Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Monday, June 28, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
And hopefully, the results will look something like this. Now all I have to decide is whether I'll use a mix or my favorite recipe. Now that will be my little secret.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
The funny things about garage sales in the Midwest is that people actually seem to feel somewhat bad about taking your money for their cast-offs. Often when I find myself I fumbling in my pocket to find the extra quarter to make up the full 50-cent price tag on a plate, an old cookbook or a funny nicknack, it's common for the proprietor to not want me to go to the trouble of locating the remaining 25 cents and happily accept the amount of change I have in my hand.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I know that I've shared this photo with you before, but since it's Father's Day, and I'm with my dad in Independence, Missouri, here's one of my favorite images of me and my sister with our father. Looks like I'm trying to resist a nap. Not these days!
Friday, June 18, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Even though objects can never replace the fond memories we have of life's experiences, they can help bring to the present forgotten moments that ring with laughter and surprise. Such is the case with this little plate, "lifted" from the restaurant da Ilia in Milan.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
The game of Scrabble will always hold a near and dear place in my childhood memories as a challenge of choice for many of my family members. My Grandma Churchill was always up for a match, and she gathered my uncles, aunts and both my parents around the table for a rollicking round of Scrabble that included words found in the dictionary, and sometimes not!
To this day, my parents still enjoy a brisk round at this board game, and this vintage pillow perched in the Carrol Gardens apartment of visual visionary Michael Quinn reminded me of those jolly games that took place around the dining room table.
Friday, June 4, 2010
When the occasion arrises to offer a gift, rummaging through my wardrobe trunk of thrift goodies usually produces results and reminds me of all the stuff I seem to have packed away without even trying.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Last year when celebrating The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Flea Market Objects at my pal Ruth Handel's Mar Vista, California home, we came up with the idea of serving a "Hint 'O Mint" chocolate cake.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The generous guys over at Tag Sell It! asked me to contribute a blog posting to their Website last week, so I talked about what I know best: The Find and how to shop for vintage and thrift. I though it was worth repeating here, especially coming off of a holiday weekend.
People ask me all the time how The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating With Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details (Clarkson Potter) came about. Honestly, the simple answer is that it was the result of a truly serendipitous journey where I met a lot of talented people who were gracious enough to share their stories and their creative environments.
The other question I’m asked all the time, especially by those who’ve never imagined decorating their living and entertaining environments with goods from a garage sale or finds from a flea market, is how to shop. So I’ll share with you some of my favorite tips:
Respect your budget: Always know how much you want to spend before heading off on a thrifting adventure, and tell yourself that you won’t spend a penny more than you’ve allotted. (Well, maybe a penny or two more!) One good way to stay within your means is to always shop with cash. Once the cash runs out, the shopping is over. Additionally, paying with cash quite often offers you negotiating power.
Buy quality: Most of us are not shopping at flea markets and tag sales for investment pieces, so I say forget about designer names and fancy brands and focus on buying quality. If a piece of furniture is sturdy, doesn’t wobble and creak and fits your purposes, then go for it. Avoid purchases that require major overhauls. Since reupholstering can get expensive, purchase upholstered pieces that are free of stains and odors and come in a fabric that fits your decor. However, if you’re willing to pay for the upholstery job – or you’re one of those talented souls who can do it yourself – just make sure that the frame in good quality, of hard wood and isn’t cracked or warped.
Keep a mental list: If you are in need of a new dresser, but all you can find are dining tables, well then don’t buy a dining table. The prices are so low in thrift stores that it’s tempting to over-buy, often leading us to go over our budget and create cluttered spaces. That said, I like to add….
If you love it, buy it: Should you fall head over heals for an item that fits your budget and you can’t go home without it, then by all means purchase it. If you find something that so enamors you that you just have to have it, you’ll find space for it. If not, be prepared to sacrifice something you already have to make room for your new, beloved purchase.
Open your mind. Might you use an outdoor table inside or clean up that dirty desk that’s masked behind years grime and filth? Try looking at potential purchases with new eyes to discover the beauty and use that might be hidden.
Charm your vendors: Remember, many vendors love their items as much as you’re attracted to them. They have spent time and energy acquiring these goods, so be respectful. Get to know them and their goods, and avoid having “How much?” being the first thing out of your mouth.
Be fair: Anyone selling vintage at a shop or on the lawn of a suburban home is just like a retailer. They have placed a value on the goods they’re offering, so don’t try to lowball them in negotiating. If you’ve gotten to know the vendor before talking price, you will already have an edge in getting a lower price. I know from experience. I am more inclined to offer a better price if the person shopping is interested and polite because, of course, I want all my cherished items to go to a happy home.
Don’t be a Thriftzilla: Just because you have cash in your pocket doesn’t mean you should gobble up all the goodies in your sight. I believe in creating good thrift karma, so take a breath and buy what you will, but leave a little something for the next person. You never know when you’ll want that goodwill to boomerang around in your direction!
Always Frugal, Always Fabulous,
Stan Williams --The Elegant Thrifter