Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hunted:: Gathered: 05/01/11

I hope everyone had a great thrifting week. I did not do my usual thrifting rounds this week but I did manage to go to a couple of the usual spots.

This is my loot for the week:

I picked up this Nambe bowl because after seeing many of these in the past and passing them up I finally reached my limit. This one is in need of a good polish but does not have any major nicks and dents like others I have seen. I am always attracted to the modern lines that these pieces have and I love that they are hand buffed and polished. There is definitely an element of craft to their products. 

I also picked up a roll of vintage drawer-liner/ wallpaper that the Nambe bowl is on at a local estate sale. It was only .25 cents. It is pretty thin and almost feels like wrapping paper so I'm not sure what to call it. I think I am going to use it for a small project that I have in mind.

I also picked up two Heller trays designed by Massimo Vignelli. I am not convinced about this purchase but this was actually the second set I found this week. I think it was a case where 4 trays were donated and two ended up in one thrift and the other two in another. I passed them up at the first thrift when I was at the register, I just couldn't do it a second time.

Here is a small enamel plate to match my snowflake one. There is something about enamel plates and cookware that I cannot resist. The fact that it is blue doesn't help either!

Last but not least I found another Iittala piece. This one was designed by finnish architect Alvar Aalto. It isn't in perfect condition but I was too excited to leave it behind. It also has a fused decal on it that I am trying to remove. Luckily it is on the bottom of the piece and is barely noticeable.

I also found a cute Pyrex apple juice pitcher that is currently holding some fresh squeezed orange juice. The boy likes to buy 25lb bags of oranges and we are just two. I decided to make some orange juice with a vintage glass reamer that I recently bought. It has seen the most action out of all of my thrifted/ garage sale purchases!

I hope you've enjoyed my short post. Happy Hunting!

Linking up this week with:

My Recent Trip to Florida

I recently returned from a trip to my hometown of Miami. I went for several reasons. Firstly my mom's birthday was last month and I couldn't make it. It was a milestone birthday. Secondly, my nieces from Jacksonville were going to be in town for their Spring Break vacation. Thirdly, I really needed to see some outdoor wedding venues in person.

I was there for one week and it wasn't nearly enough time. My mom and I were driving non-stop throughout Miami. I did manage to spend some quality time with family friends which is always great. I was also able to appreciate several places that I had never been to despite growing up there. I also went thrifting one day but came back empty-handed. I did however inherit some items which I will be sharing this week.

Happy Weekend!!

Pictured above are Matheson Hammock Park, Bill Baggs State Park, The Barnacle and Cauley Square Historic Village.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Say hello to my little friend...

One of the latest projects I embarked on was cleaning and polishing a solid brass lamp. A lamp that I happened to find for $1 at a local Salvation Army. All of the lamps were one dollar that day and this one was placed in an odd spot in the store so it was overlooked I'm sure. Can you believe I actually hesitated to bring this home? I thought the boy would have my head. Luckily I convinced myself that for only $1 he wouldn't mind.(Something I do often.)

The lamp has a sticker on the bottom that reads Frederick Cooper Chicago. I came home to find that these lamps sell for close to $600!!! Here I was with my $1 lamp and I was ready to make it shine again. The lamp was in decent shape but the base had some oxidation spots. I researched ways to clean this up and tried several to no avail. I started off with good ol' ketchup known for its superpower cleaning abilities and that didn't work. It also made the lamp smell like, how can I put this, KETCHUP! I then tried some white household vinegar and that didn't work. I mixed the vinegar with some salt and flour to make a paste and that didn't work either!

How am I supposed to clean this thing?! I guess I'm going to have to resort to a real brass cleaner.

I looked into Brasso but read about the *new formula* not being as good as the old one. I then remembered other bloggers working with Barkeeper's Friend. He is a true friend indeed. With my two buddies, Mrs. Elbow Grease and Mr. Barkeeper I started cleaning up the lamp.

Here is what it looked like after some good ol' scrubbing a la Cinderella.

I must note that this was my first time cleaning brass. See all of those little bright spots, that's where the oxidation was worse. I thought those spots would end up looking like the rest of the brass on the lamp but instead they cleaned up brighter. Uh oh. I then realized I was going to have to clean up the whole lamp. After A LOT of scrubbing and Barkeeper's friend here is the bright and shiny lamp.

I also ended up buying some Brasso to lightly protect it from tarnishing again.

Does anyone have good experiences about cleaning up brass that they would like to share?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hunted::Gathered: 04/17/11

Hey all! I hope you've had a great week. I've been feeling just a tad under the weather and didn't blog as much as I would have liked. I did manage to go out thrifting but did not come home with too much loot.

I found another bag that quickly replaced the one I was planning to take on my trip to Florida. I couldn't resist the springtime glory that it embodied. It just needs a good wash.

I also found this cute Dansk Kobenstyle Butter Warmer.

Surprisingly I also found a set of 3 Iittala Festivo Candlesticks designed by Timo Sarpaneva. They aren't etched on the bottom with TS so I believe they are newer. I found a 3-ring (not pictured), 4-ring (not pictured), and a 5-ring. It's the first time I've gotten an Iittala item so I was pretty excited.

I don't know why I have been on a jewelry kick. It really isn't an area I'm comfortable in but I haven't been able to resist the urge. I found two pairs of silver earrings. The first ones are by Shube Manufacturing located in New Mexico. They mainly did Native styled pieces but these earrings didn't strike me as such. Their mark is like that of a dollar sign and it was fun doing the research for it.

This second set was made in Mexico. The earrings were really dirty on the back so I couldn't read the label on one of them. I took a small gamble. They are pretty after all.

I decided to include just two of my book finds this week. The first one features several homes that incorporate both living and working spaces. They also include plans that I can study which is what I like most about the book. This book can be found at very low prices but when there are so many design related books out there it's hard to keep track of them all. I just buy them when I see them because I would not have known about them otherwise.

Just like this History of Modern Furniture book. This used to be a part of the FDIM library but someone decided it was time to take it out of circulation. That's ok with me because I still find it plenty useful. Now if only I could get my hands on a vintage Modern California Houses: Case Study Houses by Esther McCoy.

Linking up with:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Illum Wikkelso- Moreways to waste time
Just another piece that got away. This is a rocker by Danish designer Illum Wikkelso.

I was walking around my local thrift/ antique shops while they were having a sidewalk sale. Rarely do I find mid-century items there but you never know. Well, by the time that I arrived, someone had already purchased this chair. I wasn't aware of that. I was inspecting the chair, looking for a price tag only to find out that this lady standing nearby had already bought it. She didn't say anything, she just watched me as I drooled over it. I didn't know who the designer was at the time. I stumbled upon the designer when I was doing research for something else. Does that tend to happen to anyone else?

Lesson Learned: Never assume your local antique shop won't have MCM items.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hunted:: Gathered: 04/10/11

Hey all! I hope you had a good week. Whether it was a good thrifting week, a good goals week, a good reflections week or any other kind of 'good'ness. Here are my finds for the week, I didn't realize I brought so much stuff home but I guess I didn't really realize it because so many items were less than $1!

I started off the week by attending  a community yard sale that I felt obliged to go to. You see, one of the boy's coworkers lives in this community and he mentioned that I may be interested in some of his mom's items. It was his understanding that they were expecting me. Oh boy, what did he get me into. I arrived after a 30 min drive to find that they weren't expecting me. I said hi and looked through some of their things and decided to take a drive around the neighborhood to scout some other sales. That's right I said drive. This sale was in one of those new development communities and there were at least 100 yard sales going on. It was a madhouse! 

Unfortunately for me, most of the items being sold were newer items and there were plenty of kids toys to be had. Not really my thing as I don't have any kiddos. I did happen to walk away with three items from one vendor. She was the only one that really had vintage items.

These two yellow bowls are West German and are designed by Fritz Van Daalen. I was thrown for a loop because it has a label that reads Nicolaus Franz. It turns out that Nicolaus Franz was a distributor. So how did I find out who the designer was? Well, do you see the inscribed mark next to the sticker? It is a small v within a D. I must say that the research gods must have been looking out for me because I stumbled upon this site that helped me immensely.

I also walked away with this Viking bowl that is very similar to their Finnish Crown line, but I haven't been able to find one just like it.

On my way home I passed by a thrift and I found this cute little Henning troll. I don't know if he is missing little black patches on his eyes or if his eyes are supposed to be that scary green. In any case, I knew what this little guy was thanks to Selena at Apron Thrift Girl.

I have also been in the jewelry buying mood and when you can get some pieces for .50, who can say no. I found the serpent pin, the Skagen watch, and the wreath rhinestone pin at a local garage sale for that price! I also thrifted the Very Neumann sheer scarf that they are on. The necklace is one that I may have paid too much for. It is Park Lane and I have no way of knowing if it is new or vintage. I'll just have to cross my fingers on that one. I thought it's Etruscan Revival design was pretty stylish.

I was so close to getting back home when I spotted another garage sale sign. It was later in the day so I didn't think there would be much left but I decided to stop by anyway. There I found this cool Avocado vintage bag for .75! I am planning on using it for my upcoming trip to Florida.

This past year I have picked up some Native American pieces. They all seem to be newer but I still find them to be pretty neat. This one is by one of my all-time favorite Native American pottery makers, the Acoma Pueblo. Here is one of their more striking pieces and while mine isn't as detailed I think it's still wonderful.

Later in the week I found this Sergio Asti for Heller ice bucket. I had walked past it my first time around because I was distracted by a Ruth Reeves tray that I had picked up nearby. Towards the end of my shopping I opted against the tray and I looked around the plastics section more thoroughly. That's when this puppy jumped out at me. Does that ever happen to you? You think you have pretty good skimming skills but then you just walk past something.

This next one is an object that I am often conflicted by. I don't know what it is about the pairing of wood and birds that makes me melt. I just have to pick up these bad boys when I see them. This one is a myrtlewood bird sculpted by E. Orris. I don't know who E. Orris is but he did some work for Seagull Myrtlewood.

I also picked up this piece of Italian pottery. I just loved the texture.

Fondue forks, why do I love thee? I liked these because of their minimalistic design.

Last but not least, my favorite find of the week. I fell in love when I saw the baby rhino sitting all alone on the shelf. I picked him up to discover that he was a pepper shaker. But where is the other one? I looked around and couldn't find another one like it. I kept walking and there, on another shelf, was the mom waiting to be reunited.

Whoever made these is really talented. I adore the subtle yet rich sculpting of the head and body. The texture of the clay is pretty incredible as well. I'm in love. Just imagine these two cuddle-bugs sitting on your dining table. How sweet is that!

This wraps up my share for the week. I also found A LOT of books that I will share during the week, ranging from architecture mags, to quilt books to kids books. Stay Tuned!

Linking up again this week with:

Friday, April 8, 2011

DIY- Refinishing a Lane Side Table

When the boy and I first moved here to California I decided to tackle some furniture refinishing projects as a result of searching for inexpensive ways to furnish our home. It ended up becoming a little hobby of mine since applying to jobs and not getting any replies was becoming the norm. I had to get my satisfaction from somewhere plus it was a good way to expend some energy as well.

So let me introduce you to this baby. She is a vintage Lane step end table for the Perception line that was designed by Warren Church. As you can see she was not in the best shape. I was a little hesitant to tackle this project because I knew I had my work cut out for me.

I must admit that this project took much longer than expected. It was hard to get motivated when I would spend countless hours hand-sanding and I was not seeing great results.  But alas, I took a deep breath and finally finished her up. Here she is in her current glory:

The final product may not be everyone's cup of tea but it is mine. It may be the purist in me that likes to see the natural state of the different woods used. Originally these tables were stained and finished to have the same honey color throughout. As you can see above, the ends are capped off with a bull-nosed oak and the larger surface tops are walnut. I like seeing the contrasting wood colors. 

I have included my steps for those of you that would like to tackle a similar project. I would recommended doing this outdoors because of some of the fumes from the chemical stripper that I used. ( I am going to try out citri-strip for my next project.)

Materials (for pieces that are varnished, lacquered or shellacked) 
For your protection: safety goggles, chemical resistant rubber gloves, and a mask

Stripper/ Refinisher (I used Formby's Furniture Refinisher because my item was lacquered, but I am going to use Citri-Strip for my next project), abrasive pads (to apply refinisher/ stripper), sandpaper (varying grits depending on the level of damage to your piece), steel wool, rags, metal bowl/ pan, drop cloth, wood filler (if you have really deeps nicks/ scratches) , wood conditioner, time and elbow grease. I would also recommend a hand sander if you know your piece is solid wood throughout. 

I also want to say that I am by no means an expert nor has my process been perfected. It is a work in progress.


Ready to Start?

1. Lay out your drop cloth in your desired work area. Wipe your piece with a clean rag to remove dust and other small particles.Gather all of your working materials.
2. Put on your protective gear. Play some music ( that's how I like to work).
3. Pour 1-2 cups of Formby's refinisher into the metal pan. Dip your abrasive pad and squeeze out the excess.
4. Start rubbing the pad in a circular motion on your piece about the size of a dinner plate. After the finish is picked up by the pad, rinse it in the pan, and squeeze out the excess. Repeat this step in an overlapping adjacent area until you have done the whole piece. (This takes a while)
5. When you find that the pad isn't working like when you first started, replace it. If the liquid in the pan also gets too gunky, replace it with some more refinisher.
( I had to go over the piece a second time to remove the finish, hopefully you won't have to)
6. If all goes well, you should just need to buff your piece with a dry pad. If it goes like it did with mine you have countless hours of sanding ahead of you.
7. In retrospect, because of the damage to my piece I should have used a stripper because I was going to have to sand the piece down anyway. I had to use 100 grit sand paper for the oak edges and the walnut tops. There were deep scratches and nicks that I tried to even out. I also had to hand sand instead of using an electric sander because supposedly Lane used veneer for these pieces. I still don't know if that's true because I haven't sanded deep enough to find out. I also had to use some wood filler for some nicks that were very deep. Once I had sanded the whole piece down to my satisfaction with the rough grit sand paper, I had to work my way up to the finer grits. After I finished sanding, I used a wood conditioner containing natural beeswax to really bring the wood grain to life. Finishing a piece is a matter of personal preference. You can oil a piece, lacquer it, varnish it, wax it and do many other things.It's all up to you.

For those who would like to tackle smaller, yet still rewarding projects I would start by gathering any lightly tarnished silver or brass objects. I learned about this trick while thrifting. I overheard a conversation on homemade ways to clean and polish your silver.

We all know that there are plenty of polishing and cleaning products for metals but little did I know that you can also use products that you find at home. For my Dansk bunny that I thrifted here, I used an old toothbrush, toothpaste and a rag.

It is recommended that you use a basic non-gel toothpaste. One that does not have tartar control or whitening chemicals. Supposedly you can use a mixture of baking soda and water, but I didn't have baking soda. I don't bake unless it comes premixed in a box. Shameful, I know.

With a bit of brushing, rinsing and wiping here is the transformation. Not only does the bunny look great but he smells minty fresh too!

Here is to a productive Spring weekend!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hunted:: Gathered: 03/28/11 Part II

Here is the follow up post with the rest of my thrifted items for the week.

I saw this piece peaking through a small space behind other frames at the thrift and was curious. I wrestled it out of its confines to get a better look and was instantly in love. It's a glass mosaic, but instead of the individual pieces of glass being set on the flat side, they are stacked on their sides. It is quite heavy too. Someone went through a lot of trouble to put this piece together only to later have it given away.

When I brought it home, the boy couldn't believe I bought another piece of art. He asked me what I thought the image was of and I said Maybe somewhere in Europe? He told me he thought it was somewhere in California. It turns out, he was right! We believe it to be an image of San Francisco. The artist took some liberties with the Golden Gate bridge You can see the Bay Bridge (thanks carolyn & stephanie) , Coit Tower in the background, as well as the bay.

I also found a Kosta Boda Snowball votive. It is solid and quite heavy for its size.

I usually don't look for ribbons or fabric because I have too many crafting items as is but this pattern caught my eye. Funnily enough the pattern is called Copenhagen, so I brought it home.

This is a cool Trifari necklace with a pendant that looks like a bird in flight. I like its mod look. Now does anyone know what a Caco Sterling mark means?

Next up is a Danish Teak Salt & Pepper set by Digsmed. They weren't sitting too far from the Copenhagen ribbon. Maybe they had the same home previously. They are in great shape and the price was right. I haven't been able to find any comparables but the Jens Quistgaard shakers can go for a pretty penny.

I went by a local estate sale only to find overpriced items that I didn't really care for. As I was on my way out I decided to stop by the patio. They had some wicker patio furniture and a table with random pots and plastics. Boy was I glad I stopped by the patio. There I found this Cathrineholm Dutch Oven in the lotus pattern. I was surprised to see that it wasn't overpriced like everything else. I took off the lid and it was in great shape. I honestly think that the only reason it wasn't overpriced is because it wasn't labeled. As I was walking out, the estate sale ladies were remarking on how cute it was. I couldn't agree more and I tried really hard to contain my excitement!

I must admit, the pot had some gunky stuff on the lid and the area around the holder. It almost looked like rust but thankfully it wasn't. After a good scrub it looks brand new.

This next item is a first for me. I usually leave the vinyl search to the boy but for some reason, it was calling out to me that day. Now I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, or in this case a record by its cover, but I am a highly visual person. I've only studied design for the majority of my life. I can't help it. This album cover was designed by Josef Albers and while it isn't a rare find it was fun discovering it. He actually designed several album covers related to Percussion. They are all modern, bold and graphic.

I enjoy this one because the dots give the sense of movement and reverberation. Instead of being inline with the rest of them, they appear to be bouncing along with the sounds from the album.

As if I needed to collect more china, I picked up these four Eschenbach cups which I don't think are vintage. I've had a hard time finding any information on current designers and patterns. After doing some research on the logo I believe it to be from 2000+. The designer's name is inside the cup which is fun but it doesn't make it easier to decipher. The pattern is playful with a touch of whimsy.

Last and certainly not least I found this fabulous book by Hans Peterson with pictures by Swedish designer Ylva Kallstrom.

The book isn't in the greatest shape but it didn't matter to me. I love the representation of the homes in the village. The colors are fantastic. The story is adorable. Really, there is nothing not to like about it.

 That wraps up my finds for the week. Am I greedy to wish for more weeks like this?

Pairing up again with :