Food poisoning and cute vintage dolly

Nothing fun or cute about getting food poisoning!  bleh!  I was SO sick!  And I’m still not sure what caused it.  something I ate at home even.  Tossed out anything that I had eaten the day before and prayed that amongst it all was the offending food.

SO, that is why I’ve fallen behind on posts again!

P1220006I’m not usually a ‘doll buyer’, but it seems that I have been finding ones that I can’t resist lately!  Like this sweet thing!

P1220007She’s tattered and stained and her painted on face is running . . .

P1220010But there was just something kind of ‘endearing’ about her!

P1220009Wire attached legs; looks like she was hand crafted.

P1220014Cute little booties on her feet.

P1220017Sweet little hands.

P1220008And a BONNET!!!  She will be going to my booth at Stars in the very near future.

Vintage baby doll.


Isn’t she a cutie?!?!P1210772

Big vintage baby doll is one of my latest thrifting finds.P1210773Her hair was cracking and peeling off, so I glued some of it back in place.  (see the glue drips!?)  I can actually remember having dolls with these kinds of ‘curls’ when I was little.

P1210775One of her legs is ‘taped’ on.

P1210770And her eyes are a little ‘creepy’.  (maybe she was a prop for a horror movie?!?)

P1210774Her fabric body is very badly stained.

P1210771But there is still something kind of endearing about her, to me at least!


I love the shape of her mouth.P1210779I think I am going to have to KEEP her . . . for a while at least.

Now I don’t normally ‘brave the toy aisle’ at Goodwill.  Too many kids playing unsupervised, toys all over the floor, making it impossible to push your cart through . . . .and I’m just not that ‘into’ vintage toys.  The few times I HAVE looked at the toys, nearly all of them were ‘newer’ ones anyhow.

But THEN, at the store closest to Stars (which I have begun frequenting after I work on my booth) while in the check out line a few weeks ago I saw another lady with several ‘cool vintage dolls’ (like this one I just found) in her cart!  So of COURSE, now that I SAW what I was missing, I’m making it a point to peruse the toy aisle; at least at this particular store.

There was one other similar doll that I grabbed . . and quickly put back!  It was one of those with a regular doll head, and a stuffed animal body!!  ACK!  WHO invented those things and WHY!  They are just CREEPY!  Most of them anyhow, and definitely that one was creepy.  A fleshy tan color reclining body with a baby doll head.  Totally creeped me out!

For a split second I considered buying it ‘for the head only’ but the thought of decapitating it and disposing for the body made me a little nauseous.  So I left it for someone else.

Then I remembered, I actually HAVE one of those ‘fur body’ dolls!?!?!  But mine is very cute.

P1210838And her fur body is turquoise.  I gave her a crown and considered adding some little buttons down her front to make the fur look more like fuzzy jammies.  But I usually put her ‘at the back’ of a group of dolls so that all that really shows is her head.

So then I go to wondering about the history of these dolls with fur/animal bodies??? Were they originally manufactured like that?  Or was this something where people took 2 broken toys and put them together to make one whole toy??  I wish I had taken a picture of the one at GW to show you.

Do any of you know anything about the history of this style of doll?  I’m just curious.

P1210794Back to the baby doll for a moment.  Even with her wonky eyes, she is quite photogenic!

P1210799Now I just have to figure out what to NAME her!

Shabby chic end tables at Curiosities (outdated – updated)

Temporarily being a ‘one computer household’ isn’t leaving me much time to blog lately!  Mostly been busy working on little Christmas projects for my booths.  Lots of half-finished projects from last year.  Nothing really new and exciting  . . or even ‘blog worthy’!

FIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIInally got this pair of end tables finished up:

Got them a while back; the time I found several tables for $1.00 each at the GW outlet store.  (which reminds me!  I need to stop by there again soon!)

10.25.13 BOTH + etsy + projects 007I had already base coated them with white paint, so I decided to stay white.  For some, lately, I seem to be getting asked why I don’t ever do other colors besides ‘my blue’.  Um, well . . . .mostly because the blue stuff SELLS!!

10.25.13 BOTH + etsy + projects 001But then of course I start questioning this method of madness and wonder if I SHOULD do more whites once in a while.  Can’t hurt to try, eh?  So, these got painted a creamy white and distressed.

10.31.13 both malls 080And are now in my booth at Curiosities; $59.00 each.

Last week at both malls I spent most of my time packing up left over Halloween stuff and PREarranging in preparation of taking my Christmas stuff in this week.

10.31.13 both malls 071This big vintage rusty enamel top table with chrome legs is $95.00 at Curiosities.

10.31.13 both malls 070I just took in this HUGE black upcycled  tray too; surrounded it with all my primitive kitchen wares.

10.31.13 both malls 088And I FINALLY found some old frames to paint!!  I cannot believe how long that ‘frame dry spell’ lasted!?!?!  Frames are ALWAYS on my “look for” list; but I’ve not found any for ages!  Found a few more AFTER these too!  Sure hope this plentiful frames trend continues; as they too always sell well for me.

10.31.13 both malls 096Christmas decor coming next!!

Updated primitive child size desk

P1080328Took advantage of our quickly diminishing warm and dry days last week to get a bunch of outdoors painting projects done.  First on the list was this adorable primitive child size desk.

P1080334It had a very ‘sloppy’ semi gloss varnish on it with lots of visible drips.  So, the first step was to sand.  I really enjoy the sanding process, and ‘getting to know’ the piece.  This piece was obviously hand crafted by ‘make do’ kind of person.  It wasn’t the best wood, and wasn’t really constructed ‘to last’.  No dovetail joints like you might expect to find on a piece this obviously old.  But someone had signed the underside of the desk.  Alas, it was too faded to read, still, I ‘left it be’.

P1080337Notice how blotchy it looks after I sanded it???  From this I can tell it was made from ‘rough sawn’ wood; boards that had not been planed.  I really had NOT noticed this about the wood until I sanded it, and was a bit concerned that the saw marks would show when I distressed after painting.

P1080338Here you can see the nails that it was put together with, and more of the saw marks.  At this point I’m resigning myself to NOT distressing this piece after painting it lest those pesky saw marks show in the distressed areas.

P1080336Even the legs were made with the rough cut wood!  Definitely a primitive piece, and one that I would have left ‘as is’ back when I was decorating my home in fold art primitives.  But that was then, and this is NOW.  So it got painted!

P1080403Gave it a couple of coats of paint and let it dry.  Started very carefully sanding, making sure I only hit the edges lest those pesky saw marks showed through.  I really REALLY wanted to distress the whole thing, so I decided to ‘give it a shot’ and ‘test distressed’ one of the legs to see how badly the saw marks came through.

P1080402They looked just fine!!!  So I went ahead and distressed the whole thing!

P1080398The desk top distressed especially nice; showing the pretty wood grain.

P1080401Now that the outside of the desk was all brightly colored and prettied up, the INside seemed a bit dingy.


So I decoupaged some old atlas paged on the bottom.  I wanted to cover the entire inside, but with how the legs come through it would have been too many tiny corners to work around.

P1080420The desk has gone to my booth at Stars with a $59.00 price tag.




I’ve also taken in some Halloween decor to Stars.

HOW hot is it?!?!?

It’s so HOT that I just burned my hand opening the car door!!  And it’s not even the ‘hottest part of the day’ YET?!?!  Ack!!!  I though I was going to work outside, painting sign boards today.  101 degrees is just too much for me to work in, even in the shade!

Not only is it early in the day to be getting this hot already, it’s quite early in the SUMMER for us to get this hot here in the Pacific Northwest.  We had a string of 90-100 degree days the end of June; then it cooled off a bit for 4th of July week.  Used to be that it never got this hot until August, and only for maybe 3 days.  sigh.  If I wanted this kind of heat, I’d move back to California!  Thank God for air conditioning and popsicles!

I am finally getting more display shelves painted and in place in my booth at Curiosities.

7.13.13 Both + finds 157Took these 2 shelf units in a couple of weeks ago.  The bases are from an old display at Stars; an end table cut in half.  Michael added some 2×2’s for back legs and I painted them to match the shelves.  Raising the ‘plain ole box shelves’ up one legs really dresses them up nicely, AND is quite practical.

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You  want to get your displayed items as close to eye level as possible.  Stuff that you put on the bottom shelves typically does not sell very well. (so be sure to ROTATE it to higher shelves!)   With the pretty curved legs of these shelf bases, the product under the shelves is nicely ‘framed’ and more noticeable than if it was just a bottom shelf.

7.13.13 Both + finds 163By putting the taller shelves on the outer corners, and lower items beside helps draw the eye to the center . . . welcoming shoppers to ‘come inside’.

7.13.13 Both + finds 157You also want to ‘be aware’ of what your booth entry is ‘framing’.  What items it draws your eye to at the back of your booth.  I don’t ALWAYS remember to display with that in mind.  Looking at pictures helps me notice things like that which may go unnoticed when I ma there in person.  It’s a continual process!  As soon as something sells, everything has to be rearranged!

7.13.13 Both + finds 188THIS inward facing display is my nest ‘target’.  I want to get rid of the crates for shelves on the INSIDE to the booth; and this is the last  of them.

7.13.13 Both + finds 164I will continue to use the crate shelf system on this outer facing wall where I predominately have primitives on display.  Not sure how long I’ll continue to stock the primitive stuff.  Really depends upon how well it sells!  

7.5.13 curiosities only 024I’m not entirely ‘sold’ on how the transition from primitive to cottage works at this corner.  But then I also don’t have any BETTER ideas right now.  So, I’ll just ‘let it ride’ for a while as I focus on the inside of my booth; then see how I feel about it then!

P1070151Last week I got rid of SOME of the crates inside the booth; replacing them with this shelf.  will be adding another shelf this week.  These are ‘raised’ up off the floor and sitting on a bench to get the product closer to eye level.

P1070128Reconfigured the outer crate wall a bit to incorporate the crates I took from the inside.  I KNOW I have too much stuff sitting on the floor in this display!  And NONE of it has sold!  But I can’t stand bare spots in my display.  So, I just occasionally rotate it to higher shelves!


Took in some more cow pitchers and creamers.

P1070148Pretty stoneware with gold rim bowl and pitcher set.

P1070162Little nests with eggs.

P1070152MORE white pitchers and creamers.

P1070154Altered pickle jar and a gallon jar filled with blue and aqua spools and balls of thread.  Cat topped cloches and cat creamer.

P1070157A couple of upcycled cloches.

P1070135Upcycled bird finials (the ‘how I did it’ post coming soon!)

P1070136Several bags of rag balls and thread cones and spools to use as jar or bowl fillers.

Getting CLOSER . . .

 . . to having my booth at CURIOSITIES in Beaverton full enough!  

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 001Had Michael go with me on my last trip in and get the pegboard installed so I can actually HANG my signs:

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 006Not that I’m terribly fond of pegboard, BUT it IS very useful for hanging signs, especially in a retail environment where things are constantly being rearranged.

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 008Much easier than patching up and painting over nail holes every time you move things around!

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 039Even WITH the pegboard and being able to hang quite a few signs, I don’t have room to hang them ALL!  For now some extras are just plopped on a crate shelf.  I still have LOTS more signs to make and stock.  will have to come up with a ‘better system’ for storing the extras.  The small ones, like these, can easily go in a crate.  But I have a lot of BIGGER ones (up to 36″ long!) too, that I need to come up with a way to store that is also easy for shoppers to look through.  I’m open to ideas!

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 003I’m starting to add in more ‘cottage chic’ items in addition to the existing primitives.  To keep it from looking too mis-matched, I’m grouping like items together.

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 005Primitive with primitives.

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 008And cottage chic whites together.

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 014NO such thing as too many white pitchers!

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 007Added a shutter to the back corner wall for a little more hanging space.  My booth sign and a couple of 12″x12″ signs. NEW ‘Man Cave’ sign (LARGER version coming soon!) And the covered boxes I recently posted about.    Doesn’t that wire cloche look perfect on top?!?

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 020This wire cloche is priced individually.

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 011This one is a ‘set’ that includes the base.

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 010This one with the cherub base is also a set.

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 030This one made from a wire lamp shade form, and the  little metal table it’s on are individually priced.

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 009And my official booth greeter!  ALL of her components ARE for sale, but individually priced.  Black wire mannequin, feather angel wings, vintage sheet music crown, vintage toille apron, vintage white petticoat, and little grey tutu.

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 023Sweet bell cloches to collect or use to cover your favorite little findings.

4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 024Rustic weathered wood hearts with hinges and shutters with heart cut-outs.

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4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 029A few more Paris chic items.

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4.29.13  Curiosity SIGNS 035CURIOSITIES  is open six days a week; 10am-6pm.  CLOSED MONDAYS.




Not quite there yet . . .but still working on it!

I had to make a trip to town on Friday, so I decided to stop in at Curiosisites and drop off some more inventory.  And to rearrange a bit, now that the other side wall to my booth had been installed.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 027My space now consists of walls on two sides and two open sides, much like I do in my space at Stars.  Now that I had both walls to work with, I moved ALL my crates over to the one wall.  I hadn’t AT ALL cared for how it looked with half of the crates along an open part of the space, as I had set it up on my last trip in.  It was really only temporary, while I awaited the installation of my wall; so I figured ‘what the heck’; why not try something a little different?!?!

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 058This is how the crates are now.  And it is temporary too!  Once Michael is able to come with me and help me install the pegboard on the two walls (so I can ‘properly’ hang my signs!) I’ll have to move the crates again!  The pegboard will only go about half way down, so maybe I’ll leave the crates below that??

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 034And in case you are wondering why I don’t hang the signs on the existing walls???  It’s because I can’t!  They are fabric covered office cubicle partitions, and won’t hold a nail.  The owner had ‘problems’ with the city over building divider walls for the booths,  so he had to improvise!  In the respect that it affords him a lot of flexibility to easily change up the floor plan in the future,  the cubicle walls are quite nice.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 026This is where half the crates were before.   I like the chair and TV cart there much better!

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 028Goodnight moon sign.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 033For now I am putting signs anywhere I can! Even on the end of this row of crate shelves!

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 035Very nice vintage white wicker wall cupboard.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 036Little Paris suitcase.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 043Little upcycled tables with French postmark design; and little stool with chandelier.

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Vintage folding tea tray with papered top.

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Hand painted faux clock face.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 042Gotta LOVE little pink ballet slippers!

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 044Upcycled little round table with lamp shade wire cloche top.  I really need to make a big NEST to put under that cloche!

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 045Lots of sweet vintage baby dolls from a recent estate sale, and grubby teddy bears in a vintage primitive doll cradle.  (all priced individually)

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 048Vintage ‘half table’ with papered top.  Cubby wall shelf in back and some black finials.  (lots of finials in stock right now!

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 056Big PARIS painted suitcase.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 060Lots of brown ware and primitive dishware.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 053Vintage thermos.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 054Rustic wood hearts and shutters.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 059More brownware.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 052THE firkin!  (What the heck is a FIRKIN?!?! asks Michael!)

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 065Vintage and upcycled dessert pedestals.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 062Bundles of vintage wood utensils.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 066PLease come by and check out my booth at CURIOSITIES!   

Fixed up firkin

I searched for YEARS for a firkin ‘back when’ I was decorating my home Primitive style.  Sadly, to no avail.  And they are ‘one of those things’ that everyone who collects primitives wants, so when you find them on line or in a retail store, they are crazy expensive!  So imagine my delight when I happened upon this beauty recently at a thrift store?!?!

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 It was pretty well worn. Most of the varnish had flaked off.   Some remnants of a waxy paper label that was on it; which cracked and peeled right off.  You can still see a little bit of the paper after I refinished it.

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It really only took about 10 minutes to prep it.  I was able to sand most of it with my orbital sander.  Only had to hand sand a few spots.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 004After sanding and wiping off all the dust, I gave it a fresh coat of ‘Fruitwood’ color stain.

4.19 .13 projcest Curiousities 052It has gone to my booth at CURIOSITIES in Beaverton; priced at $29.00.

A photo tour of CURIOSITIES new vintage mall in Beaverton

I ‘started’ moving into my space at Curiosities in Beaverton today; but 0nly took one small batch of larger items that I needed to borrow Michael’s truck to haul.  It’ll be another week or two before I get the space ‘totally pimped out’!  I’m actually a bit embarrassed to even show you these pictures!  My space is SO bare right now; but I do have some NICE furniture pieces, so I’ll swallow my pride.  THEN I’ll make up for MY lack of stuff by showing you pictures of the REST of the mall!

4.12.13 signs CURIOSITIES stencils 026I told you it was BARE!!!  That antique spool bed is really NICE.  It does have both side rails, I just took the one side off for better booth access.  It’s a ‘full’ size bed.  Price is $119.00.

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For right now, I’ve stocked the space with mostly black/brown and primitive style stuff; just because that is what I had available for immediate delivery.  And I just wanted to ‘test the market’ a little and see if maybe I should lean more towards PRIM in this space, and leave Stars with the cottage look.  Who knows?!?!

4.12.13 signs CURIOSITIES stencils 027You can’t tell in the picture, but those 2 tables are old book pages decoupaged on top.

And NOW, here’s the really GOOD STUFF throughout the rest of the mall:

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4.12.13 signs CURIOSITIES stencils 040The bigger ‘booth’ spaces run along the back wall, front window area and center of the building.  Then along the main side windows are a lot of ‘showcases’ filled with all kinds of goodies!

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I only really had time  to snap one quick photo of each booth; not any close-ups of all the wonderful individual contents.  This should be enough to entice you to come visit in person.  I’ll post more pictures of my booth as soon as I get more product in.

Click here for  CURIOSITIES facebook page 

Black furniture binge

Recent batch of stuff that I painted all black.  Most of these have already sold at Stars.  Still playing ‘catch up’ on posts from time lost from that recent bee sting.  (how long can I milk THAT excuse?!?!?)  but seriously . . .

This big old pedestal came from a rummage sale in the summer.  It was originally medium brown.  Sanded it a bit, spray painted it black and sanded the edges to distress a bit.  Michael scrounged the round that I used for the top.

Now to find a top!  Michael ‘scrounges’ for a lot of the plywood we use to make stuff; and the place he gets the plywood frequently has big ’rounds’ of plywood.  Perfect for making a table.  Just add legs!  These tops however, are UNfinished.  So I have to be sure I can match the finish I creat on the top to the finish on the legs. 

Since this top was unfinished (AND had a big HOLE in the middle; which we filled with a dowel and some wood putty) I painted it with the flat black spray paint first.  Then sanded so that some of the raw wood showed through.  Then wiped on some dark wood stain, which only shows on ‘the sanded through the black paint’ parts.  Let the stain dry overnight and apply a couple coats of matte varnish.

This lighting (took pic at Stars) is better for seeing how closely I was able to match the top finish to that of the base. 

A cute little wood side table stained a medium brown(I think this is the ONLY before picture I have of the stuff I painted black!)  Sand first to prep the wood.  Quick couple of coats of flat black spray paint, (the CHEAP $.99/can stuff at Home Depot!)  sand, varnish, DONE!  Did the same with the little milking stool in the pic below.

It’s actually become a ‘tradition of sorts’ for me to paint a big batch of black furniture this time of year.  I’ll save up lots of dark stained items here and there throughout the spring/summer garage/rummage sale season; specifically to paint black in the fall.  For some reason, this is the only time of year that I LIKE to paint things black.  And because the weather is so iffy this time of year; being able to quickly spray paint a whole bunch of stuff all at once is a real necessity.

This oversized wall sconce/shelf had a black wrought iron bracket and stained wood shelf.  Again, just sanded and quickly spray painted the wood shelf part; sanded again to distress and slapped on a quick coat of matte varnish.  DONE!

This one is a variation on the theme.  It was originally GREEN (a very YUCKY green at that!) and the top was too damaged to sand smoothly.  (which is probably why it was priced so CHEAP!!)  So, no sanding to distress on this one.  Don’t want to show off that ugly green undercoat!  But I did still use the flat black spray paint, and then I used torn up pieces of old book pages to cover the top.    Dip your paper in liquid laundry starch* and place on the table.  Let dry overnight.  Add a coat of matte varnish. 

* If you can’t find liquid starch, you can use watered down Elmer’s glue or decoupage medium.

These little ‘half tables’ always sell really well for me.

This table is one we picked up on our daycation to the coast.  Pretty bad top, but the legs were in good shape.  Tops are EASY to sand and/or cover up; so there is seldom a damaged TOP that will deter me from buying something.  The LEGS however, would take a LOT of work to fix up if they were damaged.  Damaged legs are usually not worth bothering with. 

A BIG part of how profitable your business is depends on how much TIME you have to spend refinishing your items.  It’s only a GOOD bargain IF you can fix it up in a reasonable amount of time!  ‘Good legs’ is something I always look for.

This table was made using an old bar stool for the base, (dark green) and an unfinished birch plywood round for the top.  I spray painted the base and top; distressed the top just a tad, around the edges.  Then used some tan craft paint to sponge stamp the design on with.  I always start in the MIDDLE when doing such a design.  Less likely to go crooked when you are only going half way across.  I can usually get 3 – 4 imprints from each ‘loading’ on the stamp, so the darkness of the color varies.  (which I like to an extent!)  then to even out the color a bit, I sand over the whole top before adding a coat of varnish.

Most of this black furniture has already sold.  I’ll be taking in some new white furniture and Christmas stuff tomorrow.

Forgive me if posts are few and far between for the next few weeks.  It’s ”CRUNCH TIME” for the upcoming fall show and my to do list is dauntingly long! 

Don’t forget to enter to win a free year of Country Living magazine in the previous post!