Monday, August 1, 2011

A Family That Thrifts Together...

...sticks together?  Not really sure.  All I know is that for as long as I can remember, I have led a thrifty life.  I recall from a young age heading to rummage sales, church thrift shops and annual holiday sales with excitement.  In a recent post, I already mentioned the euphoria of a glittery used tutu when I was about five or six.  Later, I would be thrilled to find components of my Fisher Price toys, clothes for my Barbie or Dawn Dolls, or horse-related items. When I was a bit older, I would scour the book racks in anticipation of 25 cent Nancy Drew or Dana Girls mysteries I had not yet read.  Of course when I was that young, I was not heading to these sales alone, I was headed with my mom.

Thrift shopping for my mom is also a way of life.  Having grown up coming out of the depression on the young end of four brothers and four sisters, thrift was necessary!  When she and my dad were starting out as a young married couple in the 1960's her thriftiness helped outfit their home and keep them stylish on a budget. When headed into the recession and energy crisis of the early 1970's with two kids, she kept us with "new" (to us!) clothes and toys through her thrifty and skillful hunting skills.  Now that she is beyond child-rearing, she is still putting her thrifty skills to use by finding things for herself, her family, her home and her two Etsy shops; Find Me A Memory and The Library Cat.

My mother's house is a vintage and antique wonderland!  When she reads Country Living and Martha Stewart Living she does not say "Wow, what great ideas, I will copy those!" she says "Hey - that looks like my dining room!"

Not only is her home filled with vintage treasures, but, her studio, where she organizes, photographs and packs all the goodies she sells in her on-line shops, is a lovely space filled with light and vintage goodies that looks like it's right out of Real Simple or off of Apartment Therapy!

That vintage picnic tin above holds an assortment of vintage cards and papers that she likes to include as extra goodies for her customers along with their Etsy purchases.

So where does she, and I, and many other collectors and resellers find these lovely items?  Well, at places that look like the photo above!  Places with piles of stuff, bad lighting, lots of junk, but, a few goodies here and there.  Last Friday, we headed out with a plan to hit as many area thrift shops as possible in the south shore region of Massachusetts where she lives.

Unfortunately, the first on our list was closed to get ready for a sale (forgot to take a photo), we passed by the second because the last time we went the guy blasted political talk radio at full volume throughout the entire store until we needed to flee screaming, and the next was closed because no one was there to open the store yet by noon (also forgot to take a photo). So, instead of breaking for lunch we started with lunch.  And what a lunch it was!  Classic turkey sandwiches from this awesome place, eaten in the car, with something to wash it down.  Yum!

I had one last 30% off card about to expire so of course the local Savers was on our list!  We headed there after lunch and my mother immediately got to work. 

Here I am, supposedly helping my mother, and, as I come around the corner behind her I hear her gasp aloud as she totally snipes, I mean, grabs, I mean, picks up this antique mixing bowl in front of me!  Have I mentioned here before that I collect antique mixing bowls?

Right near the cookie jars in my kitchen is this selection of antique mixing bowls. 

And in the next room over, I have more yellowware atop a built-in cabinet and the first matched set I ever found ($1 each, yard sale!) behind glass within the cabinet.

I even keep my cat's Greenies pill pockets and medication in an antique bowl on the kitchen counter!

But I the time I recovered from my outrage and missed-mixing-bowl stupor, my mother was practically already turning down the next aisle to snipe me on something else!

The truth is, I have plenty of bowls and I was glad she made such a fun find during our outing!  If I had said I wanted it, she would have handed it to me, or, set it aside for me as a Christmas gift.  As it stands, you will likely see this in her shop soon, so, keep watching if you love it!

My mother's best shop finds of the day; the mixing bowl and this vintage "Star" pattern 1930's Hall teapot in mint condition.

The bowl required an overnight soak in hot soapy water and some elbow grease the next morning...

...but will be a prized piece in your collection if you are the lucky one to grab it from her shop!

By far though, the thrifty find that made my mother smile the widest was this stunning embroidered jacket she found at a little thrift shop we stopped at between Savers and home.  It is incredibly beautiful and well made, exactly her style and a perfect fit!

I found a few things at each place as well.  My found items were all to sell,  none for me.

My hands-down best find was this DVF 1970's wrap dress in a bright yellow Ginko leaf pattern and with short sleeves.  This is already laundered and will be in my shop very soon...

At the same shop as the DVF (and my mother's jacket) I also found this lovely Shadowline nightie!

And from Savers for me?  A sexy disco dress still with all original tags, Collie figurine for my dog listings (coming this fall),  mid-century clutch, and mod 1960's abstract drapes!


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