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!

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!

Monday, August 1, 2016

NTM Monday Ki Nassauer Style

I'm so excited to have me and my hammered aluminum collection featured in today's blog, NTM Monday by Ki Nassauer Style!

On Monday, a collection is highlighted on her blog.  It's a fun way to see what others are collecting.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

More Hammered Aluminum

You never know what you will find at a sale.  That's part of the reason why I love to shop them.  At a recent garage sale of mostly newer items, I found 2 wonderful Everlast hammered aluminum candle holders for $2.  They are so different from what I have.  How could I ever pass them up?  Another reason why you should always stop at a sale even though from the road it doesn't look like anything will interest you.  You never know!

The 12 trays also by Everlast were at an estate sale for $10.  It was an estate sale further away from where I usually go but since I wasn't busy that day, Austin and I took a ride.  He was happy that he found some Coca Cola items.

Tomorrow starts the sidewalk sales in downtown Crystal Lake at 8am.  The Carriage House will open at 10:30 as usual.  We have marked down soooo much!  I was just there marking down some of my vintage jewelry.  I want to make room for new treasures.  The Crystal Lake Antique mall across the street from the Carriage House will be having a flea market on Saturday.

I'm trying to make room in my space so all hammered aluminum is 20% off.

Upcoming dates:  July 31 Holy Hill flea market on the grounds of Basilica of Holy Hill in Hubertus WI.  I haven't been to this sale but have always wanted to.  It runs from 7-3pm. Free parking and admission.

Elkhorn flea market is Aug 3-7, Mukwonago flea market is Aug 20-21 and Shop the Shed in East Dundee IL is August 27.

The McHenry County 4-H fair in Woodstock IL is Aug 3-7 and the Boone County Fair in Belvidere IL is Aug 9-14.  Both are loads of fun.  I especially love to see the quilts and sewing projects.

Happy treasure hunting!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tips and Places for Treasure Hunting

Since treasure hunting season is in full swing, I thought I would share some tips and places to treasure hunt.  I saw this blog post from ( on Summer Antiquing.  There are some good tips listed as well as some of the more known places to treasure hunt.

My first choice to hunt for treasures is at garage sales.  I look for them all year long.  When the season finally kicks in, I am out all day.  Watch out for the sales that start on unusual days.  By me, Thursday through Saturday are the normal days for sales.  If a sale falls on a Wednesday, be sure to go to it.  The usual buyers may not be there.  I usually check the newspaper for sales, but lately more people are saving on cost and not advertising in the paper.  Free on line garage sale/estate sale sites are very popular so I get listings daily. Just Google garage sale ads and many will pop up that you can subscribe to.  Even Craigslist has sales listed.  On sale days, follow garage sale signs.  Many people only advertise by putting signs up.  Don't underestimate a sale just by the looks of it when you drive by.  I even stop at sales that only have baby items out (even though I don't need any of those items).  I have found many treasures at sales like those.   Also, if the house having a sale looks run down and creepy, stop anyway.  You can never tell what you will find.

Estate sales also have free sites that you can subscribe to.  I receive those listings daily too.  Keep a log of the sales/dates and times so you can plan a route.  You can stop at more sales if you are organized.

I like to visit new areas to treasure hunt.  I usually try to find an antique mall or thrift store in the town.  Thrift stores seem to have more items during garage sale season so stop at them often.'s tip about going to the downtown area is great.  I will stop in that area first if I don't know anything about the area.  Whether I stop in an antique store or thrift store, I always ask if there are other stores around like that one.  People are usually very helpful.  When I'm at an estate sale, I always talk to the other people on line with me to find out where they like to go or what other estate sales companies they like to shop at.  I get on those email lists for future sales.  I have made many friends at rummage sales and we always swap information on upcoming sales.  When you see the same faces at every sale, it becomes easy to make friends.

I try to visit smaller towns as often as possible.  I prefer smaller off the beaten path places.  Crystal Lake, Ridgefield and Woodstock Illinois have many nice shops.  Carriage House Antiques is a wonderful carriage house filled inside and out with antiques and good stuff.  Karen and Di have been in business for 12 years. Across the street is the Crystal Lake Antique Mall which sits at the edge of the downtown area where there are other stores and eateries to stop at.  Ridgefield is a quaint antiquing town that is a few minutes away from Crystal Lake.  Also a few minutes away is Anew Interiors Anew located on the historic square in Woodstock.  There are other shops and eateries in Woodstock to visit.

As many of you know, I love hammered aluminum pieces.  At one point, I had over 300 pieces. Slowly, I have been purging my collection and have around maybe 150 pieces.  I lost count again. My 2 favorite pieces came from garage sales.  Years ago when the boys were small, we stopped at a sale in Woodstock.  I always took the boys with me (even carrying them in their car seats so they couldn't touch anything).  I wasn't finding anything of interest at this sale until I spotted an aluminum table for $10.  I managed to carry it and the car seat!  It was a Wendell August Forge table.  Another piece I found at an estate sale years ago for $3.  It was an aluminum waste basket by Arthur Armour.  Both pieces are very collectible and hard to find.  I display them in my room along with other aluminum pieces that I treasure.  I have grouped them with some shell items.  (That's another collection for another post.)

Happy treasure hunting!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Adding to My Collection

I found another ironstone pitcher this week!  That's 2 this week and both were only $5 each.  I'm keeping both for my new collection.  That's how it all starts.  I can't believe how lucky I was to find them both.

Another thing I have always loved is white enamel pitchers.  I had 1 and was happy with it.  Until I found 2 more and then I found another one at the Cedarburg WI flea market yesterday.  I guess I have another collection!

The white enamel pitchers go so well with the milk glass.  The enamel pitchers have gone up in price since I started buying them.  I bought the one yesterday for $12 but most that I have seen are at least $38 and up.  That's why I grabbed that one.

Even though it rained all the way on our drive to Cedarburg, it stopped just as we got there and we found street parking.  That saved us $10 (the cost to park in the fair ground lot).  There were still vendors to shop from and the crowd was thin so it was really easy to walk around.  The morning was cool so it was enjoyable all around.

I spent a few hours helping out at the Harvard Community Garden as I like to do on Monday mornings, as much as I can.  It's my 9th year as a Master Gardener and it's my 9th year helping out at the garden.

The harvest was over 900 lbs today.  We even had a reporter from the Northwest Herald there to do a story in the near future.  It's so rewarding to know that we are helping families in need.  It's also a great way to learn about vegetable gardening

 In the afternoon, I spent some time reworking my booth at the Carriage House and marking items on sale.  We are getting ready for the sidewalk sales in downtown Crystal Lake next week, July 28-30.  I also brought in some new items so that my space looks refreshed.

Keep cool this week.  Happy treasure hunting!

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Collections

I'm taking advantage of these hot days to go through my hammered aluminum collection.  At the Carriage House, we are doing a display of hammered aluminum so it was time to part with some of mine.  I probably still have at least 100 pieces.  Down from over 300 years ago.  I decided to part with some of the bigger pieces.  I had bought this wonderful wire basket this weekend and it was perfect to hold the aluminum.  (I have such a weakness for wire baskets).

Another weakness I have is towards hammered aluminum pitchers.  I love the detail and look to them.  I dug those out of my stored collection and displayed them in the dining room alongside a few silverplated pitchers that I have started to enjoy.

I have been looking for ironstone pitchers recently.  I love the clean simple look to them.  I really had wanted to find a medium size one, but when I came across this large one (for $5) at a garage sale this weekend, I couldn't pass it up.

This should be a fun week for sales.  The McHenry County Defenders are having another sale starting on Thursday at 9am at the Algonquin Township Office on Rt 14 in Crystal Lake.  The Mukwonago WI flea market is this Saturday and Sunday and the Cedarburg WI flea market is Sunday.

Happy treasure hunting!

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sale Updates

I have added more sales coming up to my favorites page.  Please take a moment to check them out.

Nellies Barn Sale is on Oct 7-8 in Roscoe IL.  I went last year and it was wonderful!  Lots of great treasures.

Another one is Shop the Shed by SavvyCityFarmer in East Dundee IL on Aug 27.  I will be helping out at this sale so make sure to stop by and say "hi".

Tomorrow is the fair at the Historical Society Museum in Union IL.  The white elephant sale starts at 9am.  It's always lots of fun!  You can tour the museum for free tomorrow.  There will be an antique auction plus lots more fun.  Even a magician!  Here Austin and I are in front of the barn for last years fair.

Thursday is a garage sale for the McHenry County Defenders at the Algonquin Township Office on Rt 14 in Cary.  Sale starts at 9am.  

I can't buy any large items for at least another week since my van was rear ended and the trunk was pushed in. It goes into the shop on Monday for a few days and then I will be back out filling it up.  I have caught up with small things at home but I miss treasure hunting.  At least no one was hurt.

I have started marking down outside/garden items at the Carriage House.  Even lots of treasures inside the store.  I'm trying to get ready for the Crystal Lake sidewalk sales July 28-30.  

Austin and I stopped at  Home at Last Chic & Antique 253 Peterson Rd in Libertyville the other day. It is a nice mix of old and new and the day we were there, everything including sale items, was 40% off.  

Happy treasure hunting!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Annual Cheese Trip

Once or twice a year, we take a trip up to Monroe WI for a cheese buying spree.  Most of the cheese, except for cheddar, freeze well.  We stop at Alp and Dell to sample and buy cheese and Swiss Colony where we also buy petite fours and other cakes.  They freeze well also.

On the way through Brodhead, there is a home/barn that always decorates the end of their driveway. At Christmastime, there is a red pickup truck with Santa sitting in the drivers seat (I have posted pictures of this before) and in the summertime there is usually a pink bicycle decorated.

In addition to the pink bicycle, there was a baby carriage filled with flowers and a baby doll head sticking up in it.  It was such an awesome display.

The flowers in my garden are looking so beautiful.  The orange tiger lilies next to the purple wildflowers are stunning.

One of my favorites are alliums.  Especially the hairy ones!

The Algonquin Library summer book sale starts on July 7th with a fee for entry.  On Friday thru Sunday there is no fee.  The McHenry County University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners are having their annual Garden Walk on July 9 starting at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake.  The Historical Society Museum in Union IL is having their fest/sale on Sunday July 10 starting at 9am. There's a white elephant sale, auction and pie contest.  The Mukwonago WI flea market is July 16-17, Cedarburg WI flea market is July 17 and sidewalk sales in Crystal Lake IL are July 28-30.  This is only a sampling of events during July.  There is so much to see and do.

Have a safe and fun Fourth of July celebration!

Happy treasure hunting!