Monday, August 28, 2017

The "Feel" of Funky Junk

It’s that time of year again, the time of year I always expect the Planning and Zoning Dept to show up in my driveway to ask for a building permit! 

Funky Junk is right around the corner, and if you have ever been you know that Nathan and I go all out to create an elaborate entrance to our Amazing show which we start building weeks before hand! 
In the past 10 years  Funky Junk has had very unique homes, we started in the old Paradise Grange South of Spokane where Hollie (my now retired co-founder) and I had to clean out all the old “junk” in order to make room for vendors!  When we moved the show to Sandpoint the following September, we utilized the small Sagle Community Center that reminded me of the one room school house in Anne of Green Gables, but more spacious.  We quickly outgrew the small parking lot there and found ourselves needing the space of my all time favorite Grange, Oden Hall!  Oh how I loved the charm, memories, and even the smells (Nathan’s pie) of that sweet grange.  When we went back to Spokane for Spring we used the Old Irish Dance hall in Chattaroy for a few  years, then came the Old St. Joseph’s Church when we out grew our Fall home at Oden.  One Spring we rented a large warehouse downtown Spokane where the indoor Farmer’s Market was held on 2nd Ave.   After that Hollie retired to be with her Boys more, and I decided to keep the show close to my home for the time being,  I then had to find a place with enough parking and room for all of you amazing Shoppers!  I was lucky enough to get to Spend 3 wonderful years at Wood’s Ranch and the Big Red Barn, until they turned into a successful granary and feed store.  So, a home was made finally at the Dear old Bonner County Fairgrounds!  The Fairgrounds are enchanting to me, so may memories of years spent there manning booths, showing Animals, waiting tables and growing…learning…celebrating Harvest, Family & Friends. 
There was only one problem though, after being in so many charming and unique locations, I still needed to give this place feeling, and soul for those who may not be familiar with it, who do not have memories of Knights of Columbus turkey dinner, elephant ears, the smell of cedar chips and zinnias, the excitement of children seeing what ribbon they got and preserves so delicately displayed by aged, loving hands.

A theme had to begin, and decorations needed to be made!  Nathan and I decided that first year to go with “Come Home to Funky Junk”, and with that we built a cottage in the woods, that when you entered the door you were transported to a place where history was preserved and cherished! 

The next year we payed tribute to the Lumber industry and created a Logging Camp!  Complete with forest,  a REAL Log cabin and all the essentials for a lumber jack!

Even our food vendors get into the spirit of the Theme with a menu to match and decor to delight!

This year is our ten year Anniversary, and we are not going to hold back from giving you another experience that will bring you to more than just another Antique or craft show, but to a festival that is a step into another world!
So, as we are “Prospecting for Treasure” on our 10 year Anniversary (which is the tin anniversary) we hope you enjoy what is sure to be bringing my neighbors curiosity! 
I have to say that We pride ourselves in doing every detail ourselves, nothing is hired out and no one is asked for ideas for each year, it’s just Nathan and I and many cups of coffee as we scratch ideas out starting on the dark winter days we have here until they come to life for all of you at the end of Summer!

So, I hope you enjoy what we have in store for you, because I know we thoroughly enjoy your reactions!!! 

 See you in a few days!  Thank you for giving us such motivation & inspiration! 
                                        Cheers!  ~Jennifer, Nathan & Glenn Kelly

Monday, March 14, 2016

Funky Junk 2016~ Honoring a legacy

I'm not saying that I believe in time travel, but if there is one thing I can say for certain, it is that I can be transported in time with the scent of 2 things...Sawdust and chainsaw oil.
 I had to go into the local saw shop to get a new chain for my husband a while back and as I walked in the door it was as if I had stepped foot to 1983.  Four years old and the only thing I can see is the counter in front of me and my father's Giant black leather logging boots.  I look up...way up to him past the red suspenders and flannel shirt, catch his glance and hope he will know to add a bag of peanut M&M's to his purchase total.  He usually does.

The men swap stories here, get their supplies and repaired equipment.  It is nothing too special to anyone who may not be in the industy, but to those of us raised in it, the smell of the saw shop represented work. Work equaled food, warmth, security, and a 4 year old Logger's daughter, peanut M&M's.

As the years have gone by I am very grateful for being raised in a logging community.  Everyone from the Haulers, the cruisers, the mill workers, the saw shop owners, the lumberjacks and even the waitresses working the hoot owl shift at the local coffee shops, they have all contributed to my upbringing and the story of North Idaho.

Anyone who knows me will contest that I am surprisingly more of a "Tree Hugger" than a next generation lumberjack (that would be my sister, Errin) these days.  Don't get me wrong, I fully support forest management and selective trimming (no one wants fire danger!!) But I will be the first one to stand protest for an Ancient Cedar who has stood the test of time and watched us all grow.  That is what my passion is really, the Legacy.  So this year I am paying tribute for our "Labor Day" show, to the Men and Women who made this community what it is today, to the jobs that fed their children, the work that created opportunity and growth.  They are in fact, our Legacy.

We live in an ever changing world. Gone are the days of  North Idaho being a logging area.  Many have gone on to do other things, My Father now manages orchards, others have created jobs, such as Jack Yount who created Red Rooster Coffee Roasting and has a new legacy!   We have other renewable resources, different trades and more opportunities in other ways.  I find that the Junking world is a trade.  We are hard working in what we do, restoring & preserving, from finding to building, to creating and then the hard part of hauling and selling and hoping at the end of the day we can be proud of our work and accomplishments.

This all said, I am so very thrilled with the Graphics of this years' show, done by my dear friend and Designer,  Elle Susnis.  Elle too was raised in the logging community and is the proud daughter of a North Idaho Lumberjack!  I hope you enjoy the postcard/poster for 2016 and more so, I hope you will save the date for Funky Junk, Labor Day weekend...It promises to be Legendary and yes, maybe even a step back in time for you too!!

Cheers, Jennifer

Friday, August 14, 2015

Charlotte's Dress

You never know what story will begin with the end of an old one.  That is the magic of this "vintage world" that I make a business and a life in.

I haven't stopped at many yard and estate sales much this Summer because I am in such a hurry these days, but today I couldn't pass one up in Bonner's Ferry.  I was out putting up poster's for my Antique show, Funky Junk when I saw a sign that caught my eye...ESTATE SALE.
I followed the arrows to a small house on a dead end street.  Tables lined the yard full of knickknacks and dishware.  I passed up the board games and perused the books and movies.  Then I saw a pile of vintage baby clothes.  I'm not sure why I'm so drawn to these, maybe because the tiny detail that was once used to create such timeless pieces, or the history of the babe that once took his first steps in the Corduroy booties.  I was instantly taken by an old woolen dress, with wooden buttons and pink satin lining.

 A small moth hole was nothing to affect the beauty of this darling piece, and for a price tag of $3 I couldn't pass it up!  I added an old thimble and a wooden cheese box to my stack and went to pay my total.  As I was checking out, an elderly man on the porch said to me "that was Charlotte's Dress".  I looked at him with a smile as he went on, " I have a picture of her wearing that dress as a little girl".  I said how I would love to see that picture sometime.  He told me Charlotte was his wife, and she had passed away.  These were her things...this was her story.

I payed for my items and thanked the man again for sharing with me.  I told him I did not know what my plan was for Charlotte's dress, but it had a forever home with me and I would cherish it always.  Then I went to leave.  Another shopper caught up with me, overhearing our conversation and asked if she could see the dress.  I proudly showed her my treasure, I could tell his story had touched her too.
As I went to drive away I changed my mind and went back down the road.  I grabbed the dress and went back and asked the man his name, "Paul".  I said to him with a cracked voice, "Paul, may I please take a picture of you and your Charlotte's Dress?" At that moment we both began to cry, he said "of course".

 A human moment, when no words need to be said, just shared energy.  His hands holding the dress that first clothed his bride years ago, and a promise that she will continue to have a story.  This has become something very important to me, preserving history, sharing stories, and saving them for generations to come.

 I'm so glad I followed that sign today, I found much more than a treasure.  Thank you, Paul.  Thank you, Charlotte.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

My New Greenhouse!

Winter gets very long in North Idaho, and by mid-January most of us find ourselves pouring over seed catalogs and dreaming of days spent in the garden.  That was me, this winter.  I decided, for the first time that I was going to try my hand at seed-starting.  I took a class from our local Bonner County Gardner's Association and went to work filling trays and hanging lights.

I had no idea how addicting it would be to watch something come to life!  So, I planted more things and hung more lights!  Pretty soon my house and office cottage looked like this:

Time to make a change and fulfill a desire I have had for a few years, time for a greenhouse!
Now, I had been planning for a long time to make one out of salvaged windows, but due to time and supply I knew that this was not going to be a reality for us anytime soon, so we chose to go with a kit greenhouse from Harbor freight .  Our Friends, Ned and Lucille Davis have had this particular greenhouse for years and love it!  I find that is the best research, to see one in living proof and hear the review from a trustworthy source.  The best part is that the whole kit (with coupon) runs $589!
The box was not as big as we thought, and it loaded easy into our truck.  Nathan was so excited about this kit because in his words it was a "like a giant lego kit!"!

We researched "harbor freight greenhouse modifications",because we wanted to avoid any problems that might come up. We found many blogs, and youtube videos that helped immensely.

We had a supply of salvaged railroad ties we found at the refuse station (fancy word for dump), we buried them for an anchored base frame.

We chose to add a wooden frame inside to help support the structure and incorporate our shelves.

 Another benefit to this, is that I can have something to hang pots from too.

 I need to give some major credit to my amazing husband who came up with all of the ideas for the support system!  The man is a genius!

We chose to make the shelves out of rabbit wire, because it is inexpensive a durable in moisture.  We also sealed the top of each panel with aluminum tape to insure moisture and bug control.

Here it is!  

 And the end result!  Words cannot explain the peace I find in the quite hours that I stand and water my plants in this warm space, it is a calmness that comes from all the life growing around you and the smell of tomato plants, warm dirt and wet pine. This is a place where I can now grow as many plants that I need or want, a place to plant peppers for success in the colder climate here, and a very nice place to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening and give thanks.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

On becoming an Auntie~

I was 16 when I became an Aunt.  My sister and I were not getting along.  Quite frankly, I was judging my sister on becoming a mother at a young age and, looking back I think I was  jealous of all the attention she was getting through her pregnancy and the baby on the way.  The baby was due on Christmas eve.

  My sister went into labor a week early and on Dec. 19th Holly Marie was born.  I did not go to the Hospital, I avoided the topic and went along with normal Christmas activities.  On Christmas eve I was visiting my other sister in Missoula when a Christmas song came on the radio…It hit me so hard I cried uncontrollably…it was a song about the innocent, the pure,  A song about forgiveness and respect and above all…a song about love.  I knew at that moment that I needed to open my heart to what I was missing out on.   I called my Grandmothers house and my sister answered and I said “ what does she look like, does she have hair?”.  Through my tears I told my sister I loved her, that I looked forward to seeing the baby.  The next day…Christmas Day, Dad and I drove back to Sandpoint and straight to my grandmothers.  I went into the house, and held for the first time…my Niece.  It was a long time before I put that baby down, so pink, so sweet and so perfect.

 My world changed when I became an Auntie.  I now had a forever friend , I had a little person to teach things to, to love unconditionally.   I sang to her the Song “Return to Pooh Corner” every chance I got, hoping that she knew that I would be a forever fixture in her life.  I vowed to be her “house at pooh corner”, always there, always welcoming and always true.

As the years have gone by It has not always been easy, we have fought over homework and manners.  We have argued on facts and friends.   But,  we have also cried with one another during the loss of loved ones.  We have laughed harder than humanly possible.  She has grown to be my friend that I can go on road trips with, share mascara with, visit with, have a latte and watch movies with.   I for one have enjoyed every second of it.

Holly brings with her a strange sense of calm.  In fact she was one of the few people I wanted next to me in the Hospital as I labored through having my son.  When she couldn’t be in the surgery room, she stayed as close as she could…just because I had mentioned how much I wanted her there. 

  Today My Holly Dolly turns 18, marking a milestone that has made me a bit sad to think about since the days when I would hold her little hand on a walk. Remembering her words, "Love you Auntie.  Best Friends. Forever.".

 I want to say here and now to my Sister, Errin “Thank You” for Her amazing Christmas gift 18 years ago…the gift of my title “Auntie”.  I love you and I love that sweet pink bundle that has become such an amazing young woman.  ~Jennifer

Monday, September 23, 2013

More than a recipe box...

On this first week of Fall I wanted to make a batch of Pumpkin bread.  My friend Shelley had printed a recipe for me years ago that I love.  As I flipped through my recipe box I couldn't help but laugh at myself.  Such a Hodge podg mess of folded up papers, scribbled notes and cut-outs of recipes.  Then I came across my no-bake cookie recipe, on a very worn piece of old envelope.
 Without knowing what hit me I had to sit for a moment as a wave of memories came over me.  …I was transported to the little kitchen in the desert that I had when I was a new bride and Nathan was serving in the Marine Corps.  I had called Grandma up on a Fall day, for this recipe.  I jotted it down on any old piece of paper I could find (a torn piece of envelope) and then went on to discuss other things, the weather at home, the changing color of the trees, the news on my niece Holly on her first year at school, the ladies at St. Joseph’s... home stuff.   As we spoke I doodled on that piece of paper…simple things like hearts and pumpkins, and my signature with my newly attained last name.  I put in my recipe box for safe keeping…

As the years have gone by I have had many recipes make it in there on their original scraps of paper.
The biscuits and gravy recipe my mom gave me.  I jotted it down on a sticky note for Nathan’s welcome home breakfast.
Then there is the cardboard cut-out of Oatmeal raisin cookies.   I needed to make a batch to send to my 90 year old snowbird friend Bill, he was wintering in Arizona and I wanted to send a care package of his favorite cookie.  I looked high and low for an old fashioned recipe that was so simple and basic.  After trying 3 different ones from cookbooks and online, I saw this on the back of the oatmeal box.  He said it was just like his wife Barb used to make, So I had to save it.

The Risotto recipe from My cousin Mary.  This one is incredibly special, it was from my trip to New York after we had lost my Cousin Kelly.  Mary was in a difficult place, having just lost her daughter.  This was a time of ache and mending.  One night Mary decided that we “needed this comfort food”, as she cooked and stirred the rice we talked about wonderful things, memories of Kelly and the food she liked, meals shared, and for a moment the world was a bit better, we drank wine and added a little more to the risotto with every story shared.  As the evening went on I documented what she was doing so I could recreate this meal when I got home.  To this day it has not… and (probably never will) tasted as amazing and as perfect as it did that October night, made with such heart…but to this day It remains a recipe that I bring out to heal the soul.

Each one of these, and many more Are folded up time and again and stuffed into my little recipe box, on their original paper, with splatter stains from so many meals cooked.
Whenever I pull out a recipe, I bring with it so much more, it is with this I bring the friend, the relative, the cook… the memory with me.
So as modern technology creates devises to put these things on our phones or The craft store creates ideal cards for transferring recipes to beautiful and organized designer cards, I just can’t do it. 

So, I put Grandma’s No-bake cookie recipe back in it’s file.  I smile at the memory of that Fall day 12 years ago.  Grandma is gone now, Nathan and I celebrated our 12th Anniversary,  Holly is starting her last year of School, the leaves are beginning to change again…life goes on, but for a moment I was able to go back…because of a stained piece of scrap paper.

Truth is, I prefer my hodge podge, and all the folks that come along with.  Happy Fall, Happy Cooking.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Come along with me, on a trip to “Wild Goose Chase”.
I have always had it on my  to do list, you know the list…the one you add to and check on, planning for a day when you have some “me time”.  I sadly have had this one on my list since…I am embarrassed to say, 2005.
  Linda Anderson walked into my shop one day when I had an Antique Store in Spokane, WA.  I was only 26 years old and did not know much about the world of Antiques, All I knew was that  I loved old things and was hoping that others did too.  Linda was a kindred spirit right off the bat!  She loved all the kitschy things I collected,  she appreciated my passion for the 40’s tablecloths and vintage aprons.  We visited every time she came to the shop.  The connection I had with Linda stemmed from the fact that she lived in my beloved Selle Valley, just a hop, skip and a jump from my family’s land where I grew up.  As the years went on Linda became a vendor at Funky Junk.  I promised myself that I would make it to her place one day and see this wonderful creation she had made at her home called “The Wild Goose Chase!
Linda and her husband, George started “Wild Goose Chase” in 2003.  They were looking for a way to make a little income from their land.  Coupled with Linda’s Passion for old things and an abundance of old things from her Mother in Law, Linda went to work.
They turned the original residence, an old wooden building into the Country Kitchen and went from there.  They built new buildings as they went along, including the Garden Shed, filed with pots and racks and vintage Garden items.  They built the “Best Western”, an amazing building resembling an old western town building filled up with everything from Pendleton Blankets to cowboy boots to an array of vintage camp supplies (my favorite this time of year!)!
Linda’s Passion came from her Grandmother, who had a love for antiques herself.  Linda said that she decorated her first homes and apartments with items from thrift stores, and even as a young woman she would always  “find myself down a street where they sold old things, thrift stores we fun!”.
And she has done a wonderful job bringing together her old things in her little vintage "town" deep in the woods of the Selle Valley.
This Summer I finally made it out to Linda's, and knew right away it was like no other, so I decided to come back with my camera and capture it for all of you to see!
So, sit back and enjoy the visit.  If you ever want to visit Linda in person, just give her a call ( 208-263-1543 )and set up a time to come out!  As she said, the people she has met and the friends she has made have become the best part!  Also, Linda will be a returning vendor at this year’s Funky Junk Show!  Come say hi to her and see many of her wonderful treasures! 

It is a long and winding driveway to get there, but that makes it all the better!

Lovely Metal, arch made by Linda's friend David Rafferty.

Anyone need a wheel barrel?

A green wagon, makes me smile.

I think I know two gals that may have to flip a quarter for that Poka-dot thermos, Michele & Penny!

Zinnias, My favorite, the happiest of flowers!


The Pack River, winding through her front yard.

This lovely gate is one of three that have come home with me!

Words to live by, leaning by a sweet old tree.

A Happy Linda indeed!  Following HER heart!