We’ve got a little celebrating going on right now at the Bye Bye Brooklyn casa.
The Futurama birthday song is my favorite birthday tune of all time. Bradley’s been singing it to me all weekend for my big three-oh. I’m still getting used to the idea that I’m no longer a twenty-something. It’s not so bad — just different.
To ring in the big day, we decided to take a break from the renovating and go shopping instead. Our area has a lot of antique and thrift shops, and I’ve been begging Bradley to go there with me for a solid month now. On Saturday, he took me to 5 shops, one after the other, and we ended up finding a lot of things we didn’t know we needed.
Our first stop was The Rising Sun, which is located in a beautiful historic building.
Look closely on the counter and you can see my Contigo coffee mug that I raved about in another post. That thing goes everywhere with me. I’ve told Bradley I would like to be cremated and have my ashes placed in it someday. Not kidding.
The owner is a really sweet guy who grew up in our area. He gave us a lot of info on where to go and what to check out. We have a lot in common. All 3 of us wanted to be astronauts or anthropologists when we were kids. And we have a love for bones:
That’s an ice age era sloth bone. Too expensive for us, though, so we settled for just drooling over it momentarily.
Bradley fell in love with a pair of old driving goggles.
Meanwhile, I looked through 2 floors of stuff to find something that felt like a good fit for the office. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but I wanted some yellow accessories for the office.
I loved that old circus poster — I could totally imagine it leaning against the exposed brick wall — but, sadly, it was way out of my boo-zhay. And then I spotted these:
Earlier that day, Bradley had suggested getting a coffee maker for the office. I thought he was joking, but he insisted. He knows when I get in the zone, I hate being interrupted and I especially hate running out of coffee. So he thought it would be a good idea to set up a little coffee maker or French press. That way I can keep the creative juices flowing and not have to wander too far if I need a refill.
When I saw the four yellow cups, I was sold on the idea. I nabbed all 4 for $10. They already make our house feel bright and cheerful:
Now all I need is a yellow French Press to match:
Our next stop was a big red barn that we pass on our way home from Brooklyn:
It was too dark inside for me to get any decent photos, but they have some on their website if you’re interested. We loved the setup of the place — 3 floors of antiques, all very neatly organized and staged — but we didn’t find anything that felt like a good fit for our home. It’s definitely one of the least cluttered antique shops I’ve ever been in, though, and well worth checking out.
After that, we headed over to a Goodwill, which was a total bust, except for these 2 finds:
L: Ringo Starr’s Goodnight Vienna, R: Pink Floyd’s A Saucerful of Secrets.
A full moon. A flying saucer. A giant robo space man. Ringo Starr in a silver lamé space suit. Are you jealous yet? This may well be the best 50 cents we’ve spent in a long, long time.
We plan on framing these puppies and hanging them up somewhere in our house.
Next up: Timeworn Treasures, where it was also too dark to grab decent photos. When we walked in, I wasn’t sure I would find anything I liked. The whole store smelled like potpourri, which is a huge turnoff for both of us. “It smells like a grandma’s bathroom,” is Bradley’s exact quote. Still, we forced ourselves to go in and ended up walking out with the most incredible find of the day:
Bradley found this chair hidden away in a corner of the store.
It’s solid wood, with cast iron fittings that adjust the height and angle of the seat. There a little spray paint action going on on the back:
It’s rusted and scuffed and stained.
But it was love at first
sight seat. Not only is this chair super cool in a steampunk kinda way, but it’s extremely comfortable to sit on. So we negotiated the price down to $64 and nabbed it for our office.
I also nabbed these B & L blocks for $4 a piece:
A $14 greenish-yellow lantern for a bookshelf:
And 3 fist-sized shells for $3 a pop:
Our final stop was Fleming Antiques & Lamps:
One of our lamps broke during the move and Bradley needed to pick up a replacement part. These ladies know their stuff — they had us in and out with the right piece in a matter of minutes.
But not before I picked up what I really came in for:
I fell in love with these vintage bookends , but initially passed on them because the $45 price tag was non-negotiable. I thought $45 was kinda ridiculous for something so small, but I’ve been talking about them nonstop for weeks now. I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t snag them, so Bradley got them for me for my birthday. (He also got me a sweet canvas carpenter’s apron from Lowe’s. Thanks Bradley!!)
Even though I loved the way they looked, the owls seemed way too dark to me. I kept wondering how they would look if I painted them a lighter color. They could look super cute and retro. Or I could totally ruin them and screw up something I already thought looked great. After a lot of hemming, hawing and begging Bradley to make the decision for me (he didn’t, the turd), I grabbed a paint brush and went for it.
We had a gallon of creamy white paint we purchased for the office walls.
The exact color is Olympic C151-1 Horseradish, and it’s a low-VOC mix so there wasn’t much of an odor. Which meant this lady could hang out with me on the porch while I painted:
Is there anything in the world lazier than a pug? I’ll go ahead and answer it for you: no. There isn’t. The end.
In case you’re wondering why we named her Jabba the Mutt, I’d like to present you with Exhibit A:
I rest my case.
I was super nervous the entire time I painted. My hands actually shook a little when I started, and I was biting my nails in between coats. It took a solid 3 coats to cover up the deep brown wood, but the final product was exactly what I imagined.
The lighter color really makes the details in their feathers pop. And they look less weathered and old and more retro and whimsical.
It’s amazing what a huge different a little paint can make.
My new bookends will look fantastic in our office. We’re not sure right now whether we’ll use them as actual bookends or just put one in the office and the other in a different part of the house (guest bedroom, maybe?). They’re too cute to hide sideways. But we’ll figure that out once we get to the decorating stage of the office. For now, we’re OK with all of our new finds living in boxes in our dining room. They’ll have their moment soon.
As for me, I’m planning on having a moment of my own: I’m spending the rest of my birthday hanging out on the porch with the pup and dreaming about drywall and paint chips and finishing off the 2 rooms we’re working on. Back soon with more renovation adventures!