Taking Care of Business




I’ve been cleaning out the basement for weeks. That always leads to lots of projects and very little cleaning of the basement. Here, a basket of tourist wooden shoes becomes a door wreath.

052-IMG_1866 I found this old board from the front of a dresser in the basement and made a shelf and coat rack for the hallway. The flowers in the urn are hand-painted.




The winter was long, cold and hard on the old building. I repainted my sidewalk sign.



I sanded, glazed and painted a lot of windows.


Finally, I tried Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint. It is silky-smooth. I ordered more!


People are moving in and out of the apartments above the shops.


Maddie was outside playing on the sidewalk while visiting her mother this morning. She wanted a balloon but didn’t have any money so she made one out of shopping bags and a stick. This kid just kills me; she is so vitally happy with a couple of shopping bags, a stick and some string.


I’ve been listing some things on eBay to reach a wider audience. These Victorian game plates are such a stunning color and would make a real statement hung over a buffet. The set would have been used exclusively for the serving of game birds in the 1890s.

On Monday and Tuesday, I’m attending auctions in small towns in Illinois and Wisconsin. I’ll be at Urban Farm Girl’s Main Street Market in Rockford, Illinois, next Saturday, and Fox and Finch Antiques will be closed.  There is a Jennifer Rizzo class on casting missing pieces for furniture and frames, that I registered to attend. Then, a few days to redo the shop and the doors will be open again.

12 thoughts on “Taking Care of Business

  1. I love your street sign and store front display.. You did an excellent job on sprucing up. I thought seeing Maddie entertain herself with the simply objects is great..kids always know how to make the best of a situation (not to mention she’s a cutie pie). Enjoy your upcoming acutions…hope you find lots of goodies to report back with us


    • I’ll do that! Yes, Maddie is something else. I wish she had another little girl to play with so she isn’t playing on the street by herself. Mother seems oblivious. Another shop keeper and I try to keep an eye on her.


  2. Haven’t been to an auction in quite a while. Sounds like fun. What a spirited, happy little girl. The photo made me smile.


    • Joanne, I was talking to a friend this week who has a killer antique shop. When I told him I was going to an auction, he said that auctions are so expensive that he can’t find things there. But, I find them to be a good way to find lots of things at one time. Deciding which ones to go to is a thing that takes time. Some auctioneers have shills in the crowd, some bid themselves (without the crowd knowing it) to raise prices, and on and on. Last year, I saw an auctioneer, knock on the side of the trailer every time he wanted the man he planted to bid. It’s a rough world out there. One of the hardest things is staying honest while one sees others cheating. I just don’t go back to the auctioneers who I see are cheating. So, making the list takes awhile. But, sometimes, even when they are not sterling auctioneers, the prices can still be good.


  3. Well, creating is much more fun than cleaning, so who could blame you? I love both your projects, the floral painting on the coat rack is divine! Did you unearth anything you would care to swap at my link up by chance?


    • Hi Ann,
      Hmmm…all those things are big and heavy. I’ve been thinking about it and I am moving forward. I understand how it is going to work now…that’s some progress.


  4. I knew it! I knew it!!! You are a super creative soul with much talent to share!!! Just in your name I could tell!!! I tip my hat to you, because I haven’t a creative bone in my body when it comes to things like painting and repurposing, etc. The wreath, for instance. Who on earth would’ve thought of that??!??!?!! And to make a rack/shelf out of the front of an old dresser…I’m sure I would’ve just tossed the dresser out altogether! And there’s no way I would tackle doing ANYTHING to a window other than washing it…and only if it’s the tilt-in kind!!! I’m super impressed!

    That little girl deserves an extra scoop of ice cream. She’s got the creative gene in her, too! Those plastic bags are generally such an eyesore, but to see a child create something from it just warms my heart!

    Best wishes in your travels to the auctions. Sounds like fun!


  5. Wow, you have been so busy! I love all that you have created! I’m glad to hear that you tried MMS – isn’t it great? Once you use it a bit, the mixing isn’t such a big deal & so worth it for the finish!

    I am so surprised to hear about cheating auctioneers. I shouldn’t be, but you would think they would value their reputation more than a few extra dollars they might gain.

    I would love to see some more up close photos of those dishes! Have you ever thought about having a shop tab on your blog? Those type of things would be perfect for an online shop. My web designer mentioned she used woo commerce. It might be something to look in to.

    I can’t wait to see all you find and hear about your class. I would live to tag along with you for a week. It looks like you have so much fun!


    • Wendy, I’ve heard of woo commerce and I will look into that this week. Yesterday, when I went to the Urban Farmgirls Main Street Market was fun. I very rarely do this because I am running the shop on weekends, but I needed to go on a fact-finding mission and I wanted to meet Jennifer Rizzo. Jennifer is very personable and fun and is a treasure trove of knowledge about blogging and running an on-line business. Her first book will be coming out in October, I think.


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