Category Archives: Old Things, Neat Things

Card Catalogs

I’m obsessed with tiny things. Tiny drawers shall be no exception. Because what do tiny drawers hold?

Tiny things.

This is a tiny card catalog on top of a metal cabinet next to a chest of large drawers. Tiny tiny!

This card catalog is larger and more rustic feeling. I do love the collection of old painting on top as well!

This one has cleaner lines and we’re back to tiny drawers!
What would you put in your card catalog? I feel like they would be perfect for small sewing and crafting notions.  My brain would go all over the place and want to have rooms and rooms of them with embroidery floss, fabric scraps, and buttons neatly stowed in each of the fantastic little drawers.
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Color Shot: Yellow Dining Chairs

These should bring a little bit of sunshine to your soul.  The prices range from about 35 bucks to into the thousands for the vintage Eames wonders, so there’s something for every budget!

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1. The Darlington (Set of two) By Society Social

2.Lilly Pulitzer Home barstools in “Boulevard” and “Breaker”

3. West Elm Wrap Dining Chair, no longer available, but there is a scoop version here

4. Dining Chair by Bark Furniture

5. Vintage “Dax” chairs by Charles Eames, from 1st Dibs

6. Lattice Metal Chair, a steal at about $35, from Ace Mart Restaurant Supply

7. Hatfield Rocker, from CB2

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Heaven on a Side Street in Pocatello

While in Pocatello, Idaho, I happened upon a magical place.  It is located on East Second Avenue, and boasts a pretty hefty claim on the window… “One of Idaho’s Most Interesting Stores.”

The variety of things in the windows had me intrigued.  I was in a hurry, but I coulldn’t help myself.  Eating gas station snacks in the car for lunch would hopefully be worth the trade off.  I went inside, and I was awe struck.  I immediately turned to go find the owner and ask her if it was alright for me to take some photos for my blog.  She said it would be fine, and off I went.

Pitcher and Glasses

This television amazed me. If it is still there on my next visit, it will come home with me.

This pair of light fixtures really wanted to come to our house, but they were left behind because I didn't have anywhere to use them. $35 for the pair!

I loved all of the colorful things on this table.

This table and chairs have such great lines and were in near-perfect condition.

The shop has two levels, and it would be very easy to get lost inside of it for days.  On the first level, you sort of step down from the main area on 2nd Avenue and into what seems to be formerly a next door space.  This room is where I found this intact lunch counter strewn with all sorts of magic.

Look at the pink "Marble" formica top, and the fantastic tilework!

I love the shape of this chair... I sat it in it and pretty much felt the springs inside collapse to the floor!

I can’t wait to go back to this place.  Next time I will make sure that I have time and cash… And if the universe loves me, those light fixtures and the television will be there waiting for me.

There is no doubt it lives up to this claim. I am in love.

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For real? Homemade laundry soap and stuff?

I posted a question to the world the other day, regarding if anybody actually used natural/homemade/whatever cleaning products. Do you really clean your stove with vinegar? I mean, we hear about these easy homemade natural cleaning products all the time but I always just assumed that people  just say “I hear vinegar works well to clean stoves.” and then use 409 or whatever newfangled specially designed cooktop scrubby tool or “Natural” as in “I paid three times as much as a chemically brand and I’m not sure if it does anything but holy goodness, it smells amazing” product.  The answers came back leaning a surprising amount to the affirmative. To the “Yes, I really do”.  Apparently my friends are a bunch of sub/urban homesteading hippies.

One recommendation I got was make-your-own laundry soap. My friend Stephanie who runs the blog Granite Gurus and is pretty much a positive attitude house everything expert sent me a link to the recipe that she uses and swears by. My biggest concern with this stuff is whether or not it was safe/good to use on my clothes. My precious dark washed denim. My collection of cardigans. The thing about Steph is that we’ve known each other for several years and I’ve never seen her a) wear anything besides black or b) look anything besides impeccably dressed, so I decided that if this is what she’s washing her clothes in, she’s probably onto something.

We were almost out of laundry detergent, so I figured it was a perfect time to try it out.  Using this recipe from The Hen Pen as a guideline, I set out to make my own laundry soap. It was kind of an adventure.  First of all, where do you even get essential oil from? Health food store? Check. I found quite a selection at my local Good Earth (Tangerine was among the least expensive, so that’s what I ended up with). But then the only castille soap bars they had were a different brand from the one used in the recipe, so I didn’t buy them there.  I went to Whole Foods and found that they only carried the same brand, so I grabbed it there. I also grabbed baking soda and looked for Borax but they didn’t have it there. I had to make a Target run anyway, so I looked for it there, but nope. So as a last resort, even though it hurt, I went to Wal-Mart and sure enough, I walked out of there with a box of Borax. And only a box of Borax.

All of the recipes I read online before getting started mentioned grating the soap by hand. Yeah, no. I couldn’t handle the little chunks and imagined finding them embedded in my clean clothes and started breathing a little funny, so I pulled out the food processor. I used the grater attachment and followed it up with the regular chopper blade thing until I had a powder. I was a lot more comfortable with the powder.  And then I strained it through a colander… Because I didn’t want any scary chunks.  After inhaling said powder, now I’m not sure what route I will take the next time I do this.

I pulled out a trusty giant vintage Tupperware canister that’s kind of too big to use for very many things, but I keep around because… well, I keep stuff. Especially vintage stuff. Especially when it’s green. Or orange. Or yellow. What I was making was a half batch (so 2 bars of soap, 4 boxes of baking soda, and half of a box of Borax) and the big canister was the perfect size in addition to being cute and not making me feel bad about myself every time I opened the kitchen cupboard it usually lives in.

I tried it out with a load of the man’s gross work laundry, you know, just in case I had screwed up and it was going to dissolve fabric on contact, or turn things blue, or some such thing.  It worked. Even his white socks were decently clean looking, which isn’t something that happens a lot.

I feel like I also get a prize because I figured out two bonus features about this concoction, and they are very important.  1. When I wiped up what I spilled on my lovely beige laminate countertop, it magically brought up a red stain from smoothie making with it. So it can double as a scouring powder, apparently. The other, and this one is way, way more important: I have a front loading HE washer. It’s the first generation Maytag Neptune, so I think it’s about 10 years old. We don’t need to discuss the funk that happens in HE washing machines. We all know about it. Tide even makes a special product to get rid of it. My washing machine funk is gone. In one day. After just three loads of laundry. So now you also know the secret to getting rid of the smell in your HE washer. I may have just saved your life.

I’ve already put a few scoops of the laundry detergent into a shaker bottle and used it as a homemade scouring powder in my 20+ year old porcelain coated sink and it’s pretty dreamy. Shake it on, sit around while it sits there and works and smells yummy, then a quick scrub and a rinse. The verdict? It totally works.

But I’m not going to stop washing my hair or anything like that.

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Kaiser’s BBQ and General Store

You know exactly the place I’m talking about. You’ve probably never been. Go.

This little gem is a red building on 300 West in Salt Lake City (at 972 South).  I’ve driven past it about a million times and always wondered about it. I can’t possibly be alone in that.  Well, I finally found out what exactly is going on inside, and it’s wonderful.  I’m not a barbecue expert, but I like food, and everything I ate for lunch was really good.  I tried the brisket, ribs, chicken wings, and two kinds of house-made sausage.  They were all delightful, along with the beans, and both types of cornbread (regular and molasses).

What I was most enthralled with was the “General Store” part.  They have all kinds of things. Uncategorizable things. Some art, some sculpture, some leather craft, some… things. It was a feast for my kitsch loving eyes as well as my stomach!

The front corner of the shop.

Metal butterfly wall sculpture.

A back corner of the shop.

This little guy lives underneath the beverage table.

A lucky pig!

A life sized resin owl keeps watch over the back dining area.

Art.

Two walls are adorned with plates autographed by customers.

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Vintage Train Cases

These vintage train cases have all sorts of possible future uses.

Vivid orange, made by JC Penney.

It has a hard plastic handle attached with the brand's name plate.

The closure is fascinating.

Yellow with red and black trim, made by Amelia Earhart.

The inside, complete with mirror, is super fancy.

No closure, only a combination lock.

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Dear Favorite Old Lady

I’ve never met you, but I know a lot about you. We probably would have been friends.

You liked shoes. You had hundreds of pairs of shoes.

You loved holiday decorations. You must have had rooms and rooms full of them, for every holiday imaginable.

You were  fancy. Like glittery blouses and gold lame’ Mary Jane shoes fancy.

You had a lot of clothes. A lot of them you owned for 40 years and never took the tags off of.

You were my same size.

You liked square dancing and had all sorts of different dresses for it.

You are recently deceased and your family is selling her treasures in a front yard on a busy street.

So, Favorite Old Lady, here’s to you. Here’s to hoping you had a full and happy life, and that your friends and family are missing you tonight. I know about your zest for life and I wish I had gotten to witness it. Also I wish I had gotten to see you in your gold Mary Janes.

Don’t worry about your red dress with the blue flowers… You never wore it, but kudos for getting it on sale! You got it at the Wagon Wheel for about $10 off the original price of $55. I win though, because I got it for a buck. It fits me perfectly and I’m currently plotting a fancy night out as an excuse to have an occasion to wear it. I promise to take good care of it, it is going to the cleaners tomorrow, and I was so excited about it that I tried it on in my basement late at night and made Daniel take a picture of me with no make-up on which I am happily posting on the internet.

Love,

Aimee

PS: I also have a couple of your skirts from Pick-n-Save, and your really pretty full length fuschia dress from the 70s, but those are being saved for another post.

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