Antique Store & Flea Market Treasures

Thought I’d share a few pix of some things I picked up recently…

Beautiful, generous Leighann gave me several goodies when we met for the Rose Bowl Flea Market last month.

Here is a little spoon that I just adore:

Leighann also gave me a very amusing bunny by artist Debbee Thibault.  I love Ms. Bunny’s serious little face, her bright red dress and that heart dangling from her hand.  She goes well with my new beaded strawberries.

I bought the berries in my mom-in-law’s favorite little shop in downtown Brentwood.  They were fifty cents a piece.  I should have bought ten more.

I can’t say enough wonderful things about the shop.  It’s called The Vintage House.  They don’t have their own website (that I know of) so I joined yelp just to help put them on the internet map, so to speak.  Go here to see my review.

The Vintage House also had this sweet little rusty blue birdcage.  It cheers me to own this.  I am still looking for just the right spot to put it.

My small collection of blue and white figurines grew by two at the Flea Market.  The salt & pepper shaker pair on the right called out to me very loudly.

Despite the fact that I already had an almost identical little boy (on the left), I had to buy both of them.  You can’t break up a set, after all.  Right?

I don’t really know what I’m doing with this collection though.  I don’t think I want to grow it any larger.  I sort of like having just this one little corner of blue and white cuteness in the cabinet, but we’ll see… 🙂

At a thrift shop, also in Brentwood, I found a mason jar unlike most I’ve seen.  I stole mom-in-law’s idea of using it for measuring spoon storage on my counter.

I wish the picture were a little better.  The jar is marked on the sides with measurements too.  Very cute.

Last, and maybe least, I picked up this swirly candle sconce.

It’s made of light weight wood and measures almost eighteen inches long.

I was drawn to it because of my friend Erin and the similar sconce that she painted bright turquoise and listed in her etsy shop.  I love Erin’s unstoppable energy and am hoping to channel it myself to make something of my strange purchase!  I’ll post pix if I do!

That’s about it.

Happy Tuesday!

P.S.  The boy is back to school tomorrow, so probably no post since I will be out exercising my freedom somewhere.  😀  Look out thrift stores, here I come!!

♥♥

What a Lovely Weekend

I spent last night alone at the Marriott in Pasadena.

I drove up by myself, walked all over Old Town, popped into a few little shops, and took myself out to Il Fornaio too.

I had forgotten how much I enjoy eating all by myself in a nice restaurant.

It’s so fun to people watch, and somehow, the solitude makes you really savor the textures, colors and flavors of your food.

I started with a Caesar salad.  It was very fresh and just the right size, but I was not a fan of the croutons.  There were only three and they were almost too crunchy to eat.

The bread that came with the meal was similarly crunchy and also difficult to eat.  The olive oil and balsamic vinegar helped.

Next, I enjoyed ravioli filled with butternut squash and walnuts.  It was served with brown butter, tomato sauce, and crispy sage.

The sage was great.  It was actually dipped in something a little denser than a tempura batter and then fried.  It was unusual and a very welcome addition to the plate.

My only disappointment with the entree was the amount of the tomato sauce.  The ravioli needed a little more oomph, but there wasn’t a lot of that sauce to do it.  The flavors were all wonderful, just not quite proportioned properly.

Of course, none of that stopped me from cleaning my plate. 😀

I got dessert too.  I ordered by sight from the cart and really didn’t know what I was in for.  To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.  It was possibly the best chocolate mousse I’ve ever eaten.  It included a layer of fresh raspberries and it came in a pool of cream fraiche and raspberry coulis.  Another raspberry sat on top.  Delicious.

The entire day was delightful.

And long overdue.

I haven’t needed a break that badly in quite a while.  😐

This morning I got up early, ate some cereal in my room, then drove to the Rose Bowl to meet a friend for the monthly flea market.

We both had some cash to burn this time, so it was a lot of fun.

When our feet could take no more, we drove back into town, bought a couple of teeny bird figurines at  Goldbug, ate a very pleasant, leisurely meal at Mi Piace, and then looked at every single item in Lula Mae.  I LOVE that place.  So sweet.

We parted company around 4:00 p.m.

On the way home, I stopped at Cost Plus World Market to finish out my fun.

Now, I am exhausted and ready to hibernate.

I’ll post pictures of my new treasures in a couple of days.

I hope you had a good weekend too!

Happy Sunday!

♥♥

Rose Bowl Flea Market and Pasadena

I met two friends at the Rose Bowl Flea Market yesterday.

It was a long day and the weather was chilly, but we had a great time!

One of my friends knows the market like her own backyard, so she played navigator.  That worked well for me, because I got turned around at the end of just about every aisle.  😕

We shopped for hours, saw very few things twice, and still didn’t cover even half the venue.  The Rose Bowl Flea Market is BIG.

The parking is free and plentiful.  The 9:00 a.m. general admission is only $8.00 and worth every penny.  You can pay more to get in with the early birds, but my friend cautions that sometimes vendors are still unpacking before the regular crowd gets there.

Deep in the rows, there is a lady who makes caramel apple muffins from scratch in her own kitchen and sells them for $2.00 a piece.  My friend buys one every time and raves about them, so I was happy when the three of us arrived at her booth well into the morning and still found three muffins left in the basket!

They were really delicious – sort of an angel food cake with a center of brown-sugared, tender, appley goodness.  Yesterday was nothing, if not a thoroughly delightful food day.  More on that a little later.  😀

Another vendor sells art plates from old books.  There are stacks and stacks, black and white as well as color, as beautiful and varied as the people who buy them.

The bibliophile in me grimaces at the dissection of what were surely amazing whole volumes, but I appreciate the art in the single leaves and I couldn’t go without this page:

Not far from the front entrance, there is a vendor who sells colorful tablecloths from Provence.

French linens are very cheery, usually made well, and have always appealed to me, but they are typically out of my price range.

I stopped at this booth because she also has a table full of batik stamps!  Woohoo!  I chose this one for my collection:

I also picked up this teeny little rabbit for my blue and white family:

a tiger clicker for my son:

and a small gift for a friend. 😀

As always, there were a few things I regret leaving behind.

Most of those were slightly out of my price range, but are regular items that I could acquire with better planning on a future visit.

Some were unique items I just wavered on and will absolutely never see again.  I guess that’s okay.  If I waver, then they’re probably not meant to be mine.

On our way to the exit gate we stopped by the food vendor area to say hello to my mom and Lou, who had also driven up for the market.

They arrived after we did and were taking a quick break, but were heading back in for a little more shopping after we headed out.

Departing from the Rose Bowl was an adventure.  😐  I lost my car, worked up a sweat looking for it, and finally had to call my friend to enlist her navigator instincts to find it.

Then I sat sheepishly behind my wheel and watched as she deftly moved a giant traffic barrier by hand just to get me pointed in the right direction.  So embarrassing.  😳  Funny, but embarrassing.

At least this all helped me to warm up after being so chilled by the cloud cover.

I followed my friends into Old Town Pasadena for a little more shopping and some late lunch.

My favorite store this time is Lula Mae.  Teeny, charming, colorful and packed full with “gifts of wit & whimsy” –  this is definitely my kind of place!

My friend and I both left with Andy, the Black Sheep:

I love him.  He is made of cast iron and weighs a LOT.  Don’t ever wanna drop this boy in my tiled house with my bare broken feet nearby.  Oy.  Gotta find just the right place for him.

I was amused when I got home to find that Lula Mae had wrapped Andy in French Fry tissue.  So funny.

From Lula Mae’s clearance bin, I picked up this hand-stitched house ornament:

and this cloth Tooth Fairy bird:

I love the idea of this, but I will probably just hang him from my Christmas Tree since we have something else for our son’s Tooth Fairy exchanges.

I rounded out my Lula Mae purchases with two yards of wired chenille ribbon.

I have a definite weakness for pretty ribbon, especially when it has a drastically reduced price.  🙂

That about covers my purchases for the day, but the treasures I brought home also included two amazing gifts from my friend.

She gave me this spectacular chair:

and this gorgeous, charming butter dish:

I am in love with this big Sun Lion.  In love.  The colors, his face, his swirly handle tail – all of him.  In. Love.  Thank you, Leighann!  😀

And the chair.  It’s beautiful.  😀  In fact, it’s officially the nicest thing in my house.

The most unusual shop we visited is definitely Gold Bug.

I’m not sure the merchandise is my taste exactly, but it is very intriguing and I wish I’d stopped in on a slower day and hadn’t felt so claustrophobic.  It’s a very small shop and there were a lot of people in it.

If you’re in the area, particularly on a weekday, you should definitely stop by.  It’s unique and has a lot to look at.

For our very late lunch we went to Mi Piace, one of my favorite places in Pasadena.  Wait, have I been anywhere else?  Who cares!  Mi Piace is really good.

Unfortunately, they were completely out of the Butter Nut Squash Ravioli with browned butter and sage.  Big, disappointed, collective sigh.

We buried our sorrows in good hot garlicky bread chunks served with balsamic and olive oil.

I ordered Fettuccine Alfredo with julienne vegetables. It was priced a too high and would be more enjoyable with a small green salad (priced separately – grrrr), but it was extremely good.

For dessert, I ordered this Mi Piace Special:

It was three layers dark and white chocolate mousse and cakes, topped with black and red raspberries and accompanied by a beautiful puddle of kiwi and strawberry coulis.

My only complaint with this dessert is that it came with that completely white, unripe, unappealing strawberry.  I would have left that off the plate.  I just pushed it aside.

I devoured the rest of it, feeling only mild guilt for denying my husband any leftovers.  They wouldn’t have kept on the three-hour drive home anyway, right?

My friends and I parted company shortly after our meal.  I headed south and they headed back to the high desert.  We all had a great time and I can’t wait to do it again.  Maybe in March or April??

Love you guys!!

P.S.

The best moment of the day was when Bob Harper from Biggest Loser (or his clone??) finally left his table facing ours, so that we could relax and eat without his fitness guru-ish-ness monitoring our mouthfuls. 😦

The worst moment of the day was the insane coughing fit I had on exiting Lula Mae.  😳  Mortifying.  It was the kind of thing that makes strangers pull their kids in close and flee.   Embarrassing.

The stupidest thing I did was forget to bring water into the market.  $5.00 per bottle if you want to buy it there.  Ugh!

The smartest thing I did was bring my big purple purse.  Not super attractive, but it’s lightweight, cavernous and durable – perfect for shopping!

P.P.S.  While I’ve been typing this morning, the little boy has been stapling paper and drawing scenes from his computer games…

wearing my two oversized sweatshirts at the same time…

eating cheetos…

and being very sweet.

I sure love this little boy.  I missed him yesterday.

Gotta go play now.  Catch you tomorrow.  Maybe.

Happy Monday!

♥♥

Artelexia, Architectural Salvage, Little Italy

Might not have time to write later, so just wanted to share a couple of links…

My friend and I went to Artelexia, finally!  Love, love, love it!  LOVE.  IT.

Also went to Architectural Salvage in its new location next door to Artelexia.  I thought this store had closed, but I was wrong.

We also walked a bit in Little Italy, got a bite to eat at a walk-up pizza joint, and then perused a few other interesting stores on the way back to the car.

This was a very pleasant afternoon activity.  My only regret is that we did not go to Extraordinary Desserts.  I sort of feel like that’s a must if you get within a block or two.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Little Italy and it’s proximity to Lindbergh Field, let’s just say that it’s a go-to destination if you are keen on close-up viewing of GIANT FREAKING PLANES that pass over every few minutes.  I had forgotten this and I had a very intense duck-and-cover response to them.  Even so, they were very interesting.

Anyhoo…maybe more later…maybe not.  😀

Happy Monday!

♥♥

Why is there a watermelon there?

scan0010

Today I noticed a piece of Cap’n Crunch on the floor behind the toilet in our powder room.  My logical mind can understand how it got there.  Probably the cats batted it in.  But my emotional mind got me thinking about all of the things I’ve seen in my life that were blatantly out of place, like the pack of hotdogs in the grape bin at the supermarket yesterday.  Or the drill bits on our china hutch this morning.  Or my tall nephew, looking terribly small in a hospital bed when his appendix burst.  Or my 38-year-old best friend, lying in a casket.

When her daughters were still very young, my friend and I took them to the mall one day.  She left her driver’s license in exchange for a big double stroller shaped like a car.  It was hard to maneuver through the teeny aisles of JC Penney, but we persevered.  Finally the girls grew tired of being confined and insisted on climbing out to walk.  It was difficult to hold hands and packages and sweaters and also control the giant buggy, even with two of us.

When my friend’s youngest daughter grabbed a pretty pump from the women’s shoe department and took off toward the door, we had a rough time catching up with her.  She tore fast on her little legs and was outrunning us both.  The shoe was security tagged.  We knew that the alarm would sound if she took it out of the store, so with one grand and flustered burst of mommy energy, my friend raced forward to stop the potential crime.  In exasperation, she reached her daughter’s hand, plopped the pump on the closest surface and led the girls out into the mall once more.

I remember looking back to see the shoe.  It was sitting on a stack of brightly colored, perfectly folded towels, seemingly miles from its rightful place.   Suddenly, spaghetti sauce in the cereal aisle and cocktail dresses in the menswear made sense to me.  In that moment with the shoe, I understood a lot.

I know my friend got cancer.  I know her body couldn’t handle the chemo very well and that she died from the disease.  She just did.  She died.  That’s the part I can wrap my brain around.  I get the logic of that.  She got sick, they couldn’t cure her, so she died.  Logical.

What I don’t get is why.  Why her?  Why then?  Her girls were tiny.  Our friendship was only halfway through.  What is the deal with that?  I’ve told myself that she has evolved to pure joy.  I believe it, I do, but I sometimes think she would have preferred to stay a while, you know?   August 24 is her birthday.  She would have been 44.  I am 44 without her.

Our friendship had high peaks and deep, vast valleys.  We weren’t always nice to each other and we weren’t always there when the other needed us to be, but in the long run none of that mattered.  We said what we had to say and I’m at peace with how we ended things between us, but I didn’t really expect her to go.  I looked into her eyes and I didn’t expect that…until she actually left.  And then came the pain.  And now I see things out of place and I am reminded that she is not where she should be either.

I don’t make appointments with grief.  I really don’t.  I don’t believe that on a given day I’m supposed to be sad just because of whatever date is on my calendar.  I’ve never bought into that crap, but for some reason this time it is getting to me most unexpectedly.  Her birthday.  Good God.  My best friend died and I feel oddly out of place myself.  I miss her pretty face.  And her laugh.  I really miss her laugh.

scan0009