Sunday, June 30, 2013

a day in the life of a picker

Probably the most common question we get is "Where do you get all your stuff?!" (and yes, it's usually asked with an exclamation point).  Our answer is generally "...everywhere!" because it's true - we go alllll over the place.  If we didn't have to spend time trying to, ya know, sell stuff, I'm sure we could be out picking 100% of the time.  It's for sure the most fun part of our job.  We get to go to estate sales, antique shops, people's houses... and, well... everywhere!  It's always an adventure.

Jess went on a solo picking adventure a while ago and took some photos to illustrate what a day looks like when we're out sourcing merchandise for the shop.  This was, believe it or not, sort of a lightweight day, but it was a nice day nonetheless. 

The day started with a trip to a thrift store... which wasn't incredibly fruitful... so I didn't bother to take a picture of it.  However, here's a photo of my haul from the exact same store from the week before, just to give you an idea:

After that, it was time for a  visit to my uncle's house...

He lives in a big, old house that belonged to my grandparents for many years.  It was a general store and post office for around 50 years, and still has a ton of things left from that time frame.  He's also a grade A picker, and gets tons of amazing things for us all the time.  He's basically our #1 go to guy.

And he has an incredibly sweet dog named Bandit who makes every trip a lovefest.  That's him with his nose all up in the camera.  Next to that is a few pieces we got... I know the Billy Burro cup is Sanrio and isn't old at all but man it was so cute I just couldn't resist it.

The most amazing find of the day was three HUGE cardboard advertising pieces that had been hidden behind a shelf for WELL over 30 years.  Two of them were actually in French! Swoon.  I'm kind of in love.    You can see all of them, and some other finds on our facebook, if you're curious.

After that, it was a visit to an estate sale.  I had gone to it the weekend before, but had been in touch with the owners of the house when I found out there was a lot leftover... so I went back for seconds!

I ended up leaving with a good little bundle of clothing and a typewriter!  And I got to meet a cute, white faced old Corgi named Pippin... you may notice that I enjoy hanging out with dogs.

From there I headed north to go see some other people, but first... an emergency stop at a tent sale on the side of the road!

That random stop yielded a great 1920s leather suitcase, a few hats, an old photo, and a perpetual calendar pencil cup.  Yeah!

 Then a drive down a long, winding road lead me to my Grandma's house, where she showed me all the things she had found for us in the past week or so while she was out at yard sales.  She's become a picker of ours as well :)

I wish these books or that barrister bookshelf were some of the pieces we got... SO beautiful.  My grandmother has fantastic taste in old things.

From there, I rolled up the road to my parent's house for a relaxing evening, checking out their garden and (surprise) hanging out with their dogs.  

and then... time to head south! 

I got home just as the sun was going down.  My street always looks pretty nice in the early evening...

So... roughly a 10 hour day, over 100 miles and we got (let's see if I can remember this all..) 3 advertising pieces, a few pieces of glassware, 2 hats, a suitcase, a few pieces of clothing, a table from the 1800s, an antique egg scale, a photo, a perpetual calendar, a typewriter, some pottery, aaaaand... I'm sure there's more but I can't recall.  A very sleepy Jess.. we definitely got that.  Phew.  But I would drop everything I'm doing right now to go do it all again.  If you've got a lead for some sweet stuff, let me know because I'm always down for a road trip!


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Consignor Feature

From the very beginning of our vintage slinging adventure we met some amazing and inspiring people. They have taught us so much and get a lot of credit for helping us get to where we are today. So we feel pretty lucky to have a shop to feature those people in. 

We met Aubin through a mutual vintage lover friend and are so glad we did. She's smart, quirky, and has an excellent eye for all things kitsch and vintage. She started her online store "Unrehearsed Kickline" in April, occasional sets up at the Portland Flea for All, and is now featuring her items in our shop. 

Here's what she has:

"Vintage is basically in my blood. I'm a third generation vintage/antique seller so I grew up with older clothing and decor around the house and because of that I have a deep appreciation for the design and materials from past decades."

"I started selling vintage because I want to share that appreciation with other people and help them discover things from the past that they may not have come across otherwise."


"I choose things based on my own style and interests because, honestly, I hope it will attract people I could have good conversations with about the eras I'm interested in. In my day to day life finding someone who wants to talk with me about bicentennial collectibles is a rare occurrence, but in the world of vintage the chances are much better that I'll get a chance to share my enthusiasm with someone."

Isn't this just darling...I want a monster farm. P.S she doodles those guys in. Seriously so cute.

Check her out on etsy, like her on Facebook, and come buy her stuff at the shop.

See you soon, 
Caiti & Jess

Friday, June 14, 2013

scenes from the shop

sorry for the lack of blog posts this week!  We've been busy buying, and sewing and mending, and planning and plotting... you know, all the usual time consuming things. But this morning we wandered around the shop and took a few photos for Facebook so we thought we'd share them here as well.  These are the things we hang out with everyday... not too shabby, I suppose.


Isn't our homemade open flag fun?  We were going to just buy one, but we decided nothing else we have is really normal or standard, so why should our open flag be like that? Handmade it is! D.I.Y. til you D.I.E. ya know what I mean?

And now we've gotta go get ready to hang out at the Flea for All tonight.  They're doing a big ole event with food trucks and vendors and lots of fun stuff.  Hanging out on a Friday night with vintage and food?  Again... not too darn shabby.

Jess & Caiti

Friday, June 7, 2013

Once Upon a Time there was an amazing apartment

We are weirdly addicted to the show Once Upon a Time.  It's a silly, almost soap opera-like, show about fairy tales that's set in Maine.  It's not a cinematic masterpiece or anything, but it's seriously compelling to keep watching episode after episode (after episode....) because it explores back stories of all the fairy tales we all know, and turns them all upside down and inside out.  And, most importantly, the design of the show is beaaaaautiful.  

We're particularly in love with Mary Margaret/Snow White's apartment.

Those aren't the world's best screen caps... but still!  We don't normally go for super shabby chic, but somehow it's just perfect.  The brick wall with the old advertising on it... chipped paint and soft colors... the hoosier cabinet and the the vintage appliances! AHHH it's all just so pretty!  Don't you just want to sneak in there and take up residence?

Jess & Caiti

PS.  Don't even get us started on Ginnifer Goodwin's hair.  Or just Ginnifer Goodwin in general.  goodness gracious.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Upcycled Clock Picture Frame

On a random shopping trip, I picked up the empty frame of an old mantle clock.  I don't know why, but I did.  I liked it because it was cheap, it had cool lines, and it was a really rad green color.  I had absolutely no idea what to do with it, but I knew it must be mine!

When I got back to the shop, Caiti and I simultaneously had the same idea - the shell of that mantle clock would make an amazing picture frame!

We found an old photo that worked size-wise, and popped it inside the clock frame.  We did have to trim it a bit, which felt horrifying... I hate cutting old things.  But I think this was worth it. 

We covered the back by tracing a piece of card stock, cutting it out, and covering it with some cute cloth.  We used spray adhesive to put the cloth on.

Kind of fun, right?

And isn't this a dapper little family? I love all their outfits! And I'm just noticing now that maybe the girl and the boy are twins? That makes it even cooler!

This piece is for sale at our shop... we may put it on Etsy at some point, we shall see.  What other neat things do you think you could use for picture frames? We're always trying to come up with ideas... I'm pretty smitten with this & this for photo displays

Jess & Caiti

Monday, June 3, 2013

Blogger Blurb: Michelle from Vintage Junky

Good morning, lovelies!  We're introducing a new feature on the ole blog called Blogger Blurbs.  We're picking some of our favorite bloggers and picking their brains with a bunch of random questions so we can all get to know each other a bit better.  Sounds like a rollicking good internet time, doesn't it?  

We're starting off the series today with Michelle, the lovely lady in charge of the Vintage Junky blog.  We love reading her blog to take a peek into her life... she has a great eye for vintage, and a talent for making things look amazing.  She makes me want to go repaint some furniture for my house... and also to learn how to embroider/be handy with a needle & thread, because she does some amazing projects!

So without further ado... here are the Qs & As with Michelle...

Were you always into vintage or was there a particular time when it started?
I think I have always liked things that were a little older or different.  My grandmother didn't have any "precious" antiques, But the things she had I was always drawn to.  Like those giant spoons and forks that used to be in every kitchen.  I actually have her set on my wall painted black.  Things made in the past were made with so much more thought and style.  And, I feel that they were made with better quality too.

Do you have a favorite costume designer, or movie (with amazing costuming)?
I think that Pride and Prejudice has incredible costuming and set design.  As for individual costumes, I can't get the green dress from Atonement out of my head (editor's note: I 1000% agree. We were just talking about this the other day!).  Or the black dress from Titanic.  I haven't seen the remake of Great Gatsby yet, but I imagine that I will love it as I love 20s design.  As for set design, I adore the Royal Tenenbaums.  

What is your favorite go to accessory?
I have some sparkly star bobby pins from Giant Dwarf and some vintage handpainted bobby pins that always make me feel pretty snazzy.

What is your most beloved curse word?
I have a 4 year old that literally repeats everything... at the perfect time too.  So, I try to keep it a little clean with "son of a nutcracker." The dirtier version of that is probably my go to when I break something or stub my toe.

What's your favorite DIY project that you've done yourself or aspire to?
I recently finished this deconstructed sampler:

 I also began knitting this year, so I aspire to knit a sweater.  Right now, I am just having fun with scarfs.  And maybe a quilt in the future.  I like having a project.

In a zombie apocalypse what is your weapon of choice?  
I don't know a lot about zombies, but I think a phoenix feather core wand and a good, healthy knowledge of Defense Against the Dark Arts would serve me well.

What is your most prized vintage possession and how did you acquire it?
Hmmmm..... this question is always so hard.  It is like the "what would you rescue from a burning house?" question.  So, it would have to be photos.  Most all of my stuff is vintage and would be so hard to replace.  I have an antique Swedish Mora clock that my husband bought me when I quit my "real" job.  But, I also have a mixing bowl of my grandmothers too that she gave me before she passed away.  If the house is burning and I have the photos backed up in a safe place online and my family is out, I am grabbing my little boy's stuffed dog though.  It is his favorite.  Seriously, I know it isn't about possessions, but I do love my vintage stuff. So, this is hard to really just pick one thing.  

from her Etsy shop... don't you love how she has the measurements right in the photo? adorable and smart!

Are there any blogs you'd like to recommend?
I love Purl BeeOh Happy DayA Beautiful Mess.... those are just off the top of my head.  I get a lot of inspiration from those.  But, I am sure that isn't all.


Isn't she fun?  Thanks for answering our questions, Michelle!  Be sure to check out her blog, and also visit her Etsy shop... she has lots of great vintage & vintage inspired pieces.  I hope you're all inspired to have a fun, vintage-filled day now! :)

Until next time,
Jess & Caiti

Sunday, June 2, 2013

weekly wantsies

We usually do our weekly wantsies posts on Friday, but it appears the week got away with us.  We've either been really busy (sort of), or just feverish from the heat and forgetting what day it is (definitely).  Even though we're a bit late... here are some things we love for you to peruse on this steamy sunday!

Jess's Picks are obviously influenced by the fact that all she wants to do is go swimming:

1.  I am absolutely, 100% head over heels in love with everything Samantha French does. I vow that I WILL own at least a print someday, for real. 
2.  This bathing suit is beyond amazing... you should check out the larger photo in the Etsy shop, because it will give you the chance to see that the bottom has RHINESTONES on it! RHINESTONES! 
3.  I can never get enough old maps.  This one is from 1894, which makes it even more magical.
4.  Even though it's far too hot to think of wearing a sweater today, I am still in love with the nautical theme of this guy, and it looks like it would be exceptionally comfy.
5. I like to imagine this letterpress whale shows exactly how happy I'll be when I finally get to go swimming.  

Caiti too desperately wants to sit on the beach... 

1. I've been yearning for some new dresses and I'm really in LOVE with this one.
2. I broke my only "dress" sandals a couple weeks ago and need something cute.
3.I may have a polka dot problem...but I also have a pale problem. This would solve both.
4.I just like earrings, I wear a pair everyday. And I like these. I actually like a lot of things at "My Vintage Silhouettes" like these bobby pins.
5. To have a successful day at the beach I need a cool beverage and some watermelon. Obviously I need this.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

DIY: Recover Eyeglasses Case

Sometimes inspiration comes in the most unexpected forms. Take this DIY for example. The cutest puppy decided he needed another "teething ring" and found my eyeglasses case to be just right. It gave me an excuse to use some of our fabric hoard and make a cuter case.

Just look at that face!


  • Old case or dollar store case.
  • Fabric
  • Mod Podge
  • Sponge
  • Paper 
  • Scissors and Xacto knife.

Lets begin:

I'm am not sure if it is necessary to remove the old covering but mine was already kindly done for me.  I did remove the inside as it was already peeling up.

Next I traced the case to make a template. The bottom is slightly larger than the top so I made a second template a bit larger. 

Now cut out your fabric.

And begin Mod Podgeing. 

I folded over the fabric when necessary to conform to the contour of the case. Then I trimmed up any over hang with my Xacto. 

I then did the same for the inside. I finished up with a coat over the outside, just for a little added protection.

Let it dry and trim up the inside and you're done!

It's a pretty simple project. Have fun!

I could never be mad at a face like that...