Showing posts with label thrift shop finds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thrift shop finds. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


My four day weekend was wonderful. I usually stay close to home on my days off because it feels like I never get to spend enough time there and I dislike driving on crowded roads, but this weekend I wanted to go to new places I’d never been before.

One day I ended up in tiny historic Niles, a one-sided railroad town with an abundance of bars and antique stores. (If you're familiar with this part of California, it's located at the base of the Fremont hills.)

The bars I could live without, but the antique stores were wonderful.

Oh, I had such a good time browsing in those stores. Lots of kitchenware, linens, toys, and furniture.

Nice wildflowers, too, growing along the main street between the shops.

My favorite store was Kiowa Rose. Best bead store ever. I bought this glass heart-shaped bead by Grace Lampwork Beads.

And these charms for beading and collaging.

Picked up these folk art prints by Swedish artist Stina Sunesson at one of the antique stores-- I’m still trying to fill the empty walls of my new apartment.

A snapshot of someone’s front yard. I guess you would call this a giant assemblage doll? Or just a really cool collage.

There was so much to look at that I couldn't take it all in on the one trip. I'm definitely going back.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Beach, Shopping & Awards

Trying to escape from the oppressive heat earlier this week, I took a trip to the beach. Capitola is about a forty minute drive from my home on a good day when there aren't snarls of traffic heading toward the coast.

And I did escape the heat. It was FREEZING! And me in shorts. Ah well, I managed to enjoy myself immensely in spite of the bone-chilling wind.

On the drive there I promised myself repeatedly that I wouldn't spend much money. Ha ha. That didn't quite work out.

First stop, yarn shop. Yum. I picked up this Sirdar yarn and have already started making my umpteenth feather and fan scarf.

Second stop, antique store. I bought all sorts of goodies for making collages and handmade books. Oh, that place was heavenly. This is just a taste of what I bought.

Antique needle books with needles inside.

Zippered pouches made from vintage dish cloths. I certainly don't need three of these, but I couldn't choose which one I wanted so the owner gave me a deal. I might give one or more away in a giveaway some day.

Little envelopes made from vintage dish cloths. Perfect size for credit cards, gift cards, or business cards. I think the reason I like this fabric so much is it reminds me of the dishtowels we had when I was a kid.

Sewing machine trading cards. I'd never heard of these, but had to have them. They would make cute covers for handmade books, or as pieces of a larger collage.

I also bought antique postcards and a clock, as well as game prizes for my sister's upcoming bridal shower. So as not to overwhelm or bore you, in a few days I'll post pictures of the cute little seaside town of Capitola and the foggy, picturesque coastline.

* * *

Melanie at A Country Dream gave me an award! She really gave it to me-- I didn't have to steal it.

Thank you, Melanie! I'm so happy. I love awards. But I have reservations about passing them along to other bloggers. One, I've noticed some people don't like to receive them, and I don't want to annoy anyone with an unwanted award. Two, some people receive TONS of them and I feel a bit silly giving someone their fourteenth lovely blog award. Three, I like so many blogs that I feel bad giving awards to some people and not to others.

That said, I'm going to pass along this award to a few bloggers I adore. I am doing this with absolutely no strings attached-- no need to publicly thank or link to me, no need to pass it on, no need to do anything-- unless you want to.

-Rachel at Not-So-Plain Jane for her humor and authenticity.

-Jen at Miss Punkie Pie for sharing pictures of her gorgeous Amelia.

-Sumea at skipping in the the meadow for her enthusiasm and loving nature. Her sparkly energy radiates from her blog. (Sumea, I know you already received this award recently, but yes I am giving you another one.)

-Emma at Little Brown Rabbit for her whimsical creations and for sharing passages from the writings of Eckhart Tolle.

-Kimberly at Niestz Vintage Home ... and fabric for simply having one of the most beautiful blogs I've ever seen.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Delicious things

Lately I've been feeling so happy and content. Every day brings some sort of surprise, like a gift from a friend or finding something for my apartment that I've been searching for. I wanted to take a few minutes to share a few things that I think are delicious ...

This is some of my favorite summer produce. (I know it's not quite summer, but it doesn't sound right calling this spring produce. Grapes can be found in the grocery store right now, but they are definitely a summer thing.) And this week is the start of the Wednesday night Farmer's Market, which I've been looking forward to for months.

An unexpected gift arrived in the mail recently from my friend Dogwood. Antique bottles for decorating, a jar of ribbons, and a stack of blank mini-canvases.

A co-worker returned from India today and brought me this wall hanging and bag. It was a funny coincidence (not to mention very sweet) because I'd been looking for a fabric wall hanging for a couple weeks, and almost bought a bag similar to this one at Pier One over the weekend.

I did pick up this little ceramic bowl at Pier One. I bought it to display on a shelf, but it's the perfect size for snacking on my summer grapes. I want to go back and get a few more.

And I found this pillow on sale at Cost Plus.

Charlie looked so cute hanging out in the silk garden yesterday. A few minutes after taking this picture, he began chewing on the flower stems. Naughty kitty! And he has his own pot of live grass just a few feet away.

I saw this unusual flower growing in the parking lot at a grocery store on my lunch hour. (At least I assume it's unusual ... I have no idea what it is.)

Here is my latest knit flower. I love this color combination.

And last but not least, I came across this sweet little surprise on the way to the mail box.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Knitting, Shopping, & Eating Cupcakes

I've been a busy girl. I'm participating in a craft fair next week, so I've been spending my evenings knitting these little flowers to sell.

I'm still trying to decide whether to sell them as is, attach pins to the back, or sew them to tote bags and hats.

I was inspired to knit these by Lucy at Attic24 and Sumea at skipping in the meadow . They both crochet the most lovely flowers, and I wanted to get in on the action. Have you met Sumea yet? If you haven't, you are in a for quite a treat.

I'm also knitting eyelet wash cloths to sell. They're so soft and comfortable, both to knit and to use. I'm using Mission Falls 1824 cotton.

They're knit diagonally, starting with four stitches on the needle. I want to share the pattern, but I'm conflicted. I originally found the pattern in a book, but I think it's a classic that has been around forever. I changed the pattern slightly from how it is presented in the book, but I still have this nagging sense that it's not quite right to post it. I'm going to think about it some more.

Yesterday was the last day of a big project at work. I celebrated by treating myself to these vases at Crate & Barrel. Oh, they look so cute in my apartment. They go perfectly on one of the little tables I bought at the secondhand store.

I also treated myself to dessert at a bakery called
Kara's Cupcakes . My little sister told me a few months ago she is going to serve these cupcakes at her wedding instead of a traditional cake, and I've been wanting to try them ever since. This one is lemon. It was okay, but my favorite is chocolate peanut butter.

I've been looking for a rug for my living room, and finally found one at Goodwill on my lunch hour yesterday. I was a bit nervous about buying it because there are no refunds and I wasn't sure if it was the right size or pattern, but decided to take a chance. When I got home, I was stunned to discover that it's a perfect fit and the colors look great. Charlie approves, too!

Does it seem like I'm boasting a bit about all of my perfect finds for my new apartment? If I am, it's because normally I'm not very good at decorating or finding bargains, but lately I seem to be on a roll and it's such a kick. For the first time in years I have a sense of what I like and how I want my place to look, and I'm truly enjoying creating a home that I feel connected to and proud of. It's kind of a big deal after years and years of living in a tiny studio. And I really have to thank all of the blogs that I visit for inspiring me, giving me ideas, and helping me see that it's okay to surround yourself with color.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


When I moved a few weeks ago, I stayed within my apartment complex, just moving a few buildings over. Last night I took Charlie, who has been walking on a leash since he was a kitten, for a walk to our old place. From the weird look on his face, I don't think he understood how close we live to our former apartment. He walked right up the stairs, sniffed around the patio, and then began pawing at the door and crying to go in. Oh, I felt so bad. I had no idea he would react like that. I tried to explain that we don't live there anymore and I don't have a key, even showing him the empty room through the window, but he didn't understand and protested as I tried to carry him home. Poor guy. We won't be doing that again.

He was fine once we got back to our new place.

* * *

I was bummed out on tax day because I had to pay more than expected due to working as an independent contractor last year. But that evening I received some good news. In my mailbox was a letter from the district attorney's office along with a court order stating that the man who wrecked my car in a hit-and-run a few years ago must pay me the total value of the car. It was an older car, so it isn't a tremendous amount of money, but I've been trying to collect it for a while and had just about given up. It was funny (and wonderful) that the letter arrived on the same day I had to pay a painful tax bill.

I celebrated by buying the little tables I had my eye on at a secondhand shop.

Also picked up this April Cornell throw pillow at the secondhand shop, along with some solid color cushions at Wal-Mart for seven dollars each.

And I bought this frame at Michael's for the vintage print I got at Goodwill. I love how it looks hanging over the couch.

* * *

Poor Apollo. He always seems to play second fiddle to Charlie, who is a bit of a rock star with his sweet personality and gorgeous looks. Apollo turned two recently and didn't get a mention in this blog like Charlie did. So, happy birthday Apollo. You are every bit as beautiful and special as your brother. (Yes, my cats read my blog, have emotions, and understand every word I say. Yep. They really do.)

* * *

Here is another musical street theater video. A girl working at the corn dog booth in the food court at a mall bursts in to song, and soon others join in. It's a kick. I sure wish something like that would happen while I am out and about-- I would LOVE to see that. I'm sure I would start crying, because everything seems to make me cry these days.

* * *

kelly rae is having a giveaway. Three chances to win! All you have to do is offer a phrase in four or less words she can use as an affirmation in her art. Mine is, "say yes."

Monday, April 13, 2009

San Francisco

I had an excellent day in San Francisco on Saturday. It was sunny and fairly warm, and my friend Dogwood was a fabulous tour guide, taking me to out-of-the-way places that are more familiar to locals than tourists like me.

We began by browsing the boutiques on Portero Hill, and then went to Goat Hill Pizza for delicious clam chowder and a slice of pizza.

Next we saw a book art exhibition at the San Francisco Center for the Book , and then went yarn shopping at ImagiKnit . I bought four balls of Mission Falls 1824 cotton, and later picked up this colorful bowl and pot for pocket change at a secondhand store.

We stopped in at Goodwill in the Mission District and Dogwood bought me this lamp. It’s perfect on my new (old) bookcase.

Earlier in the day she gave me this gift of an aged bottle with the golden bird image on it, and even put the name of the artist who drew the bird, Giuliana Lazzerini , on the back.

(the cat artwork is by the amazing artist Yoju )

We ended the day at the community garden on top of Portero Hill.

Oh, I almost forgot. For Dogwood’s birthday, I gave her a
gift bag with a knit flower that I made using a pattern from the book Vintage Hearts and Flowers .

Inside the bag was the
miniature tote with a fabric collage I made a few weeks ago, and inside of that was a bundle of fat quarters …

... as well as this tiny picture of a birthday cake that I painted for her.

All in all, a most excellent day :-)