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home decor Life miranda lambert

Junk Gypsy, a Book, and Me

Ever heard of the Junk Gypsy Company?  Who hasn’t heard of these two beautiful sisters who turned their backs on college-degreed careers and made a life for themselves out of hunting, repurposing, and selling junk?  From selling their wares in a booth at First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas to hosting their own HGTV series, running a store in Round Top, and making over homes and Airstreams, Amie and Jolie Sikes, along with their parents, children, and Jolie’s husband, have created a junk dynasty.  And now you can read all about it in their new book, Junk Gypsy:  Designing a Life at the Crossroads of Wonder and Wander available through Amazon.

I’ve been a fan of the Junk Gypsies since I learned that they were working with my former student Miranda Lambert, having designed her guns and wings logo and designed and carried out a makeover of her tour bus.  I visited their website and I was hooked.  I joined the Blacktop Rambler Cafe forum and ordered more than I could really afford from their Gypsyville online store.

Then I met them!  I doubt if they would remember, but I was at Miranda’s concert in Tyler in 2006, and when I walked up to the will call window to get my meet and greet pass, the Junk Gypsy girls were standing right in front of me!  Me being me, well, I had to speak to them.  I introduced myself and said something inane about their jewelry, but they were polite to this crazy lady.  I also met Blake Shelton there at the Lambert’s tailgate party that I crashed.  In my own defense, I have known the Lamberts since their and my children were knee high to a grasshopper.  My son was in the same class as Miranda, and my daughter was in the same class as her brother. Blake and Miranda had just begun dating.

The next time I saw the Junk Gypsies was at a Cause for the Paws event, hosted by Miranda to raise money for a local animal shelter.  I actually had a conversation with Amie about the way their art pieces and style was being copied by others.  Who knew they had started a trend in junking and bohemian fashion?  She was so cute dressed in her striped 70’s flared jeans and vintage band uniform jacket.  (if I recall correctly)  And she was sweet, too.

The last time I saw them in person was in Round Top during Antiques Week soon after opening the Junk Gypsy Headquarters, an amazing store and showplace, and worth the trip!

You can imagine how thrilled I was to be included in the Junk Gypsy Book Launch Team!  The book does not disappoint.  It is the world of Junk Gypsy at your fingertips:  biographies, personal insights and tidbits about the family, beautiful photographs of projects and places, and ideas and instructions for redoing and repurposing junk!  If you are a fan of junk, or the Junk Gypsies, you must. Go. Now.
Amazon.com

Go forth and buy.  If you want an autographed copy, the Junk Gypsies are touring around the country for specific book signing events.  I plan to be at the one in Lindale, Texas on October 15, getting my copy signed!  I hope to see you there!

XOXO

Categories
Junkin' and Thriftin'

Canton Junkin’ Trip

Visiting First Monday Trade Days in Canton, Texas is usually not an option for me during the summer months.  Any time the temperatures rise above 90, you can count me out for outside activities.  I don’t like to sweat, and the heat takes all the fun out of whatever I’m supposed to be doing.  I’m fair-skinned and faint-hearted!

One of my favorite junk spots at the flea market.

But the first weekend of August this year was different.  A rare cold front blessed us with rain and temperatures in the 80’s, so we went to Canton!  Nothing’s funner in the summer than some good junkin.’ (Pardon the grammar.)
I took some pictures of some of my favorite spots in the world’s largest flea market so you can see what I mean.

Great selection of tailgates!  They make such cute benches and headboards, according to Pinterest.
My partner in crime and marriage.  Canton is our favorite hangout.
Just a view of the many vendors on one of the many street corners.
This vintage Shasta trailer certainly caught my eye!  Quite a few vendors bring along their campers.
I really liked this homemade lighted marquee arrow.
Another vintage camper brought by a vendor.
Plenty of minions for you and for me!  Cute little cookers? 
My favorite junk spot.  Rows and rows of tables piled with junk!
The vendor always comes down on his prices, too!
Antlers galore!
Industrial pieces everywhere.
And when you get tired, you can purchase your own seat!

I hope you enjoyed my little tour.  It likely won’t be cool enough to return until October or November.  I’m so lucky that I only live about 20 miles from Canton!

I’d love to meet you there!
It’s the best junkin’ spot ever!

XOXO

  
Categories
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.

XOXO

Categories
Junkin' and Thriftin'

Meaningless Drivel Monday: Garage Sale Loot

Garage sale season is in full swing around here.  October has got to be the busiest month of the year with all the festivals, school events, and yard sales.  It is SO much fun to go garage saling, or gs-ing as my sisters and I say, when the weather is cooler, too!  

My parents have started gs-ing on Fridays and last Friday I tagged along.  Here is what I came home with. . .


From left to right:
  • a mini flagpole for only two bucks;
  • a vintage floral sheet I’ll use to cover a chair seat for only one dollar;
  • a vintage Fisher-Price (it still has the label) duck pull toy for only one dollar (great for Christmas decor);
  • a baby’s Mexican dress and Old Navy shoes for one dollar (to be part of a baby gift I’m giving);
  • a super soft floppy-eared rabbit with a microwavable bean filler for only .25 (may be another gift);
  • new plate stands in the package for one dollar (great for chalkboard trays);
  • local artist-made owl clock which still works for only five dollars;
  • old metal flower frog for .50;
  • silver tray for chalkboarding, $2.00;
  • heavy brass curtain rods, $3.00;
  • vintage drawing books, .25 each (Natalie stole these from me!);
  • vintage beaded purse, $4;
  • laminate clipboard, .50.
I made off like a bandit!  I still had cash in my pocket, and that NEVER happens!  What a fun day of junkin’ for me and my parents, who also brought home lots of good loot.

What am I gonna do with all this junk?  Repurpose, recycle, resell, regift, retain!
It’s the thrill of the hunt!

What treasures have you gotten lately from garage sales?

XOXO

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Uncategorized

Meaningless Drivel Monday: Sick and Repurposing

Yesterday I found out that a person can sneeze so much that it makes their abdominal muscles sore the next day.  I know because I did it.  Saturday night I sneezed so much I thought I would never stop.  Then yesterday my stomach muscles hurt!

People who live in areas of the country where it is still snowing may not realize that there are drawbacks to living in a more temperate climate like ours in Texas.  In addition to the first days of a green Spring, we are also having an onslaught of pollen, so much so that our cars are completely covered in yellow dust.  Even two days of rain which made little yellow-rimmed puddles in the roads and streets didn’t stop the trees from spitting out their sperm. Ew, my students said last year when I told them that pollen was plant sperm.  Well, it’s the truth.  And lots of people are highly allergic to it!  I even take prescription meds and they didn’t do the job!

So I stayed indoors all day yesterday and today in defense from the pine trees and blustery winds and today felt a bit better.  I actually did some cleaning and finished up some projects for my booth at Uniques & Antiques.

This one I made from a yard sale purchase.  The frame caught my eye.  It made a cute chalkboard, don’t you think?

Then I made this little wall hanging from a piece of house siding my dad had left over from a building project.  I just added chalkboard paint, cup hooks, lace, burlap, a button, and some twine.  It would be cute in a bedroom or closet holding necklaces or scarves.

This little footstool I made from a tattered old wooden tapestry stool.  With more foam, a burlap cover, and rags tied to jute twine glued to the edges, it is totally transformed.

I hope to feel well enough tomorrow to place these items for sale in my booth.  There’s a freeze warning tonight.  Maybe that will slow down those tree gonads a bit!

XOXO