Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A unique store, and a fabulous artist!

While I love Rachel Ashwell's "Shabby Chic" decor, I take a lot of my inspiration from the Jersey Shore. I love the bright white furniture, the soft pastels of decorative pillows, upholstery, and bedding. Serendipitously, I found a wonderful store which captures all of this...and, amazingly, features items done by one of my Etsy friends!

I found out during on-line conversations with Helga from Revival Vintage Design that she had some of her items purchased by a shop in New Jersey. Keep in mind that Helga and I are geographically as far away as we can be while still residing in the same country - she's in California, I'm in New Jersey. Also, Helga did not always live in the USA...once again proving what a small world it is! However, if that weren't enough, we discovered another connection. The shop, Point B Gallery is located in Brick, NJ, on the shore...and in my "day job" sales territory!! What are the odds!

I introduced myself to Kathy, the owner, (that's NOT her in the picture!) and told her my and Helga's story. She showed me Bella the Dog, and some of Helga's other items which she custom ordered - adorable!!

Kathy's shop is filled with beautiful items that truly capture all the most beautiful aspects of "beach chic"...check out their video

You can find both Helga (Revival Vintage Design) and Point B Gallery on Facebook. I highly recommend "like-ing" both of them. Also, since I "like" Point B on Facebook, and stopped by the store, I received a gift.

What's inside??? I'll never tell!! You'll have to visit Facebook, and then the store to find out! Make sure you get a chocolate-covered twinkie while you're there...that is unless I beat you to it & buy them all...better hurry!!

It was a real treat to meet Kathy, and to see Helga's items! I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did!

'Til next time...
Mona Kay

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Picking in NJ!

Happy Sunday Everyone! Despite the raw Sunday weather, I was able to do some junking, as well as add to my inventory this weekend. I found a box of mis-matched dishes, which was sold to me by a lovely woman (pic below), who gave me a lower price because I was buying them for myself, and not as a dealer. They had been in her family for at least two generations, and were originally purchased in Jersey City. I fell in love with them (and they owner)...aren't they beautiful??

While looking at a collection of milk glass, I came across the exact globe that I broke last week on my own milk glass lamp. I was so excited that I bought it without measuring...mistake, of course!! I don't care, it works for now!

Here's my favorite find of the weekend...purchased from a garage sale on the street where I grew up! The sellers know my parents...good thing I was polite! I just love these vintage doorknobs. I hope I know how to install them!

I finally took a deep breath and foraged into re-upholstering...starting with a simple chair. I am so happy with the results...no upholstered chair is safe from me now!!! The painted chair is available on my Etsy shop...the unpainted chair below is mine...I re-did the seat & am keeping it :) My kids may need to hide my staple gun!!

I didn't do my weekly flea market display this weekend because the weather wasn't great, and because my daughter specifically asked me to spend some time with her. We went out to breakfast, then watched "It's Complicated"...a movie I highly recommend, by the way!

My plan is to have a "Shop Sale" over the holiday weekend, so any local NJ fans, stay posted! Details will be on my Facebook page:

Have a great week!
Mona Kay

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Beautiful weekend for picking!

What's better than a garage sale?? A block-wide garage sale!! Heaven! I even set the alarm so I could get there when it all started. Block garage sales are fun, because there are a lot of people, and everyone is really friendly.

It's hard to say who was enjoying themselves more...the buyers or the sellers!

I love this little nook...check out the coke bottles on the top of the railing!

The night before, I was up waaaaaay too late doing some ironing. I can remember my mother ironing once a week when I was growing up...unbelievable! For a while it was very therapeutic...the smell of clean cotton and the satisfaction of crisp linen...but after 10 table cloths, 6 pillow cases, 25 napkins, etc...it got old!

I had a display at the Princeton Elks Club today - they have a flea market every Sunday. It's in an artistic area which is also rich in antiques, so it's in the perfect location...between Princeton NJ, and New Hope Pennsylvania - both great weekend destinations.

I spent a lot of time working on my display...I checked out the Etsy Flikr photo album featuring other crafters' displays, and got some great ideas from some very talented people. It's still a work in progress, but here's what it looked like today:

I made three sales, so this continues to be a good venue - I did make my first sale there a month ago. I'm still working on the best way to market and sell my items, and am toying with another "home sale", garage sale style. This time, however, I'll put more time and effort into the advertising, and put up more signs in more strategic places. Ideas are welcome!!

Finally, my "find" of the week - this great little cut glass lamp! I was getting ready to purchase the base by itself, because that's all that was displayed, when the lady running the sale told me that she was going to throw out the shade because it had a small chip, and would I like to see it? You bet!! As you can see, it's beautiful, and the chip is barely visible!

I hope everyone had a great weekend! Until next time...
Mona Kay

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Florida Vintage

Well, I don't have to tell you that Florida is truly lovely. If I tell you, however, that in 3 1/2 days, I only made it to the beach once, and the pool for 1 hour, would you believe me?? Honestly, with such a gold mine of thrift shops and antique malls, I was beginning to fantasize about moving! I am planning a buying trip in the near future....a DRIVING buying trip where I will fill the back of a van with vintage furniture!

These are some of the beautiful things I wanted to take home. I just love the quintessential Florida style!

One of my favorites was a store called "Sensibly Chic"; a home decor shop filled with beach and cottage style furniture and gifts:

Of course, sometimes a girl just wants something a little playful!

Another of my favorites was Shirley Street Antique Mall.. I could have stayed for days!! The furniture, the vintage prints, the linens! Here are two tables I fell in love with in a booth owned by a terrific and helpful man called Regan. He gave me some great tips on working with vintage furniture which will greatly assist me with my store items! I considered bribing my parents to drive them back to NJ when they come up for the summer....but the guilt of such a big favor overcame me...

All told, I filled a huge suitcase and a computer box (a desktop, not a laptop box) with the things I bought...vintage bedspreads, linens, prints, and a set of dishes for me. My parents are going to drive it all up to NJ when they leave Florida for the summer. I love you & miss you Mom & Dad!!

I had a wonderful time, and met some really terrific people. I'll say this about people who love to collect vintage and antiques...they love to share their "finds", their stories, and they're so friendly!

I have purchased some travel books on southwest Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina, as many of the people I met told me that there is a wealth of vintage and antique shops in these areas as well. If any of you have ever traveled these areas and have some favorite places and/or shops, PLEASE share! In the mean time, it's going to seem like Christmas morning when I get to open up my boxes of the things I bought when they make their way to NJ...and see my parents again! I'll share my finds in a couple of weeks.

Back to reality...looking forward to garage sales in NJ this weekend!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Florida, here I come!

I'm leavin' on a jet plane first thing tomorrow morning! Visiting my parents, and looking forward to checking out all the Florida vintage...it has a different look and style from northeast vintage, and I just can't wait! I will take pictures along the way. According to my mother, there are second-hand and thrift shops, as well as vintage-chic up-cycled shops, flea markets, antiques....I may very well come back as pale as I left, because I may not have time to go to the beach!!

I'm bringing my son's camera, and hope to have lots to share with all of you!

Til then....


Monday, May 3, 2010


I am so excited about my new sign for my shows and displays! Please check out my talented friend's shop Romantic Planet. She created this beautiful sign as a custom order at my request, and I just love it! It fits in perfectly with my items, and really dresses up my displays. I would have liked to include a picture with my weekend sale, but it was 91 degrees in NJ, and I barely did anything but sit at my sale and wait for potential customers, so I will have to take one at a show that doesn't feel like it's on the surface of the sun!

So about my sale (in my driveway)...I mentioned that I am not good at marketing myself. Some of my followers were kind enough to send me some resources, and now that I have some inventory, I can re-focus my attention to marketing. My daughter is majoring in finance, and is helping me with some ideas for finding my audience, and my son is assisting me with my Facebook page. Customers should be beating down my door any minute now!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Before and after

I finally remembered to take some before and after photos. These chairs were a challenge, but not nearly as difficult as the small table which had a surface which wasn't ready for painting. That was not fun! I gave it a light sanding, but the legs have some detail, and I couldn't get at the entire surface. What a nightmare! The new paint dissolved the old paint, and I ended up having to strip all the legs (that is not nearly as sexy as it sounds). Once I had the new paint & most of the old paint off, the legs were a little more cooperative, and I got a few coats on them. Whew! All worth it, the table has the cutest little shape, and it's now a sunny yellow instead of faded, scratched black lacquer. Pics soon! I will probably stay away from lacquered pieces with detail in the future. Oh sure, I say that now!