Secondhand Surplus

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Faux Go

At the Goodwill in south county, I have always loved this sofa. I would love a nice chocolate brown leather 3-seater. Where you don't have to do any of the breaking in, where parts of it, like the headrest are so deep and dark in color, that you know its had years of love.
I at one other time have come across a Faux Go, at an estate sale, in a off white leather, priced at $250, but it was a much larger sofa than the one shown.
This sofa got my attention, but once I started to look it over, I just felt cheap. $50. Not a bad price, but some things you pay more for to get the quality you were expecting. This sad, dirty sofa only made me feel the same as it looked.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


I like to rearrange the furniture. Tossing the tree frees up space, and gets me thinking about moving stuff around.
When we went to replace the laptops that were stolen we decided to go with a refurbished desktop instead. So, that meant finding a desk. I love when we need a piece of furniture, because normally, I just shop in our basement or garage. But, I have been trying to sell more and hold onto less, and that had left us without a desk. When we were passing through Rolla MO, we stopped at the Salvation Army and found a great old tanker desk for $20, fitting it in the car proved to be quite a task. My determined husband made it fit, and we've been happy with purchase ever since. We were using a cool Goodform clerical chair, but it didn't prove to be the long term comfort I was looking for.
Christmas day, at my parents I noticed a new-to-them black leather executive chair and immediately began to question where it came from, and why I hadn't seen it before. I'm not even sure that my mom offered it to me, but we brought it home that day. (the last thing my husband wanted to do that day was move more furniture) but you have to strike while the iron is hot, or before your parents decide they don't want you rolling their new chair out the the front door.
These pictures were taken this afternoon with my new Christmas tripod, still trying to figure out the best way to shoot interior photos.

The tree is down. The only sign that Christmas was ever here is the pile of toys in our living room.The first picture is all of the needles that were left after the tree was taken out of the house. When I was sweeping I noticed a little collection of ornaments under our fireplace that the kitten had been hoarding, and a small ball of tape.
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas at my house

We've had our tree up now for a couple of weeks and is it bad to say I'm ready to take it down? The first couple of days its so nice to have a beautiful glowing tree to get you in the Christmas spirit, and then slowly, the tree starts to lose needles everywhere, the lights start to sag a little, the playful new kitten has removed all of the ornaments from the bottom of the tree, the skirt has already been put away since the kitten likes to move it around the house.
I will keep the tree up until the big day, but after that all bets are off. Last year our tree went out the day after Christmas.
But anyway, I took these pics the day it was decorated, and the newest addition to the tree this year are the vintage birds. Cardinals and doves. My great Aunt let me bring home some of her ornaments since she is unable to put a tree up any more, and as soon as I saw the birds I knew they would be happy at my place.
Growing up our tree topper was a white dove, wings spread. The funny thing about our childhood white dove was that, when we moved to St. Louis and were able to get a tall beautiful tree, we weren't really able to reach the top of the tree to gently place the dove in its highest resting spot. So every year we would take different approaches to get him up there, we would just throw him up there and hope that he would hold on for dear life, we would use a yard stick to try to gently coax him to the top. We would try to take the youngest member of the family and hold him up, and hope he could reach the top. After all of these attempts over the years, that poor dove became a little worse for the wear, and eventually lost a beak. So, instead of retiring that bird, my creative mom took a dried navy bean and put it where a beak use to be, and we lived with that bird for quite some time. I don't believe that dove is still around, but when I spotted the birds at my Aunts house, it brought all of those memories back, and now we have doves on our tree.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Thrift Scores

Here are a few things that have been brought home lately. Some are staying and some are already on their way out.
The first photo is of a industrial swivel arm wall mount work light I purchased at an estate sale today. Its beautiful, and if it were easier to mount things to our plaster walls, and get them to stay, I would mount this at our bed side opposite the other one I just sold on ebay. But since hanging anything more that a picture on our walls makes huge holes that no anchor will stay put, this cutie is already listed on ebay awaiting a new home.
The next photo is of a huge beautiful rug I found at a thrift store, a little on the expensive side, so I waited until customer appreciation day, and then the extra 25% off really helped. Its has made the couch extra cosy.
The picture after that is of a partially done hooked rug, that now hangs on my kitchen wall. I first spotted in an estate sale photo, and thought it was an abstract photo. Once I arrived to the sale I found that is was actually a work in progress, started quite a few years ago, and was still on the stretcher/stand used to make rugs. All I wanted was the rug itself, so at $45, I had to pass, since that price was mostly for the stand. Two weeks later, they reopened the sale one last time, and when I dropped by I was able to bring it all home for $10. I took it off the stand, and Baby J helped be drive some upholstery tacks through it and stretch it over a wooden canvas stretcher.
The next photo is from a couple different thrift stores, a couple of nice big teak square plates, Two turned walnut bowls, and a beautiful , HEAVY, pair of brass candle sticks. The antlers I've had for awhile, borrowed from my parents home.
And last, but not least this sweet little dala horse napkin holder, marked, made by Nils Olsson. This little guy is also listed on ebay, waiting to be centerpiece of someones Christmas dinner table.
So just when I start thinking there are no good deals left at the thrift stores or estate sales, all of these beautiful things were found.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mew is new...

Mew is our newest addition. We went to a Christmas expo, and left with a kitten. We must have had "sucker" written on our foreheads. But she is the coolest kitten and everyone is in love with her(with an exception of the dogs). Baby J carries her around the house all day and she doesn't seem to mind!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas comes early...

Over the weekend I was asked about a Christmas list, and I have to say It's usually pretty easy for me to come up with ideas of what someone can buy me on a moments notice. One of the things I've been looking for secondhand and coming up empty handed is a photo light.
I've been kind of working in the basement to have a small space to photograph items for craigslist or ebay, and of coarse the lighting in the basement is awful. So the first thing on my wish list was a tripod, but the second thing was a light. I've tried clamp lights galore and a three bulb overhead, but still I was lacking in the lighting department.
So, when discussing my wish list, my father-in-law jumps up goes outside and comes back in moments later with a cute little metal carrying case with a vintage photo light. I think my mother-in-law was maybe trying to signal him to wait and possibly wrap it and gift it for Christmas, Thankfully he was oblivious to her signals, and he plugged in a burn your retains, metal bar with 4 of the brights lights I've ever seen.
I just started messing around with the light today, and here are a few shots I took in a totally dark room with just the light bar and no flash or tripod.
I am so happy that Christmas came early, I have such a hard time waiting for things.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Camera exercise #2....

These were all taken today, in low light with no flash or tripod. I asked Santa for a tripod, so we'll see if I've been good or not. I think a tripod will bring a little more clarity to my interior shots,but so far I've been very happy with the results.

Camera exercise....

Someone got to do a little Black Friday camera shopping and for security reasons I'm not telling who.
But here are a few snaps of what our house would look like if someone was trying to get use to a new camera.
I hope everyone had a great weekend and we all found plenty of things to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonder Thanksgiving!
This image was borrowed from The Westchester magazine.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It might be quite around here for a while...

I will not be able to post and haven't been able to post on the blog due to my home being burglarized recently. This being more of a home and decorating type of blog, I assume that just about everyone that reads this loves their home as much I do.
We came home from a little thrifting afternoon out, to find our world upside down. It was about 3:30 in the afternoon, and my husband was unable to push our front door open, when he finally did, he noticed one of our chairs had been lodged up against it. The fridge door was wide open and the house was destroyed. From examination at the front door, we thought that there were two dogs about to be in big trouble.
My husband took one more step into the house, and found our TVs and his guitars laying in the kitchen floor. And then he turned to me and said we'd be robbed. We ran to the neighbors and then dialed 911 from my cell. The arrived in what seemed like 30 seconds, 6 cop cars, not even taking the time to park, police jumped out and pulled guns and began to walk around the house. We didn't even think about the fact that we may have just walked in on them.
To shorten up the story some, after a couple of hours, when me and my son were aloud back into the house, I felt so sad and then so mad. This has been going on since the burglary.
I wanted to start cleaning right away, and remove every reminder of the awful incident, from my home, but I just couldn't believe the mess. It was mostly food that they cleared from the fridge and pantry, to throw out for our dogs. And If you weren't aware we have a 95lb. Pit Bull and a chihuahua with a pretty big bark. We believe they pulled a drape from the basement to throw over the dogs until they could empty the fridge out on my cowhide rug for them.(orange juice? really? you took the time to empty a gallon of orange juice out on the floor so that after the dogs ate the 5lbs of leftover pasta con broccoli and three bags of cereal and the cheese and salsa you also through out for them, if they got thirsty they could just lick up the puddle of juice?) Anyway, back to the point, I went for my camera, to capture the mess that was my house, and of course my camera was stolen. Our computers, gone. At this point I really don't have much to update the blog with, besides this story. All of my photos are gone, personal and blog inspiration.
So, it might be awhile, before blog post resume. I will try to stay caught up on others'blogs, and maybe a little c-list here and there. But for now I will be a little disconnected, until we can pick up the pieces.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

If anyone ever asks I always say,"Go neutral."

I am a firm believer in keeping your large pieces neutral. Your couches, chairs, window treatments, and rugs, will be staples and everything else can be switched out easily and inexpensively.
Then I brought home a very long purple couch. I thought well, I can make it work, purple can be a neutral(?) Its a solid, I've got that going for me.
I've carved out a space in my home and have embraced the purple couch, and we will see if it withstands the test of time.
So, I thought I was done with the stand-out furniture pieces.Every other large piece in my house is either black, gray, brown, white or cream(a little army green). I try to stick to my own rules. Whenever I get or see a new/old piece of furniture I always immediately try to picture it in a beautiful gray, of any shade, but gray is always the way I picture things, trying to decide if the shape is still something I'm in love with.
They say rules are made to be broken.
The first photo is taken from Style by Emily Henderson, and the neutral backdrop with the floral is still simply beautiful. I'm not sure of where the next photo was pulled from, but the graphic wallpaper in such an acid color is really a statement,(not sure how long I would be able to live with such a statement,but that's why I always say neutral.) The third photo is from Sfgirlbybay,Victoria Smith's new home. Her new dining room is all neutral with a floral pop from the cushions on her pedestal chairs. The forth photo is from Simplygrove, a new floral chair amongst her neutral. Last but not least is the new vintage set that I brought home from a appointment only estate sale.
Sweet little set made by Selig, a mister and misses chair and ottoman. I couldn't resist. I fell in love with the shape and the color and pattern.
I've crowded them into my family room at this point, I may have to separate the pair into different parts of the house, but for now they are living side by side in a sea of neutral.
(*by the way the new purple couch was just used in a photoshoot with my vintage Arco style lamp, hopefully I will have pictures soon to share)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Still thinking about my purple sofa.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sick in bed...

At least there is a good view.
The bedroom is still not quite finished, but is it ever really finished? The last photo is of the new huge painting we got in Belleville, the colors go great in our bedroom and great with the rug I just moved up there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A little bit o' Belleville

Being a business owner, my husband works a pretty crazy schedule. The bad side can be late nights, late mornings. The good side of it, is that with his crazy schedule, most people work a 9-5, and can't go thrifting on a beautiful Friday, Autumn afternoon. But we can.

The first and last photo are of a sofa that we found and left at the salvation army in Belleville.
We found this beautiful velvet purple sofa at our first stop of the day, and its hard to pack your car full knowing that there are many more shops to come. I stated my love and then turned a cold shoulder after asking a worker when the mark downs were taken. I thought maybe working a deal would convince my better half that we were walking away from a beautiful deal.(my husband pretended not to notice that whole conversion, and I know that main stream thrift store don't make deals, but I also know that those same places do mark downs at a certain point, and not always on time.) We walked away.

The next stop was one not on our agenda, and proved to be one of the best stops of all. Not due to them handing out bucket loads of cash at the door, but the good/fair prices and the wonderful employees.

We purchased a huge 4'x4' original painting, and when they found we were interested in this huge painting they took us upstairs and let us sift through a whole lot of his work, and said since we appreciated his work we could have them for 2 bucks a piece.

Those are the two pieces that I poorly photographed.

The next photo, is the beautiful art neuvo bowl we found at this little place that was marketed as a thrift store, but upon entrance was more of a secondhand bad furniture type store. The first thing upon entrance was a HUGE black panther coffee table with a glass top, marked "sold". I knew there wasn't going to be much there to interest me, but with there only being the owner working I hate to turn around at the door.

I spotted a beautiful bowl, grabbed it, noticed it was priced $15 and the owner said, I'll do $7.

That's all I wanted, grabbed it, said thanks and goodbye.(Baby J doesn't do well at those kinds of places, resale with toys in sight are always the best bet.

I did a little google search and found my new bowl made in Germany, produced in 1929, was listed on an auction site, estimated cost being 400-600 dollars. Not bad.

And last but not least, the beautiful mid century purple velvet sofa, that made my heart hurt. We left it where we found it, and I tried to get my mind off of it.

My Husband went to work early the next morning, to come home with the most beautiful surprise. The couch cost nothing compared to new sofas, but the fact that he knows me well enough to know, the a new purple sofa will give him an uninterrupted evening of football viewing!

(I'm not sure what happened to the last half of my type, sorry.)