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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

You Can't Make This Stuff Up: The Weird and Wonderful of Thrifty Finds

Sometimes we do indeed bring home the oddest strays.

We stopped at my brother's on Saturday night, on our way home from the beach house.  He and his wife have sold their Long Island home and are packing the camels and heading their caravan off across the desert, aiming for North Carolina.

Their new house is smaller than the house they are leaving, and that's why every once in awhile
I get a call from him:  "Hey, Cassy, you want the . . . .?" and I nearly always say, "Yes."

The latest thing -- an old oak office arm chair that our Mom painted
about 40 years ago, for the original Southold beach cottage.

She painted it glossy yellow.

Really yellow.

School Bus-Yield Sign-Crime Scene Tape-Screaming Yellow Zonkers Yellow.

This is the woman who, back in the early 60s, painted the walls in our tiny summer bungalow kitchen in a tasteful pale creamy yellow, thereby lulling my father into a false sense of security.  She then painted the 1910-era table and chairs in brilliant deep watermelon pink and green, and slathered the pink on the old round-top refrigerator too, just for good measure.

Mama was not shy about color.

Sadly, the chair's paint is showing its age.
There's a big chip on the back and scads of little bitty chips elsewhere.

My brother Lindy thinks I will strip this chair and restore it to its oakly dignity.  He is delusional.
I think it needs a new and gnarly paint job, don't you?  Color ideas?

It's going to live at our desk, where I blog if I'm not using the laptop.
The chair is perfect -- comfy, and it makes me smile.

Odd things do make me smile. Like the next two thrifting finds . . . a pair of -- ummm -- lamps.


When we were out at the beach house back in May and attended a flea market at the Museum Houses in Cutchogue, I snagged two table lamps.

I say "snagged," as if I had competition for them.  I did not.
I think even the seller was surprised that I took them.

They are . . . interesting.

Because they are so big and tall, I had to leave them at the beach house till this past weekend,
as I couldn't fit them in the car back in May -- not with 5 people and Dion!

These babes are tall.  36-inches to the tops of the harps.
There are two lamps, but I only photographed one of them.  They are identical, and both in perfect shape.

Loaded with painted, gilded, and molded detail.

 Help me out here, folks.  What the heck are these?  They are not new, that's for sure.

Former oil lamps?  Buffet lamps?  Rococo?  What would you call them?

I haven't decided the fates of these old gals.
They may end up on either side of the high 4-post bed in the pink guest room,
where they are tall enough to shed light on a book being read in bed.
Or, they'll get listed on eBay and I'll leave them to their fates.

They do have a certain quirky charm.  Well, I think so, anyway.
The rest of my family is of another mind.

And on Saturday, Annie and I discovered that Eastern Long Islanders are intrepid yard salers and will follow the tiniest, least legible "Yard Sale Today" signs to the most out of the way places to find their bargains.  We followed signs for miles, only to come upon a house in the middle of nowhere, with 18 cars parked up and down the one-lane road.  Amazing.

At one house sale I bought this:

A 20-year old Fitz and Floyd bowl.
It's about 8 inches wide, about 3 inches deep.  Nice size.

I think it has a neat, woodsy, log-cabin-in-the-Adirondacks sort of look to it.

At another house sale, I found 5 old lamps, porcelain, of odd old designs and shapes and colors and I was sorely tempted, but my daughter Anne wisely shot me with an elephant tranquilizer gun and dragged me away.  A narrow escape indeed.

 . . . sigh . . . . 


So, Tuesday's Blog Parties -- about thrifting
and finding and sharing those finds;
just click on the highlighted words to visit and be charmed!

Tam at The Gypsy's Corner hosts Three Or More Tuesday.

At House Of Grace, it's time for Bonnie's Twice Owned Tuesday.

And at Coastal Charm blog, Linda hosts Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays.
Have a lovely Tuesday!  I'm trying to get used to being all by my lonesome during the day.  Howard leaves in the morning at about 8:45 for the new job at Fox Business Network, and most nights will get home about 13 hours later.  I got so spoiled during his 5 months out of work!  -- Cass


  1. The lamps would be great all white. The chair is such a great colour. How do you improve on a big juicy lemon.

  2. Cass..
    I LOVE the lamps..
    put them in the pink bedroom!!
    the bowl is also a neat find..
    I know you are missing Howard..
    but you and Dion have..
    about 10 hours of playtime..
    warm hugs..

  3. The chair is a memory for you but oh... Those lamps!! I am a confessed lamp junkie & I can see these lamps with a lucious funky shade!! They probably led life with a dignified shade... Now is the time to mix it up!! LOL!!

  4. Hi Cass...

    Girlfriend, I love your mama's bright yellow oak chair! I have a similar one and it is sooo comfortable! I would much rather sit in it than a padded chair! hehe! Anyway, I love the chippiness of it...and the bright yellow! Hehe! Whatever you decide to do with it...I know it'll be gorgeous! I'm so happy for you...that you have it!!!

    Ohhhh...and I just ADORE those big frenchy lamps! I think they're fabulous and they would be sooo pretty in your pink bedroom! I love them!!! I wished I had a place for them...I'd talk you into selling them to me! wink!

    Love your pretty bowl too! Thank you so much for sharing your treasure finds with us today...I loved it!!!

    Have a wonderful day, sweet lady!
    Chari @Happy To Design

  5. I vote for keeping the lamps "as is" (of course, after you find the shades you want). I found a similar lamp in a box lot at an auction and I'm enjoying the almost weirdness of it!!

  6. Those lamps probably lived in a very large estate at one time that had very large rooms with very high ceilings. Looks and sounds like you had a fun day of shopping.
    13 hr. days ! Is H. working 5 days a week with those hours?

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog! Your house is just BEAUTIFUL, and I ADORE that yellow chair!

  8. I love the chair as it is. It will brighten a rainy day for sure. I have similar lamps--not that shape, but the material is the same.

  9. O, Cass..I love your mom's yellow chair. She sounds like such a free spirit.
    I am not sure about the lamps either but they ARE pretty. I know you'll come up with something to make them just PERFECT for THAT OLD HOUSE. ;)

  10. I like he chair yellow -- it will remind you of your dear mother much more than if you restored it!!! And I truly like it pulled up to that desk. Don't you feel your mother's love when you sit in it?

    I also like those lamps and think that they would be splendid in the pink bedroom (with the proper shade, of course) -- For isn't the curtains floral? I don't think I would do anything to them but clean them up and find really nice shades for them!


  11. I would have loved your Mom! She sounds like my kind of gal! Watermellon pink is perfect for a frig!
    And that chair is a wonderful treasure. Please repain it the exact same color. I love the sassy, brassy yellow. It has a history... don't change it!

  12. Cass, the lamp is stunning, and definitely would work well in a bedroom. Very romantic! If you do list it on Ebay, if put a question about the type/style of lamp it is in the description...believe me, you will get answers. But would have to part with them :(
    My Grandmother had somewhat similar style lamps on either ends of her living room couch, on end tables. However they were slightly smaller. I would guess hers were made in the late 40's.
    You Mom's yellow chair is quite interesting. I would find it difficult to paint over her paint job, for sentimental reasons. If I had to, I would paint it a barnyard red. I love red painted furniture. Have a great day!

  13. Cass, I like the yellow. It's got character!! I also love the lamps - imagine the stories they could tell!


  14. I dont think the yellow chair needs a new paint job at all. Just a puffy cushy new cushion full of color- a cheerful floral maybe? BIG Polka Dots? Or a really fun candy colored plaid.
    Love the lamps. (They would look so cool on my 18 year olds triple dresser- so if you ever do put them ebay think of me and send the link!)

  15. I'm so sentimental I would probably leave the chair yellow after hearing the story. I like the lamps, too. And I try to pick up almost any piece of Fitz and Floyd when I run across them. Of course a nice pale aqua would be a change for the yellow chair.

  16. Love the chair ~ and the story that goes with it!!! I would definitely stay with tradition and find a color that would make your Mama proud!!

  17. I swear that yellow chair was in my 70's bedroom, yellow, black and white, so. pshycodelicious. And I have mucho fitz and floyd, but not that one. My mom always made me laugh, she would always want to go to the outlet here when she came to visit. She called it F r itz and Floyd. Too cute.

  18. I would call the new lamps GORGEOUS! I have no idea what style they are or if they have a name - - - - Harry and Florence? - - - but I just LOVE them.

  19. Another as is vote for the Yellow Chair! I love yellow, it just cheers any room has a spot of yellow.

    Those lamps are so unusual. I wonder what the original shade shape was, but I can see choosing something a bit quirky to set it off just right for the pink bedroom!

  20. I happen to love the school bus yellow chair...I would pay tribute to Mom and give it a fresh coat of yellow paint....As for those lamps...Did you go to a garage sale at the home of one of the Real Housewives of Jersey?....

  21. I really like that yellow - why not give it another coat?
    Good news about Howard's job - at least I hope it's good news for him, as it's left you in an empty nest.

  22. Great finds! I especially love the lamps. And I was excited to hear that your brother is moving to NC. What part? Love & blessings from NC!

  23. I have a thing for chairs & lamps, so loving those finds! The yellow is great! Maybe add a padded seat (tie-on) that has a little bright yellow in the print? I'm also a fabric junkie!

  24. Great lamps.I bet you would get a pretty penny for them on Ebay. I love the chair too. I think we used to have one like it. Yellow is great.

  25. Cass, I'm just getting caught up after this rotten, horrible week. Now tell me- WHERE in NC are they moving???? Might you be coming for a visit before we move??? Maybe?????
    xoxo Pattie

  26. I love the lamps! I'm seeing that sturdy chair in a bright turquoise!

  27. I have a cousin by marriage who is a lamp restorer, and he knows everything about lamps. If you like, I can put you in touch. He would undoubtedly know the background on your lamps.


  28. I know absolutely nothing about lamps. What I do know is---I LOVE THOSE!!


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