“Lord, Give me an eye for treasures.”


A repost from East Nashville Atomic

Originally posted September 20, 2008

That’s the simple prayer I said as we started our thrift store search this evening. About an hour later we walked out of Southern Thrift with this matching set of two end tables and a coffee table, each for only $4.99! We bought them because of their mid-century modern look and decent condition.(Our house begs us to replace our IKEA goods with real atomic jewels.) A gentle sanding and some lemon oil will go a long way. Once at home, Jason started cleaning them up while I googled the maker (stamped inside the drawers): American by Martinsville. Turns out each piece is worth anywhere from $100 to $500. Talk about an answer to prayer! Thank you Lord!! As tempting as it is to resell them, I think we just might keep them.

Tomorrow, once they’re all cleaned up and sitting in their new positions in the living room, I’ll take more pictures.


Phone Photo Friday


Old Stockholm 1987. That’s me in the stroller, being rolled by my mama with my Swedish grandma in the background

Our First Mid-Century Collectible


A repost from East Nashville Atomic

Originally posted May 3, 2008

About six months ago Jason and I were browsing around at Southern Thrift. The left side wall is lined with junky vases, mugs, plates, picture frames etc. We picked up a platter with a starburst design. Amidst all the kitschy forgettables it didn’t look like much. It had some wax or something crusted on the front and a chip out of the underside. It was only $2 but we debated back and forth for a while, not wanting to pay even $2 for something if it was just going to clutter our house. (We’re pretty minimalist. And cheap.) Eventually we decided it was cool enough to bring home.

One Saturday morning maybe two months ago, we were watching Good Eats on the food network. I don’t remember what food he had made but Alton Brown carefully placed it right onto a plate like our thrift-store find. We both looked at each other, thinking the same thing. I flipped over the plate and inspected the seal on the bottom.

“FRANCISCAN” “Made in California U.S.A” “Gladding, McBean & Co.” I googled away. Much to our surprise and delight, our $2 thrift-store treasure was a famous design from Gladding, McBean & Co. The Starburst design was released in 1954, [one year after] our house was built. We’re pretty sure our find is the “oval serving platter” worth about $50 today, in good condition. Of course, we’re not interested in selling it. It’s our first Mid-Century Collectible!



I wrote on a blog called East Nashville Atomic before I started this little blog. The beginnings of our mid-century modern journey are recorded there and I realized there are some posts about our first thrift store and estate sale finds that I’d like to repost here. The first one will be today followed by more next week.

You are the shade to my lamp


Every lamp needs a shade. At the time when Jason spotted this beautiful lamp as we were driving past the thrift store earlier this summer it had the ugliest Victorian style lampshade. We told them they could keep the shade.

At an estate sale a few weeks ago we found the perfect lampshade on an ugly lamp. The lamp was so ugly that it didn’t even deserve a photograph before we heaved it into the trash cart. Here’s the lamp with it’s new shade.

In a few months this lamp and shade will have a new home in Jason’s renovated studio but for now it’s waiting in hibernation.

A New Addition!


No, I’m not pregnant. Did I fool you for a second? This post is about an addition we’re adding to our home … sometime in the yet-to-be-determined future. As in, we’re just dreaming for now.

Our mid-century (1955) ranch is 1420 square feet. Plenty of room for two people. Plenty of room for two people who frequently work from home, even. It’s a 3-bedroom, 2 full-bath home* which allows us to have a comfortable master suite, a music studio for Jason and an office/craft room for me. (*Originally it was 3-bedrooms, 1 full-bath and a den.) The only problem is that we want to have kids. And we don’t want to move. Ever. We love our house and our garden and our neighborhood that much. Our lot is .36 acres and our house is average size for the neighborhood so there is justification for an addition. Commence daydreams of building on.

Commence? What am I saying. We’ve lived here 3.5 years and we’ve been talking about where and how and what we could build for 3.5 years. Just recently though, Jason was talking to one of our friends who is an excellent carpenter/handyman about some possibilities and suggestions. JB said, “If I was y’all I’d build off the front. You have a big front yard.” Jason heard less grass to mow. Current home layout:

We had never considered that. All of our previous ideas were to build off the back, near the driveway. A few days ago I had time to draw some sketches of how we could make it work. I love drawing out floor plans. Am I weird? I used to do this all the time when I was a kid … drawing out my dream house or the house of the made up family I was writing a story about.

The first sketch is the simplest solution – cut off 1/3 of my 11’x10′ office to create a hallway and add two modest size bedrooms with closets. My office could even be further cut down to say … 6’x6′ to create a playroom area or a reading nook or something. Total addition: approx. 300 sq. ft.

The second sketch takes the same idea but shoves it further from the existing house to create a den or study area and possibly an enclosed outdoor courtyard area off of the master bedroom. An enclosed outdoor living space is a little fantasy of ours. Total addition: approx: 500 sq. ft.

I showed Jason my sketches and he loves the second one. Sweet! Let’s do it! Oh wait, we don’t have kids. We don’t have $50,000 lying around. That’s OK. For now, I’ll just map these out in Illustrator.

What do you think? Do you have experience with adding on to your home? Would our house lose it’s ranchiness if we had an addition that made it L-shaped (or gun shaped)? We don’t have room on our property to expand on either side. This box I added on the tax assessment schematic shows it would be about 26’x20′ for the larger of the 2 addition plans:

I wonder how much these plans will change in the next … oh … 7 years or so.

My New Toy … I mean, Phone


Jason and I have been with Verizon for at least 8 year but this summer when our contracts were up we came the closest we’ve ever been to parting ways in favor of getting the iPhone. As much as we love Mac products and even after weeks of research, the idea of dropping around $400 on making the switch didn’t sit well. Truthfully, we wanted them so bad but we prayed about it and had no peace about making the move once we were standing in the Apple store.

All that to say, we got what we decided was the next best thing: Palm Pre Plus. It’s not an iPhone but at least we have Verizon’s excellent coverage and the phone is very, very close. It has a large touch screen, tons of apps, unlimited data usage and a slide out QWERTY keyboard (which I think is a lot easier to use than iPhone’s touch keyboard.) Another nice feature of this phone/Verizon is that it’s as easy as pie to turn the phone into a mobile hotspot so I can use the internet on my laptop from anywhere. Anywhere … like poolside or on a tour bus. That means I. can. work. from. anywhere. (Please, Boss?)

Jason and I have never had smart phones before and these things are rocking our world. Here are some of my favorite applications / the best palm pre apps I’ve discovered so far:

Standards like YouTube, Facebook of course
1. Pandora
– free customized online radio

2. TweeFree – apps make the Twitter experience so much better
3. Flashlight
– bright white screen
4. Evernote
– photo and text notes that can be accessed online from any computer
5. Asphalt5
– super fun driving game. drive with the phone like steering wheel. Bonus points for including a Mini Cooper.

6. Speed Brain – good brain exercise
7. AP Mobile – news
8. AccuWeather – I find it to be more optimistic than Weather Channel (which is also a free app) and usually right. I like how it just shows a red thermometer for the days when the high is 100º and up.

9. Scoop – RSS blog reader that works with a Google Reader account
10. Yelp – restaurant/store/attraction finder. I use this all the time to find out what’s nearby or to call the place we’re going to order ahead or check their hours and to read reviews
11. Topple Ball – fun, phone-tilting puzzle game
12. Pink Pad – cycle management for ladies. Make notes about what’s going on and it helps me plan ahead

Most of these apps are free because we’re cheapskates.

After a month we only have a few complaints about the Palm Pre Plus. Jason’s and mine have frozen 5 times collectively. Three of those required popping the battery out to reset and once popping the battery out and letting it recharge. The other complaint is short battery life but we expected that and we do use them a lot. We got car chargers (and cases) cheap from and we take our chargers with us everywhere we go. I can usually get by with only charging it though the night.