Today is Small Business Saturday, a shopping event in which I will gladly participate. Yesterday was Black Friday, a shopping frenzy in which I will NOT participate. I stayed home and did laundry! As much as I enjoy a good bargain, my sanity is far more valuable. I’m not fond of crowds, so I’d rather pay a little more and shop in peace.
The weather today is one of those sunny, warm late fall days…perfect for walking around downtown, perusing the little shops. It’s so nice, I didn’t even wear a jacket! Tomorrow a cold front arrives, but let’s not talk about that right now. Let’s talk about what I found at the thrift and vintage stores!
The little “pocketbook” coin purse is completely impractical, but it spoke to me, and since it was only 50¢, I could not resist. I’m pretty sure it’s vintage, but unsure just how old. There are no markings. The 3-flower pin in the center has a tiny mark on the back, LC, which is apparently Liz Claiborne, according to a Google search. The only other piece with a mark is the seal pin – it has a swan inside a circle. Google reveals that this is the mark of the Swavorski company. The kitty cat pin looks similar in composition to the seal, but only from the front. The back is completely different, so I know they are not made by the same company. The red elephant pin really talked to me, and I knew she simply had to come home with me!
Here’s a tip on seeing those teeny tiny marks on jewelry: A jeweler’s rouge, even a cheap plastic one like the one we have, will usually give you a good enough view to figure it out. But if you’re still stumped, like I was with the Swavorski mark (was it a swan or a numeral 2?), put your camera on macro and take a clear, close up photo. After you download the photo to your computer, the mark will be enormous and quite readable. I tried using the zoom to view the photo on the camera, but each zoom made it blurrier than the last. Once the photo is on the computer, there is no need to zoom in.
Honestly, I have no idea WHY I bought this sweater. It’s quite large on me, and very…um…LOUD. I’m guessing it’s a true vintage 1980s sweater, based solely on the fact that a huge portion of the section of clothing with which it was hanging was definitely from the 80s. (The tag has been cut out for the most part, leaving only the name Ship & Shore Sport.) It makes me think of Beverly Goldberg, although her sweaters tend to be far more glittery. Maybe I can take it up on the sides and the sleeves, but I’m not sure my sewing skills are good enough. It only cost $1.50, so if I butcher it, at least I won’t be out much. Guess I’d better wait until my husband sees it and judge from his reaction whether or not to wear the thing. Perhaps I’ll wear it next Halloween with some acid wash jeans and be Beverly Goldberg!
This sweater isn’t quite so bright in person. It’s 100% wool; I bought it not to wear, but for a sewing project. My plan is to felt it, then make quilt blocks out of it, as well as other things I haven’t dreamed up yet. I’ve had this felted wool quilt project in my mind for a couple of years, and have slowly purchased wool sweaters at yard sales and thrift stores as I’ve found colors and patterns I like. I’ve got a tote box full of them now, so it’s time to get started on the quilt! After the new year, of course. I have one fabric project to work on as a Christmas gift, so that is my first priority.
This sweater jacket is also 100% wool, but it is not destined for my quilt project; I already have plenty of black wool for that. This pretty number will be going on eBay soon. Even though I’m trying to decrease my eBay fodder and not fill up even more of my tiny sewing room with inventory, this sweater jacket was irresistable. Surely there’s a lovely plus sized lady who would love its ruffles and warmth this winter, and her purchase will help pad my Shoe Fund.
My small business purchases today included other items as well, but since they are gifts, they will not be revealed here.
While I was admiring the amazing 80s dresses at the little church-run thrift store, a high school girl behind me drew my attention. I discovered that she is a kindred spirit – a feller thrifter – and we laughed together at all the hideous dresses and power suits with massive shoulders. I was very tempted to buy the black T-shaped batwing dress with the giant silvery triangle on the front. My new friend and I agreed it was not only ghastly, but the fabric made our fingers cringe. I know there are people out there who LOVE vintage stuff like that, though….it was tough, but I talked myself out of it. Again, I really don’t need more eBay fodder. We moved on to the shoes, where we saw the most ENORMOUS pair of overshoes either of us had ever laid eyes on. You could float down the river in those things! Next we checked out purses and hats, where I found the little pocketbook coin purse and she found a thing we determined to be a hat, despite the fact it looked like a velvet donut. Then she showed me the skinniest dress ever in the formal wear section; she said it’s been at the store for a while. The label said it’s a size 1 – the waist is probably no bigger than 20″ around! That’s when I learned that my new friend spends every Saturday morning poking around the thrift shop. Her father owns the shop next door, and since none of her friends enjoys thrifting, she goes by herself for a couple of hours while her Dad runs the shop.
It’s always good to make a new friend, and I love it when we can ignore age differences and focus on shared interests instead. In the cooler months, I don’t go into town on Saturdays often, but I will have to make a point of making a trip more often. I’d like to pop into the shop next door to the thrift store and see if my young friend wants to go laugh at the Beverly Goldberg outfits with me…