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


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