Changing it up

I am at battle with the Mountain Cedar trees of Central Texas, at least that is what the news tells me.  This past week has been one long, continuous sneeze, and I have heard that it’s a result of strong winds blowing the cedar pollen into our Dallas area.  Yuck.  I’m tired of it.

Despite feeling pretty crummy, I was able to finish up a furniture project and make it out to a few estate sales. My booth space up at ACM was in desperate need of a fresh look, so it was good to find some new inventory.


The cane-top table and chair set was quite a project, but came out nicely.  The table and chairs each got a coat of Maison Blanche Sugar Cane and were antiqued with dark wax.  I recovered the seats in natural linen and left the top of the table and back of each chair stained to give it some contrast.


Here are their “before’s”



They weren’t a set but fit together so well.  I was ecstatic to find the chairs at an estate sale, anything cane is hard to come by in this area.

Speaking of cane, I also found an adorable child-sized cane rocking chair and small cane-top table at a local flea market.  You can see them peeking out from under the table on the bottom left of the photo.


It’s quite a collection of cane! I love it though.

I also found an awesome church pew.  It anchors another section in my booth that is “wedding” themed.


I really wish I could keep it, but just don’t have the room in my house.  Underneath the pew is an awesome loooong crate that came out of an estate sale attic.  It would make an amazing planter.

The green drawer, milk bottles, and cotton were also weekend finds, as well as someone’s old Sunday School Bible.  They made a great display together.


I am a sucker for vintage artwork and found quite a bit of that also. These three tiny house prints are my favorites.


And with February right around the corner, I threw in a few vintage Valentine’s postcard banners for good measure.


That Mountain Cedar took most of my energy, but I had just enough left to freshen up the space a bit.

Hope you like it.


Elizabeth and Co.
All Things Thursday Blog Hop

Just Around the Corner

I’m behind in the retail world . . . Christmas started showing up at my mall three weeks ago and until yesterday, I had nothing.  I have been collecting a few Christmas items here and there over the past few months, but I hadn’t given any thought yet to putting together a holiday display in my space.  This past week I made myself spend some time sorting and pricing the few Christmas things I have.  Finally yesterday, I had a chance to load up some things.


This fun green dresser was an estate sale find last weekend.  It was marked way down because the top had lots of peeling paint, but that’s not a problem for me! I sanded it down a little more to make the distressing more uniform then gave it a good wash down.  The best part is the gold accents on the drawers and french provincial style pulls.


I like muted Christmas decor, like soft white, silvers and light golds.  But at heart, I am a traditional green and red kinda girl.  So this green dresser was a great anchor point for my venture into Christmas.


I also love all things miniature, so these mini bottle brush trees from someone’s model train collection are my favorite.  They are scattered throughout my space.

And this isn’t Christmas exactly, but I was excited to find this awesome 42 piece set of Royal  china. On  my way to drop off my Christmas things at the mall, I poked my head into an estate sale right as they announced “90% off everything!” Whoah, awesome! This china set was one of the things I grabbed (more on my deep discount finds later). It is the “Homestead” Collection, and I’ve never see it before.  More great green Christmas color!


What I really love about it though are the pictures on each piece.  They are all very “homey”, and some are full scenes from an old log cabin, some are singular items like fireplace bellows.  They just feel “warm”.


And just for a little eye candy . . . here is my friend and next door neighbor, Shannon’s, space at the mall.  She is always so creative in her displays.


I love the old fan cover as the wreath stand-in . . .

Have you given any thought to your Christmas decorating yet?

Trade Days

This past weekend was the local flea market in my area, McKinney Trade Days.  The pickin’s have been a little slim there the past few months, and it’s been HOT! But, this weekend the weather was really quite pleasant, and I found lots of wonderful things.

I was smitten with this floor lamp I found buried in the back of a dealer’s space.  It is fully functional and has lots of patina.



My favorite part is its ornate finial.


From the large to the small . . . I spotted this great etched brass vase complete with a matching, removal frog.



It is so petite . . . perfect for a fall tablescape.

I like to stock my booth also with unique vintage art, and this Sailboat oil painting was an incredible find.  It has no signature on it, but is the REAL deal, not just a print.


The colors were rich, and look at the close up of those white capped waves:


Someone else must have liked it as much as I did because it sold the day I brought it in.  I love when that happens!

One of my last finds of the morning was this cute primitive green side table.


It’s hard to see in the picture, but it has a little railing on the back of the top, and the triangular base and bottom shelf is one-of-a-kind.

I also bought this great weathered green screen to replace the old windows that displayed my vintage postcard banners.  They sold quickly, and I thought this screen would make  a great display in their place.


And lastly, I’m super excited about a pair of cane chairs I bought from one of my favorite dealers.  They have simple lines, but I think they will look perfect once updated with some paint and new fabric.  I think I am going to try on them some milk paint I have leftover from another project; they would look great with a chippy finish.


I purchased another large piece over the weekend that will be my next major project, I’ll share more about that another time.

For now, I’m going to enjoy a few minutes of quiet on this Sunday afternoon.  Hope you all enjoyed some quiet this weekend as well.

Memphis and a Makeover

Summertime is  here! About 10 days ago my oldest had his last day of Kindergarten and then the long, hot days of Texas summer officially arrived.  We spent one weekend at home and then hopped into our van to head on our first family trip of the summer to Tennessee.  I grew up in Memphis and my family is all still there.  So off to the home of Elvis, Blues, and BBQ we went.

photo (3)

We did lots of fun things while there, including a visit to the Memphis Zoo.  Despite it being REALLY hot, we enjoyed our time, especially getting to see a few animals that they don’t have at our Dallas Zoo.

My oldest, had an amazing encounter with a sea lion.  He was standing at the underwater glass viewing area, holding his blue silly straw water cup, and the sea lion became fixated on him! Wherever he went, the sea lion went, and we finally figured out it was the blue cup! If you look closely in the picture below, you can see the sea lion intently focused on that cup.

photo (4)

My son started moving the cup around and the sea lion would twist and jump up in the air . . . it was quite an exciting sight for a 6 year old little boy! It was so exciting in fact that he decided to forego his dream of growing up to be a ninja and become an animal trainer instead.

Probably the highlight of the trip for me though was the good southern pickin’ I was able to do. I had scouted out a few estate sales and was hopeful to find some great deals.  Sometimes the area around me here in Texas can get a little stale, I was excited to see what kind of treasures old East Memphis had to offer.

photo (2)

Well, I wasn’t disappointed, that’s for sure! The first sale we went to was advertised as a real digging junk sale, so dig we did.  They had  a shed out back, a storage POD in the driveway, and a house crammed full of boxes and shelves. I started making a big pile outside the shed and added to it about 30 different things, ranging from large mirrors to small oil cans.  I was getting a little concerned about the size of my pile and how much I may be spending, so I stopped and asked the gentleman who was on duty outside.  With all the stuff I had I was thinking around the $60-75 range, and he said “How about $12” I was floored.  “Sold!” I told him in response.


We had a similar experience at our second sale, and found some more great treasures and great prices.  I had to make myself stop, because I knew we still had to fit my 3 kids and all our stuff in our van for our trip back to TX! I think I may make a buying trip by myself sometime.  Something about the old south, there are just some great treasures there.


While we were gone, things kept moving along here at my space.  I sold both of my Duck Egg Dressers, which was great, but meant I had a big whole to fill back up at my booth.  So once we got back into town and I was able to clean up and price everything, I headed up to ACM to do a complete makeover of my space.


I’m featuring a great black iron bed I found recently and  a patriotic red,white, and blue theme for the upcoming holiday.






I also redesigned my large shelves with a gold, yellow, and green theme.  Several of the vintage mirrors I found in Memphis are displayed there now.


Lastly, I had to find a great spot for this beautiful ironstone soup tureen I found at one of the Memphis sales.


It was hard work, but I’m happy with the finished look of my space and I think my customers will enjoy a fresh shopping experience.


My last thing to share . . . after redesigning my booth I started working on my next furniture piece.  Right now, the stripper and I aren’t getting along–furniture stripper, that is! Here is a teaser, more on its transformation to come.


Hand-painted Gray Chest

Well I promised in my last post to show more about my most recent project, this wonderful antique chest of drawers.  Remember the teaser?


This was a really fun project for me and my first attempt at a hand-painted design.  I’ll walk you through the process.

Here is the chest before:


Sorry for the kind of crooked picture . . . I bought it from a young gentleman on Craigslist who said it had been his mother’s.  She had given it to him when he moved out on his own, but it “wasn’t his style”.  Imagine that 🙂 He said she was a little upset he was selling it, but I told him to tell her that I would make sure it made its way back into the hands of someone who loved it.

I was excited about the detail on it, but it also had some issues–chipping veneer, major scratches, a few big dents.  I thought a complete covering in ASCP would be the best way to go.  I love the look though of a naturally stained top, so I decided to go that route.


I sanded down the top to bare wood.  This was a time consuming process, but I was really proud to do it all by myself! I spent a few days working on it with a palm sander and then hand sanded it in some of the tougher spots.

Once I started taking off the hardware and removing the drawers, I noticed some evidence of prior painting.



Some blue, some green . . . I also discovered that someone had replaced the knobs will pulls and drilled new holes.  How many makeovers has this old girl seen?


Well, she is about to get one more, and I hope she stays this way for awhile.  Here is what she looked like after the 2 coats of ASCP French Linen and a newly stained top.


A little blah, right? Alot of the beautiful detail seemed to fade away, but then the flaws seemed to show up more!  So, I decided to add some detail back by creating a hand-painted design on the drawers fronts.  It would also help mask the small chipped spots.  It was a fun experiment, took me a few hours of sitting in my garage one night.  I did have to re-paint one drawer, but once I got the hang of my pattern I think it all came together great.


I wanted to keep it sleek, so I didn’t distress it at all.  I did decide to get rid of the original hardware since it was newer and didn’t really fit the feminine style of the piece.  The new knobs are from Hobby Lobby and are a blue and white porcelain.  I think they add a perfect splash of complementary color.



The top re-stained beautifully, and I finished it off with a coat of poly to give it some shine.  In the process of moving it inside to take a picture, one of its casters broke, so I had to order new (old) ones from Ebay.  Once they get here, up she goes to my space!

Thanks for looking, and have a wonderful rest of the week!

Linking up to Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday

Milk Paint Experiment

A few weeks ago I got a text from a friend asking if I knew anyone who bought antiques . . . I responded, “Yes, me!”  Her husband’s grandmother had passed away and the family was ready to start selling some of the furniture and decor they had chosen not to keep.  She was kind enough to text me pictures of everything she had, then bring it up here from the grandmother’s house several hours away.  All I had to do was tell her what I wanted then pick it up from her garage. Some of the easiest treasure hunting I’ve ever done.

I picked this wonderful oak short dresser from what she had to sell.  What was really nice about the process was that even though it was a piece that had been in the family for a long time, they were excited to let it go and find a new “life” with someone else who would really appreciate it.  I felt the freedom to give it a complete makeover, without the worries of offending them for painting their heirloom.


It has wonderful curvy lines and is solid to the core.  And of course, the casters!


It was quite scratched up though, so I thought a complete paint job would be the best way to go.  Because the wood underneath was of such good quality (no veneer, just real wood), MMS milk paint was a great option.  I prefer using chalk paint for pieces that need to be completely covered, and saving milk paint for when I’m going for that real chippy look with lots of original wood peeking through.

I wanted to try to layer colors, so I tried a new (well, new for me) technique using Vaseline.  I started off with a coat of MMS (Miss Mustard Seed) Shutter Gray.


Look closely and the right front corner, it’s starting to chip–the magic of milk paint!


After the Shutter Gray dried, I rubbed some Vaseline on “high traffic” spots, like edges, by the handles, the legs–places where the piece would have naturally gotten alot of wear and tear over the years.  After letting the Vaseline dry for about a half  hour, I painted a top coat of MMS Ironstone.  The Vaseline kept the Ironstone paint from sticking, so it created this neat two-tone effect where it appears that the top coat of paint has naturally worn off over years of use.


And then of course after letting it sit for a few hours, the milk paint started chipping away again and it was time to give it a light sanding. Here is the final product.




The milk paint did ALOT of chipping on this piece, giving it a real primitive look in the end.  I’m happy with how it turned out and I enjoyed experimenting with the Vaseline technique. There are so many ways to create interest and texture on furniture, especially with milk paint.  Give it a try if you haven’t already.


On a different note, I wanted to share that April was the best month I have had in my 10 months of being an antique dealer.  I think my clientele is starting to build and I’ve had some success at identifying my style. Thank you all for your encouragement–hauling all of this stuff around is not glorious work, but I’ve sure had fun with it.

Linking up to Miss Mustard Seed Furniture Feature Friday


Perfectly Imperfect MMS Milk Paint Party

Yard Sale Round-up

I took some time last Friday and Saturday making my way around the yard and estate sale circuit. I’m starting to go to more and more estate sales, they just seem to offer more bang for my buck.  Although, I’m also learning that waiting until the end of the estate sale is the way to go! Most everything is at least 50% off and there generally still seems to be a lot of inventory left.  Anyway, I thought I would share some of my fun finds.


I love printer drawers and grab them whenever I can find one at a good price.  I also love these two tall garden topiaries.  I’m tempted to keep them for myself, my yard is in desperate need of some style!


And check out this dresser.  Yes, I know, it is tacky with a capital T!  But the man selling it was practically giving it away, and I think with some paint and new hardware it could be a neat piece.


Yes, that is the Incredible Hulk perched on top.  My garage projects often become hideouts for our house full of superheroes.  I’ll be sure to post a picture of the dresser once I uncover its true beauty!

Just for laughs, I thought I would close with an honest look inside my garage.  This is what it looks like after a weekend of good yard sale-ing


This is not a glamorous business! But it sure is fun!

What did you pick up this weekend?