Sunday January 29, 2012 | Comments
Hi everyone. Found a few things this past week while thrifting. To be honest, there's been a pickup in the number of goodies at the thrift, but we've been good and have avoided bring a lot of stuff home. Just too many boxes of other inventory to list. I might start posting pics of stuff we DIDN'T bring home, like a lot of the other thrifters do.
This Swedish Dala horse was actually an estate sale pickup from last weekend. These Dala items are fairly popular in our shops, and usually quick sellers. I picked it up on Sunday, listed it within a few hours and it took only a few days for it to be snapped up. Keep in mind, recently we've seen that there are newer knockoffs being sold by chain "import" stores.
I still pick up almost any Ken Edwards pieces I see, if they're reasonable. I should probably cut down on these too, because while they do sell, they definitely don't go as fast as some of the other items we have.
Lastly, I got all excited about this Dansk multi-taper candleholder from France designed by Jens Quistgaard. It actually looked horribly and blackened before I was able to clean it up using silver polish. Still a lot to clean. But I didn't realize that this was a fairly common item. Dansk silverplate stuff is difficult to find for us, so any time we find it is exciting. May just keep this one instead of listing it.
By the way, thanks everyone for playing the Thrifting Roundup "Pop Quiz" from last week. Hope to have a few more fun things like this on the blog in future.
Monday January 23, 2012 | Comments
Hi everyone. As promised, here's a photo of some of our thrifted (mostly, about 80%) ceramics from the past 5-6 years. Actually, these weren't meant to be in this shelf - this was originally a CD/LP storage shelf at the old house that I built awhile ago. When we were cleaning up and finding ceramics all over the old place, it made it easier to collect everything in one place for later packing.
So, I was thinking of doing a #thriftbreak quiz thingy just for fun:
How many companies / designers / manufacturers can you recognize just from looking at the photo ?
Click on the pic to zoom. Sorry, I know it's a really cruddy picture - had a hard time w/ light in the room. And I know from the angle, some of the flatter items are impossible to identify.
Actually, this is the type of identification/knowledge problem you might have to deal with in poorly lit, crowded thrift stores and estate sales anyhow... where you don't even get to look at the base of the item right away (or things aren't marked at all). I've tried to get better over the years at recognizing things on sight without having to pick them up. It saves a TON of time... but I still struggle with remembering and recognizingthem all. And I often still need to look at the base. It's a fun game to play while you're thrifting - try and name everything you see.
OK, have fun!
P.S. Hint, most of these are California pottery. Er, also... a few I haven't even ID-ed yet!
Saturday January 21, 2012 | Comments
Hi everyone. Do you remember those T-shirts from the 80s that said something like "Grandma went to Hawaii and all I got was this lousy old shirt?" That was sort of the theme from Friday - "Bryan went on thriftbreak and all he got was this lousy old Copco spice rack"...
OK, so the spice rack is actually something I was happy to find - and it's certainly not lousy. Pretty famous design by Michael Lax. But I certainly didn't have further luck in the 7 or so thrift stores visited. Part of it is that I've been trying to buy less items for the shop for the time being - I probably put down 5-6 small things I ordinarily would've picked up.
Anyhow, it was pretty nice to find this Copco rack that still had most of the bottles - all of which are still sealed (and surprisingly they still smell fresh). The whole thing was taped up and looked rather sad, but it cleaned up quite well. I'm still not sure if we'll keep it - we do need a spice rack solution at our new place, but this one may not fit in the cabinet. If not, look for it to appear in one of the shops.
OK - I'm probably going to run a special edition of Thrifting Roundup on Monday using the old photo of our ceramics that I was talking about last week... will be a "simple" pop quiz thingy. Until then, happy thrifting!
Sunday January 15, 2012 | Comments
Hi everyone. We're going to be playing catchup with our thrifting posts, as we're still settling in. These finds were actually from last week:
We're also still experimenting with photos in our new place. It may not be feasible to use our usual setup on the hutch from the old place, but I guess we'll see.
Thrifting has picked up in the new year after being mostly barren over the holidays. The blue floral pattern coffee pot is an Arabia of Finland piece in the Faenza Blue pattern. I coudn't believe it was just sitting in the front shelf of a thrift near us that has become notoriously bad over the past year. Needless to say, we grabbed it, put it in our Etsy shop, and had it sell within a day.
The shakers next to the coffee pot are Ken Edwards pieces. We haven't found his shakers before though we've seen others who've found them. Vases are the most common thing we find, though there's a large variety of items we come across which makes it interesting.
Next to the shakers is an interesting handmade bell with a bird on the handle, that's unfortunately missing it's clapper. However, I had to pick it up... because actually this one seems to be hand signed "David Stewart" on the bottom! We've found many David Stewart Lions Valley pieces before, but they usually have a sticker. Then, we know that there are studio pieces of his that have a "DS" chopmark on back. But this is the first time I'd found one with a full signature. Still not 100% it's his, but it'd be a mighty big coincidence if not...
The white footed bowl in the front is a really nice California Cleminsons piece. This is from a unnamed, modern-looking line produced in the 50s that is sort of unusual for the company. They're mostly known for cuter figurines, trivets, dinnerware. It has the identifying circle stamp on the bottom which is sometimes obscured or only partially printed - something good to know if you see it in the thriftstores.
Lastly, the Fire King jadeite chili bowl was quite a surprise. The last time I've found jadeite in this good condition in a thrift was around two years ago. We actually have a small number of jadeite pieces that we should probably get rid of... along with tons and tons of other collectibles. Look for those to appear in the shop over the year.
All right - I was planning on posting a last photo I took of some of our ceramics collection that's still at the old house. But I'll save that for the next roundup. Happy thrifting!
Sunday January 8, 2012 | Comments
Hi everyone, and Happy New Year since we've missed saying it. We've finally moved into the new place! There's still so much to do (and still tons to move from the old place), but here's a taste of what the new digs may be like.
Truthfully, we've been moving things over slowly over the past month - but yesterday was the "big move" where we finally brought the bed and other essentials. For those who haven't been reading the blog, we've been working on this house, which used to be my grandma's place, for over EIGHT months now.
The renovations took so long because we did most of it ourselves (except for the floor refinishing, large sliding door installation and heater/aircon central installation). We did it that way because we didn't have funds to pay someone to do it.
If I had to do it all over again, I might've even tried taking out loans instead of trying to do it ourselves. I basically put work on the back burner, and the house became a full time job. Six days a week, I'd drive over here at 9am, work on the house until 4pm and then go home to try and do whatever I could on the A La Modern shop. You're going to laugh, but it was like doing a Master's thesis or something (yep I've had experience with that before, and I never worked this hard!).
Anyhow, we'll probably be posting more pics later of the house as we put more things together. And hopefully, we'll resume our thrifting posts next week as well. The main shop should also be re-opened next week as well, although our Etsy outlet has remained open. Thanks everyone for sticking with us through all the house renovation drama, and thanks for all the kind words of support.
Happy thrifting in the New Year!