Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom: Imperfectly Perfect

This sums up how I feel about pretty much everything - vintage stuff, houses, decor, music, food, adoptable pets...even people.

Happy Wednesday, friends!


Monday, January 28, 2013

Thrift Report: Plenty for Twenty [One]

Greetings friends!  Apologies for the sparse blogging of late; I was waylaid with a nasty little bug called Norovirus - basically a supercharged stomach flu. It's apparently spreading at an epidemic rate across the country, and I was one of the lucky ones to pick it up.

I'm finally back in the land of the living, but needless to say I haven't done much thrifting the last couple of weeks. In fact, I didn't venture into a thrift or vintage shop until this past Saturday - possibly a record for me!  This little thrift break coincides nicely with my goal to reduce spending in January (I know, I know...that's everyone's post-holiday goal, right?!).

I wasn't even going to thrift on Saturday, but I was RIGHT there, and it had been SO long. I decided to limit myself to $20 as a precaution, lest I go crazy from thrifting withdrawal.

I managed to do pretty well with that $20!  Here's most of it:

Not bad, eh?

I picked up this near-mint condition set of Culver tumblers. They would add some serious glam to a bar cart, wouldn't they?

Next, I snagged another of those Federal-style Syroco mirrors, this one with a faux-copper finish:

I can't even explain how difficult it is to photograph a mirror without capturing either yourself, your camera, or your nosy dog in the shot. Some major acrobatics were involved here.

Yes, this looks like a dirty, slightly off-canter marble paper towel holder. And it is. But I have exciting plans for it, which I will detail soon in a separate post, I promise!

I forgot to include this piece in my group shot:

I love mid-century magazine racks, and this one is no exception. I think the brassy, curlique style would look so cute in a girl's bedroom.

Regular readers, your eyes do not deceive you. I found yet another black panther! 

This one is significantly smaller than the one I found in December, but it has those piercing green jeweled eyes. Instant love!

Here he is with his (ahem) older brother. Aren't they handsome?  I know, I know...I'm a weirdo for being obsessed with panther sculptures, but I can't help it. I've told myself that I must list at least ONE of them in the shop ASAP.  And I'll get right on that...

I picked up a full set of eight (!) delicate, gold-embossed glasses. I love the chevron-esque band and the monogram. Except that I can't for the life of me tell what letter it's supposed to be....fancy "L"? Backwards "B"?  Any guesses?

And lastly, a vintage Princess phone! I am always soooo envious of my fellow vintage bloggers who seem to find cool vintage telephones at every turn, because I never find them - until now! 


This one appeared to be in rough shape on the thrift shop shelf, with decades of caked-on grime and a tangly black cord. For $1.99, though, I took a risk.

When I got it home, I discovered it was in perfect working order and just needed a good scrubbing. I've got a new ivory cord on order and it'll be good as new!  The best thing about this phone, though, is the feel of it - the weight in your hand; the springiness of the buttons; the way the receiver fits to your ear like no smart phone ever could. I'm tellin' you, it's tempting me to get a land line again just so I can sit around and gossip about boys with my BFF for hours on end.

The grand total for all this loot?

A cool $21.00.   I missed my goal by a dollar, but if you don't count the sales tax I totally made it. And besides, I figured it was good luck to end up with a total that was a round number. (See all the crazy ways I justify my thrifting habit??)

Hope you all had a fantastic week of thrifting!
Linking up to the following parties:
The Macklemore Thrift Shop Challenge at Young House Love
The Weekly Thrift at Young Heart Old Soul
The Nifty Thrifty at A Living Space
Junkin' Joe at The Cottage Market

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Thrift Report: Car Safari

I wasn't actually going to do a Thrift Report post this week because I've really cut back on the vintage-hunting lately (yay me!). Except for a freakishly spring-like day on Saturday, our weather continues its yucky streak and I just haven't been in the mood to get out there and scrounge around. This is not a bad thing; if you could see the vast amounts of still-to-be-listed inventory in my house, you'd understand why.

Instead of my usual "recent acquisitions" report, I'll tell you a little story. Shortly after Christmas, I had to stop short at a red light and heard a mysterious "THUNK" from the back of my car. When I got home and checked it out, I was simultaneously thrilled and embarrassed to find a stash of vintage goodies on the floorboards of my back seat. I hadn't noticed them there because they were wrapped up on a dark colored blanket and buried underneath a stack of cloth grocery bags. Not my fault, right?  I'm pretty sure this stuff had been back there since (cough, cough) Thanksgiving-ish. Seriously.

Here's what I dug up:

A massive solid plaster gold lion.  (This was the source of the mysterious "THUNK.")  I remember buying this at a Goodwill a few months ago, because the teenager who checked me out said, "What IS that thing?" and I said, "Ummm...a huge gold lion?" and he said, "Really? Cool." (????)  This thing is ginormous. It's really amazing that I managed to lose it for so long.

Next, I unearthed a porcelain elephant that I bought at an antique mall holiday open house the first week in December:

It's marked "Nancy Lopez 1980" on the underside and it's such a pretty, delicate piece in person. 

Adding to the elephant count, I also dug up this large vintage brass vase or urn with elephant heads and trunks as handles. It needs some polishing, but I love the design.

And there you have it. I also found two Willowware serving pieces that I bought on a shopping trip with my mom in early December, but I haven't photographed those yet.

A lion and three elephants: a virtual car safari. What do you think of my haul?  Does that fact that I "lost" all this stuff in my vehicle for more than a month make me a hoarder? Let's hope not!

Linking up to these fabulous parties:

The Nifty Thrifty at A Living Space
Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
Junkin' Joe at The Cottage Market


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Be Relentless

I've been spotting those inspiring "Word of the Year" posts all over blogland the last couple of weeks and as a naturally self-reflective person, I've been pondering what word I'd choose to sum up my hopes and aspirations for 2013. I kept drawing a blank. Nothing seemed to fit my current state of mind. And then...

I walked into my office Monday morning to see this out my window:

I work on the third floor of a building on a college campus. I never really know what I'm going to see out that window when I walk in the door -  rap concerts; protests; Tai Chi classes; slip n' slide contests; strip frisbee. Universities are interesting places!

These ten-foot tall letters are part of a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day display. The full display reads, "BE RELENTLESS" followed by an MLK Jr. Day sign. But this is all I can see from my tall and narrow window.

I ignored it at first, but it's still there. I see it whenever I walk in or out of my office - Every. Single. Time. It's kind of hard to miss.

I started thinking about the word, which is often used with a negative connotation:
"Relentless barking."
"Relentless gunfire."
"Relentless chatter."
Our students, though, had chosen this word to represent the spirit of MLK Jr. Day, so I found myself relecting on how relentlessness might bring positivity into one's life. Into my life, specifically. And in doing so, I realized that I could use a dose of RELENTLESS. You see, I'm a "get along" kind of person. I try to make due, not to complain. I had a pretty nomadic childhood, so I tend to crave stability and "sameness," even if change might be healthier.

I love the Thoreau quote, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." I've always struggled, though, with the "confidently" part. But what if I substituted "confidently" for "relentlessly?"  What if persistence is enough? What if I continuously move forward, even with doubts and fears and misgivings? I remember reading some advice in an online forum of Etsy sellers when I was first starting out. One of them said something to the effect of, "Sticking with it is 99% of the secret."  That has been true for me; my shop  has grown slowly but steadily, and I'm so happy I stuck with it.

So as we embark on this 2013 adventure, I plan to incorporate a little more relentlessness into my approach. I'll remind myself that showing up is half the battle; that sticking with it in 99% of the secret. I'll refuse to give up. I'll keep moving towards my goals, even if I'm only inching. {Think I can convince the campus to keep this word on display outside my window all year, just as a reminder?? :)}

How about you? Have you chosen a word (or a goal) for the year? Is there anything in your life that you approach with a "be relentless" attitude?

The Lettered Cottage


Sunday, January 6, 2013

Thrift Report

Greetings, friends!  It's been downright arctic here in Indy since Christmas, so I haven't been making the thrifting rounds like I usually do. Between the snow, the ice, and the darkness descending at 4:30 p.m., I really just feel like curling up in the house with a cup of hot tea.

Lest you think I've gone into complete hibernation, however, I wanted to share a couple of finds from the last two weeks!

A fun pair of mid-century lamps, complete with original shades!  The shades are, miraculously, in almost perfect condition, too!  I love the little flecks of texture and the subtle gold trim of the shades. Best of all, they're really small -- about 12 inches tall. Perfect for a set of small nightstands, the ends of a buffet, etc. Lamps from this era can really be monsters, so I'm always excited to find little ones.

I've never seen an ice bucket quite like this one. The gold-toned metal stand has such a great 60s vibe, and I love the rattan-wrapped handle. The outside of the bucket itself is a bit scuffed...

...but the inside is pristine. It's marked "Pyrex."

Last but not least, I found the most fantastic, mint condition panther figurine. I've been coveting one of these for soooo long! I spotted one in an interior design magazine about 15 years ago, and have wanted one ever since. A visit to my uncle's house last year - he has two of them! - rekindled my interest. I was beyond thrilled to find this guy on the bottom shelf of a Goodwill store.

These panthers were made in several sizes, colors and formats. McCoy made them, but so did other manufacturers. Some were planters; some were lamps; and some were simply figurines. This one is huge - almost 20" long - and it's a regular figurine with no markings. I love the glossy black glaze! ROAWWWR!

{Now, I just need to find the perfect place in my house to display a 20" long 1960s panther....ha!}

I hope you're all keeping warm and finding lots of vintage treasures this week. I'm linking up with the following parties to check out my fellow bloggers' finds!

The Nifty Thrifty at A Living Space
Sunday's Best at My 1929 Charmer
Junkin' Joe at The Cottage Market
Thrift Share Monday at Apron Thrift Girl
What's It Wednesday at Ivy and Elephants


...and a fun new link-up, Mid-Century Mondays at!


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Update: Barware Bargain!

A quick update for anyone who was interested in the Altuzarra barware from the the Target + Neiman Marcus Collection that I posted about here:  The glass sets and cocktail shakers are now (at this moment, at least) discounted to $14.99 a piece (with free shipping!).  And since I had a $30 Target gift card from Christmas just burning a hole in my pocket, I really had no choice but to order them, right???

I've learned that I apparently have a price point at which I am willing to throw ethical considerations about design integrity out the window in favor of a beautiful bar cart. And that price is $14.99.

{It looks like the entire Target + Neiman Marcus Collection is now 70% off online, so if you were coveting anything, now might be the time to strike!}

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesday Wisdom


A nice thought for this new year. If I have one resolution, it's to strive to be happier, in each and every moment.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy new year, friends!  Wishing love and happiness for all of you in the coming year.

The holidays have been relaxing and quiet this year. Our whole family was unable to be together this time around, which always puts a damper on the festivities, but we made the best of it.

We were also treated to a Christmas night blizzard, followed by a second snowstorm a couple days later.

{A view of my block, after several days of melting!}

In a freak twist of nature, Indy got absolutely no snow whatsoever last year, so it was kind of a shock when we got a foot in one day!

Consequently, we avoided most of the post-holiday shopping frenzy and instead huddled up in the house, cuddling, napping, and watching movies. Gus demonstrates:

My parents also welcomed a new family member...who happens to have a raging case of puppy breath:

Her name is Sophie, and she can go from precious and innocent to googly-eyed monster of mischief in 2.5 seconds.

We love her anyway. :)

To welcome the new year, I'm staying in, giving the house a good cleaning, doing a bit of reflecting on the eventful year that's passed, and setting some goals for the one that's beginning. And maybe watching a Roseanne marathon on cable. (Don't judge!)

How are you passing this first day of 2013?


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