Wednesday, August 29, 2012

thrift store finds: book storage

As previously mentioned, we keep a lot of books around. Our collection of kids' books is especially large, since I've been collecting continuously since I was a kid myself. The seven years I spent in bookstores increased this collection exponentially, and now that there's an actual child in the house, the need for book storage has gotten critical.

There's a bright red magazine/book rack in the living room; this one (formerly a magazine rack, found at Goodwill on 1/2-price day for $3) will be indigo-colored soon.

Martha Stewart Living gave me the idea for this solution, a wooden cd crate we attached to the side of the changing table. Wooden cd and tape crates at the thrift stores run between $2 and $4, depending on condition. Single-bottle wine crates also work well for this.

Of course, since we moved the changing table out a couple of weeks back, the crate isn't currently in use, but I have a future home in mind for it.

In fact, I have a couple more ideas up my sleeve, so I'll be visiting this topic again. In the meantime, though, I have a pretty awesome recent thrifty find to share with you.

This book rack, formerly from a classroom or library, has the benefit of face-forward book display space, as well as a couple of traditional bottom shelves for more toys and books.

I also love the way it leans back to prevent tipping.

The kiddo and I picked it up for $30 at BRING, and then I measured and marked it for the Mister. He cut about eight inches off the bottom so that the height would be better for the chosen location.

I can't tell you how much I love it. We all do!

Hey, bonus thrifty finds: many of the books on the shelf are thrifted! Alice in Wonderland ran me $2.99 at the Village; Goodnight Moon and The Bremen Town Musicians were 49 cents each at Goodwill. There are tons more on the shelf that I picked up second-hand, but those three you can actually see in the above photos. Goodwill is a great source for us, as their kids' books are all 49 cents. That's less than I'd pay for late library book fines (I promise you, it's true).

Okay. There are a few of my thrifty book storage finds; you can check out some more over on my Book Storage Pinterest Board.

My thrift store obsessions are kids' books and storage; what are you always on the hunt for?

Thanks for reading!

p.s. You can make these photos larger just by clicking on them, but you probably already knew that.

Linking up to:

Simple Design's Thrift Haul
Cap Creations' Thrifty Love
Thrift Share Monday
I'm Crafty!
Mop it Up Mondays

Sunday, August 26, 2012

naptime mischief

Awhile back, I wrote about the mural I painted in my kiddo's bedroom. Here's one of the images from that post:

My guy's two-and-a-half now, and we're trying to accommodate his increasing independence. The idea of converting the crib to a toddler bed turned out to be a bad one though, so within a couple of days, we'd converted it back.

Unfortunately, one of the picture frames I'd removed from the bed's new location had left an air bubble under the paint. And, well, you can probably guess what happened from there.

All told, he peeled all the paint off of an area about eighteen inches across. He must have gotten started as soon as I'd closed the bedroom door; this wasn't the only piece of mischief he'd accomplished . . . yikes. That kid is something else.

Happily, we'd built the wall ourselves and painted it using modern paint, so lead exposure wasn't a concern here. Still, that was a bad time.

I phoned my dad for advice on fixing the wall.

His solution called for spreading joint compound over the entire area (available pre-mixed in little buckets at the hardware store), nice and thin. I let it cure for almost a week in the heat, then rolled some primer over the patch, and three coats of paint leftover from the original room painting (lucky lucky!).

Next, I pulled out my acrylic paints for repair and blended the old and new together as best I could, plus one apple.

It looks different from before . . .

but I think I actually like it better now. So far so good; the new apple hasn't tempted him yet!

So, what unexpected projects have you taken on due to your little troublemakers? Do tell!

Thanks for reading.

p.s. you can make these photos larger just by clicking on them, but you probably already knew that.

Linking up to:

Mop it Up Mondays

Friday, August 24, 2012

scout (spokane, washington)

We took a road trip last month to my cousin's wedding in Montana, which took us across four states in the Northwest; there were, of course, highlights and lowlights, as there are on any trip.

One of my favorite unexpected stops was at Scout in Spokane, Washington.

I think I could have the stylists for Scout design my bedroom and fall asleep every night with good, outdoorsy dreams. The signs and logos set the mood. This logo is on the front window; the arrow in the photo above points to the front door.

Camp/industrial style, very retro, very cozy. This sign leads from the lobby of the historic Montvale Inn to the restaurant.

Unlit marquee letters (you know how I feel about those) are displayed on bare brick. Tables and chairs are all mismatched and vintage, as are the light fixtures.

The old Montvale Apartments sign and exposed pipe and vent-work decorate the high ceilings. It's an atmosphere that's cozy yet open.

Windowed wooden doors with the words, "Girls' Gymnasium" on the frame lead to the bar, complete with wooden cigar-store Indian, wooden duck, and pool tables.

A stenciled coffee sack over the front counter. I think the hanging baskets are light fixtures.

I could do without the hunting trophies, but I like the wall detail a lot.

Wool camp blanket curtains hang on rails near the door.

Cornbread in a cast iron skillet with a big lump of honey butter. (Yum!)

Belgian waffle with a big lump of butter. (Yum!)

Eggs, sausage, hash browns and toast. (I hear this was "Yum!", too.)

The nearby neighborhood (including the historic Fox theater).

I planned out many details of our trip, but this place was a complete accident. I'll save that for my post on the Montvale Inn, though, so come on back, y'hear?

Thanks for reading.

You can make these photos larger simply by clicking on them, but you probably already knew that.

Linking up to:

Mop It Up Mondays

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

progress (part two): a new closet door

Follow my blog with Bloglovin, if you'd like!

I promised to follow up my post about our thrifty guest room makeover with an update about the closet. And here, a little more than a year later, is the finished product.

I wish I had a "before" image to show you, because the new version looks so much better.

When we moved in, this little closet was unfinished looking, built of 1970s wood paneling and fence boards. Painted barn red. Aack. Trust me, it was U-G-L-Y. And though it doesn't need an alibi, I'm giving it one.

I added sound-proof acoustical board to the back; new shelf supports, boards, and trim to the shelves; and new flooring to the tall side, then caulked and painted everything in coat after coat of primer and paint. Already, it looked much better, but I wanted a door of some sort to cover up the storage. I saw someone use a roller shade as a closet door in a magazine (Living, maybe?) and inspiration struck: I started hunting down an old classroom map.

This one is just about the perfect size. It's a bit outdated (so the population chart at the bottom is really off), but then, so are the globes in my globe collection, and they're not hurting anyone (we teach the kiddo using a new one, so the older ones are just for decoration).

Does it count as a thrifty find if I scored the map on eBay? It only ran me $30.

And I think it looks kinda awesome.

It's pretty easy to hang one of these, if you can find one with the metal roller mechanism intact.

It's a simple matter of two s-hooks, two brackets, and some screws from the hardware store.

Because this is the spare bedroom, we use the closet to store excess canned food (no pantry + small kitchen lead to this sort of behavior), printers, camping gear, and the goods for my Etsy shop. We used to keep the stroller in here, too, but it's been outgrown by my two-year-old, so we donated it to the thrift store this week. One item in, one item out!

The best part, I think, is that I can set the map at any height to hide everything, or just the stuff at the top, or anything in between. It's pretty great.

Thanks for reading! Have you been doing anything awesome with maps lately? Do tell!

p.s. you can make these photos larger just by clicking on them, but you probably already knew that.

Linking up to:

Simple Design's Thrift Haul
Cap Creations' Thrifty Love
Southern Hospitality
Thrift Share Monday
I'm Crafty!
Mop it Up Mondays

Monday, August 20, 2012

thrift store finds: terra cotta bread pan

As a college student, I had an assortment of pots and pans that mostly came from random garage sales. I wasn't picky — I was broke, so I bought whatever cheap, serviceable pots and pans I could find for a buck. This collection included a teflon coated frying pan and pot, an aluminum bread pan and muffin pan, some cheap, non-stick cookie sheets, and other things I needed along the way.

Graduation brought a stainless steel set of pots and pans from my parents (so long, teflon!), and I'd picked up a couple of heavy Lodge cast iron skillets along the way. We also got a new set of non-stick baking sheets and muffin tins as wedding gifts . . .

Recently, though, I started reading about the dangers associated with non-stick coatings (including teflon's propensity for killing birds with fumes) and the fact that these coatings are being phased out (by law) in the next few years. And I've read for awhile about the dangers possibly associated with aluminum (no one reputable is fully backing these up, but there have been links between aluminum and Alzheimer's).

And because I'm mama to a sweet kid who likes to help cook, I decided that now was the time to start phasing out the remainder of our non-stick and aluminum cookware, and investing in stainless steel, cast iron, and stoneware.

This can be expensive, but I did manage to find this heavy, terra cotta bread pan at a thrift store recently, in perfect condition, for under $5.

As a bonus, it was locally made right near here, at Planned Pottery in Eugene, Oregon, in 1979.

Pretty awesome that it's settling in here, to bake my family's bread for years to come!

Thanks for reading!

p.s. you can make these photos larger just by clicking on them, but you probably already knew that.

Linking up to:

Simple Design's Thrift Haul
Cap Creations' Thrifty Love
Southern Hospitality
Thrift Share Monday

Sunday, August 19, 2012

lascaux elk

My kiddo got a hold of some markers the other day . . . because I bought them and then left them out. I try convincing him that markers look best on paper, but he usually channels his inner tattoo artist in the end. Sweet, funny little thing.

This one looks like a Lascaux elk, I think.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

hometown tourist: the oregon country fair

"Hometown Tourist" is an occasional series in which I tell tales about our adventures around town, and actually, the whole state of Oregon. Take a peek and come exploring with us!

Phew! It was actually a little bit of a challenge narrowing our photos of this year's Oregon Country Fair in Veneta.

1) wizard and flamingo costumes on a break under some trees

2) "sexy" recycling bins (the fair aims to be 100% waste free)

3) energy park beyond the crowd

4) the famous condom rose booth has been there forever

5) tree costumes sans occupants

6) drums for sale on a vendor cart

7) totem pole costume made of recyclables (mostly corrugated cardboard)

8) vendor booth with costumes and leather flower clips

9) sign at the entrance to "Ark Park" (Archaeology Park)

10) fire-starting demonstration at Ark Park

11) northwest tipi

12) utilikilts; one of the fair's fashion trends

13) musicians performing a set in the shade

14) mosaic sculpture dragon bench

15) more musicians on the banjo

16) newman's commedia mask company booth (one of our favorites every year)

17) the trumbly designs booth

18) the kids' art booth

19) a nifty papier mache shark costume and an incongruous man in a suit and bowler

20) puppet theater, with large puppets

21) entrance to the hoarse chorale stage area

22) twig dragon hide-out and young musicians

23) metal flower sculptures and a Leave it to Beaver-ish sign

24) painted hawk (or falcon?) outside the baths and sauna at the ritz

25) etched glaze pottery from yogagoat pottery

26) large kaleidoscope sculpture near the entrance to the fair

27) the kaleidoscope shows through to the person on the other side

28) the shape of this gigantic globe vexes him

29) walking towards the car and the setting sun

Everyone who lives here should go once, or at least that's how the saying goes. :)

Thanks for reading! Does your hometown or the surrounding area celebrate a large, three-day hippie festival in the middle of summer? Do tell!

p.s. you can make these photos larger just by clicking on them, but you probably already knew that.