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Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter Wonderland in Nashville

Oh, the snow arrived!  And it is just beautiful!!

I had to venture out early to check on a friend's pet, and the roads were absolutely awful!  Tires spinning everywhere and if you stopped, that was pretty much it.  It rained yesterday, so the salt trucks didn't put anything out, so the roads are icy too.  But the view is beautiful if you can stay at home.  Hope you enjoy some of the pics!

Southern Junk Chic

Southern Junk Chic

Stay warm and happy where ever you are!!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Rag Quilts for the Nashville Winter Storm

A perfect time to talk about quilts ~ right before the winter storm is scheduled to arrive in Nashville.  We're supposed to get up to 5 inches of snow, which is unusual for us.  We are usually right there on the border between snow, freezing rain, and sleet mix.

I'm a sucker for quilts.  Whenever I'm out junking, I usually come home with at least one.  Several years ago (2008 ish), I started seeing rag quilts on various blogs and websites.  They had that "oh so shabby chic" look and feel.  I fell in love with them!  You could create them from fabrics old and new, and even from chenille blankets and scrap quilts.  The only downside are the strings associated with certain kinds of fabrics from the ragging/clipping part.  Any suggestions as to how to deal with those?  You also have to be careful when washing and drying them - the lint traps get filled quickly.  But the effort is worth it!  Here are a few I created:
Southern Junk Chic

I made a bunch of lap size rag quilts that were perfect for babies playmats too.  I experimented with adding a center of cotton backing and flannel to make the ragged sections fluffier.  I also experimented with different sized squares ranging from 6 to 9 inches.  The larger sized squares were easier to work with, but also too more time to clip.
Southern Junk Chic
 I was asked to make a larger one for a dear friend that was going through chemo.  I used all the pink breast cancer ribbon and hope fabrics.
Southern Junk Chic
 I love love love how this flag quilt turned out.  I used an old chenille quilt for the white and homespun fabrics for the other colors.  It sold right away!
Southern Junk Chic

I haven't sewn anything like this in a while.  I went through two second hand sewing machines.  My mom surprised me with a new Brother sewing machine from JoAnn's.  I also lucked up on a little singer featherweight - $20.  It needed a bobbin and a tune up, but after $150, it was working like 1950.  I was going to sell it when the market was hot and they were going for up to $500.  But I used it one too many times and fell in love with it!  It's so simple and easy.

Stay warm and craft on!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Is the Antique World changing? or is it just Nashville?

Is the Antique World changing? or is it just Nashville?

The buzz among dealers in the Nashville area is all about what the next trend will be for the Antique world.  Really we’ve been asking this for the last year or so.  Many say the industrial chic is out and midcentury isn’t selling as well.  Several say words that hurt my ears…shabby chic is waning too!  So what’s the next “it” item??  Primitives?  Farmhouse?  Rusty?  or just the plain ole Functional?  I cringe when I see all the midcentury oranges, reds, and avocado greens – I hope that’s not it!  Furniture that has been selling, is at much lower prices than even 4-5 years ago.  A large painted mahogany chest of drawers used to command $350 minimum, and now barely begs $175.  It almost makes me ask, is all the work worth it??  Oh, it’s fun, and a passion for sure, but it’s getting more and more challenging to stretch the dollars, and to just find the good junk to sell.  It has become a somewhat complicated issue I’m trying to solve, or at least understand a little better.

Southern Junk ChicSouthern Junk Chic

I still sell quite a bit of painted furniture, and even paint for people who want to repurpose something they already have.  As I mentioned above, it does seem like it is taking longer and longer to sell higher priced pieces of furniture – and by higher priced, I mean anything over $300.  Chest of drawers, dressers, buffets, and tables are all items that I used to sell for $300 to $600, but now they sit for 6 or more months before they might sell.  It does depend on the store location and customer base too.  I had a larger 5 drawer French Provencal chest of drawers that I purchased, hauled home, painted white and distressed, took it to one antique mall, priced it at $285 and it sat for 6 months, with several offers of $200, but I just wouldn’t let it go for that price.  I finally took it to another antique mall that was literally 4 miles away and sold it the next day!  Different customer base and different overall store vibe.  I was happy, but was it worth it to hold out or should I have given in to the cheaper offers?  I’ve been selling the heck out of mismatched teacups, saucers, plates and platters.  I feel like I’m becoming the Queen of Smalls.  Should I focus more on selling these types of items, versus a piece of furniture that requires more work?  More smalls versus fewer larges?  These are questions I ask myself.
Southern Junk Chic
Pricing and cost of goods has also been a topic.  Some dealers like to mark up their items 1.5 times cost, or $30-50 over cost, while others are firm on 3 times cost.  High turnover/cheaper prices versus higher priced items that might sit a few months.  Which are you?  Several factors weigh into this equation.  How much time do you have to restock your booth – quick sales from more modestly priced items require more work, especially if they include big pieces of furniture versus tea cups and plates.  Always an issue is how much cash you have available for restock shopping, or do you have a storage unit/garage to pull from?  Do you paint your furniture, or have handmade items?  If so, how much work space, time, supplies on hand are needed?  Can you afford to let a higher priced item sit in your booth for a few months?  or do you feel pressured to accept a lower offer from a customer?
Southern Junk Chic
The Antique Mall world of Nashville has also experienced a huge price increase in rent and commission fees over the last few years.  We’ve heard from many out of town dealers, that we have the highest they have ever heard – $3.15+/sqft and up to 14% commission, plus other miscellaneous fees for marketing and special events that sometimes equal $10 extra per month.  We know it, but what can we do?  There’s no where else to go.  It really makes many a dealer wonder if it’s worth it right now to make a few extra dollars.  Sometimes fees are 1/2 of the total months sales.  Yes, I said that!  It shocks me too.  Many are looking at alternative venues for sales – not to completely get out of an Antique mall, but to supplement.  Some of these include local flea markets, pop up sales, craigslist, and social media like Facebook groups and Instagram.  Which is a really great way to make an extra sale, but does require additional time.  I’ve heard of one dealer who even drives 2 hours away to sell in an antique mall in a bordering state.  Wow!
Southern Junk Chic

Is it better to just do barn sales and pop up markets?  That’s a whole other post!  Can a dealer make it on mall/store sales alone?  It depends on the lifestyle you want to maintain, how many direct tv channels you need, how many of your favorite restaurants can visit less frequently, how much you love gel nails, how much you love get facials and massages, how well you really love that wrinkle cream, how well do those Goodwill clothes look now, you get the picture, and what you decide you can do without; a spouse with a good income and insurance is very desirable – but lacking for me.  I have a dog that doesn’t work, hmmm, wait, maybe there’s something I can do with that…he is really pretty!  For me, I still have to have some “real” world income at least on a part time basis.
Southern Junk Chic
Thanks for reading about my little dilemma…I’d love to hear what’s going on in your antique world! P.S. I need any tips for using Live Writer and posting to the blogpost page!  I can't get it to work anymore!!! And I can't remember how to watermark pics!! It's been too long since my last blog! I feel like a newbie...Thanks!

Your Fellow Junker,

Monday, March 17, 2014

Junk Shopping in Nashville, TN

I thought I’d share some of my favorite spots in the Nashville area for good junk, vintage items, and a few antiques.  Don’t tell anyone!!!  Smile

Nashville flea poster

If you’re in town on Nashville Flea Market weekend, always, ALWAYS, go there first!!  It’s every fourth weekend except in December.  Huge deals on furniture, old jars & bottles, industrial/metal pieces, tin ceiling tiles, corbels and really anything and everything you’d ever think about.  Parking costs $3-5 depending on where you park.  Don’t plan on speaking to fellow shoppers who are also dealers.  They are on a mission – to get to the deal before you or anyone else!  It’s not personal, it’s just business!  Smile Best time to go is Friday morning and then again Sunday between 1-3pm.  After 3pm, the dealers are packing up and grumpy.  If you see something unique and you that you really want, you better get it right then.  If you blink or think you can wait and come back on the last day, you might be out of luck.  Ask my dad.  He found some antique railroad date nails and only bought two on Friday morning.  He talked about them the rest of the weekend and said “I’ll just wait and buy more on Sunday when we go back.”  They were all gone.  One person bought all she had (about 30) to use in his furniture making business.  You snooze, you lose!

Nashville flea 1nashville flea 2

I’ve found many a unique item at the Nashville flea.  And once you become a regular, dealers began to recognize you, and you just might get a better deal!  There’s always a variety and you never know what you might find.  But there’s also the the same staple items that you can always count on finding there – like mason jars, old windows and doors, skeleton keys, tin ceiling tiles, original furniture hardware, metal letters, and cowhide pieces.

nashville map

Some others that are on my list to check out: 

I’ve heard there is a really great flea market in Dickson.  I plan on checking it out soon!  If you’ve gone and it’s worth the trip, please let me know.  Hendersonville has a new indoor flea market/market place.  I’ve heard from a few folks that they have good furniture deals, but I don’t make it up to that area very often.  Check it out if you’re in the area and let me know.  There’s also one in Lebanon, but I haven’t been able to find it.  I think it’s every Sunday.

I had planned to write more about junk stores and antique shops in the area, but ran out of time.  Keep checking back for a blog about those.  Thanks!!

Have fun shopping!!!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

2014 Spring Barn Sales and Market Sales Events

There are so many events going on this Spring in Nashville!  Lots of new barn sales and pop up events.  I’m excited to be a new vendor at the Strawberry Patch Barn Sale this year.  I’m also returning to the Hayloft Barn Sale but it’s my first time as a Spring vendor.  These events are in the middle TN area.  Southern Junkers is having a market sale just outside of Memphis in west TN. 

Listed below are the Facebook event links to each of these:

The Strawberry Patch Barn Sale in Hartsville, TN – May 1-3, 2014

Cover Photo


The Hayloft Barn Sale in Clarksville, TN – May 15-17

Cover Photo


Southern Junkers Spring Market, Memphis, TN – April 11&12, 2014

Cover Photo


Other Spring Sales:

The Pick-it Fence Vintage Barn Sale, Lascassas, TN – May 30&31, 2014



Other events in the area that you won’t want to miss include:

NoBull Vintage in Murfreesboro, TN – June 12-14, 2014


Don’t forget about the City Farmhouse Pop-Up Sale in the Fall…


There are many, many more events and I will try my best to update this page as I learn about them and find their info.  Hope to see you at one of these!


Monday, March 3, 2014

Downsizing at Gaslamp Antique Mall, Nashville, TN

My life as a junker began long before I actually knew what to call it…back then you were just a pack rat or something along those lines.  Now we have nice new (friendlier) terms to call myself and my fellow junkers/pickers. Smile  

Several years ago I got my very first booth at an antique mall (Gaslamp) in Nashville.  A decision I’ll never regret!  I’ve made some of the best friends and contacts there and have learned so much – about antique and vintage items, as well as life lessons and people skills (or lack thereof).  It has been such fun filling my spaces with all the goodies I’ve found on my many hunting trips.  I’ve grown from sharing a small 6’ by 7’ booth to having two booths with over 200 sq ft.  I had so much stuff, I thought getting another space would solve that problem and double sales!  It was very easy to fill both spaces, but with recent increases implemented and stagnant sales, it just wasn’t cost productive to keep both.  I have sadly decided to downsize to one space.  But oh, it’s jam packed! And will continue to have the same shabby chic goodies that I always try to find.  Instead of having two spaces in one store, I’ve decided to expand and get spaces at other locations in Nashville.  I’ve also got space at 8th Avenue Antique Mall and just recently moved into Downtown Antique Mall.  Please check those out too!   

Here are pics from my one smaller space at Gaslamp.  I will miss the big booth I’ve had for some time now, but hopefully with my packing skills and my friend Terry’s organizing skills, I’ll be able to jam just as much stuff in it!

Good bye back row space!  I’ll miss my next door neighbor Merrill, but I’ll just be right across the isle – within shouting distance. It looks so big with nothing in it! 


And now the shabby explosion in my remaining corner booth!!!  Just across from Jason Parker Counce’s “Dirt” booth… 

I can clearly see that I’ve collected way too many small items, although I love them, I really want to have space for more furniture – which is my passion (painting shabby chic style). 



As always, thanks for checking out my blog.  Stop by and say hello if you’re in the Nashville area.