Todd Farm Dawning

Sunday morning, Coach and I ventured to Todd Farm in Rowley, not as shoppers, but for the first time ever, as vendors.

Todd Farm Sign

Coach had been yard and estate-saling all summer long, and the barn was bursting at the seams. This weekend was the last available one for us (but the flea markets are still going on until December 1) where we could try to move some stuff, to essentially make room for more stuff. Alarm went off at 4am. Groan. Pitch black outside, damp and freezing cold @ 31 degrees.

31 Degrees at Game Time!

Fortunately, we had packed both cars the night before so we were ready to travel to Rowley, arriving at 5am under the cloak of darkness. We were ushered to a row of parking spaces marked with orange cones, next to the lovely Lisa from Rita Joes Vintage, who was already set up and ready to sell! As we began untying the ropes to take down our display tables from the roof of the car, we noticed flashing lights in the foggy distance,

Flashlight Posse

reminiscent of an old western where the sheriff and his posse are desperately searching for the escaped fugitive. The only things missing were the baying bloodhounds. An amazing and surreal sight. And simply AWESOME. These were the many dealers with head lamps and flashlights swarming the incoming vehicles,

Dealers checking cars

checking the interiors for hidden treasures and asking “any old toys, any old artwork?”

Dealers at Dawn

 So once we set up shop,

Its A Sign

I strolled around to take a few photos as the sun began to rise over the fields.

Todds Farm Truck At Dawn

Pink sky at morning…

Pink Sky at Morning

Finally in daylight, I was able to see what some of the other vendors were offering, and discovered a few of my favorite things:

A very jaunty Mr. Snowman

Frosty the Snowman

I have never seen a mannequin like this one, but I would be happy every day if I had her in my dressing room…

Laughing Manequin

This is an entire Marionette’s traveling road show suitcase.

Marrionette Suitcase

As the breaking daylight illuminated the quickly-occupied fields, it became apparent that there are many levels of sellers. Those, like us, who packed their mini vans and SUV’s with household wares and crafts,

Mini Van Unloading

and then there are those who press their company trucks and vans into service for the day.

Junk Removal TruckAnd then there are the big guns, the vendors who we see every time we shop at Todd Farm, with large cargo vans

Unloading vanand trailers packed to the rafters with furniture and goods.

Unloading trucksI love the Christmas vignette from this vendor with the antique sleigh and vintage life sized Santa…Holly Lane…Ho Ho Ho!

Holly LaneIf you happen to be searching for anything unusual, like an antique circus wagon

Circus Wagonor a weathered stone mermaid,

Mermaid of Stoneor a box of gorgeous bright blue bulbs from an airport runway,

Blue Bulbs

Todd Farm is the place for you! And if you are interested in selling some of your prized possessions, they make it so easy. You drive up, park your car, pay your $35 and you are in business! Just remember, the early bird gets the worm,

Early Bird with Wormso getting there before daybreak is the best way to showcase your wares to dozens of dealers before the general public arrives. As for Coach, what exactly did he sell? The signs in the above photo? Pretty much gone. As a matter of fact, some of the old metal auto and cigar signs were purchased by another vendor who promptly walked across the pathway and resold them in his booth! Shades of Killer Stuff and Tons of Money.

Market Tasco SignThose antique coffee grinder wheels we scored at The Elephant Trunk? Sold.

Enterprise Coffee Grinder WheelsThis antique retro table with the cool graphics. Gone to a good home. Top included, just not in the photo.

Retro Rocket TableThis gorgeous aqua metal trunk? Sold. (That one killed me. I loved that thing! But just had no where to put it!)

Market Aqua Steel BoxCoach did alright selling his stuff, and I loved the people-watching, the photo-taking, getting rid of a bunch of stuff and the donuts from the canteen truck that was conveniently situated nearby. The amazing Marty’s donuts. OMG.

Marty's DonutAnd since Coach did so great selling his finds, I think we have may have just found his new summer job! But for now, it’s time to get out there and find some new stuff to sell! Happy treasure hunting, everyone! Susan

A Couch for Coach- Before and After

So, Coach and I have been trying to find a couch for the porch for a couple of months now. He insisted that the wicker love seat was just not long enough for afternoon napping, even using the Wally the Whale table as a foot rest. After many yard sales and curb alerts, we finally found this on one of our trash to treasure hunts at Todd Farm in Rowley.

Although it had clearly had been neglected, was filty and ragged and hosting a family of icky bugs, we decided to take a chance. For $20, the price of two burgers and fries at Five Guys, we had our couch! It was sturdy and well-made, just required some major TLC. We were even more excited when we checked online and discovered the same Benchcraft sofa selling used for $300!

The re-furbishing: We spruced it up with a bleach wash and bug spray, then primed it with Kilz to remove odors and stains. Finished with Rustoleum outdoor glossy white. So clean and pretty!! The original cushions had to be tossed, as they were smelly and moldy and just plain gross. So I created new ones from foam, poly batting and some fabulous European down-filled pillows I got on clearance at-where else-Home Goods for $20 each! (I am saving the pretty ruched satin covers for another project.)

I wanted the couch to have a more casual feel, so I made the covers from solid navy outdoor fabric, using a knife-edge for the pillows rather than formal welted cushions.   

Do you LOVE our new couch!?  It’s stylish and casual and plenty long enough for afternoon naps on the porch and it complements the other refurbished pieces already in place.

The cost breakdown: Sofa $20 Fabric $40 Foam Cushion $40  Poly Batting $5 Pillows $60 Thread $3  Paint: $7 Total Investment: $175

A little more than I usually spend on a re-furbished trash to treasure. But since it is the largest piece on the porch, and is going to be sitting right in front of the ever-stylin’ whale coffee table, I figure it was worth the investment. A whole new life for a down and out couch, saved from the dumpster with my Three R’s Principle: Re-cycle, Re-Furbish, Re-Love. Have a Terrific Tuesday! Susan

That’s A Crock!

Once again, this weekend flew by, along with my best intentions to work on the Hall of Shame. I know, it’s getting to be old news by now. But it was just so darn hot, especially in the hall, where heat rises and turns the upstairs into an inferno. The alternative? Hit the road in the CRV with the AC and music cranked up, on yet another trash to treasures hunt. Had some major scores, including these pretty vintage fruit compotes ($1.00!), this amazing pressed glass punch bowl set ($5.00!) and

…my new favorite piece of porch furniture- meet Mr. Whale!!! I have been searching for quite some time for a whale coffee table to replace one that Coach and I had acquired for our first apartment- is it possible that was 30+ years ago!?! Not sure why we ever gave it away the first time, but I am so happy to give this little guy a new home. We had (shall I say it?) a whale wash today, and it will be sanded, primed and painted, hopefully in time to celebrate the 4th in patriotic fashion. After a few yard sales, we made the trip to Todd Farm in Rowley, still searching for a final piece for the porch- a couch. Although I think we have done a fine job of filling the porch with vintage wicker, Coach has complained loudly and often that he needs a couch for his afternoon siesta. After months of fruitlessly searching yard sales, antique shops and

craigslist, we came upon this vintage Benchcraft rattan sofa. Vintage is putting it nicely. It is smelly, dirty, has UGLY cushions and some unexpected guests-yuck! These creepy little things started crawling out of the sides when we were hiking it up on to the roof rack. Brought back memories of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery– remember the episode when the earwig laid eggs in the guy’s brain and they hatched?!?!?!? Not sure if I will ever be able to lay down on this couch, but the reno has begun in ernest. Washed, bleached, cushions tossed. Stay tuned for the final results.

Along with the couch, Coach picked up yet another crock for his growing collection, this one a George Washington Commemorative Crock! (Click the link if you would like one of your very own)

Him being a history teacher and all, anything presidential always peaks his interest. Me being married to a history teacher, I am all about learning important historical origins. So I wanted to find out where the phrase “that’s a crock of Sxxx!“came from. Let’s just say the Romans could have used a little indoor plumbing while waxing philosophical.

Walking along the dusty paths of Todd Farm, saw some really cute vintage yellow kitchenware I love it when the dealers actually bring some sense of order and style to their offerings like these stacks of vintage crates

Anyone got the time?

I am kicking myself for not buying this beautiful set of Virgina Glassware- Tangerine Tango!!

But I am not kicking myself for not buying this clock. Vintage and pretty, but not sure if it worked (if there is a worm stuck on the second hand, does that slow the time?) and just saw it listed on Ebay for $10 less than the dealer wanted. Phew!

So that’s a wrap (gotta find out where that saying came from). Time to start sanding Mr. Whale. For those of you who have the whole week of the 4th off, have a great vacation! For the rest of you, does anyone have a red,white and blue punch recipe? If you do, send it to me at countrydesignhome@gmail.com and I will post it! Susan

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