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.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Purple Vinyl Sofa

Two weeks ago, after having little luck at the thrift stores and with no estate sales in sight, Mom announced she needed a vintage fix and invited me on a trip to the Big City close by. She had heard of a new-to-us store that specialized in mid-century furnishings, and that was known to have a good selection of Pyrex at decent prices. So it was over the river and through the neighborhoods we went.

The entire store was full of beautiful mid-century furnishings, especially the lamps.

I've never before seen so many lamps that I loved in one place. I more often see horrible lamp after horrible lamp at Goodwills everywhere. I even like to play a game where I look at all the lamps in the store and decide what the ugliest one is, have my mother do the same, and compare choices. No chance of playing that game here.

I'm particularly fond of swirly drum lampshades.

I must apologize for the quality of the photographs in today's post. I tried, but I'm afraid my intentions were better than the outcome.

They also had swag lamps and pole lamps.

Hawaii was a popular mid-century theme, from lamps

to sofas,

to barware. They had quite a large selection of Tiki mugs.
My favorite is holding a cheeseburger. It's from the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant in Waikiki, Hawaii.

This is what we saw when we walked into the store -

a purple vinyl sofa with a fold-down center cushion that hides a table and a radio console. I'm sorry the picture isn't better. Those are champagne flutes on the fold-down table. And if you look at the coffee table in front of the sofa, you'll see a pull-out drawer with a stereo inside.
Very cool.

They had plenty of art, including a large string-art on velour sailboat . I guess we have something similar that Grandpa did in the '70s packed away. Mom says it's staying packed. It seems it's an acquired taste.

And she hasn't acquired it.

We saw a few toys,

and all sorts of fun housewares,

including this lovely blue bar set (tons of other barware too),

a Figgjo skillet in the Tor Viking pattern,

and then there was Pyrex.

Apparently the Pyrex in this particular shop is made of GOLD or something. They wanted so much money for things that I couldn't even afford to touch most of it for fear of dropping and having to pay for it. In case you can't tell from my lousy picture, that's $69 for a primary color fridge set.

(Disclaimer: I am cheap on my Pyrex prices. Super duper cheap.)

But they DID have Pink Gooseberry.

And some VERY pretty blue Snowflake pieces,

including this space saver Mom was drooling over.

Everything was in excellent condition,

including this Spring Blossom bake serve store set which appeared to be brand new. So it was a lot of fun to look at, although we didn't buy anything.

They did have some little ceramic planters that weren't very expensive, and when the clerk asked us if we were looking for anything in particular, Mom mentioned baby planters. (I know, "No More Baby Planters," but she asked.) The clerk said that she had a box of them packed away in the back because nobody was ever interested in them. I don't know if that means nobody else likes them or just that people who like mid-century modern don't like them.

There was another store that we wanted to check out. It had seemed quite promising

considering its name.
and when we got to it, a look through the windows showed a trove of treasures. But we had spent so much time looking at all the cool mid-century stuff, that by the time we got to Really Good Stuff , it had closed. We'd like to go back some day, but we're not quite sure what the hours are.

I replaced the earlier picture of this sign with a better one. It says that on Monday he's open from "always late" until "whatever" and on Tuesday he closes "when the wife calls." On Thursday he's open from "sometime early" until "sometime late."

Even though the store was closed, we didn't leave empty handed. They was a box of free vinyl records out in front and I selected a few children's records to bring home,

such as this one.

A trip to The Big City isn't complete without a stop at a real thrift store, so we went to the nearest Goodwill and found an assortment of things, including

the Mary Engelbreit plaque I showed you last month,

Brigitte, the French poodle,

and even a coconut bra (as a gag gift for a friend).

While at the cashier, I noticed a flyer advertising a new Goodwill in a trendy neighborhood full of vintage boutiques. We still had an hour before closing time so Mom and I decided to go check it out, fully expecting that all the good stuff would have found it's way there.

When we got there, boy, were we right. All the good stuff had been picked out and taken straight to this Goodwill, marked up, and displayed quite beautifully.

Complete with hardwood floors and lovely displays, this location is set up to imitate the best of the boutique stores in the area and the items are priced to match. (And why not? A lot of the merchandise in the vintage boutiques comes from the Goodwill, anyway. They might as well try to make the money.)

I saw a lot of designer shoes and leather jackets and some nice vintage clothing.

Although vintage and nice don't ALWAYS go hand in hand.

Here's something we really liked. Aqua laminate and chrome bar cart - $55.
I would have snapped this up if I had been lucky enough to find it at the regular non-boutique price of $10-$12.

I hope you enjoyed our trip to The Big City, and I apologize again for the crappy pictures.

I'm linking up to these parties :


Thrift Share Monday

Click on the links and join the fun.


  1. I love that sofa.Love it.We have an aqua vinyl armchair that needs a sofa to match.Oh - I do so love mid-century design.What a fun shop.Sounds like a super shopping day!

  2. All I can say is WOW! That store is amazing but looks like it has amazing prices also. Still sometimes its fun to just look! Thanks for linking up to JFF! hugs, Linda

  3. I enjoyed 'taking' this trip with you. So many goodies! I'm with you though - thrift store is supposed to mean thrifty prices. I just can't bring myself to pay inflated prices, even if I really love the item.

  4. Love those lamps; what a variety! I'm amazed at what some places want for Pyrex, too. Gold indeed! Also, that bar cart is so cool. Again though - the price.

  5. I enjoyed your trip too. Did you know Goodwill has an online store too. I won't put a link but look up shopgoodwill.com and it's really a cool site. Have a great day.

  6. wow, yes, thanks for taking us along. great photos (impossible sometimes to get a good photo indoors, but we appreciate the effort.).. and that store hours sign is hilarious!

  7. Loved the post. Sorry all the pyrex was overpriced, but there's plenty out there for you elsewhere!

  8. I am visiting from FTG and I am going to tease you...your poodle has hoofs girlfriend, I think it is a lammy whammie. I was hoping for a close up of the stork planter, I too love baby planters and I love birds, so that one is a win, win in my book.
    So, am I right or wrong, does your French poodle have cloven hooves?


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