Why 'My Mink Betty'?

Why 'My Mink Betty'?
I'm not your common, everyday twenty-something year old and when I graduated from High School I got an equally uncommon gift. My parents found for me a beautiful 1940's mink stole at a garage sale. It had belonged to the woman's Great Aunt Betty who had married late in life to a man with money and had only allowed him to buy her this one luxury. The unusually styled stole has the name, Betty L. Jones, embroidered in the satin lining so that's what I call her. They never had children of their own and the mink was passed to Aunt Betty's niece and on to her daughter. Until it got to me, no one since Aunt Betty had worn it. Now Betty the mink and I go to the theater together on special occasions and I hope that someday I can take her to the Symphony or the Ballet. Although Betty hadn't been worn or loved for many years she was waiting for someone to love her again as are most other things I look for when thrifting.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Princess of Quite-A-Lot

Today is Mary Engelbreit Monday at Cherry Chick's blog.

My first recollection of Mary Engelbreit was the 1997 "My Checkered Past" calendar. My mother had it hanging in the kitchen, and I would look at it every day as I ate my breakfast. If any of you have ever seen that calendar, you know it has some beautiful illustrations, most of which are considered 'classic' Mary.

At the age of six, I was sure that I was a Princess. When I asked my mother what my royal title was, she told me I could be "The Princess of Quite-A-Lot."

"The Princess of Quite-A-Lot" was the calendar illustration for the month of April (my birth month) . So I promptly asked Mom for my helper monkey. 'Cause what little girl doesn't want a helper monkey to bring her a milkshake, burger, and fries?!

I think that may have been why I was so taken by Dora the Explorer
when she came along a few years later.

She has a best friend who is a monkey.
She also gets to go on adventures and talk to anthropomorphic gates and boats, etc. She speaks Spanish, and her map and her backpack sing to her. What's not to like?

So I was very happy to find a Princess of Quite-A-Lot plaque hiding out in the wood aisle at the Goodwill on Thursday.
I loved the "The Princess of Quite-A-Lot" when I was little. Besides having an awesome fez-wearing helper monkey, she had red hair like my Mom, she sat on a comfy throne all day, eating ice cream and reading books, and she had the cutest kittens ever.

Follow this link to see more ME inspired posts at Mary Engelbreit Monday.

But Really, No More Baby Planters

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know that my mother and I share a fondness for vintage baby planters. I've blogged about our collection before, here and here.

So you'll probably understand why I was surprised last month, to hear Mom say "I think we may have too many baby planters."

Too many baby planters? Is that even possible?

The plan has always been for us to find a shelf unit for the bathroom and display the planters on it. Mom was looking at the wall in the bathroom and imagining what that shelf would look like, when she realized not everything we owned would fit.

So it was decided that we would lay off the baby planters for a while.

Until we find a shelf to put them on.

Or until Mom saw this at Goodwill the day after Christmas.

An Elephant! On a flying carpet!
Okay, it's not really a flying carpet, but Mom likes to think so.

But really, no more baby planters.

Until I saw this at Goodwill two days later.

I had to do a double-take to realize that this was indeed a french poodle pulling a carriage.
Pulling a freaking carriage!

AND the carriage has a giraffe on it. I love giraffes.

When I was very little, I thought French Poodles came in four NATURAL colors: white, black, pink, and blue. And I wanted a pink dog. Badly. So I had this obsession with poodle things and therefore wanted a poodle skirt. Apparently, even as a child, I belonged in the fifties.

Some poodles might consider pulling a baby carriage a demeaning job, but not "Jean-Luc Picard the Poodle" (Yes, I went there, and it's still it's a cool name). He holds his head high and takes his responsibility seriously. No doubt he's had to take a bit of ribbing from the fellows. Judging by the little scars on his face, I'd say he's been in a few fights.

If you look closely enough, you can see his mustache. I have a slight fascination with mustaches. I'm not sure if it's healthy or not, but they make me so darn happy.

So apparently the short-lived moratorium on baby planters was over.

This cute little boy came from an estate sale. I love the politically incorrect boxing gloves.

This cowgirl and boot came from The Salvation Army. Mom and I had each seen it on separate trips to the store, and decided against buying it. It's bigger than most, and we were trying not to buy more planters. But we were intriqued by the unusual cowgirl theme, so when it was reduced to half price, Mom brought it home.

She seems to be wearing a denim diaper. Ouch, that would chafe. I think she may eventually end up in North Dakota, when the next girl cousin is born.

That's one of the nice things about baby planters. If we really do have too many, they make good gifts.

But really, no more baby planters.

I can't say I've been terribly tempted lately.

Not all planters are cute.

Some are downright scary.

I seriously thought that was a chainsaw in his hands at first.
Which means the red stuff would have been...

Never mind.

I'm joining these parties today:
Thrift Share Monday


Follow the links and see what cool things others have found.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Blah blah blah Pyrex

For all my Pyrex loving friends, today's post is brought to you as heard and repeated by my boyfriend when I told him about my recent Pyrex-y finds...

Blah blah blah Pyrex blah blah. Blah blah Goodwill.
Blahbity blah blah Pyrex blah blah.

Blah blah blah Pyrex blah blah

Blah blah Pink Daisy blah blah

Blah blah Snowflake Open Baker blah blah

Blah blah blah Blue Butterprint

Blah blah blah Spring Blossom Gravy Boat blah blah

Blah blah Shenandoah blah blah blah

Blah blah Opal White blah blah

Blah blah blah Orange/Yellow Bowl blah blah

Blah blah blah Juice Carafe blah blah

Blah blah Another Juice Carafe blah blah

Blah blah blah ANOTHER Juice Carafe blah blah

Blah blah Coffee? Carafe blah blah blah

If you have trouble deciphering my post, ask the non-Pyrex-y people in your life and they should be able to translate as they've probably heard this before...

I'm joining these parties:
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Saturday, January 22, 2011

I Hope You're Not Too Tired of Christmas

The day after Christmas used to be a big shopping day for my family. We would head to the Mall to take advantage of the deep discounts on clothing, gift wrap and Christmas decorations. My parents used to give me cash for Christmas instead of buying clothing at pre-sale prices. But this year was different. Because of the economy, retailers started discounting things early. There was no need to wait for sales. And because of all the thrifting I've been doing, I didn't really need any clothes. The only place I needed to go to was Wal-Mart for a year's supply of scotch tape at 3 rolls/$1.

So Mom and I decided to check out the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores for 50% off Christmas items. Here's what we found:

Okay, so Pyrex isn't a Christmas item, and the big ornaments were found a while ago, but I needed another color to break up all the red, and besides, everything goes better with Pyrex, doesn't it?

I was hoping to find Mary Engelbreit Christmas items in particular and I wasn't disappointed.

A cheerful mug and a small tin pail were 50c each.

Here's a close-up of the pail lid. Aren't those expressions wonderful?

And this little elf was $1. His "hair" is a piece of rabbit fur.

Mom found a large poinsettia tablecloth for $3.50. It looks like it's hardly been used.

And this happy spaghetti Santa was $1.50. He's a bank. We had never seen a Santa like this, so we checked our favorite online source for all things vintage - ebay. We found several similar Santas, some banks, some not. Apparently this design was very popular. According to one seller, this particular Santa is a "Santa Saver" made in 1960 by Napco, intended to be sold as a souvenir at the Santa Claus Museum or one of the other attractions in Santa Claus, Indiana.

I love his fat little mustache and his spaghetti trim. The green paint on the holly leaf has flaked off some, but I kind of like him that way, as if he's been well-loved for 50 years.

I'm thrilled to finally find a glass tree topper. Original store price - $12.95.
Salvation Army price - $1.

But the best bargains were found a week later at the Goodwill Outlet. Glass items are sold for 39c/lb, so I got 4 dozen small red glass ball ornaments for 36c.

And the 7 tiny glittery pastel ornaments were...

wait for it...

one penny!

There was also a lot of tinsel and garland and many boxes of brand new glass ball ornaments I left behind. If I were a crafty person, and wanted to make ornament wreaths

like this one by Laurie from Magpie Ethel, or

this one from Sonya at Dime Store Thrift,

I would be checking the Goodwill Outlet regularly from Dec 15th - Jan 15th. I could probably find enough supplies for several wreaths for only a few dollars.

Also found at the Outlet that same day was the yellow Pyrex mixing bowl. Mom saw it from across the room, and time seemed to stop for a moment. She couldn't believe it was there, or that one of the dozens of bears people tearing through the bins hadn't grabbed it.

As you can see, it's VERY scratched up. It's also one of the older, thicker bowls, probably close to 60 years old, and still fully functional. Everyone should have a big yellow Pyrex mixing bowl. Outlet price - $1.35.

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

1983 Strawberry Shortcake Berry Happy Home Dollhouse

Remember this?

The 1983 Strawberry Shortcake Berry Happy Home Dollhouse that Mom and I saw at Goodwill and I posted about here.

I really wanted it, but I couldn't justify the $30 on my present salary of $0/month. But after thinking about it all night, I decided that I probably wouldn't get this close to one ever again, and I could at least take advantage of Goodwill's generous return policy and bring it home long enough to clean it up a bit and get a good look at it and all the furniture.

So I went back for it the next morning. When I got to the store, the table it had been sitting on was empty and when I asked about it, the clerk told me that a man in his twenties had come in about an hour before me and bought it. He had told them he was going to make big bucks off of it on Ebay. (These houses, without furniture, have sold for $50-$165 recently on Ebay.)

I was VERY disappointed.

But guess what? Santa shops at Goodwill, because when I got up Christmas morning, there the dollhouse was on our coffee table, all dirty and ready for cleaning!

As I think back, I realize that I don't know exactly what the clerk was talking about when she said a young man bought it to put on Ebay. I had only pointed at the table it had been on and asked what happened to what had been there. I wonder what it was and if the buyer really did make big bucks off of it on ebay.

(Btw, have I mentioned recently how nice it is to have a father who is willing to go pick up and transport our thrifted finds when my mother calls, no questions asked? Even when it's raining buckets?)

I haven't really finished with it, but I did clean out some of the insides, the balcony, etc. The house, for the most part, is in good shape except for being dirty. I feel really lucky that all the parts are there. There are two broken places; one is where the bay window goes, but we have the window and fully intend to just glue it in place. The other is a tab that holds the balcony onto the house. I'm not actually sure yet if it's broken or simply not snapped into place. I just know that it sort of "sags" in the front.

I also cleaned off the little bits of furniture that were in it. It came with an assortment of furniture, but alas, only two pieces were Strawberry Shortcake. One was the porch swing which originally came with the house. The other is a crib made for the Strawberry Shortcake Blow Kiss Baby Dolls.

There was also a large storage strawberry designed for holding dolls.
(I have several of these strawberries).
(picture courtesy of strawberry-shortcake.net)

And inside it, lo and behold, were a couple of those Blow Kiss Babies. I couldn't get a good enough picture on my own so here is one I found online.

This picture is of Blueberry Muffin and Lemon Meringue while I have Blueberry Muffin and Strawberry Shortcake. You can see how small they are and they are just darling. They're called Blow Kiss Babies because of the way their mouths are puckered BUT they're actually drink and wet dolls. Mine do not still have their bottles or their "bonnets" but thankfully do still have their diapers.

They were a fun and surprising find with this house. I already have three dolls, but they are in pretty sorry shape. I'll worry about getting proper clothing for them later.

Now I guess I will keep an eye open for furniture for my house. It's all available on ebay, but not at prices I can afford. Who knows if I'll ever find any of it thrifting. But you never know what you'll find. (I never expected to find the house.)

That's what makes thrifting fun.

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