The Vegetable Gardens
You all know I am an avid thrift-store shopper. But even in all of the years I have been visiting my local thrift haunts, I am still sometimes surprised by what I find. These like-new (possibly are new!) Chase & Chloe wedges and this vintage fur coat that showed up a year after I first spotted it, this brand-new and tags-still-attached Hearts and Roses of London Dress in my size, this amazing retro Victorian-ice-skaters fabric that I turned into a skirt. Despite having years of fairly good luck at thrift stores, sometimes I am still taken aback.
This vintage vegetable wicker purse is one such item. While browsing through the basket section at my local Goodwill (where I rarely find anything better than 80’s vintage, to be honest), I spotted a carrot adorning the side of a basket. Within seconds, my eyes identified that this was not a regular basket, but a vintage novelty purse and I darted my hand to that purse so quickly I may have nearly decapitated a thrift store patron walking by.
My heart skipped a beat, my breath caught, and I uttered inadvertent words of excitement over what I held in my hands.
And you might think I am saying these things just to add to the drama of the situation, but no. I don’t know that I have ever reacted quite like this to any thrifted item (though the rare 1950’s dresses do get me!). I’ve never had my heart literally skip a beat, nor my breath leave my chest. Of course I get excited for good finds, but usually it’s a much less visceral reaction.
Ever since following Kara’s blog, I have been hoping to add to my bag collection. Kara may well have the most amazing bag (and shoe!) collection I have ever seen, and I’ve been wishing for a few novelty bags that perfectly compliment an outfit like hers do! This vegetable bag instantly reminded me of her, and I can’t wait to pair it with a few more outfits! I especially love that it’s big and roomy inside; quite enough room for everything I need to put in my purse, and then some!
This photoshoot is the official first one of the year. Sure, I posted on Monday but I shot those photos last year, and toward the beginning of December at that! So I was excited to be able to go out and shoot photos in an actual location! The opportunity was pure happenstance; I had already begun my process of getting ready as I knew I needed photos for today. Then my mom popped by, and after getting all gussied up, I realized that my tripod was in the van… at my husband’s job. So I borrowed my mom’s car, drove over to get the tripod (which, thankfully, was only about 7 minutes away), and formulated a plan. I was going to go to a park which has a few interesting buildings around it, and shoot photos.
It was almost noon when I reached the park, so my light was smack at the “worst light for photoshoots” light. I drove up to the park… and it was closed for the winter. Still determined, I made my way to a dog park closer to where I live and was relieved to find that only one other person was at the park, and walking the opposite direction from where I wanted to shoot! So at a T in the pathway, I quickly ascertained which way had the best light for this time of day, and started to snap photos as quickly as I could.
This is when I quickly regretted not wearing a coat or tights. At 35 degrees Fahrenheit, with a breeze, in the shade… well. My toes and fingers were so numb by the end I could not actually feel whether I was pushing buttons on the camera hard enough to change things. Right before I shot my last few images, the one other occupant of the park walked down the pathway in front of me. He was an older gentleman bundled up in a coat and scarf and gloves and looking very warm, his white hair poking out atop a face shielded by sunglasses. His two dogs amiably walked with him, one an old miniature pug who ambled toward me with some apathy and inspected my bag. The other, on a leash, was an 8 month old English bulldog whose puppy-ness showed through as he jumped and panted in my direction, straining his leash hard until I bent to pet him.
“He just wants his photo taken!” the man exclaimed, laughing a bit at his dog’s enthusiasm. I smiled and mentioned that he looked like a very photogenic pup. His owner mused that I must be feeling chilly, and urged his dogs to move on to “let the nice lady finish.” With a tug of the leash, he tried to walk away as the older of the two dogs slowly trudged off, but the younger continued to strain in my direction until they were out of sight.
I quickly grabbed a few last shots and made my way back to the car. I was parked directly next to him and his dogs, and he was just packing them up when I arrived. Amiably, I exclaimed “and now it’s time to go home and warm up!” to which he responded “yes, you’re making me feel cold! It’s cold out, I’m cold, you look cold; go home and put some clothes on!”
And then his youngest pup peeked around the corner of the car and proceeded to get excited until I bid him, too, a good day.
As afraid as I am to talk to people when I am out and about taking photos, incidents always turn out to be much more fun and much less judgmental or weird than I expect. I almost always assume people will think I am odd, carting around a tripod and photographing myself, posing, muttering, dancing around, jumping; all of the things I do while taking photos. But in fact, most people are kind and curious. Most people assume I’m a photographer, or a vintage seller, or are just intrigued by and interested in my fashion blog. I’m so glad I braved the cold weather and the chance of speaking to someone, because it went to show me that stories are everywhere.
Imagine, if I had shot this in my yard I’d have nothing more to say than “look at this bag, isn’t it neat?” And by the way, if you don’t follow me on Instagram @eyreeffect, you should. Because I took full advantage of every pun I could in captioning shots of this bag and you don’t want to miss that.
Dress, Lotty Dotty Vintage (almost the same here, similar here and here) | headscarf, belt, and shoes, thrifted | corn earrings, vintage/gift (similar here and here) | bag, vintage/thrifted (almost exactly the same here!) | gloves, vintage (similar here ) | petticoat, Amazon (is itchy and not super great)