Archives for June 2013

Hey look what I found!

Sometimes I find things.  On the side of the road.  And then, uh, I take them.  I always check first!  But man… the side of the road fairy always sends me cool stuff.  I don’t know why that is. I don’t feel like this happens to other people as much as it happens to me.

Am I more willing to take strange things home?  Maybe.  My mother had the same gift. I very clearly recall hearing “Hey!  Look what I found today!” with pretty regular frequency as I was growing up.  And it was always something wonderful.  So I guess I am simply carrying on a family tradition.

So … Hey! Look what I found today!


I was driving home, with a car full of muddy dogs and there she was – on the side of the road.  I saw her as I was driving past and immediately turned into the first driveway I could.  You see, there are two things that happen in my brain upon spying a roadside treasure.  First I think, “Oh my god look at that cool thing, that was a cool thing right?, what WAS that cool thing?”  And simultaneously I am overcome by a fear that right behind me in another car is someone else thinking, “What is that cool thing??”  So as panic ensues and I am about to lose the best treasure ever to the mystery jerk in the car behind me, I speed into a driveway, back out (trying to be careful but still panicking)  and whip back around to pull in beside the cool thing and then jump out of the car.

I looked her over, and thought she’d be a great display piece.  And I assumed that this was not free, and wondered if someone just stuck her outside because they had just painted her or maybe someone else was coming to pick her up.  So, I wandered into the back yard, because you don’t get free things by just standing there gawking at them, and there was a couple cleaning out their garage.  “Hi there… I was wondering about the yellow…”  The woman glanced up “Take it, please.”  And then as I did a little victory pump with my arm and said “Yes, sweet!” they both looked at me like the nutjob I am.  They had no idea that I had just won the contest with the mystery jerk and that he would never get the cool thing.  But I knew. And I also knew that I had been talking about wanting a display piece nearly exactly like this just the day before, so… I was pretty happy.

So I snapped a photo,  loaded the treasure into my car and promised the muddy dogs that we really were heading home.  I texted the pic and the news that I got it for free to my friends and got a few “cool”s and “awesome”s back and then one addition of  “that is kind of crazy looking!!!”  Yeah, well…It was free! And on the side of the road!  That is good, right?  I hope so.  I’ve never regretted any of my past roadside treasures.  Such as…

I once found an amazing pink and orange floral camel back sofa.  It had just been put out and the owners were slapping a “free” sign on it as I pulled up. I put it in my friends truck, drove it about 5 min away and sold it at a vintage sale before we even got it off the truck.  That was a good one.

I found this on the side of the road on my way home from work about 8 years ago:


It was WAY too heavy to lift but a nice man saw me looking at it, and he pulled over and loaded it into my car for me. Sometimes the roadside fairy provides some muscle too. And now it lives in our house and we use it as a soda/beer cooler at parties.

I found this on the side of the road while driving around with my husband a few years ago:


And I found this on the side of the road recently – I know it is ikea, but I still think these chairs are adorable:



I dunno. I like the side of the road.  I hope it keeps being my friend.  And as it stands, the newest find works out pretty well.  I got her home, and for the record, with nothing on it, this thing IS crazy looking. I mean, it has a coat rack growing out of its head.  But I put a dress on her, hung some hats on the hooks… and…I think she will be a great display for my upcoming fairs! Whew!


So tell me, have you ever found anything super cool on the side of the road?

Finding inspiration

What started out as a pleasant sunny day  has turned into a rainy afternoon. So rather than stand outside in the rain and admire my new driveway some more… (Don’t judge, I have been waiting so long for a real driveway.) I decided to come inside and get some work done.

I spent a little time photographing items for the Etsy shop:

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I made a post office run to mail a really fun vintage ashtray to its new home in the Netherlands.DSC_0029  And now instead of emptying the camper and photographing it (too rainy to take stuff out) I am trying to come up with some ideas for the interior.

And wow, there are some amazing little campers out there, folks.  I can only hope Rosie ends up being so cute.

First, let me share a few initial ideas about Rosie.  Last week I asked Maggie to head to the Exeter Handkerchief Factory, with me.  This place is great.  It is a big ol’ building filled to the brim with decor fabrics.  Then upstairs on the third floor are endless rolls of remnant fabric for 9$ a yard.  She and I rummaged around, chatted with a really nice woman who works there and came out with a couple of swatches.  I was thinking that Rosie would have benches on either side, and the bottoms could lift up and there would be storage underneath.  She’d be pretty much be set up like a traditional camper, with a fold down table in between the seats and all that good stuff.

The swatchs from left to right:  Curtains, Seat Cushions, Seat Backs, Pillowsfourup

But now… I am rethinking that entire plan.  I am not even sure I want to keep the benches on either side.  I might just rip it ALL out.  I apparently have a passion for tearing things out of trailers.

The general idea for Rosie is to be a fitting room and cute background to my booth  at vintage fairs and then we’ll use her as a little lounge by our back patio when she is not working.  But I figure I can just use regular furniture in her for both of those purposes and that way she can be reconfigured for any event I want to use her for.  I’d love to be able to rent her out for weddings as a photo back drop or bridal lounge as well.

That said… I still have to come up with a final plan and soon.  I want her to be ready before Labor Day. I am hoping to do two fairs this fall.  One on labor day weekend –  and I already know I’ll be at the Vintage Bazaar September 21st and 22nd 2013.

As I said before, there are some great campers out there. Check out these images:


From “Get Campy”

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Curb Service Camper – From Design Sponge

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Adelante’s Curb Service Camper – From Design Sponge

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Amazing Airstream Interior, Also from Design Sponge

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Blush’s amazing mobile shop. Blush on Wheels.

I love the blush camper.  Just… wow.  I am not sure how to get such a bright and airy space in something the size of little Rosie.  But I want to. So, any thoughts from the outside world?  Do I go with built in benches and table?  Or do I take it all out and use furniture that can be moved around as needed?

I just don’t know.

If anyone feels the urge to give me more detailed advice – or if you need visual aides –  here is a scale floor plan of the camper interior:



Rosie – Interior Update Pics and Her New Home

So, Rosie is getting some new digs.  I think she is excited.  I know I am!

Before you ask… No.  It is not a barn.  I want a barn. I wish we had a barn. I dream of a barn.  But no… not a barn.
But we do have a new driveway and it is about time.

This is before:


Yecchh. That weed infested dirt area is where Rosie was living before. It is looking really ratty.

This is after:


So. Much. Better. Buh bye weed gravel. Hello real grownup people driveway.

 Right now Rosie is living on the back patio until the driveway cures.


She looks cute.  She’ll look even better with a new paint job.

And how is she doing on the inside?  Well, I cleared the bunks out and now she looks great!  Take a peek in… hey.. wait!?  Is that a phone bench?  A card table? Chairs? A rolly cart? Who put all of that stuff in there?IMG_1163 IMG_1167











Oh right.  Me.  Because this what happens when I don’t have a barn.  I rip the guts out of the trailer, I spend the next three days hunting down some amazing treasures, and then I have nowhere to store my cool stuff other than in my trailer.  Because my garage, house, and both porches are ALREADY full of cool old 1950s tables (4 of them) and fun chairs (at least 8 of them), cabinet radios, typewriters,  a big old toboggan, vintage washing machines (only one of those) and ::sigh:: lots of other awesome stuff that would love to live in a barn.

Sorry, everyone.  I will do my best to clear her out when it is not 2000 degrees outside and you really will get some nice interior shots.


By the way, how cute is that phone bench?  I can’t wait to clean it up and recover it.



Afflicted with the fleaver…

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Hello Retronauts,

Today I thought I’d share a letter from the mailbag!


Dear Dr. Retromat,

I have been gripped by a mysterious fleaver and I can’t seem to shake it!  Can you prescribe a cure!?!?

Yours truly,

Miss Terious


Dear Miss Terious,

The best medicine for those gripped by fleaver? A weekend of yard sales, Todd Farm Flea, and the Vintage Baazar ought to take care of it.  Repeat often – and bring your physician along to monitor your condition.

You’re Welcome ,

Dr. Retromat


And now you may ask, faithful readers, did Miss Terious follow her Doctor’s advice?  The answer is YES.

And not only did we have a spectacular flea-kend where I scored the following finds:


Go on a picnic, take your cake along as well as your rye and scotch. Play some badminton while you are at it, and if that is not to your liking, there is always canasta. Or, um, stretch your shoes. Two pair!

But the young miss managed to cure her ailment by making a very interesting purchase.  Behold!  The 7 Somethings!


What the hell is in there? And who is this being of blinding light?

I can’t really reveal more right now… My patient is in a very delicate state.  But let us just say that I think Miss T. has more than fleaver up her sleever.  I can’t believe her!


And on that note… I am off to clean more out of the camper.  Ciao ciao.