Welcome To Our Little Big House On The Prairie

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday's Finds #14... and Adventures With Kammy from Kammy's Korner!

Well, I think I've finally recovered from my all day outing yesterday with one of the funniest, creative, and absolutely outright awesomest people I've ever met!  What was supposed to be a few hours of junkin' and lunch, turned into an all day event.  We didn't even eat "lunch" until 4:30!  LOL!!  What an absolute blast!

For Laura, who is an old friend from back in my wild youth (I was wild, she definitely was not!  LOL!)...  Yes, you were absolutely correct.  I spent the day with Kammy from Kammy's Korner.  And we had so much fun!  I don't want her to go back to Michigan!!!!!

And let me tell ya...  She is as beautiful in person, as she is in her pictures!  She's like a little tiny china doll come to life.  LOL!  And she is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside!  Just a wonderful soul and you can totally see Jesus in her.  :)  Her children as just a cute as they can be too!

I picked Kammy up around 10:30 at her parent's gorgeous home.  Her mother was absolutely gracious and welcoming.  I enjoyed visiting with her for a few moments before Kammy and I set off.  (And yes, Mrs. Hayes, I think you should paint your roll-top desk black with a tan trim (similar to your walls) and do the subway art on the sides as Kammy suggested.  It'll be beautiful!)

Kammy had done some sleuthing via Google and she had a whole entire list of places to go that I never even knew existed!  In preparation for traveling into East Waterloo, my diamond earrings, a ring, and a necklace were off.  My jeans had holes in them...  And Kammy was totally laughing at my preparation.  Hey!  You hear stories about East Waterloo!  :P

However, our first stop was Gilgens in Cedar Falls....

What a wonderful little place run by a very grumpy man.  :P  He has a bargain basement that has tons of stuff at pretty reasonable pricing, but his refusal to dicker with us had us leaving empty handed.  And I really, really wanted that bird cage too!  In fact, there were several items that I would have purchased, but a grumpy proprietor is a total turn off.  Maybe we just caught him on a bad day.  :P  I will probably try to find it by myself and see if I have any better luck the next time.  I'll let you know how that turns out.

Our next stop we headed into (dum dum dah) "The Loo"... St. Vincent DePaul Thrift.  It really wasn't as scary as I thought it would be.  LOL!  Tons of stuff, but no pricing on anything!  You must ask the people who work the store and then they tell you a price.  However, that did not deter us!

Check out this cute little handmade Christmas tree made out of cardstock paper.  Totally going to attempt this on my own next year!

I should have stocked up on Christmas items for next year, but I figured I should put my money toward items I want for the rest of the house.

While Kammy and I chatted about who our most favorite and least favorite bloggers are (We'll never tell!  LOL!), we poked and peered into every part of the store.  There was one moment where she had to drag me away from a huge selection of candlestick holders, so I couldn't give in to my fetish.  HA!  Thanks, girl!  Now, that's a true friend!  He he he!

Kammy picked up some absolute steals that I'll let her share on her blog and I can't wait to see how one in particular turns out.  If she can turn that into a treasure, I'll eat my shoe!  LOL!!!  I, on the other hand, grabbed up this gorgeous pitcher for a mere $10.00 and a little vase for $3.00...

The pitcher (although missing its bowl) is Dresden.  SCORE!

That's why I didn't even blink at the $10.00 price.  In fact, I was holding my breath while I waited for the lady to tell me the price - hoping she wouldn't take it from me and look at the bottom!  LOL!

I also grabbed a light fixture and a set of shutters, as well - but I took the picture of them with stuff from another place, so you'll have to see it below.  :)  I spent $20.00 for both of those.  Totally wishing I hadn't bought the fixture, but oh well.  I may paint it, spruce it up with some beads and such and sell it.  Probably will.

Right down the road was the W'loo Salvation Army.  I hemmed and hawed over this purchase, but for $7.50, how could you go wrong.  Plus, Kammy assured me that with a little spray paint, it would look A LOT better.  ;)  And then she promised that if I didn't like it afterward, she would buy it from me.  LOL!!!

Screams 80s, doesn't it?  A couple of little old ladies checking out thought it was beautiful and I offered it to one of them, if she wanted it.  She thought Kammy had talked me out buying it!  LOL!  Just the opposite!  She talked me into buying it!  LOL!  So, I walked out with the purchase, while Kammy got a few odds and ends too.  ;)

Our next stop, we hit the mother load!  Kammy...  thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for finding this place!

This is the best kept secret in W'loo!  Located on Vinton Street in downtown, Mart Buy The River has got to be the biggest resale shop I have ever seen!  Of course this isn't saying much since I'm new to junkin'.  LOL!  However, if you make the drive in the cold months, I suggest bundling up in a coat, hat, and gloves.    Poor Kammy lost feeling in her fingers.  Luckily, I have a nice layer of fat to keep me warm, since I didn't even have a coat.  LOL!!!!  Oh!  And bring a flashlight!

This ginormous machine shed is packed to the gills with treasures beyond your belief!  Hundreds of old doors, windows, closet doors, antique dressers, vanities, desks, tables and THOUSANDS of chairs.  I can't even begin to even describe it!  I'm talking YEARS of accumulating stuff!  It has very dim light and no heat.  And if you're a germaphobe, don't even think about setting foot in here.  Everything is pretty much covered in a layer of dirt.

This is what we saw when we walked in the door...

There's Kammy!  Isn't she gorgeous???  LOVE her style!
I think I said, "Oh my God!" several times out loud or maybe it was just in my head.  You literally could not squeeze through in several places.  I could have spent the entire day in there!  As it was, we were there for three hours, I think.  Everywhere you looked there was something fantastic.  I think the lady was a little leery of us, since we snapped off a few pictures.  We tried to explain that we were bloggers, but I don't think she really knew what that meant until we just said we had websites.

We browsed and browsed and browsed some more...  Oooing and aahhing over pretty much all of it.  The only downfall is the pricing.  My gut feeling on this is that the married couple that owns the building are hoarders, but they just have buildings to hold it all in.  This was one of four that they have.  And this is the smallest!!!  I think their prices are a little on the high side simply because they really don't care if they sell it or not.  I could be wrong though...  That was just the vibe I got.

I fell in want with a door that was $175 and I just couldn't justify buying it to lean up against a wall.  I really, really wanted an old library card catalog, but the asking price was upwards of $350.  It would have been perfect to store all my craft items in!  And they probably had 25 of them!  They couldn't come down just a little??? Hopefully, if I frequent the shop often and develop a relationship with them, I might be able to score some good deals.  I can only hope!  Not that it will deter me if they don't...  Seriously, there are some phenomenal pieces hidden within.  I just wonder how we would even begin to get them out.  We will probably have to clear a path to the front door!  There is a beautiful kidney shaped desk that I will go back and get for $75.00 though.  If you're looking for a place to go to furnish your own home, this is place to go.  But if you're looking for stuff to refinish to sell to make a profit on...  Well, I would steer clear.  Not saying that some of the pieces aren't worth the asking price...  They do have some priceless antiques in there, but some of the stuff...  Yeah.  Nuf said.

I did really enjoy talking with the lady of the business and she followed us about sharing stories, answering our questions, and even arguing with us a bit.  Kammy and I exchanged a few looks between us at some of the stuff she said.  LOL!  She really didn't like the idea of us painting the furniture, even though some of the items we talked about would absolutely have to be painted.  Kammy was laughing at me because we were discussing a buffet that had severe water damaged to the veneer that the asking price was $35 - one of the cheapest pieces we found.  Way to leave a girl, Kammy!  You were supposed to be backing me up!  Instead I hear, "Ummm...  I think I'm going to look over here."  HA HA HA!  Scaredy cat!  ;)  I think I unintentionally insulted the woman when I said the veneer would have to be removed and the top painted.  OOPS!  Not something you would want to do if you're looking to form a relationship to wheel and deal.  BUT...  Ask Kammy.  There was NO saving that piece without removing the veneer!  The lady thought we could reglue the veneer and stain it.  Yeah.  Not happening.  She did admit she had macular degeneration, so maybe she just couldn't see it as well as we could.  But, I back-pedaled like crazy when I figured that was one argument I was NOT going to win - can't alienate the owner!!!!  She definitely had her own opinions about things and painting furniture was a sacrilege.  :P

I did come out with some great finds.  I need to learn to be more like Kammy and learn to say no when something is a little high in the pricing, but all in all I'm pretty pleased with how much I spent. Towards the end, we were able to meet the woman's husband and he was quite a character in his own right.  If I had to sum up his personality, it would be good ole boy with a heck of a lot of shrewdness.  I really did like him though.  But then again, I'm a people person and I like to talk and learn things from the older generation.  He was pretty firm on the price of the $125 door and said he even had one that had a $4,000.00 price tag.  You have got to be kidding me!  But as soon as I get the opportunity, I am sooooo going back for the day.  I'm sure if I do enough digging, I can find something I can afford!  LOL!  Seriously, it almost overwhelms you.

This is what I walked away with...

The smaller set of shutters were from the thrift, but the larger shutter with the absolutely wonderful chippy paint I bought for $15.00.  It has working louvers too!  Love, love, love this!  Only bad thing was that I thought it was aqua (that's why I said bring a flashlight!) and really its green.  Thankfully, it will still go perfectly with my bedroom!  Is that not awesome?!

Going to have to seal all that lead paint with spray gloss though.

I also grabbed up this fantastically large frame that is blue and wonderful and chippy and absolutely perfect without doing a thing to it!  It still has the glass to boot!  I'm seeing a framed chalkboard...  Do you see it?  Do you see it?  Oh yeah!  Priced for $20.00, I did manage to talk him down to $15.00.  My problem is not wanting to insult the seller with too low of an offer.  I probably need to get over that.  :P

See the dirt?  Yep.  Everything is covered in it.
Kammy, on the other hand, has no compunction about saying it like it is.  I really love that about her.  She's a straight-forward as it gets!  I stifled laughing really, really loud (still smiling about it now - ha ha ha) when she was haggling with the man over one of her finds (not going to give away just what it was) and she says, "Oh c'mon.  Do you want to make a sale today or not?"  BAH HA HA HA!!!  Tiny thing that she is, but she has got moxy in spades!!! She got her price though.  ;)

I grabbed up a couple of other little things to round out my purchase and wrap things up.  I think Kammy was ready to go long before I was, but probably because she was freezing to death!  LOL

The light fixture to the left, I got at the thrift for $10 (I'm such a sucker!  :P )  The light fixture to the right, which was more what I was looking for to turn into a chandelier for Eva's room, was marked at $8.00.  That's why I wish I hadn't bought the other one!  RATS!  The scale was $10.00, but he sold them both to me for $15.00, without me even asking.  Although I probably should have dickered with him to get him down to $12.00.  There's worrying about insulting him again.  Grrrrr.

After that, since at that point we were faint from hunger, we headed to get something to eat.  Leave it to us though...  We got sidetrack by the Treasure Chest, which is a consignment shop.  There were several items that I liked including an antique chest that totally needed a coat of paint for $22.00 - someone had painted it a horrible brown and a grapevine tree for $12.00.  But, I managed to walk away without spending a thing, which never happens.  Yay for me!  Kammy picked up some awesome Christmas decor that was 80% off.  This is a fantastic little store that really has some good quality items.  They obviously are really picky about what they accept and in return, they have a very nice selection at very reasonable prices.  And since they like regular turn over of their items, items that have been there more than 2 months are half off.  Definitely something to check out if you're in the area.

Finally, we wound up at Panera for a quick bite to eat.  Kammy treated me to dinner, which was super nice of her.  THANKS AGAIN, KAMMY!  The soup tasted especially good after being in that cold building and was exactly the pick me up I needed!

Before we headed home for the day, we made one more stop at the Goodwill in W'loo.  I didn't find anything, but Kammy got a little end table for $2.50!  Nice!  I can't wait to see what she does with it.  Once in the parking lot, we took pictures of the back of my car, crammed full with all our finds for the day before it got too dark...

Of course this really doesn't show just how much we got because some stuff is crammed in the middle seats.  LOL!

And then Kammy had me howling with laughter as she scoped out the parking lot to ambush someone to take our picture together with all our loot.  BAH HA HA HA  I hid behind the car.  LMBO!  But a really nice guy humored her and snapped off a few pictures on her camera and mine.

Obviously, I'm still laughing!

Sadly, it was time to call it a day and we headed back to Kammy's parents.  I have to say it was the most fun I've had in a looooong time.  We're going to have to make this an annual tradition when she comes home for her holiday visit each year!

We unloaded her finds and her mom invited me in to show me her painted countertops that Kammy had told me about.  Oh my gosh! I am totally doing it.  They are the most beautiful things I have ever seen.  And the cost?  Negligible.  I may have my kitchen done by spring!  YIPPEE!!  (Only been waiting 3 years for it.  Argh.)

After hugging goodbye, I left with a smile on my face and some great memories to tide me over until next year.  If you have the opportunity to get together with a fellow blogger in your area, definitely do it.  We had the most fun!

So, Kammy...  Safe travels back to Michigan with your hubby and beautiful kiddos.  Until next year, girlfriend...


Tanya said...

Aw, how fun! You guys found some awesome stuff. Love that big blue frame.

Natalie Meester said...

Next time pick me up! I was only 20 miles away or so.

I frequent the places you spoke of all the time. Yeah the guy at Gilgens warms up after a while but usually doesn't go down much in prices....ugh!

Salvation Army is my favorite stop. CHEAP prices!

Marquart people are definitely unique and well kinda different. Last time I was there he wanted to give me the store cat but the wife said Hell no!

I am having my first barn sale on our farm in Holland. Mark your calendar and come check me out. March 23 & 24 10-6. You can facebook me to stay up to date and get the location.

Been busy building stairs and hanging lights in there so we will be ready.

Hugs from Iowa,

Kammy Wielenga said...

Laura!!!!! THAT WAS SO FUN!!!! Not many will go picking through that much crap with me, and it for sure isn't going to be a while year before we do that again - I'm thinking this summer FO SHO!!! Your post had me crackin' up. But come on now Laura, china doll come to life? I think you're getting macular degeneration too! haha! Can't wait to blog a few things, but you summed it up so well, I think I'll just refer everyone to this post!!! :) Love ya!

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