Saturday, August 27, 2016

Salvo Wednesday: Blogging Delinquent

Well, guys, I don't think I need to say anything beyond the blog title. I'm a delinquent. I got halfway through my summer, had a few more Salvo Wednesdays like the ones I'd already posted about, and got so busy buying/ cleaning/ steaming/ inventorying/ photographing/ listing my dresses that I couldn't bring myself to then add blogging to that list. I just couldn't. When I was done with all of that, I grabbed my Kindle, let Scarlett sit on my lap, and had a glass of wine.

So I'm tremendously behind. Suffice it to say, this has been the summer of my dreams. In more ways than one, really. Not only has it been a thrifting/estate saling heaven, it's been hot. Hot enough even for ME. Hot enough that I am actually looking forward to needing to put the comforter back on the bed (we haven't used it in over a month, I'm pretty sure, so we just took it right off.) I know a lot of you are miserable, but I have been in my glory. When I decided that this would be Magic Summer the Reboot, Mother Nature heard and said "you got it, lady." And she delivered.

Since I last posted, here's a summary of the thrifting I've done:

  • Dansville/Bath/Hornel
Every year I go to my old stomping grounds to hit the Salvo there. I meet up with my mom and she comes with me. It's in the middle of nowhere, but I always do well there. Always. 

I mean it. Dansville kills. LOOK at that pile!

A little something summery for me - perfect for the first few steamy days back to school!

This one wound up getting worn on my anniversary!

We went on to Bath and Hornell. Neither are terribly close, but closer to Dansville than they are to Rochester, and if you're going to do a thing, you might as well do it right. And did I do it right, or what?

Sometimes, before I've had a chance to clean/steam/inventory/photograph/list my finds, I can't resist putting one of the really good ones on a dress form and taking a preview picture. UGH. This one is so pretty that I'm considering removing a rib or two to make it fit. And I don't think I'm alone in that.

Dansville (and the "nearby" towns I mentioned) may have flaws, but the thrift stores are not among them.

  • Provincetown
The week after this, my husband and I went on our annual vacation. It was shorter than planned this year because my very adorable, very high-energy pitty baby needed ACL surgery. If you don't know how much that costs.... well, trust me when I say you don't want to.

So instead of the overseas trip we had planned (and the new kitchen floor, which I'm actually more disappointed about), we added on to a trip to MA for his cousin's wedding and spent a couple of days in Provincetown. The wedding was gorgeous:

(and for once, my husband and I didn't clash!)

We went up to Provincetown and walked, ate delicious things, enjoyed our gorgeous hotel, and of course, I went to the nearby thrift store.

 It was in a church, and I love that even church is done Provincetown-style here.

Here's what I didn't like: There was a rough listing of prices for most things on the wall, but not clothes. No, you bring them up and they give you a price. This is frustrating, time consuming, and has been known to make certain owners of The Snug Bungalow lose their minds.  But I was on vacation and I was getting something, darnit, so I got this:

It's hard to tell against my green wall, but that's actually hot pink, not red. It needs a hot pink belt and then this thing is amazing! Vintage find in Provincetown! All for me.

And just because you all need to see, a few shots of our very amazing hotel:

  • Hometown Thrifting with the College Roommate
After we returned home, my college roommate came to visit. We did a lot of fun things, like grilling at home (always my favorite), going on a Finger Lakes wine tour (another favorite), eating by Lake Ontario (okay, so everything we did was my favorite), and we also hit an area Goodwill, which we do every time. I got a couple of cute vintage things there for me:

Small vintage travel jewelry case! What girl doesn't need something like this? Mine.

And this adorable 60s linen & lace dress. WITH. POCKETS.

 I mean, right???

We also went to Savers, where I almost never go because they don't have half off sales. But it was directly en route to our lunch location, so we stopped. And somehow we managed to land on half off day. EVERYTHING was half off. It was a madhouse and too intense for pictures, but Gwenne got a couple of dresses and I hit the jackpot:

It sold almost immediately, and can any of us really be surprised? It was one of those amazing finds that looked underwhelming on the hanger but as soon as I steamed it and put it on the dress form, it was transformed. I LOVE when that happens.

  • Buffalo Salvo x 4
I decided that since I'd had such a great time in Syracuse, I'd drive to the other nearby city and check out there Salvation Armies. I was a little underwhelmed by their vintage (maybe someone there is getting ahead of me?) but I found a few good things.

For my Florida-obsessed friend...

...for my ugly-porcelain-chick obsessed friend...

.... for me!

At the second store, I went through a fairly lengthy but disappointing row of dresses. I was about to give up and leave, when I turned the corner and saw this. YIKES. See that splash of orange in there? It was this, and it is mine now:

This is probably my first-day-of-school dress. It's pretty, and more to the point, breathable. Because my classroom is always a sweaty mess the first few days of schoool, when the weather hasn't figured out we're not on summer vacation anymore, and 90ish of us cram in there. This should help.


Black dress with white lace overlay, Peter Pan collar! This is good for all seasons!

Chevron. DROOL.

This may mean very little to most of you, but my brother-in-law lives with his wife in Oviedo, Spain, which is in Asturias. I couldn't believe that I'd found a jersey in Buffalo!

I was really proud of myself for this one. A) at the beginning of the summer, I had never heard of Laurel Burch and B) it was hidden in the children's section. WIN!

  • Post-yoga Goodwilling

After yoga that week, I had an urge to hit the Goodwill and see what was half off. I didn't find much in the dresses, but I was in the market for a new desk for my spare bedroom/vintage clothing workshop so I headed to the back corner of the store. I passed the Halloween section and out of the corner my eye, I saw ruffles and tulle and stopped. And found that someone had donated a ton of 50s and 60s gowns. And someone at Goodwill said "hey, these look like Halloween costumes! Let's price them super low and stick them with the sexy nurse costumes!" Lucky me. I was near giddy.

My poker face failed epically, but who cares? I walked away with these and they couldn't up the prices no matter the expression on my face. HEAVEN.

  • Canandaigua/Geneva
I made my very last Salvo Wednesday road trip last week. This Wednesday, my last one before going back to see my amazing kids, I'm going to stay home and do the area ones one more time. So last week I drove to the only one I hadn't done yet this summer, in Canandaigua. I found a couple of good dresses but even better jewelry, most of which I'm keeping.

Maxi dress! I love them.

Stretchy knit winter dress. It's ready for a pair of fleece-lined tights and some boots!

I've decided I need a lot more vintage jewelry in my life. Thank you, Canandiagua, for your part in making that happen.

On a whim, I decided to go to Geneva for the second time this summer. It was only 20 minutes away (in the wrong direction) but I'd had good luck there earlier, so I figured why not. 

Good choice, me. 

I can't even. Not only was all the vintage in all the land at the Geneva Salvation Army that day, but it was the kind that gave me the feels. Collecting friends, you feel me. Not just something good that you know someone else will like/want/buy, but the kind that you know almost before you look at it that it's something special. The kind that makes your poker face REALLY hard to keep in place, and makes your heart race a little, and makes you compare thrifting to a hit. We get it. Those weird non-collectors out there might not understand, but we get it.

This was a hit. It was a good kind. I have joyfully spent the last few days cataloging and cleaning. It turns out I love this. Opening an Etsy shop was a good choice for me. I LOVE it. 

Fortunately for me, I also love my big girl job. It's been a magic summer, and soon it ends and I get to go back and make the best kids in the world make beautiful music together, and play with vintage dresses in my free time. Lucky.

This concludes the world's longest blog post, and I swear I'm going to post again with my last few summer finds. I hope everyone else has had a Magic Summer as well!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Salvo Wednesday: Come Salvo With Me

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do a Salvo Wednesday with me? Well, wonder no more. This week I have decided to walk you through the experience, step by step.

This week I decided to go to another couple of local Salvation Armies. I started in Greece, because you really need to get there right as it opens there, to have any chance of a shopping cart. The Greece Salvo is competitive! As I expected, I came in and there were no carts. But I got lucky and someone decided they didn't need theirs pretty quickly and I RAN for that sucker. They're priceless.

Before achieving a shopping cart, I headed for the display case first. And saw these:

I have always, always wanted a pair of these (they're Christian Louboutins, if you can't read the sign). And while I know that $350 is a steal for these shoes, I couldn't talk myself into that. If they'd been part of the half off day, I'd probably have had a major crisis over whether to buy them or not. As it was, I walked away fairly easily from expensive shoes that I would probably never have a chance to wear. But! So close.

My next step in this particular Salvo is always the shoes, which totally goes against my norm. This is partly because it's right near the entrance, but also because I'm usually lurking and waiting for a shopping cart. Which is exactly what I did, and about halfway through my browsing, the cart appeared, and as you know, I ran for it.

I didn't find anything of interest in this section, so I moved on to the main event.

Dresses, obviously. Greece always has a generous selection, and this week was no exception. The rack all the way to the left with a red mini dress has dresses, plus the three circular racks to the right near the dressing rooms.

One of them was this. This is the third week in a row where I've found a Salvo that was charging high prices (for a thrift store) for what they figure are fancy dresses. (Also, the extraneous apostrophe. Ugh. Almost as bad as the price.) I went through them despite the $60 price tag (which was part of the half off sale, so only $30 in reality).

There were a couple that were tempting, and one that I might have bought for myself if these weren't all a little large for me. This was the only one I thought long and hard about buying, because it was Jeannette for St. Martin, which seems to be a pretty big deal. So it's valuable but... ugh. I know I'm hopelessly cheap, but when you're starting a new shop and you're still in the red from startup costs, $30 is just too much. So I left it behind.

I found a ton of great stuff in the dresses, and I moved on to the rest of the store. I used to spend a lot more time in the other sections, but as I get increasingly obsessed with dresses and less interested in wearing anything else, it hardly seems worth the effort. I did find this, and had to take it home for the shop even though it's not my size.

Dragonfly pattern! So pretty.

I moved on to the dressing room, and these were the dresses I was trying on just for me.

A respectable pile! The first dress had a solid black top and black lace with cream underneath (I LOVE black lace with other colors underneath, I just love it!). This will make a great concert dress!

The next one fit, and even had pockets, but... hmm. Something about it didn't make me excited, so it stayed behind.

I tried on a few more that didn't fit so much so that there was no way I was taking pictures to show any of you. The next one fit but....

...something was wrong. It made me look large and I couldn't place it. I texted it to my friend and she confirmed my suspicions: It's the pattern. I felt wide. It's like the reverse of those slimming illusion patterns. It added width. We women love that.

This last one was a major win. I'm really into florals lately, it has pockets (obviously a major win there) and there's a built in wire frame to the bodice, making it that highly desired type of dress for heat waves - the kind that do not require me to wear a bra. I'm wearing it right now, in fact, in my delightfully sweaty back yard. Ahhh. *Side note: for those of you just tuning in, that wasn't sarcasm. I am in love with the heat this summer. It's my dream summer. A magic summer, if you will.

I packed up my finds and checked out. I wasn't quite sated yet, so I headed to what I call the Hidden City Salvo. I call it this because for several years running, Google has misdirected me and taken me elsewhere.  As I mentioned in last year's blog about my visit there, I starred it in Google maps and this time it stayed put! I searched for Salvation Army Thrift Stores in Rochester - and it tried to send me elsewhere. I knew better this time, searched for my star, navigated to that location instead, and voila!

I win! Take that, Google! I found you, you little hidden Salvo.

I never have trouble getting a cart at this location, I imagine because everyone else who's looking for this store is following Google Maps blindly around the city. I headed straight to the dresses, passing handbags and shoes on either side as I went.

I bought the straw handbag in the first crate because it was from McCurdy's and still had the original tag! Super cute. Also, there's a bra purse. Just because you need a bra purse. I did not buy that one.

I had some trouble weaving my way through the store because of some hipster girls who kept getting in my way. I'm about 99.9% sure (from personal experience) that one of them was faking a British accent, since the only time I've heard such a weird sounding accent is when I myself was faking one.

This dress is Adrianna Papel Evenings and it's beaded delightfulness. I have no idea where I would have worn it but if it wasn't about 2 sizes too big I'd have bought it anyway. Non-vintage, sadly, so it stayed behind. I hope someone took you home and loves you, pretty dress.

This dress is Calvin Klein. You probably can't tell, but while the top is my favorite stretchy knit material, the skirt is faux leather. And it is KILLER. And I want to be that girl, I really do. I want to be the girl who wears leather because the dress is amazing. But I'm not that girl. I have no doubt I would have taken this home, hung it in my closet, and never ever worn it. So it stayed behind. I'm sorry, dress. But I see you, and I recognize your amazingness. I hope you also have found a happy home.

This one did come home with me. Layered black fabric, strapless, from the White House Black Market. Gorgeous. I don't have that many opportunities for strapless black dresses but I'll find one. Or I'll make one. Whatever. You're pretty and you're mine.

This one has pockets, I'm really into floral this year (as previously stated), and I loved the ruffled hem. Unfortunately, despite saying that it's a size 6, this Lauren Conrad did not fit this size 4 girl. Not even a little bit. Wouldn't zip up. Come on. Get your act together, Lauren Conrad.

I found a number of great vintage dresses there too, and here's my haul when I got home:

I can't handle too much of the Etsy listing process after all that thrifting, but I do love to go through them, remove the tags (especially ones stapled right on to the delicate fabric, grrrrr!) and delight in all my wonderful finds. Here is the vintage I found in Greece:

And here's the vintage I found at the Hidden City Salvo:

Ahhh. So much delightfulness. Some of these have had stain removal performed, some have been steamed, and a chosen few are already listed.

At this point on Salvo Wednesday, it was time to walk away from the Salvo world and instead enjoy lunch in the back yard with my dogs. Including, but not limited to, a salad made 100% from my garden:

So how did you enjoy your trip to the Salvo? Want to come with me next week?