The Nifty Thrifty: Feature and a Flea

Hi everyone!

What a crazy few weeks it has been!  In case you don’t follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter (which you totally should, by the way), and haven’t looked at the Etsy homepage in the past couple of days… the big news of the moment is that we were the Featured Shop this weekend!  If it’s still before about 10am EST on Monday the 21st, then we’re still there!  If not, you can check out the post here on the Etsy blog.  Super duper exciting stuff.  We found out we were going to be featured the day after we got home from Indonesia, but we had to keep it hush hush as we did all sorts of prep behind the scenes, though I definitely hinted that we were very busy working on our shop… last week was a huge push to finish all the handmade things I wanted to list, photograph EVERYTHING in the world (or just our back room), and get all those listings live.  Exhausting.  I forget what it's like to just relax in the evenings.

Anyway, related to all that madness, we’ve been thrifting our happy little behinds off lately, so we have lots to share!  Some of these things were purchased in the past few weeks and were listed in our shop (a few sold already!), but most of it was actually purchased today at the Long Beach Antique Market!  I didn’t think we’d have the time/energy to go to the flea market this weekend, but on Saturday evening we were in a good place and feeling like we should really get out and buy more to replace all the goodies that have been flying off the shelves.  One 5:30 am wake-up call later, and we were down in vintage heaven, picking up all sorts of fun stuff:

I’ve only ever seen Swedish Dala horses online, so when I walked by a booth at the flea market with a whole selection of lovely red figurines I just had to stop and take a look.  I did a quick Etsy search on my iPhone to make sure I was getting a good deal, then bargained for my two favorites.  We’ll be listing these as a pair in our shop, though I do kindof love them.  The taller one is just over 6.5" tall, and the baby is 5" tall with it's original Nils Olsson sticker still attached to the belly. 

We knew our various wire stands and racks tend to sell well, but that trend became even more apparent this weekend, when we sold almost every wire “thingee” (as my parents call them) we had.  Well, we took the hint and went looking for more at the Long Beach Antique Market!  This delightful blue magazine rack is almost identical to a gold one we had earlier this year.  Love the color, love the shape. Done and done (and listed on Etsy here).

Our second wire find of the day today was this classic black wire bookshelf.  I love how the slanted shelves really show off the spines of your books. Look for it in our shop soon!

This was actually our last purchase of the day, and it definitely ended the morning shopping trip on a good note.  We were rather surprised and happy when the seller flat-out accepted our low-ball offer on this gorgeous mid century wood bookshelf, as I was totally expecting to bargain our way to a price in the middle.  This is like the super upgraded version of the black wire one.  If we had more room in our apartment we would totally keep this beauty, but we don’t, so into the shop it will go.  Luckily it measures in at just under the limit for USPS shipping, because I really don’t want to have to figure out shipping large items via another method. 

This tall black hairpin style plant stand was a steal at the flea market for $10, and we both love it so we’re going to keep it!  You can never have too many plant stands.  The flower pot is one that I thrifted from Goodwill a few months ago… we were debating whether to keep or sell it, and it definitely ended up in the keep category. For anyone curious since we didn't say the price at the time (we only do if we know we're going to keep something), the planter set us back $6, which is more than I would normally pay for a smallish used plant pot, but the design is awesome and it is stamped "Made in West Germany" so that adds some value.

Speaking of plant stands we couldn’t bear to part with, Chris picked up this little guy from one of the thrift stores on Main Street in Ventura a week or two ago for $3, and it went straight onto our patio.  It’s just too cool and little.

Chris found this larger black plant stand at the same time as that little one, but this guy went straight into the Etsy shop, and it sold this weekend!

Another Chris thrift store find, this gold wire book stand also went into the shop and sold right away.  See what I mean about the wire stuff? Pretty crazy.  

We were both drawn to this unique thing at the flea market today, and we just had to take it home with us.  It’s a black metal stand with four removable copper oil candles.  The candles’ tops screw off and they each have a long wick, so I assume you just put some candle oil in each one and light the wick? However that works, they are awesome. I love me some copper, though I'm not sure if they are solid or plated... is copper plate a thing?  They definitely have that copper color and the tarnish is greenish.

It's been awhile since we picked up any Pyrex, but we found a few pieces to take home with us this weekend.  The Butterprint butter dish (say that five times fast) was found at the Long Beach flea market today, and it will be listed in our shop as soon as I give it a good scrub.  We actually have the exact same butter dish in our own fridge!  We picked up the little red refrigerator dish at a thrift store in Ventura on Saturday for $2, and we're going to keep it for ourselves and attempt to fix its poor slightly dishwashed finish.  I was totally inspired by reading Dans le Lakehouse's post about restoring Pyrex earlier this month, since it had some new tips I've never heard before, so we're looking forward to giving it a go with this little guy!

I LOVE these glasses.  I spotted this set of five (why do I always find sets of five and not six?!) at a Ventura thrift store on Saturday and Chris approved, even though they're a little crazy for his taste, because of the amazing gold bands. They are stamped with the F in a shield of Federal Glass, and the tiny pink dots are actually textured on the outside.  So good... just so good.

During the same thrifting trip on Saturday we picked up this glass popcorn bowl set.  Normally I'm not a huge fan of these popcorn bowls, just because there are SO many on Etsy, but this one is the exception with that awesome cursive font.  I couldn't find any other ones out there with this font (though I'm sure they exist, so feel free to prove me wrong in the comments you savvy people, you), and it's a great complete set with one large bowl and four small ones.  Random photo tip: with these clear glass patterned things, it's sometimes hard to read the text or see the pattern in photos because you just see through to the pattern on the other side and looks all convoluted, so we used pieces of white paper folded just so inside the bowls to let you see the text easily.  Of course that only really makes sense if you're using a white background, but yeah.  Though it would have been even better if we had some popcorn to put in the bowls!

And finally, a beautiful wool blanket we purchased from the same seller as the Butterprint butter dish at the flea market, for an equally excellent price.  It's in the style of that classic Hudson Bay blanket, but the hilariously vintage tag tells us it was made by Polar Star, "A Golden Dawn Blanket" for JCPenney Co.  It's not in perfect shape, with some light staining, so we haven't quite decided if we're going to sell it as is, keep it for ourselves, use it to make pillows or reupholster a stool, or maybe we'll try getting it dry cleaned and see if that helps?  Either way, it's lovely and we are always happy to take home a nice wool blanket.  Long Beach Antique Market for the win!

Well that was a long post!  What do you think of all our finds this week?  Favorites?  What have you been thrifting lately?  Link up all your latest finds below!

I want to say that we're going to be more regular with our Nifty Thrifty posts, but two weekends from now (when we should be posting if we're trying to follow our new every other week schedule) we're going to be in Oregon visiting my family (and probably doing a lot of thrifting, because... Portland.  Know what I mean?).  Anyway, it might be a few extra weeks before the next Nifty Thrifty, but I do have some other posts lined up...

These blogs also host great link-ups that we join, so make sure you check them out, too:  Me and my ShadowSir Thrift-A-Lot, and new ones at We Call it Junkin and Thrifter Maker Fixer Farm!

Without further ado, a few easy rules for the Nifty Thrifty Link Up:
1. We would love it if you would follow our blog on Google Friend Connect (check the right sidebar), like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and leave a friendly comment :)
2. Only link up recent blog posts that showcase your thrifty finds from the week, including items from yard sales, estate sales, thrift stores, consignment stores, flea markets, and even the side of the road! Thrifty finds that you have restored or updated are fine, but please no unrelated DIY or craft projects (we like those, too, but lets keep this link-up focused on thrifty vintage!).
3. Remember to LINK BACK to this blog - alivingspace - so everyone can join in! 
4. Link straight to your individual post, not your whole blog.
5. No links to Etsy shops or other non-blog sites.

P.S. I'm extending the link-up entry time by a week (so now you can link up for two weeks!) since I'm clearly posting a Nifty Thrifty no more than every other week at this point...

Thanks for joining in!


  1. That wooden bookshelf was designed to hold a whole set of encyclopedias.

  2. I read you wonderful post twice. Then checked out each link. Your shop is exciting. Love your photography. Thanks for The Nifty Thrifty, happy you are continuing hosting.

  3. Saw a Mid Century wooden bookshelf just like that one this morning at a junk store for $10. I didn't have room in my car so I had to pass. Boo! Lovely piece!

  4. Congrats on the Etsy feature!! That's totally awesome news. I'm so happy you found my post useful - that little fridgie looks like an excellent contender for some coconut oil :)

  5. Congratulations on being a featured shop on Etsy! Great finds!!

  6. really nice feature - always nice to get to have a peek behind the scenes of creatives working.
    i really like the look of all of those wire storage things, be it mag rack or flower stand. no wonder they sell so well, they are great designs. finding those Dala horses must be so nice, i'm still hoping for a first for me, even though i'm so close to their original home they don't seem to turn up so abundant here. thanks for hosting the linkie!

  7. Hello!
    I'm visiting from your feature on Etsy. Love your photos.
    I'm following you on bloglovin' and Google+ and GFC.
    Hope you'll stop by my blog sometime: ZzzonkOwl.blogspot.com
    ZzzonkOwl: "All Things Etsy"


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