Monday, July 16, 2007

Thrifty (but not exactly "thrifed")

Ok so I got lucky at a local auction the other day - I scored 2 mid-century modern armchairs for $1 CDN. Yup, $1. So, they're a little beat up but they've got great bones. Hardwood frames with exposed arms and legs that need to be stripped, sanded, stained and varnished and funky Naugahyde covers in a oh so lovely turquoise. I'm thinking a dark brown stain and low-shine varnish but I'm totally stuck on fabric. I was leaning towards a 50s style boomerang print but now, I am totally stumped. Any suggestions out there in blog land?

(p.s. these photos were snapped right after K the elder unloaded the car and snapped "those aren't coming into my house until they're clean!". I agreed and set upon them with hot, soapy water, a scrub brush and vinyl pool liner cleaner - miracle of miracles! BTW check out how exactly the same button is missing from both chairs.... hmmmmmm makes ya wonder what happened, eh?)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What a couple of quarters will buy you

A giant bag of stamps from Canada & the UK (50 cents)or

A brand new linen towel from Portugal, perfect for framing (50 cents)or

a pair of Lucite handles straight from Aberdeen (25 cents)and a couple of pairs of vintage knitting needles (50 cents a pair)

and the world's coolest hairdryer

Actually, I found this at a yard sale but the seller only wanted a buck; I bought it for the case but it looks like it was never used. Out of respect for such a beautiful object, I can't seem to remove the hair dryer...the case is such a flashback to my childhood. Scary!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Still shopping...still thrifting

It's amazing, ya know. Girl gets bright idea, opens shop on new blog, shops and writes about, girl gets busy (with a capital "B") and forgets to write about all the shopping that she's been doing...just crazy, I tell ya!

In our local thrift-o-rama, I picked up this amazing piece of early 70s party- nostalgia

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you - that is a genuine, bonafide party platter in a deep shade of olive (mmmmm OLIVE!). It cleaned up nicely - K took a little soft scrub and gently abraded off a few discolorations, took it apart and cleaned and oil the lazy Susan mechanism and Bob's Your Uncle, it looks like new.I can't stop playing with it. Be forewarned; it will be making appearances at all my summer cook-outs! Be ready to oooh and ahhhh

I managed to snag a few more pieces of calico for my couch cushion project, a nifty sheet for my dining room blinds project, a funky hairdryer from the early 70s (actually bought it for the case) and a whack of vintage tea towels. Our network is acting up but once I fix it, I'll post those photos. The tea towel story will make cry (in a good way - I promise!)

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Am I the only one who loves old patterns? I have to sort through them every time I visit the thrift shop. I picked these 2 up one day and fell in love with the details - the longer jacket with half belt, the flowing tunic top (and turban)

I threatened my son, Pat that if he had a baby, I'd make it a sleeper out of the bat pattern. Nanny's little goth baby. He just laughed and said 'that'd be cool'.
The most incredible Kim sent me a CARE package of beautiful vintage men's patterns that she found at a estate sale

Aren't they cool!?!She was smarter than I was and remembered to shut her flash off before she snapped the shot LOL

And I sooooo want to make this robe

Don't even get me started on the knitting patterns - in multiple languages, no less!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

How a $3 sewing box transforms from this...

into this

all it took was some left over tequila green paint (my favourite drink; why not a great paint color?) and some $5 oops paint in a beautiful magenta (oooh Rocky Horror Flashback) and it's good to go. Not bad for a $3 find, eh?

What have you done to your thrift store finds lately?

Friday, April 20, 2007

More swag from the Op Shop

The knitted doll clothes book cracked me up, especially when I flipped it over and saw Barbie on Hullabaloo

Just like some cheesy late 60s dance show - Swing, Barbie, Swing

Then, there's the happy jungle fabric

A couple of metres of pandas and elephants, a metre of fruits (and peas - haven't figured that out yet. Were there no green fruits available? NO kiwis? No limes?), a small piece of soft calico and the most incredible hanger thing (I think that it's for belts but I'm making a cover for it and hanging my necklaces, dust free in the closet). All for $3.67! I've already got 2 people who want shopping totes from the jungle fabric. I like it so much, I may make myself one, too - like I need any more bags LOL

What does $1.5 buy you these days?

Some fun stuff - I seem to gravitate to the same stuff in any thrift store. The first port of call will always be yarns and fabrics, without fail. Now that we've finally fixed our network, I can start to post some of my thrifted swag.
This day, I found three packages of vintage bias tape, 1.5 metres of a beautiful calico and the most adorable knitted doll clothes book.
I love old knitting books that people have used and loved - this was complete with hand-written notes and coffee stains. Obviously a knitter after my own heart.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Happy Thrifting Haven

In the messy closet that is my mind, I've had an idea to build a site devoted to my love of thrifting for quite some time. A proverb that I love states that 'the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is today' - so, today is the day. In the words of a genius "Wheeeeeeeee!" Here, I'll post my finds, reviews of various shops or events, links to other thrifting resources and stores and anything else thrifty and good.I'd also love your reviews & finds, too. Let's spread the thrifty-goodness, kids

Why Thrifting?

Face it, thrifting is the modern age safari - stalking the watering holes, the thrill of the hunt, the perfect trophy to mount on your wall (or on your backside) - everything except the man-servant to massage your feet once it's all said & done. For the longest time, I felt forced into a place of almost-embarrassment about thrifting; just like dumpster diving, thrifting is not looked highly upon by my clansfolk. My older brother would be ashamed to see me giggling my way through Value Village or Goodwill, just like he was embarrassed by my 'great furniture finds' along the side of the road. Hey, can I help it if people toss out the coolest things on 'big item' garbage day?

Back in my burgeoning punk days, my then-boyfriend showed me the wonders of a the church rummage sale and Sally Ann. For less than a few bucks, we found incredible clothes and a look that was uniquely ours. What really did it for me were the vintage pieces that I found (most of which I still have). The perfect 50s stilettos so cool that one of my high school teachers borrowed them for her beatnik costume, the silk satin smoking jacket that doubled as the perfect evening dress, the suede mini skirts (2!) and matching gogo boots that just happened to fit perfectly, the embroidered cotton nightgown that, once paired with the prerequisite Doc boots, looked uber-cool with my green Mohawk and piercings. It's a giant shift from school uniform to funk-punk queen but it felt right at the time.

Time shift forward 20+ years and I'm still here. Fueled by a love of fabrics and assorted 'house coolios', I love a yard sale, a thrift store or rummage sale.

Hey Ho, Let's Go

Some of the (local) thrift stores that I've visited
Lanark Thrift store (Lanark)
The Hub (Almonte)
Salvation Army (Moodie Drive, Ottawa)
Goodwill (Robertson Rd., Ottawa)
Carleton Place Athletic Ass'n Shop (Carleton Place)
Value Village (Merivale Rd, Ottawa)
Salvation Army (Perth)

The wonderful Miss Twiss offered her 2 cents and shared that she likes Saint Vincent de Paul (have to admit that I have yet to visit this tempting locale), Attic (just gorgeous!) and Aunt Olive's - that one's new to me. I sense a shopping trip coming up

What are some of your favorites?