Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thrifted Thursday: What am I buying now?

I've had a decent week at the thrifts. I haven't strayed too far from home these days because we are having some car issues- not completely unexpected when your newest vehicle is 12 years old, and the others are 15 and 21. (Like all teenagers, they seem to be having reliability issues!)

But I have bought a few things and I have noticed my purchases following a trend of late.

First, I always buy 1940s/50s clothes and housewares. They are harder to find, of course, but still out there if you have the time to search.

This is a really cute 1950s cropped wool jacket. I know this must have originally come with a skirt, so I made sure to search the rest of the store for it, but no luck. It's tiny, so will be listed in the store soon.

Since the older stuff is getting harder to find, I've been lucky to find some neat 60s pieces. With the return of Mad Men, I know these things will be hot. 

This is actually a lounger, or very fancy housecoat. It is really long and fully lined. I just love the print and I know it will make someone smile to have it in their closet.

And -eeeek!- I have been buying 80s clothes lately. I remember that decade well, and feel a little bit nostalgic for it. Lately, I've even found myself searching for a particular pair of Espirit pants I used to have. And if I am doing that, I imagine a lot of other folks will be doing the same thing. (And doesn't this whole colored denim trend remind you of those days?)

If you are a reseller, start buying 80s stuff now. It is cheap and will be hot again sooner rather than later, I'm thinking. Remember all those brands we used to love, like Espirit, Benetton, Guess and Swatch? Buy them now when you find them!

I fell in love with this preppy whale wrap skirt and had to buy it. Same with the Gitano high waisted pants below. I don't think I would wear them, but I will list them in my shop and see how they sell. I have some 80s denim to list too, like Jordache. I've done well with some of these things in the past.

Aren't these pants so 80s? :) They have never been worn, and were 99 cents. 

And lastly, for myself, I've been on a bit of a mod kick decorating-wise. I sent all my rustic stuff up to the cabin and am going to do a lot more 50s-60s MCM and 60s-70s mod in my living room. I'll do a post on that soon, but I picked up this planter today which will be perfect!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


My kids had a day off of school on Monday, so we did what comes naturally- thrift! Ostensibly, it was to pick up a few things for the cabin and to look for a new media cabinet. (There's always an excuse to thrift for something, isn't there?)

Well, I'd like to say that I found the media cabinet, because I did. But it was painted an unfortunate shade of green and was too small. Stylistically it was pretty close, but I'll keep looking. I also struck out shopping for a liquid measuring cup, colander and toaster oven. I couldn't believe I couldn't get even one of those things, but the store had just had a giant half-price sale on Friday and was kind of picked over.

I did find some really neat clothing in the bargain bin, where everything is 99 cents. I got a red wool Boy Scout shirtjac that has the most awesome appliques, a women's tweed jacket and a men's windbreaker for the store. Other than that, the pickings were slim in housewares and furniture.

But apparently no one is buying picture frames and wall hangings! 

I finally found an art deco reverse painted frame! For 99 cents!!! 
The other two are an 8x10 silver painted wood frame ($4, wtf?) and a lucite frame (99 cents- that's more like it.) Anyway, when you average it all out, it's $2/per. Sometimes thrift shop pricing just makes you stop and go, hmmmm.

I thought this Victorian print was cute and seasonal for Easter. I really bought it for the frame, because it is nice and big at 14 x 17. I thought it would make a nice cottagey/shabby chic print for the cabin. I'll probably keep it. It wasn't a bad deal at $6, but more than I would normally pay for something. 

Not that I really do shabby chic, but it seems to find me, so I roll with it. This is a cute chalkware wall plaque (again, 99 cents) that needs a little TLC. Or I might just sell it in the shop as "chippy" LOL. I know someone out there is going to love this more than I do.

This one ain't going nowhere. As you can see, I've already hung it. I've been on the lookout for a photo of FDR for years. I've even searched Etsy and eBay pretty much for this exact image. I can't believe there aren't more out there; after all, they probably hung in every school classroom and post office in the country for 13 years. It's got nothing to do with my politics, just the iconography of it. It's big too- 12x14- with nice wavy glass. For $4, and I got a double bonus- there is an image on the reverse of a construction project (WPA, I'd imagine) that someone stuck in there. (Which begs the question, who framed FDR?)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Oh Danny Boy, the Thrifts, the Thrifts are Calling....

After my hectic couple of weeks, I realized that I needed some retail therapy.  I have about 2 hours to myself on Thursdays while my daughter is at school, and today I definitely wanted to hit the thrifts!

It was a very good decision!

And I actually had a good reason to go- we've been busy preparing things to go up to our cabin in a few weeks, and part of that is moving our old TV and entertainment center up there. This is a huge, heavy piece of oak furniture, and something that is dated in this age of wall-mounted TVs. We've been wanting to rid our living room of this for years, and planning to bring up my father-in-law's 1959 hi-fi console in its place. Which we did last night.

Problem is, the entertainment center also housed a component stereo system, which I use all the time to play my LPs. Moving the EC meant that the stereo now has no home. So my husband actually asked me to go out shopping to find something we could use to hold the stereo. Yes, he actually told me to go thrift shopping! (And boy howdy, you don't need to ask me twice to do that!)

I happen to know exactly what I want to use for the stereo- a 1950s record cabinet, the kind with some shelves to hold records and components, in blonde wood with tapered legs and glass door. (Yes, I have a specific mental image of what I want to get.) But as we all know, you can't just go out and buy one of those at the thrift store. You have to keep going until you find it. So I knew I needed something temporary, but not throw-away.

My first stop of the morning was a converted Goodwill (now religious-run) in town, that I have had some good luck at. They price things fairly well and seem to have a good selection. I headed first to the housewares and spied this immediately:

A Cosco kitchen cart, $8.
 It will hold all the stereo items in style until I find what I really want. Then I can use it on the patio or the kitchen. With that need taken care of in the first 5 minutes, I was free to wander the store (minus the squeaky cart, which I left at the register.)

I want to thank the lovely MaryDeluxe for pointing out vintage jewelry boxes to me :). It had never occurred to me that these were even out there, but apparently they can be worth some $. Something to look out for! I love this one- very masculine- and got it for $1.

I had some more time and decided to brave the local Sally Ann. This store is only a couple of miles from me and is huge- probably over 10K square feet. I think it used to be a Kmart. It really is that big! You'd think it would be a slam dunk, that I'd be there every week, but no. It just hasn't paid off for me very much. Lots of smelly stuff and smelly people. 

But today I found a few gems, and in the housewares section. Other than the furniture section, which is miniscule, and the jewelry section, (which is non-existent- where does it all go?) the housewares section of this store is probably the worst.

This is a McCoy covered soup crock. If anyone is a McCoy expert , I'd love to know the pattern name. It was filthy, but in otherwise great shape. For $1.99, I figured I could use it or sell it.

I have never, ever, found Pyrex in this store, let alone a fridgie in great shape and in a pattern I collect. But there it was, a primary yellow 503 with the old-style lid for $3.99. It, too, was very dirty, but cleaned up nicely. I'm halfway there to completing the primary set!

This is the best find of the day, perhaps the year. Yes, it is jadeite, and not a repro. I think I must have knocked over a few babies and old ladies getting to it. It was $2.99. You're reading that correctly.

It's a large mixing bowl, and I happened to know exactly what it belongs to:

A perfect fit! Never did I think I would find it, and for only a couple of bucks. See, there really is treasure at the end of the rainbow!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Not your usual Trash-picked Tuesday post

Hi there! Long time no post, I know....

I have been crazy busy these last 2 weeks- doing a last minute grant application (just submitted this morning, whew!), and galivanting about and generally having a great time meeting some new friends. Next up is my taxes. Blegh- you win some, you lose some.

But I wanted to pop in and mention the greatest website a trash-picker at heart can have, and that is freecycle! If you've never heard of it, basically it is a locally-based message board where you post things you no longer want or make requests for something you need- all free. You can find out more and join a group in your area here:

So far, I have given an old printer and scanner to a new home and received a bike rack for my car- still new in the box! Now, I didn't put up a picture because my camera batteries were dead, but this is what I got:

$45 brand new- but free to me! 

It sure will come in handy, because my son has never ridden his bike on pavement before. (He's seven!) We don't live in an area with sidewalks and the road is too busy to ride on, so he rides in the yard. But I'd like to take him to the nearby state park for a little practice on the trails. Now that I have a bike rack, I can load up both of our bikes and we can head out. I can't tell you how happy I am to have this, and just from joining freecycle. You should try it out too!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thrifted Thursday: Red and white and pink all over

I know I haven't done a Thrifted Thursday post for a while. It's not that I haven't been thrifting (boy, have I!) it's just that I haven't bought much that wasn't clothing for the store. You can see (and purchase!) all those goodies here: .

And since my birthday was last week, my son and I went on my third annual Thrift Crawl last Saturday. 'Cept it wasn't really a thrift crawl; I went to a bunch of local antique stores. Usually I prefer thrift store prices, but I've been to almost all of my favorite places recently, and we got a late start (went to see Max Raabe Friday night! Love!). So it was strictly neighborhood shopping.

Jayson is such a good shopping buddy, has a great eye, and loves a bargain just as much as I do. We had a blast- hit 3 antique stores, ate lunch and had a milkshake at the counter at Sine's 5&10 (his idea!) and each got some treasures.

First I found a really neat cheese grater. Actually, it's a potato ricer (made in Germany, pre-war) but will work for cheese. I've scraped my knuckles way too many times with my box grater (nothing like a little blood with your cheese!), and this is easier for kids to work as well. Red and white, for my kitchen. It was $8, which wasn't a bad deal, considering that I saw a couple more in worse shape for $50+. I also picked up this adorable 1930s/40s canister set. It's in really great shape- barely any scratches or wear to the decals- for $12. I loved it in the store and now that I have it home, I don't think I'm going to be able to send them up to the cabin (which I initially purchased them for). They just fit so perfectly into my kitchen decor. 

 Jayson found this cool wall plaque.

 He has quite a collection of these vintage nature scenes (16 and counting). He bargained the dealer down to $10, which was a decent deal, and I'm glad we bought it because it is one of the nicer ones in his collection.

I also bought these off of ebay last week. I've been wanting some chalkware fish for our bathroom for a while now and when these came up I had to have them. They are Miller Studio, mint in the box. They actually still have the googly eyes on them. Pink and black- perfect for our bathroom, and a good deal at $9 for the pair.

I think they like their new habitat:

Monday, March 5, 2012

Make it from scratch Monday: Sourdough Starter

I have to say, this is one of my more unusual recipes! And it's one of my prouder moments as a from-scratch cook. (Haha, apparently, it doesn't take much! :P )

But in my continuing quest to be more self-reliant and self sufficient I really wanted to try starting sourdough. I have been baking my own bread now for a while and one thing I can't do without is yeast. Sure, I can go to the grocery store and buy a jar of it, but what if I couldn't do that? Like a good Depression-era housewife, I need to be prepared for the possibility that I can't just go to the store and buy something. And jar yeast is something that has an expiration date; you can't buy it in bulk and store it very well.

So I decided I wanted to get some sourdough starter and give it a go. I don't know anyone nearby that had some started that they could give me, so I turned to the internet. Of course, there are lots of places that want to sell you some starter, but, cheapskate that I am, I'd rather find it for free. There are also ways to gather wild yeast from the air, but that can be hit-or-miss.

Sourdough bread is also one of those iconic foodstuffs of the American West, and since I love history I found the perfect match- a free starter kept from an 150-year old yeast that traveled the Oregon Trail (bonus points for anyone that remembers that game from elementary school!). It's available here: . All you need to do is send them a self-addressed stamped envelope and they send you about a tsp. of dried sourdough starter.

It took me about 2-3 weeks to get mine and of course I started it right away. But it was a good thing I only used half of it, because the first try didn't start. I think I must've used too hot water and burned it, or it was too cold and things never really got to fermenting. But the second time turned out to be the charm, and I have a lovely quart jar of sourdough yeast bubbling away on my countertop right now.

It even smells like sourdough! I can't wait until this weekend when I make sourdough hotcakes and biscuits!