Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Credenza: Part 2

Picking up from yesterday's part 1 post...

I love finding these pieces, but one of the best parts is doing the research to date the item and determine the manufacturer and name. There was no label on this credenza. I did some poking around and found an ink stamped date of September 16, 1963 on the underside of the top.

On the opposite side of the interior of the piece I found the number 887 embossed into the wood. Next to that was an IBM sticker.

I started to get excited! Why so excited when I saw the IBM sticker? Back in the day I worked for a dealer of Herman Miller and Knoll contract/residential furniture (that's where my furniture obsession started). It seemed that all of the larger corporations would spring for good quality/iconic furniture for their offices. IBM=large corporation=quality/iconic furniture.

Here she is! Old girl is a little rough around the edges:

I still did not know her name, so I asked the Facebook and Twitter homies and got almost immediate responses that this looked to be a Knoll piece from the Florence Knoll collection. Baaaaahhhh, I die!

Then I took to 1stdibs and quickly found my credenza, albeit in much better condition, for about $3,000! No way...I die...again!

The photos of other pieces like mine helped to answer a few questions I posed in part 1 of this post: The leather straps are meant to be the pulls to slide the doors open/closed and the single hole originally had a locking mechanism.

This will be our (me and the hubster, he has still agreed to help!) first redo. This will not be a rushed job since a) we don't know what we are doing, b) I don't want to jack up this cool piece of mid century goodness, and c) I want to do this piece justice with a good restoration.

Now, I turn to you my friends! I have questions and am hoping some of my mid-century loving followers can help! 

1. What to do about the laminate top. Everything is solid wood except for a thin piece of laminate on the top. This piece has some faint scratches. Any way to restore the top?
2. What is the exact manufacturers name of this piece? Florence Knoll credenza/Florence Knoll buffet/Florence Knoll for Knoll credenza, etc...?
3. Is the number 887 a style number or maybe an order of production number?
4. The newer production Florence Knoll line has the legs at the outer corners of the furniture piece and not tucked underneath like the original production. Why?

Please pass this post along to those in the know who might not be followers of this blog 'cause I need all of the help I can get on this redo!

If you want to see all of the pics I took go to the album here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Credenza: Part I

We have been looking for a credenza forever, probably since last August. Our old one was this particle board, mass manufactured, hunk of junk that held a tube TV. After we got married, the hubster quickly banished the tube tv and bought himself a man-sized flat screen for our living room. The particle board thingy just didn't work any longer and I Craigslisted it for $20. Ever since then our media/gaming/DVDs have been sitting on the floor a la dorm style. Look at all of those ugly cords, ack!

I do not prefer the look of the traditional entertainment center and have been pining for a cool credenza. A fellow blogger, Dana over at Mid 2 Mod, has lately been posting loads of ├╝ber gorgeous long and low mid-century credenzas on her Facebook page. Every time she does, I day dream of finding one on the side of the road, since that would be the only way I could afford such a fabulous piece!

This past Saturday, I was heading to the store and dreading the thought of dodging the masses at Wally world, when I saw a beacon of hope, which was really a nice big neon yard sale sign. I hung a quick right. As I did the yard sale drive by, I spotted a vintage looking credenza at the end of the driveway. I hit the brakes and hopped out.

I wasted no time checking out the credenza and its unique look. I ran my hand along the top and promptly acquired a large splinter in my thumb! Yes, the piece was rough, but it was solid and ripe for a redo. I asked the lady how much and she said 5 bucks. This is my kind of price range! She and her husband even loaded the credenza into the back of my ride, how nice. 

I turned around and went right back to the house. I had to get the monster splinter out of my thumb and unload my new find. Unloading would require the help of the hubby. Oh man, what was he going to think of this beat up piece of furniture? I backed into the drive and he came around the side of the house and said, "That was a quick trip to the store." I told him that I didn't quite make it because I saw a yard sale and scooped up our new 'entertainment center' (not 'credenza', he is a man's man and probably would have immediately said no if I used such a word) for 5 bucks. He helped me move it from the trunk to the garage and gave me kudos for the cheap find and said he'd help sand it down. SCORE! He didn't say no at least and he offered to help with the redo!

Here is a teaser picture:

As a lover of mid century modern furniture, I started wondering who was the manufacturer of the piece? When was it made? It had these odd leather straps on the slide doors, which at first didn't make sense. There was a hole in only one of the sliding doors. Why wouldn't the other have a hole to make it easy to pull either door open?

I began doing some Google and 1stdibs research and things started to get interesting!

Come back tomorrow for part 2 and full pictures of what turns out to be a nice mid-century find! CLICK HERE FOR PART 2

Attn: Minneapolis, Duluth, Des Moines Thrifters!

I am going on a trip soon and will be traveling through Minneapolis, Duluth, and Des Moines. The trip is for family time and fishing, but of course I have to seek out some cool thrifts along the way!

Since I will be dragging my hubby and parents along on these thrifting adventures (they don't quite know about this yet), my stops need to be limited to only the BEST most bomb-diggity thrifts. I am looking for two types of places: Thrifts with current fashions of the mid to high end nature with crazy-low pricing and vintage mid-century modern thrifts in a reasonable price range.

Not too much to ask, right?

So, this is where you come in. Please give a shout out to your absolutely fave thrifts in the areas mentioned. You can leave it here in the comments section, over at the Facebook page, or as a quick Tweet.

Thanks for your help!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Got 10 Minutes To Spare...Thrift!

Us fellow thrifters had a discussion over on the Facebook page the other day about when we find time to thrift. Some people sneak into the thrifts on their commute home and some stop in if they have a few minutes to spare before picking up the kiddos at work.

For myself, I found that I had about 10 minutes to spare yesterday between a run to the bank and a Dermatology appointment. Hmmm? What's a girl to do with that extra time?


I ran into a Goodwill thrift that was along my route and breezed through shoes, purses, housewares, and then very quickly through my size section of tops. This cute little number was poking out of the rack:

A Limited tunic top in an awesome pattern! I rushed to go try it on and there were no fitting rooms open, ack! Oh well, I found a mirror and whipped it on over my Lite Brite t-shirt. Stunning! It was blousy in all the right areas and would cover my tush if I chose to wear it with leggings. $3.59, sold!

So, when do you find a few extra minutes to sneak away and thrift?

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Thrifting Can Be Dangerous Y'all!

My number must not have been up yesterday, but then again, it kind of was.

While out in the thrifting jungle yesterday morning, I was in driving in a well-to-do, quiet neighborhood where usually the only thing you have to worry about dodging on the street is run a way sprinkler system. This day was different. The narrow street was lined with cars and people were gleefully attending the neighborhoods annual yard sale. Many bargains were awaiting!!

The happiness of the day was shattered when an armed criminal in a stolen truck barreled through the neighborhood, driving through yards, and threatening lives. Nope, I was not kidding when I wrote the title of this post! I ended up staring him down head-on in my car as I was about to allow a family of 4 to cross the street in front of me. Long story short, if it weren't for the timing of the good Lord, I surely would have ended up in the hospital if not worse and that family with the 2 small children would surely have not made it. Turns out the bad guy had been evading the police for most of the morning and would continue to do so through the afternoon, taking a hostage along the way. The authorities later caught the man and the hostage was unharmed. It turns out that there were many close calls, but by a miracle, no one was seriously hurt.

Dang y'all thriftin' is dangerous and stuff!!

So...why did I say my number kind of was up?


A full set of vintage primary colored Pyrex nesting mixing bowls!

I have been thrift searching for this set for a whole year, ever since my obsession de 'rex started. And literally about 5 minutes after I about bit the dust, and whilst still in a daze, I found them! Here's how it went down: After the whole fugitive from the law thing, I gathered myself and drove to the next sale. I was still a bit flustered when I walked up to the sale and didn't even see the beautiful primary colored mixing bowl set which was right up front! I was about to exit the sale and they caught my eye. Oh man, was I excited. The woman had $20 bucks on them, which I would have happily paid, but we worked down to $15 and they were mine...ALL MINE!

Ok, enough of my Pyrex bragging! Share with all of us a time when you had been hunting forever for a thrifted item and then found it. You can do it below in the comments or c'mon over to the Facebook page and post it there.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Thrift Store Lesson, Does Your Man Need A Belt?

If you follow me on Twitter you would have seen this from the other day: FYI: You can't return belts to the , even on the same day. Meh...hubby is coming along next time!

The hubby needed a new belt. Bless him, he is not picky, and will wear things to the bitter end (translation: until I throw them away). He typically leaves early in the morning to go to the gym and leaves in gym clothes with his work attire packed up. I didn't notice until the day when he dressed for work at home, how horrible his belt looked. He of course didn't care and said no one would notice. I replied that every woman in his department would notice and wonder how his wife could let him out of the house with such a tattered belt!

Prior to me being thrifty, I would have promptly gone to the mall and purchased a nice leather double sided belt at the tune of $45 some dollars. But now, being the thriftster that I am, I was on a mission to find a good leather belt at the thrifts! Off to the Goodwill I went and found 3 belts, and one for myself of course, that were new or nearly new. I was so stoked!

The Mr. came home and guess what, the belts didn't fit. Darn it! We went back together so that I could return them and have him there for sizing, but nope, no returns on belts. How could I not have known this being a regular thrift store shopper?

Thrift Store Lesson Learned: Always know the stores return policy! 

I was fretting over my defeat and the hubby told me "Just sell them in your store!" He always knows the right thing to say :)

Here they are and you can find the deets over in the ebay store. Two are new and one looks to be barely worn or maybe just used on a display. I ship for FREE in the U.S.!

 Medium brown belt in size Medium HERE for $14.95 with free US shipping.
 Dark brown belt in size Medium HERE for $14.95 with free US shipping.

Black belt in size Medium HERE for $18.95 with free US shipping.

Share a time where you learned a thrift store lesson with the return policy...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Weddings + Babies = Thrift Store Shopping

This summer is teeming with weddings and babies. That means receptions and showers galore and the yummy cake that goes along with them. I heart cake!

I was in need of a summery dress for these events and already knew where I would head to find it...the Goodwill.

Here's how it went down:

I alerted the social media outlets (Facebook and Twitter) that I was leaving to go to the Goodwill on a mission for a dress.
Drove to Goodwill.
Parked at door.
Went to dress section.
Selected 2 dresses.
Tried on dresses.
Looked for Pyrex.
Found dishwasher damaged butterfly gold Cinderella bowls.
Cried about the abuse of Pyrex I had just seen.
Got myself together.
Went and paid for the dress.
Came back home and alerted the social media peeps that I had completed my G-dub mission successfully!

Within 1 hour round trip my mission was complete and all for $5.49! Whoever says that they don't have time to thrift shop has never done it! I would have spent the same amount of time, if not more with all of the distractions, at the mall. And, I would have paid about $100 retail for this pretty Jessica Howard dress.

The dress is a cotton/spandex combo and is fully lined. The cut and slight pleating at the waist means no Spanx! Ladies, I know you understand that one! Spanx in the summer = ack! And of course, I belt everything to break up the outfit and this dress was no different. That patent belt was acquired brand new on another GW trip for $3.99.

For all of my local girlfriends who read this blog, no need to ask what I am wearing to the weddings/showers this summer, 'cause this is it!

What is your fave dress that you have found while thrifting? Share the deets below, or better yet, come show off a picture, where you found the dress, and (optional) how much you paid over on the Facebook page.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Readers Choice: Placement of Thrifted Artwork

My dearest readers, I need your help! Remember that cool piece of artwork that I scored for $4? Well, it needs to get up on the wall and the hubby and I can't decide where it should go. I know the fan base of the blog here is made up of thirfters, DIY'ers, and overall creative folk, so I figured I would let you pick where this artwork should go!

Here is the art:

The dimensions of the piece are 31"x31" and here are the space options:

The first photo is of the far wall in our living room. Should we place the art to the right or left of the window? Another placement option would be the large blank wall as you go up the stairs. Should it go closer to the light switch or closer to the door on the left?

Share your two cents below or over at the Facebook page!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

City Wide Yard Sale...Score!

Oooo yes, I love it when this happens: A city wide yard sale! A tiny town about 10 minutes from where I live had a big ol' yard sale and the prices were all next to nothing. I had been getting a bit irritated by all of the high prices I was running into at yard sales. I mean, really, if I wanted to pay half of retail I would just go to the clearance section at the stores. And don't give me that "well, I saw it on ebay for ___ dollars." Well then take the time and sell it on ebay and not at your yard sale! Ok, I am off my high horse now...let's get to the bargains!

I scored this large piece of artwork for $4 from a stylish couple who had moved to L.A. and were back to clear out their storage unit. This kind of artwork typically sells at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for upwards of a hundred bucks so I definitely feel I got a bargain. The hubby liked it too!
The shampoo and the Dan Brown book were 50 cents each.
The cute striped espadrilles were $1 and the shorts were also a buck.

Not too bad, eh?

Question du jour: Have you been running into higher prices at the yard sales?