Junking Follies

It’s been such a busy weekend, I have been going steady! I am accumulating quite a stash of my desired stock of vintage furnishings. I feel like I have gotten the hang of the picking.

My first experience picking did not go as well as I imagined. I placed a free radio ad and got a call right away. I bought a little flashlight and a pair of gloves, ready to discover the hidden treasures. I drove to a nearby town and found the place right away. I got so excited as I drove into the yard and saw many outbuildings and a garage full of things I would make offers on.

This man was an old bachelor, but what I didn’t know was he was an avid collector too. Anything that I offered to buy, he had some story that it was his mother’s, aunt’s or grandfather’s. I was pretty frustrated as there was a lot of goodies but nothing for sale. He did have a bunch of windows that were not that old and still had the casement framing, sorry, not interested. He offered a mop strainer????? I left with a couple small things, one thing he gave me was a cool vintage desk lamp I refinished in a bronze. I also left with that first picking under my belt. Then another one that left me flat. I am fine tuning what I ask for in my ads.

I have been to a lot of places now and once I worried I wouldn’t have enough to bring to the Vintage Carnival in 2 weeks, now I have so much, there is no way I will get it all ready to bring with. That’s alright. I have the store opening sometime, so I already have inventory for that! Friday night I went to two places, the first one was a vehicle full of assorted stuff. But the best find there was a beveled leaded four foot long window. I am going to have Nate build that into my checkout counter. The second place was the MOTHER LOAD! I had been dealing with this nice gal all week. She had a lot of that vintage blonde furniture from the 1960’s. She had another lady interested, but she was not coming to pick it up. She finally let me know that I could purchase it from her. Holy moly! I can’t remember how many pieces I got, I think 8. Dressers, side tables, kitchen table, mirror, I think there was a sidebar. Beautiful stuff, not sure if I even want to refinish it.

Today, was quite the adventure. It started with Craig’s list earlier this week. A man had oak timbers and other lumber for sale. I made a three and a half hour one way drive Thursday to pick up a pickup load of lumber. The timbers were very heavy, but the item the sparked my interest was pine ship clap siding that he had taken off this old feed store shed. I thought it would make gorgeous reclaimed wood floor for the store. Somehow I talked Nate into driving down there again. My gosh, what a day! There was icy, snowy roads. I got to drive the truck with a large fifth wheel trailer. Nate didn’t sleep well last night, so was napping. I must say I did gell, didn’t hit the ditch and there were vehicles in the ditch. We loaded up the trailer. Cross our fingers that we got enough to do the store. We also got the old sliding door with the hardware.

Craig’s list got us in trouble again though. On the way back, there was a intricate dresser/side table with a beautiful mirror for $30. I had been dealing on this one all week too, there was another interested party, but they didn’t show up, so it was all mine. The guy told us directions coming from the opposite way. The roads were all slimy gravel and winding. We finally find the right place and the driveway looked like a bike path. There was no way in there. I walked down the driveway and got licked to death by two rambunctious golden retrievers. Nobody home!! What the heck?! Their garage was open and the piece was inside. So I asked if we could carry the 500 pound dresser back up to the road. I am very determined, not crazy. Ok that was crazy. So Nate tried to unhook the 5th wheel to drive the truck in. He finally gave up on that and BACKED the trailer down that narrow slippery road. He amazes me still. We got it loaded, I left the check in the crack of their door. I missed a call from the seller so I called him back and told him the scoop. All’s well that end well, right? Uffda.

I hope that all the money that is hemorrhaging from the checkbook, makes it back there somehow. Well, there is the big update for those that are following this journey. It has moved faster than I imagined. I meet with the Co-op board this Thursday to present my business plan and to ask for money to help with converting it into the retail shop.

Have a fantastic week, offer up some comments, its great for my morale! Nicole

Rental update

Quick update. I confirmed the rental deal. We have a verbal agreement to go forward. I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! I spoke to the board chairman (a fuel cooperative owns the building) and I spoke to him about the changes that need to take place to convert the shop into a retail space. What a generous fellow. Sounds like he wants to bring it to the board to kick in on the reno. We’ll see. I meet with the board a week from tomorrow. Its happening fast, I have to come up with a plan and have estimates ready to present.

Once I get through the board meeting, I will slow things down again, well sort of. The Vintage Carnival is on November 10, so that will still keep me busy. The reno on the store is a big project and since I plan on starting with the monthly sale only, I want to get the store right. Not perfect, but right.

Keep me in your prayers, Nicole

Rental for Tattered found

Current front door

Future site of Tattered?[slideshow]

Cool windows

Industrial chic!?!?

It was a big day yesterday. My husband turned 40 and a friend told me about a rental building in our hometown, 3 miles from our home. Wow! I was able to take a look around this site. Our friend has had a electrical business in there and is expanding, so this building is available for rent. I spoke to the contact and was able to go in and take a bunch of pictures. This site has so much potential. It sits in Newfolden, which is a small town, but sits right on US Hwy 59 that gets a ton of traffic.

The building previously was a auto repair shop. To say its “industrial chic” is a little stretch. The price for rent if very reasonable. I wanted to give a peek at what I’m looking at. There will be a ton of work to convert this into a retail space. There are two huge overhead garage doors that I would take out and put in nice windows. It has the bland white steel siding, that will have to stay. The owner of the building is a fuel cooperative and their office is the south side of the building. I don’t think the board would appreciate me shabbifying the outside up. There is an old door facing the highway that is covered up. I thought that should be used as access and put some type of porch on the highway side.

Mr. Realism agreed to rent it. He was happy to hear I planned on working full-time at the nursing and start slow and have a monthly “barn” sale to see how it goes. This morning he was drilling me on heating and what I am going to do about the uber expensive fuel oil furnace. Can’t he understand I am the creative one and he is is the unwilling mechanical/construction one? After 20 years of marriage, he should be aware of this arrangement by now.

Enjoy the showRental back/side room

Mail’s here!!


For once I actually enjoyed getting the mail today! I got two envelopes related to the business. First I got approval on the business official name, Tattered. Now I just publish the name in a legal newspaper a couple of times and were GOLDEN! 

The second letter was my tax identification number. Wow, right? Now I can pay sales tax when I sell stuff. That isn’t what it means to me. It makes it so much more real and like this is happening.

On my lunch break today, I went to find Nate a birthday present and on the way back to work, I noticed a FOR RENT sign a block off the main drag. Of course it is not ideal retail location, but its close to the main retail section, the big Catholic church and the high school. It gets plenty of traffic. So a possible spot to park my stuff! We’ll see. I put a call in to number listed on the sign, but have not heard back yet. I peeked in the window, it looked like a smaller office space with rooms to the back.

More unknowns and waiting. I am making small progress. Tonight is Monday night and I historically don’t get anything done at home, chillin after getting back to work. No furniture or vintage chic tonight.

Have a great week! Nicky 

Weekend update on the Vintage Decor biz

I have been busily redoing a bunch of furniture that desperately needed it. It fills me with joy that outdated, but quality furniture can get a second life instead of going in the dump. I truly enjoy the projects I have been tackling. I have found that I favor painting and working with wood furniture the most. I recovered thrift store pillows, but I know that sewing is not my strongest talent. SO, not sure if I will sell the pillows, but use them as props at the Vintage Carnival.

People may think that owning their own business would be great because they can be their own boss and set their own hours. In all actuality, there is truth to that. The hours I have put in this week may scare away the faint of heart. I worked 44 hours at my nursing job, had two nights of football games and the rest of the week, I worked on the projects into the night. This weekend, I finished up about 8:30pm each night. No wonder I have not updated this site. I have to give kudos to the folks out there that blog EVERYDAY! Good job!

I was able to talk Nate into taking a drive to a little town about 40 minutes away on Friday night. I had heard about this consignment store that was in a huge old furniture store from friends. We got to the store at 7:00pm and were there for maybe 3 minutes and the power went out. I had seen just enough to get my heart pumping. I was sooo bummed. The power was OUT and didn’t look like it was coming back on anytime soon. Some friends were there and gave me a flashlight and an adult beverage. I’ll have to say, that was a first. Shopping late, in the dark, with a flashlight..and the beer. It was a blast!!! Nate visited while I explored. It turned out to be a great, adventurous evening. We filled up our rig with cheap, real wood furniture. The best find though was something I saw on the deepest level of this building. I saw these two rusty white fence type things. I carried them up to the front of the store and the owner kinda frowned and said those weren’t for sale. Well she must have felt sorry for me, shopping in the dark, with a flashlight…and the beer. (Remember this is a smaaalll town) She said for the right price she could part with it. And by the way, it was an arbor, the top was down in the dungeon still! Her right price was my right price. It will be perfect for the entrance into the booth.

Rusty perfect arbor

I have quite the mess in the house. When I work on these kind of projects, I like to spread out. At the end of tonight, I took a look around and decided I could not start the workweek with the house and garage in shambles. Especially since we are having company over on Tuesday for my hubby’s BIG 40 birthday. This is the downfall of having to work on these types of projects at home instead of a separate business or shop.

working all over the house

kitchen counter

craft room

working in the laundry room, but there isn’t any clothes getting clean!

family room stores the completed stuff

waiting to be finished, poor vehicles have to sit outside

I have been impatient as well. There is not much property for lease in town. There is a building for sale in the area I would love to have a store. It’s a steal. It was built in 1904 and probably still has the same electrical and plumbing too, along with the asbestos and lead paint. So frustrating! My hubby is not real gung-ho about me doing this full time as my only income. Like I said before, I have a very good job and we are comfortable. Nate has said he doesn’t want to go backwards and I understand that. He said tonight that he would like to see me do this as a hobby. Remember when I said how many hours I worked this week between my real job and the “hobby?” I don’t think I could keep that up very long. My house would definitely take a toll. So when is the right time to go for it?

Please give me feedback and advice! Spread the word about this site and maybe if I get enough people to follow and support me here, my hubby will eventually too. I shouldn’t be so hard on him. He does take me to little towns forty miles away to shop, in the dark, with a flashlight….and a beer.

Have a great week!! Nicole

My first auction

Today I planned on getting TONS of projects done. I went to Grand Forks last night and stocked up on necklace making supplies, fabric for pillows and scored a few thrift store finds. 2 more barstools, a retro office chair and and 6 drawer dresser.

I started making bird’s nest pendants when Nate reminded me of an auction sale in Newfolden and he saw a shabby door outside the building. I needed to go, maybe there was everything I needed there and MORE. After 2 1/2 hours, I left with some vintage stuff, but not the door. Thats ok, some other lady wanted it more than me I guess. I am sooo excited about the things I did get. A vintage ottoman, primitive wooden bowls, embroidered dish towels and a tattered quilt for a buck.

I did get a little bit done today. I upcycled an ugly nesting table into a rustic foot stool. A couple of adorable pillows somehow got sewed. (I am so out of practice) I made a bunch of bird’s nest pendants. I have a lot of projects left to complete.

Here’s a peek at my day today:

Bird’s nest ready for chains

Burlap pillow

Upcycled foot stool


Have a great week everyone! Nicole

Bar stool makeover

I know I promised a picture of the little side table, but I am really excited over these bar stools I made over. We have had these for our own use for 10 years. Honestly I was getting bored with them and wanted to buy new ones.

With the new Annie Sloan paint and waxes, I think they are worthy of staying! I am tempted, but I have to build the inventory for The Vintage Carnival coming up.

Boring stools-before

The honey oak wood colors are looking a little dated. My house needs a little makeover too.The stools blend right in with the floor. Where does one start and the other end!?

Matte finish of the chalk paint before wax

Here is the finished, ultra cute bar stools. I have four total, I know they will be a hit!

Bar stools made over

A close up of the finish. It gets such a silky smooth finish.

Close up of finished stool

These were so much fun and turned out adorable!

Until next time…off to bed. Nicole