Vintage Ironing Board Makeover

When we emptied Greg’s parents’ house, after his father passed away, one of the items I carted home was a vintage ironing board. I could tell, without removing the cover, that the board was made of wood. I hated to throw the old ironing board away. I figured eventually I’d find a new use for it. That ironing board has been tucked away for more than two years. This week, it suddenly popped back into my awareness. Today, I repurposed it.

This is how inspiration works in my life. The ironing board has been in my house for almost 2 1/2 years. I don’t see it most days or think about it. Two days ago, without looking at it, the board suddenly came to mind. I’ve been wanting to do a creative project. Apparently, it was time to do something with this vintage piece.

As I thought about the ironing board, I got a visual “download”, images of how I could transform the board into a table, where to put it and even what items to place on and near it. This is the kind of information that I most often receive when a project, literally, comes to mind. My work, then, is to create in reality the idea I’ve been given.

Here is the fun process of making over the ironing board.

This is what I started with. I knew I wanted to set up the ironing board table in my creative studio.

I had to remove some modifications that Greg’s dad made years ago, to protect the floors or to prevent slipping. On the foot of the longest leg of the ironing board there were scraps of carpet secured with black electrical tape and wire!

I did find a wooden top after I removed the cover and an old foam pad, which had crumbled into dust. I was surprised to discover a huge paper label attached to the surface of the board. It is brittle with age and I considered removing it. I was able to look up the ironing board, though, thanks to the label. This model of ironing board was produced in the early 1940s. Greg speculated that his parents, who were married in 1941, received this practical necessity as a wedding gift. I left the label attached.

At one end of my repurposed table I placed a lamp, and a couple of rustic pieces. The minnow bucket turned candle holder normally lights my garden. It is the first item that I saw on the ironing board when I visualized this project. The concrete bird holds a tea light, and also moved indoors from the garden. I frequently use stacks of books to create height.

The framed quote by Elsie de Wolfe, “I’m going to make everything around me beautiful…that will be my life”, moved from a vignette in my bedroom to my creative studio.

At the other end of the ironing board table is a collection of books, with an old iron and a jar candle as bookends. I added a metal bowl with colorful fabric balls.

Beneath the table I’ve used a vintage metal olive bucket to hold an adorable scruffy looking tree, pulled out of my Christmas collection. Another stack of books is topped by my journee sign and another metal bucket with a tea light tucked inside.

And this is what the table looked like, after the repurposing process was completed.

I am quite pleased with the finished results! I enjoy using vintage pieces in fresh ways. I’d much rather use them and see them daily, than have these keepsakes packed away in a closet. The old ironing board reminds me of Greg’s mom and dad, who both shared in the chore of pressing clothes and linens.

I don’t need another ironing board. I rarely use the one I have. However, I can always use another table, another surface to create upon. I am very happy with this one.

Pickin’ on the Ranch

I love junk shows and I have been excited about a type of show new to the Joplin area that premiered this weekend. On this warm, gorgeous spring day, I collected my daughter-in-law Megan and grandchildren Joey, Oliver and Aubrey to check out the Pickin’ on the Ranch event in Carthage, MO. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Picking is the act of selecting items for the purpose of reselling them. This profitable hobby has been made popular by the long running reality TV show, American Pickers. Picking is typically done among vast collections of junk and vintage items that people have stored in their houses, garages or barns. 

Today’s spring pickers market kicked off the first such event at the picturesque Civil War Ranch in Carthage. The barns, outbuildings and open grassy areas provided the perfect backdrop for vendors to display their pickings. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Pickin' on the Ranch
This was a fun show to attend. And apparently we weren’t the only ones curious about a pickers market. The venue was packed. As we wandered through barns and booths I enjoyed looking at the many items for sale. These shows inspire my creativity and ignite my imagination. I am always impressed with how clever people are, as they repurpose vintage finds into new items. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Pickin' on the Ranch

Pickin' on the Ranch
There was live music on site, food wagons to ease hunger and thirst, and celebrities from HGTV signing autographs. The atmosphere was friendly and casual. And there was even an animal adoption area where people could hold and pet dogs and puppies and perhaps take home a faithful companion as a found treasure. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Pickin' on the Ranch
As much as I enjoyed looking at junk and vintage items and crafts, what I cherished most was watching my grandkids take in their first pickers market. They surprised me a couple of weeks ago by showing interest in the event when I mentioned it to them. As the spring pickers market approached, they continued to be excited about it and anticipated attending as well. I was delighted to take them and Megan along this morning. It was a fun outing. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Pickin' on the Ranch
The kids were great shoppers. They each had an allotted amount to spend and made careful decisions about their purchases. I was proud of how polite they were to vendors and pleased with how interested they were in what was going on. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Joey helped to keep an eye on his younger siblings, so we didn’t lose anyone in the crowds. He was called a “good man” by a vendor for retrieving an item that had fallen off of a display table and setting it up again correctly. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Aubrey found lots to capture her interest, including these red lockers. I told her that her daddy had such a set of lockers when he was a boy, and that he stowed his police gear in them, items that he purchased or made in anticipation of his future career. Aubrey wanted to show that she could fit within those lockers too. 

Pickin' on the Ranch
Oliver made me laugh. The others were walking just a bit ahead of us when he asked to walk into a booth. “Sure, go ahead!” I said. “You’d better come in with me and keep an eye on me,” he quipped. “I think my mom would want you to keep an eye on me.” Amused by his honesty, I was happy to follow him around the booth, keeping an eye on him. He didn’t touch a thing! 

Pickin' on the Ranch
This first pickers market was a great success. I anticipate that the event will continue to grow and evolve into a highly anticipated yearly event. We didn’t make any huge purchases, but we all left with something special. I found a metal pendant and love the sentiment engraved on it…”the journey awakens the soul”. 

What a perfect expression of the day, and of my life. 

Pickin' on the Ranch

Journey 101: Vintage Market Days of NW Arkansas

vintage market booth 3

Today I attended a wonderful event in Arkansas, for the first time, the Vintage Market Days of NW Arkansas. Accompanied by Greg, and daughters Elissa and Adriel, we ventured into the fairgrounds in Bentonville to try out this open air market. Actually, the vintage market was located in the livestock building at the fairgrounds, with additional booths set up in a large tent outside. Even more booths were clustered near the entrance to the building. We had the pleasure of meeting Greg’s cousin Pam there, along with her daughter Charity and grandson Braeden.

vintage market Pam and Braeden

Pam and Braeden

vintage market booth 2

In my family, we enjoy hunting for treasures at flea markets, junk stores and vintage shows. I wasn’t sure what to expect, this being our first visit to the Vintage Market. We loved it! The livestock building was transformed into a bustling market with many, many booths filled with all kinds of wonderful vintage items, painted furniture, metal pieces, fabric, artwork and jewelry. We spent a leisurely morning and early afternoon browsing and exclaiming over finds and deciding what to buy and what to leave behind.

vintage market booth 4

All the lovely booth photos from Vintage Market’s Facebook page

…because my photos were full of people and looked like this:

vintage market crowd

Outside there were marvelous food vendors, selling everything from cinnamon roasted nuts to stir fry vegetables with rice or noodles and chicken to beans and cornbread to ribs. For kids there were corndogs and sandwiches as well. We took a much deserved break to rest for a bit and have lunch. Well, two of us ate healthy lunches. Two in our party ate giant shortbread cookies with icing on them! I won’t name any names. Pam, Charity and Braeden finished their meals before we got started, so I can’t vouch for the healthiness of what they consumed!

vintage market cookie

Beautiful and tasty cookies…or so I was told 🙂

vintage market booth 1

I saw so many unique items, different from some of the shows I’ve attended in the Joplin area. That’s the benefit of attending different shows in different areas. I did run into Joplin friends at the market and recognized several businesses from here as well, set up in booths. We had a wonderful time. The girls each made purchases and I found a large metal tray or box. I’m not sure if I’ll use it indoors to hold collectibles or plant flowers in it out in the garden.

vintage market Elissa and Adriel

Adriel and Elissa

vintage market pig

The girls found a baby pig…fortunately, she was NOT for sale.

Surprisingly, the booth we spent the most time in sold canvas prints and bookmarks with whimsical artwork on them and inspirational sayings. We spied a canvas that seemed ideal for a nursery or child’s room and then saw an amazing assortment of sayings and artwork. We started in the first bin and sorted through every piece. I bought a stretched canvas print and two loose canvas prints and a variety of oversized bookmarks.

vintage market purchases

vintage market my soul

I love the larger piece that says, “Blessed are the gypsies, the makers of music, the artists, writers, dreamers of dreams, wanderers and vagabonds, children and misfits: for they teach us to see the world through beautiful eyes.” That one will hang in my creative space, near my writing table. The booth was Bless This Earth, owned by Jason and Natalia Ramsey, out of Texas. Their booth was an oasis in the midst of vintage items and collectibles and we smiled, laughed and even teared up over many of the works of art.

vintage market blessed are the gypsies

We decided we will definitely attend the Vintage Market Days of NW Arkansas again next year….and bring a truck instead of a car. This is a three day event, and I can see the advantage of attending on multiple days. The booths restock overnight, with fresh items. There was so much to see, and so many people filling the building, that I am sure we did not see it all. Still, I enjoyed chatting and looking, spending time with Pam, Charity and Braeden, and tossing around creative ideas with Greg, Elissa and Adriel. Great show, Vintage Market of NW Arkansas. See you next year!

vintage market exterior

Day 310: Blue Moon Market Holiday Open House

blue moon christmas exterior

For today’s first, I returned to Blue Moon Market, located at 613 S Main Street, in Joplin. I have visited this charming store a couple of times, and always enjoy browsing. Several firsts came together at the shop today as they host their Holiday Open House.

blue moon christmas

This was my first holiday open house of the season. I know some people dislike that Christmas products appear so early, usually before Halloween even. I understand though. I used to work in retail. For many businesses, sales this time of year mean the difference between thriving another year, or not. The earlier you can capture a share of the market, the better your chances are. It’s not meant to be commercialization…it is making it as a business. And, quite simply, I love this time of year. It brings me great joy to connect with the Christmas Spirit as I see trees go up and sparkling lights appear, cute snowmen huddled in clusters and red and green décor every. I have a small gift tag, printed with a quote from A Christmas Carol, that hangs in my house throughout the year. It reads: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.”

blue moon christmas 8

This was also my first time to attend Blue Moon Market’s Holiday Open House. Described as a modern boutique with a vintage soul, this shop has a beautiful, whimsical appeal. Filled with unique finds that include jewelry, clothing, signs, note cards, home décor and vintage collectibles, there is something for everyone here. The store recently closed for a couple of days to prepare for the open house event. I’m sure I walked around with a smile on my face. The store was magical with Christmas items everywhere, artfully arranged, and general merchandise that would make perfect gifts for everyone. Or for me! I had a limited amount of time today, to shop, however I will return. I enjoyed a quick sweep through the store, and with permission, took pics to share here on the blog.

blue moon christmas 3  blue moon christmas 5

And, while I was browsing, I spied the perfect ornament for this year’s Christmas tree. Each year I purchase an ornament that represents my symbol for the year. I have butterflies, dragonflies, and silver hearts on the tree, as a reminder of previous years’ themes. Tucked into a display at Blue Moon Market I found golden birdcages, empty of course and in a variety of shapes. I selected a cage and I’ll find and purchase a small golden bird to clip onto a branch nearby, representing the bird free from its cage, which is my symbol for 2014.

blue moon christmas ornament

The Holiday Open House will continue at Blue Moon Market through this Saturday. What a fun and pleasant way to spend an hour, and mark items off the Christmas wish list at the same time!

blue moon christmas 7

Day 165: The Screen Door

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Family gathered today for an early Father’s Day celebration for my step-dad, Walter. We enjoyed lunch together and this evening, a time around the fire pit in my backyard, chatting, laughing, sipping drinks, toasting marshmallows and making S’mores. In between those two activities, the ladies slipped away to do a little junkin’. For my first today, I visited The Screen Door, located at 112 E. 4th, on the square in Carthage, MO.  My mom and sisters, Debbie and Linda, accompanied me.

We girls have a good time, no matter what adventure we set off on. We love to browse in flea markets and vintage stores. Although today I didn’t have any particular items that I was searching for, my sister Debbie was on the hunt for specific treasures to use for Halloween decorations. The Halloween Party War is on, between Debbie and her daughter, Ashley, and my daughter Elissa and grandson Dayan. Both families throw amazing parties, and it’s all in good fun. For the rest of us, we get the benefit of enjoying two outstanding parties.

I’ve looked forward to visiting The Screen Door. I’ve read good reviews and seen pictures that piqued my interest. I was not disappointed. This is a very cute, very clean shop, full of flea market type items, vintage pieces and antiques. There is truly a bit of everything here. We took our time wandering around, looking at treasures, discussing what we could make with them. It is always fun to discover an item that we had as kids or remember a grandparent using, like ice tongs.

Debbie scored with a vintage wicker doll carriage. With some slight repairs and Debbie’s or Ashley’s handiwork, it will make a great addition to their Halloween décor. I foresee a zombie baby or other creepy kid nestled within it. Debbie was delighted with her find.

I found many interesting items, including fun pieces for the garden. I didn’t purchase anything today, but I will certainly return and check this store frequently. That’s part of the fun of junkin’ and visiting flea markets, seeking and finding and walking out of the store, feeling like I’ve found a treasure and a bargain.

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Day 107: Repurpose Boutique

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For today’s first, I had the opportunity to visit a shop in Carthage, MO, that I found via Facebook. I loved what I could see online. Today I visited the shop in person, and discovered it was as great in reality as its online presence.

Repurpose Boutique is located at 530 W. Fir Road, Suite D, in Carthage, MO. They are open Tues – Sat, 10:00 to 6:00 and Sunday, 1:00 to 5:00. It is a great little shop featuring a “charming eclectic variety of fashions for ‘your look, your home, your life.” The more you look, the more you see here! There are trendy designer fashions for everyone, both new and gently worn, and designer shoes, purses and jewelry. Plus Repurpose Boutique is home to many creations by local artists and designers.

I did a quick tour around the store first. There was a section for school spirit, featuring clothing, jewelry and other items in the appropriate colors for all the local schools. I also noted lots of hand crafted jewelry, creatively displayed in old tackle boxes. Repurposed furniture was available throughout the store, along with signs and pillows and other great vintage or handmade pieces. And this shop carries a wonderful selection of unique clothing. After my initial perusal, that’s the section I settled into today. I had spied a great fitting room, fashioned from four old wooden doors. I was looking forward to trying clothes on in that creatively repurposed space.

As I have moved more and more into being fully who I am, becoming the person I was created to be, my taste in clothing has shifted too. And as my body becomes more healthy and fit, I’m rediscovering how enjoyable clothes shopping can be. I’ll admit it. I’m a free spirit and I like an eclectic mix of clothes, favoring casual fun clothing over formal attire. Repurpose Boutique is my kind of store! I enjoyed browsing through all the tops, dresses, pants and shoes available. And it was fun to try on my selections in the wooden door fitting room. After trying on about a dozen tops, I narrowed my picks down to three. Since two of the three shirts were on sale, I bought all three!

Repurpose Boutique is a fun shop, full of all kinds of treasures and trendy clothes. They offer clothing and gifts that are beyond the ordinary, and that suits me just fine! Following them on Facebook and via texts through their VIP Club, I can stay informed about sales and specials and also see pictures of the new product arriving daily. Carthage is only 15 minutes away, and I love an excuse to drop by to see Nate, my son, Megan and their lovely family. I’m sure I’ll be a frequent shopper at this charming and delightful boutique.

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Day 84: Visit Simply Vintage

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After two full days of Continuing Education classes, and two short nights dealing with a pregnant cat and then a tiny, barely alive kitten, I needed a simple first for today! What a perfect day for visiting a newly opened shop, whose name says it all: “Simply Vintage”. My sister and mom accompanied me for a first visit.

Simply Vintage is located at 602 E 4th, in Joplin, in an old gas station from a bygone era. The building, repurposed and made into something new, is a wonderful statement about what awaits in the interior.  And a charming interior it is! Grouped together in appealing vignettes throughout the store is a collection of repurposed and vintage items for the home.

Co-owner Mary Ann Neff said they’ve had wonderful traffic and sales since their Grand Opening last Thursday. She and Julissa Russell make their own paint and give new life to furniture, chandeliers, and a variety of other items they’ve found. We enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the store, admiring their handiwork. According to Mary Ann, new items will be added weekly and special requests are taken if the customer is looking for a particular item.

I love repurposing and vintage items. It is very satisfying to save a piece of furniture that has seen better days and transform it with a new coat of paint or reform it into a new and functional item. I’m grateful for places like Simply Vintage where I can buy a finished piece. It sparks my creativity, as I wander around, while at the same time, being with items that have history, that have a story, calms my heart and soul and brings me peace. Finding a new use for an old table or dresser or chair seems honoring to the furniture and the person who originally crafted it. I will enjoy stopping by Simply Vintage often to browse and shop and see what’s new.

 

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