Friday, April 12, 2013

Fab Finds Friday: That's Grate!

It's no secret that I love to collect things--Pyrex, vintage jars, decorative letters, and Fiestaware among them. Lately I've had a ton of luck at finding things I collect, and even starting to collect new things, like vintage graters.

It may seem odd, but I found two that I couldn't resist at a thrift store, and since I already had an old box grater back home, 3 makes a collection!

This 5-in-1 grater was $2. I'd never seen a round grater before and I really like it!

And check out the awesome little logo in the center:

This is the other guy--a wooden-handled 3-in-1 grater. It is supposed to come with 2 other interchangeable plates, but at $3 I wasn't sweating that mine only had one.

Continuing my vintage kitchen gadgets theme, I found this set of 8 little Jell-O molds at Goodwill for just $0.99! I think they'll be great for storing odds and ends in my office.

I also managed to add 4 more aqua mason jars to my collection. This trio was impossible to leave behind--each were$0.85 plus 50% off because the whole store was having a Friday sale! I love that the original prices ($6 for the quart, $3 for each pint) were still on the jars since I got them all for $1.25, ha!

This wide-mouth quart jar was a more expensive antique mall buy ($6), but I had never seen a "Special" jar, just the "Perfect Mason" and "Ideal" ones, so I had to have it!

I also seem to have a thing for vintage flashcards. These ones were $4.50, are from the 50s, and came in the coolest box.

I love how the backs have more detailed problems--I've never encountered any like these!

I also found another letter for my collection. It's pretty large (11x14) so for only $5 I snatched it up.

And it looks like I may have a wooden cheese box collection too. I already have two in my pantry but I'd never seen a cream cheese box or one this shallow, so I nabbed it for $8.

I also got this plain medical jar for $8. I plan on creating a vinyl decal for it and using it to stash cotton balls in the bathroom, which will be one more thing crossed off my thrift wish list!

I also found a set of eight greenish-blue goblets for $0.99 apiece and I couldn't resist 'em.

Anyone else growing some collections out there? 

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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Under the Sink

That title was meant to get this song stuck in your head, in case it wasn't clear :)

I'm back to share another organizing mission I recently embarked upon. We're fortunate enough to have a very spacious vanity for storage in our bathroom. However, because there was so much room, it became crazy disorganized and packed to the gills with stuff, which led to many issues: buying an unnecessary bottle of shampoo when I already had some stashed down there, or causing a cascade of deoderant when I reached in to grab something.

See Exhibit A:

And Exhibit B:

And a full-on shot of the chaos:

Yikes. I had clearly tried to implement some organizing, but the containers weren't exactly doing a good job, and it was annoying to move things out of the way every time I needed to get something out of the drawers.

Enter some awesome baskets from TJ Maxx! I picked these guys up because they're durable and they have lids, so I can easily stack them. I got 4 small ones for $7.99 each and 2 medium ones for $9.99 each.

Next a picture to show that before any space gets better, it has to get worse. Much worse. This was the room after I pulled everything out of the cabinets and settled in to sort and purge. I watched some TV while I did this, hence the laptop. I also had some cat assistance (as in they kept jumping in baskets and climbing under the sink).

After better categorizing my bathroom products, donating the plastic bins to the preschool, and pulling in a few unused organizers I already had, I ended up with this:

Ahhhh, much better! Let's talk details. On the left side, I stacked two of the smaller baskets. One's filled with hair products, my curling iron, and headbands, and the other is full of skincare products (sunscreen, extra lotions, etc.) The basket in front holds some vitamins and supplements.

I grabbed some stackable plastic bins that I had previously used in our fridge and stashed travel-sized toiletries in the lower bin, then more-used items (body sprays, extra deoderant, mouthwash) in the upper bin so they'd be more readily accessible.

I also added an over-door basket to wrangle my hair dryer, straightener, brushes, and styling products I use when blow-drying.

On the other side, I stashed our extra shampoos, conditioners, body washes, Q-Tips, and my lady supplies. We buy most of our body stuff at Costco, so we have a lot of overflow items. Keeping them in the baskets keeps things contained, but still easy to get to when needed. I put my curlers on top of one basket stack, too. That black and metal contraption is my hair dryer stand. You just attach the dryer to the top and then you can sit and comb your hair without having to hoist your dryer up. (Yes, I am very lazy! Haha!)

Anyway, that's what's working for our current sink situation! Our future home has an even more spacious vanity, plus 2 more drawers, an upper cabinet, AND an awesome closet, so I am sure I will be back with an update of how we utilize that organizing space once we're there!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Fab Finds Friday: Survivors Edition

Lately I have been struck by a bit of a thrifting curse: it seemed like every time I went shopping, something ended up breaking before they even entered my home. I'm talkin' drop-in-the-parking-lot-five-steps-from-the-door breakages.

Case in point:

In some cases I was okay with the breakage (like the votive holder above, which was only $0.29 and wasn't something totally unique). But in other cases the item was a present, like the pottery my mom collects which I spotted for $0.99 at Goodwill ($24 cheaper than retail!) Boo to my butterfingers!

Anyway, I think I might have changed my luck because the following breakables made it through the past few weeks unharmed!

$1.99 Colonial Mist casserole
$0.25 apiece for these Shiny Brites at a garage sale!
This $0.99 pitcher matches the glasses I bought back in February!

I've also been on a bit of a brass kick lately. I got this little pear dish for $1.49 at Goodwill...

And this brass door plate at a little vintage sale for $8. I think it'd look cool amidst a grouping of frames.

And my love for vintage textbooks resurfaced at an eBay seller's garage sale. The best part? As I was browsing the books, the guy told me I could take any of them for free! Sweeet! I dug up the ones with the best cover graphics and typography.

At the same sale, I got this chippy old juicer, a really nice heavy duty paper cutter (not pictured), and a big box of toys that I took to the preschool, all for the measly price of $8!

And check it out--the juicer was made in Kansas City, MO! Woo hoo!

Continuing my kitchen gadget trend, I found this old sifter at Goodwill for $0.49. There's just something about the old patina and cool typography that I love!

Here's hoping that my breaking purchase curse is the last thing I'll break (har har). And thrift on, y'all!

Linking to the Nifty Thrifty over at A Living Space and to The Joyful Thrifter!

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tea Towel Art

A while back I discovered a fabulous Etsy shop, Fresh Pastry Stand. The shop owner/creator, Deva Mirel, makes amazing vintage-inspired housewares, from beeswax candles shaped like antique bottles and cake stands made of vintage plates to Pyrex tea towels!

Being a true Pyrex fanatic, I knew I had to snatch one up for myself. With some Christmas money I bought myself the Butterprint tea towel, which was at the time the only print available. Then I checked back into her shop months later, only to see that she'd added Pink Gooseberry, Friendship, and more! Even though my other tea towel was back in Kansas City, I decided to treat myself to two more towels and make them a trio.

I chose a pink Gooseberry towel and a red towel featuring two vintage milk bottles. And once they arrived I realized they were much too pretty to actually use, so I chose to frame them instead!

This project did confirm one thing for me: when shopping for frames, if at all possible, bring the art you plan to frame with you so that you can better visualize it inside its future home. Silly me--even though my tea towels are easy to travel with, I neglected to stick them in my purse when I went shopping the first time around. Thus I ended up with two gray faux-barnwood frames from Michael's, scooped up for $44 total during a half off frames sale.


They were quite large and had a great weathered look to them, but something about their blue-ish undertones just wasn't right to me. It kind of made the unbleached tea towels look dirty/yellowy because the two tones were competing, not complementing each other. Kinda like how red lipstick can make teeth look yellowed.

Enter this lovely natural wood frame from Target ($19.99). Originally I bought two to frame my Macklemore Challenge photos from Goodwill ($4.99 for both. Woot!)



The photos looked good in there, but then I realized the tea towels might look even better.

I used the true lazy man's way and just popped the new, lighter frame around the already-framed towels to see if the whole image would fit and how the colors looked. That way, if I decided to stick with the gray frames after all, I wouldn't have to re-frame the towels.



I loved the lighter wood frames right away. They matched the yellow undertones of the natural linen towels so nicely! Another bonus? I was going to have to attach a sawtooth picture hanger to the back of the gray frames, because when wrapped around the backing the tea towels covered the existing hanger:


But my lighter frames had the picture hangers on the actual wood, so the tea towels wouldn't cover them!



Oh, and I didn't cut the towels down to size or anything, in case I want to do something different with them in the future. I just used the backing of the frames and wrapped it like a present, making sure to center the design on the front. The fabric was light enough that I could fit the backing into the frame's grooves so that the glass is secure.


The tea towel art lives over my yellow table where my map previously stayed--as you could see in the living room tour, I relocated the map there.


I love how it looks with the wreath and table.


And the red in the milk bottle towel really looks great with all the red accents in my corner shelf.





Once we're back in KC in our new place, I plan on buying another identical frame to house the Butterprint tea towel I got for Christmas. And maybe I'll even buy another one to make a set of four? We'll see.

Anyone else framing items as art? Do share!

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