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

I’ve been lamenting for a few years about the lack of nice clock radios. The first few years we were married, Patrick and I had one of those very predictable metal woodgrain digital clock radios, and woke up every morning to Morning Edition on NPR. I love the way the radio wakes me up gradually, and I don’t feel the need to hit the snooze button in panic to shush an obnoxious beep. 

As we gradually slipped into the bad habit of checking email and catching up on twitter on our phones before bed, they became the easy and logical replacement for our old ugly clock radio. The bedtime habit soon became the morning habit, switching between social media feeds as I tried to coax myself out of bed.

I grew to really miss the radio more and more in the mornings. We tried some radio apps and looked into some iPhone docking clock gadgets, but I just really missed the simplicity of the old clock radio, and I wanted to get my phone off of my nightstand completely. 

After searching for something that was more aesthetically pleasing, I was surprised at how few modern clock radio options are on the market. I found a few prototypes and some dead links to cool looking clocks, but nothing really seemed to be what I was looking for. Then I opened my present from Patrick on Christmas morning and discovered this sleek Lexon Titanium clock radio. It was exactly what I had been looking for.

There are so many things to love about the Lexon. The brightness of the numbers adjusts, dimming as the lights in the room are off, the reception is great—even in our wooded neighborhood, and it’s designed to be simple to set and adjust. The only thing that I would change is that when the radio alarm comes on, the face of the clock displays the station frequency instead of the time. I suppose it is good incentive to just get up.

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[ 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.

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[ NAVY MEMORABILIA ]
Yep, it’s another clock. Actually, I mentioned this one back in December, but we just now got it hung on the wall. Patrick’s dad is a retired Navy Senior Chief and served on the USS New Jersey back in the early 80s. During his stint on the New Jersey, the ship was undergoing some upgrades, and this deck clock, made by the renowned Chelsea Clock company, was slated for replacement. I’m not exactly sure how he managed to get it home with him, but I’m fairly positive he unscrewed it from the wall himself (Dad, please feel free to straighten out my version of the story in the comments). 


The New Jersey was launched in 1942, so I’m assuming the clock is from about the same year. The case is made from Bakelite (phenolic), an early plastic/resin material, and it’s really heavy. It has an 8-day wind-up movement with a 24-hour dial, which is very confusing for a certain little boy who is just learning to tell time.
I’d like to find a few other things to hang on the wall near it. I think I’ll look for an interesting hook where I can hang the key, and maybe I’ll see if I can get a picture of my father-in-law on the ship. I am always interested in vintage finds, but they are so much more special when they have a bit of family history attached.

[ NAVY MEMORABILIA ]

Yep, it’s another clock. Actually, I mentioned this one back in December, but we just now got it hung on the wall. Patrick’s dad is a retired Navy Senior Chief and served on the USS New Jersey back in the early 80s. During his stint on the New Jersey, the ship was undergoing some upgrades, and this deck clock, made by the renowned Chelsea Clock company, was slated for replacement. I’m not exactly sure how he managed to get it home with him, but I’m fairly positive he unscrewed it from the wall himself (Dad, please feel free to straighten out my version of the story in the comments). 

The New Jersey was launched in 1942, so I’m assuming the clock is from about the same year. The case is made from Bakelite (phenolic), an early plastic/resin material, and it’s really heavy. It has an 8-day wind-up movement with a 24-hour dial, which is very confusing for a certain little boy who is just learning to tell time.

I’d like to find a few other things to hang on the wall near it. I think I’ll look for an interesting hook where I can hang the key, and maybe I’ll see if I can get a picture of my father-in-law on the ship. I am always interested in vintage finds, but they are so much more special when they have a bit of family history attached.

Comments
[ BALANCING NEW WITH VINTAGE ]
By now, I think just about everyone knows that I love clocks. My father-in-law is certainly aware of this little fact, and has actually given me two clocks in the last month! The first one is a Navy shift clock which I’ll post more about when we get it hung on the wall. For Christmas, he found this vintage brass starburst clock for me. Though he won’t reveal his source, I’m guessing it’s an Ebay find—he’s sort of the Ebay ninja of the family.
We tested the clock in several spots, but there seems to be a delicate balance in our house between vintage pieces and newer modern items. Though some people like having a home that is all from the same era, we prefer to tie the old with the new, and hanging the clock in the living room seemed to tip the scale too far in favor of vintage. Instead, we found a nice little spot in our bedroom, which is currently decorated with mostly current modern furnishings (we have a Malm bed, CB2 Whirly hanging balls, and Amy Butler fabric on the chair to name a few).
I’m thinking of buying a new movement mechanism in order to convert this to a battery powered clock, but I’ve never done that before. I’m hoping it’s not too complicated.

[ BALANCING NEW WITH VINTAGE ]

By now, I think just about everyone knows that I love clocks. My father-in-law is certainly aware of this little fact, and has actually given me two clocks in the last month! The first one is a Navy shift clock which I’ll post more about when we get it hung on the wall. For Christmas, he found this vintage brass starburst clock for me. Though he won’t reveal his source, I’m guessing it’s an Ebay find—he’s sort of the Ebay ninja of the family.

We tested the clock in several spots, but there seems to be a delicate balance in our house between vintage pieces and newer modern items. Though some people like having a home that is all from the same era, we prefer to tie the old with the new, and hanging the clock in the living room seemed to tip the scale too far in favor of vintage. Instead, we found a nice little spot in our bedroom, which is currently decorated with mostly current modern furnishings (we have a Malm bed, CB2 Whirly hanging balls, and Amy Butler fabric on the chair to name a few).

I’m thinking of buying a new movement mechanism in order to convert this to a battery powered clock, but I’ve never done that before. I’m hoping it’s not too complicated.

Comments
[ ONE CLOCK CLOSER TO MY GOAL ]
In case you’ve missed it, I love clocks. I look in the clock section every time I’m at a thrift store, but usually, I come up empty-handed, finding only clunky digital alarm clocks and the random Disney character clock.Today Goodwill was doing some rearranging and had piled all of their clocks into a shopping cart, forcing me to literally dig to find this German-made Kienzle wall clock. While riffling through the pile, I was ousted by some particularly rank—though not uncommon—thrift store flatulence, left by a generous mystery source. Thankfully, I had already found what I was looking for, so I tucked the clock under my arm and escaped.
For you font geeks: maybe you can help me. I originally thought the numbers were Neutraface, but based on the company information, I think the clock is older than that. Plus, the “3” is round on the top, instead of being flat like Neutra. Can anyone identify the font?

[ ONE CLOCK CLOSER TO MY GOAL ]

In case you’ve missed it, I love clocks. I look in the clock section every time I’m at a thrift store, but usually, I come up empty-handed, finding only clunky digital alarm clocks and the random Disney character clock.Today Goodwill was doing some rearranging and had piled all of their clocks into a shopping cart, forcing me to literally dig to find this German-made Kienzle wall clock. While riffling through the pile, I was ousted by some particularly rank—though not uncommon—thrift store flatulence, left by a generous mystery source. Thankfully, I had already found what I was looking for, so I tucked the clock under my arm and escaped.

For you font geeks: maybe you can help me. I originally thought the numbers were Neutraface, but based on the company information, I think the clock is older than that. Plus, the “3” is round on the top, instead of being flat like Neutra. Can anyone identify the font?

Comments