random garage sales.

Normally I stick with the big community wide garage sales on a Saturday.  It’s a great way to fit in 50 – 60 sales in just a few hours.  The reality of garage saling is that you’ll find great vintage stuff at about one out of 10 sales (I totally made up that stat, but you get my point, right?).

This past Saturday my sister and I had planned to go to the Cannon Falls community wide sales.  We were going to make a day of it and also visit the winery in town.  I was picturing a beautiful, crisp fall day when we made these plans.  In years past I’ve had to wear a jacket and a hat for the Cannon Falls sales because we usually get a cold snap right about now.  However, it was 92 and humid here on Saturday and I just didn’t have it in me to get up at 7 a.m. and drive the 40 minutes to Cannon Falls.

So instead my sister and I decided to hop in my convertible and drive into the city stopping at random sales along the way.  It was the perfect day to buzz around with the top down on the car.  My sister was in charge of sign spotting, although she still needs to work on those skills.  I definitely needed one of those bumper stickers that say “I brake for garage sales” because she never saw the signs until the last possible second.  We only got cursed at once, and that time we weren’t even stopping at a sale, I was turning off to let a very impatient driver get ahead of me.

My sister and I are really very compatible garage salers.  Neither of us wants to spend time looking at clothes or toys and other kid stuff, so we pass those sales right on by.  My sister is only looking for things to use in her own home whereas I am looking for cool vintage stuff to re-purpose and ultimately sell, so we tend to not pick the same stuff most of the time.  And my sister is a Disney fanatic.  So you can imagine the fun we had when one of the first sales we stopped at had tables full of Disney collectibles.

Debbie bought some pieces for herself, and I bought some pieces to wrap up for her for Christmas.  That sale had a nice selection of vintage stuff too, including quite a few vintage suitcases.  I just bought one, although in hindsight I don’t know why I didn’t buy more.  Garage sale regret strikes again.

Another sale we stopped at also had some great vintage pieces.  I grabbed the red oil can and talked my sister into the copper one.

She has always admired the oil cans I painted and turned into photo holders …

So now is her chance to make her own.  We later stopped off at Hobby Lobby for some of the little clips I used to hold the photos in place, plus a small jar of dark blue chalk paint for Debbie to use to paint hers.

When the garage sales started to dry up, and the day started to really heat up, we stopped off at a huge, very nicely air conditioned, thrift store.  Debbie has been looking for vintage plaid Faribo wool throws for her patio.

I just love that their tags say “purveyors of warmth and comfort since 1865”.  So far she has only found one genuine Faribo, and several no-name wool throws.  But the no-name versions will do until she has a Faribo for every chair.

I found a cute pair of bowls at the thrift store.

I’d been looking for some new dishes for my cat.  This is embarrassing to admit, but she has been eating out of the old dog dishes that we’ve had since we had a dog … um, like five years ago.  It’s about time I got her some pretty cat sized dishes!

Now Lucy can dine in style.

For me the find of the day was this old photo of a farmstead that someone enlarged and put on a canvas.

I don’t know what it is that I find so appealing about it, but I’m just drawn to it.

Check out the back …

It definitely has some age to it.

I wish I had realized how fragile the front was before I put it in the trunk of the car.  I ended up cracking the photo in several places and I’m very bummed about that.  But I still think it’s going to look awesome just as soon as I find the perfect spot for it in my home.

In general, the prices were lower at these random sales than they tend to be at neighborhood sales.  But we also came home with fewer items overall.  It’s a trade-off.  We had a fun time just driving around following the signs where they took us though.  We’d definitely do it again!

Oh, and I almost forgot, the winners of the hello fall banners were Barbara and Laura.  I know I have more than one Barbara and Laura among my readers, but I sent an email to the correct ones, so if you didn’t get an email, I’m sorry to say it’s not you.  Thanks so much to everyone who took the time to leave a comment last Friday though, and if you didn’t win one, I promise they are quite easy to make so just follow my directions from Friday and give it a go.


vintage greens.

In addition to all of the fab stuff I found at the Lynnhurst sales on Saturday, I also found time to check out a few sales during my lunch hour last week.

I wasn’t specifically trying to find things that were green, but somehow I ended up with several items in that perfectly vintage shade of green.

First of all was this lovely little box.  I was drawn to the original painted finish.

This is the kind of chippy, distressed patina that I am trying to replicate every time I use milk paint.  I want to study the wear patterns on this box and make my next piece of furniture look just like this.  But really, although you can do amazing things with milk paint, it’s hard to beat the real deal.

I also love the fact that the box looks very homemade.  Even the handle looks like it was just cobbled together from some bent wire and bits of scrap sheet metal.

I’m not sure what I’m going to store in this box, but clearly it needs to be something special.  But for now it even looks fab with some green books.

This amazing little green birdhouse came from the same sale.

When I got it home I immediately replaced the scrapbook paper that was lining the bottom with some pages from an old German book that I purchased at Carver Junk Co.

It also has an amazing patina.  Wouldn’t it be adorable with a little plant inside?  Or filled with vintage books.

I also found a couple of old green toolboxes.

I actually came home with 4 old toolboxes, 3 of them from one sale.  The other two aren’t green though, so they didn’t make the cut for this blog post.  Although sometimes the original color and patina should be left alone, oftentimes I paint them like this …

You can see what I’ve done with other toolboxes in the past here, herehere and here.

I’m still working on finding the perfect spot in my house for a touch of green, but I’m determined to find it.

In the meantime, I’m just having fun playing around with my vintage greens.

lynnhurst 2017.

Fall garage sale season is in full swing.  My sister and I have plans to hit the neighborhood sales every Saturday for the rest of this month.  So far, we’ve been finding lots of great stuff.  This past Saturday we went to another Minneapolis neighborhood, Lynnhurst, for their neighborhood sales.

Once again, we filled up my sister’s SUV.  As it turns out, people in Lynnhurst price their stuff to sell!

My sister and I each had one specific item we were looking for.

Debbie wanted some pretty dishtowels to put in a bowl that was going back to her neighbor.  I don’t think I mentioned this here, but a week ago Debbie had a house warming party at her new place and a neighbor brought over a bowl of watermelon.  Debbie follows the rule that you never return a container empty, you put a thoughtful little ‘thank you’ gift inside.

Sure enough, she found a set of pretty blue and white dishtowels.

You might think it’s … well … icky to buy linens like these at a garage sale, but these have obviously not been used.  Often times people have been given stuff like this as a gift and it’s not the right color for them, or for whatever reason they just never used them.  So they sell them.

The one item on my list was a globe.  Not for me actually, but for my co-worker Jodie.  She mentioned that she was looking for a globe to turn into something.  I’m not entirely sure what, but she is very crafty.

Sure enough, we found a globe too.

Granted, it doesn’t always work out this way, but you’d be surprised how much luck we often have finding just what we need at garage sales!

I also came home with a glass canister and a bunch of old blocks.

As well as some more vintage graters to turn into photo holders.

I also found this adorable whisk broom with an embroidered cover.

Have you ever seen anything like this before?  I hadn’t.  I just couldn’t resist it.  I’m going to try soaking the cover in some OxyClean and see if I can clean it up a bit.

My sister added to her Disney ornament collection.  She likes that they are Disney, I like that they are vintage.

She also came home with a fab mid-century ice bucket.

I found a pretty little side table that I’ve already begun to make over, here is the before photo.

But the find of the day was definitely this oak washstand (or as some like to call them, commode).

The drawer pulls on this piece are gorgeous.  I think I would have purchased it for the hardware alone.  But it’s also quite lovely overall.  And look what I found when I opened the top drawer …

It looks hand drawn to me.  Only the top drawer has this liner.  I’m debating whether or not to leave it.  Unfortunately it has some water damage spots.

Do I rip it out?  Or do I leave it and let whomever buys it decide?

Also, I won’t be putting the mirror back on.  These pieces make perfect nightstands, but not with a mirror, because a mirror would be weird on a nightstand, right?  I know it seems like a bit of a shame, but they are both just far more versatile on their own.

The mirror and the harp that held it on the washstand are really pretty though, and in great condition ‘as is’.  I think they would look amazing hung on the wall over the sink in a bathroom.  Especially since it has that towel bar.

I added some hangers to it and hung it in my photo cottage just to give you an idea of what that would look like.  I wish I had a fabulous pedestal sink to use as a prop, but no such luck.  Instead, I’ll share this photo from pinterest to inspire you.  I love the look of the darker wood with the white ship lap behind it.

So if any of you locals happen to have the perfect spot for a mirror over your sink, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale’ page for details.

We didn’t come across the washstand until one of our last stops.  The SUV was fairly full at that point, but I was determined to fit it in.  So there we were once again, unloading the contents of our vehicle onto the curb and packing it all back in around the washstand.  Debbie’s girl scout camping trip packing skills come to our rescue yet again!

Currently I’ve got three furniture makeovers underway out in the carriage house.  Each one is taking much longer than I anticipated.  So let’s all keep our fingers crossed that I manage to get at least one of them finished this week to share with you, but in the meantime I think I still might be able to eke out another five post week.  Be sure to stay tuned!


the day for chairs.

This year has pretty much been a bust for me for garage sale finds.  I missed most of the early summer sales while gone on my trip and while helping my sister move into her new house.  I went to a few random sales in July and August, but didn’t find much.  But all is not lost.  There are a handful of good neighborhood sales in early fall so I might not have to write off the entire 2017 garage sale season.

This past Saturday was the 6th Annual East Isles Super Sale with about 40 sales and as an added bonus the neighborhood just north of them, Lowry Hill, added their own neighborhood sale with about 25 additional homes participating.  My sister picked me up bright and early and we headed off to hit the sales.

If you aren’t familiar with Minneapolis neighborhoods, both of these are stunners.  They are situated along the eastern shore of Lake of the Isles and they are filled with gorgeous historic homes.  My sister and I play a fun game while driving around the neighborhoods called ‘which house would you buy if you won the lottery’ (I know, not a very clever name).

The day started out slow.  We didn’t buy a single thing at the first 5 sales we stopped at.  But then things picked up.  I found two adorable kid sized chairs.

I love painting these little chairs so I pick them up whenever I see them at a good price.

Next, I spotted a trio of gorgeous old chairs that I knew would be fantastic painted, so those went in the back of the SUV too.

I also found some ornaments to add to my growing non-collection.

At that same sale, Debbie picked up a stash of these adorable vintage candy molds.

I hadn’t really looked at them closely until I pulled them out to take photos.  Each one is different and quite a few animals are represented, including a cat, a rooster, a pelican, a frog, a horse and a fish.

Debbie recently put up some open shelves in her kitchen and has displayed some blue canning jars on them.  She’s looking for fun things to put in the jars, and that’s where these will go.

By the time we ended up at the sale with these awesome bar stools, the back of the vehicle was already pretty full.

But I just couldn’t pass them up.  So we unloaded everything onto the curb and then reloaded more carefully so that we could fit them in.  We had to remove the headrests from the car seats to get it all situated, but we were determined.  I had to spend the rest of the morning with big rusty metal planter on my lap (and I forgot to get a photo of it) because there wasn’t another inch of room in that vehicle.

One of the sales we stopped at was donating all of their proceeds to hurricane victims.  Although we didn’t buy anything, we did make a donation and get a free homemade cinnamon roll which was delicious.  Our thoughts were with the people in Florida as we were enjoying the perfectly gorgeous day here in Minnesota.  One of Debbie’s good friends from high school (we both went to high school in Boca Raton, Florida) still lives in Boca and was on the road for hours on Friday evacuating from her home.  We were both happy to hear that she had arrived safely at her destination late Friday night and I hope that everyone else in Florida stayed safe during the storm.

Meanwhile, back here in Minnesota, it’s always fun coming home with a haul, and it definitely was the day for chairs!

Be sure to check back tomorrow (yes, I said tomorrow, I think it’s going to be another five post week!) to see what I did with one of them already!





the barn chic vintage sale.

Hi everybody!  This is a public service announcement especially for my local readers (Twin Cities, Minnesota), although the rest of you may enjoy it as well.

You may remember that last year I shared a tour of Kim’s fabulous home, Stone Hill Farm (here, here and here).

Kim and her friends Lisa and Susan host the fabulous Barn Chic Vintage Sale out of Kim’s barn and this year they are having their sale a little earlier than usual.  In fact, it starts tomorrow!

They let me swing by last night for a little preview, so I thought I’d share a few photos with you all!

They have tons of lovely painted furniture.  So much that I can’t possibly share it all with you in a blog post.  This french provincial vanity/desk is so pretty, I love the colors on it paired with the natural wood top (which is a little hard to see in this photo).

There is also a matching nightstand (and you can see that wood top better in this photo) …

Although not french provincial in style, this next dresser looks equally lovely in the blue and white color scheme.

 Here’s an adorable wicker sofa reupholstered in vintage chenille.

I didn’t ask what paint color was on this petite desk, but it looks a lot like the MMS Flow Blue on my Norwegian stool from the other day, doesn’t it?

I love the hot pink bird on the fabric on this vanity bench.  The green and white waterfall style vanity that it’s paired with would be an awesome addition to a girl’s bedroom.

There are many, many more pieces of furniture!

But there are also plenty of smaller decor items too, like this rustic folk art house.

And as you can imagine, this miniature dresser has my name all over it!

I was also really tempted by these adorable banners made out of remnants from vintage embroidered linens.

What a great use for those pretty vintage linens, right?

You know I have a weakness for floral china, and they had a lovely set.

I think most of my favorite colors were well represented.

Aqua …

Green …

Yellow …

Red …

Oh, and guess what?  This is just the stuff that was inside.  They also have a ton of stuff outside!  They didn’t quite have that stuff set up yet, and I was distracted by the chickens, so I didn’t get any photos out there.  You’ll just have to take my word for it, there was a lot of great stuff!

Here are the details for the sale.

When:  Thursday, June 22 – Saturday, June 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Where:  2946 Oakgreen Avenue, Stillwater, MN

Please note, they do not take credit cards, so come prepared to pay cash.

If you are local, you won’t want to miss this sale!



another breakfast meeting.

First things first, the winner of my foreign decor magazine giveaway is Andrea J (I sent you an email Andrea, so be sure to look for it)!  Congrats to Andrea!  She mentioned in her comment that she needs inspiration for a garden shed, so I’m hoping she finds it in the Jeanne d’ Arc magazine.  Now, on with today’s post.

Every June my co-worker/Carriage House Sale partner Sue and I get called away from the office for a very important breakfast meeting.

Last Friday was another of our ‘meetings’ and this time our friend Cathy joined us too.

Not only do Sue, Cathy and I work together at our day jobs and bring you the Carriage House Sale, we also live within about a mile of each other.  And each year around now there is a woman who lives between all of us and our workplace who has a garage sale. We know exactly what her sign looks like and we try to watch for it every June.  She’s a former antiques dealer, so she always has the best stuff.  So good in fact that we can’t wait until our lunch break, we have to head out immediately for a ‘breakfast meeting’.

Here’s my haul from last Friday’s breakfast meeting.

The little green lunchbox is so fab!  I’ve never seen one shaped quite like this.

It would be adorable filled with some geraniums.

Those ornaments with the lunch box are just a handful from the box of them that I bought.  There are some very nice additions to my collection in the box.

Isn’t the petite watering can fun?  Sue actually picked it up first, but was kind enough to let me have it!

I grabbed this vintage wooden toy just because I liked the colors on it, and the chippy paint.

It might be fun to use as a prop in furniture photo shoots.

Hmmm, made by ‘Hustler Toy Corporation’ … that seems like an unfortunate choice of name for a toy manufacturer …

 I liked the subtle blue stripe on the galvanized bucket.  I filled it up with peonies for a photo.

It seems that peony season has come and gone in the blink of an eye this year.  Most of mine opened up just in time for the hot spell we had on Saturday, and if that didn’t do them in then the hail storm we had on Sunday did.

I’m glad I got some photos of them while they lasted.

 The peonies were not the only things to suffer from Sunday’s hail storm.  My gardens were really looking pretty fantastic last week, so I took a bunch of photos including this picture of one of my favorite hostas.

Which now looks like this …

Yep, hail is a serious bummer for the garden, especially the hostas.

A little research online resulted in advice ranging from cut them back entirely, just remove the damaged leaves (which in this case is pretty much the same thing), leave them alone and new growth will eventually replace the damaged leaves, or most pessimistic, they aren’t going to recover until next year.

Since it’s early in the season, I’m going to try removing some of the most damages leaves and hope that I get new growth this season.  Wish me luck on that one!

a few of my favorite neighborhood sales.

Before I get on with today’s post I’m wondering if any of you can help me out.  Last Saturday there were a whole bunch of new visitors here on the blog, and I got quite a few new followers.  So, first of all, welcome to all of my new followers, I’m glad you are joining us!  Second of all, how did you find me?  I’d like to thank whomever it was that shared my blog, but since it seems to have been a Facebook thing, my stats don’t tell me where you all came from.  So if you’re willing, please share how you found out about me in a comment.

Earlier this year when Mr. Q and I were trying to decide when and where to go on vacation this year we ran into some scheduling problems.  Between both of our day jobs, both of our side jobs (mine is furniture artist/blogger, his is wedding officiant), scheduling my occasional sale and numerous other things on the calendar it was hard to find a time that we could both be away for any significant length of time.

So when we found the cruise to Norway & Scotland that we’re taking next week it seemed like kismet.  It worked perfectly with our work schedules.  It wasn’t until after we had booked it that we realized we’d be missing Mr. Q’s grandpa’s 100th birthday!  Argh!  Luckily the party is scheduled for the day before we leave, so we weren’t aren’t going to miss the party, just the actual day.

We’re also going to be gone the day my sister closes on her new house.  Dang, I would have liked to share a champagne toast with her the first time she opened the door to her new home with her very own key.  But, we’ll be home just a few days later and in plenty of time to actually help her move (she’ll be doing some painting and cleaning before she moves in).

I also think I’m going to miss the lilacs!  They generally bloom during the last half of May, while I’ll be gone.

But what I didn’t even think to factor in was which of my favorite neighborhood garage sales I would be missing!  What was I thinking planning a trip right at the height of garage sale season?!

In a recent comment, Carol asked me to share some of my favorite sales so I thought I’d do that in a post.  Even though I’m missing out on some of them this year, maybe some of you local readers can check them out.

It’s tradition to kick off the start of garage sale season with the Bryn Mawr neighborhood sale.

Bryn Mawr is always the first weekend in May.  You can check out some of my previous posts about Bryn Mawr here, here and here.

Bryn Mawr is an extremely popular neighborhood sale.  There is traffic congestion, limited parking, and tons of people.  Many of the residents have a sale every year, and in some cases that means they pull out the same ol’ stuff each year, then pack it up when it doesn’t sell and pull it out again next year.  It also means you probably won’t find any really amazing bargain prices.  Usually I manage to come home with at least a few fun things, but this year I didn’t have much luck.  The few things I found didn’t even merit a photo or a blog post.

Although you’ve already missed them, there are several other great neighborhood sales to pick from the first weekend in May including Tangletown and Summit Hill and I may try one of those next year instead of Bryn Mawr.

Another big favorite of mine is Linden Hills, and that’s one I will be missing this year.

Much like Bryn Mawr, Linden Hills is very popular (ie. crowded) and it has a great festival-like atmosphere.  Last year they even had live music.  I’m not positive, but I think Linden Hills is always the first weekend after Mother’s Day.  This year it’s on May 20.

Yep, I’m bummed to be missing it, but since I’ll be spending that day in Stavanger, Norway I guess I can’t complain, right?

The Hale-Page-Diamond Lake neighborhood sale is also on May 20 this year.  If you’re looking for something a little less crowded than Linden Hills, Hale-Page might be a good choice for you.  You can read about my last trip to Hale-Page here.

I’ll also be missing the Roseville city-wide sale this year on June 1 – 3.  This is one that I discovered last year after a tip from a blog reader.  I was on vacation from the day job so was able to get there on the first day of the sale, which is a Thursday.  My friend Meggan joined me and we had a great time.

Since I do work full time, sales that start during the week usually don’t make it onto my list.  I prefer to stick with Saturday only sales whenever possible.  Otherwise all of the good stuff is long gone before I can get there.

Although you don’t usually find many garage sales on holiday weekends, believe it or not the Armitage-Kenny sale is usually held on Memorial Day weekend and so I was assuming I’d miss this one too.  But this year they have moved it to a week later on June 3.

I always enjoyed the fact that Armitage-Kenny was so quiet compared to the other neighborhood sales.  I’m sure that was because of the holiday weekend.  In 2015 we came home with fake tattoos and plastic spoons and not much else.  Although Debbie found a great table with benches.

The East Calhoun neighborhood’s ECCO Super Sale is the sale I usually pick for the first weekend in June (also being held on June 3 this year).

Last year I found a stash of vintage cameras at reasonable prices at ECCO and I even gave one of them away here on the blog since it was a duplicate of one I already had.

Speaking of vintage camera hauls, I hit the mother lode at the Nokomis neighborhood sale in June 2015.

Eureka, right?!

But both my sister Debbie and I love Nokomis for another reason as well.  Our parents both grew up in this neighborhood.  We always make a pilgrimage to our grandparent’s former houses that day in addition to hitting the sales.

The ‘find of the day’ from last year’s Nokomis sale was a croquet set that my sister bought.  I just loved the black and white graphic on it.

This year the Nokomis sales will be held on Saturday, June 17.

Organized neighborhood sales tend to take a hiatus after Nokomis.  There isn’t much going on in July or early August.  It’s too hot for garage sales!

But they start back up again in late August with the MacGrove sale which will be on August 26 this year.  MacGrove is another of my favorites.  Last year I got a gorgeous french desk at MacGrove …

Here is how it looked when I was done with it …

Vintage luggage was the find of the day two years ago at MacGrove.

The St. Anthony Park sales and the Lake of the Isles sales take place in the fall.  I couldn’t find dates yet for this year, so you’ll just have to keep them in mind and watch for dates later this summer.

If any of you locals make it to Linden Hills while I’m gone, be sure to let me know if you find some great stuff.  Or, on second thought, just tell me it was a bust this year so I don’t feel so bad about missing it, OK?