Gettysburg Outdoor Antique Show

Karlene Barger is the winner of this drawing. Thanks to all of you who entered! Watch for more contests! Karlene please email me at

Last Saturday I spent a fun morning in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania with a friend at the Gettysburg Outdoor Antique Show. We’d been trying to go for the past three years. Let me tell you the third time was a charm. I want to share that fun with you. Leave a comment about the item you like to collect and you will have a chance to win one of the books or brooches. Open to US only. Comments must be posted by midnight EDT on May 30, 2017. I’ll use to pick a winner.

I’ve been collecting vintage tablecloths since the mid 90s. I haven’t bought one for a long time but couldn’t resist this just in time for summer tablecloth!

I bought these buttons first. I fell in love with the colors!

I couldn’t resist a couple of vintage postcards out of the thousands there. The top one is Portland, ME. The bottom is Fort Walton Beach, Florida where we used to live.

And how could I resist this cool magazine with a Coke ad on the back.

Then we found books! I’d never heard of the Dana Sisters.

I fell in love with the cover of this Nancy Drew:

And this Hardy Boys mystery:

I found an H to add to my collection. The woman who I bought it from said it was a bridle ornament.

Then some cute pins:

And finally this old silver fork turned into a brooch:

Off The Beaten Path

I was delighted when recently asked me where my favorite places to find bargains and antiques are. My answer is, of course, off the beaten path. It doesn’t matter if it’s in my neighborhood or some far flung place I’ve visited.


  1. Individual garage sales — These take the most time to find a good bargain. They are spread out, they might say antiques when they really mean twenty years old, and you might be too late to get the good stuff. At garage sales I always feel like it’s the same concept as with finding a life partner. You have to kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince. And you have to be willing to dig through stuff! However, my very favorite piece of furniture came from a garage sale.
  2. Flea markets — they are like Disneyland for the adult bargain hunter. Get there early! Last summer I came across one near Yorktown, Virginia on a Sunday morning. The people were still unpacking when I showed up.

    The prices were amazing! They had button jars for $5.00 (and that was before bargaining). I’ve seen similar ones for $25 and up at antique stores. img_9332I wish I would have had more time that morning! There was so much to explore. I couldn’t resist the square Pyrex bowls shown below.


  3. img_5206Community yard sales/church sales/school sales — I’m lumping these kind of sales together. My very favorite of these kind of sales is at the Salvation Army Fairfax Corps headquarters in Fairfax, Virginia. Once a month from spring to fall they have a community yard sale. I’ve gone so often that I’ve become friends with one of the regular sellers. She’s emptying out an attic and barn. There has rarely been a time that I’ve been to this sale that I haven’t bought something from her. We’ve developed such a good relationship that I never even ask for a better price anymore because I know she will give me a great one. For example, at an antique store individual vintage postcards run from $3.00 to $5.00. Here I can get a hold stack for $5.00.

    I took my friend Ellie with me and she found vintage gloves. It’s hard to resist the variety of things at this sale!

  4. Thrift Shops — People are way more savvy about pricing than they used to be (thanks Antique Roadshow) so it is harder to find a bargain. That said, I’ve still had good luck at some thrift shops. If you’re furniture shopping you might end up with a piece that is a little rough around the edges, but if I’m only paying five dollars I’m fine with that. Here is a little bedside table I picked up at a thrift shop.
  5. Antique stores — Your average antique store owner is very smart about what items are worth making it the hardest place to find a bargain. That said, they are fun to poke around and the owner might be in the mood to get rid of things. The quilt was only $30.00 and in good shape. I still regret not buying it or the unique bird cage!


And if you like to shop from the comfort of your own home check out my friends at They have everything from antique jewelry, to fine art, and collectibles.

Otherwise put on your comfy shoes and get started bargain hunting! Do you have a favorite place to shop?


On A Whim

On Wednesday my friend, Mary, and I decided to go on an adventure. We were driving down a country road near Leesburg, Virginia when Mary spots a pink polka dot silo and a sign that says “Antiques”. On a whim we pull in. After taking the obligatory photo with the silo we discover the name of the place is On A Whim.

This is the first thing we see — it shouldn’t be a problem!


We notice some hats:


And vintage postcards (and you know how much I love vintage postcards):IMG_0489An old book, an old trunk, and a cool needlepoint bench:


It’s a place filled with nooks and crannies:


But then, be still my heart, the prettiest room I’ve ever seen in an antique store. I want to move in. Do you think they’d let me? IMG_0501

Pink dresses, pink hats, and more pink dresses. Swoon!

There was cool stuff outside too!

I didn’t want to leave. Goodbye pink silo — I’ll be back.

Readers: Do you have a favorite place you like to go for an adventure?


Two weeks ago I did a post on the Wicked Cozy Author blog about the beautiful quilts my grandmother made. Click here for the full blog. Here are a few pictures:


After I wrote the post my mom sent me this information:

I can tell you some things about making the quilts.  I think they pieced them at home and then got together and did the quilting.  I remember one at Grandma’s.  It had to be before 1952 because it was in the old house.  They also sometimes went to the church and quilted.  One of the quilt blocks has the name May.  I remember her.  She was the mother of Bernie’s best friend and lived on the road that took you to Novinger when leaving Aunt Alberta’s.  I think Rowena is a niece of Grandma Novinger’s. 

Small Town Antique Shopping

I came across an article In House Beautiful about the 50 Best Small Towns For Antiques. Click here for the full article.

I was delighted to see one of my favorite towns listed — Tipp City, Ohio. When we lived in Dayton I loved to go there. I still have a number of things from the shops there including an end table, mission style mirror, and a small hanging shelf. Tipp City is where I fell in love with vintage tablecloths!

Some of my vintage tablecloths.

Some of my vintage tablecloths.

I’ve been to some of the other towns and want to visit many more of them! Road trip?

Fabulous Finds — Paintings

I’m all sure you know how much I like collecting things and finding treasures at garage sales, antique stores, and flea markets. One of the things I love to find is paintings. It’s the only way I can afford to buy original works of art. The most I ever paid was $60.00 but the majority of these were under $5.00. And although you can’t tell it from the pictures most of these are small from 3×5 to 8×10. The largest is around 15×16.

This picture is a pencil drawing that has a bit of red and green outlining. I bought it when we lived in Ohio. It was stuck behind a pile of stuff at an antique store.


I realized as I was taking photos for this post, I like paintings of flowers. The one below came from an antique store in Concord. The bright colors makes it one of my favorites. IMG_7823This one is from a flea market in Seattle. IMG_7804



But I also like landscapes. I didn’t like the frame the one to the right so I took it out.



This one is from an antique store in Conord, MA. It wasn’t framed.

IMG_7810The one above and the one below remind me of New England. The one below I bought for a dollar at the thrift shop on Hanscom Air Force Base.

IMG_7803The picture doesn’t do the one below justice because the white flower looking parts are raised and the frame is so sweet. I found it at a Goodwill in Seattle when I was visiting my sister. IMG_7801

I bought this one at the Hanscom Thrift Shop too.IMG_7831I can’t remember where I bought these but I think it was at a Goodwill in Seattle. I loved the bright colors and primitive feel of these. (Sorry the light faded the center of photos a bit when I took the picture.) IMG_7827IMG_7826







One of the reasons I love buying art this way is I feel like I’m rescuing something that someone put a lot of work into. It also allows me to switch things out without spending a lot of money. Readers: Do you have something you love to hunt for?


When I was young I waited anxiously for the next issue of Seventeen magazine to arrive. I saved (and moved more times than is reasonable) a few issues. This is the cover of one of my favorites:


It’s from May 1968, cost 50 cents. The model’s name is Collen Corby and I wanted to look just like her. What struck me as I flipped through this recently was how many things are still the same! Fringe is in again!IMG_5625 Gladiator sandals are popular right now.IMG_5624Records and turntables are all the rage.IMG_5630Dry shampoo — what’s old is new.











Fake eyelashes were popular then and now. IMG_5622Tights!IMG_5623

Look at this opinion piece! Title: We Need A Woman PresidentIMG_5634

But some things have changed. Look at this ad for Wonder Bread! IMG_5627

There were lots of ads for china and silver:IMG_7096And for engagement rings:IMG_7097There also lots of ads for hope chests, secretarial schools, fashion, medical assistants, and airline training. But this ad is one of my favorites — here’s to flower power! IMG_5632Did you read Seventeen when you were young?

The Bench

When we lived in Monterey, California I had a friend who enjoyed bargain hunting as much as I did. One of our adventures led us to a small shop in Santa Cruz, California. There we found two identical benches. IMG_5975The woman who ran the shop said the benches were from an expo in San Francisco and that a woman had bought a bunch of them to use for her daughter’s outside wedding. When the seat is flipped up it does say Exposition Auditorium. IMG_5977San Francisco had two big expos — the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (also called the World’s Fair) and the Golden Gate International Exposition 1939-1940. I’m not sure if the bench is from one of those two events or not. No matter, I love it. The back is one long piece of wood that’s been curved. IMG_5976

The seats all flip up.IMG_5978

And it also folds flat against the wall. IMG_5986It’s very comfortable to sit on and has become one of our favorite pieces.

Vintage Postcards

IMG_5206Since I found and blogged about some old postcards of my grandparents, I’ve become a little obsessed with them. Last weekend I went to the yard sale at the Salvation Army offices in Fairfax, Virginia. My favorite booth was there and this time she had a stack of vintage postcards. I went through them sorting, yes, no, yes, no. I had to have the ones from Boston since we used to live near there. I posted pictures of them on my Facebook page. Some of them tugged at my heart because of where they were from, some because of the colors.You can click on the pictures to make them bigger.

I finally realized I’d better ask how much she wanted for them. A dollar apiece. When I told her I’d put some of them back she (I really need to find out her name, she’s a lovely woman) asked me how many I had. I counted — twenty-five! I’ve bought quite a few things from her over the past several months so she sold them to me for $10.00 or 40 cents apiece. (Relationship building is important even in the world of garage sales.)

These are from something called The Arcade in Cleveland. Two of them are stamped Cleveland Public Library on the back. It looks amazing and I’ll have to do some research to find out more about the building.


I also bought a few from Luray, Virginia. I love the color on the top one.

IMG_5237I don’t really have any connection with Rhode Island and have only been there a couple of times but bought these anyway. The bottom two of the first photo are actual photos. I loved the colors in the second set.

IMG_5234IMG_5233I don’t have any connection to Ocean Grove, New Jersey but fell for this postcard too.

IMG_5238These last two are my favorites. First is a globe from the Pan American Terminal in Miami.

IMG_5235And this last one is from the Worlds Fair in New York City in 1939. It has such a modern feel.

IMG_5236So now I’m on a quest to find vintage postcards from everywhere I’ve lived. I looked on eBay but that somehow feels like cheating. I’ll search for a bit but if I don’t have any luck I’ll go back to eBay and buy some there.

Readers: What do you collect?

An Autograph Album

IMG_5075IMG_5074This find was in the basement of my grandparent’s house. It’s an autograph album that belong to my grandmother. It’s not filled with autographs of the rich and famous but I found it fascinating. My grandmother is on the right pictured with one of her sisters, Armeda.

The first date in the book is January 13, 1901. It says: Don’t say no except the first opportunity you get, lest in years and years to (word I can’t make out) you may be single yet. 

The second entry was written by my grandmother:


George wrote to her: Love me little, love me long, do not flirt, for it is wrong.



This one says: When you go to church and don’t get back till late, remember it is bedtime and don’t stand by the gate.


My grandmother’s sister Sasie wrote this: Strive not to live long, but to live well, how long we live, not years but actions tell.IMG_5086My grandmother’s cousin gave her this advice: May the bible be your guide, Kind words your delight, don’t buggy ride with pretty boys or spark late on Sunday night. This one made me laugh.


There are more but I’ll leave you with this last one from her teacher: May your joys be as deep as the ocean, and your sorrows as light as the foam — is the wish of your friend and teacher.IMG_5092

Bits of wisdom from a century ago. Most of it still holds up! Did you ever have an autograph book?