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 24, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you all a blessed day....

When my grandmother (baba) passed away 12 years ago, I got the wedding picture of her and my grandfather (deda).  I didn't like the frame so I'm ashamed to say, I put it in the back of the closet for another time.

Well, about one month ago, I pulled it out and was going to mount it on a wooden door.  I kept procrastinating, which isn't like me, and it didn't get done.  The other day, a customer came into the Carriage House and bought a wooden pew end from me and right next to the pew end were two doors from an old cabinet that I kind of forgot about.  I thought one would make a perfect frame for the picture.  So yesterday I went to the shop and measured the door but still wasn't sure it would work. Last night I couldn't sleep and decided that I would go to the shop before it opened and take another look at the door.  This time I took the picture with me and it was then that I knew it would work perfectly.

Sometime in the past, the picture was mounted to heavy cardboard so I needed to use a utility knife to resize it.  It looks beautiful!  The door is the perfect frame for the picture.

I called my mom to tell her that I reframed the picture.  I felt so desperate the past two days to get it done.  Kind of an uneasy feeling.  That was when she told me that today is the 25th anniversary of my grandfather's (deda's) passing.  To me it is a Christmas Eve blessing from him to be remembered.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Decorating for Christmas

I wanted to share some pictures of my friend Joy's house from savvycityfarmer  Her house was beautifully decorated for the holidays.

What a great idea for using a high chair to hold books.

I especially love her mantle.

Here is a cute display.

Simple greenery really created a wonderful farmhouse look.  I love seeing how Joy puts things together.  It's never the same.

Since I have been feeling the holiday spirit along with some creativity, I created some tree decor with bottle brush trees and thread spools.  I loved using the darker spools that still had thread on them with vintage jewelry as an embellishment.

I only had 2 larger thread spools and thought that they would make great looking trees.  I also used a miniature oil can for one of the tree bases.

I created three of the trees with vintage trim and vintage jewelry as an embellishment.  I found a few metal paper holder stands to use as the base for the trees.  

Merry Christmas.  Happy Holidays.  Wishing you peace and endless creativity!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Creatively Inspired

Ever since I went to that open house last week, I have been coming up with creative ideas.  I have been inspired.  I'm going to try to "create" more in the new year.

I decided to chalkboard paint some white doors that I have for sale at the Carriage House.  This time though, I kept one for my front porch. I stock up on wreaths that I find at garage sales.  I always find a use for them. The iron candle holder was a find years ago at Autumn Drive in Woodstock for $15.  I love its rusty patina.

It's simple, but the look that I was after.  I painted a smaller one too and have two of them at the store now for sale.

It was such an easy project.  I still have some white doors and windows that I haven't painted yet. Just in case I come up with different ideas.

My friend Cecilia has been having creative moments too.  She did such a nice display of vintage Christmas ideas in her dining area.

With a lot of snow forecast for this weekend, I may just be creating all weekend.

Happy treasure hunting!  There are still sales around.....

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!