Friday, November 28, 2014

Soda Crate Advent Calendar

Easy Christmas project. Use an old soda crate as an advent countdown calendar. Fill each cubby with a fun Holiday surprise. There are exactly 24 cubbies. Inspired by Pinterest, and one of my customers who purchased one of my soda crates for this very project. I just used tissue paper for my mock up. Add ribbon and bows to dress it up more for the season. Check it out on pinterest for more variations.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fun Fabric Tray project


One of the items on my do not buy list is trays, but when I saw these old fiberglass trays I knew I had found what I've been looking for and  at just $3 each I had to get them. One of my first projects once home was the one in the back of my mind, just waiting for the right trays. It came out so nice I had to share it.
Start by painting the top of the tray white with spray paint, and let dry.
I put masking tape around the edge, to keep the paint only on the top of the tray. The reason for this is so the color(s) on the tray do not show through the fabric.

Once Dry, remove the tape and either apply spray adhesive or mod podge to the tray. Then align your fabric, and starting from the center begin to press it down moving outward,  avoid air bubbles as you go. Pay special attention to the curving edges, and pressing down on the top lip to get good contact. Paint over it again with mod podge on top of the fabric this time.  Allow the excess fabric to simply spill over and set aside to dry overnight.
Once Dry, use a sharp knife or razor to carefully cut away the excess fabric aligning it with the edge of the tray. Get as close as you can. Use an up and down motion to break the threads.
Then apply a second coat of mod podge, You can do this as many times as you'd like. I stopped at the 2nd coat. Allow it to dry overnight.

Note: The tray will probably not feel smooth to the touch. Fabric fibers tend to stand up when wet and they dry this way.  The tray will have a rough feel, but I don't mind this.  I was afraid to try and sand paper for fear of making it dirty.  Different fabrics may react differently.
The last step is to apply a coat of clear acrylic spray paint.  I do this because the mod podge will remain sticky and items you set on the tray will tend to stick to it.  The spray acrylic helps with this problem.

This process can be used for many projects.  How about clip boards, or luggage etc?  Use any fabric you like, old scarves, tea towels, clothing etc all work great.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Back from the Bonanza with the goods and the failure of my Do Not buy list

Well I'm back from 3 fun filled days at the Junk Bonanza in Shakopee Minnesota and I had a great time. If you follow me on facebook, you've already seen photos if not, you'll have to wait.  Today I'm going to show what I brought back.

Above is everything I brought home, including the blanket. How did I get that all home you ask? Like this.
 With very creative packing

Now I'd like to talk about my "do not buy" list.  It's a mental list of items that I should not get when on the road, for several reasons. It's not that I don't like these items, that's just the problem, I love them. I love them so much, I've either accumulated too many and am trying to thin my collection or I am overstocked in my etsy shop.  Whatever the reason, I have told myself to stop buying them.  

The DNB items include, wool blankets, scales, clocks, trays, purses, industrial metal boxes among other things.    As you can see by the photo below, I fell off the wagon a few times. 
How could I resist a 3" postage scale and this adorable flawless beaded bag. And I do not have an industrial bin in RED and I have a project in mind for those trays. I mean really, how could I pass these up?
Some items going on my future DNB list. Perpetual calendars, Office index boxes, and stamp holders. The latter two just take up too much room in the luggage and I just love perpetual calendars a bit too much:)  I've never seen one like this.
Be sure to click photos for a better look and watch the blog and facebook for more photos from this wonderful fabulous and bigger than ever Junk Bonanza.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Junk Bonanza here I come

On Wednesday I'm off to Minnesota for the one and only
Junk Bonanza.

I look forward to this trip all year long. Here are some photos from Past shows for you to enjoy. Watch for more.

It's a wild ride
I wonder what treasures I'll see and bring home this year
I can hardly wait

Ki and Emily run the show and have a great team behind them

 There is stuff just for junkers to wear

Great project ideas
Lots of mass quantities
People having fun

Displays to die for

And of course, Friends!
Watch for updates and more photos

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Empty Nest, Calming Guest Room

When my youngest moved out several years ago. I didn't want to just take over his room, but once he moved out the bed, there was really no reason to keep it just for him.  Since I  have a tendency to fill every empty space available with my junk, hubby was a bit concerned.  When he asked what plans I had for it, I said "nothing really" just maybe move some old furniture in there and make it an extra guest space.

The first problem was a large red  mural on one wall with Asian letters that spelled out his name in Chinese.  I didn't want to just paint over it, after all, he went to a lot of trouble to paint it. So I decided, for now, to just cover it up with these old survey maps I had.  They worked perfectly and with some careful arranging they cover the whole thing.

Then I moved in an old sleeper sofa and covered the ugly green plaid fabric with an inexpensive slip cover and a few carefully placed blankets.  All the furnituree you see, was brought in from other rooms, or was old furniture in the attic.  I did however, bring in a few special finds. Like the lamp, suitcase, and for some more color the pillows from Target.  Now it was taking on a life as a functional guest room.

I added this rail from an old Greyhound Wagon and hung, from vintage wooden hangers, a nice white terrycloth robe I found, brand new, at an estate sale.

Another old piece of furniture from our attic, this recliner allows a guest to sit back and relax.  Some of my old quilts are there for extra warmth on the bedding if needed. 
That recliner is actually very comfortable and I've taken many a nap in it.

 My home is blessed with large rooms and although it's more space than we need, we do enjoy having room for guests.  I decided to  bring in my old dining room table to use as a desk in here. Most guests travel with a lap top these days, so this gives them a place to plug in. 
The white walls need a bit of interest here an there, so a quick raid of my barn yeilded a few things that fit right in.  The mail box below, serves a dual purpose. I put all my son's mail in there, and hang a couple of clean towels for his use when he visits.
Some day this will be a play room for my grand kids, or serve a dual purpose as a play/guest room for them. I'm already gathering up vintage toys for that purpose.

I find this space amazingly calming. I'm not sure if it's because I have not over-decorated it or the white walls or the fun angles and natural light,  but it is very peaceful.  So if you come visit me, this is where you will stay. I hope my guests feel as calm as I do when I'm in this room. 
Just don't peek in the closets. They are still packed full of his junk.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Flea Market Style Fall 2014 now in stock

I have it in stock, but it won't be in stores until late August.
 I also offer international shipping options.

Now in stock-the new Fall 2014 issue seen above as well as the other past issues pictured. 
go Here to order

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Bag of Letters Tells A Personal Story

I recently found myself thinking back to this bag of letters I found awhile back, and since It's Throwback Thursday I thought it deserved a re-post. Grab a Kleenex.
While rummaging through items at a recent estate sale, looking for treasures, I ran across a zipped plastic bag full of old letters. A quick look revealed dates from 1917-20, and some beautiful handwriting, so I decided to purchase them in hopes that an ephemera collector might want them.
When I got home, I began to look through the letters. Many were simply correspondence with tidbits of information about someone's chicken and how many eggs they got. Or who was getting married, who was sick (lots of people were sick). Then I began to see that many were sympathy notes.
I began to read through them and found myself piecing together the details of a family's life and loss in 1920.
Many began with "The news of Luther's untimely death came as a great shock to us." "I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of the loss of a son."
Some would go on to recount events they had shared with Luther, even stories of war battles and triumphs. "I have known him to shoulder a rifle and stand guard for some poor fellow who was tired or sick when he was off duty."

Through reading the letters I learned that Luther had sisters, that he was a soldier, a lineman, and that he died in an accident. Although there were no details of the accident, I gathered it was related to his work. Luther was engaged to be married. I found a photo among the letters of his headstone that indicated he was 26 years old. I found some photos that might be of him. I read on and on... words of encouragement and condolence that touched my heart. Of a death almost 100 years ago.

But it was this letter in particular that brought tears to my eyes:

"From my own experience I know every letter no matter how kind and sympathetic just opens up the wounds afresh. I know how you feel even as I write this my eyes are full of tears as you read this I know yours will fill with tears. Our thoughts will mingle together.
" Little did you and I think when we lived side by side we would both be called to give up our only boy after we had raised them to manhood, our little buds, just offered to full bloom of youth and so fitted for a beautiful life."

The letter goes on to spell out the grief of a mother so complete and sorrowful, so soul- wrenching that it is difficult to read. "Of course I know how you feel, if we were together I know just what (unreadable) first we would each want to talk and sympathize with each other and mingle our tears together."
It continues, "This to you is not a cheerful letter. I am writing you as I feel and the tears are filling my eyes and dropping all the while I write for a heart broken mother is writing to a heart broken mother."
I began to know of a man and a family that lived almost a hundred years ago, in a small town in Oklahoma and I felt just a hint of the grief and the sorrow they felt.

I'm glad I read through so many of the letters before offering them up for sale. As of now, my genealogist husband is contacting the family researcher for this particular family (found on to hand these letters over to someone who cold benefit from the information therein. (update, no family members found)

I wonder how a family could simply offer something like this up at an estate sale in a plastic bag?
It was probably in the possession of the child of the child of the child of the mother who was grieving. They probably had no idea the content of the letters was so personal, and so full of family historical information. Or maybe they just did not care. Whatever the reason, I'm glad the letters landed in my hands, and that I bothered to read them. They touched me in a way I will never forget. And I'm glad I am able to share that with you.


Reprinted from Flea Market Style Blog June 2012

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 4th Junkers Style

We live outside city limits, so every year, weather permitting, we have a big July 4th bash with friends and family.

This year we wanted to make it simple. No fancy cooking, grilling etc, just friends, fun and fireworks. 
No fuss no muss.

So we went with "make your own" sandwiches, coleslaw, A bean dip spread for the vegetarians, Watermelon ...
I pulled out every red and blue dish I had, and rounded it out with some vintage enamel Cathrineholm bowls.

And of course dessert, provided by my wonderful DIL. Aren't these so pretty!

Of course, being the junker I am I had to incorporate some of my fun junking finds for this Picnic Themed evening.  An old picnic basket holds bottled water and cups for tea, and an old Plaid cooler holds Ice.  I lined it with a plastic bag for sanitary reasons.
one thing I love to do on the 4th is to use old Aluminum Christmas tree branches as simulated sparklers, all over the place, add a few flags, and it's a fun look.

You can't really see it but the container in this centerpiece is an old thermos. I thrifted everything for this photo including  the bunting in the background.

Even my dress forms got into the spirit.

I'm not sure my friends, know quite what to think of my "decorations" but by now I think they know me well enough to know I'm a bit quirky that way :)

This year we had little ones joining us,
too cute!!!!!
Everyone had a great time

But it was all really about the fireworks!!!! Lorna's first sparkler ever.
I hope you had a great 4th of July Holiday. Don't forget what it's all about. The sacrifice of our forefathers and their long sighted vision for our country.  Long may she wave!!!

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