29 August 2011

Monday Thrift Store Scores

....Here i am at the buzzer, breathless and hoping to post this before Monday is over!

Xmas in July ~ literally! This was thee HUGEST shelf elf I've found to date; he's probably 8" sitting.... The plastic canisters I've been using for craft junk, as there was only 2 and they have minor cracks down the back. But I love the clear windows.

 Royal Haeger Virgin Mary planter. I love how this is all white and so smooth, yet in real life like this photo, the shadows show the details. I'm not even particularly religious. The Ferdinand Bull is another very smoothly cast planter, with airbrushed like coloring, and a dent in his head (for a pipe? maybe he's an ashtray?)

 I know you all don't think I deserve anything else Hall-Mack, given what I fell into with this house, but we don't have any of the recessed t.p. holders and it's IN THE BOX NO LESS. It's being saved for the main (blue) bathroom for when we re-do it. (not re-do it in the sense of gutting it, rather adding more Hall-Mack to it and replacing a crappy paint job on the amoeba shaped vanity with formica and chrome). This was actually an estate find that Partner-In-Crime was educated enough to grab! :)

And the grand finale... these were a Goodwill find. The whole set for $3. I nearly fainted. It was one of those things where I walked around the store clutching them for dear life for fear that someone would steal them from me because I was just dizzy from the find. I NEVER EVER thought I would find these in a thrift or even estate sale. Granted, I have the set that I bought on Ebay (when that guy in Illinois or wherever flooded the market with them a few months ago) but we have 2 doors into the house, so .... I don't feel guilty. Plus Rejuvination are coming out with their repros soon so everyone will have a chance to have some! :P

Well there it is! A Monday Thrift Store Score post from me! Look in  the sky for pigs flying and check Hell, for it's surely frozen over tonight!  The sad thing is, there's more but I left my camera at the store for Etsy photos.

Did everyone come out safe and relatively unscathed by Hurricane Irene? I hope so! We are fine, my county got hit a little bit, there are tons of trees still down and streets are blocked, still. But we never lost power or had any flooding issues or anything. Whew. Did anyone else on the east coast experience that earthquake last Tuesday? That was crazy! I got such a kick out of it because I never thought I'd experience an earthquake like that, ever. I was getting tattooed at the time it hit (!!) and it was so weird, it lasted over a minute and the building didn't shake like I thought it did in an earthquake ~ it didn't shake from side to side, rather the floor seemed to be going up and down. I don't think we'll get anything that hard again for 100 years so I'm still thinking it was pretty awesome to feel.

Ok this was a pretty decent blog entry considering..! Thanks for sticking with me during the lull!



25 August 2011

All-consuming store function to end soon

I mean it! I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I finally have 2 very reliable, responsible and kick-ass ladies to run things daily and returning to my old life should commence within a week or so. Don't get me wrong ~ I LOVE MY STORE and wish I could stay there all day, every day... but other responsibilities have to take priority. Case in point: my dogs are quite resentful about being alone all day and have begun to act out in very bad ways. My laundry to-do pile is officially up to my hip, and the contents of my fridge are down to an old cantaloupe, some restaurant take-home and a potato.

There was a short but sweet article about us in Daily Candy Philadelphia:

Which is exciting. We are on our 4th floor re-stock, and 3rd front window display. This one is featuring our Starkey Labs Egg chair, and here is the only photo I have of it (from instagram):

Starkey Egg Chair, Herman Miller Office Chairs, potted plant in a HUGE Hull planter. :)

Maybe one day  I will remember which day is Monday and show off the thrift finds I've kept. It's hard not to keep some of the things that Mike has been finding. Especially when it's original leather sling butterfly chairs, and Scarpa sofas. *bites palm*

Well I've laid around long enough, as much as I want (need) a nap, I have to shower and run some errands. Again, I hope to return to more personal blogging soon, including home revamps, thrift finds, and scans.


10 August 2011

It's been a while - I miss all of you!

What I wouldn't give to have those lazy mornings back ... the ones over the winter and springtime where I could sit in my pj's well into the morning, and have coffee while catching up on you lovely bloggers. <3 Regardless, 3 months of hard work, sacrifice and a few bumps in the road and this is the result:

(Taryn my everfaithful employee, a true godsend let me tell you)

These photos were taken prior to our official opening and before I had a chance to unpack all of my smalls etc. It's much more stuffed, now. :)

Now, I'm not trying to brag but I will tell you all this, we opened our doors on Monday, officially. Today is Wednesday. As of today, most of the larger pieces are GONE and have been replaced with fresh pieces. Yes we sold them, and our heads are spinning over the sheer volume of people who have come in, armed with tape measures and cash. We have barely advertised, yet we have people waiting at the door when we open, people walking in when we're trying to close, and people telling their friends to come by and then meeting their friends there so that they can geek out over what we have.  The neighborhood is perfect for this type of store, the businesses have been super nice, helpful and excited over what we're selling.  The residents are a mix of young families, young hipsters, and gay couples with (clearly) great taste. Some people come in and just pull up a (Heywood Wakefield) chair and talk with us while we work about... well ANYTHING. Everyone is all so nice and I wish I had more time to actually spend there as it's such a fun place!! Taryn said her shifts are the quickest 10 hours she's ever had and she seems quite happy to be there. I will sing her full praises sometime soon; she is incredibly smart and helpful and rather sad that everything seems to be selling itself, she doesn't have to keep her selling skills honed... :)

I will take more photos soon, as the front window with the teal chair is pretty much revamped since almost everything in it has sold. We have an authentic Starkey Labs Egg Chair with working speakers to display starting this weekend ~ and a set of 3 Thonet chairs etc. Truthfully, the climate of the neighborhood isn't that of purists or label-whores. They just care about the quality and uniqueness. However, we couldn't resist the iconic lure of the Egg Chair.

It's been so long since I've had more than 3 hours of sleep a night, I've been a stressed out, forgetful, scatterbrained WRECK but after today, seeing the almost the whole entire floor change after only 3 days of business, well I feel like I can breathe now. A little. :)

The store of course has the basic web presences:


and a twitter that i'm actually forgetting the name i used on it (told you - scatterbrained and tired!) but it's ok, nothing really to see there at the moment... we've been too busy to promote! Crazy!

Ok I really need to get to bed. I wish I could read my blog feed but there's no way, I'm falling asleep on myself. I hope everyone is doing better than well and  I will try at catch up tomorrow.


18 June 2011

The Shape of Things to Come.

I'm not sure how many of you in my readership have children that are school aged, or if that even matters in what I am about to discuss ... because I have school-aged children and this specific topic never crossed my mind until recently, when our township felt they had no other option except to demolish the 2nd of 4 local elementary schools that were built between 1950-1958/ish.

opened in 1953

Elementary school #2 slated for demolition happens to be the school that my son just graduated from this week. It is also right up the street and something that we drive past daily. My son's graduating class is officially the last one in the original building. The building will stand vacant for about one year (presumably with gutting going on inside) and the students will be moved to those pods / temporary modules on the secondary schools' property a mile away. (My son will be moving on to the jr. high thankfully) The demolition and re-build is scheduled to run for the next 2 years (after the one year of vacancy).

You can probably guess my heartbreak. When the proposal to demolish this school was first brought up, a large percentage of  the township were very against it. Not only are our taxes being raised to fund this project, it seemed that the foundation and shell of this school are in very good condition and that maybe just a gutting and remodel was in order. The schoolboard, of course, had inspectors reports with a list of what was in dire need of repair / replacement / upgrades x cost of said repairs etc and found that this sum was somehow less cost effective than a complete razing of the building. The list of issues are as follows:

  • asbestos tile, and ceiling tiles coming loose and falling
  • original heating system can't keep up with demands
  • original electrical system can't keep up with demands or handle computers and internet
  • bathrooms aren't handicapped accessible
  • roof issues
  • window issues (they're not energy efficient)
  • everything else that a mid-century building would not have to be considered 'eco-friendly' or 'green'.
(photos and township minutes can be seen in a pdf file here.)

This is all understandable, but it breaks my heart.  I have a weird affinity for those 1950's schools and the different styles and my township had 4 really amazing ones. They are already starting the first stages of demolition for the next "out of date" elementary school and I'm sure the 4th and last one will be on the chopping block soonafter. I can't imagine daily life without glimpses of these gorgeous low, long buildings with their straight roofs.

Not to mention that for the next 3 years we will be forced to witness the whole project - there is just no way to avoid it, given our proximity.

In true form, Partner In Crime and myself cornered the poor principal during the post-graduation reception to ask if any of the interior or fixtures that are in fine shape were being salvaged. She informed us that indeed, everything that is salvagable will be put up for auction. She was unsure on the specific auction company or when/where it would be but if she got this information before we did, she would surely let us know. She was surprised to learn that anyone would want such things, and went on to say that the kitchen in the faculty room was the original 50's metal kitchen in very good shape and that she rather loved it. Other little things that we have noticed from just being in that school for events are some bullet shaped light fixtures (9 in the gym alone).

The more impressive light fixtures belong to elementary school #3, in the library:

hard to see. let me find a generic pic...

They are the hanging bubble style lights, but on a grander scale, as they are suspended from a high ceiling. There are also at least 4 of them, the photo above shows only 2.

like these, but HUGE.

For about a month now, I have been literally stressing over this whole deal. If the future is shaped by what is energy-efficient, eco-friendly and state of the art, where does that leave these buildings? I would surmise that say, office buildings built in the same era have the proper upgrades with the exteriors remaining the same. The schools, libraries, etc who are at the mercy of budgets and taxpayers will remain the victims I should think. Do you think it's possible that they will soon become extinct like Drive-Ins?

I would be interested to know if this is becoming common in other areas. Maybe if anyone reading this has a moment for some research you could look up your local school board or township's website and see if there is anything about past or future renovations? It may be something that hasn't crossed your mind, and I would be interested to know anyone's thoughts or experiences with something like this.

In other everyday news, we still do not have a space for our store. We found what we thought was perfect but the lease agreement was worded very specific and strangely that we don't feel comfortable signing it unless it's amended. If the landlord cannot or will not do it, we will have to start the process of looking for another space. Again.

My thrift store scores have been amazing and  I wish I could remember to post them each Monday.

08 June 2011

Alive, I am.

"Busy" doesn't adequately describe my days lately. "Exhausted" is a word that falls short to describe how I fall face first into bed and just crash until the alarm goes off. I am hoping that things calm down a bit in about 2 weeks but we'll see. In the meantime here are some scans of vintage cards etc that I've been collecting:

01 May 2011

Home Sweet Home

Still a bit jetlagged... sometimes I get really bad jetlag other times I'm fine. There's never any rhyme or reason.

The photos that I took that would be relevant to this blog are on a memory card that I don't have right now. As soon as I get it back I will share some of the MCM-related pics. We did stop by that retro.it shop before leaving, however her prices were RIDICULOUS.  A small, triangular 3-legged side table (and I mean SMALL) with a formica top (like the plant stands i collect) was priced  €165 !! That is just about $200 for you and me. It was small enough to be a doll's table, seriously. The glass (not Murano) dachshund I eyed up was €210.  Add 30% to that and you'll have the US Dollar amount.  Again, ridiculous. The girl who seemed to own it was nice enough but did not speak English so we couldn't really converse very well. We must of seemed odd to stop by twice and not buy anything. I wonder who her clientele is to spend that much cash on such relatively common pieces. Then again, I also wonder who the clientele is that purchases overpriced pieces from these NYC dealers. It's God's own private mystery I guess.

Came home to find a few newsworthy things:

The Frank/Bernard Weise house a.k.a 1709 Meadowbrook has $OLD.
(again, my own shitty photo from a drive-by)
I will continue to stalk it to make sure the new owners have it properly furnished and taken care of. If they do something horrible like furnish it with overstuffed couches or install granite countertops I will out them here.

Adrian Pearsall's home is officially for sale.
to die for, truly.

It was only a matter of time.  I will play the lottery in hopes of winning, then purchase it as my summer home. Or maybe winter home with that indoor pool.  You all will be invited over, rest assured!

And on a personal note, we won some pieces while away using absentee bids. Specifically a pair of Gio Ponti (can't get away from him lately!) side tables and two other large pieces. There are more auctions tomorrow but I will be staying home ~ it's been rough trying to get up early in the morning lately.

Sorry for the horrible photo. These pieces weren't catalogued and I only have the email screencap.

27 April 2011

Leaving for the Airport in a few ~ but before I forget!

Dear Miss Rav:

thank you for the follow...! i tried to comment last week but there is something funny with the captcha page ~ the button to submit is missing. it's a glitch with some of the yummylolly templates and she has a quick fix on her site somewhere. thats probably why you're not getting any comments :( i love your blog!

25 April 2011

Flea Market Finds... Italian Style -or- Thrift Share Monday from halfway across the world :)

Found some toned-down pieces at that flea market that we will be bringing home as merch for the future-store. For personal use/enjoyment I found a stack of vintage postcards and greeting cards with hysterical graphics for scanning when I get home. Tomorrow I have to purchase a carry-on luggage for the breakables, we always seem to be bringing lamps home!

Here is a bad iphone photo of the goodies. The teak and glass lamps are wall sconces and signed though I can't read it right now. It's raining out today and dark in the apartment ... the smoke glass lamps are table lamps; oddly enough. And I think they are definately more 70's than MCM. The planter is so painfully Italian ~ but I may keep it because I am a hoarder of planters. AND I do not have anything like this in my collection.

Again sorry for the poor quality of photos ~ it's all I have to work with here. :) I would love to hear everyone's opinions on these lamps. They are not in my range of taste; I would never have them in the house but part of having a shop, I realize, is catering to many people's tastes. It's hard to start to buy for others in mind... if that makes sense.

I also feel like I haven't shopped quite enough so tomorrow will warrant a trip to Retro.it across the alleyway and see what (non-breakables) I can pick. She had a HUGE art glass dachshund that I am in love with but I can't pack anymore fragile pieces. Today is actually a 'bigger' holiday than Easter and all shops are closed. I will have to wait until tomorrow.

Between the holiday and the rain, I've been in the apartment most of today, washing clothes and eating way too many sweets. Now I have the chance to read everyone's blogs for the first time in over a week, I'm so excited to have the time to do this!

23 April 2011

Buena Serra from Roma

This city is breathtaking. Everything you see in photos does not express the sheer magnitude of the size of these ancient structures. They're HUGE. We've done all the touristy stuff save for the Vatican, which is Monday. You need tickets to even get in there, which we have for Monday. I'm resting and washing clothes today in preparation for massive flea-marketing tomorrow.

This shop --->  www.retrodesign.it  (click SHOWROOM) is right across the street from our apartment! The girl is quite nice, with an amazing eye but speaks very little english. Depending on what I find at the flea market tomorrow, I have my eye on  a few of her items before I leave. She is pricey but I have barely spent any  money this trip.

Here is a blurry shot of the Knoll table in our flat in Florence.  The top was marble. OF COURSE. :/

20 April 2011


Hello from a cramped room in an Art Hotel hidden in the narrow streets of Florence. (Fierenze) I normally don't get to do any sort of internet activity while on these holidays, however the weather here is on the warm side with very cool nights and I always have problems with these sort of changes and it makes me feel sick/feverish for one day while my body tries to regulate... today is that day. :( Everyone went on to breakfast without me and then to see the famous masterpieces of Botticelli.

The first day and a half was spent in Milan, there is a huge and gorgeous Kartell store there, full of lucite-y goodness and colorful lamps. Knoll was there as well but closed. Our Milan hotel had Knoll tulip-base tables in the lobby and Knoll chairs in the dining hall. All modern of course but those chairs were like heaven on my back, I want to look into a set for home - even if just a pair, they would do wonders while I sit online.

Italy has strict rules about what sorts of shops and brands/designers can sell here. Anyone who sells online and ships frequently will know the horror stories about lost and pilfered packages to Italy. You're not allowed to send anything having to do with haberdashery, leather goods, (shoes purses etc) from another country into Italy. There's a huge list of other goods having to do with paper, fur etc but I know off the bat that it's any sort of clothing and accessories. Italy loves their Italian designers and want their people to buy Italian-made only. Any shops that are not of Italian origin (Knoll, Chanel, H&M etc) have the capital to pay some sort of agreement in order to have their own shops here. Therefore, the pickings are slim compared to London, Paris, etc but now that we are in Florence, there are the cutest little artisan shops and TONS of vintage shops that I am dying to get to ... once I stop shivering under a blanket.

Gio Ponti seems to be THE MAN here as far as Mid-Century design goes. MCM also seems to be fashionable here - mixed with modern pieces is encouraged. I am just observing what I've seen in shops and I *did* purchase 3 huge design magazines whilst here and the ecclectic mix really seems to work for most people and their homes. The modern Italian design incorporates alot of lucite and still (to me) looks very 80's. I've said on this blog before that I don't care for Italian MCM design, it tends to be too fussy for me. The contemporary stuff can get too tacky. (for my tastes anyway). In a museum in Milan was a small exhibit of furniture, with even a smaller example of  Art Deco - Mid Century pieces. WAY TOO DECORATIVE for me. I don't think Italians are capable of minimalism, everything has to have a swirl or a flounce to wreck the straight plain lines. I did take photos, though and everything will be uploaded when I get home. :)

A French magazine I picked up at the train station shows that MCM living is alive and well there too! It was amazing to see photos of the exteriors of typical French homes that would make you think of Napoleon, Marie Antionette etc --- then to see the insides as bare as can be with perfect white endless walls and sparse furnishings with a bit of color only coming from a Calder-esque mobile. It blew my mind because if I had a provincial style French home I wouldn't even know where to start with modernizing it in that way but these people had it to the letter.... without even making the inside vs. outside contradict each other by way of keeping the original windows (no treatments) and using one element of the home's provenance indoors to just tie it in together. One example I saw was a bit of rattan on the seats of dining chairs that could of been at home in a 1700's hunting scene or a 1960's country styled home. Bless the French!

Anyway we will be here in Florence until tomorrow then it's either off to Pompei or straight to Rome. Rome is the last stop regardless and we fly out of there next week. There is supposedly 4 different flea markets on Easter sunday in Rome and we are planning on hitting the largest one. I hope to find my only wishlist item ~ a Franco Albini ottoman. If I do, trying to get it back home may be funny... my suitcase is already overstuffed with Italian design magazines and shoes. ^__^

17 April 2011

Roman Holiday

I'm indeed alive! I know it's been a very long time since I've blogged and my only excuse is extreme busy-ness.  The mini-mods have complicated and extensive social lives and it feels like my sole purpose in life right now is that of a gypsy cab driver. By the end of the day, when I used to enjoy my own quiet time for web surfing, blogging, or online shopping, I'm finding myself face down in a pillow crashed out cold.

First things first... recent finds!

2 "House and Home" magazines circa 1952 and 1957

These appear to be geared towards home building companies and contractors. There are ads, articles and stats. I find them fascinating but haven't had a chance to properly read them in full.  Here are quick photos, I will be scanning the better bits soon.

Nu Tone ad

2 pages spread of kitcheny goodness

i can't wait to read this and actually scan it to post.

we have this in the basement! our plumbing & heating guy calls it the "monster".

hnnnnnnng starburst escutcheon.

more gorgeous locksets
and my love of loves ... hall-mack !

Second things second ... I am getting ready to leave for Italy today ~ we are flying into Milan tonight with a trip later on in the week down to Rome. I'll be gone for 10 days. I'm not looking forward to this, as horrible as that sounds. I just feel that I have way too much stuff to do around here to be jetting off to Italy. HOWEVER I did learn that there is a huge outdoor flea market in Rome on Easter Sunday so I'm stoked about that. Fingers crossed that I find very cool smalls to bring home. :)

See everyone in 2 weeks, thereabouts.

28 March 2011

The First Day of Spring = 6 More Weeks of Winter

It feels that way doesn't it? One snow day this past week and now just bone-chilling cold.  It's hard to get excited for Easter etc when it's so cold and miserable out!

But maybe there's no controlling your inner calendar ... the one that tells you that everything should be bright and shiny and yes... pink! These are recent finds that I only realized were mostly pink after I got home.

as far as i can tell, it's a standing candy dish? it's a gorgeous bubblegum pink with gold flecks.

Here's to 70 degree days ... may they come sooner than later!

21 March 2011

Funny Story of How Sometimes Your Holy Grail is Right In Front of Your Stupid Face

To add to the bevvy of small catastrophes last week, my washing machine chose to act up and wouldn't go through it's drain & spin options. It's a brand new, front-loading HE [energy efficient] washer (and I have a mile long list of why no one should ever buy this type of washing machine, EVER) that is computerized.  There are some sort of sensors that pick up on how heavy the wash is and how many minutes it should go through it's cycle. Long story short, I'm finding the sensors aren't accurate and it's tripping itself up, shutting down mid-wash and like a computer - it won't do ANYTHING unless you unplug the whole machine (aka reboot) and start all over. I wasn't happy.

The plug for the washer is behind it, and off to the side. To unplug it, I have to step up on a small table, lean over the top of the washer and yank. To the right of it is the laundry room sink with a towel bar above it. The whole set-up is something I look at every day, 15x a day without giving any of it much thought.

So the other night as I was furiously rebooting my washing machine, I noticed that something looked off with the towelbar over the laundry sink. I've only used this bar to hang up cleaning rags, etc. There are separate bars higher up in the space for drip-drying clothes so this bar is purely utility.

I must of bumped or rubbed against it trying to get to the outlet because lo and behold....

HNGGGGGGG. It's the Hall Mack Double Space-Booster Bar that has been hiding in plain sight and that I literally did not even know that we had or even think about checking it for oh...I don't know... the FIVE YEARS WE'VE BEEN HERE.

Which completely proves the point that these inventions were founded on, doesn't it? Hideaway space savers that are 100% functional when you need them to be.

This type of bar has been on my mental "wish" list. Clearly this one has been neglected and you can see that it has some tarnish and paint on it. No worries~! The brackets on these are easy to remove and now I have the plan to take it down and clean it up for use in one of the bathrooms - probably to replace the ceramic bar in the main bathroom. I'm so excited over this project, fingers crossed that it goes as smoothly as I hope.

...and the washing machine has since stopped being fussy. For now. :)

19 March 2011

Oh Deer!

I am alive, I pinkyswear. Just a little bit busy! Nothing worth posting; my weekends are too crazy to thrift but I manage to hit some places during the week. Pickings seem slim lately but this week's finds have a definite theme:

The top photo feature Royal China Co. "Deer Me" plates. I LOVE DEER, I love when I wake up in the morning and the back yard is full of deer families munching on grass. I just watch them for as long as they'll stay, it's so calming. Anyway apparantly this pattern of china is extremely hard to find so I'm not feeling optimistic about collecting a whole set or even a few more but the curvature of that soup bowl makes for a sweet little display, so they went onto the display shelf as opposed to the ... functional china shelf. Aren't the colors gorgeous though? I love how it's a pair of deer, buck & doe.... heck I love everything about these plates!

The bottom photo is a modern plate by Black Thistle Co. I can't find much about this company except that they were responsible for the recent set of Alice in Wonderland patterned ware. This deer pattern looks like a vintage embroidery pattern, it certainly fooled me into thinking it was older. I'm not keeping it, I am giving it to my friend Sara when I see her in a few weeks, as she is deer-obsessed as well and I think this plate would make a very cute display piece as well.

Other than this, I've been picking up smalls with the intent of saving it for shop merch. If our idea of a shop falls through, they are all easily sellable pieces on Etsy.  We are nowhere near as quick as Dana at Mid2Mod so don't expect any sort of grand opening post anytime soon!

I have a hilarious story about another new discovery in the house, complete with photos, however it's going to have to wait for tonight because I need to get out of here now. It blows my mind that it's going to be 5 years this summer that we have lived here and I'm STILL finding new features, doo-dads, and treasures in here! This one was a goodie, it was something that I wanted very badly, and didn't even know I had it - it was hiding in plain sight! That is all the teaser I will give... for now!

07 March 2011

Thrift Share Monday!

This is me on top of my game... sort of. These are a combination of the past 2 weeks' finds.

FINALLY found some teak candlesticks. $3 for the pair at a local thrift. Mr. Owly is solid wood, I love him so much. It's from Vintage Looks in Philadelphia.
This was an Etsy find - I needed one of these & was going to purchase a new one when I found this one. It's perfect right out of the box, all shiny and chrome-y.
These are a time-capsule hardware store purchase. Since the house is stonefront, I'm not sure where to put them but I will find a place. Oh yes I will.