It was our annual beach trip to Louise’s condo and all the yayas (Jami, Louise, Mary, Pat and me) were coming except for Cis, who was caring for her mother. (Cis, we missed you!) This tradition is something we all look forward to each summer – hanging out with each other, cooking a seafood feast, talking school talk, watching a movie and sometimes even going on the beach. For this trip, Jami and I added another diversion – thrift store hopping – although a few of the stores were anything but thrift, but they did have some beautiful vintage things that inspired us.
Our first stop was incredible – it was like a huge, dusty museum of vintageness. Most things didn’t have a price and were covered by a thick coat of dust and grime. The aisles were tight, the shelves were high and the piles were deep. In other words, perfect – well, almost. The dust did get a bit obnoxious.
We were there for nearly 3 hours – looking mostly for china but marveling at all the cool stuff there, too. Jami was on the hunt for the perfect tureen for her succulent garden. We took our finds up to the front counter and quickly a pile was started. In our collection were plates, teacups, glasses, a hat and a tureen without a lid. (Oops – that’s what happens when your hands are full and you have to move 10 things before you can get to what you wanted to see. They weren’t going to make us pay for the lid but Jami got the bottom for $2 which was the best deal we got!)
In the end, I got a few things, including some pink rimmed luncheon plates and two glasses.
So, I started two collections (green thumbnail tumbler which goes perfectly with the amber ones I already had and the square luncheon plates) and added to my Big Top Peanut Butter goblet collection. A fruitful adventure, indeed!
I love to go to the thrift stores. It’s a modern day treasure hunt – you never know what might be there. Routinely I look for wares for my business, Southern Vintage Table, and I have gotten pretty savvy over time as to what’s vintage and what’s not.
Well, one day I saw a collection of pretty dishes. The gold details were prefect and the flowers looked hand painted, but to me, the pattern just didn’t have that “vintage” look. I must have studied them for some time, trying to figure out what to do. My collection was growing and I wanted to be smart with each and every investment. In the end, something told me to pick up a few pieces, just in case, because they won’t be there tomorrow if I changed my mind.
I chose a set of 4 plates, cups, saucers as well as the creamer and sugar dish. When I got home and unpacked them, I looked them up on the internet. Of course, you know the end of the story – they became my oldest pattern in my collection, discontinued circa 1918, according to a major tableware replacements company.
After doing a bit more research, the pattern, Azalea by Noritake, was also a give-away by the Larken Company for buying and selling their products. I also see some conflicting information about the pattern being produced through the 1930s. But, no matter, it’s vintage and beautiful!
I went back to the thrift store the next day to pick up the remaining pieces, but all were gone. Needless to say, that’s the tricky part of thrift store buying that many of us know and love.
Lesson learned that day for me – I’ve got alot more to learn!
Lately we’ve been looking for vintage hats to go with the vintage gloves collection for Southern Vintage Table. (By the way, we now have a great assortment of gloves including red, pink, brown, black, blue, yellow, white and off-white. They are precious!) We figured that to complete the authentic vintage look, we needed some chic hats as well! As I searched online, I came across an estate sale listing nearby. One of the pictures showed a bed full of ladies hats. I knew I had to go.
As soon as I arrived after driving an hour, I went straight upstairs to find that bed. There they were – a treasure trove of vintage hats. As I inspected each and every one, I tried to channel the previous owner, Mrs. Turner. I imagined what she might have been like, why she choose to buy each of these hats, where she went wearing them and how beautiful she must have looked. As people came passing through that bedroom, looking at the furniture and the other stuff, I was deep in thought, studying these very personal and revealing items of Mrs. Turner.
I selected 6 – one covered in feathers, a blue one covered with beads, one with a big orange bow, a orange one with a veil, a pink hat with lots of netting and a gray felt hat with a big feather. I love every one of them and you will, too!
Honor Mrs. Turner by booking a tea party or shower package with Southern Vintage Table – gloves and hats are included! Be sure to check out more of our vintage hats and gloves on our Pinterest boards!