THRIFTED: Garage Sale Edition

Thrifted Garage Sale

As soon as the warm weather hits, the signs start popping up in the neighbourhood and people’s driveways filled with treasures, junk, and everything in between become the targets of the weekend bargain hunters! We’ve done a little bit of garage sale-ing this year, and have found quite the collection of nifty treasures! I’ve chronicled a few of my thrifting adventures on my Cabin Knits blog, and today I thought it would be fun to share with you THRIFTED: The Garage Sale Edition.

A few weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon we headed down to Lilac Festival to watch our friend JJ Shiplett play. Lilac Fest is one of Calgary’s only, and best, street festivals where they shut down 4th Street downtown and it’s filled with art, music, food and people. It’s pretty much the best way to ring in summer. As we were leaving downtown on our little Vespa, we noticed a few garage sales so we had to stop. The one we checked out was loaded with really cool stuff and we walked away with a few gems.

Edmonton Oilers Jacket – $10
Zoltan is not an Oiler’s fan, but he’s convinced that next time we’re in Edmonton we’ll be able to sell it to someone and make a profit. What an entrepreneur. ;)

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Baseball Bat – $5, Birkenstocks – $5
We’ve been playing a lot of catch lately, and now we’re finally able to step up our game and play ball! Anyone in Calgary want to join us for a pick up game? And the Birks, what a deal! I’d been hoping to find a used pair since my last pair wore out and got demoted to painting/yard work sandals. I’m definitely going to live in these this summer!

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Another Sunday afternoon a few weeks ago we were heading to Glenmore Park for a picnic and a bikeride around the reservoir and we stopped at a few garage sales but didn’t find anything. Then we saw a sign for an estate sale (those are the good ones!) and found some really neat vintage items! I also found an awesome lawn chair that has been my go-to spot for reading the past little while!

Pineapple Dish – $1
This little wooden dish caught my eye! It’s such a cute piece, but I’m so undecided about what I want to use it for. Any ideas?

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Old Piano Books – $1
I’m a sucker for old sheet music. You can never have enough music to play, and they look really nice too! I’m excited to go through the book of folk songs and learn a bit about Canada’s musical history.

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The House at Pooh Corner Record – $1
I love Winnie the Pooh so obviously I had to pick up this record. It’ll be great for when kids come along someday, but I’m sure I’ll also enjoy it!

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Inuit Coasters – $1
I never realized how handy coasters are until having my own house and wanting to put down cups of water everywhere! These stood out to me with their handmade quality and pretty colour. (The cups were a sweet find at Goodwill a while back, and I’m on the hunt to find matching ones since the set only came with three).

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Antique Saudi Arabian Necklace – $35
And last but not least, one of my favourite finds this year, from a garage sale we found when we were in Madison, WI. (I briefly mentioned it in my blog about our trip here). The man running the garage sale had a table full of antique Saudi Arabian and other Middle Eastern jewelry that he had collected over many years of travel. After trying the necklace on I knew it would make the perfect statement piece. He gave us an amazing deal, and not only was I super excited about finding the necklace, but it was really cool to hear his stories about travelling!

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Have you stopped at any garage sales yet this year? Or hosted any garage sales? I’d love to hear what cool treasures (or ordinary things) that you found! Let me know in the comments! Happy sale-ing!

Lauren.

Old Songs Made New

circa 1991

Yesterday we announced our Exclusive Content for the month of June, and it’s something unique that we’re quite excited about. We decided to take a trip back through time and revisit some really old songs that I wrote in high school and university that never made it onto a record and breathe new life into them. Sometimes old songs get tired and boring, and I tend to not like them anymore, so it was a bit of a challenge to find the motivation to make something neat happen. I did a bit of experimenting, so some of the songs don’t sound like other LMATFOF songs, but it was a really good exercise for me, and I was able to get the songs to a place where I wanted to share them. Zoltan and I have been working hard at getting better at producing and engineering our own music, so having a project like this to work on has been great for the learning process!

If you’re interested in getting these songs, you can sign up for our Exclusive Content Project for $6/month HERE. This is a project we started at the end of last year to not only keep us busy while we’re not on tour, but to be able to connect a bit better with our fans, and in return, being able to build up a monthly income so that we can work towards a sustainable career in music. We’re so thankful for everyone who has joined up so far, and it’s been so much fun getting to know people, mailing letters, and sharing all these songs. If you want to be a part of what we’re doing, head to our website.

Until next time,
Lauren.

There’s Something Brilliant Bound to Happen Here

You know those moments when you’re listening to a song as you’re doing something and that moment gets engrained in your mind forever and anytime you think of it, or do the same thing, that song comes back to mind?

That happened for me on our trip to Chicago, not with a song, but with an entire album. Zoltan bought me Death Cab for Cutie’s new record Kintsugi in Madison, so we loaded it onto the phone and listened (through the great stereo system on our Kia Soul rental) on the drive from Madison to Chicago. After that drive it became the soundtrack to the rest of the trip.

I haven’t had a listening experience like that for a long time, where we turned up the music and listened to the album front to back, not knowing what would come next from song to song. Maybe it was the circumstances that accompanied the music, but I found Kintsugi to be so beautiful, and the perfect soundtrack to our adventure. It didn’t get the best reviews, but I’ve still been listening to it a lot and I haven’t tired of it. Some of my favourite tracks are You’ve Haunted Me All My Life, Ingenue, and Binary Sea. Lots of the songs are reminiscent of older songs in Death Cab’s catalogue, and maybe that’s what I like about it. I’ll always swoon over Ben Gibbard’s vocals, and his wit and honesty that comes through in the lyrics.

What songs or albums have grabbed your attention lately? Do you have songs that trigger a certain memory of a time or place? I’d love to hear what all of you think!

Photos are from the Chicago Botanic Gardens that we visited before our flight home last Thursday.

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Until next time,
Lauren.

Holiday in the Windy City

Chicago is such a big and beautiful city, and although we’ve been many times on tour, we’ve barely scraped the surface of all the city has to offer. In Madison we really flew by the seat of our pants and discovered some really neat things that way, but I was a little more intentional in Chicago and made a small list of a few things I wanted to check out, but leaving room for spur of the moment adventures, of course!

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Our few days in Chicago were filled with seeing friends that we hadn’t seen in a long time, eating lots of pizza, and enjoying a much needed time of fun with each other. The night we arrived we met up with Khosro and Brenda. Khosro runs Cafe Ballou, which was the very first venue we ever played in America back in 2010. It was so nice to catch up with them over pizza at Lou Malnati’s (one of the three big deep dish spots). After dinner we walked to Margie’s Candies and waited in line for a very long time but were rewarded with the biggest servings of ice cream ever. Zoltan ordered one scoop, but it looked like there was an entire pint piled on his cone! Definitely the place to go if you want good value for your money!

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The next day was forecast to rain, so we planned ahead of time to find a museum to go to. I wanted to check out the Art Institute, but after looking up some pictures and reviews of the Museum of Science and Industry, we decided on that. We’ll keep the Art Institute for next time. MSI was amazing. They had really great exhibits and lots of interactive areas. Apparently it takes three full days to see all that they have to offer, but we took in as much as we could in about four hours. We were also able to find some free street parking just a short walk away, which was a bonus, and we skipped the rain!

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That night we met up with friends and fans at Giordano’s, our most frequented deep dish restaurant, for a little pizza party. We figured that even though we weren’t playing any shows, we should still hang out with anyone who would want to! Our friends Kate and Arturo, and their extended family from Austria were there, along with our friends Scott and Jeff. It was so fun sharing the most Chicagoan pizza experience with such great people! We might have to make pizza parties or food gatherings of other sorts a regular thing when we tour again!

Our last full day in Chicago was a bit of an exploration and shopping day. We headed to the hip neighbourhood of Wicker Park and spent much of the afternoon browsing all the vintage shops. There were some amazing places, and I tried on lots of cool pieces, but it wasn’t until the last stop, Una Mae’s, where I found three beautiful vintage dresses that I took home with me. Other stores that were fun to browse in were Buffalo Exchange and Crossroads Trading Co. For dinner that night we went to Headquarters Beercade, which is the ultimate man cave with pretty much every vintage arcade game and pinball machine you can imagine! We ate a delicious dinner and played a bunch of games. We didn’t get to stay as long as we would have liked because we were meeting up with Kate and Arturo and their family for a Cubs game! We got cheap tickets, which were super far away, but it was super fun getting to watch a baseball game even though they lost to Washington. There’s just something about hot dogs and peanuts and the 7th inning stretch that just feels so nostalgic.

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Since we’ve been living in Calgary and not touring this year, I’ve really missed travelling and exploring new cities, so this little trip to Chicago was just what I needed. We got to experience the best cross-section of what Chicago has to offer, and spend some time with good friends.

Do you have any travel plans for the summer? Or favourite destinations? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear your stories!

Until next time,
Lauren.

An Unofficial Travel Guide: Part 1, Madison WI

We don’t travel like most people do. When Zoltan and I go on a trip, there’s usually some music playing, or other related business involved, and our “holidays” end up resembling tour more than what most people would consider a holiday. I’ve come to love the spontaneous nature of our trips, and all the unexpected things we find ourselves doing. So this isn’t really a travel guide, but rather a few highlights from Madison, some fun spots we’ve found, and how we make travelling work for us. And hopefully it will be an inspiration for you for any trips you’re planning on taking this summer!

The whole reason we ended up travelling to Madison and Chicago was our friend Michael’s wedding. We met Michael when playing at another wedding in Pennsylvania, and got to be good friends with him over the years of touring and meeting up in random places, so it was such an honour that he wanted us to be part of marrying his bride Eva.

We flew into Chicago on Thursday afternoon from Calgary, and rented a car for the first time (usually we have a vehicle or we use transit/Uber) and drove two hours north to Madison. The capital city is small, and is tucked between two lakes, Lake Mendota and Lake Monona. It’s a university town with lots of parks and bike paths everywhere!

We had a whole day to kill before the wedding, and the weather was beautiful, so we really just flew by the seat of our pants all day, and it turned out beautifully! The guy at the hotel we were staying at told us about a farmer’s market in Sun Prairie, just north of Madison, so we started our journey there and picked up some cheese curds (we were in America’s dairyland after all) and local honeycomb, and then after looking for garage sales and not finding much, we decided to drive to downtown Madison and check out the city. On our way downtown we found a few garage sales, but it was mostly clothing and household goods, and nothing really caught our eye. The last one we went to was quite small, just a man and woman selling some random home goods, a few interesting pieces, and then a table of antique jewelry caught my eye. And not just antique jewelry you’d see in your grandmother’s jewelry box, these were large pieces, necklaces, rings, belts and more, all from various countries in the middle east. One piece stood out to me, a beautiful Afghani silver necklace with a triangle bloodstone. The guy started telling us about his travels to the middle east, and how he used to sell these amazing pieces full time, but him and his partner were moving to the west coast. He sold me the necklace for $35, and we chatted for a while about travelling and our affinity for antiques.

After that, we continued downtown and found a giant farmer’s market surrounding the capitol! We arrived near the tail end but we had a great time walking around and checking out the local pottery, jewelry, art, flowers, baked goods and produce. Farmer’s markets are such a great way to get to know a city, and it felt like the best way to kick off a holiday. We grabbed some fruit smoothies and drove around for a while, with only a complimentary map as our guide, and and found ourselves at the University of Madison Arboretum, a beautiful piece of land with a variety of ecological systems. In other words, trees, beautiful flowers, ponds, walking trails, and the perfect way to round out our day. We spent the remainder of the afternoon walking through nature, and hanging out with a couple of ducks in the sun.

It amazed me that even though we had no idea what we were going to do with our day, we were able to discover such wonderful people and places. Sometimes it’s nice to have a plan and a goal of places to go and things to accomplish, but sometimes spontaneity makes for the most pleasant and unexpected adventures. You never know what you might find when you just let things happen. NOTE: If you decide to adopt this model for an upcoming trip, I would suggest to NOT have your phone available. It makes things a lot more interesting when you don’t have Google Maps to direct you to places and give you information. Asking someone for directions can be a great experience! :)

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In a nutshell:

Madison Farmer’s Market – every Saturday from 6:30am-2pm

University of Madison Arboretum – a beautiful place to spend the afternoon when you need a little bit of fresh air

Ella’s Deli and Ice Cream Parlour – probably the most over-stimulating place ever. There’s a carousel out front and the most unique collection of decorations inside. Definitely a great place to stop for an ice cream cone.

Next I’ll be chronicling our adventures in Chicago…stay tuned!