HOME           /           ABOUT           /           ETSY           /           CONTACT

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Taking Ownership

Old photographs are something I see for sale somewhat frequently at flea markets and vintage stores. It saddens me because I cherish the family photos I have — it's like little pieces of my ancestry in tangible form.

But for one reason or another, some photos are lost or forgotten. Ancestors evolve into strangers.

At a recent flea market stop, I decided to dig through and purchase a few of these precious photos I saw in a pile beside some knick knacks. I didn't know what I'd do with them at first, but I think to look at them and to play around with them is to appreciate them. Here are the results:


There was a whole roll of pictures that came with this photo, but I thought this one in particular kind of embodied the whole story. The lady looking at the camera is a bride on her wedding day. I love how low key this all was back then: Eating wedding cake in the kitchen of someone's house, perhaps her own home.

A small group of friends and family are gathered around the kitchen table, a few paper bells as decoration. If someone truly wanted a retro wedding, they should just have the reception at a fire hall! Looking back, I kinda wish I would've done something like that.

Side note: THAT STOVE is adorable.


This one was perhaps my favorite of the bunch because of its sepia quality and the fact that it's just so cute. My guess this was taken at a county fair, and children took turns posing as little cowboys or cowgirls.

And the hashtag I added? #mixinggenerationalbehaviorsisfunny


I wish this one wasn't so overexposed, but I think vintage swimsuits are the cutest.

I played around with coloring a black and white photo just for fun. I don't know if that looks any good, but I might practice a bit more. I learned the colorizing process on Photoshop by watching this video.

Collecting old family photos might be something I add to my collection list, as if there weren't enough things already. I am kind of at a loss at what to do with them. I think I'm going to search for people doing particular things in photos, whether they're in a certain location, on roller skates, etc. and then make a collage.

I don't know. In a way buying these photos made me feel like I took ownership of their past a bit. It was more of a cathartic experience than I initially realized. I bought these photos, among dozens of others, for $1.

Have you ever thought about repurposing old photos?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A Quick Hello

Work has been kicking my butt lately. Just wanted to check in and say estate sales are AMAZING.

A photo posted by Kate (@thriftburgher) on

I was in an estate sale groove over the weekend. On Sunday I hit the jackpot: I found loads of cool stuff at two sales, and paid less than $20 for EVERYTHING. Those items include:

∙ Porcelain unicorn bust
∙ 1950's era Ouija board in box
∙ Pair of Beene Bag (as in Geoffrey Beene) red leather cowboy boots
. Half dozen vintage glasses
∙ Two sets of teapot salt and pepper shakers
∙ Vintage mini globe
∙ Pair of vintage cast iron dumbbells, still in box
∙ "Nobody likes a smartass" decorative plate
∙ King size black and white striped comforter
∙ Three Ball canning jars, quart sized
∙ Vintage mint-colored colander
∙ Sewing box
∙ Lilac gingham print fabric, seersucker material
∙ Vintage Better Homes and Gardens Sewing Book

Honestly, I'm probably still missing a few things. I'm not even sure how I managed to pay less than 20 bucks; I'm usually a terrible haggler. I think the timing was right: It had been raining on and off all weekend, there were few people out and about going to sales, and the people selling really wanted to get rid of stuff and make deals.

Rain was also in my favor at the Regent Square Neighborhood Yard Sale on Saturday; curb finds included cute summer clothes and a box of 45 records! FOR FREE!

I have considered for a long time about opening an Etsy page. I think vintage and kitschy good are fun, I collect a lot of them anyway, so I think I'm going to open a page sometime this summer. As if I didn't already have enough on my plate, haha. I'll keep yinz posted about that.

Been to any good sales lately? :) And if you have an Etsy store, what's your experience been like?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Mother's Day: Kidspeak

Sometimes I have the coolest job.

As an education reporter, I cover a lot of different issues, but one of the biggest perks is talking to students in the classroom. The elementary-aged ones can be just so darn cute! On occasion I'll get an assignment that basically equates to student reactions. I recently completed one of these assignments for Mother's Day.

Typically I wouldn't cross-mingle my work life and the blog, but I thought it was cute and lighthearted enough to be OK in this situation. And YOLO. Enjoy. :)

What do you love about your mom?

"She’s beautiful, just without her makeup."
Seven-year-old girl

What's your favorite thing your mom does for you?

"I love my mom because she always takes care of us. She gives us toys, clothes, and takes us to McDonalds. I love that place."
Seven-year-old boy

"She feeds me and gives me water."
Eight-year-old girl

"She takes me to my ice skating lessons and she feeds me chocolate chip pancakes everyday."
Eight-year-old boy

"Whenever I make messes, she cleans them up. Sometimes I leave my toys out. She tells me to (clean) but I don’t."
Eight-year-old girl

Why is it important to celebrate Mother's Day?

"I think it’s important to have Mother’s Day because she doesn’t have to deal with my brother killing me and we should thank moms because they were there for all our lives."
Seven-year-old girl

"It gives mothers excitement for having a happy time with her children."
Seven-year-old boy

"I think it’s important because you don’t help her much, so you can help her on Mother’s Day."
Seven-year-old girl

"It’s like her birthday, so we celebrate it."
Eight-year-old boy

How do you plan to celebrate Mother's Day?

"I'm going to scare her." And then give her a balloon.
Seven-year-old boy

Aren't kids the cutest? I can only imagine what I would've said if I were asked those questions as a seven-year-old. Hah.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Kennywood's Open

Potato Patch fries. The Thunderbolt. Community picnics. Noah's Ark. Pittsburgh's favorite amusement park, Kennywood, has been dazzling visitors for more than 115 years.



Along with most people who grew up in the area, Kennywood is a major source of nostalgia for my family. It was an annual trek growing up. My mom loved the Thunderbolt, a classic wooden coaster that goes off the track with a dip, thanks to the region's hilly terrain, and squeezes your sitting partner around each speeding curve. My dad would ride anything fast or scary, including the Steel Phantom, the park's only steel coaster. (It has since been replaced with Phantom's Revenge.)

During high school, I went there a little too much since I went to picnics and (as a band geek) usually marched in the Fall Festival parade there. Visiting about once a summer is plenty for me to get my Kennywood fill.

I recently found this pair of postcards during a flea market haul. I'm guessing these are from the 1960s, based on some of the outfits patrons are wearing in the Ghost Ship postcard.

It was kinda hard to nail down a time period initially, but after a little research I now know the Ghost Ship operated for only a short time, between 1966 and 1975, when the building it was housed in burnt to the ground from an electrical fire.

There is so much classic charm at Kennywood that's unmatched at most other modern amusement parks. Places like Cedar Point and Six Flags have the thrills, but Kennywood wins on its classics. There's a variety of wooden roller coasters, there's plenty of old rickety rides in the best way like The Whip, the Turtle and Noah's Ark, and delicious foods. The french fries and the square-shaped ice cream cone come to mind. Familiar with the movie Adventureland? Kennywood was the movie's primary set, and was a huge reason why I watched that movie on heavy rotation post-college.

The biggest downfall to the park is there's little room to physically expand, so each time the park announces a new ride, it usually means another ride has to be removed.

The Pitt Fall, one of my longtime favorite rides, fell victim to that a few years ago, and was removed and sold to another park in 2011. Mark's favorite ride at Kennywood, The Turnpike, met the same fate a year or two before the Pitt Fall. (However, park officials said at the time of removal they would likely revive The Turnpike at some point at a new location. That hasn't happened yet, to my knowledge.)

Other favorites of mine are still in existence: the wooden coasters, especially the Racer, the Log Jammer and the swings, which is perfect after a wet ride to dry off. Technically I don't think it's a ride, but I've done the Skycoaster a few times over the years, too.

And if you're a native, you know that the phrase "Kennywood's Open" has more than one meaning. ;) I once, in mid-winter, had a long, awkward conversation in elementary school about whether Kennywood was actually open. A few minutes went by until I realized my classmate was trying to tell me my fly was down. Haha.

The park is now open on weekends, and then opens full-time for summer beginning next weekend. Anyone have favorite Kennywood memories?