Tag Archives: thrifting

Good Score!

Good Score! is a weekly feature here at Red House West highlighting our readers’ secondhand finds. If you scored a great bargain at a thrift store, found a treasure on the side of the road, or discovered a one-of-a-kind gem at a yard sale, we’d love to hear about it! Please send a picture and a brief description of what, where and how much to redhousewest@gmail.com -OR- use the hashtag #rhwgoodscore on Instagram and each Friday we’ll share a couple of highlights. To see Good Scores from previous weeks, click here.

We are so excited to announce our first giveaway! For each Good Score you submit between now and May 28 – either via redhousewest@gmail.com or the Instagram hashtag #rhwgoodscore – you will receive an entry into a random drawing for a set of Mera’s hand carved and printed avian cards!

You will receive two Loon cards, and two Snowy Owl cards (all blank on the inside), plus three Harlequin Duck gift tags.  All are hand carved and printed by Mera.

You will receive two Loon cards, and two Snowy Owl cards (all blank on the inside), plus three Harlequin Duck gift tags. All are hand carved and printed by Mera.

We’ll announce the winner in the Good Score post on Friday, May 30. This contest is open to residents of the United States (including Alaska!) and Canada. Limit five entries per person (we’re highly optimistic about folks’ enthusiasm).

Expect some variation, as the cards are printed individually by hand. Tolerant kitty not included.

In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, here is a Good Score submitted by my (Katie’s) darling mom Susan. Reading this today I was thinking how my love of old things – and of researching their stories and those of the people whose lives they’ve been part of – certainly comes from her:

Sometimes a “good score” is identifying a family heirloom. I inherited this octagonal Zamara pattern teapot on the death of my mother in 1989, I often fill it with flowers. It still holds water but its broken and glued handle and the chips on the rim, lid and spout mean that it no longer can serve tea.

Tulips in Teapot

I found this picture of the teapot in my mother’s first year album, dated 1911. It’s murky but I think you can see the tea pot sitting on the buffet shelf in front of the mirror, reflecting it and her daintily dressed image.

1911 Zamara 1_edited

Googling “Zamara china” linked me to a site called www.thefind.com where a similar pot is selling at Ruby Lane for $350. Our chipped and glued pot probably isn’t that valuable but finding its history online thrilled my genealogical, sleuthing self. Zamara was made by potter Francis Morley in Staffordshire, England, between 1848-1858 and imported by Tyndale in Pennsylvania.

Zamara Trademark

My great-great grandparents married in 1851 in Ohio and it’s possible this teapot was among their gifts. As a minister’s wife, Mary Groves Nuzum would have had many opportunities to serve tea. My great-grandmother Jenny inherited the pot from her. Jenny was six when President Lincoln came to their little town in Wisconsin where they lined the streets to see him and cheer. Did they then go home and share tea after this great event – talking as my grandmother told me the story, told to her by her mother – about his goodness and the freeing of the slaves?

This Zamara pattern is known for its lotus and scroll design. Each lid has a special cap; ours is a scalloped flower.

Zamara Lid

White, blue, yellow, rose and green,the colors of earth and sky, decorate this cherished pot. It’s graced many homes in its at 152-162 year life. It traveled from Ohio to Wisconsin to Oregon to California and back to Oregon. As I place it on my table, I think of all the women, my mother and the mothers, before her, gathering friends and family around them and pouring tea.

Thanks for reading this post! Don’t be daunted by how involved my mom’s Good Score is. They can be (and usually are) brief – who, what, where and how much – so send ’em in and be entered in our giveaway! Mera will be back on Monday showcasing some of the most beautiful rugs you’ve ever seen –which just happen to have been made by her mom. Have a terrific weekend.

Good Score!

Good Score! is a weekly feature here at Red House West highlighting our readers’ secondhand finds. If you scored a great bargain at a thrift store, found a treasure on the side of the road, or discovered a one-of-a-kind gem at a yard sale, we’d love to hear about it! Please send a picture and a brief description of what, where and how much to redhousewest@gmail.com -OR- use the hashtag #rhwgood score on Instagram and each Friday we’ll share a couple of highlights.

It is our fourth week of posting Good Scores, and it has been so fun to receive pictures and stories about your found and thrifted treasures (if you missed out, you can see previous Good Score! posts here). For this week we wanted to tell you about a few recent good scores of our own, and to let you know that you can now submit your Good Scores to us through Instagram.  Simply upload a photo of your thrifted treasure to Instagram, and add the hashtag #rhwgoodscore. Send us pictures! Please and thank you!

From Mera:

This weekend I found a chair on Craigslist that I am really pleased about.  The majority of the population in Alaska moved here in the 1980s, so the furniture you find here is . . . wait for it  . . . 80s.  When this handsome non-80s fellow appeared for $30 I jumped at it (him).

chair1

It is solid, oak I think, with some really beautiful details.  The finish is pretty yucky and at some point I’ll do something about that.

chair back

The woman I bought it from upholstered the cushions herself, and they are a sight to behold!

chair cushions

For now I have the bottom cushion covered with a white plaid wool blanket, but someday I’ll get a thinner cushion and properly upholster it.

chair 2

***

My second Good Score! is a pretty little tea towel I bought at a favorite antique store for $5.  It has an intricately embroidered crewel peach on it:

Tea towel

I cannot begin to imagine embroidering something this fine on a towel used for drying dishes and hands.  I have been working on a crewel embroidery project off and on for 15 years, and I can tell you that if I ever manage to finish it no one will wipe their hands on it and expect to keep them.

tea towel close up

***

From Katie:

Well, I dragged home another down-on-its-luck shell chair – it was $20 on Craigslist – though this one is a Herman Miller office chair rather than a tulip chair. The upholstery is in less dire straits than the tulip chair (no goat beards!), but it is covered in stains of indeterminate origin. I’d prefer that the origin remain indeterminate, but I’d sure like those stains to go away.

Some of these stains are... disconcerting

So cute!…but also ew

I’m going to try giving the chair a good steam cleaning and cross my fingers that gets rid of the worst of the stains. I really hope it does! I’d love to keep the green upholstery. Happily, the fiberglass shell and the wheels are in great shape and the chair is really comfortable.

The Herman Miller stamp on the speckled charcoal-colored fiberglass

The Herman Miller stamp on the speckled charcoal-colored fiberglass

***

I found this amazing acid-yellow bowl yesterday at a vintage store. This store is usually pretty pricy – they definitely know what they’re selling – so it’s rare that I can afford something there or that it would qualify as a Good Score, but this bowl had some little chips in the glaze and they were asking $10.

I love the little pedestal and its relaxed shape

I love the little pedestal and its relaxed shape

It says ‘made in Italy’ on the bottom, but I don’t know anything more about it than that. Well, I do know that it makes my heart sing.

***

Thanks for checking out our Good Scores!  Please send us yours – either to redhousewest@gmail.com, or by uploading them to Instagram with the hashtag #rhwgoodscore – we’d love to see what you’re finding and to feature it here on Red House West. Thanks, and happy weekend!

Good Score!

We’re hoping to start a weekly feature here at Red House West highlighting our readers’ good secondhand finds. If you scored a great bargain at a thrift store, found a treasure on the side of the road, or discovered a one-of-a-kind gem at a yard sale, we’d love to hear about it! Please send a picture and a brief description of what, where and how much to redhousewest@gmail.com and each Friday we’ll share a couple of highlights.

I feel about thrift stores the same way my cat, Dean, feels about tuna treats: I love them with a wholehearted, slavering affection that borders on indecent. I haven’t done much gambling, but I think that treasure hunting at thrift stores is probably pretty similar—scoring big is a high, but more often than not you end up not just empty handed, but also really wanting to wash your hands.

Our house is furnished, with few exceptions, with things I’ve found at thrift stores, yard sales and on Craigslist. I’ve become much more discerning about what I deem a ‘treasure,’ learning the hard way to take time to carefully inspect and assess and, yes, smell an item before I bring it home. Recently, I found three of these mid century chairs when I was scouring a favorite thrift store. I knew right when I walked in the door that I was going to find something good. I had what my friend Heather calls ‘spidey sense’—a heightened awareness that something great awaited me in the musty fug.

Bramin chair

I’d been looking for dining room chairs and I liked the shape of these and the quality of craftsmanship was evident. The wood was in terrific shape (I’ve been much less cavalier about bringing home things that ‘just need to be refinished’ since I actually tried refinishing something) and I loved the little rosewood inlay that ran the length of the chairs’ backs.

I've since learned that the inlaid wood and style of joinery is a hallmark of HW Klein's designs for Bramin

I’ve since learned that the inlaid wood and style of joinery is a hallmark of HW Klein’s designs for Bramin

When I turned a chair over there was the glint of a maker’s tag—which provided a good clue for finding out more about their origin:

Bramin chair tag

There were three chairs (I haunted the store for weeks hoping that a fourth would turn up, but to no avail) and I bought them for $5.99 each. When I got home I looked them up and found this Danish ad showing very similar chairs by the same designer, suggesting they were made in the mid 1960s.

Danish ad for Braminimage source

Searching further, I found a pair of these exact chairs listed on EBay for $530. There were also sets of four to six chairs listed for thousands of dollars. It’s fun (and crazy) that something I got so cheaply is worth so much, but more importantly I love these chairs. I can’t wait to condition the wood and reupholster the seats – I am still deciding what fabric to use, but when I finish them I’ll make sure to share here on the blog.

The second good score I want to share today – the merit of which arises from sheer beauty, rather than any designer tag or monetary value – is these little ladies:

the fish girls

Ah, they are absurd and they bring me so much joy. Who would give something so amazing to Goodwill??? Their names change daily, but are always something from an older generation: Lorraine and Esther; Gertrude and Ethel; Hortense and Bertha.

Seriously, who would give this to Goodwill???

Eunice looking dazzling in profile

They’re just so interactive! Last summer my nieces (and I) spent a lot of time picking flowers in the garden and giving them new hairdos. I put plants in them for the winter, but I’m considering un-potting them now that blooms are plentiful once again.

Edith and Norma freshly returned from the salon

Edith and Norma freshly returned from the salon

 

Looking a little dubious about her new 'do

Phyllis looking a little dubious about her new ‘do

So those are a couple of my recent good scores. Please send us an email and tell us about yours!