Swanky Lady Living

Retro style for the modern girl!

New Finds and Current Obsessions April 20, 2013

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Brand new additions to the shop, just listed today:

adorable red hat box suitcase

adorable red hat box suitcase

antique bedtime story collection, 1941

antique bedtime story collection, 1941

milk glass footed bowl

milk glass footed bowl

retro embroidered throw pillow

retro embroidered throw pillow

This week I was bad….very bad indeed. In complete defiance of my inner determination to become a minimalist, my body betrayed me and I found myself pillaging the thrifts like a savage shopping Viking.

The good news is, most of it will end up in the shop. Of what I found, I am keeping a blue and gold enamel flower pin, a couple of books, a kitschy 1960’s pedestal mug, and a lidded glass carafe that is a square shape with a plastic aqua lid that I will use to store  iced herbal tea in this summer.

I am obsessed with tea right now. I have sort of lost my taste for coffee lately, partly because I am watching my weight and coffee just doesn’t taste the same without my cream and sugar. So I guess I didn’t really love the coffee so much as the cream and sugar…

Other current obsessions:

*edamame steamer snack packs (Nicole, I blame you)

*Annie Freeman’s Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish. I don’t know that I am in love with her writing style but I am in love with the entire concept. I am 100 pages in and hooked.

*Fructis Style Wonder Waves. I am so into NOT drying and straightening my hair lately. I spray it on my damp hair, scrunch with my fingers, and voila! Done.

*Watching Gossip Girl with the Netflix app on my Nook while I work out on the elliptical. Such a dumb vapid show but it’s sort of the perfect thing to exercise to because you don’t have to concentrate on it too terribly hard.

*plotting and planning away with a game plan to quit my job and do re-sale full time within the next two years






This post has been fortified with extra Vitamin C & D April 7, 2013

So this morning I washed and tested the vintage Juice King I bought a few weeks ago. It has been sitting there ever since on my kitchen table, yet another forgotten object in the “list” pile for Etsy. That pile sometimes remains there, completely undiminished, for weeks at a time as I go through lazy periods of ignoring the shop.

I tested it with the only thing I had on hand: clementines. Needless to say, there wasn’t much juice from those itty bitty nuggets of goodness, but what was there was delicious.


Like approximately 75% of what I buy when I thrift shop, I sort of fell in love with this contraption. After using a borrowed juicer for about a week (this was months ago, after impressionable me had just watched Fat, Sick & Nearly dead on Netflix and was convinced this was to be my new diet forever and ever) this was so simple to use. It was noiseless, easy to take apart and clean, and doesn’t take up much space.

Then again…will I really use it? Hmmm, such a decision to ponder…

Anyways, moving on. Here are some more of my swizzle sticks from my haul yesterday:

colorful animals!

stirrer spoons from the Stardust in Las Vegas

stirrer spoons from the Stardust in Las Vegas

Neon is swell. I especially love the Air West ones.

Neon is swell. I especially love the Air West ones.

I love the little whales! These are from Maui.

I love the little whales! These are from Maui.

Circus Circus! I adore the little pink conductor!

Circus Circus! I adore the little pink conductor!


A rainbow of stirrers

A rainbow of stirrers

There’s more but I know this post is already rather picture heavy! Well, the Mister just came home from the store with lemons and requested a lemon shake-up with lunch. Guess I’ll be holding onto that juicer for now…


Night, All August 29, 2012

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Oh, deer…can you spot the missing antler?

the canisters from the epic estate sale

big old industrial file box that the husband might keep

A pretty apothecary bottle that just got added to the shop today!

It’s been supercrazybusy round these parts. Too much work and family stuff (which is nice, don’t get me wrong!) and doctor  appointments to do much thrifing. Which is probably good, because anyone who knows me knows I have enough stuff tucked away in my house to supply my Etsy shop for two years!

Anyways, this isn’t much of a post but it’s better than nothing, right? Now I’m off to make a cup of Sleepytime tea and start another chapter of the Night Circus. And so, as my Grandma “Moses” would say… “Night, All!”


Riveting Drama at the Thrifts May 20, 2012

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It’s been a weird kind of week. Lots of changes happening in the lives of people around me and, for once, the possibility of change in mine. I’m not a person who likes change. I get used to things; I get quite comfy and don’t want to deal with learning a different routine. Even if I’m not completely content, I’ll stay in a situation because I’ve grown accustomed to it. Anyways, things are sort of up in the air so I won’t talk about it on here. It’s never really been that kind of blog anyways.

Speaking of change, the thrifts brought a new/old kitchen table my way on Tuesday!

The pictures don’t really do it justice. It’s an old dinette with a light grey faux bois Formica top with a chrome edge and it has black painted metal legs. I wish it would have had the chairs with it, but for $15.99 I couldn’t leave it behind. I’m going to search high and low for the perfect chairs. For now, I’ll use the chairs from our old set. This furniture switch-a-roo freed up so much space! The old table was so long and it took up so much room in our wee little kitchen. It’ll be nice to be able to move around more when we’re fixing dinner.

Sushi night! Testing out the new table.

The table wasn’t my only fun find on Tuesday. I picked up these:

vintage Shriner bar glasses and matching tray, for sale in my shop

and this:

Little Miss Moppet lamp, to be saved for my future nursery

and these:

craft magazines from the 1960’s

Also, I found an awesome little retro shirtdress that did not photograph well so here is a close-up of the fabric:

The dress was actually found by Larry, my mom’s friend (& mine) and coworker who we sometimes thrift with. We give him rides and in return he gives us tours of his awesome mid century home and shows us his latest treasures. Sometimes he gifts me little things he’s picked up, like owl figurines and a tiny hatbox suitcase. In short, he is awesome.

Anyways, he found this dress right away at the little church-run thrift store we frequent and brought it over to me.  It was $5 and I debated it for a while, carrying it around and studying it. Then this hipster looking girl (or I should say woman, she was not much younger than me) asked “Are you going to buy that dress?”. I know it’s awful, but the gleam in her eye made me decide then and there I would be keeping it. If she had just played it cool and eyed it from a distance, the dress might have been hers.

Then the part that really annoyed me: She called me out as a reseller. LOUDLY. Now, it’s no secret. I am not ashamed that I resell some of my purchases to support my habit. But I also keep alot of my quirkly little finds and I don’t know…I just don’t want the store owners/workers I see every week to think of me as some greedy dealer. I guess it’s because, as a lifelong treasure seeker, I grew up going to garage sales and estate sales with my mom. The dealers were sort of our enemies. They snatched up anything and everything they could to make a buck. I guess, even though I do own an Etsy shop, I just don’t want to be known as a dealer.  Call me crazy.

Anyways, here is how it went down.

Unknown Hipster: Are you going to keep that dress?

Me: (holding it up in front of me) I don’t know…I think so…I’m…pretty sure.

Mom to Hipster: Oh, hi.

Hipster: Oh, hi! You work at ______! (name of thrift store she works at part-time)

Mom: Yep.

Hipster, turning to me: Oh, then you must be her daughter. The one who SELLS THINGS!

I type that part in all caps because to me it seemed like she shouted it to the whole world. It seemed like an accusation, like she wanted me to relinquish the dress to her because I’m a reseller and she’s a poor little vintage-lovin hipster. I felt like the store went deadly quiet, with crickets suddenly chirping. In my mind’s eye, I could see the cute little old ladies at the counter turning to narrow their eyes at me. Then I remembered my mom talking about a shopper who sometimes picked up things for her Etsy and my mom had told her all about me.

Me, very primly,  to Hipster: Oh, and you resell too, right?

Hipster: (mumbling) I have an Etsy shop.

Then she backed away and left soon after, after  paying for a very ugly 80’s dress and cute little condiment tray.

I feel I may have come across a little witchy, which is not usually my style, but she was very aggressive in her tone and approach. I love meeting new people, especially people with the same loves and interests as me, but she was not sending out good vibes.

Anyways, the rest of the day was pretty fun and without drama, although we did run into a known antiques dealer at the Goodwill who is convinced Larry is a dealer and always asks him nosy questions,  such as “How much would you sell this for?” no matter how many times Larry explains that he doesn’t resell, he’s a collector.

I found a vintage 1940s-50s microscope in the original wooden box. Actually, the antiques dealer was looking at it for a while but he said he wasn’t sure how much it was worth. I thought it was cool and well worth the $5 price tag. I also picked up two round mirrored vanity trays for $2.99 each. I can never seem to leave those behind. They look so pretty holding perfume bottles and jewelry.

I did so well on Tuesday (aka, spent too damn much) that I made the difficult decision to skip the 3rd Sunday marked in Bloomington today. My mom didn’t really seem too keen on going and I certainly did not need to spend another dime. Instead, I was lazy, read blogs, watched TV and ate a diet mainly consisting of carbs. An ideal Sunday, really.


A Feature and a Quick Shop Update May 13, 2012

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One of my Etsy shop items made it to Apartment Therapy.com!

mid century drink caddy set, $24, sold and on its way to Minneapolis on Monday morning!

Apartment Therapy is one of my favorite home design/decor/DIY blogs ever! I was so excited to see my item in their top 25 Etsy picks post. I wouldn’t have even known about it were it not for the Etsy blog stats feature. I noticed a bunch more views than normal in the past couple of days and checked it out. I saw that the majority came from Apartment Therapy and immediately went to investigate.

Also new to the shop:

vintage owl cologne bottle by Avon

pair of retro juice pitchers

mid century mod “roly poly” style bar glasses

cute Avon girl bottle, from the Small World collection

It’s been a good couple of weeks in the thrifting department. I’ve been scoring some neat little finds and just need to schedule a big chunk of time to clean, photograph and list them! Anyways, off to make lemon cheesecake bars. Happy Mother’s Day to all you mommas out there!


Tuesday Night Ramblings April 10, 2012

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(I apologize in advance for any spelling/grammar errors. It’s past my bedtime, I’ve had a glass of wine, and I just don’t care.)

Today was a really good day! One of those days that just flew by because it was so good. Why can’t the days I’m at work go by so quickly?? I slept in until 9 and then made a pot of coffee. I got my day started by tucking myself back into bed with a mug of coffee, my snuggly pups,  and a DVR box full of Breakout Kings, a show I record but never seem to watch. I watched two episodes and then forced myself to get up and shower.

Mom came over around noon and brought me some of her homemade chicken salad and some mini-crossaints and some chips and salsa. She is the sweetest. Then we headed out to thrift. First, we mulled around and talked about doing something else. There was talk of seeing a movie. But then, of course, we headed out to thrift. We just can’t help it. It’s in our blood.

Here is a crappy picture of some of my haul:

Pictured: another mid century animal mail holder, a perpetual desk calender, a red tonka truck, a tiny brass elephant, three silver-rimmed roly poly bar glasses, an ice cream cone cookie jar, a speckled green shell pottery vase, a granny squares knitted blanket, an embroidred vintage pillowcase.

Not  pictured: an orange bangle bracelet with carved detailing, Rachel Ray 365 meals cookbook, 5 paperback novels, one large Vogue vintage sewing manual, a slightly damaged vintage globe (bought cheap, for a project), 4 records, a large hot pink poodle figurine, and a cotton sundress that will be a perfect swimsuit cover-up this summer.

I bought wayyy more than I usually do but I still came in under $50. I don’t feel too guilty because I just transferred a big chunk of change from my paypal to my bank account the other day. Just supporting my habit. 😉

Oh, and one of the records:

a hard candy Christmaaaaas!

(That one’s for you, Nicole)

After getting dropped off and making multiple trips of shame past my husband (picture me struggling with armloads of stuff, my husband holding the front door open for me without a word, just a slightly judgmental look) I packed up some items for the post office. I responded to an e-mail, in which someone I shipped to on March 31st still hasn’t received his package. I asked him to give it a couple more days but I have a feeling I’ll be issuing a refund. Bummer.

Then my husband was kind enough to go to the post office with me. (I hate waiting in that long line by myself) Afterwards, we had some Taco Bell for dinner. We have really been going the health food route lately; last night it was Chinese. MSG=yummm. There were these cute little boys at Taco Bell with their dad and I heard one of them excitedly say “Dad, can we get sporks? They have them here!!” The dad laughed and said Suuure. I’m sure he was thinking, I hope it will always be this easy to keep them happy.

The point of that little story is: I am a lot like those kids. It just doesn’t take that much to make me happy. Sporks. Or ceramic poodles. Or 25 cent Dolly Parton records. Not that I don’t have deeper needs or desires, like anyone else, but for the most part, I am easily amused. I like to think that if I were to win the lottery or become heir to a family fortune I know nothing about, I would still find the joy in the little things. I’d like to believe I could still sit in a Taco Bell with my husband and feel as happy as I felt today.



Flea Market Fling! March 25, 2012

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I had a great morning! I got up early and mom picked me up at 8:30 to go to an indoor flea market. Two of my Dad’s sisters are visiting from out of state and they each brought their eldest son with them. We met up with them and my other aunt who lives here for some good old treasure hunting.

I, of course, had no trouble finding anything. My first purchase of the morning was this fun vintage cocktail shaker:


I thought it was a must-have because the pattern was so loud and cheery and also it came with a spoon for stirring that hangs off the lid, which I’d never seen before. I spent $10, which is more than I’d pay in a thrift store, but less than I’d pay online or in an antique store. I didn’t plan to purchase much more since the place isn’t that big and there weren’t many tables with my style of stuff.

But I kept digging and I kept finding….

jewelry for spring!

mirrored jewelry tray, $2

records for a buck a pop

issue of Look magazine, 1954

Books! 50 cents each. I just realized 5 of the 7 I picked have women on the front who are not facing the camera...odd.

Everything pictured above I plan on keeping. The three pieces of jewelry cost a total of $4!  The magazine was sort of an impulse buy. The dealer at that particular table was so sweet I felt I had to look around until I found something. He saw me struggling to hold my jewelry tray under my arm and he handed me a plastic bag, even though I wasn’t even looking at this stuff. So I rifled through his magazines until I found this one for $3. I’ll have to scan in some of the advertisements in it some rainy day. Here is one page I liked:

*EDIT*  I also found an awesome purse that I may sell or keep, I haven’t decided, as well as some jewelry items I am listing on Etsy. There was a second half to this post that somehow got erased. I do not feel like typing it all again so I guess I’ll post a part two tomorrow!