Saturday, December 31, 2011

A couple of arty bits

On a recent trip to one of my favorite thrift haunts (ok, so it's St Vincent de Paul again - I swear that place has been fun lately - soon it will dry up on me and I'll be all about Value Village or The Salvation Army again), I found two nifty arty items.  The first is one of those "paintings" made with... I don't know, some sort of nature?  Wafer-thin slices of wood, or something.  Here, you tell me:

Birds on a branch in a gold bamboo frame.
And what's fun is, the wood slices (or whatever) are adhered to a real painted canvas, so that the branch and some of the leaves are painted on, and other leaves, and the birds, are overlaid on top:

That bird keeps looking at me...
You can even see a sketched-in but neither painted nor stuck-on leaf, just above the top bird's head.  The piece is signed S. T. Young (or possibly Yang, or Lang, or Zang, or Zoung, or Loung...), but I have yet to find anything online to compare it to under any of those names.  It's pretty well-constructed, too:


It's not exactly the most compelling art form to me - the wood-chip-art, or whatever - but I like that it's birds, and I like the details.

My second find from that trip caught my eye much more quickly and gives me warm fuzzies still.  It's an impressionist-style watercolor, I'm guessing from the 60s, of a young mother and two children in just lovely warm yellows and greens:

Sweet 12x12 watercolor in original cream and green mid-century frame.

I love the colors and the dreamy feeling of it - like nothing can touch this perfect, idyllic moment.  The real world is a million miles away.

It's signed M. Storm.
The back  has a label that says "A Truart Product".  Google shows that this was apparently a fairly common distributor? framer? of mid-century art of varying quality, and I found a couple of references to M. Storm, but no real information.  But I don't care; if I were a mom or a mom-to-be, I would build a whole nursery around this painting.  It's so soothing and warm.  I just love it!  

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Don't know why I love you like I do....

I can't really explain why I felt the overwhelming need, but I bought a rocking chair.  Not only that, but a rocking  chair curlicued somewhat like this one, being enjoyed by a very cheerful Pablo Picasso:
Pablo Picasso relaxing in his rocking chair in his studio.
The chair figures prominently in some of his work.

His painting called "The Rocking Chair"

But the one I bought, while curlicued, is not a classic bent-wood, caned rocker.  Oh no, that would be entirely too ordinary to catch my attention (although now that I've seen how much Picasso loved his, I fear I may have been missing out all this time).  Mine is a bright red tubular steel version with a rounded Windsor-style back and a white vinyl seat.  So if you should choose as the great artist did above to enjoy it in the near-altogether, you would not have waffle-skin upon rising, but you may well leave skin behind (or behind-skin!) adhered to the vinyl.

It's too late and too dim in my house to get a decent picture of the thing tonight, so I searched through 20 pages of Google images for a "metal rocking chair", but found nothing like what I've got here.  Fret not, it's not any kind of rare designer piece.  It has a label - made in Taiwan by Yu Wei Co., Ltd.  Googled them, too, and found pictures of cribs (apparently recalled for safety issues - uh oh!), but nothing of this chair.  So, in spite of the poor lighting and the fact that I haven't yet cleaned it up, here's a phone-shot of the chair:

Excuse the mess in the background - some of my
vintage clothing collection awaiting the new
hanging rack I have yet to actually bring home
from my parents' house from Christmas.

It's not likely to have inspired Picasso, but there was just something about it.  The small price tag, for instance!  And the fact that my Grandpa's rocking chairs (which looked nothing like this, but were also made of metal, and also do not appear in any Google images that I can find) have long been symbolic for me of blessed childhood memories.  And also there's the simple fact that it's a chair.  I kind of have a thing for chairs in general, and generally speaking, this is a chair!  Now if only it went with... anything else I own...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Back to the blog

Hello, everyone!

I hope  you all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Boxing Day.

I had so much fun with Christmas this year!  I did all the things I always mean to do, like baking and coming up with special wrappings for gifts instead of throwing them in last year's gift bags.  I don't have any pictures of my baking, but here are some of the packages I wrapped (I was inspired this year by Julie Andrews to do these:

Brown paper packages tied up with... er, well, yarn.  
I didn't have any string handy.

I made brown paper curlicues and candy cane hearts and felt awfully crafty!

And used my carry-everything basket to transport them.  
I paid a non-thrift price (a rare occurrence for me) on this basket at a 
street festival I accidentally attended in Springfield, Il over the summer.  
At the time I wasn't even sure why I needed it, but now 
I'm not sure how I ever lived without it.
  I use it at least once a week, and it's sturdy and well-made and pretty, too!

And Santa was very gracious to me this year, too!  I got to spend time with so many people I love, I got a really nice hanging rack for my ever-growing vintage clothing collection, and not one, but two yellow elephants!  It's possible you might not all know about me and yellow elephants.  If so, let me just explain that I collect them.  Because it's fun to say yellow elephant.  Go ahead!  I dare you, say "yellow elephant" a few times, especially if you say it fast - I dare you not to get a smile out of it.  It's a little-known fact.  

I haven't brought everything in from the car yet, so instead of the ones I actually received for Christmas, here are shots of some of the yellow elephants in my collection:

1940s planter and plaster child's-room plaque

Plastic watering can - 1950s?

A trio of planters.  I think the middle one was created for a 
Republican National Convention or something, but in spite of it's political origins, 
it gets along fine with the others, so I love it anyway ;)

Tiny ones!  Erasers.

A bank. another bank that started life as a cookie tin, and a glass paperweight.

I actually have a few others - a couple of not-very-attractive stuffed ones, and some that are in need of repair.  I was discussing the yellow elephant thing with a friend the other day who had, apparently, tried to explain to someone else about my collection with little success.  It is my contention that the more yellow elephants I have around, the more excuses I have to say "yellow elephant", and the more free smiles I get!  Simple enough, right?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Hoildays!

I'm tired, it's late, and there's Tons to do in the next 2 days to prepare for Christmas (the 3 days after that will be 12 hour work days, and Christmas Eve and Day will be for celebrating!), so tonight's thrifty though is this:  There's no bigger bargain than time with people you love, and if those people keep you laughing too, you are truly blessed.  On a related note, we found this, cleaning up after my wonderful small group's Christmas party tonight:

Happy Hoildays indeed, to all of you!

And as an early Christmas gift to you all, a link to my personal favorite seasonal cute, clever and totally free way to waste a few minutes (or even hours):

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Words, words words - and they're all mine!

Last week I picked up a friend a little earlier than I usually do, so with a bit of time to kill, we stopped by the Goodwill Outlet that's nearly under highway 40 off Vandeventer.  It just opened last Spring here in St Louis, and I checked it out pretty quickly after it opened, but hadn't been back.  The concept is amazing - everything is sold by the pound, dirt cheap - but there are obvious drawbacks.  First of all, it's an outlet, which means what's there is what failed to sell at... Goodwill.  Secondly, everything is just piled into giant bins that are then rolled out onto the floor in rows as they're ready at which point, at least in my limited observation, people swarm them.  So breakage is not uncommon.

Still, we had a little time to kill, and I have a thrift fetish, so I gave it another shot.  We found a few little things - some yarn I might use eventually and a picture on canvas I thought I might play around with modifying, and a few vintage books, but here is the pièce de résistance:

Websters New Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language.

Can you believe this sexy thing?  I mean seriously, it's so big, it's bound with big long bolts!:
Check out the gorgeous endpapers!

It's the unabridged 1956 version, and it's so chock-full of goodness it makes me giddy.  There are thick full color pages at the front with illustrations of various random things - a page of reptiles, a page of trees, a page of minerals, etc.  The back cover is missing, but with over 2000 pages of words and hundreds of pages of appendices after that, it will take me years to get that far anyway - there's too much good that comes before it!  And there are lots of illustrations alongside the definitions as well:
So many words, so little time....

My favorite new word from the pages shown above:
"gulinular, c.  Of or relating to a gulinula."

What is a gulinula, you ask?  Why I just happen to have that information right here handy as well!:
"gulinula, n.  In zoology, the stage of development of an actinozoan at which the gullet is formed."

I bet you can guess what the next word I looked up was!  But if you don't have your very own copy of the complete, unabridged Webster's dictionary, you'll have to sign up for a free trial of the online version to view the full definition of the exact word.  Poor you and your limited internet!

Friday, December 16, 2011

The clothes! Or, dark alley adventures.

I'm sure I mentioned that what let loose the floodgates of my thrift-obsession was my intention to open a vintage clothing Etsy store, and yet, I realized, I have yet to post anything at all about the clothes!  So here are a couple of shots of some of my vintage finds:

Lovely peachy late-70s/early 80s gown.  
Not just for old teen horror movies!
Fabulous 60s! Long grey wool dress, matching 
belt with rhinestone buckle and white poly tie, 
and a red wool hat fit for a 60s Bond girl.

I fully admit that part of the reason that I haven't shown a lot of the clothes is also a large part of why the shop has yet to materialize (or... digitize, since it's clearly not a physical shop!).  I haven't shot most of it.  I don't really have a willing and available model most of the time, and I have a mannequin, of sorts, but...
Wait - have I told you about my mannequin?  I don't believe I have!

Make yourself comfy, I have a story to tell!

Once upon a time, I came to the realization that a mannequin would be a really helpful thing to have to photograph these clothes in order to sell them online.  So, where's a thrifty girl like me to turn but Craigslist, in hopes of finding a new plastic friend looking for a home?  And that's exactly what I did.  One night, I came home after a longer-than-usual day at work (I usually finish at 9:00 PM).  I got into my PJs and settled in with my laptop and checked, just on the off-chance.  And what to my wondering eyes should appear but a Curb Alert for various items including a Free Mannequin!  And it had only been posted 20 minutes before.  And it was only maybe 10 minutes from my house!  In an alley in Dogtown, at going-on-midnight!  So of course, I hopped up, threw a hoodie on over my PJs and grabbed my keys.  The ad had said it was in the alley behind the Hi-Pointe theater, so I headed that way, looking directly behind the building and saw... nothing.  Undaunted, I widened my search.  I went up a block or two and came down the alley behind the then still-closed Cheshire Inn, and I found the place!  All the items listed were still there, except... the mannequin.  So sad!  But I wasn't about to come away empty-handed.  There was a box of hangers there, which is a totally useful thing, so I hopped out of the car and started loading the over-sized box into my trunk, in the dark alley, when I hear a voice, going "Hey!  Hey kid!".

Now, if you know me, and even if you don't, you may have guessed by now that I'm not exactly a kid (except on the inside).  And while I am adventurous enough to wander alleys at night looking for free mannequins, I'd like to think I'm smart enough not to talk to strangers while doing it.  Unfortunately....

You see, the flap on the box was stuck and I couldn't get my trunk closed, and I dropped my keys, and I was, I admit, a little bit flustered.  And the voice said, "Kid, do you want to see something cool?".  At which point I thought three things:
A.  No, I really, really don't!
2. Well, yes, kinda.  What if there really is something cool?
C. Oh great.  So this is how it happens.  

So I gathered up my keys and finally got the trunk closed as he walked up, and I started inching around toward my car door.  And he said: "I'm not, like, a rapist or nothin'".  Which, as it turns out, isn't quite as reassuring as you might think.  But now that he's closer (and not approaching me from behind in the dark) I can see him, and while I'm still quietly freaking out, I'm a little bit less scared.  He appears to be, essentially, a drunken frat boy.  Now, I'm not saying that's such a relief because drunken frat boys are known for being such good citizens.  It's just... I thought there was an outside chance I could take him, if it came down to it.  Or at least confuse him until he got tired and needed to sit down.  And at about this point, he's close enough to see the look of alarm on my face, so he holds up his hands like it's a stick-up, and says: "No, seriously, it's so cool!  You gotta see it!  I hid it over there..." and he points to a strip of complete darkness in the relative darkness, in a narrow area between a shipping container and the back of the building.  He does that chin-nod that guys do and takes a step as if I'm supposed to follow him.  At which point I voiced a mild concern at his plan and mentioned how I really needed to get home.  But he barely noticed.  He was on a roll by then, rambling about how he was going to take it home himself and scare the crap out of his roomates, but he couldn't figure out how to carry it all by himself, and since I have a car maybe I should take it.  And it sinks in to me that yes, it really is something cool.  This guy knows where the mannequin is!

I should mention now that a good friend admonished me to never tell this story in its entirety again once I told it to him.  Apparently it induced some stress.  So let me stop right here and state that I was not abducted, robbed or otherwise harmed.  I must confess that the first glimpse of her headless/armless plastic corpse lying naked in the dark behind the shipping container was somewhat freaky,  but I did, in the end, procure the elusive mannequin, with the help of the drunken frat boy.  I even thanked him and shook his proffered hand.  But I washed mine as soon as I got home.

So here she is, and I'll call her Allie, in honor of her humble origins:

Allie the mannequin, in an Easter-
egg pastel 70s knit sundress.

Unfortunately, after all we went through to find each other, Allie here is not your ideal vintage-clothing-displaying mannequin.  For one thing, she has no arms.  You'd be surprised how difficult it is to accurately display clothing on a mannequin with no arms, and an insufficient amount of shoulder (which is why she's wearing a sleeveless dress above).  Also, if she had a head she would be easily 6'3" tall.  Even without a head, she's a good bit taller than me (the drunken frat boy really did come in handy getting her in my car).  And she's no Twiggy, either.  A lot of my lovely vintage clothing is entirely too small for her.  And finally, her posture is not ideal.  I'm not sure what, exactly, she was intended for, but it doesn't appear to be for the optimal display of clothing.  She's standing slightly twisted at the waist, which tends to cause bunching.

Still, she's pretty cool, and works for larger, or stretchy, sleeveless items, and lets face it - she's worth it for the adventure alone.  And what's more, at the bottom of the box of hangers, I found an old coin purse that was empty except for a surprise of 8.65 euros - mostly Spanish euros.  So I made an actual profit off of my adventure, although it has since depreciated considerably.

So good night all - I hope all your dark-alley adventures end as benignly as mine!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This little piggy...

This little star-burst Formica topped wooden piggy is an oddly adorable purchase I picked up for $.50 at an estate sale a couple of months ago:

I had never seen anything like it before, and thought maybe it was fashioned by an extraordinarily thrifty/crafty person upon the death of an old table or counter top or something, but less than a week later, I stumbled across one that was nearly identical in the Value Village thrift store on North Lindbergh.  The shape was the same, and it had the same kind of little black eye on it, although the Formica surface was a different pattern (and far more scratched/scuffed up).  I passed up the chance at a twin for my star-burst piggy, but it made me curious, and good ol' Google tells me that Formica piggies were apparently a thing, back in the day.  Right this very moment on Etsy there are 5 Formica piggies listed (although one of them is shaped more like an anteater or an armadillo or something, in my opinion).  It's an interesting phenomenon, isn't it?  How you can come across something you've never seen before, or at least never noticed before, and suddenly, once you've noticed whatever thing it might be, you see that thing everywhere.  I like to think of it in Harry Potter/Doctor Who terms:  before that estate sale, there was a perception filter that prevented me from seeing Formica piggies, but once I noticed one, now I can see them all!

A similar thing has happened to me lately with vintage carafes.  I spotted a cool one with it's own little stand/warmer for a song at a thrift store, and since then two more with fun star-burst patterns (like the pig!) have followed me home:

I think if I was there to get my thrift on, I could probably spot the entrance to Diagon Alley!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The coolest score from last weekend, finally

So last Monday and Tuesday I showed off some of my scores from St. Vincent de Paul, and mentioned a couple of times a special score that I hadn't shown.  I still haven't unpacked/cleaned up/checked over that special score, but I did find a picture online, to show you what I found:

Hallcraft "Shape" line, designed by Eva Zeisel.  
The pattern is called "Harlequin".  
Image taken from Funky Home Finds

I found several cups, saucers, berry bowls and dinner plates.  One or two out of all of the pieces were in really good shape, but most of my haul, I freely admit, was chipped, scratched and even, in the case of one of the dinner plates, a little bit cracked.  But the pattern was so unusual, and the price so right that I couldn't pass it up.  According to the pattern was discontinued in 1955, and according to the guy I spoke to at China Finders on Cherokee Street in South St Louis, it is not easy to find, and not cheap (I thought, since the condition of what I found isn't that great, I might be able to fill it out with some not-that-great serving pieces and have a not-that-great quality, but totally rockin' atomic set of dishes).  He didn't have any of it, and only knew of one platter available, for $65.00.  Seeing as how I spent less than a quarter of that for all of what I have, and seeing as how I'm all thrifty, I'll stick with my turquoise speckled Melmac dinnerware I've been using proudly for years:

Vintage perfection!  

This set is one thing I can guarantee you I will never put up on Etsy.  It's beautiful, functional, virtually indestructible, and I love it dearly.  I find melamine stuff frequently - you saw the pink set I bought last week already - but this?  Since the day I found it, I have never come across even a single piece of this set at any thrift store, garage or estate sale.  I am very attached!

So, for anybody who might be reading - a question, in two parts:
Do you thrift?  What's your equivalent of my beloved turquoise Melmac set?  

Sunday, December 11, 2011

You know what's a better deal than any thrift score I've ever made?

Getting to look up at the sky tonight and see this:
And you can look all you want, for free!

Also while I am aware I did not discover the moon, a zoom that lets me see the craters on its surface, while not a thrift bargain, makes me feel like an explorer making a new discovery every time!  There's not much I don't mind spending real, full-price money on, but I do not regret my camera.  Not one bit.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Elves and gnomes and whatnot. Oh my!

Hi everybody!  Just got home from a fun evening with friends.  Met up for dinner, went to watch their daughter's play (if you're reading this, Rachel - you did a great job!), had coffee and chatty time, then went back to their house to watch a movie.  More on that later.  First, let's rewind....

I stopped in at a couple of estate sales this morning (I use the term morning rather loosely), and made a few little finds.  Most interestingly, a couple of awesome retro Christmassy items:

Vintage Christmas lights, still in the box, with adorable snowman graphics.

Fantastically kitschy old ornament with plastic deer and tree.  
I love it so much that I want to call it George!

I picked up a few other things today, but before I show those off, I have to share some other Christmas kitsch I've found.  I picked these up on that same St Vincent de Paul trip that kicked off my blog to begin with:
Awesome elfin ornaments!
I love elves, gnomes, leprochauns - pretty much all small, pointy-featured people, so these give me such a smile!  I especially love that the red-felt-bellied one has a little polka-dotted mushroom with him, which you can't see in the pictures.

And while this one isn't Christmas-related, I have to share another little elf-man who's come into my life recently:
I believe he came from the Salvation Army up off of highway 70.  
Beth - weren't you with me when he begged to come home?  I love his dopey expression.

Which brings me back to tonight's movie.  We went through a zillion suggestions (starting with Mister Smith goes to Washington, all the way through The Thin Man, Fight Club, Everything is Illuminated and an actual attempt to watch Trainspotting that even the Netflix server itself couldn't handle tonight).  I really can't remember, or much imagine, how it happened, but we then ended up watching a film that sort of (marginally) goes along with my gnomes and elves.  Troll Hunter ended up being... sort of amazing, and a little bit wonderful.  The best way I can think of to describe it is to ask you to imagine that The Blair Witch Project was: 
A. Norwegian
2. About giant trolls who live among the fjords and mountains and whatnot and are hidden by a government conspiracy and
C. hysterical, in a very "serious" way, all while still being suspenseful and fairly scary.  
I think it would have been even better if we knew a bit about trolls in Norwegian folklore, but even without that, we found ourselves giggling through much of the film and worrying about the fate of the characters.  If you don't mind subtitles or the absurd, are okay with massive suspension of disbelief and aren't burned out on mocumentaries, you might enjoy Troll Hunter.

Friday, December 9, 2011

A note on Albert Pujols

Hi all!  Check me out, sticking to the blogging!
I know this blog is meant to be about my thrifting/vintage ways, but as a St Louis native and lifelong Cardinals fan, I can't help but toss in my two cents on the departure of arguably one of the greatest baseball players in history.  And my two cents amount to, basically, this:
Bummer.  Good luck Albert.  Let's go Cards!

I think it may have been a mistake for Pujols to take the Angels' offer in the long run in terms of quality of life.  Ask Stan the Man, Lou Brock or Ozzie Smith what it's like to spend your post-retirement years in a community that loves and reveres you.  St Louisans would defend Stan Musial with their dying breath.  It's an amazing accomplishment to be one of the Best of baseball's elite.  It's bound to be even cooler to also feel the love every day.  Heck, you don't even have to stay in St. Louis forever to get that love - we're that kind of town.  Ask Willie McGee, who received a standing O every at-bat when he was playing AGAINST us, and is still treated like a cross between visiting royalty and a favorite uncle every time he comes into town.  But Willie got traded (and he came back, before retiring back to his home town).  Pujols walked away of his own accord.  Away from the "best fans in baseball" to Southern California for a fat paycheck, and most Cards fans aren't going to get over that easily.  But you can't argue with the man that it was a bad move financially, or career-wise.  He's getting truckloads of money and flat-out guarantees for 10 years, and he can fall back to designated hitter when it comes to that?  He's 32 (or something).  He's probably already peaked. And he's only human.  I doubt it's all about the money, but it's not easy to turn down that many zeros.  And a guarantee of 10 years in the sport he loves?  I think he probably will have some regrets in retrospect.  I think the Angels are bound to sooner or later.  But I have none.  I'm glad St Louis didn't spend obscene amounts of money to keep him.  I'd like to see that money invested in some young up-and-coming talent, some solid team players, and/or maybe, just maybe, a start on Ballpark Village.  I wish Albert well.  But as one of the best fans in baseball, all I have to say is "Go Cards!"

Christmas thrifts?

I may have just outdone myself.  I just spent $0.13 on a Christmas present.  And I think the intended recipients will love it!  I can't share this online thrift score with you all just yet, of course - it's a secret!  But here's the hint I just sent the giftees on Facebook (names have been changed for their privacy):

‎Mr Transformer and Mrs Transformer: be on the lookout for a package addressed to "Transformer Family", sometime in the next 5 to who knows how many days, from a seller called "betterworldbooks_". The underscore, is apparently part of their name. I have ordered you something for Christmas. Used. And sight-unseen. And for exactly $0.13, plus shipping. Enjoy!

So what do you think - am I horribly tacky for thrifting a gift?  Or for bragging about it?
Somehow I don't feel tacky at all.  I feel giddy.  Can't wait to hear how they liked it.

And with that, I have just noticed that it is past 2:00 am.  Good night(morning) all!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Update on the little pot from Monday and a thrift FAIL (or, laterally speaking, a chance for thrift genius)!

Hi all!  I still haven't unpacked my biggest and most interesting score from Monday, but here, as a consolation prize, is a cheap plastic item that will probably make you smile:


But wait, there's more!  Remember the little pot from my first post?  The one with the sort of repeating Rorschach glaze pattern?  Well, I just happened to see a seemingly similar glaze style on an ash tray yesterday afternoon in the basement at Retro 101 on Cherokee Street (a very cool shop - any St Louisans with a yen for retro goodness, especially clothing, accessories and "smalls", needs to check it out!).  The ash tray in question had a sticker on it that read "Treasure-Craft, Compton, CA".  So I came home and googled Treasure Craft, and while I didn't find anything exactly like my pot, here's a Treasure Craft tidbit tray with very similar glaze colors and style:

More interesting still, when I googled "pottery glaze rorschach", Item #3 was this.  So what do you think?  Did I find the origin of my little pot?  It seems like a pretty reasonable guess, at least.

On another note entirely, I picked up a pair of slightly-too-big but very comfortable and seemingly sturdy desert boots while thrifting awhile back, and I've worn them a few times, and quite liked them until today, when the sole of the right boot started just peeling away, like so:

Thrifted desert boots - luckily I didn't pay much.

Now, this happened about 3 hours into a 12 hour work day, and as you can see, the sole peeled off quite a bit.  In order to make more than 2 steps without tripping, I had to walk like I was either:
A. Igor (or whatever Doctor Frankenstein's assistant was called), or
2. in a Monty Python sketch.

So on the one hand, giant fail of a seemingly good thrift find.  On the other hand... opportunity.  I can either:
A. throw them out - they're no good to anyone now.
2. look into shoe glue and try to fix them, because they really are very comfy and the materials are really good, even if they apparently weren't stuck together very well, or
C. try something crazy!

You know I can't just do A.  I'd have to at least try something else first, or I'd feel guilty.  So here's the inspiration for the Something Crazy I'm thinking about.  I apologize for the quality of the picture; I basically took a picture with my decent camera of an old snapshot I took years ago that's in a frame under glass that's, quite frankly, not very clean:
An old shoe (probably my grandfather's) 
on a concrete table under an overgrown arbor.

Now, I'm not sure how other people will react to this.  Some folks might think this picture is gross.  I think it is fabulous on a number of levels, including:
A. I love the idea of this small physical representation of nature reclaiming it's own.
2. It looks flippin' cool.
C. It's just so ODD!

So I've had this fascinating image in my mind (and on my tv stand) for ages, and recently, I came across this:
where they have a recipe for growing moss wherever you like!

Now, I live in a postwar bungalow in South St Louis city surrounded by zoyzia grass rather than an old English garden or something more suited to this lovely and intriguing art form, but I filed the idea away for "someday", now that I know a recipe exists.  So today, when my really very cool (if slightly too big) desert boots decided to fall apart, I have to admit, I'm thinking hard about giving this a try.  I'm not sure what I'd do with Moss Boots once I had them, but surely something would come to me... right?

What do you think?  Try to repair, or collaborate with Mother Nature on a weird little art project?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More of yesterday's finds

Yesterday at St Vincent de Paul was so much fun!  I was like a little kid going through the store - everywhere I looked were things I loved and needed, and since there was nobody to tell me to knock it off and stay in the cart, like there was when I was little, I came home with quite a few treasures.  Three more here:

Isn't that a cute little collection of colors?  The blue is a plastic water pitcher with a cup for a lid in a cute Jetsons kind of shape.  I think it might be the kind they used to provide for your bedside at hospitals.  Honestly my favorite thing about it though is the logo on the bottom.  There were 3 of them.  I bought the 2 that still had their lids.  The pink is, of course, melmac, with which I am mildly obsessed.  I use a set of blue speckled melmac as my all the time stuff, but I couldn't pass up the fair-sized stack (no dinner plates, but quite a few cups, saucers and bowls) of this pink.  How could I?  And the yellow Pyrex is a score, since the lid is intact save a small chip on one corner.  Does anyone know how to get the pencil-scratch looking marks off of colored Pyrex without rubbing off all the color?  I need to figure that out because the color is in great shape except for all the gray marks all over it...

Anyway, that's three more of my finds.  I'll try to get a picture of my most exciting score from yesterday soon.

And if you know anyone in the market for some of these treasures, let me know.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Lucky in thrift

From abandoned buildings to thrift stores full of cast-offs to interesting rocks I can't help but put in my pocket, I love pretty much anything that could be considered junk.  It's what I fill my home with, it's what I like to look at, it's who I'm friends with (just kidding, guys!) and it's where I like to go.  Robert Frost took the road less traveled; I like the road best avoided.  Just ask my road trip buddies (who are totally Not Junk!).

It's been almost a year since I started telling myself I was going to open an Etsy store, and thus allowed myself to start collecting vintage clothing - an itch I've always had, but mostly avoided scratching.  So now it's December, and I've amassed quite an inventory, and I've set up a store (Elsewhere Moon, in case you're wondering), but have yet to actually post any items to it.  For a lot of reasons, some of which are legitimate even.

And as it turns out, the clothing was but a gateway drug.  Allowing myself to spend all that time in thrift stores and estate sales and whatnot has inevitably led to feeding the junk-loving monster inside me other things.  Trinkets and toys, fantastic kitchen finds I couldn't pass up, things I'm sure I've spotted in antique shops and therefore must snatch before someone else does, and items so kitschy and kooky that if I don't take them home and love them, who will?

So I've started this blog for a few reasons:

1.  In hopes that posting about it will give me the kick in the pants necessary to figure out how to start selling some of the amazingly cool stuff I've accumulated.

2.  To share (read: show off) some of my finds and therefore relive the glory of the hunt.  :D

3. Because I've developed some blog-crushes, and want to be as cool as other folks who's collections and conquests I covet.

4.  Because it's getting cold outside, but it's nice and comfy here on these interwebs!

I know, I know it's not the first time I started a blog, but I'm too embarrassed to write in that other one, since it's been blank for so long (see the trend, here?).  But I can't let my all-idea-no-execution tendencies leave me with a house full of treasures, or I will end up on Hoarders one day.  You don't want that, do you?  So help me out.  Read here, comment here, suggest ideas, or, you know, let me know if you're interested in buying some vintage clothing or other cool stuff, yeah?  Cause Etsy intimidates me.  I'd rather just sell stuff to you guys (you know, the internet).  And if you know of any good thrifting spots I haven't yet found in the St Louis area, let me know!

And just to kick off the party, here are a couple of today's many awesome finds.  I promise to share more tomorrow, and to start taking decent pictures soon, but possibly not that soon:

A pretty (and soft) little bark cloth throw pillow.

A small pot with a fascinating repeating glaze pattern in shades of orange and brown.  I need to get more natural light on it.  The white spots above the little V shapes are actually sort of unglazed bumps, but the rest of what looks white is really more of a gray-green.  It's unmarked, so I don't have any clue on the who/when/why of it, but it's striking.