Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Junkin & Thrifting

I've been a Junker and a Thrifter long before Junking and Thrifting became popular.
Even when I was a child I remember collecting junk out of our creek bed at the ranch, usually an old tractor part that had broken off and been left there, or an old bottle of ? who knows what, and trudging my finds up to the house.
I started collecting crates and wooden boxes in my early teens.

When I was around 10 or so, my Dad would take trips to the dump on Saturdays, hauling our household trash to the local dump site.
Yes- we we're not so very environmentally conscious at that time. - ugh- sad, but true. 
I couldn't wait for Saturday mornings to ride along with Dad to the dump and see what treasures I could find. My Dad would get so irritated with me for bringing home more  'junk'. 
I would dig and search the whole time we were there, feeling so excited to find just the right thing. 

When Caveman and I were first married (1976) we had absolutely nothing to make a home with. 
We dug out this really old couch from his parent's barn, cleaned it up as best we could, and covered up the worn and tattered couch with a throw. 

Our first 'entertainment' center was made of bricks and 1x12 pieces of pine wood, which were stained, then  sealed with a clear coat of polyurethane.

We used an old picnic table as a kitchen table, and I covered it with a red checked cloth. 

We had this old Ben Franklin wood stove, which was never hooked up to burn wood, instead I used it for plants, setting them inside and the top of it. 

Caveman worked at a  lumber mill at that time, and I'll never forget when he brought home some scraps of wood and made some plant stands for me. 

This has nothing to do with thrifting,  but I remember having this VERY OLD canister vacuum cleaner that never really worked and the floor attachment part was missing. The only attachment it had left was the small upholstery type brush, which I would attach to the end of the hose, then I would vacuum the floor on my hands and knees pushing that small brush back and forth on the carpet.

For the first few months we had no washer or dryer, instead we went to a laundromat.
Finally, after a few months we were able to afford a second hand washing machine which we hooked up in the bathroom (so it could drain in the LARGE bathroom sink). I made a  makeshift clothes line in the bathroom to hang up our clothes to dry.
Man- did I ever feel like I was really "makin it' in the world.
The luxury of doing laundry at home was positively exhilarating!
 It wasn't a matter of choice, but rather one of necessity.

This crate started my first real  'official' collection of  junk....
I was about 12 years old at the time.
I've carried this with me almost my entire life.

I love it still to this very day.

( these aren't great pictures- sorry)

then came along this...

I'm in the process of doing some re-decorating, so they are empty for the moment.

This crate is holding books in my craft room. 

and this I got from my Grammy...
she added her personal touch with some paint here and there, accenting what was already on the crate.

Funny thing is I still thrift.
For instance, I wanted wood trim around my doors and windows, but honestly I just cannot afford it.
Yesterday I experimented on my front door, which looked like this

Let me tell  you it's really hard to take a picture of a window, my camera wanted to focus on what was outside. Anyways, you get the point.

I wanted to have the white window grids look like wood...
(another terrible picture)

A little CoCo ASCP, along with some Annie Sloan wax
= faux wood trim. 
I'm inspired and am now on a painting mission!

This picture is one that my Grammy painted in 1981. Originally it had a gold frame, which I wasn't wild about.
The picture however, I absolutely adore.

A little ASCP in Old White and some clear wax...

I love the Vintage look it gave the picture.

Today I am painting my old aquarium stand in the same Old White I used for the picture frame, and will be making it into a table.

Last weekend Beth and I went to the Roses and Rust Vintage show in Redding,
and I came home completely inspired to re-do and re-purpose several items I already had.
I brought home a few treasure as well.
I'll share them later.

 For now, I have a paint brush calling my name.

The Girasole Lady


  1. Good Afternoon Becka, I think we are kindred spirits, because like you I enjoyed what we called "junk shops" when I was a teenager and I found numerous things. Two of my favourite items are two very old 18th century bibles. It is very fashionable nowadays to visit thrift shops and maybe that is a sign of the times, but for me it was finding books which someone else had loved and owned and finding tablecloths which had been hand embroidered. I love a book which has been inscribed as I wonder what the owners lives were like.
    I have read a lot about Annie Sloan paint, but have not used it....I can see you are loving it, maybe I should give it a try.
    Have a lovely week my friend.
    Best Wishes

  2. Haha! Your marriage beginnings remind me of my own...only...I'm still in them! But I love the creative solutions it forces us to come up with, so I don't think I'll ever leave it behind either ;).
    I love your 'wooden' technique, I'm definitely going to try it out!

  3. loved the post. i too can relate to it. we were married in 1974 and we did just about the same thing. It must of been a 70's thing! the wood look came out great for you. love your creativity.

  4. I am impressed mostly because I hadn't heard all these stories before! I have always believed that you can only appreciate something when you've had to go without. :) Love you mom.

  5. I grew up with junkers for parents! They had a second hand shop for a few years when I was young. I loved tagging along while they went out treasure hunting. And I love doing that as an adult! What a special picture you have held onto from your grandmother. Wonderful!!

  6. Hi, Becka. I am just checking in after a lonnnnggg time away from blogging. I LOVE your use of the crate as a book shelf and now I'm going to be searching for some in the yard sales around town!! My dad was a dairy man way back in the day -- he drove the trucks and delivered bottled milk to customers. We used to have the wooden crates, but then they converted to plastic ... Now I'm on a mission :-) Thanks! PS - So happy Spring is finally here. The east coast is so dreary in the winter!