Volo antiquing

Our original plan for Saturday was to take a day trip to a state park or forest preserve since we’ve been itching to get into nature. With the wedding, work and the general obscenely hot temperatures, we haven’t been able to go camping or hiking almost all summer. But we woke up to rain Saturday morning! Lots of rain. So we decided to do a day trip that involved one of our favorite indoor activities, antiquing, instead. (Of course by the time we were on the road it was sunny again, so we just consoled ourselves with the fact that anywhere we’d have gone would have been a mud pit.)

We headed out north and west of the city to the little town of Volo, Illinois. Now my only previous associations with this town were 1) an old-time band when I was growing up, the Volo Bogtrotters, made up of my friends of my mom’s and 2) a ski shop my dad and I would sometimes go to when I was in high school. I had no idea that it had a huge antique mall complex including three separate malls and an antique car museum. (Though when I was relaying the day’s events to my dad he mentioned that the ski shop was right near an antique car museum. The things you don’t know when you’re young!)

We didn’t feel like hitting the museum that day, but Mel posed by one of the cars outside.

For the outing I wore a 30s day dress and moccasins.

At the entrance Mel snapped this photo of lawn flamingos, but what I loved about it was the ‘dead’ flamingo accidentally in the background. Creepy!

There was almost too much to see in the antique malls to take it all in!

These photos were from one of my favorite booths. Oh, how I love vintage kitchen paraphernalia. I wish my teensy kitchen was bigger to make room for more goodies! I have a bit of both of the turquoise and white Pyrex patterns on that top shelf (the Amish and snowflake patterns), and I once owned that same red Burrite pitcher on the second shelf down.

But the most surprising part of the trip? Being recognized from my blog! It was one thing to be recognized at Viva Las Vegas, but being recognized in a small town an hour and a half from Chicago, now that’s pretty crazy! I couldn’t believe it. We talked for awhile about vintage clothes and style, and sewing and knitting, and she showed me an awesome yearbook from the late 40s. I love drawing inspiration from “real” people vs. film stars and the like. So hi Julia, it was so nice to meet you!

After an afternoon wandering through the antique malls, we had lunch. I matched the decor at Culver’s. This is a good closeup of the bias yoke of my dress. The rick rack is sewn to a strip of bias tape at the bottom of the yoke. I didn’t discover until that day that the bias tape was originally navy blue, not the pale blue you can see! Incredibly nothing else on the dress but the bias tape seems to have faded, but I know the bias tape faded after it was sewn onto the dress because it’s navy on the backside and under the rick rack.

You can also see a glimpse of my charm bracelet. The bracelet itself was my mom’s when she was young, and she gave it to me several years ago. It retains the few original charms that were hers, including an inscribed 16th birthday charm given to her by my uncle, her younger brother (so cute!). I’ve added to it since, and you can just make out the EL and S of “ELVIS” from a trip to Graceland, the rest of the letters obscured by a trolley car from a trip to…shoot, I’m not sure if I got it in New Orleans or San Francisco, at this point!

I didn’t buy many things, but came away with a few finds. A cute pair of earrings, for one.

Another purchase was a set of embroidery transfers of the state flowers of all 50 states. Ironically I saw a post at A Rarer Borealis a few weeks ago about quilts made from a set of 50 state embroidery transfers and I went ga-ga over them. It wasn’t until I was actually paying for the transfers at the antique mall that I was reminded of those quilts (as I mentioned it to Julia and the woman who was checking me out). But I didn’t actually realize until I got home that the transfers I bought were the same transfers used in the quilts. Maybe I’m meant to learn how to turn these into a quilt, someday??

And last but not least, a cowboy print barkcloth pillow. I initially thought I’d use it on my bedside chair, since our bedroom has a bit of a Western theme, but I’m kind of loving it on our sofa with all the other greens. It’s making me rethink some of the plans I had for our living room, and I think I may incorporate a bit of fun in kind of a travel-oriented theme.

It gives the other barkcloth pillows a run for their money, that’s for sure!

It was so nice to get out of the city for a day. It’s something we definitely need to do more often. I dislike really hot and humid weather in general, particularly when shared with millions of other people in a city full of buildings and pavement that just lock all the heat in. Our city seems that much worse right now with throngs of people coming into town for the beaches and activities and the summer feels like an endless string of festivals, ballgames, litter, stinky sewers, overflowing trash bins and traffic. In the summer getting around from Point A to Point B takes even longer than normal, whether by foot, car, bus or train. So at a time when people are frolicking in the sun and enjoying all of the fun things the city has to offer in the summertime, I feel like a curmudgeon and just want to get away from all of it. Leaving town, even just for an afternoon, is a much-needed getaway!

Hope you all had a nice weekend. Don’t forget, Wednesday is the last day to enter the That Clever Clementine giveaway!

Filed: Vintage Dibs and Dabs, Vintage Wardrobe

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Golly, 18 Comments!

  • oh, i’m glad i’m not the only one who thinks that about chicago in the summer πŸ™‚ i’m a bit festivaled/marketed out already and so sick of the heat wave!! i’m totally jealous of your get-a-ways. that’s the only time i miss having a car! you and mel look adorable as always!


  • @misc-maranda I am sure glad I am not alone in that sentiment, too! πŸ™‚


  • Eeek!! Love the kitchenware!! Totally Droolworthy. Adore the green of your lounge too!
    How cool you got recognised. You can safely say you’ve made it now, he he! πŸ˜‰


  • Oh! So nice and colourful pictures… very optimistic:)


  • Yeehaw! That pillow reflects your wedding theme! Awesome! Mel looks so cool next to that car…and what a darling dress you wore!


  • Oh how wonderful! I love all that kitchen ware.



  • I’ve been restless in the city lately too, probably due to the weird humidity and thunderstorms. How were the prices at the antique mall? It would be a fun trip to shop and poke around the antique cars.

    Your dress is adorable and I love the history of your charm bracelet (I collect them but sadly didn’t inherit any from family members). Also we collect the same Pyrex pattern! hehe.


  • Wow what a fun trip. Antiques always make me peaceful and happy. I love the car! Would love to own one. You look so pretty in your dress. The blue is really nice with the pattern.


  • @The Thriftaholic (Leilani) I would say they were decent prices, but since there were SO, SO many vendors it varied a lot, from underpriced to overpriced. It was definitely a fun day trip though!

    And yay for Pyrex! πŸ™‚


  • Forgive me as I squee a moment over the Pink pyrex!! What an awesome place to shop! Love the Barkcloth pillow too, too cute!


  • The cowboy pillow totally needs to live on the couch with the others. It goes so nicely. I’m jealous of your thrifting adventure. That place looks heavenly. We were going to go to the big flea market this weekend, but Joey’s root canal sidelined us. Living vicariously through your post was almost as good. πŸ™‚


  • Love the color of your living room! I must get bold and paint some day soon! The pillows are very cool, especially the cowboy themed!


  • Hooray for some antique store fun! πŸ™‚ I always love spending a rainy day poking around in my favorite shops–the thrill of the hunt I guess. πŸ˜‰ Love your dress and charm bracelet! That cowboy pillow is an amazing find too. I’m in the process of making pillow covers for our sofa, and trying to find some cute (possibly kitschy) fabrics to liven things up a bit!


  • what a lovely day out! I LOVE kitchenalia type stalls I could actually go to a whole antique mall of entire kitchenalia and leave a happy woman!


  • I love Volo…we always find great stuff there!


  • My great-grandmother made one of those state flower quilts! It’s on the bed in one of her guest rooms (the nice one that I was never allowed to sleep in when I visited!). You’re always finding such cute places to visit! I need to get in a serious antiquing trip soon.


  • You lost me at the kitchenware! WANT! πŸ™‚


  • Y’all are just too darn cute! Looks like a perfect day out to me. Love your blog – officially added to my favorites! πŸ™‚


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