Finding rusty old junk is fun! Nevertheless, I have found that no matter how much "stuff" I find and collect, only God can fully satisfy my heart. Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Saying "Goodbye" To Summer Decor

It's the last weekend in August and before long summer will be but a memory as the excitement and beauty of fall takes over. I just wanted to do a post to say "goodbye" to summer and take a last look at the vignettes around my dining room before the pumpkins invade!

This is my favorite little cozy corner to decorate seasonally. It is very hard to get a good picture because I leave the window unadorned for simplicity and it's always bright during the day and at night I get glare, but it really is a charming area. The chair and chalkboard were both second hand makeovers I completed during Christmas ( so this was my first time getting to use them for spring and "summer thyme." I had bought a vintage feed sack a while back but never really could find the right spot for it until I put the chair in the dining room. For now I am using it as "upholstery" ( it's just draped over the back and front). I recently found the most gorgeous antique lace feather pillow at an estate sale and it's perfect for the chair. It pairs beautifully with a toile yellow Ralph Lauren pillow that I picked up this summer at a yard sale. I love the romantic prairie look of the three textiles and my sweet little fabric-remnant heart sachets, and although the look is very summery, I think the colors are neutral enough to work for fall as well. I can just swap out the hearts for my velvet pumpkins. 


On the shabby end table beside my chair is a vignette with my favorite decorating books and my cake stand cloche. In the spring I filled it with my favorite vintage McCoy pots and a pretty blue bird figurine and have kept it on display for summer. I "planted" antique tatting, a vintage hankie and vintage canister in the pots. I enjoy pops of robin's egg blue, teal and aqua for summer displays.

                            I love birds and design my spring and summer themes around them.

                                       Everything pictured is a yard sale or second hand find. I really do decorate
                                       on a dime!

                                                           Vintage door knobs anyone?

Here's a last look at the summer dining room for now. I'm getting ready to swap out the white dining table for an amazing antique farm table I found for $15 at a yard sale, and it's time for a change anyway. I do love this one, but I figure it's always easy to create another white dining table with a flea market table and white chalk paint if my blancophilia gets the best of me and I must have more white in the dining room again.
My love affair with ironstone and vintage silverplate is in no way dying down and I almost always use it on my dining table. My summer tablescape has been simple this year: an urn full of very old tarnished silver plate utensils, some favorite ironstone and silverplate pieces and a faux wax pie (purchased for .25 at a yard sale). A large ironstone pitcher holds a prim greenery spray. I have scattered a homemade potpourri of fragrant rosehips, dried herbs and spices on my most beloved ironstone platter and used a vintage Vernor's soda crate for the base. I have many other crates but I liked the green writing for spring and summer.
I'm going to eventually get around to doing a post about some of my favorite junk in this corner and take some better pictures, but for this post I just wanted to show how it looks for summer with seasonal accents, such as a collection of favorite shells and dried roses from the garden hanging on a piece of architectural salvage "ladder."
On top of the corner cabinet is probably my favorite vignette right now. I love "Grace," my vintage jewelry bust, and I use her in my decorating all year round. I can't wait to dress her up for Halloween again!  Here is how she looked last year:

(See more of last year's shabby Halloween here:
Well that's all for this Friday evening! As you can see from my altered sign, "The Early Bird Gets The Junk," so it's an early bedtime for me!

Outdoor Fall Decorating From 2012

It's fall y'all! Not exactly, but for those of us who live for autumn, this is the time of year we start getting ideas together since it's just a few weeks away. I never got around to doing a proper post of my outdoor displays last year and I didn't even get good pictures, but I wanted to show you some of what I had thrown together for the outside in 2012.
This is a scarecrow I purchased at a rummage sale for $2. I did repaint his face for  a more modern primitive country look. I wanted to make him look spiffy so I gave him double layer flannel shirts, popped his collars and made him a burlap tie! My son had had enough of the purple plaid shirt so I happily took it off his hands used it on the scarecrow. I love incorporating purple in fall and Halloween decorating so it was perfect. Makes that autumn kale really pop! After I took the picture below I added more pumpkins and gourds around the front but unfortunately I didn't get any photos, but I'm sure you can imagine them!
On my porch I stacked a trio of my favorite picks from my friend's pumpkin patch. I really loved this combination, especially the colors and how the gray striations on the top gourd is almost identical to the faux patina on the urn. The Spanish moss looked perfect but since my porch is uncovered it got pretty soggy after a few rains and made a bit of a mess. I'm going to try something different in between this year.

Here is another corner of my porch. This was in mid-September. I think I eventually ended up rearranging this wagon and adding more pumpkin varieties later. I love filling the old rusty Radio Flyer with fall goodness!
Well that's all for now. I'm off to search for more fall inspiration!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Back To School Mantel

As Labor Day approaches and summer comes to an end, children and teachers everywhere are returning to school and saying goodbye to the joys of summer. I always find this time of year a bit tricky when it comes to decorating because I'm really excited about fall and it's oh so close, but it's still 100 degrees out. So this year I decided to do a little back to school mantel display using things I already had around the house. I was pleasantly surprised today when I discovered PicMonkey had added the school effects, just in time for this blog post!
This was actually thrown together quite quickly since I just needed to remove a few summer things and replace them with vintage school items.
I can always find vintage and antique books fairly inexpensively at sales or the flea market and I hardly ever pass them up. I love the artwork and lettering, and sometimes I actually even read them. I always imagine how many little fingers have turned the pages in wonder long before the days of iPads, iPods and Kindles.
I am a music teacher but I always loved art class just as much as music. I loved coloring and cutting things out, especially little shapes and making collages. Not much has changed, since I now enjoy scrapbooking, and creating altered art and paper crafts.
 "Time For School" cloche. Truly a "use what you have" decoration, since the apple was starting to go bad in my crisper drawer.
Here is the picture that gave me the idea to do a school-themed mantel. I am always buying antique cabinet cards and vintage photos (another addiction) and although I do put some of them for sale in my antiques booth, I usually keep group photos. I just find all the faces so fascinating! This amazing photo of a teacher with her class outside of a one room school house is definitely a keeper! I have it displayed in a vintage flower frog along with a replica of a colonial alphabet chart purchased at Colonial Williamsburg.
I took a close-up so I could see the kids better, and I realized the kids are barefooted, just like my Grandfather always said: "Back in those days we had to walk to school barefooted!" It's true! They did!

And then I noticed that the teacher is showin' some skin! Not at all what I imagined from those days. I would picture a blouse with a lace collar  buttoned up high and a long sleeved black dress! I guess a 100 degree one room-school house full of a bunch of kids of all ages would make any teacher sweat! I'm thinking this picture was from the 1920's based on the style of her dress and haircut. Maybe she was a flapper by night! Have teachers always had to have two jobs to make a living??? 

Hope everyone has a happy and safe school year, and if you know of a good teacher be sure to give them lots of encouragement and support. It's not an easy job and judging from the old photo, it never has been! 

Have a great weekend! blogspot/QoLtm (FRENCH COUNTRY COTTAGE) TheCharmOfHome (The Charm of Home)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Visit me, "The Junky Chic Queen" on Hometalk!

I have been "out of it" for several months due to chronic illness and have just returned to the blogging world full-force this week. I discovered on Angie's blog,  Hometalk is my new obsession! I have been working on starting a new blog on blogspot entitled, "The Junky Chic Queen" ("junkychicqueen" is also my pinterest name) but I wanted to keep Junkaholics Unanimous as my main blog. I have had a hard time keeping up with it due to my health issues. Obviously managing two blogs isn't  a realistic goal, so I have decided to dedicate The Junky Chic Queen solely to a weekly party, but I am not sure when it will start! For now, Hometalk is the perfect solution for allowing me to keep up, since I can do quick posts and link here when I have time for longer posts, which will allow me to "blend" my ideas for each of the blogs and my pinterest account.

 I just love the welcome community on Hometalk and feel like I am "living" in a decorating and home improvement magazine! If you haven't discovered it yet I think you'll really love it too. I hope you will stop by and follow me there as well, since I will have some different small posts on hometalk which may not end up in a full blog post here.

Hope to see you on Hometalk!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sew Lovely: Sewing Table Makeover

I am going to do it. I'm going to learn to sew! I can sew by hand pretty well when I absolutely have to, but I have a brand new sewing machine (now six years old) in storage and a billion craft projects in my mind which require some sewing. Right now my current health situation limits me from really getting into any new hobbies, so I will have to put sewing on hold for a while longer, but not being able to sew doesn't have to stop me from collecting beautiful old sewing notions!

 I have always found antique buttons and lovely vintage lace and fabrics very fascinating. There's so much beauty when it comes to sewing. Whether it be hand stitched doilies, embroidery, spools of yummy lace and ribbons, blingy vintage buttons and of course the old sewing machines, everything just has a beauty unlike mass produced items of today. Like all things vintage, each of these treasures have some story to tell and it's fun to imagine their history.
 I guess I really need to get out the needle and thread and sew a button on that antique baby shoe!

I have always wanted an old Singer sewing machine table. My goal for the summer was to find one to put in the garden where the cast iron base could get all rusty and the top could be used for plants. I got lucky when I found one for $20.00 at the flea market. The only problem was, it still had the sewing machine inside so I wasn't going to use it in the garden (not really a problem---but a bonus). I bought it anyway (there was no way I was letting it go for that price) and decided to use it inside. It needed a makeover but I wasn't feeling up to it so it sat in storage for a few weeks. On one of my "good days" I had my husband mix me up some homemade chalk paint and I repainted it in less than 45 minutes and I didn't suffer too badly from pain or exhaustion afterward. The quick drying time and ease of application is why I prefer chalk paint now over any other medium. The worst part of the whole thing was my husband's grumbling about carrying it up the porch stairs to get it inside. In his defense, we did end up having to get someone to help. It weighed a ton! I have been dealing in antiques for quite some time and always wondered why you could come across these machines so inexpensively. It may be because nobody wants to move them around! But I think they are gorgeous, and worth the effort. My husband, on the other hand, may disagree!

 Here is the after. I painted it a pale shade of green. Not too shabby! Or should I say, "Oh so shabby!" I still need to add the drawer pulls since there was only one remaining. My junky-creative Mom suggested I paint some old spools and add them. That's just what I'm going to do. I'll post an update when I get around to that project.

 I have been collecting sewing related items forever and have been tucking them here and there in vignettes or using them in craft projects, so having an actual antique sewing machine fit right into my décor.

I love the romantic feel of this grouping. Lots of my favorite things all together. A few weeks prior to getting the sewing machine, I found some gorgeous Victorian hat pins at an estate sale but I just couldn't find the right way to display them.

Of course! Stick them in a ball of twine in an old chippy ironstone creamer on a delicate saucer dripping with pearls on top of an antique sewing table. DUH! I mean, what else are you supposed to do with antique hat pins???

I really am lucky when in comes to junkin'.  When I took out the drawers to start painting them, they were full of vintage sewing goodies. I have some of them on display in this picture. So not only did I get the sewing machine as a bonus, I got drawers full of goodies to play with!

 Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have enjoyed this post and that you all have a day that is just "sew" lovely!


Parties: TheCharmOfHome (The Charm of Home)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Top 10 Summer Garden and Junk Favorites!

Hello to all my beloved blogging friends! Once again I must take the time to explain my long absence from blogging. Unfortunately I have continued to struggle with my health since my last post in the spring. As more and more debilitating symptoms develop I am finding it harder to manage daily activities or to find the time or energy to put into creating posts. I have missed blogging so much and I can only hope to find a respite from all that I have been going through so that I can get back into some sort of rhythm with not only blogging, but life itself. In March I was diagnosed with late stage neurological Lyme disease on top of having Systemic Lupus Erythematosis, and some days I cannot even tolerate looking at a computer.

I am pleased to say that I have found a fantastic doctor who is working to help me improve my quality of life since there are no real cures for the numerous problems I am dealing with, and through his help I have been able to get back to some of my daily activities, including occasional junking, decorating, and messing with my antiques booth. Usually after attempting to do anything "extra" I am wiped out for days and as a result, blogging had to be put on the back burner. I am so happy that I feel well enough to do a post this evening at least. I want to get "caught up," so I have decided to do a simple "Top 10" of summer to get back into the swing of things. Despite feeling poorly, junking, gardening and decorating can always make me feel a little better. Here are some of the things that have gotten me through the last few months...

1. Garden Magic
My garden has provided much needed emotional and pain therapy this summer. I am not able to really do much major landscaping like I used to, but luckily most of my garden is established enough that I only had to do some minor weeding and sprucing of pots and planters earlier this summer to get it looking nice.

 My favorite part of having a mostly shaded property is that there is an overall magical feeling (especially in autumn---can't wait!) and it is easy to create little whimsical displays.

My favorite little fairy statue rests in lush tufts of Scotch moss in a forest of Shamrocks. Very magical indeed!
                                                I'm crazy about caladiums in the shade garden!

This summer I discovered the most gorgeous variety of dark purple, (almost black) petunias. I planted them in several places throughout the garden. I love how the dark color fits into my magical planting scheme with ferns, hostas, ivy, and several varieties of moss and shamrocks.

3. Garden Junk
After five years of devoting all of our time to renovating the inside of our house and front yard landscaping, my husband spoiled me by creating the backyard garden of my dreams based on plans that I had drawn. Because it is a new space and will take a while for plants to fill in and mature, this year was the perfect time to finally use some of the vintage junk that I'd been hoarding outside for a couple of years. Our backyard previously did look like a real junk yard, (it was getting embarrassing) and something had to be done! It was time to either use it or get rid of it (um, no...) so in the new garden area it went. The junk really provides interest and fills in the bare spots nicely!

Vintage junk + gardening = Bliss!

I hope to do a full post in the fall of the entire project but for now, here are a few ways I incorporated rusty, chippy junk-goodness into the garden.
Good old junk like a rusty garden chair, a chippy bird bath planter, and a little cherub holding an old coffee can full of annuals provide visual interest while waiting on the lavender to spread and the roses to bloom. 
Just as I do inside, I often tweak my outdoor vignettes. Here the old coffee can from the previous picture became part of a  group of vintage containers filled with annuals on the patio table.
Old trucks, a rusty table ($1 yard sale), a vintage sand bucket and old water garden fixtures were fun to "plant" in the new garden area.

As we gardeners always say, "There's never enough thyme in the garden!" I love all varieties of thyme, but lemon thyme is my absolute favorite. I filled an old toy wagon full and have enjoyed the fragrance all summer long.

4. Shabby French Garden

One of my favorite areas is the front stoop leading to our porch. I have tucked several planters and pots tightly together against a backdrop of English ivy, ferns and azaleas. Instead of using bright summer annuals, I like to use cool colors such as blue gray succulents, dark purple petunias and basil varieties, silvery lavender and trailing licorice plants. My "pop" of color is the lovely bright pink miniature rose bush that I received as a Mother's Day gift this year. When I designed this area I had the transition to fall in mind. The purples and grays are really stunning with pumpkins of all hues and most of the plants will last until frost.

I found this sweet little French garden stake on clearance at Hobby Lobby. The Fleur De Lis tile in the background was a yard sale find from several years ago. I placed it in a primitive tool caddy that I chalk-painted a pale tone, inspired by the trailing icicle plant and surrounding Japenese ferns. The area has a little French country feel that I love.

5. Pretty Peonies
Lovely, classic and fragrant, peonies signal the start of a beautiful summer. Mine were gorgeous this year!
                                                  So pretty in an old ironstone creamer...
                                                 and oh so vintage in a blue mason jar...

6. Old -Fashioned Fourth of July Fun!
The Fourth of July just lends itself to vintage décor and party themes. It's easy to decorate when you already have a lot of vintage junk. I simply added some Americana accents to the displays on top of my fridge and kitchen cabinets. The primitive/vintage looking Uncle Sam was one of my favorite finds of the summer, along with the old metal bicycle basket and gumball machine.

Even though I am no longer able to have dairy products (or many other delicious staples of traditional summer cook-outs due to extensive food allergies), I wanted to base this year's family get-togethers around ice cream floats. I still enjoy the chance to evoke nostalgia for everyone else while actually getting to use some of the vintage junk I've been hoarding, and nothing says "old-time summer" to me like Coca-Cola junk! I have collected vintage Coke items since I was a teenager, and this was the first summer to use the 1950's cooler I found while junking last fall. I served several kinds of classic soda varieties in glass bottles and they stayed icy cold in the cooler. I "used" my vintage ice cream maker by simply setting a plastic tub of ice cream down inside it. The floats were a big hit!

7. "Deck-orating"

This year was the first year for our new deck. We finished it in late fall last year and didn't get much of a chance to use it so it was fun decorating a new area. In keeping with the vintage summer-picnic theme, I took some junk out of the kitchen and used it on the deck. I found the old washtubs at an antique sale and decided to fill them with ferns for simple, classic beauty. I planted an old enamelware bucket with fragrant mint for use in iced tea and cooking. The chalkboard is one that I had bought back in the late 90's before the chalkboard craze hit. I have always loved chalkboards! I didn't really have a spot for it when we moved to this house, but of course being the hoarder I am, I didn't get rid of it cause I knew I'd find a spot for it someday!

8. Sweet Little Vintage Doll

It just wouldn't be a junky-chic summer without a sweet little $1 vintage doll from the flea market. This one is just gorgeous in her satin dress and fabby-shabby feather head piece. Love, love, love her! She looks perfect in my little Frenchy vignettes. I think she deserves a chance to party over at Timewashed Blissful Whites Wednesday with her gorgeous off-white dress, platinum-blonde hair and feathers!

 9. Mercury Glass Find

I had been wanting to incorporate some mercury glass in my décor for quite some time, so when I found this dish for $2 at an estate sale I snatched it up. For a summer touch I filled it with sand and some favorite shells from vacation. I used a little vintage tin mold as a candle holder in the center. I love how the light shines through the glass. I can't wait to use this in my new bathroom which should be finished by the end of fall.
10. Vintage Barbie TLC Makeover

My latest obsession is searching for vintage Barbies in not-so-good condition  and giving them chic makeovers. I paid $10 for this 1964 beauty at an estate sale. She was suffering from major alopecia but her face still looked great so I couldn't pass her up. I happened to have the titian red wig in my Barbie junk stash and it just matched her perfectly. I took some old Barbie clothes and up-cycled them a bit with some antique black lace that I had bought at another estate sale earlier in the summer. I made her necklace from a strand of broken vintage pearls and she just looks so gorgeous! I had so much fun with this makeover that now I am hooked on finding vintage Barbies in need of TLC just because it's a creative challenge to make them fab again and of course I love to collect them!
As you can see, I still managed to find some things to enjoy over the summer and as always junking and decorating helped me get through some of my worst pain and sickness and  the depression that goes along with chronic illness.
Thanks for stopping by! I WILL be actively blogging during the next couple of months, as fall and Halloween must not be missed! I believe that a little autumn magic is just what I need to help me make it through and to get back into the blogging groove!
Good night dear readers!

Parties! blogspot/bCGJMl (Common Ground)