Oh The Treasures You Can Find!

I don’t think that it is any secret that I love thrifting. That is, perusing and shopping at thrift stores, secondhand shops, yard and estate sales… just about anywhere you might find a bargain. I have some great collections that I constantly search for more pieces: china, pyrex, fabric, furniture hardware, old sewing notions and pin cushions, old Macintosh computers and accessories, crystal, interesting old jars and liquor-type decanters for my planned chandelier in the entry way… yadda, yadda, yadda. It is so true that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. Even The Kid has a couple of collections that he looks to add to, including his love of older technology and electronic gaming.

Today, we headed to one of the thrift stores that we love. It is heads above many of the other shops we go, in that it is so clean and well designed and has a lot of merchandise turnover, so that you rarely see something two visits in a row. In fact, not so long ago, I had run across something that I really wanted, but for whatever reason, I decided not to buy it. A few hours later thinking about it, I decided I did want it and was worth the asking price, but by the time I got back, it had been sold. Lesson learned.

So, today’s visit was particularly good. Just one more collection for the sewing room are quilting and sewing books – regardless of when they were printed. I have picked up quite a few for pennies and they are almost always awesome. I purchased a quilt book not so long ago printed in the 70’s that featured quilts with the big color schemes back in the day – how many remember avocado green, harvest gold and burnt orange? I certainly do, my mom’s kitchen was of just these colors. I believe the refrigerator and stove were avocado green, but the wallpaper – these giant leaves on a background of ivory in those three iconic colors.

But if you can imagine, those colors together in a quilt were, well to put it as nicely as I can, were a massive color saturation and over abundance. They even talked about using knoits, poly- and polyblends in a quilt! Wow!

Well, today’s find was a bevy of beautiful books. Most are fairly current; I’d say within a decade or so.

photo 4But the prize was the 1969 first print titled “Singer Sewing Book: The Complete Guide to Sewing”. From the funky graphics on both the front and back covers to the instructional information, it just oozes awesomeness! I can’t wait to sit down with it and really go through it.

imagesI also managed to find a huge amount of Pyrex, although not my collection, but rather pieces I actually love to cook with. I collect Pyrex in the red and orange color titled “Friendship”. Its a tricky 16132915804696ppattern to find, which makes hunting for it all that much more fun. The clear Pyrex, on the other hand, is fairly common and still being produced. These pieces are workhorse bowls and pans and I use them often. I have bread pans, cake pans, mixing bowls and a whole lot more. I learned to use glass  – rather than metal – for baking and I just love the nice evenness that it affords. And all this stuff is dishwasher safe, no hand washing for me! I do have a couple of very high quality cookies sheets that have never been touched with soap nor anything that could mar or scratch the surface. Sometimes, it can be a real pain.

I did find six pairs of men’s jeans size 50 and 52! Let me tell you; THAT is a lot of denim! It was a tough inner battle, but in the end I feel like I need to work on using what I have before I decide that I don’t have enough and need more. I have a bad habit of over buying in anticipating a new project. I need to remind myself of that and often.

Tomorrow brings the unveiling of the most recent completed waterfall-style dresser. Just screams luxury and style and elegance. Again, one more piece I wish I could keep!

julie

A Lull in the Madness

Do you ever find yourself in one of those places? Where nothing seems to energize you or interest you or gets your creative juices going? That is where I have been for the last week. Scattered and wandering around aimless.

I have a number of projects in the works; the benches being constructed from head and foot boards, which I hope to pair with a long table and a couple of ladder back chairs. Next up, two more dressers awaiting priming and painting. Along with those larger projects, I am still working my giant cross stitch.

I’ve been doing some purging in the meantime. I’ve listed a ton of my china collection on eBay. While trying to find a place for my latest collection (cut glass sugar bowls) I’ve realized that I am on the verge of becoming an honest-to-goodness hoarder. Only my hoard is for wonderful stuff (don’t they all say that?).

Over the last ten years I have collected dinnerware that both my grandmothers had, my mother’s china and of course, my own china (you know, the good stuff that never is used). I collected cookie jars, cookie cutters, cake pans (these were more for making The Kid birthday cakes, but once you have them how can you get rid of them?), buttons, beads, Lego mini-figs, PEZ dispensers (the count somewhere near a thousand), apples, old computers (with The Kid’s help), Monopoly tokens, Diet Coke stuff… heck, I could go on and on. Sometimes in this day and age of computers and eBay and Craigslist and other sites, collecting is so easy and what once starts as a harmless little collection soon becomes a huge pile. And then what do you do with it?

I don’t know if I mentioned that I have a dream of moving to Europe for a few years, but that is becoming closer to a reality every day. I look around at all the ‘stuff’ I have and try to figure out what I could do with it, and every once in a while I get sick of seeing all of it and list a bunch on eBay and start selling. Let’s just hope that there is someone out there would thinks my stuff is worth buying. 🙂

Thanks for dropping by and I promise to have something good to share soon.

julie

Uh Oh, I Think I’m In Trouble Here

So, when I get frustrated or overwhelmed, I tend to stop creating and start cleaning and organizing. Yesterday was no different. I am a bit overwhelmed in the garage – to the point where I can now not get my car OUT of the garage. Sigh.

Also, my home office was rife with clutter, to the point where I couldn’t hardly get to any of the computers. Much less sit down and try to be productive.

So, out came the organizing bins and with that, the ‘attic closet’ that I store them in had to be organized so that I could get empty ones out and full ones back in. We started there. Pretty much pulled everything out of the ‘attic’ and made quick decisions on what could be kept and re-stored and what could be donated or thrown away.

With much of that done, I had the boxes I needed to work on the office. All the empty boxes that had been collected in my office were sorted by which ones needed to be kept (and organized in a container) the ones that no longer needed were broke down and readied for recycling. That was pretty easy. Carried the containers up to the ‘attic’.

Next came putting everything back into the attic storage (quick definition, the ‘attic storage’ is not actually the attic, but space behind the closet in the guest bedroom. It feels like an ‘attic’ because it is unfinished and cold, but the real attic is a floor up.)

We had a pretty large pile to be donated and that went into the truck for the next trip. The containers all went back in nicely organized by size. But then the brakes were hit!photo 4

Quite a few months ago, I organized the quilt tops that had been finished and awaiting quilting. I sent one large box off to my friend Gloria for quilting and set the other box back into the guest bedroom closet (closet, not the ‘attic storage’). I really had thought that there was only one box left. I really felt like I was making a dent in getting quilts quilted and then bound and completed.

In yesterday’s flurry of organization, more boxes were uncovered. First it was one. I sighed. Then another was uncovered (it began to feel more and more like an excavation). I called The Kid over. We removed more boxes and there was number three and four. Holy cow!

I also took one box and loaded into it all the denim quilts awaiting the discovery of someone who is willing to take them on. I think I broke Gloria’s machine with one of the last denim quilts she quilted. 😦 For this I feel really bad.photo 2

So, I moved all of these boxes into my sewing room. I have to figure out something. And until I do, I cannot – CANNOT – start any more. This is nuts! I also have a large armoire in the guest bedroom which was my baby’s storage in his nursery. It stores TONS of quilts. It is now pretty full. And another dozen or so finished (at least they are finished!!) are sitting on top of the guest bed. I suppose this is where I am grateful that I don’t often have guests!!

I am planphoto 5ning on counting all the unfinished quilts which should allow me to do some math. I am beginning to believe that I could invest in my own long arm machine and would be cheaper in the long run than paying someone else to do it.

Oh, by the way, I did some searching on the internet to find someone to hand quilt my rescued quilt top and I found one woman who priced a queen sized quilt at $15,000. No, there isn’t too many zeroes or any typos. Good grief… if I thought I could get someone to pay me those kinds of numbers, I would totally do it! I can’t imagine! Can you?

I am hesitant to even mention the dozen or more quilts that are already in process… I’ve either cut for blocks or have the blocks and just need to assemble. I am so overwhelmed by all of this that I have decided to go watch a movie and do more cross stitch. Right?!?!

julie

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