Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thrifting Gods Just Say No

I originally planned this post to be a sad tale regarding the dismal state of local thrifting this past week. (I know! Fun, right? Who wouldn't want to read all about that?) However, after hearing about so many of you up to your eyeballs in snow and ice and sleet and perhaps unable to even drive down your street let alone to the nearest Goodwill store, and possibly experiencing symptoms of cabin fever while waiting to thaw out, I decided instead to 'accentuate the positive' while simultaneously creating a run-on sentence.

First, a happy photo collage to provide some balance to the gloominess currently happening outdoors. (confession -- there was a momentary 'sunbreak' here this morning but it was fleeting and we are now back to our regularly scheduled Pacific NW gray skies)

Secondly, because the thrifting gods did not smile upon me this last week, I choose to measure my thrifting success by weight, not volume. I brought home this one item. Thirty pounds, $7.

There's a mood-indicator dial on this vintage sewing machine. I've adjusted it accordingly.
I can only hope that somewhere there's some serious pre-Spring cleaning happening that will shake loose some vintage finds and soon. I might sound like I have a little problem. I don't think I need help (denial, a warning sign) but Vintage Rehab might be fun -- we (not that you have a thrifting problem either) could hang out and swap stories about our vintage adventures. And let's not call it rehab (too 'medical'), let's call it a 'club.' That's better.

Lastly, these three fabrics recently arrived for a doily factory makeover. They don't belong to me and I always love to see the vintage fabrics and tablecloths other people have collected. I've never come across that red & white plaid tablecloth before but I'll be on the lookout now. Love. It.

Here's one more happy vintage linen.
Hope you're having a very positive weekend. 

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

 Last week I had lunch in Portland OR with these two ladies -- do you recognize them? One of them you've probably seen shopping at estate sales, maybe holding a flashlight or magnifying glass, definitely some vintage treasures in hand. The other can be spotted touring Paris or thrifting around town, possibly in a cute pair of cowboy boots and some rhinestones. And I'm reasonably sure they're both always busy making something.

Magpie Ethel / Laurie


 Lunch quickly turned into an impromptu birthday celebration since Laurie's birthday had been earlier in the month and mine would be in the week to come. Which is now this week. Actually, the 'big day' is today. Thought I'd see if I could sneak that by you.

I tell you that so I can show you this.

 A happy vintage birthday birdie on a swing, made by Laurie/Ethel.

And this.

Absolutely beautiful birthday necklace, reversible too, made by Lisa.

Two wonderful birthday gifts, handmade and vintage.
I love them!
Thank you Lisa and Laurie/Ethel for your thoughtfulness.


I should mention that I made a little birthday gift for Ethel (not her real name but seriously, we all call her that, don't we?), inspired by one of her charming spun head gals.

The muse.

The plan. (A shining example of my art school education)

The result.

Thanks for sharing this day with me.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The State of My Collecting

One of the big adventures of my 20's was moving across the country from Atlanta, where I'd lived most of my life, to Northern California, a place I'd been to only once, on a long weekend. And while exciting, relocating is never easy. Back then, before the days of the internet, I had to find all the good thrift stores the old-fashioned way - using the yellow pages and a map!

But I fell in love. With California.

And then it crept into my collecting. 

Still creeping in.

The last few years have been about the current adventure, life in the Pacific Northwest. With internet.

 And the start of a new collection.

Hope you're having a wonderful weekend so far.

*magazine in last photo is from Sept. '06 Country Home - remember that magazine? I miss it!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Other People's Blogs

Late at night when the light is dim and I can no longer make out the microscopic eye of the needle on the sewing machine, I like to slip on my drugstore reading glasses, settle into the slipcover-challenged sofa and surf.

I was looking around a blog I'd never seen before, just glancing at photos, not really reading, when I saw this great collection of vintage tablecloths. Bell & whistles started going off. 
In my head, I mean.

I started reading and saw my etsy shop mentioned in the post with the tablecloths. Weird, right? I know! Of course then I had to read the whole darn blog and of course, I loved it! I especially love this vintage dining room, right down to the painted china hutch.

The blog is Meadowbrook Farm. I'll leave the rest of it's vintage goodness for you to discover. Hope you love it as much as I do. Thanks Teresa, for sharing your beautiful photos.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Doily Factory Archaeologist

  'Things Currently Not Growing in the Garden'

 My resolution to use as much as possible of my bursting-at-the-seams vintage fabric stash has turned me into a doily factory archaeologist. I've been digging down through the layers in order to perform a fabric cabinet excavation and so far lots of long forgotten 'good stuff' is coming to the surface.

 'Shouldn't I Be In Hawaii Right Now?'

 And it's sunny today. Unrelated to the fabric dig but always worth mentioning when 'wintering' in the Pacific NW. My much anticipated thrifting adventure in Portland OR last week didn't happen because that day was the opposite of sunny. Sleet and freezing rain forced me to head back home without stepping over the threshold of even one thrift store. *sigh*

'Let's Pretend It's Not Winter'

  Tomorrow, some of the results of my de-stash resolution will be available in my etsy shop at 10 am PST. Rain or shine. If you're in the area, I hope you'll stop by.

'Ode to Fresh Fruit Not Available Here This Time of Year'

Friday, January 8, 2010

Cut Pin Sew. Repeat.

If I don't restock my etsy shop soon, I'll have to rename it 'Vintage Abyss.' I've been spending this first week of 2010 getting crafty with my vintage fabrics while simultaneously whittling away at one of my 'Crafty Vintage Resolutions' (Number 9).

Here in the Pacific NW, it's that time of year where it feels like 4 p.m. all day long - as if the sun were just about to set. All. Day. Long. If there were any sun, that is.

Taking photos for my etsy shop, at least the kind that are in focus, is an endeavor. I suppose if I had a grasp of the functions of my not-so-fancy camera or occasionally glanced at its manual, I could learn to work with the fading light around here. Instead, I opt to put on three sweaters under two coats over pajamas and go outside to take pictures.

Now I know why they make fingerless gloves.

Meanwhile, current indoor activities include cutting, pinning and sewing. And tomorrow will be my first thrifting outing in the New Year so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that store shelves will be freshly stocked with vintage treasure in anticipation of my arrival.

And I plan to do the same with my etsy shop shelves very soon.
Hope you're all doing well in the New Year.