I’m not even sure how to start this post; this experience was so much fun and so…I don’t know the right word. Encouraging? Pivotal? Challenging? Exhilarating.

I have wanted to attend Junkstock for the past three years. Every time I heard about it I knew I would love it, but the timing was always off. Is it too much to say I think it was providential that we were in Omaha this past weekend at the same time Junkstock was taking place? Too much? I don’t know; I was pretty excited about it!!

And it did NOT disappoint.


From their website:

Just as Woodstock rocked the fields of an old dairy farm in Bethel, NY the summer of 69’, Junkstock will rock the fields of an old West Omaha Dairy farm October 10-12, 2014. 3 days of peace love music and junk! A weekend we’ll never forget, filled with Juried Junk Vendors from 10 different states, bringing vintage finds, unique antiques, and one of a kind re-purposed goods.

Each booth looked like a miniature store – merchandised and decorated in amazing ways. I simply could NOT believe how many people were there shopping!!! It was amazing! A.MA.ZING!!!!!

I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. And that is exactly how I picture my heavenly mansion – white chippy distressed and vintaged-out!


I kept getting sidetracked by the displays even more than the merchandise for sale! Like this necklace holder. Brilliant! Loved it!! As is typical for all booth vendors, when I mentioned how fabulous it was to the booth owner her husband said, “Thanks! We just made that last night at midnight!” -ha! Oh how I remember those days of last-minute prop building.



This fine dresser could have used a nice serving tray on it, don’t you think?!



I took this picture for my mother-in-law. She’d get a good kick out of seeing someone selling hedge apples for $3. They are everywhere on their property and a bit of an annoyance to them.



There is no other word for it: I completely and utterly and unabashedly stalked the woman below. I loved her style! This picture doesn’t really fully do her justice. The streaks of pink in her blonde hair were the icing on the cake. I have no shame.



I’m a little sad I didn’t pick up some of the fantastic paint-by-number pieces I saw. In particular, I wish I had purchased these for my daughter. There were some really good ones in various different booths.



This picture just doesn’t do these letters and numbers justice. They were VERY large and cut out of corrogated metal (which I love.) Just this display alone would be a fabulous backdrop for a photoshoot. Love, love, love.


Oh for the love of cute! Such adorableness!!! A pink camper!!

(This blog post is just going to have to be filled with millions of exclamation points. They best describe how I walked through this day – as one big exclamation!!!)


As far as you could see – people everywhere!

As we pulled into the lot that morning, I squinted to see the booths then immediately said, “I see windows!” as Scott replied, “I see no place to park!”


I felt like this booth owner had the best spot – next to the dairy property’s barn. Her backdrop was beautifully chipped and distressed.


Scott and I got a kick out of these baskets. We saw them in a few booths. A couple of years ago Scott’s parents gave us a freezer. It was nice to have extra storage space but mostly I was excited about the metal freezer trays that were inside. I immediately took them out and have been using them around the house ever since. So to see them being sold for $18 each – too funny.






Everywhere you looked, guys were hauling furniture to peoples cars. It was really cute: they had a bunch of guys called Junk Hunks that booths could call and get assistance for their customers on big items. They’d show up with their golf cart, load the item in the cart then they would take off with the customer to their cars to unload. It was a really cute touch!


But I had my own hunk…



Again, I took this picture for my father-in-law. Their property is filled with logs and wood from trees they’ve cleared out. He would laugh at the possibility of selling slices of them for $8 a piece!




The local bands were perfect. Lots of variety and fun to hear as you shopped.



Again, I was mesmerized by the display as much as the merchandise. Everything was so clever and unique.


What an incredible day! My head was FULL of ideas and possibilities as we headed back to the hotel. I even snagged a few items to take back home with me.

This would be my dream job. I was both impressed with and more than a little envious of every vendor there. My respect for the organizers is so immense – for not letting little Kleenex box covered crafters in, but making sure that each booth was vetted and up to the high standards of presentation and content. It made my experience all the more enjoyable.

I’ve already got the Junkstock dates written in my calendar for next year.
Shall we carpool together?!

Vintage G

I have revamped my Facebook page, Vintage G: Living a Salvaged Life, and would love for you to stop by and give us a like. I will post updates there about new blog posts and projects I’m currently working on.

I am also in the process of putting together a giveaway package for all subscribers.

Come join the messy fun!!

You are very important to me and deeply appreciated,

UPDATE: The link to this page is https://www.facebook.com/vintagelife4g


Vintage G | estate sale desk

Vintage G.

Years and years ago, I had a Vintage G blog about all the vintage/distressed projects I was working on at the time. As life got busier, I let go of that aspect of my life.

But oh how I’ve missed it.

I would like to resurrect vintage/upcycled projects back into this blog on an occasional basis. Most of these projects will be sold on Craigslist for local pick-up, but I’d like to share with you my process, lessons learned and encouragement to look for items that you might be able to refurbish.

It has always been my favorite thing to do: re-purpose items into a new life. Most of us have also lived a few stages in our lives. I’m enjoying this new phase of marriage and empty-nesting. I’d like to believe that I am a bit distressed on the edges, but still capable of being re-invented and re-used in a new and different way – beautiful despite a few bumps and bruises and definite signs of aging! -ha.

Here’s to second chances and second lives.


While staying with my in-laws recently, they came home and ticked off the places they’d been that day. They casually mentioned a garage sale they’d stopped by stating, “It was mostly junk; we didn’t like anything there.” After a brief pause my mother-in-law said, “But it might be something you’d like.”

Later that day, she and I drove over to the garage sale. She waited patiently while I sifted through piles of discarded implements.

And then…I noticed the desk where the homeowner was sitting with her papers, cashbox and sales tickets. It was covered with piles of other stuff, but my heart…well, there may have been birds tweeting around me like Cinderella, singing the Happy Junking Song (yes, I just made up that song title, but I SWEAR it happens to me every time I spot a delicious find!)


We cleared off the piles of stuff and saw that the desktop was pretty messed up – lots of deep scratches and cuts. But the desk drawers worked beautifully and the legs were strong and sturdy. We bought it and hauled it back to my in-law’s workshop. Scott used a power sander to take off a couple of layers of the middle section. I wasn’t concerned with it looking perfect. If I want to finish it more professionally later, I have a few options in mind.


I think we used about every sander Larry had in his workshop! While Scott was working on the top of the desk, I lightly sanded all the other surfaces to knock down the varnish finish.



I decided to try a different distressing method with this desk. Unlike the wood grain varnish I used on the breakfast tray, after sanding and cleaning off the stray dust, I used a Rustoleum spray to completely cover the desk. I haven’t used this new spray paint – but wow oh WOW is it better than the spray paint cans of years past. My finger is usually numb and stiff after spray painting projects from pushing down on the nozzle. But this new can had a nice (dare I say ergonomical?) easy-to-use lever.


At this point, many people would say the desk was complete. My mother-in-law, Joanne, told me how “nice” it looked (assuming she was complimenting me.) But this was only the beginning. I let it dry like this overnight…


I had a number of scheduled appointments over the next few days, but each evening I painted a coat of white paint over the Espresso Brown primer/paint. It took about 3-4 coats of white to cover the brown completely.

Again, many would say it was finished at this point… but not yet.


I wanted complete control over the distressing process so I bought some heavy duty emory boards to sand the edges and areas that would naturally weather over time





I really loved how it turned out! The perfect amount of weathering with the brown undercoat showing through.

Adding together my initial investment, the additional supplies and time spent (a bit more than I originally intended), this beautiful desk will be put up for sale online for $80.

I love projects that Scott and I can work on together. We both feel like we’ve invested a part of ourselves in the process. We didn’t have children together in life, but we sure have sent a lot of projects out into the world as proud project parents!! :)

Fall Welcome Wreath

Here’s another short little project I accomplished when Scott and I were staying with his parents recently. It’s a very simple, but unique, project: a Fall Welcome wreath.


If there’s something my in-laws are never in short supply of – it’s logs!



While I held the trunk steady, Scott sliced off a couple of pieces of wood.


My father-in-law has an air compressor hooked up in his workshop with a nozzle and a long, retractable hose that pulls down from the ceiling so it reaches whatever project you happen to be working on in the workshop.

After cleaning the log slices, I let them set out for a couple of days to dry a little more.


I loved the colors and rings of the wood! And the thick bark…perfection!


After a few days, I painted a ‘circle’ – using the shape of the log – with Valspar chalkboard paint. As with all chalkboard projects, I seasoned the chalk paint with the side of a piece of white chalk. Wiping if off (and in this case, using a dampened rag.)


I plan to adhere some loops of jute to the back with a staple gun to hang it on the front door. And of course, the message can be erased and changed throughout the season: HAPPY THANKSGIVING! is right around the corner…


A simple project but one with many different uses.

DIY | breakfast tray

Scott and I recently spent some time with Scott’s parents at their home in the country, outside of the Kansas City metro area. They live on 40 acres which is always a bit like a vacation for us. Scott went to work every day but as soon as you drive down their driveway, it’s like entering a whole new world of quiet and beautiful nature. It’s very rejuvenating!

I went into the week armed with some projects I wanted to accomplish since I would be around my father-in-law’s power tools. I have a few finished products to blog about over the next couple of weeks. This breakfast tray below is one of my favorites…

I saw a similar project on the Funky Junk Interiors website and wanted to try something like it myself.

For junkers and dumpster divers, part of the thrill of the chase is to find the least expensive way to accomplish something. Or at least, that’s part of the fun for me. When I start a project, I often go straight to my local ReStore for supplies. Why not help out a good cause while you’re at it?!

I priced handles for the tray at Lowe’s, then I priced the handles they had at ReStore and decided, instead, to buy two drawers ($1 each) that had handles on them that I liked. I’m sure I will come up with a use for the drawers down the road somewhere. (okay, I admit: I already have a few in mind!)


For the wood, I used some leftover tongue-and-groove pieces my father-in-law had laying around the barn, and some leftover 1x boards. Scott and Larry (my father-in-law) cut the pieces for me. It was fun to see them get excited about finding pieces we could use and being involved in the creation of it.







After measuring and cutting and gluing the base pieces together, it was my turn. Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of this project was explaining to my father-in-law that I wanted to paint it, but then I wanted to distress it before putting all the pieces together. He could not understand the craziness of this! He’s used to making something, putting it together and then painting it all nice and neatly. Needless to say, for the rest of the week he kept saying everything was ‘distressed.’ If the lasagne didn’t come out just right he’d say, ‘That’s okay; it’s just distressed.‘ Etc., etc. The teasing was merciless!

I painted each individual section separately before we put them all together.

This isn’t a paid endorsement, but I have fallen in love with Valspar paints over the past couple of years. Rarely do I need to paint things multiple times, their paint is so thick and creamy. Plus, I love buying their little sample sized paints (under $3) for projects like this.


Male, meet Female (teeheehee)



I didn’t paint all the way down the board on the side pieces so that the wood glue could bond even stronger when we put it together.

I then went to Larry’s belt sander and sanded down the edges and any areas that would naturally distress over time. I also slightly rounded the top edges of the side pieces to increase the ‘aging’ factor of the piece.



(Wish I’d thought to re-do my manicure before taking these pictures! Blech. Oh wait!!!, they’re just distressed!)


After the edges were sanded, I quickly rubbed on some Minwax Wood Stain: Red Mahogany is one of my favorites to use over darker paint to give the wood a weathered look.


The trick is to get the stain on and then rubbed in and off, quickly. I have to tell you, I panic every time I do this. You’d think I’d chill over time, but I haven’t!


Below you can see the tongue-and-groove bottom section has been stained and the individual side pieces have not been stained yet. Can you see how weathered and ‘old’ the tongue-and-groove piece is? The tray would still look fine without any stain at all, but it gives it just that little extra something when you’re going for the distressed look.


Scott nail-gunned in the side pieces and then finished them off with some screws into the sides.


We took the handles off the ReStore drawers and screwed them into the sides and voila’! A serving tray big enough for plates, glasses, coffee mugs, a flower vase and the morning newspaper!!


Grant it, I used lumber we had laying around, but even if we’d purchased it, I think the whole project could be done in under $20. I spent about $10 on this one.

I love it!!
Most importantly, it has a story attached to it and I LOVE it when home pieces have stories associated with them. ‘Remember that time in October of 2014 when you and your dad helped me build that serving tray and your dad kept making fun of me fordistressing it??…’


The biggest irony of this whole project is that Scott is most definitely our Breakfast Maker. He makes yummy, yummy, delicious breakfasts. So in the end, he was helping me build a breakfast tray that he, himself, would be filling with food!

Making this project, complete perfection!

Bible Journaling | Joy first


1 Chronicles 16:27

“…strength and joy are in His place.”

I have often used the word ‘happy’ about my life or a particular situation. I’m a really big, big fan of Happy. I haven’t always been in a happy place. Just like all of us, we go through seasons – some more difficult and dark than others. Don’t you just want to grab on and hold tightly – and push pause – during the truly happy times?? I know I do. I am even been guilty of spending time wishing it wouldn’t go away, instead of just leaning into the moment of peaceful bliss.

But Joy. That’s far deeper. It’s been a lifetime of learning how to feel Joy in spite.

In spite of the current situation…
In spite of health or illness…
In spite of fear or uncertainty…
In spite.

Joy runs far deeper than Happy. Feeling happiness is generally tied to a particular situation: a sunny day, a love note, a hug from your child or a cup of tea with a friend. We have some power over Happy. We can orchestrate our life situations to bring about happy times. We can even induce happiness through alcohol or medication (neither of which I am fundamentally opposed to.) Joy, however, seems a bit more out of our control.

It’s interesting to me the studies I’ve read or the surveys I’ve heard discussed that encourage people to meditate. There is a physical reaction we have to meditation. Personally, I am a fan of Tai Chi. The word “centering” is so grossly over-used in our society, yet that is the word that springs to mind when I think of Tai Chi. The movements are slow and purposeful, bringing my mind into a state of pleasant blankness. My next thought when I think of Tai Chi is one of shame: WHY don’t I practice it daily?! WHY do I let too much time tick by before I realize how out of whack my back is or the aches and pains start creeping up to an unmanageable condition?! WHY can’t I seem to fit Tai Chi into a daily discipline?!

But I digress…

Meditation also means to me the time I spend reading the Bible or an admired author on faith. It’s the time I spend communicating with God – allowing God to permeate my thoughts as I place before Him my concerns, failures and excitements. Over the years, that time spent with God has deepened my Joy basin. “…strength and joy are in His place.” The timespan has narrowed between the Freak Out time and the This Is In Your Hands, God time. Not always. Just like my self-inflicted frustration over KNOWING how good I will feel after Tai Chi and yet not practicing it daily, there are times when Freak Out lasts longer than it needs to. We are stubborn humans, aren’t we?! And yet, after spending time in the perspective of God, my situation might not change, but I am more readily able to feel a sense of joy – and strength! – in the midst of the unknowing.

It is one of the hardest lessons for me to learn: to make my problem-solving secondary to living a life in closeness to God. I know it in my head to be fact. But sometimes my emotion jumps up ahead of my logic.

This section from Jesus Calling and 1 Chronicles was a helpful reminder to me this week…