Given the current situation, the dreaded coronavirus, we’ve seen an explosion in DIY and crafting — including a throw-back to Victorian hobbies, such as scrapbooking.

We’re no different; we’ve been putting in a lot more hours in the studio – and not just for custom pieces, but been listing items in our handmade Etsy shop, LunaTiqueBazaar, too.

And we’ve been keeping busy with our crafty-DIY supply shop, KindnessOfStrangers, including restocking with new old stock embroidery kits featuring kitsch-tastic wishing-wells, owls, & mushroom designs!

NOS retro vintage embroidery craft kits

But I, the wifey, came here to blog today to share some images of a sweet old scrapbook we once had in our possession. It was a book compiled by a woman who clearly had spent a long time in 1955 recovering from a hip injury.

vintage greeting cards in old scrapbook

Along with the kitschy old “get well” greeting cards, and an odd note from well-wisher about her icky toe (see below – if you wish!!), the maker of the book had created delightful drawings, including this “stepping stones to recovery” one.

Stepping Stones Leading To Recovery old scrapbook art

Note that this vintage scrapbook page below combines drawing or coloring with glued in images – charming & so much like today’s junk journals, right?!

It’s no wonder so many people today have joined in the junk journal craze!

For those who are not familiar with the phrase “junk journal” – it’s a handmade book, usually made & embellished with found & vintage items, the pages of which you fill with writings, artworks, clippings, doodles, stickers – whatever you wish! Rather combining the best of scrapbooks, diaries, & art journals. So many creative options!

red velvet junk journal
handmade vintage junk journal

(I’ve also written a bit more about junk journals over at The FARM’s blog – there’s a video too!)

The junk journals I sell are often called “naked” because they are created with plenty of blank pages to fill in. As you can see in this video I made. (I am so much better at making journals than videos lol)

Because so many of my extended family members are unable to see one another now (unless it’s on Zoom or something), I have spent most of April making nearly a dozen junk journals & mailing them out as gifts. In fact, we’ve often shown-off some of our junk journal pages in Zoom chats!

The journals were so well received, that I’ve spent the past few weeks taking custom orders for handmade junk journals their friends! Proof that everyone loves – & needs – a creative outlet.

Art is good for the soul.

Like Kevin Smith says,

Only someone who doesn’t understand art tells an artist their art somehow failed. How the fuck can art fail? Art can’t be graded, because it’s going to mean something different to everyone. You can’t apply a mathematical absolute to art because there is no one formula for self-expression.

It’s a quote I put into each one of the handmade junk journals I made for family & friends the past few weeks – hopefully, they find it as inspiring as I do!

For those interested… The icky toe news!

Dear Cousins - icky toe letter
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Sure, we are all about the vintage Valentines this time of year – but we are also enjoying the new trend: Valentine’s Day Trees!

We call this one the Sweet-Tree For Your Sweetie!

(In our space at Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market; booth #26, dealer code YES.)

Also, what can be more romantic than weddings – and vintage photos of weddings? The entryway at Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market is filled with them for the holiday!

And we’ve even got this sweet vintage centerpiece idea: a pink & gold metal mid-century modern bowl, sitting on a crisp white china plate, holding a pink Asian jade tree sheltering an adorable pair of vintage, made in Japan, china bride & groom candle climbers! About as romantic – and eclectic! – as it gets!

Discover more in glorious pink & white at the #isncollectorscorner hash! (And on the wife’s Instagram too!)

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Today is National Beer Can Appreciation Day, honoring the day beer was first put into cans in 1935, and the Farm is celebrating with a New Year’s Old Beers event – featuring a book signing with Alicia Underlee Nelson, of Prairie Style File! She will be signing copies of her book, North Dakota Beer: A Heady History at the shop from 4 pm to 6 pm.

If you want to get in the mood, here’s an interesting article on beer can history: Meet Archaeology’s Beer Can Man.

Also, we brought in some killer vintage beer items for this event!

Circa the 1950s, a Schlitz globe light (incomplete but rare as all heck & cool to boot!), and a 1963 Pabst 3-D advertising piece featuring golf!

Lots more breweriana & beer collectibles in the shop too – and we dealers keep restocking as this has been super popular! So come check it out – and, don’t worry, if you can’t make it today, Alicia will be back on Saturday, January 25th, from 1 pm to 3 pm to do more book signing!

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Hey, Fargo-Moorhead record lovers, we’ve got a pop-up flash sale for you!

This Saturday, December 7, 2019, ALL records in our booths at Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market (aka The Farm) are HALF OFF!

Yes, this includes all our vintage vinyl: 33 1/3 LPs, 78s, 45s – even classic kitschy kids’ Christmas records! Even if already marked down! All our records are 1/2 off!

Fine Print: One day only. All records. Dealer code YES, booths 25-27. Shop opens @ 10am, open until 7pm.

(Pretty simple, right?)

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Thanksgiving means time with family, not working. However, in order for the family to be able to eat at the dining room table, one must first clear off all the inventory waiting to be cleaned & priced… So, in today’s endeavor to provide a clean horizontal surface fit for family, I, the wifey, had to work a bit.

To my delight, I rediscovered a few gems I’d forgotten about. As both these items are family & gift-related, I figured I’d take the time to share them.

On the face of things, both of these wall hangers are nifty enough. But it’s the back of them which really tells the stories & gives additional charm!

One is “A Tribute To My Dad.” A classic poem or motto from the 1920s, much like those by Buzza. However, someone has placed a plastic golden “DAD” plate on the front covering any attributions. (A search on the Internet attributes this work to MAH.)

We dare not try to remove the vanity “Dad” plate, for risk of damaging the original glass or framing – especially as the aforementioned back is where the real charm lies…

On the back brown framing paper, there’s a message written in what appears to be red marker:

Did you give this to your Dad?

Well, we all want to know!

But, sadly, we will only be able to imagine the answer is “yes”. And, for those of us who enjoy such flights of fancy, imagine how both the original gift-giving to dad went and the following story or stories involving the red marker questioner.

The other piece that has charmed me today has its own story to tell.

This piece is a framed handmade textile piece: a yellow and black Chevy hand-stitched onto a background of tan cloth (which rather resembles burlap). I am a huge fan of needlework, so this could be impressive enough. However, there’s a full story written on the back!

The inscription includes the birthday boy’s name & celebrates his birthday on April 25th, 1979 via this memento of childhood automobile memories:

This is a replica of our old Chevrolet that you had so much fun riding in the rumble seat. Remember? Hope you enjoy this picture. Much love, Mom & Dad

Just how does anyone want to give this up?!

I barely can, & it’s my job!

For anyone else who loves such charming pieces, come on out to the Farm this weekend – both pieces will be there!

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Looking for something to mix into your Fall decor — something that will work with your country burlap and chicken wire looks as well as it will with more simple styles and even more elegant looks? Perhaps something that will work not only for today but can also work for your Thanksgiving table? Check out these handmade vases!

I like the mix and contrast of glass, metal, and thread. Tone on tone ivories and whites makes for an elegant sort of rustic glam, which is perfect for Fall decorating. The delicate dried flowers gives them a more elegant look. But you can use fresh flowers — or, my current obsession, air plants. The neutral tones allow for these little vases to work into many decor styles — and be flexible enough to change with the seasons!

About 20 years ago, I spotted the idea in a textile art magazine… I call them “floss vases.”

Sadly, I no longer have the publication nor even remember its name. (If you know it, please do let me know so I can properly credit the idea!) But I loved the look so much that I kept the idea in my head. It didn’t take long to stumble upon a box of vintage and antique balls of Coats & Clark crochet thread at an estate sale. It took longer to find the glass pieces for the vases themselves. Eventually, I scored a box of vintage glass cigar tubes. But the box of crochet thread was now buried in storage… You crafters and collectors know how this goes. Years of moving didn’t help. But recently, when we cleared out our storage unit, I found the boxes one at a time… One by one I dragged them home. Finally, decades later, I was able to put these beauties together!

While I adore the ivories and whites, this idea has lots of possibilities — including more color! Colored balls of floss or thread can be used. And the decorations can be colorful too.

Other favorites are what I call the “ecru and blues”…

(Shown here with a little vintage sewing drawer piece I made.)

Here are some made with colorful thread balls, paired with vintage diaper pins, hair barrettes, and buttons. They are very cute for nurseries and little girls’ rooms.

To make these, all you need are balls of crochet thread, glass cigar tubes (or test tubes or other small glass tubes or vases).

If you don’t have such vintage items on hand, you can try Etsy, of course. Or, if you are excited and would rather not wait (or risk the scenario I described above!), you can get new items at Amazon for this vintage look: Crochet thread balls, test tubes.

Assembling them is relatively easy. The vintage glass cigar tubes have rounded bottoms, so they must be hot glued or otherwise affixed to the paper bottom of the balls of crochet thread. For best results, I recommend putting the plastic seals on the top of the tubes to use. Simply cut off the part which would fit tightly inside the tube. Now you have a tiny flat-bottomed “dish” which can be filled with hot glue. Fit the round bottom of the glass tube inside the little dish of glue and hold ’til it sets. (Low temp glue is fine.) Once that’s set, use the glue gun to apply more glue to the flat bottom of the cap piece and quickly insert it inside the ball of thread and hold it securely in place until the glue sets, affixing the whole piece to the paper bottom of the ball of thread.

Once the glass vases are inserted, and, if necessary, secured in place, you are then free to decorate with bits and bobs you have sitting in your craft drawers… Bits of broken jewelry, charms, buttons, beads, sequins, bows, found objects, etc. Depending on the pieces used for decoration, you can attach them to the balls of thread via pins, tacks, chains, and even the glue gun again.

I like the simple clean look, where you can see the thread and the vase. But you can create your own variations… Stack more balls of thread to hide the vases. Load up the glam by covering up the surface of the balls of thread as much as you’d like.

All of these vases can be found in our booth spaces at both the Fargo Antiques & Repurposed Market & the FM Antique & Repurposed Market. Small vases (single ball of thread) are $12; larger floss vases are $16 each. As always, if you are interested in any of these items or any others on our site, contact us! We do ship (in the U.S.).

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Just scored a pair of vintage playground rides — and brought them into the Fargo location of F.A.R.M.!

Both are believed to be made of cast aluminum, with modest wear to what’s believed to be original paint. As always, contact us with your interest. We will ship — however, due to size and weight, we will need to calculate the exact cost based upon your specific location. Also, we would ship via UPS with their proper insurance and professional packaging service so as to ensure safe arrival.

The super cool — and ultra coveted — Gametime rocket! Another great old Saddle Mate aluminum playground ride designed by Robert S. Wormser. Complete with USAF on the tail. Marked patent pending, however also lists a patent number 210393. Circa late 1960s, early 1970s. Sadly, this classic, mid-century, space-age playground rocket ship design is no longer in production. What a thrill it must have been to ride! And what a thrill to own one!

[Shown here with a very cool bit of retro red & white vinyl — looks a lot like the old diner seats, doesn’t it? Likely a handmade piece which may have served as the back to a bench or a trunk? Who knows?! Half the fun is finding it and making it suit a decor purpose in your own home! Cool diamond design implemented with thumbtacks. Also available for sale.]

Last, but not least, this vintage Saddle Mates Toucan! Also known as the Saddle Mate Bird or Swampy, designed by Robert S. Wormser. Circa late 1970s. Also marked “Pat Pend”, so an early production. Super cute & quite charming as is, but these vintage playground pieces can be repainted to suit your decor and whimsical desires too.

Both pieces were each once on large springs. Those had removed before we found them; however, each vintage playground ride is in good enough condition to once again be attached to a new spring or “ride” mechanism, should the collector wish it.

Very cool mid-century pieces of childhood nostalgia.

If these old aluminum playground rides bring back great memories, you may wish to check out Once Upon a Playground: A Celebration of Classic American Playgrounds, 1920–1975!

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