My love affair with junk began back when I was a young woman who had bought her first house and was on a very limited budget to decorate.

In those days, I was on a first-name basis with the owner of a second-hand shop in West Duluth.  I also never rejected anything given to me by relatives and I made monthly trips to the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores.  It helped that most of my friends also shopped where I did so I didn’t feel like I was poor. (This was in the days before recycling and repurposing and was chic to shop used.)

Even after I had a few shekels in my pocket, I continued to buy used.  I loved getting a good bargain.  I could spend hours in a thrift store, sifting through the bins and racks just hoping that something unique could be found.  I’m sure my daughter has awful memories of those long days of waiting for me to be done shopping!

My mother-in-law used to be horrified when I would tell her that my whole outfit came from the Goodwill or that I bought my couch from the used-a-bit store.  It got to be a family joke…I would get something “new” and my mom-in-law would ask if I had gotten it from my “favorite” store.

Then I discovered RUST…..oh, how I love rust.  I am a sucker for a painted piece that has rust all over it…much to the chagrin of my husband.  He likes things to look nice and polished.  I like things that are all peeling and chipped.  He likes finished oak, I like faded barnboard.

I love finding new purposes for old things.  For years in my bathroom an old pitchfork held my hand towels and wash cloths.  Old ladders held old quilts.  Tin buckets became wastepaper baskets.   Right now the railing going up my stairs is my husband’s grandfather’s old green oar.

I had the privilege to work in a wonderful primitive shop and I had my pick of great junk.  I never came home with a paycheck and most times had to give the shop more money than I had made but I had a houseful of the greatest treasures known to man! It got to the point I would have to sneak the stuff in because my husband said he could not move freely about because there was so much stuff around and enough was enough.  (When it came to JUNK, enough was never enough).

Two things happened to squelch my love of junk.  The first was the death of the shop owner.  She and I had become very close during her illness and once she was gone, my love of all things junky began to wan.  She loved junk and had a way of displaying it that was pure genius.  The second was I was getting overwhelmed by the dust on all my treasures.  I consider dusting a huge waste of my time and talents but when I would have company, I would feel compelled to at least give some things a going-over but it would take me days and even then I never got to all of it.

So little by little my junk found new homes.  I stopped buying my beloved rusty treasures.  With each piece that I got rid of, I felt a small weight being lifted off of me. It felt good.

Nowadays, I rarely go to antique stores or thrift stores.  Can’t tell you the last time I was into a primitive goods store but I can feel the “itch” starting again.  Not for the same kind of stuff I used to buy, that ship has sailed but there is a stirring in my being for old cowboy stuff.  So tomorrow I am off to do some antiquing.  I know I could find more stuff online but I spend way too much money shopping on Ebay plus the shipping costs are getting outrageous.  Besides, there is something magical about spending hours looking and touching old stuff.  I lose track of time.  My head swirls with ideas and my heart races and my senses are heightened.  I suppose it is a “rush” not unlike a drug high that I get when I am in an antique store!

I will post photos of my finds tomorrow night and if you  should happen to see me out and about tomorrow, get out of my way cause I am a woman on a mission!

Your treasure hunting Queen


About thelumberjackandthegypsy

The lumberjack is my husband and he owns Arrowhead Wood Products; Arrowhead Toboggan and Snowshoe; and Lake Superior Furniture Co. and is the exclusive manufacturer of wood shutters for Summit Hill Shutter Co. The gypsy is me, and I have a passion for teaching people to tap into their creative side, even when they think they don't have one! I did not grow up creative or artsy and I was in my thirties before I started sewing and creating things. I am a rug hooker; artisan teddy bear maker; painter (from pictures to large pieces of furniture!); knitter; doll maker; needle-felter, repurposer; sewer; decorator; blogger; glamper; reader; vintage jewelry maker; junker; and now a shop owner. But the lumberjack and I feel our greatest gifts in this world are our four grandkids and our daughter and her husband and our relationship with Jesus Christ. We have been married for more than 33 years and most of that time we have lived out in the country on a hobby farm where we have raised chickens, turkeys, ducks, goats, pigs and beef cattle. We also homeschooled our only child for her entire school years. We lived out our dream of being like the The Little House on the Prairie and they were great times. I also have a personal blog: rantingsofamadqueen.wordpress.com where I tell stories of what life on the farm has been like and other things that pop up in my very weird mind. I prefer "quirky or eccentric" instead of weird (sounds more fascinating and less creepy)!

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