Friday, June 29, 2012

Illuminating the Past

I have been drooling over all of the upcycled vintage crafts out there lately, haven't you?  So many super cute treasures that have been repurposed into new and generally more useful beauties that actually serve a purpose around the house.  I've been pinning them for quite a while but just recently thought about transforming my own collected goodies. The idea was born during one of Big Daddy and my's discussions about how we were going to control all of the stuff we've accumulated and where we could keep it.  (Some day soon I'll have to show you just what a warehouse our bedroom has turned into!) One by one we discussed things, "Yes, I have to keep that old useless Edison's fabulous" and "I know it's not safe to use but that heater looks so cool!".  This must have gone on for an hour or so before our lighbulb moment.  That's when we realized we had the makings of some real gems.  We immediately ordered our reproduction vintage cord, started collecting old sockets and found some beautiful plugs and went to work. 

What do you think?  This old Edison record plays "Aggravatin' Papa" on one side and "Carolina in the Morning" on the other.  Unfortunately it is in poor condition and unplayable.  Until this idea came into our minds we weren't sure just how we could go about appreciating this lovely piece of history but it was so special to me that I could not let it go.  Now I'm so happy to have kept it and hope to share it with someone who adores it as much as I do.  (That is, after all, what makes this whole thrifting thing so fun!)

And what about this little hottie?  It was the cutest darn thing I ever saw and I had high hopes when I brought it home.  Much to my dismay these little heaters are not worth much and are even a little dangerous in a home with small kids.  What to do?  A lamp, of course!  This one is extra awesome because Big Daddy was able to put two candelabra bulbs inside and take advantage of the Hi/Low switch on the side.  You can turn this guy on and off, as well as high (using two bulbs) or low (using only one).  Isn't that nifty?  And it gives off the most incredible light patterns.

It took me a while to get to the point where I was willing to make changes to the original perfection of some of these items but making them more available is very exciting.  And I have a few more tricks up my sleeve and hope to share those very soon!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Reaching Out

Recently I received a note from another Etsy seller inquiring about some of my past sales and photography tips.  She was so sweet and curious and I could not have been more flattered.  I know she wanted information but what she could not have realized is that by taking the time to reach out she gave me a gift as well.  You see, I've been selling on Etsy since November of 2010 and still feel like a newbie.  I'm always reading, learning, and tweaking things in an attempt to increase shop visibility and sales.  It's really a lot of work and if I didn't enjoy thrifting and sharing the items I find so much it would not be worth it.  But I do love it so I keep plugging away and trying to improve, little by little.

Many times I visited other people's shops to admire their wares and techniques, but not once did I consider asking them for help.  I'm not sure why that is really.  I suppose I didn't want to bother anyone and assumed that is what my inquiry would be.  Now that I have been on the receiving end of one of these notes I realize I had it all wrong.  Taking the time to reach out to another seller is a gift in and of itself.  It says that you value the work they have put into their shop and what better compliment could one receive?  I also found myself grateful to be able to pass along a tidbit of information in an attempt to help a friend out.  We all work so hard individually to learn these things and it really is comforting to be able to pass that information along.  So thank you, Cheryl, for making my day!  (And, just as importantly, helping me realize how much my life could be improved by a Skull & Crossbones washcloth.  Isn't it perfect?!)

Friday, June 22, 2012

What is it?

Sometimes when you're thrifting you find something you love but aren't quite sure what it is.  I really enjoy these moments and just can't wait to get home to do a little online digging.  Today I thought I would share with you one of my favorite things for sale in the shop (that I am secretly glad hasn't sold and so get to admire it every morning when I get up...shhh).  Isn't it fabulous?  It's the perfect blend of industrial complete with rotating mirror, shiny gooseneck and funky little toggle switch. ...swoon...  But what is it?  Well it's an Agglutination Viewer, of course.  (That part's easy since it's written nice and legibly across the bottom, but that wasn't much help for me.)  
Apparently this little slice of pie is used in blood banks for typing, cross matching, and other blood bank-y things.  Today these little guys are made of plastic (of course) and are simply not much for looking at.  But this little guy, well he's hawt!  He's the sort of strong silent type that will sit quietly in the corner just waiting to be noticed.  And when you do notice, boy howdy...

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Blue Family

Today I want to introduce you to my Happy Blue Family.
Aren't we cute?!  That's Ms. J, myself, Little Ms. V, and Big Daddy.  This is our family portrait in front of the Grand Canyon.  What?  You can't see the Grand Canyon?  Well you'll just have to believe me because Big Daddy's arms are only so long and that's the best we could do on short notice.  So this is us, early in the morning, posing in front of one of the most incredible wonders in the world.  Truth be told, even with the extremely close specially cropped photograph it's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Meet Fernando

One of my very favorite things about thrifting is finding funky little accessories to stash decoratively place throughout the house.  Sometimes my connection to them is instant and just so powerful that it cannot be denied.  That's what happened with my dear friend Fernando.  This is his story...

On a very ordinary Goodwill trip one cold December afternoon, I spotted him.  The twinkle in his eye shone thru the dusty plastic Christmas tree that someone had obviously imprisoned him in.  I knew instantly that I had to bring him home and love him forever.  When I asked an employee how much he cost she told me he came with the tree and that I would have to buy the whole thing.  What?!  Well that just wasn't going to happen so we said our goodbyes and I vowed to keep him in my heart....always.

That Christmas my girls handed me a present and I could tell by the excitement on their faces that they were very proud of whatever was in the box.  I opened it carefully, savoring their enthusiasm.  When I opened the box I could hardly believe it....Fernando!!  (Apparently my husband took the girls back to the store the next day and had one of my beautiful girls ask about the price.  Ha!  Why didn't I think of that?)  I immediately nestled him into a chandelier so that I could see him every time I came into the house or walked up or down the stairs.  We were terribly happy together until, one horrible day, it became clear that his life was in danger from a light bulb he was sitting near (and thus the big black burn on his little bitty hat).  The girls and I thought long and hard about where he should live and decided that this Buddha would care for him and they could be buddies.

Yes, I know he was intended to be a holiday decoration but I love him so and just can't bear to put him away.  That's what I love about personal style, it's all yours and you can do what you want with it.  I would love to hear about some of your favorite finds and how you have incorporated them into your home.

Happy Father's Day

This post goes out to all the big daddies out there who are getting it done!

The girls and I decided that the best way to celebrate Father's Day this year would be to take their dad on a whirlwind tour of the small town junk shops he loves to pick thru.  Unfortunately those places aren't open on!   We decided the only fair thing to do would be to turn it into a Father's Weekend.  Woo Hoo!  So, we started our journey bright and early yesterday and found a few gems for our little Etsy shop.  They may not look like much now, but wait till Big Daddy gets them all fixed up!

As you may have noticed,  lamps are our new obsession.  There are a few up and ready and so many more vintage parts around here just begging to be illuminated.  I just can't wait for you to see them when they're all finished!

I'd love to stay and chat but it's Father's Day and I have some serious relaxing to do.  Since we were out and about all day yesterday today's plans include a whole lot of nothing, followed by one of Big Daddy's famous barbeque feasts.  Mmmm-mmmm!