Picker Day Finds!

This past weekend I went to the fall Alaska Picker Day and as always had a great time.  The crowd that attends these events is always so courteous and there’s great finds that we can’t usually get here in Alaska at reasonable prices.

This was the first time they’ve held the event at their new location in downtown Palmer.  I love that they sit directly below the historic water tower which just adds to the charm.  I arrived 15 minutes before the sale opened and there was already a good sized crowd on-site, but everyone was respectful of the “gate” which was just an extension cord pulled across the driveway.  I ran into our friends Larry & Anne, who run Anne-Tiques and chatted with them about some projects I’m brainstorming while we waited for the sale to open.

Once the bell rang everyone flooded in to the shop through the large bay door, right to this massive back bar piece they brought back from the midwest.  A local brewing company had samples available for a donation, but since I was driving solo I didn’t partake, but heard them receive good feedback from several patrons.

This was the scene inside behind the makeshift bar.  Oodles of awesome junk.  I wasn’t on the hunt for anything in particular so I decided to step back outside and look at things there now that the crowd had migrated inside.  I spotted these awesome metal headboards and knew they’d make great trellises for the garden but didn’t have an exact spot for them so I hesitated.  I was most interested in the larger more ornate piece, since they were just $30 each.

I decided to ponder them some more and browse for other items so I headed back inside to look around.  I spotted these cool carriage wheels, one set wood and the other metal.  The wooden ones were already spoken (tag pulled) for so I don’t know how much they were priced at.

Near the wheels was this line of milk cans.  Priced at $58 each they were a good buy but I’d had the luck of finding one at a garage sale I stumbled upon that morning for just $20!  It doesn’t have the patina these ones do, but a coat of paint will have it ready for a new home on my deck or porch next year.

I’m always drawn to these wash tub stands because they make great raised planters, but I don’t have a spot for one right now and their $225+ price tag wasn’t really in the budget right now.  I’m sure they will find happy homes quickly.

These fun apothecary jars caught my eye as well.  At $12 each they were a little pricey, but still a good buy.  I didn’t have a specific use for them so I left them for someone else to enjoy.

There were also several displays of vintage cameras.  As a photographer I love seeing them and the history the document, but I’m trying to simplify our spaces and reduce things that just collect dust so I passed on these, even though were well priced from $25-50 each.

This old photo viewer was another interesting photography find.  I didn’t get to ask about the history of the piece but it just looked cool – and the photo in the holder made me giggle thinking it was likely considered very risque when it was taken.

So here’s my final haul from the sale.  I ultimately decided to get one of the headboards, but when I went back out to grab the tag on the biggest one it was already gone, so I opted for the smallest one thinking it will give me more options on spots to put it.  I’ll store it in the green house for the winter and find it a home in the gardens next spring.  I also picked up a couple of wooden berry baskets for just $1.50 each.  I plan to use them in my seasonal decorating, starting with fall.  I’ve got a couple of pumpkins that are going to look adorable in them!  I also found this fun conveyor belt bin for $10 that I think will make a fun wall planter on the back deck next year.  I wanted to find a few more, but my friend Anne and the friends she brought beat me to them.  I told them if they don’t find a use for them I’d be happy to take them off their hands.  And lastly here’s the milk can I found at the garage sale.  Like I said, it needs some TLC, but it’s solid. 🙂

It wasn’t a big haul, but I’m pretty happy with the items and projects they will fuel – all for just under $65!  I’d love to hear what you think about my finds and ways you think I could use them in a comment!


Antiquing in Camas

During my last visit to Portland I made a point to stop in and see an antique mall I’ve been following on Facebook for a while now.  Camas Antiques is located in the heart of the historic downtown Camas, WA and is just as charming in person as it is online. Just look at this sweet storefront!  It just begs you to come in – although I certainly didn’t need any convincing!  Inside there were numerous vendor booths, each with a unique style.  Since it was early summer during my visit many of the booths featured garden themes.

I spotted this simple window upcycle in one of the booths and showed it to the Hubs so he’d know what the heck I was talking about when I create something similar with the ones I still have stashed away in the shed.  I’m thinking they would be great done up for hanging stockings at for my holiday show in November.

This chalkboard message made both myself and my mother-in-law, who is also a novice gardener giggle.  At least we know we’re stretching our gardening muscles! LOL

The European vibe in this booth near the back of the store drew me right in and I lingered for quite a while, although I didn’t find anything that came home with me this trip.

I was amazed to realize there was a basement full of even more vendors!  It was like getting a second scoop on your ice cream cone.

I loved the lace tied to the light strands above this booth and might appropriate the idea for my booth at the bazaar if I have room.

I also pointed out this display to the Hubs since he always teases me for collecting driftwood!  I loved the wreath made out of the larger pieces.  I have a whole bucket full of pieces similar to this that I could use to make something similar.

This farmstyle area had me at first glance and I spent a good amount of time checking out all of the items.  That goat pillow gave me an instant smile and almost came home with me.  Those little faces were just so adorable.  I just couldn’t bear to think of putting them away after the summer season so I left them for someone else to find.

I finished touring the rest of the upstairs, ending at this fun booth in the front of the store, just behind the checkout counter.  It was full of great inspirations for little touches.  I may have to recreate those hanging lights somewhere in our home.

After I’d seen all of the booths, I paid for my rather large pile of finds that had been collecting at the front counter as I shopped and we headed out to find some food since we’d been there a few hours.

We ended up at a delicious Mexican restaurant, Nuestra Mesa, just a block away where I enjoyed a sangria with very yummy tacos.  It was the perfect way to wrap up a sunny vacation day in the Portland area!  If you’re ever in the area I definitely recommend planning a stop at both of these great spots.




Today I’m sharing my amazing trip to the Funky Junk Sisters’ Great Junk Hunt in Puyallup, WA.  I’ve followed the Sisters online for a while now and I adore their stuff, so I was super excited to find out we would be in the area during the show.  I bought two tickets for the early buying event the night before the actual show so we’d have first dibs on the best stuff and I can say it was totally worth the price.  I arrived early to pick up my tickets at will call and was directed into the building where the show was being held to see row upon row of this.  1I swear I heard heavenly music as I entered!  Let’s just say I walked very slowly while trying to find the person who had the tickets.  I did restrain myself to just looking from afar rather than actually shopping and bothering vendors as they were putting the finishing touches on their booths.  Although I was drooling over all the possibilities, I wanted to be respectful of the vendors who didn’t expect shoppers for another hour.  But I won’t lie – getting to look at everything without fighting crowds was absolutely wonderful.4

2The hubs joined me after parking the car and we wandered row to row pointing out things to each other.  Eventually we did have to head outside and get in line for the doors to officially open, but thanks to our unexpected preview we had a game plan of which booths to hit first.  And we had the perfect way to carry them thanks to the little red wagon we borrowed from my mother-in-law!


Once the doors opened, both the hubs and I bee-lined to different booths and scored the items we’d both liked then met at a third booth where the hubs had spotted a cool metal jug.  With our top three finds purchased and in the wagon we started going booth to booth to look in detail.  I was pleased to realize that although it was crowded, everyone was so respectful of each other.  No one rushed the doors or tried to elbow out others.  And I constantly heard, “Excuse me, I want to step past you to look at something.”  But it really sank in when the sound of something falling and breaking caused the entire crowd to react in unison with a distressed “oooohhhh!”  I also enjoyed spotting a few pieces I already had up for sale, like this yellow jug I spotted hiding under a chair.  It’s twin lives in my kitchen cabinet top décor!


I won’t lie, I did have a few favorite booths.  B’Aase Repurposed was one of them.  They pulled me in with those insanely adorable planters out front and every time I went by I seemed to find something new to check out.  I’m kinda wishing I’d bought that first light fixture hanging in the back on the left because it would have been a great addition to the laundry room’s new vintage vibe!


I wanted this little metal one on the tracks for my garden sooooo bad, but it was super heavy which means it would take an act of Congress to get it back home to Alaska so I had to pass.  I later saw it being carried off to someone’s car, so I’m not the only one who loved it.


Across the way from this booth was Built From Scrap, who created this fantastic cart table that was previewed on the event’s Facebook page.  Even the hubs commented how cool it was!  Although I didn’t get a picture of their booth (but you can see it on their page here) I did buy an amazing rusty pulley from them for and chatted with the owners Joe and Tonya.  Apparently I made an impression when I mentioned that I was going to use it as garden art in Alaska because Joe later sought me out in the crowd to ask if I’d be interested in a pulley wheel on a stand that he had out in his truck.  He even offered to bring it in for us to check out!  At just $10 I couldn’t pass it up so it got added to the wagon too.

The row up from them was Whimsical Details, who had the most ADORABLE booth.  I love every single thing about it!  Her style is so on par with mine that it felt like several ideas I’ve had suddenly sprang to life as I browsed her displays.  Don’t be surprised if you see some DIY projects in the near future that have been inspired by her!


I scored some fantastic metal numbers for the gallery wall at Our Country Homestead’s booth.  Although they had a large selection of letters to pick from I didn’t see any numbers, so I asked if they had any.  It just so happened that they had a small batch tucked away that they let me look through!  After testing several groupings I ended up with a 9, 0 and 7 to symbolize Alaska’s area code for just $36!


Remember the little piggy pot I shared in my last post?  I got it from the Cat’s Crate booth, which had lots of other great stuff.  I loved their basic, rustic furniture paired with great antiques.  I didn’t even notice the moose horseshoe rack in the back until I was editing the pictures back home!


The Weathered Home had a great set up and Serendipity Design – Flea Chic’s booth included a real retro trailer!   I also enjoyed browsing a joint booth run by B Designs Home Décor and EMJ Design who had a simple classic style with a nice punch of color.


All that amazing stuff had me on a serious junky rust high and smiling like a fool!  By the time we’d hit all of the downstairs booths the wagon was pretty full, so the hubs had to make a trip out to the car to unload it while I headed upstairs.  Luckily for him, I didn’t need it upstairs since I only bought a few small items at those booths.

WagonAfterAfter almost 2 hours of shopping here, the final haul all loaded up in the car.  Notice that tall trellis in the middle?  That was a surprise.  I saw it and loved it but thought it would be too difficult to get back to Alaska so I passed over it, but the hubs secretly went back and bought it while I was at another booth!  Yeah, he won some serious brownie points on that one!  I spent a good portion of the ride home just looking back at everything grinning like the Grinch.

HaulThe entire experience was wonderful and I’ll do it again every chance I get!  Now that I’ve got one big show under my belt I thought I’d share my top 10 tips for junk hunting:

  1. Carry cash – Although many vendors will accept credit cards these days, cash is still king.
  2. Bring a cart or wagon – This was the best advice I heard before attending the show.  Make sure it has a long handle and is easy to maneuver if possible.
  3. Be ready to measure – Have a tape measure if you’re looking for pieces to fit a specific spot
  4. Talk to the vendors – Even if they don’t have exactly what you’re looking for, they might have it back at their shop or know another vendor who does.
  5. Get there early for the best selection – Don’t be the pesky early bird who hassles vendors while they are still setting up, but the best pieces usually sell first, so be there to buy them first.
  6. Have a plan – When shows are large and have multiple vendors navigate the booths in a particular pattern so you don’t miss any.
  7. Grab a map – Not only is a good resource after the show to contact vendors you want to follow, but it’s an easy way to note where you purchase large items that need to be picked up when you leave or booths that you want to revisit for particular items or sales.
  8. Wear comfortable shoes – This is a no-brainer.  Wandering booth to booth should be fun, not painful.
  9. Be willing to negotiate – Most vendors are open to offers, especially if you’re buying multiple items or a larger piece.
  10. If you love it, buy it – The majority of items at these shows are unique and one-of-a-kind so if you can’t live without it buy it before someone else does.

I hope that helps during your next junkin’ trip.  If you have other tips to share, please leave a comment below.  I’ll do a post on how I’m using these finds around the house soon, so stay tuned!

Linked to The Scoop @ Cedar Hill Farmhouse, The Everyday Home, Confessions of a Plate Addict, and White Lace CottageAlso linked to Knick of Time’s Vintage Inspiration Party #199.

Goin’ Pickin’

PickinLast weekend I attended a special sale of antiques and vintage finds brought back by the Alaska Picker on their recent trip to the lower 48.  They previewed most of what would be available on their Facebook event page in the weeks prior to the sale to get everyone excited.  For overly organized peeps like me it was the perfect way to develop a game plan.  There were a couple of items I was interested in, but my main goal was to snag one of the Dr. Pepper wood crates they’d found in a large batch of various soft drink crates.  There were only three available so when I arrived on site before the sale started I staked a claim to a spot where I could bee-line for one.

When the air raid siren sounded to mark the beginning of the sale I jumped into action and was the first to grab one.  A woman behind me quickly claimed the other one visible in the stack next to the one I’d pulled mine from.  I never did see the third one.

Once I had my treasure clenched in my hands, I browsed around a bit and spotted this fun folding chair for just $22.  I wasn’t sure where I’d use it in the house, but knew it would be a fun prop for my photography sessions so I added that to my haul.

Before I made my way inside to pay I also spotted some funky little metal drawers.  I thought they’d look great in the office holding the hub’s odds and ends.  And at $6/each they didn’t break the budget, so they came home too.

In the end I only spent $85 – not bad with all that was available!  I did pace myself a bit since I will be attending the massive Funky Junk Sister’s Junk Salvation Vintage Market in Puyallup, WA later this month when we visit family nearby.  And I know I’ll be making a large purchase at the Alaska Picker’s sale this fall, when they bring back an old windmill they found on this trip as a special request from me, but didn’t have room for!  I plan to hang it as art on a large bare wall in the guest room, just like I’ve seen done on my favorite HGTV show, Fixer Upper!  You can be sure I’ll share both my haul from the Junk Salvation Market and the windmill wall art once they happen! 🙂

New Thrifty Haunts

One of the best things about moving to a new place is finding new, exciting stores – especially discovering which thrift stores have the best inventories!  Although we’ve been pretty busy since the move I have had time to check out a few local shops and have to say I’m pretty darn impressed.


BricBracThe Wasilla Salvation Army Thrift Store was the first new thrift shop I investigated due to its rather large size and convenient location right off the main drag of town.  It was pretty well laid out for a thrift store and seemed to have a good variety of inventory.  Unfortunately their hours don’t always work for my commuter schedule, but I was fairly tickled to see they had a decent pricing policy, as some thrift shops I’ve perused seem to be a bit bi-polar in that department – likely dependent on whoever volunteers for that task on a particular day.

I was also impressed by Boardwalk, which is also located just off the highway, but closer to the road that leads to our area.  This shop is a combination of three main vendors – Home Again Decor,  Gladheart Acres and Cranberry Cottage – with a smathering of consignment pieces too.  I got to speak with one of the managers while visiting and learned that they plan to start renting out space to regular vendors this year and they sounded interested in having some of my Thrift D’ Creations items available.  Once I’m settled and back to crafting I’ll certainly be looking into it – maybe even getting some Valentines inventory prepped this week!


I was already aware of the Alaska Picker shop which also houses a unique antique restorer, Fancy Lou.  I’m a fan of both on Facebook and love seeing their new inventory via social media when I can’t stop by to browse.  Luckily, they are now just a few miles from my home, which means I can always make a quick shopping trip on the weekends.

Thrifter’s Rock, located half-way between Wasilla and Palmer has been a favorite of mine for a while now.  Run by a local church to support their missionaries, they have amazing sales and a pretty good rotating inventory.  Just 10 minutes from our house, they are always a first choice when thrifting.


SledAnother new favorite is Chickadee in nearby Palmer, just 15 minutes from our house.  I’d been wanting to check them out since spotting them earlier this summer, but schedules just hadn’t permitted it until recently.  I knew I’d hit the jackpot when I spotted this antique sled out front as soon as I stepped out of the truck!  And at just $26.50 it was a great deal!

Vintage Poppy in downtown Palmer has been on my radar for a while now too.  I made it a point to visit them when I was visiting from Kodiak and ended up buying the “Moose, It’s what’s for dinner” sign that hangs in our kitchen on one of those trips.  There are also other vendors in the same shop, including Alaska Chicks and Love Nugget Designs, so they always have a variety of apparel, accessories, home decor and antiques.   I haven’t been in since the Alaska Picker moved out of this spot and into their own digs so I think it’s high time I return to check out what’s going on.

There are still a few stores I’ve spied, but haven’t had  a chance to check out just yet, like Happy Dawn’s Thrift Store located between our house and Wasilla, which looks like it might be a perfect resource for home decor project materials.  I also need to check out the Value Village I spied at the far end of town since it seems pretty large.

Of course I have grand plans to hit the multitude of antique shops throughout Wasilla and Palmer this summer, so watch for projects from those adventures!  What’s your favorite thrift shop or boutique?