Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ah, Summer. . .

Cursive Fonts

As previously noted, it was hot, hot, hot this past weekend. Most of you know it as Memorial Day Weekend, but here in Indy, it's Race Weekend, baby. Checkered flags everywhere. Movie stars and actual Europeans in our midst. OOOH yeah.

I actually have nothing to do with the big race. I'm really not a fan of loud, fast cars, and at 5'10", I'm way too tall to have crushes on the drivers. (Something non-Indianapolis peeps may not realize is that race car drivers are teeny tiny. Really. They are miniature...jockey-sized, if you need another sports reference.) And you know what? In a sick attempt to force the locals to attend the race, they refuse to televise it live in our area. People in Indy listen to it on the RADIO. It's delightfully retro, actually; groups of people sitting on their porches and lawns, drinking mimosas ( and listening to the race on the old transistor.

Anyway, back to me and my lack of affinity for racing. What do I do instead on Race Weekend? I thrift, yes. I eat massive amounts of summer holiday weekend food (yes, it IS possible to consume too much watermelon). I take an inaugural summer ride on my parents' boat.

I laugh at bulldogs in life jackets.

The whiter set of legs is mine.

This hot dog could only stay out a little while, and only in the hour right before dusk. It was so hot it was ALMOST unbearable, but then I thought back to winter, when I whined incessantly about the cold and how much I missed summer and blah blah blah...and I decided to just smile and go with it. Summer's got me in her grip.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Thrift Report: Hello Summer!

Greetings friends!

I hope you've all been enjoying a fabulous summer kick-off weekend.  It's been hot here, and I mean H-O-T!  Ninety-eight degrees in the shade, 275% humidity, sandals-stuck-to-melted-asphalt hot.

My vision for the weekend: charming country tag sales, stopping to enjoy lemonade stands along the way and wrapping it up with iced tea on the porch under a ceiling fan in the evening.

The reality: taking refuge in any air-conditioned spot we could find; sweltering cars with burning hot steering wheels; cranky bulldogs that refused to step foot outside, even to do their "dog business." Not quite as idyllic as I had pictured. I guess summer is letting us know she's officially arrived!

In this kind of heat, outdoor sales, flea markets, and the like are really no fun. Instead, I stuck to thrift shops with their lovely A/C. I only did a little bit of thrifting, but I wanted to share my finds.

I fell in love with this pair of lamps. They're a translucent, shiny milk glass with gold butterflies and bumblebees. Aren't they precious? So perfect for a little girl's room, a sun porch, or just any kind of whimsical decor.

They're in great shape, too!

I also picked up this set of modernist brass candleholders for almost nothing. I love the swoopy tripod shape. They're marked underneath with old "Made in Japan" stickers.

Found this cool set of four heavy rocks glasses decorated with retro typography in the form of giant "P"s. My mom's name is Paula, but I don't think they're quite her style, so they're off to the shop. I actually pick up these glasses with random letters here and there, and I'm hoping to assemble a variety to sell, but since these all match, I'll probably sell them separately as a set.

I'm getting a bit picky about decanters. They sell well in my shop, but I have a backlog of them in inventory. I couldn't resist this pair, though, for only $6. I love the sort-of quilted design and rounded stoppers are my favorite.

At the same thrift shop, I picked up this set of five brass goblets and a gallery tray. Not sure if they went together originally, but they're perfect together. I am trying to be more respectful of patina-ed [read: tarnished] brass lately, since so many people seem to love it, but I still love everything to be shiny-shiny-shiny and will have a hard time not polishing them up before I list them!

Finally, again at the same shop I picked up this fabulous Jonathan Adler gourd vase. LOVE.  It's not old, but who can resist an Adler piece for A DOLLAR?!  In 50 years, people will collect him like they collect mid-century designers now. For the moment, it's staying in my house, though I've been batting around the idea of figuring out how to sell on eBay so I can list the Adler pieces I find plus some of my other not-vintage-but-still-fabulous finds. Any advice, eBayers?

That's it for now...I'm off to enjoy what's left of this glorious but sweltering holiday. I'll post a little later in the week about some of the fun things that went down this weekend, but in the meantime I wish you a wonderful Memorial Day and lots of thrifting luck!


Linking with:

Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality  ~ {Thanks, Rhoda, for featuring my garden stool!!!}
Thrifty Love at Cap Creations
Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Be Inspired at Elizabeth & Co.
Thrifty Things Friday at the Thrifty Groove

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Summer Reading

One of my favorite things about summer is diving into a huge stack of books. Truth be told, though, summer is now one of my busiest times. I run a summer program for college students, so my summers are more "work 70 hour weeks and then rush home to mow the overgrown lawn before dark" than "laze by the pool drinking cocktails," but the one summer tradition that I simply cannot give up is summer reading.

For me, reading anything and everything that strikes your fancy during the warm and (in theory) lazy months is the ultimate symbol of freedom. As a kid, it meant no more homework; no more "must read" textbooks. It meant time to oneself and a lazier pace at which to savor the stories you hand picked. It meant no guilt for reading Nancy Drew (or, later, Danielle Steele and Nora Roberts). It meant a vacation, even if you weren't going anywhere.

My summer reading list is always huge, and many of these books are ones that have adorned my list for more than one year. I don't pretend that I'll get through all of them, but I like to have choices at the ready for whatever mood may strike. That's kind of the point, isn't it?  Without further ado, my summer reading list for 2012:

  • Maine by J. Courtney SullivanWhat could put you in a more summery mood that a novel set in a beach house on the Maine coast? I aspire to one day spend a summer in Maine, so this is a must-read for me. Plus it has the most beautiful cover of any book on this list. I'm totally a visual person, and covers are important to me. One of the many reasons I can't do the Kindle thing...

  • Jeneration X by Jen Lancaster ~ Because Jen Lancaster is my BFF. Not really, but that's how I feel. My female soulmate. My idol. I've been waiting for this one with such anticipation, people...I don't know if I can control myself. She's not for everyone, but if you "click" with her sense of humor, she'll literally make you snort out loud. I recommend starting with her first book, Bitter is the New Black, and working your way through them chronologically.

  • The Summer We Read Gatsby by Danielle Ganek ~ This one's also from last year's list, and I vow to get to it this summer. Because it's about summer...and an inherited beach cottage...and two sisters, one of whom is apparently obsessed with all things vintage. Add in a bit of sisterly drama and a house-related mystery, and I'm sure I'll be hooked. has "Gatsby" in the title. How could I resist?

  • Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents by Elisabeth Eaves ~  The author's account of her globe-trotting days as a young woman and the people and cultures she encountered along the way. A way for those of us who walked a similar path to vicariously relive our younger, more free-spirited days. {How quickly they pass!}

  • Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness ~ This one won't be available until mid-July, but I'll be first in line to buy it!  It's the sequel to last summer's bestseller A Discovery of Witches, the almost 600-page thriller full of the supernatural and academia and history that I devoured in less than a week. Seriously...witches, vampires, romance, and libraries...could it get any better?

  • The Expats by Chris Pavone ~ A novel set in Luxembourg about an American who is trying to untangle a web of lies and intrigue surrounding her family and marriage. Sounds like a page turner with a glamourous international setting - classic summer thriller.

  • A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff ~ A woman opens a vintage clothing store in London and in the process uncovers history and secrets related to the vintage items in her shop. The reasons for my attraction to this one are pretty obvious, n'est-ce pas?  

  • Summer Rental by Mary Kay Andrews ~ If you're looking for fun, frothy beach reading, you can't do better than Mary Kay Andrews. Her books are light, romantic, funny, and always set in delicious southern locations full of quirky people and charming houses. This one's about a group of five people at a crossroads who meet up at a summer beach cottage. I can't wait to dive in.

  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain ~ I'm pretty obsessed with Ernest Hemingway and his contemporaries--have been since I was about 14. This book about his life with first wife Hadley in Jazz Age Paris is right up my alley. It's told from the perspective of Hadley and her struggles living with a volatile genius.  Sure to be fraught with romance and drama.

Quite an ambitious reading list for someone with virtually no free time in the summer, huh?  One of my goals for this season to is make the time - to carve out some opportunities for quality time with my deck chair, a glass of sweet tea, and a book. 

How about you? Any juicy summer reads on your list this year?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thrift Report

It was a hugely hectic week followed by an exhausting weekend ~ exhausting in the sense of 7 hours of yard work in 90+ degree temps. Alas, I didn't get around to a lot of thrifting, though I did hit a couple of tag sales as I was running around doing errands in the sizzling heat on Saturday!

I had to scrub years of tobacco stains off of this Chinoiserie garden stool... {seriously...if smokers could see the tobacco smoke residue that I regularly scrub off vintage housewares, maybe they'd be grossed out enough to quit!} and I still have a ways to go.

Upon removing the worst of the dirt and gunk, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the piece is in really good shape -- some minor wear to the underside, but no chips or cracks.

Which is good, because I have trouble turning down anything that smacks of vintage Chinoiserie. Case in point:

Similar style, similar coating of brownish yellow residue. Argh. I've seen vintage garden stools that are very small ~ six inches or so ~ and of course I've seen the full sized ones. These, though, are somewhere in between. Kind of "child sized." 

They look awesome in my living room, where they will reside whilst waiting to be sold.

Switching gears, I also picked up this rather large mid-century candle holder. Standard pillar candles fit perfectly in it, but I wonder if it may once have had glass inserts for votives. Either way...I thought it was cool.

I bought these four spoons for about 10 cents each. They're just stainless, and they're either really big soup spoons or smallish serving spoons.

I just really liked the deco pattern on the handles. For that price, I can always use some extra spoons!

And last, I continued my streak of one-off bookend acquisitions. This marble alabaster horse head was a steal and he's heading straight to the shop:

I think he's proud of his single status.

What hidden treasures did you thrift this week?

I'm linking up to the following parties to check out everyone's fabulous finds!

Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality
Thrifty Love at Cap Creations
Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thrift Report: Heavy Metals

I found a lot of metallics during my thrifting forays this week...

A pristine set of gold-glazed ceramic candlesticks by Holley Ross. This style, with the drippy,uneven 24 carat glaze, was made by several manufacturers. Despite my love of all things glam and Hollywood Regency, I've always been on the fence about this style of ceramics. And yet..I can see these looking fabulous in the right room, so I snapped them up. I also found a small, square vase with this glaze that I haven't photographed yet.

These silver-banded tumblers with a fancy crest design look virtually unused. Probably ca. 1960s. Yard sale find!

It's hard to see in the photo, but these gold-rimmed dessert cups have an intricate, scrolled design in the border. Wouldn't they be an elegant way to serve sorbet to dinner guests? Not that I'm a big dinner party thrower, but still... :)

This big old silver-band compote in the classic King's Crown pattern makes my heart flutter. I've never seen one in silver before.

This hammered brass lamp was one of my favorite finds this week. The uneven, hammered finish makes me feel all "Studio 54" (in a good way), and what you can't tell from the photo is how small it is. It's only about 12 inches accent lamp size...which makes it so versatile!

And finally, a great set of silver ombre barware. I am such a fan of heavy ombre far as "Mad Men"-era glassware goes, I think I love it even more than straight-up silver band, which is saying a lot. I had to track these down in several local Goodwills, but I managed to assemble a full set.

Sorry I'm so late getting this posted!  Sending you all successful thrifting vibes on your hunt for vintage treasures this week.


Linking up here:
Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality  (thanks to the amazing Rhoda for featuring my sugar and creamer set from last week!)
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

Monday, May 14, 2012

Weekend: Deconstructed

I had a pretty great about all of you?

I did a little baking...

In honor of my mom's birthday and Mother's Day which happen to fall three days apart.

I smooshed some cute faces...

{You haven't lived until you've smooshed a good bulldog face.}

I was outside as much as possible, enjoying the warm, breezy, "beachy" weather...

...and spent some quality time in a deck chair.

And of course, I did some THRIFTING!  More on that later in the week...


Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Current Obsession: Gold Imperial Glass

I saw this photo in the February 2012 issue of Architectural Digest and just about fell off the sofa.

It's a monumental collection of vintage gold Imperial Glass from the 1960s in the NYC apartment of Claire Weiss. The apartment itself isn't my fave -- it's amazing, don't get me wrong; just not my style -- but the glass collection is to. die. for.

In this photo I see a ton of the "Shoji" pattern, which are the ones with the straight-lined trellis pattern, like the ice buckets and decanter. I also see "El Tabique de Oro," which is the pattern on the very top right. "Sekai Ichi" is the criss-cross pattern on the bottom shelf, left side.  "Sortijas de Oro" is the kind of petal-shaped one near the middle of the upper shelf. There are several other similar gold Imperial Glass patterns that I don't spot here (though I'm betting she has them somewhere!) and there are a couple of patterns on this shelf that I don't recognize. Perhaps they're by Culver or another manufacturer of the era (?).  Regardless...STUNNING. 

I've coveted this glassware - Shoji, in particular - for years. I saw a set of four Shoji tumblers at a thrift shop ONE time, and they had so much gold loss that I left them behind. Even with the damage, I regret not snapping them up!  They are incredibly expensive to buy online, though they do turn up occasionally on eBay or Etsy. I once saw a set of the Shoji decanter and ice bucket go for almost $400 on, which usually has rock-bottom prices.

Here's a nice set of tall Shoji tumblers currently up for auction on eBay:

They're currently at $85 with six days left to go -- too rich for my blood. It's hard to lay out that kind of cash when you're used to thrifting vintage glassware for a dollar per piece!

Someday, I feel confident I'll find some gold Imperial Glass...Shoji or one of its cousins...for a good price. Until then, I'll get my fix staring at the amazing collection pictured above!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thrift Report: Half Off Madness

I didn't plan on it, but I was out running errands on Saturday when I decided to go back to the store where I found the two Cathrineholm pots last week to make one last attempt to find the lids. [No luck, for the record.] I pulled into the parking lot and immediately noticed the THRONGS of people and cars and suddenly it dawned on me....first Saturday of the month.....the store-wide 50% off sale! I often avoid GW's sale day unless I'm really 1) energetic or 2) in need of inventory (which is almost never). It's just crazy...people ramming you with their carts; standing in line for 45 minutes to check out; cashiers who look like they're ready to kill someone; bare shelves; people stealing from other people's carts. It's not for the faint of heart, folks.

This weekend, though, I found myself in the mood for a little adventure, so I took the plunge. The stuff I found was kind of a mish-mash...nothing spectacular, though I was happy with all of it. The great thing, though, was the prices - it's amazing how much 50% affects the bottom line, even on inexpensive thrifted goods.

Case in point: This precious blue ringware sugar and creamer set was 98 cents for both pieces!

This little pottery measuring pitchers were another uber-bargain at 49 cents each. I was momentarily sad that it wasn't a full set, but I quickly decided I was too charmed by the awesome scrolly font to care.

These glasses were interesting...shelved next to one another, and absolutely identical (size, shape, weight, coloring) except for the actual subject of their decoration. I love astrology-themed stuff, and the "See Rock City" souvenir design was so retro and cute, I decided to buy them. $1 for both.

This pretty old set of carved wooden Chinoiserie coasters and box was also 49 cents. Woo hoo.

This large brass leaf-shaped bowl/tray thing was $1.50. it was almost a dark brown color from the tarnish when I bought it, but some Brasso and steel wool did wonders.

I almost overlooked this old Uhl pottery vase (the one in front) because it was full of plastic flowers on the shelf, but luckily I did a double take and recognized it for the gem it is. Perfect condition; also $1.50.

I always love these kind of obelisk-style MCM salt and pepper shakers. This set was a whopping 24 cents per piece. (Seriously...did they need to price them separately?!)

Annnnnd, finalement, this cool set of six smoked crystal champagne coupes. Or possibly dessert cups. But they're kind of tall to be dessert cups, so I hereby christen them champagne coupes. $3 for the set.

This is not even close to everything I bought on Saturday, but it's everything I've photographed so far. I'll try to feature some more fun finds in the coming
days. Did anyone else hit up the GW 50% sale in your area? If so, I hope you survived unscathed. Check out the following parties where I'm linking to admire everyone else's thrifted scores!


Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
Sunday's Best at My 1929 Charmer
Thrift Treasures at Southern Hospitality
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