Thursday, August 13, 2015

Updated Chest of Drawers with Desktop

I finished a project!   Sadly, that statement gets an exclamation point, because it hasn't happened for a while...

I've had a cool chest of drawers with built-in desk out in the barn for a few years.  I'd call it a secretary, but it doesn't have the sloped top like my grandmother's did.
It was badly in need of repair, gluing up and cosmetics -- the finish was really worn.  I had to almost take the innards apart in order to restore them, but it was pretty straightforward.
I painted it with a creamy white and painted the desktop green, then added green accents to the knobs to glam them a little.
I lined the drawers with some turquoise and white lined paper to make it look more 'finished'.  I learned this trick from a friend...I line my drawers at home, but had not thought of doing it for furniture I was selling.  
You'll see that I didn't use chalk paint or distress it....  I'm not a fan of chalk paint lately.  It's so expensive and my homemade version is never as nice as the commercially made stuff, no matter how careful I am with it.  And, yes, there's less prep work, but there's so much more work on the other end (I hate waxing)!  I like the way it looks when others do it but just don't have the patience (or money) for it right now.  

I finished a few more little painting jobs, too, as I'm trying to get furniture ready to take to the booth next week.  This little nightstand was structurally great, but badly needed new paint, too.  I forgot to take a 'before' picture of it, but just picture peeling, dirty UGLY paint!

I never get lonely working in the garage -- the whole time I'm out there, Turner -- my protector -- is on the job, watching the driveway to make sure the menacing mail truck, bike riders and runners don't come and get me!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Thrift Shopping Therapy

As I said in my last post, it's been a really busy month.  We've had happy things -- a new grandson, lots of fun times with our granddaughter, lots of houseguests -- and there have been not-so-happy things -- lots of rain (and therefore, LOTS of mosquitoes), lots of yard work, and really slow summer sales.  People just don't buy much in antique malls in July because they're all busy outside or on vacation.  I don't blame them one bit!  Then there's the let-down when all the out of town family leaves and you know you won't see them again until Christmas (or later)...

So, I've just been crabby and down in the dumps.  What does a thrifter do when she's crabby?  Go shopping!

There was a mega-Pyrex estate sale today, but it was an hour away and began at 4:00.  My friend Bargain Hunter and I really thought about going -- they had over 300 pieces of Pyrex!  Look at all this Pyrex (and that's not all of it)!

We figured out, though, that if we weren't one of the first 10 or 20 people in we'd never get any good stuff and we'd use 4 gallons of gas just to get there and back.  We decided at the last minute meet up somewhere and just see what sales were nearby instead.

There wasn't much -- we kissed a few frogs (sales not worth the drive to get them), went to a disappointing local estate sale, an even more disappointing high-priced 'liquidation' sale run by the same company and finally ended up at a resale shop.

I bought one thing -- this fun little vinyl make-up bag or train case.  It's shiny black patent vinyl (like the Easter shoes I used to have when I was little) and has a clear vinyl layer that separates the stuff below from that above.  It was at it's lowest price at the resale shop and was a good deal.

When I restocked my booth at the antique mall today, I shopped a little and found these sweeties, too.  A 1940s never-been-used Hawaii tablecloth with four napkins in its original box!

Each napkin has a different island on it
Even the box is cool!
 I bought two of these turquoise and pink barkcloth panels for a bargain price because they're cutters.  See the big holes on either side (where the table shows through)?  I have a couple of benches to cover, though, that they'll be perfect for!
Even with the frogs and the disappointment of not going to the mega-Pyrex sale, Bargain Hunter and I vented a little and laughed a lot and both felt better for the trip.  Just goes to show that it's not what deals you find or what you buy that's important, it's the fun people you 'hunt' with!

Hope you find some good sales this my dad used to say, "stay with the happy people"!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Don't be Afraid -- It's Only a Lawn Chair

When Mr. KV and I were newlyweds (37+ years ago) we lived in a wonderful little house built in 1912 (still my favorite house, though subsequent owners have remodeled all of the charm out of it).  We rented it (and eventually bought it) from a family friend who'd been born there and whose parents had lived there for their entire married life.  He was an ancient 63 (hmmm...doesn't seem so old now) and could remember when it had an outhouse and no running water.

When we moved in, he'd left his mother's webbed rocking chair on the front porch.  He told me it was her favorite chair and her favorite place to sit.  It had alternating green & cream webbing, like so many back in the day.  It quickly became MY favorite place to sit, too, and in a few years, I had to reweb it.  It's one of the few pieces of furniture we've had since day one of our marriage!

We've moved it to 5 different states and now it lives on our back screened porch.  Last week it finally gave up and most of the webbing tore (right under a son who shall remain nameless -- we all got a good laugh.)
Time to reweb it!

 If you've never rewebbed a chair, don't be afraid to take it on -- it's easy!  Here are some tips to help you get started:

1.  Find good webbing so you don't have to do it again in a few months...
Sometimes hardware stores have it, and it's available on Amazon, but most of that webbing's pretty weak and will tear fairly soon under regular use.  I ended up getting mine at Lawn Chair USA -- it's a GREAT online shop!  The webbing I got was really heavy and was less expensive per foot than the packages on  Amazon.  Because my rocker has a high back, I needed more footage than for a standard lawn chair.  The small packages at Amazon were $7.99 plus shipping for 39 ft (which they estimate will do a standard chair).  The reviews on that webbing noted that a) it wasn't enough for lots of people and they had to buy more and b) it tore quickly for lots of people.  At Lawn Chair USA, I got 150 ft for $20 with free shipping!   Enough to do my rocker plus another small chair.

2.  Use online resources...
I hadn't rewebbed a chair in over 30 years, so I went out online and found lots of resources.  This youtube video is really helpful.

3.  Measure twice, cut once...
I took one of the broken lengths of each size I needed and taped it to my table.  I know it sounds silly, but it made cutting the pieces super-fast and foolproof.

4.  Keep an example...
Keep one of the ends you remove with the clip still in it until you learn exactly how to orient them.  It's easy to get the clips twisted around and then they won't go in.  I left one for each end intact so I could double check it until doing them was automatic.

5.  If possible, leave the old webs in place and remove them one by one to replace...
It's easier to know which way to weave them and also to get them spaced right if you add them one at a time and just remove the old ones as you go.

6.  Stretch it as tightly as possible,..
The webbing gives a little over time, so you'll want to stretch it as tightly as you can.  An added bonus is that you get a workout pulling it tight to get the bracket hook into the seating hole!  I bracketed one end and then, after weaving, pulled it tight and used the tip of a scissor to mark the spot for the other bracket.  Because the clips have a little thickness, it makes the webbing really tight once you double it over.

Here's my chair, all finished (and tested, of course)...

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Life Happens!

In January, I made a list of business goals for the new year -- one of them was to write a blog post at least 2 times a week and post on Facebook daily.  Well, LIFE HAPPENS, and I haven't posted here since the end of April!

Sometimes, thrifting, blogging and posting needs to take a back seat to taking care of the family, the home and the yard!  Mixed in with family stuff, I've done a little shopping -- gone to some flea markets and estate sales and even took a road trip to Kentucky.  I'll tell you about those adventures in a few 'time warp' posts soon (going backwards in time instead of forward).  In the meantime, here's a snapshot of what's been taking all my attention.

Yard & Garden:
We have a BIG vegetable garden -- 50' x 50'.  This year, we had all of our raised beds topped off with compost and then we got to work covering them, planting them and mulching.  I made one final change (hopefully) and enlarged the herb bed in the middle.  I added a windmill that I got at an estate sale last year and used china plates as the border.  I saw this on Pinterest (the source of all cool ideas!) and liked the look.

I collected thrift store plates of all colors for the last 2 years, but have decided that I like the blue and white look the best.  So I'll be slowly replacing all the odd-colored plates with blue and white.  I also really like the staggered look of dinner plates at the back and salad plates at the front.  Here's how it turned out...
The new bed with the old plants -- first day after transplant
Right before I finished planting the last few beds
I use tulle to keep the bugs and bunnies out until the plants are established
FINALLY it's all planted!
Our second grandchild was born last week -- a little boy!  We got to have his 17 month-old sister for 3 days while mom and dad were at the hospital.  What fun and what a blessing!  We all had a blast, but we were ALL tired and ready for a rest.
New baby brother -- 6 hours old!
Breakfast before we go to meet baby brother
We went to Bowling Green, Kentucky for our daughter-in-law's ordination and to spend time with her family.  I did some shopping on the way down and back -- there are some great malls and shops in Kentucky (more on that later!)

This week, all of our 'little' family got together -- a rare treat that hasn't happened in over a year!  My son from DC and his wife and the son from Florida and his girlfriend all came into town to meet the new baby and have a mini family reunion.  We've had a wonderful time talking, laughing, hanging out and eating, along with sitting in the living room watching a 17 month-old little girl play with stuffed animals and dance around.  It's amazing how entertaining that can be!  Is it any wonder that first grandchildren are spoiled?

Hopefully, next week I'll get back on track -- I'll do some 'throwback' posts about the flea markets, sales and malls I've been visiting and show you some of the cool finds!  I might not make it to 2 posts a week, but I've got to do better than one every 2 months!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Thursday Sale Bonanza -- Lots of Lefton and Christmas Kitsch

I think it's a basic principle of business that you're supposed to spend less than you bring in.  That gets really hard when the weather warms up!  Just when the flea markets and yard sales are starting up again and there are lots of bargains to be found, people are busy outside and not spending as much time in antique malls and shopping online (and they're going to flea markets and yard sales)!

As I try to not-buy-as-much (as-if I could...), I avoid the looking at the temptation of the weekly emails from and   I owe a big THANK YOU to my friend Bargain Hunter for giving me a heads-up on a really good sale last Thurday, loaded with Lefton figurines!  

It turned out to be the left-over accumulation of a former antiques dealer who'd passed away last year.  Most of it was her 'barn stuff' -- you know, the boxes of collected odds and ends that don't make it into the booth or to a sale (bits of china, linens, broken down pictures and frames).  There was an entire table of Lefton and made-in-Japan figurines, though, and I was the first one to it!
Look at all this SWEET Lefton!
Not Lefton, but sweet nonetheless
The caption on the cookie jar lid says it all...
It all needed a good cleaning (but who doesn't love playing with their thrifty finds?)
Besides the great kitsch, I also got a couple of quilt tops -- one had piping around the edge to finish it off, but no back fabric.  Rather strange!
Love this butterfly quilt top -- I'm thinking of bringing my quilting skills out of retirement to finish it
This is the bound block quilt
This plastic half apron appealed to my love of strange souvenirs.  It's from the Hiawatha rail line that goes from Chicago to Seattle.  I think it's from the 1960s

These were an odd (and luckily, inexpensive) impulse buy -- 2 legal document packets from 1927, dealing with a property dispute in Dearborn Heights, Michigan.  They'll probably be good for a scrapbooker to use.
Once I'd taken the bait and gone shopping, I looked for more sales close to home and found one just a couple of miles away (a rare occurrence)!   Since they opened the first sale 1/2 hour early, I was able to check out and race over to the second one and get there just as everyone was going in.  I made a beeline for the basement, hoping to get a green ceramic Christmas tree I'd seen in the picture.  I got it and that was just the tip of the iceberg!  I ended up with 2 box-flats of great vintage Christmas, plus some other odds and ends.
TWO ceramic Christmas trees + a Holt Howard Santa + a Royal light-up snowman!
The tall angels need to be rewired, but are really hard to find.  Napco and Enesco NOEL candle holder sets are always popular.  The little angel shelf sitters with lambs are so sweet -- even though one has a repaired wing, I couldn't pass them up
I think Santa's creepy -- much creepier at home than he had been at the sale.  He looks like the drunken love-child of  Joe Piscopo and Kris Kringle
Black transferware tray, Texasware-type bowl, West Bend penguin ice bucket and an Oven Serve bowl.
Dogs playing poker -- who could resist?
So, in the space of about an hour and a half, I had spent all my shopping money for 2 weeks!  Well worth it, though, don't you think?

This Friday and Saturday are theM-15 Heritage Yard Sale and also Davisburg Antiques.  I'm really looking forward to both of them, since they were great shopping ops last fall.  I'd better get some more shopping money out of the bank!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Wish Granted!

Just as I was hoping that there would be more sales soon, there were three decent-looking ones this morning!  I should have gone to my packaging supplier to get more styrofoam peanuts & bubble wrap, but went shopping instead.  None of the sales were close together, so I used a lot of gas (and covered about 100 miles round trip!), but it was fun hunting.  They were in the opposite direction from the supplier, so that errand will have to wait for another day.

I got a fair amount of stuff for not much money -- always the big bonus of yard sales and family-run estate sales!

The Cootie game is from 1949 and had the bonus of enough pieces to make 4-6 more cootie bugs + the pieces from an old-school Mr. Potato Head (the kind the you poke into a real potato)  Doesn't the burger look like a McDonald's ad burger?  It's a 1950s patty press  -- the attention to detail they used to put into inexpensive items always amazes me.
 The star of this sale was the Pyrex Friendship divided dish with painted lid.  Everything else paled in comparison.
They practically gave me this wooden plant stand.  I think it will make cool booth display until it sells.

I don't know what sales tomorrow will bring, but I might just stay home and work on booth & Etsy prep -- we'll have to see if the temptation of finding a bargain is too much to resist!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Bring on the Yard Sales!

Now that Easter's over, I'm ready for the yard sales to start popping up -- aren't you?  The weather has been so cold and rainy, though that there just haven't been many.  Last week there was only one local one -- ONE (not the best cure for cabin fever)!  There was the first church rummage sale of the year, though, so I headed out for that.

Here's what it looked like when I left for the rummage -- really foggy & chilly...
The pickings were slim, but I found a few little goodies.  Next I went to an estate sale that about 10 miles away and 2 miles down a wet dirt road -- what a waste of time.  It was WAY overpriced...most of the items were even higher than they would be at an antique mall.   I got there an hour after it started and the tables were full (no surprise there).  I did find a New York World's Fair souvenir glass and a really cool glass coffee table, though.
Very appropriate for a Catholic church rummage sale -- Jesus on the Mount of Olives
Not great finds from the rummage the World's Fair glass from the estate sale
I think this coffee table is pretty cool -- it looks like it should be on a sun porch or with casual furniture, though.
Finally, I went to the only yard sale in town (and wished I'd gone there before the estate sale).  It was family run and the prices were all over the place, but the house had been decorated in the 60s and not updated since.  It turned out to be a day for wall decor, as I got several bits of 1960s plastic (Syroco-type) and some oh-so-lovely metal peacocks.  Not my taste, but I know that they'll sell.

Three seasons of a four-season Syroco set from the 70s
My big investment of the day (still not much)!  The frame is plastic, but these convex mirrors are always popular
Here are the beautiful peacocks!
Here are two things from the thrift last week that I forgot to share, and they were really sweet finds!
aluminum food tote
Red Regal aluminum cake carrier with a bakelite handle -- so cool!
It's been near 70 for the past two days and it feels (and looks) like spring!  Maybe the yard sales will be better this week -- I hope so!  I hope you have better sales where you live, too.