1.31.2011

Style Spots: Estate Sales in St. Louis

I woke up exhausted Sunday morning after all our traveling during the previous few days...but not exhausted enough to hit up some estate sales! I'm blessed to have two parents who love treasure-hunting as much as I do, and since we're bumming at their place while we look for our own, the three of us went to five sales around the city, coming home with an amazing haul. And since it was Sunday, everything was half off, which equals amazing deals.


I brought home two of these beautiful mid-century white lamps. Can't wait to put them in our new home (whenever we find it!).


I came across a ton of hand-embroidered linens that were in excellent condition and are headed for the Etsy store eventually.


I'm always a sucker for animal-related things, and this kitschy little brass bird cage caught my eye. You can hang up and the little bird swings back and forth on its perch.


Another beautifully embroidered textile. This one has five different birds on it and is ready to hang on the wall (maybe yours since it's headed to Etsy!).


This mod '60s purse needs a little cleaning, but I love the bold statement it makes. This will also go on Etsy.


I found these two silk pillows nestled together on a couch and picked them up immediately. Haven't yet decided if they stay with me or not... :)


I spotted a little washboard in one kitchen and a pair of gold 4x6 frames. I already have a lot of these frames and am thinking about packaging them together for the Etsy store. I just love their Victorian feel.


And last but certainly not least, this gorgeously ornate mirror that I got for an amazing price (don't mind the clutter in the background, ha!). It's really heavy and I am definitely holding on to it for our future home.

Did you do any thrifting this weekend? I'd love to hear what you found! Also be sure to check out Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday post to see what was unearthed all over the country!

AND...

I'm hosting my first giveaway! Check out my post from earlier today and make sure you enter to win a copy of The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor by Mark Montano!

A DIYer's Dream Giveaway!

Well, we made it safe and sound to St. Louis, and this week starts our new life in a familiar town. It also starts a fun idea on this blog that I've been biding my time to do for a while. I always come across cute things while thrifting that don't quite fit into my Etsy store due to certain restrictions, so I thought I'd start a monthly giveaway of one item that I just couldn't help but pass on!

Today is my very first one, and if you love DIY projects, you're going to want to put your hat in the ring for a chance to win it. It's a copy of Mark Montano's The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor, which has more than 100 projects to try for your home. I absolutely love it and find it's a great way to try techniques that you can tweak to make the project your own.


To enter, all you have to do is two things:

1. Follow me on Twitter @SecondHandStyle.

2. Leave a comment on this post answering the following question: What DIY project have you done that you're most proud of? Or, if you have yet to try your hand at something, what is a project you've been wanting to try?

Please also make sure you leave a way for me to contact you if you end up being the winner!

You have until this Wednesday (February 2) at 8 p.m. CST to do both steps, and I will randomly select and announce the winner on Thursday. Unfortunately (this time at least) the giveaway is only open to readers in the U.S. (due to shipping costs).

Good luck!

1.30.2011

Sunday Meditation + An Announcement


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"One's home is like a delicious piece of pie you order in a restaurant on a country road one cozy evening — the best piece of pie you have ever eaten in your life — and can never find again. After you leave home, you may find yourself feeling homesick, even if you have a new home that has nicer wallpaper and a more efficient dishwasher than the home in which you grew up." 
— Lemony Snicket

Be sure and come back tomorrow, when I'll be announcing my very first giveaway! If you love DIY, you won't want to miss a chance to win what I have up my sleeve. :)

1.25.2011

We'll Return to Our Regularly Scheduled Blog...

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Hello lovelies! For the next two days, the hubs and I are packing up our sunny California life and moving it to snow-covered St. Louis. There is still loads to do, so I need to take a mini-vacation from the blog; but I'll be back on Saturday for a Whimsical Weekend! Wish us luck!

1.24.2011

Style Spots: Thrifting & Down 'n Dirty Estate Sales

Last week I really got to stretch my thrifty muscles. Monday found me at the local Out of the Closet again, where I got two pillows for my no-sew pillow cover project. I also found an old leather purse that is reminiscent of a briefcase, too. There were no labels inside it, but the zipper had the word Lang on it. And the little metal piece right under the handles is in the shape of a rooster. I did some Googling to see what its story was, but to no avail. Anyone come across other purses like this?


Tuesday I went to the Goodwill on La Tijera to help a friend find some clothes to, in her words, "update her wardrobe." It's quite possibly one of my favorite things to do. I love, love, love picking clothes out for people and showing them how much they can get compared to shopping new. I tried on a couple things, but only ended up with a super cute vintage summer dress that will be going on Etsy next week when I do a store makeover.

Then Friday came two estate sales in Westchester. The same lady ran both of them, and both were fairly unorganized and didn't have much for sale. The second you had to literally dig around in the dust and dirt, which I didn't mind, but major hand-washing ensued when we got home.

In the end, I was able to come back with...


A set of three glass magnets with illustrated flowers on them.


A salt & pepper set made by George S. Thompson (or Olde Thompson). They need a little cleaning, but I love the shape and the wood grain.


A really large vintage frame (about five feet long and two feet wide) to add to my growing collection. I took a deep breath when I brought it home, waiting for the hubs to ask why on earth I bought it when we're packing up to move this week; but quite the opposite happened, to my relief. :)


Lastly, I found a binder of type styles from the Los Angeles Times. This came from the second estate sale, where the man who had just passed certainly had some interesting jobs, one I guess in the production department for this newspaper. Each page has the font name and character examples, and I thought it would be neat to frame them as wall art.

Want to read about more unearthed treasures? Check out Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday post to see what fellow thrifters found!

1.23.2011

Sunday Meditation

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"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where the should be.
Now put the foundations under them."

— Henry David Thoreau

1.21.2011

DIY Friday

This week's favorite DIY projects...coming at you now! :)


Lovin' this rustic woven trivet by Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou via the Poppytalk blog.


The Twig & Thistle is always full of great ideas, especially when it comes to wreaths, like this felt flower wreath.


Skinny Laminx brought her creative eye to this hanging succulent garden. I would kill for a porch where I could make such a display.


For a genius way to reuse cardboard boxes, the BBBcraft Sisters posted these thank you postcards on Design Sponge. Be sure and check out the full tutorial to see some they embroidered!


And, for those of us who have yet to score antique crates on our thrifting adventures, the Love&Lace blog shows you how to take an unfinished crate and age it like fine cheese. :)

I feel fairly DIY-inspired...how about you? 

{Images courtesy of named blogs}

1.20.2011

Making {A No-Sew Pillow Cover}


Many moons ago when the hubs and I started getting furniture and whatnots for our future home, I bought a single curtain panel at Cost Plus World Market. My plan was to cut it in half width-wise and turn it into two cafe curtains for the kitchen. The only problem was I didn't have a sewing machine! (I just got one for Christmas, thanks mom and dad!).

So this sad panel has been sitting in the closet for a good eight months now. I thought about donating it, but loved too much. Surely there was something I could do with the fabric?! This past week I found my answer: no-sew pillow covers. I had found these two pillows while thrifting, and they became the perfect candidates for a makeover

This was my first time using hem tape, and I have mixed feelings about the results (can't tell if it's the tape or user error!), but we'll get to that later.

The tutorial I followed was from Budget Wise Home, and with a couple additional tweaks, things went fairly smooth.


You'll need:

An iron & ironing board
Two pillows/pillow forms
Fabric (See the first step for figuring out how much)
Scissors
Hem tape
Ruler
Fabric Pen
Pins (optional, I just can't iron a straight hem without them)

The first thing you need to do is measure your pillows. The measurements I'll include in these directions are for two 16" pillows, so just adjust them as needed to fit yours.


Measure and cut out two 18"x18" squares. These will be the front of the pillow. Next, measure and cut four 18"x13" pieces. These will be the back, which ends up having a folded flap so that it's removable. So for two pillows, you should now have six pieces.


On each of the smaller pieces, iron a seam. The hem tape is 3/4" wide, so I made mine about 1" to make sure the tape was sufficiently covered.


Cut the hem tape to fit the length of the seam and place one piece inside each one. Press with an iron, about three seconds on each section, and make sure the fabric is thoroughly stuck together.


Take one of the larger pieces and place it right-side-up. Take one of the smaller pieces and place it right-side-down on the larger piece with the seam at the top.


Take another small piece and put it right-side-down on top of the first small piece with the seam on the bottom.

Cut hem tape to fit along each of the four sides, place it in between the two layers of fabric and press with an iron. As before, make sure each section gets at least three seconds to make sure the fabric adheres.


Let it sit for a couple minutes. Check the seams before turning the case inside-out to make sure there aren't any sections that need some extra pressing. Once everything is to your satisfaction, turn everything right-side-out and plop your pillow in!

{Repeat the steps for however many pillow you're making}

Now, as I said before, I have some mixed feelings about the hem tape, but it might just be because this was my first attempt at using it (i.e, user error). The seams on the back that are around the flap pulled apart a bit when I put the pillow in. And, in one area, the hem tape somehow got outside the seam and you can see it if you look closely. But, overall, it was a fairly simple and easy way to get some new pillow covers.

I'm linking up with Apron Thrift Girl's Make Share, so be sure and hop over and check out what other thrifters are creating!

{Images by Me}

Goodbye/Hello {Breakfast}


Whenever we venture out for breakfast, there's one place we almost always go: The OP Cafe in Santa Monica. Their menu is simple, but they do it really, really well. And if you get there before 9 am, you can get their signature 2+2+2 breakfast (pictured above) for just under $3 (I always sub out the bacon for home fries).

The staff are always super friendly, which (along with the food) explains why there are so many regulars. And Mary, who's been there ever since we started going, will have your order memorized by the third time you come in.

On special occasions (meaning we have more than $10 to spend) we'll get their breakfast tacos, which are hands-down my favorite item on the menu (although I can't speak for their lunch items, because I've never eaten lunch there!). These tacos are two little corn tortillas loaded with scrambled eggs, avocado, pico de gallo and an amazing chipotle mayo. You can get them with either black beans or home fries, and your taste buds will certainly thank you for going the extra mile.


This past Christmas I was introduced to a place our friends regularly go for Saturday morning breakfast: Kolache Factory. When the hubs asked if we wanted to go, my first questions was, "What the heck is a kolache?" He tried to explain it, and where I heard the words dough and filling, it didn't take too much convincing. :)

When we got there, the wall behind the counter was stacked with 25 different kinds of kolaches; some had savory fillings, some had fruit, some even had chocolate. I ended up with a potato, egg & cheese one (to which my friend said, "You only got one?"), and it was delicious. I then realized why everyone else had at least two.

Being a chain restaurant in a fairly suburban area of town, it definitely didn't have the personal/local vibe of The OP Cafe, but I think I can make do.

Your turn! I'd love to know what eatery can get you up early on a Saturday.

{Images courtesy of The OP Cafe and ifood.tv, respectively}

1.19.2011

Etsy Love {Writer's Block}


Go to my latest Etsy treasury to see this goodness up close and personal... 

{Images via listed Etsy sellers}

1.18.2011

Bites {Quesadillas con Frijoles Refritos}


I guess I've become a bit of a spokesperson for Eating Well, since that's where we're getting most of our recipes these days. This is one has been a great lunch for us since it's quick to fix and full of flavor. Pair it with some apples & peanut butter, or carrots & hummus, and it's a very filling midday meal!

Quesadillas con Frijoles Refritos
Makes 6 servings

1 cup fat-free refried beans
2 tablespoons hot salsa, plus more for dipping
12 six-inch corn tortillas
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup chopped scallions
3/4 cup (3 ounces) finely grated Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Combine refried beans and 2 tablespoons salsa in a small bowl.

Place a tortilla directly on a stovetop burner (gas or electric), set at medium, and toast, turning frequently with tongs, until softened, about 30 seconds. Wrap in a kitchen towel to keep warm while you soften the remaining tortillas in the same manner.

Lay 6 of the softened tortillas on the prepared baking sheet. Divide the bean mixture among these tortillas, spreading evenly. Sprinkle each with corn, cilantro and scallions, then cheese. Top with the remaining softened tortillas and press to seal.

Bake until lightly crisped and browned, about 10 minutes. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Serve hot, with additional salsa for dipping. 

{Image by me}

Sustainable Style: Sydney Hale Company


There's nothing like a candle to change the atmosphere in a room, and I'm not just talking about a romantic ambiance. They come in so many different scents nowadays that you an be transported anywhere in a matter of minutes: a field of lemon trees, a rainy day, even someone's backyard after they've just hung up the laundry to dry.

What's even better is when you come across a company that uses sustainable practices to bring such magic to your home, such as the Sydney Hale Company, based in Arlington, VA. I was first introduced to them via the Creature Comforts blog, and their stuff is just too good to not pass along!


This family owned business makes hand-blended soy candles, and most of the materials used in the process and packaging are either recycled, recyclable or sustainable. They even donate 10 percent of their proceeds to the Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation, which rescues dogs and cats facing euthanasia and puts them into forever homes (music to my animal-lover ears!).

{Images courtesy of Sydney Hale Company}

1.17.2011

Style Spots: One-Stop Shopping

Happy MLK Day all! Did those of you in the L.A. area enjoy the glorious weather we had this weekend? It felt like summertime! And it was perfect timing for me to have a moving sale on Saturday. I had our dining room pack to the brim with stuff we don't want to haul halfway across the country, and sold almost all of it by makin' sweet deals left and right.

Because of that I wasn't able to do any thrifting this weekend, but I did stop by our local Out of the Closet store as I was walking back from Staples on Thursday. I usually skip it over because the last time I was in there the prices were way too high, but I figured it was worth a quick look since I was walking right past it. And I'm glad I did!

It appears they're under some new management, and I scored two great Pyrex casserole dishes & a pristine set of six Glasbake mugs, each one a different color, for seriously good prices. Since I'm just getting into collecting dishware & ovenware from the '50s/'60s, I hadn't heard of Glasbake, but I knew by the style and the colors that it was similar to the solid Pyrex mixing bowls from that era.


I popped my iPhone out, did a quick Google search, and learned that Glasbake was introduced in 1917 by the McKee Glass Company to compete with Pyrex. Then, in the 1960s, the company was sold to Jeanette Glass, and pieces produced during that time have a "J" followed by a number on the bottom, which is what the mugs I picked up have. So I know they're from the '60s! (Thank you C. Dianne Zweig for the history lesson!)


The two Pyrex casseroles are also in amazing condition, and I'm happy to add them to my collection! (I have a dream of one day having a kitchen with open shelves all over displaying all the beautiful Pyrex/Corning patterns...). The first I spotted was a one-quart casserole in the Butterprint pattern, and was ecstatic that it had the lid!


The second is a one-and-a-half-quart casserole (with lid) in the Snowflake pattern.


Do you ever come across Pyrex in the store and leave it behind because it's lacking a lid? I see that all the time and feel so bad...but maybe I'm just a Pyrex purist? :)

This will be my second week linking up with Apron Thrift Girl's Thrift Share Monday post, so be sure and hop over to see what other treasures were found this weekend!

1.16.2011

Sunday Meditation


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"What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured."

— Kurt Vonnegut

1.14.2011

It's Friday. {And I Have Cabin Fever}

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DIY Friday

This week there were a ton of great DIY ideas floating around the blogosphere. Here are the ones I've added to my ever-growing list of projects to do one day...


I came across these felt hot pads via The Purl Bee, and I love the clean rustic look they have.


This branch pendant by Anna-Malin Lindgren via the decor8 blog is positively stunning and has me keeping an eye out for branches.


This Valentine's Day subway art by eighteen25 isn't quite a DIY project (unless you count framing...oh heck, let's just say it is!), but it is free for download if you want to bring a bit of romance to your abode.


And I never get tired of the projects that keep coming from How About Orange. This week was a tutorial on how to stiffen fabric, and after that how to make an adorable fabric box from it.

Hope you take some time to get your hands DIY dirty and tackle one of these projects this weekend! I'm going to be busy having a moving sale Saturday morning, then more packing, then hopefully working on some Valentine ideas I've been brainstorming for the hubs. Fun, fun... 

{Images via named blogs}
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