Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Here are some recent findings around the house/yard that could be turned into planters. The most obvious would be the first actual planter that was hiding in the bushes - get a load of his personality - Steve thinks he is so tacky!:

Steve built a darkroom within the laundry room and when he did so, he unearthed this old cooler (we were half-expecting to find something really creepy inside of it, but it was empty):

I'm most excited about converting this homemade carry-all into a portable flower box:

As soon as I have some spare money, I will update what I've done with them.

update 2

I *really* wanted to plant some herbs in this planter, but in the end, I wanted red. So here's my found pot with freshly planted Impatiens:

*By the way, more adventures around the yard have yielded other potential planters - as soon as I get some sunshine, I'll be outside with my camera (and this is Florida, so you can bet that'll be soon).

Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Did someone say...tablecloth obsession?! This one, unlike the others, is groovy. I'll be honest here: I don't really love it. A tablecloth like this demands a tureen and an ashtray for long cigarettes. You know. It just does.

(I found this one in Florida.)


Another tablecloth, albeit quite stained! I love the colors here and how the fruit border is framed in a wobbly gold rectangle. It's very summery and cheery. Now for the sad news: it appears to have come from an old folks home as there's a room number Sharpied into one of the corners. Oh, well. I hope whoever had it before will know that I am going to enjoy it!

Monday, January 29, 2007


Another photograph.
You, dear readers, make the caption!


This mirror came from a GFSS thrift shop adventure in Tampa last year. It *might* have been $5.95 - I can't be sure. A mirror like this one - kept in the kitchen - is like a revolving piece of art depending on what fruits and vegetables I have on hand (seen here: 2 zucchini, 1 coconut, 1 tomato, 1 lemon).

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I'm back!

This was one of several tablecloths that I thrifted in Portland during my December trip - it's quite stained and has some tears, but I just had to have it! It's a perfect candidate for sewing into pillows - or for covering a table outside.

I love vintage tablecloths and have been very lucky lately - my collection is fattening up nicely. Wheeeeeeee!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

--- break ---

I'm just doing this to cover my ass: I might not be posting much this week+. My sister is in town!

Monday, January 22, 2007


How could I not take this home? It's a fabulous place to keep my paper napkins.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


I made those cameo earrings into sturdy magnets as promised!

I would love to do this more often, but I've noticed something: jewelry, no matter the quality, is exclusively displayed in glass cases here in Florida. When I was in Portland, the jewelry was set out for the masses to rummage through - my preference. Not that asking to see a certain something is too hard, but it sure is inconvenient.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


I know what you're thinking, "Madge is creeeeeepy." But seriously, can you resist Family Photo Rescue? I know I cannot. I am way too curious about family portraits that end up in thrift stores. Steve and I are "growing" a wall of portraits and other photographs we find while I'm probably really creepy-sounding. Oh dear!

Bonus: The first time I went to an antique store (age 8,9?), I came out with a baby portrait ca. 1910 for $1. I named the baby Lucy. It's a true story.

Friday, January 19, 2007


I usually *don't* buy teacup-less saucers, but this one begged to come home with me (it was made in France, which sealed the deal). I love restaurant dishes! Having done some minor Google sleuthing, Restaurant Lutèce is a French restaurant in Manhattan. I had my morning coffee with this saucer; très fancy!


Steve pulled this rusty pot from a well-hidden place in the bushes - can't wait to put something in it! Although it is hard to tell from the photo, it's rather generous in size...Anyway, if I get around to planting something, I will update.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

.95 x 3

I found 3 of my Great Grandma Didi's dishes while thrifting not too long ago; three little bread/salad plates. Here are the details: Myott, Made in England (fine Staffordshire ware), in the "Forget Me Not" pattern. They were just waiting for me. It was a great find.

I think one of the reasons I thrift is because it connects me to people I know but don't know...

Bonus: the little easel holding up the plate belonged to my grandma - my dad's side of the family - a woman I think a lot of when I'm out thrifting. She had a violet bathroom. Yes. Everything was purple! Except the toilet. ;)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I love paint-by-numbers. This one was rescued from a Goodwill recently - the whole painting is of flowers in a vase, but it's not hanging exactly where I want it yet, so I'm holding off its unveiling until I have it in just the right place.

(On the reverse, it's dated 1972, to a Catherine & Arnold.)


There's a lot going on in this picture - what was thrifted? That armoire? No (although we didn't pay for it; it was a hand-me-down)! Do you see those speakers, resting on the two chairs? Yes. Those were thrifted. They work wonderfully. Steve is a bit of a sound system freak. If this was our house and not our rented home, you can be sure we'd have a far more intricate system coming out of the ceiling...

Also, a few years ago, I got my first solo apartment in Florida. I had a budget of about $20 for furniture. With that, I bought a wooden table (which I still have + love) and a stand-alone cabinet. The apartment was so small; there was no room for a couch - hardly my bed! I inherited a couple of bright yellow vinyl chairs from Steve (we still have one to keep our sense of humors amused), but I needed more chairs. Some seating. One night, I was coming home from the grocery store and lo and behold, those two chairs you see holding the speakers were on the curb. Garbage day in Florida yields some particularly good things. I loaded them in my little Corolla and they've been part of my things ever since. The feeling of finding them was such a high - one of my best scores.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007




After s'more.

Solid Cherry tip: Spray paint always makes for an easy upgrade. And, I love hooks. I never met a hook I didn't like. Seriously. Things should have a place to hang!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


It was something like a couple of months ago when I first became interested in thrifting brass/gold candlesticks. I saw a picture in a book of a cluster of brass/gold candlesticks holding orange tapered candles and the image was forever with me. It seemed so elegant, and usually I have nothing to do with metals - especially gold and brass. But with the orange, altogether it was such a good color combination. It's now part of my thrifting routine to venture to the brass/gold candlestick section and see what I can find.

Outwardly, there is nothing impressive about these two candlesticks. But when I picked one of them up, I noticed how heavy it was. Since I have a kitten that likes to explore, I like heavy things. I turned it upside down to see how it was held together and if there were any markings (usually all of these types of things are made in India). My eye caught a tiny and well-faded piece of masking tape that was adhered to the bottom side of one of the candlesticks.

AOE dsp

The same letters corresponded to others written onto the candlestick. It appeared that these may have come, originally, from an antique mall or shop. That sold it for me. I brought them home for $1 each.

At home, I inspected them closer. They were handmade, folks! MEXI is stamped into the bottom of each candlestick, but Google searches have been fruitless - I can only guess that these were made in Mexico? But then it would seem strange they were once valued at $435.00 if that were the case...I don't know. Also, I made the assumption that they were just brass, but it turns out they might be something else. Gold? Gold-plated? I just don't know my metals. Any ideas would be a great help.

For the meantime, I'm going to keep them and enjoy them and maybe someday I'll get to the bottom of the mystery.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


A splurge? Hardly! My mom and I collect vintage tablecloths - I don't know what constitutes "vintage" exactly, but what we like typically comes out of the 1950s and 60s. In antique stores, they're usually marked way, way up into the $40-50 range. Anyway, I spotted this one in Portland and my mom was fiercely jealous of my score, so I secreted it away and she'll get it as a Valentine's Day surprise. I tried it out on my parents' kitchen table and it fit then, it was meant to be!

Friday, January 5, 2007


I was able to give Steve an assortment of thrifted things for a Christmas gift. As promised, here are some of the treasures I found in Portland.

This toy printing press has so much promise - all of its little pieces seem to be accounted for; even the original bottle of ink and operating manual have survived its many years. When a weekend afternoon affords the time to play with this, we'll hopefully print something and I will post it here.

Earlier this year, I inherited this exact camera from my grandpa. When I was gone from Florida over the holidays, Steve told me he had been using it, a lot, and consequently had fallen in love with the camera. Not that we don't share (hah!), but when I saw a mint-ish Canon AE-1 for $20, I had to buy it for him. Now we have his-n-hers Canons...

In general, the merchandise at Portland thrift stores is more costly than it is in South Florida. Books were outrageously expensive in Portland! I guess I understand this by knowing the book culture in Portland, but I don't understand why men's T-shirts were $4.99! My mom found this one and insisted I buy it for Steve. I am glad I did. And I am glad she has white hair: I got the senior discount, so it turned out to be $4.50. It's brand-spanking-new. And, we love Michelle Shocked's song, Anchorage. So it was kind of perfect.

He loved everything!

Thursday, January 4, 2007


These cameo earrings were found while thrifting in Portland, OR.

I usually don't even look at jewelry when I thrift (not much of a jewelry girl), but these clip-on earrings looked so perfect. For my refrigerator. I pulled off the clips and they're just waiting to be made into magnets.

Maybe $2.99 is a bit much, but a girl must have a fancy fridge, you know.