Friday, 20 April 2012

Adventures in Thrifting in the Pacific Northwest


Ephemera and tins full of secrets.
The tins stayed at my parents as I ran out of room
and technically the flower tin is my mother's find.


Last Saturday we flew home from nearly three weeks holidaying in Northern Idaho visiting my parents. We all had a grand time despite some rather wild weather. True the weather is always wild and unpredictable in the mountains, or between the mountain ranges. The trip started off Sunday morning with a three hour drive to Heathrow then a ten hour flight to Seattle, a few hours sleep in the holiday in before waking at some inhumane hour to repack and stumble across to the Denny's down the street for bacon, terrible diner coffee (You should all know we are coffee snobs), and pancakes drowning in syrupy goodness.

Vintage Washington State tray $1.49
Last year I saw and Idaho one and wished I had bought it.

Um, cake. Not at all thrifty but it was damn nice.
From Chaps Cake in Spokane.

It was still dark when we hit the Cascades Mountains. Dark, freezing cold, and soon the car was pelted with snow, sleet, hail, and we travelled trough patches of thick fog all across Washington state. A couple of stops were made on the 5 hour drive to refuel on coffee, snacks and stretch our legs. The Cle Elum Safeway is freaking terrifying at 5 am when you step through the back doors to find the toilets. I half expected zombies to come shuffling through and I didn't have a baseball bat or any decent zombie killing weapon. We found a little coffee shop and fed H various things to keep him happy while he played on his DS, ipod, our phones and the ipad.
Starry fabric, book, buttons, and a child's silver bracelet.
I can't wait to turn this lot into dolls.


The foul weather chased us into Idaho where it settled into snow and we collapsed at my parents home amid a pile of overly excited pugs. The weather for the rest of the holiday was just as wild but the last week there was mostly sunshine and we were so happy to see it. Last year when we visited it snowed everyday, not proper snow mind you it was something they call grapple which looks exactly like little styrofoam balls. It was so good to be home...be in my other home, because no matter how long I live in England and have made a home here, America is still my home too. Not just because my dad is a wonderful cook and makes all my favourite foods but because culturally I will always be an outsider here no matter how blurred my accent becomes. The states always feel like home and after a year away I missed being in my parents home curled up with a little dog or two listing to H chatter on about whatever interests eight year old boys.

Pearl buttons and a rusty apple shaped cookie cutter.

A few vintage keys.
My mother found for me at an Estate Sale before we arrived.

We went out every day that we were there, going for coffee, breakfast, coffee, shopping, thrifting, and coffee. Did I mention coffee? You really can't go anywhere in the Pacific Northwest without being inundated with coffee everywhere, coffee shops, coffee sheds, Starbucks in most of the grocery stores. Coffee is everywhere. And coffee shops all have free wifi so I could happily instagram all the pictures I took and tinkered with.


Vintage wooden handled cookie cutter
(this has been on my list forever)


Vintage Montana license plate.
Bought on a day trip to Montana for authenticity.

Thrifting was the theme of this trip, along with coffee and candy. But mostly it was thrifting. On the weekends we went to Estate Sales and Garage Sales and in the week we went to thrift stores and junk stores. I didn't buy a ton of things though I did want to buy more than we did. It's a good thing I'm fussy about the things I buy, fussy and cheap that's me. I bought a lot of vintage buttons, which probably isn't a lot to some button addicts I know but is enough to keep me crafting for a long while.

k*nex


Matt only grumbled a few times at all the thrift shops I made him take us. And H? Well H occasionally grumbled at the thrift shops but he was more than happy to rummage around Estate Sales and find a absolutely bargain box of lego, a bag of k*nex and a few other bits and bobs to occupy him for the rest of our trip.

Brass belt buckle and tiny glass vial from an antique/thrift shop in Wallace, Idaho.
Both items were .50 cents, and will be perfect for doll making.

Pearl buttons.
Most were from a junk shop in a mixed bag of buttons for two bucks.

Even Matt had fun finding some CDs in a huge Goodwill store in Spokane, and H found a skater jacket and a green shirt to his liking. Most of what I bought and brought back is craft related, buttons, vintage junk, a 1979 copy of the Sears & Roebuck catalogue, old keys, tins and books. Most of the toys H found we left at my parents home so he can build lego cities and k*nex contraptions next trip.

Sissy the pug is not amused.

4 comments:

Scrapiana said...

Oooh, good trawling! Love the pearl buttons. And the K'nex brings back memories.

x vInTaGe VioLeT x said...

sounds like a lovely time had by all - love your thrifty buys :)

Annie B said...

awwwh, love it all...the account of your trip home and your vintage finds...wonderful stuff :-)

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