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Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's a Camera Lamp! DIY that's e-a-s-y

Perhaps you've seen them on Pinterest, or for sale on Etsy. The camera lamp is an aawesome DIY in which a beautiful old camera is somehow reworked into a a beautiful light fixture. It usually involves drilling, and wiring, and electricity fucking with.
find sources on my Pinterest
Those I cannot make. Nope, no time, might burn the building down. Here's what I can make:
I started with this:
I got that sweet vintage camera at a church yard sale In June for either $1 or $2, I can't recall. It's a Kodak Duaflex II. Wasn't sure what to do with it. I bought it to sell on Etsy, but rethought it; these old cameras are all over and I don't even know if that one works. Apparently people are using these to take pics! I use mine as dust collectors. Anyway, I found this:
I saw it on the shelf at Goddwill for $1.99. A lamp base, where something was broken off at some point. Endless possibilities for what could be placed on top of that red platform! Like an old camera? Here's your $2!
I spray painted it. It was kind of beat up before. Now it looks much fresher! I accidentally spray painted a little of the wire, too. My bad.
At this point, I noticed the width of the lamp base and shape of the camera which I was planning on combining. It didn't seem like a great "fit." Putting it in the middle would have left me with weird empty sides and a visible hole on the right. Putting the camera on one side would be just wrong. I would need something else. Like an old roll of film in an old timey box. I figured I would find one soon enough.
I did not. Impatiently, I considered other options. Sitting in my living room and doing absolutely nothing was this:
 It's an old flash thing. I remember being at the flea market with my sister last year and coming across a big pile of stuff and a "free" sign. I just started grabbing and this was amongst my haul. Could that work? Let's see...
Well, that couldn't possibly work out any better. That "Flasholder" (that's what it says) is for a Kodak Duaflex! And it's just been sitting there purposeless. I'll repurpose the hell out of it!
Look how cute they are, side by side. Now that I was ready to attach, I used a strong adhesive that claimed it would pretty much bond anything to anything. Of course, there's always an issue. The bottoms of both objects weren't just flat across.
See what I mean? I covered both surfaces in glue, but it just didn't seem like I had enough coverage. I had to do some last minute improvising with felt. Then, I had to let it cure for 24 hours. So loooong...
Here's how it looks!
Nothing fancy here. Unlike the more excellent camera lamps, light doesn't come from the actual camera or a flashbulb; but this was way easy! It was made just like I make most of my DIY stuff. Glue things to other things. I even added an old lampshade that I picked up for $.99.
I am now second guessing said lampshade for not being wide enough. Anyway, if you're keeping track of the cost here, let's break it down:
Camera: $2
Lamp base: $1.99
Flash thing: free
Shade: $.99
Total: $4.98! (One could also attempt to factor in the price of the adhesive. I don't know, $0.40 of it?)
Completing a DIY project using all second hand stuff and having it come out the way you intended? Priceless.
Just kidding! I put a price on that sucker, once the glue was dry. Vintage Camera Lamp by Sweet Scores Vintage on Etsy
I priced it at $40. Now, I wait.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Thrift Hoard: Sketchy thrift

Perhaps, "sketchy" is not the right word. Scary? Dangerous? What do you call a thrift store where items of all kinds are piled so high and deep that many cannot be seen?
If the word you're thinking is "awesome," then you're a diehard picker. I had been in this store exactly once before; last summer after a Dr.'s appt, nearby. I saw the sign, "thrift store," on my way home and quickly halted. The store was a good sized shop that couldn't really be called a "shop." But, it was an experience. Sweat poured off me, as I carefully navigated the paths through piles of buried treasure. I remember gathering up an armful of loot (nothing is ticketed) and asking how much the kind older lady up front wanted for it. Got some good deals...but I hadn't been back. Something about the place made me think of hidden dangers (bugs maybe? sharp things?)
 After leaving this year's annual doctor's trip, I guess I was feeling adventurous. Yes, this type of thing is what I deem adventurous. Here's what I snagged:
The first item I grabbed was this birds statue. Birds figure? Seems too big to be called a figurine. blue swallows on Etsy While I'm at it, I want to show off this brooch from an antique mall:
That's a sweet little bird pin! Anyway, back on track.
The next thing I found was so damned cool, the sight put me in hipster heaven. Sure, its box was worn out, but all the pieces were there.
A little bar set with a bowling theme? I don't know, do bowler's drink? Let's get a closer look!
Strike! A bowling ball that opens up to a bottle and 6 plastic shot glasses. Let's see if anyone buys! bowling bar ware on Etsy
Remember typewriters? As vintage lovers, we all like typewriters, right? Well, as you know, many of them are portable typewriters that come in little suitcases. I have one. Got it a couple years back and painstakingly hand painted it turquoise. (Pics later, I didn't think of it ahead of time) This old Smith Corona is called "portable", to which I call "bullshit."
It's an electric typewriter in excellent condition. It weighs 100lbs. Or not. I'm just saying that it's so heavy, I forgot to remove it from its case to take my pictures. Typewriter, you're so fat that...um...I'm concerned for your overall health.
I also got a little lampshade, some flashcards, and a sweet vintage magazine rack. I neglected to take a picture of the magazine rack before spray painting it and then leaving it half done on my parents' porch because I ran out of spray paint. My grand total? $10.
But, I wasn't done. Oh no, a true hoarding junky like me is not done until a bad choice is made. Amongst a set of summer porch furniture that a woman was figuring out how to extract from the dangerous maze stood an item beyond description. A plant and vintage lamp in one. After looking the style of lamp up on the internets, I made the bold choice to return and rescue this item. Ladies and gentlemen, the big-ass lamp:
There it is, in all it's glory. Half spaghetti lamp, half artificial potted plant, and 100% taking up my kitchen space. Got it on the cheap, though. The highest cost to me was on the afternoon spent cleaning it.
Can you handle this lamp? 5' of vintage tackiness, in a concrete filled bucket. It's listed on Etsy. For the first time, I also listed this on Craigslist. Even if I can find an interested buyer, I don't know how I'll get this thing to them. I was lucky someone was kind enough to lift it up the stairs to my apartment. There's a story behind that. Unfortunately, it's my bedtime and I don't have the energy to write about it.
Linking up at Sir Thrift A Lot and a living space.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

" I don't want to look like a weirdo! I'll just take a muumuu."

So relate-able
 The quote is just another from line from one of this blog's sources of inspiration, Homer Simpson. In season seven's "King-Size Homer" (cited!) our protagonist gains weight in order to get on disability. Finding that pants are just too restrictive, he explores other options like " ponchos, muumuus, capes, jumpsuits, unisheets, muslin body rolls, academic and judicial robes," according to the salesman from "The Vast Waistband." Muumuu it is.
Of course, in my case, it's the high temps of public schools in late spring and summer that are restricting me. I needed something that was work appropriate but allowed for maximum air flow; thin material, loose fitting...I too, will try the muumuu.
A Savers purchase from a few months back, this article set me back $2. It's got a tacky print that I can appreciate, but I soon realized that I don't want to wear it. I will though. I mean, I did the work, so I really should.
What am I even looking at? A picture of me pinning darts into the thing? I'll spare you the details. I usually like the item I'm refashioning to look a little like the original item. I don't want people to immediately see a muumuu; I want to look twice and say, "Hey. Is that a muumuu?" So, basically, I just took this thing in at the center and bust area, then I made the sleeves shorter.
All I did was take in the sleeve from the bottom of it, at an angle. Easy. Oh, and then I added a waist sash. I always add a waist sash. Let's see it:
Hell yeah, it's got pockets. It kinda reminds me of a Mexican style senorita dress. Not sure why. Here's more:
Overall, it's "fun," retro, and does its job of being work appropriate and not sweaty. But it's still a little silly.
Oh, and I never just stop at one. Here's the other thing!
This one is less of a muumuu and more of a house-dress.
 See? "at HomeWear" that's what the tag says. Think "grandma's daytime nightie." Also, $2, I found this at Outfitters and saw potential in the 70s vibe it had. Or maybe it's 80s, with its primary colors and Mondarian look (Mondarian is an artist who dies in the 40s, but that style says 80s to me). I thought if I made it 2 or 3X smaller, it could work as a work dress. This thing was a bitch.
I started by pinning it down the back, thinking I could just get rid of a whole bunch of room that way. Those yellow lines are where I pinned. Didn't work out.
See what happened? The long arm holes were pulled back and it was dumb and weird. Take it in from the sides, I guess.
I took each side in just a little at first.
Then, I took it in more from the back.
And then, I made the little ruffled straps shorter. That's what was great about this. Sleeveless is ok, as long as it's covering most of one's shoulder (per dress code). This ruffle thing will do that. Here's the result:
That braided nylon rope belt was on the hanger when I bought this. I don't think it was actually supposed to. Oh, and the kicker? This "dress was kinda transparent. Not too bad, I was just a little worried that my lovely silhouette would be visible in certain light. Not cool. I found a very thin half slip for underneath. Can I point out what I like?
 Girl, look at that bodice...
So, there's that blue dress thing. 
More to come, I'm sure. Teaser:

Monday, July 7, 2014

Thrift Hoard: Fixer uppers

I think I'll do a whole post of "before and after" shots featuring the various repair jobs I've attempted and/or succeeded. Some of them are easier than I thought! Look!

Eww, that's nasty. That old scale for $2, is all dirty from foot dirt! Let's see what water and window cleaner does...
Daaaayum! Look at the sweet vintage mint green with sparkles Detecto scale! It's retro-tastic! I can't do a whole post on clean up right now. Because I already sold that scale and I've gotta haul it to the post office. Hope it doesn't cost too much to ship. I have no idea how much it weighs. BRB.
Now, that beauty was an easy sell. Do you ever pick something up due to its sheer bad taste and hope to find a buyer with a strong appreciation for tackyness?I do it frequently. I try and sell it based on kitsch value and end up having great fun writing up the listing. Behold:
Jesus H. Christ, that's a huge, 70s wall tapestry! (I'm sorry, Christians.)When I saw this piece hanging with the fabric at Savers, I was like, "oh, rapture!" It is so glorious with its bold, vibrant colors and epic 56" x 40" size!
Sure, it's tacky fun, nut would an actual religious person hang this in their home? If so, I may have alienated my fan base with my sarcastic listing. I guess, I'm trying to sell it ironically? Find Jesus on Etsy. See if you can count all the dumb jokes I cracked. If you don't think my listing is the least bit humorous...Sorry, Christians! 
Perhaps the deer is more your style. Yes, I have not one, but two richly toned, 70s wall tapestries. This one came home a day or two later on a Goodwill trip. I was like, "Deer God, that's cool!" (Sorry, again.) Deer tapestry on Etsy
On that same trip, I spotted, and left behind these next things. Then I came back. I had to return something. Then buy these:
 Rum jug lamps! A pair of them! Are you not impressed? Closer look at those ships might help:
Yo, ho, ho--actually, I think it would be a bit hackneyed to use pirate talk. A bit too obvious, don't ya think? OK, just a little...
Arr, the scallywags at ye thrift store hornswoggled me nine doubloons for this booty! Ye think it could fetch a wench a nice bounty?
Seriously, I have no idea what something like this goes for, because I really haven't found anything else similar on the internets. No markings, don't appear hand made, only sign of wear is the gold paint rubbed off each handles. The jug is about 16" tall. Eventually, I'll get some nice pics up and just throw a price out there.
Lately, I seem to have that problem. Like, those sweet jug lamps (jug is a hilarious word), I find something that I believe to be incredible, but I don't have any information to guide me.
For instance, these incredible things:
OMFG THOSE ARE SOME GORGEOUS MID MOD WALL PANELS. A pair of 3' tall, matching wooden wall art, featuring Greek people with pops of textured aqua and orange. (shrugs) Yeah, I guess that's pretty serious. Of course, with me; there's always a catch. Let's move in closer...
You see it? Keep going...
There's the top of the lady's urn...and there's the big, dumb scratched area. That's the lady panel. Let's check out ol' Stamos's:
Great Zeus! Look at that! (I wish I had more Greek jokes. In fact, given my heritage and homeland of former long time companion, it's somewhat ironic that I don't.) That's the scratched up top shown without flash in all its natural hideousness.
EDIT: after uploading these pics, I managed to finish up my wood staining job and may have somewhat camouflaged these things.
Here's what happened. When I saw them at Outfitters, they each had a thin but strong wire wrapped around the wall hanger hooks on their backs. When stacked back to front, these little wires on the back of one scraped the front of the one behind it. They must have switched positions a few times (giggle).
That makes me angry. Who did this?! Who, so carelessly caused the damage to this beautiful god and goddess?! WHY??!

There is a reward for information leading to the apprehension of whomever was negligent in his/her care of these art pieces. Just kidding, I just want information on the wall art. Also, there is no reward.
I feel like Danish inspired, MCM, wooden wall hanging pairs in aqua and orange are totally common. Yet, I can't find anything else to compare these to! They are unmarked. Names I came up with include Turner Wall Accessories, Belart, and Witco. No hits on any of those.
So, they're no name knock-offs. Just kidding, they have names. Narcissus and Aphrodite. I just don't know how to find homes for them, yet.
Linking up at Sir Thrift a Lot, a living space, and thrifter maker fixer farm.