Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thrift Store Thursday: Things for the kitchen!

If you read this blog or know me at all, you know I am a big proponent of shopping at thrift stores!

Today I want to share with you some treasures I have found recently---that are mostly kitchen related.


I was thrilled to find this stainless steel citrus juicer! The brand name on the bottom was way too small to read at the store without glasses, but I knew it looked sturdy and well-made and it was going to be a big improvement over the yellow plastic one I've been using since I was a newlywed!

 I'm not going to disrespect the plastic one too much, because I think that it was even bought at a thrift store---27 years ago!  So it has held up well enough even being plastic!  But the handle is starting to bend and I am happy to have a new sturdy one---that has it's own bowl and even clips onto it!

When I got home, I looked at the brand name closely and found out it was a Tramontina!  (A lovely company that started in Brazil in 1911.  Read about it here.)  Available at Williams Sonoma for $29.95, new.  Or on eBay for $18, used!!!  What a steal for $1.50 from the thrift store!


I love blue and white.  Always have.  I haven't varied in my love of it since I was a child!  So when I found these hand painted lovelies, I couldn't pass them up!  $2.00!  And Oh-so-pretty!  I'm not exactly sure what the bowl is for. Probably sugar.  There was no sticker or any other indication of where they were made or who made them.  I'm thinking they came from Mexico.  I love the way they feel and the authentic nature of the hand glazing!


This plastic tray and teak bowl also came from the thrift store.  I collect teak.  It's one of my weaknesses.  Remember?  Technically, they are not kitchen items.  We use them in the family room.  For snacks and drinks on movie nights!  The plastic tray is a Guzzini.  An Italian designer plastics company that has been around since 1938!  Very popular in mid-century modern designs.  I think they made the first mushroom lamp!  I'm not sure what era this tray if from---but it is very fun to have!  A little bit of lucite!  And very functional sitting on our ottoman to hold drink glasses and the like!  Both items were one or two bucks.


These wooden duck/platypus bowls are my absolute FAVORITE!  And they come with a good story.  If you shop thrift stores very often, you will realize that there are some regular customers there.  People who wait by the back doors for new carts of stuff to come out.  People who probably come to the thrift store every day to find treasures.  I think some of them own their own eBay stores.  Or they run their own smaller thrift stores on the side.  Or maybe they just love to collect stuff.  I'm never sure.  But I've seen them there often enough to know that they are "regulars."  One day I saw these lovely wooden bowls in the cart of one of these "regular" thrifters.  I commented to him on what a great find they were.  It was a genuine compliment---as sorting through the trash to find treasures is a true skill!  He thanked me and then modestly said that he wasn't really sure if he needed them or not.  I remarked that if he decided not to get them, and I was somewhere nearby, he could surely send them my way!  I didn't really think he would.  I went on shopping for quite some time.  But this nice man came all the way across the store and found me about 15 minutes later.  He sweetly gave them to me and walked away!  Whatever reason he thrifts and whatever reason he didn't want them, I do not know.  But I know they were worth a lot more than the measly $2.00 price tag.  And if he made his living off of reselling thrifted things, this was an obvious sacrifice on my behalf.  I felt very honored that day.

After a brief search on the internet, I was able to find a few of these bowls for sale on places like eBay and Etsy.  But never a complete set!  I found out they were carved in Yugoslavia.  And I treasure them!  Because they are wooden bowls (which I love).  Because they are really cool!  Because they are now our individual popcorn bowls--as well as a decorative  piece on the end table in the family room.  But most of all--because they remind me of the kindness of a complete stranger!

I make it a point now to "pay it forward" in the same way.  If someone eyes something cool I've found in my cart---and I don't really love or need it---I will pass it on to them.

Happy Thrifting!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rachael's Room Makeover

Here is Rachael's room---all made over!!!  But it didn't start out this way.....

This is what Rachael's room looked like when we bought the house.  Nice wood floors, but nothing else to speak of.

Except maybe the very large closet.  We think this used to be the master bedroom for the original house--notice the old intercom on the wall.

And the extra wide double curtain rod.

All that was removed and we painted her room a bright orange (her choice!)

Hung funky lamps up!  And got her an Ikea bookshelf with writing all over it.  (Barely visible on left side.)

This was her bedspread.

Funny thing was, in 2 years, we never took a single picture of the whole room!  Not one!  But last month, she just couldn't take the bright orange anymore.  It was too loud.  She couldn't take the cluttered feel of her bedroom.  She needed something more serene.  More inviting.  Calming.

So while she was on choir tour, this is what I did:

Since she had long ago decided the lovely canopy bed from her childhood wasn't her style, she has been living without a headboard for several years.  (But I couldn't stand her bed to be so blah and ungrounded!)

I found an ugly cheap brass headboard at the thrift store.  It was peeling brass flecks.  But was a nice shape and "not too frilly."  (Which was Rachael's biggest decorating requirement.)  I sanded it slightly and sprayed it with the famous ORB (oil-rubbed bronze) paint.  I LOVE that stuff!

It worked like a charm!

I found a can of yellow paint on the "miss-tint" shelf of Lowes.  It was $5!!!  And a very "serene" yellow!

It took 2 coats of paint to cover that orange--but it instantly transformed the feel of the room!!!

Rachael had two requests before she left.  "Please don't get rid of my lion poster....."

 and "I must have my build-a-bear monkey!" (From a fun date she went on with her new sister-in-law, Katie.)

 When she left, the lion poster was just hung on the wall with masking tape, but I found a large enough frame at the thrift store to fit it and it was instantly transformed from cheap poster to wall art!

 Next came her dreadfully distracting bookcase.

All that cute grafitti just HAD to go!  A can of oil-based paint was the answer.  (It sticks better and has a harder finish.)

A nice shade of gray.  Serene.  And very UN-distracting!

A cool retro lamp....

 and a few more thrift store finds---including this Egyptian papyrus of birds--and....

....She was VERY HAPPY when she came home from choir tour!  This is what she found:

A relaxing little nook for reading and playing her guitar.

A desk and a bed--all in calming colors.  And room for her bird cage! (Far right.)

Remember these little "paint by numbers" pictures?  They were the color inspiration for the room.  We decided to leave the desk "as is" because it looked so good in her new room.

New headboard, new bedding, new little bird pillow---as she loves her cockatiel, Tiki!  And, of course, Mr. Monkey!

No more distractions!  A more grown-up room for a more grown-up daughter.  All is well!