Monthly Archives: August 2010

behind the scenes of our first rummage sale

Extra Extra! Rummage sale tips are up over at ReadyMade. We had an awesome time. Thanks to all of you who came out, all of the gals that participated and the Mister for being the go-to lemonade guy.

The next one will be here before you know it! This time on a Saturday, for real.

positive friday

My puppy is getting in on the rummage sale action. He takes his role as head bargainer very seriously.

Scroll down for details. The items on the tabletop and two of these chairs will be for sale! Can’t wait ’til Sunday!

rummage sale time! this sunday, 10-2pm

I’m over the top excited about our five ladies rummage sale. Even more of our girlfriends are pitching in, either to come by and sell their stuff or just drop it off and have the rest of us to the dirty work, but there should be a decent variety of items to choose from. My pile of goodies to sell is getting larger by the day and though it is super hard for me to let go of things, I know I need to edit down my possessions in order to function properly come Autumn.

I’ve never had a yard sale, and have sold most of my stuff via Craigslist or Freecycle when necessary, so I’m hyped to meet people, chat, serve some lemonade, gossip with my girlfriends and have an all around great time.

The awesome Diana of Fine Diving and Garage Sale Warrior posted a lovely write-up of our little sale and it made me even more excited about Sunday!

If you’re a reader of this blog and you stop by, let me know so I can spike your lemonade with vodka and toast with you. Thanks for reading, truly. Thank you.

a question for me: rehabbing old school desks

I love being asked questions. Love. I’m the master of pretending to be an authority on any subject. When I get questions in the comment section of posts on this here blog I jump up and down. Someone wants to know what I think? My suggestions? My advice? It warms my heart, seriously. So when I got this tweet from Valerie, I did a little dance and thought hard about her quandry.

Valerie told me that she found these two schooldesks in her mom’s basement. Of course she couldn’t toss them out– everyone remembers sitting in similar ones throughout gradeschool. They’re in pretty bad condition but easily salvageable with a little elbow grease and heart.

A project I recently read about on Apartment Therapy came to mind right away. The writer behind Lost and Fawned, an inspiring blog I added to my reader after the AT post, used spray paint, sand paper and Barkeepers Friend to update an old cart she found at an estate sale. Total cost? Under $10. Check out the before and afters and do browse around her great site while you’re there. I especially enjoyed this post because it featured two of my favorite things: a doggie and estate sale finds.

So we’re covered for the legs and body of the desk. What about the top?

If it is not just a matter of sanding and refinishing, Valerie could have new wood cut and installed by a carpenter. A post on Walnuthaven Cottage details one family’s experience with their old school desktop replacement.

She could also use chalkboard paint as Trey and Lucy did over here.

Lastly, Valerie could sand the whole thing down really well and paint the entire thing one color. She could leave it as is or add some flavor with a stencil or even simple polka dots, like Flickr user niftythriftygirl did right here.

I’m more a fan of the original wood myself but either paint alternative will look great if the wood is really trashed or if she doesn’t feel like fooling around with replacing it.

Thanks for the question, Valerie! Let us know how it goes!

vintage heywood wakefield desk, $150

your first time…

No, not that first time. Get your mind out of the gutter.

I remember my first thrifting experience vividly. My parents had just divorced and it was time to update my bedroom in the house I grew up in, the house my dad kept after the split. We had true joint custody– one week at his house, one week at Mom’s apartment, and I think it was important to him that we start fresh even though we were in the same house.

This is around the time when my older, more fashion-wise girlfriends were already buying clothing at resale shops but I had never been inside of one. While my dad has shopped thrift for as long as I can remember, mostly for work clothing, we never accompanied him on his visits. On a whim one day after school, I pulled the cord on the bus a bit earlier than normal, getting off in front of a Salvation Army. All of these donations were piled outside of the closed garage door. I was tempted to start going through everything right then, but waited until the next day to head back during regular hours. I walked into that Salvation Army a thrifting virgin at 13 years old.

I remember my exact purchase. A huge heavy desk for $12 and a lamp to place atop for $3. Nuns worked this shop, and the sister helping me wrote SOLD with a heavy felt marker on a pink ticket and taped it to the top of the desk. It was thrilling to be able to buy a solid piece of gorgeous furniture with my own money earned babysitting horrible, wretched five year-olds. This was also around the time when my parents yelled a refrain similar to what I imagine I’ll scream at my own kids one day: “You wanna leave? Fine, take everything you bought and leave the rest here!” If I ever did really leave, I thought, at least I will have a desk. A desk my dad had to come haul home the next day, but mine nonetheless.

When I rented my first apartment I naturally sourced a lot of my house necessities from resale shops. Now, they’re the first place I go for everything. The thrill never ends.

easy plant vessel: vintage drawers!

the vintage drawer i turned into a flower potclick on photo for source

Color me happy. I’d never have thought to pop a plant into a vintage drawer. Looks like I have another item to add to my thrift wish list this week.

About the living room update: it’s coming along. I’m a little frustrated with the amount of stuff we have in this apartment and lamenting about that is taking up much of my time. I’m a brooder. So guess what? Rummage sale time!

Details to follow. If you’re in Chicago, I hope you’re free Sunday morning!

chicagoans in toronto

lovely chairs outside the drake general store

There truly are not enough words to describe what an amazing city we found Toronto to be after only seeing a very small slice of what it has to offer. We spent two short days and three nights at The Drake Hotel (which resembled my idea of interior design heaven) and did not travel in a moving vehicle except for the airport taxi rides. The five or so miles we walked ourselves to blisters in were absolutely perfect. I can’t wait to head back and visit the rest of the city.

My heart will always belong to Chicago but if the psychos behind the Tea Party ever manage to take over, we’re outta here and I know exactly where we’re headed.

art history

First off, the vintage.  The vintage!  Tons of shops line Queens Street West, the block that houses The Drake. We were told that the neighborhood really took off once the hotel opened up in 2004, with new places sprouting up almost immediately.  I counted at least six vintage shops in a four block radius and all seemed to be making brisk business.  If you’re into resale, a walk down this street is so necessary.

drake general store

Even The Drake is in on the love, with a General Store stocked with new and time-honored merchandise. I really liked the watch faces above and am kicking myself for not picking one up. Wouldn’t they be great as magnets on an old fridge?


Not far from Queens Street is Kensington Market, a fun neighborhood packed with shoppers and diners on Saturday morning.  My favorite shop in the area is pictured above, the first where I actually felt like I could afford what was inside.  I noticed the prices in most of the shops we hit were quite a bit higher than Chicago overall and was a little disappointed that nothing would be coming home with me.  Except my creamer and sugar set from Sal Army!

toronto!The Mister happily let me drag him into store after store and didn’t say a word while I browsed and browsed and snapped photos.  Thank you to him for being a good sport and letting me indulge.

So, we shopped, we ate, we napped, we drank, we chatted.  Toronto was a blast.  I can’t wait to go back!

See all of our photos over at Flickr.