Friday, December 30, 2011

older boys toys!

Some of our best customers are men who buy things that remind them of their childhood, to add to a collection or just because.  They are really taken with old farm tractors etc. and other die cast toys still in boxes, or not.  Before Christmas a lady came in to look through our many booths with old rusty toys and found something she really wanted to buy because her husband had mentioned how much he liked it.  BUT----she who hesitates loses.  The very next day a guy came in who bought that old grader with white wheels, plus several other beat up old cast toys. Guess what, she came back ready to buy and it was gone.
Stock truck and Tonka are on the other guy's shelves.

other fun boys' toys

the fellow on the left has left the building.
I guess the lesson learned is when you see something you really like buy it because you may not see another one like it.  Men usually don't hesitate or worry about what their wives are going to say.  Come on ladies buy it, you'll like it!

A Little of This A Little of That

Not one, but two chairs with
ottomans!  Upholstry is clean , not worn.
Ready to brighten your
living space.  one chair has sold.

A fun collection of vintage food containers to brighten
up your kitchen.
A wagon load of vintage games
with colorful graphics.
The red wagon has gone to a new home
in North Dakota! 


Wonderful cast bookends by Bradley & Hubbard
Foundry  Ca 1930s.  Spinning Scene


We are soon welcoming in a new year so have yourselves a joyous 2012!  We have been seeing lots of December traffic at Exit 55 Antiques in Fergus Falls, which is a wonderful way to end 2011.  Many pictures of items taken in the past couple of weeks, contain items that have sold----which is a good thing, but guess I should have been more diligent in getting pictures posted.  Oh well, the dealers are very happy!  Hope you enjoy perusing the photos of interesting and useful merchandise we have available.  New things are added daily/weekly since there are 12 dealer spaces.  Since we have no snow, there shouldn't be a lot of cabin fever but it's never too early to shop for great stuff.  I call that attitude adjustment and who doesn't need that now and then?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Remodeled farm house

This charming house with a big front porch didn't used to look like this at all.  It was home to a very large family for many years and was showing its age when the present owners decided it was the ideal   location for a shop and proceeded to completely redo the interior as well as the exterior.  Weekend Cottage is conveniently situated east of Clearwater, north of Becker and Big Lake and south of St. Cloud.  Lake people make it a regular stop both coming and going from their weekend retreats.  This shop has also attracted a regular following of shoppers from the twin cities.  So this little house with its out building called the Lodge/aka garage is a busy place from Friday to Sunday all year. A group of about 15 dealers fill it to the brim with interesting and unique goodies which make this a must stop for treasure hunters.

Friday, December 23, 2011

OOOH those flirty eyes!

Love these flirty eyed dolls!  They make me smile whenever I look at them.  These are my little collection of porcelain dolls.  Haven't found any lately so guess I'll have to make a real effort to search them out again. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

dumpster diving and curb/alley picking

If you are a follower of American Pickers or Antiques Roadshow or some of the other new shows dedicated to trash and treasures, you certainly have heard about people striking it lucky in the most unexpected places.  All over the country there are city wide clean up days when people can haul accumulations of unwanted "stuff" from their basements, attics, garages or sheds and leave it curb side or in an alley for pick up.  Before dawn, flashlight in hand, coffee in the car there are the true pickers out and about looking for that perfectly good item that will find a new home at their house.  Our extended family includes a sister-in-law who lives in a large city where she has found really big items such as a perfectly grand patio set that was listed on ebay for about $500.00!  Now that is a real deal.

Someone was relating stories of how he used to go to abandoned farms or farmsteads that were to be demolished to clear the land and find useful items in graineries and barns.  These included old implement catalogs which are in hot demand these days.  He also found long forgotten signs and machinery parts that are not available except in those places Mike and Frank are fond of exploring---they always act as though they struck gold or found the ultimate Christmas gift.

These interesting books, manuals and advertising sheets can
be found at Exit 55 Antiques in Fergus Falls.

I must admit that being a book lover has prompted me to dig through a dumpster, plus grab things from the jaws of a hugh garbage truck.  Years ago a fellow teacher and I heard the publishers' sample textbook room/closet was to be emptied and we arrived in time to throw armloads of books into the trunk of her car while the driver of the truck looked on in amusement.  At least we provided new unused books for our students to enjoy!  Several years ago I was asked to help set up an estate sale that included mint condition books that had been stored in trunks in the attic of a garage.  The son-in-law of one daughter was going to be helpful, but he threw away dozens of wonderful vintage books that had been collected by a lady of the house in the 1890s.  Needless to say I quickly filled boxes that went home to my bookshelves! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011


The green and blue glassware is available at Exit 55 Antiques
in Fergus Falls, Mn

This lovely ruby bowl has a new owner.
Pretty glassware doesn't have a faithful following anymore.  However, it is attractive and makes a dinner table sparkle as well as making a statement in a china cabinet or as an accent piece in a room.  So---you don't have to be a collector of any particular pattern but you do have to enjoy pretty pieces.  Once upon a time mother or grandmother probably had an extensive quantity because glass, such as depression glass, was inexpensive and even came in cereal boxes as promotions.  Even though it isn't dishwasher or oven-safe, put away the mundane stuff and bring out the candles! 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bark with no Bite

This piece of fabric is waiting to be used for
just the right project.  It is in
Weekend Cottage, Clear Lake, Mn
Cute market bag at Exit 55
made of novelty bark cloth

Check out these items at Exit 55 in Fergus Falls
The bottom cloth has an unusual geometric
design which gives it a 70s mid century feel.

Here are some fun fabrics that I keep in my "hope" chest!
Actually, I'm hoping to get organized and use them for
pillows and curtains.  The top left and right are not
bark cloth, but certainly have the right designs.
Ok, so really I'm referring to a textile called bark cloth which I know most of you are familiar with.  It became popular for home furnishings from the 1940s thru 1960s, mainly because US servicemen coming home from duty in Hawaii brought lots of this bright colored fabric with them.  If you want to more of its very interesting history, be sure to look it up on line!  It has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity the last few years as people have discovered the "retro" look and all of the decorating and clothing lines that accompany it.  Bark cloth has been used mainly for drapes, upholstry, pillows etc. since it is a nubby tightly woven fabric which wears well and hence it's name because some believe the texture resembles the bark on trees.  Well, maybe.  There are several other types of textiles that resemble bark cloth, but they aren't as heavy and don't wear as well.  There are many patterns, but probably the most recognized are those with large often gaudy flowers and leaves.  However, if you look carefully, there are many other designs which are fun and very beautiful.  Since linens, textiles of all types and vintage clothing are among my favorite topics, I wanted to share some pieces that are in my personal collection or that are for sale in various shops.  I have also included several pieces of fabric that aren't bark cloth but resemble the type of designs used in it.

Monday, December 12, 2011

a little dab'll do ya

Did you know that rubbing mayonaise onto scratched or dull wood surfaces will give it a surprising new look?  Brings back the patina and covers up most minor scratches.  Don't have pets so can't gaurantee they won't do a taste test!

just for fun

This psycho bunny rabbit came from Atlanta several years ago.  Thought it would be a conversation piece and inspiration for someone wanting ideas for what to do with old bed, chair, sofa springs!!  Those old springs have found many uses and it's amazing how creative some folks are.  The head is of paper mache and the hat of felt.  No shortage of things to use in decorating for any season.  Enjoy------
freaky or cute, doesn't matter.  This example reminds me of the new fad of repurposing doll heads into or on to all manner of unusual objects.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

light up your life!

This is a beautiful art deco hanging lamp available at Exit 55 Antiques in Fergus Falls. The black graphic design  against the white glass is so stunning  and would make a wonderful addition to a dining room or living room.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

more oldies but goodies donations

In one of my earlier conversations, I described some of the items that were donated to the Grant County Historical Society for the fundraising event called the oldies but goodies sale.  Here are more pictures of some items on display at the museum in Elbow Lake, Mn.  One great piece is the Roseville Magnolia pattern  8" bowl.  How great that would look in your china cabinet or special cupboard.  You will find jewelry,  lovely postcards or greeting cards and a variety of small items.   In addition to the antiques and vintage pieces,  there are a number of books, Norwegian collectibles, T shirts, plates, mugs etc.  which would make perfect gifts for anyone on your birthday, Christmas, or anniversary list.  Or, why not treat yourself to something special---everyone needs an attitude adjustment day now and then!  Visit the museum and see for yourself.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

signs of the times

slippery when wet and  pepsi sign are no longer available.
No, I'm not referring to the song by Prince whats his name.  Signs have become a great decorating technique or just a way to express opinions or create a fun theme.  We meet lots of people who are looking for specific items such as porcelain kitchen signs (those are hard to find!)  Or some want beer related types, whether they light up or have clocks or advertise a particular brand.  We have had lots of folks looking to make their laundry rooms more fun or guys trying to decorate their "manrooms"    ( some are taking exception to the term mancave and can't say I blame them----boring)  Anyway, whatever your ideas , signs are fun, colorful, come in many sizes  and can make a statement if you're trying to make one!  Many dealers in particular antique shops are specializing in this collectible.  One shop to check out in Mpls is Hunt and Gather which has some awesome examples.

tickle your fancy

Must admit I don't decorate in the mid century mode, but there are certain elements that just tickle my fancy and this light is one of those things.  This little light makes such a statement with its glistening and shining in a dark room.  It's one of those moody images that just make you feel good.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Coke Is It!

The Pause that Refreshes, Can't beat the Real thing, Things go Better with Coke, Coke is it etc. etc.  Coca Cola has been around since the early 1900s and every year there seems to be a new slogan along with new collectors.  The bright colored graphics, attractive signs and the good taste of coke has continued to attract new fans of the product.  In the picture, you will see a ca 1950s trolly car sign.  It is approximately 2' x 4' and is made of heavy duty cardboard.  BUT-----it is 2 sided.  So, when you're tired of looking at one pretty girl, just flip it over and enjoy a different scene.  In addition to the sign you will also find an easel backed stand up Santa as well as a menu board with the Coke logo.  These items are available for purchase at Yesterdays in Alexandria.  Check them out!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


These novelty radios can be found at  Yesterdays in Alexandria.  What fun for a collector of unusual radios, or cars, or BARBIE memorabelia.  Either of these radios would be perfect for the one of a kind person who needs a one of a kind gift!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gail hits more homeruns!

Creative Gail at Yesterdays Antiques in Alexandria, Mn. must stay up all night thinking of new and exciting things to make with repurposed tools, hardware and architectural items.  She also has helper elves called: "husband" and "son".  One of the pictured items sold as I was taking pictures, but she will be adding more fun pieces to the inventory as fast as her crew can work to keep up with the demand!!  Way to go Gail.

early Weller

This is an early Weller pottery piece in the Flemishware pattern.  It is a hanging bowl in beautiful earth tones with a touch of rose.  It would make a wonderful addition to an established collection, or could be the center piece of a new found interest in this much sought after pottery.  You will also note the very old Schoenhut doll from an estate in addition to a Grafton, North Dakota vaseline glass souviner vase.                                                           Exit 55 Antiques in Fergus Falls, Mn

Monday, November 28, 2011

pretty perky pottery!

What's not to like about such an assortment of color and form?  Mid century modern has had a resurgence (another re- word!) in the past several years.  Some shops in the twin cities carry only this look, in addition to  individual dealers who have discovered  a market for objects  someone's grandmother, mother, aunt etc etc may have decorated their homes with.  Todays grandmas didn't necessarily grow up in a log cabin with no electricity, running water or (gasp) a TV or phone------present day grannys are a lot hipper!  Anyway, McCoy, Van Briggle, Haeger, West German, Italian, Red Wing pieces can still be found for reasonable prices  and aren't they fun?   PS:  from a private collection.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

occasional sales

One disadvantage of living in outstate MN, is that we only visit occasional sales in Twin Cities area about twice a year.  Just had the opportunity over Thanksgiving to visit two.  Have been to Cottage House ( chicago Ave.) earlier in spring and found it to be just as much fun as I remembered.  Had to stand back as furniture went flying out  the door while other pieces were brought in to fill spaces.  It is really amazing how painted furniture is still attracting a multitude of buyers.  Of course, the reasonable prices probably have something to do with it!  In speaking to two dealers, it is apparent it's becoming more difficult to find items that can be refurbished and turn a profit.  Cudos to those folks----"you're doing a great job."   I received permission to link this blog to their facebook page so looking forward to expanding our reach!  The second visit was to the Pink Flamingo which is on Cedar Ave in Mpls.  This shop carries a few more collectible type things, as well as some mid century modern items tucked in.  The folks here are also most helpful and accommodating and so both experiences provided a very enjoyable morning, even though it was drippy and overcast.

Monday, November 21, 2011

fun and funky market/messenger bags

 Feed sack bags for sale on etsy
through mommy made in Mn blog spot
carriem24 with my heart and hands

Messenger/Market bags:

Blue Toile located at Exit 55 Antiques in Fergus Falls, MN

Everything But the Kitchen Sink Bag located
Weekend Cottage  in Clear lake, Mn
If you follow the link Mommy Made In MN, which you will find on my blog favorites, it will take you to some really fun bags made from advertising feed sacks trimmed, lined and otherwise decorated with vintage materials.  Tablecloths and other hand decorated linens are used to creat bright accents to coordinate with each unique bag.  Great for shopping at your favorite co-op, grocery or to carry books, shoes, ipads or things your kids are always asking you to "keep" for them,  Some are located at Exit 55 in Fergus Falls, Yesterdays in Alex, Weekend Cottage in Clear Lake or Olde Farmhouse in Ashby, Mn.  What a great gift for birthdays or special holidays.  Also, a great way to repurpose wonderful vintage fabrics and trims!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

rusty stuff = decorating buzz

Some of you may remember old farm sales where there was lots of machinery and rusty parts which were not big sellers.  Amazing that in today's market, those items are considered desirable.  Several years ago I attended occasional sales south of the twin cities and encountered plow parts used as center pieces gracing a very long table (6ft?) They were flying out the door.  The dealer said she had to replenish several times that morning.  Now you can find articles and pictures in almost every decorating magazine showing examples of how items can become wall decor, stools, tables, sculpture type designs and almost anything your imagination can come up with.  One of the dealer/designers at Yesterdays created a bonanza in late summer with the use of gears, tractor seats, pulleys and other large or small pieces of primitive hardware.  She and her son were kept very busy coming up with new creations and trying to find new sources of raw material.  In the latest issue of Country Sampler there is an article called the "wheel deal" using sprockets as wall art.  Restoration Hardware and Cabins and Cottages (?) magazines had articles on this new craze.  Hopefully, I'll get some pictures downloaded so you get an idea of the raw material used in these projects.  Yesterday, my batteries died in the camera and the sun disappeared behind clouds so I didn't get photos.   Next I need to figure out the mechanics of downloading!  Success!!  The items shown above are creative products by Gayle a designer/dealer at Yesterdays.    Awesome!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The re- phase

Recycle, repurpose, reuse, refurbish, redesign are a few of the buzz words in the antique world these days.  In our throw away society, if something can't be put in the dishwasher, won't fit in a closet, needs a few nails or refinishing----throw it out or buy plastic or paper.  However----we have found that a coat of bright paint can hide multitudes of blemishes and flaws.  This method of refurbishing can be used in redecorating and is referred to as  SHABBY CHIC.  Wow, what did we do before that term came into vogue?  We also continue to see the chippy paint fad still in favor in spite of the fact many of the old paints contained lead.  So cover with a polyurthene finish to contain chipping.  Using neat old pieces of furniture can add an interesting look to most rooms and often offer solutions to storage while fitting in quite nicely with pieces from big box stores.  The willingness to retain old tables, dressers, cupboards, chairs etc.,  or turn items into garden art  keeps things out of landfills and saves them from ending up being burned or buried on old farmsteads!  That's a whole other story.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

hot items

Many shoppers are reliving their childhoods with the purchase of vintage toys.  Old metal or cast iron cars, trucks etc. are among the most desirable.  Recent auctions would indicate the economy isn't affecting the purchase price for many bidders who are adding to collections or buying with the desire to enhance the decor in their homes.  Maybe American Pickers, Picker Sisters and other antique themed programs are adding to the awareness of how much fun it is to have unique and one of a kind items as part of their overall house design.  Even older Fisher Price toys are bringing high prices.  In other words, don't throw anything away!  Our grandsons are enjoying playing with their dad's and uncles' Little People, airport, shopping mall and parking garage that have survived since the 1970s. 

little cars and trucks at Exit 55

A well loved old pedal car at Exit 55