Saturday, August 9, 2008

Thrift Store Heaven

Last week Tom and I took a road trip not to far from home but just far enough to leave our worries behind.

Ventura, California still has great shopping. I visited many Antique Malls but one really stood out as a great place to shop.
When I walked in Neil Young was singing in the background and the owner , a friendly man who had an air of x hippie to him named David greeted me from behind a desk covered with papers. Among the papers were a child's drawing, it stood out reminding me that we are all old enough to be grand parents now. I am officially vintage. 50 years on the planet. I'm a collectible. LOL
It was a trip down memory lane for me. I first came to Ventura years ago in the late 80's with a girl friend to shop for the day before returning back to L.A. with bags full of vintage finds and wonderful cloths .
We would have lunch on the pier and then hit the thrift stores. You can never really recapture the past but I was looking forward to today's version of that experience.

The vintage finds were harder to find now. Prices seemed higher I do believe that Make Mine Pink has spoiled me . The vintage goodies at Make Mine Pink are the best you can find now. For everything I saw I remembered a shop at MMP that had something just as wonderful at a better price.

The Ventura Antique Market was the only place that could compete.

I saw so many wonderful unusual things. This crazy doll looked like Lucy dressed as Carmen Miranda!

I fell in love with this painting of a woman with a bird resting on her arm. It had an old world charm that took me out of 2008 and sent me back in time. I guess that was the best thing about this shop. I was constantly transported to another time.
My body was flooded with memories of friends and loved ones long gone. I was buzzing with memories of myself at different times in my life. I saw a bowl and pitcher set from Avon and I remembered opening that very set on Christmas as a new item when I was about 12 years old. Now it is a vintage find! LOL Well retro at least.
I shared a moment with Dave that neither one of us will forget. He was such a great man . The gentle way he honored my moment.
I have been talking about my Mom a lot lately and her presence is very strong. I have a feeling she is trying to get my attention from the spirit world. If that makes me sound like a nut... I'm good with that because it is my truth. I don't believe in death I believe life takes another form.
Well I have a tea set my Mom gave me when she knew she was passing. It is wonderful ,so her. Autum colors, leaves and berries.

Before I left on the trip one of the plates to the set broke. It made me feel sad. They are very expensive on Replacements .com. and they didn't have the one I broke. Later in the day I was at a local thrift store and from out of the back one of the workers came with a stack of dishes. They were 99cents each and they were all the desert dishes to the set Mom gave me! All 6 in mint condition. Of course I bought them.

In the antique mall while I was enjoying all the goodies and listening to all the music of my youth I could feel my Mother. She would have loved to do this with me and what I believe is that she was, I walked into a booth and there were those dishes again. This is old German China what are the chances I would see it so many times in one week? I turned to Dave and told him the story I had just told you. I didn't really need more plates but these were the luncheon plates to go with my desert dishes so I was going to at least look. On the back of the plate was my name. My given name is "Debra" the name of this line of china was "Debra". My dishes at home did not have this on them.

I burst into tears. I realized Mom is never going to be very far away again . She will always be shopping with me and this was a really clear message. The physical world separated us with miles but spirit is with out boundaries. She was there and I allowed myself to feel her presence full on.

I didn't buy the dishes. They could not bring me any closer to Mom in owning them. I did however understand they were a tool in my healing and the development of my eternal connection with the spirit of my Mom.

I kept snapping pictures of things I thought you would enjoy seeing. These next photos were taken in a shop that requested I stop taking pictures. I honored the request and agreed not to name the shop but I had to share the photos for the sake of saying whimsy is alive and well in Ventura, California!The hotel we stayed in was located behind the historic district of Ventura. These wonderful old houses were a few that I enjoyed seeing. One of them, my favorite was for lease. It reminded me that things I dream of do become available and exist in the world.

I went to the thrift store and returned to my hotel room with several bags filled with wonderful clothing. When I did the fashion show for my boyfriend he was so surprised to hear that the 6 shirts I bought him and the 12 things I bought myself only cost $36.00! I have not lost my eye for great clothing finds and I have not lost my love of Ventura thrift stores!

These lovely little masks caught my heart and I went back and asked if I could photograph them. The father of the children gave me permission with such a sense of pride. I love this photo. When I looked in the window as I walked by several people were living in a studio apartment. You got the sense that even though they didn't have much they had what was important love and creativity. Sweet memories of this trip to Ventura and a reminder to cherish what I have right now.

If you visit Ventura stop and say hi to David Marcus
at The Ventura Antique Market at 457 East Thompson Blvd. and for the best thrift stores hit Main Street.
The Battered Women's Thrift. It's clean and organized. The people are friendly and the prices have not changed in 20 years! It really still is thrift store heaven.
Have a great week! Pink Friday is Vintage Linens!
Blessings, Lilli


Kristine said...

Hi there! Your blog is one among a list of shabby blogs I check everyday. I'm in the middle of moving and then hope to start a blog of my own. Anywho...:) I just wanted to comment on your thoughts about your mom. I lost my mom in March of a sudden heart attack. I believe the same as you do, and really feel my mom is around here somewhere. We had the opportunity to see John Edward in person(I'm sure you'd know who he is) last week and all I felt about the afterlife was validated. It was an amazing experience! I fully believe that those plates with "Debra" on the back was a sign from your mom. It was just nice to read your post, and know that someone else out there also lost a mom and believes she's right there with her.
I love your blog and look forward to reading what will be up next...

Take Care,

Lisa said...


Thank you for the wonderful tour of Ventura. It was awesome. I loved all the wonderful treasures in the thrift store and the places to lease were amazing.


Patricia said...

What a fun trip you had, maybe someday I will get out to that coast and be able to enjoy it with you! That is so beautiful about your Mom, I don't believe they go too far from us. I feel my Mom here with me quite frequently. It's such a comfort.

Pat-one of your Vintage Friends

Silena said...

Hi Lilli,
You certainly and for sure have a connection!! What a beautiful story about your Mom's presence and about your wonderful trip in Ventura...all the goodies are a lot of fun to see...a trip down memory lane. So you are 50, huh?! Just a kid!!! Thanks for the great post!!

Carolee Crafts said...


Thank you for sharing your moments with us. Spooky or what I am also and lost my Mum, after reading your story it has made me realise that my Mum is still around and trying to tell me things, do I listen, never did. May be I should now try after reading your event. The plates were meant to be bought as you went to this shop at that time.

Take care

Miniature Patisserie Chef said...

Hi Lilli

Thanks for the great photographs and bringing all of us with you along on your shopping trip. Love the tea set your mom gave you. The prints on them were so lovely!

Pei Li

Brook said...

I stopped by to say hello and to thank you for your sweet comment on my blog.
You have a deightful blog and I really enjoyed the visit and the tour of Ventura. Thanks for sharing!


Cottage Flair said...

I really enjoyed reading your post today. I believe people are with us always. The tour of Ventura was great ... wonderful photos. I hope you found alot of treasures.

Cottage Collections said...

Lilli what fun touring Ventura through your eyes. I've never been to CA and hope to one of theses days. It sounds like your weekend was full of fun and adventure and great buys!
There's no question that you have such a strong connection with your Mom. I think that you have to have the eyes of your heart wide open to see the signs. and clearly you do. Your Mom must have been one special lady just like her daughter.
xxoo, MB

Susan said...

A great trip and I did not need to go through airport security! Thank you!
Susan *dutchrose*

Beloved Creations said...

W0w I love that Lucy stand up and the the Marie A shelf. What a great trip you took to venura, ca

Inka Thomas said...

Oh thank you so much for sharing your trip. That was so awesome! I really enjoyed every moment of it.

Michelle M. May said...

Lilli I still have chill bumps from reading this post. Especially the part with your name on the plates. Incredible... Thanks for sharing your adventure.

Noelle Garrett Designs said...

Hey you, It was wonderful getting to see the pictures after hearing about your lovely trip. I am so glad you had such a lovely time!

Susie said...

Lilli, you blew me away today with your trip to Ventura, your connection with your Mom, the dishes with Debra on them, all your pictures of flowers, especially the hydrangea, homes, shops, I could have gone on and on. Thanks for all your spiritual ways. I also feel very close to my Mom and know she is always near me. She is who taught me my treasure hunting ways! I loved your show and tell.
The Polka Dot Rose

SoCal Helene said...

Thank you for sharing your trip to Ventura with us, it is such a fun place to go. We are going up there in September, will try to visit some of the stores you went to. Hope you have a wonderful week!

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Lilli, I was reading your comment on the MMP forums and clicked on over to your blog. How touching is the story of your Mom and the dishes. I think I would have had to buy the Debra dishes though. :) Have a super great day.~ Lynn