Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What A Wednesday!

Today was one of those days i wasn't looking forward too really, because there were specific tasks that needed to be accomplished today to complete my errands and pending projects. Technically, i was supposed to be looking strictly for teachers gifts. My intent was to buy something for them from one of the thrift stores around combined with a little handmade homemade goodness. Sadly, our thrift stores are seeing lots of visitors that share with them prices they've seen in other parts of the state or country for things--and sadly, most of our thrifts stores downtown now think they are antique stores, if you know what i mean. And to prove how haute they are, they'll hang a sign next to the item for sale that is a picture of the same type of item that recently sold on Ebay for $XXX to justify why they are asking that much for their item--i.e., a gallon tub full of wooden spools for $15. 1 dark turquoise Fiesta ware bowl for $25, when the kind they find on Ebay had a 4 set for $100. You get the idea. And you'll also understand then one of the reasons why i truely wasn't looking forward to it. ;o)

So first, i headed to our local quilt shop. After leaving Joann's yesterday totally uninspired by their collection of fabrics, yet in need of one more pairing for a set of napkins Ri and i are sewing for some of the teachers.

I couldn't resist some of this chicken fabric for Riona--a pillowcase to gow ith the quilt we'll be making her, i hope. ;o) I can totally relate to that chicken in the tub--that's usually how i look taking a bath with seed catalogues or seed packets in hand.

I also needed to get some dishtowels to embroider on these cute pictures Ri drew for her teachers. I am thinking i am going to embroider a Mother's Day one for me with that chicky design and include her handwriting from my mother's day card this year.

These daisy and blue gingham fabrics i found also for the napkins for one of Ri's teacher's aids. I think they'll look just right for a Scandinavian woman named Mrs. Nordsletten, don't you?

(The "Gardening: Just Another Day at the Plant" is a sign my parents got me for Cmas. Today i found the faucet "coat rack" and had a brain surge--i am going to place these out on the inside of our tool shed door. Then i can make a few cotton drawstring bags for garden gloves, hats, and first aid. Now if i could just find a box that i could hang next to them to put the hand clippers and trowels in.)

The thrifting Gods must have known that today was the last day that i would have (hopefully for a good long while, since we're truely looking forward to homeschooling next year) for a thrift shop hop as today was the last day Ri has school till the early afternoon hours. So for my first stop, i tried a new little place next to our Big Kmart called Lili's Thrift Shop. It is an awesome place, and turns out, the owner is my neighbour (she lives one block over from us.) She is a sweet 84 year old woman that raised 3 children, one still lives at home with her because as she says "he is retarded and never really grew up past the age of six" (how hard that must be!!), and has been in the thrifting business for years here in our area--she owned a thrift store downtown since the time she was in her 30's until the city/downtown developers forced her out in the late '90's, telling her that if she didn't leave, then they'd jack up her rent because they didn't want "junk stores" in their town. Now, our downtown continuously gets nominated for best place to thrift shop due to mass amounts of 2nd hand stores. Go figure.

However, in talking with her, she got the better end of that deal, because even though she isn't in the thick of the thrift-district, she's got her name and reputation and she's paying a half as much for rent where she is now! She shops garage sales and thrift stores in other areas to stock her store. She has a hand full of family members that help her with that. And she is known by the people in her generation as the lady who came in to help them unload all their parent's houses when they died. So now that they are getting older and having to downsize or want to clean out their homes, they call her to do the same for them. Her store is packed...i hope someday she'll let me take a picture of it. It's amazing! A few people in there today said, "Oh my gosh, this place is scary because i have a storage shed that looks like this." Ha!

So, first stop, textiles:

I found this great piece of fabric. Maybe make it into an apron or napkins or placemats. I'm not sure yet.
Then i found this

which turned out to be...
Sadly, it has a huge mess of paint on the top of it, so i am wondering if i should just trim the top and make it into a small apron for Ri or if i should keep it, using it as a messy frock for her. It could also be a pattern for more. I'll have to think about that--but i couldn't pass it's usefullness up for a $1.
Here's a neat card table tablecloth i found--wouldn't it be cute for a Bunco player? Alas, we haven't an intention of learning Bunco, however we play a mean game of Go Fish, so maybe we'll have to make Go Fish nights, so we have a reason to use this cute tablecloth.
I find it a huge blessing to buy something like this from a woman like Mrs. Lili. When i asked her if she knew if the card tables from these days would be the same size of those of yesteryear, she remarked, "Well, i would guess so. But whatever you do, don't put that on the table till you're done playing cards. That's not how we did it. You'd play cards, then you'd tie this on real quick (it has bias tape ties on the corners) to serve your cup of coffee and dessert." Not often that handmade treasures from days gone by come with instructions for use! :o)
Then i found this statue of The Sacred Heart. For 99 cents. I figured that he would make a neat garden statue out near the Pope John Paul II rose. Once the roses bloom, i'll try to remember to take another picture of Him in his new home.
I also found this sweet embroidered dresser scarf and other items.
I am really excited to use those candle vases this summer. I've never heard of such a thing, but they are so adorable, i wish they still made things like that (especially because they are made in Detroit, MI.) :o) The book is copyrighted 1918. It's a biographical school reader "for Upper Grades" that once belonged to "A. D. Plumb of Rolling Bay, Wn."--i am presuming Wn is Wisconsin? It has stories and photos of people like Teddy Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Helen Keller, Robert E. Peary (discoverer of the North Pole), Dr. Anna Shaw (a key player in the Woman's Sufferage Movement after Susan B. Anthony died), and Clara Barton (of American Red Cross fame). I'm very excited to read this myself, but with Ri too, because by the time i went to school, they stopped teaching us about people (or history) like this.
The best find at Mrs. Lili's today were these...
I've never seen this colour of glass before--it's a bluish-green with a bit of gray thrown in, and i just love it! There are 5 glasses total and i got them for $2 a piece! Just thinking about when i'll use these, i think they would look completely grand with my Fransican "Desert Rose" china for a little tea for friends or family...maybe with this dresser scarf as a table runner?!?!
However, now we are 2/3rd the way through this post and you see my problem: nothing really for the teachers yet. UGH! So i chatted with Mrs. Lili for a few more minutes, offering yard help or what have you--a little advice on her predicament about whether she should listen to the mortgage broker who told her that she should take a reverse mortgage out to fix up her house in order to sell it (i told her to run the other way from that mortgage broker! And she shared with me that it is hard to find someone to help her that she doesn't feel like they are trying to take advantage of someone as old and with only a 6th grade education.) Oy! The heartstrings, eh?
So, i headed to the Union Gospel Mission thrift shop and found little somethings that i think will work: the hand painted flamingo bowl with matching flamingo napkins (i'll make from my fabric stash) for Mrs. Stelzer the teacher's aid, who is from the Phillipines and loves all things tropical. The square, green Anchor Hocking dish which i will fill with 4 or 5 handmade dishclothes for Mrs. Lewan (the head teacher who shared with me that she loves those handmade dishclothes because they remind her of her mom, who always knit her a bunch for the holidays, and who passed away last year. )
The other items in the picture are a small juice glass with the letter "B" on it, for my beloved WW leader's birthday next month, and a couple more covered pyrex dishes to add to my collection (aka reasons to pitch the tupperware replacements!)
Don't you just love this flamingo?
and i couldn't pass these two things up either since it was 1/2 off in the linens dept. today:
this crocheted turkey is the cutest!
and a couple of these hospital blankets from a hospital in Cincinatti, OH. These look like they are from my era of baby blankets. I figured Ri would love them to play with her baby dolls. Especially since her Achoo is from Ohio. :o)
But the best thing i got all day, was this love letter from Ri when i arrived back at school to pick her up for the day.
Boy, will we be glad when it's just us two again, having adventures and fun at home, just the two of us!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! Thanks for the peek at all your thrifting treasures. I'd love a day of thrifting at those neat stores. But I agree about the price gouging of the others... ouch!


Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!