Monday, December 19, 2011

Thrift Score Monday: Television Lamp!

A while back, I blogged about my aunt and uncle's amazing house, and I mentioned my insane jealousy of admiration for my uncle's black panther TV lamp. One of my Thrift Score Monday commenters once said that she's convinced if she thinks hard enough about something she wants, she'll find it. Operating on this principal, I've been obsessing over TV lamps ever since. I've been researching them ( is a great resource!), stalking them on eBay, and generally keeping my eyes peeled. And guess what...last Friday, it paid off!

{Small tangent:  Fridays after work is my new favorite time to hit the thrift shops. They tend to be fully stocked in preparation for the weekend, but not yet picked over by those early bird vintage afficianados who apparently get up at the crack of dawn on Saturday (for God's sake!) and snag everything before I get there. Ahem.  End of tangent.}

After a post office drop last Friday, I stopped by one of my fave thrifts. And there it was, in the dish aisle, of all places:

From my vantagepoint, I couldn't tell for sure if it was a lamp at first. It just looked like an enormous white ceramic horse statue--which would have been awesome in and of itself--but I had a feeling. I turned it around...

SCORE!   The cord and socket were original...the socket is bakelite, I think....and they're in wonderful condition. As usual, I held my breath while I examined the piece for damage, and was thrilled to discover that it was in great shape. It was $20, which is more than I ever pay for anything at a thrift, but I didn't hesitate. This baby is now MINE.

I took it home and tried it out in about 14 different places in my house. It looks great everywhere, not that I'm biased or anything. I've decided to enjoy it for a while and then list it in the shop. This is my new policy, to keep myself from turning into a complete hoarder of vintage stuff. :) 

This isn't the rarest TV lamp in the world, though its amazing condition makes it a true find. But honestly, you couldn't have created a lamp more appealing to me. (Well...except maybe a black jaguar!)  I love white ceramic animal statues, especially horses. It's got a very mid-century meets Hollywood Regency vibe, which of course is my nirvana. 

I'm so excited to have found just what I was looking for, which so rarely happens in the world of thrifting and antiquing!  Did you find anything spectacular this week?  I'm linking up with some of my favorite blogs to find out!

Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
What I Love About the Thrift Store at Cap Creations
Twice Owned Tuesday at House of Grace
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Vintage Inspiration

I spotted this photo of Marilyn over at The City Sage a while back, and I've been obsessed ever since.

That room is so incredibly relevant today. The wall color, the low-slung modular bookshelves, the day bed that looks like it's straight from DWR. Everything, from the lamp to the white wooden frames on the black and white photography, looks completely of the moment.

Here's another photo of the same room, found here, in black and white. I love the mirror that's visible in this shot.

These photos really demonstrate that what goes around comes around, don't they? And of course Marilyn is gorgeous too!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Thrift Score Monday: Glassed In

Sorry this post is late again...the holiday rush is on!  The Etsy store is hopping, and my own tendency to procrastinate means that I've only just begun to make a dent in my Christmas shopping list. You know what, though? I love it. It's such a happy, festive time of year. Still...all this hubub has cut into my treasure hunting. Thankfully I have quite a bit of inventory stockpiled from all the summer flea marketing and estate saling, because I just haven't had much time to hit the thrift stores lately.

Of course I've still managed to find a few things here and there...I'm not dead.  One of my weaknesses is vintage glassware. In fact, one of the reasons I opened my Etsy shop is that I constantly find fabulous vintage glassware, but I already own more glasses than I'll ever use. Here are a few examples I've snagged recently:

I found this set of seven Libbey Glass tumblers in the 1950s "Cavalcade" pattern--one of my faves. These tall, thin glasses are so elegant; I believe they are Tom Collins glasses, but they'd work well for iced tea or almost any cocktail. They're in almost perfect shape--they're so pristine they look like reproductions! I love the gold and white horse pattern, which I find to be very Hollywood Regency and glamorous.

I was also excited to find this set of aqua and white glasses:

I'm not familiar with this pattern, but I love the intricate design, the cool aqua and white palette, and the delicate, kind of Asian-inspired pattern. This is a set of five, and they, too, are in great shape! They'd look fab with my jadeite collection; I'm sooo tempted to keep them!

Another find was this set of Libbey Glass in the classic 1960s "Silver Leaf" pattern:

This pattern came in both gold and silver, and it's relatively common in the world of vintage glassware. What makes this a great find, though, is the pitcher. I don't often see this petite cocktail pitcher, nor do I find these little footed cocktail glasses very frequently. I was sad that there were only three glasses, but I still thought the set was cute enough that I had to snap it up. What an adorable set for winter entertaining, n'est-ce pas?

Finally, I'm so in love with this set of four tumblers:

I adore everything about them...the geometric pattern, the green/blue/white/gold color scheme, the great 60s vibe, that style that crosses the boundaries of mid-century modern and Hollywood Regency. Right up my alley. They show more wear than the other glasses I've found recently -- you can see that quite a bit of the gold paint has worn away -- but I loved them too much to leave them behind.

I hope all of you are surviving, and managing to enjoy yourselves, as the holiday frenzy really gets going. As usual, I'm linking up with some of my favorite blogs to check out some other great finds:

Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
Pennyworthy Project at Hey What's For Dinner Mom
Twice Owned Tuesday at House of Grace
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Trick of the Trade: Wax Removal

So last week, I mentioned that I'd found a set of six Dansk glass votive holders, but was perplexed by the melted wax stuck inside them. If you're not familiar of the Dansk candleholders I'm referring to, you may need a visual to understand my dilemma:

Note: This is NOT a "before" shot, since I didn't have the foresight to document my little project. It's just a picture to illustrate the shape of the candleholders. You can see the almost hourglass design of these little guys. Cool, right?  Absolutely. But once melted wax pools and hardens in the bottoms, not so cool!  The usual tricks--including freezing the votive holders, allowing the wax to contract, and then tapping it out--do not work, because that cinched in little "waist" holds the wax inside. I've seen some people use these to hold wider, pillar candles in the top portion, which might eliminate some of this wax-pooling business, though I have to believe that some wax would still melt into the bottoms.

What to do...what to do? I sat on these babies for several weeks, unable to come up with a solution. Finally, it dawned on me: the wax would have to come out the way it went in....melted!  I decided to try an experiment. I took a cookie sheet and lined it with aluminum foil--and I mean that I lined it WELL. I made the sides as tall as I could and made sure it was one solid piece, so nothing could escape through a seam. I then set my oven to 190 degrees. I was afraid to go any hotter, but I figured 190 was certainly warm enough to melt wax!  I turned each candle holder upside down on the aluminum-lined tray and popped them in the warm oven. Here's a re-enactment:

Notice how this photo is weirdly-cropped and narrow? That's because after I took it, I noticed how positively disgusting the bottom of my oven is!  Charred debris galore. Embarrassing. While I feel the need to confess, I didn't want to gross you out with photographic evidence!

I left them in the warm oven for about 20 minutes, all in all. I was tempted to turn up the heat to speed up the process, but I was afraid the glass would explode or something, since I'm pretty sure it's not meant to serve as cookware. ;)  When I finally pulled them out, the wax was all melted into the tray, and the jars looked clear!

[NOTE: Remove the tray carefully!  You'd be shocked how much wax those little jars can hold when it's all melted and pooled in the bottom of your cookie sheet! And you definitely don't want melted wax all over your oven, or you'll end up with a way more serious problem!]

Handling each jar with an oven mit, I rinsed them with warm water while they were still toasty to keep any remaining wax residue from re-hardening. A couple of them had enough residue left around the rims that I needed to give them a quick scrub with a kitchen sponge, but it was nothing serious.

All in all, I was thrilled with the results of my little experiment!  Though these Dansk pieces have a very specific shape that makes them difficult to clean, I think this method could work for any glass candleholder in a pinch.

Here are the candle holders now, as listed in the shop:

Aren't they lovely?!  I've always admired this design, created by Jens Quistgaard in the 60s, and I was so happy that I was able to save this set!  I think they'll make a perfect holiday decoration for someone.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Thrift Score Monday: Random Goodness

I did hardly ANY thrifting or antiquing this past week, if you can believe it!  It's that time of year when holiday shopping trumps all else. Plus, this Saturday was our first nice, sunny, non-rainy/snowy day in ages, and I had a backlog of around-the-house chores to accomplish: raking, stowing away the deck furniture, cleaning gutters, painting the trim around my new(ish) back door....  Treasure hunting or raking?  You can see how it was a difficult--torturous, almost--choice. But I buckled down and did the right thing. I stayed home and worked. SIGH.

Today, therefore, I'll be featuring a few fun things I've picked up over the last month or so but haven't had a chance to feature. It's a pretty random assortment, but I hope you like it!

First, a "mystery find"...

This set of three blue mugs with snap-off wooden handles and the matching shallow lidded bowl with removeable wooden and metal base just blew my mind. They're sooo art deco and unusual. I've never seen anything like them. Naturally, I scoured the thrift store where I found them for a fourth mug and any other pieces, but this is all I came up with. I've researched them like crazy but haven't found much. I thought they might be Padre Pottery of California, which made some other wooden-handled pieces, but I haven't found any definitive reference, and their pieces were usually signed and featured glossier glazes. Here are a couple more shots:

 Does anyone have any clues as to what these are, or who made them? It's driving me crazy, folks!

Moving on, I found this three-tiered mid-century modern candelabra a few weeks ago on a trip:

 It came from a tiny, ramshackle secondhand store out in the country. It made me wonder what kind of groovy character had something this cool in their home out in such a decidedly non-cool, non-hip, middle-of-nowhere town.

Another favorite find from the last few weeks was this set of two modern brass horse sculptures:

They are super glam...very Hollywood Regency...and I've never seen another one like them. Each sits on a metal base for stability. Unbelieveably, I found these at Goodwill!  They were pricy for Goodwill, but sooo worth it.

Finally, I found this old McCoy stoneware buttermilk pitcher at another thrift:

This piece is really early McCoy, and unmarked. I love the semi-Greek Key border and the diamond pattern. I would have loved it more in green, but for the price I paid, brown is great too! It's in wonderful condition. I can only guess that no one before me recognized it as McCoy, or I'm sure it would have been snapped up.

That's it for my finds this week!  I hope everyone else has had a productive week, and managed to find a few vintage treaures amidst all the retail mania of the Christmas season. Have a great week!

Linking with:
Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
What I Love About the Thrift Store at Cap Creations (***who featured my vintage ornaments from last week...woo hoo...thanks Cap Creations!) 
Restyled Sundays at Stylish Once Again
The Pennyworthy Project at Hey What's For Dinner Mom?

Sunday's Best Linky Party! Meet Virginia Design

 Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thrift Score Monday...on a Tuesday!

Sorry for the late Thrift Score post!  I got back a day late from a trip to visit family for Thanksgiving, and just didn't manage to get this posted in time.

Now that Thanksgiving is in the books, it's time for all things CHRISTMAS!!!!  Here are a few holiday-related finds I've picked up over the last few weeks:

First some adorable vintage ornaments in their original packaging!

I love the blue/green/gold tones of the glass balls and the retro font of the package. They appear to be circa the 1950s; I can't believe they survived without breaking all these years!

Next up, a HUGE and fabulous brass deer!

This guy is about 16 inches tall and over a foot wide!  He could be (and...yes...has been!) used as a barbell. He'd be an awesome decorative piece any time of year, but I think he'll make a particularly cool holiday decoration.

I also picked up this vintage holiday cookie jar for under a dollar:

Isn't it cute?  It's HUGE (1 gallon capacity), and so retro-cheery. I especially love the vintage font:

It looks like early 70s to me...what do you think?  And speaking of cool fonts, I also found this HOPE ornament:

The person I got it from told me that he's had it a very long time, yet I think it looks really modern and cool.

I also found a set of six green glass Dansk votive holders recently for less than three dollars. Even though these turn up often, I thought they were a great buy--until I realized they were full of melted wax that was seemingly impossible to remove due to their hourglass shape. More on that adventure later in the week!

I hope everyone had a wonderful, relaxing Thanksgiving. As usual, I'm linking up to some of my favorite blogs to see what treasures everyone else has unearthed!

Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
The Pennyworthy Project at Hey What's For Dinner Mom?
What I Love About the Thrift Store at Cap Creations

Sunday's Best Linky Party!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Thrift Score Monday: Happy Thanksgiving!

It was a busy (work-wise) and dreary (weather-wise) week, so I wasn't the thrifting and treasure-hunting tornado that I usually am. I still, of course, managed to find a few things. ;)  Here are my favorites:

I loved this delicate ceramic vase. It's not a find of the caliber of, say, finding Rookwood at Goodwill or anything, but I still thought it was elegant and lovely...and in perfect condition.

I was also psyched to find a set of eight Fire King gratin bowls. I always refer to this color as peach lustre, though I think it's technically called copper. [Must research further!]  In any case, they are in PRISTINE condition--clearly have never been used. I love them; they feel so cozy and wintery to me--perfect for chili or french onion soup.

I've had this Pyrex bowl listed in my shop for a while:

It's the Spring Blossom Green (aka Crazy Daisy) pattern from the 1970s.  On a thrift shop foray over the weekend, I found the larger and smaller (green on white) bowls that go with this set, giving me an almost-complete nested set!  I've pulled the listing from my Etsy shop and I'm going to photograph the bowls as a set and relist them. I love reuniting broken sets of vintage objects!

Another reuinited set of sorts was this grouping of roly poly glasses:

I had three of them from earlier in the year, and I happened upon five matching ones at another thrift store. So weird when that happens!  These are unique in that there are various types of houses (tee-pee, log cabin, igloo, tiki hut, etc.) etched into the bands. The etched design is only noticeable up close:

I don't know who made them or the significance of the houses. If anyone knows, please share!

A final favorite from this week was this milk glass compote:

This is the "lotus blossom" pattern from Indiana Glass. I love the shape of the bowl and the delicate stem. It's not a pattern that I've seen before in milk glass, so I was excited to find it.

Overall, still a pretty good haul for an "off" week, I thought. I hope everyone has a safe and happy Thanksgiving! 

Linking up with some of my favorite blogs to check out everyone else's scores:
Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
The Pennyworthy Project at Hey What's for Dinner Mom?
Anything Goes at Type A Decorating
What I Love About the Thrift Store at Cap Creations

Sunday's Best Linky Party! HOG

Friday, November 18, 2011

My Current Obsession: Brass Desk Lamps

I know it's kind of weird to be inspired by decor from Woman's Day, but I was impressed with a spread they did on decorating a home office in the September 2011 issue.  Specifically, I though the brass desk lamps they featured in two examples were gorgeous.

{via Woman's Day}

Doesn't the gold tone of the brass look so fresh against the pink?

Like everyone else, I'm coming back around to brass in a big way. I think the absence of gold tones from my life for so long, in favor of stainless steel, chrome, and silver, left me craving something warmer and more (gasp!) traditional. It's been out of fashion for so long that brass now looks super fresh, new and exciting--even when mixed with cooler silver tones.

I actually own a lamp identical to the one in the second photo, except mine is stainless steel and wood. I wonder if I should spray paint it gold?  Any thoughts?  It could be fabulous...but I've had the lamp so long it's technically vintage now, and I'm a bit sentimental about it. Hmm.

I figured the lamp in the first photo was super high end--doesn't it look to be?  But I noticed in the article source list that it's from Bellacor and lists for only $138!  And then, while doing on online search for a similar lamp, I found its twin for sale via!

 Same price--$138--and probably the same exact lamp. Still, there's something thrilling to me about finding decor ideas in Woman's Day and realizing those ideas through all-American!

I love it when vintage inspires modern, and when the out-of-style cycles back around and looks fresh and new again. It keeps me on my toes, and keeps me entertained and inspired.


Monday, November 14, 2011

Thrift Score Monday: Pottery Jackpot

About two weeks ago, I was in a local Goodwill store. I'd never had much luck at that particular store, but I needed to kill some time.

I was about to give up when I noticed an employee roll a "just arrived" cart of fresh inventory out of the stock room. From about fifteen feet away, I suddenly spotted an ivory pottery vase that called out to me. Even from that distance, I knew it was special--I could tell by the quality of the glaze, the design, the shape. Pottery never fools me.

I've been collecting art pottery from the 1920s, 30s and 40s for twenty years. It's one of my favorite things on earth. It's not something I can explain--I just love the cool heft of the clay, the qualities of the different glazes, and the art deco and arts and crafts shapes. Green in my favorite, and ivory is a close second.

As I got closer, I began to hear the soundtrack to "Chariots of Fire" in my head. [Really.] I'm pretty sure I began to move in slow motion. The other people swarming around the cart became blurs in my peripheral vision. As I reached the cart, I was temporarily confused by the stuffed animal that had been shoved into the mouth of the vase, but I quickly figured it out. I picked up the vase. I felt the weight, the coolness, noted the sophistication of the designs on the side panels. And then, I flipped it over, already suspecting what I was about to see. . .

That's right, folks...ROOKWOOD.  For those of you unfamiliar with vintage pottery, Rookwood is an iconic American pottery company that produced work between the late 1800s and the 1960s. Their work is gorgeous, highly collectable, and often valuable. The backwards "R" and the "P" surrounded by flames is their trademark; the "XXXIV" denotes the year of production (1934); 6476 is the shape number.  The hideous underlined "2" in black marker is courtesy of the rude Goodwill employee who priced this item. (Sorry to sound always bugs me that Goodwill sees fit to write all over their merchandise in marker, but this time it really upset me! Didn't they know this was a treasure!? Since they priced it at $2.99...I guess not.)

After checking the mark, I held my breath, closed my eyes, said a quick prayer to the pottery gods, and inspected the piece for damage. One rarely finds collectable pottery at Goodwill...NEVER anything of the caliber of Rookwood...and on those rare occasions when a lone McCoy or Hull piece turns up, there is ineveitably damage.  I was, therefore, beside myself when I realized that this vase appeared to be in mint condition, save for a little surface dirt. MINT CONDITION! 

The vase was gorgeous. Each side panel featured a different animal, in a very arts and crafts style:

{Bird on a branch}

{Birds--swallows?--in flight.}

There's another panel featuring tree frogs, but I didn't get a shot of that one. I love the organic, natural design and the crystalline ivory glaze. The piece is so intricate, yet so subtle.  Love at first sight would be an understatement.

I caught my breath, cradled the vase with two hands, and headed to the checkout. The teenager who rang me up may have thought I was a bit crazy, seeing how I refused to let her touch the vase and instead held it up myself for her to scan. I refused her offer to wrap it and instead gingerly placed it in my large purse. (Yes, she stared at me a little.)  When I got to the car, I wrapped it in a blanket and placed it in the passenger seat next to me. And I'm not afraid to admit that I seatbelted it in.

The vase is worth several hundred dollars in today's market (closer to $600 a few years ago, pre-recession).  I want to sell it. I should sell it. I have enough pottery in my home to decorate ten houses. The thing is, though, that I love this vase. And for a lifelong thrifter and pottery collector, it will always remind me of one of those rare moments when all the foraging, the sorting and the scrounging pays off. Will I list it in my shop? Maybe someday. For now, though, I'm savoring the moment and enjoying this beautiful piece, which sits in a place of honor in my living room.

Did anyone else unearth any treasures while thrifting this week? I'm linking up to the following blogs to find out!

Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday
Her Library Adventures' Flea Market Finds
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Twice Owned Tuesday at House of Grace
Club GW with Charm Bracelet Diva
The Pennyworthy Project at Hey What's for Dinner Mom?
Debbie Doos Newbie Party
What I Love About the Thrift Store at Cap Creations
Thrifty Things Friday @ The Thrifty Groove
Sunday's Best Linky Party! 
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
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