modern thrifter

modern thrifter

Thrifter & designer. Blogging about life in our MCM home & living on a budget. I also design things with my husband. You can see our work at The Mahoney Studio

ALDEN’S SHOW

All this month Alden has had his art up at Mighty O Donuts in the Greenlake/Tangletown neighborhood. He worked really hard this summer putting nine pieces together, and in the end I think they all turned out pretty great. In fact, he’s sold all but two of them so far! 

It has been a great experience for him, and we are so grateful to the folks at Mighty O for giving him such an amazing opportunity. They did a little interview with him over on their blog, too. The show will be up through this weekend, so stop in for a donut and take a peek if you are in the area.

Comments
[ WAY WASHINGTON ]
We have an embarrassingly large stack of prints and posters sitting in our art shelves that have been waiting for frames, but this Way Washington print by Aaron Draplin has been at the top of the pile. We’ve been fans of Draplin’s work for a while, and Patrick picked up this print at a lecture he gave in Seattle last year.
The frame and glass were thrifted for $14, then Patrick cut a custom matt with our new matt-cutter. The frame was kind of a pinkish gold color, but a few coats of Rustoleum took care of that. 
I think this wall needs a little more art, so I’ll have to go through the pile and figure out which piece will be next. We also picked up some vintage maps at a book sale over the weekend for 5¢ each, and I’m trying to decide if/how I want to display them, too.

Here’s one more look at the wall, and a little sneak peek of the black trim and curtains (that are hanging funny because they still need to be hemmed).
 
You can buy your own Way Washington print here. Have another state you love? Choose from Ohio, Texas, Minnesota, Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, South Carolina, Vermont, Kentucky, Utah, and even Canada.

[ WAY WASHINGTON ]

We have an embarrassingly large stack of prints and posters sitting in our art shelves that have been waiting for frames, but this Way Washington print by Aaron Draplin has been at the top of the pile. We’ve been fans of Draplin’s work for a while, and Patrick picked up this print at a lecture he gave in Seattle last year.

The frame and glass were thrifted for $14, then Patrick cut a custom matt with our new matt-cutter. The frame was kind of a pinkish gold color, but a few coats of Rustoleum took care of that. 

I think this wall needs a little more art, so I’ll have to go through the pile and figure out which piece will be next. We also picked up some vintage maps at a book sale over the weekend for 5¢ each, and I’m trying to decide if/how I want to display them, too.

Here’s one more look at the wall, and a little sneak peek of the black trim and curtains (that are hanging funny because they still need to be hemmed).

 

You can buy your own Way Washington print here. Have another state you love? Choose from Ohio, Texas, Minnesota, Arizona, Georgia, Colorado, South Carolina, Vermont, Kentucky, Utah, and even Canada.

Comments
[ ART ROOM PROGRESS]

Improvements have been slow lately on the house, but on the upside, we’ve been having a lot of fun. We just returned from two weeks in Montana that we’re packed full of family, sun, camping, and swimming pools. 

Now that we’re back, I’ve been starting to hear a lot of “I’m bored” complaints from the kids, since they don’t have all of their cousins to play with. Good thing we’ve made a little progress on our art room. Once they get started on a project, they are easily enraptured for long stretches of time.

We still have lots to do in this room, but here’s what we’ve come up with so far: 



Art Table - We’ve been hanging on to this old table since my first apartment because it folds up so small, but it’s solid wood, and really heavy. It has a bad paint job from my early 20s, so I don’t really care if it gets marked up with sharpies and paint. The thrifted chairs were previously used in the dining room before we replaced them with these.

With all of the windows, this spot gets pretty good natural light, and eventually I’d like to hang a roll of seamless backdrop material from the ceiling like this, so I can pul it down when I need to do product photography for our graphic design portfolio.

Map Shelves - These are a new exciting find that we picked them up from the UW Surplus store for $15. I’ve been wanting flat files for such a long time, but they are really expensive. Even though these don’t have drawers like I originally wanted, they are incredibly deep, and the height of them stacked (we bought two units) makes a perfect counter height for a standing work space. 

Work Bench - I’ve been meaning to share this for a long time, and eventually I’ll get some better photos. We bought this at an estate sale last winter. It has two built in vice grips, a shelf, drawers, and a cabinet. Since we don’t have a garage, and our carport isn’t big enough for a work space, this sturdy but compact work bench has already been put to good use.

We also still have these shelves with my sewing cabinet, though they need a bit of reorganizing. And I’ve been using some vintage suitcases to store all of my fabric.

There is still plenty to finish in the room—ripping out the carpet, adding some shelving and bins to hold all of the various art supplies, and installing some better task lighting. For now, though, the room is serving the exact purpose we had in mind—space to be creative and messy. 

[ ART ROOM PROGRESS]

Improvements have been slow lately on the house, but on the upside, we’ve been having a lot of fun. We just returned from two weeks in Montana that we’re packed full of family, sun, camping, and swimming pools. 

Now that we’re back, I’ve been starting to hear a lot of “I’m bored” complaints from the kids, since they don’t have all of their cousins to play with. Good thing we’ve made a little progress on our art room. Once they get started on a project, they are easily enraptured for long stretches of time.

We still have lots to do in this room, but here’s what we’ve come up with so far: 

Art Table - We’ve been hanging on to this old table since my first apartment because it folds up so small, but it’s solid wood, and really heavy. It has a bad paint job from my early 20s, so I don’t really care if it gets marked up with sharpies and paint. The thrifted chairs were previously used in the dining room before we replaced them with these.

With all of the windows, this spot gets pretty good natural light, and eventually I’d like to hang a roll of seamless backdrop material from the ceiling like this, so I can pul it down when I need to do product photography for our graphic design portfolio.

Map Shelves - These are a new exciting find that we picked them up from the UW Surplus store for $15. I’ve been wanting flat files for such a long time, but they are really expensive. Even though these don’t have drawers like I originally wanted, they are incredibly deep, and the height of them stacked (we bought two units) makes a perfect counter height for a standing work space. 

Work Bench - I’ve been meaning to share this for a long time, and eventually I’ll get some better photos. We bought this at an estate sale last winter. It has two built in vice grips, a shelf, drawers, and a cabinet. Since we don’t have a garage, and our carport isn’t big enough for a work space, this sturdy but compact work bench has already been put to good use.

We also still have these shelves with my sewing cabinet, though they need a bit of reorganizing. And I’ve been using some vintage suitcases to store all of my fabric.

There is still plenty to finish in the room—ripping out the carpet, adding some shelving and bins to hold all of the various art supplies, and installing some better task lighting. For now, though, the room is serving the exact purpose we had in mind—space to be creative and messy. 

Comments
[ EDISON ]
If you’ve never heard of Edison, Washington, you shouldn’t be surprised. This small town in the Skagit Valley has a mere 133 residents, according to the 2010 census. But even with such a small population, Edison has a lot to offer.

We drove up for the afternoon to celebrate our anniversary, after hearing so many good things about the cafes that line the one main road through town. Our first stop was Farm to Market Bakery for lunch, and we were not disappointed. I won’t ramble on about the food—there are plenty of online reviews—but it was worth the drive. 
We had heard a lot about the gourmet fare in Edison, but we were surprised that no one had mentioned the three or four galleries and artist studios in town, too. There was a really great printmaking exhibit at Smith & Vallee and while walking through, I turned a corner and stood face-to-face with this:

For those of you who haven’t met my husband in person, let me just say, the stranger in the print must be Patrick’s doppelgänger. I wonder if the other patrons in the gallery at the same time as us noticed it. 
The day before we visited Edison there was a community-wide garage sale (I’m still a little bummed about missing it), so there were a few leftover sales happening while we were there.  One of the best discoveries was a tent sale outside of Smith & Vallee that was filled with surplus wood slabs. I was desperately trying to think of a project that would justify a big chunk of black walnut, but I’m sure it would have sat in some sad corner of the house waiting indefinitely for me to do something with it. 

At the same sale, Patrick found a nice mat-cutter—something he’s been wanting for years —for $10. Now we have absolutely no excuse for the lack of art on our walls. 


We browsed the other shops in town which were filled with handmade art and crafts—not at all the kind you’d expect in a small farm town, but more along the lines of what you’d find in Ballard. Then, on our way to Tweets for pastries and coffee, we spotted a “free” pile, stacked in front of a little shop. We scooped up a few spools of nice yarn and a small wool cabbie hat for Alden. It was a pleasant surprise to be able to bring home a few goodies from an already delightful experience.

[ EDISON ]

If you’ve never heard of Edison, Washington, you shouldn’t be surprised. This small town in the Skagit Valley has a mere 133 residents, according to the 2010 census. But even with such a small population, Edison has a lot to offer.

We drove up for the afternoon to celebrate our anniversary, after hearing so many good things about the cafes that line the one main road through town. Our first stop was Farm to Market Bakery for lunch, and we were not disappointed. I won’t ramble on about the food—there are plenty of online reviews—but it was worth the drive. 

We had heard a lot about the gourmet fare in Edison, but we were surprised that no one had mentioned the three or four galleries and artist studios in town, too. There was a really great printmaking exhibit at Smith & Vallee and while walking through, I turned a corner and stood face-to-face with this:

For those of you who haven’t met my husband in person, let me just say, the stranger in the print must be Patrick’s doppelgänger. I wonder if the other patrons in the gallery at the same time as us noticed it. 

The day before we visited Edison there was a community-wide garage sale (I’m still a little bummed about missing it), so there were a few leftover sales happening while we were there.  One of the best discoveries was a tent sale outside of Smith & Vallee that was filled with surplus wood slabs. I was desperately trying to think of a project that would justify a big chunk of black walnut, but I’m sure it would have sat in some sad corner of the house waiting indefinitely for me to do something with it. 

At the same sale, Patrick found a nice mat-cutter—something he’s been wanting for years —for $10. Now we have absolutely no excuse for the lack of art on our walls. 

We browsed the other shops in town which were filled with handmade art and crafts—not at all the kind you’d expect in a small farm town, but more along the lines of what you’d find in Ballard. Then, on our way to Tweets for pastries and coffee, we spotted a “free” pile, stacked in front of a little shop. We scooped up a few spools of nice yarn and a small wool cabbie hat for Alden. It was a pleasant surprise to be able to bring home a few goodies from an already delightful experience.

Comments
[ ART SPACE ]
As the kids head back to school and the cooler weather sets in, I’m preparing to spend more time indoors. I’ve been eager to finally make some progress on our home office. This project has taken the back burner over and over since we’ve moved in, and it has become a pitiful, neglected room that operates more as storage space than work space. 
The room is a long rectangle, and my original plan when we bought the house was to make the back section a more traditional office area (desks, computers, shelves, etc.) and set up the front as an art area, because both Patrick and I used to do quite a bit of fine art. My favorite medium was oil paints, but it’s not exactly the type of thing you can do with babies and toddlers under foot. By now, all of my paint tubes have dried up, my brushes get used by the kids, and maybe you remember the linseed oil incedent. 
Every time I step foot into the art store, I am reminded how much I love and miss painting, and though I’m not swimming in a sea of free time, it would be great to have a permanent set-up for when creativity hits. I would also love to incorporate a kids art area into this space. My kids are always begging to do projects, but with the only current areas being the dining room table and the carpeted play room, they don’t get to do as many types of art projects as we’d all like.
So, to get the ball rolling on the office makeover, I spent last week rearranging furniture, perusing blogs and Pineterest for inspiration, and selling things on craigslist to make a little cash to put toward the project. I know I’ve talked about getting all fancy with a custom desk before, but I think we’ve simplified things a little so that we can actually make progress. 
Photo by Jody Morris via Flickr

[ ART SPACE ]

As the kids head back to school and the cooler weather sets in, I’m preparing to spend more time indoors. I’ve been eager to finally make some progress on our home office. This project has taken the back burner over and over since we’ve moved in, and it has become a pitiful, neglected room that operates more as storage space than work space. 

The room is a long rectangle, and my original plan when we bought the house was to make the back section a more traditional office area (desks, computers, shelves, etc.) and set up the front as an art area, because both Patrick and I used to do quite a bit of fine art. My favorite medium was oil paints, but it’s not exactly the type of thing you can do with babies and toddlers under foot. By now, all of my paint tubes have dried up, my brushes get used by the kids, and maybe you remember the linseed oil incedent

Every time I step foot into the art store, I am reminded how much I love and miss painting, and though I’m not swimming in a sea of free time, it would be great to have a permanent set-up for when creativity hits. I would also love to incorporate a kids art area into this space. My kids are always begging to do projects, but with the only current areas being the dining room table and the carpeted play room, they don’t get to do as many types of art projects as we’d all like.

So, to get the ball rolling on the office makeover, I spent last week rearranging furniture, perusing blogs and Pineterest for inspiration, and selling things on craigslist to make a little cash to put toward the project. I know I’ve talked about getting all fancy with a custom desk before, but I think we’ve simplified things a little so that we can actually make progress. 

Photo by Jody Morris via Flickr

Comments
[ CHURCH RUMMAGE SALE ]
We hit a church rummage sale the week before we went on vacation, and I’m just now getting around to sharing all of the goodies I brought home. At first glance, the sale was unimpressive, but after making a few rounds past the tables, we found some great things. The first thing that I grabbed was a Dansk Spider candleholder. I’ve been digging through the metal/candleholder shelves at every thrift store I go to for at least the past year or two trying to find one of these. When I saw it sitting on the table, I almost jumped out of surprise. Even better, I only paid 75¢ for it.
The book behind the candleholder wasn’t from the sale, I just wanted to put it in the picture so I would remember to mention it on the blog. It was actually a birthday gift from my in-laws. The book is a tribute to the work of A. Quincy Jones (known for many residential and commercial buildings in California, including the later Eichler Homes). It is chock full of beautiful vintage photographs, floor plans, and renderings.

Finding one vintage Dansk piece at the church sale was surprising enough, but then I saw a set of six Dansk Bouquette vases still in the original box. I haven’t decided if I’m keeping these yet or not. I’ve seen them before in turquoise, which I think would fit my style more, but the price was cheap enough that I decided to bring them home anyway. I’ve been thinking of adding a Big Cartel store onto my blog, with five or six vintage items for sale at a time, but we’ll see. 

Don’t you love these miniature wood dishes? I collected mini tea sets when I was a little girl, so they still have a special place in my heart. I’ve been looking all over online to find out where these might be from, but I’ve come up empty-handed. There are a few lids missing and a couple of handles that need gluing, but still in overall nice condition. I should have included something in the picture for scale, but to give you the general idea, the tallest pieces are just under two inches. 

I also found a couple of vintage wall textiles:


The top one is by Swedish artist Ulla Scheuer. I wish I had a little more information about her, but from what I can gather from one obscure Swedish blog is that she was a freelance textile designer, married to an interior designer. She created designs for napkins, wall hangings, tablecloths, and other home decor until her divorce, when she was forced to quit illustrating and work various jobs as a cook, maid, and a nanny. I think the birds are so sweet in Tula’s room, and they are her favorite colors, pink and purple.  
the second wall hanging is a vintage Marushka print. I’m sure just about everyone will remember seeing one of these hanging in a doctors office or friend’s house when they were a kid. They are more commonly images of sailboats or lighthouses, color-blocked in the orange and brown that typifies the 1970s. I’m not a big fan of the ones that look quintessentially 70s, but this sandpiper print is a little more understated and timeless. You can learn more about the history of Marushka here.

The loot doesn’t end there. I picked up an unmarked wood taper candle holder and a wood bottle opener that is marked with a “Handcrafted Holline Denmark” sticker, for 25¢ each.

Lastly, we found this mid-century fireplace toolset. Based on the other sets I found online, I think this is made by Seymour Mfg. Company. The metal is a little spotted and rusty, so we waited until the sale was 50% off, and went back to pick it up. I like the shapes of the handles, but I’m not tied to keeping this in its original state. I’m toying with the idea of painting the handles a fun color, or at least painting the brass accents. 
We came out with some screaming deals that day, and all total we spent under $20 for everything (including a few little toys for the kids). Oh, how I do love a good church sale.

[ CHURCH RUMMAGE SALE ]

We hit a church rummage sale the week before we went on vacation, and I’m just now getting around to sharing all of the goodies I brought home. At first glance, the sale was unimpressive, but after making a few rounds past the tables, we found some great things. The first thing that I grabbed was a Dansk Spider candleholder. I’ve been digging through the metal/candleholder shelves at every thrift store I go to for at least the past year or two trying to find one of these. When I saw it sitting on the table, I almost jumped out of surprise. Even better, I only paid 75¢ for it.

The book behind the candleholder wasn’t from the sale, I just wanted to put it in the picture so I would remember to mention it on the blog. It was actually a birthday gift from my in-laws. The book is a tribute to the work of A. Quincy Jones (known for many residential and commercial buildings in California, including the later Eichler Homes). It is chock full of beautiful vintage photographs, floor plans, and renderings.

Finding one vintage Dansk piece at the church sale was surprising enough, but then I saw a set of six Dansk Bouquette vases still in the original box. I haven’t decided if I’m keeping these yet or not. I’ve seen them before in turquoise, which I think would fit my style more, but the price was cheap enough that I decided to bring them home anyway. I’ve been thinking of adding a Big Cartel store onto my blog, with five or six vintage items for sale at a time, but we’ll see. 

Don’t you love these miniature wood dishes? I collected mini tea sets when I was a little girl, so they still have a special place in my heart. I’ve been looking all over online to find out where these might be from, but I’ve come up empty-handed. There are a few lids missing and a couple of handles that need gluing, but still in overall nice condition. I should have included something in the picture for scale, but to give you the general idea, the tallest pieces are just under two inches. 

I also found a couple of vintage wall textiles:

The top one is by Swedish artist Ulla Scheuer. I wish I had a little more information about her, but from what I can gather from one obscure Swedish blog is that she was a freelance textile designer, married to an interior designer. She created designs for napkins, wall hangings, tablecloths, and other home decor until her divorce, when she was forced to quit illustrating and work various jobs as a cook, maid, and a nanny. I think the birds are so sweet in Tula’s room, and they are her favorite colors, pink and purple.  

the second wall hanging is a vintage Marushka print. I’m sure just about everyone will remember seeing one of these hanging in a doctors office or friend’s house when they were a kid. They are more commonly images of sailboats or lighthouses, color-blocked in the orange and brown that typifies the 1970s. I’m not a big fan of the ones that look quintessentially 70s, but this sandpiper print is a little more understated and timeless. You can learn more about the history of Marushka here.

The loot doesn’t end there. I picked up an unmarked wood taper candle holder and a wood bottle opener that is marked with a “Handcrafted Holline Denmark” sticker, for 25¢ each.

Lastly, we found this mid-century fireplace toolset. Based on the other sets I found online, I think this is made by Seymour Mfg. Company. The metal is a little spotted and rusty, so we waited until the sale was 50% off, and went back to pick it up. I like the shapes of the handles, but I’m not tied to keeping this in its original state. I’m toying with the idea of painting the handles a fun color, or at least painting the brass accents. 

We came out with some screaming deals that day, and all total we spent under $20 for everything (including a few little toys for the kids). Oh, how I do love a good church sale.

Comments
[ HANGING POSTERS ]
I’m really loving these bulldog clips, and seem to be finding lots of little uses around the house for them. I even use one to attach Alden’s blanket “cape” to his shirt yesterday when he was playing King & Queen with Tula. My favorite new use for them, though, is hanging posters.

Alden received this fabulous luche libre print, by the Bungaloo, from his Aunt and Uncle for Christmas. Instead of having it framed, which would cost a ton more and taken me an unforeseeable amount of time to get around to, I simply attached a bulldog clip on the top and one on the bottom and then hung it on a nail.
The posters on each side of the wrestler print are from the Gig Posters Vol. 1 book that we bought a few years ago. If you are looking for inexpensive art for your walls, this book is great. Each of the nearly 200 pages has a nice sized poster that is perforated so it can be easily torn out. For Alden’s room I chose (with his approval) a Kanye West poster from our friends over at Invisible Creature, and a Ben Harper poster from Furturtle Show Prints.
What I love about this project is that it is simple enough and fast enough that I can change it on a whim. More art can be added easily, or we can switch out the posters that are being displayed. Larger sized posters can be hung by two clips on the top, too. I’m trying to restrain myself from hanging these all over the house, but the clips are so cheap, it’s hard to resist.

Oh, lastly, check out Alden’s new organized shelves! We used some Christmas money to buy some storage for his room (which lacks a closet), and I spent a whole day cleaning and organizing his space. His room was getting seriously out of control… like to the point of not really wanting to go in there, so we’re all relieved to have this project tackled.

[ HANGING POSTERS ]

I’m really loving these bulldog clips, and seem to be finding lots of little uses around the house for them. I even use one to attach Alden’s blanket “cape” to his shirt yesterday when he was playing King & Queen with Tula. My favorite new use for them, though, is hanging posters.

Alden received this fabulous luche libre print, by the Bungaloo, from his Aunt and Uncle for Christmas. Instead of having it framed, which would cost a ton more and taken me an unforeseeable amount of time to get around to, I simply attached a bulldog clip on the top and one on the bottom and then hung it on a nail.

The posters on each side of the wrestler print are from the Gig Posters Vol. 1 book that we bought a few years ago. If you are looking for inexpensive art for your walls, this book is great. Each of the nearly 200 pages has a nice sized poster that is perforated so it can be easily torn out. For Alden’s room I chose (with his approval) a Kanye West poster from our friends over at Invisible Creature, and a Ben Harper poster from Furturtle Show Prints.

What I love about this project is that it is simple enough and fast enough that I can change it on a whim. More art can be added easily, or we can switch out the posters that are being displayed. Larger sized posters can be hung by two clips on the top, too. I’m trying to restrain myself from hanging these all over the house, but the clips are so cheap, it’s hard to resist.

Oh, lastly, check out Alden’s new organized shelves! We used some Christmas money to buy some storage for his room (which lacks a closet), and I spent a whole day cleaning and organizing his space. His room was getting seriously out of control… like to the point of not really wanting to go in there, so we’re all relieved to have this project tackled.

Comments