Saturday, March 16, 2013



I gave away 4,113 books this week.

Had no idea how many folks might take me up on the offer of a Sleeping Dogs Lie free ebook, and I’m delighted at the results. Hope those 4000+ folks enjoy the book (and yes, come back for the sequels!).

I celebrated in a thoroughly vintage way. I bought a hat!

My friend Judy and I hit a couple of sales in the neighborhood on Friday. One was an estate sale that had a lot of vintage clothing from the Fifties & Sixties. Some pieces had classy looking labels, others were homemade. Or made by a local seamstress. They were nicely done, and I don’t remember seeing a lot of sewing supplies in the sale. In any case, there was a table of hats in one of the bedrooms, and by accident or design a mirror hung on the wall nearby. I probably wouldn’t have noticed the hats, but Judy did, and we started exclaiming over their cuteness and trying a few on. She looked adorable in several of them. I was just explaining I rarely find a hat that fits as I picked up a little navy blue number and popped it onto my head.

And fell in love.

It was the feather that did it.

Vintage hat backvintage hat front

I put it on as soon as I paid for it and wore it away. People smiled as they spotted it. They may have been thinking, “Who is that insane woman with the silly hat?” but they were smiling, so I choose to believe they were thinking, “Wow, I wish I’d gotten here earlier so I could be wearing that hat!”

hat 1 Vintage hat label Eva Mae Modes

Perhaps it is a lucky hat, because I found some other good deals as well. That same estate sale yielded up a set of placemats and napkins in lovely Fifties pink and gray.

Fifties placemat setFifties placemat detail

There were other vintage linens, but I restrained myself and bought only this embroidered linen towel.

embroidered ducks

I’ve decided to use my vintage linen towels in the half-bath off my home office. This one still has a never-washed, shiny sizing finish. I’m thinking perhaps someone embroidered the ducks as a baby shower gift, and the towel was never used. But now it will be!

Found a few more sales this morning. I about had a heart attack going to the first…forgot I had changed the voice on Gertrude Pemberton Smith, my GPS. When a deep male voice boomed out with the first driving instruction I was startled to say the least. And that first sale would not have been worth an actual heart attack, though I did manage to spend a dime there. Our Zoe got a new dress, er, collar.


The next sale had a couple of tables of neatly folded clothing, but even the neatest stack can’t make up for prices in the $5 to $10 range. Figured everything would be overpriced, but it was mostly their discarded clothes they were too proud of. Got this puppy gate for a buck. Now I have enough to keep one downstairs, instead of hauling one up and down.

Yet another gate

Seemed like maybe there were two families having the sale, which could account for the disparity in prices. One of the sellers was looking over the table of dishes when I reached that spot in the garage. She picked up a mug and exclaimed, “Hey, these are my mugs, the one we use at home.” I looked – a nice sturdy neutral mug. Then I looked at the table again, and exclaimed in my turn, “And these are the glasses at my house, and I need to replace two that got broken!”

Glasses that match mine

From there I headed to a sale close to home, a small Forties house down the hill from us that was pretty much full of Pottery Barn stuff. And for once not overpriced. Ended up with three new-to-me sofa pillows…

Sofa pillows

…plus a good story. When I left there were two teenage boys helping move some end tables outside to load. I overheard one of them say, “That is wild, man, that your dad helped that guy steal that stuff!” Apparently a few minutes earlier, while the female half of a shopping couple was inside paying for some small thing, the male half asked the teen’s dad if he’d give him a hand loading some furniture in his pickup. Of course the dad said yes, they loaded up some stuff, the woman came out and they drove away…without paying for the furniture. Talk about trash behavior – and nerve.

Took my paid-for pillows home, then looked at the clock. The day-before’s estate sale was to go half-price starting at noon. So a little past that time I drove the few blocks back to see if there were any great hats left. Though the house was by no means empty yet, the contents had certainly diminished. But sometimes that can be a good thing; you see items that were covered up before. Like the pair of Fifties twin-size bedspreads that I got for five bucks. They’re just right for my children’s literature guest room.

Fifties bedspreadsVintage bedspread on vintage bed

We’ve just moved that bookcase into that room; hence its bareness. I have a bunch o’ stuff to arrange there, while still leaving room for guests’ things. Like CPAP machines. One weekend there were six of us sleeping here, and four of us use CPAPs. We called it our CPAP slumber party.

The hat table was sadly depleted, sigh. Another lady stood by it looking at a little woven-rattan purse. Inside the purse was…it looked like another vintage hat. “I think they kept an unfinished project in here,” she commented. I asked if she were taking it, and she said she just wanted the bag. So we ended our shopping at the same time, and after she paid fifty cents for the bag, she gave me the contents.

Unfinished vintage hat frontUnfinished vintage hat sideUnfinished vintage hat inside

It’s a partially complete vintage hat! Deep brown velveteen over a wired buckram form. Looks like the lining is sewn together and ready to insert, and there’s some extra velveteen and a ribbon, perhaps for the hatband. I’m going to have fun with this.

P1010879Unfinished hat liningUnfinsihed hat ribbon

Wonder where I can find a curly brown feather?


I need a curly feather for this hat!


  1. this place has "feather Pads", not quite at fifty cents, but they can give an idea...taking feathers you can get a crafts places, and gluing them onto a felt pad....

    also cool name and inspiration

    and the to curl a pheasant feather at home with a curling iron!!

    1. Gosh, Cathy, trust a librarian to immediately go and do research! ;o) Thanks! I'll have to keep my eye out for that fifty cent curling iron. Much more likely to find that than some pheasant feathers, but you never know!

    2. Oooh, oooh, just realized...sometimes you see feather earrings at yard sales. I might find some feathers yet!

  2. now you need to go find a pheasant feather and a one inch curling iron for 50 cents !

  3. Happy for your hat and a half - that's the best I could come up with!

    1. Ha! I'll happily have a hat and a half on my heavily haired head!

  4. I love it that you wore your lovely "new" hat around after you left the estate sale. It's no wonder you were turning heads, that feather is way too fun - you made everyone wish they had such style!

  5. Yowza! Congratulations on the ebook giveaway! Great way to build your fan base!


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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