Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thrift Report: July Wraps Up!

Happy Sunday, friends. I didn't quite make my goal of abstaining from thrifting for the entire month of July, but I came close! I did break down and pick up a few things yesterday, though. I know...I'm hopeless.

These mid-century candlesticks called my name. I can't quite figure out what size candles they are intended to hold, though, besides maybe votives. Sometimes I think some of these old candlesticks had glass votive inserts originally. If I kept them, I would probably just display them as pretty sculptural pieces instead of using them.

I also snapped up this art deco refrigerator dish. It's marked "Manufactured for Westinghouse by Hall China" on the bottom. Which makes sense, as I once read that these pieces used to be offered as free gifts with the purchase of a new refrigerator. It has a small chip on the rim on the back, and some chipping inside the lid, but for $2, I couldn't resist its cornflower blue color and amazing deco lines. I am a sucker for art deco; I freely admit it.

I found this old wastepaper basket so charming. It's brass toned with a fabulous sailing ship design, and it has the PERFECT amount of rust and patina. This is the kind of thing people spend days trying to achieve through "faux" treatments. It's weird to be all into a trash can, but I really like this piece. I got it in a thrift, but I imagine it came from a library in a stately old house.

This picture doesn't really do this little set justice. They have the prettiest gold lines across the handles, which really add to their look. They are tiny and delicate bone china, made by Okwan China Company and hand painted in Japan. So pretty; they make me want to have a fancy tea party.

Okay, I saved the best for last. I'm been pretty obsessed with this elephant lamp by Shirley Fintz for West Elm's new South Africa collection ever since I saw it featured in Elle Decor:

It doesn't help that I've seen it splashed across Pinterest and the design blogosphere nonstop ever since. Plus, I've been enamored of Jonathan Adler's elephant lamp for a while now, though at almost $400, it's a smidge out of my price range:

You can imagine, therefore, how i reacted when I was sitting in my office last Wednesday and got a text from my mom that said, "White ceramic elephant lamp. $9. Want it?"  Ummmmm....let me mull that over for a while...YES!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had no idea if it would be vintage or new, in good condition or rough around the edges, but I didn't really care at that price. On Saturday, I trekked to my parents' house to check it out. I was not disappointed:

Isn't she a beaut?  It's actually a momma elephant with her calf, and it's in great condition with just one tiny chip at the back hear the brass neck.

It's definitely vintage, made from heavy pottery that likely dates from the mid-century (or possibly earlier). It's a gorgeous creamy ivory, and I'm in love with it. I'm pretty sure this is my favorite vintage find of the year, and I didn't even find it (go Mom!). I drove it home in the front seat of my car, wrapped in a cloth bag and seatbelted in.  I have 47 different places in my house that this lamp would look amazing, but I'll be a good girl and put it in the shop. Eventually. ;)

Wishing you all successful and happy week filled with at least a few thrifted treasures!


Linking up here:

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

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Thrift Report: Birds (and....Elephants?) of a Feather

So far so good with my "no more thrifting in July" resolution. I did zero thrifting this week, and instead focused on prepping, photographing, and writing listings for things I already have. Yay me!

During this process, I noticed the absurd number of birds, in singles, pairs, and families, that I've acquired over the last couple of months. Plus some gorgeous elephants!  Behold:

Could this little brass duck family be any cuter? The babies are only about an inch long each. How darling would this be on a shelf in a nursery?

I'm really enamored of these two blue glass peacocks. I've seen similar figurines listed as Murano pieces, but these are unmarked, so I'm not sure. They're absolutely stunning in person - about a foot long each and solid glass, weighing almost 4 lbs each.

Their shape reminds me of these ceramic California Originals figurines that I sold in my shop earlier this year:
 Super glammy and kind of art deco.

I think this pair of ivory ceramic partridges is so elegant. Wouldn't they be pretty on a stack of books? I've owned sets of these in brass before, but never in ceramic.

These brass swan duos are not uncommon, but I love the elegant swoop of their necks. They came in different sizes; this set is pretty small.

One of my favorite finds of the last few months is this elephant trio:

They have a beautiful inlaid (bone?) decoration and ~ miraculously ~ all the tusks are intact. Even after the thrift store clerk threw them into a bag, unwrapped, and then proceeded to drop the bag on the floor! (Sigh.)

Finally, just a single bird figurine:

This is a ca. 1970s piece by American sculptor Isabel Bloom. Not all of Bloom's work is my style, but I love this stout piece, cast in concrete. It's heavy enough to serve as a charming little doorstop!

That's all from me for this report. Wish me luck staying out of the thrift stores and junk shops for another week!


Linking up with:

Sunday's Best at My 1929 Charmer
Thrifty Love at Cap Creations
Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

Monday, July 16, 2012

Thrift Report: Shopping My Stash

Due to the backlog of vintage inventory that is slowly taking over my basement, I'm trying REALLY hard not to thrift for the rest of July. (Yes, I know you've heard that before. But I mean it this time!)  Instead, I thought I'd post a different kind of thrift report today.

A couple months ago, I realized that 1) I hate my living room; and more specifically, 2) I need new lamps. My sideboard had one sad, skinny candlestick lamp that I purchased years ago at Tar-jay. I still think it's pretty in a very brushed-steel, deco revival kind of way, but it wasn't right for the space.

Here's my lame attempt to balance out its tall gawkiness last Christmas with some glittery trees:

See? Not a terrible lamp, but not quite doing it.  I started thinking that I wanted my new (ideally vintage) lamps to be smallish; I wanted a pair, to balance out the horizontal length of the sideboard, and I wanted something kind of traditional to serve as a counterpoint to the mid-century modern lines of the piece. Ginger jar lamps are a perennial favorite of mine, so I started to keep my eyes peeled for a pretty set that might work. Weeks went by. Nothing caught my eye.

One night, as I lay in bed pondering my ugly living room (everyone does that, right?), I had a [no pun intended] lightbulb moment. I actually got out of bed and ventured to the basement, despite the risk of spiders, nocturnal creepy crawlies and bogiemen, and looked through the stash of lamps I keep in a far corner. Lamps that I've picked up for mere dollars on my vintage hunting trips, many of which need some cosmetic work or rewiring, but some of which I just haven't yet had the time to photograph and list.  And there they were: two perfect, smallish ivory ginger jar lamps with wooden Asian-style bases. 

I was simultaneously thrilled to find them and horrified that I hadn't thought, all along, to check out the lamps I'd already purchased.  Am I turning into a weirdo hoarder who can't keep track of what she buys?  Actually, I think the issue is that I try very hard to focus on my shop when I'm thrifting, to the point that sometimes I forget I can actually keep and use what I buy!  It was kind of a revelation. Or I was just really tired....I'm not sure.

In any case, I brought them upstairs and set them up the next night. I'm quite pleased with how they look!

I may paint the wooden bases a glossy black eventually (thoughts?) but for now, I really like them. Please ignore the messy jumble of books and junk on the credenza. Here's a shot of them illuminated:

I think they add a little polish to the room.

The lamps themselves cost 3.99 each, and I got them on half price day, so they were $4 total!  Shades are always a challenge. These were actually from a cheap-o set of Walmart lamps that I bought just for the shades. They're a tad undersized for the lamps, but for about $10 a shade, I'll live with them.

Morals I'm drawing from this experience:
  • Don't become a weirdo hoarder. Look through my stash occasionally to revisit what I've purchased.
  • In my zeal to find great inventory for my shop, don't forget what drew me to thrifting in the first place: the ability to furnish my home with great vintage pieces for a fraction of the cost of retail.
  • Discount store lamps with built-in shades are often a great, cost-effective alternative to pricey custom shades. You can always sell or donate the cheap lamps.
  • The gray in my living room is hideous and I need to repaint ASAP. (But that's another post! :)

I hope you've all enjoyed some successful thrifting forays over the last week. Linking up here to find out:

Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality
Flea Market Finds at Her Libraray Adventures
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Share Your Thrift Haul at Simple Design


Monday, July 9, 2012

Thrift Report

Just a quick post today!  I've been on vacation for the last week, and am now frantically playing the "catch up" game at work. Still, I wanted to show you a few fun things I picked up last week...

The last time I listed a set of these numbered rocks glasses on Etsy, they sold in less than 15 minutes. Hmm...fluke?  We'll see!  (And yes...I hunted high and low for numbers 1, 2, and 3, but no luck.)

A pretty cobalt blue Pyrex bowl. I love the ones with the clear glass bottoms.

A heavy brass pine cone paperweight. I may wait until the holiday season to list this, but I couldn't pass it up at just $1!

Not one, but THREE ivory McCoy flower pots with a bamboo shape. These have all the elements I love...McCoy pottery, ivory glaze, and bamboo. What could be better? They are smallish--perfectly sized to grow herbs on a windowsill. They came from three different places over the last month, and there are subtle variations in glaze color that are hard to see in the photo.

A mid-century footed pottery vase in gray with a pink interior. I know this piece...have seen it before, and knew the maker at one time...but for the life of me I can't remember!  It's marked only "410" on the bottom. It's driving me a little bit crazy now. Anyone know?

And speaking of pottery...I am in love with this cute little vase/vessel from Tenmoku Pottery. The detail,the organic feel, and the glaze are all amazing.

That's it for this week's finds! Actually, I picked up a BUNCH of things while I was on my vacation...a "staycation," really...but I haven't photographed everything yet. Hopefully I'll get to show you all of those finds soon!


Linking up with:

Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality
Thrifty Love at Cap Creations
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm

Monday, July 2, 2012

Thrift Report: Independence Day Edition

Greetings, fellow thrifters!  I took some time off from blogging to focus I'm back with some pretty great thrifted finds this week. They're all over the board, style-wise, so brace yourselves!

I kind of freaked out over this mid-century copper coffee set. It's absolutely pristine...made in Portugal. Seriously...isn't it awesome? Got it at my favorite secret junk store.

Found this art deco cake carrier at Goodwill a few weeks ago. I like that it's a little bit earlier than so many cake carriers I come across (I tend to find late 50s/60s examples). It was also a great price, whereas they're often way overpriced when I see them. Plus, making fancy cakes is a hobby of mine, so I have a fondness for these.

Like many vintage dealers, I try to stick to a "no ashtrays" rule, but this guy was an exception. He may have been a [strangely tall] ashtray to begin with, but he's perfectly functional today as an awesome, Hollywood Regency style elephant figurine.

I have a serious crush on this piece - an acrylic magazine rack. It's hard to tell from the photo, but it's really dirty and rather old (70s, I would guess). Still, a little soap and water should do the trick. I'm 99.9% sure I'm keeping this. Even though I should sell it. Yes, I should sell it. But I'm totally keeping it. :)

I found this solid brass dragon wall hanging at a relatively new thrift shop over the weekend. They've had a LOT of vintage Chinoiserie there lately; so much so that I'm wondering if someone unloaded a collection.

Ginormous jardiniere. About a foot across at the top. Really old but in pretty good condition -- it looks like it never held a plant, so the inside is in good shape, which is nice. The outside came complete with about 50 years of tobacco residue. Yes, this has become the story of my life. I'm pretty sure it'll be a different color when I'm done scrubbing it.

And in a stylistic 180, here's a cute glass popcorn jar featuring some retro typography. Just a fun (and practical) little find.

And finally, a brass magazine rack with a faux-bamboo shape. These do well in my shop -- they're so on trend right now -- and each one I've found has always been a little bit different. I like the mesh "floor" of this one. I will not keep it. I WILL NOT.

That's it for now! I hope you're all finding lots of treasures at all the  flea markets, rummage sales, and estate sales that make summer so great.


Linking up here:

Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures
Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality
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