Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Goodwill Again

I've been having a run of great luck at Goodwill lately.  I also donate frequently.  My Goodwill has a frequent donor card:  donate four times and receive a percentage off on your next purchase.

This beautiful chest of drawers and mirror got to come to my house for around $55, counting the discount. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thrift Love - Goodwill Finds Part Two

The vintage picture you see here was give to me by my mother-in-law. It is beautifully sentimental and worth blowing up for a closer look. The lace dress is from Goodwill. The "plant stand" is a vintage wooden high chair. The plate, magnolia saucer, and little acorn salt and pepper shakers were both picked up at Goodwill yesterday. The bird in the plant is from the Dollar Store. Please note that we do not use the door pictured. It is a leftover from the time when my house was a two family. We have a front and a back door which we use instead.  The square tin holder for flowers came from Goodwill.  All I did was paint it white.  It reminds me of antique ceiling tiles you sometimes see in old buildings.

Thrift Love - Goodwill Update

This post is for my "Goodwill Girls" who want to know how the stuff I buy ends up.  Here are some recent fix ups.

The chicken-coop- looking thing in the first pic...I have no idea what it was, but the doors open up pulling  down with a very skinny chain inside. $4.25 Goodwill   All I did was clean it, paint it, replace one of the knobs (99 cents at Lowes) and fill it with towels.  The pic is of my late father-in-law and the pitcher was from TJ Maxx, when I used to go there instead of being lean and green at Goodwill.   My in laws bought the lacy table runner on top in Europe.

The red and black shelf was $1.25 at Goodwill  The finish was damaged and it smelled bad.  I washed it out with bleach and rubbed the stinky drawers with vanilla extract.  I spray-prainted it and mod-podged a page from a calendar my mother -in-law gave me to the back.  I think "Mr. January" Rooster looks very handsome on my kitchen desk.

The white shelf with the heart on it came from Goodwill today.  I'm not sure if you can see it, but the heart is lined with chicken wire.  $1.25.  All I did was wash it off and spray paint it. The cups and the white planter also came from Goodwill, as did the lace that is on the desk underneath.  It was actually a curtain valance and was half price yesterday at Goodwill.  The desk underneath was a curbside find.  It had melted wax and cigarette burns on the original finish.  I painted it white and got some fancy knobs from Lowes to replace the missing ones.  There is a really cool secret drawer in the middle.

 The vintage mirror is Art Deco and came from a trash heap in front of Dutch Andrew's house.  It was missing a bit of trim, so I hot glue-gunned a silk flower in the missing area.  Two of the hats were from Goodwill.  The brown velvet one with the green flowers belonged to my Grandmother.

In the picture on the stairwell, the 1920's dress also came from Goodwill.  It must have fit an impossibly slender flapper, because I don't think it would have fit me in second grade   Another case of decorating with thrifted clothing.  The little purse on the top of the hanger was my Grandmother Dunn's, whose engagement picture you can see on the top suitcase.  The handsome gentleman in the larger frame is my husband's grandfather, Orville Bremer.   The stack of suitcases also came from Goodwil and church "Rags to "Riches" sales.  It took me several years to accumulate them. 

One of the suitcases has the monogram "MLK."  The kids I mentor decided that it had belonged to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  LOL. I know who the suitcase belonged to.  She was a sweet older Southern lady whose name was Mary Lou.  I can assure you she was as different physically from Dr. King as is possible. 

The vintage globes?  Goodwill, of course.  I look to see if the country in Africa is called Rhodesia or Zimbabwe in order to see how old it is.  Rhodesia means it is vintage.  I also look for the Soviet Union vs.individual countries like Russia and Ukraine, added after the fall of the Berlin Wall.    The little bead board cabinet was left out for garbage pick up when my church was renovated.  The shutters were in my attic when I moved in.  The little picture frame came from a yard sale and the pic of the little boy inside came from an old reading book.

I've been under a lot of stress with my father's illness, so please forgive all the edits I had to make on a second look at this.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Housework as Liturgy

I hope you all enjoy the excerpt below taken from the devotional book I am reading

An Altar in the World
by Barbara Brown Taylor

Cleaning refrigerators and toilets helps you connect with the food cycle at both ends. Making beds reminds you that life-giving activities do not take up much space. Hanging laundry on the line offers you a chance to fly prayer flags disguised as bath towels and underwear. If all life is holy, then anything that sustains life has holy dimensions too. The difference between washing windows and resting in God can be a simple decision: choose the work, and it becomes your spiritual practice. Spraying the vinegar and water on the pains, you baptize the glass. Rubbing away the film, ye repent ye of your sins. Polishing the glass, you let in the light. No task is too menial to serve as a path. If you are able to sustain other lives along with your own, then all the better.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Decorating with Vintage Clothing

I've become fascinated lately with using vintage clothing as decor.  Over the last few months, I've run across an amazing beaded flapper dress, two sweet christening gowns, and some beautiful lingerie from the fifties (bed jackets with lace and nightgowns) that I've ended up using in the little vignettes I like to scatter around my home.   

My window treatments are extremely simple; vintage priscilla curtains, lace curtains which I tea dye, or solid-color sheets that I purchase on sale.  I'm sure that you know how to make a curtain that way, right?  Just open the top hem of the sheet with a seam ripper, the part of the sheet you'd fold over the blanket when making the bed, and stick a rod through it.  I use wide ribbons marked down from Michaels as tie backs and often fasten the handle of a pretty vintage tea cup into the bow.  I've been using vintage clothes to dress up these windows on the cheap. 

In the pic above, the darling Battenberg lace dress and child's hat from the fifites were under $5 together.  The ceramic birds were from Goodwill and The Dollar Store.  I took the picture in sepia tones.  I love how it turned out.

I've hung adult clothes on vintage wooden or satin lingerie hangers that I pick up cheaply at thrift stores.  I hang the bigger garments on the rod, right on top of the curtain with some pretty spectacular results.   These lovely old dresses or nighties that I pick up cheaply (my rule is that they must be under $5) look casually stunning hung over a bedroom door from the top, with some coordinating old costume jewelry hanging with them.  It is easy to find things which coordinate with any color scheme.  I like to imagine that the pink and white bed jacket with roses and white nighties were left hanging on my bedroom door by a fomer resident of 256 Constitution Avenue, taking me right back to the 1940's. 

Simple,white baby clothes look lovely tea-dyed, starched, and hung against old windows resuced from the street and used for display.  Finally, I like those wooden accordian-type hanging affairs that you might see in a kitchen or laundry room for display.  You know the kind that you find at garage sales and thrift stores.  I spray paint them white and hang starched baby clothes, and even battered baby shoes, from the posts, along with charming flowered vintage plates, and hydrangea bouquets from the front yard.  You can created a unique, personalized display for a very small price.

Thursday, July 1, 2010