Yes, this I will have to show you, since my companion didn’t think so. The Queen Anne’s lace is thicker here; not as wispy as ours is in the states.

So once again, allow me to bend your ear, your eye, your attention and humor me while I sketch a portrait of a Danish morning.

                  Queen Anne’s Lace Danish style

                  And North American Style

 I should be writing. This is what I tell myself.  I leave my room , or closet rather, so housekeeping can tidy up the place.  I go to the cafeteria-like dining room and sit with my computer and coffee and work on my story. But I can’t concentrate.  The sound of foreign sirens rings outside. (Link on right if you want to really be here with me…)

But that isn’t why I can’t concentrate.  The trouble is I have kroner burning a whole in my pocket and thrift stores I haven’t visited since June.  So after giving housekeeping a bit of time, I return to my room, ditch the computer, grab my camera and head out.  I have twice the usual distance to walk; something I would have done well to remember before loading myself up with heavy bags of winter loot! But here’s the load I carried back:

Found this funky raspberry jacket made of felt, and this quilted thing isn’t a skirt (yet). It’s a big square that I found with the scarves.  Looks like a good table cover to me.  Or maybe a skirt.

Love this big suede belt! And underneath is a fabulous long dress in a heavy tweed-like fabric! Oh, and I almost forgot this necklace I found that should look awesome with it!

                Don’t ask.  I have no idea.  But I liked it. And it was $3.

I guess I feel fall and winter coming on.  I love to collect sweaters, belts, boots, and all things warm.  But outside, it is still screaming summer. Even here in Denmark.

So there you have it.  Another day in the Old World.  Be sure you follow me if you want my blog posts to come to you automatically. And comments are cool.   Don’t be shy.  Next post I am thinking of sharing a teaser for the story I am working on.  Click like if you’re interested.

Route 90 Fifty-Mile Yard Sale

I had to wait anxiously til Sunday to hit the fifty mile yard sale on the other side of Cayuga Lake. But it was worth the wait, and I’ve got lots of goodies and finds to share. We headed south in the morning and drove until I said, “STOP”.  Then we turned around and started browsing as we made our way back up the lake. The “STOP!” was caused by these beauties here. I have been looking for a cool oil lamp so I could start a collection.  By days end, I had a small collection.

Next stop I was gasping and biting my tongue and trying my best to sound casual! She had this old quilt marked $3.00.  Yeah, that’s right. THREE DOLLARS.  And a quilt top in a bit better shape, but unfinished, for $10. I hemmed and hawed and offerred her ten for the both of them.  DONE.  (Drumroll please…I am in heaven)

I found some good deals on glasses. One big box was only three bucks and it contained ten of these little juice gems that I fondly remember from my childhood.  In those days, you only had one glass of orange juice in the morning, and this was the size of the glass!  I guess with seven kids, you have to set limits.

I also found these wonderful diner-style coffee cups with saucers and dessert plates in a “free” box.  Plus another lovely mug for my collection.

 

I found this green stuff that I am unsure if I like it enough to keep it around for long. But it may become a keeper. Time will tell. 

I will surely keep them for a while anyway.  These candle holder swans are heavy and even though I paid 50 cents apiece for them, I am pretty sure they are silver. And if they are not, I am certain they are lovely!

This candle is a thrift store find from a month or so ago, but I am just crazy about it.  I would guess it’s made of bees wax since it has little honey bees all over it.  

I’ve been looking for one of these little-thing-holders for months now. This one came complete with all the little brass pieces!

And last of all, I picked up four pillows to fill these Pottery Barn pillow covers I found  at Salvation Army. 

That is one yard sale I will be putting on my calandar for next year!  In the mean time, it’s local  garage sales till summer’s end.

Finders Keepers

After standing in a few feet of mucky pond water cutting water lilies with roots a foot thick, I sat itching my poison ivy, proud of the job I’d finished.  Before I could start another project, I determined to reward myself.  Time to go thrifting!

As I drove I daydreamed about getting a job sorting junk.  I imagined being the only one to recognize the value of the stuff as it is being unpacked, and casually setting it aside for myself, not letting on to the thrill I’m having.  This is not a dollar value I am talking about.  More like the pleasure value.  The sheer pleasure a little piece of someone else’s discarded stuff can bring.  I pull up and park my car along the busy road.  Everyone is driving past this place.  There is plenty of parking.  Out front fruits and vegetables surround one of the owners.  Beyond him is a big sign that says, “Antiques and Stuff”.  Walking around the sign takes me to a driveway with a back parking lot with a couple of tents set up.  Behind the tents is a junkyard of old stoves, old furniture ruined by the rain, rusty bikes.  Tables are set up and off to the side, a couple of women chat in low-sitting lawn chairs.  They smoke cigarettes look bored by their surroundings.  I on the other hand am about to jump out of my skin with excitement.  I try to look casual as I start to browse through a big box of fabric and discover it’s not priced.  One more reason they need me in a place like this, I think.  I inquire about things not being marked, and she tells me to make an offer, claiming to accept anything reasonable.  Reasonable offer depends completely on where you are.  So I hold up a hefty hunk of fabric and say, “a buck?”  She agrees.  Now I know I can have some fun here.  I keep staring at the fabric feeling all giddy and wondering what it reminds me of.  I can’t decide if it will be a skirt, or a tablecloth, but it is a perfect start.

I find some wonderful vintage aprons.  I have decided I collect these now. I so appreciate the fifties, when women kept home like it was the highest and classiest calling.  According to the advertisements, they even wore pumps when they vacuumed.  Although I have to admit, my mom was the poster fifties mom, and I don’t remember seeing her in pumps.  Or even these aprons for that matter! But they have such a whimsical way of making me want to cook a turkey, or bake a pie.

I move back under the tent.  I am overwhelmed. There is just too much good junk here, too much to see.  I try to stop and fix my eyes on a small area and just take in what is in a few foot radius; wooden spoons, glasses, dish sets, and I spy a box on the ground under the table with a bit of blue peeking out. 

Score! Blue jars; six of them.  I rush over to the lady with my find and stacked it with my other things.  Then it was indoors to see the three floors.  Actually the basement was full but off limits.  However the owner told me to come back on Monday mornings and help sort it out. I may just have to do that.  Meanwhile, I found a great old tea canister, and a groovy bottle stopper, and a basket on the way out to carry everything in.

Then it was off to Salvation Army.  I haven’t been to the one here yet, and it has been calling me for a couple weeks.  I hit the jackpot with these sweet little curtains.  I also saw a couple nice white pillow shams and have kicked myself repeatedly for not grabbing them.

Well, all the goodies have found a home, except the fabric.  It’s too nice out to sew. I guess it will keep for a rainy day.  Until next time….

Jackpot!

With the mega millions up to 540 million dollars, I find myself staggering and shaking my head at the prospect of it.  Talk about exceedingly abundantly above all that I could ask or think!  I certainly have not thought in terms that large.  With a take home of around 250 million, I still can’t really conceive what that means.  Of course I already have my plans of what to do for my family and friends, and I have a few ideas for business ventures I’ve always wanted to do: a clothing line, a spa, a gym.  But all in all, I think I would live modestly and shop a lot.  Perhaps opening a thrift store or several to arrange all of my treasures; vintage linens, distressed furniture, fancy antique mirrors, and fifties dishes; little figurines and funky junk.

I know, some would say, with that kind of money, you can buy the finest new housewares the world has to offer.  But some things just aren’t as sweet new.  So with crazy insane wealth, I will be able to do unbridled shopping and continue doing what I love: seeking out unique bargains from yesteryear.  Oh there will be plenty of places to keep my finds.  The spa will need to be furnished, as will my home, and if I buy a guesthouse for tourists to stay while they shop on Thrift Lane, I can fill it with antique beds, dressers, and benches.  And Main Street can have shop after shop of second-hand finds, vintage goodies, and Amish crafts.  After all, we will be in Amish country.

Recently I went to Tennessee to the Worlds Longest Yard Sale on Route 127. From Michigan to Alabama this weeklong event is a thrifter’s dream.  And now that I have been inspired, I can see an entire town devoted to thrift stores, antiques, and old treasures.  The businesses would pop up one after another all complimenting each other the way the wineries do.

People will come from all over to lodge in wine country, and shop second-hand, hitting the wineries and cafés for lunch, and in the shops, they will be served tea and offered a fun fancy hat to wear while they browse until dinner, when they can go over to the lake and enjoy the sunset on the porch of a seafood restaurant with an ice-cold beer. 

Yes.  Dreams are sweet, and dreaming is good.  And hey, you never know.