THRIFTER'S PARADISE

Oh, Atlanta (well, Decatur if you're local and know the difference). Our traffic may suck, our politics may be questionable, and culturally we are still playing catch-up to most other major cities but Y'ALL. I think we might be in a thrifters paradise. I have within a 5 mile radius of my home at least 15 thrift shops. They range from the crusty, disorganized messes to the well laid out, higher end shops. The junky ones have my heart. The thrill of the hunt is always just minutes from my home. My sister lived in Portland for years and would just flip out when we'd go thrifting on her visits. She would do a total wardrobe stock for her boys in 2 trips to the thrifts here. Apparently super hipster cities like Portland get totally picked over. Kudos to us for not being too cool for our own good.

So many of my favorite finds are on display on the open shelves in our kitchen; ceramic bowls, canisters, and dishes, baskets, Catherine Holm bowls, wooden spoons. 

So many of my favorite finds are on display on the open shelves in our kitchen; ceramic bowls, canisters, and dishes, baskets, Catherine Holm bowls, wooden spoons. 

The near entirety of my children's wardrobes are thrifted. Most of their toys and books. Most of my book purchases in the last few years. Accent tables. Lamps. Ceramics, Cookware (looking at you, 3 different Le Creuset pieces). Fabric. Sewing supplies. Yarn. Textiles. Art. If you look at any one corner of my house, I would guess at least 60% of it is secondhand. 

A totally insane find at a recent estate sale. Two vintage LeCreuset pots for $10. 

A totally insane find at a recent estate sale. Two vintage LeCreuset pots for $10. 

More recently I'm starting to hit up some incredible estate sales. The route from our house to our girls' school winds past a big, ambling neighborhood filled with lovely 50's ranches and 60's split levels situated on large lots with tons of trees and lots of character. For whatever reason I think of it as kind of the more grown up version of our hood. As the original residents in the hood are aging out of their homes ESTATE SALE signs keep popping up on the edges of the neighborhood. So hard not to at least take a peek when I'm going right by ;) 

Love these little wooden spoons, tiny ceramic planters, and woven basket from an estate sale. All are used daily!

Love these little wooden spoons, tiny ceramic planters, and woven basket from an estate sale. All are used daily!

I went to one such sale this week. The house itself was a time capsule from the 50's, original paneling, kitchen, mod fireplace, etc. These folks seemed to be so well read, cultured, and travelled. Awesome collections of books, music, art, textiles, leather goods, ceramics, baskets from all over the world. I was seriously in heaven. I had both Fiona and Julian with me (nutter) but still managed to find some things I will treasure forever. The hand cut and painted metal ornaments are so funky and fun and already on the tree. I will have to do a whole post gushing about the vintage textiles I found but here are a couple of images of the 2 Japanese indigo pieces I scored. One is kind of like a caftan and the other is the most beautiful kimono.

Giving it some thought, I am realizing this thrifting habit is a really huge part of our lifestyle. I just can't bring myself to buy new for the things I know are waiting for me at the thrift. A big part of it is obviously financial but I am also keenly aware of the larger implications of human consumption. Its daunting to look at the aisles and aisles of nearly new THINGS basically discarded and not think we've all kind of lost our sense. Beside all that this is in my blood; I come from a long line of collectors, crunchy folk, and spendthrifts. 

This 7x10 ft vintage Egyptian wool rug was $75 through a local estate sale website. 

This 7x10 ft vintage Egyptian wool rug was $75 through a local estate sale website. 

So many of my favorite things, things I use nearly every day have come from these spots.  My love for the vintage, the funky, the handcrafted is almost always satisfied within the jumbled shelves, the dusty corners, the cobwebbed closets.  There is something so satisfying to me in the cyclical pattern created when we buy secondhand. What feels so fresh and relevant to me now was that way for someone else 60 years ago. Everything old is new again.

One of the new LeCreuset pots getting put to use for cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving. 

One of the new LeCreuset pots getting put to use for cranberry sauce this Thanksgiving. 

Are you a thrifter? Let me know if you live close by, I'll dish on some of my favorite spots. Just don't let me see you snagging the good stuff before I get there!

 

SUNDAY NOTES + RECENT FAVS

Huzzah! November 1st already! October, where'd ya go? It was kind of a blur. I had lots of work projects- a few start to finish and a few I am just beginning. There was a fabulous (but short) girl's trip to the North Georgia mountains. I had a birthday! My husband temporarily immobilized himself with a back injury and thankfully quickly recovered. A few dramatic home repairs reared their ugly heads. Is there anything less exciting than a septic system to drop a ton of money on? Yipes. What else?  I actually went out and had some fabulous dates with old friends at new to me Atlanta joints in Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market. I used Uber for the first time! I was such a dork and totally didn't get how it worked but am now convinced its the best thing ever. I started a series of minor surgeries last week which has me in the Dr. office every single day. More than anything the scheduling is an epic pain in the ass. Taking care of yourself is hard work people! Thankful for flexibility and help from D and our families or I'd, I dunno, just not do it. 

Anyhoo...welcome November! Atlanta is crazy beautiful in the fall. This year was kind of weird with summer hanging on for little too long. We had tons of rain, some unseasonably warm, then unseasonably cold days, and wrapped it up with full transition to glorious fall colors in less than a week. Halloween last night was so much fun-my mom went all out and made the girls really fabulous witch and wizard costumes. Our neighborhood has a fun little shindig and giant turnout of trick or treaters so we had a great night with neighbors and friends. Unfortunately my sweet Wizard woke up in the night with a raging fever so we're laying low and starting off this new month with lazing about and art making around the house. 

My girls in their fabulous Grandma-made costumes

My girls in their fabulous Grandma-made costumes

RECENT FAVS:

AREPA MIA, DECATUR: I forgot how much I love this little place. They cook up some killer Venezualen food. We had the vegetarian arepa and their chicken & veggie soup today. Amazing. Check em out if you're ever in our 'hood! 

A MODERN NATURAL DYER: I adore Kristine Vejar's Oakland shop, A Verb For Keeping Warm. Its a little slice of textile heaven in Oakland, CA. Her new book is all about natural dyes and it looks beautiful and comprehensive. I've done a lot with natural dyes but its been years and I look forward to learning from her. The styling and design are spot on!

INSTANT POT: I feel sorry for anyone who has stood still near me long enough to get me started on this thing! I can't shut up when I'm in love. We recently lost our slow cooker, rice cooker, and pressure cooker and this replaced them all! Dried beans to perfectly al dente in 30 minutes. Spuds to mashed potatoes in 10! Perfectly gelatinous bone broth in under 2 hours. Seriously fabulous addition to the kitchen.

DOOR SIXTEEN: Well dang! I have followed Anna's blog for so long and have always loved seeing NY from her viewpoint. So stoked to discover the Southwest through her eyes! 

A PROPER STOVETOP MOKA: We've had a stovetop percolator for years and I always just sort of wing the method. Going to have to try the proper Italian method outlined here. Come over and I'll make you a cup. 

THE NEW YORKER RADIO HOUR: Podcasts & New Yorker! Together at last! So far, so good.