Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Return of Trash-picked Tuesday!!!!

Hello Friends, it's good to have you here!

Well, since the kiddos went back to school yesterday I finally have a chance to get to work on some of my personal projects. I have so many things that I get started and then never finish because I get interrupted, or have to run out and do something, etc., etc., ad nauseum...

And one of those things is blogging!

So, longtime readers may recall that I spent a whole year (2011, 2012??? I forget) doing posts on trash-picked or free items every Tuesday. I am never above trash picking a great find or at least something that needs a little work to be cool. Even now that my kids are approaching pre-teen years and this probably embarrasses them soooo much.  Hehehe...

Last week we took the kids down the Shore for a day and on my way down there I noticed an old springer/motel chair out for the trash. It wasn't just sitting there; it looked like it had either fallen out of someone's truck or someone had jumped on the seat and caused the whole thing to collapse. I figured if it was still there later on when we came home I would grab it. And so it was.

Like a bad blogger I neglected to take a picture of it "before"..., but imagine this chair with the legs completely collapsed and almost touching the bottom of the seat- sort of like it was folded in half. (which was kind of a good thing, because I don't think I could have gotten it into the car, otherwise.) Also, the top was faded red and the bottom was faded so badly it looked gray. There was plenty of rusty spots on the legs also.

We managed to get the legs about 85% straightened out, and everything sanded and primed. Then after I put the kids on the bus yesterday, I went out and chose this pretty color of blue, Rustoleum's Ocean. Several coats on the seat, and some white on the legs and it was ready to put back together. I think it came out pretty well for something left for dead.

And here is it with its life partner- eventually I will paint the other chair to match!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Lucky in Lighting

Hello friends, it's good to talk to you again!

I hope I remember how to do this blogging thing...haha! Anyway, I have been spending a lot of time on facebook and I realized that 1) while fun, it is not the best venue to go into lengthy detail about my projects and finds, and 2) probably a lot of my "regular" friends do not care about all that stuff. But all my blogger pals might and I miss you guys! (And if you want to be fb friends leave a comment below, and I will message you.)

Of course I still thrift a lot and frequent as many yard sales and flea markets as I can. In the last couple of weeks I have been really lucky to find some really cool stuff that I wanted to share. One of the things I love to find is cool mid-century lighting.

Now, the thing about lighting is that if there are any issues with the wiring you have a situation on your hands. A bad one. So I always make sure that the wiring is good and replace it if necessary. It is a good thing my brother is an electrician because he is always on hand to advise me!

I have been looking for a cool atomic lamp for our bedside table. Actually I would have loved to have found a pair of lamps, but anything was better than the crappy 80s brass faux-Stiffel lamp my husband was using. (Did I mention he won it in a poker game? Well, game ON!) Anyway, I grabbed this awesome lamp at a flea market for $3. It was marked "Miller 1955" on the turquoise ceramic part. It was also covered in mouse poop and super nasty.

Yeah, that bottom is supposed to be shiny metal. I think I actually hosed it off with a pressure washer- clearly it had to be re-wired in addition to completely cosmetically restored. 

I took it apart and repainted all the metal parts with gold spray paint. Instead of going to the hardware store and buying a $10 lamp kit, I went to the thrift store and bought a donor lamp with a good socket and cord for 99 cents.

After putting it all back together and testing it out- success!- it was time for the fun part: trying on shades. I may be a bit of a vintage-lampshade-hoarder...

 I really wanted the larger tiered shade to work, but it sat too high. I may try again if I can find a smaller harp. I ended up going with the green fiberglass shade on the right. I actually like the look quite a bit and to my relief, the light in the room is not actually green.

Since we have a lot of green, including the bedspread, in our bedroom, it works well.

 My second lighting score was just the other day. I went to a thrift store I haven't been to in a while. (Basically they price everything "vintage" ridiculously high, like 3x ebay prices, so I just haven't bothered going.) But for some reason I decided to go. And whadyya know, I actually found a something!

I bought these two Mid Century Modern pendant lights for a song. They even have their original ceiling plates. After doing a little research, it looks like they might be by designer Paavo Tynell. They would be so cool in someone's MCM house, so I listed them in my Etsy shop. Here's hoping Katy Perry buys them, lol.

I did test them out and they work great!

Now, my third adventure in lighting is a little bit different. No fab modern pieces here- just trying to update a fixture on a budget. We have a bit of a rustic vibe up at our cabin. At least I have been trying to get that going. And clearly this fixture above the sink that my mother-in-law picked out was not working for that look. (She picked out all the finishes for the place about 15 years ago after she retired from working at a bank, where she was in charge of the appearance of all the bank branches. I tease her that her house even looked like a bank.)

Maybe it's because I grew up in the 80s, but I cannot stand that shiny brass look. So now that the place is all ours, I have been doing what I can to get rid of it, but without spending a lot of $$. I discovered Rust-o-leum hammered bronze spray paint, and painted all the shiny brass cabinet knobs last year. I figured, why not try it on the light fixture as well? So I took it down, lightly sanded it and painted it. I left the frosted glass globes off entirely and swapped the bulbs for Edison bulbs, I think it came out pretty well, and definitely cost less than a brand new fixture!

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Red Letter Day

Hello friends, it's good to have you here! I know, I've been a bad blogger and haven't updated in a while. I hope you are still reading!

I have been getting out to the thrifts again, after taking a bit of a break in December. I just have way too much stuff and when I got the holiday decorations out, I realized I have to clear some stuff out. So a lot got donated- things that didn't fit or had issues, and I couldn't sell them for what I needed to get. There are some that believe in thrift karma; that is, when you donate good stuff, you get good stuff. Well, I think that was the case with today's excursions. I took a bunch of stuff to the thrift store and came home with some better stuff!

It was a banner day for MCM, as you can see. But first, the Pyrex, as always. I have not been finding a lot of Pyrex lately, mostly because I know some of the thrift stores I frequent have been putting it all on ebay. Which kind of sucks, because that is what primarily gets me in the door right now- if you put it all on ebay, I have little reason to come and shop the rest of your store. But some always slips through the cracks and dinnerware is a prime example of that. The lime plate is actually a chop plate or a platter, and I don't have anything that size (it's over 12" diameter- that's a regular dinner plate in front of it below) so I bought that. I would like to find more lime plates to mix in with my turquoise- I love that color combo.

These turquoise melamine dishes are Russel Wright- I love this style and have a few other small pieces, but nothing close to the whole set. It would take me forever to collect it, most likely, so I may let these go. But right now the little handled bowls are getting a lot of use holding snacks for the kids.

At one of the thrifts I went to, someone had donated a whole Mickey Mouse collection, including a lot of older pieces from back into the 60s. I picked out this gumball machine and will try to resell it in my booth- we'll see how it goes!

All right, I know you all are here for the Finel bowl, so I'll get right to it....

 But first, I did get a Fire King Blue Heaven custard cup- isn't it cute?  :) hehe

OK, so I have been seeing these online for a long time, and loving them. The graphics are so amazing on all the Finel Arabia bowls, and the heart one is so iconic. I read on the Recycle-ista's blog about her finding one after imagining she would and it got me doing the same thing. I was reading her blog, thinking, that's so cool that she found one just like she had been hoping for, wouldn't that be neat to happen next time I go into a store...?

And what do you know...there, in the middle of the Valentine's Display it sat. I have never seen one in person, so I was surprised at how large it is! But now I have one, and I promise you I am already dreaming about my next find, and hoping that dreams will come true all over again!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pyrex finds!

Hello friends, it's good to have you here!

As mentioned in my last post, I have been finding and acquiring some really nice pieces of Pyrex. So, my apologies to those of you who do not share my fascination with dishes; this post may not interest you. Sorry!

But for the rest of you afflicted with Pyrexia, we will carry on:

I don't know what I ever decorated with before I had Pyrex. My friends and family always are shocked by the fact that I have so many pieces of Pyrex that I can created color themes with them. Hehe. Frankly, I'm sort of shocked I can do that too. Fall themed display? Why yes, let me get out all my red, yellow, orange, and black bowls and casseroles.

The black and white casserole on top was my most recent Pyrex purchase, it's a JAJ (English Pyrex) Haymaker. My son saw a picture of it, and begged me to buy it, because he wants to be a farmer, and it depicts people loading hay into a wagon. And when a nine year old boy tells you to by dishes, you listen. So I did, and promised him he could have it when I die, lol.

I don't think I've ever spent that much on a casserole dish, and probably will never spend that much again. Because you all know I am cheap and would much rather find my stuff at thrift stores.

So this stuff I actually thrifted. Much more my style! The big yellow bowl is called "Pineapple Party" and actually fades from yellow at the top to orange on the bottom. It is really pretty. I got it at my favorite thrift on a Thursday, then stopped in at a nearby rummage sale for the orange mugs and blue mason jars. "Pineapple Party" is actually a chip and dip set, with a smaller bowl and bracket. I didn't have much hope of ever completing the set until I logged onto the Pyrex trading group and saw someone had posted the small bowl for trade the very same day! We worked out a deal and I had the set put together in just a few days. It's funny how things can work out sometimes.

I also made another great trade that week and was able to acquire one of my most wanted Pyrex pieces, a Saxony casserole. I traded a couple things I had thrifted for it, so the cost to me was reasonable. I doubt I would have ever bought it if I hadn't been able to trade for it.

This last group is one of my best ever recent thrift finds. I am lucky to have quite a bit of Friendship by now, and every single piece has been thrifted. Including this 475 casserole, I have all the 470s but the 474. And the orange 442 means that I am only missing the 441 and I will have all the Cinderella bowls. Add to that the divided dish and a couple of the much sought-after red pixies which I already have, and I am well on my way to finishing that pattern. I am determined to thrift it all.

Happy hunting!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Halloween Haul!

Hello friends, it's good to have you here!

Well, school is back in session and I thought I'd have so much time to blog and list things in my Etsy store, and...nope, that just hasn't happened! I honestly don't know how some of you guys do it.

But as usual, there is always time to thrift and yard sale, while the yard saling weather is still good. And I have to say, it has been very good to me lately. I live in a great area for yard sales with lots of old people in older homes, who are now in the process of down sizing. And of course, that means I am upsizing, or acquiring more stuff! Hehe...

Last week I was on my way to a church rummage sale (which was pretty much a bust, all I bought was a 50 cent planter) and stopped at the most amazing yard sale and I hit the jackpot!

Look at all that vintage Halloween!!!

I have never seen so much all in one place and here it is on my floor!

Some of these honeycomb paper decorations are amazing- check out the scarecrows and owl!

And there was Pyrex and pixies as well! That tan stripe 401 is just what I needed to complete my stack of stripes. I never find cute pixies around here, so even though these are not in perfect condition, they are most welcome.

I've been having a good run on Pyrex lately as well. A few pieces found at the thrifts, but mostly trading for some really good things- a future post coming up on that!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

What a long, strange trip it's been!

Hello Friends, it's good to have you here!

Well, summer is flying by and I realize I haven't been around here a whole lot, so we have some catching up to do! I spent the last week thrifting some spots I don't normally get to, so I have a lot to share.

My kids were at a day camp down in the area I grew up in, so after dropping them off at 9 am I got to check out all my old favorite shops. So I got myself a plan and made sure to hit the biggest stores first and then the smaller stores later on. (Camp pickup was 3 pm) Most of my good finds at the larger stores were Monday and Tuesday morning. After that, meh... it amazes me how some of these stores can be so huge (one must be close to 20,000 sq.ft- a former big box store) and have so little quality merchandise. Or perhaps that is just the age we are living in and the good stuff is getting harder to find (I know it!)

Anyway, on with the show!

This is my haul from that first big store on Monday and Tuesday mornings. As you might have guessed, it's mostly Pyrex. But I am super stoked about the blue Fire King Kimberly mug- I have a collection of one of each of these in every color and this was the last one I needed. It's taken me a couple of years to find one in the wild, and I almost resorted to Etsy a few times. 

The black Pyrex mug was one of about eight in the store- I only bought one, just to have (again) one in every color, but now I am wishing I had bought them all. They look amazing with my cinnamon colored ones and would be great for Halloween displays. Speaking of Halloween, the cat thingy is a flashlight but it is missing its innards. It's not very old either, but definitely has that vintage look, and for a buck, it cam home with me. The Terra bowls are part of my 'leave no Pyrex behind' strategy and will probably go to my booth. The Verde 443 is the start of a new collection- I just figured out that I have all the Verde fridgies, so now I must collect the bowls...sigh...

These were from my next stop. The opal hostess bowls were probably yellow at one time, but I can't find any trace of color. I'll hang onto them to mix into other displays- I have found that even though opal (aka plain white) Pyrex really doesn't do much for me, it looks great mixed into displays. The milk glass tumblers depict Jack and Jill tumbling down the hill. They are actually made by Hazel Atlas and were part of a children's dinnerware set. I can't really imagine the thought process that went into designing these for children. I know my kids would be wondering what the heck happened to Jack and Jill here...someone online referred to them as 'CSI cups' :)... but the sheer oddity of them was enough for me to add them to my collection.  

At the same store later in the week I found this awesome camp blanket. It is a really strange size- twin width but XXtra long. It came in handy already when we went to a chilly outdoor movie on Friday- we could wrap it completely around the three of with room to spare. I love finding camp blankets because they are beautiful and useful at the same time. I think I have close to 10 now, the only problem being they take up quite a bit of storage space, so I just keep piling them up on the beds. Who needs comforters?

These are my finds from one of my all-time favorite church thrifts. They get good stuff and they price it well. No $19 Pyrex here! The enamel bucket is so amazing, I have already adopted it as my housecleaning bucket. I feel like a Depression-era housewife... cool stuff like this just makes ordinary housework a little easier! (See my ironing post on this topic here) I also found an incredible vintage dress from about the same era in the store. I always wonder if things like this were donated by the same person.

This little child's tea set is so cute and perfect condition. Each cup/saucer set was just 75 cents! (Did I mention that I love this store?) The primary blue fridgie was $2.50 also. And yes, that is a Vera tablecloth! Once it gets a good Oxyclean soak to remove some yellowing, it's headed to the Etsy store.

I think I might be the only person of my generation (except maybe Mick from Everyone Goes to Micks!) who knows what that weird metal thingy is. I'll keep you in suspense about that until later! Lately I have been finding a lot of Ekco Eterna/American Tempo flatware, which is fine with me because it's easy to sell in my Etsy shop. The milk glass mugs are Fire King and Federal and are headed over to my booth. The beaker is my only Pyrex lab ware purchase- I will use it as a vase I guess.


On my way home from that store I stopped at a yard sale and picked up these pieces of Pyrex. The large yellow was the last piece I needed to complete another Primary set, since I sold the one I had in my booth last month. Last month's sales were amazing, so I am feeling really good about that part of my endeavors. I just found a snowflake 043 for my personal collection in my last post, so this one will go to the booth as well.

So, did you guess what the mystery item was? 

It's a UHF TV antenna from the early days of broadcasting!
 Of course, we don't need them anymore, but I have a place for it on my TV-quarium!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues

Hello Friends, it's good to have you here!

Well, summer is here and it brings with it a lot of change. First of all, of course the kids are home. And soooo bored. Hehe, I knew that was coming, so we have plenty of things to do, like 5 different camps for my daughter and my son is opening his own Etsy shop! He is following in his mom's footsteps, but selling things a nine-year old boy thinks is cool. Mostly he is going to be restoring and selling customized bathroom scales, which is a project we started here. Look for the grand opening of JaysonsKustomHouse in a couple of weeks!

For now, I am also trying to keep as busy as I can, and trying to do as much selling as I can in my antique booth and my Etsy shop. So, hey, help me out a bit and see if there's anything you like! Be sure to use the coupon code PIT20OFF for 20% off your purchase!

Maybe it's a coincidence, or maybe not, but I have been finding a lot of blue items lately. Yard sales and thrifts have been very good this month, and I have been finding tons of cool junk and Pyrex, of course.

First up, I found yet another milk glass cake plate. This makes 3 in the last 6 weeks or so. It's wedding season, so hopefully it won't stay in the booth long! And I thrifted my first set of clear bottomed Pyrex- I usually pass on these, but with Pyrex prices on the rise I thought it might be a good idea to get a set now. They are various shades of blue and are very pretty; hopefully someone will love them.

The same day I found this stack of 401s at an antique store. Now, I almost never buy things at antique stores (I mostly window shop- "doing research" I call it) but I couldn't pass up five bowls for $10.  The three primary blues are all unnumbered; two are in good condition, but one is pretty poor. (I'll make that a daily user, maybe I'll dishwasher it into a faux opal?) I am always trying to make up other Primary sets to go to the booth, and can definitely use the good ones. The pink is poor as well, but this is my first pink mixer in the wild, and it will display OK for now. The orange flameglo is pretty good; I haven't decided if I want to keep it yet.

 I also found my first piece of JAJ in a thrift store, a pattern called "Tuscany Vegetables". Altogether, it was a good day for Pyrex, with the clear bottom set, the stack of 401s and this JAJ all coming from two stores that day. Plus, these huge veggie salt and pepper shakers- I love Mr. Corn's jaunty moustache! 

Last week I went to a great yard sale- it almost made The List. (I keep a mental list of the top ten yard sales I've ever been to- this one was somewhere in the top twenty, for sure.) It was my favorite kind of sale- an older person in an older house in an older neighborhood. I bought some Pyrex, some other glass and the coolest lamp.

The Pyrex I bought was this snowflake 043, which came with a lid and is absolutely mint. I almost didn't buy it- it seems that the word has gotten out, even to the little old ladies, that Pyrex is collectible. The sticker on this had a price of $5, which the cheapskate in me thought was too much for a yard sale. Then I came to my senses and realized I would probably pay that or more in a thrift store in a heartbeat. And I didn't have this color in my collection yet, either, so duh...buy it!

And while word has gotten out about Pyrex being hot, apparently Hazel Atlas is still flying under the radar (at least at this yard sale). The pink, turquoise and yellow plates are all HA, as is the matching mug. The green is FireKing jadeite, and get this- they were all 10 cents each!

Then I bought this lamp from the same lady. I used to see these around every so often, years ago and never bought one. But they are few and far between anymore, so I popped. Good thing I did, because they are going for crazy money on Etsy! So guess where this is headed, LOL.... I also found a cool angular fiberglass laced shade, which for some reason I didn't photograph. I have quite a collection of these shades anymore; I never leave one behind that is in good condition and reasonably priced (like 50 cents!). Now I need some  more cool lamp bases to go with them!

Green seems to be a theme of my finds as well- on the same day I bought this vintage tablecloth at a thrift store. It still has its Simtex tag on it. Plus, it is large enough to fit my table- not always so easy to find in vintage linens!

And a little bit of green Pyrex, of course! This is the "Green Salad" promo from 1972, otherwise known as "Square Dot". Normally it is hard for me to get to thrifts right when they open, which I have always assumed is the best time to go. But this day I was able to get there early and found this gem on the bottom shelf. (And I did look all over for the matching salad utensils, to no avail.) It is absolutely mint and I love the color shading. Seeing this online, I never thought I would go for it, but in person it is stunning. For some reason lately, I am totally drawn to the brightly colored Pyrex- like Friendship and New Dots, and this will fit right in. Definitely going to keep this around for a while!

And  how about this amazing fan? I found it amongst the appliances at a thrift store. It was a little more than I like to spend, at $20, but it works great-totally a keeper! I just keep telling my kids not to put their fingers anywhere near it; a trip to the emergency room is not the kind of excitement I'm looking for this summer!