Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Goodbye, Summer 2016: A Pictorial

With the official start of the fall season upon us, I thought I'd do a little catch-up post of just a few fun things I've done over the summer. Nothing grandiose, just a celebration of the little things. And speaking of little... early in the summer I decided to assemble a fairy and gnome garden. While I just couldn't find all the little toys and trinkets that I would have liked to find secondhand, I did find them cheaply from Big Lots and Michael's Craft Store. 

While I would've loved to have even more tiny gnome-scaled furniture and accessories, I was afraid the landscaping crew in our complex would accidentally destroy them in one of their bi-weekly mowing and mulching sessions. But these survived the summer just fine. And they'll hopefully make an appearance next summer...with additions. 

Back in June, our neighbors likely saw me skulking around the grounds of the complex with my DSLR and telephoto lens to catch the Strawberry Moon on the summer solstice. Being a novice nature photographer, I thought this was the best of the bunch. On the otherwise cloudy night, the skies cleared only briefly. I was lucky to see the moon, extremely lucky to capture it. 

In August, James and I were fortunate enough to have a week of spectacular weather for our Ocean City vacation. It was blazing hot, but not a cloud in sight. We spent several mornings on the beach reading, and afternoons walking the boards and shops. And of course there was thrifting. 

There was actually a number of thrift and consignment shops in downtown Ocean City, but only a few items I was actually interested in buying. We even took an excursion to Egg Harbor Township and neighboring areas in search of better thrifting. Ultimately I found a few items on our mini thrift trip, which I'll save for a later post. 

And in my new quest to lead a gluten-free life, following some GI troubles...I spent several summer days experimenting in the kitchen. This gluten free vegetable lasagne that used layered eggplant in place of noodles was a smashing success. 

Hopefully with the progression of fall days I'll find new thrifting territory, to recipes to try,  new horizons to look toward. Now onward!  To fall landscapes, pumpkin patches, comfy sweaters, worn boots, and horror movie marathons! 

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Thriftspiration: A Trip To Yellowstone Park And Beyond, 1957

Way back when in the spring, while I was chatting up a lively vintage vendor at the Columbus Flea Market and found the child's celebrity scrapbook that inspired this post, I also found this incredible travel scrapbook. Documenting a  road trip adventure across the western Unites States, the photos and ephemera inside are in absolutely beautiful condition.  

The travelers include: Sara, Chet, Betty, Estelle...

...Bill, and presumably a fifth person who isn't photographed, but is documenting the journey. And I don't know much of these young travelers, except that their summer wanderlust began in July of 1957...and that Estelle is a total glamazon. I mean, look at that outfit. Oh...and at least one member of the party is from Morrisville, Pennsylvania, as it is faintly written in pencil on one of their motel receipt slips.  

Their travels took them to several diners, motels, drug stores, and several scenic stops toned in sepia. The Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, and many long desert roads in-between. But perhaps my favorite part of this scrapbook isn't the collection of snapshots...but the mementos kept within. 

Matchbooks, motel slips, and menus. Everyone is sure to take dashboard photos of the desert road, and Old Faithful. But only true travelers save the mementos along the way, the little things. And if this isn't a solid entry of Thriftspiration---hitting the open road in search of adventure,  back when a fountain lemonade cost 15 cents---then I don't know what is.

Happy trails, thrifters! 

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Teeny, Tiny Secondhand Treasures: Keys and Keyholes

It's no secret that I have an affinity for skeleton keys, and  have accumulated a small collection of them over the years. So when I saw that one of the many junkers at the Columbus Flea Market had a few keys, keyholes, and locks in their heaps of rusted tools and trinkets, I snatched them up. I admittedly paid a little more than what I usually would---but immediately fell in in love with the rust and patina, and forked over the cash without hesitation. 

And due to a funny little exchange at work the other day, I may come to inherit a few more keys for my beloved collection. I was chatting with a delightful older woman the other day---a woman with Revlon red cat eye frames and an arm-full of jangling costume jewelry. Her bright colors and sassy demeanor reminded me of a younger Iris Apfel. So when she inquired about the tattoo on my wrist/forearm, I was obliged to tell her all about it. 

This was the first skeleton key I purchased secondhand and I loved it so, that I brought to the tattoo parlor and asked for the closest rendering the artist could give me. The result was breathtaking. I would like to get a matching keyhole for the other wrist, eventually. 

My sassy septuagenarian  customer then turned to her daughter who was shopping with her and asked that she reminds her to bring her old keys next time she comes in. She would like to give them to me. How sweet is that? Before she left she said that she always wanted to get a tattoo. I told her she should go get one. This brief exchange was the highlight of my day/week/month. I didn't even catch her name. 

I find it funny that I'm frequently complimented for being "a nice young lady." And I'm saddened to think that being nice really may be an attribute in a cruel world. That a please and thank you, or a simple greeting and a smile, when genuine, is really noticeable and maybe even appreciated for something special. But I think the key is just never know what hidden grief a stranger carries with them. Maybe a simple exchange of pleasantries is all they really needed, and maybe you just made their day a little brighter. 

And THAT is a real treasure. 

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