Monday, December 17, 2012

Secret Santa in Teal

I am always up for a little Christmas cheer, and what's cheerier than a Secret Santa swap? When the ladies at Arkansas Women Bloggers presented the idea of swapping handmade ornaments, well... it was a no-brainer.

I waited until the last minute (no surprise there) before I finally got my ornaments made and in the mail, and while I was at the post office to send mine off, I also picked these up from my S.S., Jennifer Wilson. You can follow her on her tumbr here.  To see all the other links to Secret Santas and their surprise packages, check out the Arkansas Women Bloggers' post here.


I love the teal and purple together, it reminds me of peacocks. My tree is always very eclectic - a result of years and years of collecting ornaments here and there and everywhere - so the sparkles and feathers and multi-colors fit right in. My mother used to buy ornaments for each of her kids every year, and when we moved out she gave us our boxes of ornaments. I have three kids, and I'm not sure who will get these just yet... or maybe I'll just keep them for myself. :)

(Sorry for the fuzzy shot...)

So do you decorate your tree in one style each year, or is it a mish-mash like mine? Color preferences? Every year I think I'll be more intentional with my choices... use a specific theme of some kind, but I think I'm pretty happy with my current tradition.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Oh, yeaaaahhhh....

There is something about being in my craft room, paint brushes in hand, and earbuds playing my favorite tunes... it's such a relief. I have a couple of craft shows coming up in December - which seemed like a LONG time from now a few weeks ago, and now seems like it's just around the corner - and I have been trying to get some creating done for at least a month with no success.

We had a weekend out of town that got in the way, but it was for a GREAT reason - to finally make my beautiful sister-in-law, Sacha, an official member of our family. She made my brother an honest man. Look at that face he has as he looks at her! Awwwwwww!!! *snif snif*

Handmade boutonnieres by moi... :)

Aside from the Wedding of the Decade, it has seemed like no matter what plans I tried to make for myself, my schedule kept being usurped by other people or events or projects that didn''t let me make any headway on my own project list. 

But today... Yes! Today was MINE!!! :)

I have always loved to draw and paint and piddle around with art supplies, just ask my sister... she was the recipient of some awesome crafty birthday parties when I worked for Michael's in the late 80s... but for too many years I had been forced to put those things aside because I didn't have the time, or space, or money (or all three, usually) to pursue an artistic hobby. I would draw a few holiday greeting cards now and then, and my sweet brother (the one in the boutonniere) would give me books for Christmas about designing greeting cards or making a business of your hobbies, etc... he is a great cheerleader. But I never really did anything with it.

Several years ago I started sewing some crafty things, and my Punkinhead persona was born when I opened an Etsy shop and started applying to be a vendor at craft shows. Then last year I painted a little canvas for a local non-profit fundraiser, and the artist in me was reawakened. That sounds really stupid, maybe, but I think you artists out there get it.

I was using paint brushes, ink, and acrylics, and I was absolutely absorbed in what I was doing. I loved it so much I decided this year I'd make more than one. I tried a few different techniques, but these are my favorites.

Today, I worked on a couple of things that I want to sell in my Junque Rethunque booth for the open house on November 15th. Again, once I sat down and started drawing out the design, I was enjoying myself so much, I found myself wondering how many I needed to make to make a living doing it. :)

I think many of you would agree that making things just has to be a part of our lives... it's not just a hobby, it's something we are driven to do. It's a large part of what we have to do to stay sane and maintain a balance in our lives. I know for me, when I am unable to do anything creative for a stretch of time, I get grumpy. I feel all clogged up and disjointed, like I need a colonic cleanse of my Chi. So, I am well aware that I need that time for myself... Now, to convince my family it's in THEIR best interest to let me have my time... :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall on Repeat

It seems that fall is just the time that I start feeling all overwhelmed and in need of a good purging. Of the clutter, not the colon. Eww... Unlike the spring cleaning when I just want to open windows and beat cushions and start digging in the dirt, a fall cleaning is all about making my home cozy and welcoming and ready for the holidays.

Last year about this time I wrote a blog post about spending a day cleaning out my garage and getting some projects started. Barely. This year, I'm in the same place - except for the actually-getting-it-done part. I'm feeling the need to clean out and organize and get my shit together... so to speak. (Again with the colon references??) I am working on getting a storage unit for my Craft Show display Stuff, and my Projects in Limbo Stuff, and it will give me a place to hide stuff from my husband store treasures before they go into my flea market booth.

I've got a lot on top of me this year, some things I had last year, like a grand-daughter and her mama living with us, and a full-time job, and too many hobbies, and a grade-school-aged son ('nuf said, right??). But I also have been working hard to meet my personal challenge of writing more (yay me!), which takes a lot of time that could otherwise be used to clean the garage (boohoo!), and I have a husband with health issues. Well, I had the same husband last year, but was blissfully unconcerned about what he ate every day.

Besides the storage unit, which is going to help me free up a lot of space and more efficiently process the treasures I'm bringing home in the back of my jeep all the time, I've also made the positive move of hiring a housekeeper. This is a seriously important effort that will lead to the following seriously important results:
  1. Help me enjoy my home more;
  2. Help me feel comfortable having friends over more often;
  3. Help me find more time for the hobbies I'm trying expand into careers;
  4. Help me not become homicidal. (my family appreciates this one, especially.)

I'm paying for the service out of my freelance writing income, so it's also going to be an incentive to keep that coming in. Let me tell you, I walked in the door yesterday and took in a big deep breath of those non-organic Pine-Sol fumes, and got giddy as I ran around looking at all the clean. My neighbors may have heard me shriek about my shower door that I could actually SEE through again.

It's the little things... 

Here's an update of the chair I showed you in that link from last year... turned out pretty cute, don't you think??

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jack-O-Lantern Envy

When my siblings and I were kids (a long, long time ago) we looked forward to Halloween as one of our favorite holidays of the year. We didn't go all out decorating the outside of our house, but we took the costume creation veeerrryyy seriously. We loved thrift stores, and are artsy-fartsy, so we could always be counted on to pull out some fun ones.

One of our favorite parts of the celebration, though, was the carving of the pumpkin. That's right - ONE pumpkin. Singular. There were three of us for many years, until our baby sister was born, and we all had to share a lone pumpkin. My mom and step-dad created a competition between the three of us to come up with a design for the annual jack-o-lantern. They would pick one

For the only pumpkin. 

You get what I'm hinting at here, right? How much does a freaking pumpkin cost??? I saw them for $7.98 today at Wal-Mart... and of course they'll be cheaper in a week. Would it have killed them to buy THREE pumpkins so that we could each have our own??? It wasn't something I thought of until I was buying pumpkins for my own kids... then I discovered I was annoyed. I have no problem buying one for EACH of my three kids. 

Call me Mrs. Moneybags.

But you know, I'm a mature adult. I've moved on. ;-)

Creating jack-o-lanterns are one of my kids' favorite parts of the weeks leading up to Halloween as well. We pick out pumpkins at local pumpkin patches, cover the kitchen island with newspaper, and commence hacking. Some are scary, some are funny... fat... tall... we are equal-opportunity hackers. 

What are some of your favorite Halloween traditions? Home-made costumes? Haunted houses? Bobbing for apples at the block party? Do tell!

I'm linking this post on day two of the Arkansas Women Bloggers' BLOGtober Fest here
Go check out the rest of the awesome posts!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Rusty Rings

When we were digging through some junk in the back room of one of our favorite local shops, we uncovered a little box of rusty canning lid rings. We're pretty sure a lot of people would have put them aside and kept digging for the real treasure, but we're not a lot of people. We love little boxes of rusty stuff!

The little box was carried up to the counter, along with a few canning jars with zinc lids, and a few other little odds and ends, and the tallying began. Imagine our delight when the woman dismissed the box with a wave of her hand and declared that it was a freebie! We almost swooned. A little box of rusty goodness... free for the taking. It was destiny.

The little box of rusty goodness has been waiting patiently for us to have time to make some awesome repurposed rusty goodness out of it. We have a couple of ideas...

Perhaps this cute thing as seen on one of my favorite blogs, Funky Junk Interiors?

Or this might be a sufficient amount of awesomeness from A Simply Klassic Home... you may recognize it as the winner of Country Living's Pinterest Pumpkin contest. :)

So much rusty goodness, so little time... :)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Pedophile Art

This week we're starting another weekly feature - Freaky Friday. It's October, so it seems an appropriate time to debut, right? We'll share weird things, odd things, and things that make us do a double take and make a "wth??" face while we're on our treasure hunts, at thrift stores, or - occasionally, when we're creating something ourselves. Hopefully more of the former and less of the latter.

I'm almost sorry to share this one, as it's got the potential to make you uncomfortable. But that's what "freaky" is all about, so here you go:

Now, I'm no prude (just ask my sister) but I think we're all on the same page here... so let's just put it out there - this has to be intended for the walls of some pedophile's powder room, don't you think? I mean, ewww. It's just wrong in so many ways.

I see art in thrift stores sometimes that makes me wonder how people could have parted with it, but I'm guessing they couldn't get these two out of grandma's house fast enough when she moved to the old folks home.

Happy weekend y'all!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sweet Hoops

It's funny how, sometimes, when you're not looking for any particular treasure, a whole LOT of something can end up in your possession. This week's Tuesday Treasure is embroidery hoops. I happened upon a couple of stashes of them, and kind of love how they all look just hanging around the my crafting lounge. But, alas, the surest sign of a crafter in need of an intervention is the desire to keep collections like this just for the sheer pleasure of having them. It's time to make something out of these lovelies and let them go out into the world as finished projects.

We've been enjoying the look of graphic fabrics featured in hoops on walls, like these from Design Sponge and The Cottage Home blog. It's a simple project, and is easy to change out for the season or if your favorite color combos change often.

So, I busted out the hoops tonight along with a pile of fabric samples that had been taunting me for a while, and whipped up some fabulousness.

I am loving the look of the old hoops with their natural wood. The ones I have are vintage, so they have a great patina, but you can stain them (like this tutorial suggests) or even paint them if you're interested in a matchey, uniform look. I am not the matchey, uniform type. ;) That tutorial also involves glue, which would make it impossible to switch out your fabric later. I'm okay with no glue.

What stashes are you hoarding in your craft room? We know you have some... don't lie. Tell us about them!

Monday, October 1, 2012

And the winner is...

I wish I could have given you ALL a free pair of boots!!! I'm just thrilled that I had so many comments on this blog, so to find out that 49 people actually entered the contest was pretty exciting. :)

The winner, chosen by a number generator at is.... 

Yay Lorie5534!!! I have no idea who you are, but I'll be sending you an email to get all the fancy info! As soon as I find out who she is, I'll also let you all know. And if she'll tell us her favorite pair of boots, I'll share that too... we all love to live vicariously, right?

Thanks to everyone who entered, and who shared their favorite cowboys in my comments. There are several I hadn't thought of, and a few that I'm going to look up. Can't have too many cowboy crushes. :)

Don't forget to "like" the Country Outfitter facebook page - they've been giving away boots willy-nilly over there, and you still need a free pair. Or two. Or six. Since you did give them your email address, you'll see an occasional email newsletter in your box, but not often. If you choose to unsubscribe, they're okay with that - but then you'll miss all the fun. ;)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Have you been growing impatient with the lack of chicken chat on Junque Rethunque? My apologies... it hasn't been intentional. I simply have not had anything newsworthy to share. But today... today is big. It's Tuesday's Treasure, straight from the nesting box... isn't it sweet??

Having six chickens, it's difficult to say who this little brown package of awesomeness belongs too. But we can rule out Bernelle... she's an Amercauna, so she'll lay blueish-white eggs. I'm pretty sure that Claudia's eggs will be a little lighter... she's a Plymouth Rock, and they usually lay light brown eggs with a touch of pink, and this one looks pretty much straight up brown. So, it's got to be from Pearl, Virginia, Lela or Katy.

I've been waiting patiently for a month or so now, knowing it was getting close to time for an egg to show up. It's been fun watching the girls grow this summer. They are all so big! I have yet to put a permanent roof on their coop (it's been so dry this year, we have made due with some plywood and plastic tarp.) But it's going to get wet and cold soon, so it's time to put the finishing touches on before it's too late.

I remember gathering eggs with my grandmother when I was a little girl - and I'm so excited to share  that experience of knowing where our food comes from and what it takes to sustain it with my son and grand-daughter in our own back yard.

What are some of your childhood memories that you're recreating as a grownup?

Happy fall, y'all!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Cowboys and Boots

Today, we’re talking about favorite cowboys. Most of mine, I admit, are not “real” cowboys. I’m a movie fan, so when I try to make a list of favorite cowboys they are usually guys who play them in films or sing about being one on a stage. 

What is it about cowboys that we love so much? They ride around on horses for days at a time, sweating in their leather and denim... not bathing... they're not particularly verbose or genteel... Oh, but they're faithful. To their horse. I don't know. It's that Bad Boy thing I guess, or The Man Who Can't Be Tamed... or maybe we love the idea of a guy who drops in now and then but doesn't live with us expecting us to do their laundry and feed them 24/7. I'm just guessing. 

So here are a few of my faves... and stay tuned for the boot part of this post:

When I was 14 we moved to Pasadena, Texas, home of Gilley’s nightclub. You may remember it as the place where John Travolta and Debra Winger scooted some boots and rode the mechanical bull in the movie Urban Cowboy. We got to see them film a few scenes around town, which was fun, and the movie brought boots and pearl buttons into style for the first time since Roy Rogers was sporting them in the 1950s. In addition to just enjoying John Travolta in a tight pair of Wranglers, the movie had a pretty great soundtrack. I’m not a huge fan of country music (currently), but “Lookin’ for Love in All the Wrong Places” was perfection with a twang.

I didn’t see this film until I was a bit older since I was a kid when it was in theaters, but Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is one of my very favorite western films. I also love The Sting starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, but there is something about them with scruffy facial hair and boots… well, let's just say it works. Oh, and then there’s Robert Redford in Electric Cowboy… totally different vibe, but more of the Sundance man on a horse is never a bad thing. 


In my early 20s I lived in the mid-cities area between Dallas and Fort Worth. On the weekends I would go to the Stockyards in Fort Worth and do a little two-stepping with my friends who waited tables with me. At the time, cowgirl boots were only available in serious western stores, and they cost serious money. Since I was not, admittedly, a “real” cowgirl (and I was a waitress living on tips), I didn’t wear boots – but I think I looked pretty cute drinking a long-neck Corona with a lime slice poked in the top of the bottle. During those years, I was a fan of George Strait. Other favorite singing cowboys that came along later include Alan Jackson and Vince Gill

Now, here’s where the boots come into the story… Back in August my sister and I attended a fantastic conference put together by Arkansas Women Bloggers. There are several reasons the conference was fantastic, not the least of which was the new pair of boots that each attendee got from Country Outfitter just for attending. I mean, I’ve walked away from a few conferences with a tote bag full of crap stuff that I have tossed into the “free” box at my next yard sale – but these boots will not be going there.

Rumor has it that cowgirl boots are huge on the fashion scene this year, and I’d be willing to bet that you wouldn’t mind having a new pair, right? They’re cute with short skirts, long skirts, skinny jeans and leggings… there just aren't many things you can’t wear them with. I've seen them with shorts as well, but I do not wear the Daisy Duke look well… I've decided boots do not pair well with cellulite. ;)

But here's the best part - we could only accept a free pair of boots if we were willing to host a giveaway on our blog. So, who wants a pair of boots?? Country Outfitter carries brands from a ton of great boot-makers and I’m not kidding when I say it took me a week to pick mine out. I toyed with getting crazy with color and picking these sweet things: 

But the heel was a bit high for me... so I thought I might take these because the appliques reminded me of the bags I make for Punkinhead Designs:

And then I thought maybe I’d move toward something less western (since I'm a country girl, but not really a COWgirl:

But in the end, this lovely dark brown mustang cowhide pair from Justin won out. They’re dark but not too dark, and they have rubber soles which are super comfortable. I haven’t had to break them in at all because they are already soft and pliable. But the best thing - they look great with my skinny jeans. 

But enough of the boots on my favorites list, right? Here’s what you need to do to win your own… click here to enter your email to win your very own boots worth up to $150.00 from Country Outfitter, and then comment on this post with the name (or names) of YOUR favorite cowboy. Feel free to throw in some off-the-wall faves… Ronald Reagan, that guy you knew in college, Roy Rogers (there is no age-limit here!).

I'll announce the winner via random drawing on Monday, October 1st, so don't wait!! Good luck everyone - I can't wait to announce the winner!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Handmade Goodness

This post is the first in what we're going to call "Tuesday's Treasure". It will be a weekly post focused on something special we did or found or made over the previous weekend. This one is a week behind but we'll be more timely in weeks to come. 

Labor Day weekend is sentimental for us. It's the annual date for a local craft show called the Clothesline Fair, which was the first craft show that we participated in together. Erin was knitting bracelets out of thin-gauge wire and adding sparkly beads, I made Snowfolk, and our mom was wrapping wine glasses with wire and beads and making lamp and ceiling fan pulls as well. We called ourselves "6 Hands". We're clever like that.

The second year we participated was 2008, the year that mom was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It happened the Monday night after the fair. We watched her struggle with balance and mobility all weekend, and she ended up in the emergency room after falling when she returned home. It was devastating, and it has tainted that weekend and the enjoyment I get from the fair ever since.

This year, however, we had a new reason to be excited about the Clothesline Fair - our booth at Summit Hill Cottage Shoppe! We signed up to work at the shop on Sunday, and on Saturday morning we went out to spruce the booth up a bit and take a stroll through the fair.

G-Man went with us, and was fairly well-behaved. He always has to jump on some vintage tractors...
I wish my grandpa had lived long enough to meet him, and teach him to actually operate one of those things.

I lucked into a free piece of pottery when I pointed out a broken bit to the potter, and was happy to chat with one of my favorite local artists, Temple Skelton Moore. My son talked me into a bow and arrow set made from pvc pipe (it's cooler than it sounds), Erin bought a lovely handmade wooden spoon/scraper for her kitchen, but the only purchase I made for me was to replenish my supply of handmade face cloths. I get at least one every year, and have had a few for several years now. They are made from cotton fibers and have held up through washing machines without any fraying or loose knots. They are simply awesome.

It's a treasure that I get to enjoy every day.

Monday, July 30, 2012

New Digs for Junque Rethunque!!

It's not like I haven't had things to write about over the last six months. I mean, seriously. It's more like the words in my head just couldn't get out of my head and into my fingers and onto the screen. I'm not going to bore you (or myself) by recapping the months that have passed since I last blogged... let's just pretend I was here:

Okay, so here's what's going on currently:

Last week I took a quick trip out to Prairie Grove, a mecca of sorts for people in NW Arkansas who like antique malls, civil war battlefields, and yummy Mexican food. (Mariela's!! YUM!). I had heard through the grapevine (i.e. Facebook) that a new antique mall called Summit Hill Cottage recently opened. Since my sister and I have been on the waiting list for the larger mall in the same town for over a year, I figured it was worth checking out the new place. Bonus: new place is right across the street from waiting list place. Heehee!!

The flea market we are in currently has been okay, but not great. The key is that current spot calls itself a "flea market" and the new place is an "antique mall". BIG difference. The "aha!" moment occurred the other day when I was looking at the wish list that the owners send every week with items that customers have told them they're looking for. The list goes something like this:
  1. Baby monitor
  2. Deer stand
  3. Blenders
  4. Overalls
  5. Salad spinner
  6. Ceiling fan
I'm not really kidding...
As I looked at the latest list it hit me - the people shopping at this place are not looking for ANYTHING we are selling!!  We have made enough to pay our booth fee the majority of the months we've been there, but for the last few months only barely. I mean, a check for $6.40 at the end of the month really kind of deflates a girl, you know?? Dave Matthews Band tickets don't grow on trees!! And you can't deny this man...


So, it was obvious it was time to go. Hearing about the new place the same week that I had the "aha!" moment was a little like the clouds parting and a neon sign popping out that said "Do it!" So, I did! I chatted with the owner, Suzy, for a while, she showed me around the vendors' booths and pointed out which ones were selling well and which ones had product niches that they were filling.

My daughters went with me and were patient tolerant of my gushing and being excited... even when a "quick visit to check it out" turned into business discussion and signing of a contract. The place is perfect for the booth that Junque Rethunque deserves to be, and we can't wait to get set up!!

Suzy used to be a vendor in the Waiting List place and included a lot of detail in the vendor contract - even down to the statement saying that we are not allowed to decorate with feather boas. I think we'll be able to mind that one fairly easily. I also think it will be easy to stand out. There was lots of shabby chic, and some repurposing going on, and vintage kitchenware, but nothing much on the industrial side, not much wire and metal... not many painted signs or lampshades and certainly no vintage linens turned tote bags and home decor.

Here is the new Junque Rethunque space as it looks right now - pre Junque-ifying:

This is not our stuff - but don't you love the rough plaster and brick walls back there?? Here's a view down the aisle...
It's just so much better than where we are. Like, times a billion. And cheaper too! We'll be paying $17 less per month for the space, and a smaller commission as well. Look at those painted floors! And the wooden valance that Suzy added. I heart it!

So... that's what's up right now. We are excited to get in there and execute some of the great ideas we had when we first set up shop a year ago. We'll be putting our display pieces in this Friday night, and plan to be in the space by the end of August, but if it's earlier we will definitely let you know. We hope you'll come see us, and let us know what you think.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Who you callin' GRANNY???

An old friend (as old as me, in fact) recently commented on a photo I posted on Facebook, saying "You've really got this granny gig down, don't you?"  It was this picture of a great set of vintage canisters I put in my flea market booth this weekend...

 Now, this friend is a male. And, he is an admitted arrogant smart-ass. But even so, it occurred to me while responding to him that he's probably not the only person out there who maybe doesn't really comprehend how brilliant it is to buy 2nd-hand and use "granny" stuff instead of buying whatever Pottery Barn and Target are selling this week. Kind of suits my "refuse to follow trends" inclinations. Except, there does seem to be a pretty big group of people out there who love the same non-trendy stuff I do. If we all love it, does it mean it's a trend??

I may not be making my own bread or canning my own veggies like my Grandmother Whillock did, but I do furnish my home with a lot of stuff found at second-hand stores, yard sales and even curbs. My first dumpster-diving experience was with my Grandma when I was probably around 10 years old. We were driving along one afternoon when Grandma spotted a great set of rattan furniture - a couch and love seat I think - sitting next to a dumpster. I don't remember details... did she have rope in the car, or did we go home and get it? But somehow, we got that set up on the roof and hauled it home for my aunt's new apartment.

My mom didn't really shop in thrift stores or hit yard sales when I was younger, but as I got older we enjoyed hunting flea markets and junk shops together. I think the biggest thrifty genes just skipped a generation, because I definitely got a bunch of 'em! I'm all about getting something at a great price, and turning something a little less than perfect into something brilliant. It was our love for finding a diamond in the rough and imagining what it could be that made us start our business, Junque Rethunque, that my sister and I are carrying on together.

So go ahead and call me Granny, my friend. I'm fine with saving hundreds of dollars and will continue to believe I'm doing my part to save the planet at the same time.