Articles

How to Shop at a Vintage/Antique Mall

My love for antiques is serious. I had my first antique booth when I was 12 years old. The owner of the store rented built in shelves that were in the aisle. ☺️ From there, my love (obsession) grew. My mom taught me how to develop an eye at an early age.

Over the years, I’ve learned some people feel overwhelmed while antique shopping. If that’s you, these tips might help you! 🙃 😉

Don’t Rush

If you’re low on time, that’s not your day to shop. You will quickly become frustrated. 😣 😩 Check an antique mall out when you want to enjoy the day browsing. (I typically do this with a Starbucks in hand and my phone put away in my purse.)

Front Booths

Pay extra attention to vendors at the front of the store. Many times that’s where the owner’s booth is! Often time’s the owner “invites” specific vendor’s to the front of the store for the sake of first impressions. Note – this is not always the case.

Display Pieces

Here’s a secret – many times my best pieces are the base of a display. For instance, under a beautiful display is that perfect old farm table or holding that galvanized bucket is a lovely chair from the early 1900’s. 😍 😌 I’d say my best (personal favorite) pieces are those I buy with the sole purpose of display although they still have a price tag.

So, if you like a set up in a booth, take a step back and study each detail from the bottom up. Pay extra close attention to the base pieces because that’s where you’ll find the gold.

On a side note – If an item you love is marked Not For Sale (NFS) and it’s been there a while. Ask the front desk to call the vendor with a offer. If you’re lucky the vendor, might be wanting to change it up anyways.

 Check out that chippy white table!

 Under all those cottage goodies is an old church pew!

The Secret of Secrets.. Shhhhhh!!

The store I’m at will give 10% off of items $25 and up if it’s not marked FIRM. Other stores have a policy of $50 and up. 🤑 😁 🤑 If you’re interested in an item it’s totally worth asking for that 10% off.

Another tip – if the item is over $75 (some stores vary), make an offer and ask the front desk to call the vendor. The pricier the item, the more you can ask off. However, do expect the vendor to come back with a counter offer.

Check Prices

My husband laughs at me because I constantly check prices. I’m always comparing. This trick is how I gage the fairness of the booth.

Look Above

I’ve found wonderful light fixtures at antique stores. Also, again sometimes awesome pieces are hung high as attention getters.

When in Doubt

 If it’s a fair price and you love it, buy it. There is a chance that item you love might not be there tomorrow. Countless times I’ve had customers message me asking if I still had a piece and it had already sold within hours of them falling in love. If it’s at a price you can resell it on eBay to recover your money later, go for it.   

Ps- Featured image and the last two photos belong to my friend Ana. Be sure to check her out at Shabby Auburn! She’s very talented! 😘

Friday Favorites!

 

It’s Friday again!! Our plans for this weekend consist of picking, coffee and a DIY project.. this is pretty much my ideal weekend. 😁 😉 

It’s time for Friday Favorites! I so enjoy sharing products I’ve recently enjoyed. So, let’s talk about a pillow, book and wall art! Yes, of course a book made the list.. I ALWAYS have a good book to recommend. 🤓
Isn’t this pillow adorable?!?! I have one on my couch and love it! I was pleasantly surprised by the size and quality. It’s perfect for any home. Also, this makes an awesome wedding gift for newlyweds.  Oh, and it’s only $23.50.. What a great Friday splurge for some happy mail next week!! 😉 🤗

This. Book. Is. Amazing. I love everything I’ve read by Mary Kubica. It’s another psychology thriller like Girl on the Train. If you’re needing a good Spring read, order The Good Girl  right now off Amazon. 😉 After you read it, be sure to tell me what you think!!

Springbok Paper Mache Animal Bust by World Market

I’ve had many people ask about the paper mache animal head in the center of my tobacco basket. Well, I got it from World Market. I bought this wall art last year and I had no idea the statement it would make. The coolest part – the paper looks like pages out of a phone book. (I’m a sucker for detail 😍)

 

Happy Friday, peeps!! I’ll try to keep you posted on our weekend adventures.

 

 

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is in a few weeks!! It’s time to order a gift, and have it shipped directly to Momma!! I’m also going to include my sister in the gift giving this year because she’s expecting her first child mid October.😁🤗 (Btw- Its a GIRL!!🎀) On Sunday May 14th, be sure to celebrate a special mom, grandmother or expecting mother in your life!

Here’s some gifts I found online to have shipped to that special mom!!

This mug is hilarious!! It’s definitely on my “to order list” for mom. 😂 For only $10.49 maybe add a Starbucks gift card and you’re set! Oh, and you’ll get to see mom laugh!!
Yes, it’s a coloring book. I’ve heard many people say coloring relieves stress. Give mom this coloring book and she’ll be sure to think of you while she destressing! Also, this would be an adorable gift to a mommy from a child. 😉

White Frosted Glass Pedestal Stand - 12.5In by World Market 12.5In

Growing up, my mom always loved milk glass. This white cake plate is like a classy modern day milk glass. In fact, I have one of my own displayed on my open shelves . I know my mom would love it and use it for every occasion. Also, white dishes are very stylish right now!!

My grandmother would also love this cake plate. Yum, I imagine her chocolate cake displayed on it right before I dig in and stuff my face!! 😍

Ps- This product is from World Market, and they are offering free shipping right now as a Mother’s Day special. Have it delivered right to mom’s door!!

Like I mentioned earlier, my sister is due to be a new mommy in October. She stays insanely busy, so I seriously doubt she’ll journal but I know if she had this little book she would totally write one line a day.

A few months ago I saw this little book in a bookstore, and I was totally blown away. The goal is to write one line a day for the first five years of your little’s life. This is a beautiful way to preserve special memories. No doubt, I’ll be getting this for my big sister’s first Mother’s Day and I know she’ll love it.

I saved my favorite for last. If you’re like me, mom is in another state and you won’t be seeing her for Mother’s Day.  Something about this little mug makes me feel like Texas isn’t so far away. If you’re struggling being away from your mom, maybe you should order one for yourself too!! This mug would mean so much to my mom.

Mother’s Day can be hard/complicated for some people. Find a way to celebrate your mom, grandmother, daughter or any mom figure in your life. Life is too short to not celebrate each other. Okay, now I’m in tears!!

Dresser Makeover / Chalk Paint Tips

 

Last week I found a vintage French Provincial dresser for only $40.00. 🤑 I knew immediately it was meant to be for my bedroom. Here’s how I fixed it up!!

Deep Clean

A lot of times these older pieces have been in storage sheds or garages, so they’ve collected many years of dust and dirt. 😷 I usually remove the handles and spray my furniture really well with Mrs. Myer’s All Purpose then allow it to sit for a few minutes. (Mrs. Myer’s does most of the work.)

Paint

I use several different types of chalk paint but for this piece I used my favorite, Old White by Annie Sloan. As I’ve mentioned before, I add a little water to my paint as I go since the paint is really thick.

This dresser needed two coats. (Two coats is typically what I always do with Annie Sloan) 

 

Distress

I used a sandpaper sheet to distress. I only distressed in specific places to show off the detail. 😍🙂

Wax

Wax is when the magic happens!!!😇 Something about Annie Sloan’s wax totally hardens and cures the paint. Don’t over do the wax because it’s not necessary. I apply the wax with a brush one space at a time then wipe it off with cloth. So Easy!!

Style

Let the fun begin, friends!!🙄 This is NOT how it will be styled in the future. That stained glass piece was already there, so it’s a little high.😜 I’m still looking for the perfect pieces to style this area, but you get the point!

My Find of the Week / Helpful Hint!!


I’ve gotten soooo many questions about my vintage metal laundry basket. If you watch my Instagram stories, you know I found another one today at an antique store. 😍 Of course I fell in love and had to buy it. I’ve only seen two for sale in my life and I bought both of them. 😳 Here’s the one I bought today along with a few other treasures. 

There is so much you can do with these babies..

1- Blankets and pillows. (This is how I use mine)

2- An actual laundry basket. (Who said laundry baskets had to be plastic and boring?)

3- Plant stand.

4- Porch “catch all” holder. (Yeah, that place where the shoes and junk go)

I always feel so bad when I get messages/questions about mine because I can’t recommend where you can buy one. Well, my amazing husband has come to the rescue! 😏 He found a Metal Basket very similar to mine on Amazon. Click the highlighted link to check it out! 

Each day I pass my metal basket, I’m thankful I bought it. In fact, I could buy three more. Can you tell I’m in love??

Hope this post helps!! 😘

Karlee Bowman

Friday Favorites!

Yep, it’s Friday, so that means time for Friday favorites!! 🤗 Here’s three items I’ve really been digging recently. Remember for more details on these favorites you can always click the underlined name and it’ll take you straight to Amazon.. 😜Which just so happens to be my favorite store.

Ps- I’m a true book lover nerd, so you can almost guarantee there’ll be a good book on here almost weekly. 🤓 No worries, I’ll only highlight my favorites. 😊😉

Mrs. Myer’s Cleaning Products

Cleaning is certainly NOT my favorite job, but Mrs. Myer’s makes it much better. No lie, her all purpose cleaner makes counters sparkle like none other. I feel like this product is well concentrated so a little goes a long way.

Not to mention the scent! Oh, the scent is lovely. ☺️ Basil is my very favorite. It’s a farmhouse must!The Couple Next Door

Totally as good as it sounds! Like Girl on the Train, you won’t be able to put this psychological thriller down.😮🤓 In fact, I began and finished it all on one road trip. Okay, I’m going to stop talking about it now so I won’t end up ruining the story.

Momma Bear Shirt

This would make an awesome Mother’s Day gift for your mom or any special moms in your life!☺️ It’s super adorable and looks extra comfy. This is definitely on the list to get my own mom. Heck, I might even get my expecting sister one too.. (Btw- I’m going to be an Auntie in October!!!!!!)🤰

For sure, this would also be a great gift for any expecting Mommies out there!!

DIY Open Shelving

Finally, I convinced my husband open shelving in the kitchen was a good idea .😏 Open shelves add adorable farmhouse charm!! This project can be done in a bedroom, bathroom or anywhere!! So, I’ll get down to the point – Here’s how we did it! 😉

 Determine the type of wood

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of repurposing! I fell in love with some old hardwood floors we found at an antique store for dirt cheap, so that’s what we used.🤤 You can use old fence wood or pallets… really any kind of wood!

Attach the wood to metal brackets

This is the moment you should determine the exact length you’re wanting. Cut your wood to the length you want with a Jigsaw.

We used small wood screws to screw the wood onto the metal brackets. These metal brackets from Amazon are very similar to what we used.   
Time to hang

This step is simple but it did take two of us! I placed my hands on the metal brackets to hold it steady while my husband made sure it was level with a leveler. Don’t skip this part – No one wants crooked shelves!! ☹️

If you’re me at this point, your arms are getting tired, but just continue to hold the shelf steady!!! 😩 Trust me, it will be worth it. 😍

Then my amazing husband popped the drill in and attached these babies to the wall with wall dogs

Friends, let’s talk about the phenomenal wall dogs. They can hang pretty much anything. 😱 We always keep at least a few on hand at the house to hang my heavy decor!! Wall dogs are a good investment. 😉

Hope you enjoyed this post! If you have questions, don’t hesitate!

When a Picker Finds French Provincial

As a picker, I never know where the job will take me or what I’ll find. Last week we found ourselves in a small shut down factory town, and we hit a French Provincial goldmine in someone’s shed. Yes, someone’s shed. Midmonth is not usually when I stock up on inventory but I couldn’t pass up this darling dresser. I handed the owner some cash, loaded that baby in the truck and brought her home for some TLC.

Like many of you, I’m a fan of French Provincial furniture. 😍 No doubt, it makes my heart beat a little faster. (You can totally imagine my emotions during the movie Beauty and the Beast with all that lovely French Detail 😍)

Once I got the dresser home I realized the shape was beautiful but the color was awful and it was filthy. 😖 (I know this pic is dark but it’s the only before pic I have 😐)

I began scrubbing with all purpose cleaner and then proceeded to painting it with my go to chalk paint which is Old White by Annie Sloan. On a side note – the inside of the drawers reeked with an ungodly smell so I cloroxed the heck out of ‘em. 😷

After two coats of Annie Sloan Paint, I went in with some sandpaper and LIGHTLY distressed detailed areas. (Picker’s Secret – When distressing I go for areas with the most detail 😍)


Finally, I began buffing in the Annie Sloan wax. This wax adds a little shine and protects the furniture from moisture.

Tada!!🤗 It’s styled for display since it’s in my vintage shop but you can see the beautiful French detail. To me, being a picker means picking an item in the midst of junk and bringing out it’s natural beauty.

Let me know if you enjoy post about “picking” and “secrets of a picker” 😉

 

Xoxo,

Karlee Bowman

Our Easter Without Children

During holidays such as Easter, it’s easy to feel like something is missing when you don’t have children of your own. As I walk through Target I see the fun bunny goodies and beautiful Easter dresses. 🐣🐇 On the radio I hear about huge egg hunts (One was a swimming pool egg hunt.. How cool is that??) Many of these wonderful events are geared to families with children.

So, if you are childless or even an empty nester, this blog is written for you! Here are a few ways I made Easter special for my family of two. 👫 It’s not too late to use these ideas.

Special Breakfast

Typically we try to stay away from pure sugar for breakfast but I throw rules away when it comes to a holiday. Yep, I got Krispy Kreme donuts for tomorrow’s breakfast. 🍩🤗 We went for Spring colors with sprinkles just to make things special. Tomorrow morning we’ll kick off our day with pink donuts and coffee!

Easter Baskets

Who said Easter baskets were just for little ones? I’m never too old to receive an Easter basket. Easter baskets always look so fun to make, so I’m making one for my husband. You could do the same for a spouse, friend or anyone!

I didn’t make this complicated. Magazines, candy and hair supplies go a long way. You can totally get creative. 😉

Make Plans for Easter Dinner

For years my mom made the most beautiful Easter dinner after church. She now lives 9 hours away. Life is always changing.

Let’s face it.. 😒 I’m not making a big ham dinner for the just two of us. It’s simply too much time and energy. So, Aaron (that’s my husband😏 ) made reservations at a local seafood place. Here’s another option – share Easter dinner with some friends.

The point of this blog is to encourage you to enjoy every holiday no matter what stage of life.

Good Friday Favorites!

Happy Easter weekend, dear friends! (Yep, I consider you friend by this point 😉) It’s Good Friday, so let’s talk about Friday Favorites! One can never go wrong with a moisturizer, book and canister set.

Hempz Body Moisturizer

This non decor related item is on point! I’ve been lathering it on my skin for three years now because it’s the perfect moisturizer. Each scent is amazing. 😍  Triple Moisture  and Age Defying are my favs!

 

Small Great Things
Months ago I read Small Great Things Small GreatThings by Jodi Picoult. Let me just say, my ol heart is still in knots from this deep story. Warning – it’s not a little hearted storyline but it’s a wonderful read. 😭 Friend, you won’t be able to put it down.

Enamel Canister Set

Woah, can you say $18.49 on Amazon. 🙄😂 I spend more than that on a toilet paper run to target.

Seriously, I ordered this Enamel Canister Set a few months ago as some fun happy mail for myself and I’m still in love. This set is perfect for a coffee station or really anywhere in the kitchen.