March 31, 2011

Vintage Blue Glassware

Since the day I moved into this house I have wanted to do something decorative with this windowsill above the bathtub.

Our cat Otis used to sit in this window, so I never put anything in it before now. But he's getting older and hasn't jumped in this window for quite a while, so I thought it was safe to finally stick something up there.

It was just shouting out for some bright glass items.

This is a pressed glass milk or juice pitcher.

And two fairly similar vases.

A Reese Chemical Company bottle that says for external use only and to use 4 times a day. But I don't see where it tells you what the medicine was.

A Wyeth bottle with the

eyewash stopper attached.

A small bottle and two more vases.

Two Hazel Atlas Chevron pattern beauties. I assume this smaller one is a creamer,

but not sure what the larger one would be. Milk pitcher maybe? Juice?

Oh, and I was dead wrong about the cat. As soon as he saw me fussing around up there he decided that he wanted to claim it again.

Picture a cat jumping toward the window only to realize mid-way through said jump that there was no room to land. Thus having to contort his body in an unnatural manor and land in the bathtub. Luckily it was not filled with water.

So my blue glass arrangement lasted about ten minutes before I had to move it for its own safety. Now it's back to being a cat shelf. Was pretty while it lasted.

Does anyone else have that problem - you have to decorate your house around your animals?

I'll be hanging out here today:

March 30, 2011

Turquoise Poll Update

Thank you all for your comments on my turquoise buffet post and for voting on whether you liked it or not.

"Love it, you're a genius" won at 70% (I just realized that I spelled genius wrong in the poll - guess that makes me not a genius).

And the "Like it, but wouldn't want it in my house" was in 2nd place at 24%!

I was surprised that "Hate it, you ruined a perfectly good piece of furniture" had no votes. Since that was my initial reaction after painting it, I can only imagine that the people who felt that way didn't vote.

Good thing is that I have grown to really like the piece. And as wildly colorful as I thought it was at first, it almost is blending into the walls right now. Almost.

I have been having an amazingly unproductive week so far. I have been looking at used new-to-me vans all week trying to find a van with all the features I want on it. Yep, I'm a swagger wagon kind of girl.

Actually my first car ever purchased was quite the muscle car. It was a Chevy Impala similar to this.

Not sure of the year, but I think it was a '68.

That car had some get up and go. The guy I bought it off of used to race it at the drag races. Probably a little too dangerous for a 16 year old girl to be driving, but it sure had some quick acceleration at traffic lights.

I've also had a Mazda Miata which I loved. Loved the handling and responsiveness of it. Driving it was like an extension of your body. Come to think of it, most of my cars have been on the sporty side.

But for now and ever after, I'm a mini van person. We're buying this one with the intent to get it modified for wheelchair access for my son, so we're a little confined as to what year and type of van we can have.

After a week of shopping, I have narrowed it down to what I want - a 2008 Chrysler Town & Country. Now to just find one with all the options that the sporty girl in me wants and the practical side of me needs. Oh, and with low miles.

Anyhow that's why I have been around visiting blogs much this week. Just working on the van buying project. I hope I find "the one" today and can get back to my normal chaotic life!

March 26, 2011

Weekly Thrifting Finds

I picked up a few thrifty items this week.

I found this silver pitcher at a local thrift store for $3.93.

It's a little more modern than I normally go for, but it was nicely tarnished and a fairly heavyweight piece, so I scooped it up.

I thought it would make a nice vase.

I bought this blue bird (blue jay?) planter at another thrift store for $1.91.

It was made by Caffco.

I had never heard of Caffco before, but when I researched them I learned that it is a Montgomery, Alabama company that has been in business for 50+ years.

Not sure of its age, but it looks vintage.

Since it's a planter, I went to the Dollar Tree store

and bought one of their faux greenery pots. For $1.00. Because it is the Dollar Tree after all.

He looks pretty chipper considering he has a bush growing out of his back!

March 25, 2011

Ten Tips for Thrifting for Vintage Items

I thought it might be interesting for me to compile a list of things I have learned about thrift store shopping.

When I started this blog I was a thrift store virgin, but I have learned a couple useful tricks just by trial and error. I hope you find them useful too (even if you're not a virgin)!

Top ten tips for making the most out of your thrift store experience
1) Keep your mind open.

If you go in the thrift store looking for a turquoise Fiestaware Disk Water Pitcher, then chances are you will be highly disappointed. Just keep your eyes peeled for vintage looking goods in general.

Top ten tips for making the most out of your thrift store experience - Vintage Brownie Hawkeye Camera

2) Go often.

I have good days and I have bad days. Just because a store is a dud one day doesn't mean that a person isn't going to drop off a killer donation at that same store tomorrow.

Top ten tips for making the most out of your thrift store experience

3) Go early.

But not necessarily when they first open. I find if I go first thing when they open that the shelves are a little bare. You've got to give the employees a chance to get the newly donated items priced and onto the shelves.

Top ten tips for making the most out of your thrift store experience

4) I find my best stuff on Mondays and Tuesdays.

People will clean out their garages over the weekend and then drop off stuff to the thrift stores the first of the week. (Or if you are like me, keep it stored in the back of my van for a month or two and drop it off when I get tired of the crystal lamp rolling around back there).

Top ten tips for making the most out of your thrift store experience

5) Location, location, location.

I've found the best vintage stuff in thrift stores in older neighborhoods. Older neighborhoods have older people and older people have vintage stuff (that to them is just old stuff).

Top ten tips for making the most out of your thrift store experience - 1960's Royal Galaxie Typewriter

6) I avoid the frou frou Goodwill stores.

The ones that are filled with lots of new merchandise donated by stores. They have very few items donated by actual people and what they do have is very much curated by employees. Only the highest quality stuff makes it on the shelves. I prefer the thrift stores that pretty much put out anything that gets donated.

Top ten tips for making the most out of your thrift store experience

7) Travel outside your normal area occasionally.

Now with gas prices sky rocketing I won't be doing this too often, but I'll certainly stop by if I'm on that side of town for something else.

Top ten tips for making the most out of your thrift store experience

8) If you find a favorite thrift store and frequent it often, you'll get to know the workers.

My local store workers have given me tips on when the best times to shop there are, alerted me to future sale days and have even dragged something out of the back room that they thought I'd like.

Top ten tips for making the most out of your thrift store experience - Collection of vintage thermoses used as kitchen decor

9) Once I know a thrift store, I can be in and out in 5 minutes.

I know where to go to see what I am interested in. I don't dawdle. If they have nothing interesting that day I'm off to the next one down the road.

Top ten tips for making the most out of your thrift store experience - Vintage Ironstone tureen found at an estate sale

10) A bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse or car is a good thing.

Thrift stores do not clean things up or wash them prior to putting them on the shelves. I tend to pick stuff up to examine them, so my hands get a little grimy.

Have fun and get out and enjoy some thrifting.

What about you, do you have any thrift store tips to add?

Top ten tips for making the most out of your thrift store experience

March 22, 2011

My Buffet Makeover

Back in January I braved a snowstorm to pick up this buffet/dresser at Goodwill.

It is a substantial piece of furniture. Really heavy.

But it was pretty dinged up

and had scratches and water marks on the top.

But I knew of its defects when I bought it and I had plans of painting it from the get go.

So I thoroughly cleaned it out,

got rid of the yucky, sticky shelf paper in it

and let it sit for two months. Waiting for me to be inspired.

Almost everything in this room is brown, black, tan or white, so I had thoughts of maybe painting it black. That would be safe. That would be an easy choice. That would be boring.

I had turquoise in the back of my mind, since that would be a statement color. Not safe. Not an easy choice. Definately not boring.

I decided to go for it.

It went from this pecan color

to this high octane, laying on the beach in Cancun, where are my sunglasses? turquoise color.

Now, you know I love my turquoise.

And I have always really wanted an accent piece against this wall for a punch of color.

Just not sure I wanted this much of a punch.

(BTW, as many photos as I took of this piece, I could not capture the actual color. It is a little darker and more of a true turquoise rather than the lighter blue you are seeing in some of these photos.)

I glazed it quite a bit to give it some depth

and I do like that effect.

I kept the original hardware since it was sort of funky.

So anyhow, I could be a good blogger and lie and say that I am madly in love with this color and jumping up and down. But the truth is that I am still seeing if it will grow on me.

We'll see. It may end up being my favorite piece of furniture.

I am really liking the little vignette I put on the top of it though!

You can't go wrong with tarnished silver and vintage dogs.

Paint - Inlet Blue by Laura Ahsley Home LA1215 - mixed at Home Depot in Behr Premium Plus Ultra Semi-Gloss

Glaze - Valspar Translucent Glaze in Mocha

Top Coat - Minwax Polycrylic in Gloss finish

DIY tutorial on turning a thrift store buffet/dresser into a fun piece of furniture.  And who doesn't like turquoise!


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