In my family there are only two topics of conversation around the dinner table- cats and antiques. It is the only thing that we are allowed to talk about because any conversation regarding politics or religion will be sure to start a fight. We all love to go antique shopping and find little treasures.

My mother and I have a habit of picking up ugly, rather forlorn, looking bits and bobs because they were handmade and really, who could leave such a lovingly embroidered tea towel with kittens behind. Over the years we have rescued these items, much as one would rescue a stray cat (another thing my family does in spades).

The same mentality has carried over into my thrift store shopping. Sometimes something delightfully ugly will catch my eye and I will look it over and realize it was handmade. Then I snatch it up and cradle it lovingly, that is after I wash it. Years ago I found a pink skirt (I have to point out that I do not wear pink) that someone had obviously made out of a sheet and they attached a bit of pink lace and fake pink flowers to it. It made such a spectacle of itself that I could not resist. Yes, I wear it every summer with pride.

Yesterday's find was not quite as atrocious, but it is right on the edge of ugly with its plaid, furbelows and lace. I was drawn to it at first because I adore plaid and then I saw the lace and I went to put it back, until I realized it was handmade. Then it had to come home with me. I plan to flounce about in it with joy. That is, after I wash it.


Here Mrs. Palmer kindly models the skirt. Actually, it is a bit short for her, but more in keeping with her sense of style.


Those ruffles and lace. Swoon.


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