The Nifty Thrifty: Long Beach, Oregon, and Everywhere

Hey there!

Long time no talk.  Hope your summers have been going swimmingly!  We had a great time visiting both of our families and a bunch of friends in an epic two weeks of travel, but it has actually been nice to be home and get back into the swing of normal life.  I'm oddly relieved that we don't have big plans to leave our area until next summer.  Vacationing can be exhausting!  In the midst of it all, we've been thrifting here, there, and everywhere. We had another great haul at the Long Beach Antique Market last Sunday, we went to estate sales with my mom when we were in Oregon plus she gave us several bags of stuff she had picked up for us, and then of course some random finds from our local thrift stores, and even an eBay purchase to round out the lot. We definitely did not manage to photograph everything, but we did our best to get it all in this post!

We snatched up this mid century trash can at the Long Beach flea for a great deal, and after a little research it looks like this might actually be an original Richard Galef from his Ravenware line, which would be awesome.  Anyone know for sure?  Either way we love this style of this bad boy, and it's amazing what a difference a fancy trash bin can make in a room.  When even your trash can is stylish, the whole space feels more sophisticated.

On top here is probably the thing I'm most excited about... it's a vintage Mexican Saltillo blanket, probably from sometime in the 40's-50's, and it's just gorgeous.  I'm planning to use to to reupholster some ottomans or benches, and I'll probably be attempting to make an upholstered bench with hairpin legs with part of it.  I think it's going to be awesome.  I'm already planning to look for more of these blankets next time we're at Long Beach or another flea market.

Chris actually found the mid century ottoman the blanket is sitting on at this little Goodwill thrift store in Oak View that we never go to because it's mostly just books, but he stopped by a few weeks ago and picked up the ottoman on sale for half off!  It looks ok in the photo, but trust me that it is very poorly reupholstered with some weird off-white fabric covered in plastic.  It's going to look amazing in some Mexican blanket!

You know we couldn't resist picking up yet another mid century wire magazine rack at the Long Beach flea.  This is the third one we've found of this exact shape, and both of this one's predecessors sold almost immediately in our Etsy shop, so I have a good feeling about this one.

The retro owl thing can be awesome or terrible, but I'm putting this gold cocktail shaker firmly in the awesome category.  Super shiny and pretty, perfect for display on a bar.  We were drawn to it immediately at a booth at the Long Beach flea, walked away for a moment to "think about it" (aka look it up on Etsy on my iPhone to see if there are a ton of them for super cheap or anything), and then we went right back to haggle for a better price once we determined it was a good choice.  Oh, iPhone, how you have changed my thrifting experience... Most things I don't check on, but sometimes I'm not sure if something is already out there too much, especially for smaller/cheaper items, so it's nice to be able to double check that I'm getting a good deal.

I love this little wool black and white accent rug (about 2x3 ft) with its on trend arrow pattern.  It's not quite right for our apartment, otherwise I'd totally keep it.  We've been getting really into rugs lately.  Both rugs I listed before our Etsy feature sold that weekend, so we figure they're a good item to list, but it's also always nice to upgrade the rugs in our space first.  We actually bought another rug from a garage sale in Portland, which did not get photographed for this post because it's already under our table in the kitchen!  It's probably my favorite rug we own now, but you'll have to wait to see it until we take more photos of our apartment.

We nabbed this view-master at the Long Beach flea because we sold all three of the view-masters we had listed in our shop after our feature.  We have quite the collection of slides, so we figured we'd just pick up any view-masters we could find at the right price, then we add a couple slides to make it a set. Most of the view-masters we saw just weren't very exciting, but this one at least had something fun going on with the red, white, and blue mix.

The last Long Beach flea item here is this Jadeite (Jadite? What's with the two spellings of that word?!) sugar shaker.  We're actually going to keep this guy for ourselves so we can have a pretty vessel for storing the sugar that goes into our tea and coffee.

We've had this Cathrineholm bowl for a long time now in our own personal collection, and I can't quite remember where we got it, but we finally decided to list it in our Etsy shop.  We had been using this bowl, which is stainless steel on the outside and light minty aqua enamel on the inside, as our fruit bowl but it's just not big enough to hold that much fruit, so we finally upgraded to a huge (and amazing) 11" Cathrineholm lotus bowl (which we bought on eBay and somehow managed to forget to photograph for this post, oops!).  I do love the combination of aqua and silver on this bowl, but we can't keep everything so out it goes.

Tiny cast iron!  I have always been super charmed by these adorable sample size pots when we spotted them at flea markets, but they were always priced too high.  So I was rather excited when I got home from work one day a few weeks ago and Chris showed me this little red/orange Descoware cutie, which he had found at one of our local Ojai thrifts.  I love how tiny it looks next to those strawberries. Not that we have an actual purpose for such a small thing, and as small-space dwellers we try to only keep what we need, so it will go into our shop, but I will be very happy to own it until it sells!

This Chein moon globe may look familiar, because we own one!  We actually found this one on eBay, which is not our normal way of acquiring things, but every now and then we see if there's anything that's a good enough deal, and this guy jumped on our radar.  It just so happened that the seller was in Oakland, CA and offered free local pickup, and and we were stopping in Oakland a few days later to stay with friends on our way up to Oregon, so it felt like an extra win when we won the auction and worked out picking up the globe from the seller for free. In general we're trying to avoid buying globes, because we've had such an issue with collecting too many globes in the past, but we will aways make an exception for a moon globe, especially this one with its awesome tulip style base.

We've said it over and over again, I'm sure, but rotary phones are always a good seller for us, so we were more than happy to purchase this red one (because fun colorful ones are even better) at an estate sale in Oregon.  It works, it's red, what's not to love?!

My mom is the one who taught me all about shopping garage sales as a child, and she has particularly enjoyed watching our reselling business grow.  At this point, she has developed a pretty good sense of our taste, and when she can get things on the cheap she'll pick up stuff for us, so every time we visit my parents we get loads of awesome vintage stuff to add to our stock.  Thanks, Mom!  We literally brought three bags of stuff home with us after this trip, but we only had the chance to photograph a few things this time around.  Of course we started with the rotary phones.  This mustard yellow one was actually made in Canada so it has a different brand name even though it looks exactly the same as the Bell Systems ones we usually get.  Unfortunately the ringer isn't working even though the rest of the phone is... I know several of you have suggested we look into fixing it ourselves, but we've been too busy up until now to look into it and those phones have still sold just fine. We'll see how I'm feeling about this one this week...

Another rotary phone from my mom's stash, this brown "Doodle Rotary Dial" by Northern Telecom is hilariously retro, and in good working condition.  We just need a little pad of paper to fit in that spot on the front!

Finally, of all the other little things my mom gave us, we did manage to photograph this Bisquick tin, which is in amazingly good condition, and someone should totally use it as storage on their kitchen counter.  It's sad that food doesn't come in such awesome reusable containers anymore.

Ooh, also, you may not be able to tell from these photos, but we bought a new camera while we were in Oregon (no sales tax woo!), and we are super happy with it.  We've been planning to upgrade for a long time now, as our old Nikon D200 was quite outdated at this point, and I'm so glad we finally did it.  We got the Nikon D610, and though the difference with these types of photos doesn't seem too dramatic, it actually feels like a huge upgrade, and I think the difference will be much more apparent with our other types of photos (like interiors, landscapes, portraits, etc).

What do you think of all our finds?  What have you thrifted these past few weeks?  Link up below!

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. Jonathan Goldstein @straylight42 can tell you for sure if the trash can is Ravenware or not. It looks similar, but I have never seen it with the inside mesh design. But what do I know?

  2. I Love your vintage mexican blanket! Thanks for hosting the link up, I added my link to the list :)

  3. I got a View-Master, too, this week! (Boy, am I glad you two aren't picking at the Nashua, NH Savers any more!) Mine is just like yours! It only came with a handful of slides, so until I find some more and hopefully older ones, I think this one's a keeper.
    I have that same sugar shaker. Yeah, for same-sies!

  4. Thank you for hosting this week. Love all your finds. Sounds like you had a good time finding stuff in my home state.

  5. Welcome back! I'd never seen a moon globe before but it sure is gorgeous! I love that base.

  6. Such lovely finds. I had no idea rotary phones were a good seller. That might explain why I see them marked so high at antique stores. The globe is a super-cool find. I've never seen one like that before. Excellent!

  7. Are you certain that the black and white rug isn't the Nate Berkus rug from Target? If it is, $45 might be a bit steep for it: http://www.designsponge.com/2013/04/nate-berkus-arrowhead-rugs.html

    1. Hey, I think you're right! I had no idea. That's so funny because I saw a Nate Berkus for Target towel there the other day that had a similar design, but with alternating large and small arrows and pointed out to Chris that it was similar to our rug. They don't carry the rug at Target anymore, and ours actually sold a week ago before I saw your comment! Good catch though :)


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