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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Blessings

 From my home to yours...
 A hope for peace, joy and laughter...
 to fill your gatherings this year.
 Time well spent...
 celebrating over games...
 greetings by mail.
 Retelling the story of the first gathering...
 and relearning what draws us near and far, together.
 "So once in every year....we throng;
Upon a day apart,
 To praise the Lord with feast and song;
In thankfulness of heart."
(Postcard mailed on Nov. 2, 1915 from Kansas City, Kansas to Clarence Mo.)
 May this year be filled with overflowing blessings to be thankful for the next.

"For love present, ills past-and good to come, may our hearts rejoice this Thanksgiving Day.
May your joys be as countless
As the countless grains."
(Postcard mailed Nov. 27, 1917 from Seattle, Wash. to Corvallis, Oregon)
Happy Thanksgiving~
Hollie & family

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Junk Bonanza, My Midwest Dream

There it was, all the goodness of Midwest junking finds gathered into a rambling building just waiting for me to find my way through the treasure hunt. Mingled with the excited murmur of fellow early birds and the faint waft of donut holes to lure me further, I was more than ready.  This & sign, by the way, is the one thing I regret not finding a way to get home with me.
Thanks to The Creative Connection event last year in 2010, and a vintage bus that took us from downtown Minneapolis to Junk Bonanza in nearby Shakopee, MN  ( I still can't say it right, but I love trying), we were hooked.  My generous mom got us Early Bird tickets this year, so we wouldn't miss a minute.  It didn't matter that we had to get up early, all jet lagged from Spokane, WA, or that we had to pay an enormous cab fee this year.  We. were. there!
While we were getting ready for our Junk Bonanza day of joy in our hotel rooms that cool September morning, we caught a piece on the show on a local channel, with Ki showing us around before we even got in.  This amazing sign was one thing my mom really wished she could have brought home with her. Not carry on size however.
It is hard to adequately describe the feeling that Junk Bonanza is.  It IS rightly touted as "The Best Junk Roundup in the Midwest".  Okay, so while it is the only show I've been to in the Midwest, I have no doubt of the truth of that tag line posted on the website.
And now, for a few pictures of some of my favorite eye candy displays of some of my favorite junk....

I know! Amazing.  I want to go back. Now.
Here is my lovely friend Christy after she won a package of Gorilla Glue from one of the hourly giveaways.  Yes, it's not enough to have amazing junk, Ki Nassauer (creator and also executive editor of Flea Market Style magazine), and the Junk Bonanza store all in one place.  They also give you prizes!
Here is my lovely mom Gail at the wheel of luck that you get to spin to win.
Mom and I at the spinning wheel, flush with happiness after just having left the Junk Bonanza store.
This was one of the shirts for sale, I think I brought one home for Mark, my junk hunk last year, so I bought myself a replacement pink best-shirt-ever-designed "This ain't my first rodeo" tee.  My one from last is so loved and worn to pieces, I just had to have a second one.
Straight from the pages of Flea Market Style, The Very Cool (Ugly) Lamps to vote on were in the house.  I voted for this one.
Pick up your copy of Flea Market Style today if you haven't already.  I am still reading it, referencing it, and finding so many ideas, amazing pictures and of course stunning junk.
And now for more gratuitous pictures of amazingness...

(I had a yellow and orange version from this same company in my booth at Farm Chicks this year!!)
And possibly my mom's favorite booth, the guy with the vintage bus banners.
Okay! Yes, please!!
The display case I told Celeste (Shaw), owner of Chaps ( that I could totally see in her store.  She totally agreed, alas due to the distance, it stayed in MN.
This is the best pony show ever!
Sometimes we just stopped at stared at all the overwhelming goodness and took it in.
My favorite gal, Linda of one of my favorite blogs, in person! I loved her booth last year and started following this blog, so it was super fun to meet for real this year!
One of her creative vignettes...
I always glean so many fun display ideas from Linda, her blog and her booth!
And this vintage ephemera filled beauty is what drew me in last year and this year kept me, mom and Christy happily busy pulling from to add to our scrapbooking/decorating stashes for quite some time!
It truly was a sight to behold. 
I love Junk Bonanza.
A shout out to this amazing artist, I loved these lamps so much!  What clever repurposing!
Check this and more out at
I know I will be!
Good junking friends, new and well known
Gail Jantz, Celeste Shaw, Kady Metzger and Tippy Stockton
Junking may be awesome, but it way more awesome with friends!!
And now, some pics of what I picked up at Junk Bonanza 2011!!
Various vintage ephemera pieces and vintage knob.
This cool tool box was even cooler when I discovered it also opens in the front.  It will be holding some of my scrapbooking supplies in my soon (please, please) to be completed mommy cave.
I had to bring this home with me, since two of my boys are riding the bus this year.  I love how someone added their own school district to boot.  And the price, did I mention the a-ma-zing Midwest prices?!?
A new decoration for my laundry room bathroom display.
I am currently enamored with clocks and watch and clock faces, these have been the perfect addition to my vintage seasonal displays!
These two gems are both on display, one in my boys room, and one in the media room.
My mom, Christy and I each snapped up one of these, Christy may have ended up with two.  Love.
I wish I would have bought way more of these bus passes!! (Especially after I saw the ones Christy got!)
Hunt and Gather, which is another day's post, also had a booth at the show, but I'm pretty sure I got the Sunbeam bread pocket protector from the actual store, and these tags from J.B.
Love me some coffee and love me some retro coffee bags, one for me, and one for my designer coffee drinking sister.  (The town my grandparent's lived in had a Red Rooster restaurant.)
And my favorite coffee mug this fall, straight from the Junk Revolution Junk Bonanza store.  I am drinking out of it right now as I write, as well as inhaling a box of white chocolate covered Oreos.

I loved spending the time at Junk Bonanza with my mom and our friends, but for me, the
 Midwest will always be associated with the first person who told me of this far off land, filled with barns and farms full of "farm fresh" junk (as the American Pickers like to call it).
I met Ann Caster in the spring of 2004 at a life changing show called The Farm Chicks Antique Show  (  That fall I was thrilled to be a vendor at that very same show, and visited Ann again.  Every Farm Chicks since and around the amazing circuit of shows in our Eastern Washington/North Idaho area, I had the privilege of visiting with Ann, receiving her down to earth advice, enjoying her full laugh and sense of humor, and drooling over her booths.  The first vintage furniture I bought was a enamel top, wood legged white on white farm table that I use and will always use in my office, and I bought it from Ann's Nestting booth.  My sister Heidi loved working with Ann to design and build her website, my mom loved sharing stories with Ann at every show, and Jennifer and I were blessed when Ann was a vendor at Funky Junk for several years.
Yesterday, I along with Heidi and mom, had the honor of paying our respects to this incredible woman at her funeral.  Ann has left a very big hole in this corner of the world, as all who knew her will attest.  Her husband Andy and her were partners, truly in marriage and in life, and he was by her side at every show, in the decade of her antiquing business.
 Andy's brother told a story at the funeral that illustrated this very obvious fact.  (I hope I can do it justice.)
Shortly after Ann passed away last week, Andy got in the car to drive to Montana, but he just kept driving.  Every year, Andy and Ann took "antique runs" back to the Midwest, side by side in the car, she in the right side passenger seat, usually in her big coat and hat, as the cancer grew.  On this drive,  as he drove late into the night, Andy eventually put down his coat on the passenger side and then his hat which laid on top of his coat, that was standing up on the seat.  Soon, Andy saw Ann.  While he knew it was the reflection of his coat and hat in the dashboard, he felt her presence as if she was there.  And he could here her saying, just like she did many times; "Andy, it's time to find a place to stop and eat and stay, we've gone over 700 miles, and I'm tired and hungry."  And then he remembered Ann's last words to him, "I will never leave you; I will always be on your right side."
I have no doubt she was and will be.
There wasn't a dry eye, or an untouched person to be found in the church yesterday as her brother in law related Andy's story. 
You will be greatly missed Ann.  I hope that I can be half the junker/antiquer/wife/woman you were.
Rest in peace, dear friend.
Ann Caster, 1950-2011 
Proverbs 31