Saturday, February 19, 2011

Did you pack this luggage yourself?

There are many thousands of things I love about the US. I love their excellent roads (logical and well kept), I love their friendly and respectful citizens, I love the little tubs of raisins and brown sugar that accompany bowls of steel cut oats in diners and I love the colour and history that you can find with a little effort at every window, every truck stop, every corner. 

There are two things I wish I could bring home from home from the US and install here - the fabulous thrift stores and the Alameda Markets. 

We flew in yesterday and I, in a comforting shroud that can only be had after five Valium  (yes, five - I am a great person to sit next to on a plane, quiet and still) began to unpack. In my sweet unfocused haze, I thought you might like to see the vintage jewellery I collected on my travels. 

I'll focus today on my haul from the Alameda Markets. 

  It was all beautiful. Like this Czech pendant, Wedgwood brooch, amber glass brooch (that can also be worn as a pendant) and sash pin. 

Or this small carved plastic flower pin, or the gold lined brooch.  
Or these two glass Czech necklaces. 

Or this fabulous pair of matching glass brooches. They are bright and detailed and consequently hard to photograph but they are going to be so much fun to wear. 

It wasn't all rhinestones and clasps. There were many gorgeous dresses I had to leave behind, but did manage to find some light, easy to pack things, like  these four silk scarves. I am particularly in love with the zebra number. 
But not quite as in love as I am with this unbelievable creamy silk blouse from the forties. I believe this blouse was waiting for me. It was hiding under a pile of heavy table clothes and made itself known when I slipped my hand amongst the cloths, looking for silk. I bought it on spec without trying it on, and it fits like it was made for me. 
It is hand made, and even features tiny quilted removable shoulder pads. Look at the detailed sternum: 
Then this dress, which the dealer had marked for $60 but sold to me, for no reason I can discern, for thirty dollars. It's art silk, (hand wash! No drycleaning!) probably from the late forties, and is in perfect condition. She's a little roomy in the bosom, but nothing a good belt and fitted jacket can't fix. 
The dark patches you see on the chest area are two tiny beautifully smocked pockets. 
This little bark cloth bag is also hand made and cost me eight dollars. It has a split personality - meek and pastel...
... or crimson and dramatic. 
I like both. 

So that's one tiny corner of my luggage. Coming soon - Volume Two: the thrift shop hauls.