Road to Hell Series: Brass Owl Nutcracker

So, while most of us would never want to admit we’ve been anything but generous and selfless stalwarts of society, reeking of rainbows and unicorns, there is also that pesky thing called reality.

Something less selfless happened today that is a semi-regular occurrence.  I feel the shame, but I still do the deed…again and again.

I go vintage shopping to find something great and unique for a specific person. I buy said something. I cannot give it away.  NOTE: This only happens with vintage finds. If there is something new I’m buying for someone else, rare angst.  I know I can get one myself should I decide I want to pursue it.  Eccentric vintage modern fabulousness? WAY harder.

It gets worse.

Then, to ease my guilt, I end up buying something a wee bit more extravagant for the giftee, as some bizarre rationalization for keeping something they never even knew about. WHO AM I?!

So, all that to say, I am starting a series called the Road to Hell, so I can show which items have made me such a selfish, greedy lost cause. Because, as the saying goes;  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

We’ll start with today’s transgression. A brass owl nutcracker, found at the new and improved Old Made Good. For all those nuts I crack.

Modfrugal vintage brass nutcracker

Modfrugal vintage brass nutcracker

Modfrugal vintage brass nutcracker


Yes, he’s missing an eye (sound familiar?)

So, go on, admit it…what is your favorite “gift” that never made it to the intended recipient?





Flea Market Friday

Happy Weekend! Here’s a quick round up of things we saw today at the Flea Market.

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal


This was a small, child sized Barcelona chair made of plaster. If it were concrete, it might be great for a garden/patio, but I think it would disintegrate…it was already chipping away, but quite a fun find.


Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

Kathy ended up taking this little chrome and faux burl formica gateleg table set for her kids to use for creating and crafting without guilt.

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

There’s always one…..

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

You know you’re getting old when the Zima sign is “vintage”.

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal


Did I find anything? Well, yes I did…..

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

Nashville flea market -Modfrugal

One eyed baby owl and mama and a likely knockoff Bertoia. Not a bad day.

For a round up of all Nashville Flea Market trips, go here.

Fun in the Sun

Palm Springs sign

I took a little trip last week to sunny Southern California. The plan was to meet up with my college girlfriends for the weekend, but I decided it was a long way to go for just 3 days….so I flew out a bit early so I could visit the vintage modern mecca of Palm Springs. Oh yes, I did.

Being that this was my first time to PS, I had to pretend to be a hipster and stay at the Ace. I also knew I’d be cold on those desert nights and wanted that fireplace.

Ace patio fire

Ace Palm Springs

When I first arrived, I downloaded the architecture tour map, I thought that would be so much easier than constantly pulling over with my paper map. I had to leave it to download overnight onto my laptop it was so slow. Then, once it was on my phone…

PS Modern architecture app

…. that’s how it stayed for the 3 days I was in Palm Springs. I had read some reviews saying this would happen, but with Modernism Week around the corner, I assumed someone was ON IT, right?!

So, I got to be a Peeping Patty the old fashioned way, with my trusty paper map from the visitors center. First stop, Kaufmann House…duh.

Kaufmann Neutra

I notice this sign, and a version of it at all the popular architectural gems in town. Just in case I didn’t feel like a big enough creep outside their house with my camera, now, I am worried about the “armed response.” That’s always the problem with admiring residential architecture. Even though I am in my car, I still feel like a jerk snapping photos of someone’s house.

warning sign

palm springs homes

palm springs homes 2

car in Palm Springs

palm springs landscaping

I hit up some shops with the fabulous, and funny Summer of Modernhaus!  We had a blast scouring  the thrift and vintage stores, and leisurely lunching like ladies.  I was thrilled to have a fellow vintage vulture with me to shop the town! We saw some things, and ate and drank some things too. Thanks again, Summer for making the drive to come and play with me!

The place I had hoped to visit the most while there, Modernway, was closed..AGH! So I took these photos like a weirdo with my phone pressed up against the shop window…AGAIN with the boundary issues…

PS Modernway

PS Modernway

PS Modernway

So, that was worth the lack of shame, right?  I mean, DID YOU SEE THE STUFF?! Yeah, me too.

I found the dealers at the shops fun to chat with, and I even learned something from a couple of them….like I can reupholster my Hannah Morrison chair in regular fabric instead of the fiberglass reinforced stuff from Knoll.  GOOD TO KNOW!

Would any trip be complete without ogling birds and fawns?

PS shopping

PS Shopping

So, I passed up quite the sweet art investment. The iconic Slim Aarons Poolside Gossip shot at the Kaufmann House, blown up to a redonk size. Licensing these prints from the Getty is super expensive, but I have not enough dough or wall space to invest…. but boy, did I want it.

Slim Aarons Kaufmann print

I felt no trip to PS would be complete without a stop at Trina Turk, which did not disappoint.

Trina Turk PS

At the Angel View thrift store.

Thrifting in PS

I managed to find ONE memento that would fit in my suitcase to take home….. Meep Meep!

Brass Roadrunner with Cactus

Back on my own, I got my nature geek on and drove up to Joshua Tree National Park to get a spectacular view of the Coachella Valley and the Salton Sea.

View from JT of Salton Sea

View from JT Keys View

Joshua Tree National Park

JT in JT


I had budgeted enough time in my day to go to the Integratron for a sound bath, but couldn’t get in, BOO!!! So, I decided that since I enjoyed the view so much, I was going to see it from the other side, so across the valley and up the tramway to Mt. San Jacinto I went.

Let me say one thing about the Palm Springs Tramway. The format does not lend itself well to its clientele. A bunch of snowbirds are not typically going to possess best sense of balance. Cram them all into a tram with me, add a rotating floor, and I’ve not been fallen on and banged on the head that much since an 80’s mosh pit. NOT FUN, for them, or me. But the view from the top made it worth it.

View of PS and Salton Sea from MSJ

And there you have the Salton Sea in the distance from the other side of the valley.

View of PS and Salton Sea from MSJ

My last night included a street festival where I got to hang with the Lord of the Cello and Stuart the Pig, as you do.

Lord of the Cello


When I joined up with my girlfriends on the coast, things like this happened, but the rest you’ll never know. Our stomachs ached from laughing that hard. Despite a few days together, I still don’t feel like I got totally caught up with all of the other 8 girls. How crazy is that?!



newport harbor


Adios California. Let’s do this again sometime.

Horse Hoarding

Only upon reviewing the year, did I realize that 2012 was a bumper year for acquiring vintage art! Mostly large in scale. The horse over my bed, the wall hanging in the dining room, Chinese Girl in the bathroom and the Red Horse in the living room….except that I never told you about him, only here on instagram.

When I brought him home, I also learned that I might need a horse intervention. I don’t really understand how it happened, but it became apparent that I had been subconsciously horse-hoarding. I enjoyed riding at summer camp as a kid, but I was never one of those “horsey people”. What happened?! Look around my house and you’ll see, I’m not just the crazy bird lady, fawner of fawns, but now I’m prone to horse-hoarding. Let’s call it chronic equestrian assemblage, shall we? Sounds less creepy….or maybe not.

Exhibit A is the aforementioned red horse in all its textural yumminess.

red horse in living room

The girl at Pre to Post Modern told me that the peeps who do the sets for Nashville were really interested in it, and had taken several pictures. Maybe for the Juliette Barnes house I posted about when it first went on the market?! Sorry….you snooze, you lose.



Then, there’s the others……

Walasse Ting Blue Horse Poster in MB

modfrugal holiday 2012


marble horse bookends

more horses

Um, yeah.

Flea Market Friday

I couldn’t get this posted on Friday again…sorry!  If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen many of these in real time.

I hit the flea on a gorgeous, not too hot day with Kathy and Melissa, and here’s what we saw!

Big wheel keeps on turnin’………….

Melissa snagged that cute little bar cart.


My coffee table, with a matching side table!

I did find one thing.

Imagine the flame bulbs replaced with opaque round bulbs and a little cleaning and we’re going for a mini version of this look….

Image from Jonathan Adler

My plan is for it to hang over the sink in the new bathroom. BTW, it’s time to grout the tile so I gotta run. Happy Sunday!

For previous flea market posts, click here.

Friday Flea

If you keep up with my friends at My Interior Life, Chateau À Gogo and The Insane Domain, then you already know we had fun day at the flea. Sorry I couldn’t get this up for you on Friday as a preview, unless you were following on Instagram in real time.

Here’s what caught my eye.

This velvet sofa was the big regret of the day. One of us should have gotten it, though none of us needed it, it could be a great rehab project. I was too hot to think straight.

This is the piece I almost brought home. So much storage, solid wood, a little dinged, but good lines and fab pulls. Oh well. I went home empty handed this month.

This kinda sums up the South in a very sterotypical way….spicy food, sweet tea and a whole lot of Jesus.