When I drove an hour+ east to meet Astro, I of course had to plan some retro recon in fresh territory. And dog-whisperer Denise was totally game to take me to some of her favorite thrifting spots. That’s her at one of our vintage shop-stops, where we discovered the we share the ability (err: need) to spend two solid hours in a 15′ x 15′ room full of vintage clothing scouring every last square inch for buried treasure. Yes, we found some loot. 🙂

First, we went to a genuine thrift store at a senior center near Denise’s house. Denise scored this glitzy dress, $1. I bought some Snoopy wrapping paper, 25 cents. Denise goes here often, so she knows everyone, and had told them she was bringing me. I felt like a celebrity. It was very fun, tee hee.

After we ate lunch at a bona-fide diner, we went to a much bigger vintage shop — Refind Green Designs in Newington, a suburb of Hartford. Not too much 50s, but some 60s, lots of 70s and yes, lots of 80s and 90s, even. Pretty packed full of stuff — a promising sign.

These lighted reverse-glass paintings with an Asian motif are really cool — notice how the frames are three different colors. I also have just noticed, that the paint color on the wall is quite lovely. I will find out what it is. Design tip: Sets of three like this make for very nice groupings indeed. When I go back to pick up Astro, I might need these, too. Hmmm.

Denise got excited about this pillow. It’s nice and all, but she was VERY excited, and at first I didn’t quite understand why.

Then she revealed the other side! How clever.

This Versace chain mail necklace (I think that’s what it’s called) was one of the most truly fabulous things in the store. Disco. $350.

Yes, over milady’s shoulder was this guy. Every self-respecting 60s house needs a Toro Toro Toro, don’t you think?

Sorry for the blur. These kinds of 70s oil paintings — lovely mats, lovely frames, nicely rendered — can be had at great prices, and give you the opportunity to bring larger-sized art into your home. Worth watching for.

This 70s dinnerware, mint in this cute orange box, was $10. I should clarify, that we haven’t shown you what we bought yet. This is all just stuff that I liked.

Very classy bench-settee, I guess you’d call it. Naugahyde? I love this butterscotch color.

This was a great piece. I shoulda put something next to it to show the scale better. He is big.

More black porcelain. Grrrr.

Hmmm. Rarely do I get to say this: “Not my cup of tea.”

The brown Cathrineholm sauce pans were $15 each. Is that a good price? I think it might be…

Yowza. This adorable little coral naugahyde settee was my favorite thing in the shop for sure! I jut have NO place for it, drats. Isn’t Denise a wonderful model? She put up with me snap snap snappin’ away all day long. A good sport, you are, Denise!

Love. Do you know how much woven wooden shades like this cost new? Like, the equivalent of $1,000 today or something. These are fantastic. There is NOTHING wrong with them from a design standpoint. They are NOT UGLY or ABOMINABLE. Have I mentioned: They are fantastic. Oh and if you disagree with me, I might have to hang you on the meat hook right next door.

There were two of these valances. Each one was 202″ long. Asking price was $100 each.

Pink laminate coffee table with anodized gold legs. Wasn’t there a movie recently with Renee Zellweger where she played a 60s magazine editor and her apartment was all pink pink pink? This might fit there, but it still may not be outrageous enough.

This store had lots of barkcloth curtains.

40s barkcloth here.

So after all the meat and potatoes, we saved dessert — the room full of vintage clothes — for last.

Denise found lots to try on, and anguished over whether to buy this little mint green number or not. (She’s waiting.)

I was actually the big buyer of the day. I got these Sears go-go shoes which fit perfectly. Denise found three vintage Vera scarves buried in a pile. They are simple little chiffon numbers — I got this one. And, at the last second, I spotted a booklet that teaches children how to draw, from the 1940s.

Our total bill for about four hours of shopping: $11. 🙂

  1. nina462 says:

    oh…the black panther tv lamp. I have a Rin Tin Tin tv lamp, very rare–but a must have. There’s also a tv lamp store just south of Minneapolis, MN for those who are looking for them.

  2. Jessica says:

    How fun! Those silver shoes are brilliant – and they actually look comfortable, too. I’m coming up to Hartford to visit my little sister – can you divulge the names/addresses of these stores so I can take her?

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