Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tea Cart Redo

Several years ago I bought a yellow cart at an estate sale (half off on Saturday so $7.)  I wasn't sure what to do with it so I stuck it on our deck and put flowers on it.  The weather took its toll on it so I stuck it in our garage where my family used it for their various projects.  From weather induced rust to spilled paint to extreme dirt, it was in pretty sad shape.
   Over this last year, I have collected some odds and ends that I have neither display room or storage room for.  It occurred to me that this cart might have a second life in it.

  After taking it apart, I set about getting rid of the rust.  Did you know you can get rid of rust by wetting aluminum foil with water and scrubbing?  I kid you not, it works like a charm.

   After a little bit of elbow grease, the legs were good as new.  Then I sanded the trays to remove the spilled paint and rust the best that I could.  Next came a coat of primer.
    I just grabbed a can of spray primer I found in the garage.  It was sans lid, but for some reason, I assumed it was white.  I was a bit dismayed to see black when I started spraying.  However, it was a good move as the primer coated everything very well and smoothed things out.
  Then it was multiple coats of red gloss spray paint.  I took the extra time to lightly sand between coats.  I usually skip this step because I am in such a big hurry.  This time, I made myself slow down.  It makes a huge difference in the final finish.  After three coats, I put it back together an started the fun step of decorating.

   The cookie cutters came from two different places.  The red ones were from that crazy garage sale where I paid $5 for a box of random things.  (You can read about that here.)  The vintage metal ones came from this junk store Thrift Chick and I love to stop in and pick.  I paid 50 cents for 6 old metal cutters.  I recently saw the same ones for $4 each!  The cow creamer is not vintage.  I got it at Tuesday Morning.  I couldn't resist because it is just so kitschy.  
I have recently gotten interested in vintage textiles.  They are pretty pricey.  These tablecloths are just things I have picked up on those half off Saturday estate sales when the real antiques have been picked the day before.  On the plus side, I haven't paid over a couple of dollars for any of them.  The yellow cracker tin is really cool.   The lid has a glass knob filled with crystals.  It was designed to keep your snacks crispy and dry.  The lid is heated in the oven until the knob turns bright blue.  It keeps everything nice and dry until it turns pink which means it is time for the oven again.  Pretty nifty huh?
  I love how it turned out.  My husband is thrilled to get all these things off the counter where they have been for way too many months.  There is just something about a vintage to cart to show off your vintage finds.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cheap Laminate to Mid Century Glory

We saw this in a Salvation Army.  It was marked $11.  It was cheap and ugly, but Thrift Chick has a record collection that is bursting at the seams.  I saw possibilities.

First step was to replace the legs with something a little more mid century.  I removed the old legs (they were simply screwed into the base.) and purchased new ones at Lowes.  You can buy the plates and legs pretty cheaply at any home improvement store.

Then I roughed up the outside of the cabinet with my sanding block.  Since mid century aqua is one of Thrift Chick's favorite colors, I bought a sample size of aqua at Lowe's (less than $3!) and gave the outside a couple of coats.  When I finished, I noticed the handles did not stand out at all.  I made a trip back to Lowe's for replacements only to find out that these handles were not standard size.  So it was back home for plan B.  I grabbed the leftover silver paint from Thrift Chick's diy project and gave them a quick spray.

Now they pop out!  Quite a difference from the sad little cabinet at Salvo, isn't it? Start to finish it was about two hours....minus the trips to Lowe's.  A pretty easy redo.

I am guessing by Thrift Chick's reaction when I finished it that she did not see my original vision.  She must have been humoring me when she agreed that it had potential.  She is a believer now!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thrift Chick's Apartment Part 2

You know school has started when there is a long time between posts!  Sorry for the delay in part 2 of Thrift Chick's apartment -- Patty

I realize it is a small apartment, but when you and your mother have a hard time saying no to a good deal, you just amass a lot of stuff...thanks for coming back to see the rest of my stuff!

We left off in the living area, so now we will turn to the dining room which is probably my favorite place.  It is loaded with tons of both mine and my mother's junking, thrifting and antiqueing finds.
 Let's start with that table shall we?  I got that table at the very first estate sale we attended when I was a freshman in college.  I paid a whopping $10 for it at the end of the sale.  It originally had large ugly nubby chair backs and seats, but I replaced them as soon as I was out of college and earning a paycheck.  It was probably this purchase that started me on the road of vintage home decor.  Yes that is a lot of pyrex in the back.  You can read about it here.  However since that post a month ago, my mother has acquired numerous new pieces....can you say obsessed?

 This is the other of the pair of mid century chairs we found at an estate sale for $5 several years ago. My mother made me sit in them while she kept looking so no one else would claim sales can be vicious places! That is the second pillow made from my map handkerchiefs.  The bookcase is from helping my aunt was in her musty old basement.  A little aqua paint and it has a new life!

 My mother has a tendency to pick up old thermoses when she sees them at rock bottom prices.  She also has three different picnic baskets.  She says it is because they remind of things in her youth....things seldom seen these days.  She took her lunch to school every day in her lunchbox with its matching thermos.  Her mother would pack a thermos of kook-aid whenever they would picnic.  Personally I just think it is another obsession.

I just love aqua and red together.  I first found the red pitcher.  Then we saw the rooster glasses for a quarter each at a Goodwill.  I didn't think I needed them, but my mom insisted I would love them (and of course she was right.)  The red Pyrex hostess dish is her pride and joy.  She also has the five smaller dishes that come with it.  It will be mine when she downsizes!

This is the other side of the room.  My grandfather made the hope chest for my mom when she graduated from college.  It is one heavy is not going anywhere so it is a part of the room.  The ugly green bar chair is part of a pair and hopefully will be a diy project soon.  I am always on the lookout for things for my wall..not sure if these will remain here or be changed.

My kitchen is a pretty ordinary kitchen...stove, microwave, get the picture.  However there are two things I want to share with you.

 This awesome paper towel, wax paper holder came from this tiny junk (and I mean junk) shop my brother found.  It was marked $1.  I is not even red or aqua....but there was no way I was passing up that rooster.  The enamelware utensil holder was a gift from my mom.  She has a sixth sense when it comes to finding cheap, cheap enamelware pieces that are awesome.

This is my diy project for the kitchen.  I bought letters from Hobby Lobby and sprayed them with galvanized silver paint.  So simple.

My bedroom has not changed much from how it was when I was with my parents.  In case you missed the post about its redo, you can read it here.

I have a passion, obsession, mania for vintage jewelry.  I will have to do a post about it someday.  Just know this is a mere portion of the jewelry I own.

I hope you enjoyed the tour.  I am sure by next week I will have changed or added something.  Some teachers from work want to go junking with us.


Thrift Chick

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Thrift Chick's Apartment: Part 1

Hello all! It's me, Thrift Chick! We have done lots of posts about the treasures we find while thrifting, so I thought it would be fitting to show you where a lot of those treasures find a home...My apartment!

After college, I moved back home to pay back loans and save some money.  I currently live in the 2 bedroom apartment in my parent's house.  Considering the amount of "treasures" I have accumulated over the years, it is perfect for the time being.  It is larger than the apartment that I lived in with three other girls in college, so I am in heaven! 

My entry has a shelf that I snatched up when helping a family member downsize.  All it needed was a new coat of paint!  The cork board is actually a sample cabinet door that was with a whole bunch of sample doors at a random garage sale. I added painted cork and some cool knobs. 

Here is a close up of the vintage pennants that I found in an antique shop.  I love travel and maps (as you will soon see!) and these fit right in!

My living room is a random assortment of unusual objects that have been collected over the years. This floor lamp is something my mom found at our very first estate sale experience.  My favorite thing is the pillow. I found two handkerchiefs with Chinese maps on them and my mom made pillows out of them for me.  Maps, postcards, anything with a travel theme is a bit of an obsession for me.

My most prized find is the 1970s pull down map that I hung on the wall.  The best part is that it was completely FREE! I don't know if you have priced wall maps lately, but the prices will make your head spin!  It was part of the pitch pile that was in my classroom that I inherited from a retired teacher.  I bought the trunk as a birthday gift to myself from an antique mall's bargain room.  (That's right our local antique mall had a bargain room...we were seriously bummed when they took it out.)

My side tables are another half off estate sale find ($7 for the pair.)  That weird lamp??  Mom rescued it from my uncle's donate pile years ago...way before mid century became popular!  I know it is ugly, but isn't the shape awesome? I love it!  As for the tub chair, it's original home was in the girl's staff quarters at the camp in Michigan where I worked at for 4 summers!  My mom saw it when visiting and asked if we could have it. My friends at camp thought she was crazy, but into the car it went at the end of the summer!

Not to brag or anything, but my couch is quite possibly the best couch in the world! It was bought by my grandparents when they were first married in the 1954.  It was in their home until they downsized and then my mom claimed it.  She said for years it was dark nubby brown, but in the eighties, my grandmother recovered it...unfortunately in eighties mauve and baby blue.  However it is nine feet of comfort that you just don't find in stores today and in a family of giants that is worth something.

Music is my passion so I devoted a corner of my living room to music.  The chair is another find that I picked up when helping my aunt downsize. (if you are willing to clean, dust and move people, you get a lot of random, but awesome stuff!) The cushion was in bad shape, but nothing a little dye can't fix!  I collect vinyl records and have amassed a lot of them over the last couple of years.  I found a really cool record holder that I spray painted light green and put some of my records on.  They have since overflowed to my bookshelves.  The cabinet holding my record player is a recent addition that my mom redid for me.  We will be posting on the redo soon!

I collect vintage cameras and own 27 of them.  In the post about my family's surprise redo of my bedroom one summer, you will find the history behind the shelf and the postcards.

The last wall of my living room is the bookshelves that hold the rest of my records, books, and a random assortment of interesting objects that I find while thrifting, junking and cleaning out other people's homes!

Since this post is getting a little long, I will save the rest of apartment for another day.

Blessings, Thrift Chick

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Dipping My Toes into the Clean Eating Pool

My youngest son has been home for a few months.  He has been railing on our "crappy" eating habits.  I have been researching and reading about clean eating.  It all sounds so wonderfully healthy and empowering, but I am the biggest carbohydrate addict with one huge sweet tooth.  I bought some coconut oil and a small package of almond flour at a Big Lots about a month ago.  They have sat in my cupboard.  I added some powdered peanut butter to them a couple of weeks ago.

Today I decided it was time to dive in.  I searched for recipes.  It was really difficult because if you search for almond flour recipes, you get a lot of gluten free recipes most of which call for xanthan gum (which gives the texture four gives and is really pricey.)  I finally decided to try some with just a 1:1 substitution of things unhealthy for things healthy.  I ended up with these.
 They are oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  I substituted almond flour for regular flour and coconut oil for butter.  I did not substitute agave or honey for the brown sugar.  I know, I know....but I have to take baby steps!
 My family loved them and so did I.  They are slightly drier than a regular cookie, but that is okay with me.  My favorite cookie is shortbread so these were great.  I had added PB powder for a peanutty taste, but I do not think I added enough as the taste is really not there.  My son said the chocolate chips added a lot, but they certainly were not healthy.  I just told him that they were dark chocolate and that is very good for you.

Fairly Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/4 Cup Coconut Oil (melted)
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Egg
1/2 t. Vanilla Extract
1/4 t. Baking Soda
1 T. PB2 Powder (peanut butter powder)
1/4 t. salt
1 Cup Almond Flour
1 Cup Rolled Oats
4 T. Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips

Combine the oil and sugar and beat well.  Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat.  Add all the dry ingredients and beat until well combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips.   Drop by spoonful on a baking sheet.  They do not flatten much so you may want to flatten before baking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Makes 18 cookies.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Summer Decor2

This is the second part of summer decor.  I realize it is now July, but I have embraced the meaning of lazy summer this year.  For the rest of the house, I went with a softer wildflower look.  Hobby Lobby has these great silk flowers that look just like the flowers you see long the road.  I love their velvety leaves and muted colors.  I buy a few bunches whenever they go on sale.

 I love old canning jars.  When we moved into our house, my husband found a bushel basket full of the above jars in the barn.  Cleaning them out was quite traumatic because not only were they filthy, but a mouse was giving birth in one of them!
 This funny old duck came from this crazy little store in Michigan.  It is filled with the most random things. I think it is stocked with buyout merchandise.  We always make sure visit it whenever we are up north.

The funny old bird (pelican??? heron???) came from Goodwill.  It was realistic looking and Thrift Chick thought it was hideous.  I have learned to look at things as if they were covered in spray improves a lot of them!

I know...more birds and wild life.  Sometimes things are so weird that they just call out to you.  I mean, who really thought there would be a huge market for ceramic frogs?

Now that I have finished with the summer decorating, I can relax...sort of.....the garage is crying out for a massive it is on to the next project.


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Summer Decor

After our snowpocalypse this past winter, I kind of thought we would never see summer.  With extended days and make-up days, we just now finished school.  I finally got tired of looking at Easter eggs and bunnies and decided to haul out the summer stuff.  This is our front hallway.
It is my homage to playtime of yesteryear.  My grandkids call it heaven.   They love playing with the toys.
We have pried the croquet balls out of toddler fingers countless times and I am sure my son and daughter-in-law wish I would choose a different theme. 
  I own three old picnic baskets.  I don't know why...I think they remind me of all the picnics we took when I was little.  We used to picnic all the time....people just don't do picnics any more.
 The dominos and Parade magazine came from a garage sale,  The marbles are actually from the Dollar Store and the pool balls were left over when we got rid of our pool table.
Thrift Chick found the pick-up sticks at an estate sale.  Aren't they fun?  She has their vintage container on display in her apartment....I just stole the sticks. 

I love old wooden Scrabble tiles and pick them up at thrift stores whenever I can find them.  I have about three games sets right now.  The "Let's Play" looks cute doesn't it?  However, my children can't seem to leave it alone...I am always coming home to find strange new messages there.