Tag Archives: Home

Little Big Shop

24 Sep

Here’s what’s up in the shop:

Vintage Balloon Lightswtich Plate, I’m in love with the bright colors.


Fukagawa Arita Handpainted Teacups, this set is so completely perfect.

Two airtight glass canisters, beautiful vintage storage for the bathroom or nursery.

Austria heraldic plate, because two eagle heads are better than one. Duh.

Avon collectible floral dish, this is so sweet.

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Scrapbook: The Doves’ Nest

21 Jun

My parents have a family of doves that decided one of my Mom’s hanging baskets would be a nice place to raise a family.

They chose the middle basket of the three. There’s at least one hatched baby living comfortably amongst the leaves. Isobel adores them. Whenever we go over there now she wants to see the “birdie mama basket.”

My parents watch as the male and female take turns, tending and guarding the hatchling, or flying away to find food. It’s totally acclimated to my parents and their dogs. My Mom waters plants next to and underneath it, and my Dad has mown the lawn, all without them batting an eye.

Don’t tell Jupiter.

Thrifted Home Tour: The Nursery

13 Jun

I have put off writing this post for the Thrifted Home Tour for about a year now because of PPD, and although I’ve technically never done the library or the guest bedroom either, the nursery was the room I balked at. For almost two years my sister lived in our guest bedroom so that room was off limits, and our home library has needed a lot of work so I never really took pictures of it to include it in the tour, although I should just for the awesome green vintage filing cabinet alone. I did post photos of the office/library here and you can see years-old photos of some vintage goodness in the guest bedroom on flickr, including the trunk that came over with my family from Sweden. It held all their worldly goods and you can still see the address to “Amerika” carved on the side.  You can read the previous installments of the Thrifted Home Tour here.

(What is the Thrifted Home Tour? I’m glad you asked! I’ve decorated my entire home with vintage goods either passed down from family members or found while trolling estate sales or thrift stores. I am showing off different rooms of my house to display how thrifted items can be worked into the décor to be useful and inspiring items. Partially it’s because I’d love to promote my vintage Etsy shop, and partially because that’s just how I roll. I think more people should decorate their home with thrifted goods. Here’s why .)

I made these curtains myself from Heather Ross fabric I ordered from someplace online. They look horrible, and this is because I tried to make them after I went on maternity, and getting down on the ground with a giant belly to cut fabric was DUMB. Don’t try it at home.

The nursery set got a lot of views on flickr and I still occasionally get emails from people about something that was in the photos or if they can use a shot for something. It was featured on Esty, Ohdeedoh, and Spearamint Baby. I had the most fun creating this room and I can’t wait do to it all over again when the time comes. We had a miniscule budget but I managed to put this room together by shopping thrift stores, Etsy, and my own family’s hand-me-downs.

I guess I should start explaining things now since I’m several photos into the tour. The chair in the photo above belonged to my grandparents, as did the side table next to it. The chair itself is pretty gross one side. All the cats decided it was the perfect scratching post, but I chose that chair not for its looks but for its comfort. I’ve slept in that chair while cradling the newborn Isobel many times, as has Anthony and I think maybe even my sister and mother. The pillow in the chair was an old one I bought for my first apartment at MacFrugals. It is UG-LY, but I bought a ten dollar pillow cover from Etsy seller Lindylou2. I still love it.

The blanket that’s draped over the chair was handmade by a coworker’s mother, and the one draped across the crib was made by Anthony’s Grandma.

I bought some cheap album frames from CB2 and filled them with record album covers from the thrift store with the exception of Sgt Pepper, which was my parents. My mom actually saw the Beatles at the Cow Palace way back in the day and I talk about it at every chance I get. Because DUDE she saw THE BEATLES. The magazine holder next to the chair came from my grandparents and we filled it with storybooks that we now read to her at bedtime.

Anthony and I scored both the bookcase and the dresser from a yardsale from an old neighbor. My Dad painstakingly painted the dresser pink but we left the shelf the way it was. All told I think we spent about fifty or sixty bucks for the set. Our buddy Jose gave us the thrifted “How Things Work” books which are amazing and have since been saved for Isobel for when she’s older. I miraculously came upon some old, hardbound Highlights for Children books at a book sale, and one of the doll’s quilts was thrifted as well.

The vintage print was found in a Costa Rican fairytale book from the library. I made a color copy and framed it an an old frame from an Estate sale. I got the wooden mushrooms from Etsy seller craftsty. Isobel now uses them as part of her cooking set. I got the firefly jar lights from etaknamdoow.

The closet was filled with clothes that were gifts plus a few things I picked up while thrifting or were hand-me-downs. People’s generosity was so overwhelming, it’s bursting at the seams. I decided it needed to be organized so I made these closet dividers for it and I posted a tutorial here.

I created a template for these guys that’s available for free over here.

I still use these to organize Isobel’s clothes, though we’re running to the end of the sizes I made them for. They are really lovely,  but I’m not going to lie–they were a lot of work. But seriously, they are useful, so check out the closet divider tutorial and see if you can streamline the process for yourself.

The changing table we scored for I think fifteen bucks at my favorite local thrift store, and the baskets underneath all came from Target. You can find where to purchase the cloth diaper pail liner here, and the pail itself is actually an unused garbage pail bought new from Target. You can see the lovely pink dresser my dad painted, too.

The cats above the changing table were purchased for fifteen bucks at an antique store, and Isobel used to look up at them and giggle when she was just a few months old. The old hamper next to the changing table (the wooden one) was my grandpa’s and back then I used it as a table to store wipes, powder and other essentials. Once Isobel was mobile enough to get into them I moved them to the dresser. The hamper now stores all of her dress up clothes.

I got a lot of comments on Isobel’s crib, and I wish I still had a link for it. We bought it relatively cheaply from the Babies R Us website. It was a moderately priced crib, so maybe $250? Cute modern cribs were so expensive and after striking out on Craigslist we just went ahead and bought this one. The joke’s on us though! Isobel coslept for all but about three months of her life. Hopefully kid #2 will spend more quality time here.

We ordered the decal off Etsy but I’m not going to post a link. I didn’t have a great experience with that seller so I’m not going to link to them. A quick search for “vinyl decal” or “wall decal” will yield more results than you eve r thought possible, so scour Etsy if you’re looking for something similar.

There’s sweet Peachie, sleeping on the changing table. I miss him and Tinkerbell incredibly.

This butterfly mobile is so gorgeous. It was custom made for us by Etsy seller Khamm75 and in full disclosure I have to say that I adore this seller. We convo’d a bit and she liked my photos of the mobile so much she offered to buy them for use in her listings. I had my eye on this birth date print so we arranged a trade, and now when you click on mobile listing you see my photos. She is super nice, great to work with, and her shop is filled with gorgeous wares.

It looks amazing above the crib next to the mobile.

There’s my sweet Peachie boy again.

I found this vintage owl picture while thrifting and a friend of mine said the owls look really pissed off. I didn’t think that before but ever since she said that, I always think that and it makes me giggle. They do look kind of miffed. It  adds to their charm. Below it is this great vintage brass lightswitch plate purchased from Etsy seller lexigirlcreations. I looked through a lot of light switch covers (so that’s what I did with all that carefree, childless time!) and it was by far the best.

The woodland animal pictures were handmade a long time ago and I found them while thrifting for ten cents each. The first picture is a chipmunk on a mushroom and the second features a fox and some butterflies. I luff them. Below is a yellow thrifted bowl that I keep Isobel’s hair accessories in and a thrifted bowl decorated with babies playing ping pong on it. I use that bowl for storing the rubber bands that I used to keep infant socks together. The light is vintage Irmi from the seventies. It was actually in my nursery and my mom saved it! The gold frame was also thrifted but the adorable ABC print inside came from Etsy seller studiolyon. She was another fantastic seller to work with. I also spent an inordinate amount of time researching ABC prints because I had seen so many fantastic ones featured on design sites and they were all at least $50 before shipping. This one was awesome and nine dollars. I guess sales exploded after I put up the nursery set since it was featured at different places and she sent me an email thanking me. Which is ridiculous, because we should be thanking her for producing lovely art affordably.

I found this frame and the mushroom plaque while thrifting.

This is what Isobel looked like most of the time while in her crib: awake. Here she’s chilling next to some elephants a great aunt made for me as a baby.

Isobel’s closet was ridiculous from before she was even born. We got tons of clothes as gifts but got even more things handed down from cousins and friends. I saved some of the really cute gift bags from her shower and used them as closet organization and storage for things like slings and receiving blankets.

There’s my sweet Tinky, hiding in the closet.

I didn’t get this footstool till later on during a yard saling expedition, but it was nice to have.

And I’m going to end with a photo of Tinky, who probably slept in the crib more often than Isobel.

Offbeat Home

8 Mar

My home is featured on Offbeat Home today. Check it out here.

Many thanks to Stella for bringing this opportunity to my attention.

Thrifted Home Tour: The Kitchen

3 Mar

 

I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so in away, we were really lucky that it was renovated by the slightly deranged woman who lived here before we moved in. Lucky in that I’m sure the counters were in terrible condition (plus they were tile) the linoleum on the floor was most likely trashed, and she sprang for a few fancy upgrades: Corian counters and a fancy sink and faucet set by Kohler.

We weren’t particularly lucky in the fact that she chose a color for the counters (speckled navy blue) that I don’t get along with, and if that wasn’t enough, she had the cupboards painted turquoise. The walls were hastily painted the same bright blue color. She added unnecessary hardware to the cabinets and aggressively decorated the kitchen in a theme that can only be described as “Fork and Spoon.” Because she worked a fork and a spoon in everywhere she could, from giant ones on the walls, to very expensive (and very weird) drawer pulls.

Frankly, I’d like to redo the whole thing over again but we don’t have the money and since everything works fine, I could never justify it.

At least we got some nice floors out of the deal. They may be laminate, but at least they aren’t linoleum.

 

The thrifted touches in the kitchen are subtle, but they’re there. All the way in the corner is the infamous Keep Calm poster, which I scored on etsy for cheap. The frame, for once, was purchased from Target. The giant cutting board is one of my favorite things in the kitchen, but it’s old and beat up and due for some love. It was from a trip we took to Ikea in 2003 when we were outfitting our first apartment.

 

The two plates you see on the wall were originally a set of three. They are vintage and were given to me from my aunt. Unfortunately, I trusted the also vintage plate hanger on the back to hold them in place, and it disintegrated, and when it fell the plate dashed to pieces. I was very sad about this until recently, when my in-laws gave me a box of vintage treasure that had belonged to a deceased relative. In it was a plate, nearly identical to the one that broke.

 

All these bowls on my counter are vintage, and I keep them there constantly so fruit and vegetables are close at hand. Oh, wait, I forgot: the black bowl isn’t vintage. The Waltons gave it to me years ago. But everything else is.

This Vogue poster is very special to me. It was one of the first presents Anthony ever bought me. We were in high school at the time, both living with our parents, carless. He walked from his house to the antique store down town. He knew I had my eye on it. So he bought it, and walked from the antique store to my parents’ house to give it to me. Yeah, he’s a keeper.

 

I used to keep a bunch of terrariums on the kitchen counter, and I’d use that white sake server to water them. (With water. Not sake.) It was a wedding present from cousins. The brown pepper grinder is from our town’s Fancy Thrift Shop, the one I volunteered at, and was relatively expensive since it is Peugeot. Growing up I had a Peugeot bicycle. I didn’t know they made pepper grinders, too. I scored the Viking jewelry dish at an estate sale for $1 and I love it heartily. It’s supposed to be for jewelry but I cleaned it out and it makes the perfect salt cellar. Lastly, we have The Fish. It’s our bottle opener and it belonged to my Papa. It was my favorite thing to play with at their house and is inlaid with abalone shell from Alaska.

 

I probably should have gotten a better shot of the stuff on top of my fridge, because a lot of it is vintage. All of it is passed down from family, except from the coffee tin.

 

As you can see we have a glass-top electric range. Most homes in the valley have electric ranges, and I never used a gas range until we stayed at my aunt’s house in Half Moon Bay. Being able to actually smell gas while I cooked, no matter how slight, was very unnerving. I never got used to it.

The tea towels I got from Target. I have a crush on tea towels and found a bunch on etsy that I regularly visit and drool over.

You’ll notice we have two microwaves in our kitchen. One is The Untouchable microwave. It sits, in all its 80s glory, over the stove, and I avoid it like it causes cancer. Then we have our trusty little white duder, a wedding present from Grandma. The one over the stove was here when we moved in and I’ve yet to figure out how it works. I didn’t even bother to clean it out when we moved in. Why bother? I’m never going to use it. The only reason we haven’t taken it down is that it is directly connected to the venting system for the stove.

 

Above my trusty microwave is a vintage cheese spreader set. I’m kicking myself for not getting a better photo of it because it’s pretty rad. The top is inlaid with a marble tile for resting your cheese on, and the little door slides out to reveal a velvet-lined tray with all your cheese-slicing tools.

The little green dish, sadly chipped, is thrifted as well.

 

The tea in these containers is almost gone, but I love the tins and plan to keep them out forever. I bought them in Chinatown.

 

In yet another homage to my heritage, we have two Viking ship salt and pepper cellars. They were my Grandma’s.

Here we have the toaster oven. I couldn’t run a kitchen without a toaster oven. Sure, they tend to break, burn your food, and occasionally catch fire, but damn those things are HANDY. The phone hanging above the toaster obviously isn’t vintage (yet) but it is obsolete. After years of wanting to cancel our land line, we were finally able to. Our wireless phone is now an amusing toy for our daughter.

On top of the toaster we have a vintage tin that I keep tea in (the brown one), thrifted shell salt and pepper shakers, and some 1950’s monkeypod wood bowl. I love to keep cherry tomatoes there when in season.

 

Lastly, my cat Zorro, who was totally thrifted in that we got him secondhand: from a shelter.

This post is part VII in my multi-part series called the Thrifted Home Tour. I am showing off different rooms of my house to display how thrifted items can be worked into the décor to be useful and inspiring items. Partially it’s because I’d love to promote my vintage Etsy shop, and partially because that’s just how I roll. You can find parts one through six here.

After: The Library

2 Feb

I have to admit I find the library’s transformation to be better than the after shots of Isobel’s room. (Go ahead and click here to see the before shots. We’ll wait.) I have a lot of things I’d like to change in this room, as well, but it lacks the transitional clutter of the nursery had has somewhat less chairs!

Oh wait. What the hell am I thinking? This room has more chairs. When I went through and photographed my house for the Thrifted Home Tour I noticed all the random Scandinavian things and thought I had a mild Viking theme going on, but do you know what? If I had to sum up my decorating style I guess I’d say Chairs, chairs, chairs!!!

I should rename this post “My office chairs: A Memoir.”

You’ll notice from the before pics that the desk was covered in crap. I’m not sure if I had the presence of mind to clear the cups and plates away from the computer, but when no one’s home I eat there on my lunch so there’s usually some, er, remnants. Damn. I really hope I cleaned that up for you guys. Now, however, it’s all cleaned off and shiny and I even organized the library card catalog file on my desk.

Oh, and I fit as many of your Christmas cards as I could on my bulletin board. The rest on are the fridge. Thanks again, I love getting mail.

For the most part, my Secret Shame is gone, but you’ll notice Isobel’s car seat in the corner. It’s back in Anthony’s car now, where it belongs, but I took this photo while he was in LA.

I like to call this area “Nerd Corner.” Kind of like Pooh Corner, except its for nerds and not for er, Poohs, I guess. You’ll notice the nasty carpet I keep harping on. (It was nasty and old when we moved in.) In the Olden Days I’d have edited it out using Photoshop. But let’s face it, internet, our Honeymoon period is over and now you have to endure me and all my flaws. Oh, and not tonight. I have a headache.

Here’s why we call this room the library. You’ll notice our book situation and how it has gotten out of hand. I’m eventually going to end up giving some of these away to friends and blog readers so stay tuned. I tried to do some weeding and it as largely unsuccessful. I found about five books I’d be able to part with. And let’s just say that Anthony and I are planning on buying more than five new books in our lives.

(It suddenly occurs to me–I should have a CHAIR giveaway!)

(Or maybe I should just have people over more to justify the amount of chairs.)

The additional shelf we are planning on getting will be added to nerd corner. Anthony’s already dibbed it so I’m sure it will be full of Manga and Pathfinder books.)

Aaaand here’s the desk, so we’ve come full circle. What do you think?

After Photos: Nursery

31 Jan

Remember when Anthony and I went on that organizing binge, and I shared photos of my Secret Shame? Well, I’m happy to produce somewhat-decent after photos. (I know, I’m as surprised as you are.)

I have done so much work in the nursery, and it sort of makes me want to butt my head against the wall when I show off these photos because, at best, they still look like we’re in the middle of a transition. Which, I guess we are, but for the amount of time and attention I’ve given this room, it should be spectacular.

The nursery is the sort of room that needs constant maintenance as Isobel grows and her needs change. The closet and its limited capacity to hold what seems like Isobel’s endless piles of clothes, has been an issue. I hate to pass on too many outgrown garments because at some point we do plan to have another and my pre-nesting instincts are wanting me to save it all in case we have a girl. I’m trying to meet my insanity in the middle: we keep some, we give some away.

Then there’s the toy situation. Actually, I should refer to it as The Toy Situation. When Isobel was a baby I put out a desperate plea to the interwebs: Excuse me, but how to we keep Isobel’s toys organized and store them neatly? The answers I received were nothing but helpful and polite, but I sensed stifled giggles. Silly mama, the interwebs replied, toys are an invasive specie and will  now take over your entire house. Resistance is futile.

It was the beginning of the end for me. My carefully organized house would never be the same.

 Nevertheless, I still try to keep some semblance of order. In this case, I weeded out all the old “baby” toys and reorganized her newer, big girl toys.

You might also notice the plethora of seating options. I’d describe this decorating style as “Goldilocks.” That’s because the white chair was kicked out of our bedroom when we moved the elliptical in its place. I don’t want to get rid of it till we are done having babies, much to my husband’s dismay. He wants to get rid of it but dude, I’m going to need a place to nurse. I’d like several options, in fact.

The little yellow chair was my Mom’s chair when she was a toddler. Behind that we have a stroller parking lot.

 We don’t have the option of spending a ton of money for storage in this room, so I used a bunch of thrifted tins and baskets. Isobel loves the tins, provided that she can open them herself.

The wooden hamper holds all of Isobel’s dress-up stuff, most of which she’s still too little for.

 There’s the closet. Behold, it’s not that bad.

 I found these lovely lime green tubs at the grocery store. At four bucks a pop, I pounced on them. They contain large groups of toys, including Isobel’s cooking gear. The white tub is all of her coloring accessories.

 A closer view reveals her thrifted cradle, with thrifted baby quilts, and her baby, “Kirk”, sleeping peacefully away. If only we had a tiny Picard! Then I could introduce her to the miracle of Sweet Sir Baby Picard Jesus from an early age. But Kirk will do. She can already say, “Captain Kirk,” by the way.

  Also, thank you, Brando, for the awesome Kirk doll!

 The polka-dot box holds baby doll clothes that we haven’t used yet, and the basket is full of finger puppets and smaller stuffed animals. The white basket is for Mama, and it holds wetbags and diaper pail liners.

Doing these after photos reminds me that I need to get on posting the nursery edition of the Thrifted Home Tour, but man. I can hardly look at those photos without getting all maudlin and weepy. Meaning, it’s coming (eventually).

Thrifted Home Tour: Living Room

17 Jan

When we bought our house back in 2005, home prices had started to drop, and we felt we were fortunate for being able to get so much house for the price we did. Oh, if I could go back in time and punch Past Me, Present Me would totally do it. We could live in a mansion now for what we paid back then. But at the time, I thought we scored big, despite the decrepit roof and nasty, nasty carpet. As it was, we didn’t have any leftover money to fix the house, beyond some dire repainting and fence repair.

In most cases, repainting is simply a cosmetic issue, but the person who lived in the house before us had criminal tastes and was also very lazy. She had painted the kitchen cabinets turquoise (to match the navy blue counters, natch) and the laundry room a painful school bus yellow. Just when you thought it couldn’t get better, she took a yellow painted brush and painted a giant yellow circle the size of a dinner plate on the otherwise very nice camel-colored bathroom walls. Just a circle. Of school bus yellow. And not even a very neat one.

So we painted and patched and put in new fences and fixed the pond and did what we could. Be we had no money left over for big furniture purchases or major renovating. We’re still living with a ramshackle roof and embarrassing carpet to this day. My one splurge at the time was an insistence on painting the fireplace deep brown. I couldn’t abide the calico-colored bricks in my living room. The deep brown paint was just right and sort of gives the effect that the fireplace is made of blocks of chocolate. Yum.

We did eventually make a trip to Ikea where we purchased a sideboard for the dining room, the two large shelves that flank the TV in this room, and our multitude of library shelves, which I’ll show you later in the series. The shelves in this room have doors on them, which I felt was essential, as I don’t want to look at my crap all the time.

Something was still missing from this room: color. It suffered from a great lack of personality and was awash in a sea of beige. One weekend, Anthony and I just decided to do it: let’s paint the living room. We went to the hardware store not knowing what color we’d come home with. Anthony picked the color: Green Tea. I was more than a little apprehensive. Shouldn’t we choose something more… sedate? As Anthony put the first brush strokes of color on the wall, he said, “It looks… AMAZING.” Even as the green was going up, I had my doubts. But, with the help of our friends John, Justin, and Depeche we got the walls painted over a weekend  and to this day I LOVE it. Best risky decision ever! (Yes, painting is a risky decision for me.)  (Oh, am I a Wild Child.)

Aside from the TV cabinet (Target) and large shelves, everything in this room was secondhand. Oh, actually, our wedding photos aren’t, and the curtains were from Target, but everything else I think. The two big chairs and our couch were the last things I purchased at my beloved Salvation Army. It closed a few weeks after without any sort of warning and broke my heart in three places.

I really love the bones of the couch even though the upholstery’s had it. Any notions I’ve had of saving the couch have since vanished, as Zorro’s taken to using it as a scratching post, even though we put an actual scratching post right next to it. Asshole. Tinky and Peach never scratched on furniture like this and now Zorro’s teaching his bad habits to The Moron Twins. Also? A 25lb cat scratching on something is QUITE A BIT DIFFERENT than a 10-15lb cat scratching something. If you’d like to know how, piss off a badger and a cat at the same time and see who does the most damage.

The green and brown chairs are from the sixties and the seventies, respectively. I love the green chair with every fiber of my being, but Anthony hates it. Sure, it’s adorable, he’ll allow to that, but it has a fatal flaw: it tends to rock backwards somewhat… over enthusiastically.  As in, if one sits in this chair and leans backwards too far, one tends to fall over in it. A minor thing for sure, right? The brown chair is “leather” and I wouldn’t hesitate to replace it with some Herman Miller goodness, if ever I could ever afford some.

In this corner we have the wedding photos in an Ikea frame, a family crest plaque that was my Grandma’s and a clock that I adore that was my Nana’s. I have a couple vintage frames that I collected and I’m going to redo my wedding photos. Soon-ish, hopefully. The lamp is from the 50s or 60s in my estimate and was thrifted, as were the two Dala horses. I was very lucky to find those horses, as buying Dala horses tends to be expensive. My family has a couple already, being that we’re Swedish and all, but they are much smaller. The coasters were thrifted and the side table belonged to my Nana. The chest below the side table holds our cat toys. Of which we have many.

The lovely green chair with the embroidered flowers belonged to my elderly neighbor who passed away recently. My family had been close to her since we moved into my family home in 1985. We were close to not only her, but also to her children. Her children gave my family this chair plus another one like it. Zorro is trying to ruin it which makes me rather stabby.

The large blank space above the couch puzzled me for a long time. I couldn’t decide what to put there, and eventually hung a number of things I totally hated. when I came upon a cache of decorative plates at a thrift store, I knew I wanted them on that wall. Finding the San Francisco poster online sealed the deal. The matting and frame for the poster were found while thrifting. Trying to frame a poster of uncommon dimensions is a nightmare. Until I found this frame while thrifting I thought I was going to have to see about custom framing, which would have been out of the question for a very long time.

The plates themselves are for the Empire State Building (back when it held the ‘World’s Tallest’ title) the Carnelian Room in SF, the Pacific Plaza in SF. On the other side we have a monogrammed “H” plate along with a plate commemorating 1,000 of the British Monarchy. I know, right? It seems like we were just celebrating its 500th! The last plate is my favorite and depicts Seattle’s Space Needle in gold from the World’s Fair. I actually found a few other plates just like it on my thrifting travels, so look for it in my shop some time soon.

Oh look! It’s the Moron Twins! There here to greet you. And lick their junk.

And there’s Zorro.

Behind the green chair we have one of my favorite posters. It’s a propaganda poster, but for the library. It’s a reproduction of a vintage print. I found it while buying stuff for the library I work at, but was fortunately able to order it from home with my non-business account. Again, finding frames for art can be a difficult business. It would have been very expensive to have this custom framed, but I volunteered at a local thrift shop one summer and found this very 70s print of a girl, standing by a barn. It came in this lovely, solid wood frame with a thick, heavy piece of glass. And my poster fit inside perfectly.

The little table belonged to my Nana and Papa and is a sewing table from a Very Long  Time Ago. It is still filled with antique thimbles, ancient thread, and bias tape from 50 years ago. When I was cleaning it out I found my Papa’s polio vaccination card. Yes, really.

I found this lamp at a thrift store but I didn’t have a shade. No matter, I found this one at Target. Ideally, I would have wanted something straight and taller, but you take what you can get. I keep some vintage milk glass on the table because it looks so pretty in the light, along with my vintage egg terrarium. Although empty in this picture, it is full and happy now.

Milk glass, terrarium, and lamp: all thrifted.

Here’s another shot of the living room. I still love the green. Oh, and that felted wool afghan over the brown chair was thrifted, too. Superb quality, obviously handmade: someone is going to Hell for donating it, but not me! I bought it for a song.

Oh, yeah: the vintage “seasons” picture over the TV is stretched canvas and I love it immensely. I bought it while I still lived with my parents because I saw it and couldn’t imagine life without it. It has followed me from house to house, and a house wouldn’t feel like home to me if it wasn’t hanging up somewhere.

Woodland needle point and Avon perfume peacocks: thrifted. CHEAP. I have a few of the peacocks, so I might sell some of them in my shop.

A closeup of the crests, depicting my English-Scotch and Swedish heritage.

And here I saved the best for last: note the rings on my side table. I put those there just for you, internet!

This post is part VI in my multi-part series called the Thrifted Home Tour. I am showing off different rooms of my house to display how thrifted items can be worked into the décor to be useful and inspiring items. Partially it’s because I’d love to promote my vintage Etsy shop, and partially because that’s just how I roll. You can find parts one through five here.

Organization: Before

2 Jan

In keeping with my New Year’s Goals, Anthony and I are aggressively going through the house on a cleaning and organizing crusade. Here are some of the Before shots in all their sordid glory.

Above we have the desk. It’s a large, vintage, all-steel desk that was made in the fifties and used by my father in the warehouse where he worked for nearly thirty years. It’s giant. It’s a behemoth of metal and the matching chair alone probably weighs more than I do. It’s huge, which sometimes just means there’s more room for junk. Behind it is my bulletin board. If you sent us a card in early December, you might find yourself on it.

Also if you are a Star Trek: TNG fan, prepare to be very jealous. Note the screen saver. Anthony also set the computer up to all the vocal responses of the computer of the Enterprise. In fact, our whole computer is Enterprise computer-themed. Yep. The two of us? We’re bringing dorky back.

Clutter has been building up all over the house. Behind the chair in the library is one of the areas that I shove things when I don’t want to deal with them. I call it my Secret Shame.

The majority of the Christmas toys still live in the family room. The nursery needs a total makeover into a little girl’s room.

This is what happened when I pulled all the toys out of Isobel’s room to sort and redistribute. Thank goodness for naps.

Not only are we taking out the crib and leveling up the bedroom, I’m also trying to sort through the chaos that is the closet. This was the state of things before she was born. Now it is no where near as neat, but it is just as full. She has clothes in her size plus larger and smaller. It’s a nightmare and I need to get stuff to storage, donations, and to pass on to my friend’s baby Abby. God, what a nightmare.

Before I return to work I we’re also going to tackle the garage an the attic. I hope the After photos are worth it.

As of this revision, the desk area is mostly done. I don’t have flattering After photos to share with you, but this might do for now:

Thrifted Home Tour: The Entry, The Hall, The Laundry Room

11 Nov

For this part of the tour I am going to group three small areas together: the entry, the hallway, and the laundry room. They are works in progress and they could all do with a fresh coat of paint and new flooring. Let’s face it, when finances are tough the last thing you’re going to be worrying about is the paint color of your laundry room. I’m not promising this to be the most exciting installment of the Thrifted Home Tour, but everyone has these rooms in their house that you think of as The Before areas. You know, later you’ll invest in them and make them all cute, but right now they serve a purpose and you’ve made them as cute as you can, but let’s face it: these are, at best, my “Before” shots. I hope to Sweet Baby Jesus Picard that sooner or later I’ll be posting adorable thrifted “After” shots.

While these might not be the cutest rooms in the house, I do have a curiosity to see the way other people’s storage and utility areas function, so in a way I’m inviting you to rifle through my cabinets and peek into my closets.

THE ENTRY

The first thing you’ll notice about the entry is the tile floor courtesy of the 1980s. It’s pretty hideous. When we have enough money to replace the carpet I’d like to see if we can get rid of the tile, too.

We freshened up the look of the entry when we moved in by repainting the door white. That really did brighten up the space. (It was a very dingy off white color similar to the walls.) Ideally we’ll repaint the entry whatever color we decide on for the hallway since they are connected.

 

The beveled mirror is from the 1930s and was previously owned by my late Nana. I love it. Isobel loves it, too, and she shows her affection by coating it with a layer of fingerprints.

Below the mirror we have a small console table purchased at Ikea about five years ago. All the cats we’ve ever owned adore it both as perch and as bunk bed. It’s the perfect spot to hold keys and sunglasses (they live in the thrifted brass bowl) and is a useful spot to store things that need to leave the house with us lest we forget them.

 

The gold plastic dogwood wall hanging was thrifted and so was the wreath hanging on the door. I love the vintage mushroom and fruit basket that was picked up at an estate sale, and Isobel loves to play with it, too.

The photo on the table was my first Mother’s Day present from my MIL Olivia. When Isobel was a wee four weeks old she took her for her first photo session and I got to shower by myself. Heaven! I often glace at the photos of her as a newborn while on the way to work or to the store and I marvel at how much she’s grown. And I miss that little peanut that she was, but wow. Do I ever enjoy regular showers.

I really like that we have a window near the door because it lets in a lot of light. I’m a huge fan of natural light. But an exposed window like that is asking for trouble. When we first moved in I can’t tell you how often people would come to the door to sell us something and I would find them with their faces pressed to the glass looking in. Um, no thank you. It was awful. I scoured the internet for a solution and came upon some great window film via Not Martha. I ordered it, husband put it up, and we haven’t had a problem since. I have a lot of the film left over and was originally going to put it on the window above my sink, but that no longer appeals to me. I’m thinking I’ll offer it for a giveaway if anyone’s interested.

Many more window film shots

THE HALLWAY

This is our hallway. It’s boring and in need of paint, new carpet, and framed photos.

(The cat may stay.)

Since Anthony has a new job the first project I’m attempting is to cover the hallway with framed photographs. I’ve already started putting together a collection of photos I want to add and now I’m researching frames.

THE LAUNDRY ROOM

 

 

Our dryer is also from the 1980s and although we’ve had a couple of scares it hasn’t crapped out on us yet. I keep a thrifted basket on top of the dryer to hold dirty rags. I don’t like throwing rags with cleaning chemicals onto my dirty clothes, so I keep them here and toss them in the wash at the last second.

 

The amber-colored vintage jar is for coins and other things my husband forgot to remove from his pockets before the wash. This might not be an issue for every household, but my husband is a champion at leaving things in his pockets.

This is The Bounty. I love it and want to hang it over the dryer. We got it at a yard sale for a dollar. It’s kind of beat up but that just means it’s authentic.

Here we have our storage shelves. Try not to swoon from all the glamor:


There you have it! The three most exciting rooms of the house.

This post is part V in my multi-part series called the Thrifted Home Tour. I am showing off different rooms of my house to display how thrifted items can be worked into the décor to be useful and inspiring items. Partially it’s because I’d love to promote my vintage Etsy shop, and partially because that’s just how I roll. You can find part I here, part II here and part III here and part IV here.