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Thrampage

Saddened by the realization that a super high 100″ inch long black leather couch might turn my living room into a funeral home, I have turned to the shopping dark side. Friends, I have gone on a thrifting rampage — a thrampage if you will. Historically this is what happens when I almost spend a lot of money but am thwarted for some silly reason — like measurements. Instead of spending all that mentally allotted money in one fell swoop, I fritter it away on $5 Murano candy dishes and brass spiders. Although let’s not kid ourselves, a brass spider is something to behold and well worth $5.

brass crystal spider

A sparkly gold crystal spider. What’s not to love?

I thought maybe I’d take you on a mini tour of the fruits of my thrampage. Please do not assume this represents even a fraction of the stuff I have thrifted in the last month. I just dumped two giant boxes full of Italian pottery and mid century sculptures on a client that I was too tired to shoot (the thrift wares, not my adorable client people).

persian rug

This here is an awkward space, therefore I made it awesome by surrounding my crazy Mark Sabin print with equally awesome stuff that I nabbed at thrift stores and on craigs. I would never advise my clients to attempt this at home, because honestly sometimes you have to drop some major cash (and even buy new furniture… gasp!) to pull a room together. I think I just have the thrift disease. I probably (definitely) should take my own advice and spring for a new couch instead. Or at least a better cabinet.

mark sabin

But this is how I feel when I thrift… like I’m in a magical forest wearing a floral headdress. You didn’t think I was waxing metaphorical, did you?

marble elephants

These didn’t photograph well but I am obsessed with my new $4 alabaster elephants. I have no idea who made these, but they are gorgeous and HEAVY.

vintage elephant stand

Apparently I need to stop buying white elephants because I have four of them within view. But who could resist this guy?

kurdish rug green

If you follow me on The Gram (that’s what all the kids are calling it these days, right?) then you already know about this vintage Kurdish rug I scooped up on Ebay and put down in our foyer.

cobalt painting

I’m loving it with this amazing gouache painting I bought at a consignment store. And let’s not overlook my brass candlebludgeons… the baby is not yet tall enough to reach them, but soon I will have to move them lest we reenact a scene from Clue.

wallpaper socket

Ok, so I didn’t thrift this wallpaper but I felt you must see the most mangled ridiculous socket wallpapering job in the history of humankind. It looks like Michael Myers from Halloween (not to be confused with Mike “yeah baby!” Myers). This makes me laugh. I really should have paid my amazing wallpaper dude to do this but I cheaped out. Bad. Idea. Jeans.

vintage brass lamp

To make matters worse I might have found this enormous insane ridiculous brass lamp a home in our living room, even though I swore I would not put another brass lamp in my house.

erin-williamson-5898

“Seriously Mom, stop with the brass!”

Have I mentioned that Ike and Luke are a little tired of being dragged to every thrift shop in town? Luke just turned 13 months old but he knows exactly where we are as soon as I pull into the parking lot. You’d think the lure of cheap plastic toys and the promise of air conditioning would be enough to stave off their dissatisfaction. But no.

Did you know that Round Top is coming up… I am getting itchy just thinking about it. Are you making mental wish lists for my house like I am? Does it include a brass chiavari chair? I bought one of those, too. Because it’s brass.

brass chiavari

It is vexing me sorely with a bad case of flaking lacquer that I can’t remove, and also you should never clean brass with steel wool (apparently I slept through chemistry).

Let’s talk about how to fix this situation.

Let’s also talk about how there is a set of FOUR immaculate chiavari chairs on craigs right now… Someone please buy them and save me from myself. Please.

The thrampage continues!

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I’m Riding the Thrift Train to Flossytown

Last week I flipped the thrift switch, and now I’m an unstoppable bargain buying machine. Vintage ikat and paisley tablecloths, overgrown 70’s floral needlepoints, a crazy musical cakeplate, and 5000 ceramic pieces later, I show no signs of slowing down — which is handy since Round Top is tomorrow. (Will Karly buy another coffee table, or won’t she? Tune in next week to find out…) My latest find has left me with a bit of buyer’s remorse, not unlike the time I bought this.

Let’s see what y’all think of my latest purchase:

A vintage Milo Baughman brass based barrel chair in lipstick red. Homegirl still has her Thayer Coggin manufacturer labels intact. And she swivels and rocks. Tease.

But what the hell am I going to do with this thing? Although I love the color — despite pledging my allegiance to the black and white stars and stripes forever — the upholstery has seen better days and probably needs to be redone. And wouldn’t it look amazing in this?

But since this fabric is $150/yd, I’m thinking no. Dammit.

Of course what I really wish I could do is upholster it in a vintage Jack Lenor Larsen fabric.

Did I say I was afraid of color? Well, If someone gave me a bolt of Larsen fabric, I wouldn’t bat a lash — I swear I would redecorate my entire house around one of his crazy psychedelic prints.

But back to the real world, and the most pressing question: do I keep this chair for which I have no available space and no real need, this chair which needs a $400-500 upholstery job, or do I sell it and make a little cash for… more thrift purchases (duh).

Sleepy eyes sure likes it.

In fact, since I brought little miss hot stuff home, Ike and the cat have fought for space on her bountiful seat — sometimes to deleterious effect. Ike and the chair are a little worse for wear. The cat, however, is doing just fine.

Keep or sell, people? Help me out.

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Friday Thrift Store Score

Yesterday I realized that I’ve been moving like a zombie through life, with no time to do anything other than the bare minimum of dishes, laundry, child care, work, autopilot blog posts, rinse and repeat. With my first few minutes to spare in what seems like eons burning a hot hole in my pocket, I scooped up Ike and headed to the thrift store. Ah, the thrift store — a smelling salt strong enough to bring even the grayest zombie back to pink and rosy liveliness. A creamy salve soothing enough to heal any wound. Too bad it doesn’t do taxes and toilets, but a quick trip to the thrift store will fix just about any other problem I’ve got going on with its miraculous selection of crap I don’t need but desperately crave. It satisfies my inner hoarder, and cheaply at that.

Anyway, I bought a heavy vintage vase covered in gorgeous green glaze, one that speaks to me of precious emeralds and malachite mysteries. This ain’t the best picture, but y’all get the drift.

If you’ve been struggling just to tread water lately like I have, then I hope you find some time this weekend to hit your local thrift and uncover a treasure that speaks directly to your heart.

Hopefully for less than $5.

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Thrift Score

Right now my house is an absolute mess.  Totally and completely.  My refrigerator is empty too, which has forced me to live on a scrambled egg white and turkey bacon diet for the last few days.  Remedying both of these problems was at the top of my to-do list this weekend but you know what?  I didn’t do any of it.  Instead I spent the entire day Sunday watching movie marathons on tv and catching up on my crafting projects.  Regrets: zero; New pieces of artwork: 2.

This is a before and after post, so don’t be scared by this first picture:

I found this bandaid colored mess at the thrift store last Friday and was really digging all the pattern magic that was happening.  The flesh tones, not so much.  So I dug out my box of paints and paint brushes and grabbed a sharpie then went to town.  The results?

A brightly colored laser-light-show wonderland that isn’t nearly as blurry in real life as it is in this photo.  I know, I know, I’ve been laser light show crazy lately, but at least I put a new spin on this with the little black triangles scattered throughout.  It was a risk, but I think it paid off.

Here’s a closeup of my master work:

The polka dots weren’t here before, either.  I also added the red, blue, yellow and green because those were the only decent colors I could find.  Seriously, I don’t know where all my good paint ran off to.

I had such a grand ole time sprucing up the print, once I was done I decided to move on to the 3 dimensional project I’ve had on the docket for quite some time now.  I found this creepy madonna and child sculpture at a thrift store in Ft. Smith, Arkansas over Christmas break.  Having wanted to play laser party on a sculpture for a while now, I figured this was as good as any to start with.  One Tom Hanks movie later and here’s what I got:

I have to admit, I actually tried this project right after Christmas with decidedly different results.  I originally taped off all the areas I wanted to keep white then spray painted the exposed portions with black paint.  Despite my meticulous taping, you know that paint bled and it was yuckytown USA.

I repainted her white and started from scratch.  This time, I bought chartpak tape, a thin, high-gloss tape that comes in every color of the rainbow (even metallic gold!).  The lines you see here aren’t paint, they’re actually tape.  Once the chart-pac tape was applied, I sprayed her with clear-gloss spray paint to keep everything in place.  Here are more views:

And that is that.  Now I have to skeedaddle, these groceries aren’t going to buy themselves.

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Rip Van Winkle

Every year I start off with a new laundry list of resolutions — eat better, exercise (ha!), make stuff, be cooler — but this year there’s only one resolution that really matters: LEAVE THE HOUSE. Yes friends, I am finally out of the Guantanamo Bay stage of parenthood and IT’S AWESOME. Baby Ike is now magically entertained by salt shakers and menus, and wouldn’t you know that mama’s boy loves a good bargain. Whew! Thank jeebus he takes after me and not his thriftphobic daddy, because then I’d have to check the return policy on both of them.

So, Karly and I took the Ikester out on thrift rounds recently, and I managed to score some great finds with my lucky charm in tow. In the spirit of my house sharing resolution, I snapped some pics so you could bask in the glory of my goodies, as well as in my delicious new freedom.

thrift plant stand

I almost had to scrap with some chick over my excellent new plant stand, which came from the Salvation Army for $25. Kinda steep, but it’s heavy and has a mirrored bottom, and the middle thingie moves. Plus someone else wanted it, so of course that made me like it even more. But it does look pretty smooth with my new tulip chair, which is in dire need of a cushion. One day at a time…

plates lichtenstein

I totally had the Lichtenstein post in mind when I picked up this set of dishes, although Karly says they look like a Bill Cosby sweater… we can both be right, can’t we? $30 for the entire set, although I need more bowls. I found some replacements online, but two bowls cost as much as I paid for the entire set. Uh, no.

lichtenstein hostel

A closeup of the totally tubular 80s graphics. The Hunny stacked them all OCD like. I’m planning to display these babies on our newly installed kitchen shelves, which I was far too lazy to photograph today. What do you people expect??? I can’t shop, and take pictures, AND clean. Priorities, priorities.

sweden teapot vintage

I snagged this vintage teapot for $1.99. It’s marked Made in Sweden, which probably means it’s from Ikea. Still, he is very handsome, no?

ike's room

Ike picked out a few things for his room, too, like this Red Cross lightbox for $4.99, which is brand spankin’ new. The hot gold lion came from Zid Zid, courtesy of Raina; Ike can look, but he can’t touch mama’s favorite stuffed animal. You can blame Karly for the boa constricted nightmare clown.

ike's room

You can also blame Karly for spotting this badass giraffe head, a steal for only $4.99. Say what?! Yeah. It’s HUGE.

lamps

Speaking of huge, these roided out lamps make Lou Ferigno look positively diminutive. I’m planning to give them a fresh coat of white paint from tip to toe, and top them with black shades for my new Bauhaus bedroom. Hopefully my nightstands won’t buckle beneath them.

I scored some other sweet stuff, like a giant vintage painting and a ginormous mirrored picture frame (apparently I have contracted a severe case of megalomania), but I haven’t found a home for them yet — by which I mean they’re still stacked in the entryway. The Hunny is not excited that I’m back to shopping, not that I’m going to let it stop me from adding to the piles of unused lamps, chairs and frames I’m “collecting.”

Doesn’t he realize that I have six months of thrifting to catch up on?

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