Monday, November 24, 2008

Junking Weekend, November 22-23, 2008

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Well, my plans this weekend were to visit Lani @ Cottage Elements in the Twin Cities. She was part of an home tour hosted by Lori @ Round Barn Potting Company. I saw from Lori's post that a lot of the local JUNKMARKET crew were in attendance. Sue Whitney @ JUNKMARKET has also posted about her tours of Lani's home and Lori's home. Though my plans changed and I wasn't able to attend, I am grateful for being able to take the tour via these fabulous blogs. It look like everyone had a great time!


Well, two of my favorite junking/blogging buddies, Cher and Deb, have some great junking posts on their blog this weekend! 

Cher @ The Texas Woman even started her blog post with "I had a WhisperWood-kind of garage sale today!" Whoop! Way to go, Cher! That means she came across some great finds.I especially like that copper stencil! I also noticed that Candy @ Junk Sophisticate commented "You did go Amy-style on the garage sale-ing." Girls, you crack me up and I love it! 

Deb @ Talking Trash found some great stuff as well. And it's all for sale! You better pop on over and see if she has anything you need. I already put my dibs in on the lockers, so don't try anything funny! I hope they haven't sold yet!


As I stated earlier, I was not able to make it to the home tour in the cities. I did manage to sneak away to a few estate sales this weekend though. (I apologize now for the "yellow" photos. When it comes to night and low light shots, I have yet to master the flash!) Here's what I found...


The first sale was way out in the middle of nowhere. I didn't realize this until after I got started. By the time I actually looked at the GPS time and distance, I was already half way there. I just kept going. It was a family-run estate sale. Translation? Low prices! 

As you already know, I usually start in the garage. I found these old wooden water skis and these two wooden planter boxes. The trellis? I didn't notice it until I was leaving and the guy was helping me load stuff in the truck. It was along the side of the garage. I asked how much it was and he said I could take it for free. Never hurts to ask!

Indoors, I found an wonderfully weathered wooden windchime (how's that for alliteration?). I also found a silver-rimmed bowl, a metal floral frog, and a glass floral frog in a green dish.

I also found three games. Can you guess what they are?

I found this Merry Merry Christmas Bingo, too. It is from Lucy Hammett Games out of Austin and Mineola, TX. Anyone heard of her? From her website, it looks like she personally designs each picture bingo game.


I picked up a white planter, some dominoes, two silver rimmed coasters, a set of 4 coasters on a matching tray, and a miscellaneous metal topped cork. I absolutely love that tray and coaster set, because each piece has that Texas star in the middle. I knew my Texas friends would love it, too!


This was another family-run sale. Now, here's a test. What does a family-run sale mean? All together now..."LOW PRICES." Hip! Hip! Hooray! Okay, enough of the goofiness. What did the garage offer up? Magic! First there were the two rocking lawn chairs. In great condition! Then there is the triangle-shaped rolling tool seat.

Then there is the shelving with slanted shelves. Love this! I don't know if you can tell from the photo, but the bottom part is rusted off and it is leaning to the right. Now worries! We've already started the transformation and it is going to be gorgeous! Photos to come. The two milk cans are from when that family used to live on a farm south of Hibbing, MN. They were farm #471. I love history like that! The small stool was the only thing from inside the house.

Of course, I can't forget the best part! The free stuff! This was the stuff that was sitting on the shelf above. I offered to clean it off (did I mention it was under 20 degrees outside?). The guy said to take whatever I wanted from the stuff I was unloading. Did I know what I was taking? Heck, no. But RJNJ has shelf after shelf of cans that look like this. I figured he could use something. And I was right! "Good stuff, Honey", he said. Double whoop! It turns out some of that stuff is anywhere from $8 - $15 per can. Yippy for free stuff!


Wow, I didn't even know that I went to four sales. Is it junk amnesia? Beware fellow junkers! I picked up this great "Stein Club" rack. It had been hanging on the wall loaded with old German beer steins. It won't be a stein holder much longer. I had a plan for this even before I got it off the wall. Hint: It will be restyled and used in my soon-to-be-redesigned office/project room. With the addition of a few dice, I was ready to roll (Ha! Ha! Get it? Roll? Dice?...If you still don't get it, I would guess you've been drinking breakfast Margaritas with The Texas Woman!).


Okay, did you guess what those three games were? Two are fairly easy, but I'm out to stump you on the last one! In fact, I don't even remember the name of the third game...I'll have to go read the box. Junk amnesia again? Hmmm...! Hit the comments to leave your guesses! 

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Rustic Junky Holiday

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Welcome to a 
"Rustic" Junky Holiday! 

What is a rustic junky holiday? Well, it's a mix of rustic items with Grandmother's china and your fine Waterford crystal. You heard me right! The best part is that you have everything you need around the house and...(gasp!)...even in the garage. It's easy, it's both rustic and elegant,'s junk-inspired! Check it out! 

Start with a car jack, a heavy (and I mean heavy!) house jack, and a vintage Christmas tree stand. Adjust the house jack to the height you desire. Place them on a white tablecloth, add some candles, and mix in Grandmother's china.

Turn down the lights and you have a warm glow on your rustic tablescape. Incorporating mirrors doubles the visual impact.

Use an old clipboard for a charger under Grandmother's china gravy boat.

Place candles strategically and creatively to create the best glow. If people will be reaching across the area, glass enclosed candles are the best option.

This Christmas tree stand is very unique! It automatically adjusts to the size of the tree or candle. The weight of the tree or candle forces the arms to press inward. No screws needed!

Arrange them together or separately.

To add some sparkle, bring in some greenery and some Waterford crystal.

Use metal floral frogs as name cards. What are the name cards? Hand-written names on the back side of old business cards! You could also use old gift labels or greeting cards.

Add the charm of a hand-turned bottle cork and you have the makings of a simple but memorable rustic junky holiday.

Be sure to check out "An Elegant Junky Holiday" for more junk-inspired holiday decor!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Junking Weekend, November 15-16, 2008

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Aaaah, my favorite time of the week! The day to share my junking finds! What exciting venues did I attend this weekend? Well, 2 estate sales, 2 garage sales, and 1 drive-by junking.


I find that I tend to go through estate sales in a certain order: garage/outside, basement, upstairs, main floor, checkout. I will alter my route to go where there is the least amount of traffic though. It's frustrating to be standing in a traffic jam while good stuff is going out the door. I found a couple neat little lights in the garage at the first estate sale. 

The basement didn't yield any finds for me. I was tempted by some metal floral frogs, but they were overpriced (in my very "semi-professional" opinion). There was no upstairs, but I found some game items on the main floor...Tiddlywinks, a whole cupful of dice, one lone marble, and a box of dominoes.

As I moved to the checkout, which was located in an enclosed front porch, I noticed this dusty, musty light fixture hanging above the ladies working there.

It's special feature? Thirty 2" Swedish cut almond crystal prisms paired with 30 octagon crystal beads. Do I sound like a know what I'm talking about? Well, I don't really! I did a web search when I got home and found a site called Now, I am an expert, right? Love the internet!


Nada. Zip. Zilch. Moving on...


This garage sale was more like a small antique store. Two ladies were cleaning out their collections, etc. They had a lot of cool stuff to be sure. Unfortunately, the prices were pretty high on a lot of it. Here are the items I couldn't do without...

What do you call this thing? I don't know. I thought it would be great to hold a photo. I picked it up for inspiration more than anything else.

This folding fabric basket is the cutest beach-inspired item. It fits into a color scheme I've been building with several items I found this summer and fall. Cool! Cool! Cool!

This brass bathroom fixture was screaming for a home. Anybody need this gorgeous item?

Last, but not least, another trash can! The style is vintage, but the trash can itself is only about 15-20 years old. The seller said she bought it from a catalog in early 1990-something. I've been looking for one like this for a long time. My mother grew up on a dairy farm and there is a wonderful vintage trash can there that is similar to the one below. It's been there since before I was born and I've always loved it. This one will likely get a coat of fresh white paint and be added to my cottage-inspired kitchen.


Again...nada, zip, zilch. And weird. Very weird. I have never seen such an odd collection of things. Including a small pool filled with coy fish. Yes, you read that correctly. Quickly moving on...


My friend had gone with me all morning and I had just dropped her off. As I was heading home, I saw a "free" sign next to a double sink and the iron stand below. Well, I whipped a u-turn and pulled up next to the items. I put the stand in the back of the truck. The sink? Well, it wasn't going to budge unless I turned into Popeye instantly. And, darn it, I didn't have my spinach with me!


Here's that dusty, musty chandelier all cleaned up. Anyone have any idea which era this is from? I wonder if it would look better if I found a different globe/glass piece for the center. Replacing the odd yellow tassel with something a bit more elegant might help as well. Or should I take off the prisms and use them and the lamp parts for other projects? I certainly have ideas. What do you think? Keep it "as is", update a few features, or piece out the entire thing?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

An Elegant Junky Holiday

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Welcome to a Junky Holiday! 

The best kind of holiday to have! Why, you ask? 
Well, it's easy, it's elegant,'s junk-inspired!
Check it out! 

Start with a vintage Christmas tree stand picked up at a garage or estate sale. Or, better yet, maybe you have one in the attic or basement!

Simply add some greens and a bottle of champagne, wine, or sparkling water. Voila...a special centerpiece for your holiday table.

This particular tree stand allows for the center tube to be removed. Place it lengthwise on the table to hold a bottle, silverware, napkins, etc. If using it for silverware, you probably want to line it with a cloth napkin first.

Convert the base of the tree stand into a multi-tiered server by placing plates or bowls on each level. Serve chips and dip, veggies, crackers, etc. Mix in a silver chalkboard stand with a loving message (above), a cheese dome (above), or a toast and jam server (below) to make it extra special. Don't forget to add a little candlelight and sparkle!

Use an old store display piece to show off your favorite new or vintage ornaments. This is my collection of Serenity angel ornaments glowing in the candlelight. 

Then add a couple of vintage candlestick holders to add to the glitz and glam. These stunning pieces were picked up at a garage sale last summer. Is it okay that these are gold instead of silver? Of course! The gold coordinates with the gold on the champagne bottle, the golden glow of the candlelight, and the twigs in the greenery. If it works, it works! There are no rules except your own in Junk-inspired holiday decor! 

That's all there is to it! An elegant Junk-inspired holiday! Here's a toast to the upcoming holiday season from WhisperWood Cottage!

Friday, November 14, 2008

"These are a few of my favorite things..."

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My favorite movie of all time is The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews. Before VCRs, DVD players, and satellite TV were common in every household, movies on television (the kind with dials instead of remotes) were a special event. Every year, The Sound of Music would be on and it was truly a special event for me. As I go through life, I remember the lessons I learned from that musical. One of those lessons comes from a song called, "My Favorite Things." Hit the play button on the YouTube video above to see the entire movie scene. Part of the lyrics went like this...
"When the dog bites, 
when the bee stings, 
when I'm feeling sad, 
I simply remember my favorite things, 
and then I don't feel so bad."
Well, you don't necessarily have to feel bad to appreciate your favorite things. Often, my favorite things are not just things. They connect me to special people in my life. In the spirit of our upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, here are a few of my favorite autumnal things that remind me how thankful I am for my family and friends.



You can also see a corner of a photo of my grandfather and his crew who served in WWII...

It holds information about local attractions that our guests might enjoy...

Hubs and I picked this up at at garage sale just after we were married. It was one of the first antique pieces we bought together.



Hubs and I had moved to Texas the previous spring. I was missing the fall colors, so she sent a shoebox full of leaves from their yard. They ended up in a frame hand-crafted by my father-in-law out of the most beautiful wood.

Mom and I found this fabric at Hobby Lobby. She instructed, helped, and guided me through the process of making these beautiful pillow covers...


This sign was not from anyone. It was a simple TJMaxx find that inspires me day in and day out. It reminds me to trust in the goodness of all things...