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~ The Search ~

So what is your flea market strategy?

Do you go and browse? Waiting for the perfect item to make itself known?

Do you go to flea markets in search of a specific item? Or additions to your collections?

I have to admit, I used to be a browser. However, after years of accumulating, editing and then more accumulating I am more thoughtful when I am at flea markets and antique stores.

There are some exceptions to my "rule". I rarely pass up cream colored clocks (at least not lately), brown English transferware is also tough to pass (especially when it is priced well) and I am always a sucker for ironstone anything.

I know I promised pictures of what I purchased at the Junk Bonanza. However, I thought I would first let you know what I was on the "hunt" for. Got any ideas?

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Happy Monday!

Anyone else love Pandora internet radio as much as me?

I have Pandora as an application on my iPhone and it is probably my most used feature. You see, with the kiddos back at school and the midwest weather turning cooler by the day, I find myself in hanging out in my home more and more.

Music is a necessity to me...can't live without it. Oh, and I have lots of music moods too - from opera, to country, to classic rock, to pop, to the cheesy 80's music of my youth.

Last week I "found" a new Pandora station - "French Bisto Cafe". I swear this station will be solely responsible for my maintaining what little sanity I have left during the coming winter months. Well documented on this blog, I am not a fan of Minnesota winters, nope, not me. I don't skate, play hockey, ski (on bumps they call hills), shovel, or even take a walk in the sunny "crisp" air.

I hibernate in the winter - knock out lots of house projects, cook stew, clean out closets, drink lots of red wine AND this winter, will have "French Bistro Cafe" playing in my home. Ahhhhh, I think I can make it.

How does music affect your moods? Is it necessary in your life too? Can it serve as a quick pick-me-up for you?

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Grand Giveaway

This is my friend Kasey. I imagine many of you consider her your friend too, because, like me, you faithfully read her blog Lola B's Boutique. I was lucky to meet Kasey in real life at the Farm Chicks Antiques Show, where this picture of us was taken.

Kasey is celebrating her 300th post by offering a very generous giveaway. Hurry over to Lola B's to leave your comment and become a follower (if you are not already).

Have a wonderful day.

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Junk Bonanza....Chapter Two

Deep breath....ahhhhhh......

Ok everyone, I am feeling the pressure of this post.

You see, the Junk Bonanza was a really fun experience that brought together so many wonderful midwest dealers. It was BIG.

Yes, I took lots of pictures, many of them blurry (sigh). I am really trying to improve my picture taking abilities. My fancy camera is good to me but can only take me so far.

One of reasons the Bonanza was so fun for me is that I got to see lots of dealers who I know personally. I know them because I happen to be a good shopper of their monthly occasional sales....shhhh, don't tell the hubby.

I met Jane Hall of Mustard Moon soon after moving to Minnesota. She hosts a monthly occasional sale here in Minnesota. She also happens to be the friend who introduced me to her good friend Ki Nassauer! Jane's booth took my breath away.

The wonderful oversized finial (or something else?) made of galvanized metal was so cool and sold very quickly!

This is one of my better photos so thought I should include it!

One of the great features of the Junk Bonanza was the local farm stand (Marshall's Farm) that had set up a wonderful space just outside the venue. Marshall's sold all sorts of gourds, pumpkins, mums, produce, homemade jams, soup mixes, breads and salsas. Marshall's also provided all the fresh flowers I used for my table. This family run farm uses organic farming practices and has beautiful produce at their stand. If you live in Minnesota - go see them in Eden Prairie near the airport.

These are a couple pictures I took of the unloading process. I have always been a shopper at flea markets and really did not realize the physical labor involved in setting up for the event. Their were plently of helpful husbands on set-up day!

Loved these corbels - I am a sucker for all architectural pieces!

I also seem to gravitate to garden elements and thought this statue was just so sweet.

My friend Shayne from the brick and mortar store Style Minneapolis was also a vendor at the Junk Bonanza. Her booth featured some of the items from her store and her wonderful jewelry made from vintage pearls, chains and other vintage elements.

Loved these stools.......

These are fun!

I saw lots of cubbies like this one. I really like them but don't have a space or use for them.

This vendor (who happens to be a friend) had a great space. I admired the London Underground sign (hanging in the background).

There you have it...Have a wonderful day everyone!

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Junk Bonanza....Chapter One.......

First, I must say, I am a bit overwhelmed by the sweet comments left for me after my last post. I have read each and every one and find them all so wonderful. It is so nice to know you are out there! Writing this blog, taking the leap and really "putting it out there" has really been one of the best experiences...I mean it.

I am humbled and honored to be featured on my friend Kim's blog (Mimi Charmante) today. I met Kim when she came to Minnesota to shop at the Oronoco Gold Rush Antiques Show. It was such a treat to meet her in real life and will look forward to seeing her again!

I realized today that I cannot really do right by the Junk Bonanza experience by limiting my coverage to just one post. So, consider this post Chapter One.....The Thrifty Mom Challenge.

Y'all (the one place I have never lived is the South, however, today that just came out, go figure!)remember that Ki crowned me the Junk Bonanza "Thrifty Mom", correct?

It is hard to put in words what an honor and a true thrill it was to work with Ki - and I use the term "work" rather loosely here because what I did was not rocket science by any means. However, for a fan like myself, just being able to say to my husband, "sorry honey, dinner is going be late, I have a meeting with Ki" was a total kick! And for all of you out there who think you can't possibly pursue your dreams and passions, my becoming the "Thrifty Mom" is proof that you can.

You see, last year I went to the Junk Bonanza as a shopper. I had just moved to Minnesota and was a fan of Ki's from Country Home magazine.

Knowing that I want to do something with my passion for shopping vintage, incorporating it into your home, being creative in the pursuit of making a home etc....I asked a friend who knows Ki if she could introduce us.

I met Ki for coffee in July and quickly became the "Thrifty Mom". I was given my assignment - to create a fabulous table scape with $100 using only items found at our local thrift store Arc's Value Village.

Little did I know that this table would get so much attention. It seemed our local television stations were interested in covering it - and Ki wanted to the press to promote the Bonanza. I appeared on one program with a representative from Arc's Value Village and Ki appeared on another (I even got to go there with her and be on set!) The picture above is of Ki on set and below is an edited version of the table ready for tv.

At the Bonanza, I set up my table near the Arc's Value Village booth (they were a vendor this year). Bonanza shoppers were able to put their name in a drawing to win the items that I put together. I was thrilled with all the compliments the table received! It was fun to talk to shoppers about shopping thrift and some even recognized me from my television appearance!

On Saturday, with Ki present I got to draw the winning name! And today, I delivered the goods to a VERY happy woman who told me that she had been married 35 years and had never owned a set of china! It warmed my heart to present her the boxes of gorgeous china and silver service.

I have to say, I l-o-v-e-d every minute of this experience. You see, one day I was a (more often than not) happy stay-at-home mommy to two girlies, wife to one traveling man hubby, friend to many, sometimes exerciser, wine lover, infrequent laundress, habitual redecorator, PTA volunteer..... AND THEN, I got to play dress-up and pretend I was a glamorous stylist working with a real live magazine editor, junker-extrodinare.... all because I took that leap...made that phone call.

I saw this quote recently:

Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. (Howard Thurman)

What I discovered is that I have creativity within me and using it makes me "come alive". Being in the presence of other creative types - Ki, Matthew Mead, Heather Bullard, Serena Thompson, Linda MacDonald and all the talented vendor and friends that I met was simply glorious and boy, did I feel ALIVE and lucky.

Chapter Two, coming tomorrow, I promise. Thanks bunches and bunches to all of you, dear friends!

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I know you are expecting a thorough post featuring all the highlights of the Junk Bonanza....don't's coming...tomorrow.....

First, dear readers, I wanted to make a request.

You see, I am coming up on my 100th post! I can't believe it.

I started blogging be perfectly honest....I started blogging because I needed friends. You see, I had just moved (for the 3rd time in 4 years) to Minnesota....and have you heard? Minnesota is cold in the winter! And I am one of those girls who really does not like the cold so much! So I found myself in my house alot last winter...which is fine because it is one of my favorite places to be, although a bit lonely with the kids off to school and the husband at work....

So, I missed my girlfriends, the ones that I could share my complaints about the cold with, meet for coffee, or better yet, a glass of wine. I missed my friends who have great style and share my love of all things vintage/euro/inspired and obsessively and continually decorate and redecorate their homes.

And right in the middle of my first Minnesota winter, right there on my computer, I found a community of like-minded women.

I was inspired by my favorite bloggers, Linda of Restyled Home, and Kasey of Lola B's, and Melaine of My Sweet Savannah, and Kim of Mimi Charmante to start my very own blog.

And you know what? I have been fortunate and honored to have met everyone of the women mentioned above! What a fantastic and creative bunch they are.

So what is my request? I would l-o-v-e to get 100 followers of this blog by the time I write my 100th post. And as of today, I have 90 followers...and if my math is correct...that is only 10 more followers! If you read this blog and are not currently a follower, please take a few moments and become a follower. I promise exciting things are in store around here!

And after all, who knows what a second Minnesota winter will inspire in me.....

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Please accept my apologies....this post contains (gasp!) no pictures.....

Just wanted to post a quick update on the Junk Bonanza.

The doors opened yesterday for Early Birds at 8:00 am - there was such excitement from shoppers and vendors. As I said to someone, all the vendors really brought their "A" game to this year's Bonanza.

At 10:00 when the doors opened to general admission attendees, they estimated there were approximately 500 people waiting in the line to get in! Within minutes, the venue was packed!

I was so pleased to hear the wonderful comments about the table scape I had created. It made all the hard work, searching for the perfect elements worth it! I was also happy to bring attention to Arc's Value Village - the thrift store where I shopped. Arc reaches out to our help those in need in our community and their thrift stores support that effort. The best compliment I heard from a shopper with regards to my table is that it looked like an Anthropologie display - what a way to warm this Anthro fan's heart! Anthropologie was really my inspiration for the table, so I guess I succeeded.

The highlight of my day was meeting the exuberant Heather Bullard, the kind and warm Linda McDonald (of Restyled Home), the talented Matthew Mead and the wonderful Serena Thompson of the Farm Chicks. I expect you will be able to visit all their blogs soon to see wonderful pictures and writings about the Junk Bonanza. I don't think I ever saw Heather yesterday without her camera in her hand!

I also had the chance to meet Kristen Hollister. Does anyone know who she is? Kristen was the winner of the "Knock Knock it's Nate" contest that Oprah's home magazine did a few years ago. Kristen lives in Minneapolis and a friend of mine introduced me to her. I don't know about you, but the photos of Kristen's home that appeared in that magazine are in my inspiration notebook! It was fun to meet her and she was just so genuinely NICE.

I am heading back to the Bonanza for a short time today. I promise to do a more comprehensive post over the weekend, complete with lots of pictures!

Happy Friday everyone! (oh, and I did do some shopping, yes I did, and will show you my treasures too!)

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~Good Junk~

I have been having a blast being the Junk Bonanza's "Thrifty Mom" - today I got to go on a local television program to help promote the Bonanza! I brought some of the items from my table and got to show just how stylish you can be while shopping thrift stores! I was completely nervous but recorded the show and watched it with my girls after school. Both girls thought I did well and did not embarrass myself too much!

After my television appearance I headed over to Canterbury to drop off some of the things for my table scape project. For a flea marketing/junking fan seeing all the junk coming in through the venue doors was pure heaven! I found myself oohing and ahhing my way around - after seeing some particularly cool stuff, I found myself getting giddy just thinking of the shopping possibilities that await on Thursday!

I took the picture above at my friend Jane's booth. Jane hosts a monthly occasional sale calle Mustard Moon in Carver, Minnesota. A long time friend of Ki Nassauer, Jane is a regular Junk Bonanza vendor. Her booth this year is AMAZING, very industrial and just way too cool! It will knock your socks off as you enter the Bonanza!

I hope to post more pictures tomorrow. For all you Minnesota readers, I will be appearing tomorrow with Ki on Twin Cities Live on KSTP at 3:00 pm - check it out!

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Junk Bonanza Project...Sneak Peak....

I have been having a blast with the "Thrifty Mom" challenge project.

Ki Nassauer, founder of the Junk Bonanza, challenged me (yes, little ol' me) to shop one of the sponsors for this years' Junk Bonanza, Arc's Value Village (a local thrift store) for a stylish table setting for eight. I was given a budget of $100. The table will be set and displayed in the Arc's Value Village booth at the Junk Bonanza. Attendees will be able to put their name in a drawing to win all the items on the table! Ki, along with Arc's Value Village, wants to show Bonanza attendees that even on a budget you can find stylish vintage wares for your home.

It has been an honor to work with Ki. I don't know about you, but I was a fan of hers from way back and faithfully read all her columns in Country Home. While I always knew I liked to incorporate vintage in my home - Ki made it "cool" to do so. She is really responsible for giving the word "junk" the meaning it has today as it relates to home-styling. How many of us say we are going "junking" rather than "antiquing"? Didn't our mothers go "antiquing"? Now, us all cool and hip go "junking". Thanks Ki!

So, I have been doing alot of "junking" at Arc's Value Village and have found some fabulous (and stylish) items for the table that will be displayed at the Bonanza.

The chalkboard pictured above is part of the table scape and will be included, along with everything on the table, in the drawing. I made the chalkboard using an old picture purchased at Arc's. The frame was in great shape - even has a burlap (so NOW) matte! I simply removed the less than desirable picture and had a piece of MDF cut to fit, painted it with chalkboard paint and there you have it!

Also above is a close shot of the fabric that really inspired the rest of the table. I was so lucky to find at Arc's Value Village almost 2 yards of a very cool (with fall colors no less) vintage fabric to use on the table. You will have to come to the Bonanza to see just how this fun fabric was used. No worries if you will be unable to attend - I will be posting pictures on the final table scape - complete with lots of natural elements - think cabbage/kale, gourds, pumpkins - after the Junk Bonanza.

Hope everyone has a fabulous Tuesday - it was for me - kiddos FINALLY went back to school! While we had a terrific summer, let's just say it was time....

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Where you can find me on September 17....

Not to be missed. Besides the opportunity to shop for fabulous junk from over 100 vendors, the Junk Bonanza is hosting a blog party on Thursday, September 17 from 1 - 2pm (yeah right, you think bloggers can only get together for an hour???).

Besides yours truly, the Farm Chicks (yes they have names - Teri and Serena), Heather Bullard, and Matthew Mead will be there!

Please leave me a comment if you will be there or even if you won't to tell me you wish you could!

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What's a girl to do?

Hello friends! Life has been busy around here at the Forever to get ready for school, parents visiting and oh, that "little" project I have going for the Junk Bonanza (which I will blog about tomorrow - complete with some sneak peek pictures!).

In all my "spare time", I found a very interesting article yesterday in my local Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper titled "Decor or diamonds?".

According to a survey done by Kilz Roller Report (they make a damn fine primer, thank you very much), 85% of women would prefer a $5,000 home makeover to a pair of diamond earrings of the same value! And 88% of men would prefer a $5,000 deck or garage makeover to an expensive watch.

The survey results also reveal:

> While 51% of women don't like the decor in at least one room in their best friend's home, only 55% would tell them so.

And not surprising....

> 66% of men prefer neutral walls over bold colors.

And the one statistic to give us all hope....

> 88% of men say they would invest in home decor to make their current partner happy!

So where do you stand? Diamonds or decor?

I certainly know where I stand, and more importantly so does my hubby...

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