Thursday, May 24, 2018

{Thrift Shop Temptations} Mother's Day Thrifting

My daughter wanted to take me out to lunch for Mother's Day and, through a wonderful series of events, we got to to go up to Portland and spend the entire day all by ourselves digging around in the outlet bins and wandering through Ikea and playing with fancy bath bombs at Lush. We'd planned to stay out all day, because it was a special occasion, and I wound up getting home even later than intended. 

It was a very long, very fun day.

Have I told you that I'm fascinated with toy sewing machines? I was really tempted to bring this one home because it was in its original box with all of the wonderful vintage graphics and completely unrealistic promises of things its young owner would make. Not that I think the girl pictured couldn't make them...I'm just wondering if it could happen with this machine.  

Mattel Sew Perfect Sewing Machine

It was that Sew Perfect Cassette that made me put it back, which is stupid because I wasn't going to sew with it anyway....but if it didn't have the cassette it wouldn't look like a sewing machine...
Mattel Sew Perfect Sewing Machine Original Box
I love this little painted stove (for decoration, not the potential carbon monoxide poisoning) but the price was sky high.


They also had half a dozen Bicentennial coin banks, still in their original cardboard boxes. Maybe someone finally gave up on their potential value as collectibles? I wound up with a coonskin cap for one of the boys (after calling home to confirm that he really did want to wear a real dead raccoon on his head) and a vintage craft book.

The Goodwill Outlet is unpredictable, but the Portland locations are always better then the Salem one. If you're not familiar with the bins, most items are priced by the pound. The first twenty-five pounds are two-something each. More than that is a dollar twenty nine, so on a good day, you wind up in an odd limbo where buying more stuff costs you less. That stupid limbo is where I wind up making bad decisions.

But before we get to those, let me show you what there was to be tempted by. This was my second vintage margarine tub of the day (guessing they came from the same old lady) and I was tickled pink that it actually had the tight yarn curls still inside. My Instagram feed makes me want things like this, but my daughter talked me out of it and  that's probably for the best.



There were stitches to be saved, but I didn't grab this one.


Or this one, which was the first dumb decision of the day. At the last minute, we had to add five pounds to save eight dollars. It's not my taste, but I could have picked it up for free and handed it over to a friend who resells things like this.


This one did come home with me because  it's needlepoint and pretty and I'm not making that mistake again. It's not in the back of my car, though, so I'm hoping it got mixed in with my daughter's haul and not stolen from our cart.


There was also a gorgeous cross stitched tablecloth with red dragons that my daughter happily snatched up to re-purpose as a birdcage cover. And another little toy sewing machine....which I could have thrown into our money saving limbo but didn't because I'd forgotten about it by then.


If you think you might want it, put it in your cart then and there -- and remember to take it out again if you don't need the extra pounds! I should know this by now.

I want to save all of the antique baby pictures and this one was only seven dollars, but the frame was made from some sort of pressed material and absolutely crumbling at the edges and she'd take up a ton of wall space.... but those eyes!


These three did follow me home because they were little and inexpensive and completely and totally captured my imagination. The cabin and campfire absolutely need to live in my old farmhouse with me. The mountains might...or I might need to reuse their frame for a reproduction sampler.


We also bought a whole lot of clothes, but I'm assuming you don't care to see my new-to-me Hawaii t-shirts.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Wailea Shawl

I am completely and totally smitten with my Wailea Shawl...

 Pattern: Wailea Shawl
Yarn: Knitpicks Hawthorne, Forest Park 

This is the first complex shawl I've knit in a while, and the first one that I couldn't get away without blocking. (For my non-knitting readers, blocking is when you get the finished shawl wet and then stretch it out so that the stitches are more defined. It's what transformed that shapeless lump I've been showing you for the last few weeks into an actual shawl.)


The pattern is free from the Crystal Palace Yarns website and was an absolute dream to follow. As much as I prefer charted patterns, this shawl made dealing with the written instructions worth it.

The yarn is Knitpicks Hawthorne in Forest Park. I used two skeins and added an extra ten rows of the bottom lace pattern so as little as possible would go to waste.


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Smart Bees and Dumb Bees

I hadn't realized how much I missed having bees to watch. I'd also forgotten how much I tend to worry about the bugs. The day after Hubby installed them into their hives, I left the house early in the morning. There wasn't a bee to be seen, which had me worried for half the day. I swear the other hives used to get an earlier start.

One hive seems to have lots of bees coming and going. The other doesn't. I didn't realize what was going on until Hubby pointed it out. The bees in the less busy looking hive are zipping in and out of their entrance.  The bees who look like they're being more productive are milling around trying to figure out how to get back inside...or maybe there's a purpose to their dawdling, but it sure looks like they don't know where to go.

A post shared by Michelle Marr (@romantictangle) on

I'd love to sit outside and knit by the hive, but I've been warned that bees don't like wool. Standing close enough to the hive to take this picture was probably enough recklessness for one day.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Dollhouse Roof


I haven't had a lot of stitching time over the past week, but I did manage to get the roof started. The dollhouse is going much more quickly than I expected, but after that there's the quilt...and the curtains...with all of their shading of white and near white. Those will take time.

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