Gray Sunday, in Popsicle Colors

comments: 45

Thriftdishes2It was a rainy, cold, thrift-filled day for the Paulsons on Sunday. As occasionally happens, someone from Andy's work calls at, oh, 4:45 a.m. and tells him he doesn't have to come in. As usual, he falls back asleep, and I don't. So I went downstairs with coffee and an idea in my head about summer still-lifes and bookbags, and started looking for inspiration.

Now, I will admit that for some things, E-bay seems like a good idea. For thrifty sheets and chunky cups, not so good -- way too expensive, especially after shipping. So by the time frowsy, whiskery Andy got up at 9 or so, ready for a lazy day of rain, movies, and snacks, I, all business, said, "Make sure you're ready in a half-hour [tapping invisible watch on wrist intently] because [amazingly] the Goodwill opens at 10." On Sunday morning. What's not to love. Church of thrift.

Outside it was freezing. And raining. We drove to the far edge of town, where trend-mongers like us are not apt to travel easily. Goodwill stores in our neighborhood tend to be a bit . . . picked over. When I thrift shop, I'm often just looking at colors. Lately it's been these mellow, afternoon-delight-ful hues in candy-floss pink, lemon meringue, Tupperware green. I'll admit that, especially when thrifting, I pick things out because they work not necessarily with other things that I own but with other things in my . . . cart. It's a little still-life in my cart. I also buy things entirely because I like their packaging. And I'm big on buying books for their covers. What can I say. Admit it, you know you do it too. (Don't you? Or no. I might have a problem.)

Thriftysheets At the second Goodwill, a whole honey of a rack of the perfect sheets for my sleeping-porch-inspired bookbag idea. Flabbergastedness! I started piling them into my cart as fast as I could, looking around in paranoid haste lest someone see what they had so obviously missed over here -- a rack of the perfect, absolutely perfect sheets! No one paid me a whit of mind. What was wrong with these people. I tried to act a bit more nonchalant, as if I was actually deciding about things, and not just stuffing them all into my china-filled cart as fast as I could. Suddenly I saw Andy an aisle over. "Hun! HUN!" I yell-whispered.

He: "Yo."
Me [pointing at cart of sheets]: "Honey, ohmigosh, look at these!"
He [casually peering into cart]: "Mmm, uh huh."
Me [wondering if I have not sufficiently communicated how kick-ass this haul truly is]: "HONEY! Seriously, are you looking at these? I can't believe no one has gotten them yet!!!" [Still looking wildly around in amazement, riskily holding up sheets one after another for him to see.]
He [calmly]: "Honey, no one wants those."
Me [aghast]: "Honey, are you insane?!?"
He [calmly]: " . . . "
Me: "You're getting more earphones???"

Oh, the thrill of the score! I have big plans for these beauties. What's lovely is when you have the plan before you have the stuff (which of course is the very hard way to do it), and then the stuff that you need to execute the plan just magically appears. The plan is for Summer Reading Bookbags. I have some other stuff to make first, and I really have been trying to do that, but other stuff keeps coming up. I did manage to get a few Alice Aprons up on the site this morning. This week is busy with other stuff, too, including the nursing awards dinner (I told Andy last night that I'd like to go every year, since there's a trend happening now), but the other so great news is that -- we have an intern at Ella Posie! Oh joy! Oh joy!

Thank you, most sincerely, for all your very kind comments for Andy yesterday. He's too shy to say but I know he is very pleased to secretly steal a few moments throughout the busy day to read your congratulations. You guys are so damn sweet. Thank you.


(dang) it (she says, politely, with class, LOL) alicia, now I'LL be rushing the hour's drive to MY goodwill in search of sheets, lest I miss out on such wondrous beauteous scores!!!!! xx

Mr. is like that on my excursions. Man, I wish I'd known you needed an intern. I would have applied! I've been looking for a job in Portland (or DC, you know, kind of the same area. Ha!)

still life in a cart, that is so cool man! I love your finds and everything you do with it all, so neato and inspiring. I too had my significant other go on a goodwill spree with me (in beaverton), I think he was a little freaked out at my enthusiasm, :)

I love to find an amazing section of goodness at the thrift store and try to act all "well, I guess these will do in a pinch". Can't wait to see what you do with the new sheets, they are sweeter than sweet. I just put my Vera printed sheets up on little tension rods to hide my fabric storage, they make me very happy.

HOLY MOTHER! These are so sweet. I had two of these very sets as a little girl...the rose one on top and the polka dots look VERY familiar. :)

I too drive to the other end of town for the "right" Goodwill. Oh, happy days!

" I'll admit that, especially when thrifting, I pick things out because they work not necessarily with other things that I own but with other things in my . . . cart."

Okay. I'll admit that when thrifting, I pick things out because they work...with other things in my head....Oh. How. Pathetic. am I?

GerberD says: May 09, 2006 at 12:12 PM

It is SO awesome how in love with your husband that you are! That is a rare gift - to him and to you!! Have you ever considered writing? You have a true talent in that arena as well! I laugh out loud at some of your stories. Can't wait to see your summer reading bookbags!!

You hit the motherload! I always forget about Goodwill.. must make a reminder to go in there and look around from time to time.
I just love those sheets. I can't wait to see what you do with them as well.... maybe this Saturday I will take my daughter with me and go shop... afterall I have to spend her Mother's day present.... a gift certificate to the local yarn store, Loops... YEAH... (my mother actually got this for and is horrible about keeping gifts a secret). Congrats on your haul!

oh, everything is so pretty. you're lucky i didn't get there first. i collect those little japanese mugs like the one in the foreground (well, i have four - that's a collection, right?) you can see a couple of mine in this photo:

we have a philosophy at our house that if we state a need, then the object will appear. doesn't always work, of course, (where are you $20 teak sideboard?), but when it does, it feels quite magical. like last week when i dropped and dented our tea kettle and told jack, "what i really want is a white le creuset enameled kettle" and the *very next day* i walked into value village and there was my like-new white le creuset enameled tea kettle. so good.

The sheets are so pretty -- I probably would have knocked you over if I was there! Looking forward to see them transformed!


And I too am a sucker for nice packaging. Anything from tea to toilet paper, if it's wrapped in something pretty or presented in a lovely way, it's in my cart. And I do judge books and magazines by their covers. Yes, I do have a problem.

Wow what a find! I know that brightend your rainy Sunday.

I would like to come live with you please. I won't take up much room. If you have a closet under the stairs that will do. And I would like, too, those pink teacups. I would like to drink pink hot cocoa from those pink teacups and live in a room under your stairs and talk everyday about making still lifes in carts and popsicles. And, yes, I would like very much to walk arm in arm with you through antique towns and say "oh I love this" and "oh I love that".

I'm jealous! You found all the good stuff!

I need to buy a thesaurus so I can go and get me some more adjectives. Those sheets are magnificent. What is wrong with a world that doesn't covet sheets like that, I ask you? Lots.

those sheets are fab-U-lous!!

my hubby laughs at me when i bring home my hauls (he will never thrift with me - i know, he's a bit off) but the thing i don't tell him is how my heart begins to race as i spot something across the room and the fear sets in that someone might grab it before i can get there.

it's a sickness, it truly is.

So I need to ask. How do you decorate? Like your bedroom - what makes it all vintagey.(said in happy voice) And the bathroom? But the living room looks earthy (said in a deep voice). Do you go find things in your colors-turquoise, yellow, pink? Do you buy brown furniture and paint it white? Do you buy only white furniture? Nothing looks too dark how do you keep it light? My, my, my, how DO you do it? :D

Ooo! I'm so jealous...Maybe I need to develope my "eye" for thrifting. I just can't ever find ANYTHING when I go...*sigh*. Is it the shops or me?...I wonder... hot cocoa. sounds good!

laura t.

That? Is definitely Le Score. And I love your cups. I have a small collection of bedsheets that I plan to make shopping bags out of, after the move. Our thrift stores tend to get pretty picked over, too.

and again, sooo cool about Andy...even with extra headphones.

I know this is really about yesterdays post, but hey. I have spent many many many nights in hospitals over the years with my son (who passed on three years ago)and it was THE NURSES who kept me sane and informed and listened to me. I will be eternally grateful for those angels. Now I know this is sexist BUT the male nurses were often the ones whose compassion shone out and who LOVED the most. Only very very special men seem to choose nursing.

the sheets are great, i think i remember one of those patterns from the first time around in the 70's. my mom made us cafe curtains from them for our bedroom with a matching dresser scarf.
these days i'm not a big 70's fan. i think if you were there for the first go round it just seems old now. ( for the record i was 10 when the decade started.) i think this is how my mom felt when see saw the jade mixed bowls filled with vintage 50's xmas balls.
its good to see the fresh ideas you come up with.

Ah man! I'm so jealous of all those great sheets!

Can't wait to see them made into bags!

church of thrift? Oh, I love that. So love that. Perhaps I'll have to start posting my thrifing finds on Sunday just so I can say that once a week. Church of Thrift.

And super fab finds too, at your church of thrift.

Very jealous of your thrift finds. I *never* have that kind of luck. Last week I found one pillowcase and one twin flat sheet. Nothing else.

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at