Saturday, March 31, 2012

Learnin' about my treasures, or "I has a fez!"

Only the very coolest among you will know why I'm so happy to have procured for myself a fez, but the reason is simple: Fezzes are cool.  Just ask this guy:
Thanks to for the image!

And can I just say that this is not just any old fez I have found.  This is a super duper old fez, apparently.  At the Value Village Last Wednesday of the Month Half Off Sale (sorry, but yes, I do have to capitalize it.  It's a holiday, like Big Trash Day), I spotted some nice men's vintage hats behind the counter and bee-lined in their direction because, as you know if you've been playing along at home, I can't keep them in the booth.  Now, I am thrilled with the two non-fez hats I got as well, but the fez... well, first of all, it was way cheaper.  At half price, I paid $2.95 for the fez.  I feel good about telling you this because, like my favorite vintage dress, I will be keeping this little red gem for myself.  It already looks jaunty hanging on my wrought iron lamp, don't you think?

Check it out - my very own fez!

What's interesting is that while someone decided to donate his fez to a thrift store, he also left a little note inside:

Note reads "Genuine Fez Hat from Cairo Egypt  1947". 

It's a little moth-eaten in a few spots, but I think that just adds to the character.  It's felted wool stretched over a woven straw form with a band of leather inside where it would touch your forehead, and a silk tassle attached to a sort of "tail" of the wool in the center of the top.  The "ceiling" of the inside of the hat is a very cool sort of blue-green woven fabric - you can kind of see it above, along with one edge of a label in the center: a sort of eight-sided star with arabic writing inside across the top and across the bottom it says "Tarbouche Zawati".  In between the words is a heart.  Being the curious sort that I am, I asked old man Google what he knew about my fez, and it turns out that "tarbouche" is the name of the (shh!) not-quite-fez kind of hat this actually is.  From

tarboosh , tarbush or tarbouche  (tɑːˈbuːʃ) 
 — n
a felt or cloth brimless cap resembling the fez, usually red andoften with a silk tassel, worn alone or as part of a turban by Muslim men

By this I have inferred that Zawati was the name of the maker of said tarbouche.  I also found one reference in a buyer's ebay feedback to some 'advert labels' for Tarbouche Zawati from 1922, a 5 year old sale page for a 'fez' just like mine on Worthpoint where the seller thought they had a Mason's or Shriner's hat, and this, from the website of a graphic designer:
This is definitely the label in my hat!

And last, and most excellently, a really crummy picture and a good description of a sadly squashed version by the same maker, apparently from 1918, on the website of the Marlborough Museum (in New Zealand!)'s Collection of Hats, Gloves and Handbags.

So what I think I know is that in 1947, someone went to Cairo and got a fez that was made either at that time or previously, by a maker who was making them as far back as 1918, and no longer exists except in 4 (now 5, including this one right here!) references on these here interwebs.  And some time recently, that person or a descendant/loved one thereof, donated his beloved fez, including in it a note that was either written to the future buyer (me!), or written at some point in the past for a kid's show-and-tell or some other random reason and left inside for me to find.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Childrens books! Or oh how I love you, St Vincent de Paul

There's a dollar unaccounted for from last weekend.  One little dollar that I spent, and did not tell you about.  Confession time: the dollar went to one of my biggest weaknesses.  Periodically, St Vincent de Paul has an amazing deal on them - children's books only, 10/$1.00.  And when they do, you'd better believe I scoop up some books!  Here are some of the finds this time.  I apologize for the quality of the pictures.  Bad light, flash and laziness, I'm afraid are to blame.:

Vintage Disney, another Nancy Drew, and look!  Goonies!
From "Bambi Gets Lost".
A punchline from the Goofy's Gags book.
I'll let you supply your own setup!

I adore this pink and green 1971 "Read and Find Out" book  - Use Your Brain!

The illustrations are fabulous throughout.

There were a couple of these "Best in Children's
Books" ones, but I didn't know anything
about them, so I only picked up this one.

It's an anthology, with a few really lovely illustrations.

The 80s were a magical time, weren't they?

The Scarlet Slipper Mystery.  One day I
should read a Nancy Drew or two!

You may have noticed the picture above only made 7.  That's because I have yet more vintage Disney to show you:

Original flavor Bambi, Pinocchio and Snow White, oh my!

"You can call me Flower, if you want to!"

She was definitely the scariest evil queen of all.

Oh, Pinocchio!  Next thing you know we'll catch you playing Pinochle!

They even had a third, and to me most awesome of all, Bambi title, Bambi's Fragrant Forest, which was a book I had and loved and unfortunately scratched and sniffed to death as a child.  Equally unfortunately, this particular example of the book had been loved even more thoroughly than mine; the pages were falling out of the binding.  So alas, I left it behind.  Someday I'll come across a copy in great condition and I will refrain from scratching all the sniff out this time.

Ah, books!  Buying a new stack like this for one little dollar always makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Booth update 3/27/2012

For the first time this week I was a little disappointed when I went to the booth.  As far as I can tell, I only sold one item this past week - again, vintage menswear.  Who new?

Still, last week I sold so much I was doing the happy dance, so hopefully for the month it will average out to still be even better than February.  I had intended to try and work some of the increasingly large collection of crewelwork I have accrued in to the booth this week, but the cutely scalloped and totally free long skinny shelf I acquired the other day seemed to be so perfect size and style wise that I decided to go another route, at least for now.  I may even make myself a wicked-crewel (see what I did there?) collage on the wall at home for awhile - imagine, decorating my own walls!  So here are some shots of the various items I added to the booth this morning.  Some of these pieces were just procured this weekend, but only the disco ball was part of the Big Trash Day free haul.:

kitschy hummel-esque 70s candle.

Disco ball!

Tall aluminum thermos (red lid is mismatched).

Awesome  yellow retro phone!

I think it might be to keep valuables in for
boating?  It would float if it went overboard...

Singer button-hole kit in a cool space-shippy case.

Cheery yellow lemon jar-pitcher.

1964 toy xylophone w/original mallet and string.

Joan Bryant wood grain clown print.

Small green vinyl suitcase with red/yellow/green stripes.

Vintage child-size Taos beaded moccasins.

Pair of 12 oz Butterfly Gold Pyrex fridgies.

Pair of floral Easter bonnety hats.  Are there still Red Hat ladies?

I forgot to get a shot of the great sunny yellow old men's Arrow shirt you can see the shoulder of in the above picture.  So Springy!

And here's one final shot of the whole booth, newly arranged and added to:

Lots of new items - come and get 'em at Booth 78 at Kenrick Antique Mall, and I'll keep adding more!

I really didn't think I could fit much more in there, but I don't think it looks too cluttered, do you?  And I like Bambi's new perch on the shelf, too!  Here's a slightly closer look at the shelf:

What do you think?  I'm liking it, although I'm starting to wish I hadn't hung the two small suitcases cockeyed like that...

Better than cheap

So last night I had high hopes of finally procuring the elusive Tall Skinny Shelf for a price even better than cheap.  It's Spring Cleaning time here in the 'Lou, and Big Trash Day (week) to boot, and I thought I had spotted the shelf in a garage that was getting cleaned out for what I assumed was the bulk trash pickup, but when I went back by there last night, it was only the dumpster stuffed to the gills.  Possibly with great stuff, but most certainly not with a Tall Skinny Shelf, so I moved on, and can I just say that I drove around for about an hour up and down various alleys in my fair city, and WOW are St. Louisans cleaning house.  I saw at least a dozen couches, chairs, ottomans (ottomen?), patio furniture, TVs, computer monitors, a Little Tykes playhouse and picnic table, doors, windows, various bits of lumber, a really lovely small buffet that I tried in vain to stuff in the back of Chester, and all sorts of short fat shelves, entertainment centers, etc.  Here's what ended up coming home with me:

A mysteriously home made not-quite-ladder, the chair I mentioned yesterday,
a long skinny shelf since I couldn't find a tall skinny one, and a child-sized chair, plus...

Don't forget the disco ball!

This child-sized chair is missing a spindle in the seat back, and the paint is chipping all over.
Can't you just imagine a backyard tea party, all scabby knee'd kids in grass-stained dressups with half-broken chairs and chippy tea cups and a patchworked tablecloth and probably a sheet-fort built under a big old tree.  Man childhood was cool, wasn't it?

Detail on the weird not-ladder.

Can you see how the 2x4 crosspieces were sort of carved into notches and stuck into matching holes on the side pieces?  And the whole thing is oddly painted silver.  I have no idea why I picked it up, but I am determined to figure out some way that it's totally useful in the booth eventually.

And another shot of the disco ball because, let's face it - that's just cool.
The long skinny white shelf in the first picture that is sadly not a Tall Skinny Shelf is coming with me to the booth tomorrow, along with lots of little tchotchkes to display upon it.

Can you believe I picked up all that for a whopping zero dollars?  

I love Big Trash Day!

Oh, and it's Monday night!  Don't forget to check out everyone's great finds at Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday!  I'm going to try joining up here this week as well:

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Big Trash Day

I suppose they generally call it bulk trash pickup, but whatever, I've always called it Big Trash Day, always capitalized in my head.  Like a holiday!  Because to me, it kind of is.  I made a little tour of the neighborhood this afternoon, and picked up a chair I think is a coat of paint and a good scrub away from shabby chic awesomeness and, I swear I'm not making this up, a disco ball.  Photographic proof has not yet been secured, but I promise to share soon.

I came home to watch the Amazing Race, but I'm about to head back out for a second alley tour, to check out the leftovers of a family who was clearing out their garage earlier, and said they were planning to leave some things for Big Trash Day.  I think I spied a Tall Skinny Shelf in there - wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Cruel Summer may be on it's way, but it's a crewel Spring!

Officially today was the first day of Spring, I know, but Spring sprung on us already awhile ago here in the 'Lou, and I took full advantage of it Monday on my day off.  I'd been invited to dinner at friends Alaina and Steve's house in O'Fallon, IL for Monday evening, and I hadn't planned much of anything else for the day beyond getting some more new items in my booth, so I took advantage of the rest of the day to explore a few of the many, many great thrift stores in and around Belleville, IL.  I had heard there were quite a few, but when I started googling, I was surprised at the sheer numbers in what I'd always considered to be (compared to St Louis) a small town.  Have you guys ever used The Thrift Shopper?  I just came across it while doing the aforementioned googling, and what a handy resource!  I'm excited to put it to use again soon.

I didn't get to every shop listed on my nifty new resource, but I'll give you what impressions I can of the ones I did visit:

Goodwill, Fairview Heights:

I stopped by this one mostly because it's right off the highway and easy enough to stop at sort-of-on-the-way to the others.  It's a huge Goodwill in a nifty building, but I wasn't expecting all that much, since it's right by the highway and surrounded by suburban sprawl-mall complexes.  I assumed it would be high on prices and low on vintage, but I was pleasantly surprised!  
Nice vintage desk and old utility chair.
I believe the desk was marked $30.

Old covered wagon lamp
with Carebear wagon-cover!

Cool laminate-topped end table with inverted arch designs.
I walked around for about 15 seconds before heading back outside to grab a cart to contain a great vintage Samsonite suitcase much like this one that sold on Etsy last fall:
Obviously I haven't yet gotten a pic of the one I bought!

Picked up a couple of other, smaller items as well, then headed South to Belleville proper.  

Next stop was the Shelter Shop on North Belt in Belleville, whose proceeds go to violence prevention, I'm told.  Prices here were very reasonable, but I didn't spot much that I couldn't live without this trip.  I will definitely give it another try next time I'm in that neck of the woods though - the people were nice, even if they wouldn't sell me the super cool vintage chrome and vinyl chair I coveted.  Apparently their customers sometimes need to sit down, and they didn't mean at my house.  Oh well!  I did pick up a couple of old embroidery hoops and a 70s kitchen gadget, for a grand total of $0.89.  Not bad.

Then it was the Salvation Army, where I wouldn't have been surprised to hear an actual angel chorus sing when you open the door.  Seriously, I found some fantastic things!  First, what I left for the rest of you:

This half-buried loveseat had great lines, the upholstery
that wasn't piled with stuff looked great, and I believe it
was a sleeper.  Beef up those seat cushions a touch
and it would be good as new!

Can you see that? Yes, this awesome "Dad chair"
is marked down to $8.99!  Go get it before somebody
who won't appreciate it's classic lines and Ward
Cleaver appeal takes it home and spills Red Bull on it!

Heavy brass and wood bookends - pretty in person.

And a creepy one for you.  Please tell me you can see that
this is definitely Carol Anne from Poltergeist sitting
there with her over-realistic Raggedy Ann doll.  Yikes!
I picked up a handful of gems here, but the coolest, by far, was this:
Wide lapels and wild pleating
 The jacket itself brings the funk with all the wild details, but the real reason this is an out-and-out treasure in my book is what you find inside:

Yes, that definitely says "Original Fashions by Sammy Davis Jr.,
and his signature is part of the lining fabric print!
I tried to walk away from this jacket.  I mean, it's not exactly a practical purchase, but... Sammy Davis Jr.!  I mean... come on.  Sammy. Davis. Jr.!  I was powerless to resist.  And interestingly, Google seems to have very little to say about the great Mr Bojangles' fashion line.  I found a garment bag with the logo someone's trying to sell, and one three piece pinstriped suit.  

The prettier finds I made were vintage Springtime perfection.  I picked up four gorgeous crewelwork pictures (there were at least 2 more that I left behind, if you love this stuff like I do!):

As they're leaning against the tire of my car, you can kind of get the idea of the scale of these two.  Bright, beautiful, detailed and well-done.  I adore the blue genie-bottle type vase in the one on the right.

As you can see, these two are much bigger still than the first pair.  I love the bold colors in the vertical one, but the horizontal looks awesomely just like a field of wildflowers, complete with a bumblebee in the upper-right there.  So Pretty!

I already have a few other cool crewelwork pieces (including the Van Gogh Sunflowers I've shown before), so I really need to free up some wall space in my booth and show these off like they deserve.  If anyone's looking for some fun, funky, beautifully crafted artwork, let me know, or I'll let you know when I get them up in the booth!

I visited a couple more thrift stores yesterday, but it just hit midnight here in the 'Lou, and I'm about to turn into a late-for-work in the morning pumpkin, so I'll wrap it up for the night.  Hope you're enjoying the Spring as much as I have been!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Booth update, with new items I forgot to show you before!

I brought some new things up to the booth this morning.  When I got there I found that since last Tuesday I'm down to only 3 men's hats again (I believe I took 4 up there last week, and there were 2 already in the booth, so I've sold 3 again??), and the mustard and gold striped men's cardigan I just put up last week is gone, plus the cute yellow cross-stitch "smile" pictures that have been there from the start, and a cool beaded bag.  Oh, and the little green goose planter from the 40s.  And I just now realized I haven't seen that 40s flower painting the last couple of times I was up there.  I'm so excited!  And I added   my friend Timmy, plus the beaded cardigan and the Handy Hannah hair dryer I showed you guys the other day, and a pink lacy 80s blouse that I forgot to take a picture of.  I also added a few other recent finds:

Gorgeous blue small Dansk Kobenstyle pot - Jens Quistgaard: Love!

Coolest old leather satchel - old buckles,
old straps, old stitches - yay!

Tang pitcher!  Orange-lidded glass Tang pitcher!

I did a bit more rearranging to make everything fit, and to try and fill in a couple of holes. I forgot to get one big shot that covers the entire booth like I usually do, so here are a few shots to make up a whole:
Here's most of the booth.  I like the flowered suitcase hanging on the wall instead of
sitting in the corner like it was before.  It looks good with the plaid skirt, doesn't it?
I moved the hand-knitted yellow baby suit thingy to
where the smile pictures used to be to make room for

the beaded cardigan at the front of the wall, and look,
there's Timmy front and center on the blue rack!

Since St Paddy's is over and I sold one of the items that
was on the table, I moved a couple of the others to the
shelves and mixed up the colors here a bit to
feature the pot.  It's so pretty you guys!

So just the 3 new items in pictures for you guys today, but they're 3 lovelies to share at Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday party.  Seriously, go see the awesome things people find.  It's as addictive to me as Pinterest is to everyone else, I swear, and if I ever remember my password for Pinterest, I'll probably pin half the stuff I seethrough this one link-up!  And if anybody who uses blogger can fill me in on how one adds a button to one's side-bar, I'm hoping to do that here so you'll always be able to find it from my blog. 

Stay tuned tomorrow for news and pics of today's thrifting romp through Belleville, IL before a wonderful dinner with great company (Thanks Alaina and Steve!).