Vintage Finds

I have wanted to create a plate wall in my kitchen for some time, so I’ve been on the lookout for pretty plates for some time. Committing to holes in my wall is something I’m pathetically slow about. But as I’ve accumulated enough plates that I like, I think I’m going to finally bite the bullet and hang the plates. Maybe. I’ll share pictures when they are finally on the actual wall. 
Some are plates that were my Grandma’s, some are plastic melamine from Target, and some are vintage finds from the thrift store. So while I had the plates out, I thought I’d share a few of recent thrift-store finds with some cool, graphic designs.

While we’re on the subject, a few other recent vintage finds. Cool vintage buttons still on their original cards.
I am totally digging these vintage, melamine (plastic) teacups. I haven’t decided what to do with them – maybe make them into pincushions?
I love the colors…

Finally, a vintage crocheted granny-square blanket that caught my eye. I’ve seen them from time to time, but never actually bought one. I liked the colors and size of this one and the price was right, so I went for it. Still not sure what I’m going to do with it though.

And finally, believe it or not, I’ve actually done some sewing. It’s been a while but perhaps by the end of this week I’ll actually have something finished to share. It would have been today, except last week I took a massive trip off my front porch and broke the fall with my right hand/wrist on the cement three-steps down. Turns out your right hand comes in pretty handy. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s just a bad bruise and that it will continue to get better. If only someone had got that fall on video, I could have put it on YouTube and made a fortune. It had to have been an entertaining moment for the neighbors.

Vintage Christmas Glass Ornaments and Illustrations

I have been on the hunt for some vintage glass Christmas ornaments for a while now. Not aggressively, but keeping my eyes pealed. And I haven’t had much luck – until a couple of weeks ago.

Walking through my local thrift store I noticed plastic bags stuffed with random holiday decor jumbled together and hanging on a wall. Fortunately a couple of things caught my eye and I looked closer. Someone must have just cleaned out grandma’s Christmas decorations and dropped them off. It looked like the undiscriminating thrift store worker had just grabbed random handfuls and stuffed them into plastic bags because mixed in with a lot of undesirable 80’s junk, were some beautiful vintage glass ornaments!

And there they were just piled up on a wall, waiting to get smashed. (Sadly, a couple already had.) I was so excited to rescue them and give them a loving home. (The random 80’s teddy bears in pioneer clothes and anthropomorphic snowballs that were mixed in will probably go right back to the thrift store.)

 There was another bag with these glass balls, etched with Santa driving a train.
Ornaments from this era remind me of grandma and my mom’s childhood.
Another plastic bag was full of gold, clear, and white beads – I think I got it for .99 cents.  I added them to a glass hurricane with some other ornaments from Target and I think it’s a start at least to something pretty. I may pick up a different glass container, but for now, it works.

On the way to the register, I also found a box of Shiny Brite glass balls in primary colors. I was totally excited. I think I got everything for around $10 and I think I totally lucked out. Now to decide what to do with them. If you’re now in the mood to find some of your own vintage glass ornaments, I just did a search on etsy and ebay and found a lot of good stuff at fairly reasonable prices.

I’ve hung a couple on the tree, but I’m a little tentative because of these cute chuckleheads who proudly “decorated” the tree for me. (If I was totally awesome, I would have just left it like that all month.)

As I put up our tree, I was feeling so grateful to whoever invented ‘fake glass’ ornaments that don’t break. We’re still kind of at that stage at our house. So I’m looking for other ways to still admire my pretty, new, long-sought-after, vintage glass ornaments without having to worry they may never live to see another Christmas.
And speaking of vintage Christmas, I found something from my own childhood – a book of Christmas stories illustrated by one of my favorites: Richard Scarry. I even autographed the inside cover some time back in the day, probably around 1979 when my mom was taking care of a new baby and I was doing things like writing in books.
My copy was re-printed in the 1970’s, but the book and illustrations were originally printed in the 1950’s before Scarry’s Huckle Cat era. I love those the simple, graphic look of those tree houses.
Happy little hedgehog family.
As always, the details in Richard Scarry’s illustrations are so adorable. 
I want the quilt that goat is sleeping with.
And I want this print in fabric!
And there you go. Goodies and critters and warm fuzzies from Christmas past.

Vintage Goodies

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some vintage treasures, so I decided that, since I have a few worth sharing, today would be a great day to do so.

This awesome pile is a gift from my friend, Leigh of LeedleDeedleQuilts.  She rescued this pile of old, pre-cut apple-core pieces and thought I would like them. (She thought correctly, I might add. She knows me well!)
I’ve never made an apple-core quilt, but these babies are screaming to be put together. We can’t let all that cutting, nor those killer fabrics go to waste, can we? Anyone out there who has made an apple core quilt have any great tips to share?

Leigh also rescued this vintage spider-web mini-quilt.  It’s small but it’s all put together and some hand quilting has been done.  I’m going to finish the quilting, bind it and hang it on the wall in my sewing room. I love it!

 More vintage fabric goodness.
I always thought of Spider web quilts as fairly recent, so it was fun to see this one.  My guess is 1930’s from the fabrics, but could be later. Thanks again for these wonderful treasures, Leigh!

Finally, another happy find, this time while I was scouting some Halloween costumes.  I found this bowl at a thrift store and was imediately taken by the jade-like green color. It’s fantastic.  Looking at the bottom of the bowl I discovered it’s Pyrex!

It’s different than most pyrex I’ve seen as the interior of the bowl is not white – it’s clear. The bottom of the bowl is clear glass.  It’s got some wear and tear + the color makes me think it’s old, but I could be totally wrong – maybe it’s from Kmart 2 years ago. Anyone know anything about this piece?  Regardless, I’m totally smitten by the color. I don’t have anything like it and I’m happy just looking at it on my shelf. Which is really what matters when collecting ‘stuff’, right?

Chair Makeover

One more post about a yard sale find. (I really never go yard-saleing – I just got lucky, ‘happening-to-pass-by’ two garage sales in my own neighborhood this summer.)  So at a yard sale down the street from my house I spotted these 2 chairs. $10 for the pair. They looked a little bedraggled but full of potential.

Here is the “after”.  It only took me about a month and a half of looking at the chairs to decide what I wanted to to. So many colors and directions to go with these beauties.  In the end I decided I was feeling the ‘scandinavian‘ vibe and went white.
I found the fabric at Ikea (see? Scandinavian!) on clearance for $4.50 a yard.  Here I am channeling my ‘inner-Hildi‘ (remember Trading Spaces?) and upholstering for the first time. Never mind that it’s only a small, flat cushion, I felt empowered by that staple gun.

I used white, gloss Krylon to paint the chair. Not fancy.  I probably need to add a coat of some kind of finisher, glaze or something and I’m undecided about whether or not to distress it a little bit.  I’ll keep mulling it over for a few more weeks before I tackle the other chair as well.  It’s still a work in progress.

Here’s the nice ‘before and after’ shot.  My china-hutch re-do is still probably my favorite furniture makeover, but the chair is definitely a close second. Cost-wise per chair: Chair = $5, primer = $3.50, paint = $3.50, fabric = $2.25 for a total of $14.25. I think I can handle doing the other one.

Awesome yard sale find + progress

I haven’t done much thrifting lately. Mainly because it was summer and I didn’t go many places alone. (Thrifting with 4 kids just doesn’t sound that fun. Either they want weird stuff or they want to go home.) Also I spent the summer trying to eliminate clutter, rather than accumulate more. (You should see the piles of stuff I got rid of. Felt SO good.)  But one day I was out running and I ran past a yard sale and spotted this beauty.
My daughter took a sewing class this summer and I’ve been thinking about getting another machine for my girls to use. (Mainly so I don’t have to share mine.) I thought about just getting an el-cheapo model, but I’ve been dragging my feet for a long time trying to decide what to do. Then I saw this sucker. It was only $20, and it looks like a nice model (heavy, metal parts, etc.) and seems to run fine. I’m going to take it in for a professional tune-up just to make sure. Does anyone out there have this machine? 

 Also, I’ve been working on my navy and green quilt. I even did the quilting by myself, on my own machine.  Simple cross-hatching, but you don’t know how proud I am of this achievement.  I am usually terrified of ruining my quilts by quilting them myself. I’ve had a few people ask about this one – yes, I am going to do a pattern. I’m hoping to have it ready soon – or at least when I share the finished quilt.

 And finally, I’m still stitching away at soccer games.

A good day at the Thrift Store

Warning: Thrift-nerd post ahead. I haven’t been doing much thrifting lately. Partly because of time but mainly because I just don’t need more stuff. But every great while I pop it to check on the pyrex. Because it’s like a train wreck for me, I just have to stop and look. And lately, zilch.

Well, the Saturday before Easter I was doing last minute shopping, sans kids, and totally striking out everywhere. I could not find a decent sweater vest for my 7 yr old and no new DS fabric at JoAnn’s. Rats. So I was driving by my favorite thrift shop on my way home and thought, I’ll just run in for 5 minutes. Jackpot! Two things that were on my wish list and one I didn’t even know I wanted.

First of all a big yellow pyrex bowl.  I’ve wanted some bright yellow pyrex but never find any, and I’ve needed a big summer salad bowl. Woo.  It’s not in mint condition, but it will do. I was so excited.

Then sitting next to the yellow bowl was this beauty. I’m not a super-expert on pyrex and I had never seen the dark blue, but I loved it. With those cheerful daisys? How could you not.  And this one is in mint condition.  Most of my vintage pyrex collection is in the 1970’s harvest tones so I’m always excited when I find something out of that realm. As I did a little google research, I discovered that it’s Blue Colonial Mist or something like that. (Someone with a knowlege far superior to mine feel free to jump in here.) There’s even a similar bowl available on ebay right now!

Then finally, the vintage sheets. After just recently doing a big vintage sheet destash, I’m pretty discriminating about accumulating any more. But there it was a whole sheet in one of my favorite patterns. I’d found a pillow case in this pattern a while back and wished there were more.
 I’d even framed it and hung it in the center of my hoops wall because I loved it so much. What am I going to do with the sheet now that I have it? I have no idea. But for $5 I figured I could eventually come up with something good.
Yay. And then I succumbed to two other good ones because I do need a few other non-white sheets to finish off the quilt I want to make. 
And so things evened out that day. Which made me think of this random Jack Handy article for the New Yorker. I highly recommend it if you are a JH fan. If not, you are going to think I am a total weirdo.