Monday, September 26, 2016

Happy Monday to all!

Hope you found some treasure this weekend.

This sweet little angel wins my Find of the Weekend award. I shopped with my mother on Friday, and we checked out a shop in the Lakeside area, an old retail hub that we love.

This neighborhood is where Mom hauled  my brother and I to the grocery store when we were kids. It has been recreated into a vintage shopping area.

It's a great place to take Mom, who is 84 and doesn't have the shopping stamina that she once had.

This precious girl was in the 25 cent bin at McAdoo's Thrift.

She is in perfect shape with no breaks. Her name is Margaret, written at the bottom of her skirt. She carries a tiny black poodle and of course she has gold wings. She is stamped Made in Japan.

She will be coming soon to OneCoolCentury on etsy.

If you are close to RVA, check out Lakeside Avenue. Best best are McAdoo's, Vintage Pottery and Glass, RVA Antiques, and Pass It On. And , if you are hungry, have an empanada at Los Gauchos or a bbq at Virginia BBQ.

Wishing you an angel kind of day!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

If you read this morning's post, you know that today was a thrifting day for me and my friend Julie. We hit our favorite spots, CHKD Thrift and two GoodWills.

Didn't find as much today as last time, but I did score a glass baby bottle, an Inarco Santa mug with its foil sticker on the bottom, and a miniature blue mixing bowl.

I thought the mixing bowl, priced at $2.25 in the GoodWill, might be a repro, but for that price, I
was willing to take a chance.

I brought it home and set it next to my large blue bowl that I paid $55  for in an antique shop in Florida. They are virtually identical except for size. My new tiny bowl is the real deal!

I love a rainy day! Especially after a dry spell when the thirsty flowers and grass just seem to drink it in. It's that kind of morning in RVA, and it's a good day because I'm going thrifting!

First I have to share a photo of another treasure that I found in my house. This antique fan came from Asia long ago and it belongs to my neighbor.

I thought I couldn't list it for her online because I believed it to be an ivory fan.

Did some research and learned that these fans were carved from bone, from water buffalo or oxen.

So this beauty is going in my etsy shop Pastel Vintage in just a few minutes, as soon as I pour my second cup of coffee.

Have a good day everyone, and happy treasure hunting!

Friday, September 16, 2016

As promised, here is a report on yesterday's thrifting. It was fabulous, as it always is when I take my friend Ruth Ann. As you can see, she is a very serious thrifter.

We visited the local Salvation Army and one of our favorite GoodWills and found lots of treasure. Highlights included smocked baby dresses for Pastel Vintage and this great old Italian nativity set in pristine condition, which is coming soon to Oddballs Antiques.

And the weekend is just beginning. Happy treasure hunting, everyone!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Another garage find!

I was digging through an unlabeled plastic tote and found a leftover container filled with costume jewelry, wrapped in paper towels. Pretty scientific filing system, don't you think?

The beauty of my total disorganization is that I find surprises every day!

So today's surprise is this amber paste rhinestone brooch. It's a large piece, measuring over 2" across.

Yummy fall colors!

It will be listed by tomorrow morning, in Pastel Vintage on etsy.

Now I'm off to pick up Ruth Ann, one of my best shopping buddies and hit the Salvation Army and the Goodwill.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Garage shopping today in my own garage. I was looking for my shabby and adorable "Pastel Vintage" sign which I cannot find anywhere. But look what I did find! 

A wooden peg doll , all original; 2 boxes of West German aqua ornaments; a vintage Christmas towel; a Christmas tray, an amber swung vase; and a 60's milk glass coffee jar! The item on the right with tulips on top is one of those baskets that people used to make out of greeting cards. Not sure how old it is, but I will enjoy studying the illustrations on the cards to figure it out.

This was WAY more fun that scrubbing the kitchen floor! 

Friday, September 9, 2016

Happy Friday! An approaching weekend means yard sales, estate sales, and more treasure possibilities.

I kicked off the weekend with a quick stop in a local thrift store here in Henrico County, Aggie's Attic. This is a delightful tiny hole in the wall that is sponsored by a group of local churches. They support the food pantry where I volunteer, so I do try to stop in occasionally.

Today they had treasure with my name on it. Red polka dots and old baby shoes... these are a few of my favorite things! Isn't this apron the cutest ever?

Can't wait to clean these up! Happy weekend, all!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Seems that I write about the weather a lot. Does the weather influence shopping habits? I'm not really sure.

I certainly would not have expected to find a sale on the day that a tropical storm, recently known as Hurricane Hermine, hurried through RVA. No serious effects, but the day has been gray and rainy, with 2 brief power outages ( so far!).

So I was surprised when, returning home from the dry cleaners, I saw a fresh and only barely wet Garage Sale sign. I turned my car to follow the sign's arrow without even giving it a thought.

At the end of the arrow, I found a rain soaked front yard with some mediocre furniture and 3 tired looking people sitting in it. Can I go inside? I asked. Yes, please, they replied. Inside, I found a small and tumbledown house that looked as if it had been looted. Things were kind of tossed everywhere and none of them had prices. This could either be very bad, or very good.

I went quickly through the downstairs rooms and found nothing exciting. Even the kitchen was picked clean. Is there anything in the attic? I asked. The tired looking woman in charge said that she   really didn't know, but that I was welcome to go up there. An unfamiliar attic on a rainy day? Fabulous!

I enjoyed combing the attic, but didn't find anything that really needed to go home with me. I rechecked the kitchen and headed outside. Not one shed, but three! Seemed like more shed space than house space. Sniffing for McCoy flower pots, I headed into the first shed. Pretty empty. The second one was the same. In the third shed, I found an interesting box. Full, not of flower pots, but of old kitchen items. At some point in the past, the homeowner had apparently updated her kitchen, bought new stuff from Target, and banished her MidCentury treasures to the third shed.

I returned to the house with a few things. I told the woman that there was a great box of depression glass in the smallest shed, and that  it might fetch some good prices if she wanted to bring it inside. She looked at me as if I needed medication. Not worth it, she said and then elaborated. Her mother had moved with her to Florida; they had all they wanted out of the house; she was not going to have another sale; the rest of the stuff was  going " onto the swale".

So, for a dollar, I bought a few delightful old kitchen pieces. My favorite is the small red Pyrex leftover container with a lid. It is a piece that I have longed for over the past few years.

Since I returned home, we have had more rain and another power outage, now over. I may go back over after dark and see if I can find "the swale". it may have some good stuff on it.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A pretty good day of thrifting today in RVA!

First, I've had some questions about the pretty quilt doll that I posted this morning, so here is a link to find out more about her.

She is a pretty girl.

Now, back to today. My best thrifting buddy Julie and I started out early. Our first stop was a suburban Goodwill in the more affluent end of our county. They were stuffed full of treasure!

My best finds were a Razor scooter for our grand daughter for $5.45, a vintage European BMW
 t shirt for my BMW driving son, and a Mid Century salt and pepper set which are POTATOES! Cute little baked potatoes, with   sour cream and pats of butter, with their paper Japan s ticker still on the bottom.

I also brought home a nice floral print ironstone platter. I KNOW that I have seen this pattern before , but WHERE? The back says only "Naomi".  Would love to hear from anyone with info on this pattern!

No chips or cracks. It does have some brown burn marks, but I'm pretty sure I can bleach these away; that usually works for me. It was the half price color of the week, so it cost $1.85. Yea!

Our second stop was another Goodwill closer in to the city. Slimmer pickings here. I did get 4 ruby glass etched plates, perfect for Christmas cookies. Again, they were the half price color, so they cost about $1.10 for all  4.

We took a break for lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant, conveniently located along Broad Street, which is Thrifting Central in my area.  After refueling on taco salads, we headed to what is my current favorite thrift store, CHKD, which supports a cancer hospital for kids. LOVE their merchandise, their adorable salespeople, and the fact that  those of us over 55 receive 25% off on Thursday!

We had a fabulous time and found MUCH treasure!

Check out this sweet little potty chair with a lamb decal on the back. It folds up for storage. So cute and in nice condition.

I wondered if someone had brought in a load of old baby items, because I also bought a vintage nursery jar with a milk glass lid and pale blue character running around the edges, very sweet.

If you frequent my Etsy shop, Pastel Vintage, you know that I adore old baby things.

I also bought a plastic bag stuffed with old sewing notions, pink rickrack and lace hem tape. They will probably be a surprise gift for my friend Ruth Ann who collects such things.

So a great thrifting trip in RVA, with Mexican food to boot. I continue to be a lucky girl.

Follow me on instagram to see more of my vintage treasures.

Thrifting today with my shopping partner Julie. Have to get another trip in before the Back to School shoppers descend on the stores. Love them and have been one myself; just don't like it when the  checkout lines get longer.

Hope to report later on some treasure! Have a good day, everyone!

Today's eye candy is from a great treasure hunt of a year ago; met with my fellow booth renter MM in the parking lot behind our antique mall and shopped out of the back of her car. Great treasure and great fun! Haven't heard from her and praying she is ok.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Happy Friday! Hope you are looking for estate sales today and yard sales tomorrow!  On the East Coast, there may be fewer shoppers tomorrow due to the extreme heat. Go early, take your water  bottle, and your vigilance may pay off.

I haven't been treasure shopping lately, because I have had a special shopping partner visiting me, our 4 year old granddaughter.

She loves to shop, but she is not the easiest girl to take to a treasure sale, so we have limited our excursions to the grocery store and shops that sell things in her size. She wants EVERYTHING.

Our Kroger Maarketplace was actually an easy place to take her for clothes and pink shoes, and she got a cupcake in the bargain.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sometimes a sale is just a dud. Nothing fun to see, nothing fun to buy, nothing fun to write about.

That was the case this morning.

The good news is that my wallet weighs the same as when I left home, and I have more time to play with the treasure that is already filling my shelves and closets.

So here is a little eye candy for you from this morning's efforts, treasure from better sales gone by.

Everyone have a fabulous weekend and happy treasure hunting wherever you are!

Monday, July 25, 2016

100 degrees in RVA today, so it has been a good day for indoor projects. 

SO... I have been working on the box of vintage clothing that I found in my parents' attic.

 Turns out, the orange Norman Wiatt belonged to my great aunt, not my mother. Today, I worked on this handmade PINK gingham sailor dress that my Mom wore about 1949. It is way too small for my size 8 mannequin. I have ironed it for an hour this afternoon, and I am nowhere near finished!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Hope you have all ready this morning's post about finding the box of vintage clothes in my parents' attic. Today was a busy day, so I only have  one dress ready to photograph. It is a 1960's Norman Wiatt, made of a slub finish fabric which may be silk. I'll probably sell this one because I'm not an orange fan.

It's pretty cute and in excellent condition.

GREAT treasure hunt this morning in one of my favorite places to hunt ... my parents' attic.

Some of you know that a recent thunderstorm here in RVA bought down 11 big old trees in my parents' yard. One landed smack on the roof, causing significant damage.  Roofers sealed the opening with tarps, and starting next week, half of the roof will be replaced.

This morning, in advance of the roofers, I went to the attic to cover the treasure in the back half of the  attic with tarps, shower curtains, sheets, and whatever else I could find, in order to keep the black tar particles off of things when the roofers are working. Not an easy job on a hot morning, but I am truly always happy in that attic.

I had been working for about an hour and had moved lots of treasure to the front of the attic for safety, including green stemmed depression glass and some of my father's antique fishing tackle. I was wearing out and thinking of a cold glass of lemonade when I spied  a box that I had never seen before. It was in the far back corner of the attic with 40 years of junk in front of it, which makes me think that this may be the FIRST box that my father moved into the attic  in 1971 when my parents bought this house.

The box appeared clean and dry which meant that whatever was inside was probably pristine. Ok, I told my tired hot self. Got to climb over the old stroller, box of curtains and hobby horse and get to that box. I was not disappointed.

It turned out to be a heavy box from Miller and Rhoads, the iconic Richmond VA department store of the 40's through the 80's. This box was heavy and hard. I knew that it predated our move to this house. It wasn't easy to move, as it was about 3 1/2 ft. long and about 2 feet deep. I finally got it moved to where I could remove the lid and    I found TREASURE inside.

It contained some amazing old dresses of my mother's, dresses that she wore in her 20's.  One turned out to be the lavender cotton number that she wore on her first date with my father in 1949. It also contained several tiny dresses that belonged to me, including a Cinderella sailor dress from about 1957. I also found a baby dress of   my mom's, a couple of tiny blouses that were mine, and an old railroad cap that belonged to my grandfather.

Perhaps the piece de resistance was a tiny cotton bib apron. My mother wore it to cook as a little girl and a generation later, so did I.

The old Miller and Rhoads box had served as a secure chamber for these treasures, and I felt as if I had found a time capsule, linking me to several periods of my past.

Sorry there are no pictures yet, but I will post pics as I get the items freshened and displayed.

I will sell a few pieces but mostly I will probably keep these treasures and enjoy them another day.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Haven't written in a while. I truly haven't had any great shopping adventures lately, but I plan to make up for that soon.

I have had fun this morning playing Christmas. Temps in RVA this week have been in the mid 90's, so why not think of Christmas and cool off, right?

I tend to buy so much Christmas treasure throughout the year that, when the busy season arrives, I don't have time to see what I have and decide what to display and what to sell. So, a new tradition... Christmas in July.

I have been   sorting and listing and have  definitely found some treasure right here in my own relatively cool basement.

Here's just one example: a sweet Lefton angel, complete with her foil sticker. She reminds me of the Swedish angels who wear a candle wreath, or crown, or something like that, on their blonde heads.


Stay cool everyone and get those Christmas decorations organized while there is still time.

Friday, May 27, 2016

I didn't have any eye candy to add to that last post, so here is a bit of pretty for today:

This is the chenille bedspread that I bought for $2.00 at the church
megasale in Kilmarnock 2 weeks ago.  It cleaned up very nicely!

Unexpected treasure hunts! Sometimes they are the best. This morning, I reluctantly helped my husband Paul pick up his truck from a repair appointment. I would much rather  have stayed home, had another cup of coffee, and played with old stuff, but, grumbling a bit, I helped him out.

On the way to the repair place, I spied an estate sale sign; surprising on this Memorial Day weekend. I delivered Paul to pick up his truck and on  the way home, I decided to check the sale out. I drove into a residential neighborhood to find a modest home with a for sale sign in the yard and an estate sale sign beside it. I parked, called my husband and told him I would be a few minutes late getting home. He decided to join me. Trouble was, I hd no idea which  street I was on... I had just followed the estate sign. I brake for estate sales, as the bumper sticker says.

I approached a solemn looking elderly gentleman sitting under  his carport and asked what street I was on. He looked at me as if I might have a mental defect, but he did give me the info I needed for Paul.  With the ice broken, I began to talk to the man and his daughter.

By the time Paul arrived, I knew that the man's wife had died in April, that he had retired from driving a beer truck, and that he had been a committed golfer. His daughter was cool at first, but warmed up when she offered to sell me the entire contents of her mother's gardening shed for $1.00.

Forty five minutes later, Paul and I wished the golfer the best of luck for his move to Texas to live with the daughter on her goat farm. I had scored a Mattel Baby 1st Step in near mint condition, aqua  vintage glass, and a vegetable bowl in Homer Laughlin Virginia Rose, along with a boatload of potting soil from the shed.

Paul, my usually reluctant shopper, bought a leaf blower and a Calloway golf bag. We both went home smiling.

This afternoon, I took my elderly neighbor to the doctor. She often comes up with interesting treasures for me to  consign for her. Today, she  found more ivory which her mother brought back from Japan in the late 1940's, just after World War II. In previous blog posts, I have written about her amazing collection of treasures from the east, which she stores in drawers while displaying her Beanie Babies. No accounting for taste!

Today, I brought home an ivory cigarette holder, an ivory fan, and a pair of ivory hair pins. Beautiful stuff. Will have to do a bit of research before doing anything with these.

So... lots of treasure hunting today, all in a day's errands.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

After two  crummy weeks of weather, May has finally arrived in RVA. Gorgeous weather yesterday and this morning... flowers and birds... green grass... magnolia blossoms... all the stereotypes of Virginia in the spring time. All true!

I just arrived home from a short trip to Venice, Florida, one of my repeat shopping spots. All of my regular treasure spots did me proud once more!

At Emmeline's Antique Mall in Palmetto, I bought some beautiful china for beautiful prices.  My brother scored a walnut fern stand for $20.

At the Venice  Salvation Army, I bought some vintage pyrex, and my mom found a chocolate pot, Bavarian and beautifully painted. The lid has a crack but she has an attic full of lids, so that isn't a major problem.

I also brought home this pretty girl that I bought at Emmeline's    in the winter. Couldn't bring her home then because I was flying. Since this  time we made a road trip, she is now residing in my Etsy room. She has a new dress and shoes, and we are still shopping for socks, panties and a bonnet. Maybe a coat when she gets cold! Guess I will name her Emmeline.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Prologue to this post... Last week in Tidewater, Virginia, it rained. A lot. This explains my lack of enthusiasm last Saturday as we drove an hour and a half to Kilmarnock, Virginia to meet friends at an outdoor sale.

My friend Megan moved to Kilmarnock 2 years ago to accept an assistant rector position at Grace Episcopal Church in Kilmarnock. Every year, the church has what Megan has described as a yard sale. Last year, we had another commitment on the day of the event, so this year we decided to make the sale priority in order to see our friends.

The trouble was that Kilmarnock had just had 5 days of tornado warnings, thunderstorms, and downpours. Could an outdoor sale be possible after all the rain?

Yes, it turned out, yes, yes , yes!

The sale, I learned, has outgrown the church parking lot, so it is held at a YMCA camp on the banks of the Rappahannock River. Grace Church collects , prices, and sorts donated goods all year. Church members donate warehouses and storage spaces. The man hours involved are enormous. But the church does not keep the fruits of their labors. All the money from the sale is poured into charities in the community.

Goods are divided into categories, and a team works on each category. For example, the Linen Sisters work all year to sort donated bedspreads, sheet sets, tablecloths, curtains, and so forth. Damaged linens are discarded.

It took us 45 minutes to get a mile down  muddy Boys' Camp Road into the sale. Finally we came in sight of a large field with camp cabins all around it and merchandise as far as the eye could see. And what merchandise it was! There is some affluence in the Kilmarnock community and it definitely showed up in the merchandise...high end appliances, designer shoes and handbags, antiques, Gullah baskets, quality sports gear. Treasure old and new.

In an hour and a half, I had accumulated a pink chenille bedspread, old embroidered hand  towels and pillowcases, a large Bagellini travel bag, $200 boots, shoes, and a load of books.

Our friends took home a recliner and a dishwasher.

We took a break watching the  river go by. Other than muddy shoes, we suffered no damage from the high water in the field.

When the sale was over, gleaners from local charities drove through the mud looking for leftovers that they could use or sell. I watched Boy Scouts load a golf cart onto a flatbed and shovel up old luggage with an earthmover.

And in two weeks, preparations for next year's' sale will begin.

I plan to be there, on Boys' Camp Road, rain or shine.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Pics from my amazing treasure hunt today...check out those purses, the glasses case which I believe is lucite, my prized baby hangers, the antique crocheted baby dress, and that luggage!
Today was a memorable treasure hunt, memorable in a string of memorables. And it truly fell into my lap.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about visiting a yard sale where I bought old wicker. I talked to Heather, the girl who held the sale that day, and told her some things that I would be interested in buying if she found them.  My one knows what you love unless you tell them.

This girl called my cell last week to tell me that she had found many of the things I had asked about. Great news! Trouble was, I was visiting our grand daughter in New York. Bad news! Heather had to be out of the house she was selling before I was due home from New York, but she was motivated to sell. She was willing to haul all of the items she had found to the daycare center where she works and store them until I got home.

This created a tricky situation, because , by agreeing to this plan, I felt a moral obligation to do well by Heather. Only a rotten person would allow this girl to haul her stuff out of her home and then leave it all there. What to do if Heather's treasure turned out to be junk?

I need not have worried. I arrived at the daycare center while Heather was out making a bank deposit. Another employee ushered me into a room full of treasure. So much great stuff that I knew I would buy the lot without looking through it all. I knew a good thing when I saw it.

On the top of one box I spied 4 of my favorite items...1940's painted wooden baby hangers. I dug under those to find a box of old baby shoes, hangers, and clothes. Another box was full of vintage gloves, many still in their cello bags. There was a collection of old Life Magazines, old Fisher Price, a white wool coat, a white wool suit, and a 4 piece matched set of vintage ladies' Samsonite. Also 2 great fez hats from a Masonic lodge and a beautiful old army officer's coat.

Heather returned and we talked; she enjoyed telling me stories of her family. One that touched me the most was when she showed me a pink dotted Swiss baby dress. She told me that it had belonged to a handicapped sister who had died before she was born. Holding this, she told me, I feel like I am touching my sister! We shared stories for awhile, and then hugs before I loaded my car.

I kept digging through the treasure through the afternoon. One Christmas morning after another. My best surprise...after being home for an hour, I dug out a small dirty box which contained a Whiting and Davis metal mesh purse from the 1920's.

Such a great time today. Did I learn anything? If there is a lesson here, it is to listen to people who have family things to sell, to respect their stories, and to let them know that you value them and their experiences.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A beautiful spring morning in RVA, and I'm reminiscing about a glorious treasure hunting day yesterday. My friend and I shopped all day, hitting  an estate sale and two thrift stores. And in between, there was PIE!

My friend Ruth Ann is a super dedicated grandmother to a two year old and a one month old.  She is blessed to live close to her daughter, and she helps out every day; cooking, cleaning up messes, and rocking babies to sleep. But she was starved for some treasure hunting. So... In need of some down and dirty shopping? Who you gonna call? Sharon, of course!

We began the day at an estate sale in a semi neglected neighborhood at the edge of the city. . Sweet old bungalow, good stuff, but not the best ever. Lots of pretty glass in clear, pink and green, but it was priced out of my range. I bought one Christmas tree pin and a $5.00 zip lock bag of jewelry. Couldn't resist it.

Ruth Ann and I are firm believers that sheds are magical places. We always haunt them at sales, and we are always rewarded. Last year Ruth Ann found a complete chalk ware nativity set in a shed full of artificial flowers. See? Magical!

So, after completely searching the bungalow, we headed around to the back yard to check out a pair of small sheds. Clearly, these had been the man cave of a fisherman and do it yourself-er for many years.  I found an old tin bucket and two adorable little 1960's rubber dolls made in Hong Kong.  Perhaps a daughter played with them in Dad's shed long ago and left them there.

We completed the sale in an hour, and the day was young. My girlfriend asked if we could please please shop at the Salvation Army store, already a regular feature in this blog.

This place never disappoints me, and yesterday was no exception. I found vintage children's clothes as I always do here, two pieces of Bavarian China, a  MidCentury ice bucket, and a new rug for my son.

But my greatest treasure at the Salvation Army was a unique gift for my Mom, whose birthday is coming up. It was a small Staffordshire plate with two holes at the top to hold a ribbon for hanging. It has a transfer ware design in soft rose featuring swallows and vines. it also bears a verse which says:

When this you see,
Remember me;
Tho far apart
We chance may be.

A perfect gift for my Mom , who lives in Florida six months out of the year. I'm going down for her birthday in three weeks and I am thrilled to have something special for her.

Ok, sorry for the digression. We finished up at the Salvation Army and it was time to choose a lunch spot. We headed from the city out toward a rural area and  chose the Cold Harbor Diner, a back in time spot which does a booming business beginning at 4 a.m. They serve breakfast all day, plus old timey diner favorites. And best of all, with any meal, PIE is 99 cents!

We should have eaten light to save room for pie, but we did not. I had the open face roast beef sandwich, and Ruth Ann had a BLT which must have had a pound of bacon on it. So much bacon that she took a leftover container of bacon home for breakfast.

And then came the big decision... what kind of pie is best for treasure hunting? We both chose chocolate cream, and we were not disappointed.

Tired and full, I asked if Ruth Ann had had enough  shopping and eating for the day. She had not. She was quick to remind me that a large Good Will store was only a mile or so away. Why not complete the day with a Good Will stop? Why not indeed.

The Mechanicsville Good Will, already featured in this blog, is always fun. Yesterday wasn't our best haul ever, but we so enjoyed being together, comparing notes on life, and laughing about growing old.

We finished our shopping at 5:00; we had begun at 10:00. What a great day! We headed home with a headful of great memories and a carful of treasure.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Spring may have finally landed in RVA. I sure hope so!

Today has been a beautiful April Saturday. After a cool start, the sun is now beaming down on bright green grass and azaleas of every shade. Today is why I continue to live in Virginia.

Even though I was tired from working all week, I decided to hit one yard sale today. And, since I haven't seen much of my husband this week, I invited him along. A date and treasure hunting rolled into one!

I heard of the sale through a girl I know only slightly. My reputation as a treasure hunter led her to call and invite me. She and her sister are moving from their childhood home after a lifetime of accumulation. They grew up in this home, she told me, and have never really felt like disposing of many of their parents' things. She also told me that she and her sister were ready to part with their collection of Barbies. No old ones, she clarified, but hope springs eternal...

I had a hard time falling asleep last night, so excited about what a lifetime of treasure would look like. When we pulled up at the house, I was truly surprised that there wasn't more stuff sitting in the yard. I must remember that not everyone has been as blessed with stuff as I have.

I chatted with the two sisters as I made a circuit of the yard. First, I picked up an old wooden rocking baby bear from the 1960's. That alone was worth the drive, I decided. In a few minutes , I had accumulated a beautiful cut glass pitcher, an armful of doilies, and an old  hand painted lemon dish which my mom will love.

I was determined NOT to look at the Barbies, as they are definitely on the DO NOT BUY list. But, even though there were in fact no old ones, and even though I have an entire closet full of Barbies already, I looked. Just a little. I found one 50th Anniversary Bubble Cut that I don't have, for $10. I decided that I could treat myself to her.

When I looked around to find my husband, I saw something amazing. My  sweet Paul was SHOPPING. If you know Paul, you know that he is opposed to treasure, stuff, possessions, collectibles, antiques, knick knacks, and accumulation of any kind. So I was amazed to see him discussing price with one of the sisters. An uncommon sight.

Background ... this week we had our bumpy old driveway paved. Again. We are so tired of cracked asphalt that we went with something new. Basically, I think it consists of layers of asphalt over the old stuff, with a layer of cute brown pebbles poured on top. Then repeat.  Don't know if it will last, but we are hopeful that because it LOOKS different, it will last longer. The bottom of the driveway opens up into a kind of patio behind our house, surrounded by shade trees and flower beds. We are hoping that this new surface on the driveway will allow us to sit outside and enjoy the driveway as a kind of shabby piazza.

So, my husband was thinking seating. And he was dickering on, not just any seating, but an old set of wicker! Truly unbelievable. It occurred to me that it wasn't practical, and we probably didn't need it, but the shock of seeing my husband shopping caused me to remain mute.

Before I knew it, he had purchased two beautiful old wicker highback chairs and a side table. I was absolutely giddy with surprise and delight. I hurried to help load them in the pick up before he came to his senses.

After a discussion on the ride home, we decided to install the antique wicker on the screen porch and move our all weather wicker from Lowe's to the new piazza. We had a fun morning of positioning, repositioning, and repositioning, with an eye to what Country Living Magazine might do with the space. Tomorrow some painting may need to happen as well. The project may not be a success, and eventually, the driveway will succumb to the tree roots again.

But just now I am thrilled with our project and our hour of yard saling together.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A rainy afternoon in RVA. Time for searching for treasure in my basement and closets.

I had a specific purpose today. last night, an Etsy customer contacted me with a fascinating project. She is using a vintage theme for her daughter's first birthday party. She is looking for a vintage outfit for her daughter and for other babies who will be at the party. The mommies are also hoping to wear vintage. Of course, a photographer will be there to capture their adorableness in their vintage outfits.

What fun! After checking her daughter's measurements and mom's preferences, I went on the hunt through plastic boxes and closets. Found 5 beautiful possibilities for the birthday girl. All have been here for some time and probably would have been sold already except for procrastination, a besetting sin of mine. Treasure indeed --- one Castro, one Feltman Brothers, 3 made in the Philippines.

Two were in need of a button replacement, and I am so prone to procrastinate if a needle is involved. Another is a delicate 1940's baby dress which I have put off ironing because its fabric is so fragile and in danger of scorching.

Now I have ironed them all, but I must admit that no buttons have been sewn. More fun to write a blog post instead!

Thought my readers might enjoy seeing these pretty little dresses, so here they are.

So much fun!

Haven't had as much luck finding a vintage outfit for Mom, as my supply of ladies' vintage is not as deep as my supply of baby dresses. ( One can never have too many baby dresses...) But I sent her a few feelers, and we will talk again tonight.

While looking for baby dresses, I found something I have been looking for for months! Yes, this says a mouthful about my organizational skills. Last year, a girlfriend asked me to sell her childhood dolls, which date to the 1960's. The first two, a Tiny Tears and a Bubbles doll in her original box, sold easily. But the third doll, a large Effanbee baby doll, needed some TLC on her outfit. My friend mended the clothes, I soaked the clothes and dried them in the sunshine and then...I lost them.

Not lost them in the larger world, of course, but lost them in my laundry basket, which is really many many baskets. In the midst of the baby dress hunt, I found her sweet nylon panties, slip, bonnet and dress. I was thrilled and so was she! I have gently pressed them, and she is so happy to be a dressed up girl again!

On the whole, a productive rainy day at Pastel Vintage!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Just adding a pic of Carrie, Holly Hobbie's friend. Such a sweetie!
It's winter again in RVA. Cold wind, snow just a few miles up the road, and a freeze warning tonight. Meanwhile, azaleas, wisteria, and dogwood are in full bloom. Life in central Virginia is unpredictable, but the soaring beauty of spring here is worth the roller coaster ride.

No shopping opportunities early in the week, so yesterday I had a shopping trip through my basement. It's always profitable; clears out space, gives me inspiration, and reconnects me with forgotten treasure.

One of my best finds yesterday, sleeping in a cloth grocery bag, was a trio of Holly Hobbie dolls from the 1970's. These aren't rag dolls; they are the less common vinyl dolls. So sweet, with their squinty eyes, calico outfits and oversized bonnets.

Holly Hobbie was a favorite of mine in the seventies; my mom and I loved to send each other the greeting cards, and I think  I had rag dolls, collectors' plates, and framed prints. The character was created by American Greetings; then Knickerbocker made her into a rag doll, using the specs of Raggedy Ann.  Holly had two dear friends, Carrie and Amy, who also became dolls. Now they are popular girls in antique malls: dolls, figurines, even lunch boxes.

It was great to find these girls, bought as I recall at an online sale a few years back. I will sell them, as my overflowing doll case holds my very own Holly and her friends from decades back.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Happy April Fools' Day!

Any holiday is an excuse to go thrifting, even this one. My girlfriend who works in an elementary school is on Spring Break this week, so we decided to make a day of it. This may not have been our best shopping decision ever, as the stores we visited were overflowing with  shoppers: adults, children, seniors; it seemed that everyone in Richmond, Virginia was shopping today.

My friend had brought a box of donations for the Goodwill, so we just HAD to go inside and see what  exciting things they had today. This stop was before lunch, so the store wasn't too crowded when we began. I found a few tops for my grand daughter and a great Talbot's linen shirt for myself. No real treasure until I spotted these... a pair of Durango cowboy boots in my size! Black and cream with very little wear. The price... $6.00. Now we are talking Treasure!

I may sell them; I know I should sell them; but I felt pretty snazzy strutting around the house with them on when I got home, so we'll see...

Our next stop was Fantastic Thrift, a great thrift store in Richmond's Fan District. It's not on my beaten path and I don't get there often, so I was pretty psyched. I backed into the last place in the parking lot. I am terrified of backing my car up, so if I back into a parking space somewhere, it is a place that I REALLY want to go.

If you read this site, you know that I am never intimidated by a dirty, dingy, dark or dangerous shopping venue, but today Fantastic did me in. It was so crowded that  my friend and I abandoned the one shopping cart we could find because we couldn't negotiate the  crowded aisles with it. The noise of so many people was intimidating too; it felt as if someone was looking  over my shoulder every minute, urging me to hurry.

After about 30 minutes, I had snagged only one vintage dress pattern and one book; I discarded them and told my friend that I would meet her at the door. Still, not a wasted trip because I earned courage points for backing my SUV into that parking space!

Our last stop was  another of my favorites, Diversity Thrift. This is a fabulous quirky store which is full of fabulous quirky people... both the shoppers and the staff.

I have been haunting Diversity for the past few months because someone donated a doll collection. I saw the collection when it was new in the store and most of the dolls were pretty pricey. Through the magic of a thrift store color system, I have returned and have been able to buy a few dolls at 10% off, then a couple more at 25% off. Each time, the cashier has let me go behind the front counter to look closely at the dolls, who are housed on the prestigious behind the counter shelves.

Today I went  to check on the dolls first. I was thrilled to see that their color tag was 50% off this week! I determined that this would be my Deal of the Day and was hoping to take any remaining decent dolls home with me.

So perhaps  I wasn't thinking clearly. I went to the end of the counter as I have twice before and walked slowly around to the doll shelves. I said quietly to the cashier ,"I'm just coming around to see the dolls." Honestly, I have done this twice before. But apparently the staff of Diversity Thrift had intruder training yesterday and I looked like an intruder. Three staff members were there instantaneously, blocking my way. "YOU CANNOT COME BACK HERE", one mammoth tattooed girl announced.

Sorry, I said, it's just that I am hoping to buy some dolls and I really need to see them up close...

 This large tattooed girl was apparently frightened by me, an unarmed weakling with no tattoos; frightened enough to raise a pretty loud alarm. Another saleswoman swooped in and asked me which dolls I wanted to see, so I must have frightened the girl past the ability to function.

I reviewed the remaining dolls, and chose only one. No law enforcement was called and I managed to finish my shopping without incident. Other than the doll, the store seemed pretty picked over today. I left one 1970's prom dress because it had a dirty hem and appeared likely to turn into a project that might remain in my house for years to come.

So not the greatest day of thrifting ever, but my friend and I had a fun time being together and   vowed to do it again soon. After Spring Break is over.

Friday, March 11, 2016

A beautiful day in Richmond, VA.  Sunshine and temps in the 70's. Just about perfect.

And for me, that means perfect for shopping!

Today I went on a treasure hunt of another sort. Returning from a doctor's visit, I went right by a mall where a local Macy's is closing. I decided to check out the final closing bargains, hoping to score a dress or at least a couple of tops. When I arrived at the store, it looked so strange that I was taken aback for a few minutes. All of the merchandise was gone, and the once busy store was emptied down to the fixtures. It was peopled by an army of headless mannequins and some industrious liquidation team members. How had so much time slipped by?

This store had been a favorite of mine through the 1980's and 90's, but as I stood looking in, I realized that I have seldom been to this Macy's in the last ten years. Newer stores have opened, closer to my house, and this mall, which was new and shiny when I was a college girl in the 70's, is now  grown old and mediocre ( like me perhaps?)

 I remembered hunting for dresses as spring approached, catching jeans on sale in October,  and standing in line for gift boxes at Christmas. A strong desire formed in my mind--- I need a piece of this store!

But what could I justify? The headless mannequins were fascinating: troops of skinny women in show off poses with no mouths to tell secrets. But what would my husband think  about one of those in our living room? They seemed too dear also; most were tagged at $100.

Then I began to notice the display racks: all shapes and sizes, wood bases and chrome bases, square, round, tall, short. Some advertised the brands they had once displayed. Why not one of these to use in my antique booth?

The idea took root; how fabulous to have a piece of Macy's in my own shop, but the prices were still too high.

Then I was approached by an energetic woman who began to talk price. The Queen of the Liquidation! "I've already marked these 50% off", she said, "and I'm going to mark them down again, so let me know what you are interested in, and I'll make you a deal."

A deal? Now we're talking. With renewed energy, I walked the perimeter of the once beloved Misses' department. I kept  coming back to a wood and glass display with gleaming chrome pegs on either side and a popular dressmaker's name on a plaque. It was still tagged at $100. She had 4 of these left and was ready to deal.  I got my dress rack for $10! Trusting my new friend, I began to look for more treasure.

As I walked the store, I shared smiles and words with a few other Macy's shoppers, all of whom remarked on the strangeness of the empty store where we had spent many happy hours.

After a half hour trip down memory lane, I had amassed a few more things : a stack of Macy's mailing boxes, a rotating Estee Lauder counter display, a half mannequin, and a 12" black plastic "S" from the end of a Macy's sign .

The liquidation lady marked my pile "Sold" and totaled my purchases: $18.00.

I'll have a ball cleaning the displays up and using them; the S is  displayed on my desk, and I'll use the boxes for shipping.

On a pretty spring day, I enjoyed treasure hunting in a place filled with wonderful shopping memories.

Today, S was for Macy's, memories, spring, shopping, and nostalgia.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

I just returned from a wonderful two day treasure hunt and I had a blast!

A girlfriend and I journeyed north even though snow was forecast. We felt brave and hopeful.

Each of us took the other to one of our favorite shopping haunts.

We started by driving up Interstate 15 to Emmittsburg, Maryland, a small town just across the state line from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The Emmittsburg Antique Mall is one of the best I have ever shopped. Don't know exactly what makes it so special... a variety of merchandise, always great stuff, nice people, and very fair prices. It's a comfortable place to shop and I have been known to shop it for 2 days in a row, especially when I bring my Mom along with me.

I was hopeful that my friend would like it as much as I do. In our first 15 minutes inside, she had already screamed over a pair of pewter julep cups and toted an aluminum watering can to the front counter, so I was pretty relieved that she was a fan.

I bought perhaps less than I usually do, because I was conscious of helping her look for great stuff. I bought doilies, hankies, and kitchen stuff.

 A friend had asked me to look for a vintage syrup pitcher.  It seemed that Emmittsburg was celebrating syrup pitchers, and I found them with their bright plastic tops in red, green, white, gold, and pink. I called my friend to ask her her color choice and she said "Surprise me!" I ended up buying 3 --- tops in pink, white, and green. White for my friend, green because it matched my kitchen, and pink because... well, because it was pink.

We had a lovely dinner at the Carriage House Inn in Emmittsburg and, as we got out of the car at the inn, it was beginning to snow.  We weren't far from our hotel so, in spite of the snow, we stayed through wine, prime rib, and dessert. A lovely meal in a lovely place.

By the next morning, the world was covered with an inch of sugary snow. It was beautiful on the farms around Emmittsburg. Fortunately, it hadn't really stuck to the highway.  We crossed into Virginia at Point of Rocks, and the snow on the hillsides was beautiful. By the time we got a few miles below Point of Rocks, the snow was gone, but we enjoyed seeing the hills wearing their last winter glory.

Now it was my friend's turn to show me one of her shopping places, The Minute Man Antique Mall in Culpepper, Virginia. She is from the Culpepper area and has shopped this mall for many years. She was excited to see that it has undergone some brightening and cleaning.

I was pleased that the mall was large and seemed to offer a variety of merchandise. The lighting was good and the booths seemed to stretch on forever. I   chose a Peppermint Patty out of a jar on the counter. The manager told me to pay for it  when I checked out.

We started in for a second day of treasure hunting. I was happy looking and had bought some linens and a few other small pieces when I saw them: a collection of 1950's dolls. So sweet, so nicely displayed. And then I saw the sign...50% off! Unbelievable; that's what it was, and I was not going to be hoodwinked. I  chose two of the prettiest babies, as though someone would buy them before I returned, and headed for the front counter. "The sign says that these are 50% off today", I said to the manager. "Yep." he replied. "Is that  true?" I asked. "Yep". again.

He must have thought me a silly woman, but it really seemed to good to be true.

I returned to the booth where I had found the dolls and had a  great time looking at all of them, handling them, making sure that their eyes opened and closed. What fun!

I ended up choosing three --- two 1950's Tiny Tears dolls by American Character and one 1940's composition baby wearing her original clothes. Treasure with a capital T!

My friend found treasure too --- vintage pillow cases and glassware in  a pattern that a good friend of hers collects. She left a Daisy and Button salad set; the large oval bowl and 6 small bowls. I am convincing her to go back next weekend to pick it up.

We complimented the manager on his antique mall.  He must have been pleased. He didn't even charge me for that Peppermint Patty.

Here is a picture of my three new girls. Joining them is my own Tiny Tears from 1957. They are getting along famously.

Monday, February 29, 2016

I am HOME after a great week in Florida visiting my parents. My mom, who is 83, also loves to scour dark and dirty places looking for treasure, and Venice, Florida is such a great place to find it.

I scored beautiful vintage hankies in a dark flea market in Palmetto, including initial hankies in M and V. This was my first find in this flea market, and I will definitely return.

I also revisited two of my Florida favorites --- Emmeline's Antique Mall in Palmetto and the Rialto Goodwill in Venice.

In Emmeline's, I found a beautiful compo baby doll. She isn't marked, but judging from her material, I believe that she dates to the 1930's. She is large and heavy and feels like a real baby. Sadly, I had to leave her in Florida, so I don't have a photo. She will wait until I make a driving trip down ; just  couldn't get her on the airplane. Can't wait to choose a dress and bonnet for her to wear!

The Rialto Goodwill isn't as reasonable as the Salvation Army, but I did find some treasures that were too good to leave behind.

Someone had brought in a load of baby clothes which probably date to the 1970's. Some lovely pieces, plus a tiny pair of red and white crib shoes, like tiny oxfords, Made in Japan. Pristine, so clean, so sweet!

It's great to be back in Virginia tonight, and it doesn't hurt that the weather here is just about perfect.

I had a great week of online sales while I was away.

I need to get items shipped tonight to make room for more treasure--- Thursday and Friday I will be shopping at Mecca, also known as the Emmittsburg Antique Mall in Emmittsburg, Maryland.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

I am a bad blogger, giving my readers nothing interesting for a very long time. That's because I have NOT been shopping. No, really. No estate sales, no eBay, not even a brief run into the Good Will. Nothing.

Winter has been cold and cruel indeed!

But... today I have a story. I have been working this week in a part of the county about 40 minutes from here; a semi rural area that looks much as it did a generation ago. And along the way, among old farms, old houses, and Mom and Pop stores, I smelled... TREASURE.

I couldn't wait for the  school day to end because I had spotted a flea market across the road from the school. It looked so inviting. An old hanging banner blowing in the winter wind proclaimed "Antiques" and a matching banner said "Thrift Store". I would be delighted with either, or both.

I headed across the road as soon as I left school in the midst of a gentle snow flurry. The owner was sitting in his car to keep warm but was happy to accompany me inside. The shop was dark, dimly lit, and full of stuff. But so cold. I made my way around and checked out a few promising things. Most items had no prices.  Items with prices were a bit high, but he promised to make me a good deal. I started to ask for a good price on a StarTrek Barbie and Ken in their original box but I was so cold that I lost interest. I took his card and thanked him, and I will definitely hit the Route 5 Flea Market another day.

Disappointed, I headed back up the road toward civilization. After driving for 20 minutes or so, I decided to make a stop at a thrift store that I like but haven't visited for months, because it is not on my regular route. It's bright and clean and supports a cancer hospital for kids, so it's always worth a look when I'm out that way. Usually the items are new, but I have had a few good finds there over the years, including a Vanity Fair full slip in bright red a couple of years ago. Hope springs eternal in my shopping breast...

As I got out of the car, I spied an item with my name on it in the  store window. SHARON, the German coffee pot said. I went inside to find that it was tagged $8.98. German, marked, with lid, perfect. And hey, it's for the kids, right?

I asked the lady at the counter to hold it for me while I made my rounds. Not much in the clothing and linens. One little Imp jacket which might sell for Easter, but not a great color. A   pretty vintage wedding gown, but it looked like a project that I don't have time for.

Then, strolling through the furniture, I found a shabby green typewriter stand, very old, of wood and metal. Its beautiful light green paint was mostly intact. SO so cute. The price was right, and it's for the kids...

So I drove home in the end of the snow flurry with my two pieces,  content. The typewriter stand will probably go to add spring color to my booth at OddBalls Antiques, and the coffeepot will join many friends in my living room.

Happy Valentines' Day to me!  And to all of you as well!