Tag Archives: books

Thrift Store Score: Vintage Books

1 Sep

The 1970s was a good decade, my friends. Among other things, that period of time produced colorful polyester shirts, a harvest gold refrigerator from our previous apartment that was so solidly built it could withstand a nuclear winter, and, oh yeah, me. I was only there to witness two and a half months of it, but considering I didn’t sleep very much of that time it must have been amazing.

When I’m thrifting I always give the book sections, at the very least, a cursory look, because even though we’ve run out of shelf space in our home library long ago, I’m a sucker for vintage books.

This book on making paper airplanes particularly called out to me, as it has several elements of things I love: it’s crafty, thrifty, and features fantastic illustrations of kids from the 70s.

I’m trying to convince myself to sell it, but I need to learn how to make my paper plane do some sweet tricks first.

This next score goes out to all the nerds I love: a complete set of Marvel Super Hero RPG books, including the DM screen, which in this system is referred to as the “Judge’s Screen.” This is an epic find my friends, as my husband has been looking for these online and finding them to be pricey. In fact, right before we stopped at the yard sale that had them I believe he said, “This yearly yard sale never has anything good. I swear we go just out of nostalgia.”

I think I made him take that back about fifteen times because I am a mature individual.

These actually might be from the early 80s, a decade I consider to be largely a blight on humanity with a few notable exceptions: Nintendo, Unicorns, and, oh, the birth of my husband. Things I am not crazy about include most of the fashion, which as we all know has come back into style and was vomited back in my face on a daily basis when I worked in the library.

But I digress. These books gave my husband a nerd boner and there is no way he is parting with them, so I won’t be listing them in the shop.

Lastly, I found this wonderful pre-digital, pre-Photoshop SLR photography book. My Dad has a Canon SLR that he used to capture my childhood, and if I ask very nicely I’m hoping he’ll let me experiment with it one day.

My friend Jose seems to have the best luck finding amazing vintage books on a regular basis, but every now and then I surprise myself.

Giveaway: Vintage Terrarium Book

14 Jul

When I was a little girl I used to love visiting my Papa and Nana’s house. We went there often but it seemed to have an ever-changing array of interesting things to look at. Their house was modest and quite small but when my dad was in grade school they built a large living and dining room addition. It housed the baby grand piano, lots of Depression-era glass, and an old TV that the cousins and I would gather around to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles every day after school. Under the piano, near a large, light-filled plate glass window stood this jar filled with the most amazing terrarium.

Only later in life did I find out these containers were called carboys and were intended for homebrewing, not terrariums. When the time came to move my grandparents out of their house, I took the long-defunct terrarium container home and hoped to fill it with plants and rocks and a tiny ecosystem someday.

I also inherited their vintage terrarium guide that my grandparents used to make the terrarium that so fascinated me as a child:

Recently, longtime flickr pal Mia sent me another awesome vintage terrarium guide she found at a book sale:

And now, Little Big readers, I have some good news: I found an extra copy of Terrariums & Miniature Gardens while thrifting and I’m going to give it away to one of you! To enter this giveaway, simply leave one comment below.

You can earn an extra entry on twitter if you tweet about this giveaway, but if you do, be sure to leave a second comment with a link to your tweet. Additional comments will be deleted.

This giveaway is open to all readers, not just those in the United States. In addition to the book, I’ll also send along some fun miniature items to stick inside your terrarium and give it personality. I’ll announce the winner next Thursday.

Good luck!

Blue Teacups Save the Day

26 Apr

I have the whole blissful week off for Spring Break and I’m spending it with Isobel and a giant pile of boxes. Since we’re getting all new carpet installed next weekend (and as you can tell by the photo, we dearly need it) so every thing must go–if it’s on a carpeted surface it must be packed away and stored somewhere else. We’re going to do our best to fit our entire house into our kitchen, dining room, garage and patio. Right now I’m dealing with the monstrous task that is our home library. Isobel is sitting on the contents of one shelf below. We’ve already moved over twice this many boxes into the garage.

Before I got started this morning we made a quick trip by our favorite thrift store. It was half off day, plus they gave Isobel a free bunny. There was no reason not to go, especially since it had been so long since my last trip. They had these gorgeous robin’s egg blue melamine tea cups. I thought they’d be perfect for the shop, but someone dibbed them. I’ll have to list them during her nap time, because she loves them. And they’re plastic, so I don’t have to worry.

Her grandma bought her a little plastic tea set from Target, but I’ve found so many tea pots and plastic saucers and cups while thrifting I bet I could put together a second hand tea set that she’d love.

This happened while I was packing. The joys of stay at home parenting, folks.

I can’t get enough of these cups. The maker’s mark on the bottom says “Texas Ware.” I’ll have to look that up. I also got a few other goodies.

And back to the cups again. Wouldn’t they be perfect for serving deep brown chocolate mousse? We had a snack when we got back from thrifting and Isobel insisted I serve her cheese to her in the cup. She invented a new trend in dining–the cheese cup. It’s all the rage, people.

As we were leaving the thrift store, I stopped under the giant HALF OFF sign to get my car keys from my purse. An old man was approaching the store and he asked me if I got that baby for 50% off. Isobel looked at him and said, “NO.”

I really wanted to show you this gorgeous table cloth but Zorro decided it was his soul mate. He’d make a pretty good car model, I think. He’s good at lying on things and posing for the camera.

All right, then. Back to packing.

The Haps

13 Jan

I am just not feeling well today. I’m at work and everything’s fine, but my stomach hurts like hell and I’m all weak and Crohns-y.

That aside, I’m just going to keep on truckin’. Here’s what I’ve been up to:


 365 Project

I am using the free Instagram app to do a 365 project. I’m focusing on simple shots of my day-to-day life. Partly this is because this is what I like, and partly because I am so epically lazy. Although I’d participate in the odd 30-day challenge on flickr using my big camera, I just don’t have the time, the inclination, or the desire to pull out the big camera, go through shots, edit, and post the best one everyday. Shocking, I know. I’m just trying to find time to both shower and exercise every day while watching a baby and somehow making a nutritious dinner. I convinced my bestie Angela to also download the app and participate with me, because everything’s more fun with friends. Feel free to join in and let me know so I can follow you.


Anthony will be gone a lot for business the next couple weeks. While I will miss him terribly, I’m also concerned about spending so much time as a Solo Parent. And I’m more than a little worried about my ability to shower. It will be interesting to say the least. Oh, sure, I’m having lots of friends over and I have two very nice neighbors that will be keeping an eye on me, but still. I’m looking forward to a lot of hard work and sleep deprivations. You can look forward to a lot of maudlin tweets about missing my husband. Everybody wins!


I mentioned on twitter last night that I have too many books. It’s sad, but true. We have one whole wall lined with bookshelves and still, we are running short on space for our collection. We can fit one more Ikea bookshelf in our office/library, but that’s it. So, Anthony and I might have to do a bit of purging and pruning of the collection. A lot of it is my favorite, nonfiction. Depending on what and how many books we cull I might have a giveaway since so many people were interested. Locals, I will also be offering books your way as a few of you piped up as well.

Library App Round Up

30 Nov

I’m working on some very exciting things at the moment. So exciting that I can’t wait to share them with you. For example, my twitter wife sent me the most wonderful early Christmas present.  I cannot wait to let all of you bask in its glory. In the meantime, I’m donning my librarian glasses and bun to get some work done and to spread the Good Word about reading.


Here are some random apps that I love. No company has ever given me money for… well, anything really, but especially not to promote their iphone apps. I just like these. “I’m Carrie Anne, and I approve this message!”

These apps are perfect for anyone whose and avid reader, or just for someone who enjoys reading in general. I used to belong to the first category but now that I have a baby while working full time, I’m firmly in the latter.

1. Good Reads and Good Reads Companion: These apps are related to a website you may have heard about: Good Reads. I am on Good Reads (holla! I’m ex.libris) but it’s been a shamefully long time since I’ve logged in. Or participated. Er. I feel bad about that. I really like Good Reads and I was happy to find out there are two GR apps available, one official, one not (but GR is fine with that.) I downloaded both in the hopes that I’ll be more active on the site. Having both apps seems redundant but I know there are those out there who staunchly support the GR app and those who are in favor of the third party app. I got both to see the difference, which I, so far, haven’t noticed.

2. Dewey D: An app that keeps track of your “to read” list that also lets you browse selections on the NY Times bestsellers list plus lets you browse author info. Some people really like the bells and whistles on this app. I think it’s pretty nifty but personally I prefer…

3. Libraryby Big Button Designs: It’s just called “Library” and the graphic is a rainbow-hued stack of rectangle shapes. It has a simply and perfect design and it does only three things: 1. keeps track of what you want to read 2. keeps track of what you are reading 3. keeps track of what you have read. That’s all it is. But that’s all it needs to be.

4. Library by Double Tap App: A second creatively-named app called simply “Library,” this one features a teddy bear reading. It zeros in on your location and then points out the libraries in your area. If you find one you’d like to visit you can tap the “directions” button and it will show you the route there. This is a really great app if you’re travelling in an unfamiliar area and need to take the kids somewhere diverting for awhile.

5. Lend Me from Autus Mobile: Not strictly a reading app, but perfect for frequent lenders of books. It helps you keep track who is borrowing what. It integrates with your calendar to put reminders of when they should be returning your stuff. I feel like a jerk sometimes for being reluctant to lend stuff out, but keeping track of it makes me feel a bit more secure that I’ll get it back.

(P.S. Jake, I still have at least two of your books at my house. I just want you to know that they are safe & I haven’t forgotten. I think Anthony has some of Cay’s books, too.)