Sunday, February 15, 2015

New finds and The GYB winner

It took a couple years after moving to France to figure out where the second hand stores were and about the flea markets in the area. Just a small little thing called language barrier but, once I learned where things were or how to find them shopping for vintage lace bits, old linens and such became almost second nature. Cross the border to Germany and its like going back in time. Where does one look?

Berlin is very much into the second hand store mentality.  It is not an understatement to say that they are everywhere. Unfortunately, what they are not are places I can find vintage lace. Flea markets however one can find vintage lace. The problem is we are in the dead cold of winter and Flea markets are small and mostly filled with professionals who do this type of thing for a living. Honestly, one stall I saw, the man sold nothing but old cameras. So the hunt is on. Still I have not been totally skunked. Some of the things I have found would not necessary be things I would search out in France, if I could even buy them there.

Take for example this: I found a bag with a broken pearl necklace in it. All sizes of pearls and they were the nicer costume ones that to buy new would be rather pricey. Of course I could not open the bag but from what I saw through the plastic, it looked like a good gamble. 
I have removed all of the pearls from what was left of the multiple strand necklace from the threads that held them. They are nice quality for crafting so I know I will use them. 

Also in the bag, I thought it was just more of the same necklace, was a slightly darker and heavier necklace. It was knotted and had a 835 marked clasp. Look at the photo above and you will see a slightly more pink necklace and a clasp upper right in the picture. 385 is a silver marking used in Germany.

That pinkish necklace was filthy. Here is what each pearl looked like:

I got on Google and tried to figure out how to clean them. No idea if they are pearls (fresh water if they are) but I did not want to destroy them as I tried to clean them. Google websites say warm sudsy water and a soft cloth and do not soak. The clasp after cleaning has taken back a silver sheen. The silk thread that is knotted is a lost cause to clean as it can not be cleaned without damaging the pearls, if that is what they are. No matter if they are or not, the necklace is very pretty now that it is cleaned. I think I am going to learn how to restring them. I would be nice to have clean silk thread and have the opportunity to really clean the clasp.

What else have I found? Well this one got me really excited.

Oh, am I going to have fun with these! There are horn buttons in heart, deer, mushroom and house shapes. There are 3 larger round carved wooded buttons and tons of metal buttons. I LOVE German buttons most look to be the type used for Trachen (think oompah music in Munich)

I ran into a flea market in Dresden last weekend and found something I found out after research on line is called Mangel Stoff. Also I found this reference  for this fabric as Mangelt├╝cher, Mangeltuch Leinen Rolltuch Tuchstoff  or Alter Mangel Stoff.
It appears to be old linen yardage that can be made into kitchen towels or as one of my German friends suggested was for wrapping the good linen in so that it would not get dirty in storage.
How about a table cloth? Whatever the use, This piece is mine now. It has been washed twice the first time removed the smell and most stains. I then put it in BIZ for about an hour. The BIZ water turned a very dark brown which told me that the BIZ was taking away the natural dye of the fabric so I pulled it and washed it again in the washer. Stains are gone, the color of the linen is beautiful. Now what to do with it. It is a 3 meter piece (3 1/3 yards). Where is the valuable linen this once wrapped you ask? No idea. I have not found those yet except in overpriced antique stores. 

One other piece of information is that it appears to be East German in origin. Not surprising as it was found in Dresden. I have searched and other or simular pieces I have found on-line are from East Germany. Dating this fabric is hard but again a German friend has told me that this type of fabric was used after WWII. It does not mean it was not there before that time, it has something to do with being in the East. I am still looking into it. The interrogation of former East Germans is about to begin...

Lastly, I have found a few old lace pieces:
 These are things I can play with later.

Ok now for the drawing. There were 53 entries and the random number generator says... Quinn

Such lovely creations! I also tend to accumulate bits of lace and trim and fabric, but have a terrible time actually putting scissors to it. stays in a drawer until the next time I go looking for something. Then I take it out, look at it, think about making it into something wonderful! But...can't bring myself to cut it. Back into the drawer. Not very creative or useful! I like your way MUCH better :)
My fingers will be crossed for your fantastic giveaway, and I shall begin searching for a pencil right away, to be prepared just in case I am the very lucky one.
Thank you for taking the time to visit me at where I can always be reached through a comment. It has become much more reliable than my email!
Quinn you need to search for a pencil.


  1. Ohhh you are so lucky, what beautiful things you've purchased.

  2. Huzzah!!!! Thank you so very much! I will email my mailing address, and look forward to a very exciting delivery :)
    (And you are certainly finding amazing things! Maybe by reading more of your adventures I will finally be emboldened to begin actually using some of my own stashed finds.)

  3. Oh, you're after my own heart with those buttons! I could never find vintage when I lived in Germany, either!