Sep 22, 2011

Two Girls, a Mini, and some Thrift Stores

I apologize for the quality of these smartphone photos. I did that thing where I charged my camera battery, then I put it somewhere for “safe keeping”. If found, please send my camera battery to, c/o the Internet.

I recently gained a new neighbor.

Ok. That’s only a little true. However, Kate, one of my closest friends and favorite people from college, did just move from Texas to Michigan. I mean, really, if Illinois is the Land of Lincoln, and Michigan is shaped like a glove…it’s all very complicated and mathmatical. Just believe me. We’re neighbors.

To prove her neighborliness, Kate came to visit.

To prover her neighborliness even further, Kate brought me an ampersand. Heck. I love ampersands.

Ampersand Bookend! It's beautiful and practical!

And, of course I know it’s backwards. That was on purpose. To match the letterpress ampersands. Ahem.

I blame Kate for my current obsession with DIY blogs. She’s the one who introduced me to Young House Love, and she’s the one I send fevered text messages to when I don’t know if I should move my chair a little to the left or not. Since she just bought a new house, and I am trying to put the finishing touches on my little apartment, it was only appropriate that we spend the weekend thrifting and redecorating.


The estate sale was practically empty. It was the last day and every thing was half off. There were a few lamps and some hopefully priced silver pieces. We did a quick run through the house anyway, just because it had taken us so long to find the place. Kate and I, we are stubborn people. In the very back spare bedroom, leaning against the wall, was a 4ft by 3ft oil painting of a ship in a stormy sea. Kate was smitten. We looked at it for a long time. She said something about her husband not wanting more oil paintings.

“Kate,” I said. “How else will your kids will get to Narnia?”

“I was just thinking that.”

Fortunately, my Mini Cooper was made for haulin’.

He's so cute when he carries things.

Update: Kate posted better photos of the oil painting over at her cozy blog, Pomegranates and Pit Bulls.


We made a quick stop at my favorite furniture thrift store Jubilee. Jubilee supports a local mission, and they have taken over an old department store. It’s the size of your typical J.C. Penny’s, but full to the brim with gently used furniture. They give you cookies when you come in. Obviously, I’m there every weekend.

We were looking for end tables for Kate to make paint and epoxy magic with, but we didn’t find anything that was just right. I did find a little hobnail lamp for my bedside table, and I got to show Kate some midwestern hospitality when Jubilee’s proprietor showed up and greeted us with a big “Hi Jess!”

My hobnail lamp. I'll change out that shade eventually.


I particularly wanted to bring Kate to one of my new favorite stores, Gather and Collect. I love this place. It’s just a small storefront, but the store is so packed with vintage and upcycled goodness that we spent at least an hour doing laps around the store, making sure not to miss anything.

They had not one, but two clown costumes. Kate was less enthusiastic about this than I was.

Kate picked up a couple of hobnail glass dishes (now we’re hobnail friends), and I accidentally picked up an alcohol-proof tray. I may or may not have several of these. (I forgot to get a picture, but it looks sort of like this one.) I don’t know why I have this need to own alcohol-proof trays. It’s probably William Powell’s fault.


We spent a good part of the weekend getting some pictures framed and up on my poor bare walls, but I’m saving that for another post. It was an altogether lovely weekend. Old friends are hard to come by, and I’m so glad to have Kate back in the Midwest. Complicated mathematics or not, she’s my favorite new neighbor.


So, how about you? Any good thriftstore finds lately?



  • Your DIY/thrifting/general apartment decorating posts are making me want to own a cute little apartment right now so I can join in the fun of decorating. And Doing It Myself. And stuff. I love all of these posts, so keep them coming, please. 🙂

  • Jesse Dear, I’m so very glad we’re neighbors now and that I was able to come last weekend! It was the best weekend I’ve had in a very long time. Have I told you yet that I’m really glad you strongly encouraged me to buy the oil painting? And I can’t wait to see the final results of all the picture hanging!

  • I blame William H. Powell for most of my strange habits. And obviously I need to begin collecting alcohol proof trays. I didn’t even know they had a name! (sorry, Mr. Powell, for being so remiss.)

    Also, I think I need to find a hobnail friend. I have hobnail glasses, but I bought them all by myself (ok, ordered them online when I saw a picture on someone’s blog. Hey, does that make her my hobnail friend? Probably not, seeing as how we’ve never met. Maybe I’ll shout “hobnail friend” on twitter and see if she responds. Too crazy? I blame it on the fact that I refuse to take cold medicine when I’m sick because it makes me crazy.

    Sharone. Shut. Up.)

    It looks like you had one of those perfect-style weekends. 🙂 Hurrah!

  • I love when things are William Powell’s fault!!!! And I totally see your logic in the Glove and Hat thing.

  • […] However, my apartment has become particularly cozy, so I’m going to say it’s worth it. Since Kate came and helped me do some re-arranging, I’ve had to flip a coin to decide which of my two rooms […]

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