Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Other Pursuits

I used to frequent thrift stores fairly regularly, and then something happened (kids, maybe?) and I stopped doing it. Seeing other people's finds on the blogs and on Flickr has reminded me how much I like to browse around for unique and cheap things!

Mostly what I like to shop for is dishes. I have this thing about dishes. It might be hereditary, because my mom has it, too. (She doesn't thrift hers, though. When my parents lived in Luxembourg, she got them at the Villeroy & Boch factory store. That's my kind of outlet shopping!) I recently found these out thrifting: the ones on the left are Mikasa and I got a set of six cups and saucers for $5. The lovely little teacup on the right is one of a pair, sadly with no saucers. But both of them cost maybe fifty cents.

Now that I am trying to learn to sew, the linens at the thrift stores call me with their siren song. (Cheap fabric, cheap fabric...) I also like vintage cookbooks from the 1940s through 1960s or so, and also mid-20th century home economics textbooks. A little particular, I know. I hope to be sharing some of my finds on the blog, so get ready for even more non-knitting content! Sorry!

Ebay, of course, is fun for this, and I have purchased some neat things on eBay. But it's not as much fun as finding things in an actual store. Part of the thrill is sorting through a bunch of stuff that doesn't interest you to find the Perfect Thing. Looking for goodies on eBay is like hunting on those commercial preserves where you pay for the animals to be released.* It basically takes all the challenge out of the activity. What do you other thrifters think?

Another little creative project I have going on I am calling Operation Pretty Home. I have never really decorated my house and so it was starting to depress me. I am trying, on a very little budget, to make my house reflect my personality and the things that I love.

I started with my bedroom. Hung some window treatments, looked around for some pretty things for the mantle, finally put some pictures on the wall. In the picture on the left, I got the Vogue print and the frame for less than $20. The other pictures are an idea I shamelessly stole from Alicia at Posie Gets Cozy. They are scrapbooking papers in frames. That is brilliant. It looks really nice, I think.

Also ... swaps! I am doing Sockapalooza 4 and very excited about planning my sock project for my pal. I'm also getting together a package for Jennie's Sound Swap ... more on all this in the next post!

* Before you ask, no, I do not hunt. I heard about these places on NPR.

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Blogger Jennifer said...

Another cheap interesting wall decorating idea is to take the pictures out of old calendars and frame them. We've done that with an old Ansel Adams calendar.

11:14 AM  
Blogger Gena said...

I think it is hereditary. If my Dad collected anything (other than tools) it was coffee mugs. And I find myself doing the same thing!

Ditto to Jennifer's comment ~ I've done the same myself!

11:40 AM  
Anonymous lynda said...

I absolutely LOVE dishes. I have seven sets, and still dream of more. I have a Villeroy and Boch story, when in Germany with my husbands sister and her husband, and the husband's parents on vacation, we girls made the guys drive us out to the Villeroy and Boch outlet near Munich... we were SO excited, but when we got there found out that this was the division that made toilets and sinks.... who knew? No new dishes that trip, and they guys have never let us live it down.

11:54 AM  
Blogger Ashley said...

I totally agree re: Ebay, but I think for me it's almost more of a trust thing-like, I want to see ad touch something before I commit to buying it!

12:02 PM  
Blogger The_Add_Knitter said...

How funny, I have same take on Ebay. For me, who used to collect jadeite dishes and any fire king dish ware, yard sales and antique stores were always an occasion for excitement. Ebay somehow made collecting feel like hording...

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Sulafaye said...

This is great non-knitting content! I like the "hunt" too, and really enjoy finding the perfect thing that I didn't know I was looking for. Please keep us posted (and thus inspired) on Operation Pretty Home!

12:18 PM  
Anonymous www.knittingnutter.com said...

Lovely cups! What a find. Like how you are decorating your house to fit your personality.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

That scrapbooking paper in frames is genius. I think I just might be copying the copier before long.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Faith! said...

Lovely teacups! My thrift store obsessions are mugs and vintage sheets. The linens provide perfect material for various crafting purposes, but the mugs take up lots of space.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous jessie said...

How's this for a compliment: I honestly thought, when I skimmed your photos, that the picture of your mantel was a picture from a decorating magazine.


6:18 AM  
Blogger Kate A. said...

Have you ever been to a store called Fish's Eddy in NYC? It's all dishes, and they have amazing collections of vintage bits and pieces they pick up at auctions - a lot of it comes from old hotels. Lovely stuff, though I have to say that what you've shown us here is more beautiful than anything I've seen there.

I got a huge lot of old knitting supplies on Ebay once, years ago when I was collecting a needle stash, and in amongst it were several very old paper Boye envelopes for circular needles. They're beautiful in their way so I've framed them!

10:08 PM  

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