If I’m in a thrift store I’ll always check the sad, abandoned-looking cardboard bin of scarves, linens and handkerchiefs. I first came across an illustrated hankie while sifting through a Goodwill box in Spokane. A cute travel-themed square linen with the cursive words: “On land, by sea or via air … funicular, chemin de fer … bicycle, donkey, bus or ship …  however you go, have a wonderful trip!” With tan, pink, blue, orange and brown colors and charming illustrations of the moniker’s modes of transport. And at 75¢, I was sold. In San Francisco, (I don’t know if you recall, Kathy) I picked up 2 New York themed handkerchiefs at the outdoor flea market for a few dollars, maybe 6. Looking at them now, I realize they are signed by Tammis Keefe, who was an textile artist in the 1950’s and one of the top designers of her trade, along with Pat Pritchard, Faith Austen and a few others.

I tend to lean towards the styles, well, that inspire me, – but luckily (or unluckily, as I don’t need yet another obsession to collect), most of the designs are just that:  City/state/country-inspired, food-themed, animal/dog and Christmas patterns. I picked up 3 hankies at the Metrolina, a large outdoor antiques and flea market in Atlanta a few years back, all with dogwood illustrations, as it reminded me of the dogwood tree growing outside our home on Pine Street in New Haven.

What do I do with these finds? Well, I always have good intentions of framing them, hanging them in a chic grouping or sewing them into pillows. Yeah, right. Well, at least I still enjoy them.

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