A Very Merry Unbirthday to YOU!: the Lewis Carroll Party

Happy Unbirthday!!!

What-- you didn't know it was your Unbirthday? Well, it comes around so quickly, I can see where you might be surprised to find it here so soon. It's my Unbirthday, too! And his... and hers...

So the preparations are made and the flamingos are just waiting for the post-tea game of croquet-- have a seat! Pour yourself a spot of something nice from this bottle marked "Drink Me."

Okay, okay... you found me out. This is all actually just a bit of silliness for my friend Josette who comes to visit each year. This past year has been very rough for her personally-- and with Dad passing, mine hasn't exactly been the Queen's rose garden, either-- and I figured we both needed an extra dose of levity for this upcoming long weekend of antiquing and catching up.

So I thought I'd put all my Fiestaware and Alice in Wonderland-inspired decor to use for a whimsical theme that might make my friend laugh a little...
She already knows I'm quite mad, so that part won't be a surprise.

The Unbirthday lettering came from the dollar store, as did the red and white rose garland. I thought the giant Fiestaware cocoa cup versus the normal-sized teacup gave a nice Wonderland effect. The Mad Hatter-like "hat" lampshades were the Tuesday Morning finds that started me off-and-running with this idea.

The checkerboard mantle "runner" and the placemats are actually laminate floor tiles I glued together; they came from the dollar store, too.
I think there's just something about the quirky art deco lines of Fiestaware that sets the right tone... The little heart-shaped ice cream bowls came from Tuesday Morning; they're not Fiesta.

I'm in the process of making little theme cakes that are covered in fondant, but I'm not sure if they'll turn out. I've never worked with fondant before, so if they aren't too scary to look at, I'll share those with you folks later.

Wish me luck!

While I remember, a Little Short Fiction For You

While I know, sci-fi/fantasy isn't necessarily everyone's cup of tea, I thought some of you good folks might enjoy a little space adventure short story I published recently on my humor blog.

The tale uses two characters from the humorous space fantasy novel I'm currently working to get published.

Anyway, if you have a minute and are looking for a chuckle, you can check the short story out by clicking here... It's called "The Hyphiz Deltan Job."

I'll be back to decorative and thrifty goodies later in the week. I'm working on a surprise for my friend Josette who will be visiting over Memorial Day. Woo-hoo!!


Thrifting Using the Buddy System

Recent resale adventures proved that, while garage saling and thrifting with a buddy is always more enjoyable, if you have a savvy friend, it can also be more effective for finding the stuff you're looking for.

At the recent annual Regent Square neighborhood yard sale, two sets of eyes were definitely better than one, for both myself and my friend Scoobie!

Oh, I did okay on my own to begin with; it wasn't long into our yard saling journey, for instance, that I spied-- and subsequently nabbed-- this table with fun legs...
No, really... Table with "fun legs"...

But later on that block, my eyes were not quite so keen as to spy this nifty Alice in Wonderland tea towel...
"Um, don't you want that?" asked Scoobie, knowing well my Alice-themed kitchen. Also, the tea towel was $0.50!

I had my money out so fast! The towel seems to be a souvenir from "Alice's Shop" at Oxford University.

Scoobie was also indispensable when we encountered these pink Fiestaware sandwich plates...
I was distracted by other goodies, while these were apparently right under my nose.

Like the tea towel, they were in my hands quickly, because the price turned out to be seven for $5!

Now I came across a few of these other goodies on my own, such as this cute bag of four pewter Mad Hatter chess pieces...
(There were no other pieces to the set, just these. They remind me of those Easter Island heads all lined up like this.)

A pair of suncatchers were just $0.50 a piece...
And the Mifflin Church Rummage sale rustled up two pretty vintage tablecloths in grey, purple and green.But I think my favorite part of our day-- other than getting to sit down after walking about 20 miles o'er hill and dale-- was that I got a chance to return the favor to Scoobie for her keen goodie-spotting.

I knew from previous shopping endeavors that she'd wanted one of those pottery Christmas trees that plug in and are covered with little bulb ornaments. Her great-grandmother had had one and they are a fond memory to her.

Well, on about our last leg of the journey (and literally, our own last legs), I saw one sitting on a table on an elevated yard. "Didn't you want a tree?"

Turns out, the tree and all of its ornaments was just $3. The price was right, and good shopping karma was with her.

So lesson learned. Take friends with you. Make a day of it. And don't forget to let them know what you're looking for. Because you never know-- four eyeballs may prove far better than two.

One last order of business today, speaking of buddies...

My friend Claire has opened up her own business of drawing cheerful customized "doodle" artwork for special occasions, gifts, etc.

I thought you all might enjoy checking out her site-- The Doodologist.

Have a great weekend!

Huzzahs for the Thrift King Thrift Store

(Insert trumpet fanfare here: Da-da-DAAAAAA!) Here ye, here ye, Pittsburgh area thrift fans! There is a new thrift store in town, right off Route 30, at 100 Lowry Street in Jeannette... And it is called: The Thrift King!

I popped in there last Sunday, tempted by the sheer size of the store, and I was not disappointed. While I may not have purchased anything this particular run, what I did find was selection and great presentation.

First of all, picture aisles you could actually move down while someone passed you with a cart. This is unheard of in the world of thrift stores in my area. I've grown accustomed to being run over by enthused shoppers overcome by the tunnel vision which can accompany serious thrifting.

The clothes, too, seemed to be in great condition, and the shoes were seriously tempting-- lots of newer styles still appropriate for today.

The furniture section was serious-- it's own room and filled with options. There are shelves of housewares, books at the back, and more collectible stuff and jewelry in cases up front.

All in all, a really bright clean store. So I will definitely be hitting this again on my Route 30 travels.

Their hours are Monday through Saturday 9am to 7:30pm and Sunday 11am to 5:30pm.

Their address is 100 Lowry Avenue, Hempfield Township, PA 15644 and their phone is 724-374-5011. You can check out their web site at www.thethriftking.com

NOW for one other order of business today...

Here's your chance to help out a fellow Thrift Shop Romantic reader...

Does anyone here know a reliable person or business who paints furniture using an industrial spray painter in the general Pittsburgh area you'd be willing to recommend? Someone has a dining set that needs a smoothly painted facelift, and I didn't have any recommendations for her myself.

You can either leave a comment here, or email me directly at thriftshopromantic[at]mac.com

Thanks in advance! And Thrift Happy!