home decor Junkin' and Thriftin'

Booth sprucin’ and ponderin’. . .

One of the things you have to do when you have a booth space in an antiques mall is spruce it up occasionally, or as Vintage Rescue Squad puts it, “foof your boof.”

I just love that.  I wish I had thought of it myself!  Surely she won’t mind if I borrow it?

Anyway, these last few months haven’t been exactly lucrative for my sister and me in our little booth at Uniques & Antiques in Mineola.  Actually, 2014 hasn’t been as good for me as a vendor as 2013 was.

With sales low month after month, I wonder if the problem is what I choose to put in my booth, how I choose to display it, or if my prices are fair.  I start asking myself:

1.  Is our booth eye-catching and attractive?
2.  Is our booth welcoming?
3.  Is our booth full of stuff people want?
4.  Are our prices reasonable?
5.  Do we introduce new merchandise often enough?  
6.  Are we located in a good spot in the mall?
7.  Are we in the right mall?
8.  Are we in the right business?
9.  Is it time to try something else?

Then I start talking with other vendors.  I read their blogs and Facebook posts.  I realize that we are all in the same boat.

This business is fickle.
No one can predict what our customers will buy from one season to the next.

Last summer it was sage green shabby furniture and chalkboard painted silver trays.

This summer it is black distressed furniture
and rustic signs. 

Things that flew out of the booth last year
have been sitting for weeks.

No matter.

I stay because:

1. It allows me to do something with all those thrift store and garage sale finds.
2.  It gives me a place to trade out my home decor as I find new old things to decorate with.
3.  It gives me a thrill when something sells.
4.  It gives me a creative outlet for design and crafting.
5.  It’s sister-bonding and FUN!

So. . .this week I did some booth sprucing.
Somebody might just come in and find exactly what they have been looking for. . .

or find the very thing they didn’t know they needed.

It’s Mary Lillian Vintage if you want to stop by.  Look for the turquoise sign at Uniques & Antiques in Mineola.

Make my day.


Junkin' and Thriftin'

Thrift Store Scores!

I have friends and relatives who would never darken the door of a thrift store.  Maybe it’s the dim lighting or the smells (I admit, sometimes the odors are NOT good), or maybe the clientele (myself not included, of course!).  They just don’t know what treasures they are missing!

Look at what I found on my latest excursions. . .

A vintage wooden tool box with the lid!  All the panels slide into each other.  So very rustic.  This will be a keeper.

A tinsel chick (for really cheep cheap), a vintage pink felt bunny still in the package, a ceramic rabbit climbing over a fence (Brer Rabbit perhaps?), and a bag of basket confetti.  The tinsel chick and ceramic rabbit will probably go in my antiques booth, but the other things will be great for crafting.

This will be great repurposed as a shelf for the booth.  It already has that chippy paint look that is so popular right now.  Gotta change that paper and sand down that corner, though. 

I couldn’t pass up this sweet little Victorian boy holding his dog.  He’s so sweet.  The frame is cool, too.

This old metal Florida souvenir tray would be cute in a beach cottage or vacation home.  It will be going into the booth soon.

You just never know what you might find when you visit your local thrift store.  There’s always something different and unexpected, and sometimes, you score!

Do you have a favorite thrift store score?


holidays home decor

Feeling the Love: Another Valentine Vignette

I thought I was finished decorating for Valentine’s Day.  I mean, the kids are grown now, so I can’t say I’m doing it for them.  But my plain flat coffee table was bothering me.  With nothing to adorn it except an old vintage tapestry, it was becoming a dumping ground for newspapers and magazines and stuff.
Not good.

This tapestry I found at a barn sale is a mini version of the one my grandmother Mary Lillian Nunn had hanging over her couch as long as I can remember.  (She is the namesake for Mary Lillian Vintage.)

I had a vintage typewriter sitting on an antique school desk that seemed lost there.  Unnoticed.  So I brought it out.

Cute, but it needed something.  A sprig of something.  So I looked around.  I found nothing in Hobby Lobby, and then something Valentine-y caught my eye in Walmart, and it was only 97 cents! I tied a piece of twine around it and set it on top.

Nice, but it still needed something.  I had some old Bingo cards and red hearts lying around.  I wondered if they would work.

Perfect!  Well, until I found a box of Victorian Valentines from a garage sale that I had forgotten about.

Now it was perfect.  Another Valentine vignette.  It doesn’t matter if no one but hubby and the dogs see it.  It’s pretty, and it makes me happy.

I think I’m finished with Valentine decorating.  What about you?  

March is around the corner and I’ll soon be looking for leprechauns and clovers.

Happy Valentine’s Day!




I mentioned in yesterday’s post that I will be opening a booth in a local antique mall in February.  I hope to move in on the first, and I am very excited!  I now have a place to put all of the things I used in my daughter’s wedding, along with things I have collected over the years, as well as new junky finds.  My home won’t be quite as cluttered!

Today I finished up a few crafts for my booth.  I had many of these materials lying around from gifts I made from the past couple of Christmases.  I thought it would be a good idea to use up these supplies and have more things to put in my space!

Here are a couple of stone tile mixed media pieces for Valentine’s Day. . .

And then I painted and assembled a few stacked wooden crosses. . .
The thing about DIY crafts?  It is so rewarding to make something pretty out of random materials meant for other things, and even more rewarding when others enjoy your work!  If these tickle your fancy, let me know!

Have a great weekend!



THRIFTY HUNT THURSDAY: Look what I found today!

Deer hunting is done until September, so I am taking off the “er” in “Thrifty Hunter” and making Thursday the day of the thrifty hunt!  Not for animals, but for treasures!

Look what I found in today’s junkin’ expedition!

A polished wooden owl napkin holder with spaces for salt and pepper shakers. . .my daughter stole this from me!

A beautiful vintage china doll head. . . can you see the crazing on her neck? 

A vintage gas tank for boat motors. . .a steal!

An old Santa mug with all the red color rubbed off. . .perfect for my white Christmas decor!  And he was free!

Another FREEBY I found in Daddy’s junk:  my grandmother’s 1957 World Book stand.  Priceless.

A chippy white cast iron napkin holder for my dinette. . .

Now I have a perfectly good reason for gathering more stuff. . .I will be opening a booth in a local antiques mall in February!  I am so excited!  Stay tuned!