Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving day delivery

Thanksgiving Day was a really low key affair this year. It was a simple meal and a small crowd, but still really special.

My dad brought a box of vintage finds from an auction he attended. Inside the box was a seed sack with GREAT color and a really cool imprint. He had a couple of rolling pins and some other kitchen items. Tucked in the box, there were several hard to find Mason jars, including the light purple jar in the photo.

Keep or sell? The struggle is real!

We also made a few yardstick stars from some pieces leftover from an earlier project.

The sweet little basket in the photo is an insert from a picnic basket that has seen better days.  The basket it toast! But, we salvaged the insert and the lid. The lid may make a good sign base? I think the basket, even with a hole in the side, can still be used for a display.

We are feeling thankful for the chance to bond over vintage finds and to create stuff together. We are lucky!

Friday, November 27, 2015

Book page wreaths

Finished projects make me happy!

We finally tried to make a wreath from book pages. Our first attempt was with pages from an old hymnal and we really liked how it turned out. As luck would have it, we had a cold temperatures with a wintery mix of rain and ice most of the day. It was perfect weather for watching movies and crafting.

So, I tried out some different wreaths.

The first version we tried was two layers. So, we tried a more full version. I also did some research on how to make paper flowers and it was the perfect solution for the center of the full wreath.

 We tried the hymnal pages with the accordion fold and a button in the center.
 My husband saw the inspiration piece and knew we had the perfect old black frame in the basement.  The beautiful, heavy black frame made this wreath from dictionary pages look so cool! What I love most about this wreath is that in the "a's" of this dictionary, they include a picture of an alpaca. It worked out to have the alpaca showing, so if you are looking for it, you see the alpaca!
 We also have two chalkboards on hand. Their painted frames make the perfect outline for the wreaths! (Another idea taken from the inspiration piece!)
My husband also had a reclaimed wood base constructed for a sign. He thought it would make the perfect backdrop.

This wreath is make from pages from a book of poetry written by high school students. It has a button in the center and a large accordion folded medallion in the center.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hymnal page wreath project

A project finished!

We have so many unfinished projects around the house, but today, we marked one off the list!

I had my eye on these book page wreaths for a long time. We found some really wonderful old hymnals at an estate sale over a year ago. As with most things, we let put the project on our list, stored the supplies, and moved on.

Today was Thanksgiving and in my pre-Thanksgiving shopping, I added a trip to the hobby store to pick up some bases.

After we cooked and cleaned up, this afternoon was the perfect time to work on the project. It was raining. Football was on the tv. My husband was busy hand painting signs. It was a good time to experiment. It took me several tries to get the rolling of the pages down, but in the end, I was moving pretty quickly.

My inspiration piece was from The Frugal Homemaker. What I love about the inspiration piece is how it was staged with the blackboard on a mantle. Beautiful!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Scrapbook finds

 One evening this summer, my dad brought us a treasure trove of finds from an auction. We unloaded his pick up and did a quick sort - what did we want to keep, sell, donate or toss. It was a mammoth task and we spent hours going through things.

In all of the boxes and piles, we found two scrapbooks.

Charming is the only word I can use to describe them. At first glance, I expected to find photos on the pages, but when we opened the first, we found...
 pages and pages of old advertising - display ads for every type of household item.
The illustrations were amazing and I loved reading the ad copy.
 The second scrapbook - I expected more of the same. But, with this one...
 it was filled with what I think is calendar art.
 And, this book also had some color advertising - maybe from magazines?
 The pages with the auto subject matter were some of my favorite and with great color, too!
 And, you have to love the farm and tractor scenes.
 And, the prize bull...

These are prefect for the history lover. I could look at these for days!

Friday, September 25, 2015

I heart old barns

I heart old barns...and old houses...and apparently old churches and school houses, too.

Many of you know that we have a passion for antique and vintage everything. Give us something that is rustic, rusty, patina-ed, and chipped and we'll consider it well loved and find it a place to be enjoyed.

We have made a very fun and successful small business out of connecting people with vintage and repurposed items. To further support our obsession, you should know that we live in an late 1800's limestone school house and we bought a historic church. And, I have been known to pull over to the side of the road to take a picture of an old place that has character. I love making up stories about the history and the people who lived in or used the space.

For this old barn, I don't need to make up much of the story. It used to stand on my grandparent's place. My dad owns the property now.

This old red barn always had a commanding presence in the farm yard and was used until the quonset was built.

This photo was taken on the weekend of my grandparent's sale. Even then, we knew that the barn's days were numbered.

And, it did fall down. My husband took this photo this summer. We didn't want to see the barn go to waste, so my dad and husband put some effort into salvaging some of the wood.
From the pile, they pulled some of the best boards and worked to get some of the flooring recovered.
A work in progress. We'll be back to try to recover some more.
And, the load for the trip home. This wood is now being repurposed into signs, benches and table tops.

For those of you who enjoy a beautiful, old building, here are a few images to enjoy.
 This is a lovely old barn that used to sit on Highway 24. I took this photo shortly before it fell down.
 This limestone barn was on Flush Road near our house. It was pushed over by the owners. I loved it in the background of the purple carpet of blooms. I think the purple blooms were actually weeds, but still really lovely. This photo was taken in early spring.
This might be one of my favorite photos...taken in Morris County near a camp where some of my student leaders held a retreat one spring. This is exactly the kind of place that I adore for the history and at the same time it haunts me. Why was it abandoned? Who lived there? How did they live?

Monday, September 7, 2015

Fall at the studio

It's beginning to look a lot like fall at our studio!

We are gearing up for some of our favorite shows. Check out our show listing and as always, we keep our "sometimes hours" at the studio or are available for shopping by appointment. You can also see our booth (and a lot of other great booths) at Eclectic Charm in Manhattan.

September 25 & 26
Fabulous Finds on Highway 99
Treasure abound all along Highway 99. Stop by the studio for some great vintage shopping.

September 25 & 26
Pumpkin Patch Arts & Crafts Fair
Get your fall fix at the 42nd annual event. We will have some hand painted signs and small furniture items with our friends with Eclectic Charm.

October 3
Kansas Barn Sale
9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hesston, KS

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Handmade cards, baby and birthday

 I love to make cards, but often find that I don't have the time or patience to get out the supplies and get something done.

Saturday morning was a whirlwind. We had a short window to run three miles, eat breakfast, hustle to the studio to meet someone who needed to pick up a table, work on organizing the studio and then back home to can tomatoes. And, in true Lehning household fashion, I decided to make baby and birthday cards for some gifts right in the middle of all of it. There is no explanation for my choice of timing, but in the end, I think it worked out well.

For the baby gift, I wrapped two books in maps. For the card, I found some of the rosettes I had made from book pages - added a little vintage looking paper and then got brave and tried some hand lettering.

I tested it on my husband. He promised me it didn't look ridiculous, so after wrapping the books with some natural twine, I tucked the card in and checked one gift off the list.
I needed a birthday card and felt inspired by the first card. After selecting some paper that coordinated with the gift bag, I used another rosette to make the embellishment. Gift two down.

I had two other birthday gifts to wrap for my nieces. I had already picked out ready made cards, so went with them. Now, if I can just get all of the gifts delivered!

Stocking up - fun, affordable find

Every once in awhile, you find something so great and so affordable and so useful that you can't resist.

Last spring, I ran into Target for one of my trips to restock the house. It is too irresistible to skip the dollar bins near the front of the store.

Tucked in a top corner, that was a bin full of these awesome looking cards. The designs were so fresh looking and included just the right mix of thank you and generic cards.

So, I stocked up...
and then promptly went home and put them in one of my favorite wooden tobacco boxes.

For someone who likes to write notes, having new notecards is one of the biggest treats. A fun, affordable find!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Some assembly required

We got inspired by Jenni Bowlin's July post where she featured the Micro-Billy by Cardboard Safari mounted in a vintage cigar box.

I was intrigued.

Perhaps, it is because I am a little starstruck by Jenni. I tell my husband all the time that I want to be her friend. Her style and eye for putting together vintage items in the most balanced and beautiful arrangements are the gold standard for me.

So, seeing this fantastic looked buffalo together with one of my accidental passions in collecting - tobacco-related items - had me from the beginning.

We ordered the Micro-Billy and the Tex and Toro, too. They shipped flat - brilliant and a little terrifying. How does it go from flat to 3-dimensional?
Once you open the package, you have to punch out all of the pieces. This represents Micro-Tex before assembly.
And, meet Micro-Tex. You might notice that Micro implies there are other sizes. And, you are right! You should check out the different sizes on the Cardboard Safari Etsy page.
The details is amazing, including the paper ear tag!
My favorite! I love this bison head.
Just so you can see the detail.
And, the toro. The detail on the horns had me a little scared.
Cool, right?
And, just so you can see all three together. We had a lot of fun putting them together and look forward to maybe trying some more. Perhaps, this winter when things slow down.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Meanwhile, in Kansas...

We took off on Sunday to pick up some items we had purchased from some family friends.

While driving down the road, we had a "whoa! wait. what?" moment. We drove past this farm and there was something that was a little unusual.

Can you see it?

Look closely at the roof of the shed.

That isn't a weather vane or a statue, that, my friends, is a goat!

We decided if the goat was still there when we drove back by, we would take a picture. I lobbied for stopping to talk the goat down. Jeremy asked me what I might say and I thought it might go something like, "Hey, buddy! Want to come down and get a drink?"

I did seriously ask if we could stop and ask the residents if they knew their goat was on the roof of their shed. My husband assured me that he has driven by this same farm several times and the goats are always standing on something.

So, what do you think? Is he standing guard? Staying up high to get away from something? Playing kind of the hill (um...shed?)?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Small town festivals

We love local festivals and small town celebrations. This weekend, we are staying close to home with a celebration in Westmoreland.

The 10th Annual Wagon Wheels Car Show and parade and BBQ is Saturday, June 13.

The car show is from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Vendors are set upon Main Street. Stick around to see the parade at 4 p.m. and the BBQ meal is served at the elementary school immediately after the parade.

A few other highlights - breakfast from 7:30-11 a.m. on Main, a 5K Fun Run/Walk at 8 a.m. at the Westy Care Home, and music at the elementary school from 5 to 8 p.m. And, nothing says small town festival like at garden tractor pull - see that at noon at the ball diamond at the elementary school.

We will have the studio open - stop by and see us!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Vintage in the Valley - Marquette KS

We had the chance to sign up at the last minute for Vintage in the Valley in Marquette. We had heard great things about this show and had a free weekend. We took a chance in contacting the organizer and she had just had a cancellation! We were in luck.

So, we loaded up the truck and trailer - we are getting pretty good at this routine now. We stayed in Salina the night before and made the short drive to Marquette at the crack of dawn to set up.

We really enjoyed the show and as chance would have it, we were right next to box113 - the same great couple that we was next to us at The Red Barn Outdoor Market. Love, love, love Alison's stuff!

Catch us next week at the studio! We'll be open to celebrate the Westmoreland car show and BBQ.

Fabulous SugarPete Flea - Lyndon KS

Rounding our our show schedule for May was the Fabulous SugarPete Flea in Lyndon, Kansas. This was near my hometown, so we combined seeing family and decorating graves for Memorial Day with being a part of this new event.

Rain has been a theme for this spring and leading up to this show, we watched the weather very closely. We were able to get set up, despite some squishy ground. We packed up in phases - first all of the items that could soak up water when we anticipated a little storm, then all of our stuff before the next anticipated storm. We hated to leave early, but were glad we were packed up and headed home before the storms hit.

Melissa is planning to have the event next year and we look forward to seeing how it will grow!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Repurposed window project

We have been saving an inspiration picture for a project using reclaimed windows.  Right now, we happen to have a lot of reclaimed windows in just about every corner of every storage space we have available.

With a few hours set aside for projects today, we decided to make a cabinet with a reclaimed window as the door. Part of the fun and frustrating part of working with reclaimed materials is that you have to make it up as you go. There are no standard sizes or measurements. Our materials can look nothing like what is represented in the inspiration pieces.

We started with the window and build the cabinet to fit. After some thinking and planning and digging for materials, we are super excited about the finished product.

We can't wait to show this off next weekend at Vintage in the Valley.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Unpack the trailer sale - a good idea or no?

This is the season for spring shows and we have been burning up the roads.

First, the Red Barn Outdoor Market near Benton, KS.  We followed that up with a trip north to the Funky Junk Market in Funk, NE.  Then, we went south to Dewey, OK for the 2 Friends & Junk Sale.  All fantastic.  But, whew, we are exhausted!  So much good stuff has been passed on to great people.  We have met so many new, cool, like-minded people and reconnected with treasured friends.  We are having a blast.

Now, to unload the trailer and reset the studio. We have a love/hate relationship with this part of our work. It's always fun to dig out new inventory and reconfigure what we have on hand, and it also means carrying some heavy stuff. Ok, not some.  We carry a lot of heavy stuff.

I pitched an idea to my husband and he thinks I am crazy. So, I'll pitch it here and you can confirm or deny if this is a good idea.

My idea: have a unpack the trailer sale.  We name a day and time and set everything out in the grassy lot behind our studio.  We'll make some great deals and I'll slowly reset the studio.  You get great deals and maybe I don't have to carry as much heavy stuff as far. Win-win.

If you are thinking that all of the stuff left in the trailer is all the stuff no one bought at the sale, you have to know that we always pack WAY more than we could ever sell in a space during a one or two day show.  We are prepared for anything. That means we always bring home a lot of good stuff and if we shop on the way home, we might even have some new treasures.

Plus, our show schedule means that we have neglected anyone who is local who wants to browse.  We just couldn't pack and unpack and pack again and keep on the road.  So, the unpack the trailer sale would be a great way to catch up with anyone in our area who has been feeling the need to take a look at some signs or has wanting to check out some great vintage finds.

So, what's the verdict?  Have an unpack the trailer sale or no?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

2 Friends & Junk - Dewey, OK

This season has been all about shows for us.  We have challenged ourselves with four shows in four weekends.  In addition to the time and energy in keeping up with inventory, we also worked our first two out of state shows and our first two-day show.

What a great time!

This weekend was the 2 Friends & Junk show in Dewey, Oklahoma and we checked the out of state and two-day show boxes.

We upgraded our booth size to accommodate the indoor show set up and to be able to include more items with a better flow for shoppers.  Overall, we were pleased with the layout.

Added bonus of the weekend - seeing dear friends who live in Bartlesville and another couple who we always see at the Vintage Treasure Market in Emporia each summer.

Favorite quote from the show:
Red Hat Society shopper: "Anybody ask you if these boards are warped?"
(Referring to these awesome wine barrel stave coat hangers we had for sale in the booth.)
Us: (laughing) "Yeah, actually, someone asked us last night why we had bent wood for sale."
Red Hat Society shopper: "Well, they're warped!"
Next up - graduations and catching up on custom orders.  Then, the Fabulous SugarPete Flea on May 23.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Funky Junk

 Last weekend was a lot of fun.

We traveled to Funk, NE for the Funky Junk Market.  Funk is a little town of around 200 people and on the day of the Market, nearly 2,000 people visit for vintage shopping. We love the idea of bringing something with energy and people with spending power to small towns!

Held on the grounds of an old school, there were spaces inside the gym and outside on the playground.  We had a great spot under a shade tree and we needed every bit of shade because it was well into the 80's by the afternoon.

The morning had a crowd waiting to enter and the shoppers came out in full force.  Graduations and other commitments must have kept the afternoon crowd away, but overall, it was a great day!

We got to see some dear friends and visited with some really nice people. One of our friends recommended the Flippin' Sweet pizza for lunch and it was awesome!

Look for a possible market in the fall!

Ideas for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is right around the corner and many of you may be searching for gifts.

We have some really great options available.  We love to shop local and to buy directly from artists, makers, and small business owners. We also love repurposed, vintage, one-of-a-kind, and meaningful gifts.  We work really hard to try to provide all the same things we love for the people who shop with us.

Here are some ideas that might work for your mom or the people in your life who provide the love and support of a mother figure.
Maybe she used to read you this book - a true classic and something that you will always share. This saying is so popular and we love it when people tell us they have their own version and have changed up the words a bit.  We have made a few custom signs to honor a family's own personal saying.
Maybe someone on your list is a young mom and she can relate to this saying - unless she's too exhausted to find it funny.
Maybe you have a grandma who would appreciate one of these signs. We have been honored to be a small part of surprise announcements of new little ones on the way. Some couples have chosen to tell their parents by gifting them with one of these signs.  So sweet.

If we can help with your shopping, please let us know!  We love to help!