Road Trippin’ Time

road trippin

Ok Junk Peeps, it’s time to get out there….grab the last bits of Summer or get your groove on with the beginnings of Autumn with some junkin’ events & call shotgun {front seat}!

My Facebook page is sharing all the events that are in the Iowa/Mid-west area & beyond…if I’ve seen it on FB & thought it looked like vintage fun, then I’m sharing with you all so you too can get some junk goodies!

~ Junk Maven


Goodwill {& thrifting} is my Cardio

Since Junk Hunk Hubby & I are empty nesters, the concept of a solo shopping excursion is someone foreign to me.  Sure, this is College Girl’s second year out of the house but I rarely made it ‘to town’ by myself.  When I say ‘to town’ it’s a family expression.  We live in a small town with roughly 3700 villagers.  We have two grocery stores, two Casey’s general stores, two banks…you get the idea.  But we don’t have Wal-Mart or anything of much variety.

Going ‘to town’ involves being able to go places that you normally go.  That’s why when I’m faced with family being busy with other things & I want to go somewhere, it’s a little strange to go by myself.  I envy the people who dine alone, go to movies alone, just for the pure enjoyment of it!  So a couple weekends ago I had a free afternoon & decided to check out a Goodwill about 25 miles from here.  It was fun!  I found JHH a couple long sleeve thermal shirts & a nice Fossil look-alike purse.

Then Mom & I were able to get to that same Goodwill a week later.  This last weekend College Girl needed a one-time ‘business’ outfit for an upcoming class so off to Goodwill to see what we could find {& were lucky}.  Here are a few pictures of some miscellaneous things while looking around:

I thought this snowman head was super cool!  Remember in the 70’s there was a lot of these types of tinsel wrapped decorations, they are being reproduced again.
It might have been early September but I’m always ready for Halloween!
I couldn’t decide if I actually liked these three tiles or not….not my style but very colorful & seemed to tell a story.
What I would have done for a Ken Barbie-doll with hair AND ready for the wedding, Swoon!  I was a BIG Barbie doll lover back in the day.
This basket liner was handmade, Mom & I decided.  A little on the 80’s side but still cute.
This reminded me of the Brini Maxwell-ish mid-century modern things I’ve been seeing lately.
If this would have had a lid, it might have come home with me.  Although not Pyrex, still cute & functionable.

The I found these while clothes shopping with College Girl:

Every girl needs a pair of junkin’ boots!  Well, I already have a pair but they aren’t this cute, teehee!
They still have a lot of life left in them.  Chooka is the brand, have you heard of it?  I hadn’t but a quick Google search led me to more cute styles!

So this is a good example of what you can find when thrifting & hitting the Goodwill-type places!  Did you know you can shop Goodwill stores online too?  It’s like eBay as in it’s a bid till there is a winner.  No Buy-It-Now options but prices are decent and the selection is Goodwill stores from all across the USA!  If you collect a specific item, you might try looking, it’s worth a try!

Happy Thrift Treasure Hunting!

~ Junk Maven



Upcoming Events….Facebook Share & Share Alike

share and share alike

Hello Dolls & Guys!

I got to thinking, if I’m sharing events on FB, I should give you all, my lovely blog readers, a heads up that once a week I try to share upcoming events!  Of course, I usually only know the ones in our general area, sometimes further away too, but mostly Iowa/the MidWest USA but you might be in our neighborhood, right?  Sure!

So check out what’s going on here in a few days & maybe, just maybe, you’ll be in a vacinity & can get your junk on!

Happy Almost Weekend!

~ Junk Maven



Zhuzhed Up Dollar General Autumn Decor Sign

Hi Autumn Lovers!

Don’t you just love this time of year?  Well, it’s my absolute favorite!  Mornings & evenings are cooler, the Virginia creeper is turning red, I’m on the hunt for my very own secret hiding place of bittersweet {second year so far} & I’ve gotten the Fall/Halloween decorations out of the closet.

While sorting what I wanted to use & what had to stay in totes {sshhhh, yeah I have so much stuff I have to mix & match different stuff each year, which is kinda fun} I came across a Dollar Store Autumn decor sign marked $1.00!  I love the words, the different fonts, overall size & wire hanger but was tired of the limited colors & some of the words didn’t really pop.  So out came the craft paints & teeny tiny paint brushes.

I only did one word in purple.  Didn’t like it.  Then outlined the letters a bit in white in an effort to make it stand out.  Yeah, that’s why there’s only one purple, it just didn’t work but I sure love the color.  I think the lime green, bright pink & turquoise work better & I used a brighter orange too for some contrast.  I highlighted the pumpkin with a smidge of white, added a little orange to the yellow leaf & toned down the white acorn.  I then white washed the wooden edge so could see the dark green burlap a little better.

Here’s the before & afters:

Well, do you think it was an improvement?  I sure do.  It now hangs right to the right of your front door so I see it every time I let our three furry Girls out to tinkle.  Like I told one of my besties the other day, “If you like/love it {whatever IT is} but not the color, just buy it & paint it!” & she agreed, it’s a no-brainer!

Happy Zhuzhing IT Up with Paint!

~ Junk Maven


Fall Antique Jamboree @ Valley Junction

Hi Antique/Junk Peeps!

Were you able to get out & enjoy the weekend with something fun?  I sure hope so!  Like I mentioned, Junk Hunk Hubby & I headed to Bass Pro where he finally spent his gift card from Christmas.  It was entertaining there, as always.  Normally the Christmas season is my favorite time to visit here since it’s filled with kids toys you just don’t see anywhere else.

While JHH was looking around I snapped some shots:

This is my favorite display: the vintage gas can, boat oar, log & reeds.

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Then we headed to Valley Junction & the Fall Antique Jamboree!  We hadn’t been there for over a year so it was great to visit again & see added vendors attending this new-to-us event.  The variety here was phenomenal, it scanned decades!  There was mid-century modern, re-purposed, vintage, true antiques, metals, textiles…& more.  I saw some familiar faces {Rustique Flea & Vintage Marketplace & Full Moon & Buck Naked} & the crowd was from near-newborn to seniors+ so the atmosphere was very friendly.

A small collection of tractors from a local club where at one end next to a man sculpting wood with a chainsaw.  You could find ice cream, popcorn, fresh lemonade, gyros & more if you wanted to take a nice break.  Here are some things that caught my eye {a few slide shows since there are so many}:

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Above: mod furniture, feed sacks, quilts & a vintage camper to name a few.

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More treasures:  signage, Halloween {swoon}, vintage Christmas goodies & an adorable toy.

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Here’s the chainsaw guy, cane-backed chairs, the fire hydrant, old grocery store {Colonial Bread} screen door, garden poles {on my radar a few months back as a Christmas gift idea} & beautiful linens from Sisters in the Junction.

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Here’s kitchen gadgets, pyrex, a swanky living room set-up & an amazing Korean War memorial wall & we waited on the train  guessed that the huge chains & supports probably carried wind turbine blades to & from the West & East coasts.  A quick google search when we got home showed we were right, ha.

The weather was good & we had a great time!  If you get a chance, be sure & visit Valley Junction‘s next antique/junk event & others, their website lists all kinds so I’m sure you’ll find something fun too.

Happy Antiquing!

~ Junk Maven


Quilts: Stitched With Love

Hi Vintage Folk!

I’ve been busy cleaning closets & my upstairs craft room {for most people that’s a Spring thing, so I’m off a season, huh?}.  I jumped right in, sorting boxes & totes filled with all kinds of things.  This was also about organizing; grouping like items so they would be in one place.

After 9 hours in two days, give or take a few hours, I had nice, neat stacks of totes & boxes along with three garbage sacks full of trash, one large retail sack full of scrapbook paper I gave to a best friend, another retail sack with misc. craft items given to another bestie, 2 more garbage bags & 3 boxes going to our favorite consignment store & a very good feeling of accomplishment.  While doing all this sorting I was able to reminisce about my quilts ❤

Some are stored because they are too fragile to use.  Some are waiting for grandbabies. Others are quite heavy {I prefer lightweight to sleep with}.  Then there are those that I don’t want to wear out.  Since I was young, I’ve loved quilts, still do! My Mom’s Mom was in a quilting club.  I remember admiring them, the attention to detail, the colors, the fact that they made something with their hands.

You don’t have to sew to appreciate them.  Many people collect them & can’t sew a straight line.  Quilts have a reputation all their own of being honored & held in the highest of value.  Do you have quilts or collect them?  Then you certainly know what I mean.

I’m honored that my Mom & Grandmothers made & gave me these treasured pieces of history!  It made me realize I’d like to display them.  So on our adventures I’ll be on the lookout for a chippy, unique cabinet to hold them all.  In the meantime, I wanted to share them with you:

As you can see, this quilt was very loved ❤
Cherished: my Great Grandmother Maude made this one!
Vintage Nursery Rhymes fabric on a baby quilt my Grandpa {not a typ-o, yes, my GrandPA} made!
This is the back of the nursery rhyme quilt.  Grandpa used a crossword puzzle as his guide.
Faded & oh so LOVED!  College Girl used this for years, my Mom made it ❤
A close up of the binding & see how one of the fabrics is gone?
A very thin quilt Grandpa made.  This time the top is the crossword pattern {the back was plain, solid fabric in white}.
My most treasured of all…my Mom made this from scraps left over from alterations to my wedding dress & the extra yards of fabric leftover from bridesmaid’s dresses!
You can faintly see the white on white pattern…Jessica McClintock wedding dress.  And look at those blanket stitches, WOW!
Mom put the year the quilt was made right into the pattern.  Notice the praying angel…it’s simply a stitched outline, amazing!  Both our babies came home wrapped with this to keep the January cold away ❤
The blocks alternated hearts {wedding dress fabric} with stitched outlines of different images: a teddy bear, the angel, a kitten, etc.  That’s love!
After all these years, this quilt is in great shape.  Grandpa made this one too, it’s very heavy!
Another heavy duty quilt from Grandpa.  It’s a bit rust stained, not sure how it happened but it was before it became mine.  Guess what, I don’t mind a bit 😉
One of my favorites, thanks Grandpa!  It’s lighter weight but i just hate to use it, ha.
This quilt was at a nearby thrift store.  The cotton fabric is ultra soft…just waiting for grandbabies.  Someone spent a lot of time cross-stitching this so it comes with warm fuzzies, don’t you think?
Another thrift store find.  I’m the tied-with-yarn kind of quilter.  I’ll piece it together but assembly isn’t my strong suit.  I use this on our bed, it’s Goldie Locks: just right!
Another one my Mom made!  Maples trees are one of my top favorite trees & I was ‘made in Canada’ so it’s perfect!  Luckily I got my talent from my Mom 🙂

Our family, both sides, exude creativity & I was very blessed to see them in action, got lessons {paid attention} & received some of that creativeness too!  I don’t think there is much my Mom can’t do: paint, quilt, upholster, cook, bake, sew {alterations too}. Of course I think she got some of it from her Mom.

My Dad’s Dad was super talented, the best carpenter EVER!  When he had back surgery & was ‘laid up’ for a few months, he couldn’t just sit there doing nothing, so he made quilts! I’m sure glad he did 🙂

I’ve got a couple flea markets & events on our calendar coming up so I’ll be on the lookout for the special cabinet, wish me luck!

Happy Vintage Stitches!

~ Junk Maven


Let me introduce you to Brini Maxwell!

If retro, vintage & mid-century mod is your thing, you’re going to fall in love with the Brini Maxwell!  Known as an eclectic mix of 1960s homemakers, she’s part Doris Day, has the refinement of Donna Reed, the pizzazz of Sue Ann Nevins {remember “The Happy Homemaker” from the Mary Tyler Moore} & a splashs of advice Dear Abby style.

I first remember watching her show on the Style Channel back in the 90’s.  My college friend & I watched it, in separate states & then would call each other & talk about it. When we visited each other, we’d watch it together.  “Hello People” or “Hi People” was the beginning of nearly all Brini’s shows…I love that part, still do!

Whether it’s how to throw a great party, showing us step by step how to make a recipe in her retro kitchen or simply how to fold a fitted sheet neatly, Brini had panache!  If you take a few minutes and not listen but look at the surroundings, you’re in for more treats! You’ve stepped back in time…maybe to Aunt Velma’s house.  The attention to detail & keeping everything relative to the period is amazing!  The kitchen cabinets, lighting, books, furniture, knick knacks & yes, that snazzy wardrobe of hers’ is all retro-mod & oh so fabulous!

The mid-century design is still alive & well even in today’s home decor choices.  There happens to be a vintage store in Des Moines that comes to mind when I see anything Brini.  The Funky Finds Vintage & Retro store is full of these timeless pieces.  Even if this isn’t your cup of tea, I’m sure it brings back some fond memories of seeing this trend from years ago. Remember the Galloping Gourmet and The Dating Game?  That’s what I’m talking about! If nothing else, Brini entertains too as in, she’s captivating.  Not sure if it’s her voice, her knack for being thrifty/crafty or the fact that I should be more like her {patient} when she’s nice to her neighbor, Mary Ellen but Brini is just hard not to watch & like!

Here are some images from her book called ‘Brini Maxwell’s Guide to Gracious Living’  & one of my favorite youtube.com videos including Mary Ellen and Margot Potter from The Impatient Crafter, ENJOY!

brini maxwell book coverbrini wood mntc pagebrini travelingbrini casseroles page


Brini Maxwell, a timeless classic that never goes out of style!  Happy Vintage Everything People!

~ Junk Maven




Family Reunions, Traditions & More


family reunion 2

Hello Special Vintage Club!

This Sunday is our family reunion, the one that has been a constant in my life.  My Mom’s side of the family has gathered on the last Sunday in August for as long as I can remember.

Many times, we are lucky enough to have four generations at the same time!  We’re blessed to be able to continue this tradition when families seem so very busy with other obligations.  I remember my Grandma having big Sunday dinners & then in later years, family still showed up on Sundays, even though the dinner part was no longer included. These are visions & sounds in my mind…the clang of the front screen door, kids laughing & running up & down the stairs to the bathroom, sitting on the front porch swing with Grandpa singing “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer do”, listening to him play his harmonica after he’d watched the weather & farm report on WHO at noon, helping Grandma pick & shell peas fresh from the garden, playing in Grandpa’s hammock, picking Grandma’s trumpet vine flowers: one for every finger and the never empty cookie jar full of her always famous sugar cookies

I’ve been to other family reunions: on my Dad’s side & Junk Hunk Hubby’s too.  One I recall when I was younger had picnic tables full of vividly colored Tupperware & Pyrex dishes full of homemade dishes & the ladies apparel was just as colorful; & those horn-

Trimmed glasses, wow!  I thought to myself, ‘They dress up for reunions here!” Ha!
It makes me think too of how families grow.  Big families these days are not common, but children become adults, get married & have their own children.  Family has always been a BIG deal to me; I feel connected to these people!  It’s like belonging to a special club!  In my teen years I had a huge fascination with genealogy.  Luckily I asked my Grandparents a lot of questions & wrote it all down.  I’ve even done research online, even for Junk Hunk Hubby’s family, so our children can have some history on that side too.

And so goes the family cycle.  As we reunite this weekend, we will remember our loved ones that we miss, wishing they were there, enjoy the new members {babies & significant others} & enjoy each other’s company as member’s of this special club ❤

I hope you enjoy some time with family this year!


~ Junk Maven