Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vacation is over way too soon

Hi all!  It's been a little while, hasn't it?  But I had a nice, relaxing vacation with the family - got to spend some quality time with my parents and my sister and her family on the beach, which was lovely!  I did sneak off with my niece for an hour or so one afternoon to check out a big fat Salvation Army shop, just to keep the shakes at bay - I couldn't go cold turkey for a whole week!  But be proud of me, I exercised extreme self control.  Even though the Whole Place was half off that day.  Even though they had This suff!:

 I left it all behind.  Even the Swiss Alpine dishes.  I wanted it.  I touched it.  But in the end I left it on the shelf.  I allowed myself one cheery yellow item of the Dansk variety:
Image borrowed from because I forgot to take a picture of mine!

I have been amassing some cheery yellow kitcheny items, thinking eventually I'll have the money/time/ability to doll up my own kitchen, but I'm not convinced such a thing will ever happen, so the fate of the cute yellow pan is not entirely decided as yet.

You wouldn't think there'd be much else in the way of cheapskate joy in a week in a condo on the beach, but you'd be surprised.  Three things I think are excellent deals:

FREE (my favorite price!):

Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary is, according to their website, the largest wild bird hospital and sanctuary in the country.  Located on Gulf Boulevard in Indian Shores, they couldn't have a better location to release the birds once they've been rescued, repaired and rehabilitated from whatever misfortune might have come their way.  Even those birds who have been permanently injured and wouldn't survive a return to the wild have a nice place to live out their old age in the salt air alongside the waves where they may have once fished.  It's nice enough that, if my visit there was any indication, their healthy, wild, non-hospitalized compatriots frequently stop by to hang out, and you can too!  Admission is free, although donations are accepted.  There is also a coupon in the little beach coupon book you can pick up anywhere in the area that promises a free gift from their gift shop.  Free + a bonus = even better than my favorite price! 
From their website:

Man baby pelicans are funny looking!

Under $10 (and nifty!):

Candy Kitchen in Madiera Beach is, on a small scale, almost as cool as if Ted Drewes and the City Museum joined forces.  They have your sweet-tooth totally covered, from homemade fudge, chocolates and pralines, to nostalgic and novelty candies, to some awesome home-made ice cream (I tried a malt-fudge swirl that was fabulous!).  But beyond the yum,what made this thrift-lover's heart go pitter-pat was the decor.  Toys, vintage signs (they've been in the same place since 1950, so these may be original!), an entire wall of PEZ dipensers and colored sodas on bottlecap-studded shelves, a row of green alien-heads in the corner and grafitti as an integral part of the decor on any un-covered surface (like, say, the ceiling) makes the place fun and eclectic without spending a bunch of money on decor, but they go so far beyond that: They've totally covered great bits of the small shop, including pretty much every surface of the bathroom, with candy ads, wrappers and packaging.  It's bright, thrifty, green and a bit trippy.  So to the proprieters of Mad Beach's Candy Kitchen, I salute you.  Well played, my friends!  And for the rest of you, a few shots of my visit:

Under $15:

Early Bird Specials.  That's right, I said it.  When in Florida, take a lesson from the retirees who, if old sitcoms are to be believed, do nothing but wear Hawaiian shirts and go to dinner at a ridiculous hour.  We tried it at Salt Rock Grill, back in Indian Shores.  They have bottles on their wine list that cost more than my computer, but for a $12.50 prix fixe we got a meal that included a (non-alcoholic - none of the très cher wine) beverage, bread, salad, entrée and dessert.  All of it really good, and all of it with a view of the channel.   I didn't take any pictures of/at the restaurant, but these were taken along that same channel, half a block north, where I hung out while my family caught fish most afternoons (and yes, I'm slightly obsessed with birds):

In the picture of the snowy egret, you can see in the far background beyond the sailboat a building with a rounded area sticking out toward the water - that's the Salt Rock Grill.  And you know what?  If you go to Early Bird dinner, you're done in plenty of time to catch the sunset over the gulf.  And you know how I love a bonus!

Sunset over the gulf last Thursday night.  Why do vacations have to end?

Oh!  And now that she's back, and I'm back, I'll link up, a little late this week, with Apron Thrift Girl - so glad you're back!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The feeling of freedom, for free!

If you're lucky, the best bits of anything aren't the parts you spend the big bucks on, but the moments you couldn't ever put a price on.

Tonight was one of those - after the sun was set, and the people had gone to bed, and the beach was deserted and time had been put away.

The roar of rushing waves on the darkened beach brought silence and stillness and real light to me for the first time in weeks.  I walked until every voice in my mind was calmed and my brain finally filled with the stars and the smell of salt and a lone gull and my feet in the sand, and gratitude to my God.  Then I turned around and felt the soft/strong wind and raised my arms and spread them wide and walked back up the beach with a sense of soaring and a wordless prayer, just a Being With.  The wind blew away all that has been churning and left room for peace.  If only I'll let it stay.

And here is some of the beauty that got me that far today.

Thistle by the highway

My mother's hydrangeas

Reflection on the water

Sunset melting

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Flea Market

It was another busy day here on the Moon, but because I had to go to 3 different places before I could find one that had any helium left for graduation balloons, I had to go past the location of my antique mall, so I took a minute to drive through the parking lot at the flea market today.  It was around 1:30, and there still seemed to be quite a few people milling about.  I couldn't get a great reading of the quality of what was on offer outside - I just made a quick drive-by and I know I saw one tent set up that said something about cosmetics, which wasn't the sort of thing I was expecting, but I did see the sun glinting off of what looked like some old chrome kitcheny items in one area, and I saw some crockery in another, and something that looked to be wrought iron.  Fleeting impressions, at best.  I hope there were great finds made!

Did anybody get a chance to check it out?  What did you think?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Don't forget the sale Saturday!

Hey all, just wanted to toss out a quick reminder that this Saturday (technically, tomorrow!) there will be a huge flea market in the parking lot of Kenrick Plaza, hosted by Kenrick Antique Mall, home of booth 78, 2ndhand Moon!  So by all means, check out an estate sale or two, but whatever you do, don't miss out on all the flea market deals outside, and the 25% off sale on every single item in my booth inside!

You can buy awesome stuff, like this (as of my last visit, all of the below was still available in the booth)!:

Kenrick Antique Mall is located in Kenrick Plaza at 7435 Watson Rd # 104  St. Louis, MO 63119.  Map here!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Didja hear about the 'Lou?

St. Louis is my home.  My hometown, and the place that keeps pulling me back no matter how far I roam.  There are a few things you might know about St Louis, even if you've never been here before: 

The Cardinals - 11 World Series wins!
The 1904 Worlds Fair, setting
For Meet Me in St Louis
Anheuser-Busch brewery
The Arch - Gateway to the West/
symbol of the Louisiana Purchase

If you're a foodie, or know a St. Louisan at all (we all brag these little fun-facts eventually), you may also know that we claim credit for the following:
-Hot dog buns, ice cream cones, iced tea, hamburger eaten as a sandwich, and cotton candy are all traceable to the 1904 World's Fair.
-Toasted Ravioli  (invented in St Louis's Italian-American neighborhood known as The Hill).
-Peanut Butter (or so I've heard).
-Whistle and 7-up sodas.
And you can all thank St Louis favorite son Ted Drewes for the invention of the Concrete.  Some of you poor souls out there have only ever experienced the DQ Blizzard or the McDonalds McFlurry, but long before those behemoths started their poor copies, the original (made with real frozen custard, not soft serve) was invented right here.

If you're more of a newshound, you may know St Louis for less tasty reasons.  Like the fact that St. Louis is frequently listed as one of the most dangerous cities in the country, and holds the dubious honor of being named the third most dangerous city in the world for 2011.  I could explain how the data used to give us such a frightening distinction is misleading and in several ways inaccurate, but it's true that there is  a significant amount of violent crime, and, as in any urban area, you should exercise caution.

But what you still don't know based on all the blathering I've done so far, is what on earth any of this has to do with thrifting, vintage, or anything else you might have come to this blog to read about.  So allow me to (finally) inform you!  Aside from being a haven for lovers of artery-cloggingly delicious foods and a center of criminal activity, St. Louis recently earned the top spot in business and finance magazine Kiplinger's online review of the 10 Best Cities for Cheapskates!

According to the article, Kipplinger figured in obvious things like average income and cost-of-living, as well as (click the link and see for yourself - I swear I'm not making this up) the number of Dollar General stores within a 30 mile radius.  I would of course have preferred they count thrift stores per capita instead - then the list would double as a guide to road-trip destinations for yours cheaply!  From the article:

Like most people, cheapskates enjoy getting out.  They just don't want to pay a lot for the privilege.  All the picks on our list boast large numbers of public libraries and museums per capita, ensuring affordable access to culture.
So the number of public libraries and museums per capita was the other major metric for determining the cheapskate honorees.  What the article specifically tells you about St Louis' ranking in this category is pretty darn cool:

St. Louis isn't a huge city, but if we're counting per capita, it boasts more museums and libraries than any city on our list (and it beats New York and Washington, D.C., by a factor of 25).
Now that's something even I didn't know.  I assumed D.C., home of the Smithsonian in all its permutations, would have pretty much everyone beat in terms of museums per capita.  What I knew they couldn't beat us at was affordability.

Did you know that you have to pay money to get into most museums and zoos and musical theater venues?  I didn't.  Until I went off to college and was asked to pay a ridiculous sum of money to visit a puny little zoo, I had no idea how lucky I was to have grown up in this cheapskates' paradise.  Here in St. Louis, the world class zoo (listed as 3rd best zoo in the country for kids by Parents Magazine) boasts fantastic exhibits of all the usual suspects in gorgeous and historical setting.  In fact, if you go, you can visit the Flight Cage my great grandfather helped build for the 1904 World's Fair, and then visit Penguin and Puffin Coast, and soon the new Sharks and Stingrays exhibit.  There's a reptile house, there's Big Cat Country, there's The River's Edge, and there's my favorite thing in the entire zoo:  the prairie dogs.  Or as I like to call them, the 'Praise Jesus Prairie Dogs'.  Stop by some time, hang out and watch them for awhile, and see if you can tell why I call them that.  You can spend the whole day at the St Louis Zoo and never spend a dime.  That's right, folks, the Zoo?  It's free.  Granted, there are plenty of things you could pay for - parking in one of the designated lots, riding the awesome zooline railroad or the carousel, snacks at one of the concession stands or the restaurant, souvenirs at the shop or admission to the frankly awesome Children's Zoo, but none of that is required.  Even parking.  There is ample free parking within easy walking distance of the zoo entrance, throughout Forest Park, and hey, you're right there in Forest Park, who needs a concession stand when you can pack a picnic?  And if you don't mind getting up a little early, you can even skip the $4.00 a pop for the Children's Zoo if you get there before 10:00 AM.  Here, for your viewing pleasure are a few of the cutie pies of the St Louis Zoo from

And now, having waxed on for Way Too Long, I realize I've only even told you about the Zoo.  There are literally dozens more great things to do in St. Louis for super, duper cheap (if not free), so I'm thinking this may become a semi-regular feature.  What do you think:  Cheapskate's Paradise?  More to come!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fuller and fuller!

I have a confession to make...

I have now crammed so much stuff into my booth that I can't even tell when something sells.  Even something big and obvious.  I only today realized that the disco ball:

is gone, and wasn't there last week, either.  At some point prior to last Monday, someone walked out of Kenrick Antique Mall with a disco ball in tow, and that, my friends, gives me warm fuzzies!  How often do you get to see somebody walking around with a disco ball under their arm?  I really hope somebody got to see that, when the buyer left, and it gave them a chuckle.  I can't believe I didn't even notice it was gone!

And yet, I have packed the booth even further still.  Today I added all of my accumulated crewelwork pictures, a great three-piece set of blue vintage luggage, a bunch of mugs, and tons of other bits and bobs.  Wanna see a few?  Here you go!:

This one's 3-D; the fern has fronds that pop off the canvas!
Also, it's signed.  Who wouldn't want to
hang an original Betty Buda on their wall?

I wish this showed off the italian pottery candle-holder on the front right better - it's mid-century fabulous!

3-piece set - priced separately or as a set.  Super cute, and the big one has wheels and a pull-strap.

I am a little obsessed with pale blue.  I added the little kettle to this vignette last week.  This week the S&P set is new!

I've added so much great stuff, but I'm a little afraid I've hit eyeball overload in the booth.  If I've filled it so full that I can't even tell what sells from week to week, is it too full for a customer to take in and enjoy?  Here's the full-booth view.  What do you think?

To make room for all the fabulous crewel work I took down the suitcases - you can see them sticking out from the wire cube on the bottom left there.  The new 3-piece set is basically just in the middle of the floor in front of the leather suitcase that's on the stand back there.  You can still walk around in there, but just barely.  And looking at it now, I'm more impressed than ever with how cool the blue and yellow genie-bottle looking one is.  Sorta funkadellic for arts-and-crafts, isn't it?  Fun!

And FYI, the 20% off clothing and accessories will come down tomorrow, but will be replaced with 20% off EVERYTHING in the whole booth this coming weekend only - special sale for a special event.  Kenrick Antique Mall is hosting a flea market outside, so be sure to stop by, check out the fleas outside (kidding - there will be great stuff! and food! and adoptable pets, too!), and come in out of the heat to check out the awesome bargains inside.  Don't forget, I'm booth 78.  Clear out some of this great stuff, so I can put in a whole bunch more!

And above all, enjoy the gorgeous Spring.  God's artwork is on full display lately; have fun and take it in!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Making up for last week

So you guys?  It's amazing how much stuff you can fit in an 8x8 space.  I have thought my booth was too full to really add much several times now, but every time I try, I find I was mistaken.  This week I added a bunch more clothing and accessories for my 20% off sale, and a ton of other stuff too.  The booth is crammed almost full enough for the big flea market day on May 19th!

Hopefully a bunch of stuff will sell this week and I'll have to add even more next week to be ready for it.  I'm ready for May to be my biggest month ever (I totally just typed 'biggest moth ever', which is not at all what I want in my antique mall booth full of vintage clothing - eek!).  Of course, my biggest month ever in terms of profit would be easy to achieve.  All I'd have to do is actually make a profit of more than ten bucks, but still!  May is going to pay, right?  I mean, cause it rhymes and stuff?  Right?  Anyway, here are some phone-photos of some of the new stuff that went into the booth.  I kind of forgot to take pics of most of the newest clothing, but I promise, it's there, along with:

Small old red/white enamel double-boiler, set of 2 strawberry print enamel nesting bowls, and a large Dansk Kobenstyle paella pan.
I wish I knew who it was that bought the small blue Kobenstyle pot from me a month or so ago, because I subsequently found the above huge matching Jens Quistgaard paella pan they might like to go with it.

Quite a collection of plastic drinkware
 You might be able to tell by the great lot of it I've accumulated above, that I quite like these insulated mugs and tumblers with the rattan (wicker?) under clear plastic.  I have 3 different sets plus one odd mug for sale in the booth now, along with the pair of cute aqua-handled cups on the right.

Small white hard-sided Samsonite suitcase. 
The little suitcase is nice - the interior is in great shape and the keys are in their original little envelope inside.  So cute!  And seriously, how creepy is the little girl with the ravens, or whatever is going on in that picture?  She's looking down at the flowers, but sometimes it looks like she's just got blank eyeballs!

A small Treasure Craft planter, 6 Fire King peach lustre soup bowls,
a cool pink and gray Pro-Tex trivet and a golf-
themed valet tray - mid-century goodness, all!

Fun old Pringles duffel. 
Wicker-woven frame purse - cute!

Lotsa hats, and a couple umbrellas!

More hats, purses, blouses, men's shirts, dresses, etc.

A new hat for the awesomest cardigan.

Cool graphic thermos.

One of the new dresses I added.  Snap-front
"Model Coat".  Love the appliqué!
Pretty pink doll trunk with gold starburst "wallpaper".

Tiny little blue enamel kettle-thing.
Nice little catchall, or pen-holder for your desk!

There's more, too.  Mugs and purses, dresses and an adorable child-sized pair of green-lensed cat-eye glasses... the booth is hoppin', I'm telling you!  Here are a few wider shots (I can't get the whole booth with my phone the way I usually do with my camera):

Far left.

Center left.

Center right.

Far right.