Wednesday, July 13, 2011

viroqua thrifting finds

I took a daytrip with JohnaLee to Viroqua, WI, last Saturday (which will merit its own blog post eventually) and found some incredible vintage goods. Textiles mostly. Viroqua is like the hippie mecca of Wisconsin for people who don't want to live in Madison; the Portland, Oregon, of my state. It has a giant old tobacco shed that was converted to an antiques emporium, and JohnaLee and I lost ourselves in there for hours. Here are some finds, both from Viroqua and not.

 Pretty pile of my treasures.

 A bird in the hand: $6.50

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. This photo reminded me of that saying, which I just looked up because I couldn't possibly fathom what it meant. It's better to have a small real advantage than the possibility of a greater one. Or, it's better to have a glossy yellow hand-sized bird than not...

This small brass (?) owl was a gift from Neil's mom, who found it at her parents' house and knew my love of these wise creatures. Now it sits on my shelf, the kind of small treasure that I love the most. Thank you Mrs. Ferris!

Judy Bolton book: $1.99
Snow White book: 99 cents
Cloth napkins: 6 for $7.50

Books from Goodwill. I couldn't pass up the Judy Bolton novel; it'll complement my budding Nancy Drew collection too well. In the top photo below the books is the stack of six cloth napkins I got from the tobacco shed in Viroqua. I doubt they've ever been used because the sturdy cloth is in pristine condition. Cloth napkins are a really easy way to cut back on use of paper napkins, and especially because there will only be Neil and I using them in Bloomington I feel they were an excellent buy. Besides being environmentally friendly, they will pay for themselves eventually since we won't have to buy paper napkins. Also, the red, yellow and green print is impossibly cute. (You can generally count on cuteness being a factor in my purchases!)

mini triangle quilt top: $38

I found all my textiles in Viroqua. This quilt top in particular amazes me. This was my splurge buy, my birthday present to myself. Everything else was somewhat justifiable :) 

The tiny triangles made from luscious sackcloth prints. The scalloped edges, which are hidden from view in these photos. I'm such a sucker for bright, bold patchwork. It's my weakness. Just like my yellow dresden plate quilt, I probably won't back this until I'm out of grad school with a real job. The cost of getting it machine quilted is just too much. But it'll wait. I do so love to have projects on the back burner.

violet and cream quilt: $22

This twin-sized quilt is finished with a few small tears and stains, really nothing at all. After I hand wash this it will make an incredible living room quilt. Comfort is what I love. Fourteen quilts piled in a large basket next to the sofa, all soft and well-loved and ready to be snuggled with. Yes.

For years and years I have loved the name Violet, so much so that barring any severe shifts in taste, I will likely name a future daughter Violet Honey. (Honey is my middle name. Some people think it is a term of endearment or just a nickname, but it's my real middle name. Hence my blog's title.) Someday this quilt will be hers; it will find itself on a tiny bed, beloved.

pinwheel picnic quilt: $12

I LOVE THIS QUILT. It is so soft, doesn't smell like cigarette smoke (nor do any textiles I buy), and did I mention it was $12? This will hang out in my backseat for picnicking expeditions. 

floral outdoor blanket: $5

If you thought I could avoid these garish greens and blues, well, you obviously don't know me very well. Another outdoor blanket. 

 neil's face when I told him oh wait, I have something else! wait a sec while I go grab it! approximately 10 times: priceless

It's impossible to put a dollar amount on my boyfriend's annoyance and befuddlement over why I leave the house and return with an armful of "weird, random old crap." He is my occasionally-patient photographer, coerced by promises of niceness and Mad Men marathons. He peppers our photo shoots with questions like, Does your father know how many quilts you have? Hmm? Well, now he does. Hi, Dad!

floral print pictures: $12 for the set

My style is so eclectic that I would be doing a disservice to myself if I tried to rein it in and go matchy-matchy. I'm throwing all the paintings and artwork I have together on the wall in my Bloomington living room, different frames and all. I CAN'T WAIT. I decided a few day ago that the accent wall will be fabulous fuschia. For all his old man grumbliness, Neil supports my decorating whims no matter how girly, so I'm not sure I can ever leave him. I think the colors in these will just pop on a fuschia wall, don't you?

strawberry apron: $4

Love the colors, love the fit, love the scalloped trim. Love.

And last but not least, my bag from Old Navy that I think looks somewhat vintage. I love it. I'm usually the chick with five books, a camera, cardigan and assorted "necessities" stuffed into a backbreakingly-heavy oversized tote, so having a small purse is a-OK by me.


  1. So many cute finds! I am jealous you grabbed that red apron before I did!! But my green one is cute too!

  2. While I didn't know it for sure....I suspected you to be a quilt hoarder. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in that respect. Neil - congratulations on mastering the look. It is well worn by all companions of quilters.


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