Secondhand Surplus

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sight Light, new chair , and finished throw

The beautiful weather has had us work on all kinds of projects , and this lamp has been on my list for awhile. I purchased it at an estate sale for $8, and it had been poorly painted white at some point and the cord was very old and cracked. So, I set out to remove the white paint, having no idea how beautiful it was going to turn out. There is a lot of different metals going on with this lamp. There is brushed aluminum, copper , I'm not sure what the heavy base is made of and one of the interior rings is painted a flat black. This lamp cast a beautiful glow and will be a great light to knit by. I also switched out the cracked electrical cord for a new black cloth covered cord. It took be a couple of hours to rewire this lamp, when I originally thought it would take 10 min. tops. But I am happy with the outcome. (I love using paint stripper)

(this is before I started working on the lamp)

This is the new lamp, next to my new craigslist chair buy. I'm sure all of you locals had seen this listed for a couple of weeks. I was interested, but not for the asking price, so after it was relisted for the second time, I called the seller and asked her bottom dollar, and was able to purchase the chair for half of the asking price.( It never hurts to ask.) I love the chair, made by Westnofa, the leather is on the worn side, but all buttons are in tact, the leather is free of rips or cracks, and it is very comfortable!

And last but not least, it finished knitting my wool throw. I am in love with the texture of this piece, the color, and feel. It took a little longer than I was expecting, but only because sometimes I don't take into consideration the two children I have to take care of, instead of spending all evening knitting like I would like to. The throw goes well with the new chair and lamp, now now I have a great corner to sit an knit and read, If only I had the time.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pins and needles

Just needles really. I had a friend teach me how to knit while i was pregnant, and its been something I've really fallen in love with. I've made lots of scarfs, cowls, fingerless gloves, and some beanies. I love to work with chunky natural yarns, and big projects can quickly add up $$. I recently at an estate sale was lucky enough to find a bag with 3 skeins of undyed natural wool from Mexico for $6. I felt like it was a total score, and couldn't wait to start making a throw I had pined on pintrest. I didn't have needles large enough for my project, so I borrowed a pair to try out for size. While the size of the needle was large enough, they weren't long enough. At this point most would just get online and order the size needed. I like to make everything harder, and decided I could talk my husband into making a pair in the right size and length for the project in mind.

We went to the hardware store and purchased two dowel rods 48" long and matching the same diameter as a size 35 knitting needle, and two rubber plumbing washer type things(sorry I don't remember the exact practical use) but they fit snugly to the ends without have to use any adhesive. Then he send some time with the dremmel tool and me hovering over his shoulder to get the point at the end that i needed. Then comes in sanding with extra fine sand paper, to make sure the yarn didn't snag and would move easily from one needle to the other. That's it. Pretty easy. I have started working on my throw, and I have to say the huge needles are a little hard to work with, but I've found the perfect perch in the house to work with them. I do have to take breaks because its a bit taxing on my shoulders, But I think it will only take a couple of days to get the project finished.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Arabia planter

I found this planter at an estate sale, and it was the only thing there that I brought home, but I felt like it was a real score. I paid a dollar for the pair, and with it being in perfect shape, I couldn't have been happier. I had seen this type of planter in a couple of blog post on other blogs, but figured it wouldn't be something I would run into. It's a beautiful matte black, and the simplicity of the pot really lets the attention be on the plant. I have a hard time finding planters that I can live with and usually just pot stuff in plain terracotta pots. I do have a bullet planter that I refuse to plant in, being afraid it was deteriorate the fiberglass.

The Arabia planter was designed by Richard Lindh and made in Finland.

Does anyone else have a hard time finding nice pots to plant in ? Has anyone found a good source for nice simple, modern pots ?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spring chicks

We just got our new chicks since the temp has been so warm. We lost all of our chickens last fall by way of raccoon. We had gotten used to fresh eggs every morning, and it was hard losing what had become family pets.

So, these little girls by fall should be huge and thinking about laying. We have secured the coop and hopefully they will be out of harms way.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

reclaimed wood shelf and a new piece of West German pottery

My husband built this shelf for me after seeing a few similar at a clients house. My client had designed and built a few different styles for their own home. They have them in their windows and a huge one with glass shelves, and I think the design is so simple and so smart. They have one in their kitchen window for display and plants.

We decided to use some reclaimed wood that came out of a old house in Soulard. You can get the threaded rods at the hardware store in different sizes and the you just use coordinating nuts and washers. My husband just drilled larger holes than the rods, placed a nut and washer on first, slid the boards on and then another set of washers and nuts. We then used some glue to keep the nuts from moving and keeping the shelf level.

My husband has since built a larger one to house our books, turntable, speakers and other misc.

This is a new piece of West German pottery I picked up at a thrift store in Iowa on a short trip out of town. It goes well with the other pieces I have in my collection. I've tried to scale down to pieces that coordinate in a neutral color pallet. I did recently have one of my favorite pieces broken by a kitty. I try not to get too attached to things since living with kids and pets it can be hard to keep everything safe while still being able to enjoy it.

But, this piece fits in perfectly and you wouldn't ever know it was new!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


A few more photos of the new chair. I have now rubbed the wood down with Danish oil in walnut color, and it really did the trick. In a couple of the photos you can see the veneer on the corners of the chair is quite worn, either from a animal or bumping into a wall. Since our family is quite hard on furniture, at this point I'm not going to attempt to fix it. The Danish oil tinted the wood in these spots enough to camouflage them.

I was going to attempt to redo this in leather, and I actually wanted to do hair-on cowhide on the back and leather on the seat.

I went into Tandy leather to find the most cost effective way to get the job done, and dealt with a very rude sales associate, and was discouraged about the use of leather. I was told that leather isn't cost effective, and since I have children, the leather would eventually be destroyed. The sales person then continued to talk down to me, questioning the type of sewing machine, and my knowledge of leather. This went on for quite sometime, until I decided to leave empty handed and never go back.

I ended up picking up this great gray vinyl, on sale for 50% off, and found that even though this is upholstery grade vinyl, my machine had no problem working its way through this project.

I am slightly disappointed, that I let someone that I didn't even know discourage me to the point of changing my game plan. This will not be the last time I attempt to use leather, but I will be purchasing it some place else.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

It's not perfect, but neither am I

So I guess this is a little after and before since i uploaded the photos backwards.
Here is a cool Kodawood chair I picked up at an estate sale recently. I saw it in the posted pictures of the sale beforehand, and was super excited. I made it to the sale late on the first day,( People needing their hair done on a Saturday, the nerve) So when we finally made it there, I was sure the chair was gone.
So, there I am, baby strapped to the front of me, made my way very quickly through the house, with husband and 4 yr old to fend for them selves. Probably quite funny, the way they were trying to follow me around, and I was on a mission.
I get to the basement, and score, there it was, I was in luck.
Until I see the sticker price.
Really ? I find better things in the alley.... for free ? $85-
So, I go and find the people running the estate sale and tell them their price is ridiculous. But I want the chair, and if we could come to an agreement, I would treat the chair right. So, after agreeing on a price, and then begging my husband to let me bring home this rundown chair, and promising a finished picture of my newly redone chair to the estate sale folks, it was mine.
All of that means I had to get the chair finished, and quick.
So, this is it, its hard to tell from pictures, but its a nice wide chair, about 3ft wide. I still have some other things I want to do to the base( reapply veneer) but for now its sit-able. And I'm happy with how it turned out, and that's all that matters really.

Spring cleaning

I spent all day cleaning. And I mean really cleaning. The ceiling fans, windows, couch cushions, everything. In my house, with 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats and 2 adults, it doesn't stay clean for long. It does feel good to get it done though. Today I'm going to try to tackle the upstairs, but with the day looking so gray, I do feel like I've run out of steam. It's amazing how the weather effects I moods so greatly.

I did want to snap a few photos while there were no legos laying around, and all the baby stuff had been corralled. My husband was sweet enough to keep the kids busy most of the day, "Since cleaning with children home, is like shoveling snow while its still snowing-"(I think I read that on pintrest) I remember when I lived alone and could clean and it would stay that way for weeks, that's not so anymore. I may get two good days out of this spring cleaning.