Thursday, July 31, 2008

Escape to Madison

With air fares being so ridiculously high lately, I've been sticking close to Chicago and instead of going to LA or NYC (le sigh) I have taken smaller trips by train to Madison, Wisconsin. My friend Tricia and her husband live out there so I fortunately always have a place to stay for an extended weekend. Most recently I went out there for the 4th of July but the following photos are from an earlier trip (Memorial Day). I'd been meaning to post these pictures ages ago but just got around to doing it now (sad I know).

I bought this 1970s day dress at a new Good Will store in downtown Madison. At first glance the store seemed to only have newer clothes but after a digging a bit I found 3 pristine vintage dresses for only $8 a piece! The little wicker purse was also found in Madison at another Good Will and the Paddington bear was found at a St. Vincent de Paul. The metal green trunk I'm sitting on was found for only $10 at an estate sale in Park Ridge ( a city just Northwest of Chicago).

We also went to brunch one day at this amazing little cafe called Lazy Janes. Inside it's all decked out in vintage, including all the tables and chairs. The food was just as amazing as the decor, the ingredients were really fresh and the omelette I had rivalled those I'd eaten in Montreal (my cuisine gold standard).

Posing in a room full of aqua diner chairs. Tricia & I found them in a 1950s-themed diner in the small town of Sun Prairie (where Georgia O'Keefe was born). I think they are probably reproductions and not authentic but I love them anyways!

This was a window display in the small town of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. I actually own a box of that Tintex dye... I bought a few packs at an estate sale a few months ago.

I went to a Memorial Day taco party at a friend of a friend's home in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. I loved their house-- it was built in 1872! They had a clawfoot tub in their bathroom (wish I had gotten a photo of it) and clapboard siding in their halls.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Jar 'o buttons

Here's another photograph taken for my Studio 1 lighting class. I found this glass jelly jar full of vintage buttons at a St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Madison, Wisconsin over the Memorial Day weekend. While I'll find 'deadstock' buttons on cards every once in a while at a thrift store, this is the first time I've found a jar of them.

I have fond memories of digging through my grandmother's slightly rusty candy tin brimming with buttons of all sorts, my favorite were large brown Bakelite coat buttons or delicate and rhinestone-studded dress buttons. While sifting through the plastic, metal, shell and bone buttons my grandmother would sometimes share their origins-- all had been saved from dresses, jackets and shirts that were so tattered from wearings that only the buttons remained.

Jars of buttons don't exist in the contemporary home; we're encouraged to buy each season's hot new trends and discard whatever is now considered unfashionable, regardless of its condition. These jars also seem to be a product of those that had survived the Great Depression, I remember my grandmother saving everything-- including bread twist ties and odd bits of string.

For now this jar sits on a shelf in my living room, but some day I hope some of these buttons will find new life on one of my vintage shirts or dresses. I only wonder about their history and the articles of clothing they used to adorn.