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)...