Visit our Online Flea Market!

February 28, 2014

Hello, Friday!  Let's kick off the weekend with
some motivating Before & After projects.

The faded beauty, left, was found at a flea market
and transformed into the lovely seat on the right:

Such dramatic results from such humble beginnings:
  The Jules Verne-esque octopus theme would look right at
home in a beach abode or in the home of a science fiction fan.

Another stunning upholstery success:
Kate Pruitt

Painting wood is an affordable option
when veneer damage is extensive:
My 1929 Charmer

These next two projects are further proof that sandpaper and
a small can of paint can completely transform a piece of furniture:
 Before it was painted you hardly noticed the beautiful carving.

You might not have taken a second look at the 'before'
chest of drawers but look how darling it is now:

Before Meets After 

Speaking of drawers . . . . .

Live. Love. DIY.
Robin egg blue is such a beautiful color.

You know how sensitive I am when it comes
to refinishing Mid-Century Modern pieces:

More stylish and sophisticated than when
it came out of the factory 50 years ago!

Last year Laura of Top This, Top That featured
some of her favorite Before & After projects
and I have to agree that this one is spectacular:


Top This, Top That
You're right - that WAS a lot of painting but
the results are well worth the time and effort.

This little cabinet went from pre-fab to completely FAB:
It's hard to believe that this is the
same piece of furniture, isn't it?

Artist Bianca Green was headed to IKEA to buy a
cabinet when a twist of fate pointed her toward her
favorite junk shop.  Look at her 'new' cabinet now:
 Bianca Green

This vintage Ethan Allen chair was spotted at a thrift shop . . . .
Tea Rose Home
. . . . and given a little TLC.

Here's another example of turning a $15 Goodwill bargain . . . .

. . . . . into a thing of beauty:

A corner wet bar in a basement received a classic update:
Addicted 2 Decorating

Several subtle changes in this kitchen made a huge difference:

How many changes can you spot?  I found 7: the cabinets were
painted, the walls were also painted, the counter top is different,
the stools are new, the ceiling lights were either spray painted
white or were replaced, the ovens were replaced and the tools
mounted on the screen were rearranged.  Oh, and it looks as if
the faucet was also replaced.

Three words are all you need to describe
this headboard:  boring, boring, boring!

But you only need one word to describe it now: WOW!

We need a mind-blowing project to end today's post
and I've found just the ticket - a blah guest room
was transformed into a charming nautical nursery:

Another view of the room:

Incredible, isn't it?!   Great job.

Sadly, Bob and my idyllic retreat in the hospitable State of Florida has come to an end.  Tomorrow we head back to north Alabama with fond (warm!) memories of new friends, old acquaintances and fun adventures.

Meet me here Monday for some incredibly clever
repurposing ideas and have a great weekend.

February 27, 2014

We all love to hear stories about people who find treasure at flea markets, in thrift shops, and even in their attic.  Today I'm going to post some (almost) unbelievable stories about sudden riches uncovered by unsuspecting shoppers and homeowners.

An anonymous donor dropped off a signed etching by Surrealist master Salvador Dali at a Goodwill store in Tacoma, Washington.  An employee quickly suspected that it might be an original and experts were called in to authenticate the work.  It was added to the organization's online auction and the winning bidder only paid $21,000.

No, it's not a contemporary kite:
Beth Feeback walked into a North Carolina Goodwill store and paid $9.99 for an attractive contemporary piece of art.  The name Ilya Bolotowsky was written on the back of the painting and further investigation revealed that it was, in fact, an original work.  Ms. Feeback eventually sold the painting at auction for $27,000.

Paysage Bords de Seine is an original Pierre-August Renoir painting purchased for $7 with a box lot of items at a Maryland flea market.  Unfortunately, the painting had been stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art 60 years earlier.  "Renoir Girl," the lady who found the discovery, sadly wasn't able to cash in on her Find of A Lifetime.  But at least it was returned to its rightful owners.

This beautiful painting was given to a Scottish lady in the early 1960s.  She never really cared for the work and hung it in an unused guest room for over 50 years.  The painting was recently identified as "Pink Roses," an original oil work by Samuel Peploe, one of Scotland's most influential artists.   When asked how much he originally paid for the painting the lady's husband replied that the sum was so small he truthfully couldn't remember. Value:  $500,000

Have you ever been in the presence of
original Leonardo da Vinci work of art?
The McLarens, a Scottish farming family, couldn't remember a time when this old painting wasn't hanging in their farm house.  The 500-year-old treasure, though not signed, turned out to be a lost painting credited to daVinci.  Value: over $150 Million

A German bargain shopper came across a rare book find of a lifetime.  At a flea market he paid $11 for an original catalog of the 1912 exhibition of German Expressionist Die Brucke artists.  Value:  $23,400

Art teacher Jane Cordery of Hampshire, England, was cleaning her attic and uncovered a bird portrait painting, left.  She emailed a photo of it to Christies Auction House where it was identified as "The White Owl" by pre-Raphaelite artist William James Webbe.

It's value: $115,000 to $125,000

As odd as this sounds, Barbie dolls that are manufactured in Asia command big bucks from serious collectors if the doll's bottom has a "Japan" stamp on it.  Value:  $2,500

Norma Ifill was browsing through a flea market outside Philadelphia in 2005 and ran across a striking silver necklace, above, which she purchased for $15.  While attending an exhibition of work by American jewelry designer Alexander Calder three years ago, Ifill was struck by how similar her necklace was to those on display.  She took her necklace back to the exhibit for evaluation and the rest is hi$tory.  Christies Auction House has added the necklace to their inventory of an upcoming auction and it is expected to bring between $250,000 and $300,000.

So, what have we learned from today's post?  Keep digging - whether it's at a flea market, in thrift shops, at an estate sale or in your own attic. 

Treasures are waiting to be discovered!

February 26, 2014

Oh, how times have changed . . . . . . .

100 years ago ad agencies were targeting men and women
with weight loss campaigns through smoking.

Even Santa was used in cigarette propaganda:

How about guarding against esophageal cancer?

Advertisers thought that insulting mothers
was the way to promote their products?

The big burly Man of the House was encouraged
to put the 'little woman' in her place:

Is this ad trying to depict an exasperated boss trying to convince his
secretary to use a Pitney-Bowes postage meter instead of stamps?

 Show her how much you respect her
by blowing smoke in her face:
 "Blow in her face and she'll follow you anywhere."  Classy.

At first glance this appears to be
an for panty hose not a computer:
If the telex operator were a guy would he be sweet?

Spirited women yearn to be tamed?  Seriously?!

Believe it or not, this is a furniture ad:

 Wonder if Sabrina's grandchildren don't
discover her 1959 ad for Bell & Howell.

Sure, these were tongue-in-cheek advertisements but it's readily apparent that
until the 1980s most marketing agencies were comprised of men. . . .or boys!