I guess the theme this go ’round is pink and jade. If I could only get my hands on that striped dress on the cover of that record, le swoon!
The Nags Head pennant will be included in the shop update on November 3rd along with about a dozen other vintage pennants!
I’m hard at work on a large (and might I add rather awesome) shop update scheduled for Monday, November 3rd.
Here’s your first teaser… THERE WILL BE CAMERAS!
I mentioned that this update will include some wonderful collections of vintage goods so get ready! Tell a friend! More sneak peeks to come soon…
Life feels busy. I often fall into the trap of thinking that I just can’t wait until this phase of being extra busy passes, and things calm down again. But really, stuff always comes up. Kids are active. They come with field trips and school fund raisers and dirty laundry and homework. There are work trips involving cross country flights and bathroom renovations and out of town guests. There’s never ending yard work and cars that need to be cleaned out and trips to the grocery store. There are wildcards like dentist appointments, 20th high school reunions, sick relatives and weddings. It’s best to just accept it: THINGS ARE NEVER NOT BUSY. Life throws stuff at you every day. You better be ready for it.
The studio search continues but since I last wrote, I ended up doubling my space at the antique mall. The timing was perfect – right before the holiday season and all. So I’ve been keeping myself plenty busy getting lots of new inventory prepped and ready to bring over on the first of November. Additionally, I’ve been working hard on a giant Etsy shop update, tentatively scheduled for November 3rd. One thing all online vintage sellers are familiar with is the fall and winter light chasing game. Yes, the days are shorter, but also the light is just different. (Hence the photo studio search) The good news is that after 5 days of crazy rain + foggy days last week, I scored sunny days over the weekend which meant nice bright light for shop photos. I’m babbling on (I think I’m out of practice after not blogging for almost the whole month!) but the point is: Giant Shop Update is in the works and things are looking really good for 11/3. Get ready for teaser images to start coming at you this week. I’ve got a lot of great inventory collected and I’m parting ways with a few of my own most treasured collections. It’ll be a collection of collections! Lots of great stuff.
I baked my buns off over the weekend. I lost count but somewhere around 5-6 dozen cupcakes for my son’s school. I also roasted a butternut squash, made a chicken stock for soup this week and caught a little cold. On top of it all, both kids had a friend spend the night (see? Busy.) So suffice it to say, our house was noisy but it smelled great.
I’m off to pick up a chair. I scored a pretty vintage sofa + matching chair set last week for a steal and I can’t wait to share it with you. Dreamiest color, y’all.
Have a great day!
Something exciting: I’m on the hunt for a studio space to rent. Historic charm is a plus, but I’ll totally settle for a clean, simple light filled space. Somewhere I can shoot photos for the shop and not worry about constantly creeping on our living space, which I’ve only been doing for the last decade. Vintage dealers who work at home know exactly what I’m talking about.
Wish me luck! I’ve got to get out of my poorly lit basement!
Denim jacket season is here, can I get a whoop, whoop! I love this kind of outfit because it requires little thought and it’s totally comfortable. I could wear a variation of this every day with no complaints, it’s that easy. Of course you can always count on me to pattern mix, even just a little bit.
In other news, I am exhausted, guys. And it’s MONDAY :: queue maniacal laughter :: Chinese take out for the win. TGFCT!
denim jacket, Gap + chevron dress, thrifted + vintage mother brooch, antique mall + handbag, Orla Kiely (my favorite every day bag!) + leggings, Target + booties, Seychelles. These boots were my very favorite boots last year and I just spied a cheetah version !!! Meow, they are calling my name.
This post contains two affiliate links! I think I get a couple pennies thrown in a bucket if you should purchase one of them. Certainly not enough to pay my mortgage, but maybe someday it’ll help to offset the server + hosting costs associated with running MSC. I use these links sparingly and would never recommend anything I didn’t think you’d like!
Hi friends! I’m happy to be here with something new today. I think that one of the best things about the internet is making friends + creating like minded communities. I absolutely love to work with and promote small businesses, so I’m super excited to kick off this new series doing just that. From time to time, I’ll be featuring some fine folks and small business people here in a little getting-to-know-you feature I’m calling SHOP HOP. These posts are not sponsored, so you can trust that the shops I choose to share with you are ones I truly love!
First up, I’m so happy to welcome the lovely ladies from Free Kittens Vintage here for a little chat. Enjoy!
Mollie and Annie! So excited to have you ladies here. My first big oh-so-important question: When were you bit by The Bug?
MOLLIE: My dad was a big yard saler and trash picker when we were really little, and then my mom got hooked, so he took on the curmudgeonly “Do we really need all of these rocking chairs?” role. But my mom and I went every weekend to nearly every sale listed in the small town paper. Sweet old men and women selling us vintage textiles in tidy bundles, jars of things, beautiful glassware and pottery, and of course the occasional rack of beautiful clothes. We always shopped at thrift stores out of necessity (there were six kids in the house!), and I remember a brief stint of feeling ashamed about second-hand clothes in middle school (kids can be so mean about clothes and trends!) but then going through my grunge phase in high school and taking thrifting back up with a melancholy in-your-face attitude. The Salvation Army in our town had Trash Bag Day once a week on which you could stuff a trash bag of clothing for ONE DOLLAR. Every vintage thing came home with me, I’m pretty sure. I have always just hated letting anything that is beautiful languish at the thrift.
ANNIE: My mom has always been really into antiques for as long as I can remember and she always took us antiquing with her. When I was a teenager, I really got into thrifting since the prices were so great and finding vintage amongst all the piles was so thrilling. I’ve been hooked ever since! Maybe 15 years?
JENNY: Same deal for me! I have memories of being about 13 years old and going antiquing with my mom. I tried on this amazing vintage blue velvet cocktail gown and I was hooked. Just like that.
Tell me a little about your shop!
Both of us have been thrifting for ever and one of the sadder thrifting situations is having to leave behind a beautiful garment because it doesn’t fit you or anyone you know. I mean, one can only buy so many pieces of beautiful clothing with no intention of ever wearing and no way of really storing such a collection. So, triumphantly buying and then selling vintage was the perfect solution to both keep us thrifting all the pretty things without guilt. We opened up last November with a local vintage pop-up collaboration before we started our Etsy store this past January. The name came up when Mollie was helping Annie come up with cute phrases (such as “Free Kittens”) to paint on some kid t-shirts for a craft show. When the time came for us to name the vintage shop, we both loved that phrase. And we think that the idea of affordable vintage that has been beautifully curated by real vintage lovers kind of has the same, irresistable appeal as a basket of furry, free kittens. Interestingly, we do get occasional messages on Facebook asking us if we still have any of the Free Kittens available.
JENNY: I love it! How funny that you get requests for actual free kittens! I think deciding on a name is so hard. I’ve been known to take three weeks to name a pet! When I started this blog last October, I almost gave up because do you know how hard it is to buy a domain in 2014?! H-A-R-D hard. Every little combination of words I would feel excited by with was taken. And then one day just after Christmas, I was washing our “good china” and I had the plate flipped over to read “Mikasa” and I was like BING! Ran to the computer and happily found Mikasa Su Casa was available. I loved that it was a little tip of the hat to something vintage, as well as a nod to my Panamanian roots.
What era do you love most?
M: I love housewares, textiles and furniture from the 1930s through the 1960s. I love the 50s and 60s for clothing, and I do always check for 70s high-waisted, denim bells on the jeans rack even though it’s a fruitless search. One thing that I love about the 50s and 60s is the impeccable stitching and design. Most pieces that I find from those eras were machine or handmade by a very competent seamstress, and whether she worked in a factory or made it at home, it was done well and with pride. That becomes harder to find as things began to be sent overseas to be made, so it’s hit or miss for me in the 80s and 90s.
A: Oh, that’s a tough one, I love midcentury housewares and furniture, but as far as clothing goes, I usually gravitate to 70s and 80s since they seem to flatter my figure best. I love any kind of vintage blouse that actually buttons over my bosom, but especially ones that have dots on them or secretary bows (the other name makes me blush).
J: This is no surprise, I’m a pretty die hard mid century gal. As for clothing, I love the way a 50s fit + flare style dress works on me and I obviously love me some Danish Modern furniture and design. Lately though, I’ve been smitten with some things from the early 1900s-teens, like vintage ephemera and such. Little calling cards and pretty books and photographs. There’s something so beautiful about the tiny details in the artwork, the colors and type.
I’m curious about your hunting process. I’ve always worked alone so I’m a little jealous of your partnership!
We usual thrift on our own because it’s easier to just pop-in while running other errands, but we do love a good Memorial Day 1/2 off plunder of our favorite Goodwills in town. Estate sales are fun to do together, too. And we do hit up the by-the-pound thrift (affectionally dubbed “The Pound” between us) together because it’s super fun! and also because alone we do not have the upper body strength to dig through the mountainous heaps of sweatpants from 2002 to get to the real gold underneath and in between. Mollie does all of the photographs and does the Etsy shop maintenance: creates the listings, replies to convos, and the bookkeeping. Annie beautifully packages the pretties and takes them to the post. She is also a stain-be-gone genius and removes Joan’s red lipstick stains from secretary blouses and Betty’s coffee splatters from afternoon skirts. We try to conquer the measuring tasks together, and there have been long evenings of ironing and steaming in preparation for pop-up shops and vintage parties.
J: Oh man, what I wouldn’t give to have someone tag team the measuring with me. Sometimes I pay my 13 yo to help me power through a big pile when I’m working on a larger update and that speeds things up quite a bit!
When you walk into a thrift store, what section do you hit first? I almost always hit either the dress rack or the housewares section first, and then there’s a pretty regular order to follow.
M: I do a quick bop around the store and try not to get distracted or over-stimulated by all of the treasures I’m sure to find. Then I settle in and swing by housewares and furniture, shoes and bags, and then dive into the clothes: a clean sweep down the dollar rack, then on to dresses, blouses, skirts, and kids clothes. I usually only have short pop-ins, but sometimes those are the very best.
A: I usually check the shoes because they are in the front, then dresses because they are the most exciting, then housewares and then blouses, then whatever else I have time for. I’ve gotten pretty good at scanning and picking out patterns or styles that might be a vintage style I’d like.
J: I used to have this method where I would literally slide every hanger, looking at every piece on the rack. And now I’ve gotten so lazy (Ahem! I mean, so skilled!) that for the most part, I just quickly scan with my eyes. Over the years, it’s become pretty easy to pick out a vintage piece based on colors, patterns and textures – even if you are only able to see whatever slice of the garment is peeking out from a crowded rack – I’m sure you guys know exactly what I’m talking about!
Do you have a best/favorite find story?
M: That’s actually really hard. I think that I really get excited about the thing that I’ve just found and I think, “This Indian embroidered dress is the best thing I’ve ever found! This stackable yellow Kartell chair is the best thing I’ve ever found! This vintage Le Klint hand-bent plastic lamp is the best thing I’ve ever found!” I also just love, love LOVE a good deal, a steal, a bargain, a miracle find. I really don’t know if anything else sends me walking on cloud 9 like that.
A: Hmmmm, the by-the-pound Goodwill clearance center is usually the best. You walk in and all those big bins of cast aways are there waiting for you to start digging through them for treasure. There’s so much awful stuff that you feel like you’ll never find anything good, ever, then all of a sudden you catch a glimpse of something that might be really really awesome, and it turns out that it’s a tiny, gold wool coat from the 50s with darling buttons, a beautiful tag, and fur around the collar, and its in perfect condition. AND you have a daughter that will fit in it a couple years. The best part is it only costs a few cents because you went with your best friend on a Sunday everything is half off. So you go home with a giant bag of things and when your husband sees it you can tell him it only costs $5 for everything.
J: I know that feeling well! Of course I have had my crazy finds over the years: a catherineholm bowl for 55 cents, a beautiful Lilli Ann coat for $6, oodles of 50s + 60s Wonder Books from the kid’s book bin for 25 cents a pop… the list goes on. I’m so with you girls – VIVA LA THRIFT LIFE!
Thanks for being here today, Mollie + Annie! I loved chatting + getting to know you more.
A LITTLE BIT MORE ABOUT MOLLIE + ANNIE:
Mollie Greene lives in a sprawling mid-century house on a hill and in the trees in Greenville, South Carolina with her handsome photographer husband, Aaron Greene, and her four darling chidren Henry, Jude, Lola and Dot. She spends her days teaching her kids, cleaning her house, and taking pictures with her Leica. By night she occasionally blogs, but mostly makes pretty things from paper for her Etsy shop, Royal Buffet, and sometimes she writes paper craft books like the self-published Make & Do (2011) and Sweet Paper Crafts (2013) published by Chronicle Books. Her house is full of snacks, music, curiosities, pretty collections, books and quite a few things that have been stashed away until the baby stops wildly exploring everything she can get her dear little chubby hands on. She loves the thrill of the thrift store, the hunt, the excavation, and the high she gets from strong coffee and a thrift cart full of midcentury prizes. She’s worn vintage clothes since high school, lots of eyeliner sporadically, and thinks secretary blouses, pleated skirts, and mexican dresses look best on her bod, especially when paired with modern clothes like skinny jeans, or some always-awesome Doc Marten boots.
Annie Koelle grew up in Buffalo, NY and loves snow. She now lives in Greenville SC, down the road from Mollie Greene and her party house and she thinks it’s a good place to be. Her husband, Chris Koelle, is an amazing artist, who pays the bills with illustrations, draws awesome botanicals in his spare moments, and is her favorite guy: she wouldn’t trade him for the world. They have two children, Marshall, the lego lover who is six, and Pearl, the walking baby doll who is two. She loves them both to the moon and back. In her heart and her brain she is foremost a painter and thinks about painting seventy-five percent of the time. When she is cleaning, she thinks about painting. When she is outside, she is painting clouds in her head. When she is taking a walk, she is looking for paintings. But thrifting is a pretty good distraction: she can thrift and not paint in her brain. She loves working vintage into her home, most of her walls are white so she can switch her collected beauties around without too much clashing. The truth is, she doesn’t have a huge collection of vintage clothes since she can’t wear too many: her butt and her boobs kind of get in the way, but she can usually find a pretty blouse that fits to wear with a pair of good jeans and some vintage shoes to strut around in. She doesn’t mind the curves and is so glad that these days, we girls don’t wear girdles!
FIND THEM ELSEWHERE:
Pop on over to Free Kittens for a visit! M + A are kindly offering MSC readers a 10% discount through 10/8. Use discount code MIKASASUCASA at checkout!
When it comes to a mid century chair, I’m as helpless as a kitten up a tree. If I spy one for a steal, it’s pretty certain that within minutes, I’m loading that sucker into the back of my wagon. I have no room in my house for more vintage chairs but do you think that stops me? Please. Thankfully, I have my shop for such overflow situations. Otherwise, Mr Eames, we might have a problem. Or we could have one heck of a cocktail party! Chairs for all! Side note: I once scored a Bertoia Diamond (pictured below) at a yard sale for a song. Did the happy dance right then and there, folks.
A beautifully designed mid century chair is a little piece of art. Are they as comfortable as a big ol’ Lazy Boy? Well, duh! You’re not going to kick back in one for a viewing of LOTR or anything. But they’re infinitely more stylish than their oversized plush cousin and for conversational sitting they get the job done.
Of course there are the big guns with the price tags to go along with them: Set your sights on anything from Charles and Ray Eames, Harry Bertoia, Arne Jacobsen and Eero Saarinen be prepared to bust out your Visa. Fret not, though. Plenty of others from that era can still be found for a next to nothing. Unless maybe, you live somewhere like California – sorry guys, but you get the weather!
Next time you’re at an estate sale or even a yard sale, keep your eye open for something that looks like it came out of The Jetson’s living room. Good lines and wooden arms + legs. Never mind if the upholstery isn’t your first choice, that can always be changed! Sometimes the makeover jobs can be fairly simple. In fact, I’ve got a little before and after of two 5 dollar estate sale finds to share with you soon.
For now? Let’s swoon over these pretties together, shall we?
Is your heart being a little bit faster? Mine totally is.
most of these images can be found in my A CHAIR THING pinboard // I’ve done my best to link original image sources but honestly, it’s a rabbit hole these days. Not sure what to do with the ‘pinned by pinner’ stuff.
Estate sale finds: a dead-stock pair of California Magdesians + a pretty polka dotted scarf + a Keely Smith album with the cutest little illustrations on the backside + vintage portraits to add to my growing collection + a beautiful cocktail hat + a lovely little beaded clutch + a rhinestone Mother pin. Now all I need is a couple of teeny pictures to put inside the little heart locket.
On a personal note – It’s been a very busy couple of weeks for me – filled with extreme highs and extreme lows. I had hoped to be back into the swing of things here at Mikasa and obviously that didn’t happen. Bear with me, vintage loving friends. I’ll return to regular posting soon. xo
Over the long weekend, we finally tackled phase one of our kid’s bathroom renovation project. Can I get a HALLELUJAH! We bought our house 8 years ago, and while we absolutely love the vintage charm of the original tile bathrooms in the house, the truth is that we weren’t ever really in love with the peach and mocha color scheme in this particular bathroom. I remember my then 5 year old son groaning a just a little bit about having a pink bathroom when we first moved in.
Anyhow, it’s taken us 8 years to get around to it for a number of reasons, probably the biggest of which is that it’s just uncharted territory. A big mess of fear and indecisiveness. The other reasons being, hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The truth is, while we didn’t love the color, the bathroom was totally functional and clean. It felt weird to get in their and bust it all up. Also, things like time, cost, and did I mention indecisiveness?
We finally just decided to take the plunge after the tiles started to crack and fall off the walls at random a few weeks ago. I thought I’d share some images I pinned a while back for inspiration, and as soon as we make some real progress, I’ll share what we’ve done. We’re basically going for mostly white with a touch of black and wood. So far we have all the tiles from the floor and walls removed, the sink and countertop has been pulled and the walls are down to the studs in the areas they need to be. I’m still combing the internet for lighting and the perfect sink. Apparently I have really expensive taste when it comes to wall mounted sinks. sigh
One thing I know for certain is the flooring. I am so ridiculously excited about white hex with black daisy pattern tile. I saw this picture in my Instagram feed a while back and was instantly sold, and lucky me, my whole family was on board. My brother in law who is a professional tile guy is coming from Wyoming for two weeks to help us out with this big project, I am so excited I could spit!
more images from my bathroom inspiration board HERE
This past week, with the big transition back into the school year, timed oh-so-perfectly with my sweetie being in SF for work all week, I was kind of directionless. Well, really I was going in all sorts of directions and basically I didn’t know which way was up. Suddenly, I was in the throws of school pick up lines and car pools and field trips and picture days and the cooking of all the meals, the cleaning of all the dishes, the giving of all the baths, the feeding of all the animals, the answering of all the questions, YOU GET MY DRIFT.
I’ve found that I have a hard time making sense of the sudden “me time” once the kids have gone back to school. Picture me walking around like a zombie with ADD. End of summer blues? I’ve definitely been in some sort of mean funk creatively and inspirationally and energetically and all other allys. I needed a quickie project to get my juices flowing again. The painting of the entryway and the blogging of the painting of the entryway is doing the trick, I think. Let’s hope. Do you ever find that when you haven’t done something in a while, it’s oddly difficult to get back into it? I don’t know what it is with me and blogging but I’m just like, feast or famine man. Never been able to strike that balance.
Anyhow, besides all that – a change of season brings on a certain itch to switch for me. Whether it’s moving furniture, doing a great purge, changing up a little display or full-on busting out some paint, it’s an itch that must be scratched every now and again lest I go cray-cray. Side note: kids can scuff up some walls! You don’t notice it until you notice it and then you’re like yeowza!
I’m a big fan of a project that I can start and finish (or mostly finish) in a day. Since I already had both the white and black paint on hand from previous projects, this one was a no brainer. No cost to me but a little time, yippee!
Another side note: I took these photos with my iPhone, so the lighting is a little wonky. The wall color is a bright white, and definitely not muddy peach. If I wait to bust out my Nikon, and professional lighting kit (hah) it might be never y’all.
I decided to keep the whole thing pretty simple and just hung the vintage EXIT sign above the door and bulletin board that I picked up at an antique mall ages ago. My intention is to switch up the quotes + sayings every so often. For now, this one is working for me.
I also put a fresh coat of black paint on that little table. It was previously blue and I like it a whole lot better this way.
I think this will be a happy place for my Maidenhair fern. Crossing fingers, she’s been struggling lately.
Overall, it’s a pretty simple switch. I have one last little touch that I’m planning to add but I’m awaiting shipment. I’ll share when it arrives!
Hopefully after all this, I’ll be back next week like some sort of blogging maniac who can’t be stopped!
Happy weekend, friends.
See the old entryway here.