the doctor is in.

 A while back I decided that my friend Meggan must have a PhD in thrifting. She definitely has a knack for finding great stuff at the thrift store, so I call her the thrift doctor.  If you don’t remember the tour of her home, you can find that here.

A couple of years ago she also shared some fun ideas with us for both holiday decorating and gift giving with thrifted items.

Meggan’s favorite nearby thrift store, Arc’s Value Village on White Bear Avenue, closed up shop over a year ago.  That was a bummer because we used to get together a bit more regularly for Thrifty Thursdays.  The shop was only a few miles from my house, so we’d head over there and spend the evening roaming their aisles.

Not only did the store close, but on top of that, COVID happened.  So Meggan and I hadn’t been out thrifting in quite some time.  But last Friday I took some time off at the day job, and we headed across the cities to the Richfield and Bloomington Value Village locations.

I just had to laugh when I woke up to snow falling on Friday.  Good grief, it was only October 23.  But I should have know better.  Meggan and I have a standing joke that any time we plan a thrifting outing the weather turns bad.  Usually we end up with either snow or sub-zero temps.  Fortunately this time it was just the snow.

I have to confess, there weren’t any really earth shattering finds.  But I did come home with a nice pile of goodies …

I’ve already given a few of them a makeover, starting with that pair of framed floral prints.

Those flowers kinda give me the creeps.  They definitely look like they could be poisonous, don’t they?  I also really don’t like that band of red around the inner side of the frame.  What’s up with that?

I was inspired to pick these up after seeing a recent blog post by Miss Mustard Seed though.  Maybe some of you saw it?  She posted about framing old pieces of paper (check it out here if you haven’t seen it).  So I thought these frames would work really well for that.

So after painting the frames in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky (to get rid of the red) and adding a topcoat of clear wax, I pulled out some old papers and photos to see what I could come up with.

The old postcards I used are not family history, I purchased them at an estate sale.  So I’m not defacing family heirlooms or anything.  The photos are old family photos, but they are the ones where no one was able to identify the people in them when we went through them a few years back.

I also added a few Tim Holtz rub-on’s to my collages (the insects and other wording).

I’ve also given the wooden arrow sign a new look for the holidays.  After painting it in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth, I combined a few different stencils from Maison de Stencils to add some wording.

I also painted the little stool using Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth.  Then I added some Honky Tonk Red, followed by a Classic Vintage Label from with prima.

I also revamped a couple of other items I found on Friday, but they became part of another project that I’m sharing later this week.

And of course, some of the items will just be sold on ‘as is’, like the little hammered aluminum dish.

I’m not especially a fan of hammered aluminum, but I know there are collectors out there.  And this one was so sweet I had to grab it.

This shape of this silver sugar bowl really appealed to me as well …

Even with its slightly wonky lid and a monogrammed ‘R’, I had to have it.  Who cares whether your name begins with an ‘R’, right?

And finally, I also couldn’t pass up the tiara.

I already have one on Cossetta, the statue in my garden …

But you just never know when you might need another tiara, right?

thrifting finds.

It seemed to be the general consensus that once thrift stores opened up again after the COVID shut down that they would be packed to the gills with fabulous finds.  I believe the thinking behind that was that people had nothing better to do while sheltering at home, so they were cleaning out closets, attics, garages, etc.  Once the thrift stores opened back up, I also heard tales of cars lining up at Goodwill to donate items.

So I was optimistic when my sister picked me up to head to a few thrift shops last week.

Unfortunately, I did not find a bunch of fabulous stuff.  I really didn’t see piles of extra items on the shelves.  In fact, one of the Goodwill stores we visited had semi-bare shelves.  My sister speculates that they don’t have enough staff working to get the newly donated stuff out to the shelves very quickly, which is certainly a good possibility.

I did come home with a couple of fun things though, so I thought I’d share them with you today.

I always hope to find vintage items while thrifting, but more often than not I only find ‘new’ things, like this adorable jug.

How cute is that?

I also purchased this Hearth & Hand with Magnolia recipe box.  I dressed it up a bit with a Classic Vintage Label transfer.

Also under the heading of ‘new-ish’ is this galvanized container thingie with wooden handles.

I painted the wooden handles in Dixie Belle’s The Gulf, and then added a fragment from a transfer that seemed totally appropriate.  This container is going to work perfectly for a birthday present I’m putting together for someone, but I haven’t given it to her yet so I have to keep that under wraps for now.

This faux copper french flower bucket got a paint job too.  I painted it in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth and then added a transfer from IOD’s Classic Pots.

I may need some sort of intervention on this next item because I’m dangerously close to starting a new non-collection.

This is Oxford Stoneware.  It’s not terribly valuable or anything, but isn’t it the prettiest shade of blue?  As you can see I already had one just like it and I keep my pens and pencils in it on my desk.  It paired really nicely with my blue & white Staffordshire pitcher.  I really don’t need a second one though, so I’ll probably take it in to the shop to sell.

Last, but not least is this … um, what do you call these?  A mini-greenhouse?

In addition to being quite dirty, the off-white metal parts were weirdly discolored.  You can’t see that very well in the photo, but in person it was quite obvious.  I’m guessing this item sat in a sunny window too long.  Also, those silk flowers leaned a bit towards the tacky side.

So I started by removing the three flower pots.  Then I decided it would work best to spray paint the metal framework and that meant either taping off all of the glass, or removing it first as well.  Luckily all of the glass was held in place by little bendable metal tabs, so it was fairly simple to take it all out.

Once I’d done that, it was simply a matter of spray painting the metal frame, washing all of the glass, and then putting it back in without breaking any of it.  I always hold my breath a bit during that phase.  I’d hate to break a piece of the glass.

But I managed to get it all back in safely.  Once that was done, I pulled out some transfers to add some pizzazz.  I’d had such good results with the bee transfer on the bird cage that I shared recently, so I decided another bee was in order.  The bee transfer is part of the Classic Vintage Labels set from with prima.

The “Curiosities Collector” wording is from a Tim Holtz transfer set that I found at Hobby Lobby last week.

I’m sure you’ll be seeing those metal tags on a few things soon too.

If I could find a magic lamp that would grant me three wishes, I think one of them would be that Tim Holtz would make larger versions of his rub-on’s.  They would be so fabulous on furniture, if only they were bigger.

I also used some of the vintage French ephemera paper that my friend Terri gave me to line the inside, along with some more October Afternoon scrapbook paper.

I didn’t put the three metal pots back inside.  This way you can use you imagination when it comes to deciding what to display inside.

I’ve added a pair of vintage books and an old black and white photo held up by a flower frog.  That’s my grandparents by the way, with their two older children in front of their house in south Minneapolis.  I’m guessing this would have been taken in the late 1920’s.  My mom didn’t come along until 1940, her brother and sister were in their teens when she was born.

I’m working on another pile of stuff to take into Reclaiming Beautiful and a few of these items will be added to the stack.

I’m afraid I am not going to manage another week of 5 posts this week, but I am going to throw in a post on Wednesday about the road trip we took last week with my niece and sister so be sure to stay tuned for that.  In the meantime, how about you?  Have you been thrifting lately?  Has there been an influx of goodies at your local thrift store?

thrifting finds.

My sister and I braved the cold snap this past Saturday to do a little thrifting.  I came home with a fun pile of goodies to share with you today …

Some of the items will be left ‘as is’ such as the glass cloches, the vintage pudding mold and the cement garden bird.

Some of the items have a bit more work to be done on them, such as the suitcases.  I’ll be devoting a full post to the aqua suitcase with the bad stencil job later.

But a few of the items have already received their makeovers starting with this tray.

This one really didn’t need a makeover, but I wanted to tweak just a couple of details.  I painted the wooden handle thingie in the middle black instead of red, and then I added a transfer from with prima’s Everyday Farmhouse collection.

Next up was this cute little box.

  Again, it didn’t need a lot of work, but I freshened it up with a coat of Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth and then added a transfer from the Classic Vintage Labels.

It’s amazing what the addition of a simple transfer can do for something.

The little metal watering can also benefited from the addition of a Classic Vintage Label.

Finally, did you notice the set of stacking boxes?

Noah’s Ark on one side …

Halloween on the other …

These are classic 80’s country style, don’t you agree?

I gave them a little update with some fresh paint and more transfers.

The boxes are all painted in Dixie Belle paint from top to bottom, Drop Cloth, French Linen and Midnight Sky.

The top two boxes have Classic Vintage Label transfers on them, and the bottom black box has part of the Somewhere in France transfer on it.

As always, thanks to Dixie Belle Paint Co and with prima for providing the products I used to give all of these thrifty finds their makeovers.

I’ll be sharing more fun vintage makeovers this week, so be sure to stay tuned!

foul weather friends.

Every so often my friend Meggan, the thrift doctor, and I get together on a Thursday evening for what we call Thrifty Thursday.

This tends to be a winter activity for us.  Meggan and her family have a cabin up north that they spend time at in the summer (one of these days I’m hoping she’ll write a guest blog post for us about her cabin, hint, hint Meggan), and I tend to do more garage saling rather than thrifting in the summer.  We hadn’t gotten together for a Thrifty Thursday since some time last winter!  Instead of ‘fair weather friends’ I think it would be more fitting to call us ‘foul weather friends.’  When the weather isn’t suitable for anything else, we go thrifting.

So last Thursday, which was chilly and rainy, Meggan picked me up and we headed to our local thrift store.

We always manage to come home with at least a few goodies.  Meggan has three outdoorsy boys at home and she always finds gear for them at bargain prices, but both she and I are on the lookout for fun vintage decor pieces too.

I always dig through the racks of hangers looking for any with old advertising on them.  I only found one this time …

But I also grabbed several plain vintage wooden hangers.

I thought it would be fun to see if I could add a little faux ‘advertising’ to them.  I started with some old 7 Gypsies rub-on’s that I had in my stash.

These are all from their set called Nomenclature and they ended up being perfect for these narrow hangers.

I pulled out some of the Prima Marketing knob transfers to use on the other two hangers I purchased.

I keep finding fun new ways to use these transfers.  They have just the right vintage vibe for the hangers don’t you think?

While I was digging around in my stash of Prima Marketing transfers I came across one that was a perfect fit for the enamelware refrigerator box that I also found while thrifting.

This is the bottom portion of the smaller sized Seeds transfer.  I’d used the rest of it on a chair recently and this bit was left over.

This box is the perfect size for storing all of my Prima Marketing waxes and chalk pastes.

That reminds me that I never did share that chair here on the blog.  It’s one that I painted, photographed, and then took to Reclaiming Beautiful to sell.  I didn’t get around to looking at the photos until after I’d taken the chair away.  In the end I had taken only one photo that was blog worthy, so I never blogged about it.

So now you know, I only share the cream of the crop here on the blog 😉

Speaking of which, I painted three pieces of furniture last weekend but we’ve had nothing but dreary weather unsuitable for photography since then.  Hopefully the sun will come out again soon.  Sometime before next spring would be nice.  Otherwise Meggan and I will have no choice but to continue thrifting every Thursday.

Linking up with the Vintage Charm Party at My Thrift Store Addiction.

another thrifty Thursday.

Many moons ago I took you all on a tour of my friend Meggan’s house.  I once said that I consider Meggan to be a master thrifter.  Now that I know her a bit better, I think it would be more accurate to say she has her doctorate in thrifting.  I’m not sure what her doctoral thesis was, possibly the guest post she wrote for us last year about packaging Christmas gifts in vintage suitcases.

I’m sure she could quite easily defend that thesis before a panel of thrifting experts!

Time flies, and we both have busy lives, but Meggan and I try to get together every now and then for a thrifty Thursday.  Meggan’s favorite thrift shop is just down the street from me, so she swings by to pick me up and we spend the evening thrifting.

Historically our thrifty Thursdays have always fallen on bitterly cold winter days.  As in below-zero sorts of days.  But we got lucky this time and last Thursday was a balmy 40+.

Not only did we get lucky with the weather, but we also got lucky with some great finds.

Ironically, I didn’t buy a single Christmas item.  Which isn’t to say they didn’t have plenty to choose from.  We did get a laugh or two out of making fun of some of the tackier items.  And I have to say, if you collect a Christmas village you should be heading to your local thrift store.  There were lots of village pieces including several pieces from the various Dept 56 villages.

I keep eyeing up those little houses because I absolutely loved the way Amy displayed some in her house last year on a pile of giant books.

Looking at that photo makes me think I should head back to the thrift store and buy Ebenezer Scrooge’s house after all!  Amy’s display proves that you don’t need an entire village, just a few choice pieces can create an adorable vignette.

Although I didn’t find any fabulous Christmas items to purchase, I did find a couple of vintage wooden advertising hangers.

It pays to dig through the rack of plastic and wooden hangers to look for a couple of gems like these.  I was pretty excited to score not just one, but two!  Looking at the one that says “U.S.A., Hawaii, Canada & …” makes me wonder if it pre-dates 1959 when Hawaii officially became our 50th state.  What do you think?

I also found a thrift store unicorn.

Usually the luggage aisle at the thrift store is pretty dismal, but every once in a while, in a cloud of magical pixie dust, I find a nice vintage suitcase.

Meggan talked me into this little rocking chair.

I was going to pass it by.  I’ve got a bit of a back log of chairs to paint, and chairs are not my favorite.  They are putzy to paint and they don’t sell for much.  But Meggan pointed out how adorable this one is, and suggested I paint it pink.  I’m not sure I’ll paint it pink, but it definitely will get a paint job of some kind!

Meggan also talked me into this plaid blanket.  She thought the colors were perfect for my guest bed.

And she was right, the combination of pink, coral and yellow is perfect on my Jenny Lind bed.

At just $3.49, why not?  I can use it for now until I find bedding I like better, and then I can just donate it back to the thrift store!

I purchased a few other odds and ends that didn’t make the cut for a ‘before’ photo, including the shelving board that I used to make the Christmas Tree sign for my sister.

It wasn’t until we were headed up to the checkout counter that I spotted the find of the day.

A pair of library chairs!

I’ve painted a few of these in the past.  I think my favorite was this one, painted in Fusion’s Brook.

Meggan says she can picture them painted black though.  How about you?  What color would you choose?


a thrifty thursday.

My friend Meggan and I don’t often find the time to get together, but we’ve found that Thursdays sometimes work well for both of us.  When we both have one free (about twice a year, and always on the coldest days) we head over to a local thrift store for a thrifty Thursday.  I’ve officially given Meggan the designation of “master thrifter”.  It’s sort of like being a master gardener, but without a test.  Although I’m sure if there was a thrifting test of some kind, Meggan would ace it.  So I’m always happy to follow her lead while thrifting.

Last Thursday we headed out in sub-zero weather.  I expected the thrift store to be dead, after all only slightly crazy people and master thrifters are going to venture out in the ridiculous cold for some bargains, right?  Wrong.  The store was hopping.


The Christmas stuff was displayed front and center and I found some fun vintage holiday gear.  The milk glass Tom & Jerry bowl is so festive!


I chose a couple of items just because their vintage packaging was so awesome, like the tree stand and the cranberry set.


I don’t often find good vintage tablecloths at the thrift store, so this Christmas one was a fun find.


I forgot to include these adorable little house ornaments in my original photos so I had to go back and get a photo of them.  Aren’t they sweet?


In addition to the Christmas finds, I also came home with a few other small items.


I love the shape of that coffee pot.  I am picturing it with a plant in it next summer.

The ironstone casserole dish was missing it’s lid, but for $3.49 I knew it would work perfectly to add to the stack I have in my Welsh cupboard …

I also added another vintage silver plated salt & pepper set to my non-collection.


I’m using that non-collection in a holiday centerpiece on my table this season.

You never know what you might find at the thrift shop, but you really have to take your time to look.  Sometimes there’s a stash of knobs tucked in with a bunch of hardware.  I almost missed these.  I think they’ll work well on a future black dresser.


This little kid sized chair had a bad spray paint job, but I have already brought it into my workshop (a.k.a. on top of my grand piano) to give it a makeover.


Stayed tuned because you’ll be seeing it again soon.