Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Thrift Store Finds and Lamp Update

There's a little thrift store across from my bank.  It's called "The Flea Market".  It's not open every day, I have no idea what their actual business hours are, I just stop in when I see the open sign lit.  They're closed a lot.  I drove by last Thursday after picking Babe Jr up from school to see if they were open.  The sign was on, so we stopped and went in.  It was a successful stop, we found some cool stuff.  Disclaimer** please overlook the fact that a few of these photos are fuzzy, I didn't notice the focus issue until I loaded them to my computer and was too lazy to retake them today.

This is Mr. Backwoods' nightstand.  It needs refinished desperately, I have future plans for a big project of updating my bedroom suit.  This little turquoise dish was 3.00.  It's perfect to corral the clutter he always piles up here.  Note the lamp now complete with a new shade.

The next photo is my nightstand.  I already had the small dish holding miscellaneous earrings and bobby pins.  I picked up the mirrored tray this trip for 1.00.  It had a really old sticker that said "magnifying mirror" and remnants of old mirror adhesive on the back. I think in its former life it must have been attached to someone's vanity mirror for makeup application.  For now I'm using it as a place to put my bracelets etc. at night when I take them off.  I'm bad about not realizing I still have on jewelry or pins holding back my bangs until I'm already in bed.

Note my lamp also now has a shade.  The shades were 15.00 each at Lowe's, bringing the total cost of both lamps to 47.00.  Not bad considering the last yellow lamps this size I saw were about 90.00 each on sale at a furniture store.

The coolest find of the day was discovered by Babe Jr.  At first she decided she was going to wait in the car, but she got bored and hot after about 3 minutes.  I had apparently walked right past this without noticing it at all.  She comes in the door and about a minute later I hear "Mom, look at this!"

It's an old SLR camera, a Canon Model 7 to be exact.  I know very little about film SLR's as I couldn't afford one until we already were pretty far into the digital age.  I'm pretty doubtful that it's functional even though it started winding while I was playing around with it.  But it was only 5.00 and as a photography buff I couldn't pass it up.  The lens is a 50 mm 1.2, an equivalent lens for my digital camera currently runs for about 1500.00 (of course that's with auto focus and other technological updates).  I'm guessing just from the quality of the lens this must have been a really nice set up in its day.  I think it's pretty neat just to have as a conversation item. 

**Edited to add - after being given a helpful link by an internet friend and doing a little research I found out this camera is approximately 50 years old. This model was manufactured 1961-1964.  At that time with the 50mm 1.2 lens it retailed for about 200.00.

Currently its hanging out  in my living room with a tripod and some decor items on a dresser.  Appropriately they are in front of my gallery wall.  I plan to do some googling and see if I can find an old manual.  I might get adventurous, clean it up, and see what I can get with a roll of film.  Even if that's a total bust it's still a cool find.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

After the rain

I stopped yesterday morning on the way to my mother-in-law's house to snap a photo of the fog rising out of the mountains.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Spring is here and everything is blooming.  I've been trying to remember to take my camera with me whenever I go anywhere right now.  Inevitably, if I don't have it with me, I run across beautiful flowers and I'm kicking myself because I can't get photos. 

On Monday, Babe Jr had gymnastics.  They hold it in the school gym at 5:00 and we got there early with about 30 minutes to kill.  There is a magnolia tree on the edge of the parking lot; of course I got out to take some photos.

I had to hop a guard rail to get to this tree.  The principal was leaving just as I was climbing over it; he stopped to see what I was doing.  I think he recognized me and as soon as he saw my camera I'm sure he figured out my intentions.  I'd love to know what he first thought when he saw me climbing.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lamps & Spray Paint

The latest project in my quest to update our master bedroom is lamps.  They can get pretty pricy, so I decided I would try to find a couple at thrift stores and spray paint them.  I picked up this orange one a few months ago for 4.00 at Goodwill.  I had been scouting around for shades, and I finally found some I liked at Lowe's for 15.00.  I haven't purchased them yet, but I know they have some that don't require a harp.  After finally locating the shades, I figured I could start looking for another suitable lamp.

I ran in Goodwill last Friday to see what they had, and found the brass and white lamp.  Ironically, I had a lamp just like this in my bedroom as a teenager.  My mom probably paid about 12.00 for it at Walmart in the 90's, I got this one for 6.00.

When we got it home, I realized it was about 2 inches shorter than the first lamp, and I wanted them to be the same height so they wouldn't look completely asymmetrical on our night stands.  I started looking around for something to use to add some height to the base.  I was thinking I might have to cut a few pieces of wood but I found this black plastic thing in Mr. Backwood's hoard of random junk.  He said it was an end cap used on large water pipes to protect the threads from being damaged during transport.  Apparently he'd picked up a few of them out of a trash pile or something somewhere and was going to use them as containers for who knows what.  It was the perfect size to add to my lamp base, so I confiscated it, cleaned it up and gorilla glued it together with the base.

I covered the sockets and cords with paper and tape so they wouldn't get paint on them.  Then I took them outside and coated them both several times with Krylon Gloss Sun Yellow spray paint.  I used the whole can and brought them in once they were dry.  After looking at them for a day, I decided they needed a few more coats, the paint was thin in spots.  Also, there was an unsightly visible gap between the smaller lap base and the plastic cap I had glued to it.

I found some paintable caulk and used it to seal the crack.  We stopped by Walmart again Saturday night and I picked up another can of yellow spray paint.  Here they are after I got a few more coats on today.

A tip for painting anything bright yellow, do it in the winter when there are no bugs or in a garage or something if you have the option.  I had to keep picking gnats and things off of them while they were wet.  I think the bugs thought my lamps were huge flowers or something.

I left the tissue paper and tape on one of them so you can see how I kept from getting paint on the cord and socket. The tissue paper was a lot easier to wrap around than the note book paper I had used the first time.  I'm pretty happy with them, so far my total investment for lamps and paint is about 17.00.  Lamps this size without shades would probably cost me at least 40.00 each new in a store.  I didn't really want an exact matching pair, and I think I got pretty lucky finding 2 that were fluted vertically, so they are similar and should look pretty good together.  Once I get shades and dust my bedroom furniture, I'll update with photos of them in place.

Photos of the lamps with shades here.   Shades were 15.00 each bringing total cost to 47.00!