Secondhand Surplus

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.