recently thrifted, up north edition

Hey lovelies, just popping in quickly to share some iPhone snaps of a few up north thrift-store finds.

Top row: Dear Bess, letters from Harry Truman to his wife, Bess // nameplate necklace for Tammy Cracker’s godmother
Middle row: cutest ever fabric remnant // avocado green aluminum fondue set
Bottom row: souvenir program from a 1968 Roger Miller & Andy Williams concert // circle-framed floral etching

Sorry they’re just camera pics…I got home not too long ago and have been stuck at the computer catching up on work emails like crazy. Being away is wonderful and all, but coming home to 150+ emails is not! I have a feeling this week is going to be insanely busy. I’m stepping away from my desk now though to get ready for dinner. We’re capping off our weekend away with Thai food and a country show!



P.S. Photos were taken with my favorite Hipstamatic app.

how to: plan a thriftcation

I’m heading out on a weekend-long road trip with my beau tomorrow and I’ve got to be honest—instead of thinking about the fancy condo waitin’ for us (there’s a fireplace!) or all the fun things we’ll do and see, I’ve been busy daydreaming about the thrifts we’ll be hitting on the way! It’s a cheap, addictive thrill, exploring out-of-town thrift stores. But in order to maximize your time and not miss any gems, there’s a fair amount of preparation to do before you hit the road. Since this topic’s fresh on my mind, tonight I thought I’d quickly share a few do’s and don’ts for thriftcation planning.


Ask around. Before I embark on any significant thrifting trip, I ask friends and acquaintances familiar with my destination for their suggestions. Don’t know anyone where you’re headed? That’s what Twitter is for! Another trick: Once you’re shopping around a small town thrift, ask an employee if there are any other stores in the area. More often than not, they’ll have great suggestions for you.

Do map out your route. Look to see what towns are on the way, and then look up to see what stores are easy to access from the highway. I have three must-stop-spots  between Minneapolis and my hometown that are within a painless five minutes of I-94. It just seems silly not to pop in when they’re right there!

Do update your apps. My most recent happy app discovery is the FREE Craigslist app. You can find details about the other iPhone apps I rely on when I’m out thrifting here.

Do keep your eyes open. Tons of estate sales, flea markets, garage sales and thrift store listings never find their way to the great world wide web. Gas-station signs, church bulletin boards, fliers on a telephone pole, ads in a community newspaper, sandwich board signs—look out for them all!


Don’t blow your budget just because you’re out of town. It’s easy to lose your head when you’re on the road, trust me, I know. Avoid buyer’s remorse by staying true to your normal high standards for quality.

Don’t ignore who you’re thrifting with. My boyfriend has a saintly level of patience when it comes to my thrifting addiction, but even the most heaven-sent companions have their limits. Don’t wear your partner in crime out or you might not have a buddy for your next trip!

Don’t forget to eat. Stopping for breakfast at a greasy spoon diner or breaking for a milkshake along the way make thrifting road trips way more fun, not to mention more memorable. (Have I mentioned I just like to eat?)

I hope these dos and don’ts come in handy the next time you set out to plan a road trip. As for me, I’d better sign off so I can finish packing…our 5 a.m. departure time is going to roll around before I know it. I hope y’all have beautiful weekends!



P.S. The photo above was taken last May at the Am Vets thrift store in Memphis, Tennessee, conveniently located just down the street from Graceland. :-)

heads up: goodwill’s bridal showcase


Heads up, all you lucky brides-to-be! Goodwill’s Bridal Showcase is happening this Saturday, and it promises to be a good time. Hunt through 2,000+ dresses, including some vintage and designer gowns, priced at $99 and up. (See some sneak peeks of the gowns, ranging in size from 4-22, here.) Bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses will be available, too, starting at $39. Seamstresses and cleaning pros will be hanging out, offering tips and alteration advice, and suppliers including florists, photographers and photo booth rental companies will be there too, pimping their services. Dressing rooms are communal, so wear underthings you’ll be comfortable being seen in, unless you’re cool with public nakedness, in which case, go you. The sale’s happening this Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, over at Goodwill’s main office at 553 Fairview Ave. North in St. Paul. Good luck!



heads up: president’s day weekend sales

Hey lovelies, happy Friday!


If you’re looking to get your shop on this weekend, here’s the scoop on some President’s Day sales.

Today through Sunday

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer: Take 30% off all home decor, lamps and artwork at both the Orono and St. Paul locations.

Saturday Only

ARC’s Value Village Thrift Stores: Save 50% on everything except orange- and white-tagged items Saturday only. Stores will open at 9 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.

Monday Only

Savers: Take 50% off all used clothing, shoes, accessories and tagged bed and bath items. Sale runs from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Salvation Army Thrift Stores: This year, the half-off sale at Salvation Army is limited to the downtown Minneapolis location and only applies to the goodies in the Target basement. The store will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Hidden Treasures Thrift Store: This hole-in-the-wall thrift kicks off a week-long bag sale on Monday—fill a bag of winter clothing or outerwear and pay just $5. Hidden Treasures is open from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Unique and Valu Thrift Stores: Everything in all five metro-area stores will be half-off! Shops will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Happy shopping!



clickin’ around, vol. 30


Time for a hearty helping of things on the Internet I like…enjoy!

 Historically significant nudes…photoshopped!

 I couldn’t possibly agree with this writer more. Must read.

 How to wear colorful pants when you’re not a size two.

 11 myths of decluttering. Must. Memorize.

Loved this VS. mag editorial featuring the “other” Olsen.

Coral + bright blue = color combo perfection. Annnnd, I think her dress is really cute.

 Three more examples of outfit perfection.

Happy Valentine’s Day, sweethearts!



what’s that fabric? duramesh!

{1930s Whiting & Davis purse}

Do you ever come across a fabric or material at the thrift-store and think “What the heck is this?” I sure do. So, in an attempt to get a bit more educated about the vintage I buy (and resell), I thought I’d start up an irregular series that defines and illustrates materials I often see (and wonder about) at the thrifts. Today, let’s talk about metal mesh, also known as duramesh!

Although mesh handbags have been around for ages, it wasn’t until 1909, when A.C. Pratt of Newark, New Jersey invented the mesh-making machine, that these slinky accessories became widely available. When you’re out and about thrifting, look for these three brands: Whiting & DavisMandalian Manufacturing and Duramesh. Some Mandalian bags, like the one below, also bear the Lustro-Pearl mark, so keep an eye out for that name too.

After WWII, Duramesh became a major competitor to Whiting & Davis in the mesh purse game. Duramesh focused less on the artwork applied to outside of the bag (popularized in the ’30s), and more on shape and style of the purse itself. Here’s an ad for the brand that ran in the October 1955 issue of Handbag & Accessories, a trade magazine for buyers, inviting them to visit Duramesh showrooms in Chicago, Dallas and L.A.

It’s common to find accessories and jewelry that are made out of duramesh at thrift-strores and estate sales, including…



cigarette cases!

Other items to look out for include brooches, scarves, bibs and makeup bags.
 When thrifting duramesh bags and accessories, check the links over carefully to see that they are all connected and secure. The texture should be smooth—nothing should be poking out or catching.

Denting is common in duramesh purses. Hold the bag at an arm’s length and check the exterior.

 Examine the lining, making sure it is free from holes and discoloration. If you’re looking at jewelry, make sure the clasp is in good shape.

Read the label/product details! Lots of Etsy sellers tag items “Duramesh” when it’s really not. (Take this halter top for example.) If you’re looking for vintage duramesh, you need to check the label!

Here’s what a vintage Duramesh label looks like…

Whiting & Davis purses can be identified by their stamp inside a bag’s frame…

or by their tag.

Modern Whiting & Davis labels will look more like this…

 To get a feel for judging the era, rarity and resale value of duramesh pieces and styles, window shop online. A quick search for Whiting & Davis on Etsy turns up thousands of goodies to sort through! Since duramesh bags and products have been mass-produced since the early 20th century, it might take a while to get the hang of knowing what’s vintage and what’s not…don’t stress, that’s part of the fun!


Once you’ve found a piece you love, avoid contacting it with sharp or abrasive surfaces that might pull, poke or dent the mesh.

Avoid exposing duramesh to hairspray, perfume or alcohol, too. If you do spill your drink on your bag (been there, done that!), wipe it up promptly with a soft cloth.

Buff your bag occasionally with a clean, soft cloth to remove dirt and restore it to its original dazzle. Use a light hand; elbow grease isn’t required when cleaning this delicate material!

Now that we’ve tackled duramesh, I’d love to hear from you. Is there a fabric or material you wonder about when you’re at the thrift store? If so, please drop me a line!