May 8, 2012

Good Virginia Pickin

Yesterday we shared a peek into our little picking adventure over the weekend. One of the many things Mary and I have in common is a shared love for all things vintage. We can be total geeks over finding old hardware, boxes, and pretty much anything that has a little history and an untold story.

Saturday morning after hitting up the opening weekend of the farmer's market, we headed down route 5 out towards Prince George, VA where Mary's mom was helping organize her church's yard sale. Being sticklers for a good country sale and the added benefit of helping support her church, we were game with Basil in tow.

He never passes up the chance to run wild out in country a field...

We left with a car full of finds from the church sale and on the way home, a roadside sale off the beaten path caught our eyes and before we knew it, the car had made a U-turn to pull off the side of the road.

Now this roadside sale was the kind we always hear Mike and Frank from American Pickers talking about and always kind of geek out at the idea of one day just happening upon a goldmine ourselves. Well folks, this was our day!

The sale was literally about 10 industrial tables set up and filled with baskets and old trays of hardware, tools, all sorts of odds and ends — a real guy's guy sale if you know what I mean. Mary was just as excited to jump out of the car and get her hands dirty as I was — that girl is a keeper.

Just like on American Pickers, the entire sale was being run by an elderly man with a huge personality — we both laughed at what he must have thought of us. We took our time and looked at everything before bringing a few things up to ask about price and this guy just laughed at us and told us we didn't find enough and that we would have to take another lap and make a bigger pile before he would even quote us any prices — it was a trip!

After another lap around and pulling a few more things, we shook on the price and both left probably feeling like each of us got the better deal from the other (us getting the better deal from him and him thinking he pulled one over on us), ha! Now that's a good day when you can both leave feeling that way — one of the reasons we have such a good time when finding something we think is pretty cool.

OK, so here's the breakdown of what we came back home with:

The minute I laid eyes on this corned beef wooden crate, I knew she'd soon be mine:

Mary and I have a small problem with collecting wooden crates. We just can't seem to get enough and always find good uses for them all over the house — this one obviously had my name all over it.

On the container front, Mary bee-lined for this wire locker basket:

We have another locker basket we keep all of Basil's toys in (which you can see hiding out at the bottom of this previous post), but this one is a little longer in shape which we both liked. Not sure what we'll do with it just yet, but we knew we were leaving with it once we spotted it. These kinds of baskets are always in high demand and make a great way to add an industrial look to your storage.

Inside the basket are a handful of vintage water spigot's we found. We thought one might make a great addition to a DIY rain barrel if we ever get around to making one and ended up grabbing a whole handful of them while we were at it.

Also on the hardware front, we were pretty stoked to come across this matching pair of antique porcelain furniture wheel casters and are guessing they date back to at least the 1920's when porcelain wheels were commonly used:

These guys are just begging to be added to the bottom of a DIY project. What's so impressive was how they went from super grimy, pictured above, to near mint condition with a little love and elbow grease from Mary:

Her secret weapon, you ask? Let's just say a healthy soak with our "good friend," Bon Ami, and some dedicated scrubbing with the sponge had something to do with this transformation:

Moving right along, we found this hand painted wood canvas of folk art style ships to be very endearing and knew we could find a place for it where it would continue to be loved:

By the looks of it, this painting has already made a new friend.

Speaking of Ham Bone, I mean Basil, he tried to make himself comfortable in one of these old school stadium seats I snagged:

The good old red & white — can I get a "Go Phillies!?"

I think the piece we're most excited about finding is this vintage industrial green enameled lamp shade:

I think I accidentally deleted the "before" picks of this guy, so just imagine it as grimy and dirty as those porcelain caster wheels were. We were so excited to be able to clean this beauty up and are already trying to decide where to hang it in the house — we're thinking an Edison bulb and a little electrical updating is definitely in order here.

Mary found an entire box of vintage lace and trim at the church sale — which made her day since she's always on the lookout for nostalgic supplies like these she can incorporate into the packaging of her jewelry orders.

Oh, and that's also the shot of her I took just as she was making sure to tell me NOT to get any shots of her face — just the box. Strict orders. See what happens when I get strict orders...

Mary's mom had these little miniature Ball mason jar salt & pepper shakers waiting for us when we got to the 1st sale:

Finally, we picked up a matching set of these little old wooden stools or end tables which we thought would make perfect plant stands for the tomatoes we've been trying to grow from seed:

There you have it — all of our finds. We're glad to have some new-to-us treasures and like knowing they'll continue to be put to good use. Much of what we found we'll keep and incorporate into our daily lives, some of the other finds you'll be able to find for sale in one or both of my own vintage Etsy shops over the next few weeks, Behind The Screen Door and Vintage Crack.

Good times. Are you a picker or love antiquing at heart? Have you ever come across one of those sales that just made your day? We'd love to hear all about it!


  1. I think Basil is eying your seat and saying to himself, "No fair, his seat is bigger than mine." You scored some great stuff! Do you ever find good architectural salvage?

    1. You know there were a couple of surveyor wooden stands that I was so tempted to purchase and make a lamp out of. That has been on my list to find but these were worn beyond vintage cool!

    2. Ooooh, I've been on the hunt for those, for that same reason too!!! There was one time I found an awesome large format tripod and ran to get cash to pay for it...I didn't run fast enough, someone else grabbed it up before I got back. Alas, it was the one that got away, it haunts me still :)

  2. There are always a lot of great picks along Rt. 40 in southwestern PA. On our last trek to D.C., my boyfriend and I stopped by a mountain community center sale with a gymnasium full of old farm tools, milk glass, and kitchen appliances from the 60's. I snagged a box of fish-shaped Italian wine bottles!

  3. So jealous after reading this post. I wasn't to happen upon a sale like that! I just got a set of porcelain casters this weekend and want to see what other people have used them for!

    1. Too cool Jennifer — we'd love to know what you end up doing with yours too!


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