Friday, December 30, 2011

After Christmas Sales Oh So Brite!

There is nothing better than after Christmas discounts especially on Christmas d├ęcor and ornaments. Earlier in the season I had been at our local Marshall’s with my mom and she bought me a pack of 12 small vintage inspired ornaments by Christopher Radko. They are called Shiny Brite, just like the vintage ornaments from the 1950s. They were extra small and perfect for my metal Crate and Barrel Christmas tree.
I kept meaning to make it over to Marshalls again to see if there were anymore left. With my mom and sister in tow we headed out to seek some discounted Christmas bargains and I scored big! I found 3 boxes of Shiny Brite ornaments left over from the holiday season. One box had 6 larger balls and the other two boxes had 9 average sized balls each, in Christmas green with rings of glittery pink.
The boxes of ornaments were already on sale, however each box had at least 2 broken balls. I don’t normally haggle outside of estate sales, but I really wanted all 3 boxes and wasn’t willing to pay for broken merchandise.  After speaking with the manager, the store gave me a discount for the damage and the holiday sale which made my night!
After removing the broken pieces of glass and wrapping the remaining ornaments safely, I can’t wait until next year to admire them on our tree.
From the Christopher Radko web site: Shiny-Brite™, a re-creation of the uniquely American ornaments and decorations of the 1940s and 50s.

Christmas green and pink - my favorite!

Larger ornaments

Red boxes so brite!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Lights, Camera, Fierce!

The Sunshine Grove would like to introduce Stacie, our fabulous model of frocks, coats, hats and all things vintage you can wear. She hates curling her hair, loves being goofy during shoots and although she complains about the wardrobe changes always falls in love with what she's modeling.

Here's a sneak peak of what's to come!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

At our house we celebrate Christmas Eve with our large Mexican - Cuban family. We have a traditional Cuban dinner of pork, rice and beans, yucca and plenty of libations for all. This year we're trying a Puerto Rican punch called coquito. Add lots of sugar and rum and ta-da you've got yourself a great drink.

Close to midnight we all open our gifts and enjoy all of the baked goods. My sister and I made candy cane sugar cookies, Melting moments, berry pie and a chocolate crust cheese cake.

Hope everyone has a fabulous Christmas!


Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekend Finds

It’s that time of year again, the week before Christmas! With so much to do in preparation we did some early weekend hunting for vintage treasures on Thursday. We normally stay pretty close to home but did head into Los Angeles for a great sale. Supposedly the home was closed for about 2 years and was opened for the first time with tons of books, mid century furniture and sewing notions. When we see awesome furniture we get bummed that we don’t have the space to bring home more. Jeremy found some old 1960s Engineering reference books and Navy maps. I brought home a box load of 1950 and 1960 patterns. I was so excited when I came across the box of them. I’ve dabbled in sewing but have yet to make clothing. I found a great vintage fabric so I’m thinking of making my first vintage inspired shirt.
On our way home we stopped at a self claimed retro estate sale but it was a bust. To redeem the afternoon we stopped off at a thrift store that has a 2nd floor full of vintage clothing at 50% off the tag price. Jeremy found a vest and jacket that were dropped off at the cleaners today just in time to be worn for Christmas Eve.
The rest of the weekend brought us two records – Johnny Cash live at San Quentin and Dean Martin. I really wanted to find an old Christmas record but all the ones there were badly scratched.
Sunday we headed over to the Long Beach Flea market and I got in for free! I hoped to find any piece to my Nest Stone dinnerware and it just so happens that a dinner plate made its way into my collection. Today was spent wrapping gifts, visiting the post office and finishing last minute sewing projects. We  can’t wait to enjoy the company of family and friends later this week.
Merry Christmas everyone!
Vintage Books

Soon to be vintage shirt

Nest Stone Dinnerplate


More Patterns!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


A Collective Journal, a blog about artists and pickers has featured a set of flocked deer from our shop today! Be sure to check it out! There is one nativity set made by Etsy seller Zime and they have some excellent wood designs we love.

Flocked Deer!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Weekend Finds

Our weekend was filled with relaxation and a bit of family time. My sister came home from college for her winter break, we did some shopping for rose bushes at the local nursery and tried to stay warm. I received a package on Friday with my new Keds black and white saddle shoes. I found them on sale for $15 with free shipping. Heck ya!

 On Sunday we drove up to LA for the Renegade Holiday Craft Show. Lots of fun vendors, food trucks and even hands on crafts. My sister and I made mosaic frames with Piece by Piece. They are a great non-profit that teach underserved LA residents to create art and benefit from the sale of what they create. We also grabbed fun props and took a few photos at the Magnolia Photo Booth Co booth.

 On our way home we stopped in China Town for some crackling rice soup. YUM! There was a beats festival with food vendors and lots and lots of vinyl. We learned that LA has a DJ academy and talked a bit to one of their alumni who made some vinyl art for my sister and I. They turned out really cool. Near the parking lot there was an old mill building that has been boarded up. We left wondering how we could get in there to see what cool stuff we might find.

Keds Saddle Shoes

Los Angeles State Historic Park

Gettin' Crafty

The Family

Wondering what awesome stuff is in this building

Vinyl Art from Scratch DJ Academy

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Weekend Finds

After a few weekends of so so estate sales our spirits were down and we really weren't expecting much better this weekend. How happy were we when luck was on our side! We met another fantastic duo in Lakewood who host estate sales that even thanked us for being kind buyers! Of course we thanked them for being such great hosts. Not only did we find fellow vintage lovers, but also the pattern dinnerware of our dreams.

We've put together pieces we've found here and there to make a nice Pyrex baking set, some mid century serving bowls and platters and rounding out most of the glassware from wedding gifts. We hadn't found a dinnerware pattern we loved yet. This was pretty much that first sight. The plates are a creamy color and have a diamond and starburst design in a robin eggs blue.  When we got home, I fired up the internet for some research.  Starting with the stamp Nest Stone on the plates, we still didn't find too much information.  According to Replacements LLC the pattern is called NSN1 (Nest Stone 1 maybe, and not too clever if you ask me) and seems to have been manufactured by Stetson China Co for Mar-crest in the 1960s.  Thanks to Modish blog it looks like the official pattern name is Diamond Carousel - a much better name! Enough History - we brought home 4 dinner plates, 2 saucers and a cup. We are excited to begin the hunt for more pieces. We know it's going to be tough, but well worth it. Any "leads" are appreciated.

We headed to a few sales closer to home and found some more great buys. One of the homes had a matching pink Fridgadaire stove top and wall oven. They were absolutely fantastic and also matched the pink bathroom down the hall.

Now that I'm done bragging about what we saw this weekend, I must express my amazement with the teams on Etsy. I didn't quite know how they worked and now that I have taken the time to apply to a few teams, been accepted and read about them, I can see how they will be a great marketing tool. Obviously, exposure of the shop and our products is very important and the teams help shop owners discover new shops and listings. I can honestly say it was really fun getting familiar with the teams we've chosen to be part of. Can't wait for more.

Nest Stone Dinner Plate

Pink Oven!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Seal of approval

As we've started blogging and facebooking about our adventures in vintage shop ownership, we've also tried to branch out by finding new shops and teams on Etsy to befriend. A bit of marketing and elbow rubbing never hurt anyone! We are proud to announce that we passed the vigorous review by the Vintage Etsy Society Street Team and are now part of the VestiesTeam. YAY!

We are very excited to keep the momentum going with the shop. Check in soon for new listings!

Find our items ... on Etsy!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Santa, does this fit down the chimney?

This weekend during the shop small business events we visited Community in Anaheim and the Patchwork Craft Fair Show in Santa Ana. I found the best faux fur hat at the Switchroom at Community. I'd post a photo but my mom is very strict on not being able to use, wear or look at Christmas gifts even if we picked them out and are not under 8 years old. We had a fun photo shoot using their homemade backgrounds too and ended Saturday with lunch at the Filling Station. Yum!

Sunday, Jeremy and I decided to see what the Patchwork Fair had in store. Lots of fun handmade treasures! The very best part was the vendor who used a vintage Shasta camper trailer as a backdrop for her shop at the fair. I loved it so much I couldn't leave without snapping a photo. Since yesterday I've decided that Santa must get me one for Christmas!

My Christmas Wish!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Burst of color!

After thanking all of the Veterans, including the hubs and all of our other friends formerly of the USS Ronald Reagan, we started our Friday with what looked like a great list of estate sales. We were quickly very disappointed. There was the “estate sale” in the garage, the sale that had a handful of newer home decorations and of course the yard sale with baby clothes. Our last stop was in Long Beach and although there wasn’t much other than large beautiful pieces of furniture the home was a beauty. It was 2 stories, 2 blocks from the beach and built in the 1920s. Get this, it had a walk down basement too! Most of the doors around the house had caution tape but leave it to my mom and Jeremy to get those doors open to see what was behind them. I walked away with a navy blue and black coat with a faux fur collar circa 1950s and can’t wait to get it back from the dry cleaners.

While Jeremy and my dad were busy with my closet expansion project, mom and I started out on a late Saturday estate sale run. We had bad luck a second day in a row. We didn’t give up! After a bit of free stylin’ (just driving around), we spotted some hot pink posters with garage sale. After a weekend of disappointments we finally hit the big time. And by big time I mean little really. We found lots of vintage jewelry in bright colors. Clip on earrings, Bakelite bangles and loads of necklaces. My mom loves to match so she found some sets to bring home and I found some fun jewelry for the shop.

Bakelite bangles circa 1977

Mom's loot

Friday, November 11, 2011


Welcome to The Sunshine Grove!
As corny as it sounds every picked vintage good is a bit of sunshine to us.

Too many times we have been browsing in antique stores around town and all we see is junk priced outrageously. We all know the saying one man’s trash is another’s treasure but this stuff really is not the quality to be priced so high. We also saw a lack of pride with the way vendors were displaying the wares in their spaces. Some of these antique stores looked more like garage sales. Our local flea market has better curb appeal!

After complaining about the lack of quality vintage goods and being inspired by some reality TV we had the sunny idea of opening our own shop! Here’s a little about who we are and why we love old stuff.

About Natalie:  My love affair with vintage started when I was young. My mom had a space at one of the antique shops at the Orange Circle and I would tag along. We would travel inland for estate sales and come home with pretty glass bottles, glass cookware in all kinds of color and kitchen gadgets. Linens with embroidery and lace where cleaned and ironed until they were crisp and folded neatly with their small price tag. My mom is a real neat-freak so her space was always clean and organized. You could see every item that she had for sale, and if something was out of place on her weekly visits she knew it!

It was on those estate sale hunts that I would find wares that added sunshine to my own room. There was the kidney bean shaped vanity painted light blue, with shelves and drawers that had a gingham curtain front. I used that even after college to house my intimates and rouge. On my desk I used a tin liquid measuring cup and glass flower frogs to hold my pens and pencils. Somewhere between leaving home for college and coming back I discovered I am very era specific. Anything late 1940s to mid 1960s I pretty much love. Not too much of the country or shabby, very little of the bold, neon colors. More Mid Century, Danish modern with some Lucite handles. I like clean lines and kitchen wares and although I don’t cook much, my heart skips a beat for Pyrex. I desperately long to wear vintage hats but I haven’t found one that looks good on me yet. I’m drawn to 1950s clear rhinestone jewelry and the quirky pendants like watches, pencils and owls.

I really, really want my own old house to take apart and put back together with the beautiful old soul items we’ve collected over the years. A craftsman or colonial; a house with character inside and out. I’m a sucker for wrap around porches, yellow houses with white trim and navy blue shutters.

About Jeremy: I was born in Maine and grew up literally surrounded by forest.  The sound of trees moving to the wind or the gunshot snap of a limb during a heavy snowstorm gave me an appreciation for this living resource. I love the feel of wood furniture, the flow of the grain.  Working with a material that was once living is interesting and challenging because each piece has its own character.  I also like the idea that even the sturdiest of tables or benches still flex and move according to the wood.  I am surprised with how long it took me to start woodworking, but I am not surprised with how much I enjoy it.   Finding vintage furniture in need of a little TLC and refinishing keeps me happy, and our garage filled with projects. 

My wife and I share the same taste in furniture and luckily, I enjoy working with my hands.  Growing up, garage sales were a weekend staple during the summer so I have always had the love of the hunt.  As I have graduated from toys to tools (which my wife will argue are my toys) I find vintage tools, furniture and hardware fascinating.  Something about how they were built to last beyond the years of even the original owner is inspiring.    I also enjoy finding ways to use reclaimed wood, like 2x4 scraps left over from renovating our house or the aged frames of shipping containers, even retired tables and headboards.  Living in southern California doesn’t give me access to the more popular forms of reclaimed wood from barns and warehouses, but I get by with what I find on craigslist and the occasional curb, something I like to call “Reclaimed Urban Wood”.  

I try to keep a blog updated with projects around the house, as well as my restoration projects. If nothing else, you may learn how NOT to do something!  Visit J’s Workbench on