buckets of fun

So, it all started with needing some rust-colored thread for a purse I’m making. I ran out just as I was about to start a bunch of top-stitching for the loooooong cross-body strap. Since Jim at the Sewing Store recommended a specific brand of thread, which I couldn’t find anywhere else, even online, I geared up for a trip to Racine, where Jim resides in his Sewing Store.

An impromptu text to my fellow shopper, Jane, got her excited enough about a Racine Adventure to tag along.

The Racine Sewing Store is a miracle of tactile delight. There’s fabric, of course, which any sewist (or otherwise, I suspect) can’t help but at least graze with fingers, but there’s an additional mother lode of incredible yarns. Complete with sample knitted projects that make me want to shed my jacket and try out various shawls, scarves, sweaters, shrugs, hats and socks. All of them creatively displayed with brooches, pins, and other accessories that always look terrific on store mannequins but Really Weird when I’m at home looking in the bathroom mirror with my own body therein. 🙁

We ooohed, aahed and touched our way through the store until I got down to business and asked the friendly clerk about interfacing, which was on my list. My query about a seam ripper brought out this battery-operated gadget that ate its way through seams like PacMan so I succumbed and bought the little critter, fully intending to make more sewing mistakes in order to justify my purchase.

As I was checking out, the brilliant Jane asked of anyone in the immediate vicinity of the check-out counter their opinion on a good place to eat. They chimed, “Buckets!” in unison and looked at a woman standing nearby, who was obviously the owner of Buckets. We memorized her directions, which consisted of “right down the street” and soon were sitting in a pleasant bar/dining room enjoying a bowl of delicious Chicken Wild Rice Soup. Connie, (the owner we’d seen at Sewing) soon arrived, and we had a nice talk with her about Everything. Thus, we made a new friend and added an outstanding lunch place to our repertoire because of Jane’s quick-thinking query.

Upon learning that we intended to Thrift after lunch, Connie recommended the Thrift Store (that’s its real name). Again, the directions were “right up the street”, which we discovered after circling the block several times and thoroughly confusing the Google Lady. (Although this wasn’t the end of the Google Lady’s confusion for the day!! She was ready to resign her Google job by the time we left Racine.) It was a beautiful little store and we found some real bargains.

OFF! we went in search of the Elusive Racine Vinny’s, which was a study in Google Maps hilarity. The Lady kept telling us to turn onto some “path” that didn’t exist at that particular location. Around and around we went until finally stumbling upon a Vinnys that looked pretty sketchy, as did the whole neighborhood. A Very Nice Man was just exiting the store as we parked. He came over to the car and said it was closed for the day, but would be open tomorrow from 11 to 1. We laughed our way out of the parking lot in search of the Salvation Army, which after AGAIN much Google Lady frustration turned out to be a vacant building.

This was our Nevermind Moment and we decided to hit the tried-and-true, albeit messy and disorganized Goodwill. I needed snow pants for my ice fishing outing next week, so I found those in the Men’s’ dept. Kinda grubby, but they’ll do for a one-day excursion. (All mine are Up North or Too Small.) I also found a Very Red coffee cup, which I’m enjoying now and a piece of Waverly outdoor fabric in a nice periwinkle. Of course, I really need more coffee cups and fabric.

Back to Waterford, where we finally found a Vinny’s — this one we know and love. I found a nest of Outrageously Gorgeous scarves in fabrics to dye for (har har) linen, cotton, wool, silk as well as a few notions. Jane found another top Exactly like the one she was wearing which she loves, so now has two.

All in all, a great day of shopping!

Sir Loin

So, there he was wandering the aisles of the grocery store talking on the phone followed step for step by three little blonde kids with a huge pork loin slung over his shoulder.


So, I had a definite reason to go to Rice Lake today. I needed roof caulk (tar) to patch a hole in the Craic House roof.

No trip to RL is complete without a lot of thrifting, so I stopped in to the Restore and LOOK WHAT I FOUND!!

$2 each

I told the checkout clerk that she should charge me double for the Ugly. I have no idea why these pieces of furniture were so incredibly popular in the 70’s, but They. Are. Everywhere.

Anyway, I found three cushions which I plan to recover. Re-cover. Cover again, since this style has no business being recovered.

Everywhere. They seem to have survived everyone’s purging for a lot of years.

Then to Vinny’s where I found THIS!

So cleverly simple!

It’s just two cushions sitting on an upholstered hunk of plywood with casters as far as I can tell. I already have the fabric picked out for the cushions. The casters are a bit stubborn — they like to swivel, but not so good at rolling. So they’ll be changed out, too. By using vinyl, it can be used outdoors. Oh. I. Am. So. Lucky.

THEN, Goodwill gave up the goods on THIS:

I’ll ditch the flimsy guts and replace it with a lined canvas, which I have in kelly green.

The frame is super sturdy and will hold lots of yarn, pillows, blankets, laundry or children, if I’m so inclined, although there aren’t any of those around today.

All in all it was a great day shopping.

Luck of the Baseball

Sometimes when you’re shopping, nothing really jumps out at you. Other times, pretty much everything does, so much so that you need to call on a friend with a trucking company to come and help you haul it home. Today, I was in a rather frustrating store that was not only overcrowded with people — the aisles have never been wide enough for two carts passing in the night — but the shelves were so full that merchandise was falling off. At one point, while I was looking through stuff, my actions caused a whole avalanche to fall on the head of a stray 4-year-old who happened to be standing nearby. Fortunately, it was yarn, so no damage to either the child or the goods.

So there I was, making the decision on whether to fight my way through the next aisle or give it all up when THIS beckoned.

I grabbed it and went straight to the checkout. It was meant to be. And I was meant to leave with my loot.

Shopping is the thirstiest affair ever. I mean what is it about strolling the confines of any place of commerce that makes me stagger to the nearest bubbler and start slurping. Even when I think ahead and carry water, I drink the whole thing and STILL need a beer when I’m finished shopping. (Sometimes not even when I’m finished. If they served cold brew at Goodwill, I’d be first in line.)

I’ve become accustomed to being the only single 60-something woman in any tavern at half-past afternoon, so was surprised today when I marched into a new establishment and the only person at the bar was an around-my-age woman imbibing in a cold one. Being my subtle self, I asked if she was sitting at a bar in the middle of the afternoon ALONE!!?? to which she promptly replied that indeed she was. Also, she had rainbow colored hair. I am encouraged.