February 7, 2013

Good Finds : Vintage Steamer Trunk, Elk on Black Velvet, & some Chairs

It's been quite a while since I've shared any of my thrift finds.  I continue to stop at our local thrift shops at any given opportunity, and even though I'm extremely selective & can talk myself out of purchasing almost anything, my finds have been plentiful.

In late October, I picked up a chair that caught my eye at our local Re-Store. 
The seat rocks & the kids like it's movement.  I like it's simple lines. 

I also found an interesting (to me) painting of an elk bugling.  Mitch had been elk hunting in northwestern Montana close to that time.  I love original art, and we have a strong appreciation for wildlife, so I bought it for $3.99.   
It's signed, V. SHAW 1966, nearly 50 years old.  With closer examination, I found that it's painted on black velvet.
From what I've learned about black velvet painting, this artist was slightly ahead of the times, as the kitschy black velvet boom wasn't until the 1970's, often depicting images of Elvis Presley (Velvet Elvis), John Wayne & other celebrities, Jesus, Native Americans, wolves & cowboys. 
I like the elk.  Our family has long adored antlered animals.. I don't know if it's an upside or downside that they've become so design popular. 
Anyway, I have two gallons of paint that I've been waiting to get on our living room walls for months and I think the elk painting will look good hanging once completed.  (I've tried to live with the deep dark color, but it's just not me.  Lesson learned!)

For now it sits on this trunk, which I got at Salvation Army, for $4.99. 
I kicked myself for not buying it the first day I saw it, and was relieved to find it still there when I returned.  A vintage steamer suitcase, I can't determine an age, other than it's pre-40's. 
It has several old travel stickers on it reading Hotel Agua Cassente Tijuana, as well as partial stickers for Customs Service, OCEANIC STATE ROOM 4, and America's Finest Intercontinental Motor Coach Service.  It's a great little trunk!
Being me, I'm curious about the history behind it's travels.  But I've come up with no results with any of the sticker information.

Not all that long after finding the first chair, I came across another I liked even more.
It was covered in tacky upholstery fabric, but again - it had simple lines that caught my eye, very sturdy wood construction, and looking at the metal spring work in the seat, appears to have some good age.
I bought it for $15, and my mom helped to recover the cushions with canvas drop cloth. (I made one awkward attempt before she took over & did them.)
I really love this chair!  It's so solid & the wood of the arms is rubbed buttery-smooth.  The other chair moved downstairs, where it found a useful place. 

While she was at it, my mom also did the seat & back cushion on my super comfortable freebie chair that I found during an area-wide rummage sale outing a couple of summers ago.  (below)
(Also pictured are the Sharpie pillows I shared a while back.)

I look forward to tackling the living room paint job & finishing the rest of that chair soon.
My to-do list is boundless.  Ideas, ideas, ideas.   It's looking like it'll be a busy summer around here.

Found any thrifty treasures lately?


  1. Great finds with the elk picture and the steamer trunk. The chairs turned out nice too!

    1. Thanks, Barb! We had gotten rid of our love seat this fall - I gave it away to some kids who were starting college.. I was glad to see it go to use. I'm enjoying having the chair & trunk in it's place.