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!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Is It Really....

Is it really almost the end of July already?  Boy has the summer flown by.  I always try to fit so much in during the summer that I'm not always sure that I got everything done.

Sidewalk sales in Downtown Crystal Lake were last week so I spent a lot of time marking down items at the Carriage House.  Sometimes I get tired of seeing the same treasure that I have had in my space for quite awhile.  I'm sure the customers do too.  It's always so refreshing to change things around.  Lots of items came home with me to sell at my garage sale.  I should start planning for it sometime in September or early October.

Here's a small glimpse of one wall in my space.  I always like to mix styles so that someone is sure to find something special at all times. I just love that spring hanging on the wall!

That wood winged piece sold right away.  I knew it would.  I really love that trophy....

Ethan and I drove pretty far one day to grab it at a garage sale.  So glad that we did.

Here's another great garage sale buy.

It still has the old hardware on it.  Love the chippy white paint on it.

Another wonderful find were these concrete heads.

They sold right away.  How could they not?  They were awesome, but sooooo heavy.  I made the boys carry them to the car when I bought them.

Tomorrow on the Woodstock Square is a 20th anniversary celebration for Harry Potter from 4-8pm with the Sorcerer's Stone movie starting at 8:30 in the park on the square.  I can't wait to drink butterbeer!

The weather on Sunday is supposed to be really nice so head on over to the flea market on the grounds of the Basilica of Holy Hill in Hubertus Wisconsin from 7am-3pm.  I went last year and loved it.  It is well worth the trip. Free parking and admission last year.  I'm hoping its the same this year.  I'll let you know.

The McHenry County Fair is next week August 1-6.  Tuesday starts at 4pm and is only $4 to get in.  I was judging 4H art projects today.  It was my first time being a judge.  It was fun but hard to decide who should get a blue ribbon or not.  The kids were fantastic in explaining their projects.  It was a wonderful experience!

I joined my friend Mary at the Farmer's Market on the Woodstock Square yesterday.  She is the SNAP educator for the University of Illinois Extension and I worked the Master Gardener side to answer gardening questions.  We always have so much fun when we work together. She had made a game with nutrition and healthy plate portions.  Here's a person who got to wear a bee visor as a prize. (Mary's on the left and I'm on the right).

That beautiful flower arrangement came from the vendor at the market who has a cutting farm in Harvard Illinois.  It's magnificent.  I had to bring it home!

I'm hoping to get lots of treasure hunting fun in New Jersey and Pennsylvania soon.  I'll keep you posted.  I am sooo looking forward to stopping at the Wendell August Forge store in Grove City Pennsylvania on my way there. One can never have enough hammered aluminum!

Happy treasure hunting!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Berry Picking on the 4th of July

Happy 4th of July!

It was the perfect morning to go raspberry picking.  Austin had been craving a raspberry pie all week so this morning we set off to get some.  I had never been to Heider's Berry Farm.

I was so surprised and excited at how much they had to offer and at how crowded they were at 8am. We picked four containers so that he had enough to bake the pie and some for later.

If you are ever in the area, plan to stop by.  Check out their Facebook page first though for times and what's available for picking.

By the way, his pie was delicious!

Happy treasure hunting!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Milk Glass Makeover

I finally finished my milk glass makeover!  I have two large tubs full to sell at the Carriage House.  I have slowly been taking in pieces so as not to overwhelm anyone.  It can be overwhelming when you see how big of a collection I had.  In the back of the top shelf is a hammered aluminum tray by Arthur Armour that I found at the Wilmot Flea Market.  It's a keeper.

The other cabinet has a mixture of colored glass, crystal, aluminum and milk glass.

While I was at it, I redid the cabinet in my kitchen.  That one has a mixture of milk glass, blue colored glass and a cabbage piece.

Since I was on a roll, I redid the cabinet in my dining room and cleaned out the little collectibles in it. I left the hammered aluminum pitchers on top of it.

I love that these collections are more tailored down to pieces that I really love.  I hadn't seen some of them for a while since they were so buried with other pieces.  I'm sure that I'll get the urge to redo the cabinets when it gets colder outside, but for now, I'm done!  I like how the cake plate looks with the hammered aluminum candlesticks.

With that done, I have been out treasure hunting as much as I can.  One of the best finds ever was at an estate sale last week.

These two cabinets were in the chicken coop!  I grabbed them right away.  The top one is all wood and really heavy and the bottom one is metal.  So cool....

Hope you have been taking advantage of all of the sales in your area.  Happy treasure hunting!

Monday, June 19, 2017


I have been on a mission to redecorate my house.  Nothing major. Just small changes.  I realized that I had some things for what seems like forever and I just didn't notice them anymore.  They didn't bring joy into my life.  So, it was time for a change.

I redecorated "my room" around the ocean painting.  My friend Cecilia gave it to me and it took me awhile to find the right place for it.  It looks great surrounded by some of my seashell collections.  I especially like how the pottery "shells" look with it.  My yellow wall seems to highlight the collections even more.  I love how the yellow walls always bring a happy note to my day.  

You can get a glimpse of my books and oddities that I collect like the vintage plastic cows and flower frogs that I use to hold pictures.  There are even some crafts that my boys made when they were younger that I can't part with.

On to the dining room.....

I had been looking for a vintage cow pitcher and I found one!  I went to a church flea market last weekend and it was there with some hammered aluminum coasters that I couldn't pass up either.  I put it on top of the china cabinet with the white enamel pitchers and milk glass.

At that same flea market, I found three vintage leather Coach purses for $5 each.  What a great flea market it was! The one on the top left is not vintage, but I found it at a garage sale for $3. I guess I'm collecting vintage leather Coach purses now.

On to my bedroom....

I worked really hard on my perfume bottle collection.  It looks so much better now.  I still have quite a few of the larger sizes.  The miniature ones are the ones that I really wanted to purge.

With each process of purging my treasures, it gets easier.  I keep tweaking the area and most of the time something else gets eliminated.  It feels good.  It feels lighter.


I went to two flea markets this weekend.  The one in Belvidere IL was on Saturday night from 3pm to midnight.  I went at 3pm.  I can't stay awake that long any more.  I found a few things.  I like this once a year flea market because its small and there are always treasures to find.  Afterwards, we stop at Smokin Coop BBQ Pit for ribs and pulled pork sandwiches.  It's well worth the stop.

On Sunday, we went to the Wilmot WI flea market.  I haven't been there for over a year.  It's held every Sunday.  It was so much fun!  It is definitely worth the trip.  There is everything from total junk to rust to toys to food.  You name it.  

I found another Statue of Liberty to add to my collection and the best find was an Arthur Armour gold hammered aluminum tray for $5. I spotted that from far away.  

How exciting it was to read the Sunday newspaper and see that the Carriage House was chosen as One of the Best Vintage Clothing and Furniture shops by the reader's of the Northwest Herald.  

Sunday is the Elkhorn WI flea market.  Happy treasure hunting!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I'm a Little Bit Country.....

I used to be a lot more rock n roll.  (Now I'm kind of a mixture of many things).  I love living in the country.  It took me a long time to find that out. My mom was born and raised in Ginter Pennsylvania and when we would go to visit my grandparents, I hated the bugs and country living.  We lived in the suburbs in New Jersey but were very close to New York.  So Ginter was another world away.  It took me awhile when I moved to Illinois to get used to the openness and the farms surrounding me, but I grew to love it.  I wouldn't have it any other way now.

My fascination with cow items and cowboy boots started a few years ago.  I fell in love with wooden barns and at one time had about six of them.  They were larger toy barns so they took up a lot of space.  I have since sold all but one of them.  I kept my favorite barn (that I purchased at the Elkhorn Flea Market many years ago) which I moved to my living room last year so that I could enjoy it.  I love to create vignettes around my home so that each "room" is different.

The larger cow figure I purchased in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania.  I originally had it in my space at the Carriage House but it never sold.  I think it was fate because every time I saw it, I thought that I should just keep it.  So I did!  I love it.  I like to incorporate some other unique pieces into my spaces.  Next to the barn is a Haeger vase that is more modern and a really great orange jug (that I purchased about 20 years ago for $3.  It was filled with match books and I only wanted the jug.) I move it around the house to add something colorful to my decor.

I own a few pairs of cowboy or should I say, cowgirl boots.  Mostly black.  I was on a mission this past fall to find a different pair.  While I was at a thrift store up in Wisconsin, I found this great pair for $10.  It was end of year clearance.  I couldn't pass them up!  Look how great they look in front of my fireplace with a straw bag filled with flowers and one of my favorite red rusty toy trucks.  I seem to also have an obsession recently with leather items.  I have found four vintage leather Coach purses for $3-5 each. I have decided to keep them all!  They are all cross body types, which is my new preference in bags.

(I recently found a leather site that I'm finding out more about. I don't have any history or experience with them yet, but thought I would share it with you since it has my leather obsession covered.  It's not a surprise that their most popular item is cowboy boots).

Imagine how excited I was to purchase those red/black boots.  I can wear them or I can display them as part of my decor.  How exciting is that!

In my basement, I have hung some country pictures.  All of them are unique and were around $5 each.  Just goes to show that you can find a lot of treasures at garage sales.

Love the cows in this one! Very subtle.

These cows are more abstract.

I love the vivid colors in this one.

I love the jug better in this spot where I'll keep it.  It picks up the orange and brown hues in these barn paintings.  It also looks good with my yellow planter collection.

My country decor is very subtle but it fits into my style.  If you were to look in another area of the living room you would find my growing ironstone collection or milk glass collection which seems to blend in so well with each other.

I'm so looking forward to wearing these.....maybe at the McHenry County Fair August 1-6.

Happy treasure hunting!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Farmers Market Fun

Last weekend we were at a Pokemon Regional Tournament in Madison Wisconsin.  We have been attending Pokemon tournaments for years now.  The boys love playing the trading card game and have made so many wonderful friends from around the country.  Now that they are older and don't need my supervision (as much), I am free to explore the area.

I love to walk around the Farmers Market in Madison.  It goes all around the capital building.  This year there was construction in the street but the market still went on.

It is the largest producer market in the country.  There were a lot of onions, rhubarb, asparagus, mushrooms, lettuce, spinach, vegetable and flower plants and of course, pastries, breads and cheese.
I ate my share of scones.  The Dairy Council held an event a few blocks away and had lots of cheese and ice cream vendors.  There was even a McDonald's tent!  Cows were the hit with the kids. There was a vintage auto show on a few of the blocks.  I found my dream truck.  Too bad it wasn't for sale.

It was a beautiful weekend weather wise.  When we returned home, it was a pleasant surprise to see flowers in bloom.  (Even with the weeds!)

Usually the deer get to this before I can spray to deter them.  I think I beat them this year.

How beautiful this is swaying in the wind!

The Mukwonago Flea Market in Mukwonago WI is this Saturday and Sunday. There is a vintage market in McHenry IL by Fairfield Market on Saturday on Route 120 in the old car dealer building with the large lions out front.

Beautiful weather means lots and lots of garage sales.  The church rummage sales have exploded this week also.  I couldn't get to all of them.  I tried though.  Tomorrow is a day of garage saleing.  My perfect way to spend the day.

Happy treasure hunting!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Hello summer!

Well, my vegetable garden had its first casualty sometime within the last day.  All of the hot pepper plants and two of the kohlrabi plants have completely disappeared.  Either the deer or rabbits had a feast.  At least the tomato plants are still there.  It's disappointing not only for the time I spent planting but for the money involved.  Last year the kohlrabi were eaten but not the hot pepper plants. I will probably try again but in pots in my driveway.  The animals don't touch them then.

It was a beautiful weekend here.  Finally the temperature was warm and the sun was out.  Austin and I spent the afternoon in Lake Geneva WI.  That is one of my favorite places.  We spend a lot of time there since he plays a strategy game, HeroClix, at the local comic shop.  I then have time to spend walking around for hours, by myself, enjoying a Starbucks drink and ice cream at Kilwins.  It was perfect!

I found a few treasures this week.  This pink quilt is really pretty.  It is hand pieced and in perfect condition.

I also found some great treasures at an estate sale.  Hard to pass up a bird cage and windows.  Never pass up old windows!

We never made it to Cedarburg WI on Sunday for the flea market.  Storms hit there during the day and most of the outdoor vendors didn't set up.  It was good that we didn't drive the almost two hours it takes us to get there.

I spent a few hours yesterday purging my milk glass collection.  I filled up a bin to take to the Carriage House to sell.  When I get in the mood to clean out, I go with it.  I will probably go through it again soon to clean out some more.  I like the cleaner look to the cabinets (pictures will come when I'm all through with the purging).  My next project may be my miniature perfume bottle collection that I started 33 years ago....

Happy treasure hunting and Happy summer!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rainy Day Flea Market and Gardening

What unbelievable mud at the Pecatonica Flea Market on Sunday.

Certain spots were really bad.  We were troopers and so were the wonderful dealers that were set up through all of it.  There were lots of good buys!  I found some really great metal pieces to use as planters.

We made many trips to the car, through the mud.  On our way out, we saw one car that was really stuck in the mud.  Nothing keeps a flea market junkie away from a flea market!

I only kept one purchase for myself.  (I got rid of three things in "my room" as my excuse to keep it).

This rusty green camper toy was too awesome to pass up.  My friend got a kick out of the doily under it.  Everything in my home has a doily.  I'll be changing them tomorrow to more of a blue color scheme to welcome in the summer.

After the Open House at Carriage House, I needed to restock and redesign my space.  I just wanted to show you some pictures of how cool I thought my space turned out.

And here's another one.  This is my favorite one so far.

I just started on Instagram so you can start to see my pictures there also under pathtojunkentreasure.

Today was the perfect morning to plant my vegetable garden. Ethan helped me.  We planted kohlrabi, tomatoes and hot peppers.  Simple selection but ones that we eat all the time.  This year we laid really thick landscape fabric to help keep the weeds under control.  It was so thick that we had a hard time sticking the tomato cages into the ground.

We spent around four hours on it.  I love the soreness that follows a good day of planting.  It means that I had a good time spending time with my hands in the dirt.  I hung a garden sign that has faded. I'm going to look for small metal letters that spell garden to replace the faded letters.

My iris have bloomed!

I love the contrast of the purple with the green.  They really stand out.  Most of my garden is limited to purple flowers.  I love that color combination in the garden.  I recently bought a hosta plant at a garden sale for $5.  Now is the perfect time to buy plants at garden sales or garden club sales because the prices are inexpensive.  I even bought an heirloom tomato plant at a sale last week that I planted today also.  There are lots of good plants to be found at sales.

The Cedarburg WI flea market is on Sunday.  I hope it doesn't rain!

Happy treasure hunting!

Monday, May 15, 2017

Warm Weather Wishes and Events

Happy Mother's Day!

I spent a part of Saturday at the flea market at the Shops on Pepper Road in Lake Barrington.  It is held once a year.  I bought this great lavender plant from Joy at Savvycityfarmer (  It looks and smells so nice in my planter that covers the septic tank.  I would rather look at the lavender any day!

Last week, the Shops in Ridgefield ( held their garden open house event.  The weather was perfect for being outside.

I managed to find a few treasures.....

Now, I'm busy getting ready for the Spring Open House at Carriage House.

I spent some time there this morning....and planted this dump truck for a unique planter.

There are a few markets coming up.  Main Street Market ( event in Rockford is on Saturday.   The Pecatonica flea market ( is on Saturday and Sunday and the Elkhorn WI flea market ( is on Sunday.

The Cedarburg WI flea market ( is May 28.

Happy treasure hunting!