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ORB-ing Abraham Lincoln + Dryer Vent Pumpkins

28 Aug

Remember that time I spent an afternoon rubbing bronze oil on Abraham Lincoln? Me neither, gross.

But I did happen to spray some awesome Rustoleum Oil-Rubbed Bronze paint on some Lincoln bookends for my dad. The stuff is magical.

Before and after:

He is made of plaster and had some bad chips, but at $.10 each (eventhough Dad gave them $1), I said I could spruce them up real nice! Why, Mr. Lincoln, you are so very regal and dashing in your new coat of paint. Get down with your ORB self!

Since I was outside and covered in paint already, I also decided to tackle a fall project I blatantly stole from my friend Amy’s blog, that she blatantly stole from another blog via Pinterest. 😉

She made her dryer vent pumpkins out of plastic vents from Menards. I sauntered into Home Depot expecting to find the same thing and was sorely disappointed. Same thing with Ace Hardware. They did have the aluminum vents, which the original blogger used, but at $10/vent, that was waaay over my budget. So I dusted myself off and walked into my favorite place: Habitat Restore. I’m like a kid in a candy store in that place. And sure enough there was a scrap of used dryer vent for a whopping $2.

Sometimes I wonder what the people behind the counter there think with me purchasing a lame piece of dryer vent. What the? I’ll spare you the details of this super-simple project. Just cut in two (I had to use wire cutters) and hot glue the ends together. Will the wonders of hot glue never cease?

Then paint away! I chose Rustoleum’s Fire Orange because it’s awesome and plain old white, because…um…what other color do you paint pumpkins? Then jam a stick in the middle and add moss.



So pretty, so cheap and so easy! I heart you fall.

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One of my Favorite Thrift Stores

3 Apr

Shortly after we moved into our home I discovered a nearby thrift store called Through Our Children’s Lives. It’s a small shop tucked in among other stores, but you can’t miss the big moving truck they have out front with their name on it. As thrift stores go, it’s good. If you dig, you’re bound to find some treasures.

But that’s not what I love about this store.

I’ve been going to this store since Liam was a baby and the sweet woman who runs it has always been so loving to him. I don’t know why this surprises me though, considering the name of her business.

The store’s proceeds go toward helping victims of domestic abuse. It’s a wonderful cause.

But it gets better.

Whenever you bring your child in with you, they let you pick out a free book. I love this. I strongly believe in the importance of reading to a child.

They also have donated bread you can choose from every time you make a donation or purchase.

Last week I strolled in to browse as I sometimes do and I walked out with this loot for $2.72.

And here’s the breakdown:
The shorts were originally $2.99, but because they also have awesome sales, that day clothing under a certain price was automatically $2.
The dinosaur must have been about $.50.
The car was free because the sweet owner rummaged through a bin and picked it out for my very grateful son. Who does that? Loving people do that.
The books were free. Technically you’re supposed to get one, but I think she likes us. It is one book and one coloring book.
The bread was free! Although I recommend using or freezing this bread right away because it is donated, I usually never have a problem eating bread. I used the asiago cheese round to make grilled cheese sandwiches to go with tomato soup and the Italian bread I cut to make meatball subs.

If you’re in the OP area, I definitely recommend stopping in to Through Our Children’s Lives. I have friends who have found great deals and you can’t beat the love you’ll receive. 😉

A New Love

28 Feb

I scouted a couple of estate sales last Friday and fell in love with something I couldn’t have. He was beautiful: strong arms, lean lines, excellent condition. But alas, he was $65 and mama’s bank account just ain’t that deep. But I had a plan.

There are few things I have gone back to sales for on half-price day, and even fewer that were still there by the time I dragged my carcass out of bed. This time I was determined. I set my alarm for 7:30 (gasp) I know…but my little love usually wakes us up around 8 and I couldn’t take the risk. I threw on some clothes, pulled the hair up and took off for the sale.

Which started an hour later than I thought it did. Hmph…

So I went to another sale down the street and found my dear friends the church ladies. I’ve been to many of their sales. They go to a church down the street from our house and when they were running a sale two doors down I went a few (dozen) times and they fell in love with Liam. And we brought them cookies. Now they remember me. 😉

Still having 40 minutes til the sale started I decided to do the Rock Star a favor and bring donuts because little one had kept us up most of the night. That cheered him up.

Donut in hand, I headed back out to the sale. It was about a 10 minute drive.

When I pulled up there were about five other cars there. When I saw the sale company car pull into the driveway I hopped out and ended up being the fourth person in line. I’ve never waited in line for a sale to open, but I suppose that’s what you gotta do sometimes!

And it paid off. I busted through the door, ran down — I mean politely scooted around — some older ladies, and bolted down to the basement. Hooray! It was still there. I snatched it and trotted back up stairs to purchase my half-price treasure.

So what was it?

Isn’t he beautiful? He’s everything I dreamed he would be, and more. And I’m going to leave him just the way he is.

I love the way he sits in our living room. I would say don’t tell the Rock Star about my new found love, but he’s already in love, too.

What great treasures have you found lately? I’d love to see!

Repurposed Barnwood Table

31 Jan

Last week I revealed my barnwood-top hairpin leg table over at Buffalo-Roam. I promised more details so here we go!

I placed at bid on this table at a Brown Button estate sale a while ago. I have a love/hate relationship with Brown Button. I love their stuff, but unlike other sales they know the value of everything! 😉 I guess you could call it good business… But I placed a bid on this table for just under half price hoping no one else would see the potential. I’ve since gotten to know some of the Brown Button people better (like Michael who has a son not too much older than my own) and I’d say the relationship is more love now. Seriously check out their sales any time you can! Anyway, here’s the table before.

Do you see the gold-flecked awfulness? Oh you need a better look?

I’m pretty sure someone out there loves it. But it’s not me. Of course the top had to go. But then I couldn’t decide between tile and wood to replace the top. Because while I liked this, I also liked this and this. Ultimately I decided the barnwood was more en vogue, not to mention free to me. 🙂

I wish I would have taken a before picture of the barnwood slat. Just imagine me hauling (ok let’s be honest, Grandpa loves helping his eldest grandchild) my 81-year-old grandpa out to his shed to find the sole remaining piece of barnwood in his collection. I’m sure Grandpa shakes his head at what a young-in like me takes a liking to, and he said he’s never had a picker stop by. I told him one day I’d be more bold and rummage through his shed with the caving-in floor. The very same shed where he pulled out his table saw and sliced the barnwood in half for me so it would fit in the trunk of my brother’s car.

Christmas Eve Eve I persuaded my father-in-law to help me (do it for me) cut the pieces down even further. We debated whether or not to do three equal-sized slats vs. staggering the widths, only to find out there wasn’t enough wood to do three equal pieces. Luckily I was on board with the staggered idea. We assessed the location of nail holes, knot holes, paint patches, etc. and I got to bring home a great Christmas present: wood cut for free. 🙂

I sanded down the rough edges, power washed the boards and used a bristle brush to remove any dirt leftover. Then I used spray poly to seal the deal.

Somehow my red kicks always seem to photobomb my pictures. And nevermind the leftover pink paint from a Christmas present project, or the fact that this picture was taken in January and the grass is still green in Kansas. Weirdo weather. But isn’t this wood beautiful?

I laid the wood on the hairpin leg base and actually ended up securing the boards together on the bottom with a metal brace. But now she looks like this.

I love every little imperfection, hole, nail mark, paint splotch and discoloration. Isn’t that what rustic is all about? I’ve also got pieces left over and I plan on using every scrap of that precious barnwood. More projects to come! The table will be up on Craigslist shortly. We’ll see how much I can squeeze out of it.

Stay tuned, on Thursday I’ll go over how I turned $2 shutters into message boards for my nieces for Christmas. Been waiting to share that one for a while! Happy hunting!

Linking to

My first assigned picking adventure

17 Jan

A couple of months ago my friend Amy at Buffalo Roam asked me to keep an eye out for some claw feet for this. She’s putting it in her powder room in her new home that she and her husband are building out of recycled materials and such. It’s going to be amazing, but I never thought I’d be able to find decent claw feet locally for a good price. Then I ended up in Grandview, MO, at a sale I found on Craigslist. We were on our way to Lee’s Summit, MO, anyway, so we thought we’d check this sale out, too. Boy I’m glad I did! The man’s father was a table maker and he had these amazing cast iron claw feet in a box that I wouldn’t have noticed except a lady was haggling with him for them. She gave up because she didn’t know what she’d do with them. Of course I knew exactly what to do with them. They were meant for Amy.

I love the detail.

And yes, Napoleon, it does have large talons.

I paid $10 each for them (there Amy, now you know how much profit I gained lol), which allowed me to offer a fair price to Amy…and she even bumped it up $5 for gas. I love that lady. So I guess it’s safe to say my first assigned picking adventure was a success. It helps that I knew my client fairly well and her style. Check out her house progress here. You’ll be in awe.

I’ll be back Thursday with my other finds from last weekend’s adventure. I managed to squeeze one more deal out of the table maker’s son. Details coming soon. 😉

P.S. Do you have something you just can’t find or don’t have the time to find? Tell me about it below and I’ll keep it on my lookout list! Also check out my Etsy page on the right for vintage treasures already for sale.

Holiday Break Finds

6 Jan

I love my Christmas break. I save up some vacation days so I can take at least a week off around Christmas. My mom visits from Phoenix and I always have a million crafty gift things to finish up and goodies to bake. So all my time lately has been spent playing games with family, sharing gifts and talking the days away. I love it. I love my family!

But I did manage to pick up a few things in the past few weeks. My friend Kari from Foreclosure 2 Fabulous was in town and squeezed in some time to see me! I haven’t seen this girl since high school and miraculously that’s about 11.5 years ago. We reconnected over our love of vintage things, but she lives on the East Coast so I’m amazed that we got to see each other at all. I love people who make time for others. It’s so special. She’s also a pediatric psychologist and I love that. In short, she’s amazing. We had a grand time touring a couple of antique stores (one of which was utterly confusing and entirely too 1980s) and a random vintage estate sale that was so awesome to experience together. I rarely have friends along when I get out to sales and it was so great to bounce ideas off one another and laugh together at the ridiculous things you find at estate sales. I think I said “That’s fancy” about a million times; it’s becoming my catch phrase.

Kari also stopped by to take home her precious gift that I detailed here.

From the minute I saw this piece at a garage sale, I knew it was meant for her. And she was ecstatic to haul it home on the plane when it was too darn expensive to mail to her. Kari loves the atomic age and I was so glad I found this piece for her!

Now, onto a few other finds. I came across a baking sheet covered with some sort of contact paper. I have no idea how old it is, but it’s very mid-century fabulous. ($2.50)

I also found this Hull flower pot. Love the colors. ($3.25)

I picked up some things I don’t usually go for at a Brown Button Estate Sale; perhaps I’m getting adventurous at 30. I’ve been doing this almost a year now. First, some vintage stencils, which I adore ($6).

Next, a couple of cool old keys ($2.75):

Three handmade pot holders ($.75):

A small silver jewelry box ($2):

And four vintage dress patterns. LOVE! ($8.50)

Finally, inspired by some highly creative crafty crafting by my friend Megan at Homemade Ginger, I’ve been on the lookout for some vintage sheets I can cut up. I can’t remember how much I paid for the full sheet, but the pillow cases I got for $.50. Excited to be crafty with them!

So that’s the update for now. I feel like I’ve gotten away from the treasures side of this blog, so I’m getting back in the swing. Coming up this month is a house tour (yes, you get to see all the treasures I find too precious to sell!), a tutorial on how to turn shutters into message boards, repurposing barn wood, and more! I’m very excited about this year!

Happy hunting!

P.S. You can find some of these treasures for sale on my Etsy…see the link on the right!

Christmas Times 2011

30 Dec

I think I’m finally back in the swing of things after four Christmas celebrations, lots of awesome family time and loads of great gifts. Liam survived his second Christmas and we actually did find places for all his new toys (and million books, the kid loves books) in our humble home.

As a tradition I’ve taken to baking goods for my coworkers, but since I work remotely now, I had to wrangle up some old coworkers to take the stuff. I’m sure they complained. A lot. Without further ado, here is the 2011 Shipps Christmas Sampler:



This year the sampler included my famous cream cheese almond butter cookies, chocolate/pecan covered marshmallows, coconut macaroons, Martha Stewart’s white chocolate covered chocolate mint cookies, and mint layered fudge.

In more vintage-y news, Liam sported an awesome vintage vest I found at an estate sale for the Shipps’ Christmas Eve party. Here’s the best picture we came away with, playing with his cousin and bff Lucas (they’re exactly 9 months apart and Liam is starting to catch up, except in the hair department). 🙂 Naturally I had to pair the vest with an equally vintage (looking) turtleneck. I mean what else do you wear with a vest as awesome as that? He was a hit.

In gifts news:

  • I’m happy to announce that I am now the owner of an amazing new camera so this blog will no longer feature fuzzy and/or dark photos! i.e. see sampler photos above.
  • I also received an awesome new set of kitchen knives, which I’m deathly afraid of because they can slice right through my finger, but I also desperately needed to replace my 8-year-old cheap wedding present knives that are falling apart. My soon-to-be-arthritic wrist couldn’t handle cutting up one more sweet potato into fries.
  • There were loads of other presents, too many to note, and I’m happy to have a little money to spend on myself, which rarely happens.
  • My (and the Rock Star’s) present to myself with all my saved up Christmas monies was a new pair of glasses. My old ones lasted a good three years of constant abuse and finally fell apart at Thanksgiving. Imagine my brother and I on the floor at our Grandparents’ house under the table dragging the central vac hose covered with my Grandma’s nylons over the shag green carpet to find one tiny little washer. Too much? The glasses were doomed. So here’s the new me.
  • I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. I feel spoiled rotten, but that’s a rare feeling, so I revel in it. I have one of the best families in the whole world and there’s not a day that goes by that I’m not thankful for each of them. Have a safe and happy new year everyone!