Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Life for an Old Table

I found this table by the side of the road back in November, 2010.  It had been raining and I'm sure the table was there a few days, because all the veneer on the cutwork sides was separated and the table was in rough shape.  It was really solid, though, and built with the care that things used to be made with back in the day, before we starting throwing out instead of fixing up.

I actually began working on this the summer after I picked it up.  I toyed with the idea of recreating the cutwork on my scroll saw, but in the end, I just removed it and filled in the 'trough' where it was set into the table.  I was prepared to replace the veneer, but didn't have to -- it held tight, in spite of being left in the rain.  The only part I really had to replace was the drawer bottom, which was too warped to flatten out and fit back into its grooves.

Then life got in the way -- the day job, the Etsy shop and booth at Livingston Antique Outlet, along with a wedding at our house last year -- and I didn't get back to the table until a few weeks ago.

Here's what it looked like when I took it to the mall last week.  The pictures aren't the best, but I actually almost forgot to take an 'after' shot!

I used homemade chalk paint and CeCe Caldwell's soft wax on it.  I added a pair of vintage glass knobs, since one of the original knobs was missing.  I think it turned out pretty well.  I wish I'd distressed it a little more, but I'm always afraid of going too far.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy Weekend Finds!

If you love vintage stuff and hunting for bargains at sales, thrifts (and even by the side of the road), you know that it doesn't take much to make you do the happy dance.  I had a couple of days just like that 2 weeks ago, and am just getting to tell you about them now.

The small victories started on Wednesday, when I went to my local thrift after work because it was Senior discount day.  There hasn't been any good Pyrex there in a long time and their prices have gotten outrageously high.  A pricer there told me that they look things up in price guides and online and then charge 1/3 of the value of the item.  They must be using price guides from years ago when everyone was paying top dollar for things.

Regardless, there wasn't any good glassware, but the first thing I saw was this bedspread, which they'd just taken off a bed that had sold:
Total Hollywood glamour from the 1940s or 50s!  It was mismarked as twin, but is really a full sized spread
I went over to the other spreads that were hanging up to see if it had a mate there, because it was labeled as a twin size.  There was no mate, but this great coverlet was also hanging up, just waiting for me!  

Both are in MINT condition -- I don't think either was ever used. 

On Friday there were two local estate sales.  I still have so much stuff in the basement and barn that I've to pretty much only go to sales if they're a) utterly fantastic and irresistable or b) really close to my house.  These were close to home.  The first one, about 8 miles away, turned out to be non-existent, which happens once in a while, but is really frustrating.   Strike one -- not a good start to the day!
I backed to the next sale, which started an hour later but was really close to my house.  Because of the not-a-sale, I got there so early that I was Number 1!  I've NEVER been first in line for any sale -- it was a pretty cool feeling!  Unfortunately, almost everything in the house was new -- boo hoo...

There were only 3 or 4 old things in the sale and the first one was this bowl:
These polka dot Pyrex have been on my wish list for a while and I only needed the yellow and the green.  I was so excited to get this green one!  I also got a couple of cook books and utensils, but that was the end of the old stuff, so off I went to work on my booth at the mall.

The next day, the local Masons held their annual fund-raising antiques show.  It usually has about 30 dealers, but was expanded this year and was pretty good.  I don't shop these sales for items to sell, but just for me (always fun).  

At that sale, I found this Pyrex casserole, which combines 3 of my favorite things:  turquoise, Pyrex and mid-century starbursts.  
While researching it online to find out what the pattern is called & how old it is, I found one just like it for auction at Ebay -- it sold a few days ago for $120!  Even though the casserole is very cool, I can't see any reason why it would go for that much, other than bidding fever.  I'm going to post it on the Pyrex Collective and see if any of the collectors over there can tell me more about it.  

Overall, it was a pretty happy weekend:  #1 (even at a not-so-great sale), Pyrex green polka dots and a great Pyrex casserole.  

I hope you're all doing the happy dance over your finds, too!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


The current issue, April-May
The February-March issue of Mary Jane's Farm (one of my favorite mags) featured an article on keeping chickens.  In it, the writer praised Buff Orpingtons as a great, gentle breed.   I sent a letter to the editor about how Buffs are one of my favorite breeds, too -- especially my sweet Thelma, who died last year.  
Thelma --
I'm sure you're all sick of seeing pictures of her by now...
The editor sent me a reply email and said that he'd shown my letter to Mary Jane (yes, there is a real Mary Jane) and that she'd really liked it and it might be in a future magazine.  I just figured that they said this to all the girls.

They printed my letter!  I was SO excited!  I know it's not as big a deal as actually being featured in an article (as one of my antique-dealer, blog friends was), but it's pretty cool to see one's own words and name (and blog address) in a magazine. 
Here's the letter --
front and center!
Thanks, Mary Jane's Farm!  I guess this is my fifteen minutes of fame...

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I Can't Bring Myself to Sell Them!

I stopped at my local thrift store after work today because it was Senior day.  Actually today was SUPER Senior day!  Normally on Wednesday, the Senior (55+) discount is 25%, but on the first Wednesday of the month, old folks like me get 33% off.  I'm glad there's at least one benefit to getting older.

Today I found this set (sorry for the picture but I snapped it with my phone).  It's a MINT West Bend aluminum drink set -- red pitcher (with a white plastic handle -- possibly bakelite, but I haven't tested it yet) and eight tumblers.  There isn't a single dent and barely a scratch on the entire set!   The colors are so bright -- very jewel-tone.  You can't really see the great detail on the pitcher, but it has scored bands around the bottom and a very cool ice lip.
Aren't they beautiful?
These bring back so many memories -- of drinking home-made lemonade in the back yard under our oak tree on hot summer days, playing with my friends and dipping pretzels (Grippo's pretzel loops, of course) in grape Kool-ade and the all important decision of what color cup to choose.

I don't think I can bring myself to sell them.  At least, not yet.   I might foster the set for the summer and see if I'm able to part with it in the fall.

I also found this in the higher priced 'collectibles' area:  It's a Bauer Moderne casserole & serving rack.  You can't tell so much from this picture, but it's a gorgeous shade of mid-century pink and I love the tripod legs of the rack.  I'll be able to sell this one, though!
Bauer of California pottery casserole
Update on the pineapple lamp:  I guess I'm becoming a hoarder, because I've decided to keep that, too.  I just couldn't bring myself to sell that either.  I'm starting to see a pattern here...