Tuesday, December 7, 2010

We Have a Winner! Happy Tuesday!

Congratulations Angela from The Service Family blog! Angela won our American Pickers giveaway and will receive the Season 1 DVD! Thank you ALL who participated!

Taking junk to another level.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

'Tis the New Season of American Pickers Giveaway

Hi folks! We finally completed our journey that began in Ohio and ended in Arizona. (As you can see, our kitties already staked their claim to a certain spot in the new place.) Yes...the Allens are officially transplants and we are ready to get in some junking in these parts (or pickin' as some of us say). I just hope The Grand Canyon State is ready for us! (I'm hearing there may be slim pickins this way but I'll just have to decide that for myself.)

With that being said, what about that giveaway I mentioned in the title of this post?!?

Are you like me and love the boys of American Pickers? Mike and Frank are about as genuine as one can get. And although they are businessmen, I feel they have a great balance of being respectful and fair to the non-business person when it comes to sifting through their treasures.

I'm excited to say the new season of American Pickers begins Monday, December 6th at 9/8c on the History channel. Trust me, you won't want to miss it! Imagine my delight when I was contacted to give away a complete set of their season 1 DVD's on the Junk Sophisticate blog!

So, whether you are just hearing about these guys for the first time, or you'd like to relive the hilarious and drool-worthy stops Mike and Frank made on season 1...this giveaway is for you! ($29.95 value)

All you have to do is leave a comment on this post OR write on Junk Sophisticate's facebook wall referencing the giveaway for a chance to win! Add a link to my giveaway on your blog or facebook business page and receive additional entries! (Be sure to note where you've done this in your comment so I can locate it). Feel free to add something about a favorite episode or quote from the show in your comment so we can all enjoy too. Drawing to be held Monday, December 6th at approximately 4pm central time. Winner will be announced and must contact Junk Sophisticate with contact information.

About “American Pickers”:
"As professional “pickers,” these childhood buddies comb through memorabilia and artifacts, hoping to find treasures among the trash. Sometimes they make a few bucks; and sometimes they walk away with little more than the history of an item."

**Be sure to check out American Pickers' new season premiere on Monday on the History channel to see where they'll be heading out this time around. I also highly recommend you 'like 'em on facebook...that way you can keep even closer tabs on 'em. ;)

I must say I am truly enjoying the weather thus far here, and am really getting used to the 77 degree temps in December I've heard so much about. And like everyone also says, "if you want to see snow, make the trek to Flagstaff".

I'll be sure to update you on my junk pickins in the state of Arizona and hopefully into California! I'm going to make the most of the new year coming...guaranteed!

Taking junk to another level.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reuse Time - Halloween Costumes

This isn't anything new but I wanted to share how simple (and cheap) it is to shop thrift stores for Halloween or dress-up costumes. Daughter #1 (my 6th grader) will be attending her first Halloween Party/Dance this Friday and gave me some ideas of what she wanted to dress up as. Well I went to my favorite thrifting *haunts* and came across something FABULOUS for her - will share it in a later post. I also found my two other daughters adorable costumes as well. All the costumes you see above were $28.30 TOTAL - just under the $30 cost of ONE new costume. These tend to rotate around the family too which is an even bigger savings!

I'm curious which daughter will like their costume the most?

The 6th grader?

...the 2nd grader?

...or the kindergartner?

I'll keep you posted.

Taking junk to another level.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Middlefield Market

It was such a great Monday for me. I got the girls off to school and decided to take a little road trip for myself. In a short 35 minutes, I entered Middlefield, Ohio, which is home to the fourth largest Amish settlement in the world. I love this town and will definitely miss seeing these hard-working families on a semi-regular basis following our move. I'll always keep the memory of the little blond boy with a "Dutch boy" haircut (who couldn't have been any older than five), walking a horse to its stall - very carefully following Dad's instructions. He had to have been one of the cutest little boys I'd ever seen.

I'd taken my girls to Middlefield quite often in the summers since they have one of the nicest "spraygrounds" around. But I'd also taken small jaunts on my own to stop by some of the local consignment/junk shops there. Little did I know I had been missing out on so much.

Lucky me to have come across Middlefield Market today which is basically a flea market with junk and antique shops surrounding the venue. You can't get any better than that! The flea is open on Mondays 8am - 3pm and Saturdays 9am - 3pm year round. It is also home to Sale Barn Auctions.

Unfortunately I left my camera at home. You are actually stuck viewing photos from my phone...which does not have a flash. Ggrrrr! So many photos had to be left on the dark room floor. - This is what I could salvage. :(

I really loved this Coca-Cola sign. I'm not a collector of the brand, but even I can recognize a unique piece of collectible history. It was an enamel-coated iron sign that probably weighed a few hundred pounds...given its 5-1/2' frame. For $600, it can be yours!

Ahhhh. These printer typeset drawers were phenomenal! The colors were fantastic with all their greens, grays and browns. The wide variety of handles were pretty cool too. $10 a pop was as cheap as I've ever seen them before. Excellent value.

A neighboring food vendor saw my interest in them and filled me in on the whole printing and publishing trade in Cleveland. I found it fascinating since I'd never heard this information before. The older gentleman, claimed he and his high school classmates were required to take printing and type setting classes since there was such a big market for it back in the day. This lasted many, many years according to him. It's pretty amazing what you can learn at a flea market, isn't it?

Isn't she a beaut? This meter was one of the best pieces I came across all day. As a matter of fact, I originally thought it was a foreign meter which made it even cooler to me. Foreign, you ask? Yes, French. Do you see the word voila on the red tab? Me too. Never mind the English words you see all over the rest of it because it has to be French, right? That explains the $125.00 price tag. Time to move on...

It wasn't until I took the photo and started walking away that I noticed there was more to the v-i-o-l-a word than I originally thought. Let me see here...it says, (spell it out, please) V-I-O-L-A-T-I-O-N. Violation. Violation? OMGosh! Violation! Bahahhhhaaa! I cannot believe I thought it was French...as if when the meter time runs out in Paris this red tab appears like magic...voila!

And better yet...why, oh why, did I just admit this to all of you? Go ahead and laugh at me...I really deserve it. :)

Taking junk to another level.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Simplify. Enough Already!

I've had all I can stands, I can't stands no more!

Simplify. It's tough to do when you are a lover of all things old, crusty, worn-out and used. To me, those treasures look beautifully grouped together in my warm and comfortable space. But for others...it may come across as clutter. Well, I've finally maxed out my simplifying quota, preparing for our home to go on the market today. It's nearing the time to relocate. (You can read about it here.)

I must admit,however, I am really enjoying the clean, crisp look of everything in its fresh state. The new carpets...the freshly painted walls...the lack of "stuff" on every flat surface.

It's been a lot of work, but the day is finally here. Hoping for the best...

Taking junk to another level.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Sweet Ride

I'd like to share a unique and fun way to celebrate a birthday or special occasion. This past weekend we attended our niece's birthday party and her parents had an ice cream truck from Shelbi's Sweets and Treats parked in the driveway during a portion of it. Each guest could then choose whatever sweet treat they desired as part of their party treat! Why this ice cream truck is EXTRA special is because it's main goal is...

"bringing happiness to families dealing with childhood cancer. ” All proceeds go to doing just that.

Shelbi Martin (her sweet little face appears on the side of the truck) lost her 15 month battle with cancer when she was only five years old. The dream of helping children and families with similar struggles was quickly born and family and friends dove right in to make their dream a reality. An ice cream truck! Who doesn't like an ice cream truck? Read more about their story here and see how it all began.

Check out how fun this is! The special child of the day gets to hand out all the cold treats to his or her guests.

And such a fun variety too...something for everyone!

And one of the best parts is fun party music is played the entire time the ice cream truck is parked. As you can see, my girls loved every minute of it!

So if you're looking to have a party with a little added flair and that includes a wonderful charitable cause, check out Shelbi's Sweets and Treats in Massillon, Ohio or look for a similar venue in your area.

And always remember, "it's not about the ice cream..."

Be well,

Monday, August 16, 2010

No Cost Moss As Home Decor

We've been quite busy lately, preparing to relocate and all. One of the major parts of our move is getting our home prepared for this lovely real estate market of ours. Eep! Chris and I have been busting our tushies decluttering, cleaning, finishing landscaping projects and everything in between. You name it...we're doing it! We want to squeak every dollar that we can out of this house without spending a lot of money doing so.

Imagine my surprise, hearing Chris' claim of salvaging the brightest green stash of REAL moss found deep inside our home's gutters. Realizing he just finished cleaning them out, I never thought they could produce such bounty!

Note: Most do not produce these types of "goods" when they are cleaned on a more regular basis. (Not a knock on my husband...we just seem so busy to think of these things sometimes.)

Once I saw all that I had to work with, I gathered a couple containers from around the house to use for my budget-friendly plantings. Nice!

To make it easier for drainage and cleanup, I inserted small glass dishes inside the pots. They were then filled with mini pebbles and rich home grown soil derived from leaf compost from our gutters.

Then, the planters were topped off with that gorgeous green moss my husband saved for me. Wow! I love them.

And him.

It's nice having someone that "gets" you, isn't it?

So, what do you think? Do you try to use nature's goodness in your decor? I'd love to hear how you include it in your home.

Taking junk to another level.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Consider Me a Southwest Junker

Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.
~Pauline R. Kezer

I am happy to share one of the reasons my posts have been so sporadic lately. After nearly forty years as an Ohio girl (from birth), my family and I are moving to the southwest! Specifically Arizona, baby! My husband recently accepted a new position within his company that offers great opportunities. Relocating our family to the Chandler, Arizona area is part of the deal. Knowing how thorough my husband is regarding the purchase of a new toaster, I knew what a move like this would entail for him (thankfully). He and I would gather every bit of information we could regarding the area and the new position prior to his offer acceptance...hence our trip to Chandler this past weekend.
We enjoyed staying at the historic Crowne Plaza San Marcos Golf Resort in downtown Chandler for the weekend. A simply gorgeous place and just steps away from great shops and restaurants downtown. It's funny I had the misconception I wouldn't see anything but a bunch of cacti in the landscaping!

While Hubs spent Friday getting familiar with his coworkers and his new position at work, it was my job to cruise the local areas with the relocation specialist assigned to us. However, I found myself with three hours to kill before meeting her. What to do?...What to do?

I know what to do! (You can see where this is going, right?)

Of course I went in search of the local thrift stores, antique, and junk store hot spots. I mean, really. If I wouldn't have come across any...well...that would have been the deal breaker for us relocating for sure. Certainly you would agree.

Thankfully I came across a few! One in particular was called Merchant Square Antiques & Home Decor. Allow me to take you on a little tour of it...
This place stopped me dead in my tracks at times. So much to see...yet not enough time!

Old jars and wooden spools...

This pretty little red and white display of chotchkies.

The most perfect chippy and rusted iron gate...

An array of fans...

Touches of old white enamel all around.

And then of course, you're in Arizona, so cowboy boots are a requirement, I do believe.

I am so ready to build my brand in these parts and it looks like I can do it easily.

So as you can see, I didn't struggle very hard with trying to feel right at home. (Having fabulous views in the neighborhood isn't half bad either.) I gave my thumbs up...it matched my husband's thumbs up...so we'll be on our way to Arizona sometime very soon...

Although this midwesterner will miss so much about her home state, she knows deep in her heart that...

change is good.

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