Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Aqua Thriftiness

Aqua, how do I love thee, let me count the ways. But before I start counting, let me invite you all to join these two fabulous parties, Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays with Linda @ Coastal Charm and Vintage Thingie Thursdays with Suzanne @ Coloradolady. (Please click on the links here or go to their buttons located on my sidebar. Thanks) Between these two parties, there are countless thrifty treasures to be enjoyed. Speaking of counting, here is Number One.

I just love everything in this photo. Three pieces are marked McCoy and the tall kind of fluted vase is not marked but is definitely USA and was a Goodwill find for $1.99 as was the taller of the two plant pots for $3.99. The smaller round planter was one I recently found at a lawnsale for $2.00. (I almost felt like I stole it.) The rectangular planter is also a lawnsale find from last year at $1.50. Let's not forget about the tray, it is a bed tray that I found for $.50 cents.

Number Two. I was absolutely giddy when I found this bowl and serving utensils at a lawn sale a couple of weeks ago. It was an extremely hot morning and the sales had been full of sports equipment and kid's clothing. Then I found this sale. Mom was moving in with daughter and had to downsize. There was mostly new stuff but there in the corner of the garage, mixed in with plastic take out containers was this be-still-my-heart beauty. The color, Gorgeous, the white squiggly lines, How Divine. Both the fork and spoon were dirty but I knew salvageable. Hesitantly I asked how much for the bowl and utensils. Surely, it would be more than I would be willing to spend ...... she replied "Would .75 cents be okay?" Honestly, don't you just feel like you are stealing? But hey I didn't offer that price but gladly took it. I gave her $1.00 and told her to keep the change.

Aqua and squiggly lines, what more can a girl ask for?

Number Three. I know I showed you this tin before, but it needs revisiting. I was at a lawnsale that again had mostly new stuff including an impressive inventory of woman's shoes. The shoes were beautiful and were being sold for $10-25 dollars a pair. So when I found this tin filled with shiny brite ornaments, again I expected a high purchase price. The lady said $2.00 for the ornaments and that I could have the tin for free as it was being tossed out anyway. I don't know which I loved more, the tin or the shiny brites.

Number Four. Pyrex bowls and plate. The large casserole dish was a Goodwill find for $2.99. The smaller one in the Butterprint pattern was a lawnsale find for $1.00. Both the Pyrex dinnerware and the wooden handle utensils were from Goodwill, each $.99 cents. You have seen my kitchen and know that everything I have just shown would look fabulous there in my kitchen, so why is it in my shop? Two reasons. First, I only buy what I love and would use, and not just buy something I don't like because it is cheap. Secondly, I am trying to downsize a little myself and am being good about what is coming into the house.

Number Five. Music themed wall hangings which would look gorgeous against a white/cream wall. I am always drawn to anything music related. Music is a big part of my family. My daughter plays 4 instruments and sings, her father plays three and is a proper tenor.

That is 5 reasons why I love aqua but not all the reasons. I will save the rest for another post. I want to have time to go visit Linda and Suzanne. Be sure you stop by and say hello.

Got it at Goodwill

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Here comes the Furlough Bride & Update on Rescued Birdies

Just wanted to first update you on the little birdies we rescued last Thursday. Since none of the bird rehabilitation centers would take the birds, they are still living with us. In just the past 4 days they have doubled in size and have started to fly. Unfortunately they still won't eat on their own and are being hand fed. We are trying to ween them. My daughter made this bird cage out of a box and screening. There is a flap in the back that we can reach in when doing the feedings. This is another in a long list of "firsts" when it comes to what my daughter involves me in ..... hand feeding baby birds, especially flying-at-you baby birds. Such a good mommy.


"Furlough Weddings can be simple and lovely." That was the title to one of the articles in this Everywoman's Magazine that I found at a lawnsale for $.50 cents, not a bad mark-up from its original cost of five cents. As a caterer I was hoping that it might be describing the food and decorations of the event. Instead it was an article about Wedding Attire. I loved the photo captions and just had to share and thought the folks visiting Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality for Today's Thrifty Treasures might enjoy. Everything that follows are all from lawn and estate sales.

The article begins .....
"Because today's bride often must marry in haste, she wants to cherish at leisure, the memory of a beautiful wedding ceremony. Chances are her brand new husband has hurried off to his job of making this a better world for his wife and children. Meanwhile, bright plans for the future, thoughts of a happy past, sustain the little woman who waits. " Little Woman indeed, I thought perhaps a man had written this article but saw that it was a woman, one Gertrude Gordon Sachs. I had to wonder if Gertrude employed as a journalist/writer, presumably working outside the home, did she still view herself as the little woman at home.

The article continues with "She does it by having her wedding outfit ready for the wearing even though she doesn't know when that day will be." Hopefully the bride already has an actual beau and isn't getting the dress first and then finding the husband, that would be very sad. Here are a few suggestions for wedding attire as offered by the magazine and Ms. Gertrude.

What every well dressed bride is wearing for her Furlough Wedding.

This smart little number is described as "For a second venture into matrimony, this black bengaline suit has dash and line." Although I had never heard of that phrase, apparently dash and line is a good thing. I'm not so sure about the use of the word
Venture as it relates to matrimony, sounds more like a business proposition than an Ad-Venture into marital bliss. Also I have to ask "What is a bengaline?"

The stunning little black number, bottom right, was described as perfect for a "hurried" wedding and as "Sweet and Victorian, it's a favorite with very young brides." After all, furlough only meant a few days. It is interesting to note two things here, that several of the dresses shown for weddings were black and I always thought that the phrase was "married in black and you'll wish yourself back". Secondly, the mention not of young brides but rather
very young brides Oh well, how could these women resist a man in uniform.

I have always loved vintage wedding pieces. As you may recall, I even have an entire Christmas Tree devoted to the theme of Vintage Wedding. I currently have in my shop some pieces culled from that collection. Here are a few of the cake toppers, pearls, gloves and hats that are being displayed.

I especially love the hat on the left. It fits more like a headband with beautiful taffeta roses.

To me, although it is just my personal opinion, weddings and pearls belong together. I have put together quite a collection from several estate sales this summer. In particular, I have two strands, each marked Japan, that are heavy, finely knotted, exquisite strands.

This hat is a recent acquisition. It really is lovely although in this photo it looks like the top is made of saran wrap. I think it would be just gorgeous for a modern day bride.

There is something so beautiful about these tender sentimental keepsakes and even if I didn't know the brides personally, I still feel a connection. I am a hopeless romantic at heart and can not imagine being a young bride back then, and as quickly as saying "I do" to have your new husband off to war, and then wondering and worrying that you might find yourself not a newlywed but a widow. So let's raise our glasses in a toast to all the little woman left at home, our mothers and grand-mothers, that waited for their menfolk to safely return and a moment of silence for all those men that left behind a widowed bride.

Please be sure to join Rhoda and all the others participating in Today's Thrifty Treasures.

Got it at Goodwill

Friday, July 23, 2010

Tornado Hits Gorham & Orphanned Birdies

It is official, the weather service has confirmed that a Tornado set down in our little town of Gorham. This past Wednesday, around suppertime, suddenly the sky got dark, illuminated only by the rapid succession of lightning, and everything was drenched by the ensuing downpour. Then we heard it, the thunder, the kind of deep reverberating boom that makes the dishes rattle and the paintings on the walls shake ... accompanied by an extremely bright flash of lightning. You could see the lightning from whatever room in the house you were in, we knew something got hit, and it was close by. The lights in the house flickered once and then it was just as dark as outside, inside as well. We were without power for the next 4 hours. We were lucky. Come Thursday morning and into the afternoon, many folks just down the road were still without electricity.

***My friend Tiff at Folded Gingham has photos of the funnel shaped clouds (Click here to see).

We found out that trees had been uprooted, roofs pulled off and in one case, the roof of a barn collapsed and caved in, killing 2 cows and injuring several others. There were reports of downed wires everywhere. For us, we lost a tree. One well placed bit of lightning brought down half of a tree. It remains lying across my backyard. It miraculously just missed my lawn swing but the crown of the tree took out half of my ancient lilac tree and my beautiful blooming blue-hydrangea that I hadn't gotten the chance to take a photo of yet bush, flattened to the ground.

As we started to clear away the debris, we find a little nest with two little birdies. Now you know my daughter and her love of all things in nature and you know me, the good mom, so you know that the little sweet things, nest and all, came into the house. Between calls to bird rehabilitation places in the area, and feeding them a mixture of berries, wet dog food and hard boiled eggs, all ground up into mush, my daughter kept busy yesterday, her one day off from work this week. Unfortunately most of the rehab places had no power and were unable to help. So where does that leave the little ones come this Friday morning? Wait for it, you know it is coming, yes, sitting next to my desk at my office is a box with a heat lamp attached to the side, keeping safe and warm these 2 little nature orphans. Did I also mention that I am suppose to feed them every 40 minutes? Once a mom, always a mom, what can I say.

Wishing you all a safe and good weekend. The shop is continuing to do well and somehow it is all working out, running the shop next door to my office, both simultaneously. Thank goodness I have a great secretary and an assistant that are both treasures themselves. I have more photos but I apologize that I am wearing too many hats at the moment to post. I promise they are coming. Thank you again for all the wonderful comments that have been shared with me. Honestly, it has helped me to keep my sanity.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Welcome to my shop

My shop officially opened on July 10th. My apologies, I have been trying to post since the 11th. Between life in general and still working 40 hours at my "real job" and then all the hours at the shop, or spent getting things ready for the shop, it has been a bit hectic. I finally have gotten caught up on everything and now can go forward, that is until the holiday season. As tired and busy that I am, I AM HAVING THE TIME OF MY LIFE!!! Thank you for your patience.

Welcome to my Shop. (Sorry Bad Hair Day, curse this humidity!) Please let me show you around.

Doorway view of the shop. I made the curtains out of scraps of fabric and trim. I wanted them to look like aprons. What can be more vintage fun than red pom poms!

I am so very happy! So very, very, very HAPPY!!! I had customers. I had paying customers. I had paying customers with lovely comments!!!! Can you tell that I am happy? Last Saturday, not even pouring rain or having to walk up a flight of stairs kept people away. Of course I expected friends and family, but was so happy to meet and greet new folks. It was a pleasure to meet fellow blogger Julie of Dog Trot Farm who knew of my open house through A Conversation at Goodwill. Several other local bloggers have commented that they will be stopping by this summer and I so look forward to meeting them all.

It was interesting to see what items sold and was surprised in some cases. My Moose leg lamp (yes a real Moose leg) sold to a college student attending the Maine Maritime Academy. She couldn't wait to take it to her dorm room. After all, nothing says Maine more than a Moose leg lamp. A 10 year old girl bought my old Royal Typewriter. She just loved the sound that the keys made. The jewelry and clothing have been huge sellers along with Pyrex and cookbooks. I never get tired of hearing my customers say "My Nana or Aunt or Mom had that same vase, dish or apron. The shop has generated some happy childhood recollections for the folks that have stopped by to visit. I already feel like a success with just those comments. It means that I am finding desirable pieces for the shop.

Having such a small space 14x15, I wanted to make use of the whole space but did not want it to look too busy or topple heavy. You know what I mean, when you go to shops that have so much stacked that you are afraid to pick something up for fear of causing an avalanche of plates, pottery and assorted glassware, all very breakable. So I created "rooms" cozy little vignettes as if you were visiting someone's home. I used old photos to identify each space. I have Mama's Kitsch'n full of Pyrex and aprons, Aunt Lu-Lu's Closet with jewelry and fashions, Road Trip featuring Vintage Souvenir pieces from Maine and around the country, and Papa's Study with old maps, photos and of course that 1930 Philco Radio I recently found at a lawn sale. In addition to these cornerstone vignettes, I have several displays that will totally change out at the start of each month.

I have created a new blog titled 2nd fl Thriftiques just for the store. It is there that I will be showing detailed photos of each of the displays and when new things hit the shop. Please click here to see detailed photos of Mama's Kitsch'n. I will next be sharing photos of Aunt Lu-Lu's Closet. Please be sure to stop by for a visit.

This is a little step stool that houses some light green pottery pieces. On top is my favorite color green egg basket. Sitting on the floor is a metal tray that I have had for years. Love the color but the center of the tray had a bit too much rust. Problem solved with a little bit of sanding, primer and chalkboard paint.

I have had this little grasshopper for years, and am ready, although still sad, to part with it. I must ask, how do you collectors/shop owners part with any treasure? That is the hard part for me.

I have a children's area. This little doll's crib needed a little TLC. I made the mattress from an old curtain and the pillow is from an old pillowcase that had seen better days.

This is my vintage wedding display. I have wedding cake toppers, beautiful hats in white and ivory along with gloves and pearls. I have it all displayed on my ashtray turned display stand that I previously showed. The whole display feels like a 3 tiered wedding cake. Come the start of August, this display will be changed out for a new collection.

This area is Nana's Pantry with crocks and jugs and blue & white dishes. Hanging on the wall above this display are 4 unused Ford 1986 wheel covers. I think they look great as artwork. The license plates are from a World War II London. They also make great artwork.

Above Nana's Pantry are shelves filled with McCoy, Haeger, Shawnee and Hull, all dark green.

This jelly cupboard houses my pastels. I especially love the aqua pieces on top.

A 1960's dress and pillbox hat.

Part of Aunt Lu-Lu's Closet.

In the center of the room, I have this fabulous table with 4 chairs. It may be sold any moment as I have 2 customers vying for it. For the moment it houses barware and glasses. I added a man's tuxedo cummerbund and tie along with ladies hat, gloves and evening bag, to set the tone for a "Night of Cocktails" for this display.

More photos to come, quickly, I promise.

I still can't believe that my dream to own a shop has become a reality. Honestly it was a lot of hard work but at the end of the day, I wouldn't have changed a thing. Thank you , Thank you, Thank You, to all of you who took the time to leave such wonderful comments in showing your support. Whether it was seeing your successful booths or shops for ideas, or just receiving your words of encouragement, you gave me the courage to try. I am grateful for your support.


Friday, July 9, 2010

The Shop is OPEN

The grand opening for 2nd fl Thriftiques is tomorrow July 10th!!! It is the culmination of weeks and weeks of finding display pieces, and preparing them for the shop ....... of putting together an eclectic inventory ...... a little bit of everything, keeping true to it being vintage or vintage repurposed .... refinishing the floor, painting ceiling and walls ..... and then the biggest challenge of all .... lugging up 100 boxes and numerous pieces of furniture up a flight of stairs, all in 90 plus temperatures. Who needs a gym membership?

I am sorry to not have been available these past couple of weeks but will now make it up to you in spades with photos from the shop, a virtual tour of my little piece of the world. I hope to see you stop by and say hi.

For those of you in the Greater Portland area, the Open House runs from 9:00 - 4:00. Please stop by for cheesecake and lemonade. I would love to meet you.

The shop is located at 8 School Street, Gorham, Maine (second floor). If you get off the turnpike in Portland and head out Route 25, it will take you right into Gorham. Just follow the University of Southern Maine signs, we are right around the corner from the University. There is parking behind the building and on Main St and School St.

I must admit to butterflies and knots in my stomach. What if you have a shop and nobody comes? What if they come and don't like what you sell? I suppose it is the heat and exhaustion talking, I only just got the AC installed. No matter the outcome, this has been a dream of mine for some time. I think I would have been more scared of not trying. Be brave, be bold, go for your dream. To all of you that have your shops and booths, I applaud your talent and drive. This is hard work. Thank you all for your support in my decision to open my shop. Have a lovely weekend