Postcards from Beach Cottage Treasure Hunting & Wiry Old Women + A Winner!

Fri 28th, May, 2010

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Howdy!  How ya doin’?

Well I have to say I have been knee deep in things here in Beach Cottage Land.  But mainly other than the boring stuff, I have been thrifting and painting and gardening.  I am painting the front door…black…I have seen so many cottagey, vintagey, country-ish houses lately with a black front door that I am having a go myself…

And gardening…um I have to say that my gardening at the mo’ is all about daffodils and tulips…the other day I was in the DIY store for some paint funnily enough and was presented with a dirty great stand absolutely heaving with spring bulbs…hmm, I rubbed my hands together and filled my head with all sorts of romantic notions…moi happily planting in the garden…vintage trug beside me on the lawn (vintage trug has been added to the Most Wanted List for sure)…birds tweeting…you get the picture.

There are two problems with this scenario.

The first is that The Lucky Country decided to cast aside it’s blue skies and winter sunshine for the week and so I have been dodging the downpours and fervently digging in mud and that doesn’t quite paint the same picture as sun and the second is I somehow relieved myself of way too much moneyand bought 100 bulbs…have you ever tried to plant 100 bulbs quickly, while dodging inclement weather, before it’s too late for them to come out for spring.  Yeah.


So anyway while I was out there digging I noticed the lovely pink camelias had arrrived…sigh…for sure I love them and on my way in a couple came with me…to sit in my newly thrifted treasure…a white sundae glass and my lovely thrifted Italian water carafe.

Now, there is a story behind this vessel…I had walked to Vinnies on my get-these-legs-looking-better campaign and was randomly glancing through the piles of cr*pola looking for vintage treasure when I spied three water containers and thought hmmm they might be nice on the table in the summer.


Happily minding my own business I suddenly got the feeling that someone was watching me…there over my right shoulder was a wiry old woman eyeing my carafes…I picked this one up and had my hand on the other one when she sort of dropped her bag on the floor near my foot, as I looked down and she exclaimed “oh dear!” she grabbed the third carafe and tried to steal number two as well.


Luckily for me, being the vintage lovin’ treasure hunting professional that I am, I clung on for dear life to the second bottle…and then she tugged…she actually tried to steal it away from my fair hand….bag was still squarely on my foot…but I, using my thrifting skills from way back neatly sidestepped the bag, yanked the thing as if she were trying to steal one of my children and promptly removed myself as the victor…my opponent left sad and deflated.

Moral of the story?

Never trust a wiry old woman in a thrift shop.


I hope you have a good weekend…we have friends over on Saturday night, Miss Beach Cottage will be making a chocolate pavlova I believe and I am wondering what to cook…I really cannot fall back on my fall backs and present anyone who enters this tatty old cottage yet again with Spanish Stew or roast chicken with a lemon shoved up it’s bottom…and I’ve suddenly just realised that I am out for most of Saturday so this needs to be something that I can do with just about my eyes shut…let me know if you have anything u up your sleeve…though I’ll go consult Nigel of Slater fame, Miss Dahl and of course Jamie Oliver in bed tonight ;-)


So long sweeties, I am off to the beach for lunch with my lovely friend lg who might I add has seriously moved on in the friendship stakes as she now texts me when she spies vintage stuff on the side of the road…I have trained her well




p.s. in other news I was alerted by one of my readers Katie, thanks, that my vintage chalboard door was at HGTV Design Happens,and Apartment Therapy again, though by the looks of it being lumped in with Lost Decor I’m thinking the powers of design style be may be having a laff about my old Hungarian lady in the Sitting Room…:-))

** Miss Dahl winner is Federica **

shared at Cindy’s My Romantic Home Show and Tell




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31 Responses to “Postcards from Beach Cottage Treasure Hunting & Wiry Old Women + A Winner!”

  1. Holly W says:

    I would love to see a final picture. I have been thinking of painting mine as well. I’m on a lake I think black is a good idea but I cna’t really visualize it. I can’t wait to see final product.
    Thanks for a new idea. :)

  2. Debra says:

    Nasty old wiry lady, how dare she? Doesn’t she know your fans need to see these finds on a regular basis :). Glad you held on. As for your dinner, how about a grilled large steak sliced on the diagonal and marinated before cooking.(Like a flank steak).

  3. Laurie says:

    Oh my gosh! I can’t believe that little old lady was that sly! lol! What a hoot, Sarah! I had quite a giggle while reading your story. You should write a book on all of your escapades and the wiry old ladies you’ve encountered! LOL!

    Love the idea of a black front door. I painted a door at previous house I owned a deep deep green – almost black. It turned out very rich and luscious looking! :)

    Hugs to you -


  4. sue austin says:

    That was a fun read! :-)

  5. Tiff says:

    While I’d LOVE to paint my front door black, I have decided to go white due to the fact that it will suit my run-of-the-mill brick & tile BORING modern home. Please post a pic of your finished door to satisfy my black door desire!
    Aside from that, glad you held on tight at Vinnies! It’s a dangerous world out there in Thrift Land ; )

  6. Debbie says:

    Oh Sarah…you are too funny. I love reading your posts.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  7. anita says:

    You can’t trust some of those old broads. They have some tricks up their sleeves but luckily you were quicker than she! Too funny!

    What about some jambalaya for dinner?

  8. Mary says:

    Hi Sarah,
    The daffs sound lovely and will be worth the dodging wet weather when they come up in spring. As for the old lady, some people are just plain rude! Good luck with the painting and enjoy your lunch at the beach. Take care, Mary

  9. andrea frost says:

    Hi Sarah…firstly what an “old bag” trying to STEAL YOUR stuff….

    I am glad you gave it to her!! & outsmarted the so & so!! (jee wiz..dont I sound like a nasty OLD bag myself??!!)~~~~

    I think the black door would look stunning against white..so please show us a photo..

    MMM for din dins… a really really quick but delightful dinner is…

    prawns (aussie ones of course)…
    cherry tomatoes…
    pesto sauce…
    lemon juice…

    Okay….cook the pasta as usual…(in pot)…

    roast the cherry tomatoes in oven drizzled with red wine vinegar & sea salt..(in oven)..

    cook the prawns with some chilli/garlic..lemon juice..(in a wok/deep pan)..

    drain pasta…stir into the prawns cooked in your wok etc..kind of squish in the tomatoes..(or keep whole..whatever)..

    stir through enough PESTO sauce to tickle your fancy…

    squeeze some more lemon juice over combined goodies..

    serve on plate with finely chopped?? or whole basil leaves..

    finely grate parmesan cheese over the top..

    sprinkle of pepper??

    & voila…an easy peasey scrumptious dish…??

    looks fab…tastes even better…& only takes 30 minutes!!!

    anyway…have a great weekend..

    xx andrea

  10. andrea frost says:

    OOPS sarah…I meant fettucine..(not linguine)!!!…silly me..

  11. Alison Gibbs says:

    Sarah wish I had been in Vinnies to watch Mrs BC and WOM tugging away on the carafe – yay for the winner.
    100 bulbs planted in the rain – way to go. They will look fabulous.
    Have a great weekend

  12. Lynda says:

    Hello Sarah!! I’m so glad I found your blog….I love the sea and the beach……but I also love your pictures from today’s post!!!! I also have a camelia……for years…but this year:(…..not ONE flower…..isn’t that strange?????
    I liked your story, was fun to read! Thank you!


  13. brilliant story sarah…..gotta watch those *unassuming* little ladies….love the fleurs -from your garden….and your *trophies*…the good ol’sidestep in vinnies!
    melissa x

  14. Tammi says:

    OOh I like the idea of a black door….I have seen a few in my lurking here on blogland. Look forward to seeing the finished result.

    Your garden will be so worth the effort and weather once spring comes and you are greeted with a glorious sight.

    Btw am loving the sound of Andrea’s dinner suggestion…have a great night tomorrow.

  15. Angie says:

    Don’t you mean ‘wily’ old woman? And enough of the old – that could have been me. ;~)

  16. donna says:

    I know she didn’t stand a chance! HA, too funny. I love that. I’m usually the one who walks up two seconds too late,so when it was finally me who got the goods, not gonna lie it felt good! Any whooo …. have a wonderful weekend and I’ll be thinking of you as i a have a large community sale to conquer! <3

  17. Enjoyed your wonderful thrifting story – LOL!!

    Andrea’s recipe is wonderful and I’m adding it to my list!

    Good luck with your pav.

    From a friend across the ditch!

  18. Shane says:

    The previous message is mine, but when I tried to sign in with Google, Typeface made a different address….
    Very weird.

    My blog is http://roseslaceandbrocante.blogspot.com/
    and I would love you to come and visit me!

  19. oh no I don’t mean wily….I am speaking my own BC language Angie…thought you all knew that my now :-)

    I’ll let you take of as you will ‘wiry’

    p’haps is me that just gets it


  20. K says:

    Hi Sarah, I love this picture and i have just found the exact same carafe here in Cape Town! So I had to buy 3, in differnt sizes, love them.

  21. Oh no! I hope that all of the bulbs get planted okay – at least the camelias came up to delight you in the meantime! And I can attest to the fact that thrifters can be ruthless! Haha! But at least you won this round. :)

    Also, I totally agree with Andrea about the pesto/cherry tomato pasta – my dad makes that exact same dish and it is always phenomenal. And SO easy!

  22. Bonnie says:

    So glad you were a seasoned thrifter or that wiry old lady could have gotten the best of you. It sounds like she has tried that move before on less fortunate. Glad you put her in her place!! *you had me laughing so hard with this story*

    I can’t wait to see the door painted black, it sounds lovely!

    Hope you enjoy your weekend!!



  23. Love the moral of the story :)

  24. fairmaiden says:

    Isn’t that funny you are painting your front door black…while I’ve been inspired by your trip to England to paint my front door white! And make one of those little signs with black lettering (mine will say *sea cottage*) to screw on it. Do you remember the pics you posted of those doors? But I had been seeing alot of white doors like that before you went. My current door is a driftwood grey/blue color..the color it was when we bought the home. I’ve never liked it. I will look forward to seeing how your black door turns out.

    And those pink camillas are my favorite! I have them too, but they bloomed in December.

  25. You “gotta” love the old lady for trying! LOL She is now sitting home plotting her next move….

  26. Trish Rawlings says:

    Love the story of the old woman “trying it on with you” only she didn”t know who she was picking did she.Love the front door idea it”ll be a blast, and by now you will already have found a recipe and eaten it so can”t be any help there.
    Have a good one!

  27. Haha…you have me laughing out loud! I love your new finds!

  28. Scribbler says:

    That is so bizarre! Maybe she was unbalanced? Anyway, I glad you were the Victor who claimed the spoils.


  29. Congrats on your feature! Hope you’re having a lovely weekend in beach cottage land.


  30. Kathy says:

    You are so right in what you say! You have to keep whatever your interested in your hands – or post someone nearby!
    Good eye in getting the two you did!
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  31. clustres says:

    I know—thrift shops can be dangerous! Thanks for the story!