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A Tale of Two Dishwashers

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A few months ago when I was doing my weekly Build it Green visit, I had the opportunity to make a decision between two available dishwashers. One was a Kitchen Aide stainless interior in perfect condition for $200. It retails new for $900. The other dishwasher was an old piece of crap for 25 bucks.

Guess which one this cheap bitch chose.

My husband doesn’t call me “Penny Wise Pound Foolish” for nothing.

So, with the dishwasher already installed, I notice that the door springs are shot and the seal is corroded. Something I should have looked at before purchasing, you say? Well, guess what? A new seal costs about $40. Yeah, more than I paid for the dishwasher. I didn’t price the springs because I wouldn’t even know how to fix them.

So guess what I did? I went looking for another dishwasher. And I found one for $200! It’s a GE Profile that retails for $800. Yeah, basically, I could have just paid the $200 for a better dishwasher to begin with.

But I’ll never learn.

Light Fixture Fetish

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It’s true. I have an addiction to light fixtures. I buy light fixtures like women buy shoes. They go with many designs, they are easy to carry and they won’t make you look fat. Plus, if it’s a bargain, who can resist?


Granted, I’m pretty sure I had enough lighting to cover the whole house, but I picked up three more fixtures yesterday at Vaccaro’s. Although the entire renovation is a potpourri of salvaged styles, the lighting is decidedly tole. I suppose I’m trying to achieve a kitsch bungalow look. I did buy some deco sconces and gothic chandeliers for good measure. Can’t be too consistent! It would get boring.

All lights need to be cleaned, painted and rewired. What fun would it be if I couldn’t work on them?


Craigslist Building Materials

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Never underestimate the value of Craigslist when it comes to renovating your home. You can find anything from free studs to $1 Italian ceramic tile to reclaimed flooring at half the cost of outlets.

People often have leftover material from projects or they recycle the stuff they rip out. A short list of things I found on Craigs include…

1. Claw foot tub. Free
2. Glass mosaic tile counter and backsplash. $50
3. Finished walnut flooring for BR and hallway. $400
4. Like new cherry kitchen cabinets for entire kitchen. $500

How much does a marble kitchen countertop cost? $2000-$3000? $125 bucks for that 18×48 slab above. Yeah, you still have to cut it, but if you want a marble counter and it’s beyond your budget, this is one way to do it. I may actually give them a call as I’m looking for marble to use as window sills.

Reclaimed 1700’s pine wide plank flooring. No price and it looks to be a factory or lumber yard, so don’t know if it’s a bargain. Retailers charge $6 and up (way up) per square foot for this stuff. I think we paid around $10 many years ago, plus shipping.

This antique sink top includes the faucets and undermount sink for $200. Is that a fabulous bargain? Eh. But it’s one stop shopping since you don’t have to go out and find the fittings for the counter. You can sit it on top of an old dresser or antique wrought iron sewing machine base, as I’ve done in the past.

Retailers will charge something like $.65-$2.00 per used brick, but you can always find someone giving ’em up for nothing. This pile of used bricks is located in Poughkeepsie, NY. There are 250-300 of them. Sometimes you have to travel a bit to get something for nothing, so make sure it’s a whole bunch of something!

NYC Museums @ Your Fingertips

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New York City - Midtown

Talented New York photographer and web developer Dan Nguyen has come up with a list of all the museums in the 5 boroughs. “Yeah, so?” You say. Well, it’s not just a list.

I Heart NY Museums is an interactive beta site which allows the visitor to view admission prices as well as addresses and hours. It looks kinda like a spread sheet with a map on top.

The focus is on price. Which museums are merely “suggested” donation and which are the most expensive? Are there free hours such as MOMA’s Friday evenings? It’s all right there in front of you.

Currently, there is no phone app. Nguyen is working on the data so he or someone else can make this awesome app.

via Brokelyn

Awesome Ebay Finds

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What’s creepier (to this Jew) than a dead Jesus on a cross? That dead deer next to him is giving him some competition. Starting bid on this larger than life guy is $180k or you can buy it now for $1.3 mil. Read the description. That is priceless.


Whose kitchen is big enough for this? Not mine. But it sure is cool (no pun intended). Located somewhere in Pennsylvania.


Ok, so this gargoyle is $3125 and you’ll have to schlep it back from Chicago. That doesn’t make it any less awesome. Standing at 55″ high and born in the early 20th century, it’s the real deal.


Remember the clown-water-balloon game at Coney Island? Well, this clown head is from that game.

All photos are linked to the items so you can buy them for me.

My Blue Sofa:Like Craig’s List for the Home

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My Blue Sofa is a new online marketplace for anything home related. In fact, it’s so new that it’s still in beta.

The website is easy to work with and pleasing to the eye. Images spring up along with the categorized listings. It’s more like shopping with Etsy than Craigslist. You can even pay via PayPal and get info on the seller if they supply it.  So really, it’s not like Craigs at all. I should stop with the comparisons now.

These are a few of the listings I spotted.


Theodore Alexander desk. $2000


Early 1900’s Farm Table. $275


Oh, look at that! How did those chairs get in there? Yeah, they’re mine. They never really matched my Eastlake dining room table, so I’d like to get rid of them. 1800’s from Britain. I’m asking $600 for the set of 6 but will take best offer. Come on Monty, let’s make a deal!

Top photo is a fully restored Empire Duncan sofa for $3500.

Props to Brooklyn

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Awesome news for County of Kings thrift junkies! Film Biz Recycling is moving to Gowanus! If you want to hit the Long Island City space one last time, they are having a name-your-price clearance sale starting today until the end of the month.

Grand opening at 540 President Street will be on or around December 1st.

If you’ve never been, the massive shop is chock full of used TV and movie props. Everything from vintage dish sets to clean linens to artwork.  It. is. awesome. And it will be ours! F.U. Queens where I was never able to find parking.

Also! The new space will stock building materials and paints. So again, Brooklynites won’t have to schlep to Build it Green in Queens for these items.

It’s a win/win for everyone. (Except Queens)

Stormville Antique Show

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The Stormville Airport Antique Show and Flea Market in Dutchess County takes place on holiday weekends during the warmer months. Since next Monday is Columbus Day, the fair is on this Saturday and Sunday, October 9th and 10th.

There are usually a couple of hundred antiques vendors (that’s a guess) and an area set up near the entrance for new stuff. Admission and parking are free. Vendor’s prices are pretty fair. The only thing I would suggest is getting there way early (like 6:30am) as there is only one road leading to the show and it gets backed up.

It took us moving out of the area to participate, but Reclaimed Home has a booth this weekend. Look for us in site #10, driveway 3. We’ll be emptying out our Beacon house and trying to cram everything into our Brooklyn home of half the size. Much of the furniture for sale is from our own private “estate” (I’m gonna add an LOL here just so you know that’s tongue in cheek).

The flea market inventory we’re bringing is stuff we never want to see again, so prices will be good, especially by the end of the second day. In fact, if you’re a vendor or just some hoarder who wants a bunch of crap, come see us on Sunday afternoon and we’ll make a deal for everything that’s left over.

Here’s what we have…(Bear with me. The only images I have of our personal items are real estate shots.)

Dining Area

That red couch is probably 1920’s/30’s. We bought it in Brooklyn reupholstered. After moving it to Kingston then Beacon and living with it for 6 plus years, the fabric isn’t brand new anymore. Good but not excellent condition. $300


Bought this Eastlake rocker at a shop in Beacon. Paid $350 and would like to get as close as possible. It is comfy!


See that bed? That was our guest room bed. We no longer need it since we don’t have a guest room. Deco. Decent condition. Full. If you’re not paranoid about bed bugs (there aren’t any) we can throw in the mattress and box spring. $110. We also have some twin frames and a Mid Century Queen headboard.


We’re asking $150 for the enamel table. See those chairs in the picture? We have 6 of them. They were our dining room chairs that we bought at Stormville when we first moved into the Beacon house. They never really matched our dining room table (which we’re keeping). Anyhoo, we paid $750 for the set of 6 and will take best offer. They’re English, 1800’s. Disclosure: Our dog chewed a corner of one of them.

Speaking of chairs, we have 4 painted brown ones that would match the table if repainted white. We’ll sell them with table for $200, entire set if ya want.

Antique wood burning stove from Beacon farm house. Needs a good sandblasting or wire brushing and some spray paint. $250


Mid Century reproduction lamps. A guy. A gal. And a whole lotta kitsch. This was actually from my cousin’s house and I have to do right by them. $175 for the pair.

So, you should come to the show. But if there’s anything you’re interested in, let us know and we won’t schlep it to Stormville for nothing.

Resale Kiddy Coming to Park Slope

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Lulu’s on 5th is breeding again. Brigitte, the owner of the two shops on 5th Avenue in Park Slope teamed up with my pal Ann Marie to open up a used clothing store for the kiddies.


Lulu’s Then and Now is set to open around Labor Day and they are currently accepting gently used clothing and toys. Ann Marie will be watching the new store at 75A 5th. She was the woman behind the now closed City Cricket in the W. Village. Ann Marie is lovin’ the Brooklyn thing!


The shop will include less expensive items from places like Old Navy to higher end designer clothing. Pretty much what folks donate. When I first walked in, I didn’t realize it was a used clothing store. The stuff is VERY gently used.

The best thing about the location is that it’s right across the street from Beacon’s Closet. So when your done shopping for the kid, pick up something nice for yourself.

The Hester Street Fair

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Gonna be hawking my wares at a new (ish) market this Sunday. The Hester Street Fair is only a few months young, but both shoppers and vendors seem to be happy enough with it so far.

Like the Brooklyn Flea (Hello, I’ll be there on Saturday!), it’s semi-curated with a mix of vintage, crafts and not-your-average-sausage-fair-food. Hester has about 60 vendors on a given weekend and is open on Saturdays and Sundays.

My grandfather was a rag man on the Lower East Side when he arrived in this country. Looks like I’m taking the family history back a step. Wait till you hear about the seltzer delivery I’m hooking up…..

My grandparents are in their graves ROFLTAO.

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