Thursday, December 13, 2012

Before & After Candlesticks and so much more!

I took a little jaunt last weekend to visit a new-to-me thrift about 20 minutes away. Although my trip was right in the middle of the hustle-and-bustle Christmas shopping season, all was quiet inside the store and I found some lovely treasures to take home and play with.

I had a small thrifter-in-training with me, so I was a little hurried and distracted, but I still managed to do a thorough examination of all my favorite departments: housewares, Christmas, kids' clothing, toys, furniture, and books.

In the housewares department, I found these glass candlesticks. I must admit, a year ago, I would have walked right by these but then a friend picked up a set and ever since, I've seen them in a new light. I still wasn't quite ready to pick up a pair until I saw these. They were pretty filthy on the shelf, but I saw their potential.

Once home, I cleaned them up and they were really beautiful! I wish I'd taken a post-scrub shot, but I was busy. I had finally, finally ordered some of the ubiquitous looking glass paint and I was determined to use it...and right that second! So once clean, I wasted no time spraying coat after coat of the paint and vinegar/water mixture and rubbing and dabbing in between coats. This is what I ended up with:

To be honest, I'm not sure if I like them or not. Part of me wishes I had left them alone, and part of me wants to add one more layer of the paint. What do you think? I will probably be using them for winter holidays, surrounded by greenery and candlelight, so small imperfections won't matter but I do want them to add to, and not detract from, the festive atmosphere! I think I can remove the paint with fingernail polish (at least that is what blogland tells me, so it must be true), so please advise!

I also was able to feed my obsession with vintage Christmas tree ornaments. I found this unique group of felted ornaments, some in need of a little TLC but in the all-important turquoise that I love so. I can't wait to add them to my vintage theme tree, which is now standing in my sitting room, waiting for lights and ornaments. I will definitely be posting some pictures once it is completely decked out in vintage finery!

I also purchased a box of what I thought at the time were plain vintage Christmas ball ornaments; in fact, I almost put them back on the shelf. But since it was a complete box, and the box itself was still in good condition and was kind of cool looking, I brought them home and am so glad. When I took them all out, they are not balls at all but teardrops! What a find!

I also picked up this set of three vintage candlesticks. Yes, they are brass, which is definitely not my favorite metal finish, but I adore the shape and thought I could do something to freshen them up. A quick bit of research confirmed they are vintage Telaflora candlesticks. From the label on the underside, I'd guess maybe 1960s but I could be way off on that. I'll have to do some brainstorming to come up with a plan to update these--a new finish for sure but something that will highlight their striking shape.  

Before departing the housewares department to move onto the books, I selected one final item. I simply couldn't leave this little wooden bark-trimmed bowl behind. Not when I am still collecting props for a woodland fairy birthday party. Actually, this bowl would be quite versatile; I am sure that I could use it in the implementation of a number of different party themes. And if you are still shaking your head over the thought of someone actually paying money to bring this bowl into their home, be comforted by the fact that it was 65 cents. For that price, I'd be content to let my son use it to scoop up dirt in the backyard.

I also scooped up some more books for my kids, nothing terribly noteworthy except for one cute little vintage book that I might give to a friend. So to wrap this up, I am going to leave you with a thrift transformation that is still in progress. Remember my little stool?

Well, I cleaned it, popped out the top, removed the dated fabric, mixed up some homemade chalk paint and got to work giving it a makeover. I'm not quite finished, but this is what it looks like now.

Obviously, it needs its seat back, and I have purchased some fabric but I'm not quite sure I like how it looks with the frame. Not sure you can tell from this photograph, but the paint actually has grey tones, not ivory. So the fabric really needs to have a grey undertone, too, and I just didn't do a good job matching it up when I selected it. I think the piece could be very cute, and deserves a really fabulous fabric, so I think I need to make a return trip to the fabric store. I also want to finish waxing the piece. The wax made a huge difference, I was surprised. Anyway, I'll keep posting updates until it is finished--hopefully soon!

So that's it. Not sure I'll be able to make it out again before Christmas, but if I do, you can be sure I will share my finds with you. In the meantime, I will post pictures of my vintage tree once it is up. Good luck with your Christmas preparations, all!

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