Sunday, September 2, 2012

Looking Beyond #1 - Are You a Visionary?

My guess is, you probably are. 

After all - you're reading a blog, and
you got here somehow - probably
by reading another blog or a participating link party.

You wouldn't be here if you weren't
interested in DIY home-improvement
type revisions of some sort.

Maybe you even like thrift store and
garage sale-shopping. Most of us do.

So I COULD be preaching to the choir here...

So maybe my message today is for newbies,
first-time home owners, first apartment, 
first something-or-others:


Look beyond the grime.

Often times, items are sold for pennies if they're
dirty or dusty or have an old candle stuck in them.

EASY fix. Clean it, put it in hot water. Scrape it.

Is it made of quality materials? Check. Wood is good.

Does it have a lovely form? Yes. Love the curves.

Will it fit your "style" or the style you're going for? Maybe not.

 Could you sell it for more 
than you will pay for it? Yes. Even in a garage sale.

Does it need anything beyond cleaning? Maybe some metal circles should be glued inside to separate the candle holder from the wood. It would prevent a fire hazard situation. 
A light sanding and stain will also be a good idea.

If so, how hard would it be to do that? Not hard. I have
all the materials on hand.

Many, many items are great after only a 
good scrubbing. It's amazing.

Case in point:
This marble pedestal bowl.

It caught my eye at one of my favorite 
thrift stores. But, it had a crusty, waxy residue on it.

Maybe someone had a candle in it...

I decided to pass it by. I left the store without it.
Then I wished I'd asked the price.  

My regret was intensified when I saw this
at Loi Thai's Tone on Tone blog...

And next, I saw this:

Loi's photos inspired me to go back and get the
marble pedestal bowl - if the price was right.

It was. Now, I just need to clean
the thing and try to make it look something
like what Loi has done with his styling.

Loi's styling is perfect. He's a designer
and owner of a shop in Washington, D.C.
specializing in Swedish antiques.
This sweet little milk glass planter bowl
just needs the old styro stuff cleaned out, 
and a little scrub. It's from the same store.

These salt and pepper shakers
needed the salt and pepper removed.
(The pepper was a solid mass...
yucky, but they were a buck.)

Most things aren't terribly gross...
a little grimy, covered in dust or maybe
spider webs and egg sacks, but nothing
that will take tons of work and elbow 
grease and technical knowledge.

And today we're discussing the effects of grime.

Like this square wood mirror.
I actually have a mate for this one.

Just looking at the one on the left, you'd automatically
see only the grime, not the square shape or the detailing
in the molding. Unless you look beyond the grime.

They were found at different times on
different trips to different thrift stores.
I didn't even realize I had a matching set
until I was pulling some things to paint.

Pairs of things are a great thing to have.
If you ever see a pair of something, get both.
( that was a freebie message)

This post is the first in a series of 
oriented posts. 
I want to explore the processes 
involved in seeing beyond
an item's current state that help us
all discern, imagine and visualize
what it might become.


Carry hand sanitizer or baby wipes with you.
Wear rubber gloves to clean it if you must.
Dust off cobwebs and egg sacks outside.

Be cautious of smelly things, but
know that soap, hot water, and basic
cleaning supplies are one of the easiest
ways to turn a cheap, cast off item into
a treasure you can be happy to display. 

Other handy tools:
Razor blade scraper - glass, mirrors, paint drips
Magic Eraser cleaning pads - markers, stains, grime, etc.
WD 40 - sticky things, stickers, etc.
Naval Jelly - removes rust. (Not ALL rust is good!)
Vinegar - soaking removes hard water stains

Word for the Day:
1 Peter 3:21
Baptism, which corresponds to this, 
now saves you, not as a removal of dirt 
from the body but as an appeal 
to God for a good conscience, 
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

Linking With


Thrifty Treasures

Masterpiece Monday
Make it Pretty Monday

Vintage Inspiration Tuesday
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Cowgirl Up!

White Wednesday
Wow Us Wednesday
What’s it Wednesday

Under $100 Link Party
Share Awesomeness Thursday
Time Travel Thursday
Treasure Hunt Thursday
Home and Garden Thursday
Share Your Cup Thursday
Doin’ It Yourself

Feathered Nest Friday
Potpourri Friday
Frugal Friday
Inspiration Friday
Vintage Inspiration Friday

Saturday Nite Special


Tina@WhatWeKeep said...

Great tips are never too old or too repeated to mention!
I found a marble lamp base for 5 bucks and couldn't believe it. I took the old wiring out and it has new life after a good scrubbing.
Question: Where would one find naval jelly? Lowe's? I want to tackle a rusty fire pit surround.
Looking forward to your new series!
xxx, T.

Sharing Shadymont said...

What a great post. You're right. I've bought some pretty grimy things that turned out really well with a little elbow grease. I keep hand sanitizer in my car for use after my thrift shopping.

Great minds! :) said...

So thankful He looks beyond our 'grime'... and loves us enough to clean it off! Good reference guide for newbies and oldies.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

You have some great finds here, and I wish that I could find nice things like yours (especially love the marble pedestal pretty!!!

Anne said...

I have done that same thing! I will walk away only to go back to see if that item I passed on is still there.If it was meant to be it still was there.If it is gone then it was not meant to be.Isn't it great how we all inspire each other!

Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

Great post!
I don't tout myself as being a visionary, simply because I don't instantly see it for the beauty or the NEW THING it can become...
...I'm more of tinker...I'll tinker with it, leave it lay, mull it over type.

But I like the way you think and you have wonderful tips to hone my TINKER WAYS!

...I opened shop, finally, come by- Pat

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

I just finished cleaning the stuff I bought during yesterday shopping...yep, things can get a little yucky sometime...but I clean poopy cloth diapers everyday for the last 4 years...every single day. Great tip on the wax-candle removal!

lynn said...

that marble urn on the books--fabulous, revi! happy labor day!

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Hi Revi -
Thank you for the kind words :) I so appreciate it! I wish we lived closer to each other....we'd have fun junking, thrifting and antiquing!
Cheers from DC,


Great tips!!

Michele said...

There is a world of useful advice in this post. I'd have to add--can it be covered up? As in a spot on a piece or hole in a textile. If it's a pedestal bowl you're going to fill with fruit or some other decorative items, what difference if there is a spot on the inside? Same with a small hole in a table cloth or dresser scarf. Can you set a centerpiece or other item on it? If so, why pass up an otherwise beautiful find?

Jann Olson said...

Yup Revi, I've never been afraid of a little dirt. Just pull up the sleeves and get to work. I have a friend that went to a sale where you had to dig through dirty boxes. She couldn't do it. She said, "How do you know what to look for?" I said you don't. You just dig and find treasures. That's half the fun. She couldn't grasp the concept. Thanks for sharing your advice with Share Your cup.

Pamela said...

What fabulous finds Revi! Thanx for sharing them at THT. I must admit some times I am not as much of a visionary as I would like to be.