Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Rug Killer

This is Gus. He's 70 lbs of adorable, furry canine goodness. He loves people and toys and blankets and treats. In the 3.5 years since I adopted him, he's never, not even once, had an accident in the house.

Nonetheless, he's affectionately known as the Rug Killer.  Don't let those puppy dog eyes fool you! While he's reasonably well behaved (save for some nuisance barking and an obsession with the neighbors' hound dog), he cannot be trusted alone with a rug. His methods vary, but his objective is always the same: Demolish the rug. Kill the carpet. Destroy the floor covering.  I don't know what the attraction is, but he really loves rugs - loves chewing them, unraveling them, peeling off the rubber rug pads and chewing them into kazillions of pieces.

I've been through a revolving door of area rugs since his arrival. The primary "war zone" is the family room, where he sleeps and where he hangs out most of the time. We started out with a small berber carpet remnant:

Cause of death:  Rubber backing ripped off and stained by muddy paws.  There was also a minor incident involving a doggie nail trim gone wrong and some blood droplets, but we won't talk about that. I still have guilt.

Next, I found a darker beige shag replacement, kind of like this one from Home Decorators Collection:

Cause of death: Projectile vomiting. Apparently Gus is allergic to certain foods, but it took a while to figure that out. Have you ever tried to remove dog vomit from a shag rug? Or ANYTHING from a shag rug, for that matter? Suddenly, I understood why they had gone out of style. They are completely and utterly impossible to clean.

Next, I actually got around to decorating the family room and decided I wanted to go for a warm, kind of "English library" look. Bad choice. Warm colors make me claustrophobic after a while. I found an overpriced, persian-style rug in shades of gold and chocolate brown. Terrible, oppressive choice for the room. More importantly, terrible choice for Gus.

You can see a corner of the hideous thing in this photo. Please ignore the immodest dog pose, but I had no other shots of that rug, such was my hatred for it:

I really wish he could learn to relax...

Cause of death: Frayed corner (from chewing) and it showed dog hair like nobody's business. The rug is not technically dead, but it was quickly exiled to the basement.

Next, I decided I needed a less dreary, lighter look. I wanted a sisal or a jute mat--something natural and airy. After quite a bit of research, though, I decided it was too risky. So many reviews of those rugs listed staining as a problem. Time for plan B: I ordered a large berber (yes, again) remnant in the shade that I thought most resembled jute. In the store, it was a dead ringer for the natural fibers I craved. When I got it home...not so much. It just looked like a nice, beige berber. *SIGH*


. . . and after:

Cause of death: Chewing (obviously); staining (more mud); ripped rug pad (he enjoys folding the rug in half and attacking the rubber padding underneath); and unraveling. He holds loose carpet strings in his mouth and rolls over, unraveling it as he goes. Weirdo.

All of this brings me to the present. Two weeks ago I finally accepted that it was time to replace the rug again. I went to Garden Ridge (a big box discount housewares store) and rooted through their dirt cheap carpet remnants, but everything seemed to be the color of band-aids. From afar, though, I spotted a stack of huge indoor/outdoor rugs. One in particular caught my eye: a sage green trellis-patterned rug in a synthetic material that looked and felt like natural fibers. Only $99 for an 8x10! Too good to be true, right? I thought so. I went home empty handed, but soon came to my senses and went back to make the purchase.

And let me tell you...I LOVE IT! 

It's stain resistant, and because it's made from synthetic material and is meant as an indoor/outdoor rug, it can actually be HOSED OFF should something (vomiting? muddy paw attack?) happen!

I really think it brightens up the room, too...

So far, I'm pleased to report that the rug hasn't shown much dog hair, has held up to dog zoomies and drool, and, best of all, Gus hasn't tried to chew it!  He picked up a corner in his mouth the other day, and before I could do anything, he looked at me funny and spit it if it tasted bad or something. YES!

Could this be the answer to all of my [rug-related] problems? Dare I hope? Gus certainly seems to like it...keep your fingers crossed for me!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mad for Mad Men!

It's been sooo very long, I can hardly believe it's here....Season 5 of Mad Men!!!!

{Photo via}
Did you watch the premiere?  What did you think? Personally, I loved it. The two hours felt like 30 minutes to me, and I'm now officially obsessed with sunken living rooms.

In tribute to the long-awaited return of one of my favorite shows, I thought I'd feature a few thrifted finds that exude that Mad Men style.  One of the iconic symbols of the show is Dorothy Thorpe Silver Band barware. The simple, retro pattern includes a sterling silver overlay around the edge of clear glass, and includes the classic "roly poly" lowball glass, dinnerware, and barware of all sorts. Imitators from the era also abound, and can often be equally lovely. 

Below is a collection of silver band pieces I've thrifted over the last six months or so. Some of it is authentic Dorothy Thorpe; some pieces are lookalikes. They are all lovely in a glamourous, minimalist kind of way.

Some people like to leave the silver tarnished on these vintage pieces. I, personally, find them at their most beautiful when the silver is shined to its original, sparkling state just as it was intended.

Probably the two rarest pieces in this particular collection are the two ENORMOUS vases.

They are technically "bud vases" in the Silver Band line, but they're so gigantic, I can't imagine what kind of "buds" would fit in them. They'd be wonderful on either end of a large mantel, or even as alter vases at a wedding. Funny story: the estate sale where I bought them had labeled them as "yard glasses" - like you'd find in an Irish pub!  I guess they do kind of look like them!

Here they are, all shined up:

I just love this compote. Wouldn't it look amazing as a super chic fruit bowl? So modern...

This cocktail set came from a junk shop that I visit a couple of times a year:

I've had them a while and still haven't polished the silver; I just haven't had the time. I can't wait, though, to see them all shined up! The junk shop owner told me that her parents used this set to drink their after-work cocktails when she was a kid.

I'll be cleaning up and listing all of the pieces in the next few weeks; I thought it would be fun to list them as the season of Mad Men progresses.

What was your favorite part of the premiere episode? Did you watch?

Linking up to the following parties to see what thrifted treasures everyone else uncovered!

Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
Sunday's Best at My 1929 Charmer
Thrifty Love at Cap Creations
Thirfty Things Friday at the Thrifty Groove
Flaunt it Friday at Chic on a Shoestring

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thrift Report

Once in a while, when I've checking out at a thrift shop, I'll notice that the things I'm buying look good together--like a pretty vignette. Usually, I'm buying a mish-mash of things, but on those occasions when I notice that my purchases complement one another, it makes me inordinately happy, as if my world is in order or something. I only picked up a few things this week, but it all looked kind of, well....cute together on the checkout counter. Here it all is after I hauled it home:

Everything here was from one stop, and the total bill was under $20.  Not bad!

The magnolia leaf wreath and the laquered zebra print tray are for me. The tray is originally from Home Goods (sticker still attached) and it may end up in my living room. The wreath is a bit "smooshed" but I think I can revive it.

I was thrilled to find these two MINT condition Fenton hobnail candlesticks. They're not my style, exactly, so they're headed right to the shop.

I never pass up a set of these Mad Men style coasters when I see them!

I loved the art deco styling of the handle of this pewter pitcher:

The find I love the most is the set of two vintage Parisian watercolors. They're the kind of thing you can buy on the street there for the equivalent of a few dollars, and these probably date to the 50s or 60s. I bought them to sell, but I love them and think I'll keep them instead. Paris is special to me for many reasons, and these little souvenirs or someone's trip are just lovely in a retro kind of way.

Overall, I was pleased with my thrifted purchases this week, and it was fun to find some things for myself, rather than just for the shop.

Wishing everyone a great week!


Linking up here:

...Sunday's Best Linky Party!

Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl

Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures

Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm


Monday, March 12, 2012

Thrift Report: Matchy-Matchy

Okay, prepare yourselves for a rant. There are oodles of Goodwills in Indianapolis, and while they are not my favorite vintage source, they are everywhere, so I do check them out on a regular basis. It is my understanding that most of their merchandise is distributed to the individual stores from their central processing location. What bugs me is that they refuse to keep sets of things -- dishes, glassware, series of books, etc. -- together as sets. As a vintage dealer, it's frustrating because if I find three fabulous glasses in one location, I know the other three (or six, or nine) are probably scattered across their other locations. A full set of dishes? Impossible to find. And I don't think it just affects me as a dealer; I'm sure individual shoppers looking for some new dishware or cookware or flatware would appreciate finding a matched set. On the other hand, their "method" of breaking up sets certainly keeps me on my toes!  Here are some recent Goodwill finds...

One of the prettiest sets of cocktail glasses I've ever seen!  Crystal with a light gray smoked bowl and a silver rim. Found four of them in a Goodwill north of the city, and another two at a Goodwill closer to my house, along with these matching roly poly glasses:

I found five of these gold rimmed goblets at one Goodwill location a few weeks ago...

...and three more of them, plus four matching champagne coupes at another Goodwill. I later found two additional champagne coupes at yet another location!

I listed these four AMAZING Salem China plates in my shop a couple of weeks ago:

Just this weekend, I spotted the four matching bowls at a completely different GW location!  Here they are, reunited:

These Imperial Candlewick champagne coupes?  Found them scattered across THREE different stores:

Then over the weekend, I found the matching cordial glasses in two locations. I bet there are two more champagne glasses out there somewhere!

I am currently "collecting" a set of glassware with bamboo-shaped stems. I find one single piece in just about every Goodwill store I visit. Eventually, I'll have a full set!  Same with an umarked set of blue willow...there's a single plate in almost every Goodwill store in central Indiana. Coincidence? I think not.

Okay, rant over. I know there are much bigger problems in the world; I know I am lucky to have such a huge number of thrift stores at my disposal. But if the fine people of Goodwill of Central Indiana should ever happen upon my humble blog, I BEG them to try to keep sets of glassware, dishes, flatware, and other housewares together. The vintage sellers of the world will thank you!

Finally, to end on a postive note, I wanted to share this pretty little unicorn figurine I found for a few dollars over the weekend:

He's going right to the shop, and I hope he'll bring his new owner much luck!

Have a wonderful week, everyone! xoxo

...Sunday's Best Linky Party!

The Thrifty Groove

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Secondhand Swoon

It's been a while since I've let myself browse vintage furniture on Craigslist purely for purposes of enjoying the eye candy. Today, I decided to eat lunch at my desk and thought I'd take a quick look.  It didn't take long to fall in love...

Isn't it gorgeous?  A complete 1960s Kroehler bedroom set for a mere $350.  Someone in the Indianapolis area please, please snap it up before I do! 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thrift Report: A Mixed Bag

Hello vintage loving friends!  My thrifted finds this week were a motley common thread; no common style. Sometimes I just pick up any old thing that appeals to me, rather than specifically hunting for what I think will sell well in the shop. I find the best stuff when I don't overthink it.

No, this is not a giant wooden letter "H" (though that would be cool, too). . .

No siree.  It's actually a collapsable wooden candle holder. Like a minimalist, modern candelabra of sorts.

It's blocky and cool and would look amazing full of tapers as the centerpiece at a dinner party.

I also found a super retro set of two chrome canisters:

I love a good vintage canister, and I really love that these are labeled for cookies and coffee (true staples!) rather than just the usual sugar and flour.

Speaking of shiny goodness....I also scored a BUNCH of silverplate last week, all in one stop.

There's a Reed and Barton enameled Paul Revere bowl; a Reed and Barton complete lotus flower frog set; an amazing International Silver pitcher; and a set of enormous weighted Gorham candlesticks. I know that some people don't own silver because they can't face the polishing, but I actually enjoy it. It's meditative for me. Nonetheless, it looks like I have a LOT of polishing ahead of me!

I was super excited to find these two vintage books.

I'm a crazily prolific book collector...have been all my life. For purely decorative purposes, I can't resist an interesting spine or a beautiful cover, and these two had both. I love the modern green leaf pattern on the Oscar Wilde volume, and the deco styling of the red book stole my heart. I'll be keeping these two, I think.

One last find that I wanted to share this week is this set of five mid-century style rocks glasses.

I love the retro design in gold and white. They are heavy and fabulous--perfect for a vintage inspired bar cart. 

There you have the highlights of my thrifting week!  As I mentioned earlier, it was a bit of a mixed bag, style-wise, but I was still really pleased with my purchases. Did you have a favorite find this week? I'm linking up with the blogs below to check out everyone else's finds. Happy thrifting!


Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
Sunday's Best at My 1929 Charmer
Thrifty Love at Cap Creations
A Happy Girl Collectables
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Twice Owned Tuesday at House of Grace

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