Link Love.

I remain frustrated at how easily painted furniture chips and scratches, no matter what top coating I put on it. If I put something in my booth to sell, I want it to be of the highest quality possible. I’m intrigued by this Benjamin Moore paint — Cabinet Coat. If it’s tough enough for cabinets, I’m sure it’s tough enough for furniture. Of course, you have to trade the rustic, chalk-painted look for sturdiness, and I wonder if it would sell. Hmmm.

I just pinned this bathroom makeover because, basically, that is my master bath, with a few variations. The cabinet set up and the tub are EXACTLY like mine and they scream builder’s grade circa 1990. Painting it is on my list but I also like how dramatic she went with the cabinets and those curtains she hung are kind of genius. Definitely lent some personality where there was none before.

Do you follow Adored Vintage on Instagram? Oh, man. The clothes she finds. I can’t even imagine finding one of these dresses, much less the dozens she finds on a weekly basis. Sometimes I dream about hiding outside people’s houses and following them on their shopping trips. But that would be wrong. And creepy. I would love to have these framed and grouped on a wall. 

I am not a mid-century gal but this house tour is doing its damnedest to change that. I need some lace curtains in my life. And floor-to-ceiling shelves. And every paint color they chose is exquisite.

This has got to be one of my all-time favorite DIY ideas. By purchasing a cool shower curtain, you can fill up an entire wall with art that has a huge impact. I am TOTALLY doing this as soon as I have a spare $70 to spend on one of the cool shower curtains at Society 6. If I’m ever able to decide between the hundreds of options.

 

My New Favorite Thing and Some Boothy News

My friend Anne, who also has a booth at Daisies and Olives, posted an Instagram picture of this effect from Sweet Pickins’ account. I was all IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY I HAVE TO DO THAT IMMEDIATELY and ran out to buy some paper napkins from Tuesday Morning and started decoupaging everything that wasn’t moving. I started out small and made a few of these:

But I have since moved on to furniture.

BTW, I used two of my precious glass door knobs and two of my precious glass cabinet pulls on that but it’s all okay…it sold!

I’m not even going to bother with a tutorial because I can’t improve on her instructions — the woman is a master. I will say two things, though: peeling apart the napkin layers is a pain in the butt so do yourself a favor and use two pieces of tape, with the napkin sandwiched in between, to separate the layers. Also, I put a layer of Mod Podge over the napkin in addition to under the napkin because when I was distressing, the sander was taking too much of the napkin away for my liking when I didn’t.

The two furniture pieces went in the booth last week, the day before the Junk Ranch and they’ve since sold. I tried to fill it up with furniture pieces for the first time in a long time.

It was full as of Thursday of last week but Daisies and Olives did record sales during the weekend of the Junk Ranch and it is a bit empty and echo-y now! Which is great, but I need to get going on some new projects I’ve got out in the garage. I bought a dresser off of Craigslist last week — it’s really nice, solid wood, very well-made — but it was a weird transaction. Ever have one of those Craigslist transactions where you’re kind of like “geez I should have told people exactly where I went because I may disappear into this house and never be heard from again”? Yeah, kind of like that. But I survived and now I’ve got to get the massive thing painted. It’s certainly easier to keep it full in the summertime — or will be, now that I’m getting back into my regular shopping habits.

The customized prints business has not yet taken off. I’ve sold three so far, and two of them were to a repeat customer. Trying to brainstorm on ways I can showcase them a bit more. I don’t think people pay attention to them, as right now they’re just displayed on the wall like any other print. I really like doing them, so I hope it picks up here in a bit. I’m working on some for my sister-in-law right now, for her kids’ bathroom.

There’s is a household of giant Star Wars geeks. I’m working on getting the colors right and Justin is freaking out because the Darth Vader quote isn’t perfect (it’s supposed to be “Don’t fail me”) so they’re not quite done but I sure had fun working on them.

All righty. That’s it for now. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods.

4th Time at Bat at the JUNK RANCH!

(Thank you all so much for the sweet e-mails and comments about the last post. I feel so fortunate to have made so many caring connections through this blog. The fact that you took the time to write to me and share your experiences means the world to me. XXOO to you all. )

It’s so hard for me to believe that this is only my fourth time participating in the Junk Ranch — it already seems like I’ve been doing it forever but, more than that, it has grown SO BIG in such a short time. Like, really, really, really big. Amy and Julie had 160 vendors this year and they moved 4000 people through the gates on the first day — I haven’t heard the totals yet on the second day but I feel like we did at least that many people, if not more. In fact, there was a HUGE line that started forming over two hours before the gates opened on the first day. This was the audience Shara and I had as we set up our booths:

That line went waaaaaaaaay down the field and you can see that it’s actually a double line. And it was hot, so hot, and those folks were standing out there without any shade to speak of. What a way to start the show!

We were in our usual configuration — the only change was a new gal on the other side of Shara. Otherwise, we had the same lovely ladies on the other side of us and the same folks behind us. I told our neighbors to the right of us that I hope they keep coming — I feel like we have our own little neighborhood now and we’re all nice to each other at load in and load out, which is key.

This year, I did not bring much at all, which I was later to regret when I realized we were going to have record attendance. With everything that had been happening in April and May I barely had enough vintage goodies to fill the booth at Daisies and Olives (not to mention that Shara and I expanded at Fayetteville’s Funky Yard Sale — more on that later) and I wanted to make sure I filled the D and O booth to the brim so I didn’t let the store down. So I decided to focus on prints and signs, almost exclusively. I had a few vintage odds and ends but the vast majority of things I brought were prints and signs, so it was a teensy little booth for me this year.

Funny story about these swans: they are the real deal — vintage concrete lawn ornaments that weigh about nine million pounds apiece. I wasn’t sure I wanted to sell them but I couldn’t find a place to put them and I was pretty sure the demise of the Hens-and-Chickens (that came with them) was imminent because I kill every succulent I’ve ever had and I didn’t want to feel the guilt and failure that would bring on. So I hauled one out to the car and thought YEP THEY’RE GETTING SOLD because it almost killed me to get them to the car and there was NO WAY I was moving them again. My friend Carrie stopped by before the show started and asked me how much I was going to ask for them — I told her I was thinking $35 apiece or $60 for the pair and she said FIRST OF ALL, don’t ever sell things as a pair, you lose money that way, and SECONDLY, mark EACH of them $60 APIECE. I was like NO WAY and she was all WAY so I marked them $58 a piece and they both sold on the first day. And that’s the story of how my sweet friend Carrie made me $40 more than I would have, left to my own devices.

Shara just GAVE me that keen blue rack upon which I can fit meeeeeelions of prints. Well, at least ten, anyway. It is my new favorite thing.

BOOOOORRRRRRING. You’ve seen it all before. Not a whole lot of flash and pizzazz this year but, given the circumstances, I just felt lucky to have made it there at all.

Let’s take a look at some of my (much) more creative pals. Starting with my partner in crime, Shara.

Y’all, Shara turns up the heat a little bit more every time we do this thing.

Shara’s necklace bins were like candy for all the little girls who came by her booth. They would pore over all of the choices for ten minutes at a time, finally choose one, and proudly bring it up to Shara to pay. So cute to think about all the little ten-year-old girls walking around the Junk Ranch grounds with Shara’s necklaces on.

Shara’s Pinwheels = CUTEST THING EVER.

Dear Vintage Children’s Clipboards:

If you felt like someone’s eyes were on you during the two days of the Junk Ranch, it is because I couldn’t tear my gaze away from you. I tried and tried to come up with a reason to buy one or two or fifteen of you but I couldn’t justify it.

Until next time,

I remain,

your loving fan,

Lara

Shara’s booth looks so ever-lovin’ AWESOME because she spends weeks prior to the show working and then spends two day setting up. With the help of her able assistant, The Bean, of course. This year, The Bean once again came to my rescue and both put UP my tent and took DOWN my tent because he is AMAZING. My Mom was supposed to come down on Friday so I could go set things up but she had a health issue and didn’t make it until late Friday — so I hauled two four-year-olds out with me on Friday morning to unload the car. Had The Bean not put my tent up I don’t know WHAT would have happened.

Here’s a shot of the barn, it all of its glory.

That’s my friend Kim’s booth under the green tent there — she is pregnant and came out for two days in the heat, hauling and selling junk and doing a FANTASTIC job. I did that once — I was five months pregnant with the twins when I did my second Vintage Bazaar in Chicago. It is NOT FUN. I couldn’t have even thought about doing it if I didn’t have so much help from Justin and my sweet friend Shannon. Which is all to say KIM, you are a superstar for pulling it off. Here’s another shot of the front of her super-cute booth.

See the cute vintage truck with succulents in it in the lower right hand corner? She had several of those. SO CUTE.

This is my friend Laurie’s booth. Shara and I met Laurie at the very first Junk Ranch so this is kind of our anniversary, Laurie!

As you can see, like Shara, Laurie is a genius at stacking a bunch of stuff on top of each other and making it look like art.

Laurie was partnering with her friend James, who sold out of his beyond-keen VW van.

In addition to James’ van, there were people selling out of several vintage trailers, like this one. They actually sold this trailer at the sale! The inside was adorable.

Who WOULDN’T want to buy this after you see it displayed so perfectly?

It was SOME experience. I’ve never sold at a show that had so many vendors and so many shoppers (even in Chicago). It was something else. It was really hot the first day, but it made it a little better when we got see Shara’s sweet friend Laura from Kansas City, and it was a little cooler the second day — and we experienced two episodes of thunder-showers that were a bit frightening. Shara, because she is so brilliant, has sides on her tent, so she just zipped herself and her stuff up in it and waited for the storm to pass. I threw everything under the table and sacrificed the quilt on top of it (it washed up just fine) to try and keep everything dry — and hoped for the best. What else can you do? It’s nature. Ain’t nobody can control nature. But after the rain, the sun came right back out, shoppers came out from under the tent, a cool breeze blew through the grounds, and the sweet wet smell of clover wafted over us…and the day progressed swimmingly. I just can’t believe what Amy and Julie have created — the economic boon to a town as small as Prairie Grove is a Godsend! Daisies and Olives had record sales and I’ll bet many of the other antique stores, gas stations, and restaurants in the area did as well. It’s one thing to create something that turns out to be a great business decision for yourself, but to create something that benefits a whole community? What an accomplishment for them. It will be so fun to see how this event changes and grows over the next couple of years.

I took the week off this last week: I didn’t do a dadgum thing for either booth. Just lolled about and gained weight. Gotta get back to the drawing board this week!

On Grief.

Sorry, friends, for being away for so long. My father’s illness — something that had previously hampered his quality of life but had not been life-threatening — worsened in March and April and we lost him on May 11th. I wrote about it in exhausting detail over on the family blog, so feel free to click and read, but certainly don’t feel as though you have to. It was something I needed to get down in writing because, as painful and heart-breaking as it was, I wanted to remember it.

I won’t write much about it here, because I prefer to try and keep things upbeat and vintage-oriented, but I will say this: losing a parent was nothing like I expected it to be. At the end, he was very, very sick, and in a lot of pain and misery, and I thought it would be a relief to see him finally free from that but I would do anything to have him back, even for a day, even if it meant watching him suffer. It is a selfishness born of sorrow, longing, and missing someone so much that you kind of stop breathing, for long seconds, when you are hit with the reality of it again and again. I also thought that, as a 46-year-old adult with children of my own, I did not need him anymore as a parent, but as soon as he was gone I realized how wrong I was. Apparently, we always need our parents, and when we lose one, the affect is a feeling similar to but ten million times more disturbing than the worst nightmare you had a as a child — the kind of dream where you found yourself lost, in an unfamiliar store, with nothing but strange faces around you and you realize your parents have left you and you won’t ever, ever, ever see them again.

It has been a little over a month and I still cry daily. Everything I see, hear, touch, and smell reminds me of him in a way that is completely unexpected — my front lawn, a particularly colorful bird, hearing “The Sound of Music” on the radio, sublimely ridiculous political news, a hat he gave the children, a funny sound my car is making, an article about a new USPS stamp being released, a memory from childhood I can’t quite get right that only he would remember the details of.  A million times a day, his absence is felt, and I am reminded of what I have lost. I assume that that side effect will fade, with time, and I am looking forward to it.

I am working on some posts that are much more appropriate than this one for the blog. I have the Junk Ranch to write about, along with some fun finds, and I will slowly get back into the habit of writing, I promise. I hope all is well with you guys. I have missed writing to you.

Talk to you soon.

It’s been a long, cold, lonely winter/Boothy News

Well, not lonely. Rarely am I lonely with two four-year-olds running around my house (even in the bathroom. And oh, how I long to be lonely in the bathroom).  But it sure has been lonely of JUNK. I hate to keep complaining about this but man, am I looking forward to yard sale season. I finally found two dressers a couple of weeks ago that I got painted and are now in the booth, but that’s the first big stuff I’ve brought to the booth in probably two months. Yikes. They’re OKAY but one of them had veneer issues and both of them took FOUR coats of primer (I rarely prime, but these had nasty finishes on them that sanding did nothing to remove) before I could paint them. So. At least they are something LARGE that I can put in my LARGE booth that seemed like such a GREAT idea in the summer.

I went up today to straighten and replenish and hang up the beginnings of my customized print wall. I’m going to see if there’s any kind of market for personalized prints — for new babies, weddings, etc. I had to make a bunch of new prints to faux-personalize for samples. I feel like I made a million but only ended up with eight or so. My creativity does not flourish in the cold, dark days of winter. But I figure that’s enough to get an idea about whether anyone is even interested in this venture. It’s a lot of wall space to give up, if not.

It looks so paltry but represents so much of my sad little life! Ugh. I think I’m getting less creative the older I get.

Here are some other shots from the booth today.

There was an ad for a junker warehouse sale on Monday that was supposed to start at 10. I stopped by right at 10 with the kids and the gate was still locked with no activity anywhere around. I went back at around 11:30, and it was open, but totally overwhelming — just piles and boxes of stuff, and whole areas that were off limit because they belonged to someone else but there were no real barriers to that section so I kept accidentally wandering into them. I didn’t have the energy so I stayed about five minutes, then headed home. At around 2, Shara texted me from the sale — she had, of course, found a ton of great stuff. I threw the kids in the car and ran down there (after promising her via text I wouldn’t buy anything she wanted!) and poked around with her for a bit. The only thing I bought was some wood, a lot of it this great, weathered, white, chippy planks that I can make a ton of signs out of. He only charged me $2 a piece, and I can get about three signs out of each plank, so it was a score. I know the whole “Farmer’s Market” sign is a bit cliche at this point but I still love them and it really seemed to work with the chippy paint.

You can see the two dressers I bought off of Craigslist in these pictures. I paid too much for the one with the mirror and as a result have it priced too high. I will have to come down eventually but I kind of wanted to keep something in the booth long enough to make it look full! The one in the picture below is massive — very well made and very heavy but it’s the one with some veneer issues, especially on the trim at the bottom.

These number signs came out of an urge to use up the mass of scrap wood I have in my garage. My intention was to make them look more like vintage industrial numbers, but last week I did a few with the “party of” painted on them and they all sold — so I hauled two more up there this week. This will be a good project for me to work on for the Junk Ranch.

I love this little barn I found. It opens up. Wouldn’t it be so cute to decorate for Christmas?

Another sign made out of the wood I bought earlier this week. If I thought it would do any good, I would totally hang this in my kids’ room.

I am WAY behind on answering e-mails, blog comments, and IG comments, so forgive me, please, if I haven’t gotten back to you. Things have been a little hectic around here these days.

Hope Spring is reaching your neck of the woods about now!