July 31, 2012


Not being a big old copycat. . . exactly. A while back I saw this post Five Days . . . Five Ways where Abbie had made her own version of some very pricey Anthropologie candlesticks, like these: Trinket and Treasure Candlestick. It seemed like a fine idea to jump on the bandwagon, so here are some of my efforts:

Don't get too excited, though. An unfortunate dusting incident cut the one on the left short. Now there are this one:

and these:

The tallest one is topped with a little bird votive holder from the Dollar Tree. It also includes some wooden napkin rings, doll dishes and some old salt and pepper shakers from Japan that were my mother's, but had been damaged at some point. There are more candle holders, doll dishes, egg cups and napkin rings on the other two. Two of them have the tiny mini tea lights made to look like succulents in them. Mr. B was very impressed and immediately suggested we go look for more components at a local thrift store; you can imagine how little argument he got over that idea! We did, and I'm going to make some more, maybe for gifts. My oldest daughter has hinted about that. 
Thanks again to Abbie for giving me the idea to imitate in the first place.

I'm going to try to link this to Debbiedoo's copycat party tomorrow. Whose ideas have you appropriated lately?  Do you like your own version better? Why or why not?

See you in August!

July 27, 2012

Confession time

I only started this blog in April, not long ago, but am already feeling like a Bad Blogger. Or rather, an imposter, not a legit member of the blogosphere. Conscience forces me  to admit  that despite beginning Adventures in Thrifting, I don't like burlap. At all. Nor is anything in our house painted with chalkboard paint. We have little space or need to write messages to one another or place to hang/set a clever memo board so I haven't done anything along those lines. If this admission isn't bad enough to make you run screaming away, how about the fact  that roosters leave me cold. No roosters here, no way. Chevrons don't work in our world either, despite how wonderfully others incorporate that design into furniture, accessories and other clever pieces. 

There you have it, no longer my secret shame. Some of us are just odd, that's all. 

Have a great weekend. Stay cool!


July 25, 2012

Gifts and Thrifts

How are all you other treasure hunters doing this last week in July? This past Friday was Mr. B's birthday. His favorite present didn't come from a thrift store (remember, he got his easel early, a couple of months ago) but was inexpensive and has been declared "The best present ever! It will be all downhill from here." he said Friday. What, you wonder was such a fantastic success? Why, a contraption to kill flying insects in mid-air. Let me present: 

the Racquet Zapper! This was an impulse buy but clearly a good one. When he got to work on Monday his description was so eloquent the owner of the company went directly online to order several for the office. Who knew it would be such a hit?

This gift container is a thrift buy. I like it so much it's hard for me to wait till my friend's birthday arrives on August 2. 

It is cardboard, made like a handbag. The straps and handles are leather and the catch is metal. The design continues on the inside as well as the exterior. The maker is Punch Studios. Isn't that cute for $1.10?

These next are some recent buys for myself, or rather, the house. First, yet another basket:

It is sturdy, with  leather handles and just the right size for magazines, a good deal for $5.00. When an item is useful, looks good and doesn't cost much, you can hardly go wrong. 

This well built little shelf unit still needs a paint job. It came home the same day as the basket above. 

It has castors, that's what made me roll it straight to the front of the store to put behind the counter while continuing to browse. Since it's small, it seems it would be good for canned goods; now to find somewhere to stick it once it's ready to use. It was $6.00.

Lastly, here is my leap onto the bandwagon of industrial/metal/tool in the world of decorating. 

It is like a trowel on steroids, 17 inches long. It's big enough to use for some other purpose, though. What do you think? A shelf to put a plant on? Hung vertically to use as a hook?  Any ideas will be most welcome. It came from my most reliable source, Sand Dollar and cost $4.50.

That's my report for mid-week. 

Happy hunting, all!


July 20, 2012

Green thumb?

Happy Friday from steamy, hot Houston. The rain has been nice, but temperatures are creeping higher to our more normal numbers, drat it. 

Anyone who has read a few posts on this blog has probably figured out I love cats and books. Those have been two constants all my life. A more recent enthusiasm that only appeared within the past couple of years is completely different, but still enthralling. I am talking about succulents. My grandmother had them when I was a child but other than those vague memories they didn't figure in my house or garden design till around 2010 when I got one. And a few days later there were some tatty looking examples on a clearance table at Big Lots right before Mr. B asked me to stop at the nursery for mulch and it was all over. I have completely succumb to the allure of these sturdy plants. Here are some examples now residing on our  front steps. I brought them inside to take pictures because the sun is so blinding it was impossible to see the screen of the camera. The title of this post is mostly a lie; my gardening abilities are quite limited.
Succulents are the exception.

This is the one from Big Lots. It was only a single stalk when purchased; now there are three.

This is a  Christmas cactus from the holidays last year.

That is a sort of spiky one in the orange cup and more ordinary kind in the little cage.Yes, that is Flossie the kitten under the stool. She manages to get in a lot of photos not intended to be of her.

Here are some that hang out in a big bird cage. These were much admired by the UPS delivery woman, who said she was going to copy the idea, to stop her husband telling her to get rid of an old bird cage she likes.

These are a few more in a concrete planter from Salvation Army.

The best thing about this type of plant is they are hardy. They lived through our horrible summer last year, which killed off just about  everything else. They're fun and easy to grow, don't need much attention and thrive in the heat. They're not beautiful or smell sweet, but succulents are still very appealing.

Have you stumbled on a new or totally different enthusiasm unexpectedly that's taken you in another direction?

Till next time,

July 17, 2012

Now and Then

Good afternoon, all. Am I the  only person more than a little stunned that it's past the middle of July already? 2012 seems to be moving at the speed of light--no, skip that since it's surely a sign of being o-l-d. 

Speaking of old, I thought I'd show you some thrift thrills from this week, as well as some older finds bought long before this blog began. One of those is this:

The dining room had one of those builder fixtures in it that's round with a thing in the middle that looks horribly like a nipple. Besides being cringe worthy in ugliness, it didn't give off much light. You can imagine my delight upon finding this one in an oil rubbed bronze finish with all parts and shades in perfect shape for $18.00. 

Here are some cardboard cigar boxes stacked on a chair. None of them cost more than a dollar; they're great to store things in and have wonderful graphics. No, Flossie, there are no cat treats in them!

This is my husband's wine bar. Everything on that wall is from a thrift shop or yard sale. The chest of drawers was $10 at a yard sale. The wreath of wine grapes $6.50 from a more upscale resale venue. The tray, tile insert on it, glasses, cooler, metal box and holder on the wall for the corkscrew all were picked up at random times and assembled later. To the right are some of my vintage aprons on an expanding rack. Above them is a neat handmade shelf just stuck up there, not hung yet. 

Yesterday I got this cool twig bowl at the Goodwill store near us. In their customary odd pricing this was $4.99, while a similar smaller one was marked $7.99. It should be a great centerpiece base for fall and winter.

This curio shelf was another find Monday. It's nice because all the cubbies are not the same size, some are rectangular to hold slightly taller items. It will be painted white, probably, since the wood finish doesn't do much for me. It had the featured colored tag so was 30 % discounted at GW. Today I picked up another basket and small shelf unit on castors at the Sand Dollar. They need to be cleaned up and grease pencil prices taken off before being photographed. 

Dare I hope the availability of good stuff is on the upswing? 

With crossed fingers,

July 13, 2012

Thrift Desert

My adventures in thrifting have been disappointing lately. Rain and family events have prevented most weekend yard sales attendance, my illness kept me housebound for a couple of weeks, and times I've been out since have been lackluster, to say the least. I've  picked up a couple of books for resale and a  few for us to read, a tee shirt or two and that's about it. Some scores from earlier in the summer, though, are this:

a nice plaid vintage table cloth for $1.00. 

In May at the normally grossly overpriced Goodwill store I stumbled upon a gift for my husband:

This is a combination adjustable easel and paint box made by Aaron Brothers. It was marked $9.99. We looked at the same piece in Texas  Art Supply the following weekend and saw it priced at $89.99, so quite a score. 

I've wanted a terrarium for a while and thought about asking for one at Christmas time till investigation showed they were very expensive, whether online or in local stores. It was thus a thrill to find this one in another fairly lame Goodwill store, for $12.99. It is big and ornate, made of wrought iron and glass. I love it.


Not the greatest picture, but you get the idea. Everything else on the buffet came from thrifts too, except the box of silver from my in-laws when they downsized. The butterfly tin, vintage clock, lamp, glass bottle and two pedestals were thrift store finds, with the matching yellow stands found in different stores on separate shopping trips. Oh, and the buffet itself is oak with barley twist legs and was $60 at a yard sale in the early 1980s. 

This chair replaced another one in the living room. It made an appearance in the fairy garden post, but is still one of the better finds of the summer:

It's in excellent condition and came with a cushion not shown. It was $28 at the Sand Dollar. 

Like everything else in life, thrift scores can be feast or famine. At least I'm old enough to hang on when good deals are thin on the ground and know the next fabulous finds can show up at any minute. 

Have your discoveries been skimpy or nonstop lately? Good luck!


July 11, 2012

Summer Reading - Part 2

Hello, all. Do you have children or grandchildren involved in the summer reading program at their local library? Our Heights Branch is very busy with programs for all ages, babies to teens. In fact, the teens have a separate zone to hang out in completely away from the regular children's section. Watching all the activity when I was in to pick up some holds reminded me of all the summer days spent reading when in my childhood (shortly after the earth's crust began  to harden). Some of those were such favorites I either still have them or have sought them out in recent years. 

There are probably plenty of you who remember Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild: 

She wrote many others in the series, all with shoes in the titles for the US market. Skating Shoes is excellent.

Authors who wrote many books were among my favorites, like Edward Eager. 

Half Magic was there first, but there are many excellent sequels; all are fun and engaging.

Betty MacDonald of The Egg and I fame wrote wonderful children's books many people still recall fondly, featuring the character Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, who had magical cures for misbehavior. 

Most children like animals, so it's not surprising Doctor  Doolittle was a hit:. 

I especially enjoyed later volumes in the series like Doctor Doolittle and the Green Canary and Doctor Doolittle in the Moon. 

In another post I mentioned the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace; another one nearly as dear to my heart was set in Denver, by Lenora Mattingly Weber. 

Featuring the lovable Malone family, the series begins during WWII and continues till after Beany is married with a family of her own. 

With fewer entries, another family you want to join can be found starting here:


Although there are plenty of adventures and fun in the subsequent  volumes, this was always my favorite. Why anyone would want to move away from a house with a trapeze inside and a tub full of clay is a mystery to me. 

A friend told me about fifteen years ago about a series by a British author, Helen Cresswell that is a hoot, too. 

This is the second title, but my favorite when the eccentric Bagthorpe family go into a frenzy of entering contests and trying to outdo one another. 

After years of  searching I've found exactly one of the Dean Marshall books well recalled from childhood. Maybe the others will turn up one of these days.

 There are plenty of other books that were one offs, or nearly so that I read and re-read often as well. 

The Chestry Oak was exciting, about a refugee boy from Hungary after WWII.

Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster had one sequel, but it didn't feature Jerusha, so it seemed more a separate book to me.

Jessamyn West wrote a number of books for adults, but I glommed onto this one early and re-read it many times:

Last, but not least, a book I loved and checked out of the library dozens of times:

My copy was found at a yard sale and given to me as a  birthday gift by a friend.  There was one sequel to it, but I've never seen it anywhere. 

Not mentioned in this post are the Anne of Green Gables books, not because I didn't like or read them, but rather, I don't remember where in the house mine are and was too lazy to rummage around to find them. 

What childhood favorites would you like to pass along? Do you ever re-read those most special ones? Have you recommended the best beloved to friends and relatives?In the age of technology, are books destined to become extinct, like dinosaurs? Horrors, what a terrible thought! I hope not.

Stay cool,