Archive for the ‘Antiques’ Category

The Trials and Tribulations of a Seasonal Decorator

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016


So how many of you consider yourself “Seasonal Decorators”? Hopefully the large majority raised their hands, if not I’ll be out of business soon. But wait, let me back up and explain what I mean by “Seasonal Decorator”. Does your house basically look the same all year round except for at Christmas? Or do you plaster your abode in Valentine’s hearts only to pull out the green shamrock garland a few weeks later and apply liberally? I’d say I fall somewhere between those two categories… leaning more toward the crazy hearts and shamrocks kind of lady.


Harvest Market Days

Thursday, November 27th, 2014


Hey there it’s me, still alive a kickin’ but just barely. The last two months have been a bit crazy and don’t look to slow down anytime soon, especially since “The Holiday Season” has officially hit. I say it’s officially “The Holiday Season” because I’m writing this post on Thanksgiving Eve, is that a thing? Thanksgiving Eve? I say it is and I guess it doesn’t really matter since it will be Thanksgiving Day by the time I’m done writing. And since in my mind Thanksgiving still falls under the “Fall” category I can sneak this post in under the wire about our Harvest Market Days Sale.

If you remember from one of my last posts (a long, long time ago) I promised to give you all a peek inside my new endeavor, Willow Station.


Garage Sale’ing’ 101

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

garage sale map

I spend a lot of time at my “real job” searching for canned content. Canned content consists of very general stories on a certain topic. You see, the newspaper I work at runs a Special Section for each and every event there is. We have a Home & Garden Section, Beef Section, Grain Section (obviously we’re a bunch of farmers in this neck of the woods), Back-To-School Section, etc., etc., etc. It’s like clockwork, first week of August: Back-To-School Section; second week of August: Souvenir Fair Section (the one with a million photos of kids, chickens, hogs and horses along with a list of every purple, blue and red ribbon won at the County Fair); third week of August: Fall Sports Preview (the one with a million pictures of sweaty kids lined up for their football, volleyball, softball, golf or tennis team photo). This week is Back-To-School and while searching for content, I came across countless articles offering tips on how to save money when buying school supplies and guidelines for buying the best lunch bag. Other random stories were thrown in there as well (the search option never seems to find me the right stuff) and one was called “Garage Sales 101: Tips for shoppers and sellers” I gave it a quick read to see if I had been doing it right, garage sale’ing’ that is.



Sunday, March 30th, 2014


So I just realized that I never told you guys what we did with our one day off during our latest trip to Texas. You know, the day we tacked on to our original plan of a five day stay in the Lone Star State. Once we realized we would be working our fingers to the bone in preparation for the big Halloween shin-dig we decided an extra day to wind down (and actually leave the Newman house) was in order.


A Busy Weekend In December… Or Was It Still November?

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Church Centerpiece 3

Thanksgiving weekend and the holiday season were breathing down my neck. How did this happen? How come the first Christmas event on my schedule happened to be on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend? I realize Thanksgiving and Christmas have been running together more and more but we hadn’t even gotten all of the turkey leftovers eaten before the first Christmas program was underway.

The program I’m talking about is the annual Children’s Christmas Program at my church, it was scheduled for Dec. 1. DECEMBER 1! That is crazy! No, I didn’t have any kids in the program, nor was I directing it in any way, shape or form (thank goodness, that would have been a disaster). My part was quite small but ended up being the beginning of a very long and busy day.

Church Centerpiece 2

For the past several years, my friends Angie, Tami and I have been in charge of the centerpiece for the cookie table at the reception following the Children’s Christmas Program. If you’ve ever lived in a small town you know how important these punch and cookie receptions are. I mean, social event of the season! Actually, now that I think about it, there are quite a few “social events of the season” since every single holiday event is followed by a punch and cookie reception.

The three of us have been pooling together our various Christmas decorations to come up with a different centerpiece every year. We try to come up with a color scheme or theme that hopefully goes with the program. The bad news, we are starting to run out of ideas. This year we kind of talked about an outdoor, woodsy, snow day kind of theme. In my mind I’m picturing a Martha Stewart magazine spread with divided soda crates filled with mugs of hot chocolate served out of antique thermos’ to guests who are roasting marshmallows over a roaring fire while others are either skating on the frozen pond or sledding down the hill. Well, we had a couple of sleds, some old skates and thermos’, so we went with that.

Church Centerpiece 4

I had gotten up fairly early (for me at least) on Saturday morning and started loading my car with assorted junk that would eventually be turned into said centerpiece. By the time I got to the church Ang and Tami were already busily covering the tables with paper, what can I say, I’m always the last to arrive.

Church Centerpiece 5

We got things thrown together pretty quickly while constantly saying, “This is the last year we do this.” We say that every year so I guess we’ll see.

Church Centerpiece 7

Martha Stewart we are not but not bad for cobbling together yet another idea.

My next project would be taking place in the sanctuary so I was forced to settle in with Ang and Tami. They were waiting for their kids who were in the middle of rehearsal. Needless to say, I picked up on those songs pretty quickly which means they were stuck in my head for the rest of the day. Auuuggh!

I had been asked to design some banners to hang in the sanctuary for the Advent season. Of course the first meeting concerning the Advent season took place back in September but my project ended up coming together in one week, and of course that would be the week of Thanksgiving.

Advent Banner 1

This meant bothering Pastor Andrea with emails for final approval while she was on vacation and tracking down my banner guy and forcing him to undertake a big job… THE WEEK OF THANKSGIVING! Thank goodness he agreed because the job turned out great and got tons of compliments.

Advent Banner 2

I ended up designing two 14 foot long banners to hang in the front of the sanctuary and four 4 foot banners to hang above the pews. Of course each banner had slightly different wording to correspond with that week of Advent, got to make it as difficult as possible for my printer Matt.

Advent Banner 3

I had to call on my Design Assistant to come help me out with the hanging. He made the dowels we needed for the top and bottom of each banner. We learned one thing, next time we make a 14 foot banner it needs to have two dowels in the middle section instead of just one in the center. The edges of the banner from the middle on up tended to curl in a bit.

My Design Assistant mentioned they were heading to the next town over for lunch. Turns out lunch was at the auction of a local family. Well, I heard the word “auction” and I was in. Oh my gosh, so much stuff.

Auction 1

I decided I should really start collecting oil cans… I mean who knew?

Auction 2

And I should really buy some of these seed bags and turn them into pillows… of course that would mean I would have to learn how to use my sewing machine.

Auction 3

And holy crap, I can think of a million things I could store inside these chippy, old metal containers.

Auction 4

And if I were in need of a coffee table, I could possibly convince my Design Assistant to turn this into one.

Auction 5

And then I could make him throw some casters on this little number and turn it into a side table or yet another storage piece in my studio.

Auction 7

And this would have looked totally cool with some live greenery, a rope and some red berries as a sort of holiday wreath on my front door.

And speaking of pulleys…

Auction 6

my brother-in-law Steve would have been in heaven. Every time we go junking he is looking for old pulleys.

But alas, I purchased nothing! How sad is that? It was already closing in on 2 p.m. and they were just starting to auction off and amazing metal sign collection. I had other plans for the afternoon and couldn’t afford to wait around for them to get to the stuff I had picked out.

Instead I went home and spent an hour raking the leaves in my front yard… in short sleeves no less. Did I mention what a beautiful fall day it was? Of course exactly a week later everything was covered in three inches of snow.

Soon it was time to move on to the final event of the day. The Annual Holiday Tour of Homes. Every year the Heritage Committee in my town convinces three or four households to open up their homes to the public over the Thanksgiving weekend. My parents, sister and I have all hosted home tours in the past and this year I was really looking forward to seeing the home of my friend Tammy.

Tammy is a fellow junker. She has an entire crew of ladies that hit the Annual Junk Jaunt every fall with a trailer in tow to haul home all of their treasures… oh my chippy, beating heart. I had heard tales of the gorgeous kitchen remodel her husband and her had recently completed in the farmhouse on his family’s homeplace. It was not a disappointment…

Tour 2

I mean really…

Tour 3

and by the way, Tammy gave me complete permission to post these pictures of her beautiful house, in case any of you were wondering.

Tour 4

You can’t see it so well in this picture, but this cupboard was filled with plates, cups and other items in every color of the rainbow.

Tour 5

And when you headed down to the basement, which I remember they had to lift up the house for several months in order to build it, she had this awesome windmill tail on the wall along with some holiday greenery.

Tour 6

The basement was filled with brightly colored junk on display…

Tour 7

Tour 9

Tour 8

Love the owl sooo much!

Tour 10

She had a cool little coffee and hot chocolate bar set up. And I’m mad I didn’t get pictures of the doors down in the basement. They were white and styled like old barn doors that slide open on a metal track, you know, the kind you’ve pinned on Pinterest a hundred times?

Tour 1

Tammy just has a style of decorating that I really love.

Tour 11

Fun and colorful, yet also so grown up and stylish.

Tour 13

Tour 12

And her front porch…

Tour 14

I will definitely be on the lookout for old soda coolers in the future… imitation is the sincerest form of flattery right?

Tour 15

And finally, she had this awesome branch suspended from the porch ceiling with a little snowy owl perched atop it. Brightly colored snowflakes hung all around. Totally awesome. I would have taken a few hundred more photos but my stinkin phone died on me. Bummer.

The tour was a wonderful way to end a busy day.

And for the final event of the weekend… the Children’s Program took place on Sunday night. I was of course running late, partly because I stopped to take this shot…

Church front

couldn’t resist, the lighting was just too cool. I scurried in and found a seat towards the back just in time for the kids to take the stage.

Church program

I mean, how sweet are little kid Christmas programs? They all did an awesome job and since I knew most of the songs I practically started humming along. After eating our fill of holiday treats at the social, Ang, Tami and I had to take on dismantling our centerpiece only to store it in a Sunday School room so we could do it all over again the next weekend for the Preschool program. The good news… I inherited the cedar branches which I used in my own Christmas decorating at home. Thanks Bergen!

Holiday Home

Sunday, December 29th, 2013

Kitchen Table 5

Whooooooosh! Whoooooosh! (That’s supposed to sound like me blowing air) it’s dusty in here. My poor, neglected little blog gathered just a bit of dust over the holidays, sorry about that but this holiday season truly got away from me. So much so that it’s Dec. 29 and I’m still working on Christmas gifts for my family and am just now posting pictures of my holiday decorations. I realize it’s a bit after the fact, but hey, I usually live with them through New Year’s so to me it’s technically still Christmas and this all makes total sense.


‘Twas The Night Before Thanksgiving

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Give Thanks

‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving, and all through the house not a creature was stirring (actually there probably will be some stirring I’m a bit of a restless sleeper) not even a mouse (I would hope not, there had better not be a mouse in my house!) I was about to get snuggled all warm in my bed when I realized “Crap! I forgot to write my Thanksgiving post!” as I put my hands to my head.



Thursday, November 14th, 2013

Marc on the pile

It was an ordinary Monday night in late August when I took one more step toward my life-long goal of becoming an “American Picker”. The tip had come from my sister Kelli several months earlier. She was in the process of being a dutiful farm wife (chuckle, chuckle, I can just see my brother-in-law rolling his eyes at my decision to use the word “dutiful” in describing Kelli) by helping Marc move irrigation pipe in one of his fields down by the creek. It was then that she spied an old wooden barn door laying along the creek bank. Apparently an area farmer was using this secluded part of the creek to dispose of unwanted wood from his outbuildings.


‘SOLD! To the lady with the crazy eyes!’

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

barn 2

I did something a few months back that I hadn’t done in years, I hit up an auction. Every couple of weeks I start jonesing for an antique fix to appease this “junking sickness” of mine, usually I just hit an antique store or go to a sale. An auction is a whole ‘nother beast. I mean it’s a competition really. You’re competing for ownership and generally the one with the most money wins. And as someone who can never be called “the one with the most money” it can sometimes get downright depressing. To sit there and watch something you’ve been coveting go to someone else because they have more cash on hand… irritating. Luckily my taste runs to the cheap side and I’m usually looking for junky, small things that I can eventually fix up and turn into something else.


My Haunted House

Thursday, October 17th, 2013


I guess we’re sticking with the Halloween theme this week, come into my haunted house, if you dare, wahahaha. I don’t know when it happened but it has started to take me almost as long to decorate my house for Halloween as it does for Christmas. Actually, I blame it all on Pinterest, it’s so full of inspiration I just can’t keep myself from crafting. Because of the extra projects my Halloween decorating seemed to span several weeks this year.