Secondhand Surplus

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Santa Please...

Dear Santa, I would like to start off by saying I've been really good this year. I would love to wake up Christmas morning with a pair of Russell Woodard Sculptura chairs under the tree. I really want the arm chairs, and the low lounge chairs would be the best. The color doesn't matter to me, the black one above is great, but I wouldn't be unhappy with white ones either. I imagine them in my living room, very cozy with sheep skins across. ( don't worry, I already have the skins!)
I don't believe that I asked for anything last year, so I really kind of have my fingers crossed! If the chairs make a tight fit in the sleigh, you are welcome to leave some of my children's things out, they won't know the difference, and they haven't been nearly as good as myself anyway.
                                                                                       Sincerely, Hannah

What does everyone else have on their "never going to happen" Christmas list?

Image via 1stdibs Cosmo

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

In the bedroom...

I have been wanting to take pictures of our master bedroom for awhile now. It proved very hard to photograph, and that is probably the reason I don't take pictures up there very often. It is a huge room compared to the size of our house and was originally two smaller bedrooms that someone had taken the dividing wall out of. The ceiling is low and sloped and creates a very cozy atmosphere.
We don't spend a whole lot of time upstairs besides for sleeping and I'm always trying to figure out what I can do to change that.
The first photo of our bed shows the reclaimed "headboard" my husband hung for us. The matching nightstands where picked up with the gentlemans' chest shown in the second photo. I have stacked my Hartmann suitcases on top to avoid them being used as a cat scratching post( which was witnessed at one point in the middle of the night).The third photo shows my most recent craislist find, a large piece of vintage fiber art.

The little table under it was originally an ottoman that i took apart and had a piece of soapstone cut to fit the walnut base.On top of the table sits a small white ceramic Frankoma panther that we purchased at the Frankoma studio on our way through Sapulpa OK to get married in Santa Fe.

I love this handmade pillow I picked up at an estate sale, I know I paid less that a dollar for it and its all hand embroidered. I think the design has a modern feel despite its actual age.
We also have space to have a full size sofa, which i thought my oldest would like to sleep on when he sneaks in our room in the middle of the night, but he prefers the sheepskin next to the bed.
I keep some of my favorite things in the bedroom in hopes of keeping them special, tucked away from the rest of the house.

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Well, I've committed to selling off my cookware collection. I have a set of Descoware cookware in the "flame" colorway listed in my Etsy shop. I will begin listing my Le Creuset piece by piece. My hope is to switch out the decor in my kitchen and begin collecting pieces in primarily white, with some black thrown in.
This is most of my collection and every piece has been well used and loved. If anyone out there has any white pieces they are interested in trading for "flame" let me know!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A few new things that have followed me home...

Brass and marble arc lamp

Jaru California ceramics

Yesterday's loot

Modernist watering can

Kobenstyle and Copco

Vintage Goodwood jars
Here are just a few things that I have brought into our house and most will be listed soon in my Etsy shop.The arc lamp was a craigslist purchase made while in Springfield IL. We had taken a little drive and I decided to check out what might interest me on their list. The lamp popped up, I send a quick email and heard back within minutes. We didn't even have to drive out of the way.
The second photo is of a great ceramic piece that stands over 20'' tall. I have seen lots of cubist type animals done by Jaru, but I can't find another similar sculpture type piece online.
The rest of the pictures are things I picked up yesterday all in fell swoop. I grabbed the watering can first, and thought the modern lines of the piece were unusual. I have found a couple of others online, but not sure about its history. The two new white enamel cookware pieces were what excited me most. The small lidded pan in marked copco and the larger teak handled pan is unmarked from what I can tell. I'm pretty sure it is Kobenstyle and have read that at one point the company didn't mark their pieces.
The set of glass canisters with teak lids are all marked Goodwood. I love this set and am really drawn to the glass and wood combination.
I love the white cookware so much that I think I am planning to sell off all of my flameware Le Creuset and changing up the kitchen some. I have been collecting the flameware pieces for years now, and It's hard to imagine changing mid-stream. But I do think that's one of the reasons I love the hunt.
Does anyone else have a collection they have worked on for years to only decide to move in a different direction?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ask and you shall receive...

Let me start this post by saying this is usually not the case. I have been asking to find a Eames LCW in an alley for years. It still has not happened. But about a week or so ago, I did a short blog post about The pieces of Hartmann luggage I had found. I've been searching high and low to find another suitcase smaller than the one I had found, to stack together to create some attractive storage. This search only lead me to pieces that were still out of my price range. So, fast forward to yesterday, and there at a local thrift store I found the pieces I had been asking to run into. Ask and you shall receive.(sometimes)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween and a little DIY

 I was inspired to do a little DIY when I came across these glitter skulls at Target. I was going to make a concrete base for them, but while I was at the craft store gathering supplies, I came across these wooden boxes on sale instead. I started with weighting the boxes with plaster, since they are light weight. After letting the plaster dry for 24 hours, I drilled holes in the back of the boxes, above where the plaster stops. Then I cut wooden lids out of a separate piece of light weight wood, I also drilled a hole in the center of the lid for the rod and wiring to come through. I used a acrylic gray paint to finish the boxes, I wanted to still see wood grain, so I watered down the paint, brushed in on, and quickly wiped it off.
I had the threaded rod already, so I just used a hack saw and cut it in half. I used a long sharp object to cut through the skull enough to run the rod through. I purchased 16 feet of cloth cord from the lighting store, along with two plugs. I already had the nuts to secure the rods through the lid of the box, I just used one on either side to secure the rod. I had two brass Hubble sockets from an auction, laying around, and decided to use them since i wasn't planning on using lamp shades. They are really heavy duty and quite beautiful for a lamp socket, and design wise can stand on their own. I also top the sockets with chrome dipped light bulbs, which can be found at most hardware stores. This helps cast the light downward since there aren't any shades.
And that is it. I really easy DIY, that has a spooky look, but can be kept out year round. You can also adjust this project to your own needs if you aren't in the the glitter skull thing. You can put just about anything you want and the threaded rod and have custom lamps.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Hartmann Luggage

Vintage 1970s Hartmann Luggage

Vintage Hartmann Luggage carry-on
My new obsession. The carry-on / overnight bag was found at the beginning of the week at a thrift store close to home. I fell in love with the worn leather trim and handles, and the masculine color body of the bag. When I got a chance to do a little research on the bag I found that the Hartmann luggage company has been making luggage for the last 125 years. This luggage new is not what i would call cheap. As I was sifting through pictures of vintage Hartmann pieces, i saw some beautiful tweed suitcases with gorgeous camel colored leather trim. It was love at first sight. So, now can you imagine my surprise and excitement when while shopping a different thrift store later in the week, I found just the suitcase i had been lusting over! Crazy how things work out that way. I probably wouldn't have even spent much time digging through the luggage selection had i not stumbled upon these pieces with my google search. I am now on the hunt for one more smaller suitcase matching the tweed one i found, and this is when things get frustrating. I already lost out on one via Ebay last night. I had to hand my phone over to my husband and tell him not to return it until the auction was over, its easy to get sucked in.
Don't you wonder about the things you miss out on, just because they haven't been brought to your attention yet?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What does Adrian Pearsall, C. Jere and a wool railroad blanket have in common?

1943 The Pullman Co. railroad blanket

They are all treasures picked up in one afternoon of thrifting.

Adrian Pearsall side table

We were lucky enough to find a great pair of Pearsall side table, only after finding a 3 piece set of C. Jere wall sculptures. The wool blanket is in great condition, and after doing a little research, I found that these blankets were used in sleeping cars. This one has a number 8 on it, which indicates it was made in 1943. This piece is already listed in my Etsy shop. I will soon be listing the C. Jere pieces as well, as soon as I can get prettier pictures of them. After looking online at these pieces it seems the 2 smaller pieces aren't always found with the larger. I will also be listing the side tables in my shop, but one has a rectangle piece of glass, and I believe that these only came with round tops. Right now they are keeping our Adrian Pearsall chair that we found at auction company.
It seems that nice vintage pieces are becoming harder to find out there in the wild, and because of this I tend to feel the need to hoard. Its easier for me to let go after I have been able to enjoy them for a while, and when a new beautiful piece finds its way here. Does anyone else out there have the same problem of fighting the urge to keep all of the pieces they find, when you know you should let go?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


It's been just about 5 weeks since my last post, and I'm just not sure where the days have gone. I now have a kindergartner living with me which seems pretty crazy. Everyone says it, but man do they grow up fast. I was lucky enough to be able to stay home with my oldest and spend just about every second with him, but it amazes me that you only get the first 5 years with them at home, and then school starts and we won't ever get that much time together again.
On the up side, I do have a little more time to myself, while the baby naps during the day. I had high hopes for this time. I imagined DIY's all over the house. I imagined keeping up with the blog more. I imagined my Etsy shop filled to the brim. I pictured afternoons scouring the thrifts. And now for some reason with my new found time I can hardly keep up with laundry.
In the last 5 weeks of being MIA , We did hit a few mile stones. One being that my baby turned 1. Like I said before they do grow quickly. My husband and I celebrated our 6 years of being married. and that will take us to our first photo, since I'm sure that's what you came here to see, and not necessarily hear my excuses for being a bad blogger.
I had the pleasure of meeting a local online shop owner through Craigslist. Robin owns, Its a shop beautifully curated with vintage, industrial and mid century items. After meeting Robin I immediately started ogling everything in her shop, and spotted a large "H" channel letter, and knew it would be an excellent anniversary gift for my husband. He loves these letters and is always on the lookout, usually finding the perfect ones still attached to buildings.Robin was kind enough to make a trade with me for someone she didn't mind adding to her collection.
I have been able to hit up just a few estate sales recently, and the table above has been my most favorite recent find. We had a morning without the kids and of course hit up a couple of second day sales. This table was found unpriced and caked with years of kitchen grease. For $20 I decided to take on the challenge of cleaning it well enough to be used as a coffee table. When we got the table home and place it in the living room it was apparent that the height was too tall for it to be used in front of our sofa. Luckily my Dad has a good friend that was able to cut all the legs down by 6'', and that made it possible for us to also go ahead and boil the legs to loosen up the years are kitchen grime. We scoured all of the parts with S.O.S. pads and used oven cleaner on the table top surfaces. I'm happy with the outcome, and I think the stainless steel is a nice contrast to all of the other wood surfaces in the room. The bottom shelf will also be a nice place to store blankets or children's games.

My husband recently has taken to thrifting without me, and the two photos above are little purchases he has made. The top photo is of a set of three handmade danish modern candle holders. Most of these that I have seen or had before seem to be more commercially made, whereas this set is not perfectly uniform and on the bottom you can tell a hand tool was used.The second photo is of a large West German vase that he also brought home, I like to pretend that these are little love gifts that he surprises me with, but in his mind I think he's hoping that I will put them in my Etsy shop. Ok, So there. I'm back on the horse, I have lots more to share. I have also made a few furniture purchases recently, That I will be back to show you before the week is through.
I will also be selling at the Green Shag flea market this weekend, so if you were unable to make it last time or you made it, but you are a junkie like me, please come and check it out.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Lucky Find...

Patchwork overdyed rug (1)

rug (#2)

rug (#3)
 These rugs are one of my most recent and treasured finds. A couple of years ago when ABC carpet started selling these overdyed rugs, I tried DIYing one, because I knew that I would never be able to afford one. The DIY was not really a success, so I moved on to other things to obsess over.
Fast forward to last week, when I decided to stop into a resale shop close to my house, that I had always overlooked. I decided to stop in even though I had two kids in tow, and I was sure that "Grandma's Attic:" was going to be a bust. When we got into the store it was stacked to the ceiling with things that you would find in my grandma's attic if she had one. It was mostly junk even though my 5 year old was very excited by her collection of beanie babies and plastic Mardi Gras beads. I decided to give the room with clothing a once over when I spotted what look to be a cool rug. I went over for closer inspection, and found 3 patchwork antique/vintage overdyed rugs. I of course had a baby in my hands and was unable to sit him down, because that's exactly where they coined the term," bull in a china shop"(I think). So, since grandmas prices seems closer to the reasonable side I asked what it would cost to take all 3 home, before I even took them down off the rack knowing it was going to be a task.She told me I could get all three, for about next to nothing. I quickly with the one free hand I had started pulling the rugs down and loading them in to the trunk of my car.
I of course would like to keep them all, but since I don't want to end up on an episode of  "Hoarders", I have listed the multi-colored one in my new Etsy shop, that you can find the link to right under my header. I just opened up shop a couple of weeks ago, and have tons of things to list, but seems to be going a little slow. That is partly why my blog has been put on the back burner. Hopefully soon I will find time to manage both.
The bottom two photos are of the purple/cobalt rugs in place, these are the two I willing be keeping for a while. I am trying to take rug layering to the extreme, and so I have a Moroccan reed and leather rug under a cowhide and then topped of with my new Patchwork overdyed rugs from Pakistan. Its a little much, but I always hear in decorating to make sure and layer!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Children bring so much to our lives....

Childs Bertoia chair

Mama and baby

vintage Cosco booster seat

brothers enjoying modern design

new cat's cradle bases

bent plywood teeter-totter
Children bring so much to our lives, and some of that is pint size modern design.When I had my first child, I was so appalled by the new plastic toys that would soon take over the house. I felt that you could avoid it by carefully choosing beautiful wooden toys, so that your house would still have a consistent flow. I soon realized that those lovely BPA free wooden toys are expensive and children like brightly colored plastic toys that you can easily come across at any yard sale.
I did find this great vintage cosco booster seat at a thrift store for under $2, when my first was young. I had bid a few different times on these seats on ebay before we even had a child in the house. I always lost out and was excited to find this one close to home and next to nothing. I believe these were booster seats for the car, the cut-outs in the side are for the seat belt to go through.
The first picture is of the newest addition to our home, and its a vintage Knoll Bertoia chair sized for a child. I grabbed this yesterday when I spotted it in the window of a store while driving by. I at first glance thought it would just be a matching mate to my backyard bertoia, and was beside myself to find it was a matching miniature. This size is harder to find than the adult version, and I would love to own two(one for each child) but I doubt that lightning will strike twice.
I decided to purchase new bases for the two purple Herman Miller armshell chairs and went with the cat's cradle base(LAR). These bases weren't necessarily intended for children, but if you have ever sat in one you will understand that a seat height of 11.5'' is perfect for a child. What I love about these chairs, even thought they sit VERY low to the ground, the shell itself is a standard size and is still comfortable for an adult.
I have to remind myself that nothing in the house can be precious with two boys running(and crawling) around, because these chairs, I've been told by my 5yr old, are great to turn upside down and hide under. They are used to roughhouse on, to play video games from and a perfect height to eat dinner right off the coffee table in.(not that I allow my children to eat in front of the tv-HaHa!)
The last photo is of a thrift find that I couldn't leave behind, but not quite practical since I don't have two children close to the same size. This bentwood teeter-totter was $9 and to me one of those beautiful wooden toys I was talking about before. I can't find much about it online, except a couple of years ago one sold at our local auction house and was only labeled as modernist child's toy. It could be Ikea for all I know, but the sculptural design of this toy helps counteract all of the plastic crap that is laying about the house ever since I decided to have kids.

Monday, July 30, 2012


Most collections are formed over time, and it seems that the hunt is just as important as the collection itself. It usually starts for me with finding an item that immediately speaks to me, with no intent on starting a collection. Then the collection starts by running into the same item again, and it may be in better shape than the first, or a color that you enjoy more, or maybe even a price so low you can't leave it behind. And this is how it starts. Then, once you have two, you are all of a sudden on the look out for additions to your collection.
There have also been many collections I have sold off, no longer having room or longer enjoying that collection, only to move on to a new collection.
The first photo is of some of my collection of jars with cork lids. I have more than I have space to display, but with having cats in our household they have to be put somewhere the cats don't enjoy laying. This collection really has no value to anyone but me, but like I stated before, it just kind of happened. We use them as nature jars, and our oldest loves to pick up feathers, acorns and rocks when we are out on walks. So, this collection also has a function.
The next photo is of my rice threshing baskets. This collection started when I found 3 small basket for 25 cents a piece, and brought them home not knowing exactly what they were, but thinking I could possibly have a use for them. The collection started to grow as each additional one was larger than the last, and with the prices never exceeding a couple of bucks, the collection started to grow. The largest one I currently have is 3 feet in diameter.
The last collection is one that was purchased recently, and the collection was already formed. The photographs were all taken between 1970-1980, are labeled on the back of where the photograph was taken, and I was first drawn to them for there modern frames. At 50 cents a piece, this was another collection that I couldn't leave behind. When I got them out of the thrift store and home, I realized I also love the colors and subject matter of the photos and instead of just using the frames, the collection is now on display currently on our wall.
I have many other collections around the house, some may stand the test of time, and some may leave me to become part of someone else's collection.
a little rearranging and two chairs waiting for new bases