Secondhand Surplus

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.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Girly retro chair...

A new chair that I've been working on. I have started a lot of projects lately and not many of them have been finished for different reasons. It really wasn't bothering me and I knew that i would get a chance to work on them again soon.
Then last night as I lay in bed watching "Hoarders" one of the hoarders in question said that his hoarding started with projects that he brought home and wasn't able to find the time to finish. He now was trying to sort out his life on a TV show in front of everyone watching. His family was sad and effected, the city had already fined him for the mess that was his yard.
Well, after the show was over I sat up in bed and made a little "to do "list. This made me feel a little bit better, but I knew that I was going to have to spring into action.
So, today nothing on my list has been done, but I did finish this little chair project that had been sitting in my entry way for about a week.
Last week on my alley rounds (not looking for projects, but looking for something to help finish a project) I found 3, yes 3 great chairs in need of a home. What was I to do? Leave them there awaiting large trash removal day. Or work the jigsaw puzzle it was to try to cram 3 large chairs into our car knowing the car seat had to stay.(I really wasn't thinking about leaving my son in that alley, I'll leave his bike 4 hours away to haul furniture home, but never would I leave my little helper!) Well, they all fit. One in the back, one next to the car seat and one next to me in the front seat.
So, back to the part about me not ever wanting to be on a TV show about hoarding, I finished a quick makeover on this great chair. In its previous life it served as a scratching post for some lucky kitty, and the was some paint splattered on the back of the legs. I started by taking a bark cloth panel and cutting three sections and then sewing two seams to go right about where the legs are in the front. I then used my cardboard strips and upholstery tacks to tack the fabric around the front of the chair. This was previously done this way but with just the same fabric. I then stapled the fabric underneath the chair and used whatever they call that stuff that is used to finish the underneath of furniture.
Then with some help from my sidekick, we used goo-be-gone and extra fine steel wool and were able to remove all of the paint from the legs. After a good cleaning was done to the whole chair, I listed that pretty little thing on craigslist.
And there you go, no hoarders here!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

vacation pictures

So really only one picture was taken on vacation and that is of me butchering a crappie. The rest of the photos are of the great finds while on vacation. The first picture is of some sort of 70's woven art thing, that I love, for $1. The white clam shell chair was a find of my husbands that he easily talked them down from $5 to $4. Maybe one of his best finds yet. The last picture is of a Preway fireplace that we found for $65 and then told the man that the only way I could talk my husband into loading up the fireplace is if the price was more around $40. So, $45 later we no longer hand room to bring everything back home.(we left baby J's bike at mom and dad's!) There were lots of other things that made their way home with us, smaller things and for another day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


So here is a little story about a girl who loves to find things in alleys. I picked up a couple of chairs awhile back in an alley not far from here, one was in pretty good condition and the other looked as if a cat had been living onto for about 50 years. The one that was in good shape was sold pretty quickly since the white upholstery doesn't mesh well with a three year old and his chocolate milk lovin' ways. The other was placed in the basement of doom, to be reupholstered when I finished the 32 other upholstery projects I have going.
Today being a beautiful day, I decided I was going to tear the chair apart and rid it of the smell of all of the cats that have loved in so much in the passed.
The shape of the chair was a dead ringer for a Jens Risom Knoll webbed lounge chair, and by now I hope you know how I LOVE webbed vintage furniture. So I peeled the red crushed velvet back that had been so loosely stapled on, to find the sides of the chair also served those cats as a scratching post. No biggie, I was going to web that bitch anyway. Mind you I already looked for a makers mark and came up with nothing, I took out my utility knife and began to cuts those years right off that chair. The buttons went first, then the scratched and stinky upholstery. I tore through the blue composit batting, pulled all of the horse hair roping and burlap. I started pulling tacks, and so noticing how beautiful the wood was from the structure of the chair, and for those of you that don't go pulling furniture apart I will let you know that the wood inside isn't ever as nice as the legs and exposed parts. I was so happy that my little faux knoll chair was already working in my favor, then when I flipped the chair again I spotted what I thought was,"voltra". A quick google search turned up nothing, and I had never seen an upholstered Jens Risom chair of this shape. I then thought that maybe the "L" was a "S'' and quickly with my google search my heart sank to the bottom of my stomach.
For quickly I found that in Germany the chair was produced by Walter knoll under the name "Vostra" during the 40s and 50s, being designed by Jens Risom. The exact frame was used for the webbed chair as was for the upholstered chair.There it was, what am I to do? If I chose to continue with my plan would that destroy what the chair was, but since its the same frame are they inter-changeable? At this point I have left the springs intact, do I go ahead and reupholster? Do I list it on ebay in its current state knowing that we really shouldn't have nice things in our house with a child and two dogs? I'm so mixed at this point, i don't want to devalue the chair by completely changing it's original state. Please if you have any suggestions I'm all ears.