Category Archives: Thrifting

Not the Momma! (Moma)

At our house growing up we used to watch the show “Dinosaurs” and all I really remember is the baby dinosaur (whose mischevious antics reminded us of our own baby of the family) beating the dad dinosaur on the head and saying “Not the momma!”  Like so:

In this case instead of “Not the Momma!” I’m angling towards “Not the Moma!” – as in the New York Museum of Modern Art.  Here’s the back story after that painful transition — JT and I decided to check out a new Savers that opened up in Crestwood a few weeks back.  I was strolling the art aisle when I saw an interesting piece that had a nice plexiglass wrapped frame.  I flipped it over to see the price and was struck by this:


A MOMA sticker?  In the Savers store in Crestwood, Missouri?  For $5, a cool acrylic frame, an interesting composition on the other side and the mystery of a MOMA sticker, we paid up and scampered out.  There were some screws holding the whole assembly together so we got home, cued up the Elvis Costello and began playing history detectives.


According to the sticker and our friend Wikipedia, this is what the front should be.


A gold chloride toned print by the French photographer Eugene Atget.  However Wikipedia also told me that this is also in the Yale University Art Gallery.  I guess that could refer to just the original and maybe there are prints out there.  However,  New Haven is a long way from STL so . . . here’s what was paired up with the MOMA tag:


I’m not good with art terms but it appears to be an assembled paper and ink/paint piece.  The mystery deepens — when I turned this piece over, there was some writing on the back:


“Ciulei (chew-lay) Dancing for the Grey Female” and signed Rev Sullies (?).  Google has not been kind to me on this one.  Anyone have any ideas?

At any rate, I like it and the frame it came in so I  think I’m going to display it on the back porch — there is one little sliver of wall between the kitchen door and the kitchen window on which to hang art.  I still wish it could have matched the tag and I could have had a crazy story to tell on Antiques Roadshow about how I ended up with a French photograph from the 1920s  . . . . Anyone else ever find something so bizarre at a thrift store?  I’m sure there’s some good stories of crazy thrift finds out there.  It’s all about the thrill of the hunt.  Cheers – CT

Goodwill – Pounds of Fun

It’s been a little while now, but St. Louis was recently blessed with a Goodwill by the Pound.  It’s a lot of crazytown where books and glassware are 79 cents per pound and everything else is 39 cents per pound.  They have these giant weigh scales at the checkout that you just roll your cart up on.  My kind of party.  I went when it first opened and it was pretty quiet.  JT and I went a little more recently and it was CROWDED!!!


It’s like a last chance Charlie for all this stuff.  They push out these giant blue bin/trucks every fifteen minutes or so and take others away (for good!  Exterminate!  Exterminate!  Sorry, husband started watching Dr. Who and even I can hear the evil shrieking from the next room.)  The furniture here is usually T.O.A.S.T. but there’s always at least something to be found of interest.

Here’s what I brought home:


Sometimes I wonder why I buy things but the thought of it maybe going away (forever!) means you just have to snatch it up and sent it back to Goodwill in a few months when you’ve regained your senses. (PS – Photo-editing faux-pas – that was supposed to say “produce” not “product”.  Chalk that one up to a Friday!)

So, random I know.  Next door to the Goodwill by the Pound is Warehouse of Stuff where we picked up two somethings for my basement lair/studio-in-the-works.  But I’m still stringing that one out for another day . . . .

Here’s what was going on while I was taking my “stuff” photos.  Idiot, ridiculous, lazy-a$$ dogs.


That couch’s days are numbered — it’s soon to move into the Black Horse Studio where the guys have been recording!  See more at (Also I think JT is going to post up his latest Craigslist find there soon.  He drug me up to Godfrey, IL last week for this thing.  And that’s how I got my rugs.  #lifeisatradeoff)

Have a great weekend and a Happy Easter everyone.  I should have some good stuff in the hopper next week (semi-Easter pun intended).  Cheers – CT

New Stuff!

Who doesn’t love new stuff?  I’ve been doing a January purge and somehow having some free space makes me think I need to hit the thrifts (plus we have been on a lamp quest as noted in the previous post . . .)

So what did I find while out and about?


A few little treasures and trinkets . . . (or random junk, the definition is all subjective!)

Like a banjo back from Kenrick Antique Mall.  Maybe someday JT will find a neck and put the whole thing together.  For now I just like it’s shiny (and nearly impossible to photograph) wood grain and cool eagle graphic.


(PS – We had the backdrop all set up for an eBay photo shoot so I thought I would try out my thrift find photography too.  It’s an old bed sheet stretched across the fireplace and clamped with two C-clamps to either corner.  Pretty classy. )

What else?  A little trophy-esque urn planter from St. Vincent de Paul.  I need another planter like I need a hole in the head but I just couldn’t leave this guy behind.  Right now it’s sitting empty on the window sill and I love it even like that.


Some great fabric (about 2 yards and probably 54″ wide) also from St. Vincent de Paul on the same trip.  I had just left the dentist and thought I needed a little treat. . . . Am I the only one who goes thrifting as an antidote to the dentist? At any rate, pillows to follow!


And this cool Moravian Star light . . .


It needs wiring and a good clean-up.  There is one little sliver of glass missing in one of the points but nothing major.  We looked at some places to put this up around the house during the great lamp debacle and I think it may be headed for the bedroom.  Considering they have a slightly larger one for sale at Shades of Light for $269 I think we got a steal!  The ladies checking out behind me at Value Village thought so too . . . I had to run out of there with my new light fixture pretty quick!

That’s my January thrifts — I’m going to try to steer clear for the rest of the month as I do a final purge of the house.  (And then, as usual when I drop off at Goodwill, I make my donation in the back and promptly walk around front and look through all their stuff for something new to drag home.  Oh well, maybe it’s a one in, one out situation.)

Speaking of one in, one out I also reposted the cute vinyl chair we had at the Green Shag Market sale on Craigslist.  The poor thing has been languishing in the basement holding up my wine shelves and it’s time for it to move on to a home free of chair-hoarders.  Do you want to adopt it?  Ad here.



You know everything looks better with a sheepskin on it!  Cheers – CT

Call it serendipity.

For some reason I kept finding these chairs in our alley (two pairs at two very different times.  Like months apart.)

For some reason they didn’t sell at the Green Shag sale . . .

I’m going with serendipity because now that we’ve brought in our tulip table (which in another hit of serendipity is also from Ikea), the wood chairs seem to be just the thing to balance out the white classic coolness of the table.

Here’s a few of the ‘before’ shots — first we had the rectangular wood table with the MCM sofa, then the Tulip with the MCM sofa and two Karim Rashid Oh Chairs. . .

The Oh chairs were a Christmas gift from my mom and I’m holding on to them for seating on the back porch (a scary room I have yet to share on the blog).  The MCM sofa found a new home via Craigslist and I hope it will be much loved.

(The image above shows our lovely St. Louis Rams getting destroyed while playing the Patriots in London.  I’m not much into sports but I am jealous that they got a trip to London. All in a Sunday afternoon — watching football, taking blog photos, folding laundry and making kale soup – you know, the usual.)

We’re loving our new setup — while I enjoyed having the sofa act as banquette seating, it’s also nice to be able to move the table a little closer to the windows and the new layout allows the drapes to be a little more flow-y and nice.  Now I have to go update our floor plan — again!  More changes to come  . . . . and I think in November we’re going to start some projects in the bedroom as well.  Last room of the house to get any attention!  Cheers – CT

(P.S. I would also call it serendipity that I bought so many faux sheepskins on our last Ikea run — they really help soften up the wood chairs and they help me get in the mood for all the fall/winter activities soon to be upon us.)

How to Survive a Parking Lot Sale

Drink lots of coffee?

Take the next three days off work?

Hire moving men? (One vendor did that. .  . I kind of though she was crazy and also crazy smart!)

So the Green Shag Parking Lot Sale was last Saturday and we survived!  Here’s the booth at first set-up:

And then with JT and I awkwardly posing in front of it once a kind Green Shagger offered to take our picture.

It was fun to sit in the back and people watch (once the sun came out).  I wandered around and had to work very hard to not buy anything.  I also got to meet all the STL bloggers — Nick from Mid-Century Midwest and Hannah from Secondhand Hannah.  And I got to chat with Mr. Modtomic and his GF for a bit.

I am happy to report that the majority of things sold.  I was surprised at the things that didn’t — the four schoolhouse chairs and the brown vinyl chair with the great chrome tube legs came back home to Living Analog.  One couple ended up buying a few of our “projects” — the MCM walnut chair without cushions, a side table that was still halfway green and halfway bare wood and the alley cat zebra scratch chair I clumsily attempted to reupholster.

It didn’t turn out well and with the timeline and the amount of fabric I had, I couldn’t go back.  I was tempted to just put it back out in the alley but instead I brought it to the sale and gave the couple full disclosure before they paid up (it was priced at a whole $5 after all).  They were able to live with the clunky back and might just drape a nice throw blanket on it.  Problem solved.

So all in all, I’m glad I bucked up and did the sale.  I cleared a lot of things out of the house that we no longer had use for (the stemware racks from the kitchen, the old towel bar from the bathroom, lamps I wasn’t using for the bedroom anymore).  Some of the small items I bought specifically for the sale didn’t go though, like the nice Haskalite serving tray and another small teak and silver Danish-style serving tray along with that funky wood wine rack.  Everything I bought I liked though, so I’m happy to have it around our house for a while.

I take that back.  The chairs have got to go.  It’s crazy chair town at our house right now.  I posted them up to the list here and here.  Once those move out and JT’s latest reno goes on eBay (the Silvertone guitar), we’re going to have such an empty clean house!!!  And money for more furniture . . . which I may have already spent.  Tune in for more!

Also I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that today is my Mom’s birthday and tomorrow is my sister’s birthday.  Happy Birthday girls!

The Storm before the Calm

Next Sunday I will be so relaxed and our house will be so nice and blissfully empty . . .

Because right now it is craziness as I prepare for the Green Shag Market Parking Lot Sale next Saturday, October 20th

The living room is full.

Chair party!

The music room is full.

The basement is REALLY full.  No pictures.  Bad.

I’m happy I signed up for this even if I’m freaking out a little bit right now.  It’s making me face head-on two resolutions I set for myself back in January

11.  Participate in a outside-of-work money-making opportunity like the Rock and Roll Craft Show or a Flea Market to whittle down all the furniture/crafts I have stashed in the basement and maybe pave the way for the future “Thompson Guitar and Thrift” store that husband and I will run someday.

12.  Attempt to upholster a piece of furniture.  Attempt.

So #11 is obvious, #12 not so much.  I was given another gift by the alley gods last week.  I forgot my coffee in the morning before work and circled back around the house to run back in and get it.  As I cruised down our back alley I saw this poor chair sitting exactly at our back gate, begging for mercy.  I dragged it into the back porch, sent husband a text so he wouldn’t be alarmed upon returning home before me, grabbed the coffee and was only a few minutes late to work (albeit covered in cat hair).

So this one is definitely a “look what the cat dragged in” or really a “look what the cat scratched up” kind of guy.  He’s not vintage but still had good bones – a simple chair for my first major foray into reupholstery and if I mucked it up, back to the alley it could go.  I had some nice heavy-weight upholstery fabric that I snagged at Garden Ridge forever ago waiting in the basement that seemed just right. (Warning: bad in-progress photo ahead.)

The top I will be redoing tonight — the inside out sew down the sides method I was trying out there did not work.  Instead I’m going to replicate what the chair already had going on and wrap around the front of the upper back and then apply a wrapped panel to the back.  And so now this guy is living in the Living Room with all that other stuff. . . .

Something you may have spotted in the Music Room disaster photo above is a cute little dog bed. (What you didn’t see it in all the piles of stuff?  For shame.)  I found it a while ago at the Creve Couer Antique Mall but it didn’t have a pillow.  And there’s no way Sophie or Shenanigan will lounge on something without a pillow!  So I got to work —

I used the basket to make a makeshift pattern, then I cut the pattern out of some old Shabby Chic brand sheets (the fitted sheet died so I sacrificed the flat sheet).  I even did a cute detail with a dog bone in tan and white seersucker that ironed on top for that little extra “je ne sais quoi”.  Turns out Sophie and Shenanigan won’t get near that adorable wicker bed with an adorable cushion to save their little furry lives so it’s going to the Green Shag sale as well . . .

Will I be seeing any of you at the Sale?  I hope so, at least to say hi!  It looks like it could be some glorious weather . .. .

. . . until then, I’ll be feverishly working in my basement, shining and buffing and doing some last minute projects (one of them involves Annie Sloane Chalk Paint which must be diamond-encrusted BTW because it costs a small fortune!)  See you soon!

Clown Car Thrifting

The last Wednesday of every month is a huge 1/2 off sale at our nearby Value Village.  A lot of times I will avoid going in on these days because it draws in all the riff raff and the store gets torn to shreds.  However now that I’m on the prowl for my booth/parking space at the Green Shag Market Parking Lot Sale on October 20th, I though maybe I should stop in on my way home from work. . . .

And I found a little chair I couldn’t resist.  It was tucked under a large dining room table so you couldn’t really see it.  I pulled it out and started marching my way through the store like a lion tamer with the chair legs out in front of me to clear the way.  The check-out was so slammed with three tired looking cashiers tending to the long lines of bedraggled customers.  Thanks to my little vinyl chair, I had a place to sit while I waited in line (although I looked a bit ridiculous).  But here comes the kicker of the story — after dragging this chair through the store and waiting with the hordes to buy it — I couldn’t get it to fit in the car!!!  Me, a person who does space planning professionally.  It was a sad, sad sight.  I tried it in the front seat, upside down and backwards and it would have fit — except for our little car has a dead seat motor and I couldn’t move the seat back the HAIR it would have taken.  I got desperate and tried shoving it in the back seat to no avail.  Finally I called the husband who came to my rescue (which was no small feat because he was on call and had to bring his whole work laptop in the car after activating and then crashing and then restarting his mobile hub.)

I tackled my new little chair last night with some vinyl cleaner, Simple Green stainless steel cleaner and aluminum foil and now it looks great.  I’ll try to get some pictures this weekend of its shiny new look.  My original plan was for it to go to the Green Shag sale but I’m kind of tempted to keep/hoard it for myself.

Is anyone else in STL going to the FORM show tomorrow?  Here’s their blurb/description: ”

FORM is an annual contemporary furniture, functional object, architecture and design show. FORM is presented by The Luminary Center for the Arts as a forum for exceptional designers to showcase their work, connect with a community of other designers and sell directly to supporters.

Sounds interesting, right?  Maybe I’ll see you there!  Cheers – CT

Weekend Update & “Big News”

Hey y’all.  Did you have a good weekend?  Was it sunny and brisk fall weather where you were?  Are you guys ready for some “Big News”?  Well hold on to your hat, it’s coming . . . First, the back story.   I went through a time warp this weekend and got twice as much project stuff done while also getting out to eat and seeing family too.  I wish every weekend could be so amazing.

Weekend update #1:  I turned 32.  Yikes.  Not really yikes.  I like where I am in my life.  The plus of having your birthday fall on a weekend is that it becomes a whole birthday weekend!  JT took me to Farmhaus on Saturday night for dinner.  The food was delicious.  There were little green tomatoes in the succotash that were mind blowingly awesome.  Like little vegetable candies or something.  I also need to mention that JT grilled tofu steaks for us on Friday night that was one of the best home-cooked meals I have had.  Ever.

Then the whole shebang rounded up on Sunday for brunch at Lola with my mom.  We had beermosas which are getting added to my brunch repertoire immediately.  Picture a good beer like Blue Moon with a nice smooth orange juice (no pulp).  It does sound a little weird but tastes great and lets you drink beer in the morning.  Lola had some great live music (trombone and guitar player doing some old-timey stuff and jazz, the perfect pairing with brunch). 

There were also gifts but I’ll post about those later . . .

On to Weekend Update #2: Projects.  Hang in there, I’m saving the “Big News” for last. . .  This weekend saw some big progress on the basement closet I mentioned on Friday . . .

and I got brave and defaced our fireplace during the Emmys . . .

Longer posts to follow on these two when we have some nice after shots. 

Now on to the “Big News”!!! (No Mom I am not pregnant.)

Mark your calendars for October 20th as there will be a Living Analog booth at the next Green Shag Market parking lot sale!!  I will finally be able to clear my basement of all its hoarded furniture in one fell swoop.

Not only that but I also poked around the thrifts and a few estate sales this weekend and dug up a few things that will also make their way to the sale.

A Haskalite serving tray, Harmony House clock and a matched pair of Carrera marble bookends with the old Famous & Barr sticker still attached on the inside.  However all was not smooth sailing in the world of thrifting.  Friday night I swung by St. Vincent de Paul and spotted this little guy.

(Bad iPhone picture as I sized it up).  The drawer was stamped “American of Martinsville” and it reminded me of my Paul McCobb secretary/bar.  But there was no price tag as it turned out another lady had already scooped it up (along with a bunch of other stuff.  Thrift store fail.  I think I missed out on a good one.

And all that happened in one weekend!  Just thinking about all that we eating/celebrating/building/painting/cleaning/shopping that we did makes me worn out.  Now to snooze until Friday and then do it all again!

Another Project?

Alright y’all.  I’m done pouting about my Dream House.  Maybe.  No really, I put my big girl pants on and started another project. 

On two separate occasions I found a pair of these chairs in the alley (put out by someone who was de-hoarding only to be re-hoarded by me).  So along with the MCM walnut chair, I have another project in motion to bounce back and forth between.  I was planning on painting them white except for the bottom five inches or so of the legs (which would be left natural).  This plan derailed when JT pointed out we weren’t keeping them, they’re going to the “list”.  He thought Craigslist browsers of our antiquated ass-backwards town might not appreciate my design sensibilities and he’s probably right.  So instead I’m going to work on doing a light restoration.  It won’t fix everything (one has the letter “r” carved in the seat) so they’ll still be a little rustic but that look seems to be pretty popular-ish. . . so we’ll see.  I’ve started in on two of the rougher ones and it’s looking pretty good although I need to get them out of the basement and into some natural light for Round Two to make sure they’re not streaky.

In unrelated news, here’s a cute baby bunny JT unearthed while mowing the backyard over the weekend (it was really tall – the yard, not the rabbit.)  He took his time hopping off but seemed to get used to his legs and made it out through the fence and safely away from our dogs.

Look at his little ears!!  (Pretty much every animal gets a male pronoun with me.  Is that normal?)

Basement dweller soon to see the light

This self-imposed bathroom deadline (that I didn’t quite meet) got me to thinking . . . maybe these deadlines/goals/whatever you want to call them could be used to help me finish up all these pesky little projects that I always start and NEVER FINISH!  So September is bringing a new project/goal/deadline.

This chair:

Purchased in 2007.  Yup, 2007 and festering in the basement.  With matching ottoman all for the low,low price of $30.

Poor thing hasn’t seen the light of day for five years.  That should be illegal – chairs have feelings too. 

So this is my September project: MCM Chair & Ottoman Restoration.  Here’s what it needs:

1) Tung oil frames (they are sanded to bare wood currently)
2) New straps like we did to the Baumritter chair
3) New Upholstery!  — This is the step I’m a little nervous/excited about.  Not only am I going to make a box pillow cover with welting, I’m going to tackle zippers too!!!

Step One is already underway and the fumes are beginning to drift up to the main floor. . . .