My Latest Haul – Because Thrifting Is Therapy (Right?)

If I were to get all existential on you I’d say that I’ve re-found my original “Why??” – at an antique mall in Sellwood called “Stars”, inside a primitive wicker-basket backpack. It didn’t even have a top on it – you strap it to your back and feel the handmade structure, the random obsoleteness on your ribs as you try to convince yourself that you need this mode of transport for $65, for that charcuterie picnic you’ve been fantasizing about for years. It’s not an easy decision and you leave wishing you had got it. Thus is the thrill of the hunt that I’ve pursued for 35 years now and what drove me to become a stylist. Only the market is different from when I started – it’s better curated, with professional pickers and dealers doing a pretty darn great job of sorting through the literal garbage to bring us all the good stuff. And while I’m adjusting OK back to city life, thrifting has been my therapy when I’m feeling overwhelmed, which is far more frequent than I’d like. Maybe it’s an addiction to the serotonin burst I get from the thrill of the thrifting kill, or maybe it’s feeling at home with a hobby, a smell, a repetitive action I’ve had since I was a wee bairn (I’m also back into comfort-watching Outlander and reading Scottish romance novels when I feel untethered, so there’s that). But I’m being super super choosy – focusing on what is a steal or something we really need. Here’s what I’ve scored so far.


In the name of trying to entertain our kids through “the long dark” (aka winter in PNW) we bought our lego-loving kids this table to help spruce up their basement playroom. But I needed chairs and I wanted to find something farm-appropriate and not too expensive because they are growing too fast. So I was pretty darn psyched when I found these two kid Windsor chairs for $15 each in Aurora. Now, as soon as I get a free 45 minutes I’m going to strip them to a nicer more raw oak finish. But for $30 total they are solid and great.


This perplexed my best friend who had flown up for the weekend to cheer me up/keep me company when Brian was OOT. I wouldn’t say it’s “simple and special”. No. It’s full-on special and specialer. Here’s how I plan on styling it in our more minimal shaker farmhouse – in a corner, by a window, and with either with an epic weird plant on top OR a sculpture of some sort (something post-modern, not too traditional to create that weird tension). She’ll be on her own, letting her hand-carved lines shine. This lady was not cheap – I think $140, but my brain told my tummy to tell my hands to pick it up and put it on the counter and pay for it. My body parts are a real team like that.


I grew up on Myrtlewood Lane in Coos Bay Oregon and even BEFORE I saw the markings on the bottom I was super drawn to this footed, round, and lidded box (check, check, check). So When I flipped it over and saw that it was from Myrtlewood, Oregon and from Coos Bay my heart leapt a little bit with nostalgia. Now to find the Myrtlewood clock that we had growing up (from the ’70s) that of course now I would LOVE (let me know if you have one and my body parts will pay you properly).


I find that many standing lamps are too tall for lower sofas (which are more common these days). Very often when you sit next to a standing lamp you are staring right into the bulb (and you know how I feel about BAD lighting killing vibe and mood) and it’s a bummer. So this height is basically the height of a good table lamp on a side table (hello, hole in the market). Sure I still need a side table (a cute cocktail table will do) but I love the architectural shape/style and simplicity. I’m open to new shades, for sure – either something pleated and weirder or something more angular and a solid color. Dunno. Maybe I’ll draw Brian’s family Scottish crest on it. Only time or a really good psychic can know where I’m headed here.


Our shoe and coat situation was DESPERATE. And it wasn’t about hoarding. I needed 2-3 coats a day based on temperature and activity (working out, walking dogs, a meeting) and 2-3 shoes a day (running in rain, Uggs inside, vans for the grocery store, rain boots). Without a mudroom and a proper drop zone, I was going NUTS. So I found this at Urbanite via Wilma and pulled the trigger fast. I knew that it would work here and while I was unsure if we needed it at the farm, at least if we do it will stylistically work and if we don’t need it then I didn’t buy new (but I’m sure it will work somewhere). Now cleats and shinguards have a place in the drawer and coats and baskets of shoes inside. The problem isn’t solved because turns out you still have to “hang things up” and “put things away” but I’m way happier doing that daily than the visual chaos that we had before.


I had this huge “leather stick giraffe” ‘box’ that has been left unchecked for decades until last week. She was in the back of an antique booth, smothered in quilts, her face/lips forced into an eternal kiss with a stack of paint by numbers. I was drawn to her for her caramel leather tones, the hand stitching, the utter whimsy of her existence made me smile HARD. Not to mention how good she is going to look in one of my kid’s rooms – something they’ll likely not appreciate visually as much as I do, but I’ll force it just as much. Curious if there is a kid version of cat-nip – a liquid or powder you can pour over something to ensure they play with it. Pause while I contact my agent to ensure a spot on Shark Tank because once again I have a trillion-dollar idea.

While I miss the Rose Bowl (deeply) I’ve only just begun vintage shopping in Portland and it’s just so gooooooood. On days when I miss living in the mountains, thrifting has become my therapy (along with cardio) and it’s something I couldn’t do there so it helps me reframe why I’m here.

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