Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Helen, Johnny and Nora

Do you ever wonder why you are drawn to collect certain things. I bet if you look back to your childhood you will find the answer. Oh what a wonderful childhood I had. We lived in a house built in the 1940's. There were seven of us, my mother (Helen), my father (Johnny, or Red as he was nicknamed) and my 4 siblings. As an added bonus my mother's parents lived in a little house behind us and my father's parents lived next door. These are the people that shaped the person I turned out to be. My Granny (Nora) had to be about the most wonderful woman in the world, when I think of her I think of sewing, gardening, sitting on the her front porch and her love of all the little critters that would come around on summer evenings to say hello (lizards, praying mantises, and sometimes we would see frogs out and about). She hung her laundry on a line in the yard. She lived a simple life. My mother was and still is a most extraordinary women. She could sew and her cooking could probably rival Paula Dean. She was and still is very creative and could do just about anything and was a very stylish woman. She also loved old things and introduced us to antique stores at an early age. My father was a hard working man, working at his regular job during the day and at his sign painting business in the evenings. He was an artist. He was also a collector of things. He was a generous man.
So looking back I guess it's natural that I am a collector and a lover of old things. I love antiques and art. I love letters and typography. I love lizards and frogs, and hanging my vintage linens outside to dry. I love vintage clothing and old houses. I love the simple life.
My father painting ( he had a very steady hand, it was amazing to watch him paint)
This frog planter has my Granny written all over it!
Me and my sweet Granny
The house I grew up in right before it was torn down.
My stylish talented mother.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Thrifting Friday

Reed & Barton silver plate Flower Frog

Vintage Coat

Vintage Patterns

Vintage Praying Madonna Planter/Head Vase

1950's Sheet Music

Glass Canister made in France

Holland Mold Water Pitcher
I had the day off today and I'll bet you can guess how I spent it. Only one estate sale today, so I was up and out early this morning. Sometimes you get there and the house is filled with so much stuff that it's overwhelming, this was not one of those houses. I did manage to find several worthy items, but it just wasn't enough for me to get my fix. However the man running the sale was very kind, he totaled my items and asked me to make him an offer and he would take it if it was reasonable, I offered ten dollars less than the total and he said "because you are so sweet I will give you an extra five off" so I walked out with fifteen dollars off my total. I made out pretty good on that deal. What to do now, I needed to look at some more junk. So, naturally I headed over to my mom's to see if she wanted to hit the Goodwill and of course she did. We arrived at the Goodwill and each went our own way. I found two fabulous vintage coats, a red long JC Penny and a unusual long hooded coat made in Turkey. Coats at the Goodwill cost $7.50 each and I was so excited I just about couldn't stand myself. I browsed a little more but did not find anything else of interest and went to find mom who had found a a jacket for herself. Mom checked out first and then I put my two coats up on the checkout counter only to hear from the clerk "You know that long coats are $16.50 each". What? When did this happen, I have been going to the Goodwill for years. With tears in my eyes, I had to put the coats back on the rack. I just could not pay that much, it would defeat the purpose of thrifting. As mom could see the disappointment on my face, she suggested we go over to the Salvation Army. I must say I have not been to the Salvation Army store before and was pleasantly surprised at the selection and prices. To top it off guess what I found, a vintage coat for under $5.00, also picked up some vintage patterns and vintage sheet music. Salvation Army may be my new favorite store.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A completely Thrifted Room

What I love about shopping at estate sales, yard sales, church sales, and thrift stores is finding unique items to decorate my home. I have several rooms in my home that are entirely decorated with thirfted items, furniture included. I don't really plan how it's all going to come together but somehow it just does. When I moved  in my home 3 years ago I suddenly had a breakfast room (did not have one of these in my old home) to furnish and decorate. I had to find a table and chairs but didn't want to invest a lot of money on something new, so I went on the hunt. I found a vintage metal patio table that was paired with four vintage folding chairs (painted white). Somehow I knew this would work for me and the price was right (under $100). Next I needed some bar stools, I didn't like any of the new ones out there and happened upon an industrial drafting stool in Charlotte NC, loved it and brought it home hoping to find two more somewhere out there. Over the course of the next 3 months or so I did come across two more industrial stools (flea market) both of a different style but bought them hoping it would all look good together. I was very pleased with the result. Total cost of all 3 under $100. If you look these up on the internet they are quite expensive, so I was even more pleased. Other items in my breakfast room include a screen printed sign my father had in his shop (free). I framed some old love letters that my father had written ( I don't think they were to my mother either). Add in a rusty sign, vintage linens, a vintage rusty flower cart (that I repainted red), and other thrifted items and you have a totally thrifted room. I would estimate that I spent less than $500 on the whole shebang!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


My best and dearest friend in the world (Shug) called me last night to ask if I would accompany her on a day trip today to Sylvania GA. She was invited to a family reunion of sorts and didn't really want to make the trip on her own. Since I spent my budget for the weekend yesterday, and did not plan on going out to any sales this morning I accepted her invitation. We decided to head out around 9:30a and look for some thrift/antiques shops along the way. We had a great conversation during the drive as she filled me in on some stories of her mother and father and her Uncle Willie who had lived in Sylvania and was the Sheriff in the 1940's. Time passed quickly and before we knew it we had arrived at our destination. We had a little time before the scheduled reunion lunch at "Pop's" so we hit the one thrift store and one antique store in town. Didn't find any treasures so we headed on over to the restaurant. All of Shug's people were excited to see her, they all greeted her with a hug and "Shug it's so good to see you". We had our dinner, visited with everyone and then had to say our goodbyes and head back home. Shug showed me the house that her Uncle Willie had lived in on the way out of town. We arrived back home around 4pm this afternoon and I told Shug bye and headed home.
I just want to say "Thanks Mom" for a wonderful day, the stories you told me today will stay in my head and heart forever, and I know you hate that I discovered what your nickname was as a child and young adult but I think it's adorable.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Holy Moly Batman

Vintage Hat Stand

Gorgeous Vintage Bed Jacket

Love these vintage patterns
All I can say is what a sale today! No need to go to anywhere tomorrow, I blew my budget today. Lots of vintage clothing, and everything else under the sun. Met my mom and we went over and made sure to get there early, the sale started at 9:00am and we arrived around 8:20am and placed 4th in line (or so we thought). After about 25 minutes the line had gotten pretty long and we were really, really happy we had made the decision to get there early and get a good spot, but guess what, at about 10 minutes before the door was to open, the lady running the sale announced that we needed to enter at the front door not the side door, so all the people behind us ended up in front of us. Oh well, that's how it goes sometimes. We still ended up finding many vintage items and we were completely satisfied when we left. Now to decide what to keep and what to sell. That's always the hard part. If you want to view all the items purchased today, they are posted on our facebook page and I would like to thank Melva for modeling all the vintage items for me. Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vintage Clothes and Vintage Jewelry

Vintage Clothing and Vintage Jewelry - Two of my favorite things! Estate Sale tomorrow advertising both. Looks like a good start to my weekend. Two more sales scheduled for Saturday. I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve, so excited to see what vintage treasures are awaiting my arrival (they know I will adopt them and give them or find them a new home). Meeting my wonderful mother in the morning and going over together. Will post pictures and update on this sale tomorrow. Meanwhile I will leave you with a picture of my mother on her wedding day (also in this photo is my Aunt Hilda), how can you look at this photo and not love the vintage clothing and hats? So much style. Absolutely beautiful!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where do you like to thrift?

I am constantly on the lookout for new spots to thrift. Of course there is the obvious - Goodwill, however their prices have gone up over the years. There are still bargains to be had, you just have to have the patience to dig through everything. It took me close to 4 hours one day to go through all the racks of clothing but I did walk away with some great pieces. One of my favorite finds from Goodwill include a vintage "Mr. Johns" hat, actually my mom found it while I was in another part of the store but she could see the look of lust in my eyes when I saw that hat, I just had to have it and being the wonderful mother she is she handed it over to me.  Another favorite find is a really funky coat, don't know much about it except it started screaming my name as soon as I walked in the store, we fell in love and it came home with me that night. Another frequent haunt of mine is the Catholic Social Services, they have better prices and I have found a ton of vintage patterns there at 25 cents each (you can't beat that price). They also have a good bit of material, all in all I would say this is a good place to visit if you like to sew. I even found "Elizabeth" there, she is one of my mannequins (I have three, the other two are named "Melva" and "Reba" but that's another blog in itself) for $35. I recently found a thrift store in Harlem called "Attic Treasures", they have a little bit of everything and very good prices. Where are your favorite places to thrift?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What do you collect?

I come across many items in my junking adventures and have a hard time letting some of it go. My goal is to decorate my home with items that are unique and different. I have a few collections that I try to stick with (you can't collect everything) which include Pottery,Vintage Clocks, Apothecary Bottles, Vintage Linens and Vintage Sewing Patterns.  I have always loved Pottery and Vintage Linens and started collecting  these items at an early age so I have quite a few pieces of both. More recently I have started collecting Vintage Clocks, Apothecary Bottles and Vintage Sewing Patterns. I love the look of vintage clocks and Apothecary Bottles and they are great for decorating. The Vintage Sewing Patterns are a passion because I love to sew and hope to one day make lots of clothes for myself (at this point I have only made one dress from a vintage pattern), I just don't seem to ever have enough time to sew. What do you collect? I'll be sure to be on the lookout for you!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Mission Accomplished

So I was out early this morning to estate sale #1, although they advertised to start at 8a, I got there around 7:45a, and they were already open and a ton of people were already going through the house. I am convinced that if I had arrived 5 minutes earlier, I would have picked up all the items the lady in front of me had, so I was thinking that there would be nothing left for me to pick. But sometimes you get lucky when you dig around and look for things that are hidden in closets, etc. I found  3 sets of vintage pillow cases in the upstairs bathroom (they need a good soaking but I am sure they will clean up well). A little vintage glass refrigerator dish was hiding way in the back of the kitchen cabinet that I quickly picked up, but the most exciting find for the day was a 1950's sterling rattle/teething ring. So all in all it was a successful adventure. I proceeded to go across town to estate sale #2 but was very disappointed as it was just a waste of time and gas. I was not completely satisfied and felt the need to go somewhere else, so I headed down to the Catholic Social Services (which I call the Catholic Good Will). On my way, I passed a sale on the side of the road and who should I see but my mother. I quickly pulled in and parked and came up behind her and said "Well, Well, Well  who did we have here" as she had told me she would be unable to go with me today. She was surprised to see me, however she did have a good excuse, she was on her way to the Church (which is right around the corner from the sale) and could not resist the urge to stop and shop. So she is forgiven. I did pick up a few items at the Catholic Social Services to include some vintage sewing books that I will be keeping for myself.
1950's Sterling rattle/teething ring

All in all a good day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Planning the treasure hunt for this weekend

As most of us junkers do, on Thursdays I start searching the paper, craigslist, and estatesales.net for sales for the weekend. There are a couple of promising sales, the best one boasting 66 years worth of accumulation. So I guess I will get busy getting maps together and planning my route for Saturday.  My fellow junker (my mother) has left me hanging this weekend, so I guess I will be venturing out on my own. It is always more enjoyable to go with mom, but if I must go alone, I will. You just never know what you might find. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Getting Started

It is my intent to enter weekly updates on my mother (Helen), my sister (Van) and myself (Verna) and our outings each weekend to find vintage treasures. Other interests that I will be blogging about will be sewing, handmade jewelry, music, books, movies, vintage clothes and just about anything else that may cross my mind. I hope you will enjoy this blog spot and bear with me as I am new to blogging.