Ho Hum.

Oh, we have entered the dead zone of thrift store/estate sale/yard sale/rummage sale shopping. The fall, with its plethora of church rummage sales and flurry of estate sales, is behind us; ahead of us lies the long, white, cold stretch of hell known as “winter” in Chicago. Blergh. We went south for the holidays and got back last Friday; I had plans of doing some thrift store shopping this week but all four of us contracted the nastiest cold while in Arkansas and have been hacking and whining about the house instead of going on second-hand adventures. I did stop by the Salvation Army on Devon yesterday, when I dropped a bag of baby clothes off — it was miserable pickings, y’all. It might pick up at the thrift stores in a week or two, because the New Year usually sees people in an unusually productive, organizational mood and the charity thrift stores profit from this burst of industriousness.  Maybe I’ll get a chance to check back during the week next week.

The biggest news in our house this week is that we broke down and bought a new television set. I’ve been watching a 19 inch tube TV, a cast-off of Justin’s, for about 12 years now; our poor nanny, who has little to do but watch TV while the babies are napping, could be found hunched in the only comfortable chair in the living room, squinting at it, on any given day. I know it seems crazy to buy a new TV just for the nanny but really it was for me as well; even though I don’t watch TV that much anymore, it was getting pretty hard for me to see it given the size, my aging eyesight, and the fact that a TV that old isn’t at the top of its game. I have some money in savings from some freelance work that I do for my old corporate employer so the purchase — and choice — was primarily mine, which didn’t sit well with the resident tech pro in the household. He was gunning for a fancy 60 incher, but as soon as I saw it in the store, I knew there was no way I was going to bring that thing into my home. It was so huge I felt like it would somehow be projecting from INSIDE MY BRAIN. We settled for a 50 inch TV that was half the price of the one he wanted to get, and he is grudgingly supportive of my purchase. Of course, finding room for it in the living room meant shuffling even more stuff around, which I have done plenty since the arrival of the babies — all of my beautiful collections are slowly but surely being boxed up and put away. Today, the last of my hats had to be taken down. They’re some of my absolute favorites, so I’m not getting rid of them, but I’ll have to find a safe means of storage for them.

The new TV is sitting on top of what I had previously been using for craft supplies, so I shifted a bunch of stuff around, unearthing, of course, a ton of stuff I had forgotten about. I took photos so you could see (because that’s productive, right? Stopping to take pictures every five minutes?).

I bought these at the Andersonville Neighborhood Sale about six or seven years ago.

They’re tiny little Japanese lanterns, about 2 to 3 inches high, attached by strings to long sticks:

I’m assuming they were meant to be stuck in fruity, exotic tropical drinks in the 50s and 60s — the people I bought them from were unloading a ton of ancient restaurant  equipment. I have held on to them for this long, always intending to break them out at a party to fancy up the proceedings but of course I never have…I’m going to try to take some better pictures and get them up on etsy. They would be so cute used in a craft project.

Here’s my collection of vintage doorknobs:

I thought for half a second of getting rid of them, but it took a while to amass so many (they’re usually so expensive, but every now and then I find them super cheap and I always grab them up). I have been obsessed with using them on furniture re-dos since I did this project a couple of years ago (can’t believe how fast time flies) but, of course, I haven’t been doing a whole lot of furniture refurbishing lately. If I had, I would surely have found something to use these awesome, wooden, hand-carved drawer pulls on:

…or these really cool metal ones:

I’ve got eight of those! I love them. I can see them spray-painted, in the right situation. Also love these gesso appliques, which someday will be embellishing a cute little piece of furniture for my tiny girlie:

Anyone know what the heck these are for?

I bought 24 of them for $3 at a thrift store a long time ago.

I’m sure I’ll use them for SOMETHING someday.

Last but not least, I found this little duck just thrown into a drawer:

I have a thing for vintage rhinestone pins. My intention is always to use them while wrapping a special present — pinning them to the ribbon — but then I get all stingy at the last minute and decide not to use them. So instead they get thrown into a drawer and forgotten about.

My apartment is nothing but a big opportunity for multiple New Year’s Resolutions.

Hope your New Year is off to a marvelous start!