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Chinoiserie Chic • Mid Century Modern • Palm Beach Regency Vintage Sales & Rentals

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Filtering by Tag: Austin

De-Stash Bash This Weekend

LeAnn Stephenson



Hi all! I wanted to put a fun event on your radar. Jennifer Perkins is hosting a De-Stash Bash at the TOMS Shoes on S. Congress April 26th from 11-5pm. Her recommendation is to think of it like a group arts and crafts garage sale.

According to Jennifer this event will be like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Etsy and a flea market all rolled into one without the long lines, politics, postage fees and dust. Plus there will be a band and free drinks.

Some of Austin’s craftiest people are coming together to set up shop and help others start their own crafty adventures. Don’t come looking for finished items, this is all about the supplies. The artists involved are clearing out their craft closets for a major de-stash! Here are a few things you might find:  Vintage beads, sewing trim, collage ephemera, yarn, raft books and magazines, fabric (new and vintage), buttons, scrapbook supplies, and jewelry findings.

Vendors include….

Jennifer Perkins formally The Naughty Secretary Club, Anne Marie Beard of AnneMarie: Style for the Individual, Leslie Bonnell of Stitch Lab, Chia of Chia Hats, Sierra Baily of Manic Trout, Lisa Chouinard - Feto Soap, Becka Spellman - Baby Bolt




City Wide Sale This Weekend!

LeAnn Stephenson


When it comes to French Monograms and English 
silver, say yes.  Always say yes!
It's time for City-Wide Garage Sale!  And January's show is huge.  My vintage goodies will be there along with 131 other exhibitors.  The show dates and times are tomorrow, Saturday, January 25, 10 am - 5 pm and Sunday, the 26th, 11 am - 5 pm at the Palmer Events Center, 900 Barton Springs Rd here in Austin.  Admission is $6 for adults and free for ages 12 and under. Early Shopper Passes can be purchased for $10 Saturday morning, giving you early access to the show between 8:30a-10am. 

The Vintage Laundry will be in the third row in  a corner spot in spaces 313 and 320.  Come shop our lovely monogrammed napkins or pick up some silver, a damask tablecloth, or vintage china for that dinner party you've been planning!



Bet you didn't know that Austin's recent snow and ice clouds had silver linings . . . . 

lots and lots of silver linings!



We can actually promise you a rose garden . . .
sure, our roses are on vintage china, but still!


The Vintage Laundry will be in the third row in  a corner spot in spaces 313 and 320


Chew On My Glove?

LeAnn Stephenson



Interesting phone conversation with the Hubbs:


THE HUBBS: Hi my love! What 'cha doin'?  

ME: Who is this?! And how did you get this number?!  

THE HUBS: Umm . . . . what?

 ME: ... Scott? . . . . Oh, I couldn't tell that it was you . . . . I thought you were some pervert saying you were going to chew on my glove . . . . or maybe watch a glove shoved on a dove or . . .

 THE HUBBS: Okay, okay . . . . I get it . . . . WOW, there's something really not right about you, huh?!  

ME: This is what I've been trying to tell you for years.  

THE HUBBS: Why aren't you home yet?  

ME: Because I'm lost in the maze of crap merchandise in the store. And I have the strangest feeling that I'm about to be eaten . . . . . by my own inventory.  

THE HUBBS: Well, of course you do.

 ME: I think I better do City Wide this weekend and have a "$5 Finds For All Kinds" Sale.  

THE HUBBS: Like the $5 Footlong at Subway . . . . clever.  

ME: Yeah, like that . . . . except without the deli-meats and and the plastic gloves.

THE HUBBS: I'm thinkin' this is the weirdest phone conversation we've ever had.  

ME: Not. Even. Close.

The sale is at the Palmer Events Center here in Austin. I'll be set up behind the red skirted info desk. There is a $7 charge to park in the garage or there is a free parking lot at One Texas Center on the Southwest corner of So. First and Barton Springs Road, as well. Pick up a copy of this week's Austin Chronicle for a coupon for $1 off admission found on page 23.

Saturday morning between 8:30 a.m. - 10 a.m., City Wide offers early shopper passes for $10 each. This allows those who so choose to have early access to the show and get first dibs on vendors' merchandise before the general admission customers enter at 10 a.m. I hope you get a chance to come and see me, cuz I have some really marvelous $5 goodies this show! Have a great weekend and I'll see every back here Monday!


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Emerge-Hair-Care and Tire Center

LeAnn Stephenson



The Vintage Laundry Holiday Bizarre and Open House was a huge success! The event gave me the chance to see old friends and make a lot of new ones. Thank you to everyone who attended and participated - you are all greatly appreciated!

One last bit of business before I spin a yarn I'd like to share concerning my failure to announce Day 5's prize and the winner of Day 4 in our Vintage Laundry 5 Day Giveaway. The winner of day 4 was Kate Rowe. Congratulations Kate, you're the winner of the hotel silver creamer! Our final day of the 5 Day Giveaway is a 20% discount on any merchandise in store or online.

Now to spin that yarn . . . . .

To celebrate the triumph of our Bizarre and Open House, I came down with a stomach virus or the flu, or something equally as dreadful. And, if you're gonna go and get yourself a really nasty ailment, it's always best to do it at 2 o'clock in the morning after all of the reputable medical facilities have closed their doors for the night. That way you can be forced to seek help at the Emerge-Hair-Care and Tire Center located at the corner of A Hoot and A Holler.

As the Hubbs and I waited to be seen by the Dr./Vet/Nail-tech, we were privileged to hear some of the most colorful and interesting conversations.

For instance, to the left of us sat a delicate little old grey-haired lady about the size of a Triscuit who, clearly using her outside-voice, complained about her hemorrhoids.   She said and I quote, "'They' tha size a throw pillows . . . . Those 'big-uns' from the Mart!"

Another fellow to our right who was sitting next to a young man who had his foot propped up on the chair beside him with his foot wrapped in a couple of terry cloth towels confessed that, ". . . . My brother shot 'his-self' in the foot on account a he's a dumb ass!" Don't you just love how this season makes those family ties stronger while bringing out those loving sentiment between siblings? Kinda makes you all gushy and warm inside doesn't it?

Trust me, I know about gushy and warm . . . and insides!

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Image courtesy The Healthy Home Economist 




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Day 4: Hotel Silver and the Winner of Day 3

LeAnn Stephenson



And the winner of one of your choice of three Vera Neumann scarves is . . . . . . Insert Drum roll . . . . . . Scott Lindberg!

Congratulations, Scott, and thanks for participating and supporting The Vintage Laundry!

Today we move on to day four of The Vintage Laundry Holiday Bizarre Five-day Gift Giveaway! And just as before, all you have to do is "like" this post on our Facebook page and you're entered to win the item! Today's item is a piece of hotel silver.  It's a cream pitcher with that lovely patina that only hotel silver has.  It would make for a great starter piece to begin a hotel silver collection or perfect for that silver aficionado on your Christmas list!

Happy clicking!

Winners will be announced on the blog and Facebook page each day following a giveaway post.

Don't for get to get your tickets for tonight's Preview Party here and register for discounts for the free days at The Vintage Laundry Open House this Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10th and 11th here!

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Day Three of Our Holiday Bizarre Giveaway

LeAnn Stephenson



And the winner of the set of 3 silver plated frames is . . . . . . Insert Drum roll . . . . . . Bettielou Lane!

Congratulations, Bettielou, and thanks for participating and supporting The Vintage Laundry!

So, we move on to three of The Vintage Laundry Holiday Bizarre Five-day Gift Giveaway! And just as before, all you have to do is "like" this post on our Facebook page and you're entered to win the item! Today's item is your choice of one of these three signed Vera scarves. Vera Neumann was an American textile artist and entrepreneur best known for her boldly colored linen patterns and scarves signed simply with her name "Vera."  They are all marvelously vibrant and happy- perfect to give as a gift or to add to your own personal arsenal of winter accessories!

Happy clicking!

Winners will be announced on the blog and Facebook page each day following a giveaway post.

Don't for get to get your tickets for the Dec. 9th Preview Party here and register for discounts for the free days at The Vintage Laundry Open House on Dec. 10th & 11th here!

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Tell 'em What They've Won Bob . . . .

LeAnn Stephenson



And the winner of the set of 12 vintage napkins is . . . . . . Insert Drum roll . . . . . . JoAnn Jackson Garnto!

Congratulations, JoAnna, and thanks for participating!

So, we move on to day two of The Vintage Laundry Holiday Bizarre Five-day Gift Giveaway! And just as before, all you have to do is "like" this post on our Facebook page and you're entered to win the item! Today's item is a set of three petite silver-plated frames. The set is a mixture of different designs and sizes. They are all polished and styled with a black and white photo within - perfect to give as a gift or use to display your babies, grandbabies, nieces, nephews . . . . .Well, you get the picture . . . . get it? PICTURE - yeah, I sleigh me . . . get it? . . . I typed SLEIGH, instead of SLAY . . . . . cuz, it's Christmas time . . . and there's Santa . . . .OK, enough!

Happy clicking!

Winners will be announced on the blog and Facebook page each day following a giveaway post.

Don't for get to get your tickets for the Dec. 9th Preview Party here and register for discounts for the free days at The Vintage Laundry Open House on Dec. 10th & 11th here!

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The Vintage Laundry Holiday Bizarre Gift Giveaway!

LeAnn Stephenson



Tis' the season for giving, so, today is day one of The Vintage Laundry Holiday Bizarre Five-day Gift Giveaway! Just "like" this post on our Facebook page and you're entered to win the item! Today's item is a set of 12 vintage Damask napkins.  The set is a mixture of different Damask designs and have hand-stitched hems and measure 24" square.  They are all laundered and pressed - perfect to give as a gift or use on your holiday table - happy clicking!

Winners will be announced on the blog and Facebook page each day following a giveaway post.

Don't for get to get your tickets for the Dec. 9th Preview Party here and register for discounts for the free days at The Vintage Laundry Open House on Dec. 10th & 11th here!




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I'll Take Things That Are Magical for $200, Alex

LeAnn Stephenson


Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.


WOW! This video is breathtaking and as my friend Victoria over at SFgirlbybay says, ". . it is pretty magical." This has made the rounds on the internet so, you may have seen it already. But, if you haven't, you've got to take a look!

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Get First Dibs

LeAnn Stephenson


'Tis the season for parties and presents.  At The Vintage Laundry we're going along with the joke and have planned, along with some of our favorite vintage vendors, a shindig to beat all shindigs. We're calling it The Vintage Laundry Bizarre Holiday Pop-Up & Open House.  If you should like to join our stable of marvelous vendors, you can fill out an on-line application here.  We will review your submission and get back to within 24 hours with approval and a link to pay for your booth.

Yeah, we know, we used the wrong spelling - but, we mean both a "bazaar" as in a shop or market while at the same time meaning "bizarre", as in odd or unusual. We ARE in Austin and we have an obligation to keep things weird, right?!

We'll feature tons of vendors selling vintage linens, decor, furniture, clothing, housewares, art and up-cycled items and accessories, plus awesome holiday gift ideas for everyone on your list!


Preview Party
Friday, December 2, 2011
6pm - 9pm - $15 (Ticket gets you complimentary goodies, one drink ticket, and first dibs!)  You can purchase tickets here.

Regular Bizarre Shopping Hours:
Saturday & Sunday, December 3 & 4, 2011
9am - 5pm
3406 Glenview, behind the Burger King on 35th Street


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Girl Friday: Hammer Time

LeAnn Stephenson


Right after my fifteenth birthday, my dad strongly suggested I get a summer job.  And by "strongly suggested" I mean every morning, while we were at the kitchen table, he'd stare at me for several moments - kinda blankly, but in a "summing-me-up" kinda way, and then shout over his right shoulder, "This kid needs a job!"  I'm not completely sure who he was talking to because it was just the two of us in the kitchen, but he had a point.  I mean I hadn't taken any steps toward my dream of becoming a millionaire or a rock star, so it was obvious that I needed a little nudge in the career department.  My Mom was a vocational director at the high school where she worked and suggested that I enroll in the vocational program at my high school.  I did and was placed at a beautiful china shop called The Brownie Shoppe.  A lady named Boots (I have no idea what her real name was, this was her nickname) was my manager and I loved her to pieces.  She taught me a lot about the world of work and tutored me in the manner in which to conduct myself while at work.  Plus, she talked me through some occasional teenage angst and like to take soft-serve yogurt breaks!

So, I tell you all of that to tell you this - this summer I'm doing my best impersonation of Boots.  And by that I mean that I have hired my children to help me get the shop ready for opening day and then requested that they continue on as sales staff for the few weeks before they are off to camp at the end of July.  I'm not sure if I have given them any valuable information to take with them on to future jobs but I have learned a little something about myself - I have quite a healthy "micro-manager" streak developing - and I'm sure if you were to ask them, they would say that it's actually a fully developed "micro-manager" streak!




So my kids have become my full-time, on-location carpenters slash painters slash electricians slash plumbers slash landscape experts.  Needless to say neither one of them had previously done a lot of this kind of work, so there has been quite a bit of on the job training.  The other day I was perched on a ladder changing out the gawd-awful  florescent lights that came with the space to something a little more attractive when I had this interaction with my kids:

ME:  Okay, lets see . . .  Oh, it looks like I need a different screwdriver than the one that I brought up here with me . . . could one of you go fetch me a Phillips?  The tool box is in the bathroom . . .

NOAH:  Right . . . I'll go get it  . . .

OLIVIA:  . . . (smiles and let's out a sigh and kinda sways from her heels to her toes as she swings her arms out in front of her and then to the back of her)

ME:  . . . . . . wait, wait and wait some more . . . .

NOAH:  I don't see it anywhere. . . . . . . What IS a Phillips?

OLIVIA:  (with a facial expression I'll never forget, like she was amused and tickled and overwhelmed all at the same time said this)  You named your screwdriver? . . . . how sweet! . . . . What's the hammer's name?

And after that I got nothin' . . . . except to say that my children and the Hubbs have worked the booties off along side me and I love them to pieces and thank them more than words can say!!

So below are a few photos of my children becoming familiar with the tools of their mother's trade and a glimpse or two into the decor choices for the shop.








Color inspiration photo courtesy Boden

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Cantilevering My "Buttress"

LeAnn Stephenson


It's getting warm and my garden is getting a little overgrown and I need to tend to it.  When I'm working out in the garden my attire consists of a swim suit, running shorts, a crappy pair of tennis shoes and zinc oxide on my nose, to add to my hot-ness.

When I was younger swim suits were fun and sexy.  Bikini's were one of the main implements in my seduction tool kit - the other was being really cling-y - men love that!  Anyway, my point is this, swimwear used to work for me - I couldn't wait to get out on the lake in my new suit.

Well, that was then and this is now.

Now, I wouldn't be caught dead in a bikini.  Now I buy costly one piece contraptions that Isaac Newton would marvel at.  I ask a lot from my swimsuits these days, to begin with they have to lift and separate.  And if I'm really fortunate I can find one that helps cantilever my "buttress," if you know what I'm sayin', while generally defying gravity.

So the other day, after I had delayed the inevitable as long as I could, I dug last year's suit out of my drawer and began the arduous task of squeezing into it.  First I guided my left and then right foot into the appropriate leg holes and proceeded to tug and heave the Lycra up over my hips, then past my waist (also known as a floatation device,) finishing by wiggling the "breast-icle" portion of my frame into place by slipping the straps over my shoulders with a snap.

As I walked over to the mirror to check the fit I noticed a few things.  First and foremost, I couldn't breathe and I was getting a little light headed from lack oxygen.  Also, I noticed a sharp pain in the booty area - Seems the crotch region of the suit was giving me a do-it-yourself colonoscopy without the benefit of anesthesia.  Additionally, there was a lot of homeless flesh hanging around looking a lot like my own personal floaties.  The only upside to this whole deal was that most of the heft that has taken up residence in my mid section was being relocated up toward my chest.  And for the first time since the birth of my son, I had knockers!  Big-huge-men-would-struggle-with-maintaining-eye-contact-kinda-knockers!  But, even that had its downside because the suit had forced everything up so high that it's possible that I had an extra pair of breasts above my collar bone.  Not only that but, I noticed a new mole on my neck that I suspect used to be a nipple.  

Anyway, as usual, I told you that story so I could tell you this one. 

Last year about this time began a particularly trying and stressful time in my life.  Without trudging through the details I'll just relay that life was dealing me and my little family a lot of hard blows and our spirits were pretty low.  So, I did what I normally do when things get stress-y and little too intense I broke out the 3 P's;  First I panicked, I  and then I prayed and then I planted.  I got this notion from Lady Bird Johnson who is credited with saying that where flowers bloom so does hope.  So, after receiving a few rose bushes for Mother's Day and then a few more for my birthday in June and even more for an anniversary in August I began with this garden.  And I'd like to share some photos of how it looked then and how it looks today.

My front yard had a spot at the corner that refused to grow grass.  Every spring I would put new sod down and every summer it would burn to a crisp.  So last spring I decided to rent a tiller and turn that corner into a rose garden and add a river rock path to my front door.  And since I'm the "Queen of Cheap" most all of the supplies like garden edging, mulch and river rock cost me nothing thanks to a daily habit of scouring the "Free" section of my local Craigslist.  After the $50 dollars it cost to rent a tiller for a day, all I was out was some sweat equity.

So here goes:



Above I have pictured just a few of the roses that I planted.  The names of all of the roses are:  Heirloom Hybrid Tea Rose, Arizona Grandiflora Rose, Queen Elizabeth Grandiflora Rose, Sunsprite Floribunda Rose, Mister Lincoln Hybrid Tea Rose, Royal Highness Hybrid Teas Rose, Diamond Jubilee Hybrid Tea Rose and three bushes that were labeled simply Rose.

Below are a few pics of the river rock path, the garden edging and the mulch I picked up for "free" on Craigslist.





And pictured below is how they have grown a year later.  They are all at least a foot and a half taller in height and have been covered in blooms since the middle of March.







Now that is a lot of bloomin' hope!

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Simply Brilliant: Local Natives and la Blogoteque

LeAnn Stephenson



One of the best things I've ever heard said about music is this; Music is what feelings sound like. Before you get all "wow she's profound" about me - it's a quote, I'm just borrowing it. But isn't it true? Music produces such pleasure for me and my family that it would be difficult to live fully without it around our house. My "indie" children, Olivia and Noah, are both marvelous singers and my niece Morgan, plays the piano with élan. Noah strums the strings off his guitar and visitors to our home are subject to impromptu "jam sessions" on a regular basis.

Recently, my daughter introduced me to a marvelous band called Local Natives an "indie rock" band based in Los Angeles. Their debut album, Gorilla Manor, was first released in the UK in November 2009, and later released in the U.S. in February of 2010. According to Wikipedia, their sound has been described as "afropop-influenced guitars with hyperactive drumming and hooky three-part harmonies." Clash Music has also described their style as psych-folk, or modern worldly folk. All I know is that I like 'em and I hope you do, too.

So, here's the video Olivia shared with me - it's a magical video from la Blogoteque filmed in Paris and posted on their video series called Take Away Show. La Blogoteque describes these shows as a weekly film session with an artist or a group who has been invited to play in the city, a bar, the street, a park, an apartment, with the passage of incidents, hesitations or those moments of madness. The videos are free of mounting cosmetics, with a gross capturing the moment, filming music as it comes, without preparation and without tricks. This video was directed by Nathaniel Le Scouarnec. Members of the band are Taylor Rice, Kelcey Ayer, Ryan Hahn, Andy Hamm, and Matt Frazier.



Watch the Take Away Show Here.

Local Natives will be preforming in Austin on Mar 11th at Stubb's Barbeque. Off to get tickets!

Images, film and sound courtesy of Nat Le Scouarnec, Sound by JB Aubonnet and François Clos, Mix by JB Aubonnet, Production Management by Hedwige Hénain and was produced by Chryde for la Blogotheque. The song title is Who Knows Who Cares and is off of their Gorilla Manor album.

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Austin-centric Vintage-Type Thingys

LeAnn Stephenson


Hey everyone, just thought I would share a little Austin-centric vintage-type thingys with you.

STAG will showcase 10 looks, including some one-of-a-kind vintage pieces, on Wednesday night, September 22nd at 8pm for Tribeza Magazine's first all-men's ROCK + RUNWAY FASHION SHOW.  You can get more info here.


And another little goody I'd like to share comes from Yelp.  To quote their site, "Get ready to lose your prohibitions" for Yelp's 2010 Open Party. They suggest that you just knock three times and whisper low . . . and say that Yelp sent you!  Some of the things to expect are big-band, burlesque, a casino and free cocktails sure to knock you back a few decades.  See more details here.

Image courtesy Tribeza Magazine

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Girl Friday: Vintage Airstream Porn

LeAnn Stephenson


I figured I would kick off the weekend with a little of what I like to call "Vintage Airstream porn."

As I've mentioned before, when I was a little girl, my younger sister and I called Airstream trailers "baked potatoes" because of their obvious resemblance to how a russet potato looks when wrapped in foil before being placed in the oven for baking.  As an adult I have an inexplicable need to own an Airstream and fix it up with some quirky, fun paint and upholstery and stuff. I periodically just put the word "Airstream" or "vintage Airstream" into Google and see what comes up. Just last week I came across some great inspiration via the marvelous blog Green Wedding Shoes.



Vintage Airstreams create instant nostalgia wherever they are, so it only seems a natural choice for intimate events like weddings, girls night out gatherings, etc.  I'm thinkin' they could also be perfect for a bridal shower or rehearsal dinner. One I came across that could easily add a unique flare to your festivities is a piece of cake - literally!  Cupcakes to be precise from cupcake entrepreneurs Amber Joy Vander Vilet and Kevin Vander Vilet.  Known for their inventive flavors with nods to California's wine country like:  Vanilla Mascarpone Chardonnay, Caramel Pinot, Cherry Apple Chardonnay, Tangerine Mint Mimosa, and Cherry Vanilla Merlot.  Their business is Enjoy Cupcakes.  Can't you just imagine your guests' delight in being served those yummy treats out of an adorable restored vintage Shasta trailer, no less.  The marvelous photos above and below are courtesy of Jose Villa.


How fun would it be if you had a vintage airstream come and serve as your bar?  Well, one such place, based in Portland, Oregon called the Tin Cantina, offers their airstream for private parties and does just that.  I'm having another "wish-I-would-have-thought-of-that" moments!  What a marvelous idea - love it!  The photos below are courtesy of Blue Window Creative.



Another concept crafted by two New Jersey brothers, Walter and Patrick Hessert, is not of the goodies or drink persuasion but is just as creative.  They  are embarking on The ULTIMATE American Road Trip. They have named it The Million Dollar Road Trip and it launches on July 4, 2010 from somewhere in the Midwest.  Over the course of one year, they are going to drive over 40,000 miles. Along the way they will visit 48 states and 50 of the largest cities in the USA. Their route is planned around notable events that we will attend. Among those are the Milwaukee Summer Fest, Burning Man Festival, Sundance Film Festival, TED Conference, and the New Orleans Jazz Fest, to name just a few.  You can follow their travels and discoveries on Facebook and Twitter.




This is more than just a road trip, however.  The brothers are selling advertising space on the exterior of their Airstream. These advertisers will be promoted through their Twitter, Facebook, and elsewhere on the web. Check details here.

They will be chronicling American small business along the way through their blog. Their feeling is that an entrepreneurial spirit and people who are committed to doing what they love is alive and strong in American, and they want to showcase it and award Inspiration Grants to young Americans who are pursuing their passions. Every two weeks, with their fans’ help, they will choose a young American who has inspired them. The winner will be profiled on their site and will receive a cash grant.  Bravo you two - and safe travels!  The photo above is courtesy The Million Dollar Road Trip.

Here in Austin it is kind of amazing the number of businesses run out of vintage Airstreams. So, I figured I could check 'em out and report back with a post or twelve on local Airstream and trailer businesses in Austin.  But, until then, you can read a few more "airstream porn" posts I have made here and here.

Have a marvelous weekend and I'll see you next week!

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Silver City Wide Garage Sale

LeAnn Stephenson


I don't have frost bite or Raynaud's syndrome, though my finger tips are black, which blows that theory - I always thought I would have to be suffering from some awful disease that restricted my blood flow before my fingers turned gray, then black, and then fell off.  I figured there was some kind of circulatory protocol when it came to digits and their human owners.  Surely they don't, like bananas, just get black spots, then get all squishy and have to be thrown out, do they?  Don't doctors frown upon any extremities being any other color than your own personal flavor of flesh-tone?

I'm wondering all of this because da Hubbs and I are sporting sooty fingerprints like we have just gotten booked down at the police station or something.  Actually, there is a reasonable explanation and it has to do with some really tarnished silver, a Herculean exhibition of upper arm strength, and several hours of buffing. 

After Lynn Goldfinger-Abram's Thingy Thursday profiling her collections, I was hyper-aware of anything silver as I was out thrifting on a recent Sunday afternoon with the family.  We were at my favorite thrift store when I spied a silver creamer stashed on a lower shelf.  As I bent down, I discovered that it was not one creamer but several along with a footed compote, "eleven-ty-six" silver coffee pots, and a wicker basket full of silver-plated flatware.  I shrieked to da Hubbs, "Get a basket and hurry up about it!!!"


I was absolutely unprepared for the amount of work polishing these pieces would be, which is sadly on par with my preparation for all things in general, but, they look marvelous now and I'd love to show them off.  And (insert shameless plug) if you have a yearning to own one of these beauties, I will have them listed on my Etsy site next week and will have them displayed and for sale in my booth at City Wide Garage Sale this weekend.


I hope to see you tomorrow City Wide.  I've been preparing other goodies for this weekend's (June 19th and 20th) City Wide Garage Sale at Palmer Events Center here in Austin. My booth is #221 near the red skirted info desk. There is a $7 charge to park in the garage or there is a free parking lot at One Texas Center on the Southwest corner of So. First and Barton Springs, as well.

Saturday morning between 8:30am - 10am, City Wide offers early shopper passes for $10 each.  This allows those who so choose to have early access to the show and get first dibs on vendors' merchandise before the general admission customers enter at 10am.

I hope you get a chance to come and see me, cuz I have some really marvelous goodies this show!

City Wide Garage Sale This Weekend!

LeAnn Stephenson


This week I've been painting, upholstering and washing myself into a full fledged frenzy preparing for this weekend's (March 13th and 14th) City Wide Garage Sale at Palmer Events Center here in Austin. My booth is #217 near the red skirted info desk. There is a $7 charge to park in the garage or there is a free parking lot at One Texas Center on the Southwest corner of So First and Barton Springs, as well.

Saturday morning between 8:30am -10am City Wide offers early shopper passes for $10 each.  This allows those who choose to have early access to the show and get first dibs on vendors merchandise before the general admission customers enter at 10am.

I hope you get a chance to come and see me, cuz I have some really marvelous goodies this show!



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Make Sure Not to Catch on Fire

LeAnn Stephenson


Have you ever thought about something too hard and gotten dizzy? This is the question I posed to my children yesterday as we were shoveling out their closets and drawers, preparing for our "GI-NORMOUS CLEAN ALL THE CRUD OUT OF YOUR CLOSETS, SO WE CAN BUY MORE CRUD TO FILL THEM GARAGE SALE." They turned to shoot each other a "Did she take her meds this morning?" look, quickly pivoted toward the door and left the room, returning moments later, my daughter carrying a bottle of Diet Dr. Pepper and my son with a cold washcloth in hand, telling me to put my head between my legs and take deep breaths. I think there are often times when my family thinks that I might accidentally (on purpose) set myself on fire if not watched carefully. I suppose I don't blame them, because at that particular moment I was wearing a pair of the Hubbs old brown wingtip shoes, a lacy pink vintage slip over my running shorts, and T-shirt that I'd accessorized with a couple of those large black Hefty garbage bags tied at my waist and a pair of glittery sunglasses that would have made Elton John wince in disapproval. My question was treated as rhetorical and never answered.

But, here's the deal, I am a little light headed from the realization that I am not alone. I mean I knew I wasn't alone, but this week I sat mesmerized in front of my computer monitor looking at the blogs of fellow thrifters. I thought I knew the scope of "dumpster divers" that existed in the world . . . well, I had no idea! One of the things that has always perplexed me is the re-purposing ideas that flow out of these women and men - the cogs of my brain just don't function that cleverly. My finds just get stacked in piles until I'm able to restore them to their former beauty and sell them on the website, at flea markets, or at antique shows. I feel bad about my piles. Truly I do. If you saw my piles, you might feel bad about them too, but you'd probably be too polite to mention them. My daughter has begun referring to me as "Big Edie" (you know from the Grey Garden's story) and I snap back with, "Well. . . I guess that makes you 'little Edie then, huh?!'"

Just ask Stan Williams, he's seen my piles! And Stan is a perfect place to start, since he is the "Prince of The Find!" Here, he posted an idea he came upon using a bunch of hot water bottles. The Italian jean maker Energie, just sliced an opening in the side of the bottles, poured in a little water and grouped it together with all your others on a wall as hanging vases for assorted wildflowers for an awesome window display! Stan also has a marvelous interview with Amy of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie here.



Here's a nifty idea from Junkin Escapades I came across the other day. Old liquor bottles were paired with old brass house numbers to make some really cool looking vases. For more ideas check out Junkin Escapades blog where she writes about her quest for anything crusty, rusty, dusty, dirty, dingy and chippy!



Christine Terrell of Austin, Texas makes all of her pieces from upcycled decorative tins. The circles are punched, formed and then the edges are finished smooth. The basins are then drilled and strung on rigid german silver head pins and attached to sterling silver French hooks. My favorite is her retro rocket pins. See more of her beautiful creations at her Etsy store here and read her blog posts here.

Photos courtesy The Elegant Thrifter, Junkin Escapades, and Adaptive Reuser

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The Great Debate: Thrifting vs. Crack

LeAnn Stephenson



Let me just preface the following post by stating the fact that owning a vintage business is just slightly less expensive than being addicted to crack, and you can get the same physical appearance without all the drug use.

Saturday at 6 AM my eyes popped open, I turned to look at the Hubbs on the next pillow. He's all spooned up next to me in a tangle of sheets and comforter, sleeping peacefully. Saturday is the only day he gets the option of sleeping in if wants to. So, naturally I wake him and ask if he would like to go garage and estate sale-ing. I've found over the years if I wake him from a dead sleep he usually says "yes" to anything I ask him. With this tactic, I've gotten access to his wallet, his wardrobe, and his affirmative vote for painting our living room pink.

We took great pains getting ourselves ready for our thrifty outing. The Hubbs wore a pair of Khaki shorts that had a bleach spill down the front and a Rorschach ink splotch at the left pocket, partnered with a t-shirt, that we later realized was on inside out, and a ball cap to cover his bed-head. I chose a pair of Nike running shorts with one of my husband's "seen-better-days" t-shirts and a tragic looking pair of black flip flops. Our attire said, "When we're not in prison, we enjoy a day of looking homeless." Simply breathtaking and oh so impressive! I even managed to arrange my hair with a food processor so that it resembled a "mullet-with-dorsal-fin" type hairstyle. The only thing missing were 5 or 6 flies swirling around our heads and possibly the theme to the movie Deliverance playing in the background.

After a fast food breakfast containing 3 of my favorite ingredients: sugar, fat and caffeine - we were off to our first sale pumped up on empty carbohydrates and ready to bargain. At the first sale we scored an amazing spring-loaded whisk, one of those hand-cranked mixers, the cutest flour sifter, and a quart of unopened white paint for the grand total of $1.25. Next we made our way to one of Lou Warren's sales in Tarrytown and found a great piece of hotel silver and 6 satin-covered lingerie hangers for $2. After that, we decided to go to our favorite Goodwill "last stop" outlet and dig through the elevated troughs of things that aspire to be landfill. Important to note here is that The Hanger gives me the will to live, I fully expect to find the Holy Grail there some day or at the very least, meet author Dan Brown while he's there collecting all the copies of his book The Da Vinci Code. There I found a vintage eyelet sundress, 4 vintage linen European pillow shams - you know, the ones with the linen covered buttons, a cotton Matelasse French blue and taupe coverlet, 6 curtain panels made of a great brown, white and yellow floral fabric circa 1970 - think The Brady Bunch or The Partridge Family, and a couple of sheer white cotton tab top window panels, all for only $10.


After digging through bin after bin at The Hanger, it was around 3 in the afternoon and our stomachs were telling us that it was time for some groceries. We stopped at this great new place called the Black Sheep Lodge for a late lunch. The Hubbs had read the Texas Monthly article that had ranked it 27th out of the 50 best burgers in Texas, and they were right, it was most tasty! As we waited for our burgers we played shuffle board, darts and remembered what we used to do before we had kids. After scarfing down our huge burgers and onion rings, we headed home to survey our thrifty haul, gloat, and disinfect ourselves and our finds. Now THAT, is a Saturday well spent! Don't cha think?