Recent Yard Sale Finds

11/05/2012

A couple weekends ago we had a gorgeous day for yard sales so my mom, Ali and I set out to see what we could find.

I was thrilled to buy this desk from a friend for $5. Since I had a “cloffice” at our last house, I didn’t have a desk. Now I’ll have a surface to work on in our new house. Hooray! This vintage desk is metal and laminate and will make a great sewing/craft desk once we find the perfect wood desk for me. For now, this will be just fine. The open shelf will be great for my sewing machine or printer.

The straps on one of our old strollers disintegrated and tore off a few weeks ago. This excellent replacement was just $4 from a different friend.

I got this chair for Ali for $0.50. She likes it. It’s a bit too big for her but I think it’ll be just right next summer.

This ornament tree was $5 and I talked the lady down to $3. I spray painted it green (it was brass) and I’ll use it for my Shiny Brites this year.

And this was from a consignment sale this past week. I have been looking for some kind of ride-on toy like a rocking horse or a Rody or one of these. She was too small for the first couple I tried but she really seemed to like this one.

My mom says it looks like it has a concussion because one of the pupils is broken. She helped me name it Dizzy. Ali’s not really into riding on it yet but she likes to push it around.


The Reupholstered Sectional Sofa

08/27/2012

Jason and I reupholstered a sofa! A whole, big, 3-piece sectional sofa! It was a massive project. We worked our butts off and we learned so much. A few things:

• First of all, I have no intentions of writing a DIY tutorial on furniture upholstery. It’s hard work, requires a lot of tools and knowledge. This was definitely not a beginner project. We didn’t take a lot of pictures during the process of reupholstering the sofa, just pictures of the deconstruction for our own reference and progress shots to make ourselves feel better after some long nights of work. If you want a DIY, check out this chair reupholstery blog post that I saw on a friend’s Pinterest page. There are also lots of videos on YouTube and many more tutorials out there. We started out watching videos, getting 4 books from the library, ordering tools, and studying other pieces of furniture. For my birthday back in June, I got a staple gun from my dear husband and The Complete Guide to Upholstery from my mom, both of which have been used a lot. I also found this Great Neck tack puller to be invaluable for removing staples during the deconstruction.

• Sewing skills are crucial, especially for making cushions and doing piping. Thankfully, I have been sewing since middle school and I have my Granny’s old trusty Singer. I sewed approximately 600″ of piping!

• Reupholster with a buddy. I cannot imagine doing this solo. Working with Jason made it so much easier to move the pieces of the sectional around from room to room, inside to outside, flipped over and back up. Usually I was stretching and positioning fabric while he was stapling. Or I was sewing while he was cutting the pieces out of the upholstery. Plus, it’s nice to have someone else to problem-solve with.

• Shop online. We found all the materials we needed and the best prices online. We ordered from Amazon.com, DIYupholsterysupply.com and OnlineFabricStore.net

• Experience is the best teacher. Jason and I reupholstered four chairs before we decided to tackle this sectional. Chair 1. Chair 2. Chairs 3 & 4. Each project we’ve done has gotten progressively better. If we were to do this same sofa over again, I’m sure it would be much better the second time around.

• A few people have asked me how hard it is to upholster a sofa. Difficulty is relative. We didn’t find it difficult. In fact, my [obnoxiously optimistic] husband said on our first night of working on the sectional, as we were deconstructing each piece and figuring out how it was constructed: “Honey! This is going to be easy!” I just laughed because that could not be more opposite of what was going through my mind. But I clung to that statement, hours, days, weeks into this project. It really wasn’t hard. It was time consuming. No joke, I’m pretty sure this took between 40-50 hours of labor with two people… that’s about 90 hours of work. I’m sure we could do another sectional just like this in 60 hours next time, or maybe less. But I did try to keep track of time for our own reference. We spent an average of 4.5 hours per night working on this, and approximately 10-12 nights over 3 weeks.

• Upholstery work is painful! I have more mystery bruises on my legs than I care to count. I have a gouge in one of my legs, two scraped knuckles and tender finger tips from accidental pin stabs. Jason, my professional guitarist, über careful (I call him “Safety Dad”) husband stapled into one of his fingertips. It was bloody and gross but thankfully a picking finger and it healed pretty quickly. My back and arms got quite a workout, too. I think my arms are the strongest they’ve ever been right now. It’s good exercise. See, I can be optimistic, too!

OK, enough about disclaimers and what we learned. It was worth it! We have a brand new couch. Sort of. Actually, it’s a 1960 Harmony House for Sears, Roebuck & Co. But it’s like new with brand new foam cushions and new upholstery. I can’t wait to see this piece in our new living room.

Before:

(more before pictures in my sneak peek post a couple weeks ago.)

After:

Not many detail shots because we were in the parking lot of our storage unit trying to be quick. The light was harsh, mid-day full sun and we were trying to hurry back home before Ali woke up from her afternoon nap. That’s my excuse. It has nothing to do with the imperfections that I’m so critical of… But in just a few months it’ll be comfortable sitting in our new living room, getting well used by a family, and those minor imperfections will be even less noticeable. Says Mr. “This Will Be Easy!”


Mid-Century Modern Treasures

08/23/2012

Jason and I went to our first auction last weekend. It was so fun! We watch Storage Wars every Tuesday night and it was our chance to get in on the bidding competition. The house and contents were in our neighborhood, right down the street from our old house. We scoped out a few things we wanted. Some we were out-bid on and a couple we won!

This armchair caught our eye from the beginning. Actually this is the picture our friend texted to us and made us come down to the auction. We got it for… FREE. It was auctioned with another chair and the winner only wanted the other one. Can’t beat that! It has a few rips in the vinyl so it’ll be getting brand new upholstery in the coming weeks.

This dresser we won for a friend. It’s perfect height to use as a changing table in a nursery but sadly, it didn’t end up working in their small room. So, we’re reselling it. (Nashville folks, if you’re interested, it’s on Craigslist.)

We also won this table and chairs that we really don’t need and have no place to store. But we couldn’t resist! Bidding is just so fun! Especially when you win. So, we’re reselling it also. (Nashville folks… Craigslist.) If it doesn’t sell, we may consider reupholstering the 4 chairs. They’re super cool and it’s a bummer they’ve each got a rip in the seat.

And because we just can’t get enough of moving heavy furniture around, we decided to hit up a couple of thrift stores after the auction. We found this unit and decided we had to have it. It’s a bit unusual. I’m calling it a storage cabinet. After a little research, based on the stamp “DECLARATION BY DREXEL” on the back, I learned it’s part of a series called Leisure Center.

It’ll be handy for storing dishes and table linens in our dining room. Behind the three cane wicker doors there are adjustable shelves.

This is what it’s supposed to look like as two parts (source):

Can you believe that some guy came in the day before, paid for both pieces and only took the bottom credenza half of the hutch?! What a booger! Our Silver Bullet finally met it’s match with this one. We had to have our friend drive out with his flat bed trailer to pick it up for us. Time for the Silver Bullet to get a hitch, maybe?


Lights, Hairpins and Little Kicks

08/15/2012

Jason and I did a little casual pickin’ this weekend. We stopped at a couple of yard sales on Saturday and at one of them scored a deal on a pair of vintage lamps and a small square footstool with hairpin legs. Jason may or may not have an addiction to buying mid-century lamps…

Sunday after church we swung by the Goodwill for a quick look. Nothing MCM but I did snag a pair of navy blue sneaks for the kid for 2 bills. She’s quite close to walking which means crawling all over the place and pulling up/cruising along anything. Which means very dirty feet if we’re out in the public. I know they’ll only fit for a couple of months so I’m happy to pay $1.99.


Otis the Lamp

08/09/2012

I’m naming furnishings again. This is Otis because of all the O’s all over him. Jason, the lamp-lover, spotted this lovely specimen while we were out casually pickin’ the other day. It needs a little TLC. We like the green but it’s chipped in several places so a fresh coat of paint is in its future, as well as straightening the base and rewiring with a new polarized cord set.


Phone Photo Friday

07/27/2012


Phone Photo Friday

07/19/2012

I’m doing Phone Photo Friday on Thursday this week because tomorrow is a very special day.

Jason and I were down at our property last week and we found this 1950s-60s guitar amp in our yard, by the side of the road. It looked freshly dumped since we’d had rain the night before and it wasn’t wet. A sign from God? A gift from heaven? Very strange! The screen on the front is pale blue. It’ll be a lovely decoration if nothing else.