My New Jewelry Rack

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Today I wanted to share a little change I mentioned when I showed off the new bench I added to our Master Closet.  My mother-in-law gifted me this cool rusty rake head after I’d sent her some gardening organization ideas using some.

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We used it in the dining room over the summer to hang cut herbs as they dried which worked quite well.  But when I was purging my jewelry for an upcoming consignment sale and wanted to rearrange the larger pieces I keep next to the jewelry cabinet I thought using the rake would work much better than the thumb tacks I was currently utilizing.

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So the rake head moved from the dining room to the closet, where it gives a much cleaner look.  I reused those thumbtacks to hang the rake head, but I might swap them out for smaller finishing nails to make the look even cleaner.

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I like that I can hang items using one tine or multiple depending on how heavy and wide each piece is.  And it’s easy to grab an item when getting ready and just as simple to put it away at the end of the day.  But the best part is that the update didn’t cost me a single dime **cue heavenly music** and took less than 5 minutes to do!

5There’s room to add another if my jewelry collection grows, so I’ll be on the watch for both a second rusty rake head and more pretty large jewelry!  Like I said, there’s some big consignment sales coming up! 😉

The Beauty Around Us

TruckLife has been crazy busy recently.  Tequila had knee surgery which required a change in schedules for the Hubs and I.  Summer is the busy season for my photography business with weddings, seniors and families visiting Alaska.  My department at work is about to move offices and I’ve had a couple new projects assigned to me.  The garden is growing like crazy and in constant need of attention for weeding, pruning and training.  And of course we still have a puppy at home who is learning what is and isn’t acceptable behavior.

With so much going on it’s rare that I get more than 5-6 hours of sleep a night during the week and I feel a bit like I’m burning the candle at both ends.  I had grand ideas about enjoying some down time this summer enjoying our yard and hitting the trails in our side-by-side but schedules and injuries haven’t cooperated and with fall just around the corner I’m realizing there’s not much time left to squeeze those things in.  So rather than have a pity party about it, I’m looking for little pockets of adventure and relaxation in between all the day-to-day stuff.

The first came when I was driving home from a wedding last weekend and spotted this old truck in a field just off the road.  I’d seen it before but am not often in this area of town so despite the rain – which had thankfully held off until just after we finished up at the wedding – I turned around, found a spot to pull over and jumped out to snap a few frames.  There’s something about this simple scene that speaks to me.  Maybe it’s the wildflowers, maybe it’s the rusty old truck that’s similar to my own, maybe it’s the vision of rural life it creates.  Whatever it is I like it and I’m glad I have a visual of that ‘feeling’.

The second opportunity came last weekend when I was again returning home from a photography session.  This time we’d been rained out, but I have other sessions in this area coming up so I decided to scout a few spots as I made my way back.  It was rainy and chilly, but the rushing of the river was amazing.

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This is one of my favorite local areas and luckily it’s just a few minutes drive from our home, but we often get caught up in other plans and don’t make it over here on a regular basis.  Having a little extra time to explore a few corners of the area was just what I needed.  It recharged my creativity and reminded me how blessed I am to have the life I do.

There’s always room for improvement, but for the afternoon I was content to simply enjoy the beauty around me and have a little adventure.  I hope you find inspiration in these two images to take a few moments here and there to enjoy the beauty in your daily life as well.

Urban Junktion

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I recently attended another local pop-up “junk show” and thought I’d share a quick recap.  This one was called Urban Junktion and was held at a sports complex which was much larger than the fairgrounds building where the Alaska Chick’s Vintage Market was hosted.  Several of the same vendors from that event were here, but had different items for the summer season.

Although I wasn’t able to commit a whole weekend to have a booth at the show, Anne-tiques who has done several furniture projects for us did and offered to let me put some of my smaller pieces at her booth to accessorize her furniture.   That arrangement worked out pretty well since I still made more than I spent at the show and I was able to get in before the doors opened to the public to help her set up.  Once we had things pretty set I made a quick lap of the other booths to earmark which items I was interested in checking out since I had limited shopping time due to photographing a wedding that afternoon.

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There were lots of rustic home decor vendors with a variety of items from furniture, to signs and vintage or re-purposed items.  The host of the show had an amazing booth that I was so busy shopping I didn’t take any photos of the set up, although I did snap a few of the cool display on the backside of her booth with this wonderfully styled mannequin and little soldiers with a great message.

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I also spotted a basket of shoe horns at her booth that look quite similar to the ones I just inherited from my grand father!  I’m not sure what I’ll do with mine just yet but it was cool to see someone else appreciate these types of items.

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This jerry can bench also caught my interest since we have one jerry can already from my unplanned picking adventure earlier this summer.  I’d considered making mine a lamp but if I could find a matching one this would be a fun option.

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One of my favorite vendors, The Alaska Picker was there with awesome unique builds and vintage finds.  I love the truck beds they have been making and wanted this awesome cart for my deck so bad, but just couldn’t justify the $200+ price tag on my current budget.

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Another piece I was lusting after was this metal John Deere tractor and trailer.  I could just envision it in a garden with flowers hanging over the sides of the little trailer, but at $300 it was out of my “garden art” price range.

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I almost bought this fun pendant light made from an old funnel neck can.  It was priced right at $35, but I couldn’t think of where I’d use it in our house so I decided to leave it for someone else to treasure.

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But here’s what I did buy.  A cool wooden wheel, a metal scroll piece and a fun birdhouse garden stake.  I’m still not sure where I’ll use the wheel and scroll piece but the birdhouse has already found a spot in the garden, which I’ll reveal once that area is finished.

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It was a great experience for both the shoppers and the vendors, even though it was hard to compete with Alaska’s summer time activities.  It’s definitely a perfect showcase of the talent and creativity in our region and it’s makes you realize it’s a community all it’s own.  Check out the Urban Junktion Facebook page to see more photos of the event and all the cool little details I wasn’t able to capture in my quick visit.  Hopefully, there will be more events like this in our area so I can shop and photograph more great set-ups!

A Little Pickin’

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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.

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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.

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.  🙂

Alaska Chick’s Vintage Market

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Last weekend I visited a fun Vintage Home Market, which I had been eagerly anticipating for months.  I attended the event last year when it was held at a smaller venue which became very crowded, so I was glad they were able to move to this larger space.  I had a wedding booked that afternoon so I went first thing in the morning, despite the late spring snow storm that had rolled into the area.  Tickets went on sale at 8 am and doors opened at 9, so I arrived a little after 8 to pay and get in line.  The picture above is the view as you enter the building.  On the other side of the entry was this beautiful set up.

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I browsed the front booths from the line, including this double space booth done by the market coordinator, Alaska Chicks.  There were so many great items packed into the space that you had to look several times to see them all.

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They also had this fun photo booth at the front of the line where you could take selfies with the vintage car and model.  It was a great idea to utilize the wait time, which several folks did.

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The line grew as the opening time got closer and eventually filled the whole staging area, with several groups flowing out the door.  I took this shot just 10 minutes before they opened the market with a vintage air raid siren from Alaska Picker, who we bought our windmill art from!

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I was so busy shopping that I didn’t take any pictures once the market opened, but you can see lots of the vendor’s booths and wares on the event page here.  My favorite set up was this rustic truss with moss.

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And of course I found a few treasures to bring home.  The first thing I got was a custom order for a grain sack sham for our bed from this amazing vendor.  I made a beeline for her booth as soon as they opened because that was my one MUST get item for the show.  Across from her space was a vendor with repurposed wine barrel furniture and décor where I found these cool barrel band hearts!  I’d seen some on craigslist back in February and messaged the seller but never got a response so I was giddy to find them here.  Plus they were the same price, just $10 each!  They will be going up on the side of the house when we expand the chicken run later this spring.

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I also found several “little” treasures, including a handmade whale and fun Alaska art print for the foster room, a large ampersand that will be added to the gallery wall soon and vintage letter blocks that I plan to make into magnets for the project I’ll be sharing next!

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This show has me so motivated to start making things for the Junktion Market in July where I’ll be sharing a booth with the gal who does our furniture refinishing, where I plan to do a little browsing as well.  I’ll also be shopping the Alaska Picker Day in June, then hit the Junk Bonanza outside of Portland when we visit in October!  I’m sure I’ll find more rusty, vintage goodness to bring home at each and will certainly share my finds with you all right here on the blog. 🙂

A Family Heirloom Revamped

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During my recent 2015 recap I realized I never shared the refinish of my hope chest we had a local painter do, so that’s what I’m sharing today!  It’s a large cedar chest that’s been handed down from my great grandmother and is my one true family heirloom so I was too nervous to refinish it myself.  Luckily I connected with Anne-Tiques a husband and wife team who revamp and upcycle furniture and décor.  Their style was very similar to mine and they immediately understood what my vision was so I knew they’d do a good job.  Here’s a before shot of what they started with.

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It was in good shape and study, but it was too dark for my style and needed a little touchup.  I picked out a cream base and a light grey top coat so they could distress it a bit and let both colors show.  Here’s how it looks now!

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The new color makes it modern and rustic all at the same time, which is a perfect fit for our home.  I love how the colors blend together for a soft finish and how they compliment the other colors in the guest room. Apparently others like this look too because I recently saw another blogger’s post about refinishing a similar Lane cedar chest with the same color combo.  I think she’s got some great taste! 😉

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It also got a little tune up while they were prepping for paint.  They repaired the front molding where there was a small crack and tightened up the legs so now it’s ready for another couple of generations.  And it looks oh so lovely from the doorway of the guest room, where it holds a wealth of extra linens at the ready in case anyone needs an extra blanket during our cold Alaskan winters.

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It’s no longer the dated clunky piece in the house, now you can see all it’s pretty details and it feels fresh and new.  I couldn’t be happier!  Have you refinished an heirloom antique?  I’d love to hear about it.  Leave me a comment or link below to share!

Junkin’

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.