crazy stuff,  house stuff!,  Thriftstore Thursday

Thrifty Thursday! First edition.

Vega Baby

I may have had beginners luck there for a while. I was all geared up to write great posts every Thursday about all the wonderful finds that I found while thrift-store shopping with my mom on Wednesdays. But then yesterday we found NOTHING. Zip. Nada. It was all a dumb waste of time. I’m not giving up yet though! Maybe next week we’ll find something amazing.

So I thought I’d just write about my past finds. That amazing dresser up there I did not buy. It’s 99.99 dollars and I don’t really have a place for it. I think it’s a good deal though, especially since it looks like one of those cool sideboards that are so popular right now. It’s really well made, the drawers slide in and out smoothly and I like how it’s a little on the small side. The finish is a little worn off but I think it would look great oiled up.

tongue and groove

Here’s a close-up. It even comes with a mirror. Inside one of the drawers it says Vega Morris in Walnut. So there you go, it’s walnut. Don’t you just love my educated insights? I know about nothing when it comes to furniture design. But I’m not too proud to learn! If anybody wants it I can give you directions. It’ll probably still be there. It’s been there for two weeks now and nobody has snatched it up.

if these lamps could talk...

Here are some more things I didn’t buy. They’re all horrible. But don’t they look like a gaggle of old ladies gossiping at church? There are so many cheap lamps at thrift stores. Lots of them are really nice. Of course lots of them are hideous too but I say, if you need a good lamp, they’re worth searching through!

A funny story: My mom had this really cool milk glass lamp. It had been sitting in her pile of junk since forever. I’d mentioned to her casually that we should sell it on etsy but never really got around to cleaning it up or photographing it for her. When I moved in, I asked her about it and she said she gave it away.

I shrugged. It was my own fault for not getting off my butt and fixing it up for her. Then the other day, we were in a thrift store and I found myself admiring a lamp exactly like hers. I showed it to my mom and asked her where hers ended up. My mom examined this lamp closer and said that this lamp was indeed hers. The exact one! I guess the person she gave the lamp to was the thrift store! Hah! What a thoughtful gift, mom! We laughed about it for a while.

But I have to admit, I looked at it and the $2 price tag and I was tempted to buy it again. I probably would have if I had needed a lamp. But I don’t. I have plenty of lamps.

work table

Which brings me to my new craft desk! There are two lamps in this photo, can you spot them? One on top to the right that is green and one underneath to shine through my new light table! No, I didn’t get this desk at a thrift store but I figure I might as well show it to you while I’m talking about lamps. I didn’t even get the lamps at a thrift store. They are hand-me-downs from my mom. My mom is my own personal thrift store except I don’t usually have to buy what I find there. I just take stuff and she’s happy because I dust.

About the craft desk/work table. I used it in it’s full capacity for the first time yesterday! It was so awesome. I had to sketch something up and invariably I make mistakes and need to re-sketch. Now, instead of tracing on my living room window, I can sit comfortably at my desk and trace with my very own light table! I love it. Thank you, kind donation givers. You have made my working day a thousand times better.

I also used it to sew (yes sew!) and assemble Bug’s birthday invitations (more on that to come later), cut paper and organize a bunch of etsy orders I’m helping my dad and neighbor with. I should set up one of those shops where they handle ebay stuff for you and charge a percentage except for etsy instead. I’m the etsy photographing queen of my family.

Boy do I ramble on. I just wanted to say one more thing about the craft desk though.

It’s not finished. The table is not attached to the legs. Why? Because it isn’t manufactured to be attached. Seriously. There was a reason you never see it together on the Ikea website other than a tiny thumbnail. The Vika Blecket drawing table top with the cool light table and little metal edge thing that keeps your pencils from rolling off DOES NOT attach to the Vika Artur trestles that tilt so you can tilt your table top for sketching? So they just put that metal edge thingy on there for looks because it’s made to attach to static pole legs that do not tilt. Non-tilting tables don’t need pencil catchers. Ikea makes no sense sometimes.

Of course it took me four hours of examining the very unhelpful directions, cursing in German and googling to finally come to this conclusion but hey, that’s okay. That’s why they invented Ikea hacks. I’m just waiting for my handy dandy friend the handyman to get back from vacation and screw the thing together for me. Or until I buy my own drill, which I’m very tempted to do!

thrift store paintings rearranging the furniture

Back to thrifting. As you know, I got these really cool old paintings for about $3 each. I’m on a hunt for old 60’s portraits so I can be like The Brick House.

the sitting area

I’ve since moved the paintings around quite a bit. In this picture, I have a blue purse hanging above it—which should be my next featured item here because it’s a super cool vintage purse I bought for $6! But I need to take better photos of it. I promise I’ll take one today and insert it here later. I’m just waiting for it to get daylight enough for a proper photo shoot. It’s a darling purse. You’ll see.

what? fabulous blue purse

Isn’t it a smart little number? I’m thinking it will look great with a Sunday-go-to-meeting outfit. So prim, proper and bright BLUE! That is when it’s not busy decorating my walls, of course.

No 2

I also want to show you this neat pencil holder. You’ll see it on my desk in other photos I’m sure. It’s so cute. OMSH found it for me when we were shopping for my desk. I’m supposed to fill it with No. 2 pencils but right now it holds all my favorite pens from Tokyo Pen Shop. Yes, that’s a plug there. But they deserve it. Their pens rock! I’m such a fan. If you need a pen, get it there and make sure you get the Unibal Signo .38. That’s what SAJ says. End plug.

I already showed you the funny illustrated fishing guide. So I guess that’s that! Except I do have one other piece of thriftiness!

tool box for a bedside table

Which would be my new beside table that is totally a tool box that I found outside rusting in the rain. Yep. That is what it is. Not from a thrift store but yet very thrifty! I took off the front door, actually it was already off laying in some wet grass. I chose not to use the front door because I needed to fit my basket things in there. They still don’t quite fit but I think it works. It’s better than what I had. I kinda like the nice clean lines. And it’s red! You know how I love red. It’s quite handy with that tiny drawer and all. It even has a towel bar on the side. Too bad it’s on the wrong side, ’cause you know how I slobber in the night and need a handy towel to wipe my face off.

Just kidding! I just wanted to make sure you were still reading.

And that concludes this weeks edition of Thriftstore Thursday! Tune in next week (hopefully)!


  • Melissa K. in Nebraska

    Neato clock on the nightstand!!

    SAJ says: Thank you! Target (said with French accent) Special.

  • JennyBean

    I LOVE thrifting. You always find such amazing treasures at those shops. My favourite thing to look for is old china teacups and side plates. I’ve got a little collection of mismatched side plates that I use to serve dessert and my guests always love them. Long live vintage mismatched stuff! :)

  • Mrs. Wilson

    I’ve had some GREAT thrift-store finds and some DUD days as well. There’s a really big one close to my house that I go to, but sometimes after being in there too long, I feel like I need to go home and shower. I went one time and found the EXACT bedside tables I’d been looking in EVERY STORE IMAGINABLE for – I saw some $300 bedside tables that didn’t even compare to the awesomeness of the ones I got for $10 each.

    Looking forward to next week’s episode!

  • s

    my favorite finds of yours are the bedside table – that is SO cool, and the pencil (now pen) holder!! it all looks great! maybe you’ll even convince me to thrift – I do occasionally for something specific but I tend to glaze over if I go into the housewares section bc its so overwhelming to me to find the good things amongst the crap. but I really did have some luck last summer when looking for CHEAP tins and such for my kids to use playing in the sand

  • Dominique

    I’ve found thrift-store shopping can be very hit or miss. Sometimes I have to edit my selections to demonstrate a bit of self-control, while other times I’ve walked out (nearly) empty-handed.

    But it is always a fun way to spend the day with the friend who enjoys it as well.

    Interestingly, I almost never see lamps though.

  • Stephanie M

    I’ve never gotten into thrift shops…but man, my family used to spend SO much time going to yard sales when I lived at home back east. We would go on a Saturday morning, with a copy of the classified ads and maybe one particular church rummage sale or neighborhood sale in mind, and then we’d just wander/drive wherever we saw signs or noticed groupings in the paper from the same area. It was so much fun!

  • Amy Taylor-Brill

    I think you need to go back and buy that dresser. It is a really nice piece and would fit in with a lot of different styles as you forge ahead. It would be easy to refinish the top (or strip it entirely and just wax or oil finish). Is there some place that you could fit that in now?

  • Yara

    I love the Tokyo Pen Shop, however, I found that while I do enjoy the Unibal Signo .38, I prefer the Pilot Hi-Tec-C ; )

  • bethany

    nothing better than thrifting. most of my favorite finds are actually trash-picked or curbside-picked, as brooklyn and my ‘hood especially are fabulous for that. lots of stuff just left on people’s stoops for the picking up, i get most of my books that way, and lots of kitchen stuff. just sold several things that i trash-picked and used for several years! my fave of this edition is your red tool-sidetable. love it!! can’t wait for more installments, it’s inspiring me, so thanks :).

  • Becca

    I love the HI wave from the mirror in your bedside table pic. Cute.

    You have inspired me to go thrift storing in hopes of finding something to store our art supplies that have been packed away in the garage since the move – ugh – 7 months ago….

    Besides thrift stores – check out antique stores. Sometimes they mark up things that shouldn’t be just cause their old…but sometimes – great deals can be found. (my favorite cast iron skillet)

  • Jamie

    Love it! It makes me want to go thrift shopping! :) I hope that this Thrifty Thursday sticks, very awesome!

  • sizzle

    Man, that dresser at under $200 is a STEAL. Stuff like that in Seattle would be at least 2x that or more. Mid-century stuff is always pricey (probably because it’s so awesome).

    Now I want to go thrifting.

  • BeachMama

    Awesome post. I love how thrifty you are. I need some new bedside tables as ours are too short for our bed, but I would need to actually go out to a thrift store to try and find some… one day perhaps…

    Love your new table, it looks really cool, love that you get to work all in one space so nicely.

  • Tamara Griffey

    You know you do know a few OTHER people with drills…I’ll be sure they are in the car when next I visit!

  • Sam

    Seriously, I wish I could take you thrift/antique shopping with me! So many times I just don’t see the possibility in a piece – or it’s too expensive! I love to look, though, and of course I’m always scouting for books. Always! I love the toolbox nightstand, too. Genius!

  • Robin Brown

    Ooooohhhhh La La!!! Lovely thrifty finds. :)

    p.s. LOVES your red shoes in the bottom picture. What are they if you don’t mind me asking?

    SAJ says: Thank you. They’re Tred Airs (aka Doc Martin’s).

  • Bekah

    Your “gaggle of old ladies gossiping” pic had me laughing out loud. So true! So where’d you learn to curse in German? And where did you find the clock with the colorful numbers?

    SAJ says: I learned to curse in German from Jason Borne movies! The clock came from Target. Bug picked it out. :)

  • Valerie

    Oh man, how I want that dresser. You are so funny, an hour ago I heard Marie cursing in the first Bourne and I have always loved that, too.

  • Cc

    We got that tool box from the lady that was Aunt Velma’s friend who needed someone to fix things for her.

    I think it looks great as a sidetable.

    I miss thrifting with Mom.

    I found a vintage paer towel/wax paper/plastic wrap/aluminum foil dispenser at our local thrift shop. It was a faded yellow with a faded brick red rooster. It was only $7 (50% off sale) and I didn’t buy it. I so wish I had. I have room for it!

    Maybe when I go in next time they’ll have it and I’ll have the funds to get it.

  • Jenifer

    Where on earth in southern cal did you find that dresser for that price? I would hop in my car yesterday to grab that!

  • Lisa

    I LOVE thrift store shopping! It’s a love that’s definitely inherited from my parents and I have to work hard to keep from accumulating too much junk. I usually have to “de-clutter” often! :) I haven’t done it much recently because I find it too hard and time consuming with two small children but you’ve motivated me to try again! It’s so fun! I hope you keep up these posts.

  • gingermog

    I am loving your new home. You’ve already got it so sorted out with unique touches. I didn’t realise the cool IKEA desk with a glass panel didn’t come with its own lamp/bulb directly underneath? A long thin bulb attachment would do the job, similar to what use for my light box which is a small , flat box with a sheet of perspex, Julian made me about 10 years ago for college and is still going strong. Tsk to IKEA for bad design and for the palaver regarding the table legs.

  • Angelique

    You’re transforming your new place so nicely; I love all the unique details. With such great finds to be had, I think I’m going to make more time for thrifting this year, too. Hope southern CO will be good to me in the thrifting/antiquing dept.

  • Kristina

    I want me that purse! And that table you found at $99.99…. you’re good girl! you are so good! you’ve got a great eye. must be fun thrifting at your mom’s.

  • Kuky

    I’ve gone thrifting a few times and never ever ever find anything, at all. I keep dreaming I’ll find some dress at a steal that I can remake into something awesome. But then Alan talks about bed bugs and I freak out and am glad I don’t find a dress. :-D

  • OMSH

    Love the metal tool box side table. I have a few of those clipped out to use in my living room when we get our new couch and cover the sidechair and ottoman! I love that look and the red pops!

    I’m sorry to hear the “trestle” table is a PITB. :( However, how awesome you’ve been able to use it already!

    Everything looks like “home” in there–I’m glad you’ve settled in.

    [be back in 5 months–in case you don’t think I’m counting]

  • erika

    Hi Brenda –

    I selected you to receive a “Stylish Blogger Award” because I think your art rocks! If you would like to accept the award you just post 7 things about yourself and send it on to 15 other blogs you love! ?

    You can see my post here if you would like to join the fun! ?

    Thank you for being you!