Friday, March 1, 2024

A Wee Bit 'O March Decor

I have been on the hunt for all things springy and colorful at the thrift stores. Even though I wasn't sure what they were, when I spotted this pair of small, green, mustached men at the thrift store (for 50 cents each), I decided they were perfect to welcome March into our home.
vintage green mustached men candleholders
The tops are open and I wasn't sure if they had stopper for salt and pepper shakers or what. I did a little research on them and discovered they are definitely vintage from the 1960's.
vintage green mustached men candleholders
Some of my research said that these were most likely bud vases, which is how I chose to use them. I set them on a vintage cocktail book on my bar.
vintage green mustached men candleholders
Upon further digging I discovered that they almost always come together as a pair. I think they were intended to be candleholders, but for fairly small candles like the Menorah candles I have. They may have been made as soldiers or nutcrackers for Christmas time, but I think they are perfect for March. 

And how do I research? I use Google Lens as a starting point. But then I try to google search words and more information. It is not a perfect search, but it helps me to learn a lot about the items I source and I love researching!
vintage green mustached men candleholders
They look like two, wee, jolly Irishmen ready for a tip of whiskey and they make me smile.

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Bright and Cheerful Candle Display

That's it, I'm done!! Done with winter anyway, done with cold white and brown. So while I always decorate with color, I am ready to add even more bright and cheery colors to my home.

So, I have been on the thrifting hunt for all things colorful. When I spied this rainbow striped, hand painted, ceramic tray at the thrift store, I knew it had to come home with me. The fact that it was only $3 made it even better.
Bright and Cheerful Candle Display
The blue on it isn't really "my blue", but I don't care. When you use neutrals for your major decor  spaces--walls, cupboards, sofas, etc., you can use all of the other colors as you please. I mostly decorate with dark greens, navy blue, burnt orange, and mustard yellow. 

I decided this piece would be a great candle holder for my upper, eat-in kitchen counter where I keep a seasonal centerpiece or display. This is what I had there post Christmas for the winter months:
Bright and Cheerful Candle Display
Now, This cheerful and bright candle display sits here.
Bright and Cheerful Candle Display
I replaced the neutral colored rattan runner with two thrifted, colorful, matchstick placemats.
I simply set the next to each other and placed the rainbow striped dish on top of them.
Bright and Cheerful Candle Display
I placed modern style wood candlesticks on the tray. I made these a couple years ago and you can read about how and why I made them HERE.
Bright and Cheerful Candle Display
The wood candlesticks adds some of that natural, organic texture that I love and tones down the bright colors. The wood also matches the wood tones in the placemat. The shape of the candlesticks help the display to look clean and modern.
Bright and Cheerful Candle Display
I found a candle snuffer on the same day as I bought the colorful tray. It is brass and has a little bird on it. The style is a bit more cottage than the ret of the display, but it is springy and I like using opposing style elements in one display as it creates interest and tension in the visual components.
Bright and Cheerful Candle Display
And, it works well! Today's thrift tips are: have fun with your decor, add some springy colors that make you happy, and if it catches your eye at the thrift store, you typically can find a way to use the item in your home.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Vintage Thrifted Art

Art is one of my favorite things to thrift, if not my very favorite. I always take the time to look through the art area at my local thrift stores. A vintage pastel drawing of an iris and a vintage, bamboo frame were both found on the same day, but in different thrift stores.
Vintage Thrifted Art
I loved the art--the green background with the white and yellow iris sings spring vibes to me, but the goldish papered frame wasn't quite right. 
Vintage Thrifted Art
I had bought the bamboo frame first and decided it would be a perfect fit for the iris art. I had to carefully remove the art from the matte it was glued to. I then taped it (with acid free tape) to the matte that came with the vintage frame.
Vintage Thrifted Art
Propping the art on my entryway shelf with other thrift store finds that have similar tones and textures is the perfect way to say, "Welcome spring, we are ready to greet you."
Vintage Thrifted Art
The vintage, bamboo frame is perfect for the vintage art. Remember, you can reframe thrifted art and make it more compatible with the artwork and your home.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Rustic, Vintage, Curated Finds with Organic Texture

I have been sourcing some wonderful items lately that all seem to share a common rustic theme with fantastic, earthy and organic texture.
Rustic, Vintage, Curated Finds with Organic Texture
Keep reading to learn more about some of these fabulous finds.
Rustic, Vintage, Curated Finds with Organic Texture
Wood printers trays have been a staple for those who love antiques for as long as I can remember. One of my childhood friend's mom had one hanging on her wall with lots of little trinkets displayed in the small cubbies. Today, I would hang this on my wall as is without filling it. It has a lovely, aged wood tone and would add interesting texture and warmth to a flat wall.

I loved the sides of the antique mirror with the reverse glass painting on the top. The wood cutting board has great patina.
Rustic, Vintage, Curated Finds with Organic Texture
A leather binocular case will get flowers and as far as I can tell, the carved, black forest, bear candlestick is a genuine antique and has some value. The square wood box has a little wood handle that when I first saw it, I thought it was a goose. The light colored wood box has Egyptian drawings on it and was used as an invitation to an Egyptian slide show. Slide shows? Yes, that is something my parents did in the 60's and early 70's to entertain guests.
Rustic, Vintage, Curated Finds with Organic Texture
A beautiful hand-woven, lidded basket with handles and a vintage crewel with an indigenous design would look good together. 
Rustic, Vintage, Curated Finds with Organic Texture
This vintage, bentwood, oak chair is very solid. It may get recovered in the deer tapestry. The deer pillow has a cottagecore vibe. The white, striped, cotton blanket is clean and the perfect throw blanket.
Rustic, Vintage, Curated Finds with Organic Texture
The vintage, brass crab is heavy and the shell opens to reveal an ashtray (one of the indicators that it is vintage). The brass mirror is an antique, which is obvious if you saw the wood back. I would like to find a mirror to fit in it. The wood scrapbook has black paper pages and it does have one, old, black and white photo, circa 1950, in it.
Rustic, Vintage, Curated Finds with Organic Texture
The three small wood bowls or dishes will get some furniture salve. They are the perfect size to hold rings or change on a dresser or vanity. The little, white ceramic swan is open on top for a tiny plant or ??? The metal box has a nice, tarnished patina and is velvet lined. 
Rustic, Vintage, Curated Finds with Organic Texture
A couple vintage book page prints will get framed.
Rustic, Vintage, Curated Finds with Organic Texture
I like to use the word curated for the items that I find for my shop. I do not randomly pick and buy items, but rather take the times to find and select items that I think are special and unique and that I love and would use in my own home.  

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Updating Thrift Store Finds with Paint

Thrift stores are full of fabulous, vintage and antique, wood furniture pieces. I recently found a bench with a caned seat and an antique mirror that would have been on a dresser.
Updating Thrift Store Finds with Paint
While I love the look and warmth of natural wood, both of these pieces needed some work and so I made the decision to paint them a dark, bluish green color that I mixed up from several different paints.
Updating Thrift Store Finds with Paint
The mirror had cup hooks all along the bottom of it that I am sure someone used for jewelry. I pulled those out and filled the holes with wood filler. 
Updating Thrift Store Finds with Paint
I knew that the holes, even though filled, would still show if I didn't paint over them. The bench was scratched and one of the wood medallions on a leg was missing so I decided it needed paint as well.
Updating Thrift Store Finds with Paint
I taped off the mirror and the caning on the bench and used a knife to trim the tape on the rounded corners. Paint prep is a pain, but so worth it in the end.
Updating Thrift Store Finds with Paint
After lightly sanding each piece and wiping them down, I painted two coats of the self-mixed dark green paint.When the paint was dry, I sanded a pit off it off on the detailed area on the top of the mirror and on the legs and handles of the bench. A matte clear coat of Min-Wax Polyacrylic completed the transformations for these two thrift store pieces. 
Updating Thrift Store Finds with Paint
Oh, and removing the tape to reveal clean lines is so satisfying!
Updating Thrift Store Finds with Paint
I did not paint over priceless antiques and the paint freshens and updates these wood finds and gives them new life for a new owner. I staged the bench with two thrift store pillows, neither one has green in it, but I love how they look with the bench and wall tapestry.
Updating Thrift Store Finds with Paint
My daughter studied in Italy last spring and so many of her photos had art and mirrors layered over tapestries or fabric covered walls. The layers add warmth and interest to a space. This thrifted tapestry is the perfect backdrop for the green mirror and bench and easy to change up or move. Ohh, and hello! There I am in the mirror.
Updating Thrift Store Finds with Paint
Hint--if you resell, paint items that can work together the same color and hope for a bundle purchase. While I love both of these pieces they will be for sale in my pop-up shop at the end of the month.
Updating Thrift Store Finds with Paint

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Early Spring Flower Basket with Thrift Store Finds

The sun is shining today and while running errands, I had to take my coat off. Spring is in the air, at least for today. And while I am trying to hold off until March 1st to decorate with spring decor, I am getting items ready for both my home and my pop-up shop. 
Early Spring Flower Basket with Thrift Store Finds
When i spied this basket at the thrift store, I knew it would make a perfect hanging flower basket.
Early Spring Flower Basket with Thrift Store Finds
I added a floral foam block to the bottom of the basket. I got this from the thrift store. I always look for them as they are much less expensive from the thrift store. I trimmed the ends of faux floral stem, which are also thrifted. 
Early Spring Flower Basket with Thrift Store Finds
I arranged the flowers in groups, add in height on one side, and bending the flowers over so they look more natural.
Early Spring Flower Basket with Thrift Store Finds
I tied on a white wired ribbon.
Early Spring Flower Basket with Thrift Store Finds
If I am using fake flowers I always make sure to use good looking ones and I add something real, usually sticks or branches. I added just a few curly willow branches for interest.
Early Spring Flower Basket with Thrift Store Finds
This basket is sweet hanging on a doorknob that you don't use often like in the picture above or on a hook in an entryway.
Early Spring Flower Basket with Thrift Store Finds
Hang it on a picket fence on the front porch
Early Spring Flower Basket with Thrift Store Finds
or set it on a table or shelf for a centerpiece.
Early Spring Flower Basket with Thrift Store Finds
Everything to create this early spring flower basket except the curly willow branches came from the thrift store. The white and light green and yellow color palette are perfect for March decorating. 

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Upcycling Thrift Store Nightstands

My daughter's roommate needed new nightstands for her room so the two of them went thrifting. They found two matching nightstands at the Habitat for Humanity Restore that were hotel cast-offs. They were only $5 each so I said, "Sure, I can fix those up"
Upcycling Thrift Store Nightstands
While the drawer and molding are real wood (not great wood), the rest of the nightstand was not. I knew I could make a few changes to update this outdated piece. I really wanted to change out the hardware (such an easy way to update furniture) and I wanted to get rid of the curvy legs and apron on the bottom.
Upcycling Thrift Store Nightstands
I sanded the piece, completely sanding the drawer, and then removed the bottom shelf and apron/legs. These were attached with screws so they were fairly easy to remove. Using a jigsaw, I trimmed off the thin tongue part that fit into the apron groove. I then painted the body of the nightstand white, making sure to use primer.
Upcycling Thrift Store Nightstands
I stained the drawer dark walnut and added a wood bottom shelf and wood block legs. These were also stained with the dark walnut.
Upcycling Thrift Store Nightstands
My daughter's roommate has a light blue comforter so I painted a thin 2" wide strip of wood light blue and glued that to the front of the drawer to cover the large holes left behind from the old hardware.
Upcycling Thrift Store Nightstands
Clear coat over everything and a new, white, sleek ceramic handle, also from the Restore, was the final step to update and upcycle this thrifted nightstand. 

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Spring Tablescape with Thrift Store Finds

“February is the border between winter and spring.”
― Terri Guillemets

Happy February! Yes, we are still smack dab in the middle of winter. But, as I mentioned yesterday, when you are in retail you always have to be thinking ahead. Yesterday I shared some springy, thrifted finds.
Spring Tablescape with Thrift Store Finds
Today I am sharing an early spring tablescape created with some of those finds.
Spring Tablescape with Thrift Store Finds
In complete transparency, I will tell you that I am not keeping this spring vignette displayed right now. Actually, most of these items will be for sale in my POP-UP SHOP. But, I wanted to share what YOU can do with thrift store finds.
Spring Tablescape with Thrift Store Finds
I always like to build my tablescapes or centerpieces or displays (which word do like for this sort of decor?) on something so that they look pulled together and cohesive. I used a round, wood cutting board. I didn't want the base to compete with the colorful objects on it so that is why I picked wood. I set this on a folded, pink, bandana napkin.

The large mug with pastel blues and yellows and pinks is the perfect vessel to hold the thrifted, faux Camellia flowers. I bent the stems to hold them in the mug because I didn't want to create something permanent. A white velvet ribbon tied to the mug handle adds some soft texture and draws the eye.
Spring Tablescape with Thrift Store Finds
A faux pussywillow stem placed in a blue and white plaid creamer gives the vignette some height. The creamer is sitting on a vintage pink dessert plate, which adds more of the spring pastel to the display.
Spring Tablescape with Thrift Store Finds
A grey glazed ceramic bunny completes the trio of objects displayed on the cutting board. Remember odds! A candle placed in a hand-painted, pink, square dish placed at an angle next to the cutting board finishes the vignette.
Spring Tablescape with Thrift Store Finds
Placing both the cutting board and the square dish on the pink bandana ties the tablescape together. A tablescape is a great way to add a seasonal touch of decor to your home. It is fun to hunt for possible items you might use and to play with their arrangement. 


Tips for creating your own spring tablescape:

* Pick a color scheme and look to repeat it in your objects.
*Set your objects on something--a tray, cutting board, large book, etc.
*Vary your heights and remember odd numbers.
* Set something to the side of your base or main display.
*Add nature--real or fake.
*Take pictures to decide what to add or eliminate.