Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Trash to Treasure (or How Badly I Wish I Was On American Pickers)

My brother Adam recently flew home to Illinois from California.  This is always a real treat because  A) I love my brother and B) we enjoy doing a lot of the same things together.   This trip, Adam and I headed to the next farm town over to go thrift store shopping (and to make a quick stop at Rural King...that place always smells the same).  There is something so wonderful about rummaging through piles of junk and finding things that are a real treasure to you, usually for mere pocket change.

Sadly, I was off to a bit of a rough start at the big thrift store.  I was about to own up to the fact that I would go home empty-handed when I struck gold.  Guess what was for sale in between rows of sheets, dish towels and nasty old comforters....FABRIC!  I don't know why I never thought of looking for fabric at thrift stores before, but it's there.  Woo!  What's really great about thrift store fabric is that it's vintage...REAL vintage.  So tonight, after dropping Adam off at the airport, I got right to work on a sewing project using my new fabric.  I found this thick, mustard yellow damask fabric from the 60s or 70s (a good yard-and-a-half for fifty cents!), and I had a pattern for a bag that would be the perfect match.  Here's the end result...

The cute floral fabric on the inside is from Grandma Alice's collection...thanks, Grandma!
I love my new bag!  I can't wait to tote various things around in it, or possibly just use it as my everyday purse.  Here are some potential candidates for "items to be toted"...

Candy (of course), my current reading material, and a fun/challenging card game
Or there's always Slam.
One other really cool thing I found was this wooden candy bowl from the 1950s (very "space age", isn't it?).

All in all, it was a great trip.  Adam made it home with a few new-to-him shirts to remind him of the midwest and a retro puffy vest.  As an added bonus, Adam also found some copper wire in the inside pockets of the vest when we got home.  Hmmm....

Probably one of my favorite moments from this trip, though, was getting dressed up in costumes and going trick-or-treating on Halloween with all of my siblings for the first time ever.  Thank you, choice residents of Hillsboro, who gave me candy instead of weird looks when I rang your doorbell with my wand.  I'm 27, I'm in a costume, and I want your candy.  Thank you.

Luke (15) as Mail/Male Model, Karli (9) as Fat Elvis, Me (27) as Professor Umbridge, Adam (26) as Vampire Clown


  1. Knock knock. Who's there. Stopwatch. Stopwatch who? Stopwatch you're doing and give me some candy.

  2. Kelli, you kill me!!! You're writing is genius. I look forward to your posts even more than I look forward to reading the crazy, mixed up lives of the people who write into Dear Prudence. (And that's saying something because I sure love the crazies!) Thanks for entertaining us!

  3. crap. It's your, not you're.

  4. Such a great trip home! Ree, I am not surprised you got straight to work on that AWESOME bag. Great work! You could sell those.

    Also, this made me laugh out loud... :)

    "Thank you, choice residents of Hillsboro, who gave me candy instead of weird looks when I rang your doorbell with my wand. I'm 27, I'm in a costume, and I want your candy. Thank you."

    Hilarious! :) Great post!