A Vintage Clothesline Purse? What Are The Odds?


I delight in the serendipity of thrift store shopping.  Those times when I run across something so wonderfully unique, that I take pause to wonder if it was placed there fully intended to be found by me!  My latest occurrence was yesterday, while I was looking through the miles and miles of designer fake vinyl purses that tend to populate the thrifts.  Anything made of real leather jumps out at me, and I spied a large, thick leather hippie type of purse that I remembered from the 70s.  They look like they were handmade by some sort of folksy artisan.

As I was marveling at the heft and substance of the purse, I noticed an amazing etched drawing on the front flap.  It was of two little laundresses with washboard and tub, and hanging laundry on a clothesline!  Of course, it had my name written all over it; being an avid laundress/clothesline user AND adoring and collecting vintage purses.  I need another purse like I need a hole in my head, but I could not leave without it!  No one else would ever appreciate the unique whimsicality of it like I would.

I like its large size and durability.  It’s been heavily used but there is hardly any wear to the thick leather.  It’s just so delightfully funky; the juxtaposition of the sweet, quaint laundry scene with the rugged hippie element is hilarious!  I’m sure that there is no other like it in the world.

My son, who is quite used to my unique findings but isn’t into vintage, wasn’t so amused.  “You’re not actually going to wear that are you?” he said, rolling his eyes.  He should know me by now, and should know the answer.  Yes!  As a matter of fact, I will. 🙂


The Fabulous Debut of Vintage Life Magazine!

Vintage Life Magazine

As of March 12, the digital version of Vintage Life Magazine is now published… and it is wonderful!  Since I had written an article for it (“The Art of Washing Vintage Clothing”, pp 18 & 19), I was excitedly looking forward to issue #1.   Nervous too, as I didn’t really know what to expect!  I had written the article, took the accompanying pictures, and submitted it.  And waited to see how the article, and overall magazine would actually look.

The magazine is in a word, fabulous; if I do say so myself!  The layout is perfect, and the articles are fun, interesting, and spunky! It is the first of its kind to publish a magazine for vintage-lovers…there is really nothing else out there like it.  I am so happy to be a part of it!

The magazine is currently digital only, but the editors tell me that they hope to go to a print version too if the word is spread far and wide.  I prefer print versions of magazines, as I know a lot of people do.  This glorious magazine needs to be in print, so help me in getting the word out there!

Read through the free trial issue HERE, and I’m sure you will then want to subscribe to future issues! 🙂


Happiness Is A Warm Clothesline

duz_adI love finding wacky ads in vintage women’s magazines, especially the laundry soap ads.  Take for example, this fabulous DUZ ad from the November 1949 Woman’s Day magazine.  It has all the attributes that I love in an ad; colorful drawing, bold lettering, exclamation points, and a wildly happy housewife, ecstatic over her DUZ detergent!  And being a clothesline enthusiast, I love the fact that not only does the housewife have her laundry on a clothesline, there is also clothesline pictured on the DUZ box.  Double the fun!  I almost reach this state of elation when I hang out my clothes… almost.  I cede to artistic license on the part of the copywriters, but I do have fun!

I really love clotheslines.  They genuinely make me happy.  There is nothing more gratifying than seeing my laundry out on the line, soaking up the sunshine and swaying in the breeze.  It must be something primal, since all of our ancestors from the dawn of time air-dried their laundry.  I actually look forward to those laundry days when the weather is nice enough to hang outside, and Mother Nature can do her business of  drying the clothes.  During inclement weather I dry inside on drying racks.  It’s sufficient and does the job, but it just doesn’t quite have the joie de vivre of using an outdoor clothesline.

The poignant scent of line-dried laundry.  There is nothing like it.  It changes with the seasons, picking up the nuances in the air.  The cold, ozone-y smell in the winter, the fresh cool scent of spring, the sunshiny scent of summer, and the brisk aroma of fall.  All subtly different, but with that unmistakable underlying familiarity, no matter the season.  That alone is reason enough to keep me air-drying.


This is my clothesline in my backyard, taken in the midst of a heatwave last summer.  Summer is so phenomenal for drying.   I like to time how long it takes to dry in the heat.  I think the record for my laundry drying was just one hour, in over 100 degree heat.  But mostly I just like to look at the clothes hanging.  It is like hanging art; installation art, if you will.  In any event, it makes me happy.  And if I get whipped up into a frenzy like the DUZ housewife, so be it!

Happy drying!


Winter… Spring? What Season Is This?

For the past week or so here in the Pacific Northwest, we’ve have the most spectacularly gorgeous weather!  Atypical brilliant sunshine and warm, balmy temperatures.  The plants are budding, the lawn is growing, and the pollen is flying!  This has created quite a dichotomy in me, and has me a bit befuddled.  It’s weird watching the Winter Olympics when it feels like spring.  Of course, Vancouver B.C. is having the same kind of weather so it makes it even stranger.  It is typical El Nino year weather.

The allergy season has now begun at least 2 months earlier than normal.  The swollen eyes, sinus pressure, sneezing, and skin rashes have made a reappearance in me, as well as a lot of others.  I am hoping that we will get it done and over with now, and won’t have to put up with it again when it actually is spring!  There is always a trade-off, it seems.

I have been taking advantage of the great drying weather by using my clothesline once again.  It feels good to have outdoor-dried laundry…and oh, the sweet smell!  It dries so much faster outside, and gives me a reprieve by ridding my house of the indoor drying racks temporarily.

Still, for those of us who are used to months and months of dark, cloudy, gray, rainy days it is quite a transition.  Some of us don’t know how to react to so much sunshine.  Are we supposed to be all happy now?  We don’t have the excuse of gloomy weather if we are in a grumpy mood!  I have been walking every day… no sitting out for bad weather lately either.

My lawn is growing, well…like a weed.  My neighbors have been out in full force for weeks, mowing their lawns dutifully.  I have managed to elude this by just not mowing quite yet.  I usually enjoy the respite I get in winter from not mowing the lawn.  I am not ready to start the mowing process yet – it’s technically still winter.  So shaggy lawn it is.  Sorry, neighbors!

But this I know for sure – this too, shall pass.  Soon the more typical gray dankness will  envelope us.  So endure the glorious weather for a bit longer?  I guess I must.


Valentine’s Day


Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.  And, once again, the commercials for Valentine cards, flowers, jewelry…and even “heart-shaped” pizza are airing nonstop.  Much to my chagrin, there are two Valentine’s Day commercials that are sort of growing on me.  Good grief, I’m now getting emotionally uplifted from commercials!  Those copywriters must be working overtime.

The first is Jane Seymour’s “keep your heart open” ad for Kay Jewelers.  It shows her dreamily painting and designing her open-heart necklace, and telling that her mom always told her to “keep your heart open, and love will find a way.”  I know.  Kind of hokey.  But it actually touched something in me, and made me feel a little happier.  You know; sage wisdom from mom, dreamily designing and creating,  love, hope, and…jewelry.

The second is, of course…drum roll please…Hallmark!  This one is not overly schmaltzy, it just seems regular. Like for us normal folk who actually have lives in which we work, raise families, and keep house.  But something in it is so touching.  A little boy asks his mom who she’s going to give a valentine to…not to dad, but to her best friend who is always there, etc.  The mom tells him that would be dad, too.  The husband is so goofily disheveled, waggling his eyebrows at his wife putting the groceries away.  No candlelit dinner, no walking hand-in-hand on the beach, no gazing into each others eyes.  Just happily dealing with normal day-to-day life.  You can just tell they are warm, genuine, fun, and are a team.  Incredibly romantic.

It’s sort of weird that there is this one day where everyone is “forced” to be romantic.  But who can resist a holiday that is all about love?  We can all be reminded of the words from Jackie DeShannon’s song, which have a lot of truth to them:

What the world needs now,
Is love, sweet love,
It’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.
What the world needs now,
Is love, sweet love,
No, not just for some but for everyone.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Thrift Store Shopping – The Agony and the Ecstasy

Thrift ShoppingI spend an inordinate amount of time shopping in thrift stores.  At least two to three times a week, you’ll find me in any of the six local thrifts that I haunt regularly.  I mainly shop for “inventory acquisition” (the ‘polite’ term that vinties like to use), but I also shop for myself.  And I mostly love it.  I’ve been shopping thrifts since I discovered them as a teenager, and I’ve never quit.

There is just something so thrilling to me about thrifts.  Malls and department stores bore me silly with their sameness.  At thrifts I never quite know what I’m going to find, and everything is unique.  I get a feeling of anticipatory excitement in the pit of my stomach when I enter the door…where to look first, what to see, what to do!  I actually enjoy going through the racks, digging through bins, and finding things placed randomly throughout the store.

I’m all-business when it comes to thrifting.  No distractions for me please;  no cell phone, no iPod, no shopping with others.  Pretty much a laser focus to scope out the goods.  I know which days are the sale days, “color tag” days, and are the most and least crowded.  I know a lot of the clerks personally, and enjoy a good jaw while checking out.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games.  There are actually quite a lot of annoyances that I have resigned myself to live with while shopping thrifts.  Probably my biggest beef is loud people, be they screaming kids, yelling moms, or people screeching into their phones.  Thrifts are full of them.  I have to work myself into a “zone” to carry myself through.  I like peace and quiet…but I know I’ll never find it at the thrift.

Another annoyance is people who sidle.  I can be the only one in the aisle and sure enough, there will soon be someone who is right next to me going through the racks.  This is something that is so irksome to me that I usually leave and go to another aisle.   But then I have to consciously calculate to come back to that same aisle when all is clear.

The one thing that I’m on the fence about is the amount of “unique” characters that thrift stores seem to attract.  Since I’m a regular, I’ve learned pretty quickly that there are also a lot of other regulars who shop there too.  Some are highly amusing; others are just plain creepy.  One thing for sure is that it is never a dull experience.  They probably feel the same about me too!

It used to be that shopping thrifts was kind of an alternative, funky thing to do.  A lot of people wouldn’t set foot in such a place.  Now it seems like thrifts are getting to be more of a cool, economical thing to do.  That’s okay, the more the merrier.  And the more I hope people will donate and recycle.  Thrifting may not be for the faint of heart, but it will always be unrivaled!

Happy shopping!