Friday, October 31, 2014

Confessions Of A Sled Hoarder

I didn't know I was one.  You wouldn't identify me as one if you saw me on the street. I hid my habit in the garden shed.  My friends have no idea.  I had no idea.  Time to drag out all of the sleds I purchased for resale this year.  Yikes.
Eight... no, actually nine of them.  I AM a sled hoarder.

You can tell I like the small ones, probably single person sleds.  And as always, I didn't pay much for any of them. 

This knock-out red one was $10,
and the rest were less than that.

They represent the delights of childhood, runny red noses, speed, winter, a blast from the past.  No wonder people love them for Christmas d├ęcor. 

This stenciled sled I did last year.  I really like to use stencils on sleds, because so many of the antique ones originally had cool stencils. 

I think most of mine that I embellish this year will have this kind of a vibe.


It was time to do a junk-themed sled.  This one I actually did a couple of weeks ago.  It is the one that brings the count up to nine.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blessings: Junking With A Childhood Friend 10.24.14

 
We moved in across the street from each other on the same day -- way back in 1969.  We were both eight years old.  We've been friends ever since.  Sure, some times we had more contact than others.  The last few years she's been flying from South Carolina to see me in the fall, so she can catch the leaves at peak color and catch a Nebraska football game the same weekend. 

I appreciated her help in redoing this little flower bed by my shed.  LOVE the vintage garden arbor thing.  She is a Master Gardener so I can't wait to see what this looks like in the spring -- we covered the area with daffodil bulbs and planted perennials on top.

I also appreciate that she is always willing to go junking with me, even though she is not a junker (gasp!) We hit two sales early Friday morning and they were both very productive.
My little town recently moved it's senior center off the square, so the first sale was liquidating everything left from the old senior center.  It didn't take me long to shake the early morning cobwebs and realize there were some great treasures to be had here: 

bingo blower machine
(we may have to have a Bingo Party before selling this baby),

many stacking texasware-like cups (beautiful confetti colors),

and this green table unearthed in the old basement to die for. We paid for our items and promised to pick them up later.  Onward...

An estate sale in a small town nearby was our next destination.  I wish I had such a helpful assistant every weekend.  My friend grabbed the stuff as soon as I picked it up and made a big stack for me. 

Cute suitcase,
 
print in cool frame,
 

several great Pyrex bowls,
 

 and this tin bread box.

I was blessed with great weather.  Blessed with gorgeous leaves.  Blessed with good friends.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Z for Zelda -- On Naming Resurrected Furniture

I've worked on furniture to resell for over 20 years. I once assembled a giant arts & crafts sideboard from a pile of what looked like dried out scrap lumber that was dropped off in my yard.  Miraculously, every piece was accounted for.   Multiple applications of stain and finish revealed the most gorgeous oak sideboard I've ever seen.  Immediately sold it.  No photo or permanent record.  No one knowing how close it came to being kindling.

I work with enough gorgeous pieces of antique furniture that I realize most of these pieces will outlast me.  And that pleases me.  Without having been "resurrected" by me, they probably would either be at the end of the furniture road or have a shorter life.  I'm also very pleased to see them go on to more decades of use.  A few years ago I decided it would be cool to date and sign my finished pieces.

A couple years ago I started keeping a record on "Works" (just mentioning using Works makes my whole family snicker at me).  Type of paint, painting technique, where I bought the piece, how much I paid for it, any hardware I added to it, sanding, finish, etc.  To help keep track of which piece was which (how many dressers have I painted ivory?) I gave each item of furniture a name.  Alphabetically.  And girl names.  The first 26 were names that meant something to me, or made me think that the piece of furniture looked like that name.  I just finished the second round of 26 pieces of furniture, this time using feminine sounding towns from Nebraska (I had to be a little creative at times, like for Zelda).  Zelda was a roadside find that benefitted from a couple coats of chalk paint and a little distressing.

For the third round of 26 I think I am going to name them after "people sounding" streets in St. Joseph MO.   This blog is another way to document some of the great furniture that passes through my hands --
resurrected to a new life.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Halloween "Web Pages" Altered Books

I did several different altered books for Halloween:
 
This first type was the fastest and easiest --
plus I think it turned out the best.
Glue design (I used Elmer's), let dry.  Spraypaint.
Highlight with chalk.

A few of the other books I made.
 
After a frustrating afternoon with altered books,
I spent some therapy time with these guys
and really loved how they turned out.

 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Three Victorian Ceiling Light Fixtures

Sometimes I find several of the same thing over the course of a week. Or a day. One weekend I found three Victorian photo albums at three separate locations.  That was years ago and I don't think I have found a total of three since then.

I found two of these Victorian-era hanging lights last Saturday -- at two separate locations.  They probably date from between 1900-1930.  The same style of light is what we enjoy in our Victorian house.

More lightbulbs in the fixture meant a more important or public room.  These two would have probably been in the parlor.  The lightbulbs hang straight down and are meant to show.  Electricity was a newfangled invention and if you had it -- flaunt it.
Most are made of cheap metal or cast iron and painted to look like brass or gold with beautiful touches of color airbrushed on here and there.

This is a ceiling light that I purchased awhile ago,
and will put on ebay when I list the others.

The hanging ones came with "matching" ceiling medallions, which are also metallic looking with great subtle color.  I'm sure the colors in 1900 were not-so-subtle.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Swiss Chard Frittata Recipe -- not a vintage post

When I started this blog I vowed to keep it about vintage finds and what I do with them.  Not family, not travel, not decorating, not pets, not FOOD.  But I'm rationalizing that this is a follow up to a spring blog about incorporating vintage items into my yard.  I took a photo of the tiny Swiss Chard Bright Lights that I had just planted in a vintage washtub.   They grew up to be so STUNNING.  I really wasn't even planning on eating them, but why not?  They will just freeze in a couple weeks if I don't.

Some of the leaves are assorted colors, or have assorted colors
running through their veins.
The stems are primarily yellow, fuchsia, red.

I rolled the leaves to cut them into strips.
Chiffa...something.

The stems are used too, cut into about 1/4" lengths.

I have a friend with chickens, and I had to show off
her beautiful eggs.

It looks pretty darn close to the picture, doesn't it?
It was super yummy, here is the recipe:
 
SWEET POTATO & SWISS CHARD FRITTATA
 
6 large eggs                     1 cup 1/2 & 1/2                  1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper                  2 cups 1/2" cubed sweet potatoes
2 T olive oil                     2 cups chopped swiss chard or kale
1/2 small onion, chopped                                           2 minced garlic cloves
3 oz goat cheese, crumbled (feta or mozzarella pearls would be good)
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Saute sweet potatoes in hot olive oil for 10 minutes (recipe says to use non-stick ovenproof skillet, but I used my mom's old cast iron skillet). Cook until potatoes are tender and golden ( about 10 minutes).  Add the swiss chard, onion and garlic.  (I cheated and threw dehydrated onion in with my eggs). Saute 3 or 4 minutes until the swiss chard is wilted and onion softened.  In large bowl whip eggs, 1/2 & 1/2, S&P with fork.  Pour evenly over vegetables.  Sprinkle with cheese. (I used mozzarella pearls because my small town grocery store doesn't have goat cheese.) Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until set.  Recipe came from Country Living 9/2014.



Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Big Fat Buffet & Mirror Wedding -- Furniture Redo

This was the old heavy buffet (or dresser?) that I bought at the Rusty Chandelier parking lot sale on 9.20.14.  It lived in the back of the van for about a week, until we felt brave enough to schlep it out.

I am pretty strong, but it was all my husband and I could do to get it out of the van and to the back yard.  It is a heavy beast.  The type of furniture I am trying to avoid.

But who could resist those details?
 
 
I would have left it gray, but the top had rust and damage. 
I decided to use a creamy color of chalkpaint,
and then distressing to let the gray shine through.
 
 
Two coats of the ivory paint.
Sanding to distress.
I liked how the gray and even an earlier layer of green paint peeked through.
More sanding so drawers slide smoothly.
 
I painted the interior a gray with purple tones --
it was actually the last of some old primer so it should cover drawer stains.
I reused the original metal pulls and knobs which had been painted gray,
they looked good against the ivory.
On the bottom doors I used glass knobs to call attention to the ornate detailing.
 
I had picked up the mirror several months ago.
I'm betting that it originally sat on top of a buffet.
So why not introduce them to each other?
 
Love at first sight, they were a perfect match.
A marriage made in heaven.
I'm naming her "Vanellie".

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Reflections" On A Trinketed Mirror

I had bought this mirror from Cindy in Lincoln.  It had a plainish, flatish gold frame.  The mirror itself was cloudy, chippy and cool looking.  At first I thought that I would paint the frame.  But the flat border was an invitation for festooning. 

Most of the stuff in my "junk drawer" is old, and a lot of it is metal which I thought would look good glued on the flat border.  I had a stash of small rectangular mirror pieces which were my inspiration.  I had poured these out over the surface of the big mirror to look at them, and liked that look so well that I glued some directly onto the mirror itself.  I also sacrificed the rest of my Cracker Jacks charms -- they were just the right size.

Oops, didn't get the R in the photo.
 
I love the final result.
 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Katie's October Booth At THE RUSTY CHANDELIER

I love the colors that my friend Katie puts together in her "vintage decorator" booth at the Rusty Chandelier.  Right now it is featuring burnt orange and several shades of green.

She had about eight of these great little gnomes to start with.

Even though they try to hide, she is down to about four.

Katie makes these great yard stakes. 
Perfect for candles or flowers at an outdoor soiree.

I bought this table a few weeks ago and decided I didn't want to mess with it.
So, I handed it off to Katie.
How cute did it turn out?

She has a pair of these great mid-century lamps in her booth.
Someone will be lucky to take them home.
The Rusty Chandelier is north of St Joseph, MO at the
I-29 and Hwy 71 intersection.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Road Trip To Buy New Junking Van & Vintage Finds 10.4.14

I was trolling Craiglist this week for vans.  I needed a cheap older van with "stow and go" seating for my junking business.  So when I say "new", it merely means new to me.  We ended up road tripping out to Grand Island, Nebraska last Saturday to buy one. It meant blowing the whole day, and very little time for junking sidetrips.   But it turned out that next door to where we purchased the van was a yard sale.  So while my husband did the test drive thing, I did my junking thing. 

By the time I was done with an armload of items, the transaction was done and my "new" van doors were open and welcoming me. 



I bought several cool photos, prints and frames.
 

Then we stopped briefly Lincoln to show the van off to my dad and get a stretch.  We detoured a whole block out of the way to stop at my junkin' friend Cindy's house.  She had a few things I was pleased to buy: a corn sheller, bird cage, upcycled Christmas tree, mirrors, santa picture. So we were able to break in the "new" van (nicknaming it "The Silver Bullet") by having it haul some vintage treasures.