Thrifitng Karma

Thrift

As I was driving past the thrift shop around the corner from my office the other day, something said I should stop in and just take a look.  I’m a firm believer in trusting my gut so I pulled for a quick peek.  I’m glad I did because it yielded a pretty bevy of treasures!  I got all of this for just $46.  Apparently my gut can sense awesome thrifty deals from a mile away. :)

I plan to use some of the pieces as is, like the plant in the small crock and the cloche, but I’ve already got a few ideas for DIY makeovers on other pieces such as that blue bunny sign.  I may also update a piece or two for resale at the holiday bazaar I’ve booked just after Thanksgiving, but if they find a ‘spot to belong’ in my home before then I won’t be upset about it.

Have you found any great bargains while thrifting recently?  I’d love to hear about them, so share them in a comment below!

Time Well Wasted

Olan Mills - 1968Although it’s been quiet here on the blog this week, it’s been an extremely busy and emotional week in the DB&DT household.  Monday morning we lost my grandmother Mema, just a little more than a year after my grandfather, Pappa Vince passed away.  It was also the day after the anniversary of my Aunt Diane’s passing.

The loss of so many loved ones in such a short time has been extremely difficult for our family, but life doesn’t pause for us to grieve.  I had photography client sessions and meetings and the hubs had an overnight work trip out of town that still had to happen.  As we made peace with the loss it made me realize just how fortunate we had been to enjoy some ordinary moments of life the weekend prior.

A walk with my photography group allowed me to see a fearless meadow vole who even let me pet him and meet a beautiful boreal owl who was missing a wing.

vole

owl

Photographing a wedding that afternoon brought a sighting of a young black bear.

bear

That evening the hubs and I enjoyed a walk in this amazing field of wildflowers, a true treat during Alaska’s short summer season.

field

wildflowers

And I was blessed to capture this sweet shot of the dogs as they romped through the blooms.

trio

I picked a little bouquet to take home as we wandered along the trail laughing at the dogs’ hijinks.

Bouquet

Despite a mile-long list of things to do around the house we drove to the Kenai peninsula the next day to visit some of the hub’s extended family who came up from Arizona to fish.  Along the way we stopped at another filed of wildflowers surrounded by stunning mountains.

PassAnd spotted glaciers right from the road.

PaintingSceneDown at the river we enjoyed watching the hub’s uncles and cousin fish along the riverbank.  It’s a beloved tradition for them to come here each summer and spend quality time together creating memories.

FishTrio

It warmed my heart to watch them chat and share smiles as they cast their lines.

CollageTrio

Then the memories started biting- one after another and they worked as a team to reel them in.

FishRyanFishOn

FishBillFishOn

FishRyanFishNet

With each catch the smiles grew and I knew these were the moments they will look back on and smile in the years to come, especially when they return home and share the results with other family members as they recount tales from the river.

Collage2 FishResults

It wasn’t a hugely productive weekend, but it was filled with memories in the making and plenty of time well wasted as one of my favorite country songs describes.  My little bouquet in the window is a lovely reminder of my love for those now gone and the importance of making the most of the time we are given because you never know when it might be your last opportunity to do so.  Time well wasted is a precious gift – one I continue to give freely and I hope you all do the same.

Bouquet2

Our New Deck Seating!

Patio3Our back deck is finally starting to look how I envisioned it before we began construction and I couldn’t be happier!  I had originally planned for the hubs to build a sectional for this space, but when I found a super duper sale at Pier 1 on their Echo Beach collection I decided to save him a project.  And because the final price with my coupon brought the total to less than what the materials would cost to build it I saved a few pennies too!

Patio2The purchase also earned me $70 in rewards points, which I used to buy the umbrella stand you see off to the right (thrifted umbrella coming soon once the hubs fixes a damaged arm) and a few décor pieces.

All the pillows I’d been hoarding collecting now have a home and coordinate fairly well with the rug, which I picked up on the local buy/sell page for $10 at the end of last summer. Because the tones of blue and green on each are a bit different, I am likely going to make some no-sew covers similar to these – perhaps with black stripes, a number and “Relax” or “Home” for some variety. The tan and black would be more cohesive and tie in to the umbrella which is also a dark tan.

The spool is a temporary coffee table until I decide what I want there.  I’m considering either a round table made with a galvanized tub and a wooden top for storage of candles and other little items when not in use or an industrial pallet cart style table.  It might depend on which supplies I can find locally first.

Patio1We’d like to add another two-cushion piece along the wall, but I’m holding out in the hopes that they will have an even bigger sale on outdoor furniture just before fall. Eventually this set will move to the deck we plan to install off the Master Bedroom (hopefully next year) and we’ll put a big farmhouse dining table under a pergola here. I’m fairly confident that we’ll do the same arrangement when that happens, but having the ability to move the pieces into different configurations gives us flexibility to see what works best. Until then, I’ll be enjoying them here every chance I get!

A Simple Change

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Ever since we finished our farmhouse desk and industrial shelves in the office I noticed that my craft cart wasn’t quite coordinating with the new look so I decided to switch out the knobs for something more vintage or industrial.  I searched online for a while and found some really cool options like these railroad spike heads and these numbered numbered pulls, but the $8-9 a knob price tags were a bit more than I wanted to spend on this project.  So I did what any bargainista would do – I used spray paint!

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A few quick coats of my trusty ORB spray paint and I had some industrialesque knobs for FREE!  It made quite a difference when I reinstalled them.

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They add a bit of dimension to the piece now, where before it felt kind of flat.  It makes me fall in love with this great piece of furniture all over again.

CraftDeskB&A

I’m considering tweaking a few other things in this corner to work a bit better and add a bit more industrial style but I’m enjoying how well it coordinates with the rest of the room now – and didn’t cost a dime!

Finished

Linked to The Scoop @ Cedar Hill Farmhouse, The Everyday Home, Confessions of a Plate Addict, and White Lace Cottage.

Junkin’

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Today I’m sharing my amazing trip to the Funky Junk Sisters’ Great Junk Hunt in Puyallup, WA.  I’ve followed the Sisters online for a while now and I adore their stuff, so I was super excited to find out we would be in the area during the show.  I bought two tickets for the early buying event the night before the actual show so we’d have first dibs on the best stuff and I can say it was totally worth the price.  I arrived early to pick up my tickets at will call and was directed into the building where the show was being held to see row upon row of this.  1I swear I heard heavenly music as I entered!  Let’s just say I walked very slowly while trying to find the person who had the tickets.  I did restrain myself to just looking from afar rather than actually shopping and bothering vendors as they were putting the finishing touches on their booths.  Although I was drooling over all the possibilities, I wanted to be respectful of the vendors who didn’t expect shoppers for another hour.  But I won’t lie – getting to look at everything without fighting crowds was absolutely wonderful.4

2The hubs joined me after parking the car and we wandered row to row pointing out things to each other.  Eventually we did have to head outside and get in line for the doors to officially open, but thanks to our unexpected preview we had a game plan of which booths to hit first.  And we had the perfect way to carry them thanks to the little red wagon we borrowed from my mother-in-law!

WagonBefore

Once the doors opened, both the hubs and I bee-lined to different booths and scored the items we’d both liked then met at a third booth where the hubs had spotted a cool metal jug.  With our top three finds purchased and in the wagon we started going booth to booth to look in detail.  I was pleased to realize that although it was crowded, everyone was so respectful of each other.  No one rushed the doors or tried to elbow out others.  And I constantly heard, “Excuse me, I want to step past you to look at something.”  But it really sank in when the sound of something falling and breaking caused the entire crowd to react in unison with a distressed “oooohhhh!”  I also enjoyed spotting a few pieces I already had up for sale, like this yellow jug I spotted hiding under a chair.  It’s twin lives in my kitchen cabinet top décor!

Urn

I won’t lie, I did have a few favorite booths.  B’Aase Repurposed was one of them.  They pulled me in with those insanely adorable planters out front and every time I went by I seemed to find something new to check out.  I’m kinda wishing I’d bought that first light fixture hanging in the back on the left because it would have been a great addition to the laundry room’s new vintage vibe!

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I wanted this little metal one on the tracks for my garden sooooo bad, but it was super heavy which means it would take an act of Congress to get it back home to Alaska so I had to pass.  I later saw it being carried off to someone’s car, so I’m not the only one who loved it.

FlowerCart

Across the way from this booth was Built From Scrap, who created this fantastic cart table that was previewed on the event’s Facebook page.  Even the hubs commented how cool it was!  Although I didn’t get a picture of their booth (but you can see it on their page here) I did buy an amazing rusty pulley from them for and chatted with the owners Joe and Tonya.  Apparently I made an impression when I mentioned that I was going to use it as garden art in Alaska because Joe later sought me out in the crowd to ask if I’d be interested in a pulley wheel on a stand that he had out in his truck.  He even offered to bring it in for us to check out!  At just $10 I couldn’t pass it up so it got added to the wagon too.

The row up from them was Whimsical Details, who had the most ADORABLE booth.  I love every single thing about it!  Her style is so on par with mine that it felt like several ideas I’ve had suddenly sprang to life as I browsed her displays.  Don’t be surprised if you see some DIY projects in the near future that have been inspired by her!

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I scored some fantastic metal numbers for the gallery wall at Our Country Homestead’s booth.  Although they had a large selection of letters to pick from I didn’t see any numbers, so I asked if they had any.  It just so happened that they had a small batch tucked away that they let me look through!  After testing several groupings I ended up with a 9, 0 and 7 to symbolize Alaska’s area code for just $36!

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Remember the little piggy pot I shared in my last post?  I got it from the Cat’s Crate booth, which had lots of other great stuff.  I loved their basic, rustic furniture paired with great antiques.  I didn’t even notice the moose horseshoe rack in the back until I was editing the pictures back home!

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The Weathered Home had a great set up and Serendipity Design – Flea Chic’s booth included a real retro trailer!   I also enjoyed browsing a joint booth run by B Designs Home Décor and EMJ Design who had a simple classic style with a nice punch of color.

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All that amazing stuff had me on a serious junky rust high and smiling like a fool!  By the time we’d hit all of the downstairs booths the wagon was pretty full, so the hubs had to make a trip out to the car to unload it while I headed upstairs.  Luckily for him, I didn’t need it upstairs since I only bought a few small items at those booths.

WagonAfterAfter almost 2 hours of shopping here, the final haul all loaded up in the car.  Notice that tall trellis in the middle?  That was a surprise.  I saw it and loved it but thought it would be too difficult to get back to Alaska so I passed over it, but the hubs secretly went back and bought it while I was at another booth!  Yeah, he won some serious brownie points on that one!  I spent a good portion of the ride home just looking back at everything grinning like the Grinch.

HaulThe entire experience was wonderful and I’ll do it again every chance I get!  Now that I’ve got one big show under my belt I thought I’d share my top 10 tips for junk hunting:

  1. Carry cash – Although many vendors will accept credit cards these days, cash is still king.
  2. Bring a cart or wagon – This was the best advice I heard before attending the show.  Make sure it has a long handle and is easy to maneuver if possible.
  3. Be ready to measure – Have a tape measure if you’re looking for pieces to fit a specific spot
  4. Talk to the vendors – Even if they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, they might have it back at their shop or know another vendor who does.
  5. Get there early for the best selection – Don’t be the pesky early bird who hassles vendors while they are still setting up, but the best pieces usually sell first, so be there to buy them first.
  6. Have a plan – When shows are large and have multiple vendors navigate the booths in a particular pattern so you don’t miss any.
  7. Grab a map – Not only is a good resource after the show to contact vendors you want to follow, but it’s an easy way to note where you purchase large items that need to be picked up when you leave or booths that you want to revisit for particular items or sales.
  8. Wear comfortable shoes – This is a no-brainer.  Wandering booth to booth should be fun, not painful.
  9. Be willing to negotiate – Most vendors are open to offers, especially if you’re buying multiple items or a larger piece.
  10. If you love it, buy it – The majority of items at these shows are unique and one-of-a-kind so if you can’t live without it buy it before someone else does.

I hope that helps during your next junkin’ trip.  If you have other tips to share, please leave a comment below.  I’ll do a post on how I’m using these finds around the house soon, so stay tuned!

Linked to The Scoop @ Cedar Hill Farmhouse, The Everyday Home, Confessions of a Plate Addict, and White Lace Cottage.

Vacation Tripping!

WHEW!  We’re finally getting back into a normal routine after our recent trip to the “lower 48″ as we Alaskan’s call it.  Now that I’ve had a chance to catch my breath – and edit a few pictures – I can share some of the fun we had.  We spent five days in Virginia visiting my family to celebrate my nephew’s graduation, my birthday and Father’s Day.   That was a whole lot of celebrating in just a few days, but most of it was spent just hanging out with family.  We also got to see friends who used to live next to us in Kodiak since they live in a neighboring town now.  With all that going on I didn’t take many pictures other than Graduation, which I still need to finish editing.

Next we headed to the Portland area, where we spent several days with my hubby’s mom and visited with a high school friend of mine in the area.  While there we also attended a huge vintage flea market called The Great Junk Hunt put on by the Funky Junk Sisters, which was AMAZING!  I’ll be sharing that experience in my next blog post, because it’s a story all on it’s own.

I made sure we hit my two favorite not-available-in-Alaska restaurants, Panera and Chic-Fil-A multiple times during our trip.  One of the Chic-Fil-A’s we visited was a brand new location in Pallyup, WA which had a great vibe to it starting with the cool industrial chic logo over subway tile near the counter!

Chick

They also had some large cow shenanigans art that made me giggle.  Best long-term marketing strategy ever.  Who doesn’t love farm animals with a sense of adventure and big dose of personality?

ChickTruck

I especially liked this one.  I think it would be perfect for an Alaskan Chic-Fil-A!  HINT HINT!

ChickTrail

One of the clues that told us this location was brand new was how crowded it was, including the insane drive through line which wrapped around a corner and through an adjacent parking lot.  There are still several cars ahead of what’s seen in this line before the ordering speaker.  What impressed us was how the staff took this as an opportunity to offer great personal service.  Notice the team members standing by vehicles? They have menus for customers to look at while waiting and tablets that they can place an order on so their wait time is still productive and ultimately lessened due to efficiency.  Although we didn’t experience this inventive idea first hand, the other staff inside the restaurant were some of the most pleasant we’d ever encountered despite a never ending rush of customers.  Kudos to this location’s manager for a wonderful last impression of their brand before heading back to Alaska!

ChickLine

Another fun restaurant was the moving sushi bar we tried for lunch one day.  We’d never been to one before, but now that we know how fun and inexpensive it is I’m pretty sure we’ll be searching for one here at home!  This one was called Sushi Moto and had a pretty good variety of rolls to choose from.  And if you didn’t see what you want, just ask the friendly sushi chef to make it for you!

SushiMoto2

I’m not a buffet lover, but this I could definitely embrace.  I could have sat there and picked options all day, especially at just $1.75/plate!  While these certainly weren’t culinary masterpieces, every single one I tried was good.  I’m surprised I was able to pause long enough to take a few pictures!

SushiMotoRoll

Other than eating delicious food and visiting friends and family, we did plenty of shopping.  I’ll be sharing some of the things we found with a house update post soon.  Until then here’s a sneak peek at some of the cool “junk” we snagged at the vintage flea market.  How cute is this little piggy planter that I bought for my mother-in-law!?  Um, so cute that I had to find one of my own on Etsy when I got home! I can’t wait for it to arrive because I’ve got the perfect spot picked out for it!  :)

PiggyPlanter

 

We Robot!

We are now the proud owners of a robot, thanks to a fantastic trade I made recently – a photo session and some cash for a like new Roomba!  We had been considering purchasing one for some time but just couldn’t pull the trigger due to the hefty price tag, so when I saw one on a local buy/sell page I offered a trade and the woman selling agreed.  Luckily, the model she was selling is designed for pet hair and she still had all the accessories and manual for it.  RoombaBathroom

It’s been interesting to see how we’ve all adjusted to having a robot in the house.  The hubs and I often catch ourselves welcoming Roomba when it enters the room we are in or complimenting it for docking itself when in need of charging even though we know it’s just a machine.  We’re just friendly like that I guess.  I do find it funny that the Hubs refers to Roomba as ‘she’ while I say it’s a ‘he,’ but either way I’m really enjoying not having to vacuum as often.

RoombaAttack

The fur babies were not quite as excited about the new intruder.  Luna wasn’t quite sure what to make of it and would watch from a distance, then run off if Roomba got too close for her comfort.  The dogs on the other hand thought Roomba was a fabulous new toy that they should play with by jumping and barking.  They were pretty frustrated when Roomba ignored them and continued on his cleaning mission.

RoombaPlay

Now that its been a few weeks, they’re no longer excited about it.  In fact, now it’s often the fur babies who ignore Roomba.  He can bump into the furniture where Luna is napping and she barely even opens her eyes!  The dogs have given up trying to get Roomba to play and usually step right over him when he’s in their way.

RoombaLuna

Although he’s a bit louder than I anticipated he does a pretty good job of picking up all the pet hair, which is a big improvement for my allergies and makes me feel like the house is cleaner overall.  Granted he doesn’t get everything so I still vacuum once a week, but I no longer have to cover every square inch of the house.  Instead I focus on the corners and edges where Roomba sometimes misses spots.  Now that we’re back from traveling I just need to program his schedule so he will clean and charge all on his own and I don’t have to remember to turn him on each day.

Do you use a Roomba or similar product?  I’d love to hear any tips or tricks you might have, especially if they make life even easier. :)