Welcome Additions

A few weeks back, I ventured to one of my favorite estate sale-ing haunts, Hemet, CA to shop for my Etsy store. I managed to find a few things for the shop-so do go and visit, but what’s more exciting is that I had a couple great finds for things we needed in our home.

I visited my good friend Sabrina, owner of Finders Keepers Estate Services and bought this fantastic Costco chair for $10. I’ve been wanting one for the kitchen for a couple of reasons: seating for my little man’s desk area, and for a step stool to get to my spices above the stove. This sweet and functional piece serves both purposes.

Cosco Chair in excellent vintage condition.
Cosco Chair in excellent vintage condition.

Then I moved on to another sale before heading out-of-town. I’m so glad I did. Remember our “office” that has to turn into a guest room? Problem is: it has no overhead electricity or outlet. Solution? Fantastic swag lamp!

Swagtastic!
Swagtastic!

I’m sure we’re breaking all sorts of Feng Shui rules in here. The bed is in line with the doors….GASP…but this was the best option for the space. Anyway, that gorgeous glass globe has 12 feet of chain and a wall mount for flipping it on and off from bed! $22 buckaroos solved a huge issue in this room.

My chair DIY project from last year in all it's orange glory aside my DeMan Goodwill find!
My DIY chair re-covering project from last year in all it’s orange glory aside my DeMan Goodwill find!

Not quite done with the wall pictured above…but that’s a project for another day. Once again, we’re ready to receive the guests. Next week, we’ll get in gear about getting ready to receive the baby (boy!). You know I’m going to have to have an overall midcentury modern feel in that room too…

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…until then, sweet, swag-filled dreams to you.

 

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Lasso some Brasso: Reviving Vintage Brass

If there’s a way for it to be done, no doubt you can find it out on the internet. There is no shortage of DIY to be seen. I read a DIY post on a very popular blog where it was assumed the readers knew how to re-wire a lamp. The author was so focused on the other parts of the do-it-yourself, that they skipped over a very large component: electricity. If there’s one thing that frustrates me, it is when a certain level of expertise is expected or there’s an implication the reader should already know.

That said, I’m really still learning about reviving, refreshing, and re-finishing vintage wares. More specifically, I didn’t know brass could be brought back to life so easily. Heard of Brasso? It’s so simple ANYONE can use it….and it can be found at Home Depot, Lowe’s and the like for just a few bucks. For all you chemical-hating hippies, there are other recipes, sure. One gal at a thrift shop recently noticed my brass purchase and informed me that 1/2 part vinegar to 1/2 part water would quickly and harmlessly revive my brass. Tried it, dipped it, worked at it…but no cigar. Brasso is the way forward if you want results and a lack of pungent vinegar stench.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked right past a brass piece while thrifting thinking to myself the pieces looked too old, or too dirty. Now, there are some who like a healthy “patina” on a piece of vintage metal. Me? Nope. I like it as shiny as the day it was made.

So here’s a DIY piece as easy as pie. Well….easier than that even.

You’ll need: Gloves for them baby soft hands, Brasso, a junk towel to keep the mess from getting on your working table top, one soft/lint-free cloth for application, and a second one for removal of the Brasso and polishing of the piece. (Side note: Brasso works for many different types of metals….its use is not limited to brass.)

BEFORE
BEFORE

I LOVE horses….but I almost passed on this $10 piece at a thrift shop both because I felt $10 was steep (see? I AM thrifty) and it looked like work. At this point, it’s night-time, and I’m just ready to get polishing.

Exhibit A
Exhibit A

 

Exhibit B
Exhibit B

Ah…Here’s a decent before. This is a brass vase found at Salvation Army with a halfway decent shot of my beloved Brasso in the background.

Pretty pony is starting to shine...
Pretty pony is starting to shine…

You can see at the tail portion pictured above how far we had to come for this piece. Mr. Ed was DOO-DOO BROWN when I found him, y’all. He had some serious dark circles around his eyes, and I was thinking we may have to put him down..but they came right out!

Okay…so here’s the scoop! Apply the Brasso generously to a dry cloth and then apply to the metal piece like you would if you were waxing a car. Don’t get crazy and wax your entire brass piece all at once. The Brasso will dry too quickly and your results won’t be quite as good. Wax on, wax off, my friends. Take your time…it will be worth it.

Small parts at a time...
Small parts at a time…

 

020
See the difference?

 

You can see what a difference a quick polishing can make. Here's a half and half example.
You can see what a difference a quick polishing can make. Here’s a half and half example.

Here’s my gorgeous Mr. Ed…in all his glory

EEEhee-hee is right!!!
EEEhee-hee is right!!!

Here’s a re-cap:

BEFORE
BEFORE
EEEhee-hee is right!!!
AFTER

UBER-easy DIY, y’all! So next time you’re out bargain hunting…don’t pass on the brass. Lasso the Brasso and give it some lovin’ and rubbin’.  You’ll be glad you did.

 

Succulent Fever

The idea is not new; in fact they’re everywhere. Low-maintenance succulents. Magazines, design shows, on people’s walls, fences and even their cousin, the “air plant” is hanging from the ceilings. In love with anything I can’t easily kill, I figured out a way to fill my time, and some unused vintage pottery. Hold on to your seats for another really simple tutorial.

This month’s Sunset magazine featured them…010 012 013

Lin at one of my favorite blogs, Hot for Houses posted this wall frame tutorial. Inspired, but not brave enough to put plants on my wall, I had been looking for something to do with some unused vintage pottery and figured now is a good a time as any.

Here’s my pottery. Pretty on the outside, not much to look at on the inside.

002 004

All I needed were the plants which I bought (3) for $6 at Home Depot in various colors and heights. If you plant your own cuttings, you can save on the expense of new plants…but as I said before, I can kill almost anything. They’re safer living at Home Depot.

001

Step 1. Step outside with your soil. I used Cactus, Palm and Citrus Soil.
Step 1. Step outside with your soil. I used Cactus, Palm and Citrus Soil, and some unwanted glass beads in the bottom for drainage in case I got over zealous with the H2O.
Step 2. Add soil.
Step 2. Add soil.
Step 3. Arrange your babies. Be sure to pack in some more soil once placed.
Step 3. Arrange your babies. Be sure to pack in some more soil once placed.

 

Voila! Table top ready!
Voila! Table top ready!

See? A beautiful centerpiece and a great way to dress-up and display your vintage pottery. Also, the easiest tutorial ever…or so you think. Join me next week, I have more in store.

 

 

 

Heroes in Modern Design

Modern-day designer Jonathan Adler does a beautiful job of mixing modern work with the mid-century modern aesthetic of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. That’s what I hope to do when procuring pieces for my own home. The other day, I had a woman in my living room buying furniture from me via Craigslist, and she said as we were talking, “Oh my God, this looks just like my Grandmother’s house!” HA! I took it as a compliment. I don’t know about you, but my grandmother had flawless mid-century modern taste. That comment, however, was a good reminder for me to remember to add some updated touches to keep my home from looking “old.”

004This can be done with a fresh coat of paint, accessories, mod drapes, or updated patterns. (Notice the chevron pillow purchased at Pier 1 prior to the chevron explosion. I have however, managed to resist the mustache accessories. Never got the mustache thing.)

If you know me, you know I’m not much of a shopper (my husband will claim otherwise)  but when I hit Nordstrom Rack on a rare “girls day” with my mom and sister-in-loves, I was delighted to see my man Jonathan Adler on deep discount. (Authors apologies for camera phone pics taken on the fly)

Scottsdale. Never been, but it smells of sweet, addictive crack.
Scottsdale. Never been, but it smells of sweet, addictive crack.

Seriously. I couldn’t stop sniffing the Scottsdale “sugar cactus.” I don’t even remember what Telluride smelled like because I was high on scent. Delicious, sweet, intoxicating scent. Candle was marked down to $16. I didn’t pop for it as much as I wanted it. See? I have restraint.

At this point, we experienced a small earthquake in the store. The lady next to me said, “Does this mean we should stop shopping?” Hells, no, lady-hey…sniff some of this Sugar Cactus!!! Even the earth moving beneath my feet cannot keep me from admiring Jonathan Adler’s work.

Penguin Salt & Pepper Shakers
Penguin Salt & Pepper Shakers down to $28 from $48

 

Cat Salt and Pepper Shakers
Cat Salt and Pepper Shakers Discounted to $28 from $48

MEOW!!!! These are the best kind of cats to own in my personal experience. They won’t pee on your carpet or leave tumbleweeds of hair that blow across the floor of your home, reminding you of your failure to not only keep the house clean, but of your inability to earn their acceptance.

Not big on animal S & P? How about Jonny’s lovely line of Futura…bringing that mod pop to your kitchen.

Futura Salt and Pepper Shakers
Funky Futura Salt and Pepper Shakers

These bottle stoppers, also down to $28 would make a great wedding shower gift, or host/hostess gift.

Bottle Stopper
Bottle Stoppers. You can’t escape the ‘stache.

Now! To the subject of stationery. Can you ever have enough? No. No, you cannot. How many times have you run through the house looking for those elusive post it notes to write on? $7 bucks will get you these:

Note Pads in Dogs, Fish and Owls
Note Pads in Dogs, Fish and Owls
Don't like animals and prefer your notes to have your initals? Look no more.
Don’t like animals and prefer your notes to have your initals? Perhaps you’re an early Christmas shopper looking for stocking stuffers.  Look no more.

While we’re on the subject of stationery, I must applaud Mr. Adler for so fashionably bringing note cards back. Tell me I’m not the only one who still does this!?!? In a world of texting and t.v….isn’t it still so nice to know someone thought enough of you to hand write a note, or a thank you? Bring it back, people. You can start here:

Hoot Squirrel Waves

Mom claimed this little box o’ gems, choc full of unique cards for only $7. Go Ma! Go! I want the squirrel one with the “GO NUTS!” (Now I’m kind of wishing I had….gone nuts, that is, and bought one of everything. Ah, well.)

If you have a Nordy’s Rack in your hood….swing by and check it out! Jonathan Adler (on sale) will not disappoint – or damage that pocket-book too much.

What better way to keep your home from looking and feeling stale. Toss in some updated pieces or accessories and voila! You have beauty in balance.

 

The Liebster Award Nominee

LIEBSTER AWARDThis week, I have so much to share but first and foremost, I want to thank my fellow fanatic in thrifting and blogging, Lin from Hot For Houses for the Liebster Award nomination. Thank you, Lin! What is the Liebster Award you ask? Well, it’s basically to recognize up and coming writers/bloggers that are newer to the blogosphere and have under 500 viewers.

This nomination means that I get to answer some fun Q & A. Ready friends?

1. When did you start your blog, and what influenced you to start it? 

I started MidCenturyObsession in August 2012. I dedicated my blog to my late Grandmother, because after inheriting her fantastic mid-century modern furniture, I discovered this whole (addictive) world I didn’t even know existed. I’ve been obsessed ever since!

2. Describe yourself in one word.

CAFFINATED

3. What day of the week do you enjoy most?

Wednesday. Specifically the morning. Best time to thrift, be on the road, shop and enjoy not having to wait in line.

4. Do you collect anything? If so, what?

I’m actually the anti-collector. I’d describe myself as a minimalist. I LOVE to discard stuff (by stuff, that excludes MCM furniture. I have a whole different stance about that). If it doesn’t get used, it gets garage saled, Craigslisted, or donated. What a refreshing way to start over, or give a space a new look; to go back to scratch.

5. What is something you’ve done that you’re proud of?

I’ve learned to rescue and refinish furniture. One of the most rewarding things for me is to find something that needs a little lovin’ and to have the ability to give it life again. Plus, I can listen to Michael Jackson while pretending to be Michael Jackson, and no one can judge.

MJ

 

6. Currently, what song makes you happy?

Pretty much anything by The Black Keys makes me happy.

7. What is one piece of technology that you can’t live without?

My laptop. My “smartphone” mostly makes me feel stupid. And how can people stand everything being so tiny?

8. What has challenged you about blogging?

It’s been a challenge for me NOT to worry about what others think. I’m a people-pleaser by nature, and blogging has been very challenging in that I spend time I shouldn’t worrying about how many people will like what I have to say.

9. What would be a perfect day for you?

Being on the beach, hearing the surf, with my feet in the warm sand – watching my son fly a kite. (on a Wednesday when no one else is there)

10. How does your blog inspire others?

I would hope that my blog inspires others to try new projects, tackle DIY with optimism and remember that you seriously don’t have to pay retail for fantastic furniture. Blessed be the thrifty. No matter what your style – if you have a little patience and determination you can make any space uniquely yours (for less!).

11. What is your favorite food recipe?

I cook for a 5-year-old right now. If it involves cheese, it’s a winner. My favorite recipe would be a delicious steak and garlic mashed potatoes that I didn’t have to make, or clean up after.

 

So through this process I realized that I haven’t read the instructions thoroughly and should have answered totally different questions. (Like school, all over again) Whatevs. I also realized that I don’t follow enough up and comers like myself. Slap on hand. I will do better in the future! 7 out of 11 isn’t so bad.

Here are my nominees:

Hot For Houses – Check it out. For reals.

Mid Century Modern Remodel

HarlowandCrue

WestCoastModern – Where I got my fantastic teal couch. These guys are amazing!

Xchange Studio

Dear House, I love you

Vintage Revivals

New Questions for the Nominees:

1. What or who inspired you to become a blogger?

2. What is your favorite blog that you subscribe to? (big or small)

3. What is your favorite kind of music?

4. What do you do for fun?

5. Favorite childhood memory?

6. Name a place you love to visit and why.

7. What or who is the biggest influence in your life?

8. Wine: red or white?

9.  Conan O’Brien or Jimmy Fallon?

10. Beach or Mountains?

11. What would be your last meal?

Rules for the Nominees:

1. Answer the questions from the person who nominated you.

 

2. Nominate 11 new blogs with 500 followers or less.

 

3. Post 11 new questions for you nominees to answer.

 

4. Tag your nominees in your post and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been nominated!

GO!

Special PostScript Especially for Lin of Hot For Houses…

1. If you could know one person who is no longer alive, who would it be?

Ray Eames

2. Wine, or Jägermeister shot?

Wine all the way.

3. Who is your biggest influence?

My mother. She rocks.

4. Who has influenced you the least?

My dogs only influence the furniture I have to refinish. Other than that, they’re pretty mute on most subjects.

5. If you could be any place other than where you are right now, where would it be?

A warm sunny beach with a huge margarita in my hand…a magazine, and no one else around.

6. Edward or Jacob?

Never succumbed to the series.

7. Bella or Rosalie?

Who?

8. How often do you write in your blog?

I try for and most often complete 1/week.

9. How often do you wish you could write in your blog?

I think I’d exhaust myself any more than 1 time a week

10. If you could be on any reality T.V. show, what would it be?

Anything with Jeff Lewis. He makes me laugh.

11. What book or movie best describes you?

The Runaway Bride.

Thanks again, Lin! I’m honored! 🙂