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

[ Seppo Mallat & An Everlasting Meal ]
As a kid, I used to spend afternoons in my grandma’s kitchen learning how to make pies and bread, and how to cook and can chokecherry jelly. As an adult, I don’t love cooking everyday. There are evenings where it feels like just another chore and the meal is met with “do I really have to eat that?” looks on the kids’ faces. 
More often than not, though, I find a simple pleasure in food—both preparing and eating it. It’s even more enjoyable when I use tools for which I have a fondness, like my vintage Le Creuset sauce pan, my thrifted rolling pin, identical to the one my mom has used since my childhood, and now, my newly thrifted Seppo Mallat Finel sauté pan. 
I have always hoped to find Kobenstyle cookware at the thrift store, but have struck out thus far. I hadn’t ever seen the Finel cookware designed by Seppo Mallat until I snagged this pan off the shelf at Goodwill. Now, I am head over heels for the design. I like the modern straight sides of the designs in contrast to the more traditional shape of Kobenstyle. 
While my new pan makes me smile every time I use it, the book I’m currently reading, An Everlasting Meal, has me inspired and excited to cook up something new. Author Tamar Adler writes eloquently about the endless possibilities of the simplest foods. I found myself chuckling as she describes the elation of peeling a boiled egg in one swoop, and my mouth watering, craving a slice of garlicky toast at midnight when I’m reading in bed.
I have the book for another week from the library before I sadly have to return it. I think I will have to put this on my wish list, as I think it is an excellent resource to own.  
Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1: How to boil water

“There is a prevailing theory that we need to know much more than we do in order to feed ourselves well. It isn’t true. Most of us already have water, a pot to put it in, and a way to light a fire. This gives us boiling water, in which we can do more good cooking than we seem to realize.
Our culture frowns on cooking in water. A pot and water are both simple and homely. It is hard to improve on the technology of the pot, or of the boil, leaving, when it comes to this particular technique, nothing for the cookbook and cookware industries to sell.
The pot was invented 10,000 years ago, and a simmering one has been a symbol of a well-tended hearth every since. I don’t mean to suggest that now that you have been reminded of the age and goodness of a pot of water, you start boiling everything in your kitchen, but that instead of trying to figure out what to do about dinner, you put a big pot of water on the stove, light the burner under it, and then, as soon as it’s on its way to getting hot, start looking for things to put in it. Once you do, you will have dropped yourself, in a single gesture, directly into the middle of cooking a meal, jostled by your faith and will a few steps closer to dinner…”

[ Seppo Mallat & An Everlasting Meal ]

As a kid, I used to spend afternoons in my grandma’s kitchen learning how to make pies and bread, and how to cook and can chokecherry jelly. As an adult, I don’t love cooking everyday. There are evenings where it feels like just another chore and the meal is met with “do I really have to eat that?” looks on the kids’ faces. 

More often than not, though, I find a simple pleasure in food—both preparing and eating it. It’s even more enjoyable when I use tools for which I have a fondness, like my vintage Le Creuset sauce pan, my thrifted rolling pin, identical to the one my mom has used since my childhood, and now, my newly thrifted Seppo Mallat Finel sauté pan. 

I have always hoped to find Kobenstyle cookware at the thrift store, but have struck out thus far. I hadn’t ever seen the Finel cookware designed by Seppo Mallat until I snagged this pan off the shelf at Goodwill. Now, I am head over heels for the design. I like the modern straight sides of the designs in contrast to the more traditional shape of Kobenstyle. 

While my new pan makes me smile every time I use it, the book I’m currently reading, An Everlasting Meal, has me inspired and excited to cook up something new. Author Tamar Adler writes eloquently about the endless possibilities of the simplest foods. I found myself chuckling as she describes the elation of peeling a boiled egg in one swoop, and my mouth watering, craving a slice of garlicky toast at midnight when I’m reading in bed.

I have the book for another week from the library before I sadly have to return it. I think I will have to put this on my wish list, as I think it is an excellent resource to own.  

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 1: How to boil water

“There is a prevailing theory that we need to know much more than we do in order to feed ourselves well. It isn’t true. Most of us already have water, a pot to put it in, and a way to light a fire. This gives us boiling water, in which we can do more good cooking than we seem to realize.

Our culture frowns on cooking in water. A pot and water are both simple and homely. It is hard to improve on the technology of the pot, or of the boil, leaving, when it comes to this particular technique, nothing for the cookbook and cookware industries to sell.

The pot was invented 10,000 years ago, and a simmering one has been a symbol of a well-tended hearth every since. I don’t mean to suggest that now that you have been reminded of the age and goodness of a pot of water, you start boiling everything in your kitchen, but that instead of trying to figure out what to do about dinner, you put a big pot of water on the stove, light the burner under it, and then, as soon as it’s on its way to getting hot, start looking for things to put in it. Once you do, you will have dropped yourself, in a single gesture, directly into the middle of cooking a meal, jostled by your faith and will a few steps closer to dinner…”

Comments
[ ARE WE THERE YET ]
I found this Rand McNally travel activity book a few weeks ago while doing a quick scan of the kid’s book section at Goodwill. I pulled it off the shelf assuming it would be mostly used, torn, or at the very least, scribbled upon. To my delight, it is in near perfect condition. The middle even has an entire section of perforated stamp/stickers with beautiful one-color illustrations that have never been torn.


The book was designed in 1971 by Bradford/Cout Design, which at one time was based in Illinois. There is virtually no information regarding this company, and as best as I can gather, they folded up shop in the early 2000s. This is the only other thing that I have been able to find online that was designed by them.
Here is one of many game pages in the book:

The secondary illustrations were done by Dorothy Milikan & Terry Rose, and while I prefer the more graphic illustrations done by Bradford/Cout, I think they managed to integrate the two styles quite well, as you can see in this diagram:

Of all the pages in the book (this being just a small selection), this spread is my favorite:

I love how good design is so timeless. I plan to keep this high on the shelf in order to keep excited little hands off of those stamps and games, but I do plan to make some color copies to use in the car for our next long road trip. 

[ ARE WE THERE YET ]

I found this Rand McNally travel activity book a few weeks ago while doing a quick scan of the kid’s book section at Goodwill. I pulled it off the shelf assuming it would be mostly used, torn, or at the very least, scribbled upon. To my delight, it is in near perfect condition. The middle even has an entire section of perforated stamp/stickers with beautiful one-color illustrations that have never been torn.

The book was designed in 1971 by Bradford/Cout Design, which at one time was based in Illinois. There is virtually no information regarding this company, and as best as I can gather, they folded up shop in the early 2000s. This is the only other thing that I have been able to find online that was designed by them.

Here is one of many game pages in the book:

The secondary illustrations were done by Dorothy Milikan & Terry Rose, and while I prefer the more graphic illustrations done by Bradford/Cout, I think they managed to integrate the two styles quite well, as you can see in this diagram:

Of all the pages in the book (this being just a small selection), this spread is my favorite:

I love how good design is so timeless. I plan to keep this high on the shelf in order to keep excited little hands off of those stamps and games, but I do plan to make some color copies to use in the car for our next long road trip. 

Comments
[ CHANGE OF PACE ]

I’m still here, I promise—still thrifting, too. I haven’t picked up any big “wow” pieces as of late, but I am quite pleased with some of my smaller finds—a shiny white Karlsson alarm clock, a book by the very funny David Sedaris that I’ve been wanting to read, and the perfect pair of italian leather sandals for summer, to name a few.

Projects around the house have come to a stall, mostly because we’ve been spending our spare time working on design projects, but also because we’ve decided to get really serious with our budgeting in order to build up a larger emergency fund/savings. It’s amazing how quickly we can settle into “comfortable” and start letting extra income flit away one dollar at a time. 

It’s hard for me to not be constantly working on fixing up the house, but I’m taking this as an opportunity to find the neglected, tedious, and free things that need to be done. Yesterday we spent most of the day outside tidying up our yard [ivy jungle]. You may not know this about me, but gardening is just about my least favorite activity—cleaning moldy food containers wins the prize for most dreaded household chore, in case you were wondering. 

Yard work really isn’t that bad once I get started, and it’s not the manual labor that I don’t like. It’s the creepy crawlies that I could do without. It would seem like being a mom of a little boy would have desensitized me to that by now, but, no. The only thing that eases the anxiety about plunging my hand into an overgrown patch of patch of mystery weeds is my pair of elbow-length leather gloves (I’d get shoulder length if they made them). 

The other free chore that yields instant gratification is organizing, which is how I plan to spend the better part of this coming week. If I wasn’t so embarrassed about the current state of some of my closets, I would post before and after pictures to keep myself motivated. Maybe I’ll muster the courage to put them on twitter.

[ CHANGE OF PACE ]

I’m still here, I promise—still thrifting, too. I haven’t picked up any big “wow” pieces as of late, but I am quite pleased with some of my smaller finds—a shiny white Karlsson alarm clock, a book by the very funny David Sedaris that I’ve been wanting to read, and the perfect pair of italian leather sandals for summer, to name a few.

Projects around the house have come to a stall, mostly because we’ve been spending our spare time working on design projects, but also because we’ve decided to get really serious with our budgeting in order to build up a larger emergency fund/savings. It’s amazing how quickly we can settle into “comfortable” and start letting extra income flit away one dollar at a time. 

It’s hard for me to not be constantly working on fixing up the house, but I’m taking this as an opportunity to find the neglected, tedious, and free things that need to be done. Yesterday we spent most of the day outside tidying up our yard [ivy jungle]. You may not know this about me, but gardening is just about my least favorite activity—cleaning moldy food containers wins the prize for most dreaded household chore, in case you were wondering. 

Yard work really isn’t that bad once I get started, and it’s not the manual labor that I don’t like. It’s the creepy crawlies that I could do without. It would seem like being a mom of a little boy would have desensitized me to that by now, but, no. The only thing that eases the anxiety about plunging my hand into an overgrown patch of patch of mystery weeds is my pair of elbow-length leather gloves (I’d get shoulder length if they made them). 

The other free chore that yields instant gratification is organizing, which is how I plan to spend the better part of this coming week. If I wasn’t so embarrassed about the current state of some of my closets, I would post before and after pictures to keep myself motivated. Maybe I’ll muster the courage to put them on twitter.

Comments
[ SMALL FINDS ]
I’ve been feeling quite satisfied by our recent furniture  acquisitions, so I’ve been spending more of my time at the thrift store  pouring over some of the sections to which I don’t typically give as  much attention. Though I usually do a general scan of all the shelves  when at a thrift store, searching through the rows of books, stacks of  dishes, and wedged together art can eat up more time than I have. This  change-up in my routine has yielded some great new—though small—finds. 
I love finding vintage children’s books, especially ones with great  illustrations. I found all of these on one shelf during my last trip to  Deseret Industries:


The kids are really drawn to these stories and have been asking me to read them over and over and over.  I really don’t mind, especially since most of them are ones that I  remember fondly from my childhood. I had forgotten how great the  Frances books are! We check out a ton of books from the library, so I’m  surprised that it hadn’t occurred to me to look for them there. You can  see some of my other favorite children’s books that I’ve collected here and here.
In the housewares department, I found a new sugar bowl—I’ve been looking for one for quite a while. My previous one was top-heavy  and the shape didn’t really go with the little creamer that I  bought at Goodwill last year. Though I would have loved it if this Mikasa pattern would have been made in white, the black and white combination seems to be a new accidental theme in my kitchen.

Lastly (though there were several nice, but un-blog-worthy finds), look at these Hanna Andersson swedish moccasins.  They retail for $18–$22 but I picked these up at Deseret for 50¢ in  almost new condition. They are too big for Tula right now (and sadly,  too small for me), so I’ll tuck them away for a few years until she can  fit into them. It’s always nice to have a little stash of clothes and  shoes for those times when I realize that the kids have had a  growth-spurt.

Aren’t they a little “Wicked Witch of the East” looking? I adore them! It seems that this pattern is no longer available, and the ones that are on their site now are a little boring. I’m so glad to have run across them.

[ SMALL FINDS ]

I’ve been feeling quite satisfied by our recent furniture acquisitions, so I’ve been spending more of my time at the thrift store pouring over some of the sections to which I don’t typically give as much attention. Though I usually do a general scan of all the shelves when at a thrift store, searching through the rows of books, stacks of dishes, and wedged together art can eat up more time than I have. This change-up in my routine has yielded some great new—though small—finds. 

I love finding vintage children’s books, especially ones with great illustrations. I found all of these on one shelf during my last trip to Deseret Industries:

The kids are really drawn to these stories and have been asking me to read them over and over and over. I really don’t mind, especially since most of them are ones that I remember fondly from my childhood. I had forgotten how great the Frances books are! We check out a ton of books from the library, so I’m surprised that it hadn’t occurred to me to look for them there. You can see some of my other favorite children’s books that I’ve collected here and here.

In the housewares department, I found a new sugar bowl—I’ve been looking for one for quite a while. My previous one was top-heavy and the shape didn’t really go with the little creamer that I bought at Goodwill last year. Though I would have loved it if this Mikasa pattern would have been made in white, the black and white combination seems to be a new accidental theme in my kitchen.

Lastly (though there were several nice, but un-blog-worthy finds), look at these Hanna Andersson swedish moccasins. They retail for $18–$22 but I picked these up at Deseret for 50¢ in almost new condition. They are too big for Tula right now (and sadly, too small for me), so I’ll tuck them away for a few years until she can fit into them. It’s always nice to have a little stash of clothes and shoes for those times when I realize that the kids have had a growth-spurt.

Aren’t they a little “Wicked Witch of the East” looking? I adore them! It seems that this pattern is no longer available, and the ones that are on their site now are a little boring. I’m so glad to have run across them.

Comments
[ DICK BRUNA BOOKS ]
We are big fans of Dick Bruna's work, so it's always fun to find one of his picture books at the thrift store. We already have a few books from his most famous series, "Miffy," but this was one I hadn’t seen before. The Little Bird was was first published in 1959, and is filled with Bruna’s beautifully simple illustrations and limited color palette.
So far, we have only collected his children’s books, but I would love to have any one of his other 2,000 book titles which he designed.



Want to learn more about Dick Bruna? Read this fantastic interview with the then 80-year-old Dutchman, then go check out a few of his picture books from the library.

[ DICK BRUNA BOOKS ]

We are big fans of Dick Bruna's work, so it's always fun to find one of his picture books at the thrift store. We already have a few books from his most famous series, "Miffy," but this was one I hadn’t seen before. The Little Bird was was first published in 1959, and is filled with Bruna’s beautifully simple illustrations and limited color palette.

So far, we have only collected his children’s books, but I would love to have any one of his other 2,000 book titles which he designed.

Want to learn more about Dick Bruna? Read this fantastic interview with the then 80-year-old Dutchman, then go check out a few of his picture books from the library.

Comments
[ DECORATING ADVICE FROM 1960 ] 
I’ve been sifting through the vintage decorating books that we picked up a few weeks ago, and there are so many great pages, I’m a little overwhelmed in choosing what to share! These images are from the Better Homes & Gardens Decorating Book (1961). By making a few modifications, like updating the flower arrangements or changing out the throw pillows, any one of these could look like a picture taken today.




If you’re curious, here is what the book says (in the top photo) about using color:
Neutrals for large areas - You’ll probably be more comfortable and “at home” with your color scheme if you select soft neutrals or grayed tones for the largest color areas in your room—the walls and the floor. The more subtle shades give a restful feeling. It’s a good idea to hang a swatch of the color you’ve chosen on the wall, live with it a week to see if you like it.
Medium tones on furniture - Next to the six sides of the room—floor, walls, ceiling—your biggest color areas in the living room are the upholstered pieces, such as chairs and sofas. In the kitchen, it’s counter tops, in the bedroom, it’s the spread. You can make your room more inviting by using a medium tone in such places. Repeat shade in room for balance.
Use strong color sparingly - Reserve the really bold and bright tones for accessories and accent notes that will pep the room up, give you a spark of interest without too much excitement for day-to-day comfort. Pillows, ashtrays, bright mats for your pictures… the sharp colors of highly glazed cera,ic accessories—these are the places for the strong, bright tones.

[ DECORATING ADVICE FROM 1960 ]

I’ve been sifting through the vintage decorating books that we picked up a few weeks ago, and there are so many great pages, I’m a little overwhelmed in choosing what to share! These images are from the Better Homes & Gardens Decorating Book (1961). By making a few modifications, like updating the flower arrangements or changing out the throw pillows, any one of these could look like a picture taken today.

If you’re curious, here is what the book says (in the top photo) about using color:

  • Neutrals for large areas - You’ll probably be more comfortable and “at home” with your color scheme if you select soft neutrals or grayed tones for the largest color areas in your room—the walls and the floor. The more subtle shades give a restful feeling. It’s a good idea to hang a swatch of the color you’ve chosen on the wall, live with it a week to see if you like it.
  • Medium tones on furniture - Next to the six sides of the room—floor, walls, ceiling—your biggest color areas in the living room are the upholstered pieces, such as chairs and sofas. In the kitchen, it’s counter tops, in the bedroom, it’s the spread. You can make your room more inviting by using a medium tone in such places. Repeat shade in room for balance.
  • Use strong color sparingly - Reserve the really bold and bright tones for accessories and accent notes that will pep the room up, give you a spark of interest without too much excitement for day-to-day comfort. Pillows, ashtrays, bright mats for your pictures… the sharp colors of highly glazed cera,ic accessories—these are the places for the strong, bright tones.
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[ ABC3D - TEACHER GIFTS ]
Tomorrow is Alden’s last day of preschool, and he’s loved his school and his teachers so much that we wanted to get them something special. You might have already seen Marion Bataille’spop-up book, ABC3D, because it’s been out for a few years. It’s been one of our favorite books since Alden was given one for his fourth birthday by his cousins. We thought it would be a great thank-you gift for his two teachers and we hope that the kids that come to preschool next year can enjoy it, too. Watch this quick video of how amazing all of the pop-up letters are:

[ ABC3D - TEACHER GIFTS ]

Tomorrow is Alden’s last day of preschool, and he’s loved his school and his teachers so much that we wanted to get them something special. You might have already seen Marion Bataille’spop-up book, ABC3D, because it’s been out for a few years. It’s been one of our favorite books since Alden was given one for his fourth birthday by his cousins. We thought it would be a great thank-you gift for his two teachers and we hope that the kids that come to preschool next year can enjoy it, too. Watch this quick video of how amazing all of the pop-up letters are:

Comments