Friday, June 20, 2014

Things Go Better With Coke

My cool birthday present from my husband this year
This week I celebrated my 54th birthday. All I can say is that 54 is not as old as it used to be! Fortunately, I'm healthy, strong and able to do most things I've always done, including driving without glasses and reading most of the time without my drugstore "readers". I still feel like I always have, if not better some days. I think my 30's and early 40's were harder in some ways.

I've decided that I honestly like getting older. With age comes wisdom, "they" say. I'll take that. And, with age, comes a little more free time. I'll take some of that too! That part, is actually in my control and I'm learning to stop over committing my time to every "good idea" I have....maybe that's the wisdom kicking in.

I'm looking forward to the year ahead and hopefully more of that wisdom will help me to stay focused on my priorities. Once we're finished with the renovation at our daughter's house I want to start working on our place. Over the last few years I've neglected our home in order to give my all to building my new brand, The Junk Ranch. I've bought and sold some of the best pieces I've ever had, in order to offer the best to my customers.

Now, it's my turn to work my magic here at home. Taking on the renovation project forced me to rein myself in from being so over extended in my business. I'm happy for now, just as things are.

I know life will continue to evolve as I continue to grow older and I wouldn't be happy if it were any other way....oh, and the sign at the top of this post...my birthday gift this year from my husband. I LOVE it!! That's a great piece of rust and a great piece of our local history. It's now on the side of the studio under a shed where it will be seen but out of the elements.

So, in conclusion...with age comes wisdom, time and greater appreciation for other old things!!




Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's not official until it's Facebook official

 I guess there must be some truth to that!...putting "it" on Facebook makes "it" official...and I haven't made an official statement there about the changes happening here at the ranch...until today with a link to this blog entry.

I had a nice couple stop by over the weekend wanting to shop and only found that my shop has reverted back to mostly a working art studio with a very small sales space reserved for candles, handmade gifts and small vintage items. I hated to disappoint them and I guess I expect that everyone will look at my website for information. My bad! I also am sorry, some others are disappointed that my shop isn't what it used to be, but as time evolves, needs change and we change, hopefully for the better.

Candle lab added to studio
In the back of my shop, I added doors around the first of the February, to screen off an area to use as a downstairs candle lab. This is working so much better than running up and down stairs with armloads of things that need to be washed. I love having the extra space upstairs as well! It's nice having lots of areas designated to specific tasks. I'm very fortunate...some (my husband) would say "spoiled"...at any rate I'm grateful!

2014 Southern Summer Collection
I have just enough space left in the front to showcase candles and handmade gifts. 

For those that don't already know...I'm not doing occasional sales here this year or keeping shop. I've had so many tell me they missed our spring marketplace sale. I did too, but I didn't miss what it takes to put that together...but thank you so much for telling me. I appreciate your support and kind words!

My time is consumed this year with the renovation of our daughter's house, and the normal day to day of taking care of things here on the farm and the animals. I'm living the life I always wanted, although it's hard work every day. Now the garden is exploding and I will add that to my list for the next month or so. 

Pulled out the peas yesterday...now the peppers can take off 

The corn has grown several feet in the last week

When I was a little girl, I always knew I wanted to have a little farm and live a simple life. Simple doesn't mean easy or completely stress free, but it does offer satisfaction at the end of the day and I sleep really  well! 

There are days when I would like to dress in something fashionable, be a shopkeeper in town again and eat lunch out on the cafe sidewalk, but today, I'm happy to be here, having conversation with the dogs and having lunch on the porch.

UPDATE:  Ironically, my friend Lee, there in the tye dye, called and we met for lunch the next day. Be careful what you wish for. This worked out okay!! 


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In case you were wondering....

We are renovating a house for our daughter. Our lives have become incredibly busy and at the same time incredibly satisfying!

I have loved this little house since I was a girl. I loved the people that lived there and at a time, when the former owners talked of retiring to the beach, I had visions of someday living there myself.

Well, time has allowed my dream to somewhat come true now some 30 years later, and we are in the midst of making this forgotten little gem once again into a home. If you could see it now, you might wonder what we've gotten ourselves into...my tired back wonders every night! We have literally gutted it...removed sheetrock, carpet, dropped ceilings, layers of plywood, layers of floor coverings, cabinets, bathroom fixtures, old appliances and you know it...the kitchen sink!

As we get a little further along and I have something "pretty" to show you,  I will begin to post the progress...until then, I'm leaving you with these...

Paul's Airport 
 I don't know exactly what year this was taken, but this is the little house on the right, at the foot of the "mountain", as we call it. The house was built in 1945 and used to be the office and cafe for the small airport that was there. The "mountain"  is where I grew up and my parents still live.

When I moved there in 1968, there was no airport, but the hanger and barn were still there and it was a cattle farm until the 1980's. I had never seen any photos of the airport until recently when my good friend and neighbor surprised me with them. Ironically, her cousin had brought them to her early this spring for her to copy for her scrapbook.

Paul's Airport

The house basically looks the same today, with the exception of an additional fireplace on this side where the window is. It was purchased in the late 50's, I believe, and converted into a two bedroom home. There was an addition built later to give them a little more living space and a sweet little sun room. Beneath all of the mid century "updates", we've discovered the most wonderful original knotty pine boards on the walls, wood floors, and v-groove pine ceilings. It is the perfect little cottage!


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Southern Summer Collection-Soy Candles

Summer 2014 is unofficially here but for me it's now official with the introduction of my summer candle line. Summer in the south is about as hot and humid as it gets but we sure do love our summers! I've taken inspiration from the things that make summertime wonderful.

Southern Summer Collection
Junk Ranch Soy Candles
Let me show you my Southern Summer Collection...I'd love it if you could smell them but I will have to compensate with good descriptions...

Everyone knows how we love our sweet tea here...not iced, but sweet! Every picnic and cookout includes a jug of sweet tea and if you visit anyone in the south, you will barely get through the door before you're offered a glass.

Sippin' Sweet Tea
Soy Candle
I chose the 100 year anniversary blue Ball jars for Sippin' Sweet Tea for you to keep and enjoy when the candle is gone. This is a fresh scent that will make you think cool thoughts of sitting on the porch sipping tea with a sprig of lemon balm and mint. We've been burning this one for a couple of weeks now and I can tell you it's going to be a classic summer fragrance here! Once you are finished with your candle, carefully remove the wick tab and leftover wax, run it through your dishwasher and drink sweet tea from your jar.

Vegetable gardening has made a huge comeback in the last several years, especially with the ease of square foot gardening...there is nothing, nothing like a homegrown 'mater.

Country Garden
Soy Candle
My Country Garden candle is a wonderful mix of tomato leaves and basil...smells just like you are walking through the garden. It is light and a good choice for those that do not like a strong scented candle..These have been hand poured into vintage Kerr Jars I bought at an estate sale.

I have two different places I call my potting sheds here. One is behind the barn close to the garden and one is under the shed between the herb gardens. At either one I keep a big bag of potting soil for starting plants or re-potting them. I absolutely love the smell of dirt!

Pottin' Shed
Soy Candle
My Pottin' Shed candle has been poured into recycled bean cans and embellished with used bailing twine...just like I start young plants in. You can go into any barn around here and find that most people save their twine after they cut open a bail of hay....so many uses for that stuff to mention. This one smells like...you guessed it...dirt. Earthy and musky. Men seem to gravitate to this one.

I haven't worn shoes with toes in them in a month and I've added one more pair of flip flops to my collection already. The rule growing up was that you couldn't go bare footed until May 1st. I don't do much bare footin' these days because I prefer my feet to be soft now, unlike the days when I would brag about being able to run across the gravel driveway without it hurting my feet.

Bare Footin'
Soy Candle
I love these little quilted jelly jars for my Bare Footin' candle. They are the perfect size for a small table or on your kitchen counter. When you walk into a room where this one is burning you may think the window is open and someone just cut the grass...fresh and inviting!

...And on the same path as dirt and grass are probably a few wildflowers. We have a more and more daisies each year in the field beside our house. They are the first of many that I pick each spring to add to bouquets from my flower and herb gardens.

Pickin' Wildflowers
Soy Candle
 Pickin' Wildflowers is a nice floral and herb scent that smells as good cold as it does burning. It will definitely give your home a pleasant summery aroma.  I've poured them into green collectible vintage style Ball jars so you can enjoy the candle now and the jar later as a flower vase.

And, what would summer be without a beach trip or six? Going to the beach is a given for most of us. It's as close as three hours to Myrtle or five to OBX, which is our favorite.

Sun Tannin'
Soy Candle
This has to be the official "smell of summer". Sun Tannin' captures all that is perfect about the beach. It is the smell you have on your beach towel after a day of swimming and you hang it out to dry...suntan oil, salt, a  little citrus, a  little floral...perfect. I poured twice to get the sand and water effect...maybe next time I will try to get sand, water and top off with a light Carolina Blue sky.

All of these are now available in limited quantities just for the summer. Get them here at the ranch (please call, text, email or send a Facebook message for a pick up time). Please see the sidebar for contact information.

Remember. we keep your favorite "regulars" in stock year round...like Hazelnut Coffee and Lavender mixes. Do not hesitate to ask for a custom order of something you would rather have that is not in stock.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Got Candles?

Hand Poured Scented Soy Candles
I never intended to become a candle shop...but it's looking like that's the big draw here these days! I've had people drive out here from other cities just for my candles.

I first started pouring my own scented soy candles a couple of years ago, when my favorite little shop stopped making them. Until I "experienced" a soy candle I had been happy enough with my $4 Walmart candles even though they sooted up my ceilings a little.

Soy candles not only hold more fragrance, they burn clean and last much longer than paraffin candles. Most scents have as good a cold throw as hot. After my first soy candle, I have never bought another paraffin candle.


I started out with these great little mason jars because that was what I always bought. They look nice in your kitchen and add a little nostalgia.They come in 8oz and 16 oz sizes.


Jelly jars are as good in the bath or bedroom as in the kitchen, because of their generic appearance. They are available in 4 oz and 8 oz sizes.


The travel tins are always a must for vacation to freshen up your hotel room or beach/mountain house. Take a citronella out on your deck to keep the mosquitoes at bay. Also, these tins are what I use for my spa line. I keep them in three sizes...4 oz, 8 oz and 16 oz.


I've had the most fun getting creative with other vessels. When I used to mostly paint I always said I would paint on anything that didn't run away. Now, I'm pouring soy wax into anything that will hold it.

Vintage Art Pottery Planter

Vintage Art Pottery Planter and Vintage Scottie Glass Creamer

Vintage Milk Glass Goblets

Old Tins

Mid Century Stacking Mugs (JAPAN)

When you go to auctions as often as I have over the years you accumulate lots of glass whether you want it or not...the pieces come in box lots and if you want the one great treasure in the box you have to take the whole box of goodies to get it. I have managed to acquire lots of punch cups and vintage costume jewelry... 






The best thing about having a local candle shop is that you can have your favorite vessel refilled or bring in your own. Just today I had a customer bring in her own pieces and will be giving them as gifts. She was also able to request her favorite scents that I was not currently stocking. 

Customers Own Vessels
I hope you will come in and try one. Before I started making them I always liked to treat myself to a new candle or two each season. I couldn't wait to try something new! They make wonderful gifts and especially this time of year when you need to grab something for a your party hostess!

Vintage Teacup and Saucer with Mulled Cider & Chestnut Scented Soy Candle

I am now wholesaling them if you'd like to inquire for your shop or boutique.

I will be open one more Saturday before Christmas but as always, I am open by appointment...that simple! You can find select fragrances at Spade and Broom in Trinity and Palette Boutique in Thomasville if you are out and about. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Parts + Pieces = Clean Studio

A while back I challenged myself to use up things from my junk stashes creatively as an incentive to get things organized. I would love to invite people back into my studio, but honestly I have no where to put them...I hardly have anywhere to work!

I'm not sure how long ago it was that I made myself that challenge...but I didn't do very well. I have continued to shop with the excuse that I needed to add to my rental inventory. Now, I actually have NO more room to store anything and I'm thinning my inventory by selling some of the overflow.

This week I've been in the studio making making more candy containers/vanity jars...etc. I made a few sales in my Etsy shop and now I'm motivated. $$

I have accumulated lots and lots of glass so I started with those shelves and I'm going to work my way around the studio until I'm down to the real junk...the stuff that probably needs to be thrown away....we'll see!

More to replace the sold pair....

Finally digging into the broken pearls I bought on Etsy years ago
A smaller set...5 and 7 inches high...nice for a vanity
This one I think I will keep...for a while at least...from a vintage fish bowl, and crystal candle holder and footed bowl

...salt shaker lid trimmed out with broken rhinestone jewelry

I have no shortage of plates either...china, ironstone, stoneware, old, new....


Small teapot centerpiece

I just brought this teapot home this past week...

The gold chains are from the old jewelry that I've had since bringing in the storage trailer in 2010...and so did the pink and gold rimmed plate.

This teapot "almost" sold a dozen different times. It works very well in it's new role as centerpiece. I hope someone will use it for tea parties!


I leave the lids unattached so you can use the teapots as vases if you'd like

These are so much fun to make! The bond is permanent and weather proof...some people use the centerpieces in the garden in warm months as totems or bird feeders...lots of uses for both jars and centerpieces.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What is it about Rust?



I have a thing for rust! As soon as I saw these doors I had a plan for them. The white stenciling is new as of last week but, soon I know the iron oxide will penetrate the new paint and begin to creep into the pattern and create a weathered patina that is unmatched in character...in my opinion.


They are metal cabinet doors my husband took off so that he could better use the cabinet in his shop. Knowing I love a little rust, left them out behind the building exposed to the elements for over a year...well, we forgot about them. The little bit of rust that was in a few choice places took over as they blew to the ground during a storm I suppose and became leaf covered in the fall. They remained there through the very wet winter and spring. Early in June, they appeared on the studio porch after the hubby rediscovered them. ...very proud of "his" work, later that day he told me my doors were ready. 



 They make a unique back drop for photo sessions or behind a guest book table. I also envision them separated and used individually behind fern stands...so many ideas!!

As I look around here I see rust in every direction...


This is a great old piece...heavy, heavy! It's an old street light base and makes a gorgeous pedestal...think ferns or other spillover plants or add a flat surface to the top and use as a guest sign in spot.


How cute is this rusty old Radio Flyer? 


What would you do with this old fireplace grate? I love it for flower pots.


Okay, you just never know when you will need a rusty old iron with a bent handle...but you do know where to find one!

If I keep looking I'm sure I could find just as many more pieces around here!