Monday, September 10, 2012

The Great Plate Escape

Welcome back to the all-new Little Dinner Party! I know I've said this before but this time I actually mean it. Since the summer is now over, we'll say this is season two of our little blog. It'll be less structured and a bit less formal. Don't worry - there will still be dinner parties, but now with quick recipes, crafts and photo-inspired anecdotes, like this one:

The Great (Decorative) Plate Escape

See those mid-century beauties to your left? Cute right? Those were my dead grandma's and they looked great in my hodge-podgy kitchen, until recently. As we're all guilty of, I got trashed on Labor Day because that's what you do. In a cat-induced bout of clumsiness, I swiped both plates off the wall to their shattering end. In my drunkeness I thought for sure I could mend them with tears and hot glue. Upon sober inspection the next day I realized they were lost causes. In order to forget about them and move on, I decided I had to fill the void on my wall and look for new plates at my local thrift stores. Here's a guide to actually cheap vintage wares in and around the north side of Chicago. 

Unique Thrift Store - Uptown
Village Discount - Roscoe Village

Brown Elephant - Andersonville
Village Discount - Andersonville

A Guide to Picking

Thrift stores are the most disgusting places on earth. They're carnivals of filth and poverty, two of my least favorite atributes about second-hand hunting. It's easy to spot other vintage finders because of how clean they appear. That aside, these are excellent places to find bric-a-brac at garage sale prices. As you may notice there are no Salvation Armys up there because they're a trashy organization and their shops are horrifying to behold. I also skipped Brown Elephant in Boystown because you'll never find anything good there, it's always picked over. 

In order to find a good variety of stuff, you have to work the store. I usually start off by the books. Thrift stores are the best place to find used books because they're at most a dollar. This trip, however, did not yield any literary treasures. I had luck finding an adequate (if not better) replacement for my plate. Unfortunately, I only found one where I need two. 

After laboriously searching, I decided my dreams were unrealistic. As one sometimes must do, I widened my expectations and ended up with these cuties instead: 

It's best to decide on a theme, otherwise you'll buy everything. My kitschy-kitchen is mostly a vintage travel theme, and what more exotic place to travel than Ohio. In addition to finding obscure decorative plates, I always keep my eye out for ceramic cookware. Found this little gem and made quite a lasagna in it: 

And occasionally you buy things that seem a lot nicer in the store than they do in your apartment. The rejection drawer can be easily re-purposed into the gift-drawer, especially when you say, "I got it at a little vintage store and thought of you." It's almost like not lying. These are an example of an odd choice I made: 

What do you think? 

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