the traders market.

Happy Labor Day to those of you in the U.S. … or maybe other countries too, I don’t know.  Do you celebrate Labor Day (or some similar holiday) where you are?  This year it truly does feel like the long Labor Day weekend is signaling the end of summer.  We’ve had cool, somewhat cloudy weather all weekend.

But that ended up being perfect weather for the Traders’ Market in Elko, MN.

I had heard about this event over the years but had never actually gone to it.  My friend/picker Sue gave me a heads up that it was taking place this past weekend and it’s only about 30 minutes or so south of the Twin Cities, so my sister and I decided to check it out this past Saturday.

I would say that this event is a scaled down (more manageable?) version of Oronoco Gold Rush.   We were able to see the entire thing in about 3 hours.  There were your typical ‘antique’ dealers with piles of old stuff thrown on tables.  Plus a handful of artisans with things made out of metal or wood.

But there also was a smattering of booths that really appealed to me.

I’m afraid I didn’t get names to go with the vendors who had most of the booths.  I mentioned to my sister that it seemed odd that many booths seemed to be unmanned.  I’m sure the vendors were around somewhere, but they weren’t hovering.  I generally like to ask permission before taking photos, but I wasn’t able to for some of these.

There were a couple of stand out displays, like this one …

I love the way they used the colors of the book jackets to play off the colors on the toy trucks.

These next two photos are also from the same booth.

Gotta love the old books.

This next booth was my favorite of the day though …

Their display was gorgeous.  I loved the creamy white color scheme.

I debated purchasing these grain sack pumpkins, but I rarely decorate much for Fall.

Check out the stems on those pumpkins.  It’s hard to tell in my photo, but they are made out of old tools.  How fun is that?

They had a lot of vintage tarnished silver mixed in with the creamy white too.

This wreath made out of old silver trays reminded me of a similar one that was at the 2011 Bachman’s Holiday Idea house.  That was one of my favorite versions of the Idea House, if you’ve never heard of it or want to see more of it, check out Linda’s tour at Itsy Bits and Pieces here.

If you have a large dining room, this would be an incredible statement piece for the wall.

I did manage to pick up a card and chat with the vendors at this booth and it turned out they were from Urban Revival, a shop in Farmington, MN.  Their shop had been recommended to me by several people in the past but I’d never made a trip out there, so since it was just a little bit out of our way Debbie and I decided to stop off there on the way home.

Farmington was a bit of a ghost town when we got there.

Maybe because it was a holiday weekend and everyone was out of town.  And I suppose those that weren’t out of town were at the Traders’ Market at Elko!

The shop was adorable, I love the way they had everything displayed by color … much like their booth at Elko.

They had a few fun items made with some Funky Junk stencils.

By the way, they also carried both Dixie Belle paint and Miss Mustard Seed milk paint, so for any of you locals on the south side of the cities this is a great spot to pick up those products.

You might be wondering if I purchased anything on Saturday.  I have to confess, being an avid garage saler has pretty much ruined me for these events/shops.  I’m so used to finding things for a couple of dollars, so I cringe at real price tags.  I mainly go to these places to get ideas and to see what other people are doing.

However, I did pick up an adorable set of ‘days of the week’ dish towels at the market.

I had initially looked at a vintage set that was $45, but that was a bit steep for me.  Plus, I buy these towels to use them not to just display them somewhere.  Ultimately they get worn and stained and … well … used.  So I passed on the vintage set and later found this set for $35.  The lovely older woman (gosh, I hope she’s not a blog reader of mine, she was clearly in her 70’s at least, but nobody likes to be called ‘older’) who was selling these made them herself.  Kudos to her for her fine stitching skills!

Before we left the market, Debbie and I posed for a selfie with a new friend.

We had a great time exploring the Traders’ Market and Urban Revival.  The Traders’ Market is held three times a year on the summer holiday weekends; Memorial Day, 4th of July and Labor Day.  We’d definitely go back again next year!

restyled tool box.

Earlier this summer I picked up an old wooden tool box at a garage sale.

Funny enough, I took that ‘before’ photo on my deck before Mr. Q cleaned it up, so there’s another good shot of where he started from on the deck.

Anyway, the tool box itself also got cleaned up and then I added a couple of coats of Dixie Belle paint in Midnight Sky.

Next I pulled out one of Prima Marketing’s Decor Moulds called Royalty.

I used their Modeling Material to make two of the crowns.  Next I used some wood glue to attach one to each end of the tool box.

I let them dry overnight and then painted them with the Midnight Sky as well.  Once the paint was dry, I rubbed on a little of Prima Marketing’s metallique wax in Bronze Age.

I also added one of my favorite stencils to the front of the box.  I’d love to share a source for this particular stencil, but I purchased it on Etsy from a vendor that no longer sells there.

I filled the toolbox with some ironstone, some old silverware and a beautiful monogrammed tablecloth.

I just love old white on white embroidered linens.

I actually completed and photographed this project quite some time ago.  In fact, it was way back when the peonies were in bloom.

I just never got around to sharing it with you until now.

Although I got two pieces of furniture finished this week, I never found time to photograph them.  So I needed a quick blog post to fill today’s spot, but I’ll be back next week with some more furniture transformations.

In the meantime, tomorrow is one of my favorite neighborhood garage sales, MacGrove.  Keeping my fingers crossed that I come across some fab finds there!  How about you?  Got any fun weekend plans?

for sale.

Hey guys!  I don’t usually have a Thursday post, but today I’m going to shamelessly promote myself.

Last night I brought a huge load of goodies to Reclaiming Beautiful, the shop were I sell on consignment in Stillwater.  So this post is mainly for the benefit of my local readers.

I thought I’d share a few of the things that will be available this morning in the shop starting with all of these goodies from the estate sale …

If you’ve always wondered what kind of prices I put on things, the little measuring cup is $6, the set of 3 Bobbsey Twins books is $9 and the coffee pot is $22.

I also brought in the ironstone pitcher for $25.

The wood box I painted a while back went to the shop and is priced at $22.

I brought in a few stenciled pillows at $32 each.

This adorable milk painted chair is $28.

We’ll see if these upcycled cupboard doors sell at $38 each.

I priced the chippy blue scale at $22.  I have a few other scales in the shop priced higher and they aren’t moving so I thought I’d try something a little lower on this one.

I’m also bringing in a few things that I haven’t had the chance to share here on the blog yet including this black wooden tool box at $32 …

and this cupboard door turned into a tray for $28 …

I still plan to put together some blog posts about these in the coming weeks, but I just haven’t gotten around to that.

I brought the six legged table in as well.

In addition to my stuff, the shop is also opening up their backroom this weekend which is full of bargains!  So if you’re local be sure to stop in to Reclaiming Beautiful in Stillwater this weekend.

And for the rest of you, be sure to check back tomorrow when I’ll be posting my latest finished piece of furniture.

a treasure box.

Remember the plain simple wooden box that my picker found for me a couple of weeks ago?

I love little pieces like this because it’s fun and easy to turn them into something pretty.

For this box I mixed up some of Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint in one of her prettiest shades of blue, French Enamel.

I painted the box inside and out.  One of the things I love about milk paint is that it dries quite quickly.  So when you’re working with a piece like this and you want to paint top and bottom, inside and out, the paint dries fast so you can keep flipping the box over to paint the bottoms.

Once it was fully painted and dry I added parts of a grain sack stencil to the top and front using a warm white craft paint.  Then I sanded to distress, wiped away the dust and added The Real Milk Paint Co’s Finishing Cream in Dead Flat.

Finally, I drilled a hole in the top and added a glass knob from Hobby Lobby.

Speaking of knobs, are you like me?  Do you buy knobs when you see them because they are on sale and you love them, but you don’t know what you’ll put them on?  I used to do that far more often, but I found that I always had 6 knobs, but needed 8.  Or I had 8, and only used 6, leaving two behind.  As a result, I have a big jar full of singles or pairs of knobs.

Now I try to just buy knobs when I have a specific project in mind for them but I still cave sometimes.

So it’s always good to find a use for a single leftover knob like this one.

I took advantage of the light outside on a gorgeous summer evening and set up a little photo shoot with some Annabelle hydrangeas, an old book and this funky little cigar tin that my picker Sue also found for me.

I’m already noticing that the sun is setting a little bit earlier these days, why does summer always fly by so fast?

Anyway, just imagine all of the ways you could use this pretty blue treasure box.  What would you keep in it?

Thanks to Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint for providing the French Enamel paint and to The Real Milk Paint Co for providing the Dead Flat Finishing Cream.

faux grain sack pillows.

The other day I was shopping in Home Goods looking for a birthday gift for my co-worker.  One thing you may have noticed about me is that I don’t shop in ‘real’ stores all that much.  Sure, I go to lots of garage sales and estate sales and I hit up Target every now and then for the basics, but I rarely shop retail home decor stores.

But there I was in Home Goods and somehow I ended up in the throw pillow aisle where I found these.

Before I knew it, they had jumped into my cart.

I loved the nubby linen in shades of cream and beige.  I thought they would look pretty awesome with some grain sack stencils on them.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing pre-made pillows to stencil is that they must have removable inserts.  Look for a zipper that will allow you to take the insert out before you stencil.

You’ll never get a crisp result trying to stencil on a pillow with an insert in place.

In fact, what I do is remove the pillow insert and replace it with a square of hardboard (the same stuff I use to make chalkboards in place of mirrors).  This gives me a nice flat, hard surface for stenciling, and also prevents any paint from bleeding through to the back side of the pillow.

In case you are wondering, I used Dixie Belle chalk style paint in Midnight Sky to do the stenciling.  The stencils came from Maison de Stencils, they have a fantastic selection of European grain sack style stencils.  When I last checked each of these designs were available for $8.50 to $9.

I am keeping a couple of these pillows for myself, but I’ll also be taking some in to Reclaiming Beautiful next week to sell.  Unless any of you locals want to snatch one up first.

In which case, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page!

And don’t forget, you have until tonight at midnight (central time) to leave a comment on last week’s post to be eligible to win the Prima Marketing modeling material and molds.  So if you haven’t left a comment on that post go back and do it now!

uber chippy.

A while back I shared the chair that I recovered in anticipation of taking it to Reclaiming Beautiful (the shop where I sell on consignment in Stillwater, MN).  I had this chair in my own house for a couple of years so the seat needed fresh upholstery to make it shop-worthy, which was an easy spruce up … or so I thought.

I noticed while I was working on the chair that there were a few loose chips of paint here and there, so I just brushed those away and kept going.  After the chair was finished, I stored it in my non-climate controlled workshop in the carriage house for a few weeks before loading it up to go to the shop.

However, when I went to unload the chair from the van after arriving at the shop it was obvious that there were more than just a few loose chips.  It was shedding like gang busters.  I don’t know if it was the time spent in a damp workshop or what, but clearly it was in no shape to sell.  So I left it in the van and brought it back home to see what I could do with it.

I originally painted this chair back in October 2015 using Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Linen.  I sealed it with clear wax.  It was slightly chippy from the beginning as you can see here …

I have found that any piece that starts out chippy tends to chip more over time if not sealed with something more durable than wax and/or hemp oil, like Miss Mustard Seed’s Tough Coat Sealer.  Especially if it’s a piece that is handled/used a lot.  But I’ve never had a piece get this chippy over time.

Plan A was to sand the chair down and re-paint it using the same MMS Linen (or maybe technically this is Plan B since the original plan was to simply re-cover the seat).  In case you are wondering, yes, you can definitely paint over a waxed surface that has cured for 3.5 years.  Normally this would just require a quick scuff sanding.

However, I used a power sander to knock off as much of that loose paint as possible.  And a lot of paint did come off.  But then, as I was looking at the chair, I realized that I kind of loved it looking uber chippy and distressed.  I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea (Betty, you may want to look away), but I also know there are fellow chippy lovers out there too!

So rather than re-paint,  I cleaned away the dust and then sealed the chair using The Real Milk Paint Co’s Dead Flat Finishing Cream.  This should help it hold up over time, and prevent it from shedding paint chips all over the floor again.

Also, in case you are wondering, I opted for the Dead Flat Finishing Cream rather than Tough Coat Sealer because it is a thick paste that doesn’t drip.  I’m not the greatest at avoiding drips with more fluid sealers, especially on a piece like this with lots of legs and details where a more liquid product will pool and then drip.

My q tip of the day:  Know your own limitations.  Products that work well for others may not suit you, so experiment with things and find what works well for you!

Hopefully someone out there will love this chippy chair as much as I do.  Although I put it up in our bedroom to take these photos, it’s really not practical to have it in front of my closet door on a permanent basis.

So I’ll be taking this one back to Reclaiming Beautiful again, and this time it won’t be sitting in a pool of paint chips.

Unless one of my local readers wants to snatch it up first (in which case, be sure to check my available for local sale page for more details).

Meanwhile, I’ll be back here on Friday to tell you a little bit more about that pillow on the chair, so be sure to stay tuned!

the only treasures in a pile of shit.

As you may know, I have a ‘picker’.  It’s my friend/co-worker/Carriage House sale partner/garage sale mentor Sue.  She has an amazing eye for treasures, plus she loves the hunt.

I keep saying that one of these days I’m going to do an updated tour of her home and garden here on the blog because you guys would absolutely love it.  Here’s just one quick shot from the last time I photographed her garden …

I did share it once already several years ago (here and here), but Sue is one of those people who is frequently changing things up.  I totally envy her ability to do that on a regular basis.  I tend to get too complacent.  She’s moved several rooms around, and redecorated most of her house since our last tour.

During garage sale season it’s always fun to come in to work at the day job on Monday morning to find a little pile of treasures in my office.

I never know what she’ll find, but it’s always good.  Sometimes the goodies are all packed inside a vintage suitcase!

Sometimes the stuff is completely random, but Sue knows that I’ll love it, like this black doctor’s bag that I added a stencil to.

Last fall I came in on a Monday to find this adorable pair of little chairs leaning against the wall in my office.

And Sue always knows to grab pretty much anything galvanized for me.

This past Monday I came in to find this simple little wooden box on my desk.

And nestled inside were three amazing vintage glass bird ornaments.

Both of the next two had their spun glass tails intact which isn’t always the case with this style of bird ornament.  I have a couple of them that are tail-less.

I do already have one similar to the one above in my non-collection of vintage ornaments, but I’ve never even seen one like this last one …

I have to include a photo of those last two birds together here so that you can see the size difference.

That last one is quite large.  He’s actually 9″ from the tip of his beak to the end of his tail.

Believe it or not, Sue paid only $1 each for the ornaments!

When I asked her about where she found them, she said she just happened to be driving past a garage sale over the weekend and decided to pull over and check it out.  Then she told me that the bird ornaments were ‘the only treasures in a pile of shit’.

I burst out laughing and said ‘that is the perfect blog post title!’

But seriously, that’s how it goes with garage sales.  Sometimes you have to pick through a lot of shit to find the occasional rare treasure.