Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Circle...

A few weeks ago I posted on my facebook page that I was looking for brown transferware dishes...both for me and my friend Kim. You see, last year I bought a set of eight plates at a garage sale that had fabulous ships on them. Then, Kim was planning her Thanksgiving table but didn't have appropriate I offered to loan her mine, and another set I have of brown transferware with turkeys on them. She quickly took me up on the offer. But, poor Kim, she's wanted some brown transferware to call her very own.

Kim's Thanksgiving table, 2011

So, back to the post. My friend Jeannie from The Gilded JunqueYard responded to the post saying she used to do mosaics, but no longer did. She said her basement was full of china and dishes, and would we like to come pick through them? What was that you said Jeannie? Come pick through shelves of dishes? Wait, let me think about that for a minute...ok, sure!

So, yesterday morning Kim and I met at Jeannie's house. Upon greeting me at the door, she said she was cooking up some eggs and would we like some? Sure. Hazelnut coffee? Sure. We had a lovely breakfast with our friend, chatting and finding out more about what brought her to the point she is today...which is a fabulous designer of rockin' jewelry made from vintage finds. That morning her husband inquired about who was coming over. After trying to explain who we were, Jeannie explained that we were "you know, in the 'circle'". The "circle" is the friends who meet through the love of what we do...they are the vintage loving, junk inspired, antiquing, furniture painting, jewelry making, rusty stuff girls. You know, them. Can I just tell you how much I love being in the "circle".

Back to the visit...

"Well, let's go downstairs to the studio", says Jeannie. Now I have to say Kim and I were super excited just to be able to rummage through any dishes...but when we hit the bottom of the stairs in her basement studio, we were like two giddy teenagers...I'm here to tell you, this place rocked!

Jeannie and Kim in the "jewelry" station.
 Jeannie is an artist in every sense of the word. She has done everything from owned a hair salon to being a mosaic artist to faux painting to running a business to her now fabulous jewelry designs. The photo above is the jewelry making station in her studio...yes, I said "station". There was also one for painting, and one for mosaics. I've never seen so many vintage jewelry pieces, brooches, rhinestones and charms in one place at one time! It was a fabulous site. Each work station was a myriad of vintage cupboards with multiple drawers and each drawer filled to capacity with gorgeous trinkets, jewels and glittery fun. Of course there was a chandelier hanging in each station too.

Jewelry station.
After we stopped drooling at the jewelry, we turned around and stumbled into the china shelves and mosaic station...

Broken mosaic pieces--just roses and flowers.

More roses for doing mosaics.

Need a cup handle?

Plate edges.

Fruit and rose pieces.

Mosaic station.

Every jar is filled with broken pieces of gorgeous china!!! And of course it was all organized by color.

More fabulous jewerly beads, pearls, pieces and chains.

Can you stand it?


After much laughing, oohhing and ahhhing, Kim and I narrowed down our piles (yes, piles)...and I came home with these lovely ladies...

I know...they're not brown transferware, they're green. But I couldn't leave them behind.

Thank you to Jeannie for her gracious hospitality...and for having a "circle" and letting us in!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Get Ready, Get Set, Gooooooooo!

Yep, it's that time...Nellie's Barn Sale & Vintage Extravaganza is today! The lines form early, but we open at 10am both days... and run until 4pm.

My vendors are charming, sweet, and friendly...and so un-diva-like...down to earth and helpful. This girl feels very luck to have such great friends. My good friends Kim (Serendipity Refined), Polly (Counting Your Blessings) and Jude (The Empty Attic) have all given up their own time to help me make this a great sale. From rearranging the barn and hanging burlap, to making hydraenga arrangements to pricing furniture, and from putting out signs to baking cookies (for you). But the best has to be the hand chalked welcome sign. Yes, my "new" old welcome sign is a re-purposed footboard from a bed, and hand chalked by Kim.

So, you can oogle over it when you get here...don't be late...we're all waiting for you.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The barn sale is just around the corner...

Note: This post is an archive post. This is not the current 2014 barn sale.

Nellie's fall sale is this Friday and Saturday, October 12 & 13 from 10 to 4pm both days. I've got eleven vendors participating in this year's sale! Many of the same and a few new ones thrown in. Today was spent with my friend Kim from Serendipity Refined and Polly from Counting Your Blessings and The Vintage Market to decorate the barn with our "plaid" theme. Kim and Polly are experts at transforming spaces. They turned my plain barn into a fabulous retail space! Wait until you see's a sneak peek....

Pretty floral china, Christian icons, and shabby wear.
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Tons of silver and shabby farmhouse chic items.
Lots of ironstone platters, creamers, china dishes and plates.
Everything is for sale...except Mr. Skeleton.

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Tons of wood crates, boxes, metal tubs, buckets and such.

Call all your friends and come to the'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Family Gallery Project complete...check!

Let's see, I think I've had this wall shelf in my garage for at least six months. I got it at this fab junk shop in town, but because I got it right before my last barn sale, it sat getting dusty since she came home. Yes, it's a "she" because of her cute scallop edge.

Then I got to work on deciding which photos to use on the gallery wall. I knew I wanted all the frames to be similar in color, but the photos themselved needed to be vintage shots of my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. I started collecting small rectangles and oval frames, nothing larger than 5 x 7, and only two are 8 x 10 because most would be shelf sitting, not hanging. Then I sprayed them all black and instead of cutting mats for them, I just used a variety of scrapbook paper in the frame and placed the photos on top of the paper...instant mat board! This all took place in the spring, and they've all been gathering dust in the dining room ever since...until tonight!

Finally, after dinner I dusted off the shelf and brought it in the kitchen to clean her off. At first I was going to leave her in a wood stain finish, but in the end decided to paint her with Annie Sloan Duck Egg paint and clear wax top coat...a good choice I think.

Yoo-hoo, honey? Can you help me hang a shelf?

He did...and here she is...

Isn't she sweet?

My dad used to own a GULF service station at the corner of Auburn & Central in Rockford, IL during the 1960's and 70s. So when I found this vintage Auburn Street sign, I snapped it up.

I have a small collection of vintage cameras. Photo to left of camera is Grandma Doris (my vintage camper is named after her) and to the right is Grandma Nellie (my barn sale is named after her).

My dad in his service station uniform!

This is my silk wedding bouquet!

You can see the "fake" mat board made from scrapbook paper!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Best selling book of all time.

Last week, my son and I went garage saleing for the first time all summer (I know, you'd think someone who is hosting a barn sale in six weeks would have been hitting them every week!). As we walked up the drive, it appeared to be another one of those sales that the "garage sale police" should be notified of. You know the ones. The ad reads "HUGE SALE" or "VINTAGE GOODIES" and you get there and the HUGE SALE is actually some spoiled brat's closet sale full of designer onesies and rhinestone cover baby tees! And the VINTAGE GOODIE equates to Tupperware from the 1960's...and it has food stains on it! Yep, that's when I want to call the garage sale police to issue them a ticket!

So anyway, as I approach the garage, there are only two tables and it appears to be a meager selection of books and some knick knacks. Sigh, another waste of time. Wait, what is this? An old Bible? I pick it up and run my hand over the gold gilded cover with brass edges and clip...the leather is so smooth. I think of the who might have owned it and how many years did they open and close this grand book full of wisdom...and more importantly, why wasn't it kept in the family! I carefully open the latch to find its age. It's marked with Roman Numerals--and I'm not so good with those--so I ask the woman working the sale. She and I decide (and we were right) that the book was published in 1873!  As I flip through the pages I see it's illustrated with fabulous drawings.

She tells me that these Bibles came from a farmhouse in New Hampshire. Did she say "Bibles", as in plural? I look down again and that's when I realize that all the books on the table are Bibles!!! Oh my goodness...a bevy of gorgeous covers, worn leather, some with gold trim, some with handmade book covers. I didn't know which one to pick up next. So I gently choose the Daily Praise & Prayer Book, fabulous worn leather with gold gilded printing on the cover. Each page devoted to a single day's prayer. Here's today's...

 As I open it an ancient book mark falls out...a needlepoint stitched with "Rest in the LORD". Oh my! And when did this little beauty come off the press? 1884.

The third one I pick up has leather so worn that it is almost glossy. The binding is damaged, and only bears a simple HOLY BIBLE on the spine.

As I turn the first page the paper is so thin I can barely feel it in my hands. Gasp! 1823!!!! This Bible is just shy of 200 years old!

 The reverse side of this page is inscribed withthe words: The Property of Maj Irena Grover, Sandown, Nov 16th 1825. A piece of someone's history...I wish I knew who found such joy in this book.

The next is a small, almost pocket size Holy Bible, simple brown cover with black inscription.

The inside cover in inscribed with: James M. Taylor, Rock Lawn Farm, Foxboro, Mass. June 5, 1888 "Enter not into the path of the wicken, and go not in the way of evil men". Your true friend, Chas. N. Morse.

The last one I pick up is the largest and is covered in a homemade version of a bookcover, similar to the ones I made as a child out of a brown paper bag to protect my school books. Only this one is striped leather, and when I open it, the inside is stitched with thread! It is dated 1848--one hundred years before my husband was born! I am amazed. I so badly want to know what the cover looks like, but I don't dare remove the cover that someone long before me thought it needed.

As I stood there wondering who these belonged to, and why have they been separated from the family which once owned them, I kept feeling the smoothness of the leather, and running my fingertips over the ingraved covers. The beauty is striking. The content amazing. The beauty too much to describe. Which one should I buy? How can I not buy all of them? Needless to say I didn't buy all of them, but I did choose these five fabulous, gracious books of God...not only for what's on the outside, but also what's on the inside.