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 12, 2015

What IS a chenille?

I took a little trip to the Goodwill Outlet with my Mother and our entourage recently.  (My boyfriend carries my stuff and my friend Rachel's baby is really cute.  That's an entourage, right?)  Going to the Outlet is bound to be an adventure, as you never know what will be there.  You have to sort through a lot of junk, but there's always something to be found.  And whatever it is, it probably won't cost you much.

 I got everything in this picture for less than $2.40.

I picked through several boxes of ornaments and salvaged these unbroken ones.  I am especially happy to have found some indents.

 I gave the stamp set to a friend who LOVES The Little Prince.

The little gold-toned item in the center of the picture is a wax seal stamp.  I've wanted one since I was a little girl, but they cost at least $12.00 new.  This one cost 3c.  It stamps the initial "T", so maybe I'll change my name to Tabitha.  My six-year-old self has loved that name ever since she first saw a re-run of  Bewitched.  Or maybe Tilapia.  She thought that was very exotic too.

Most of the rest of the things are craft supplies for making ornaments next Christmas.  I want to try and make some putz houses, so I'm hoping the wooden trees, wreaths and drums can be used for that.  I plan to glitter the angels. 

I salvaged some metal tops off of broken shiny brites because we had these at home.
Mom found them at an estate sale for $1.00.  She almost fainted.  Aren't they gorgeous?

The box is pretty cool looking too.

I found this set of playing cards in a haunted house-themed board game.  There are four of each card.  The object of the game is to collect all the cards in the deck.  You deal out all the cards, make stacks, and then the players turn over their top cards at the same time.  If two cards match, the first player to yell "SCREECH!" wins those two cards.  Play continues until one player has all the cards or the nearest adult's head explodes.  It sounds hideous.  But they should be good for playing Old Maid or Go Fish.

This little basket has a sticker on it that reads "Match Mates by International Laminations." It appears to have been made by fusing fabric between layers of plastic.  We think it's from the 70's.  It's now corralling my craft supplies.


I also found this chenille bedspread.  My second one! Within two weeks, even.  When it rains, it pours.

Me: (pointing into the bin next to me) Look, Mom! A chenille bedspread!
Mom: (apparently blind from 10 feet away) No, that's a towel.
Me: (holding out the bedspread with my boyfriend's assistance) Look, Mom.  A chenille bedspread.
Mom: Ooh look! A chenille bedspread! 

After that fuss, my friend Rachel asked me "What's a chenille?" and I couldn't believe that she didn't already know.  I then explained to her that it is a wondrous and lovely bedspread of a style that is not commonly produced today.  

When I got home my Mother and I started to wonder to each other "What IS a chenille?" and I figured it out! A Chenille is an exotic animal, some kind of wild cat I suppose, prized for it's beautiful and soft pelts.  Chenilles come in many colors and with lovely patterns on their pelts.  Most of these creatures have dotted or striped, simple geometrically patterned fur in only one or two colors but sometimes hunters could be lucky enough to find a Chenille with a flower basket or other intricate design emblazoned on it's backside.  Chenilles were hunted to near extinction in the 1940s and 1950s due to fashion forward housewives prizing their pelts as bedspreads and blankets for their homes.  Sadly, due to this over-hunting it is very difficult to find a Chenille in the wilds today and so few people are willing to part with their beautiful heirloom pelts that I am reduced to looking for them at thrift stores and estate sales wherever I can.  

I think they come from the same place as pink and blue poodles, because my six-year-old self knows they're real; they just live in some far away place... like Australia.  Australia has exotic animals, right?

I hope you find lovely things in your travels, too.

I linking up with these parties:

Show and Share
Vintage Bliss Tuesdays
Thrifter Share
Vintage Inspiration Party
Roses of Inspiration 


  1. Oh, you've found some wonderful things! Love the Shiny Brites, cards and that gorgeous bedspread! Great finds!!!

  2. I really like the basket. You are lucky to have a Goodwill outlet near you!

  3. Yes, we really are lucky. There are a lot of things I don't like about Goodwill, but I'm grateful for the outlet.

  4. Ohhhhh love the shiny brites, have too many of them : ) I need to see a picture of Betty, seriously she should be on your header!! Glad you linked up, great post!

  5. Oh that bedspread is the find of the week - gorgeous!! Love the color too.

  6. What great finds! I bought some " new" shiny brites they made as a special this year From Shopko...even tho they are not authentically retro, they made me smile.....if I foud what your mom did, "real" ones, I would have fainted!

  7. You lucky girl, you! I just love the pretties you found - the bed spread is fabulous and the basket is quite lovely.

    I am so grateful to have you link up with Roses of Inspiration - thank you! Hugs!

  8. What great finds. I've seldom been able to find a chenille blanket at any of my travels. You are so fortunate to have found two.


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