So remember when I posted about my rug dilemma? I was trying to decide between a few different options from Structube.

The whole debate turned out to be moot because Nate decided to buy me a hide rug (which I've long longed for) for my birthday.

It's funny, in a way. Just when I finally abandoned the idea of having a hide rug (after years and years of wanting one, but hesitating because of the price, the ethics of it, and my resistance to all thing trendy AND "on trend"), AFTER all that, a hide came into my life.
It's tri-colour (that is to say, brown, black, and cream). I'd always imagined I'd end up with something black and white. Or perhaps mottled grey. But tri-colour, it turns out, it just right. The brown (which is sort of stripey, like a tabby cat), feels warm, and despite the pattern, it reads almost like a neutral. It's soft underfoot and doesn't slide around.

I really, REALLY like it. Makes me feel a little guilty, actually.

Here it is on a typically untidy weekend morning at my apartment:
What say you? Hidey hidey hidey ho!
For the past few years, I've been spending time at a cottage at Sauble Beach with Nate's family. And at his rental cottage is a mug. A mug I want.
I've considered stealing it, but while I often think such things, I never follow though. (Don't worry, my kleptomaniac tendencies are kept in check by my strong moral fibre... and a fear of getting caught.)

Anyway. This year, as I sipped my morning coffee from "hoot" as I've come to call it, I thought it might be time to stop plotting theft and start doing research.

From what I've gleaned online (in particular from this page from the Canadian Design Resource), this mug is part of a set that was distributed at gas stations in the 1970s. However,  each mug is marked in a way that doesn't make this obvious. (Wow. That pic is blurry, eh?) The bottoms read:
Royal Alma, Ironstone Made in England, Staffordshire.

Despite the British stamp, I believe the idea was to make something with a distinctly Canadian theme, hence the Northern animals. The plan seems to have been to encourage people to collect a full set of six, which would include:
  • a pale green reindeer mug
  • an orange walrus mug
  • a blue beaver mug
  • a blue goose mug 
  • a brown/tan polar bear mug
  • the yellow owl mug
Here's a photo of a few of the other colours, as shown on the Canadian Design Resource page:
I've NEVER seen these guys at Salvation Army, Goodwill or Value Village, but from what I hear, they do appear from time to time.

I don't know why I like them so much. Maybe because they're so clearly vintage, but graphic and modern at the same time. Maybe it's that they're just slightly awkward. Maybe it's the candy colours. I don't know. All I know is that I want them. I want them bad. Especially hoot. I think I want hoot the most.
Isn't it so much more fun to find something like this (even if it WAS once a gas-stop-giveaway) than it is to buy some lame, un-ironic knockoff at Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters? I think so.

Am I weird to love it? Isn't there anything cheap-o and old that you love? Especially at the cottage?
Since I posted about my new Juice-O-Mat already, I thought it only fair to post about the reason the Juice-O-Mat was a ridiculous purchase: my brand new/old amber depression glass juice reamer, or juicer, by Federal glass.
I nabbed this guy from a little thrift store in Port Rowan, Ontario (one of my favourites). Unfortunately, the church ladies who work the counter knew they had a winner on their hands, so the reamer was priced at a whopping $10 (which is wildly expensive for Port Rowan). Nonetheless, I decided it was worth it. After all, depression-era Federal reamers sell online for $40+.

I won't be selling mine, of course. It's got some flea-bites in the rim anyway.

It will live in my cupboard, and with any luck, will ream for many happy years to come. I drink a lot of vodka sodas (with lemon).

Who knew my imbibing would allow me to justify yet another addiction (thrifting)? Turns out, I drink for a reason.

And if all else fails, I could always open a lemonade stand, right?
I've been out of town a lot lately, living it up on various Great Lakes beaches. It means less blogging. (Sorry.)

But on the upside, being near the beach means travels through small-town Ontario, and small-town Ontario means... THRIFTING! Hooray!

I've been scouring little vintage shops and dusty barns for all manner of treasures and have found a few gems along the way. (Did you SEE my last post about my adorable little two-hole punch?)

Today, I'll post about yet another find: my brand new (old) Juice-O-Mat juicer!

I LOVE this little guy. For one thing, it's in great condition. For another, it looks like a little alien robot. Very R2D2.
Am I right?

The Juice-O-Mat dates back to the 1930s. It was the first product of Rival ( then called The Rival Manufacturing Co., founded by Henry J. Talge in 1932 in Kansas City). It spawned a whole trademark like of "O-Mat" products designed to make cooking and food-prep easier and more efficient.  That said, Rival didn't become truly famous until the 70s, when it created and launched the Crock Pot.

I'm not sure when my particular juicer was produced. Certainly, Rival was making it in the 30s, and it definitely feels deco in terms of the styling and details, but after WWII, the line was reintroduced. So my Juice-O-Mat could well be from the 40s or 50s. The chrome is certainly in very good condition.
Of course, I didn't NEED a juicer. (Who NEEDS a juicer?) And worse, I JUST bought a yellow depression glass hand juicer as well. (Will be posting about that soon.)

Questions of need aside, I couldn't resist. The Juice-O-Mat is just too cute. It's already taken up permanent residence on my kitchen counter. And while I have yet to make a substantial amount of juice, I give it a little pat on it's sweet robot head every morning and that makes me happy. So I think it was a good buy.
Hello strange, miniature, industrially-styled two-hole punch.

You are green, you are adorable, you are $1, and you are COMING WITH ME.
Today's DIY is extremely simple.

Basically, it's a variation on the gold birds I've been making recently, only this time, instead of gold, I've spray painted the birds matte white, in order to imitate the look of plaster.

To do this project, start with an object with an interesting or appealing shape.

I began with two plastic peacocks from my local Salvation Army (@2.99 each).

 As you can see from this before photo, the birds were an ugly black/bronze colour initially. This sort of ugliness is what you have to look past when choosing your object. Think ONLY about shape. Ignore colour completely.

Next, choose your paint. I went with an outdoor, rust-proofing spray for metal and wood. I know, I know, my object is plastic, but this was the only spray I could find at my local hardware store that was flat/matte enough for my purposes. Just apply the spray in light coats, letting each coat dry for a good 30 minutes before you add another. Work slowly and the paint will likely adhere well enough for indoor display, even if it's not an ideal paint for your object's base material.
Don't forget to spray in a well-ventilated area. (This alkyd stuff is pretty toxic.)

And that's it. Once the paint is dry, you have a matte, white object, reminiscent of plaster.
Do you like it? I think I like it. I was inspired to give it a go when I saw Mr. Goodwill Hunting do a similar makeover on a object shaped like a horse's head. (Thanks for the idea, Rashon!)
A long while back now, I posted about the beginnings of my obsession with Milk Glass. I was a new collector, excited about each and every piece that I came across.

I've become a little more discerning since. For one thing, I'm strapped for space. My kitchen window sill is completely covered in Milk Glass (some containers holding plants, others empty).

And it seems crazy to buy something only to have to box it and stick it in the basement.

So I've resolved not to repeat different styles. I only allow myself one piece in any particular shape or pattern.

The latest addition to my collection was found in Port Rowan, Ontario last weekend. For only $1, I got my hands on a thumbprint pattern The E.O. Brody Company vase (or is it a compote?), pre-1971. (It was manufactured between 1958 and 1971. I'm not sure of the exact year.) I think it's adorable!
You can learn more about Brody Glass here, if you're interested.

What do you think? Am I crazy to keep buying this stuff? I know it was mass produced and that it isn't inherently valuable, but it's just so pretty. I can't stop.

* Photo by Oh Dear Watson, from Flickr. Used with permission. Check out Oh Dear Watson on Etsy for similarly adorable vintage items. (Thanks for the pic, guys!)
Today, I find myself inspired by Jen over at the awesome blog Rambling Renovators. A little while back, Jen posted about a thrifted display case she found that reminded her of some Crate and Barrel ones that run upwards of $80. And then, while combing the Salvation Army last week, I found a display case of my own for only $4.99.
Unlike Jen's galvanized steel case, mine is gold-toned and has a mirrored back. It's also got two levels, rounded feet, and hooks on the back (if you want to hang it on a wall).

I decided to fill it with some of the shells and sea ephemera that Nate and I have collected over the last few years. These wee items come from India, Cuba, the Caribbean, The Bay of Fundy, and Lake Erie, respectively. I've always had trouble displaying them since so many of the shells are finger-nail tiny. (I have a thing for things in miniature. Don't know why.)

Anyway, I think I've found a good solution. Here's the display case, filled with shells, currently in my bedroom. (You can see a bit of my "I heart NY" tee reflected in the shot. Oops!)

The painting is another thrifted find I picked up on my recent road trip to the East Coast.
Anyway, for the moment, I'm enjoying the case as is, but I might switch up the content as time passes.

The next time you go thrifting, keep your eyes peeled for one of these babies. They're a neat way to make small objects seem special. (Thanks for the inspiration, Jen!)
Usually, I'm not much of a Structube person. (Structube, for those who haven't heard of it, is 35+ year old retailer of contemporary/modern furniture and accessories.) It's relatively affordable, but often too cold for my tastes. I like modern, but not TOO modern, if you know what I mean.

That said, I recently came across a few Structube rugs that are really speaking to me. For example, this $349, 5x8' wool rug (available in both black and white):
I'm not sure why I like it so much, I just know that I do.

Another option is this  zebra patterned wool rug, also 5x8', also $349, which would be a great upgrade from the polyester runner I currently have in my living room:
I've long wanted a hide rug for the space, but the more I think about it, the more I feel it would be a bit off-putting (especially for my vegan friends). With that in mind, I'm considering all three of the rugs above. Which do you think would work best? The light one would probably get too dirty... And remember, my living room currently looks like this:
The runner I have isn't so bad, especially as far as $20 solutions go, but I'm itching for a change.

Is Structube the answer? Any thoughts?


Check out this quick mock up my friend Patty did. Neat right?
Hey chic-lovin' dudes. Hope you had a good long weekend. I spent my time at the family cottage, which was a bit of a gong show. But despite that, I managed to do a little successful thrifting in the small towns that surround the beach.

Find of the weekend: a pair of mid-century modern brass cats. They are EXACTLY like this pair (already sold) from the awesome Etsy shop Kitsch Café.
Mine were $1 each, and considering that I've seen them selling for $30, I'd say I got a deal. Check out this bunch of the similar options still currently available on Etsy:
Cute, right?

A few years ago, fearing a future as Eleanor Abernathy (the "Crazy Cat Lady"), I would not have bought these kitties, but I've learned to embrace my kitsch-loving side. And if the future turns me into a crazy cat lady, so be it. There are worst things to be.

I know gold-tone objects aren't for everyone, but the more  of the them I find, the more I fall in love. These cats have found a home on my mantle, and I'm very happy with them indeed.