Elementary School Auction Gold (New to Me Overload, Part 2)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Two months ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook feed when a post literally caught my breath. The contents of my elementary school (closed for a few years) were going to be auctioned off in early October. I absolutely loved my neighborhood elementary school. I remember playing tag between the giant pine trees at recess and when Mrs. Kreischer made pumpkin seeds and gave us her recipe (which I use to this day). I also remember falling off the stage after my solo in the fourth grade Christmas concert and watching Daryl VanKirk masterfully lip synch the Glenn Frey classic, The Heat is On, at a school talent show on the same stage. I could go on and on. I HAD to go to that auction and for more than nostalgia.
I wanted a vintage world map. And maybe another globe. My apartment's empty walls needed that auction. I excitedly sent an email to the auctioneer asking about the contents of the school. He looked beyond the ridiculousness of my message and sent a completely rational response. Pictures would be posted online soon, and when they were, I was disapponted...a lot of kitchen equipment, random lab specimens, desks and chairs. Still, I was determined to go.

That weekend, I travelled to my hometown and bundled up early on a cold Saturday and headed to my elementary school. The last time I was there was to watch my brother skateboard. The swingsets were missing their swings, the playground sad and lifeless. The school smelled the exact same, but I wasn't ready for how it looked. You know how you remember something one way, and then see it years later and it's totally different, but in the worst way possible? Yeah, that. I registered for the auction and walked around my school. There were teachers there hoping to buy back their own materials, Amish men hoping to buy textbooks for their one-room schoolhouses and people like me, looking to salvage something from their childhood. When the auction finally began, I couldn't believe the prices things were selling for. A room of desks for $6, uniforms to outfit an entire marching band for $4 and the random rattlesnake for $25.
As for me, I was thrilled with what I got - a box full of animal skulls for $2 (random, but I've been searching on Etsy for one, so buying a box of them for $2 vs. $75-$100 on Etsy for one was a steal) and an amazing vintage world map (the brilliant spring loaded kind that every teacher in the history of education wrestled with at the chalkboard) for $30. I have also been scouring Etsy for this exact same type of map, and couldn't find a halfway decent one for less than $150, so again, $30 was a great deal. Overall, it was the saddest/strangest day I've had in a long time, but I'm thrilled with my purchases and even happier that I was able to claim a piece of my school and my childhood. 

I owe a huge thanks to my friend JC, who showed up to the auction just in time to find the map that I ended up buying...and to my fellow Riverside Elementary School alum, Tait, who lives three blocks away from me and has a ladder, power tools and the willingness to hang this for me on a Saturday.

New to Me Overload, Part 1

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Some months I blow my shopping budget. October 2013 is one of those months. After seeing the fall collections (and by seeing the fall collections, I am referring to the Vogue September issue), I became obsessed with fur. I know, my last post was about leather. Again, I won't buy new fur, but I will buy vintage fur. Now that the leaves are falling and I've broken out my winter clothes, the quest to find a good vintage fur stole began. I found the perfect (for me) mystery fur stole on Etsy from Flashbax, a Wilmington, NC based shop. I say mystery fur, because even though it looks like fox, it's soft like rabbit, but all one piece. For $30, I was thrilled to get it and even happier to find it didn't have any funky resale odors.

Next up, I have been killing my thrifted vintage Longchamp crossbody bag. Killing it to the point where I started looking for another crossbody. I was super excited to find the same seller who sold me that Longchamp with a gorgeous (the prettiest eggplant color) logo-free Coach crossbody bag (also $30). I arranged a pickup and have been using it ever since. LOVE it! 

Stay tuned, because I have more amazing vintage and thrifted finds to tell y'all about! As in eBay'd leather AND tweed pants and purchases for my apartment from my elementary school's auction this weekend. Out of control. 

Current Obsessions-Tweed Shorts and Leather

Monday, October 7, 2013

I absolutely love fall fashion. Fall itself is okay with falling leaves, pumpkin and apple everything and ample opportunity to watch the best movie with a main character named "Laurie," Halloween. The fashion - boots, wool, tweed, leather, gloves, hats, etc.- is what gets me.

This year, I'm particularly obsessed with tweed and leather. While cleaning out my closet this summer, I found two pair of tweed shorts from Gap (tags still on, apparently purchased for $9.99 each years ago). They fit perfectly and look great with tights and booties/boots. Super excited to have found these shorts, and add them to the countless tweed skirts, pants, blazers and hats already in my closet.

Next up, my problem with leather. I have always loved leather a little too much for somebody who also loves animals. I admittedly have a bad attitude about pleather, and much like anything in my life, I blame my mother for this. Anything less than leather is horrific to her. Period. But animals and stuff, you know? It's a tough call. That's why I decided that I wasn't going to buy any new leather clothing items. I would purchase used. Leather is huge this season, and my plan works great, as buying a new leather skirt would mean spending more than my entire monthly shopping budget. That simply wouldn't work, so used via Etsy or eBay would be the only way to go. 

Now, at the time I made this decision, I already owned two pair of leather pants, a leather skirt and three leather jackets (one I have since sold). I told you it was a problem. For my first used leather goods purchase, I went with social media (I really do shop this way a lot). In April, a girl I follow on Instagram (@zittajohn, who just had the most amazing vintage Vegas wedding ever-she met her husband on IG, too) was selling a gorgeous vintage brown leather pencil skirt for $20. I PayPal'd her the money, and a few days later, it arrived in the mail, fit like a glove and instantly became my favorite work skirt.

RIP long hair. 

Anyway, score one for my recycled leather plan! Fast forward about six months, and I was frantically searching for two things, black leather shorts and a black leather pencil skirt. Finally, I found a pencil skirt with my measurements for $17 on eBay. It arrived (with much confusion and a lot of effort to track it down as it was lost by USPS), but was too big (learn how to use a ruler, people). No problem-I hiked it up a bit and belted it, giving it a more structured look. Sorry for the crappy pictures, but it's a very grey morning here, making my apartment  dark and gloomy. 

The quest for leather shorts is still on, but hooray for the way my fall fashion is shaping up! Also, do not try retro pinup waves on rainy days. Your hair will look sad and fall flat the minute you walk outside.