Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Fun: Types of Thrifters

When I saw a post on ThriftCore distinguishing the different types of thrifters, I laughed out loud! When you're a regular thrifter, you see it ALL - the crazies, the rude ones, the grandmas... I loved this.

Click through to read and see the rest!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Easy Wreath Makeover

Last year, I dug this wreath out of a junk closet (we all have one of those, right??) and thought it would be fun if I could hang it up year-round and the red doesn't go with anything, plus it kinda screams "Christmas!"

(this photo taken in my special "spray painting place" - aka cinder blocks out in the back yard! classy!)

Teal is my "signature color" (thank you Shelby, from Steel Magnolias, for inventing signature colors!) so I grabbed a can of spray paint and gave the wreath a quick spray-ola. Here it is hanging on the inside of our door (I like to mix things up!).

I did this project awhile ago and the wreath doesn't really match the direction I'm taking our house, so we'll see what happens... but I definitely wanted to share this simple project! With all the different holidays approaching, there are so many possibilities!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Favorite Finds: Van's Couch

Today's Favorite Find is from Vanessa (Van for short) from Van blogs about her thrifting adventures and provides guidance and tips for fellow vintage-lovers! She finds the greatest items and is even working toward opening a brick & mortar store in Florida! Be sure to visit her blog and say hi!

I knew Van would have a great Favorite Find and she definitely didn't disappoint! Read on to find out more!

What is your favorite find and where did you find it?

It's hard to choose, but my favorite find is my scandinavian mid century modern couch. I found it on

How did you know it was JUST RIGHT and that it was coming home with you that day?
I deliberated but decided the shape and color were perfect, the print doesn't show stains, which is important for my lived-in home. When I "visited" it at the owner's house, it was super comfortable as well. A winner all-around!

Had you been couch shopping for awhile or did you have to re-arrange plans to make a "new" couch work in your home?

My old couch had to go, it was stained and ripped and made my living room feel like a dorm room. For months I couldn't find a replacement, so the new couch was a happy and necessary find! Out went the old couch, and the new one fit in with no problem.

Anything else we need to know about your adventure with thrifting this couch?
It was indeed an adventure to get this big-A couch home when I drive a compact car! I had to enlist two friends for help, one for a truck and one to lend muscle-power! We drove around the apartment complex a few times before we found the right place. Then we had to get the couch down 3 flights of steep stairs and to the truck. We drove 45 minutes across town before it was finally in my house. 'Twas worth it! The couch is loved by all who meet it!

Why do you love vintage?
I love vintage because it has better construction and a story to tell. It's unique and attractive; vintage is art.

Why do you love thrifting?

I'm a life-long thrifter and I like free and cheap things. I love the flexibility it gives me in life, I have plenty in savings, a unique and appealing apartment, and my rent paid in full for a year on my meager writer's budget because I'm a thrifty villain. Also, the thrill of the hunt is addicting.

Thanks so much for sharing, Van!

I'm actively looking for more favorite finds! If you would like to be considered for Favorite Finds, email me a photo of the item you would choose as your Favorite Find and a little bit about it. I'll write you back with some questions to answer and then we'll get you set up!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Souvenirs of Seattle

Last Wednesday, Andy and I flew to Seattle to visit some of Andy's best friends, Jake and his wife Amy and their 2 daughters, Hannah and Mia. It was so much fun!

We went to the Puyallup Fair (which actually owns, isn't that awesome?) to see the Counting Crows play. Their album August and Everything After is one of my all-time favorites but I've kinda been a casual fan since the mid-90s. Andy and Jake, however, are HUGE fans and it was so fun to experience the concert with them. Adam Duritz is such a great lead singer and their concerts evoke such emotion from the audience. Most often, I enjoy the feeling of music rather than the lyrics or melody, and Counting Crows makes me feel. It was great!

Andy and I got to explore Puyallup a little bit and I got to visit Value Village for the first time! I have heard of it across different blogs and made a point to seek it out in Puyallup. Andy found an awesome Hall & Oates shirt and I got a retro jewelry box that I put in my booth on Sunday. Value Village was interesting - in addition to the normal second-hand items, they also had new merchandise, which is unusual in my part of the country. I also noticed that Goodwill carried new merchandise (candles and cleaning supplies). Is that a pacific northwestern thing? Do your thrift stores carry new items alongside secondhand items? I'm really curious about this now! :)

I picked up a red suitcase at Goodwill and then we checked out Victoria Sells Antiques downtown. I got a teal party tray (still in the box! photo below!) plus some owl-y things there. There was a particular booth at Victoria's that stole my heart! I wish I had taken photos and I kinda regret not picking up a few of the items that I loved, but there wasn't enough "meat on the bone" to re-sell the items and we didn't need them for our house. Oh well!

We went into Seattle the next day and did the Space Needle, which was really fun. Seattle is such a beautiful city and the weather was absolutely perfect!

It was a short trip but so good to get to spend time with Jake and his family. I met them for the first time at our wedding so it was great to spend actual time with them and get to know their girls better. Hannah was sad when we left but I told her we have our whole lives to be friends. I am excited to have them a part of my life now. :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

How to transform a chair by removing the chair skirt

Usually, I attend estate sales in order to find my items, but I'm up for hunting anywhere! Andy and I recently visited Music City Auction. We swung by about 2 hours after the start of the auction, so they were deep into furniture. (This auction house typically starts with "smalls" and moves into furniture as the night goes on.) We were there for about an hour before I saw anything I was interested in, but then I saw it: a cute white armchair! I bid and won - it was exciting!

When we picked up the chair before we left, I noticed it was a little more outdated (and not, in my opinion, in a cute retro way) that I originally thought. I liked the clean lines and the tufting, but the chair was skirted and I'm all about legs on furniture! I felt a tinge of regret, but decided I would make the most of my new purchase.

it was also dirty - exhibit A: huge footprint on the cushion!

I inspected the chair to see how I could transform it. I knew it needed a good cleaning and I had a hunch that if I could just remove the chair skirt, it would make a world of difference. I started researching removing skirts from chairs and came across this inspiring before & after:

An ugly chair became so stylish, just by removing the skirt and showing off the legs! I hoped my chair would have the same fate!

If you want to do this project on your own chair, be sure to inspect it carefully to make sure ripping the skirt off won't damage the other upholstery or reveal any strange defects in the chair.

You will need:
  • patience :)
  • scissors
  • pliers
  • staplegun (as needed)
In the example I found above, the owner was able to fold the fabric under the chair and staple it in place. Luckily, my skirt was stapled to the outside of the chair and there were 2 rows of piping - one above the skirt and a row of piping under the skirt which meant once I pulled the skirt off, there was a line of piping which makes the chair look really finished!

Here's a close-up of the skirt:

there's a row of piping under the skirt!

I started on the back of the chair, just in case anything went wrong. I managed to pull some of the piping away from the chair and cut it - then all I had to do was rip it.

When I ripped the piping, some of the staples came out with the piping and some did not.

I have not worked with upholstery very much, but if you're like me and you've ever pulled up carpet to reveal hardwood floors, you're really familiar with pulling staples! I used my trusty pliers to pull out the many, many staples. You can barely see the holes the staples left behind, but I've heard you can steam holes out of fabric if needed.

Be warned - some of the staples came out easily and some did not. I had to carefully run my finger across the fabric to feel if any remnants were left behind and then pull those out.

All in all, it didn't take very long - maybe 45 minutes tops! It turned out to be such a cute armchair that I think looks a little Hollywood Regency with the diamond tufting and curved arm fronts. Toss a few colorful pillows on it, and voila!

Have you ever removed a chair skirt? Do you have a chair that needs updating like this? It's so easy!

You can find affordable chairs in so many places and I highly recommend auctions. They can be a little intimidating at first, but they're pretty easy once you know the basics. You can read about my auction adventures and tips for auctions here!

A note on cleaning the chair - I used stain remover and diluted laundry detergent to lift the stains. It took several sessions of spraying it with stain remover, but it finally looked fresh and new!

Linking up to:

Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingThe Shabby Nest

Friday, September 23, 2011

New Creative Home Decorating: Color Schemes

I picked up New Creative Home Decorating by Hazel Kory Rockow Ph.D. and Julius Rockow from an estate sale and it is chock full of fun, retro designs. My edition is from 1954 - I would love to get my hands on a decorating book from the 60s!

One of my favorite sections of the book focuses on color schemes in the home. There are 5 color pages that give ideas for colors in decorating. See them below (click through to check them out on flickr where you can see various sizes, including the original size, or even download the file) and let me know in the comments which are your favorites!

I am immediately drawn to color schemes 10 and 11! I would love to have that furniture in my house!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Friends of Owl Really: Punctuation Studio

You may remember Wendy Lee from previous posts (she helped me set up my new booth and she contributed a Favorite Find) and I'm pleased to feature Wendy Lee's booth at the Tennessee Antique Mall!

I took some photos of her booth and she answered some questions I sent her. Read on to find out more!

What's your background? How did you get into thrifting/upcycling?

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and aside from a few trips to the flea market, I wasn't exposed to much in the way of thrifting or antiquing. In college I fell in love with old things and the stories they tell, but it wasn't until I moved to Amsterdam when I was 23 that I caught what some call "the sickness." As a missionary, I had next to no money to buy any of the amazing antiques I saw there, but it's where I learned to "trash pick" and began salvaging cast-offs and giving them new life with a coat of paint or a little fabric. It's been a way of life ever since. Buying my 1935 cottage seven years ago finally gave me license to run wild. I could paint walls and make holes and redo things to my heart's content. And so I do, as part of an ongoing, never-ending process.

What is your booth focus or specialty?

I like bright colors, fun fabrics, and vintage pieces reinterpreted. I guess you could call it sort of urban country retro. I don't have a strategy as much as a clear idea of what I like. I'm always buying chairs and mirrors and cupboards, and my yard is always marked with spray paint from my latest projects.

Where do you find inspiration?

I'm always looking at magazines, books and blogs, watching TV shows and trolling the local antique booths and flea market for ideas and inspiration. I like pieces that are unique but not over the top, ones that will fit in a home and feel like they've always been there. Friends' design also plays a big role. I love studying the choices other people make.

What is your favorite item in your booth?

Right now, I'm in love with this coral-colored end table that I picked up at the Nashville Flea Market and repainted. I wanted to put it in my living room, but when I finished it up, it just didn't fit. The proportions weren't right. So now it's in my booth, and I'm just waiting for the right person to come along and see what I saw in it.

Thanks for sharing with us, Wendy Lee! I love your booth and can't wait to see how it flourishes! Stay tuned for another "Friends Of Owl Really" post soon from Andy's friend Mark who recently opened a booth full of awesome "mantiques" at the 8th Avenue Antique Mall right around the corner from Tennessee Antique Mall!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Favorite Finds: My Montgomery Ward Goldenrod Curtains

Well, well, well! I haven't done my OWN Favorite Find yet, so I figured it was time. I have been focused on thrifting so much for my booth that I haven't picked up much for myself or our home lately, but I did discover the most amazing vintage curtains at Goodwill the other day! I found the first panel and fell in love and was so happy when I discovered the 2nd panel!

Fortunately, our living room only has 1 real window (the 2nd window is obscured by the "after market" staircase that was built in the 90s to lead up to the attic...yeahh...) so the curtains are perfect for it. I have a really hard time finding curtains that I like in stores. I feel like most curtains are really boring or really trendy... I am so happy I found something totally unique!

These new-to-us curtains have a Montgomery Ward tag, so I'm not exactly sure what year they are from but I am guessing late 60s maybe? They are sort of a tweed made up of goldenrod and white. I love them. I was even inspired to paint our living room over the weekend so that they would match better and I could hang them up right away! I changed the color from light brown to very light gray which suits us better for sure.

Thanks for checking out my first Favorite Find. :)

Please feel free to submit your own! Just email me!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Meet Cordell

I don't normally post twice in one day but I had to share this sweet, sweet video about my favorite employee at my favorite Goodwill. The first time I went to Goodwill when Cordell was working, he asked my name and he's never forgotten it. He is truly one in a million.

Inspired By: it's a small world

I have been trying to pay more attention to the world around me and glean inspiration from more places than just blogs... I am definitely guilty of running through life and not stopping to really pay attention to the beauty around me.... however, on our recent trip to Disney World, I found a lot of inspiration in "it's a small world!"

Before we went I posted this photo from our trip when I was 2 and I absolutely loved the colors... and they were even more gorgeous in person!

As we floated through this part of the ride, I was dazzled by the beautiful design. The white, teal, purple and hints of silver and gold were so stunning!

I wanted to challenge myself to design a room based on the end part of "it's a small world" where the colors are more streamlined. I could have done earlier parts of the ride, but it would have been a color explosion!

I found some beautiful items online that I think really fit the aesthetic. They are all WAY out of my budget but it was fun to create a dream room!

1. Purple ferris wheel metallic fine art photo 8x12
2. X-Clock with Large Black Face
3. Mid Century Aqua and Gold Lamp
4. Eva sofa
5. Love One Another pillow
6. Handmade Zen Grey New Zealand Wool Rug
7. Stray Dog Designs Antique Mirror Side Table with 3 Shelves

8. World Map Triptych
9. Plum Mini Celebration - Original 5x7 Painting
10. Simple Stripe Evelyn Ottoman Peacock and Grey
11. Jonathan Adler Capri - One Light Table Lamp
12. Donna 8x10 print
13. Large Birdie Pillow by Ferm Living
14. Garbo Coffee Table
15. Uttermost Fontaine Armchair

This little project was really fun and challenging. I would definitely like to do more, like the "living in" series on DesignSponge... I just want to think of unique ideas!

Where's the most surprising place you found inspiration? I'd love to hear!

Also - last night I updated my blog design! If you are reading in a feed reader, click here to visit the site and see the new design and please let me know what you think about the pink! :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

A peek inside Owl Really

I love posting photos of new antique mall items here, but I thought I'd take a second and show you a video of my booth! I recorded this while the store was open so I was a little self-conscious of someone walking near me and wondering what the heck I was doing which is why I'm a little quiet or subdued in certain sections. I also call things the wrong names - I think I said the typewriter was manual and it's electric and I think I called the owl lamp an owl clock. I am clearly deranged. :)

Also - I love editing video and filming in cool ways, etc - but with my new job at work and a ton of upcoming travel, I haven't had time to spend on making things super, extra cool - I'm having to do the bare minimum unfortunately!

Here's the video! Thanks for supporting me in this journey. This is my 4th month at the Tennessee Antique Mall and I'm having so much fun.

Also! An update on the boots I donated to the Nashville Rollergirls. Here's a photo of them at the auction last night:

They happily sold to one of the rollergirls, Four Leaf Roller!

Friday, September 16, 2011

New business and postcards!

On Sunday, the Nashville Rollergirls are hosting a silent auction to raise money to travel to Regionals. Andy is super involved with NRG (he DJs the bouts, helps out with various things) and through him, I have gotten to know many of those in the league. They are all awesome and very talented.

To help their cause, I donated a pair of awesome red leather vintage high heel boots to the silent auction and I wanted to include some business cards and postcards on the table to promote my booth at the Tennessee Antique Mall. (I unfortunately forgot to take a photo of the boots but I'll try to get one Sunday!)

I do however have photos of my new business cards and postcards! I designed them using an image from Agence Eureka and printed the through Vista Print (which.... just confirms that you get what you pay for... matte business cards from them are not that great.. but the postcards have a bit of a glossy finish and I like them).

Here's the postcard front...

Postcard back...

Business card front...

Business card back...

I'm excited to finally have cards to promote my booth and website!

If you want to see more vintage french illustrations, click here!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Little Golden Picture Dictionary

Sweet blog friend Kelli of Blooming Freckles mailed me the cutest Little Golden book ever - a picture dictionary from 1969. It arrived in the middle of a really stressful week and totally made my day!

Here are some scans below - click here to see all of the images!

Kelli, thank you so much for brightening my week with this sweet book!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Favorite Finds: Mave's Owl Purse

Oh, snap!! Mave not only sent in her favorite fashion find, but also her favorite accessory score! Check out this amazing owl purse she found a few years ago!

What is your favorite find and where did you find it?
An owl purse, found at Goodwill on Gallatin Pike in the Rivergate area of Nashville/Madison, July 2008. Cost $2.99

I had recently quit my job, taking a 75% cut in pay, and reached the realization that my occasional habit of shopping Goodwill would have to become a necessity. This owl purse was my first purchase.

What was your immediate reaction to the purse?
"Score!! Why would anyone get rid of this adorable owl? What a shame. I must have it."

Buying this purse has inspired Mave to add more critters to her collection! Can't wait to see if she finds more!

Mave, thanks for sharing both of your favorite finds with us!!

I'm actively looking for more favorite finds! If you would like to be considered for Favorite Finds, email me a photo of the item you would choose as your Favorite Find and a little bit about it. I'll write you back with some questions to answer and then we'll get you set up!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Disney Adventure Part 2!

Here are my random photos from around Disney... :)

In the Muppet store in Hollywood Studio... I loved the prop styling!

Thanks for browsing through! It was a fun trip!!