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In Which I Talk About Summer

26 Jul

Hullo folks! How is it that the end of Summer approaches? I mean, didn’t it just start? And since I haven’t posted much about it yet, I thought I’d share some photographic highlights of my Summer thus far.

This photo sort of summarizes summer for me:

Feet on Dash

Feet on Dash

This Summer has seen its fair share of driving! Since we live in the country now, it means lots of treks to town for various sundries. I love driving in nice weather with the windows down and something like the Smashing Pumpkins’ “1979″ playing on the radio with my feet up on the dash. It’s bliss folks! Please note my moccasins which I picked up on a 4th of July trip to visit my Aunt in Oklahoma. Yet another “vintagey” item to cross of the wishlist!

Speaking of my trip to Oklahoma, the above kicks were not the only wonderful thing that I got on this trip. While in my Aunt’s antique filled basement she showed me what can only be described as THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SEWING MACHINE ON EARTH. I’m serious peeps, look at it:

SAMSUNGThis my friends is a Singer 185J. I believe this one was made in the early ’60s based on my research of its serial number. But ohmygoodness, that COLOR! Isn’t it glorious?? I guess I made such a fuss about how lovely this machine was because my amazingly generous Aunt gifted it to me. So I now have a new favorite sewing machine. She’s not fancy, she does just a straight stitch but oh my, what a nice stitch she does.

Also, the food this Summer has been spectacular. We signed up for a CSA this year from an organic farm which just so happens to be right down the road from us and we are weekly gifted with a share of the bounty. The below represents one weeks worth of food.

SAMSUNGIt’s been so much fun figuring out what to make every week in order to use up the stuff we get in the box. Though we didn’t sign up for the fruit share we’ve been gifted occasionally with lovely berries. Which I then turn into things like jams and tarts.

SAMSUNGThis particular tart is from The River Cottage Everyday Food Cookbook which is just wonderful. If you ever have a chance to pick it up, please do so!

We also had hay made on our property. Our maybe three acres of grass produced 220 bales of hay so now our barn is nicely stocked for the Winter. Which I hope comes very late this year.

SAMSUNG

I’ll leave you with the final joy of the summer, and that is our sheep. They are such lovely creatures. Unfortunately we lost one, our dear Hemingway, but I suppose that death is a part of life and that is something I’ll need to learn here on the farm.

SAMSUNGThis Summer has also seen an uptick in crafty pursuits on my part so stay tuned for future posts about sewing and the like. Hope you are all enjoying your Summers as well.

Eileen

In Which I go Thrifting Again (and Come Home With Some Very Nice Things)

27 Oct

Oops, I did it again; I’ve gone thrifting. And, as per usual here in the wilds of Ohio, I found some great stuff. Shall we jump right in? Probably my most favorite find of the day is this great knitted cape.

Isn’t it cool? I think the color combination is striking. The buttons are gold painted wood. I can’t decide if the motif looks South American or slightly Tyrolean (wishful thinking?). It’s definitely vintage, check out its tag.

I guess the only downside to it is that it is an acrylic. The older I get, the more snobby I get about synthetic fibers. After washing, this came out very soft and not scratchy and since it’s made to be worn over clothes I’m not too terribly worried about the fiber content. I also appreciate that it was a product of Montgomery Ward’s which, incidentally, is my very first place of employment. That was a loooong time ago ;)

I actually found, not one cape, but two capes, can you believe my luck? This one is a modern wool one from Coldwater Creek. I like it because I think it’s a neat twist on the lumberjack shirt.

Isn’t it cute? When I first spotted it on the rack, I snapped it up like a madwoman thinking it might just be a Pendleton.

Another item that leaped out at me (I actually reached OVER the rack I was looking at to snatch this one up) was this great vintage cotton skirt. Is it too small? Yes. Do I care? Not one whit! Look how amazing!

Sorry for the wonky picture folks, I draped the skirt over Martha (why yes, I do name my dress form [and sewing machines, and cars] why do you ask?) so that you could see the great chevron stripe detail using the rick-rack print fabric. Oh how I wish I had a 26″ waist so that I could wear this skirt!

Speaking of skirts, I was very excited to find an ACTUAL KILT which has been something on my list to find for a very, very long time. This one is a teeny tiny bit too small but the waistband utilizes hooks and eyes so as soon as I get around to it (read: two years hence and then I’ll kick myself for not doing it sooner!) I will fix it and wear it. I will wear it with boots, tights and a turtleneck. Oh yes.

The colors came out WAY brighter than they actually are. It’s darker and more subtle than it looks here. It’s navy, hunter green, deep red and has shots of yellow.

I came across this great vintage heavy red wool coat; perfect for those mornings when I’m up and at ‘em on the farm and heading out to feed the animals!

It has a great tag:

See? It’s even meant to be worn in “American Fields!” I think it’s awesome to find items that were made right here in, not only the USA, but local in Ohio. This one was made in Toledo.

I find that I’m buying a lot of items that can be worn “on the farm” that I wouldn’t necessarily wear to work or out and about on the weekends, although I suspect that “out and about on the weekends” is going to change drastically once I actually start farming! Case in point is that I bought this amazing cabled wool cardigan. It’s slightly big on me, but I just know that on those cold mornings when I head out to milk the goats this will be just the ticket under the red jacket featured above to keep the chill away.

It’s an L.L. Bean sweater and while I’m not typically someone who jumps at name brands, I know this one to be a real sign of great quality so whenever I see it, I try to buy it if I can. At thrift store prices of course! Although I have had my eye on bean boots for quite some time. Santa, are you listening??

And then there is the somewhat fanciful gear I buy “for the farm.” Who am I kidding? I love vintage and I love Westerns so why wouldn’t I leap at this shirt?

I really love this traditional western shirt look. I’ve already worn this once, despite it’s missing pearl snap (another thing on the “to mend” list) with my 1940s jeans and man oh man, did it look cute! I got some odd stares that day which is how I gauge outfit success ’round these parts, haha!

Well that’s all for show and tell. I got a few other things, namely a vintage glass bowl and pie plate and a few books, but these garments represent for me the real highlights of my haul. I’m slated to go thrifting again today since I try to go day after payday, or every two weeks or so. This time I’ll be on the hunt for largely uninteresting cold weather exercise clothes. Fun.

What about you, found anything of note lately?

Eileen

P.S. In a little over a week we move into our house!!!!

More Thrifty Finds

19 Jul

Now you all know I love a good rummage at the thrift store right? I’m guessing most of you do too. You just never know what sort of treasures you will find, if one is willing to just put in the time.

Recently I took a good friend out for lunch on her birthday and afterwards we both determined that we were not in any hurry to head to our respective homes. I suggested going to what I’m now calling “The Thrift Store of WONDERS” and luckily, she was game.

Here’s my haul:

I found some great metal zippers which I always snap up when I can! These were priced at something like .29 cents a piece. I also found two patterns, one a nice robe for the hub (I’m thinking for Christmas, hopefully he doesn’t read this blog, but if he does, hi Hon, forget I said that ;) ) I also found a cool ’70s shirt dress pattern, but neglected to look at the size in my eagerness to acquire! Would anyone with a 40″ bust out there enjoy this pattern? My only requirement is that you must reside in the USA. First comment gets it!

Does anyone know what this is?

Does this help? It’s a lipstick mirror! This clever device attaches onto the tube of lipstick and is especially handy for touch-ups. I keep one on my favorite red (MAC’s Russian Red, for the curious) at all times. This one will go to the office. It only cost me .49 cents! Huzzah.

Continuing on, I came across vintage pure virgin wool knitting yarn from Columbia-Minerva.

This is my first vintage yarn! They also had lots of this yarn in a cream color, but I opted for the fun bright ones instead. We’re not surprised by this are we. Again, these cost me about .49 cents a piece.

On the same trip I also picked up a copy of three of  Daphne Du Maurier’s works in one volume. I bought it because Rebecca is one of my favorite novels ever. If you’ve not read it yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up! Finally I bought a cardigan I can wear for work which is largely uninteresting but very fashion-y and comfortable.

Has anyone had any good thrift store hauls lately? I’m convinced that Ohio has the best thrifting. Certainly the best out of the four states I’ve lived in in my life!

Adieu,

Eileen

Thrifty Advice

12 May

It will come as no surprise to most of you that I love me some thrift store shopping. I don’t know what I love more, the thrill of the hunt or saving some major bucks. I love thrifting so much it’s come to the point that I hardly set foot in a mall anymore unless I have to and the only thing I really buy new is underthings, socks, and shoes. I’m so cheap thrifty that I even tend to scoff at thrift store prices higher than $5!

Now I’ve been thrifting since the time I could drive myself to thrift shops, some fifteen years ago (eep!), largely because my Mom refused to set foot in them. Growing up, she told me, she had to shop in them for clothes and that memory always put her off thrift shops. In the mid nineties, when I began going to thrift stores, it was not an uncommon occurrence for me to find great items from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. It’s hard to believe now, but I actually favored the ultra mod clothes of the ’60s and the hippie style of the ’70s over the feminine clothes of the ’50s. Ah if only I could talk to the me of then!

Nowadays, it’s not so easy to find great vintage items but it’s not impossible. I thought I would provide some tips for savvy thrifting. The pictures you’ll see in this post are a result of the amazing thrift store haul I had yesterday!

Tip#1 Take your time.

Stainless Steel “Little Brown Jug” Paid: $4 Retails for $60!

This may seem like common sense, but I’ve had a few occasions where I’ve taken friends thrifting only to be rushed by them to move on to something else when I still wanted to shop. I’d say at the very least, allot yourself an hour to really dig through the racks to find the hidden treasures. It’s not uncommon for me to spend at least two hours in a thrift store!

Tip #2 Be willing to dig

Sweet little cotton nightgown detail

This tip goes hand in hand with taking your time. Go to the rack of choice, and literally flip through all the items! Usually thrift store racks are pretty crowded with items and “the good stuff” can easily be buried in amongst the rabble.

Beautifully detailed slip

Yesterday I found a great haul of vintage slips and nightgowns that were hidden in the pyjamas rack with flannel nighties and the like. I actually ended up putting a few slips back for other folks to enjoy!

Detail of a sweet cotton and lace slip

Tip#3 Have a plan

Cool ’50s(?) apron

This tip has two parts: have a plan for how you’re going to tackle the store. For me, I always start in housewares. Not so long ago, I used to go to housewares last. Well this cost me an amazing $10 vintage Singer sewing machine, in its original wooden case! Ever since then, I head straight to the housewares. I then go to linens to search for fabric and other household linens.

Detail of a dishcloth find

From there I head to the dishes section and on to clothes starting with whatever rack suits what I’m particularly interested in that day.

Early 19th Century Ohio pottery maker plate. I’m still researching this find.

The second part of this tip is to have a plan for what you are interested in. If, like me, you don’t want to potentially miss amazing vintage sewing machines, you’ll head to housewares first. However, depending on what you’re searching for that day, and if you’re low on time, have a plan of attack to search for just those items that are at the top of your list. I usually have a running list in my head of things I want to find, though it usually seems like when I’m looking for something specific, I can’t find it!

Amazing Dritz sewing basket!

Tip#4 Educate yourself

Glorious scarves!

If you are interested in vintage clothing, head to your local library and check out books on vintage clothes! Read them, or at least look at the pictures to get an idea of the construction and silhouettes of differing time periods. If it’s glassware, furniture, early housewares or toys that have your fancy, check out books on that. Read blogs that are dedicated to the items you’re interested in. Learn about early construction techniques, vintage clothing labels, and early textiles. This will help you identify the real vintage items from those that are vintage throwbacks . . . though you may not care if you like the piece enough! Learn to identify quality fabrics, for example, I can spot wool on a rack from ten feet away! Buying quality items ensures that those pieces you do buy will last you for a long time with proper care and feeding.

Tip #5 Have Fun!

Detail of the apron fabric

This is the simplest tip of all. Just have fun with it. If you don’t expect too much, you won’t be let down and when you do find amazing things, you’ll be elated! Take a like-minded buddy with you as those are some of the most fun trips of all, even if you do end up trying to out-spot items from one another!

Well I hope you enjoyed reading my tips for thrifting. Did I not have an unusually amazing haul yesterday?! I’m still amazed!

One last thing, don’t forget to enter my giveaway, as there is still plenty of time!

Be thrifty friends,

Eileen

When Thrifting Gods Are Smiling

27 Mar

Hullo folks,

Hope you all had a nice weekend? Unfortunately for me, most of Saturday was a bit of a bust. See what happened was this: for about six months now, my brand new serger has been giving me nothing but headaches. It started running very, very slowly and making a terrible racket to boot. I did everything I could think to do; oiled it, vacuumed out the insides, changed the thread and the needles, all to no avail.

So finally Saturday I decided to take it down to get it looked at. I was flabbergasted when the woman started out browbeating me and telling me that firstly, my machine was not as new as I thought it was since they have not made that model for a few years (it’s a Viking Huskylock 905 if you’re curious) and secondly, it was going to cost me and that was IF they even had the parts for it. Turns out you pay a flat fee of $105 for them to even look at it in the first place followed by similar hefty fees for them to fix it. She then proceeded to plug it in to try to assess it for herself. This time, when the foot pedal was pressed, the darn thing didn’t move at all and I was told, not so kindly, that this now new to me machine was a goner and I’m pretty much out the exorbitant price I paid for it. Needless to say I was livid and I’m still trying to figure out what, if anything, I can do (and I’d appreciate any suggestions!!).

To soothe my troubled mind, I headed to the thrift shop of wonders which was just down the road (so convenient!) to have a peek. Apparently the thrifting gods felt that I deserved a little pick me up which is why I found the following things.

PENDLETON!

This folks, is a Pendleton skirt. And better yet, it’s a Pendleton skirt IN MY SIZE! I love the colors in this plaid. I remember, as soon as I saw it on the rack I sent up a prayer to the thrift gods, “Please be my size, please be my size, please be my size!” Lucky for me they were listening.

They were also kind to send along this matching Pendleton blazer.

MORE PENDLETON!

I also found another Pendleton blazer, but since it was not my size I decided to be nice and leave it there for any other Pendleton lovers that may be out there. I love the teal color, and again, this thing is my size. It coordinates nicely with the skirt.

The first thing that I picked up when I stormed strolled into the store was this lovely J. Crew sweater.

Yoked Goodness

It’s 100% wool, my favorite fiber for winter, and the colors and design could not be cuter. I think I need a pink dress to wear with this. It would be great for those chilly Spring nights.

Finally, I found this great vintage bag.

It’s simple yes, but that’s part of it’s charm. It will go with loads of things in my closet, both vintage and non-vintage alike. I also found a terrible 1980s dress that makes me look like a bible salesman, BUT! It has a great print and I couldn’t turn it down. I’m currently plotting a way to make it less fussy and more fabulous.

I'm a sucker for a cutsey print!

Did I mention that everything in the store was 50% off? They were smiling on me indeed my friends. May they also smile on you! What great finds have you come across lately?

Until next time,

Eileen

The Opposite of Dress Down Fridays

24 Feb

Just a quick post before I head off to work to show you an example of the bounty the amazing thrift store offered me last weekend. Observe:

Amazing Skirt!

I’ve been searching high and low for a good brown wool skirt and finally I’ve found one. I call it a consolation prize for the loss of the amazing Singer sewing machine (sob!). This skirt does wonders for the ol’ waist as it’s slightly wider than the average waist band. The skirt’s original belt thankfully came with it as well. It’s a self fabric buckle and the band is half self fabric and half leather. The skirt also has lovely pockets and a stiff lining which makes the most satisfying swish sound when walking. I can’t quite date the skirt- I think it’s home made (though certainly doesn’t look it) and the shape makes me think 50s, but how nice it looks and knowing this silhouette was also popular in the ’70s makes me think it may be later. Either way, I love it!

Details

As the title suggests, I’ve decided to wear this outfit to work today (with modern hair of course!). Take that dress down Fridays!

I hope you all have fun things planned for the weekend. I’m amazingly busy tomorrow- Farmer’s market, gardening class and a paper marbling ladies get-together with my neighbors. I’m hoping to squeeze some craftiness in there somewhere!

Until next time

Eileen

Incredible Thrills! Amazing Finds!

26 Dec

Okay so maybe I’m over exaggerating a bit with the title there, but I’m telling you folks, the thrifting in Ohio is GOOOOOOD! I’ve had nothing but the best luck with thrifting since I’ve moved here. A week ago a friend of mine tipped me off that she’d seen not one, but FIVE Pendleton wool jackets at the local thrift (what a good friend right?). I madly dashed off to the store during my lunchbreak and though I was only able to find one of the aforementioned Pendletons (and a man’s shirt no less) I was still able to find some neat things. I thought I’d share with you a couple of my favorite finds.

As anyone who lives where it is cold is well aware, coats and other sundry Winter wear seem to be a bit dull. This coat is anything but. I think I may have squealed with delight when I found this shocking pink ’60s beauty. The inside is just as pretty as the outside in a similar pink color. It’s pretty warm despite its light weight. Folks at the office thought I’d made it myself (since the word somehow always gets out that I’m crafty!).

My favorite find of the day came in the form of a Persian lamb jacket with mink collar. It’s another one that I squealed when I pulled it off the rack.

Ahh, snuggly!

This is such a classy piece of clothing and is it warm! The sleeves are ingenious; they feature a sort of bell sleeve with a cinched inner sleeve so those cold drafts of wind won’t sneak up your sleeves! This is something I’ve not encountered before- so clever! I’m so glad to live somewhere now where coats and jackets are worn near daily.

I know I didn’t post much about the holidays but I hope you and yours had a great holiday season, whatever you may celebrate. I leave you with a gratuitous outfit post in front of the tree. I wore this on Thursday before I was off for Christmas break! It’s so festive.

Feeling Festive!

Ciao darlings!

Eileen

Bitten

28 Mar

Oh, dear. I need another hobby like I need a hole in my head but last week I attended a local sewing and quilting expo. I may have tripped a few times and on the way down swiped my credit card and ended up with enough fabric to make three quilts. Whoops!

Scrappy Vintage Nine Patch

I can’t believe there was a time I didn’t find Civil War era reproduction quilts beautiful. The above fabric is to make the little quilt pictured. It came from a wonderful shop who also have a website called Primitive Gatherings. I could have easily walked out with half of their quilt kits!

Then I tripped again at a booth called Patchwork Pig.

Oops!

What you see is the new line of Amy Butler fabrics. I LOVE THEM ALL!! So colorful and fun! Still trying to decide what quilt to make from it.

Oh-no!

And you know I love me some 1930s reproduction fabrics! Still deciding what to make with that as well!

Hand-woven goodness!

And finally I bought this hand-woven basket. It was made by women in Ghana and my daughter and I love it! It was a great carry-all for all the fabric I bought!

I’ve already started the Scrappy Nine-Patch Quilt and I’m having a lot of fun with it. My good friend came over to help me get started and show me the ropes! I’ll let you know if there are any new developments!

Vintage Sweaters and Holiday Dresses

2 Dec

Oh my goodness ya’ll! It’s FINALLY cold here in Florida. Granted, to us, cold means temps in the low 60s, but I’ll take what I can get! Today I finally got to wear my finished Lady Grey. And let me tell you, I wore it ALL day! I wouldn’t take that puppy off, not even in the office.

This sudden drop in temperatures means I’m thinking more and more about knitwear. One doesn’t often need a coat here, and sweaters are the perfect thing for this weather. Here are a few that I recently modeled for my favorite vintage store, Sherry’s Yesterdaze. It’s a great shop, with a huge selection and best of all, affordable prices!

Sweater Girl

I especially love the selection of great beaded sweaters. These sweaters have just enough bling to stand out but at the same time be classy and not overdo it.

Tres Chic!

The best part of modeling for Sherry, is that she lets the models pick what they’d like to wear for the shoot! It’s like grown up Barbie! She has one caveat; don’t fall in love with what you model because it needs to be put on the site for sale. I only broke this once, when I bought this dress:

Perfection!

This is going to be, hands-down, my go-to  party dress for the holiday season! I’m wearing it at least three places; the office holiday party, my knitting group’s party, and to a local New Years swing dancing event with Mr. Hub! I’d wear it every day if I could get away with it. The best part of all is that this beauty features . . . Pockets!

What will you be wearing this holiday season?

Channeling my Inner 1940s College Girl

28 Nov

In a previous post I’d mentioned that I was looking for the perfect plaid wool for a skirt. I couldn’t seem to find it! And it wasn’t from a lack of trying. I knew I’d find the perfect plaid when I saw it, but I wasn’t seeing it.

Wouldn’t you know it, I found the perfect plaid skirt on Etsy! And saved myself from matching plaids and making it to boot. Yesterday I went for a jaunt down to my favorite local vintage clothing shop and wore my new skirt! My outfit was inspired by images of wartime college girls.

To top it off, I had amazing luck at the vintage shop. I snagged an AMAZING 1950s Sarong dress, my second this year. They’re so lovely that they merit a post all their own. I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend as well!