Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve - Mid Century Style Putz Houses

Thank you Retro Renovation for the mid century (house) putz patterns!  I've been hit by the bug and here are a couple I made the past week and a half.  The yellow one isn't quite yet finished, but I wanted to post it as today is Christmas Eve!  I'm planning on designing my own structures of commercial buildings,
 can't wait!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Vintage Napco Figurine - The Joy of Rescuing (and New Finds)

Can't believe the weeks have gone by and I haven't posted even once yet in December.  There has been a lot of hunting for vintage Christmas goodies.  I've got bitten by the vintage putz houses and I started making my first one yesterday.  Then there is the kit I'm building to make a vintage felt and sequin wall hanging (or something) fashioned after this really nice mid century tree skirt I saw online.

We have bought more Christmas (vintage) stuff than I would have imagined.  Below are some of the ceramics we just couldn't pass up.  Three music boxes that my husband would not leave the store without-- and at 2.99 and .99 I couldn't say no.  They are adorable!  There is the Santa that circles over the house with Mrs. Santa functioning as the flagger, the swinging Santa and the Santa on the rocking reindeer.  The figurines were reasonable at .49, .99, and the angel with the accordion was my splurge at 3.99.  Unfortunately, the little girl holding the candle is/was broken, but I fixed that (see below).  The yellow angel is missing part of her wing, what a shame.  I passed her up a couple times.  In the meantime I repaired the other figurine and since it came out so well, I told my husband if the .49 cent broken angel was there I would get it and try and repair it.  It wasn't there that day, but a couple days ago he found it in an odd spot, so I got her.  The angel with the red cape was very faded so I diluted some red acrylic paint and freshened up her flocking.

The object missing from this 1958 Napco little girl's hand appears to be freshly broken off (we think while handled at the thrift store).  She is so precious, I just couldn't leave her on the shelf.   I suspected she was holding a candle and  I searched on line to find out I was right.

I molded a candle and holder from polymer clay--mine is a bit Suess-ish, but I like it.  I only had red, blue and yellow clay, so I used the red.  Below, painted and varnished, I'm very happy with the results.  On to the angel with the broken wing.  I'm expecting a challenge with that as it is broken half way down and it will be hard to disguise where the old and new materials meet. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gravel Art - Mosette

I'm calling this gravel art because that seems to be what folks are referring to it as being.  When I was a kid my mom got me craft and activity kits. I was always creating things, building things, drawing pictures... 

When I was perusing ebay one day I ran across a finished gravel art piece and it jogged my memory--I had seen this before, and not only did I remember seeing it, but I remembered making it.  Well, I don't know if I made that particular on ebay, but who knows, maybe, just maybe.

Here's a kit I found that is from the early 70s, mine was from the 60s.  This kit has never been opened!  It still has the original cellophane and price tag on it!  Cost me 49 cents.  I'm going to make this kit and try to figure out where the heck I'm gonna put it (kinda hard fitting some of this stuff into the current decor).

Syroco Before and After

I see vintage plastic wall plaques pretty regularly at the thrift stores.  Most don't appeal to me, the ones I might like aren't the ones I find.  I was on my way out one day and did my last glance as I went down the aisle to leave and spotted these.  Not my subject, but spot on for our resident historian.  They were 99 cents a piece and far be it from me to pass up a new project!  A coat of white primer and acrylic paints--voila!

Working with these craft acrylics is new to me.  I love that you can thin them down and apply layers building up the colors and creating texture.  The metallic colors are excellent for a water based paint.  Soap and water clean up and no odor!  I ended up finding way more of these paints than I needed at the thrift (funny--whenever I need something a few trips to the thrift and there it is!)

Monday, November 5, 2012

More Cute Critters!

Been busy lately,  posting to my blog has been on the bottom of my list.  I downloaded some pictures off my camera, they've been on there for awhile.  A salt and pepper shaker pair and three lamby-kins.  They are so darn cute!!!  Here they are drying off after a bath. All five pieces cost me $3.50.  Beats those auctions site prices!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sing and Dance! Beautiful Hand Painted Japanese Tiles

The score of the day!  This find made my day!  Still pinching myself.  This is a vintage set of 4 hand painted porcelain tiles.  Each framed panel consists of 3 separate tiles.  Overall measurement of each is approximately 3.75" by 18.75".  I've been searching high and low for art for the walls and it has been slow.  Finally, finally a fantastic find.  Price? $3.99 each. 

I've found some really nice oil paintings also--I'll need to post some of them soon.

Beautiful Reglor Chalkware Lamp

Can you believe we passed this up the first time we saw it?  Well, we weren't sure what it was--how old or who the maker was, but it was stunning.  We since found out it is a Reglor (of California) lamp, one of those wonderful mid century American manufacturers no longer in existence.  Anyway... it went from the front of the store, to the back of the store in a period of a 2-3 weeks.  I guess we are meant to have it since no one else picked it up.  Price?  $25!  The lamp with shade is 37", made of  chalkware and HEAVY!!  I have yet to weigh it, but I'm going to guess it's no less than 20 lbs.  I bought the shade separately for $1.99.  This particular lamp is named 'contemplation' which is carved in the base along with the manufacturer's name.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Labor day weekend can't be without a little work!

I had big plans for today--I was going to sand the Egyptian revival desk I bought a couple months ago.  I won't have 3 days off in a row for the rest of the dry season.  But I laid in bed this morning struggling with the thought--there are so many other things I need to do  I decided not to stress out about it and ended up working 7 hours straight on all kinds of other stuff, to include--cleaning up that Egyptian ottoman that's been sitting around...even longer than the desk!  This piece is likely from the 60s, I've seen some similar, but this one is way cooler in that it has hieroglyphs embossed in the leather cushion and there are three different styles of medallions in a very classical ancient Egyptian motif.  The other ottomans I've seen have camel medallions and a large pyramid on the cushion.

Initially I thought it was missing an end cap, but I found that they were stacked together.  Very, very grimy, I dare not speculate what was all over it.  

I had to bang out one of the end caps and here I already shined them up. 


Here it is all cleaned up.   I fluffed up the stuffing and put a new (old) shoelace in.   I will order a special leather product for leather cleaning and restoration--just to perk up the tone and sheen hopefully.

 The ottoman in it's new home under the vanity of the Egyptian themed bathroom.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Limoge Shakers - Art Deco

Couldn't resist these hand painted art deco Limoge shakers with their blue and red arrows and gold tops.  The price was too right!

Better than I could have imagined!

I've been looking at vintage mid century curtains/drapes for months now.  The family room desperately needs something to perk it up. I have all these windows...2 of those high and narrow 6' x 24" types and a 6 x 4'.  Then there is the full light door.  Yesterday I went out with my list of textiles that I need and I couldn't believe (still can't) that I found a pair of drapes I am in love with!  They are so me!  Those of you who know my love of Asian art won't be surprised. They fit with our Ekornes leather chairs, the berber Flor and mid century furniture we have and want.  Two 90" x 38" pinch pleated panels, fully lined and I believe they are all cotton. Drum roll... $7.50!  They were half off!

The drapes are too long and I will have to alter them.  I'm thinking about making 3 sets of pinch pleated side panels out of them. It's going to be a lot of work--I'm no big sewer.  I'll have to get a another pair of cheap drapes just to practice on first.  That will give me time to find the hardware I need.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Vintage Clock - I Love Lucy!

Good golly!  I have been neglecting my blog!  The new job has put a wrench in my routine, and though I have still been hitting the thrifts at least once a week, I just haven't found time to post any of my finds.  I was just too excited about my latest that I have to tell somebody!

I actually bought this non-working clock about a month ago.  Hubby gave me that "are you serious" look when I showed it to him.  He's named it the I Love Lucy clock, because the cherubs remind him of Lucille Ball. The back is inscribed with gold ink "1956". It is exquisitely hand painted and a $4.99 find.

Today he found a working vintage clock so I got it in hopes I could swap out the innards.   Not only does it run, but it has a much nicer face with a second hand and radium painted hands.  I absolutely love this clock.  It's one of my most favorite finds! Oh and, apparently the clock has grown on my husband.

Friday, June 29, 2012

My 1950s Ranch House, 54 years later.

One of these days I will go through my photos and scan them, but today isn't the day I want to do that.  So no before pictures of the house, just what it looks like this morning.

If you ever wanted to know what a little fir tree would look like 54 years from planting, should you want to plant one...look to the right side of this picture.  It's not my tree, but the neighbors. You can see about two thirds of its total height.  According to one of the neighbors across the street, the original owners next to us planted the trees after the house was newly built.  The story is the wife liked to entertain guests and so to decorate her back yard, she planted small trees in the narrow strip of this corner lot.  The 3-4 fruit trees were taken out by a subsequent owner, but the 3 fir trees continue(d) to grow and grow.  Fortunately the power company took one (farthest from our house) down last year.  Wouldn't mind the others being gone, they block the southern exposure and dump debris onto our roof and into our gutters.  But that won't be done by the current owner.

Front yard today.  We keep it plain and simple.  That is enough work.  The Japanese maple was planted in the mid 1970s.  I've replaced all the doors and had vinyl windows installed.  The red brick facade is original to the house.  I love the old cedar lap siding!
A glimpse of the back yard from the patio.  This was once as bare as the front yard when I purchased the house in the mid 1980s.  We see this portion of the house from the kitchen and family room addition.   To the right is a separate "room", a vegetable and fruit garden.  It's a lot of work, but I love it--my little paradise.  I am dreaming of a deck these days.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Franciscan Ware -- $3 find!

On the same trip to my not so favorite overpriced thrift store that was having the 50% off everything, I couldn't believe that before my eyes was a Duet coffee pot and mug!  (This store never has anything so cool).  Granted the coffee pot is missing it's lid and has that all too well known spout chip found on many vintage pieces, but the mug is in excellent mint condition!  Well, for $2.98, I couldn't pass them up!  They may find themselves up for sale later, but for now I'll just admire them!

Did Someone Say Fire King??? Pyrex???

I hit one of my least favorite thrift stores last Saturday.  They had 50% off everything and I didn't expect to find anything.  I find them to have a lot of junk and be very over priced.  Well slap me silly!  They apparently stocked for this sale and look what I found!!!

Not only did I find these beautiful pink and white gold trimmed Fire King mugs, but I got 6 of them!!!  I'm still dancing and singing over this find  Oh wait, let's not forget...for a total of... $2.94!!

Here are a couple more of the 49 cent Fire King is the older 1940s "Ivory".  It is a touch larger and heavy (thicker).  Hubby likes these better for himself than the pink.  A very large custard glass salt shaker, more than I wanted to pay ($2.49), Tupperware measuring spoons (excellent condition in my shade of green) 99 cents, and two Irish linen towels that were previously in an antique store and claim to be hand drawn, 2 for 98 cents.

Last but not least, the Pièce de résistance.  One of my favorite Goodwill stores didn't let me down this trip--this Pyrex addicts one most sought after collections--the primary color refrigerator dish set, for $12!  And in absolutely beautiful condition, hardly a scratch and no chips to the lids!!!  I'm in heaven!

It's happened! My first Eva Zeisel piece!!!

Not only is it my first Eva Zeisel piece, but it is a pattern I absolutely love!!!  And it is a nice BIG piece!  The pattern is called "Lyric" and it reminds me of dancing starfish.  It has my favorite shade of green!  Oh and I shouldn't forget--price $2.99!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Vintage Textiles and Refrigerator Dish

Hubby felt like going to the thrifts today--so I obliged.  I stuck to my guns and bought only things I would actually use.  I found this embroidered table cloth, perfect for using for tea at the booth.  And I ran into an anthropomorphic embroidered kitchen towel!  I've been tempted to buy some off ebay, but resisted.  I found this one today for 99 cents.  I couldn't resist this Federal Glass 40s/50s refrigerator dish.  It has a relief of two tomatoes and a bundle of asparagus on top.  It's hefty and seamless, love it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Stanley Table - Finished!!!

I'm thrilled!  I got the table refinishing done!  I think it looks great--better than I expected! It was a lot of work, but so worth it!

Oh yeah and before!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Vintage Cat Cookie Jar

I stumbled across this on ebay.  I wasn't looking at cookie jars, but this turned up in a search and I showed it to my husband--he did the "oh-ah" and gave me that look.   His birthday was around the corner, so I got it for him.  We both love these cute vintage characters.

Stanley Table - Progress

Moving along on the base of the table. After much thought, I decided not to re-stain it.  Here it is after a few coats of Danish oil.  It is supposed to be nice and dry this weekend--I plan to sand the last two side pieces and drawer front.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stanley Tiered Table - Refinishing Progress

I got the base of the table stripped this week.  It is suppose to rain the next couple days, so I had to take advantage of the nice weather today and get to sanding.  I still have the two sides (that hold the top tier) to sand and finish working on the drawer.  I've got a coat of (oil) varnish on the second tier and I'll wipe that down tonight and let it cure. Here's the before stripping and sanding and the after.  I'm so glad to have gotten to this point--a lot of work.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wood Cabinet - Add Some Glass (UPDATED)

Another great $3 find today.  This cabinet has a solid frame and that dense composite board backing.  Very solid and measures 24" wide by 19" long. It obviously held glass at one time and I knew I could replace that.  I checked my stash and I had a piece of glass big enough to cut two doors, I did that lickety-split.   Now I have to decide which wall I'll hang it on in the kitchen.  We will be packing our vintage kitsch into little guy soon.

Couldn't wait to get the cabinet mounted.  After breakfast this morning I got started.  I'm just so tickled it only cost me $3!  This girl loves a bargain!  Here is is.  I'll take my time filling it up.

Vintage Magazine Holder

Hubby and I hit the thrifts today.  The clouds cleared and the sun came out!  I picked up a few things while out, but my vintage find that I was really excited about is this mid century magazine holder.  I see them all the time, either in metal or wood, but I wanted just the right one at the right price.  I wanted something that looked atomic.  Today was the day and I found this one for $3.  It holds my 50s-60s Saturday Evening Posts I got a while back.  Perfect!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

New Find for my Laundry Room

Today was the day!  The Westbend bean pots were on sale today and I got 2 for $2.50!!  Sweet deal!  I wanted something to replace the commercial packaging of baking soda and oxygen bleach in my laundry room and these are great.  Their nice wide opening makes it so easy to scoop from and I don't have to unscrew a lid anymore.  Still thinking about something to replace the box behind to hold the other stuff.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Tiered Table - Making Progress

No way I could stay away from working on my new table--sore back and all.  I got the top shelf stripped sanded and touched up with stain where the veneer was gone off of one of the edges.  I was so excited to get a coat of Danish oil on!  Can't wait to start stripping again tomorrow!

(stripped and sanded)

(wiped down with damp cloth)

(first application of Danish oil)

Tiered End Table - Stanley Distinctive Furniture

This table sure has seen better days!  The burl inlay is damaged on the base and the wood is very abused.  Never-the-less, I don't have a mid century end table and this one was $9.99.  All I had to hear was my husband say "you should get it".  So I did!  I forgot to take a picture before I put some Ready Strip on it.  The top tier has stripper on it as well as the the burl inlay on the bottom.

First pass with chemical stripper on top tier.

The burl veneer is in bad shape.  I applied stripper (the hazy grey) and scrapping lifted some of the burl (two light patches).  I reapplied stripper and will try to carefully remove the finish without too much friction.  I will just have to patch and disguise the flaws as best I can.

Here is a companion piece to my table that is being sold on ebay for $349.  Mine will never look this nice, but I'm pretty excited to see how much I can improve it.  Both of these tables feature a drawer as well.