Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fun Stuff at Round Top

Just please don't tell me you're tired of my Round Top posts, because I'm not done yet. There was just so much to see and photograph, it's overwhelming. Only a few more, I promise! As you can see from my pictures, collections of things make a bigger statement when grouped together in large numbers...

Blue and white cast iron mermaids sunning on a bench.

Colorful wooden baskets {not vintage (not that there's anything wrong with that) but pretty anyway).

A pickup truck bed full of rusty Radio Flyers.

Speaking of rust...a pile of old water pumps.

Bottle caps of every beer denomination, set in epoxy on top of a counter at a diner.

More bottle caps, this time adorning one of those bouncy animals we used to see outside the grocery store. I was happy not to find any beer caps on this old kids' ride.

Who would have thought metal carts could look so inviting? Reminds me of stewardesses (i.e. "flight attendants" for the politically correct) for some reason.

Whether you find this sign offensive or funny, it pretty much sums up Round Top in three words. I can't say I'd be happy if my beloved junk ended up under this sign one day, but I guess it's better than the landfill. I would rather give my kids fun memories to remember me by anyway.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Sue Whitney at Round Top

One of the highlights of my trip to Round Top was meeting Sue Whitney, junk connoisseur and founder of Junk Market Style, her brand that revolves around-you guessed it-junk. Just my kind of gal!

Sue was there signing copies of the new book she co-authored, Junk Beautiful: Outdoor Edition. Of course, I scooped up my copy right away and asked for her Jane Hancock. I can't wait to implement some of her wonderfully creative ideas! She has co-authored other fabulous books, including Junk Beautiful: Room by Room Makeovers and Decorating Junk Market Style. Just the other day she appeared on the Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda.

Sue's booth was totally inspiring. Items from the antiques market were pulled together into a stunning vignette and sold. Proceeds went to Houston's Habitat for Humanity. Next time you want to throw something away, just remember that even junk can be charitable.

One man's trash truly is another's treasure.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Round Top Recap #2

I actually did find some "serious" stuff in Round Top...everything wasn't totally off-the-wall, as seen in my last post. The best part was the price! The total cost of all of my purchases was less than what I'd pay for a nice sofa. I think Al was hoping I'd bring home only what I could fit in my suitcase. No such luck! It's all being shipped to me by a company by the name of Rancho Buck (what a cool name), which I used before when I shopped at Scott's in Atlanta. They are apparently fixtures at the major markets and move the heavy stuff all around the country.

Our new house will have a screened porch and we plan to dine out there as much as possible. I found a great brown and turquoise table that seats 10-12 and these colorful chairs to go with it. The table was formerly used in a convent in Pennsylvania. I do hope it won't be offended by any of our dinner conversations.

Our twin boys will be sharing a bedroom (I'm sure everyone will pile in there at some time or other) and I wanted them each to have a full-sized bed. I found these two painted beds (incidentally, they are the colors of my alma mater, William & Mary, an unplanned but very convenient coincidence). The yellow bed was a steal at a mere $75.

Being a huge fan of all things animal print, I was thrilled to find this vintage desk, freshly painted a pink leopard for my daughter's room. The top lifts up to expose a mirror and secret compartment. The drawers are lined with sheet music, a lovely touch! To complete the ensemble, I couldn't pass up the little black chair (for $56!) and coordinating leopard flower magnetic board.

I loved this cute red desk for our oldest son's room.

This desk will be perfect for our twins' room, since it is long and has 2 cubby holes already. It's from an old school and has lots of graffiti etched on top. I even spotted a "dirty word" but I'll be able to scratch it out with a sharp object before letting their young eyes read it.

For $2 per pair, these salt and pepper shakers were a bargain.

I'm really excited about this find but the photo doesn't do it justice. I bought two of these pendant lights for our screened porch. Four metal industrial crates were welded together to make an unusual light. Possibly not everyone's cup of tea but I think a good addition for what is shaping up to be an eclectic porch.

I bought one of these round metal spheres, maybe to just set out in the yard as a "sculpture," or I might wire it and use it as a rustic chandelier.

This little $35 light is going in our powder room, after I paint the metal areas silver.

I fell in love with these two sets of lockers, straight out of old schools (I heard kids don't even use lockers these days? How do they pass notes and catch up on gossip? I miss the days before text messaging!). The blue set will find a home in my storage room and the kids can use the red ones and have 2 lockers each.

Another "old school" find. How cute is this turquoise water fountain? Its new location will be in our mud room. The kids can run in from the backyard and get a drink, courtesy of this salvaged fixture from a school in Laredo, TX.

This piece from a carnival ring toss game (bought from the same vendor who sold me the little duckies) will look great in our playroom.

My cousin Laura surprised me with this fun wooden sign for our lake house that she bought at Round Top in the fall. I love the colors and it has bottle tops all over it! A lady paints these right outside Royer's Cafe for those of us who like to shop while we wait to be seated for dinner. I can't think of a more perfect combination.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Unique Uses-Round Top

There's no better place to find things that are used in a unique way than a flea market or antiques market. Round Top takes the cake! Here are some fun items I purchased while at Round Top. My husband thinks you have to look pretty hard to find the good qualities in this stuff, but I think the beauty is pretty evident, don't you?

This is a vintage golf ball bucket, the kind we used to find on driving ranges. It has been turned upside-down and wired to be a pendant light. I just saw one of these (new, of course) in a catalog! I plan to hang it over the sink in our laundry room. Being from a family of golfers, how could I pass this up?

Another pendant light, which I plan to hang in my "potting shed" (which is actually just a glorified storage room off our garage). It was made from an old copper creamer pot.

There was a big basket of these glass pieces, for $1 each. It used to be an enormous dangle from an equally enormous chandelier. I think I'll use it as a butter dish (after a good soaking, that is).

Another big basket held these little glass jars, which formerly held cream on tables in diners and restaurants, back in the days before plastic took the beauty out of everyday objects. They will be cute as bud vases, along with these little test tubes I picked up for a mere 10 cents apiece.

I found some brightly colored items at a cute booth called Vintage Girl, including these two candle holders and a couple of old door knobs, which I'm going to put in my daughter's closet to hang scarves or belts from.

Vintage flower frogs were everywhere! Aside from the obvious use (arranging flowers, for those of you who, like me, aren't particularly tuned in to floral convenience items), I might use one for a pen holder. The test tubes will fit in the bigger frog for an unusual flower display.

Vintage wire baskets, racks and trays were also in abundance. I'm going to hang this one in my closet to display necklaces or scarves.

Also from Vintage Girl, this vintage register was hanging with several others, all of which had been painted fun colors like turquoise and bright orange. Even though it weighs a ton and is coated with what I'm sure is lead paint, I still think it's sort of cool. Necklaces could dangle from this quite well.

Don't ask me why this caught my eye. It really is pretty funny though. It's one of those large red vintage Christmas light bulbs turned into a mosquito! I'm hoping it will ward off the real thing when hung by fishing wire on my back porch.

Last but certainly not least are these vintage duckies, straight from a stint at a carnival near you (I love carnivals...we could walk to one when I was little). I purchased them from a vendor who had bought out a carnival that was going out of business.

One for each of my little duckies. And just like my duckies, they don't all want to stay in a row.


Friday, April 17, 2009

I'm Featured on Tip Junkie!

My post about framing tips was featured on Tip Junkie today in the home decor tips section (scroll to the fourth post down)!

Tip Junkie is a blog dedicated to promoting women and their creativity. Check it out for lots of fun projects and ideas.

Thanks, Tip Junkie!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hopping Down the Bunny Trail

Kids love Easter and our little bunnies are no exception. They are still little, but I wanted their Easter baskets to be something special. I happened upon these bright buckets at Lowe's one day (for about $6 each) and knew they would be perfect to hold all the treasures the Easter Bunny would bring this year.

The lady at the checkout counter looked at me incredulously when I told her why I was buying the buckets. She remarked that I would have to get a "lot of toys and candy to fill up those things." Little did she know that they would be filled with mostly grass!

I lined the buckets with "grass" made from brightly colored cardstock paper that was run through our industrial-sized shredder at work (it makes crinkle-cut shreds). You can also make small quantities of paper with small shredders from office-supply stores. As you'll see in just a moment, we had enough grass to plant a small yard, which I would not recommend unless you plan to single-handedly bring back multi-colored shag.

I filled the "baskets" with lots of fun items from the $1 section at Target (I even managed to squeak by this year without including any candy...don't worry, they had plenty from friends & family!). I cut out colorful flowers and glued them onto paint stirrers (also from Lowe's) to add a bit of height to the baskets. Our kids used them as wands and rakes to scoop up their grass. They became somewhat dangerous as the day wore on so they were retired to the "later" pile (the wands, not the kids).

After church we went out for Easter lunch and the cutest centerpieces were on our table. What fun to put Peeps and jelly beans in the vases! They didn't last long...our kids took one look at them and the Peeps were history within minutes. So much for the no-candy Easter!

Our three-year-old got a haircut on Good Friday and his hairdresser (yes, he already has a hairdresser) surprised him with this cute-as-a-button homemade bunny cake. It was as delicious as it was pretty. I had a hard time making it out of the parking lot without biting off an ear. Don't think the kids wasted any time in getting to know this wabbit weally well!

Egg-coloring (real) and hunting (plastic) was big at our house this year. I've never seen a prettier bunch of eggs than this, the first-ever batch colored by my little rabbit fu fu's (when I was younger I used to recite that riddle over and over, standing on my grandparents' hearth. Maybe I was doing a rain dance of sorts and didn't know it, since I ended up with so many rabbits?).

A tiny part (and I do mean tiny) of our Easter grass explosion, or tumbleweed, as depicted here. Honestly the kids loved the grass more than any of the other toys, proving once again that the packaging is often better than the product. As they say, the grass is always greener.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Round Top Recap #1

My cousin Laura and I recently visited Round Top, Texas, for the semi-annual antiques fair at both Marburger and Warrenton. I've always wanted to go and she lives in Dallas so we met there and drove the four hours together, along with some fun friends of hers, who followed us. We had a fantastic four days of shopping, wining, dining and photographing. Here are a few pictures from the week. Check back later for photos of my purchases and the cool (and sometimes wacky) items I spotted while shopping.

Round Top's population really is about 77 during the year, but grows to thousands more during antique week!

This tastefully decorated car, dubbed the "Tijuana Taxi" by our group, sold to a fellow shopper. Some Dallas friends actually went on the maiden voyage around Round Top before the buyer took it home to her son!

Shopping wasn't only about the included beautiful scenery too!

Lodging is hard to come by during antique week. We stayed on the beautiful grounds of the International Festival-Institute at Round Top, a 210-acre campus that includes performance facilities, historic houses, extensive gardens, parks and nature preserves (not that we took advantage of any of these features!). It has the added bonus of being located only minutes away from the main attraction as well.

Last fall, Laura stayed in the cute house shown above left...simply adorable, but alas, it wasn't available this time around.

Here we are enjoying a little apres shopping wine and cheese at a house where some friends were staying, right in Round Top square.

After hours, the bubbly flowed at the "Bubble Lounge" at Zapp Hall, where weary shoppers can unwind with some Veuve Clicquot and music. The motto of the fair, after all, is "Come for the antiques, stay for the atmosphere!"

We thought this little Doll Hospital sign was cute, and just perfect for this doll (aptly named "Tony") Laura and her friends bought for another friend back home. Tony is the long-lost mate of Tina, who was purchased during the fall show. He's shown below sporting a vintage-scarf tutu I bought for my daughter (maybe I should spray it with something before I give it to her!).

By far the best (well, actually, almost the only) place to eat in Round Top is the eclectic Royer's Cafe, where we had dinner two nights. Patrons think nothing of waiting an hour or more on the porch (even with a reservation) and the mashed potatoes, homemade pies and ice cream are totally worth it (they ship pies too!).

A big vintage cooler sits on the tiny front porch. Customers can partake of beer and wine from the cooler on the "honor system" while they wait to be seated. Only in Texas!

Inside the small eatery is decorated with menus, t-shirts, Christmas lights and this little Santa, which reminded me of something we had when I was growing up.

Waiting outside Royer's for our table. We may have had a sip or two from the honor bar!

This sign on the front door pretty much sums up the general feel of the restaurant. I'm just glad we didn't see any 70-year-olds in spandex!