Junkin' and Thriftin' Life Memoirs

Mature Musings Monday: A Collector’s Realization

I spent my 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s obtaining stuff.  First it was stuff for my apartment.  When I rented my first apartment I moved in with a bed, a hope chest, a drab bookshelf that leaned against the wall, and a laundry basket.  Thanks to Fingerhut, I was able to collect towels and cookware on teeny monthly payments, and my mom was able to spare me a few kitchen items. 

After hubby brought in his stereo and we added another chair.
My boyfriend (who became my husband) bought me a particle board dresser and a used living room chair and couch, and his sister gave us a folding dining table with chairs.  That was the beginning of my “stuff.”

When we expanded to a small mobile home, we collected more furniture and decorative items.  After our son was born, the necessity for a bigger house became a priority so we moved into small house and obtained even more stuff.  Our son’s stuff alone filled up his room and then some.  We used the extra bedroom for storage of stuff that didn’t go anywhere.

Matt with his new Christmas “stuff”, 1987.
Then our daughter came along and we were forced to clear that room out for her.  As they grew, they amassed more stuff and so did we.  I decided to start collecting Raggedy Ann dolls, born out of a childhood love for the dolls and stories, and soon I had over 200 dolls, books, and other items in my collection.  In the meantime, hubby collected guns and model cars, and my children collected toys, toys, and more toys.
Natalie in her room before the invasion of Raggedy Anns.

It didn’t register that someday I might not want these items any more.  My home became nicely furnished, our collections nicely displayed, and people who visited made nice comments.  When did our collections become too much?
I can’t pinpoint it, but I think it was when my children left home. Suddenly I had all this stuff and didn’t like it any more.  I redecorated Matt’s room and boxed up his stuff, and when he got a home, I gave it to him, whether he wanted it or not.  Natalie is about to move from a tiny RV into a real house, so her room will finally be cleared out.  Whatever she leaves will be thrown out, donated, or returned to her.

In the meantime, I have had a realization.  I don’t need all this stuff any more!  I decided that I could start selling this stuff on Ebay and Etsy, and I opened a booth in an antiques mall, and I still have so much I could furnish a whole ‘nother booth!

I have stopped collecting.  No, not really.  I have stopped collecting so much, and as often.  But the difference is this:  now I look for items that I can resell or repurpose and resell.  I have many things in my home that I am keeping until I can resell them.  Many things will go into my booth or online.
Part of my Kennedy book collection and panda collection.
Part of my wedding cake topper collection with some of my Raggedy Ann books in the background.
Part of my Raggedy Ann collection.
Part of my Raggedy Ann figurine collection.
Hubby’s model car collection.
Part of my Big Boy bank collection.
Part of my clock and our Boston terrier figurine collections.
In spite of what these photos may indicate, I am not a hoarder, and it’s not that I don’t still love antique and vintage things, and experience the thrill of the hunt when I find a special item.  But I don’t have to keep them now.  I can get the same enjoyment from buying something and placing it in my booth to enjoy until someone else buys it.  I can pass items on to someone else who can appreciate them after I have enjoyed them for awhile.

By the way, if you need something or are looking for something special, please let me know.  I might have it!

Junkin' and Thriftin'

Wild Wednesday: A new name for our booth!

Look at that sign!  It’s official now!  We have a real shop, even if it is a booth inan  antique mall.  My sister Sharon shares the booth with me, and she made the sign.  We named our business after our grandmother who was the original thrifter.  She always showed off her secondhand clothing finds and repurposed items whenever we visited. She was our dad’s mother, and when my oldest was a baby, he got the junkin’ fever.  He has a stash that would excite the American Pickers
Junkin’ is in our blood!
This is what makes Wednesday wild–a leopard print bustier and one of my rag skirts, perfect for a gypsy prom, especially the Junk Gypsy Junk-o-rama Prom to be held October 3 at Round Top, Texas during Texas Antiques Week.

Here is some of the other junk I added today.

Two darling little table figurines–one is a salt or pepper shaker and one is a toothpick holder.
This little guy never wakes up from his siesta!
One of my rag curtains hangs behind a trestle table holding the dress form with the gypsy prom outfit.

Be sure and check out our Facebook page.  
We like “likes!”


Junkin' and Thriftin'

Teacher Tuesday: Dolly Python Vintage

It’s Teacher Tuesday on my blog, so today I am going to share what this teacher learned visiting Dolly Python Vintage in Dallas last weekend.  I have been wanting to visit this place for quite some time after seeing it mentioned in a magazine (I can’t remember now which) and then looking it up online.  What a treat it was to finally have a chance to go!
Located in east Dallas on N. Haskell Avenue, it is an unassuming older building with a cute neon sign on the corner and parking on a side street.  But once you open that door and are greeted by several people who work there, along with Lucy the black lab and Mr. Sandwiches, the terrier mix, you are in heaven.  Or at least, I was.
Lucy was friendly and very laid back.
The first items you see are shelves and shelves of used and vintage cowboy boots on the right and racks and racks of vintage clothing on the right from the front to the back of the store.  In the center of the store between two dividing walls are glass counters where you pay for your merchandise and cross over into the antique mall part of the establishment.  
Rows of vintage clothing beckon under various taxidermy pieces and this 1950’s dress.
This is not your ordinary antique mall.  There are many vendors with lots of stuff, but amidst the lamps and furniture and knick-knacks are various and sundry oddities, like floating doll heads, dressed up taxidermy, framed taxidermy heads, bones, caskets, snakeskins, circus tapestries, and dolls with no eyes.  There is also a whole corner full of vintage records as well as a psychic ready to forecast your fortune.
Doll heads float on cubby shelves.
A jar rounds up various doll parts behind these porcelain heads.
Imagine that this used to belong to a little girl who probably loved her very much.
Still kind of creepy, though, huh?
There were two of these stuffed fawns!  What would possess someone to kill and stuff a baby deer, much less two?
I prefer to believe they were accidentally killed and lovingly preserved.
“I say, old chap, might you have a light?”  Crazy weird!
Victorian wicker casket said to allow corpses to breathe if they suddenly revived.
The wicker allowed the air in but kept the bugs out.
Ronald McDonald helps keep watch over the store.
See what I mean?  So cool!  So quirky!  So full of ideas for my own decor and especially my booth at Uniques & Antiques!  Wonder if people around here are ready for oddities?  It’s worth a try!  I have lots of other photos I may share later. In the meantime, you can check out their Facebook page and their Pinterest page.  
Can you believe I got out of there with only three vintage photographs at less than five bucks?  It was one of those places where there is so much I couldn’t decide on anything!  I did that the first time I went to Sam Moon–I was too overwhelmed with all the choices in jewelry and purses!
I will definitely be returning to Dolly Python Vintage with my daughter, who is a fan of the Discovery Channel program “Oddities.”  My son even brought her a bag from the store Obscura in New York over the weekend.
Let me know if you think these oddities I shared are way too odd or just too cool!
Junkin' and Thriftin'

Meaningless Drivel Monday: From Old and Busted to New Hotness!

I have been busy!  This is the hardest I have ever worked while not working.  Keeping an antiques booth well-stocked and inviting is not an easy proposition.  I knew it would be work, but this much?  I love it, though!

Here is one of my latest projects.
“Old and Busted” (From Men in Black)
I picked up this nightstand at a thrift store for less than ten dollars.  After some Lowe’s signature paint, new knobs, and a little scrapbook paper decoupage, this is how it ended up, in my car ready for my booth.
“New Hotness”
I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  I also lined the drawers with scrapbook paper that I glued down with Mod Podge.  

For more of my handiwork, check out my booth Facebook page, A.C. Junk ‘n’ Stuff.  And give me a “like” while you are there!

On a second, more serious note, I would like to offer my condolences to everyone affected by the explosions at the Boston Marathon today.  I am sickened by the senseless violence and saddened for the victims and their loved ones.  If ever there was a time for us to pray, it is now.



At Home Monday A.K.A. Meaningless Drivel Monday

That new title “Meaningless Drivel Monday” is my sister’s contribution.  I told her that I needed to work on my blog, and she said it in jest, but I actually like it!  So, from now on, At Home Monday is Meaningless Drivel Monday.  A little more descriptive of my blogging, don’t you think?  *chuckle*

A rag shower curtain I made and sold to order.
Today I finished up a three-part rag curtain order.  If you have looked at my Etsy shop, you know that I sell custom rag curtains.  I got the idea from a bridal show I went to with my daughter and actually made one to use in her wedding.  After the wedding I decided to try listing it on Etsy and taking custom orders.  Since then I have had several orders, even if by only one customer, but word is spreading.  I put my original curtain in my booth at Uniques & Antiques and this past week it sold!

The first rag curtain I made and sold to order.  The customer uses it in her kitchen.

I purchase my fabric (usually curtains and tablecloths) from thrift stores and cut them into strips that I tie onto jute twine.  It is a labor-intensive and time-consuming job, but very rewarding.  I have to measure each strip and the length of the twine to customer specification, but cutting the strips doesn’t have to be precise at all.  Jagged and raveled edges just add to the overall charm.

I found out quickly that I did not charge enough for the time and labor, so I will be adjusting my prices to reflect that.  I still plan to offer a better product for less.

I plan to make some rag curtains for my Scamp trailer as well.  I plan to add among the burlap, tulle, and muslin some of the upholstery fabric I used in the cushion covers.  I can’t wait to start on those!

The rag curtains also make cute skirts, like the skirt on the old chair I made a couple of weeks ago.  (that post here)  I also think they would make cute gypsy prom skirts, but I haven’t gotten that far yet.  Don’t tell anyone!  ; )

Rag curtain or skirt, anyone?