She’s Thrifty!


I feel like that should be an extra verse in the Beastie Boy’s “She’s Crafty!” No surprise I love that being “thrifty” is once again a prized virtue. In an odd way, I feel like I’m honoring my grandmothers and their struggles through the Great Depression by honing my own frugalista style today. Not to mention my mother is the creator of the coupon. Kinda like Al Gore is the creator of the Internets. One of my most distinct memories as a child was playing secretary and writing down each item she’d buy at each grocery store to save pennies with coupons. The thrift of that woman is unbelievable. I’ve got a couple girlfriends who are fine tuning their couponing skills as well and the pennies are stacking up. Mini spends 1/3 of what she used to feeding her family by sticking with coupons. One third!

pile of new-to-me linens

With this spirit in mind, I took an hour after church Sunday to comb a couple new-to-me thrift stores to see if I could find some champagne glasses and cake stands for the upcoming Spring Party. I don’t have the room or the patience to buy stuff just to buy. If it isn’t pretty and useful, I’m not going to make room for it in my already otherwise full kitchen. Also, until recently, I’ve been anti-collection. Collections of tea cups, beanie babies, blue glass, quilts and a dozen other nicknacks grace my parent’s home. To me, they seem like yet another shelf to dust. To my mother, they are a life of decorating a home with things that she finds beautiful.

In contrast, I own little. I dust rarely. I like to think I could flee in the night in my car and get 95% of what I love materially in the trunk.

pillow cases

That said, I’ve decided a collection of cake stands — think depression era glass and other prized antiques — would be perfect to display on top of the fridge. Alas, I didn’t find a single one. I did find champagne glasses and racks and racks of vintage linens, many of which are hand embroidered. I had a hard time deciding which to purchase and had to be mindful of how I would use them. (Also, it made a sad to think of the linen closet cleaned out after an older woman’s death and dropped off at this store. There was so much fine needlework discarded and I couldn’t help but think of the many happy events where these linens had graced the table.) I wanted to take home all three racks. But where would I store them? And really, how many embroidered napkins does one girl need?


Apparently the answer is 11, including two from Vera’s line and several that happen to be embroidered with my last initial. Any guesses on the grand total for: 1 vintage Pucci-inspired apron, 2 embroidered pillow cases, 11 napkins, 2 table cloths, 2 embroidered bread cloths and 11 champagne glasses? (And a partridge in a pear tree…)

With the $4 I spent on Oxiclean to get these babies back in bright white shape: $40. Giddyup.



Everything for the Spring Party is coming up roses, and I hope there is a sweet little old lady looking down from above and smiling wildly that her artful hard work is being celebrated.


16 Replies to “She’s Thrifty!”

  1. Love all your vintage finds!

    I have always had similar thoughts when I find hand embroidered linens – they deserve to be treasured and I want to take them all home to live with my Gram’s linens and the rest of my collection. I also have these thoughts with old photos – how could someone just donate or try to sell them? They are history.

  2. Ah, KT beat me to the idea. I’ve seen plates glued to candlesticks and sherbet glasses to make a cake stand.

  3. Great vintage finds!

    I was chuckling to myself as I read this post. I used to be anti-collection too. And then it starts with just one (like maybe a collection of cake stands to display on the fridge…ahem) and then over time another collection happens, and then another. I didn’t even realize it was happening to me until a friend said, “You have a lot of collections”. There’s something so lovely about creating a home that makes your heart sing. It’s not about the material things so much…it’s about creating a space that reflects who you are and one that you can’t wait to come home to. Anyway, I hope your future cake stand collection warms your heart and makes you smile.

  4. Oh, your finds are lovely! The vintage linens are so easy to keep collecting. 🙂 My Mom was another coupon queen – 25 years ago she kept track of how much she was saving from coupons & then used that money to donate a Pro Hobart dishwasher for the kitchen when our church in KS was building – that always stuck with me. Cakestands – I have not yet dipped into that collection yet – but when I hosted a bridal tea last spring I improvised a cakestand by placing a pretty plate on top of one of my cereal bowls – that did the trick for a temporary stand (in case you need it). 🙂

  5. I think it’s nice that someone who will appreciate them–you–took all those pretty linens home. That is a nice testament to their original owner. I also think tables look really cool when things don’t match but rather complement each other. I love that eclectic look!

  6. Ooooh so pretty! I’ve successfully avoided beginning a collection of vintage hankies but thank God you picked up these beauties so I can enjoy them vicariously. You’re so fab.

  7. This makes me think of my Nana. She died in August with a drawer full of “vintage linens” and I doubt anyone will ever appreciate them quite like she did.

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