Flea Market Frenzy

Flea Market Addicts unite!

Being obsessed with recycling, antiques, shabby chic, remade or re-imagined items had put us in a spot. We have been visiting flea markets, yard sales, swap meets, boutiques, and thrift stores for years in Southern Calif. It was time to find some new ones. Pouring through vintage magazines, craft magazines, and flyers led us to  discover  some new places that are now open, and helped us think back on some of the oldies but g0odies. Amy moved to a new area not so long ago near Temecula so we are exploring it. Old Town Temecula has some great antique shops and interesting places to wander around. So get ready, Mapquest is gonna get a workout setting up directions for you.

FleaQuest, advertises as a nationwide online vintage guide, full of info about stores and boutiques and flea markets and swap meets. Easy to use, and for every state, we found it to be our go-to site. Internet searches by city will often bring you one-off sales. We always look at every place we go for flyers left out by vendors promoting their next event. Most are happy to let you know of markets they like. Another way is to check city calendars if you are going to a certain town to see what might be planned during your stay. We found a great antique sale in Orange in December by following their street signs. Talking to store owners and even other customers in a new area is where you find the lesser known local shops. In Utah for a trip in Jan. we googled recycled stores and found a really cool place we had driven right by. Store fronts don’t always show whats hidden inside.Search around, let us know what you find.Borrowed from Pinterest

Best Flea Market ever has to be the Rose Bowl. Whatever your heart fixates on you will find there. 2nd Sunday of each month, free parking but admission is charged-$8.00 last time we were there. Don’t worry, it’s worth every penny. Also on the 2nd Sunday in the other direction, is Driving Miz Daisy in Mission Viejo. Full of booths, free admission and free parking, we love this one. Food, nice restrooms, shade, easy in and out, music-can’t ask for more-except all the handmade, antique, shabby chic, re-imagined, recycled, repainted, distressed stuff we love! (Ran out of adjectives or we’d keep going.) There’s so many great places to explore-check out our Pinterest page for more.

The list above should be enough to get you started. Just think about it,  a day in the sun with friends, a few treasured finds, a nice lunch somewhere new, sounds like an adventure to us. Invitations are always accepted-hint, hint! And pictures of finds are welcomed.

Thanks for reading…Amy and BonnieBorrowed from Pinterest


The Christmas tradition in my family is to give a gift to all adults that cost under $10. This keeps the spending down and forces us to get creative. One year I decided to make a SPECTACULAR  gift for everyone. I had seen something similar and loved the idea. Initial boards.

Fortunately for me, I have a husband you enjoys projects as much as I do. This was a great one for us to spend time together creating. I went down to the local Lowe’s and purchased 1″ thick planks of wood, approx. 3′ long. I had these cut to the size I had determined I wanted them, about 15″, with a small piece left over.

I recruited my husband to help with this project. We began by prepping the boards, we used a light-grain sandpaper and sanded all sides, including the edges. The goal was to have a nice smooth feel, taking off any protective finish the manufacturers might have used. We then proceeded to stain the boards, using Minwax Classic Gray stain.  There was a little experimentation with the staining. We tried brushing it on, but it came out thick and left drip marks. The technique that worked best, was to use an old rag. Dip and swipe. The wood absorbed the color perfectly. We wanted a weathered gray look, as though it had been beaten by the ocean wind.

Next we took a piece of burlap and cut it to size. Sadly, this is not as simply as it seems. There is a trick to it. From there we stretched the burlap and fastened it to a portable station. You need it taut in order to achieve a straight letter. After much tweaking to the placement of the stencil, we used Design Master flat black spray paint to transfer the letter onto the burlap.

Now that everything is perfectly primed, placed, and painted- you wait. For it all to dry. In the winter months, this takes some time. We then positioned the burlap on the board and used Loctite spray adhesive to apply. For finishing touches, we created decorative borders around the burlap. This is where my hubby gets to use his table saw. Sadly, the one he had for years, would not work. Poor guy (not really) had to buy a new one. I don’t mind him buying his “toys”, because I give him excuses to use them. See how that works? He gets new toys, I get someone to do the dirty work. (Wink wink)

The initial boards were a huge hit! Score one for Amy.

I would love to hear your thoughts about these boards!

Thanks for reading… Amy

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Recycle me

As a baby boomer, and admittedly one who didn’t plan her retirement well and therefore needs to be frugal, I am often teased about being so. Couponing and thrifting are a way of life now. I think that’s why I am so drawn to flea markets. The idea of finding something that has been used, loved, cherished, spit up on and then used again gets me everytime. I love love love seeing the creative things that have been remade. When I see a pallet board made into a Christmas tree using only nails and imagination I am so happy (and jealous). Last week we came across a garden of plates, vases and knobs made into flowers. Who thinks up these things? So cute and what a great recycle idea. Just look in the thrift stores-there’s a million trillion used pieces of art waiting for you. So that was my theme this week-to redo a well used object. Simple huh? Simple things are never simple, but this actually turned out to be …simple. Sometimes I think I should wear a crown that says “junkin wannabe” or “frugal sometimes” or “junker in training.” But this time I found my inspiration-from Pinterest of course. Also from my backyard shed which holds all my finds from flea markets, including about 300 cups and saucers. So here goes my tutorial for making a succulent garden in a teacup or a small bowl or a teapot-whatever you can find.

Step one-find a cup, glue a saucer to the bottom with E6000 if desired

Step two-put in a layer of small rocks

Step three-fill 3/4 up with a mixture of landscaping sand and potting soil

Step four-put in plants, 2-3 of them, and tamp down dirt

Step five-put in decorative pieces-fairys, mushrooms, birds, benches, arches

Step six-fill with more potting soil and tamp down again

Step seven-use rock or moss to cover soil

Step eight-water lightly and put on your kitchen counter

Step nine-mist about every 3-5 days

Step ten-show it off to everyone who visits and congratulate yourself-You are a recycler!!

Thanks for reading…Bonnie





Chain Chain Chain

A few years ago for Christmas, I received a Sizzix Big Shot Pro die cut machine. I adore this machine and have spent many hours creating projects with it. One of my favorite projects is a paper chain countdown. I used the Sizzlits Decorative Strip die.

Paper selections

Paper selections

The design on this die-cut is intricate and refined, it makes a simply gorgeous chain. I’ve created these for several holidays, from Christmas to Valentine’s Day.  It’s wonderful for creating new traditions with your children or grandchildren.

For this particular chain I created 14 links using Valentine’s Day themed paper, a mixture of reds, pinks, and blacks. I know, Black? Honestly, it adds depth and texture to the chain. These papers include polka dots, strips, hearts, and wording.

Intricate design

Intricate design

Each day as my children take down a link is a new opportunity for me to tell them one thing I love about them. It’s a great fun way to tell them how unique they are. This is an easy craft to create memories from. Try it and share your pictures with us!

Sweet sentiments

Sweet sentiments

Thanks for reading……Amy


Orange Flea Market


Stopped by the Orange Flea Market yesterday. It’s at 146 No.Grand in Orange, Calif. Great place to spend maybe an hour. It’s small but free with free parking,which is always nice.This town is full of antique and quirky stores. I could blow the years budget at Country Roads, which is an upcoming blog. The Flea Market has a mixture of old, reused, recycled and remade items. For my moms birthday in November I got her a darling little fairy succulent garden a vendor made. Wish I had taken a picture! I bought a silverplate tray that I am going to stencil a bird on. More about that later. Anyway nice way to spend a Saturday. They are open the 2nd Saturday of each month 7-3. Its a parking lot full of ideas waiting to be discovered. Drop by there sometime. Thanks for reading…Bonnie


shabbyologyOver the weekend a couple of my friends and I decided to chance the weather and go shopping. I had been to Shabbyology a few times and was anxious to share it with them. It is a wonderful mixture of old and new. I like the way it is set up. The shop is open Friday, Saturday and Sundays-every weekend, except holidays. It is located at 534 E. Edna Place, Covina Ca 91723.If you live in the area be sure to stop by. Both my friends purchased unique items that I wanted but they grabbed them first. Have to play nice if you want to have friends so I didn't trip them before they took my choices.
The owner,Jackie, was there and graciously gave her approval to include her in my first blog. They also are accepting new vendors, if anyone is looking for a place to display and sell their creations. You can call them at 626-890-6091.Thanks for reading...Bonnie


Creativity. Where do you find it? A girlfriend of mine recently joined Pinterest. She said she was “searching for some creativity, because” she was “lacking the gene.” It got me thinking, where do you find creativity? Are you born with it? Can you cultivate it? I believe you can be inspired by the world around you, and this inspiration spurns creativity.

For me, I find it everywhere. You will frequently find me taking pictures of my ‘inspiration.’ From the beach to the sky to shops and museums. I love the ideas people come up with. I want to be that creative.

Some ideas I can execute, nearly flawlessly. Others, I start and take a step back and think, “How in the world did they do that?” Some creations I am afraid to attempt. There’s just no way I have that much creativity in me.

But, always I am inspired. This world is a beautiful place because of the creativity of people. We all have it within us, it’s just a matter of finding that one thing you do well. Tap into it. Work with it. And share it with the world. Make it a more beautiful place to be.

So, get your Pinterest on! Thanks for reading…Amy [Read more…]