Monday, July 21, 2008

Salvage, fleas and various other goodies...

The last day spent in the Saluda/Tryon area of North Carolina last week my mom and I headed into Tryon to go to a place that advertised itself as a warehouse of salvage and other such goodies. Neither my mom nor I have ever met a termite-eaten, flaky-paint-covered piece of anything that we didn't like, so we thought it sounded like a great place to spend a little money and a lot of time.

Turns out, the salvage end of things required quite a hefty bit of money, so all we did there was browse. The owners obviously travel to Europe and South America quite often, and bring home some fabulous pieces of buildings and furniture items to share with Wealthy Vacationing Americans. That term doesn't describe anyone that was on the trip last week, so we just admired. I was really wishing I could spring for the antique French bottle racks they had - those A-frame shaped ones that are hinged at the top - but they were over $400 each if I remember correctly. Maybe it was $200... in any case, they were more than my limit of $25 so they stayed put.

We did, however, do very nicely in the flea market that was adjacent to the salvage place! The actual flea market was pretty much like every other flea market... some dishes, some linens, some crap, some old books, lots of record albums... But then my mom needed to find a bathroom, and we found the mother-lode.

In the back of the building, beyond the booths and organized stuff, were piles and piles of stuff that had been picked up, it seemed, at estate sales and office liquidations, and whatever other kind of sales that would garner a person a dozen or so filing cabinets of different vintages, some professional dishwasher parts, and stacks of child-sized school desks. There was a whole lot of stuff we didn't even bother to try to look through (or couldn't reach) but I came away with a roll of vintage upholstery trim, a dozen or more wire frames to some sconce shades, half-a-dozen little brass keys, three small shutters, a couple of wooden turned posts to make candle sticks out of, small antique bottles - 4 for a dollar - and I'm sure there is something I'm forgetting. It was a great haul. I didn't get the sheets I found, but they were just overpriced - I'm used to paying pennies for sheets and pillowcases at local thrift stores, so paying $5 for a pair of cases would have been against my nature.

Now I have to get busy. I have two craft fairs to attend this fall, and need to decide what, exactly, I'm going to sell. I'm thinking that the Snowfolk are a no-brainer - especially at the October fair in Bella Vista. But I'm also going to make stacks and stacks of fabric drink coasters and some smaller hip bags. I have too much fabric not to make it pay off now. No more buying, lots more selling!!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Mama's got a brand new bag!

A friend of mine just had a sweet little baby girl, after having two boys. As you can imagine, she chucked all ideas of buying gender-neutral clothes and went for the pink!

When I found out a few months ago she was having a girl, I told her I'd put together a diaper bag made from some of the lovely vintage fabrics I've got in my piles. She picked out some fabrics, and I put them aside to work on... Miriam was born two weeks ago, and I finished the bag today. I never guaranteed her a delivery date, thank goodness.

The main part of the bag is made from a Tommy Hilfiger sheet, the bottom part is a vintage curtain and they have a little trim of white in between. The "flowers" are cut from a felted wool sweater, the leaves are bits of linen tablecloth and vintage fabric samples, and the strap is another sheet. Vintage buttons finish it out, and it's lined with a vintage pillowcase.

I also made a matching changing pad out of a pink hand towel I picked up at a thrift store. The beauty is that all of this can be machine washed. The sheets and towel have been washed before, of course, and I washed the curtains and sweater as well. Easy!!

I really like the way it turned out. I would love to do more things like this, using different combinations of fabrics. I think I'll post pics of this one in my Etsy shop and advertise that I'll let people pick their fabrics for a truly custom bag.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Weird Sale - Great Goodies!

The other day I ran across a yard sale where a guy was selling quite a bit of old furniture and yard items. I got a metal glider and a couple of metal chairs for my mom to go on her patio. When I went back to pick them up with Hubby, the guy invited us to go through his house to see if there was anything else we might be interested in. Oh my god, was that interesting.

This guy is a hoarder. He had boxes and boxes and piles and piles of stuff in every room of his house. I mean EVERY ROOM. There were 78 rpm records from the 40's (Tex Ritter!), collections of brass instruments, assorted "see no evil" monkey figurines... And a whole lot of junk to go with the cool stuff. We quickly decided we couldn't do the monumental task of actually looking at everything justice (plus, Hubby doesn't like digging through people's stuff, even when asked to do so), so we left. But I vowed to return!

The next day my mom and I went back prepared to scrounge. After two-and-a-half hours of going through every box that looked interesting (and that we were capable of getting to), and surveying all the furniture in the house, we came away with a few things. I ended up with a little box of sewing notions, some costume jewelry, a few vintage ties, a nice Haeger pottery bowl, a ton of vintage buttons, an old crocheted doily, a milk glass jar, and some old cabinet door handles. I also have two large cabinet doors and two small ones in the garage waiting to be repurposed. I tell you I don't know how that guy has managed it, but he doesn't have any place to sit in that house. Really - now that I'm thinking about it... there are no empty chairs. Weird.
There was quite a bit more stuff I would have taken, but just don't need right now. But, I know where he lives...