the traders market 2022.

Last weekend my sister and I drove down to Elko, MN for the Traders Market.

I have to say, after having just been to the Gold Rush at Oronoco, this market is much more my style.  There were tons of fabulous things to look at, so I took a few snapshots to share with you guys.

Many of my favorite things were available, like cameras and clocks …

blue ball jars …

vintage scales …

(now that I’m looking at this photo, I wish I had considered purchasing that turquoise colored one on the bottom shelf, that would have been a great addition to my pantry)

and there were even quite a few toolboxes!

I have to say that many of them were even reasonably priced.  I’ll admit, I mainly didn’t buy any of them because I didn’t want to carry them around the market.  The next time we go, I’m definitely bringing a cart.

We saw quite a bit of the red, white and blue.

It gave me a 4th of July vibe, which was confusing in September, but then I thought maybe Labor Day is also considered a patriotic holiday by some?  Or maybe Americana is in style all year long.  I don’t know, what do you think?

Remember the swanky swigs I found last March?  There was a vendor with an entire table full of them.

There were quite a few vendors with more traditional collectibles, like military stuff.

There were also vendors with more unique items like this cow with a milk can head.

Some hanging lights made out of old globes …

Or this really cool, chippy, model ship.

You can’t really see the scale in that photo, but that thing was probably close to 4′ long.

Once again I came across some roller skates in a metal carrying case.

Now that they’re on my radar I’ll probably see them everywhere.

Speaking of seeing things everywhere, these Halloween buckets seem to be all the rage these days.

I’m curious, do any of you know someone who makes these?  Is there some sort of laser cutting machine that cuts out those faces?  They all seem to be exactly the same, although I have seen other versions (like the Frankenstein monster face on the one my sister purchased at Oronoco).

I did purchase a couple of things at the Traders Market that are a little more interesting than the mop I purchased at Oronoco, and they both went into my potting shed.  I picked up an addition to my watering can non-collection (in the background of this photo).

I didn’t have a watering can in that style, and it was only $12, so I snatched it up.

And I also picked up this mint colored step stool to serve as a plant stand.

But I have to say, my sister got the find of the day.  It’s a bit obscure, but a couple of years ago she started collecting pieces from the Dept 56 Disney Parks Village Series.  Now, this is not to be confused with the Disney Christmas Village, or the Disney Pumpkin Town.  Although she does have some pieces from them as well.  They are much more readily available.  But the Disney Parks series features actual buildings from the parks themselves.

A couple of years ago we found several of the buildings at a 2nd hand store for a reasonable price, but if you try to buy these online they are usually priced quite high.  She is currently coveting the new Haunted Mansion piece, but the cheapest I’ve seen it is $249 on Amazon.

I’d love to say that we found that piece, but not hardly.  But she did find two other pieces for $10 each, so we were both pretty excited about that.  Unfortunately, I neglected to get a photo of her finds.

The Elko Trader’s Market is held three times per year, Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day weekends.  I’ve only been to the Labor Day version, but I told Debbie that we have to make a note to go over Memorial Day weekend next year to see what kinds of summer/garden sorts of goodies they might have.

So, I’m curious.  What kinds of things do you usually buy at a market like this one?  Leave a comment and let me know!

you had me at rusty.

My local readers are probably familiar with the Downtown Oronoco Gold Rush, but for those of you who aren’t, it’s an antique show & flea market that has been taking place for 50 years!

I hadn’t been to the Gold Rush for several years (you know, the whole Covid thing), but this past Sunday my sister and I decided to head to Oronoco to check it out.  The forecast called for a sunny day in the upper 70’s, so it was the perfect day to wander around amongst the various booths to see what people had.

I really didn’t snap a lot of photos, and this certainly isn’t going to be a comprehensive review of the event, but I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things.

Of course I was drawn to the vintage ornaments, and there were a few to be had.

The prices were reasonable, but I really don’t need to add to my already sizeable collection.  Plus I thought it would be a little challenging to carry them around without breaking them.

I saw quite a few vintage sleds …

I would never paint those two, they have a fabulous vintage patina ‘as is’, and they were priced in the $80+ range, so clearly out of my price range.  I did see another vendor selling painted sleds, but they were hand-painted with snowmen and things like that (not quite the same as the sleds that I paint), but I neglected to get a photo of her stuff.

There was no shortage of chippy spindles …

and all kinds of vintage everything …

And in another case of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, look what I saw …

roller skates along with their black metal carrying case.  I’m sure I wouldn’t have even noticed them had I not just worked on one myself.

I opened up the case and it was very similar to mine inside, so this certainly proves that mine was originally meant to be a roller skate case just as the seller claimed.

There are always plenty of quirky items at Gold Rush too.

and certainly lots of seasonal stuff.

To be honest, I snapped the photo of that ‘pumpkins’ sign so that I could try and make my own version of it.  Seems like it would be simple enough, right?  We’ll see if I get around to that.

I thought the fall colors in this little vignette were nice too.

I hate to say it, but this year the event did not have many booths that spoke to me.  There were really only a handful of vendors that had things styled in a fashion that appealed to me.  The last time I went to Gold Rush there were so many fabulous vignettes to admire.  I thought maybe it was my imagination, but then I went back and looked at my pictures from 2017 and that confirmed it.

This year there was really only one booth that impressed me with their styling, this one from Old Soul Vintage.

She had a fun vintage camp theme going on.

Complete with fishing gear.

But my favorite item in that booth was this one …

How perfect would that be for me?  Unfortunately, she did not have my size.

Now, you are probably wondering what I did purchase at Gold Rush, and if so you’re going to be really disappointed.  I’m kind of embarrassed to admit to my purchase, but it was a Norwex mop.  Seriously, they’re going to vote me off the vintage lovers island.  But I find my Norwex window cleaning cloth really functional, and I like the idea of being able to mop my wood floors with plain water too.  So after going through the booths of around 200 vintage dealers and finding nothing that I absolutely had to have, I went back to the Norwex booth and bought a mop!  What can I say?  I guess I was feeling practical.

So how about you?  Do you have any fabulous antique shows where you are?  And if so, do you usually window shop, or do you always find something fabulously vintage to bring home (or would you bring home a mop)?  Or maybe you have a favorite find from the past that you’d like to share.  Leave a comment and let us know!

thrift find makeovers.

Whenever I’m out thrifting I’m always on the lookout for simple wood items that I can give new life to with paint.

I’ll readily admit that none of these are spectacular finds, certainly nothing to write home about.  But all three were fun makeovers.

Let’s start with the basic cutting board.  After sanding it down and cleaning it with a grease cutting cleaner, I painted it with Dixie Belle’s Sawmill Gravy, and then added some grain sack style stripes using their French Linen.  Once dry, I sanded to distress and then added the farm animal transfer from Dixie Belle’s On the Farm transfer set.

The “Precious Stone Farm” wording is from with prima’s Everyday Farmhouse transfer set.

I just love how it turned out, so cute.  It’s no longer food safe, but would make great decor.

Next up is the rooster shaped cutting board.  Once again, I prepped as usual and then painted it with two coats of the Sawmill Gravy.  Then I pulled out some scraps from the I.O.D. Floral Anthology transfer and pieced them in around the edges of the rooster.

Finally, I added some wording from their Label Ephemera transfer and now he’s a funky french floral rooster.  Again, no longer food safe, but perfect for decorating the kitchen counter top.

By the way, I top-coated both of these pieces with clear wax.

Last up is … well … I really don’t know what to call this thing.  I’m thinking it was originally a napkin, or paper guest towel holder, maybe?  Do you have any idea what this might have been used for?

Well, regardless, I painted it in Sawmill Gravy and then I decided to do a little experimenting with stamping once again.  Take note that I did not use any kind of sealer over the paint before stamping, and this is a chalk style paint.

The last time I tried stamping on paint I wasn’t terribly happy with the results.  But a couple of my readers gave me some tips including Teri B. who specifically recommended VersaFine Clair ink for stamping over paint.

So I went out and purchased some from my local craft store (I can’t remember, it was either Hobby Lobby or Michaels).

First up, I have to say that no matter how good the ink, nothing can help if you’re a clumsy stamper … which apparently I am.  On my first go around, after applying the stamp semi-perfectly, I then dropped it right back down on my surface.  Ugh.  So I wiped it back as much as I could, re-painted with the Sawmill Gravy and then gave it another go.

The 2nd time around I ended up not liking the stamp I chose (and by the way, all of these stamps are from the I.O.D. Crockery set), so once again I wiped it off using a damp cloth.

At that point it occurred to me that I rather liked the washed out look I achieved when wiping off the ink right away so I took a quick photo to share with you.  At some point I may want to use this technique on another project.  But for this piece I once again painted back over it with the Sawmill Gravy.

I will say that this is one of the benefits of stamping over paint, you can re-do it multiple times at no extra cost.

The third time is sort of the charm with this one.

I say ‘sort of’ for a few reasons.  I didn’t apply even pressure to the stamp, and I also managed to smear the ink just a little bit by accidentally brushing over it with my hand.

But those are pretty fine details, and unless you are an uber-perfectionist (which may, or may not, apply to me) this is good enough.  And really, if you’re an uber-perfectionist, stamping probably just isn’t for you.

I also achieved decent results with the stamp at the bottom too.

Teri was definitely right, the VersaFine Clair ink is the way to go if you’re stamping over chalk paint.

After 24 hours, the ink appeared to be dry enough to add a top coat over it without fear of smearing, but I chose to hold off on adding a coat of clear wax.

Why?  Well, I may keep this piece to corral some flashcards and maybe a pair of readers or two and I’m not sure I love this look.  I may decide to give it an entirely different look next, so I’m holding off on waxing in case I decide to paint over it one more time.

After working on all three of these thrift find makeovers, I have to say that I still think transfers deliver a lot more punch than stamps.  But of course, you can only use a transfer one time, while stamps can be used over and over.  So tell me, what do you think?  Do you prefer transfers or stamps?  Leave a comment and let me know.

unintentionally accumulating.

I’ve had a little pile of vintage laundry items unintentionally accumulating this summer.  Some of them are items my picker has found for me, and some are things I found … or already had on hand.  They were all pretty random finds, but in the end they have a laundry related theme.

Meanwhile, I was skimming through the April 2022 issue of Country Living and they had an article on exactly this sort of thing.

They featured vintage clothespins, washboards, and these cool retractable clothes line reels …

I kinda wish I had one of those for my basement in the winter.

Anyway, after seeing that article I decided I should figure out a good container for grouping all of these items together for sale.  I had a couple of baskets on hand, but I didn’t like the size and/or shape of them for this particular use.

Then while garage saling a while back I found this wooden box.

I thought it would be the perfect size for my accumulation of stuff, and it was priced right at only $3.  So I nabbed it.

After giving it a good scrub with soap and water and then letting it dry in the sun for a day, I painted it with just one coat of Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky.  Once the paint was dry I sanded it heavily to give it a really worn appearance.  Then I added the Laundry & Co stencil from Maison de Stencils using Dixie Belle’s Putty.

Today’s q tip; I highly recommend doing any sanding before adding your stenciling when working with highly contrasting colors like black and white, or red and white … if you wait until after adding the stencil you will get a mess when the fine sanding dust from the black paint works its way into the white (or, in this case, Putty) stenciling.

So, I sanded first, wiped away the dust and then added the stencil.

FYI, I usually use a small paint brush to fill in the bridges on these kinds of stencils, and I did do that on this one except for the word “AND”.  I must have missed that one!

After the stenciled design was dry, I used DB’s Big Mama’s Butta to finish off the box.

Next up, I gathered up all of my vintage goodies to fill it up including the Watkins Household Hints book I picked up a while back …

the washboard …

some vintage wooden clothespins …

and hangers …

and finally this adorable vintage embroidered clothes pin bag.

I filled up the box, and I even threw in the magazine for good measure.

Sweet, right?

It would make a fantastic house warming or wedding shower gift for someone who appreciates vintage.  One could also just add all of these items to their laundry room for some instant vintage flair.

I’ll be taking this one in to the shop where I sell on consignment and we’ll see if it goes, unless of course one of my locals wants to snatch it up first.  If interested, be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

this beats working 9 to 5.

This mini dresser/jewelry box came from a garage sale earlier this summer.

These little pieces are so much fun to make over.

With this one, I initially thought about replacing the knobs with something else.  However, those knobs are glued in place and it would have been more trouble than it was worth to remove them.  However, I did use some Dixie Belle Mud to fill in those grooves on each drawer front.  I just didn’t like them and thought it would be preferable to have a flat surface.

Today’s q tip; once the Mud is dry and you have sanded your surface smooth, add a coat of sealer of some kind over it before painting.  That will ensure that you don’t see a difference in the way the filler absorbs the paint v. the wood finish.  I simply sprayed these drawer fronts with some Rustoleum matte clear spray paint, but you could also brush on a clear sealer as well.

Next up I painted the entire piece in Dixie Belle’s Putty.  I let that dry overnight as a base coat.  Then I continued to work on my paint blending skills by blending Putty and Drop Cloth.

Once again, I kept the color blending very subtle, trying to make it lighter in the middle and darker on the outer edges.  Maybe one of these days I’ll graduate to a more obvious look, but I’m definitely not ready for that yet.

Here, maybe you can see the color blending a little bit more on the top of the piece …

As you can also see, I used a section from IOD’s Label Ephemera transfer on the top.  I added pieces from their Floral Anthology transfer to the front and sides …

and then added some more Label Ephemera wording over that on the bottom drawer.

Once the transfers were in place, I sanded lightly with 220 grit paper and then added a topcoat of clear wax.

In an homage to my former day job as an accountant, I lined the drawers with some old October Afternoon scrapbook paper from their 9 to 5 line.

Ahhh … debits and credits, general ledger, account no … all things I no longer have to worry about 😉

Instead I get to spend my time working on fun little projects like this one.

Whether my pieces sell or not, this still definitely beats working 9 to 5!

And speaking of sales, this piece is for sale locally so be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

Thank you to Dixie Belle Paint Co for supplying the paint used on this project.

the pie safe.

I found this vintage metal pie safe at a garage sale earlier this summer.

I liked the chippy original paint job, but it needed to be cleaned up, and the inside was in pretty rough shape.  It was also missing the shelves.

I wanted this piece to be functional for storage, so I asked Ken to cut a piece of wood to use as a shelf.  Then I cleaned the interior and followed that up with a couple of coats of Dixie Belle’s Kudzu.

I love that pop of vibrant green, don’t you?

As for the outside, I decided to retain that original chippy finish.  I gave it a good clean, then I sanded it lightly to remove any flaking paint and then I sprayed it with some Rustoleum matte clear spray sealer to reduce further chipping.

Finally, I added some bits from I.O.D.’s Label Ephemera transfer to the door, and then gave that another coat of the spray sealer.

I’m happy that I was able to keep the authentic look of this piece, while also giving it a little more pizzazz (and functionality) with some paint and transfers.

I suppose if you bake a lot of pies, you could actually use this as a pie safe, but I think it would be perfect in a potting shed.

It would also be awesome hung on the wall in a bathroom and used to store toiletries and such.  If only we didn’t have the world’s smallest bathroom at our house!

It has some holes at the back of the top that would make it easy to hang.

No matter where you use it, I think it would make a fabulously unique storage solution.

This piece is for sale, so if you’re local be sure to check out my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details.

stencils by ellen j goods.

Mr. Q and I can be opposites in some ways, but there is one thing that we share a common love for … office supplies.

I know, that’s kind of weird, right?  Or is it?  Maybe lots of you also have a secret passion for pencils, fresh tablets of paper and those old heavy tape dispensers.  Do you?

My love of office supplies goes all the way back to my childhood.  I can clearly remember visiting my grandpa Quist (dad’s side) and spending time in his home office.  He had one of those big old steel desks, sort of like this one …

And he had lots of cool drafting pencils, little boxes of pencil lead, and various other old office supplies in his drawers.  I remember that he had the coolest sharpener for his mechanical pencils, like this one …

I loved sharpening all of his pencils.  I would pretend that I was a clerk in an office somewhere, taking calls on his old rotary telephone.

Really, it’s no wonder that I ended up becoming an accountant, is it?

I wasn’t really thinking about those memories when working on today’s projects, but as I was staging my photos they were brought back to mind.

Which brings me to the projects at hand.

Recently Lynne from ellen j goods reached out to me to ask if I would like to try out her new line of stencils in designs that are based on old German grain sacks.  I don’t think I could say ‘yes’ fast enough.  Even without my recent resolution to say yes more, I would have said ‘yes!’

Just a few days later I received the stencils in the mail.  I love that she offers a variety of sizes, I especially like the smaller 8″ x 8″ versions.

I wanted to give them a try right away, so I pulled out a small wooden box that my friend Sue found for me.

It was super simple to paint up the box in Dixie Belle’s Midnight Sky, and then add a portion of one of the 8″ x 8″ stencils to the top and front of the box using Gravel Road.

I love the subtle look of the dark grey stenciled over black.

In fact, I liked it so much that I pulled out a 2nd box that I’d found while garage saling and gave it the same treatment using part of another of the 8″ x 8″ stencils.

I think these look totally legit, don’t you?  These pencil boxes would have looked right at home on my grandpa’s desk next to his funky mechanical pencil pointer.

I lined both of the boxes with some Paris map paper from October Afternoon (no longer in business).

The black and white paper worked perfectly with my color scheme.

As I was staging the pencil boxes for photos, I decided that a drop cloth would create a better background than the white waxed wood of my table top.  And of course, I couldn’t just leave it completely plain.

So I stenciled it with the Koch Lions 1871 stencil from ellen j goods.

Isn’t that gorgeous?  It would be perfect for pillow covers, or on the seat of a chair.  Hmmmm … that has me thinking about a chair I’ve been meaning to get to, I may have to try that.

But in the meantime, those 8″ x 8″ stencils are perfect for use on smaller projects and I know I’m going to get lots of mileage out of them.

Be sure to check out the stencils at ellen j goods, and if you’ve got some time you could also check out Lynne’s YouTube video featuring the stencils here.

So tell me, do you share our fondness for office supplies?  Or are we the only ones?

saying yes.

I am a little startled to realize that I don’t actually have a ‘real’ blog post for today.  Apparently I have been slacking off.

Well, not exactly.  I had hoped to share a dresser that I’m working on with you today.  But then after I added the last coat of clear sealer and waited for it to dry, I realized that the sealer was drawing the tannins (or maybe it’s the red stain, I’m not sure) through my paint.  Sometimes this can happen (more on that in this post).  Your paint job looks great before you add a topcoat, no bleed through, but shortly after applying a water based sealer, bang!  bleed thru!  Ugh!  So frustrating.  Even after 25+ years of furniture painting experience, I still don’t always judge the bleeder situation correctly every time.

So it will be back to the drawing board on that piece.

I’m also working on two pairs of planters that are getting the rusty treatment from Dixie Belle’s Patina Paint.  But I ran out of paint and had to order more.  I’m waiting for that to arrive.

And then there is the set of wrought iron garden furniture I’ve been working on.  A couple of the pieces are done, but one isn’t finished yet.

So after all of that, I’ve managed to leave you guys high and dry for a post today.  On top of that, I’m heading back out to see my mom tomorrow.  She fell recently and broke her ankle, so she is in need of some help.  Both my sister and I are going, and neither of us is looking forward to the forecasted 112 degrees we’re going to find there.  Yikes!

But I also don’t have any blog posts lined up in advance for next week, so that means the blog will be silent all week.

Here’s the thing though, since retiring I’ve decided to say ‘yes’ to more things.  When my neighbor wants me to help her put a new liner in her pool, I say yes.  When Ken’s wife needs help getting her garden planted, I say yes, I can help.  When my mother-in-law invites us out to see her field of daisies in bloom, I say yes to that too (that’s what I’m up to today).

And when my sister and niece ask if I want to head to a state park and hike to the waterfall, I definitely say yes.  Even though it might will rain.

We headed to Nerstrand Big Woods State Park last Sunday.  According to our guide book this park is known for it’s spring wildflowers, and we did see a lot of pretty woodland flowers.

It may have been cold and rainy, but that meant that everything was green and lush.  The pitter patter of drizzle on the leafy canopy of the woods was really peaceful as well.

The weather also meant that there weren’t a lot of hikers out that day, so when we arrived at the falls we had them all to ourselves.

That was fun for picture taking.

That’s my niece and her dog, Jade.

On our way back home we decided to stop at another waterfall, Vermillion Falls in Hastings, MN.

Viewing this one didn’t require much in the way of hiking, it’s in a bit more of an urban setting.  It was still fun to see though.

We wandered around the area and I was surprised to discover that they have a love lock bridge near the falls.  Who knew?!

I’ve written about this phenomenon before.  Mr. Q and I locked up our love in Prague way back in 2011 and so far it’s still working.

I feel like Tim & Stacy might be taking things a bit too seriously though …

They’ve doubled up their locks, just in case … and added a bit of a morbid P.S.

I wonder if they are still together?

Ultimately, I figure you guys will forgive me for deciding to prioritize spending time with friends and family over blogging.  Right?

I should be back to posting on June 20th, so be sure to stay tuned!

for the record.

My friend/picker Sue found this little case for me.

At first I thought it was a makeup case, but then I realized it was probably used to hold 45’s.  Oh boy, that might really be aging me.  How many of you now thinking “45’s?  What is she talking about?”

But I bet more than a few of you will know exactly what I’m talking about, records of course.

That clear handle screams record carrying case to me, sort of like this one …

Although the shape doesn’t seem quite right.

I never actually had a case like that for my 45’s, mine looked like this …

It was so groovy.  Who else remembers these?  You turn that handle at the top and the blue pieces lifts off to reveal all of your 45’s.  I borrowed that photo from Etsy, so if you’re looking for one of these cases, they are out there!

Anyway, I don’t think anyone is going to use this case for their records now.  Especially now that I’ve given it a new look.

Let’s start with the inside though.  Unfortunately I neglected to get a ‘before’ photo of the inside, but it was a little beat up and tired looking.

I painted the inside black using Dixie Belle’s Silk Paint in Anchor.  Then I lined the lid and the bottom with some old scrapbook paper that I had on hand.

You might be surprised to learn that I decided not to paint the outside.  I rather liked that butterscotch sort of color and the original patina on the case.

So rather than paint it, I just gave it a good cleaning with soap and water and then added some I.O.D. transfers to it.

The florals are from their Floral Anthology transfer, and the wording is from their Label Ephemera transfer.

Oh, and the cute little crown is from their French Pots transfer.  I stole it from the goose …

I applied some clear wax over the case to give it a little protection, and then that was it.

I’m not sure what it is about that Lucite handle, but I just love it.

And I guess I’m not entirely sure that is Lucite either.  But it has a bit more heft than your typical cheap plastic handle, and it’s crystal clear which usually means Lucite.

But, for the record, I’m not sure if this is a record case and I’m not sure if that is a Lucite handle, but I am sure that it’s pretty cute now.

What do you think?

This little case is for sale, so be sure to check my ‘available for local sale‘ page for more details (sorry, I don’t offer shipping).

the farmers market basket.

This little wooden basket was another find from my picker.

I love the way it’s constructed with all of those little slats nailed in place.

This was a quick and easy makeover.  I painted the basket in Dixie Belle’s Drop Cloth and sanded to distress.

Then I added a few transfers including this new one from Dixie Belle.

This is from their On the Farm transfer set.

They also offer a Farmhouse silkscreen stencil with a couple of these same designs.

I put this transfer on the other side of the basket.

And then I added a section from with prima’s Everyday Farmhouse transfer down the slatted side.

I finished it up with a quick coat of clear wax.

This would make an adorable Easter basket, wouldn’t it?

I wish I could say those tulips are from my own garden, but it will still be a few weeks before my tulips are blooming.  But a bunch of tulips from the grocery store is a great way to brighten things up and add a little spring to my surroundings until they get here.

Thank you to Dixie Belle for providing the paint and the transfers for today’s project.