Tag Archives: shopping

City Mouse, Country Mouse: The Country

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After visiting friends and family near Detroit last month, we went and did the same on the other side of Michigan.  The area we stayed in was completely rural, and very beautiful.  I regret not photographing any of the rolling hills and corn and soybean fields, but since that would have involved stopping on the highway or sticking my camera out the window, you’ll just have to take in what I did manage to capture.  🙂  Let’s go on a tour of southwest Michigan!

In my book, summer must include some fruit-picking!  My parents took us to Lehman’s Orchard in Niles, MI to pick sour cherries and raspberries.  I’ve long wanted to make a real cherry pie from scratch, but I can never find fresh or frozen sour cherries where I live (and if I did, I’m sure they would be very pricey).  Sometimes I find them in jars and they cost way too much, so I’ve never bought them.  The cherries at this farm were a bargain and so easy to pick.  Look how beautiful they are!

Cherry picking at Lehman's Orchard in Niles, MIDid you every play Hi Ho Cherry-O?  I think these look just like the cherries in that game!

Cherry picking at Lehman's Orchard in Niles, MI

Once we picked them, we brought them to a little outbuilding and washed them.  Then they went through the cherry pitter!

Cherry picking at Lehman's Orchard in Niles, MI

We also picked raspberries.  My husband found one of the coolest sights that day on top of one of the raspberry rows:

Raspberry picking at Lehman's Orchard in Niles, MI

Baby birds!

We also visited Fernwood Botanical Garden in Niles, MI.  One of the highlights was these stick houses.

Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve

Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve

And…since I was out in the country, I had to look into a new store that I had never seen before:  Rural King, in Niles, MI!  I don’t own any trucker hats, but I was kind of hoping to find one there that said “Rural King”.  I would definitely have worked that into my wardrobe!

Rural King in Niles, MI

This is a true farm store.  I got a lot of looks when I walked in mainly because, although I was dressed very casually, it was clear I hadn’t just come off the farm.

Rural King has many cool offerings, like

Rural King in Niles, MIwork clothes,

Rural King in Niles, MIsparkly belts (this picture does not do the sparkles justice),

Rural King in Niles, MI

and baby chicks!

Along with farm and food stuff, I also love antiques, so I peeked into many an antique store.  Luckily for my wallet and limited storage space, I didn’t buy anything beyond that dress in Detroit, but how awesome/crazy would it have been if I could have bought THIS?

Picker's Paradise in Niles, MI

Doesn’t everyone need a mirror with taxidermy squirrels on it?  “Only” $325!  Or how about THIS to hold your rings and bracelets?

Picker's Paradise in Niles, MIA raccoon arm!  Yeah, that didn’t come home with me either, but not because I wasn’t tempted!  These were both from a booth in Picker’s Paradise in Niles, MI, which was a pretty great store.  All the other booths were much more normal, I promise.

During our visit, we went to Lake Michigan several times.  I love Lake Michigan.  It’s like the ocean, only with fresh water and no scary creatures.  We visited both St. Joseph, MI and Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor, MI.

When we went to St. Joseph, it was for the day.  They have beautiful Silver Beach, with bathrooms, a snack shack, and a playground.  The town also has a children’s museum, carousel, Silver Beach Pizza, the coolest splash park ever, and lots of cute shops you can visit.  It’s busy on the weekends, but really fun.

St. Joseph, MI on Lake Michigan

Sunset view of Lake Michigan from the pier in St. Joseph, MI

Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor is just over the channel from Silver Beach, but is much less built up and more naturalistic.  Like Silver Beach, it also has bathrooms, a snack shack and a playground, but is much quieter.  We had fun swimming and looking for rocks with fossils on them.

Jean Klok Park, Benton Harbor, MI

The beach at Jean Klock Park in Benton Harbor, MI

We ate a lot of good food on this trip.  So, my burger recommendation from the west side goes to Laura’s Little Burger Joint in Decatur, MI.  We’re staying rural, here, so this is out in the middle of cornfields.  It’s a beautiful drive.

Laura's Little Burger Joint in Decatur, MI

The burgers here are huge!  There are many fun options (as well as things besides burgers), and seating is in the open at picnic tables spread out under the trees and sky.

Laura's Little Burger Joint in Decatur, MI

Laura's Little Burger Joint in Decatur, MI

May I also humbly suggest that after you have finished your burger, you might want to drive a minute down the road to get your after-dinner ice cream at the Hayloft?  I think you won’t be disappointed.  🙂

And now, for you sewing fans out there, the west side fabric report.  As I mentioned in the last post, before this trip, I did my research about good fabric stores near where I was going to be staying and found this great list from Rae Hoekstra of the blog made by RAE.  By her recommendation, I visited Field’s FABRICS in Kalamazoo, MI.

Field's Fabrics in Kalamazoo, MI

Field’s is an excellent fabric store that I highly recommend (and now really want to visit again).  For all the lucky western Michigan people, there are several locations.  Field’s is probably as big as Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, MI, but has a very different feel.

Field's Fabrics in Kalamazoo, MI

Field's Fabrics in Kalamazoo, MI

It didn’t hurt that there were some serious sales on.  I came away with a stretchy fleece from Malden Mills (smooth outside, fleece inside) and a cool red/purple chambray that I want to say is Robert Kaufman (although I’m not 100% sure).  Sadly, I can’t find these on their website to link to.

Field's Fabrics in Kalamazoo, MI

I may actually deserve an award for this fabric trip.  I had only 45 minutes to shop this whole, amazing store and, cutting time excluded, I totally did it!  My husband laughed when I told him I would only have that much time (after I spent two hours shopping at Haberman Fabrics, can you blame him?).  I did it, though!  I also tried to convince the lady who cut my fabric that they needed to open a Massachusetts branch, but she didn’t go for it.  That’s sad, but I’m recovering.

Lastly, although I didn’t photograph it, I went to Hancock Fabrics in Mishawaka, IN.  I hear people say they get things there and since we have Joann, but not Hancock, I thought I would check it out.  I think there was a sale on at nearly every store I hit on this trip (awesome!), and it was no different here.

Hancock Fabric in Mishawaka, IN

I got a pink and white cotton gingham (can’t find the fabric to link to, but it’s 100% cotton with a quarter inch check) and a cotton stretch sateen suiting in super-fun colors.  I can definitely envision a skirt (the suiting) and shirt (the gingham) out of these, maybe even worn together.  My mother wasn’t so sure about that combination, but if those garments ever materialize out of this fabric, I think that I can convince her.  If not, I’ll wear it anyway!  😉

So that was my trip!  We got seriously spoiled, ate so much good food, and had a wonderful time with friends and family.  Thanks to everyone who made our trip really special.  And readers, I hope you get a chance to check out some of these places if you are ever in southwest Michigan.  It’s a beautiful and friendly place to visit.

 

City Mouse, Country Mouse: The City

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Hi, Friends!  It’s been a long time since our last meeting here on these pages.  I was off visiting friends and family for most of July, and I thought you might like to see a few of the places I visited.  As always, I’ll include links when possible.  Maybe you’ll find some new favorites, too!

First let’s visit the Detroit area of Michigan.

My sister-in-law took my mother-in-law and me into Eastern Market in Detroit one weekend.  Eastern Market is a farmer’s market filled with delicious food and beautiful plants.

Detroit's Eastern Market

Detroit's Eastern Market

Detroit's Eastern Market

Castor Bean

Detroit's Eastern Market

Dahlia

Detroit's Eastern Market

Dahlia

The market area is flanked by cool shops as well.

Outside Detroit's Eastern Market

DeVries & Co.

Outside Detroit's Eastern Market

DeVries & Co.

DeVries & Co. had all sorts of great foods, imported and domestic.  You could ride the old freight elevator to the top level to find cute home goods as well.

And, of course, we had to look in this labyrinthine antique shop that my sister-in-law discovered.

Outside Detroit's Eastern Market

Eastern Market Antiques

This little area was arguably my favorite.  I even found a vintage dress/tunic!

Outside Detroit's Eastern Market

Outside Detroit's Eastern Market

Collar detail

It’s a bit on the short side for a dress on its own, but I have a few ideas for it…

Just before we left, we visited the Detroit Mercantile Company.  Talk about a great selection of quality and hand-made goods!

Outside Detroit's Eastern Market

Detroit Mercantile Company

Outside Detroit's Eastern Market

Detroit Mercantile Company

Since I’ve been contemplating making jeans, I was pretty interested in the offerings from the Detroit Denim Company.  After checking out their website, I kind of wished I had tried to set up an interview.  Maybe another time…

We also had fun food adventures, and I can wholeheartedly recommend Joe’s Hamburgers if you are ever in Wyandotte, MI.  They have a great retro vibe and delicious food.  The burgers are small (“sliders”), which makes it all the better if you want to sample several–and don’t forget to order a few kinds of fries if you are with a group so you can try more than one kind!

Joe's Hamburgers in Wyandotte, MI

 

Joe's Hamburgers in Wyandotte, MI

Joe's Hamburgers in Wyandotte, MI

Joe's Hamburgers in Wyandotte, MI

Mushroom Swiss Slider and Poutine Fries. Yum!

And now, you probably knew it was coming…FABRIC SHOPPING!  I have to thank my husband who drove me around and sat through three hours of fabric shopping (plus plenty of indecision on my part).  My in-laws also deserve thanks for babysitting!!!

Before we left, I looked online for fabric stores in the Detroit area and came up with this list from Rae Hoekstra of made by RAE that covers some of the best of southern Michigan.  And she was not wrong.  I went to two different fabric shops near Detroit, and each was spectacular.

Unfortunately, I didn’t do Material Girls in Dearborn justice (so sorry!).  I got a picture of the outside of their shop and then totally dropped the ball on photographing the inside.

The Material Girls in Dearborn, MI

The ladies who worked there were really wonderful.  They had a good selection of quilting fabric as well as some carefully curated apparel fabrics.  It was so wonderful to see, in person, many of the fabrics I have looked at online.  There really is no comparison to touching and looking at fabric in person.  After saving up a nice little fund for shopping, it was great to not only look, but also buy and stock up on supplies for upcoming projects.  Here is what I got from The Material Girls:

The Material Girls in Dearborn, MI

The bird fabric is for me (I was inspired by Carolyn of Allspice Abounds), but the pandas and superheroines are for Christmas presents.  Luckily the intended recipients don’t read this blog.  Shh!  😉

We also visited Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan.  It’s a little bit hard to describe this one.  It might be fabric paradise.

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

I don’t think I’ve been in a fabric store quite like this since I started sewing seriously.  It was mainly dedicated to apparel fabric, including bridal and special occasion, but also had home decorating fabric, space for classes, a sewing machine repair window, and so many notions.  Wow.

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

 

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

When I first got there, I was so excited.  I wandered through looking at all the various apparel fabrics.  I had made a list so I could be at least slightly focused, but after looking at everything, my excitement turned into distress.  I saved and worked to build a fabric fund, but there was too much!  What should I get?  What would I be sad to leave behind?

Want to see what I got?

Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak, Michigan

The striped fabric is a rayon knit from Italy that’s double-sided!  I also wanted to experiment with a little stretch lace and stretch net.  (I can’t find any of these on their website, or I would link to them.)  What a great store.

Yea for fabric shopping and yea for some fun in the city!  Thanks, family and friends!  Next up…the country!

 

 

This is a Public Service Announcement. (Fabric! Yarn!)

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The day has finally come.  Pintuck & Purl, in Exeter, NH has opened its doors to the public.  You may remember that we’ve talked about them before.  When I heard a new fabric and yarn store was opening within driving distance of my house, I was pretty excited.  Thanks to the generosity of Maggie, the shop owner, I got to come in early, along with some other privileged people, and take a look around.  Now I get to show YOU some pictures.  That way you’ll know what you are looking for when you head there yourself.  Because you are going to want to.  (I’m already plotting my return.)

First impression:  Wow…and Yes!!!!

All the fabrics I always read about, but don’t really know how they feel are there, in the flesh fiber.  I’ve slowed down on my knitting in recent years, but they have some pretty tempting stuff in that department, too.  As anyone who knows me can tell you, I can go on at length about things I’m excited about, but maybe I should spare you the verbal gush and give you some visual gushing instead.  Let’s take a little tour of the shop:

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)Let’s start with this super-cute classroom space.  This is to your right as you enter.  Maggie also has this awesome calendar (I want one!) showing everything going on in the shop for the month.  (You can also view this on her website.)

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)To your left as you enter, and around a little wall, is a cozy space for hanging out, knitting, chatting.  We all know making things isn’t only about the things themselves.  It also has so much to do with sharing, whether that means talking to a friend as we knit or creating something for someone we love.  I think this space will really facilitate that.

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

Here’s a wider view of the shop (That’s Maggie cutting some AWESOME linen I bought.  I cannot WAIT to use that stuff.).  The door and classroom space are to my left, and you are looking at the front counter that you will see as you come in.  The hang-out space is beyond the wall in the back left.  I suppose the building is really a rectangle, but the way the shop is divided makes it feel spacious and cozy at the same time.

Let’s look at some of the lovely materials you might find at Pintuck & Purl, shall we?

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)Maggie is stocking some great indie sewing patterns as well as gorgeous fabric.  Check out that pink voile on the cutting table–that was my other purchase.  So soft!!!

I only had about an hour there, and I spent so much time examining fabric, that I didn’t even get a chance to look at all the patterns!  Darn.  I’ll have to go back.  😉

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

For those who like quilting or just the great prints you find on quilting cotton, she also has a really lovely selection of quilting fabric that can walk the line between quilting and apparel.

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

Need some notions?  Check!

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

Cool vintage patterns?  Check!

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

Vintage buttons?  Check!  Check!

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

Because I am becoming frighteningly obsessed with sewing, this post is a little more sewing-focused, but that doesn’t mean the shop is.  There are plenty of goodies for knitters as well.  The yarn was really gorgeous.

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

Loved this stuff!!

Look at this wall of knitting needles below.

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

Despite the fact that I already have at least two stitch gauges, I was tempted by these.

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

I still haven’t gotten over my hunger for colors after last winter, so I had fun looking in here, and…

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

…in here!

So, when you go to Pintuck & Purl, look for this red building.  This is where you are going.

Pintuck & Purl Open House (Pattern and Branch)

Then go right on in, say hi to Maggie, and equip yourself for your next project!

Pintuck & Purl

50 Lincoln Street

Exeter, NH

603-418-7175

http://pintuckandpurl.com/

 

The Brimfield Report, May 2015

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A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

 

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for any significant amount of time, you’ve probably heard me mention The Brimfield Antique Show.  For newcomers out there, The Brimfield Antique Show is the largest outdoor antique show/flea market in the U.S.  It runs from a Tuesday to a Sunday three times a year in May, July, and September.  This amazing explosion of antiques takes place in the small town of Brimfield, MA, just a bit west of Sturbridge.

Brimfield is a showground for the old, the common, the unique, and the just plain weird.  It’s a mix of antiques, raw materials for creation, junk, and true artistry in the way of upcycling and re-creation.  As a person who loves a deal and a treasure hunt, it’s irresistible.  A good chunk of any Christmas money I get goes into the “Antiques Fund” in the hopes of a trip to Brimfield.

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

I go for the fun of the hunt and the possibility that I might find unique treasures to use in my home or cool gifts for others.  Each show, I decide if I want to try to “see it all” (or at least walk through every field–you can never really see it all), or focus on going slowly through favorite fields.  This year, my best Brimfield buddy and I went the slow route and hit our favorites:  Quaker Acres, New England Motel, The Meadows, and a bit of Hertan’s, Brimfield Barn, Central Park, and Mahogany Ridge.  The various fields stretch back on each side of a one mile stretch of road and have, as you can see, rather unique names.  This may make it seem like we looked through a lot, but I bet we didn’t even get through half of all there was to see.

Want to look through some of our finds?  Let’s start with some of the weirder stuff:

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

Need some extra teeth?

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

How about a fully stocked dental cabinet?

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

Maybe you’re looking for an alligator (foot) change purse?  We saw about a billion alligator purses, some with heads attached that you could have used with this baby.  You may be surprised to hear that I didn’t buy it.  😉

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

We also found some super cute kitsch, like these owl scissors from Diane at ferdinandhome.

Not only did she have owls, she had something that reminded me of my wardrobe…

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

Check out this sheet!  It almost matches my shirt (which I made from a sheet).

In fact, we found a lot of great fashion at Brimfield.  I took fewer pictures than usual because I got so caught up in everything, but here are a few fun finds.  My friend Jo-Alice and I think it’s time to bring great hats back.

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

These look perfect for next winter.

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

Or maybe you need some cool gear for your motorcycle or bike rides?

Because you never know what you might see at Brimfield, the last time I went with my husband, we created our own game of Brimfield Bingo.  We came up with whatever wild and crazy things we thought we might see or that we would be surprised to see and made a checklist.  Jo-Alice and I did the same thing.  I had a hard time keeping everything in mind because I started to get mesmerized by all the treasures, but Jo-Alice was a pro.  Here’s our list:

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

We found everything but #8 and our bonus.  Pretty good!  Brimfield Bingo is still in its early stages.  Should there be a prize?  Actually finding this stuff feels like a prize in and of itself, but I’ll take suggestions.

Here’s our non-traditional bike (#5):

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

I think it folds up!  I tried to convince my husband that this was the kind of “new” bike he should get when his old one died, but somehow, he didn’t go for it.  Oh, well.

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

Maybe we should have put a hot air balloon basket on our list!

Speaking of baskets, check out these beauties!

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

This shop was owned by Robert Markey of Christiby’s and was filled with gorgeous baskets, wool blankets, and all the things you’d love to see in your dream cabin or hunting lodge.

Check out these gloves.  They are so beautiful.  Can you imagine how much work it would have been to add all those beads?

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

I always love the kitchen and home stuff at Brimfield, too. Here’s a nice selection of Catherineholm pots.

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

I also found this cool shaving mug (I originally thought it was some kind of tea cup) with a picture of “The Old Man of the Mountain“.  Sadly, the Old Man fell off the mountain a few years back, but now we have a picture of him!  I got this for my husband.

Unfortunately, it won’t work with his shaving supplies after all, but maybe it should hold a succulent and an air plant.  What do you think?

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

We always love to look through the printmaking blocks.  I think these were used to make saris.  Jo-Alice uses them to make impressions in clay.

So, what did I get in the end?  Not a lot of quantity, but some fun stuff, nevertheless.

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

I got this shirt.  I love the floral print.

A trip to Brimfield with Pattern and Branch

I also got some clip-on earrings and a necklace for me, as well as the shaving mug for my husband (which is mine now 😉  ), and a sweet bug book and two handkerchiefs for my girls.

I’d say it was a successful trip.  We walked for 10 hours (minus maybe 15 minutes when we sat down for a snack and some water), found a billion treasures, learned new things, and ate good food.  It was an education, as always, and a ton of fun.

 

Field Trip: The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee (Part 2)

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Yesterday I took you on a tour of my trip to The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee.  Here is Part 2 of that post, with more makers and vintage sellers to help you with your own Christmas shopping.  Let’s get right to it!

When I was in high school, I came across a set of encyclopedias that were being thrown away and took one to make a hollow book.  Working long and hard with my X-acto knife, I finally finished my project, but it was nowhere near as awesome as the books at Book End Designs. BookEndDesigns.etsy.com

Book End Designs at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Book End Designs at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

 

Maybe vintage linens are your thing?  You may like The Linens Lady www.facebook.com/TheLinensLady  She had handkerchiefs, tea towels, table cloths, and aprons, all in wonderful condition.

The Linens Lady at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Mill 77 www.mill77.com is a multi-dealer antiques and consignment space in Amesbury, MA.  I loved looking at this booth with its array of interesting vintage items.  I think I need to visit the store!

Mill 77 at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee IMG_8282 IMG_8284

Across from Mill 77, I met Antoinette Indge of Cinderloop. www.cinderloop.com  As a sewer, I was really impressed with her clothing.  I’m pretty sure the pictures won’t do this one justice, either (If anyone has tips for shooting pictures indoors without natural light, I’d love to hear them.).  Her work was really creative.  Most of the clothing was shaped through artful gathers and beautiful stitches in just the right places.  I’ve never seen clothing quite like it.

Cinderloop at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Cinderloop at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

One of my favorite things about art is how it can be used to make us look at materials and other things in new ways.  When I saw these clutches made from the same materials used for lobster bait bags, I thought they were so creative.  They’re also easy to wash in your washing machine.  You can’t beat that!

Alaina Marie at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

These bags are made from the same material as lobster bait bags!

One of my favorite booths belonged to Katie Marie, artist, bookmaker, and owner of Lives and Letters.  www.etsy.com/shop/livesandletters  She is a lovely person and we had a nice, long chat about making things and, specifically, her own books.  She upcycles old books and binds them into old/new journals.  They come in various sizes and papers.  She told me that if I was looking for something specific, say a journal with half graph paper and half blank paper, she can accommodate that.  She chooses really interesting books as her covers and gives them new life.

Lives and Letters (Katie Marie) at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Bazaar

Right next door to Katie was Jessica Kealty. www.kealthydesign.com  She is an interior designer, but also sells goods from her travels.  At this event, she was selling, among other things, Turkish towels.  I’ve seen these in magazines, but never had the chance to feel them myself.  They were lovely.  The lady that I spoke with was telling me that people use them not only as towels, but also as shawls, scarves, and baby blankets.

Kealty Designs at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

All of these shops were located in the large, main tent at the Bazaar.  There were also several greenhouses and a smaller tent with more vendors as well as a shop in a cute truck.

I found my friend Elizabeth Berthoud of sacAmain www.sacamain-shop.com in one of the greenhouses.  (She was the one who generously donated the leather that I used to make the clutches for my friends.)  I’m always impressed with the quality of her handbags and all the special touches she puts into them.

sacAmain at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Look at this cool purse made from upholstery fabric with a belt for the handle!

 

sacAmain at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Last, but not least, I visited Laurel of Retromat Vintage.  www.etsy.com/shop/RetromatVintage and www.RetromatVintage.com  She was just as friendly and knowledgeable in person as I thought she would be.  She had a really great array of vintage goods and clothing.  In case you are wondering, I did try on the fur dress, and it fit…but it was a bit snug in the shoulder area, so I decided not to bring it home with me.  😦

Retromat Vintage at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Retromat Vintage at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Retromat Vintage at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Between this event and the September one, I think I liked September’s better.  There were more vendors since it could be held outdoors, and the entrance price was lower, but this was fun nevertheless.  I found it very inspiring and I came away with new ideas…oh! and even a few Christmas gifts.  🙂

Field Trip: The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee (Part 1)

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Last weekend, as I had hoped, I attended the Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee.  I’m happy to report that I got pictures and some contact information for you!  Now you can come along via the internet and do a little Christmas shopping of your own (or at least file away some great ideas for later).

It was really fun to be a reporter for my own blog.  I met a lot of great makers.  In fact, I was doing such a good job of remembering to take pictures of  my favorite booths, that I forgot to Christmas shop, and I had to do a second round after my “blog round”.  While this bazaar was not as large as the September event, there were still many more vendors than those I photographed.  I actually got to a point where I was tired of taking pictures and there were a few booths that I really should have captured but, as you’ll see, this post will have plenty of new finds for you even without the ones I missed (I actually broke it into two parts because it got lonngggg!).  Let’s dive in!

First up, we start with the amazing Jess Wrobel www.jwrobel.com and www.broodbaby.com

Jwrobel at the Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Check out these sachets made from recycled sweaters. They smelled great and were so soft!

Jwrobel at the Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Some luscious yarn to knit up Jess’ patterns with

Jess’ shop was filled with yarn, patterns, and the most wonderful tactile things.  My knitting buddy and I always like to see the Jwrobel shop at craft shows.  Her work is very high quality and has a distinctive beauty to it that makes it stand out.  Plus, she’s nice.  You can’t beat that.

Next up, Luksin. luksindesigns.com  Sadly, my picture won’t do this shop justice, so you should check out her site if you are interested.  The clothing at this booth has a great visual unity, and it’s super cool, and it’s soft.  I’ve been looking online for fabric like her maxi skirt ever since the bazaar.

Luksin at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

The sweatshirt material on that skirt! So squishy, so soft. I guess I could say “lofty” and “silky”, but I love squishing that stuff, so “squishy” it is!

 

I also visited Selina Vaughan Studios.  www.selinavaughan.etsy.com  This is one of my favorite booths at Brimfield as well.  This shop stocks very well-made bags created from vintage seed sacks as well as really eclectic jewelry.

Selina Vaughan Studios at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

A selection of handbags at Selina Vaughan Studios

After that, I visited Forestbound.  www.forestbound.com  Have you ever had a bunch of cool fabric scraps that you wanted to use, but didn’t know how?  Well, Alice Saunders has the answer.  Every bag was interesting and high-quality.  I’m not a bag maker, but I found her booth inspirational.

Forestbound at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Forestbound at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Forestbound at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday JubileeA lot like Luksin, Forestbound had a great, unified look to it.  It sort of gives you a vision of a cool, woodsy life-style.  🙂

Did you every have a spoon ring?  Not So Flatware by Cassandra Mae takes that concept and expands it.  www.NotSoFlatware.Etsy.com  Each piece is unique.  Cassie creates beautiful rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces.  She had a great set-up.  Look at some of these displays.  I kind of want the one below as my normal jewelry storage!

Not So Flatware at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Love the mermaid tails!

Not So Flatware at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

You know I love vintage, and there were plenty of 20th century antiques at this show.  Scrapped and Found (find them on Facebook) had both antiques and fun things they had upcycled.

Scrapped and Found at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Cool paper flowers at Scrapped and Found

Scrapped and Found at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Scrapped and Found at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Need some jewelry for a friend or family member?  Check out the cool offerings from Erin Nelson.  www.freebird-designs.com

Freebird Designs at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Freebird Designs at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Freebird Designs at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Upcycled Wool Mittens was a lovely booth to visit.  Jean Roaf (jeanroaf@gmail.com) makes all her mittens out of recycled sweaters and lines them with fleece.  She also sews the cuffs on by hand to make them more comfortable and give them a flatter seam.  These must be some of the warmest mittens I’ve ever tried on.

Upcycled Wool Mittens at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Upcycled Wool Mittens at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

Tomorrow I’ll show you the rest of the booths that I photographed.  Have a great weekend!

 

 

The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee

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This may sound extreme, but I am deep in the midst of Christmas present plans.  For a few years now, inspired by my friend Audrey, I’ve made it my goal to have all of my Christmas presents bought by Thanksgiving.  Sometimes I make it, sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes I try to get everything I need bought by then, and spend the time until Christmas making the few presents I want to make.  (It may surprise you to know that I make very few presents, despite the fact that about two weeks before Christmas I usually think of somewhere around one hundred things I could make.  Then I get stressed out and don’t make any of them.  Oh, well.)  When I actually aim toward some version of this goal, I have a very enjoyable Christmas season.  I love it.

To that end, I’m hoping to do a little Christmas shopping this weekend at The Vintage Bazaar Holiday Jubilee.  You may remember that I posted about my visit to The Vintage Bazaar in September.

The Vintage Bazaar at Pettengill Farm (Pattern and Branch)

Remember this picture?

My main regret for blog purposes was that I didn’t get contact information on each booth that I took pictures of.  I hope to remedy that this time.  Luckily Laurel of Retromat Vintage contacted me with her information and the exciting fact that she’ll be at the Holiday Jubilee.  I hope to meet her and spend some time looking through her booth.  She’s the one who had these fun items last time:

The Vintage Bazaar at Pettengill Farm (Pattern and Branch)

The Vintage Bazaar at Pettengill Farm (Pattern and Branch)

If you are in New England and would like to do some Christmas shopping of your own, here are the details:

November 7, 8 & 9th 

November Show Hours:

Friday 3pm-8pm

Saturday 10am-6pm

Sunday 10am-4pm

**Early Bird Hours are 3pm to 5pm on Friday Nov. 7th**

General Daily Admission:  $7

Early Bird & 3 day Weekend Passes:  $18

Boston Pattern Review Day!

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Do you know about the website PatternReview?  Well….If you are a sewer and have never visited PatternReview, you need to hop right on over there!  I joined relatively recently so that I could look up patterns I was interested in and read reviews.  I didn’t want to invest time in a pattern that turned out to be a nightmare to make, even if I had gotten it on sale, and I wasn’t willing to pay the big bucks for a pattern from an independent designer unless it was completely awesome.  Well, I found all that and more when I joined PatternReview.  I haven’t even discovered a fraction of all it has to offer (sewing machine reviews, sewing tips, contests, classes, etc., etc.).

I did sign up for the weekly e-mail and, in the last one, I saw that there was going to be a PR Day in Boston!  I was so excited!  It seems that nearly all the cool sewing people I know live far away and all the get-togethers are just out of reach, but this was going to be in Boston!

I’ll spare you the long story about how I almost got cold feet about going to a part of Boston I didn’t know.  Let’s just say that I have a very active imagination in the category of “Scary Things That Could Go Wrong”.  But, despite my imagination, it was great!

Pattern and Branch goes to Boston PR Day!

We met at Grey’s Fabric & Notions in the SoWa district of Boston (SoWa=South of Washington Street).  It was a lovely place.  Grey’s served mimosas and cookies and Deepika (the founder of PatternReview) brought nametags, “I Love PR” buttons, and tape measures for everyone.  It was so nice to look through and touch so many fabrics I had seen online!  Although not a large shop, Grey’s has a good variety of fabric types, patterns, and notions.  We also had a pattern swap.  I brought five and left with three new ones, two of which I had really wanted!  I also got some fabric (of course) and fold-over elastic.  Want to get an idea of what it was like?  Check it out:

Pattern and Branch goes to Boston PR Day!

Pattern and Branch goes to Boston PR Day!

Pattern and Branch goes to Boston PR Day!

Pattern and Branch goes to Boston PR Day!

One thing that I really liked was the various examples Grey’s made up of different patterns.  It was very inspiring.

Pattern and Branch goes to Boston PR Day!

We had a delicious lunch at Cinquecento, a nearby Italian restaurant.  Lunch was filled with excellent conversation.  All the women were so interesting, from various walks of life and in differing professions.  One of the ladies,  Maria Denmark, was a pattern maker, sewer, knitter, and all-around accomplished person.  I’m really excited to check out her patterns and look through her blog.  I loved talking with Deepika, as well.  It’s amazing to think that she started PatternReview twelve years ago and now the site has grown to the point that she is able to find friends who use it throughout the world.  I think it really fills an important part of the sewing landscape.

Here we all are outside of Cinquecento for a group shot.

Pattern and Branch goes to PatternReview Day in Boston!

I didn’t get to have in-depth conversations with everyone, but I was happy to be able to meet and talk to a few other bloggers.  You may want to check them out, too.  I met Carolyn of Allspice Abounds, wearing her “Spring Archer” (I was seriously impressed.) and Ebi of Making the Flame.  We didn’t get down to much blog-talk (we were too busy talking sewing), but it was great to meet fellow bloggers…and fellow sewers…and fellow creativity lovers in general.

Before getting back on the train, we walked into Chinatown for a visit to Winmil Fabrics.  The advice I got from one of the other PR members was, “If you see something you like, grab it, because it won’t be there next time.”  I loved looking through the eclectic mix of fabrics–I felt like I could easily find some treasures.  I would definitely revisit both Winmil and Grey’s.

I’m glad I faced my fears (I’m also glad the parts of SoWa and Chinatown I visited weren’t too sketchy.) and made some new friends.  I hope that PatternReview has more Boston-area meet-ups and that some of you are able to join us!  If you live far away and there is a PR day near you, be sure to check it out!

Field Trip: BRIMFIELD!

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I have LOTS of pictures to share with you today.  I’m very excited.   After being sick last week, I was a little nervous that I wouldn’t recover in time, but by the time Friday rolled around, I was fully healthy and ready to go on one of my favorite yearly pilgrimages (with my favorite antiquing buddy) to Brimfield, Massachusetts and the largest outdoor antique show in the US.

I need to hold myself back a little so I don’t write and write for pages on how much I love going to Brimfield, so I’ll try to keep to a few points.  (I have an entire notebook dedicated to Brimfield where I make notes on favorite fields, collect sellers’ cards, and note where to park and what to wear, etc., etc.)  Here are the basic details:  The show is three times a year (May, July, and September) from a Tuesday to a Sunday.  People come from all over the US and even other countries to find antiques, treasures, and “upcycled” goods made from odds and ends.  If you’re looking for something in that realm, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find it at Brimfield.  The Brimfield Antique Show is made up of numerous fields on either side of a one mile stretch of road.  Each field has scores of dealers.  Some fields are open every day of the show and some are only open on certain days.  You can walk all day long and, depending on your pace, still not see everything.  My record is 12 hours of walking (with breaks–let’s be realistic–walking all day allows you to eat like a Hobbit).  Friday we covered about 9 miles and walked about 10 hours.  We saw almost everything (if that’s even really possible).

Enough talking, though.  Let’s see some pictures.  One of my goals this year was to take ‘lots of pictures, so here’s your photo tour of the May 2014 Brimfield Show.

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

If you’re looking to outfit your sweet loft with large-scale coolness, look no further.

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

Along with vintage goods, we came across the work of some seriously creative and fabulous craftsmen.

 

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

Everyone needs a pink hair dryer for a rainy day, right? (Plus, check out the cool coral necklace I scored for only $10! One of the other dealers told me it was worth $150.)

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

 

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

Can you imagine the time and skill it takes to carve something like this?

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

 

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

There’s plenty to decorate the outside of your place as well as the inside.

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

 

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

Brimfield’s not all about the shopping…it’s also an education.

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

 

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

And my biggest purchase at Brimfield…….?????

The motorcycle jacket of course!  Did you think I got a motorcycle?

At Brimfield Antique Show with Pattern and Branch

My friend Jo-Alice and I took a well-earned trip to Cracker Barrel after “hiking” through the wild and rainy antique fields of western MA all day.

My total haul for the day included the coral necklace you saw, a three-strand aurora borealis crystal necklace (Also $10.  Yes!), a large and healthy rosemary plant, a test tube rack and some test tubes to use as vases, my awesome motorcycle jacket (which I am wearing as I write this), and a secret stocking stuffer for my husband.  It may have been the best Brimfield yet.  Good company, good weather even with the rain, great finds, and lots of good pictures.  All in all a great trip.

Have you ever been to Brimfield?  Do you plan to go?  Have any tips to share with others or questions to ask?  I’ll do my best to answer!

Thrift Store Treasures: Take It or Leave It (Part 3)

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Today is the last in our series on shopping the thrift store (read Parts 1 and 2 at these links).  I’m holding back all my thoughts on flea markets for another time, so as not to overwhelm you all.  😉

One of the important things to consider when thrifting is what is too far gone to take home.

Things to leave behind

I try to check each garment over before I buy it to make sure there are no holes or worn spots that are more than I am willing to deal with.  Sometimes I forget and usually it’s fine, but I’m always glad when I remember.  No one wants to buy new looking corduroy pants only to discover that the crotch area is almost worn away or there are iron marks and puckers on the nice black dress pants that fit so well.

Thrifting with Pattern and Branch, Part 3

I remembered to check over these Lucky Brand corduroy pants before buying–good as new.  Score!

I also try to do a sniff test to determine if there is a bad smell that might not come out.  Some smells will come out with washing and wearing, but not all of them, so make sure you can live with the smell if it has one.  I’d vote to turn down really bad body odor or something that smelled like urine (probably a good general principle, right?   😛  )  I have bought things that smelled like cigarette smoke or like an attic and after washing and then wearing them for awhile, the smell has come out.  Just decide ahead of time if you are willing to risk it.

Another thing to check for is stains.  Make sure that if it has a stain, you can live with it if it doesn’t come out, because it may not.  OxyClean works wonders, but it can’t conquer everything.

Check the garment care instructions.  Are you willing to dry clean it?  I’m often not, so I take the risk of running it through the washer.  Usually that turns out ok, but not always…(I’m still sad about the J.Crew sweater I felted.  I guess it’s in the “raw materials” category now.)

Thrifting with Pattern and Branch, Part 3

This was once a fluffy J.Crew sweater. Now it’s felted wool for another project.

Finally, if you don’t really love something or it’s just too far gone, don’t buy it.  It may only be a few dollars, but it’s not worth it if you won’t wear it.  Those few dollars could be spent on something you love more.  And if you get in one of those moods where you think, “This seems awesome, but I just don’t feel like spending the money on it, even though it’s inexpensive”, don’t buy it.  Put it back.  Walk away.  It’s ok to say no.  There will be other gems, even if you pass this one up.

I hope you find lots of treasures on your adventures.  If you have any stellar thrift store tips, I would love to hear them.

Here’s a little look back through pictures from past posts that feature items from the thrift store or flea market.