Pretty, Purple Princess Chandelier

I’ve been dying to get my hands on a chandelier with potential so I could redo it for a pretty, pretty princess. Enter Goldie here. I picked her up at a garage sale over the weekend and immediately started cleaning her up.

Pretty Purple Princess Chandelier

Pretty Purple Princess Chandelier – Before

She wasn’t in horrible shape, she really just needed a warm, soapy water wipe-down. I loved her shape and I loved all of the bling. The crystals (plastic, by the way) all came off and got cleaned, and so did the light cup/fake candle combo. The glass dome got hand washed and set aside while the frame got detailed and painted.Pretty Purple Princess Chandelier 04 before collage.jpg

The fun part, of course, is the painting, so I got busy on this beautiful day, and painted all day, starting with the underside. In the sunlight, it almost looks white, but it’s actually a flat lavender color from Valspar.

Pretty Purple Princess Chandelier 02 during and after collage.jpg

The end result is a little big magical. I can only imagine the fabulous room this beauty will end up in. I’m a little bit jealous already. On to the next one!

Pretty Purple Princess Chandelier 03 after.jpg

Pretty, Little German Spice Cabinet

On my recent lazy, meandering, antiquing trip to Lexington, Missouri, I came across this beautiful little German mini spice cabinet. It was found in a little store on the outskirts of town and trust me when I say there was NOTHING interesting in the store but this. (Think vintage furniture, the ugly stuff.) I was ready to leave until the store employee showed me two more rooms to the store than I had realized. It was in the last room that I came across this little nugget of fabulousness. The price was steep; I had some work to do.

German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

After some casual chatting with the store’s only employee, I decided to make an offer. Beings as how I know nothing about cabinets like these, I was really guessing at what I thought was “fair”. After some fourth-party (me to employee to wife on phone to husband working in the yard) dickering over the phone, we settled on a price and I hit the road with my new treasure. The 45-minute drive home was longer than usual, as I couldn’t wait to sit down in my office and do some research on it.

Here’s what I know: these little spice cabinets used to be a thing. When? Well, that’s where I’m fuzzy. Similar cabinets claim to date from as early as the late 1800s, but I just can’t verify that for mine. They’re also called baking cabinets I believe.

Whereas they were popular, they are again. Decorators love epothecary cabinets, and anything else with a thousand little drawers. I know this because they’re hell to find in the rough. I saw an old metal card cabinet (like you would see in libraries growing up) at an estate sale this past weekend; it was gone within an hour, and it wasn’t cheap.

This cabinet is made of wood, has one cabinet door with a porcelain vented tile in the middle. It was covered in a grease/dust mixture that equated to glue, but cleaned up nicely. Inside the cabinet is a shelf, which looks to be original.

There are six drawers: Paprika, Gewurz, Pfeffer, Zimt, Kumel and Nelken. They are white porcelain with black lettering, black frilly scrolls on the sides and a pretty little image in the middle of each of the silhouette of a woman with a parasol. It includes just the right touch of blue to make the whole piece sing.

German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

Close-up of German Spice Cabinet Porcelain Drawer

I did find a lot of fabulous antique cabinets in my research though that I fell in love with. Aside from mine, I think I like the metal ones best.

What do you think?

German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

Close-up of interior cabinet of German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

Backside of Porcelain Tile in German Spice Cabinet with

German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

German Spice Cabinet Porcelain Drawers: Paprika, Gewurz, Pfeffer, Zimt, Kumel, Nelken

German Spice Cabinet with Porcelain tile and six drawers

Close-up of German Spice Cabinet Porcelain Zimt Drawer

Coolest Thing I Saw Today! And it Hides a Secret!

I go to estate sales all over Kansas City these days. It’s a good day when one is happening in my very own town. Today was such a day.

I was one of 30 people in line when the doors to this shoemaker’s estate sale opened up at 9:00 this morning and I’m so glad I was. I had my eye on something in particular – this 1920’s cast bookend, which I was lucky enough to grab up.

1920's cast bookend - boat captain and wheel

And I also put my hands on this beautiful walking stick, and didn’t let go (estate sale-goers are crazy!). All I knew about it was that it was old and gorgeous.

late 19th century walking stick with hidden blade

It wasn’t until I got home and was playing with it that I realized that it had a secret hidden inside: it is also a knife.

late 19th century walking stick with hidden blade

A little research and I was able to determine that the item is probably from the late 19th century and made in India. It features carved bone and hand carvings in the wood, which has been ebonized. And I love it.

As much as I think I would love to be a little old lady who walks with a cane that has a hidden 22″ blade in it in a few years, I have decided that I am not ready for a cane just yet. So on eBay it goes. Isn’t it fantastic?!

UPDATE: eBay doesn’t allow hidden blade items. If you have an interest in this item. Let me know. I’ll be enjoying it in the meantime. 🙂

New, Old Antique Headboard Idea ALERT – Welcome to my newest obsession!

Am I late in realizing how AWESOME an antique fireplace mantel would look as a headboard? I mean, has this been a thing for awhile and I somehow missed it?

Tonight I was kind of watching HGTV’s You Live in What? (3/3/13 original air date), a show that profiles unusual, usually repurposed, homes. On this particular episode, they featured a church, an old city incinerator and a silo in Southern Georgia. Nothing terribly exciting UNTIL they showed the master bed in the silo home. The bed was made from an old fireplace mantel and chair rail. I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of that before! I’m not crazy with the red/rubbed/chair rail/distressed look they have on theirs, but I could DEFINITELY get into an old, untouched finish version. I love that there are two shelves on this one, I love the pillars holding the top one in place, and I love the mirror.


At first glance, antique mantels don’t go cheap ($500-$10,000, so the only chance I have at actually having one of my very own is to give them a serious look when I come across them in my garage/estate/barn/thrift sales. I’m hoping I can get away with spending no more than $200. When I come across one, I’ll report back.

Reusing an antique fireplace mantel is not an original idea. Check out these other examples:

White mantle with 3-panel antique mirror above

Another one with pillars and mirror (I think I need that style, for real).

Some are adding an upholstery panel to the bottom, which is a little more formal than I think would work for me.

OMG I need this!

This one might actually work for a king-sized bed.

So I have a new mission: an old mantel WILL be mine. Wait and see…






Virginia Is For Thrifters!

My husband and I took a weekend trip down the shore to Virginia Beach a couple of weekends ago. Our intention was to sit on our beachfront balconies and decompress, maybe eat some seafood (great crab cakes, ya know!) and hang out with some new friends. We did all that. But I also found time to hit a thrift store or two and even a garage sale.

At the ONE garage sale I went to that Saturday afternoon, I was delighted to find a seller anxious to rid himself of everything. When I inquired about an old desk, he quoted $2 as the price. When I repeated the price back to him he immediately changed it to $1. Great. But I only had a $100 bill on me. “Load it,” he said.

What I REALLY was interested in was a dresser that had seen better days, with an awkward paint color and missing handles (original or otherwise) and bib on the bottom (which is in one of the drawers). “What about this?” I asked. “Load it,” he replied.

So they loaded both pieces into my rental van and off I went. Two free pieces of furniture. For me. A furniture hoarder, er, collector. What a great day.

Youngsville dresser destined for a new life

Youngsville dresser destined for a new life

This piece was delivered to a furniture dealer in Washington, D.C.

This piece was delivered to a furniture dealer in Washington, D.C.

So I bring them home. I start researching. The desk is nondescript and needs a new front/hinged panel. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it/who I’ll pawn it off on.

But the dresser! The first thing I noticed, as they were loading it up even, was that it had a label stapled to the back.

The label indicates that the piece originated at the Youngsville Manufacturing Company, Youngsville, PA. And it was delivered to Hutchison Inc. in Washington, D.C.

Youngsville Manufacturing Company has an interesting past, which includes incorporation in 1835. In 1896 they burned to the ground, and a new building started in 1898. In 1956, Youngsville Manufacturing was destroyed again.

All I was able to find out about Hutchison Inc. is that they were located at 2004-06 Fourteenth St., N.W. in D.C. in 1945. So not much.

What would you guess the age of this little gem to be? I am GUESSING that it is from the ’20s or ’30s. The legs say so but what do I know?

I don’t know what color I’ll paint it or when I’ll even get to it. (I’m a hoarder, ya know.) But its future is bright. Very bright.

Clay Tiles Were a Steal – Now What To Do With Them?

The cast girl is now overseeing my jewelry box. The tiles are still awaiting their destiny.

The cast girl is now overseeing my jewelry box. The tiles are still awaiting their destiny.

I picked up these tiles, which hadn’t seen the light of day for a few decades at least. I think he bought them and put them away, because his wife didn’t know they existed until the estate sale was held. And that’s where I came in. It was the last day of their sale and the staff of four was bored and willing to bargain. So I found one or two things and they told my total. They encouraged me to find other stuff I liked and promised to give me a good deal. And so it went.
I have no idea what they’ll be used for but you can bet that the results will be posted here.

JD Originals Fabulous 1970’s Chair and Ottoman

I scored this 1970's rattan and velvet chair and ottoman at my local, favorite thrift store.

I scored this 1970’s rattan and velvet chair and ottoman at my local, favorite thrift store.

JD Originals logo

JD Originals logo

The best time to buy something unique is when you see it. So here we are.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re not sure if you like this club (?) chair and ottoman or not. Let it grow on you. Imagine how soft that velvety material is, how cushiony the seat is, and how surprisingly sturdy the frame is…
So the fabric is a little orangy and there’s no hiding the outrageous era this came out of. But don’t you love it anyway? There’s not a thing wrong with the condition of the fabric, seat or barrel-shaped rattan structure. The rectangle ottoman is just as pristine. It’s an incredibly well-preserved little reminder of days gone by and although the mod era isn’t typically my favorite, style-wise, I think it has so much potential. And I’m thrilled it exists in this condition at all.
I would tell you which thrift store around Baltimore I picked these up at today, but then I’d have to kill you. (#1 Shopping secret: Don’t tell others your shopping secrets.) I fell in love with it on sight but once I sat, I was really hooked. I really didn’t need to carry up another piece of furniture to our third-floor apartment, but I was just sitting in our incredibly uncomfortable patio furniture last night thinking how nice it would be to actually be comfortable out there. So I bought it. For how much? you might wonder. I’m not telling; I’ll let you decide what you think it’s worth to you.
JD Originals was trademarked by Jackson Furniture of Danville, Inc. in 1968, but that trademark has expired. A quick internet search has turned up only two chairs ( made by these folks, and they don’t look much like mine.
P.S. This is a great candidate for a makeover someday down the line. Can you imagine this painted Tiffany blue with a fabulous chevron fabric (pick a color!)? Me too. Let’s see…
Basic Photoshop used to try a different color on this JD Originals Chair and Ottoman.

Basic Photoshop used to try a different color on this JD Originals Chair and Ottoman.

Manhattan Laundry Bag in the Bag

Vintage Manhattan Laundry Bag - Dupont 1111.

Vintage Manhattan Laundry Bag – Dupont 1111.

Exciting find from this weekend’s favorite estate sale in Silver Spring, Maryland. I found this bag in the bottom of a closet, most assuredly headed for the dump after the sale. They cared so little about it that they didn’t even charge me for it. I’m only sad I didn’t grab the other, less sexy bag that accompanied this one. The hunt continues!

Biltmore Table Always Makes The Move

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex tile shot

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex label

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex leg bottom

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex leg screw

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex tile side shot

Biltmore (Miami) Biltex tableThis little beauty found me at an estate sale in suburban St. Louis fifteen years ago. I can’t remember if I paid $1.00 or $3.00 for it, but it doesn’t really matter as it’s worth so much more than either price.
My husband is a consultant, which means that we travel a lot. We’ve lived in a dozen different residences during our almost-9-year marriage, so we’ve almost perfected the “light move”. One requirement, we’ve found, is furniture and comfort items that don’t take up much space. This little table fits the bill, largely because the legs unscrew, making it take up no room at all. So we always have space for it, even if we’re only packing the 4Runner for a three-month assignment. It has not only survived those moves across the country, but it looks just as fabulous as the day I bought it. It has served as a nightstand, an end table, a printer stand, and myriad other uses.
It measures 15″ squared on the top and is 17″ tall. It boasts Biltex vinyl on the top, which really, really looks like tile. The label on the bottom identifies it as being made by the Biltmore Manufacturing Company in Miami, Florida. I can’t find much info on that company (something I should have looked into when we lived there for 18 months), but can say that the table is mid-century modern, making its origins date to 1940 to 1960. I’d guess it was made closer to 1960.
I see other Biltmore Biltex tables at flea markets and antique shops from time to time. Usually they are two or three nesting tables whose tops are designed with gold flecks and butterflies. They are usually somewhat triangular. I’ve never seen another like mine.
Don’t pass these babies by if you come across them. They’re not all that treasured now but I would guess that they’ll hold their value if cared for properly. And let’s not forget how fabulous and easy to travel with they are.

Goldberg Surfside Estate Art

In March, I went to an estate sale in Surfside, where I bought a (baby) painting and two (dog) charcoals signed by Goldberg. I think the artist was a family member. The estate was left to charity, so there was no family to collect these works. Along with the pieces, I also got a family photo album that gave them at least a little provenance (one or more articles in the album mentioned the Goldberg name).
I think they’re cute and figure they must have been important to someone to have been kept for so long. One of these days I’ll figure out where to display them.

Poor baby

Poor baby

Puppies 01

Puppies 01

Puppies 02

Puppies 02