As I write this post I wonder if I’m the only one aware that the seasons are doing that sneaky, yet subtle, shift. Darkness has fallen earlier stealing the long lazy evenings with lingering daylight that I fully embrace.
Long evenings allowing me to go out and do work on my projects or just enjoy the cooler air as the sun has dropped over the horizon. Long evenings where the breeze caresses my skin and I can watch light gradually fade and the moon begin to rise.
But that has changed. The long evenings have been replaced by earlier darkness forcing me to wrap up outside work. As much as I embrace fall, I miss aspects of the summer season.
Anyone else relate?
Right now though in south Texas we will enjoy a variety of weather as we get crisp fall mornings yet still have afternoons that are definitely comfortable short weather. This can go on for months. It’s always a toss up to what we get.
Hey after all, only earlier this year we got snowed in not only once, but twice, in the same week.
Surreal. Absolutely surreal. For all of us it was a weird, most likely, once in a lifetime thing.
Ok and I get it. If you’re up north or in parts of the world you see this all the time, don’t send me hate mail over my snow pics. 😉 you are not impressed with this stuff. I get it. Hopefully, we won’t see that kind of winter this year!
Ok…on to other topics….
We did have a nice chilly morning this week which had me digging out a bit more clothing for my outdoor activities. I had recently gotten new shoes so I wanted to start logging some miles on them ( Did a little over 4)
As I’ve shared briefly in previous posts, I had a total knee replacement in April. I just hit my 6 month out. I figure I’ll be doing a post on my experience fairly soon. I have chronicled things from the start and have tried to use my voice to encourage or help others in this process.
Meanwhile….I’ve not exactly been doing nothing…
I’ve got goals ya’ll. But we will chat more about that later.
In things that make me laugh….
We arrived at my grandsons football game Saturday and my granddaughter has positioned her critters with a front row seat for the game. In a crazy world, I constantly embrace the beauty of my grandkids and the simplicity of childhood.
And listen, if you don’t have any of these yet, they are totally worth it. You love them in such a special different way. ❤ I feel beyond, and I mean, beyond blessed and fortunate that my kids grew up, started their families and wanted to have their homes on family property ( cool when you have space for them to do that) I mean, they liked us enough to stick around 😜
In other news….
I’ve shared before about my vintage business and love for old things. I got this pink stool earlier in the week. If there’s a time period that fascinates me, it is the short lived 50s pink kitchen era. So to find a pink stool, even if it was dirty and needed a cleaning, was impossible to pass up. Now the question remains, will it go to my shop? 🤔
Before I leave you…
I’ve gotta share a few recipes I’ve used lately. Having a big family that likes to hang out and eat, I’m always testing new foods.
Here’s one of my favorite “one pan ” recipes that’s always popular.
And another popular dinner. I cannot tell you how delicious this is…try it!
And of course I need to leave you with a dessert. And what’s better than a fall inspired one called Fresh Apple cake. I’ve made this like 3 times this month. The beauty of this recipe? Stir it all into one bowl, pour in pan and bake. The frosting is cooked in one pan on stove that you pour on top.
Hey kids! Happy Monday and the start of a new week. Honestly, with this past year, on any given day I’m thinking ” where are we in this week?!”
Please tell me I’m not alone in this….
We’ve been enjoying a milder than usual summer here in south Texas. When I say milder I mean we’ve not had any 100 degree days. And to make things even better we’ve had more rain than we ever see in a Texas summer. Like things are still green! And not crunching under your feet….amazing.
Oh it’s still hot enough and we’ve also got that wonderful humidity to go with it too.
Which makes morning workouts awesome
I had to forfeit my morning walk the other day when unexpected thunderstorms showed up. So I went to my plan b, heading into my own little gym in my garage. But gosh by the time I finished, I looked like I had been out in the rain. Serious sweat fest.
I opted to start with 20 minutes on the elliptical and followed up with 40 minutes strength training. I love mixing up my workouts. Sometimes I start and end with cardio and sandwich strength training in the middle.
I did get out for my power walk the next day. I’ve been increasing my miles and wanted to incorporate these huge hills into those miles. I planned to do a couple sets of them when I got down there, which I did.
The large number on top is what I watch while I’m cooling down. The rate at which it drops back to normal gives me a good idea of my recovery heart rate. Minutes after I took this pic, it had dropped to the 70.
I think when people start an exercise program they aren’t really thinking about how it builds their heart and lungs, which are obviously muscles. Your recovery heart rate gives you a good idea of how your exercise is helping your heart
It is recommended to get a 150 minutes of cardio exercise a week. Are you getting yours?
I believe everyone should have some kind of exercise goals. We all have a starting place from where we can begin working to build our strength and fitness. Recently, I personally found this so true and was so grateful to fall back on a foundation of strength and fitness.
Why you may ask?
Well kids, April 15th I had total knee replacement surgery. I fully plan to write a specific post on my experience with the process, my recovery, and how cool high tech surgery is now days. More than ever was I grateful for all the days I had spent training my body working out and building strength as I leaned into that while my other leg got back on track.
I won’t spend a lot of time on it in this post, yes I’m doing great. I will say I set a goal to do a 18 mile race on my bike, 10 weeks post op, and I did. 😉
So that has been one of the um… more interesting….things I’ve been up to
Then there’s my vintage business
If you’ve followed me awhile, you know I have a business where I flip vintage furniture, among other things. That has grown quite a bit this past year and I’m grateful!
Just one of the many projects I’ve been working on. *** so…many.. projects… ****
Then there’s food
I do have fun exploring new recipes. I made this recently, it always goes over well.
I hope no matter how your day is going, that you will find the good in your day and be grateful. Grateful for the life you have and literally the next breath you take. I hope that you see the good in life and embrace it and you find joy in ordinary moments ❤
The lack of common sense, greed, and overall panicky hysteria have left me scratching my head.
The craziness at the grocery stores can just stop any time now.
I actually decided I’d get up and be at store when they opened yesterday to get a few things that have thus far, slipped from my hands.
I don’t want to be one of “those people ” but it almost forces my hand when I actually “need” items I would just go buy. Not to hoard…just regular shopping ya know?
When I pulled into the lot ( at 7:50 a.m.) it was to see a long line of people in the chilly wet morning that not only came down the street but wrapped around to the front of bulding waiting to get in.
Hundreds of people.
The store was only letting 50 people in at a time.
Really, staying home in all this isn’t torture when you deal with this fresh hell.
I just wanna buy eggs like a normal person again.
Speaking of food
I’ve seen a lot of posts with people asking what they should do or “take” to have a strong immune system.
First, you should always be concerned about having a strong healthy body, not when you are just worried about fending off the latest virus.
Second, the way you make your body strong, inside and out, is to feed it good, healthy, nutrient dense foods. By that I mean foods with as few or little ingredients as possible, single ingredients are a big win. ( think all kinds of colorful fruits and veggies) nothing replaces or works as good as real food.
Yogurt is rich in probiotics including Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidus. These strains boost immune function and may even help reduce both the length and severity of colds. Beneficial gut flora are needed for proper digestion, detoxification, and immune function.
Other factors to consider.
Get adequate rest, exercise, drink plenty of water, limit stress ( turn off the tv and social media bombardment of current issues!) Get outside, enjoy fresh air and sunshine, do a project or hobby that relaxes you.
Just a few tips and suggestions as we navigate through this interesting time in life.
Oh. And yeah, let’s not forget my lovely breakfast pic.
Plenty of sauteed veggies with spinach, cherry tomatoes, and green onions. Also a good dose of dark berries for all of their awesome antioxidant properties and of course, eggs for protein, because muscles 💪
And another thing
I’m semi-amused over all the posts I’ve seen touting “how to workout at home” or how to exercise while the gym is closed.
Hey…I’ve been making home workouts cool long before now 🤣
Honestly, I’m grateful this isn’t an issue for me.
I have an area carved out in my barn I share with my vintage project furniture (that can sometimes be seen photo bombing me) and random tools and whatnot.
I don’t need a whole lot of space to kick my own butt.
I’ve managed to collect enough items that I can mix up a pretty good workout
Between lots of weights, a punching bag, and my recently aquired elliptical machine, not to mention my own body weight, I can mix up all kinds of fun
Of course I have my bike for my favorite gym, outdoors.
Here’s my word to you. Find ways to take yourself out and move.
Walking is still largely available for us all to do. Nothing clears my head more and helps me feel refreshed than being out for a good walk or run.
Right now with current situations walking could be the therapy you need mentally and physically.
Also, just because you may not have weights or equipment at home doesn’t mean you can’t use your own body for body weight exercises. Thanks to Google you can search up plenty to do. Pinterest has lots of options as well ( check out my Sassyfitnesschick board there as well as other exercise boards I have)
Keep in mind too that there are lots of heavy items around your house you could use as weights. You can also pick up some cheap resistance bands at the store which will give you some strength training
Jump rope. It’s not just for kids. Yeah your heart will feel like it’s gonna explode and you’ll be screaming you’re out of shape, but keep at it and you will get better.
If you’re wanting to get a little home “gym” started may I suggest your local online sales?
I have several things I’ve scooped up that was someone elses better idea….like my 50.00 elliptical I shared with you in last weeks Monday Musings.
Decide what you like, what you would stick with and go on a hunt.
What else are you doing while you’re stuck at home? 🤔
Get creative with ways to keep body and mind active and to most importantly, keep a positive mental attitude.
On topic of being home
Let me say that by nature, I’m a very social person. I like being out going, seeing people,talking…maybe talking some more…hubby says I could talk to stump 🤣 so having places cut off from me to go to right now is a rather…odd…feeling.
Like my Starbucks locked their doors on Saturday. Ouch.
Yeah, I can still drive thru for coffee. I never do…I go in so I can see and talk to people. I get to know the baristas and the regulars…I like that contact.
I get it though…the why of it..
But being at home however, doesn’t leave me sitting on my sofa wondering what to do after all my toilets are cleaned and the final dust bunny is gone.
Not when I have a business that I literally work at home. If you’ve followed me you know I have a little side hustle flipping antique and vintage furniture.
I have all kinds of projects waiting for my attention not to mention custom orders.
I’ve kinda liked having some time to really devote to my work.
Check out this sweet piece. I got it this week and just had to start it because I knew how I wanted it.
Obviously, it’s before look.
This is a piece I want to keep, but won’t.
One of those job hazards…wanting to keep things. 🤪
Oh, I got this 50s retro kitchen pantry this week. It’s gonna need some work before a new paint job. I can hardly wait to get to it as I haven’t really done a retro piece and I have alllll the cool ideas in my head for it.
Sometimes…I have to much in my head….
Your turn! Tell me how you are coping with all that’s going on right now? Have you picked up a new activity to keep busy? What strategies are you using to deal with life?
So it’s a dark and rainy night here tonight. I “feel” like I should be doing something “productive” instead I’m plopped on my sofa in oversized clothes drinking copious amounts of coffee.
I may or may not sleep tonight.
I decided I could be productive and write, but don’t feel motivated enough to have to think to hard writing on my usual health/fitness/lifestyle/nutrition mantra.
Yeah I do try and be on my A game when I deliver all that stuff…
Soooo…since I was goaded recently by a fellow blogger ( *cough * he shall remain nameless) that I hadn’t written a post recently on my other life….that of furniture flipping…vintage and antique kinds of goodies that is.. I decided tonight was the night.
That comes easy enough to chat with you over coffee Haha
Me: I literally just stumbled into it last year. Like seriously. I did a piece or two. It was fun. The visions came without effort. People liked it and started buying it and well…here I am
I always joked my mom had all the artistic talent. And she did. She could paint all kinds of things and it actually looked like…rose’s or scenery, tiny details or whatever…
She tried hard to “teach” me. Sigh…. my art work was less than stellar.
Along the way I learned my gifts were more “active” and just decided I had no creativity.
So of course it came as a surprise to me when the furniture thing came so effortlessly to me. I’ve been asked by lots of people if I could teach them how to do it.
Yeah, I could do that. But what I can’t teach is the stuff that’s in my head. The way I get almost immediate visions for pieces. The way I can see the end result already in my head.
I can’t teach you that.
It’s at that point I realized it wasn’t that I didn’t have my mothers artistic abilities, they were just…. different….and that was ok.
Not only ok, it was cool. Cool to do something that took a piece from ugly and hopeless to updated, beautiful and useful again.
I cannot begin to say how satisfying it makes my “work”.
I like old things and I cannot lie…
My son asked me years ago before I was even into this why I liked “old junk”. I have appreciated, for a long time, older things. It’s just gotten stronger as I’ve aged. Perhaps I just have a different appreciation for it.
They have a life and story to them that modern day items do not have. There is a “feel” to them. They have somehow traveled through time, families, traded hands numerous times and somehow I get entrusted with it.
The pieces bare wear marks, scratches, missing parts etc of the life they’ve lived. I never try and make an old piece look “perfect”. It has lived life and should still have reflections of it.
I’ll show you some projects..…
I’ve done quite a few things now. I have literally a barn of cool things waiting for me….some personal…others to sell..
I picked up this 1930s radio cabinet last month for 25.00. I knew I was keeping it. I’ve repurposed it to use in my kitchen to hold linens and baking items
It’s pretty beat up from age. The top opens where the radio used to sit. We are putting a solid piece in so I can store linens. The details make me wanna weep they are so gorgeous.
Ok you wanna see it now?
The back isn’t finished yet…but you can see all the pretty parts. I hand sanded the paint back off all the details so they’d pop. I left the doors original for some contrast and because I always try and leave some of its former life if I can. This makes such a pretty piece in my kitchen now.
How about this old button box? It was so dark and dreary…I love how sweet it looks now!
That sold almost as soon as I posted it.
I found this awful, sad and crusty table at a thrift store but I could see its potential…
Look at how it transformed though!
How sweet is it now??
But then I found a vintage suitcase. Hubby asked what I was going to do with it. The corner was broken and crushed.
Me…with confidence…I’m gonna fix it up! Hahaha ( have I mentioned how much I love a good challenge?)
Let the repair work begin!
I dragged in some old weights to plop in corners while gluing damaged area….
Then the base coat after repairs.. can you tell which corner was broken down? you ready to see the end results?
Of course you are 😉
Not bad for a broken down suitcase right? I was soooo thrilled with how it came out.
Then I bought this old, brown antique table. Solid wood and heavy with gorgeous details, I couldn’t pass it up.
And it’s much brighter after pics …
Another piece that sold almost immediately:)
Ok I’ll show you one more…..
I got this cute vanity that was someone else’s better idea project they abandoned
And it’s transformed look….
I found the little bench a few weeks later and it was perfect for it.
I had been itching to do something in pink and black and this was the perfect set to work it out on. I had scored the black and white paper at the thrift store and wanted to use that too. It all came together so well.
It was all meant to be together ha
Do you love all things vintage?
Ok I’ll shamelessly plug my business page and you can follow all of my furniture flipping shenanigans there if you like.
It’s a page devoted to sharing with others my transforming work, selling some of it, and educating when I can on various pieces.
I do occasional posts here on it ( often in my Monday Musings posts) but my business page is all things vintage fun. Mostly furniture but I get other items as well. Currently bread boxes are the cats meow. They sell as soon as I finish them. Hubby was teasing me one week ’cause I had actually managed to get my hands on a few and I had one in my shop.
“you have four bread boxes.”
A week later they were all gone. 🙂
Ok so here is the page:
If this wasn’t enough vintage/furniture flipping reading find a couple other posts here..
Is anyone else appreciating that the days are slowly getting a bit longer and for us, warmer as well?
So I’m feeling a bit victorious...
Why you ask? I’m coming off a 9 day stint of taking care of my very active, busy, precocious 2 year old granddaughter while my son and wife were in Ireland.
Rough for them I know 😛
Anyway, I dusted off my 24/7 mom skills and thankfully they were still in place. And it should be mentioned, being fit has payoffs in keeping up with a non stop 2 year old.
Thankfully she enjoys being busy and enjoyed running and going places with me.
She loves being outdoors with the sun in her face and wind in her hair. She wants to explore and is open to new adventures. She’s fearless and doesn’t hesitate from jumping into things.
She’s my spirit animal, seriously.
We went to the park one day. And of course she wanted me running up the hills with her, and then climbing up the big slide. She delightedly waited at the bottom for me to slide down squealing in joy. We got on the swings, her in my lap holding on to the chains thrilled we were sailing into the trees.
***me…attempting to bend all 6’0 under the slide over hang***
It was all fun and games till she let one arm go. I was trying to keep her on my lap while the swing was twisting wildly and I’m internally freaking out ’cause I’m terrified I’m gonna break her little arm. When I finally get the crazy swing under control and stop us, she turns to me and says “Nanny come on, do it again!” While my heart is still pounding out of my chest…
I got to climb bars, swing from them, and all kinds of other things while well behaved moms in yoga pants sat chatting watching my antics.
It’s the cool thing about being old. You just do what you want and you don’t care if anyone may or may not be approving.
There’s a crazy amount of freedom in that.
And you know something? It is true…what people used to tell me…that grandkids are awesome and blah, blah…I thought they were just running their mouths
You love them in this crazy, awesome, different way from your own kids. They are the reward for not eating your own offspring 😜
They own your heart in ways you can’t explain.
I have 6…and a 7th due in less than a month…another little girl to own my heart. My first born son expecting his first born. I can hardly wait to see him in a daddy role to his baby girl.
I just hope he doesn’t pass out during the delivery….
So yeah, grandbabies are kinda cool.
Then one day, we’re in my car hitting the highway. I drive a Charger and it never gets old letting it open up, hearing the engine kick in, and that swift feel of rapid speed. It’s a head rush.
I do love it.
Then from the backseat I hear….”Whoa!” Followed by a wild delighted laugh. I glanced back to see her with this big smile on her face. It appears she may enjoy it too…
This was us “driving” later. I may be ruining her for her dad hahaha
The next morning as we were going to car she runs for drivers side and I hear…”Nanny are you ready?”
I spent a whole lot of time laughing. 😂😂
Her parents returned home after a fun trip and collected her.
I missed her sleepy little face that first morning they were back, waking up, calling me and giving me morning hugs and kisses.
We had been partners in crime.
Fortunately they live next door so I don’t have to go to long before I get those again.
Later, I got to enjoy my coffee in a cool cup. Pretty sure not many people have a coffee cup like this around Texas….
Oh yeah, aside from busy 2 year old care, I had time to work on lots of projects for my business. That has kept me running too. I love all the creativity that comes with it.. I find it quite relaxing in a weird way.
I finished this cool antique table this week. I’m excited it has sold already.
Look at those claw feet. I’m a sucker for those.
I repurposed an ugly vintage suitcase…
Look at it now…
And I turned a boring brown table into a clock table which I love…
I’m on a black and white kick….
And one other thing. Check out this super cool antique radio cabinet I scored. I’m totally repurposing it for something else…I can hardly wait to start it.
In other random stuff….
I was running through the store the other day and spotted this.. .
Like…what the heck Barbie?? I know times are a changin’ ya’ll but.. this isn’t the Barbie I knew and loved.
I love the glamorous Barbie even if the world thinks she’s unrealistic. What’s wrong with fantasy and fun play? I like my Barbies with crazy long legs and unrealistic waist sizes.
She had amazing clothes, cool cars and equally spiffy boy friends.
I don’t want a thick Barbie in mom jeans.
I know that may not be politially correct to say but it’s my personal opinion. Childhood is short, why can’t you have something wildly fun and non real to enjoy before you have to grow up?
Maybe there is a market for the mom jean Barbie….I prefer the Barbie who knows how to dress and has the cool car.
Your turn to weigh in…what do you think about a modern looking Barbie? What new projects or adventures have you been up to this week? How will you spend longer days?
Hello world! and hello my faithful followers. Yeah, I’ve been absent for a bit… I’d say I’ve been lazy but that’s definitely not the case. Life is busy and besides the usual life stuff I’ve been busy working on projects for my vintage shop… and burning a lot of midnight oil working on projects.
Of course, once I hit the pillow, my mind is still wandering in a million places and often the creative part refuses to shut down.
For instance, I just finished this little piece last night. I had it in my shop hanging out for awhile in “as is” shape. Meaning, it’s original finish.
It looked like this….
But look now at it… I’m so in love with how it came out.
Ok I’m gonna show you one more thing I scored this week. An amazing, beautiful, yet sad and needy piece that I can hardly wait to get my paws working on.
It was actually in a listing for two antique chairs I wanted. The lady offered me a generous and low price for chairs and basically said if I’d take chairs for that price I could have the desk for 10.00.
I’ll let you take a look at it….
I know you’re wondering why I dragged it home, aren’t you? I love the challenge that awaits me! The opportunity to breath life into this piece. So here’s the deal… I never look a gift horse in the mouth. I’ve been messing with this furniture craziness for a year now. I have an eye for “the good stuff”. I could hardly wait to get this home, examine it really close, take inventory of what needed done and then do some research on it to see what I could find on it.
I knew the desk was really old just based on the construction and the wood. The wood is rough cut and more fitted and glued together in many places than nailed. The “mirror” is no longer that, but mostly glass that’s tarnished and long gone. Someone along the way painted it white. It’s original finish would’ve been stained oak.
So I did some research and it turns out this piece was produced by the Larkin Soap company and dates somewhere late 1800’s.
Ironically, Larkin’s main production was soap and toiletries. The furniture was a “give away” for purchasing various products. They offered chairs, lamps, tables and the popular secretary styled desk. The furniture was massed produced at the time of rather ordinary type woods.
This is the Readers Digest version. I found the whole history to be rather interesting. Larkin was quite the savvy business man of his time and had an extremely lucrative business.
And here I am…. over 125 years later… entrusted with the restoration of this amazing and cute piece.
Of course I have a long check list lined out of what to do haha
I’ve also scored lots of other cool things, with which I won’t bother you here. I’ll share in upcoming posts some updates.
Oh and I did finally start a business insta page so if you like antique and vintage furniture and other cool stuff, follow me there at vintage_1964 to see other shenanigans I’ve got going on.
I have been up to other things too….
The weather has been less than inviting and it just makes me wanna stay holed up in the morning drinking coffee…
But no…. I’m a good girl and try and get some kind of workout in. Right now, I consider myself in more of an “off season”. With the duathlon behind me, I haven’t been pushing as hard.
I’ve really been spending some time hitting the heavy stuff and focusing on that several times a week. I usually try and warm up with 15 mins or so of cardio…rowing or boxing… and then weights. I think I’m a weirdo but my body responds quickly to it so I guess there’s a bit of reward to keep at it. Not only that, it’s so empowering doing moves that previously may have felt “heavy” but now I do with ease.
That organizing thing….
It is still on my list to keep cleaning out drawers, closets etc. I mentioned in a previous post the whole cultic Marie Kondo thing going on got me to trying her folding methods.
Don’t look for me to go all minimalist, but I do like a lot of her ideas.
I just need more time in my day for things! Anyone else out there?
I’m a list maker and if I can keep to doing that I am far more likely to accomplish an exact number of tasks in my day. otherwise, sometimes I can be all over the place ( my mind is a whirling place many times 😛 )
The chilly wet weather has had me experimenting with some new soups and tasty food.
this soup was hearty and loaded with flavor. I doubled up and made a big pot of it. I used really big carrots and cut into large chunks for my non carrot loving people. I added warm French bread and it was perfect for a cold night.
“So, that piece you did. You just paint it, right?” I tried not to choke and laugh all at once and instead I did some kind of unladylike snort thing.
The person was asking about a cute chair I had recently finished.
Ok.. before I go on… if you’re just joining the party this is a kind of a Part 2 to my post from yesterday, The Art Of Flipping Furniture. You can find it here if you wanna catch up, if not, continue to read on…..
As I’ve ventured into this interesting hobby/growing side business, I’ve learned there are all kinds of interesting variables going on.
The first being, it could be assumed that I go buy a piece of cast away furniture, run home, and slap paint all over it.
That being said, there are people who do that. It makes me sad to see a gorgeous piece of furniture that has obviously been hastily painted, and before paint has even dried they have snapped photos to put it up for sale.
It’s usually still sitting on a trailer, the back of a truck, in a yard or garage on concrete blocks with random junk around it. But my favorite was a beautiful vanity piece ( originally it was beautiful) sitting in a dirt yard on cardboard with crunched up soda or beer cans behind it and a tire to the side of it. No hardware back on drawers.
I am setting myself apart with other furniture artists who invest ourselves into our pieces for the pure love and joy of it understanding we will on some occasions, not get a dollar amount equal to our investment of time and resources.
We love making things once tired, bland, broken and ugly, beautiful with a fresh new life to give.
So, I thought I’d kinda conclude this topic by sharing a little of what goes into the process so when you see a unique, old, hand painted piece of furniture for sale you can also understand the price that may be attached to it.
We just don’t take it home and slap paint on it.
Get comfy, it’s time to go on the journey.
The first time I called it that, my family laughed. But really, I do view it as a hunt. I have several places I stalk online and really, if there is something super cool, and if it happens to be a good price, it’s gone instantly. You have to almost see it the second it’s posted to get it.
There are so many things that I don’t want, or that are not that old or even that impressive. I know what I like when I see it. I also consider what it’s flip ability is. If it’s something I want personally, well I have a little more wiggle room ’cause I don’t mind paying a bit more for something I’m keeping.
Now I’ve learned the hard way, just because I’ve found an item I want, confirmed with the seller, set a time for pick up and got an address doesn’t mean I’ll get it.
Without blinking an eye people have sold things out from under me. I try to understand if they are that desperate for money from someone else who gets there an hour before I do… well they must need it really bad.
It is still ridiculously frustrating when that happens.
But when I find the item I want, and arrange pick up with seller it’s time to do what I call …..
Go bag the game
As a hunter, if you’re successful you get what you’re hunting for. But here’s the deal, once I score a piece of furniture it’s rarely close by. I’ve driven one way over an hour to get pieces.
All the cool stuff is a good drive away.
So, there’s time and gas going to get the prize. I’ve gone to some seedy kind of places getting stuff. I usually am the one helping load or doing it alone ( yay for girl muscles)
I take blankets or something to put down because the furniture has usually been stashed or stored somewhere, it’s old, total filth, sometimes it has an odor and desperately needs cleaned.
I’m thrilled, load it up and head home. That’s when I can officially let my ideas start forming.
I have it.
Nothing is worse than seeing a piece I want, having ideas, then not getting it.
Usually when I get a piece home I do an assessment of it, what it’s needs are. Some pieces are pretty straightforward and don’t need much more than a light sanding and washing down to prep them.
That is really, the rare thing.
Most pieces need anything from a lot of sanding, to sucking leaves out of the inside of a cabinet and removing years of dust, dirt and grime before I can even consider painting.
Sanding. I do most of it by hand. It’s off the charts messy.. for me and the furniture 😉
I’ve bought pieces with veneer damage so I need to set aside time to do repair work before anything else can happen.
Some areas have cracks and holes that require wood filler. Once that’s placed it has to dry, be sanded, and often filled again to the area is smooth and level.
Have I mentioned my carpentry skills have increased a 100% doing this work? haha
Old furniture is cool, but age has caused the varnish to get dry and brittle and it’s often flaking off. This all has to be sanded before any painting begins.
I’m going to use this chair that I’m currently working on as an example….
Sometimes, as in the case of chairs, the legs or connections are loose or separated and need glued and clamped to make them more secure. The seats are usually original wood and have become weak and brittle.
New seat bottoms need cut…oh but that means a trip to local hardware store to get some plywood for new seats. Time to spend some money.
Can’t have my potential customer falling through, can I ?
Ah! And now, we get to paint! The chair has been sanded down removing all old flaking varnish, I’ve glued and repaired legs and support bar, washed the piece, air dried then sprayed with a Matte shellac to prevent any bleed through from dark areas.
Once that set, the chair got it’s first coat of slate blue that I love. Once it dries ( chalk paint has a fast dry time) it will get touched up in areas that were missed, allowed to dry, lightly sanded, then I will clear wax it and go back with a dark wax that will accent and pop all of its unique details out. While that settles, I will take it’s new seat, add the new foam and fabric I purchased to make a bright cushion for it. All that will remain to be done will secure the seat back to the chair ( fortunately it had all it’s original screws)
After that, it will finally, be ready for a new home.
Other stuff in the process
Sometimes, on furniture a piece of hardware or fixtures are missing so I have to hunt it down which depending on age is tricky, again another cost involved in process. The perfect piece has all of its original fixtures.
Oh speaking of the hardware… all that is usually tarnished and dirty from years of neglect so it needs taken off and cleaned. Sometimes, it’s an easy job, other times it’s time consuming and frustrating.
Some pieces have bad veneer damage and I’ve made the decision to take it off.
Can you say, work? It’s a ton of work scraping off glued on veneer. However, if the surface is especially bad it’s worth the time to get to a fresh smooth surface underneath it.
Other times, I’ve tackled the veneer damaged and focused on repairing it, especially if I’m painting it.
Some pieces like a desk I did recently, require being totally sanded down, which I do by hand.
One table I recently purchased, it’s so cute, it opens up and the closes back to a half table. I wanted to try and sand the top down and re stain it and perhaps do a color on the table. Hubby got a good start on it but I’ve been working on all the edges this week, Do you know how tedious it is, sanding those edges? Or how careful you have to work with the veneer so you don’t chip or crack it in the process?
This is just a slow, time consuming process, but the end result will be so worth it.
Some recently finished work…..
So back to that original question….
“So you “just” paint it, right?” Well, as you can see the painting, new stain, or whatever look it gets, is really the last part of the process.
It’s the fun part.
Picking up and purchasing the piece, cleaning, repairing, sanding, prepping, painting, then top sealing with wax or a poly top coat, cleaning hardware, making new cushions etc. are all a part of the unique process of renovating antique or vintage items.
Besides the cost of the actual piece, the time and gas to get it, the supplies needed to do the job, and the hours and labor the artist puts into it may help you understand better the pricing on a unique, one of a kind, piece of hand painted furniture that you won’t be able to find at your local furniture store.
Thanks for hanging out with me in this two part special! I hope this gives you a little more insight into the topic of “renovated” or “upscaled” old furniture. I hope that it has also given you a better idea of the labor of love it is for so many of us.
Do you have any hobbies or projects you enjoy that you do as a “labor of love” and enjoyment?
It didn’t take long to find what I was looking for. I had to laugh as it was something I saw years ago and actually forgotten about.
In the East Texas town of Canton they boast the biggest, most long running flea market in the country. With well over 6.000 vendors and acres of ground to cover there is something there for everyone.
I messaged him that I had a potential destination in mind and he was agreeable so I set the wheels in motion to make it happen.
One thing about this event is that hotels book up and sell out months in advance in Canton which will bump many people to neighboring nearby towns, as if did us. ( Now I know. I know if we go again I need to book our room a long way out)
This wasn’t really bad though as we got to explore another small town we otherwise might not have ever seen. Our hotel was strangely big, modern and well kept in this otherwise sleepy town called Mineola.
Soon the date approached for our trip. I’ll tell you this. As the one who runs the home and organizes everything, gets things ready for the trip and leaves things ready to leave etc
It requires the skill and organization of a military commander.
By the time everything was loaded, last minute notes left for kids, dogs fed, bags packed, I was ready to just settle in and start unwinding … ready to enjoy our time away.
I guess hubby thought I was gonna find a lot of cool stuff to drag home ’cause he thought renting a truck might be a good idea.
He was right. And it was a good idea 😉
He always has good ideas.
Adventures into Canton..
Have you ever been to Disneyworld? You know how you’re never quite sure where to start, what to see or where to go first? How it’s complete sensory overload?
Seriously, this is what it was like.
The sounds. The smells. The sights.
Given I was out looking for good deals on old furniture or other items I could creatively flip and give new life to I knew there were certain areas I wanted to hit hard and fast first.
It had rained on us all the way there Friday and when we arrived many of the vendors were closed, but we found quite a few still open. It definitely gave us a chance to explore the grounds and plot our strategy for the next day which would be a full day out there.
I was like a kid in a candy store with some booths. Other stuff, I didn’t really care about so it was easy to by pass certain areas… when you know you only have a certain amount of time you get really focused on what you want to see.
As mentioned earlier, the grounds are vast, with many huge warehouses full of vendors as well as hundreds of outside vendors.
Scooters are available to rent.
I’m just not sure what to say about that. Like… if you need a scooter, by all means.
But the totally able bodied people on them munching foot long corndogs as they sped by? … well.. ha I’m thinking… just walk it’s good for you! In some places it was like a scooter parade, you had to dodge them and people pulling wagons and dragging things behind them.
Some areas were crazy and required a level of skill to not get highly annoyed.
Hubby and I? Were tough old birds, I guess. We’d get enough stuff till we couldn’t carry anymore and make a run back to unload at truck. Which finding it in the beginning was like a rat being in a maze.
I’m telling you. If there was ever a time I was glad of my physical fitness, this event made me more so. On one trip I was carrying this solid wood side table, my purse, drink and a few other items as we attempted to navigate our way back through all the many buildings, finally out to the parking area, and then all the way out to where we parked.
Seriously, I logged about 17,000 steps that day.
I wouldn’t have gotten that on a scooter 😉
Not only were there items that ranged from pets, to plants, to antiques, to old collectibles and everything in between that, the food was plentiful and abundant.
Just think carnival food. Grease. Sweets. You name it.
I didn’t see a whole lot of anything for the health conscious out there. In fact, we decided we had to try these potato things after the zillionth person roamed by with them. One huge potato turned into something like a French fry/ potato chip… just look at it’s lovely greasy, crispiness 🙂
What goodies did I find?
Well, I didn’t find as much furniture as I was hoping, Most were offering pieces at retail prices and more than I wanted to spend on pieces I flip. Lots of furniture had been “re-done” …. turquoise… why??
I did however find a lot of cute things that fit my budget and will transform pretty well I think…
I found lots of cool things that will keep me busy for quite awhile. I think it’s definitely a place I’d enjoy doing again and much like Disney, once you go you then learn a few tips and tricks for the next time to make it easier and you know where you want to go first.
Now about the town we stayed in….
Mineola is a small quiet town about 30 minutes from Canton. After dinner on Saturday evening we walked around and just looked at some of its old history…
But dinner first… we ate at the local hamburger place and they served a variety of home style food. It’s the kind of place you’re fairly sure the carpet and fixtures are original from …forever ago… when they opened. Old. We ate there both nights we liked it so much…and they had fried pies… huge fried pies…
I should say here… my husband deserves an award at times. When I’m whipping open my camera to snap a pic of something apparently random, I get the blank look to which I reply…
“I’m a blogger remember? Photos go hand in hand with what I do” to which he patiently waits while I take pics of weird things or pose with plastic looking men in front of our restaurant haha or make him take pictures with huge metal chickens ( which to humor him I won’t post) I just constantly see things around me to use so you all don’t get bored with nothing but words and more words 😉
My mind is always looking to capture cool things to add to my writing…like this….
Oh speaking of magnolias… I’ve never seen a tree as massive as the one by this church.
In ways of things that make me laugh…..
this sign was on the door of a store. I guess given it’s an area where people are on the prowl for antique stuff, they must’ve had enough of people trampling in on the hunt for some and decided a nice sign on the door would ward off potential antique hunters haha
A little known thing about me….
Of all jewelry, I have a thing for bracelets. Big, strong, bold ones usually. We stopped in a little coffee shop Saturday night and they had a display with all kinds of cool ones, this one though, I immediately loved. The girl was unsure of prices and started off saying the lady who “hand made them only used antique fabrics…” made me feel like it was going to be more than I wanted to pay… she made a call and then informed me it was 10.00.
Guess what I have now ? 😉
Time flies when you’re having fun….
All to soon our adventures were over and it was time to make our way home with all the treasures. Not only was it fun finding things and knowing they have new potential. the time with the one I love can’t be measured. Stepping away from “real” life allows us to just hang out, without agendas, without anyone needing us for something, without dealing with all the things that tend to go on when you’re on your home turf.
We made a commitment to plan more frequent weekend road trips, for no special occasion other than escaping and really getting to hang out together.
I can hardly wait to plan our next one.
Tell me… have you been on any new or fun adventures recently? Do you like road trips or exploring off the beaten path places?
So another Sunday evening and I’m attempting to unwind after a long evening and a busy week. I have coffee by my side, my warm solace, as a sit here letting out thoughts from the day and the week gone by.
I may regret all this coffee later, but for now, it’s delicious and soothing, an enjoyable way to end a rather long day.
Speaking of my day. My daughter has decided she wants to start cooking a meal during the week and Sunday is the day she’s chosen.
Is that ok with me? Huh? Say what?? Food I don’t have to cook? I’m down for that. Soooo down for that.
I actually think she’s showing off her potential future wife abilities to her boyfriend who enjoys her efforts.
It’s like he’s studying and taking notes… “Can cook, check.”
Anyway, it is nice to sit down and eat and not have to do it. It actually gives me more time outside in the lovely afternoon working on my projects without stopping to make dinner.
In the process of watching all my kids ( who are adults) roam in and out of the kitchen and put dishes in the washer, I am semi-amazed to watch them barely crack the door open and work their plate or cups in without pulling out the rack and doing it you know, the easy way.
Like, “Hey, we paid full price for a dishwasher that completely opens to allow you to easily put your dishes in!”
I’m not complaining, I mean at least they are making the move to not leave them on counter.. but still I find it amusing…
Stupid things heard in the news this week….
Well, truth be known, I’ve heard a lot of stupid things in the news. I’m left wondering “did someone read that out loud before they decided to use it?”
For instance… “ The foods you choose to eat can impact your health”
Like really Susan? You mean if I choose to eat Cheetos, cheap convenience store hot dogs and wash it down with a Big Gulp Diet Coke followed by a King size candy bar for dessert it’s not the same as having a Salad loaded with colorful veggies and grilled chicken breast or having a whole grain sandwich with a side of fruit ??? And that will have an impact on not only my health but my ability to wear skinny jeans?
You don’t say.
Ah, there are so many other cheesy things. I need to keep a journal and write them down. I don’t know, maybe the world just lacks common sense and the news needs to remind us of that.
So yeah, whole colorful healthy foods are better for you than colored Cheetos AND your fingers won’t turn orange either…
In the ways of things that make me laugh….
I like to laugh. I love people who can make me laugh. We can be friends if you do that easily. If you happen to have my off beat, quirky sense of humor, that’s even better. Sometimes I find humor in the most unexpected things.
For instance, I was randomly trolling a online site looking for my next potential furniture project when I came across this photo….
Ok, my first thought was, ” another poor victim of that awful blue paint”. But then I was thinking, why on earth is her leg just stuck in that photo? Certainly she is aware that her leg is in the photo before she posted it, right?? Like, how do you miss it?
So I read through the brief description of table for sale. At the end it says “it goes to my knee”.
This dear reader, if you’re not following yet, is her unit of measure.
That is how tall the table is.
It goes to her knee.
I happened to have taken a sip of coffee the day I saw this and almost choked on it from a very un lady like outburst of laughter that was more like a snort.
I’m giggling sitting here writing this thinking again how insane that is… I mean.. my knee to floor ratio is like… 22 inches.
So, I don’t even know how tall you are Karen. How the heck am I supposed to know the length of your leg from floor to knee to know how tall that table is and if it would work for me ? IF I did want it in that awful color….
you’re laughing, right ? 😛
New things I’m perusing….
I got this book recently. A friend was reading it and I thought it sounded interesting so I grabbed a copy.
I am in the first chapter. He talks about the hierarchy of order in creation. He talks about lobsters of all things. Do you know if a lobster loses a fight with another lobster he not only loses his confidence but something more extreme happens. If a dominant lobster is defeated its brain basically dissolves. Then it grows a new, subordinates brain one more appropriate to it’s now lowly position. It’s original brain just isn’t sophisticated enough to manage the transformation from king to bottom dog without dissolution and regrowth.
Isn’t that crazy?? Yeah he does have footnotes to support that although I haven’t, you know, checked his sources.
That’s all I have to offer now on it. Lobsters can grow new brains. Ha who knew?
So the guy writes in a fun way that is already making me laugh ( see above how I feel about that) while getting his point across.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes life is busy and sometimes it is chaotic and well, rules are good to help keep balance, right? So I’m slowly picking my way through this when I’m not running.. or working on one of my many furniture projects…
Hubby tells me today on his way out… “Now no new projects ok?” Of course as he says it we both know…well yeah… he’s likely to find something new soon… haha
I however, smiled and told him probably not….I mean… unless something reallllyy awesome showed up 😉
Ok so, he’s a pretty cool guy and he really does encourage my shenanigans. He is my creative carpentry assistant when I encounter something that I can’t fake or learn on the fly… like.. building in the lower part of a drawer on a 1930’s vanity I scored last month.
Belle, as I named it, is almost done and will be ready for her debut soon and I’m so excited at how it’s turning out.
Not only did hubby create the bottom half he had to do some dovetailing on it ( that’s what you get with older furniture, those cool interlocking drawer pieces. Check it out…
So now Belle has a repaired usable drawer. I’m always amazed at the stuff he knows how to do…. Nifty right?
I also got to spend some time outside enjoying our emerging spring weather working on my antique Sligh dresser I got last weekend. Poor baby, it’s gonna need a ton of work. It’s pretty low on my project list right now, but I am going to try and do little things on it mixed in with my other stuff.
And I did get a new piece this week. The sweetest night stand that matches my project dresser, a real fixer upper, Eleanor that I mentioned in previous posts. https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/02/26/monday-musings-5/
In the beginning, I totally wasn’t feeling the love with Eleanor and almost considered flipping her in “as is” condition. I got it for 50.00 and in serious need of lots of veneer work. I’ll say this… I’m now done with the repairs (yay) and she’s ready for her new look and I am totally in love with it now. Both are a French provincial style and both will be painted the same colors.
Just look how cute this nightstand is…..
And I’m pretty thrilled it doesn’t require any repair work, it’s just ready to have it’s face lift 🙂
What about that cute little door on it? I love it.
Alrighty well that’s a wrap on my musings, thoughts and various fun projects. I can hardly wait to show you some more of my transformed sad pieces in the upcoming weeks.
Tell me how your week went. Have you read anything interesting lately? Are you enjoying spring weather yet or are you still trying to escape the clutches of winter?