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My Big Yellow Treasure Chest

August 2, 2010

I was out and about at my favorite thrifting spots over the weekend and I found something fantastic.  It was tucked under a shelf, mostly concealed from view. (And that always makes it seem like a bigger better find, right?)  But even in the dimly lit store, this bright yellow couldn’t hide from my peering eyes.

I pulled it out to get a better look and when I tried the latches to see if it opened I was shocked at the contents.  I only took one quick little peek, and then stuffed everything back inside and heaved it up to the register.  I paid my $3 (in all quarters mind you) and quickly hoisted it into my car (along with the rest of my loot, but that’s another post.)  When I got home I left it in the car.  I knew that Creamie would want to dig through it with me, but I was worried about a few little loose bits I had a quick glimpse of.  So after Scott got home and was watching Creamie play in the tub, I dragged this baby out in front of the bathroom door and opened the lid, showing off each piece as I pulled it out for all (Creamie, Scott, family of rubber ducks) to see.

Spilling out of the inside pockets and erupting from the bottom was yards and yards of fabric.  There is a scrap of velvet, some ripstop nylon and some dark brown vinyl.  Some is pretty satin, some is nice lining fabric, but most of it is the hideous polyester that old tablecloths and pantsuits were made of.  That will be donated this week.  I just can’t justify saving it to make a red and white leisure suit.  Oh, and every time I touch it I shudder.  The texture of that stuff is repulsive.  I do not want it to touch my skin anywhere.  Ever.

Next up is a few rolls of ribbon, and a spool of gold metallic elastic thread.  This is only about half of the ribbon, but the good half.  There are several other (ugly) rolls going right back in the “Donate” Box.  There was also several yards of new 3/4″ wide white elastic, some cording, and some black tube elastic that will find their way into my sewing box.

Several bits of lace.  Most of these are just little scraps, less than half a yard each. But the prettiest one (second up from the bottom) is a good sized roll, more than three yards.  It is going to be perfect to trim a dress for Creamie. And it’s soft and shimmery and so so pretty.  There was also about 15 yards of creamy/dingy looking gathered lace.  And that along with 15 yards of rust colored pom pom fringe is in the donate box.  They just look dirty (though the inside of the suitcase is completely clean and dust and bug free) and I don’t even want to touch them without washing my hands.

These two large wooden beads.  I am thrilled to have them, I already have a purpose in mind and they will show up in a project before the end of the year.  They are about 2 1/2″ high and a little over an inch wide.  Awesome!

A small collection of pearl head pins. There was also several little bags/boxes/papers full of old straight pins.  (Those were what I saw and opted to wait until I didn’t have Creamie’s help to dig through this treasure chest.)  I’ll probably keep these, but I won’t be keeping the flat head straight pins.  I bought a box of pink glass head pins a few months ago and I can’t bear to use any others.  Does that make me vain?

There were lots of needles.  Lots and lots of needles.  After I got all the piles of pins sorted out I had a little (big) pile of needles, 99 to be exact. Plus three sewing machine needles.  They range in size from 4″ to 1.5″ long, and all different thicknesses, tips and eye sizes.  I have no idea what I’ll do with 99 needles, but I clearly need to make myself a larger needle book.  Or three.

There was a random assortment of packaging I found as I was digging.  Most of it was pretty blah, but these three I thought were kind of cool.  More needles, and some hooks & eye’s.  I wonder how old these are, and what this woman was doing in England…

Here is the contents of a small jar of buttons.  Which was mixed up with a large jar of straight pins.  Most of them are nothing fancy, they look like they are the extra’s from clothing. There are several that have a mate and are part of a pair. But they look to be your run of the mill standard white plastic shirt buttons, black pants buttons, etc.  I do really like the yellow buttons, and a pretty new collection of shiny silvery one’s.

This last picture might be my very favorite from the whole box.  On the back of a button card, one lone button still stapled on, some one has written “Water front yard.” and then underlined it three times.  It must have been important!  I don’t know why, but I LOVE this!

The woman who owned this suitcase before me was a saver.  She had bags of little scraps, pantyhose legs, the cut off hems of pants, strips of old t-shirts and cuffs from old shirt sleeves.  I think she cut buttons off of clothing before she got rid of worn out pieces.  As I was going through this suitcase in the hall while Creamie was taking her bath Scott told me that this suitcase was like a 1970’s version of me.  Only I don’t buy much polyester.   She kept her sewing gear in a big yellow hardsided suitcase, and I keep mine in my closet.  But we both keep teeny scraps of everything. You know, in case we need it later.

Digging through this suitcase and picking up bits of pieces of some unknown woman’s life was the most fun I’ve had from any $3 purchase.   She wrote reminders on the back of her button cards. Hilarious. Now I’ve got some new fabrics to tuck in the closet, a lifetime supply of needles, a little ribbon and pretty lace, some good elastic, wooden beads, and buttons.  Oh, and a bright yellow suitcase.  And for some reason these words keep running through my mind…

“We all Live in A Yellow Submarine,  A Yellow Submarine,  A Yellow Submarine.”

11 Comments leave one →
  1. sara permalink
    August 2, 2010 7:41 am

    best $3 EVER.

    I wish I knew where to thrift and HOW. Will you come teach me of your ways? 😀

    The comment from Scott is AWESOME. seriously, even if there wasn’t all this awesomeness in there, that alone made it worth saving for Creamie to have some day! “here, baby – this is the 70’s version of me. and here’s the 2010 version in this OTHER yellow 1950’s suitcase!” 🙂 made my morning.

    and I can’t wait to see what you do with those beads. I’m enthralled.

  2. August 2, 2010 9:13 am

    Ooooh. Fancy-Schmancy. And I agree with Scott–the original owner of this suitcase is you, circa 1970 when polyester was en vogue.


  3. Rokonmom permalink
    August 2, 2010 10:25 am

    Oh my gosh! Those buttons and cards remind me of my grandma! Sure enough she would cut the buttons off of EVERY shirt before she got rid of it. Her button box was been passed down to my mom and now me. Most of them look like those, Plain Jane, but there are some Great Old Ones. Memories. I LOVE IT. 🙂

  4. August 2, 2010 10:42 am

    you are taking me thrifting next time I come to Utah. I love your thrifting posts!!

  5. August 2, 2010 11:04 am

    wow, all that, for just $3! You were really blessed with a great find! 🙂

  6. August 2, 2010 8:58 pm

    Okay — you are making me a bit jealous!!! I am surprised the suitcase isn’t pink! 😉 What goodies – I can’t wait to see what you are going to make!!

  7. Annie Terry permalink
    August 3, 2010 10:36 am

    I LOVE this suitcase! What a find — full of so many pieces of fabric and other treasures. I saw a post where a lady used a somewhat similar old (painted) yellow suitcase in a photoshoot and as her little girl’s dress-up clothes storage bin. I think it would be so cute to dress up Creamie in feather boas and pearl necklaces sitting on top of that lovely yellow suitcase. Love it! Here’s the link with the similar suitcase:

  8. August 5, 2010 2:29 pm

    what a find! that is a treasure chest.

  9. October 6, 2010 3:55 pm

    wow!!! I think that totally takes the money…i mean, wins the money? Takes the cake?
    You totally scored!!! Awesome find.

  10. September 28, 2014 12:26 am

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    topic, however, you sound like you know what you’re talking about!

  11. October 22, 2014 12:03 am

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the finest sites online.
    I most certainly will recommend this web site!

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