A Little Pickin’


The other day I spotted an ad on the buy/sell page for several old rusty items and decided to spend a few minutes checking out what was available.  One of the items was a set of metal lockers for $10.  Although I don’t really have a spot planned for them I claimed them and made arrangements to pick them up that evening.


They turned out to be quite large and heavy.  While moving them we also discovered that there were small drawers inside each!  As the hubs figured out a plan to get them in the truck the property owners told me to look around and see if there was anything else I might want because they were clearing the lot to build and wanted it gone.  Not one to pass up the opportunity for a real life picking moment, I started exploring the piles of stuff tucked between trees and forgotten for years even thought I was still dressed from work at the office.


I found these two bed spring frames in an old truck bed and knew they would make awesome trellises for my garden!


Then I spotted this large metal tank that had been cut down and immediately fell in love with it.  I’m not sure if it will become garden art or if I’ll make it into a seat for next to the fire pit!


I also found some cool bits and pieces of things to fill in the open areas of my gardens including large springs, metal grates for small trellises and a metal twin size headboard that is begging for a second life.  I also spied this amazing jerry can in a pile and snatched it up.  I hunted for a match for it but I couldn’t pass it up.


The owner took me up to a conex box he had more stuff stored in and I spotted these larger springs and metal crates.  He made me a deal for on the whole group and I quickly stashed those in the truck too.  At this point the truck was full and it was getting late, so we made arrangements to come back the next day to get the rest of our finds and I quit looking.  Tired, covered in rust and dead leaves we headed home to unload our treasures with smiles.


Take a guess at what my amazing haul cost… I paid just $50 for the whole batch!  That’s a whole ‘lotta rusty goodness for a bargain price!  I’m not 100% sure where I’ll use each piece just yet, but now that I have them I’ll find creative uses for them and I’ll be sure to share how I utilize each here on the blog once I do.  🙂


Updating Our Décor With New Treasures


Remember, like forever ago, when I promised I’d share all the items we picked up on vacation and how we used them around the house? It’s finally that time! Some pieces worked just how I planned and others had to be tested out and ‘lived with’ in a few different spots to finally find their perfect placement.


Several items found homes in the Laundry Room. The first was a basket I snagged on clearance for $10 at Marshalls. It became Luna’s new nap spot! Her previous cat bed was a freebie leopard number that we got soon after bringing her home. While it was functional, it didn’t fit the style of the room so I’d been looking for a replacement for a while and had decided a basket would be perfect. Although I was nervous that she wouldn’t adapt to it the hubs was certain she’d sleep in anything I put in that spot and apparently he was right! She took a couple quick sniffs, curled up and went right to snoozing before I could even put any padding in it for her! Eventually I added a towel inside an allergen pillow case cover so it can easily be taken apart and washed with the whites each week to help reduce my allergy symptoms.


Overhead, I changed out the red basket and hat box for a lovely olive bucket my mother-in-law gave me, a metal sphere I found at Home Goods for $10 and a large blue glass jar I already had. Everything fit nicely around my DIY Laundry Room sign and I added a bit of faux greenery to the olive bucket to balance everything out.


I hung a metal organizer on the wall next to the door to the garage so we have a spot to collect papers that need to be taken to work or for errands. Hopefully this keeps our counters clear and the papers safe from getting damaged in any way. Plus it’s a good reminder since it’s the last thing we see as we head out the door, which makes it harder to forget something. I think I paid around $13 for this at Home Goods. I’m liking all the little hints of black and metal that are now working together – the handles on Luna’s basket, the sphere and this rack. It’s starting to get that rustic industrial feel I’ve been wanting!


I found an amazing large glass jar that was almost identical to one I spotted on a favorite décor page recently for $45, and at half the price and knew I’d make it work somewhere. That somewhere turned out to be the dining room table – for now at least. It may eventually migrate to other areas as I change things each season, but for now I love it here.


The big metal can the hubs found at the junk show for just $25 now lives next to the front door where my holiday tree used to be. Although I loved my seasonally decorated tree, I’ve been looking for ways to be more efficient with my time and that was one of the things that could be given up without consequence. Instead I’ll just use those items in my seasonal vignettes throughout the house. I like that this piece can also double as an umbrella holder if needed. It’s not something we get much call for, but should the need arise its ready and able to corral those dripping covers.


I tucked another junk show find – the little metal oil can, on the other side of the entry table. I’m not sure it will live here permanently, but it works for now. It’s a great little $10 find.



The bubble glass lantern became part of my summer décor on the entry way table. The blue tint to the glass plays off the red, white and blue elsewhere so it was fitting. I got this for around $12 from a store called At Home.



One of my favorite pieces was a large antique wooden crate we spotted at the junk show for just $10. It was combined with a stem of preserved cotton to become art in the corner of the guest room. The chair may look familiar since it’s from the office. We’ve decided to switch to real office chairs that roll and have better lumbar support for my long hours of editing. Although we haven’t found the perfect replacements just yet, the hubs doesn’t sit at his desk all that much so we went ahead and moved his chair to complete the guest room for now. I love how it looks with my hope chest and the old crate art and I hope guests do too.


Speaking of the office, we also snagged two wire inboxes – one at the junk show and one at an antique shop I spotted across the street from a gas station we stopped at! They are the perfect way to corral all those piles of paper the hubs and I seem to accumulate as we work on things.


So that’s where everything ended up inside. Check back tomorrow to see where the rest of our finds ended up outside, along with a little garden update!



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! 🙂