Monday, June 29, 2009

All decked out: vintage campers

Soundtrack for today's post: The Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs (thanks, Diane!)

Wanted to share with you the latest wave in antique dealer chic -- coming to do the show towing your adorable, decked out vintage trailer. After setting up your space, you can retreat to all the comforts of home -- retro home, that is -- to relax in style until the show opens.

At the Allegan Antique Market, our friend Peggy's trailer is much like her lovely booth --
barkcloth, florals and all things Rachel Ashwell. So yummy you want to sink your teeth in.

This little cutie hailed from Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was totally retro inside. The owners said it had taken them several winters to restore. They pull it with a to-die-for matching pickup!

We overheard one lady saying she had just purchased her own trailer, nick-named "Saucy," and was cruising the market for vintage finds to start her renovation. She had just purchased some killer pink/green/yellow linoleum from our friend Rebecca, who incidentally, has been working on her trailer all winter and hopes to have it ready for the 4th of July. Lucky! I can't wait to see it at next month's show.

Allegan ended up being good to us again this month, despite rainy skies as we left our hotel (not our cute retro camper -- sigh) Sunday morning. The day turned out to be beautiful -- cool and sunny, but a little windy. We saw many of our favorite Indiana, Michigan and Illinois customers. Furniture, funk and garden sold well -- as did pillows -- go figure! Tomorrow, we'll start prepping for Kane and the 4th of July. Come and see us! xo

P.S. Thanks to my friend CJ for the adorable box of colored pencils!! Check her out at VanDaff's Interior Design and Antiques, listed on our blog roll. xoxo

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thrift Store Thursday: Here comes the bride!

After much trial and error -- included many e-mails, a phone call to my blogging buddy Joan (visit her great site, Anything Goes Here, listed on our Blog Roll) and accidentally deleting the first version of this post just now, I want to share with you my first attempt at participating in a blog party:

This lovely couple is my contribution to Thrift Store Thursday, a blog party featuring participants' fabulous finds for the week. I found them Wednesday at the Shipshewana flea market and adopted them for the princely sum of $1! I already got several nice comments from other party goers, which unfortunately were deleted with the first edition of this post, but I learned a lot, met some new people AND had fun. I'm definitely doing it again next week. Joan, better take your phone off the hook!! xo -- and thanks to everyone for their help and patience, especially you, J.

Come and see us at Allegan this weekend -- see the show sidebar for details!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Collage is Born

A note: I hope this isn't cheating, but I'm sharing an older post for Transformation Thursday this week, because it's a favorite both of mine and of our customers. Hope you enjoy it!

Sound track for today's post: Allman Brothers, "Eat a Peach"

Once upon a Wednesday, I was in the studio alone, Joe off at the auction. Fabulous! Not because Joe was gone, but because it was Project Day, and, being alone, there was lots of room to spread out. I'd gotten these vintage shadowboxes in a box lot at the auction several weeks ago, and when some lovely beaded flowers turned up in our neighbor Diane's booth at Allegan, a collage was born.

Remember several posts ago, I wrote about that yummy 1890s chemistry notebook? Well, I layered one sheet over a ledger page from the same era. Next came one of the few English botanicals we have left from last season, plus two scraps of the vintage wallpaper that our sweet Burlington show neighbor Judy gifted me with.

Finally, I added a couple of antique prisms and Diane's beaded flowers of loveliness. Voila! Done.

I love to make collages because the pulling together of disparate elements is exciting to me; it's a great metaphor for life. I especially like the opportunity to go three-dimensional, as it adds an almost kinetic feel to the finished work. I really enjoyed making these pieces, as they had a neo-Victorian scientific vibe going on. I love works from that period -- scientific, but very stylized at the same time. Who else likes collage? Raise your hand! Well, maybe leave a comment and tell me about what you like to make. A tip: we discovered that 3M's Formula 44 works just as well as the 77, and is less expensive. Will still use the 77 for heavier materials.

By the time I'd listened to "Sweet Melissa" for the fifth or sixth time, I'd made several other collage pieces and a second installment of our "Amy" mirrors, crusted with vintage jewelry. Plus I got a load of framing finished. And I took up the whole room, thank you very much!
By Friday evening, it was all loaded in the van, headed for Chicago. And to our happy surprise, the show turned out great! Grayslake is usually a good show for us, but a schedule change at the fairgrounds had shoved it back a week. Generally, a change like that is never a great thing for attendance, but we had sufficient traffic to meet our sales goal. Smalls continue to be strong sellers, especially glass containers, graphics and garden. Furniture also did well, particularly small tables and anything pretty.
The collages went to a happy new home. I'm missing them already! But I think I'm going to explore the Victorian science theme some more. Next week, we're off to Allegan. Think 4th of July and summer fun! Come see us. xo

Monday, June 22, 2009

High Tech Trouble

Oops! Got some new equipment today, and I'm temporarily lost! Will post again once my computer guy Gerry comes back to help me find my photos in the new cyber maze. See you in a bit! xo

Thursday, June 18, 2009

To Market, To Market: Off to Grayslake

We've been really busy this week, getting ready to head out for the Grayslake Antique Market,, which is THIS WEEKEND -- a one-time date change due to a schedule conflict at the fairgrounds. See the sidebar for details. Joe bought some beautiful pieces at the auction this week, and I've been working on lots of new projects, including this found-object collage, pictured while still in process. The weather report says it will be lovely -- sunny and in the high 70s. What are you waiting for? Grab your wheely cart and get out there! Can't wait. xo

Monday, June 15, 2009

Road Trip: Indy to Columbus and Back Again

Midland ( was the first stop on this weekend's road trip. We were thrilled to find that ALL of our big pieces had sold, so we could restock with this week's auction haul.
Love the hat blocks Joe found, as well as the map case on the right -- what a great storage piece!

Our friend Lynda bought all these pulleys for us at Kane last weekend( Our original idea was to make a stand to hang each one individually, but a search of the studio didn't yield enough suitable materials. So we came up with this idea instead -- a pulley "tree" -- using one rail from an old rope bed. Thought it ended up kind of Ralph Lauren-esque!
After our Midland fluff, we hit the road again and were relaxing in the vintage wicker chairs on Katie Palmer's ( yummy front porch in Columbus, Ohio, by 9:30 p.m., enjoying cocktails and the fabulous snacks Katie scored at her farmer's market that morning. Yes!

Sunday morning, we unloaded at Sobo. Garden has been a big seller for Katie this spring, so we brought as much of that as we could find, plus some choice pieces like this pretty table -- Joe's favorite from last week's shopping -- to add to her vignettes inside.

Katie had lots of great new smalls in stock, including this super-cute covered cupcake pedestal and two-tier petit four stand. Wouldn't they be adorable for your next tea party? She said they've been a huge hit!

We were headed for home by lunchtime, but took a break to stop at one of our favorite malls, the Heart of Ohio, just outside Springfield.

We stocked up at our friend Jaime's booth, finding lots of cute frames for next week's chalkboards, some terrific tables and lots of cute jars. At Midland, we found two great motel chairs and a charming two-seat glider. All these goodies will give us a good start on our Grayslake load. Come and see us -- remember the market is now both Saturday and Sunday. See the sidebar for details! xo

Friday, June 12, 2009

Grayslake Is NOT This Weekend!

Headline news, market fans -- Grayslake Antique Market is NOT this weekend, it's next weekend -- June 20 and 21. See the sidebar for details. And for an update on Eddie Ross's visit to Kane last weekend, check out our friend Angie's post on her site I'm Going Back to the Start, listed on our blog roll. Have a great weekend. xo

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer Lovin'

I'm a fickle collector; I lose interest quickly. So I was relieved to read one day an account of a fellow flea-marketer's confession that she indulged in "crushes" -- collections that only lasted as long as her thumping heart allowed. Once the pitter-pat ended, so did the collecting. A perfect solution! Thought you might like to take a quick look at two of my most recent "affairs":

Vintage colored pencils -- I even love the boxes!

And old carnival buttons -- oh so sassy.
Like Susan Sarandon's character Annie Savoy in the movie "Bull Durham," I am faithful for the duration of the (summer flea market) season. So, without further ado, I'd like to proudly introduce my crush for this summer's season:

Amazing bits of vintage jewelry, especially old rhinestones and holy medals.*
We use these for embellishing all sorts of projects, plus I've been toying around with some Amy Hanna-inspired necklaces. How much fun is that!
I'd love to hear about what inspires you. What do you collect? Are you a "crusher" or are your collecting passions life-long? Leave a comment and let me know!
*And Heather, if you're reading this, you always get dibs when we're together! Who loves ya, baby!? (: xo

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Come and see us this weekend at Kane County -- we're in the main building, same as usual! Word on the street is that Martha Stewart's Eddie Ross ( will be in attendance. He's touring some of the top markets in the country and picked Kane as one of his stops. See the sidebar for details. Don't miss it! xo

Monday, June 1, 2009

Allegan: The Perfect Day

It was a perfect day. Please join with me and say it like the little mice in the movie, "Babe,"
"a perfect day...". It was the best weather possible for antiquing: sunny, no wind, high hovering around 70. For the shoppers, plenty of dealers. For the dealers, loads of shoppers. Got to spend time with some of our favorite customers, colleagues and cyber-pals. Had a wonderful picnic lunch, plus all-you-can-drink coffee actually brought to our booth every couple of hours, courtesy of one of our neighbors. Found some of the stuff on our shopping list and had a great selling day. WOW!

For a quick market report, smalls dominated our sales sheet. Garden, projects, industrial, ephemera, small furniture and original paint did well. News on the street was that big furniture was not selling as strongly. Next, it's off to Kane. Can't wait. Come and see us. xo