Follow me on my pathtojunkentreasure as I hunt for treasures at flea markets, garage sales, rummage sales, thrift stores, estate sales and wherever I can find a treasure. I'll share my love of hammered aluminum, vintage Christmas, vintage jewelry, doilies and tablecloths, milk glass, garden items and other treasures. I'll also share some advice on my crafting projects, gardening and recycling items. Please join me on my pathtojunkentreasure!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Repurposed Open House

I wanted to share some pictures of an open house I attended last night.  Terry, a customer from the Carriage House, invited me to this event that she and a friend have.  They repurpose items to sell at this 3rd year open house.  It was fun to see what they imagined as a finished product.

Terry bought this white screen from me a few weeks back.  It makes a wonderful card holder.

The red door was so cute.  So many wonderful ideas in this area.

This area is part of the house year round.  Instead of hanging art work, the windows and shutter are used as the art. 

This was one of my favorite pieces (not for sale).  Quilt blocks were used with an old window.  

I just had to take a picture of the living room.  The fireplace mantle was super!  Makes me want to redo my home.....

There were so many great ideas at this open house that I'm inspired to start working on my own ideas. Sometimes I forget to keep items or repurpose them for my own home.  I'm so focused on bringing treasures to the Carriage House for others to enjoy.  I guess a little of both wouldn't hurt.

Happy treasure hunting!

Friday, December 2, 2016

My Favorite Time of Year

I love Christmastime!  Now that the open house at Carriage House is over, I can try to focus on my own home.  I am so behind this year on just about everything.  Usually I'm done shopping for gifts by October, but this year I'm just finishing up now.  I want to make sure that I have time to enjoy the season, so I want to be caught up soon.

Right after Thanksgiving, I start to decorate my house for Christmas.  Vintage Christmas usually.

I love to go through the boxes to see what treasures are inside.  I'm always in awe at what wonderful pieces I have.  I set up three aluminum trees with each one having their own theme.  This one is vintage glass ornaments.

I love to combine vintage with newer vintage looking pieces like the Merry Christmas star.  The red truck was a find in January that I have been changing each season.  I love it!

I found a box of vintage ornaments recently at a sale for $2.  They look great in the Westmoreland milk glass sleigh that was also a garage sale find a few years back for $10 and the reindeer sleigh was 25 cents.  Too cute to pass up.

The ironstone pitchers that I found this summer at garage sales look nice on top of the piano in a simple vignette.  Once again, vintage with a newer Peace dress form works well together. I also like to change my doily seasonally.  Right now I'm using vintage Christmas towels in place of a doily.

In the bookcases, I just like to overfill them with my collections of Santas, elf figures and angels. I pick a few every year to bring out.  There is always way too many to set up so I try to rotate them every year.

I added a Santa to my aluminum piece that I purchased at the Wendell August Forge showroom in PA this summer.  The piece is too lovely to put away and was the perfect stand for Santa.

A few years ago, I made quite a few felt stars with a vintage piece attached to the front.  I needed something extra to decorate a few packages this year, so I made a few more.

I found those vintage star ornaments in different colors at a garage sale this year and knew that they would be perfect.  Next I may try the blue or pink ones.

I still have a few more packages to get ready, but with some holiday music and creme brulee coffee, I'm ready for anything.

Happy treasure hunting!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Latest News...

Tomorrow starts the Holly Days Christmas Open House at the Carriage House.

I have been preparing all week.  My spot is full of vintage Christmas treasures.  The outside of the store looks so cute too.  Except for the 70 degrees that we are expecting tomorrow, it will be Christmas in every other way at the store.

Here's another peak into my space:

The newest issue of Flea Market Style Magazine has hit the newstands.  I couldn't wait for it to come out!  (I found mine at Walmart).

Carriage House Antiques (page 32) is listed in Readers' Choice for best antique stores in Illinois. How exciting!  What an honor for us to be listed.  I love having a spot at this store.  It has been the best experience for me and I'm having the time of my life.  Karen and Di (co-owners) are the best people to know and to work with.  I'm truly blessed to have found them and for being given this wonderful opportunity to be a part of their store.

There are still sales out there!  I found one today and picked up more vintage Christmas.  Except I think I may have to keep them.

Happy treasure hunting!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Holiday Spirit

For some reason, as soon as it gets a little chilly outside, I'm ready for Christmas.  Maybe because I love that time of year.  Or maybe because I collect vintage Christmas just about anything.

So now that Halloween is over and Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, my mind is focusing on Christmas.  I have been busy getting ready for the Holiday Open House November 17-20 at the Carriage House.  I have marked so many things down in my space this week to make room for all of the vintage Christmas that I will be bringing in.  It helps that we will be closed November 14-16 to prepare the shop for the Open House.  I will need that time since I have about 9 bins full of vintage Christmas treasures.  I love to see the customer reactions when they enter the store and are surrounded by the wonder of Christmas.

On Saturday (even though it was really warm outside), I created more vintage trucks with bottle brush trees.  This time, I used sewing thimbles for the base of the trees.  I had some vintage advertising thimbles that had a red stripe around them so they were perfect for the Christmas colors I was using on the trucks.  They are adorable!  I had to keep one for myself and the rest will be at the Open House.

There are so many Holiday Open Houses coming up.  Tomorrow night, Wednesday Nov 9 is the Pink Geranium and the other stores on Pepper Road from 4-8pm.  The stores in Ridgefield will be having their Open House Nov 25-27.

Happy treasure hunting!

Monday, October 17, 2016


I have been to sooooo many fun sales in the past few weeks.  I finally went to Hippie Tom's sale in Waterford WI.  Talk about a pickers sale!  I couldn't believe the amount of items.  When you first walk in, there are sinks on the ground.  Barns full of windows and architectural pieces.  A barn full of religious items.  A greenhouse full of gardening items.  It was never ending.

No wonder he was on the American Pickers.  The one shed had repurposed jewelry and mixed media art.  The hat stand/light had moss as the covers.  It was so unique.

Nellie's Barn sale was another fun sale.  So many unique and creative vendors.  It definitely gave me ideas for future projects.

Nellie's Barn sale along with Meyer's Tails Up Farm is having a Christmas at the Farm sale Nov 4 from 5-9pm and Nov 5 from 10-4 at Meyer's Tails Up Farm 5390 Irene Road in Belvidere IL.

A woman I met while doing my garage sale called me recently because she wanted to sell some of her linen collection.  She was in her 80's and had been collecting for a long time.  She had everything organized in bins and written down for inventory and wanted to sell to someone who loved vintage linens as much as she did.  I ran over there!  I ended up buying 3 bins full with about 400 plus linens. I finally went through them this weekend deciding which to keep and which to sell.  (I went through my collection and pulled out 60 pieces that I could sell to make room for the incoming ones.)

There were so many beautiful hand embroidered tablecloths that I will sell at the Carriage House over the next few weeks.  The woman told me that she hoped I would make some money while cherishing those that I was keeping.

Recently I discovered Washington IL (not far from Peoria IL).  It is such a quaint town.  There were a few antique stores downtown.  I stopped at a few garage sales and the people were extremely friendly.  Maybe I'll pass through again at Christmastime to see what they do for the holidays.

Happy treasure hunting!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

I Always Wanted to be Famous

I always wanted to be famous.  When I was little, I wanted to be the first woman president.  In my teenage years, I wanted to be a makeup artist to the stars.  Now, I'm the first Master Gardener to submit their profile to the local newspaper, The Northwest Herald, for an article on the Master Gardeners.

How excited I was to open the paper this morning to see ME as the feature.  I always wanted to be famous!  Ethan jokingly texted me from college to remember where I came from.  So.......

The weather turned more fall like this week.  I love it!  It started to feel like Christmas so I brought out all of my crafty items.  I put together some small trucks to sell at The Carriage House during out Open House in November.

I especially like the gold disco Santa.  Cecilia and I went on a rummage sale buying spree the other day and she saw my new creations and bought four of them.  There are still some cute ones left.  If I can find other vintage trucks, I'll make more.

Isn't that the best mirror ever?  I'm having a hard time parting with it, so far.  Here's another picture of name tags that I made with angels.

I found a few really great treasures garage saleing this week.  This crystal chandelier was broken but the price was right.  I took it apart and will be selling the individual crystals at The Carriage House.

At the same sale, I found two really fabulous silver trays.  They were are so heavy.  I was balanced out carrying them in one hand and the chandelier in the other.

Tomorrow is the last Cedarburg WI flea market of the season.  It is also the Cider Festival in Union IL at the Historical Museum.  Thursday Oct 6th is a rummage sale in McHenry at the Lutheran Church and its also the start of Hippie Tom's sale in Waterford WI.  I haven't been to his sales before, but I'm sure going to this one to check it out.  I can't wait! Friday and Saturday is Nellie's Barn sale in Roscoe IL.  Oct 13th is a church rummage sale in Huntley that starts at noon at the Methodist Church in the downtown area and Oct 14-16 is Autumn Drive in Woodstock IL on Garden Valley Road and surrounding areas.

Happy treasure hunting!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Motel Chairs

I admit it.  I have an obsession with motel chairs.  I can't seem to pass them up!  There are 10 in my yard right now.  They are in different areas of the yard to create a "room" in each area.  I even use my favorite motel chair as the banner for my blog and my business cards.

So, when I found these three this weekend, I couldn't pass them up.

After thinking about it for awhile, I decided that I would keep the middle chair and switch it out with another one that I had.  I decided that I really didn't need any more motel chairs.  10 is probably enough.  I took three of them to the Carriage House to sell.  Someone else can love them as much as I do.

It was perfect weather in Pecatonica on Sunday for the last flea market of their season.  We got there later in the afternoon but it was still busy.  I found some hammered aluminum (after I cleaned out my own collection to reduce it.  Oh well!)  I also found a really neat candelabra that was painted a few times.  It would look really great with the greenish motel chairs.

Upcoming sales:  Sept 24 is the Johnny Appleseed event in downtown Crystal Lake.  There is a farmers market, craft show, food and a mini flea market at the Crystal Lake Antique Mall parking lot. Sept 25 is the last Elkhorn WI flea market of this season.  Also on Sept 25, the McHenry County U of I Extension Master Gardeners are having their second Farm Stroll.  Local farms will open for tours and merchandise. (  Sept 30 Lynn WI Presbyterian Church is having their rummage sale starting at 7am and the Methodist Church in Barrington on Route 62/59 is also having their rummage sale starting at 9am. The last Cedarburg WI flea market of the season is on Oct 2.

Happy treasure hunting!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Getting Ready....

Now that my garage sale is over, I can focus on other things.  I did a two day sale with my friend Cecilia.  I usually like to do a one day only sale, but since we had so much to sell we decided on two days instead.  It rained on both days but so much more on Saturday.  Overall, we did sell a lot and the rest I donated to Savers in Crystal Lake.  I drove everything to Savers as soon as the sale was over. Nothing came back to my house.  I'll have more to sell in the spring so I don't need to overwinter anything.

So now I am getting ready for the fall open house at the Carriage House ( where we will be celebrating the beginning of the 13th year that Karen and Di have been in business.  We are usually closed on Sunday and Monday anyway but we will also be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday to get ready.  Karen and Di have painted and are moving around everything.  We will reopen on Thursday at 12 noon and will be opened on Sunday just for this event.  It's always so much fun filled with sales, prizes and food.

I am super excited on how my space turned out.  I have brought in some great pieces!  Recently I have found some great small furniture pieces and those are showcased for the sale.  

There are many fall pieces in my spot including a couple of vintage owl purses.  They are so cool and so retro.  

I almost don't want to part with anything.  (Almost).  It looks so good together.  I am super excited to show it to the customers.  The next phase will be to work on the outside.  It's coming along.

2 rummage sales on Thursday:  St Joseph's Catholic Church in Richmond and Faith Community United Church of Christ in Prairie Grove starting at 9am.  Pecatonica flea market is Sept 17-18.

Happy treasure hunting!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fun Finds!

Recently, I had time to stop at some stores that have been on my list to visit.  Midwest Retro at 207 Barrington Ave in East Dundee was one of them.

Connie and her husband opened this year.  It is a fabulous stop with so many great finds.  Not to mention that they are so much fun to be around.  You will love this place!

Another fun stop was at Vintage Art and Findings at 229 Barrington Rd in Wauconda.  They are open from Wed-Sat.  There was a nice selection of vintage and repurposed items.

Austin and I visited Edwards Apple Orchard in Poplar Grove.  That is my most favorite place to visit in the fall.  I used to take the boys there a few times a week to play and just enjoy the scenery.  It was nice to have Austin along even though he is too old to play in the kids area.  We had a nice time sampling all of the treats in the barn and having apple cider and apple cider donuts.

My friend Cecilia and I have been setting up our garage sale for Friday and Saturday at her home which is located across the street from the library in Woodstock.  We have sooooo much in her garage.  My car didn't look that full when I packed it, but once it was out, I couldn't believe how much stuff I had!  Even she joked about having room for her stuff.  I'm getting there early with more in case any early shoppers arrive.  I'm actually excited to be cleaning out.

Next week, (Thursday Sept 15-Sunday Sept 18) is the beginning of the 13th year for Carriage House to be in business.  It's my 2nd year anniversary with them.  So we are having our fall open house.  It's always lots of fun!  I will be redoing my space and bringing in new treasures.  I'll be so exhausted once all of this physical work is over.

Remember, Mukwonago WI flea market is Sept 10-11, Pecatonica flea market is Sept 17-18 and Elkhorn is Sept 25.  These are the last flea markets of the season for these shows.

Happy treasure hunting!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Sharing Some Pictures...

Saturday was Shop The Shed in East Dundee IL.   Joy Waltmire from savvycityfarmer ( holds a sale at her house every year.  The shed and backyard was filled with great items.

This was the first time that she opened inside her home to shop as well.

She has an incredible talent for designing the most amazing spaces.  Maybe that's why she was mentioned in the fall issue of Flea Market Decor Magazine!

I fell in love with a corner in her laundry area.  The laundry area is off of the kitchen. It actually works well with how she designed the area.

One more thing that I just have to show you is the light fixture hanging in the laundry area.  It is a wire basket fixture hung with a pulley on an open ceiling.  It was fantastic!  Everyone commented on that the most.

She sells at the Elkhorn flea market in Elkhorn WI.  She will also be at Main Street Market on Sept 10 at the Midway Village in Rockford IL and a few other shows before the year ends.  Check out her website for more information.

Happy treasure hunting!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Elkhart Lake Wisconsin

We haven't been to Elkhart Lake Wisconsin in about 2 years.  It is one of my most favorite places to visit.  We love staying at the Ostoff Resort.  It is a family friendly resort and a few times during the week there is a smores night at the beach where you can make them over a bonfire. It's a fun dessert after dinner.

The town has a few restaurants and even an old fashioned ice cream parlor.  On Saturday mornings, there is a farmers market with a few vintage vendors.  We always get breakfast/coffee at Off the Rails which is a very small cafe across the street from the train depot.

Then, it's off to Plymouth (about 10 minutes from Elkhart Lake) to treasure hunt at the various stores in town.  My favorite stop is at Fibber McGee's Closet

Make sure to check their Facebook page for days open.  They always have a nice selection of items and the store is always displayed so nicely.  It has a Carriage House kind of feel which is why I'm probably drawn to it.  Here's a side view.  There is a small shed in back with more stuff.  That's where I found a really nice two tiered table with a great price because I need to mend the one leg.  Simple repair for a great table.

Down the street is The Red Rooster and a few blocks further along is The Shoppes On Mill Street. Both also have a nice selection at great prices.  (One of my favorite shops that carries vintage clothing and jewelry was closed temporarily).  Plymouth is known for the murals that are painted on the sides of many downtown buildings.  There is also a cow statue that we just had to take a picture of.

Antoinette looms over the town.  I just love smaller towns for just this reason.  So much charm in one place!  There are 2 thrift stores in the business part of town which are worth a stop.  We found quite a few treasures at them. (Neat Repeats and St. Vincent de Paul) We stopped at a few garage sales and one was by a woman who sells at the Cedarburg Flea Market. It was fun shopping at her sale.  

I know that today is the Elkhorn WI flea market, but Elkhart Lake is also so much fun for me.  I really look forward to this trip which we usually make yearly.  (Except that it signals the approaching end to summer vacation for the boys.  Ethan moves into college next Saturday.)  But, for today, we can just enjoy our time together.

Happy treasure hunting!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

It Was One of Those.....

It was one of those weekends where I found similar items at sales.

I found 4 wonderful trays at a garage sale.  The lady told me her husband worked at the plant that made them and she had kept them for all of these years.  (I only pictured 3 in my photo).  I love to hear the stories behind treasures that I buy.

I found 3 globes on Sunday.  The boys and I started out by going to the flea market on the grounds of Basilica of Holy Hill in Hubertus WI.  It is a once a year flea market with about 250 vendors.  The grounds and the church are absolutely amazing!

Admission and parking are free.  The day started out so foggy that we couldn't see the cars in front of us.  But, by the time we arrived at the flea market, the fog had cleared and it was chilly.  Perfect weather for walking around a flea market.  When 10am came, it was really hot and sunny and the line of cars to get in was soooo long.  The market opened at 7am and we got there around 7:45.  We had the perfect parking space.  Anyway, I found a globe, postal scale and so many other items that we had to make a trip to the car.  There weren't many food vendors but we had a delicious ice cream paddle made with honey ice cream sealed in chocolate for $2.

We walked the steep steps up to the church just as so many others were.  The church is absolutely amazing inside.  A mass was just beginning and quickly filling up.  What a gem kind of hidden in WI. We will definitely be going to this flea market again.  It was my first time there and I loved it.  Prices were average with some vendors having really good bargains.

On the way home, I saw a sign for an estate sale.  Of course, we had to stop.  It was at this sale that I found 2 more globes.  All 3 globes were made by Cramm's.  Guess I was destined to find them all!

Upcoming sales:  August 4 is the Calvary Church sale in Crystal Lake on Route 31.  Every Saturday until October is a flea market/farmers market in East Dundee IL.  Elkhorn WI flea market is August 14. Mukwonago WI flea market is August 20-21.  Lake Geneva WI has its downtown sidewalk sales days/Maxwell Street Days August 26-28.  Shop the Shed in East Dundee IL is August 27.

Don't forget about the 4H fairs coming up.  McHenry County fair in Woodstock IL starts tomorrow and runs until Sunday.  The WI State Fair runs from August 4-14, the Boone County Fair in Belvidere runs from August 9-14 and Walworth County Fair in Elkhorn runs from August 31-Sept 5.

Happy treasure hunting!