Christmas Lite: Diminished Decorating for Curious Paws

Longtime readers of The Thrift Shop Romantic know I tend to go all out when Christmas comes around, with decorated theme trees in most of my rooms and no surface left undecked.

But this year, with the addition of my kittens Alice and Harry (particularly Harry) I am unsure how delicate decor will fare under the attentions of curious paws. For to them life is bright and new and terribly, terribly battable.

Yes, Harry, I am talking about you...

So I'm planning on doing Christmas Lite this year, with only one main tree in my livingroom and decked in shatterproof Christmas balls-- just to be on the safe side.

I'm trying to keep most temptations up off the floor and away from tasting tongues and poking paws.

I'm going with a sort of candy-colored theme this year in my diningroom... layering red, mint-green and pink onto my table and mantle...
My opalescent Moonstone Anchor Hocking china seemed a frosting-like contrast to the sweet colors.

And it gave me a chance to display some cardboard houses that look tempting, but likely taste a bit bland...

You can see a close-up of those here...
Shatterproof balls in a bowl feature as the centerpiece...
And three different colored tablecloths get a tiered petticoat look when secured with a vintage pin...This allows me to have red in the usually pink and mint-green color scheme of the room, without it being too dominant.

In the entryway to the room's left, I've swagged some simple garland along with bottlebrush wreaths from an end of last season clearance...

And my usual transferware pieces on this shelf are replaced with more cardboard village pieces...
Ah, but still, even with the best laid plans, you cannot predict what will happen when Godzilla rises from the deep to stomp the Christmas village...
Fortunately, all the villagers seem all right-- just suffering from a little post-traumatic stress.

Now I'm wondering what it will be like when I set up the tree...

Wish me luck!

Turkey Tray Wednesday: TSR's Thanks, Tips and Travel Humor

Since the Treasure Box for this week isn't full of any thrifted goodies-- what with there being no time for thriftin' fun-- I thought I would leave you this Thanksgiving holiday with a great big helping of holiday humor from my humor blog Of Cabbages and Kings.

Savor 'em one at a time, or devour 'em in one big bite. But just keep a few antacids on hand, because even the most savory Cabbage can do a number on ya if you chew too fast.

  • Giving Thanks, Cabbages-Style. I've put together a very special list of the things that I've been grateful for in the past year which are actually 100% unrelated to things like turkeys, family, or parades where giant Snoopys stomp Manhattan like beagle-shaped Godzillas. Perhaps you might even join me in a few of them! Click here.
  • Tips to Liven Up Thanksgiving. At every family get-together, there's always that one person who makes a real statement. Like Uncle Joey who brings a case of beer he drinks himself all before half-time and then begins to regale everyone with the history of the combustion engine. Or Aunt Clara who isn't speaking to Aunt Betty since the Chestnut Stuffing Schism of 1987. But this year, why not make that memorable party guest... you? Click here.
  • How Not to Annoy Airport Security. Making your life easier with helpful tips for getting through airport security without annoying them-- and molesting you. (Amusingly, I wrote this two years before this year's Dave Barry groping incident.) Click here.

And while I have you all here, I'd like to wish my American readers a very happy Thanksgiving, filled with all good things. I appreciate each and every one of you for stopping by this year.

(And to paraphrase Arlo Guthrie in Alice's Restaurant, I hope you have a Thanksgiving dinner-- or two-- that couldn't be beat!)

Treasure Box Wednesday: Sales and Surprises

This past Sunday, my dad had some errands to run, so we decided to wrap them around a short trip to one of his favorite antiquing places, the L&L Fleatique in Adamsburg. He's found some "guy stuff" goodies there in the past, so there was no reason not to give it a whirl.

It turns out, a number of their vendors were having sales, up to half-off. So this pink French salad bowl-- part of a Depression glass-style set I have from the 1970s-- ended up being 50% off...
And this cute cast iron doorstop featuring kittens with strange noses was also on discount!
On the way back, that's when we noticed the Goodwill Outlet Center in North Versailles was open. "Do you want to go?" asked Dad with a bit of a glimmer in his eye.

Oh yes. Yes, I did. :) And that's where I found this lusterware teacup...
And this pretty tin, printed with scenes illustrating the four seasons which my cat Alice is kindly showcasing for you all...
All in all, a very fun, successful thrifting week!

So, that about puts a lid on this Treasure Box. And as always, thanks for joining me on my thrifting journeys. I appreciate you stopping by and being a part of it!

Goodwill Outlet Store -and- Wild About Harry

Well, it's been a very merry weekend-- for two reasons.

Let's go to the real thrifty news first.

Now in North Versailles, PA, across Route 30 from the location of the Good Samaritan Thrift Store, Rossi's Pop-up Flea Market and-- to speak in legitimate Pittsburghese-- "Where the Old Ames Department Store Used to Be," is a brand new Goodwill Outlet Store, which just opened November 10.

It's a huge building where everything that didn't sell at their stores in a certain time is sold by the pound. Housewares, furniture, clothes, etc. (I believe there is special pricing for things like electronics.)

Anyway, for local folks who miss the Goodwill that used to be there in North Versailles, across the street, I think you'll find this a pleasure. I'll have to get some contact information for it and update my Thrift Store Listings for the area.

I'm curious, for folks not in our region, have you ever been to a Goodwill Outlet Store? Are there others across the country?

Anyway, next-- I brought home something secondhand of a different nature... Four-month-old black-and-white kitten, Harry, from the local no-kill animal shelter, Animal Friends.

My resident kitten, eight-month-old Alice has been unnaturally grateful to see me when I return home evenings. This seems to have happened after a month where my Dad was there during the day keeping her company. While I love that she misses me so much, the fawning, over-relieved attention she pays me seems a little unhealthy for her. (Or perhaps she's a dog in disguise.) So I thought she might benefit from a little buddy.

Harry has much of Alice's personality-- friendly, happy and playful. So far their initial introductions have gone very well.

I have been informed by friends that two cats doesn't yet make me a Crazy Cat Lady. Crazy, perhaps. Owning cats, yes. But Crazy Cat Lady has apparently an Exceeding Two Cats threshold.

I'm apparently on the brink. :)

And for those who are curious, yes, Harry was named for Harry Potter. It just seemed to balance out well with the other kitten, named for Alice in Wonderland. I tried other literary names, but kinda thought "Atticus Finch" was a little too much nobility to weigh on a four month old kitten.

To all you thrifters and crazy cat ladies and secondhand pet adopters and all my other beloved friends out there, have a great week until I see your shiny faces again, perhaps, for Wednesday's post.

Treasure Box Wednesday: The Vase with No Name

"I've been through the thrift store for a vase with no name
It was good to get out of the rain
In the thrift store, you'll be glad that ya came
'Cause there ain't but one vase, yup, no two's the same"

--With huge apologies to the band America's "Horse with No Name"

Yesssir, on Treasure Box Wednesday here at the Thrift Shop Romantic, you not only get to see thrifted goodies, you get really bad takeoffs on popular 70s music, too!

Aren't you glad you stopped by? :)

Actually, I was really glad I stopped by the Salvation Army Superstore in West Mifflin over the weekend-- a brief trip between errands-- because I came across this pretty, old, art nouveau influenced pottery vase...

(The one on the left.)

With its celadon color and matte finish, I had a sneaking suspicion it was unmarked McCoy...

And a check of my McCoy collecting book proved that was true! A piece from around 1935.

While I was taking photos this morning, I thought I'd also show you the other side of the top of that same tall, built-in cabinet. Two more McCoy styled pieces live there. The red one on the left is also unmarked, and it came originally from the Goodwill in Irwin, PA. The green piece on right is marked McCoy, and it came from the L&L Fleatique just down the road from Irwin, in Adamsburg...
I didn't get them at the same time, though. :)

Anyway, it just goes to show, if you like something and it's at the right price, you don't necessarily have to worry about the manufacturer... Make sure you have the right resource books and consider taking a chance.

You might just find you have an even bigger treasure than you expected!

Treasure Box Wednesday: Treasuring Bad Art

To follow our recent kitsch theme here on Treasure Box Wednesday, I could think of nothing more likely to put a smile on your face and a snicker on your lips than a little trip to the Museum of Bad Art (MOBA)-- America's collection of well-meaning yet not-quite-right works on canvas. Above is just one example-- the MOBA's Mona Lisa of sorts, "Lucy in the Field with Flowers."

Because YouTube wouldn't let me embed the file, I will include the link to this tongue-in-cheek art exhibition here:

Having commited a few examples of bad art myself-- (I am particularly proud of "Moody Blue Pepper in Otherwise Monochrome Still Life")-- I can completely identify how good intentions can go wrong... so very, very wrong.

Hope your week goes very, very right-- and I'll see you perhaps again on Sunday!