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I’m sorry for the things I said when it was Winter

No Winter lasts forever. No Spring skips its turn.

This Spring has been the most inspirational for me in a long time!

I’m a self-confessed Border Hoarder. It’s when you’re not quite a hoarder, but you’re right on the border. I’ve been working hard this winter to organize the hoard and either sell or donate anything that no longer serves me or my family. Mind you, this hoard also contains my business inventory which frequently co-mingles with my personal home decor. My struggles with letting things go has been pretty well documented on this blog namely here and here.

I don’t know if it is age or if after two years in this business it just gets easier to determine what material objects bring me joy and which ones I’m okay with letting go of. So I have sold numerous items dirt cheap on Craigslist not because I don’t still love them but because it was time to let them go.

I do love going in to someones home and seeing the things they’ve collected that are a true reflection of them and where they have been. I am however coming to the conclusion that you really don’t need ALL collections of ALL things displayed ALL at once.

Here’s why:

  1. Less to dust and clean (need I go on?)
  2. If you keep some things stored away, you have your very own store to shop from when you need to freshen up your space.

I have a few collections that I love with my whole heart but I flat out get sick of looking at them every day and begin to resent cleaning and dusting them. Now, I am not talking about Precious Moments in a curio cabinet here.  I am talking about beautifully aged silver trays or the hand stitched vintage quilts I CANNOT stop buying.  These things are works of art to me.  Not simply numbered beanie babies that you have in trash bags in the attic because “they will be worth something someday” #truestory

Some people are most comfortable in a clean home, some in a minimal home I am most comfortable surrounded my things that that make my heart happy.

I have taken this Spring to really evaluate what exactly that is and edit out anything that does not fit. Whether that means selling to the lowest bidder or just packing away for a down day something that will make my heart sing when I pull it out, dust it off and find new place to put it.


Spring Succulent - The Junkery

Spring Succulent - Tribal throw - The Junkery


(Image @thejunkeryvm)


(Image @thejunkeryvm)

Stay tuned for more spring inspiration.


Plan a little more

Every good blogger seems to address the New Year in some way. I’m a smidge late, I know. Whether it be listing out the pros and cons of the previous year or developing elaborate resolution lists for both home and career including becoming an Oil Puller (just Google it) or to outdo SuzieQ in the next cubbie in sales all year long.

“Why I am not a planner” was the initial title of this post. My mom and I were having a conversation and she made the statement, “I know you’re not a planner but…” I have always been the fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal. I try to plan for things that are top of the list important (birthday’s, holidays and I’ll have a sitter months in advance when my favorite band is in town) other than that I just figure out life as I go.

Even though I wasn’t diagnosed until about 4 years ago, from a pretty early age (10 or so) I have struggled with an auto-immune disease that has left me debilitated and on the couch one day and cleaning my house top to bottom the next. If I may play pseudo-psychologist for just a moment, I believe my lack of planning manifested itself as a defense mechanism against disappointment. Picture my middle school self, a sleepover I’d planned for weeks and me on the couch with a migraine and an ice pack on my head as all my friends sat around me gossiping and watching a movie. Talk about a bummer! Now imagine this happening year after year. Eventually your brain just begins saying “If I feel okay, I’ll go.”

Sometimes I trick myself in to thinking that my free spirit gives me and my family some freedom and flexibility while doing life. For example, my mom takes the kids to church on Wednesday nights so at 3:30 in the afternoon Keith and I decided to go see Gone Girl after work. Now, for all of you planners out there skipping Zumba AND Group Power class you take every Wednesday night without fail would cause your hands to sweat and your week would never recover. I on the other hand, along with that free spirit of mine, thoroughly enjoyed my impromptu date night  with a large popcorn with extra butter for dinner and felt no one drop of remorse or anxiety because of the change in plans.

This method of operation certainly has it’s down sides. For example, when you receive an invitation to a long time friend’s birthday and put it in the “I hope we can make it” pile and then you re-discover the invitation the day or so after the party. My heart always sinks as I am sure my friend thought I simply didn’t care enough to show when in all reality I mentally avoid making plans so as to avoid having to break them at the last minute with a migraine or some other bizarre ailment associated with my bizarre invisible illness that no one believes I have.

I am becoming increasingly aware of the elaborate ruse I have concocted to avoid committing to really anything.

Thus, in true non-planner fashion the ONLY plan I have for the New Year is to plan a little more.

Chronic Pain (Wordle) (1)Thanks for reading,


Happy Hollerpalooza Recap

Hi Friends! It’s been a minute but Fall/Winter is the absolute busiest time of the year for me and my family and 2015 was no exception! I am going to try to get you caught up on some things I’ve been up to.

On Saturday September 26, 2015 I participated in Happy Hollerpalooza in the streets of downtown Knoxville! This event was the most different from any others I’ve done in that the demographic could not have been more varied.  It was like an Urban, Country, Hipster, Fall, Music, Food, Pet, Family Festival.

The day started out a little drizzly which delayed the markings of the spaces which were first come first serve which created in me some serious anxiety and I am so not an anxiety girl.  However, the warm sun and slight breeze adjusted my attitude with a quickness.  The vendors where set up on the yellow centerline of Central Avenue between with the stage being at the intersection of Happy Holler Rd and Central.

I did a little recon prior to the event and found out the best spaces are close to the stage. (Shout out to Heather with Blackbyrd Jewlery thanks for the insider info) I ended up about three spaces down from the stage but not after a mini panic attack due to the aforementioned rain delay.  The musical acts were vast and varied and all event appropriate.  I have to say my favorite act was probably Kelsey’s Woods.

I don’t really have any photos to share as I was alone most of the day and business was pretty steady and with the canopy the lighting was just choppy and weird.  All in all this was an event I would defiantly participate in again and If I weren’t participating I would certainly patronize the event!

Thanks for reading,


The Sniff Test (Update)

If you haven’t had the pleasure, go read the original The Sniff Test post.

So, the fate of “The Rug” has been determined.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

Okay, the good news is the rug was absolutely beautiful.  The minty green matched my mantle perfectly and I could work with the rest if it.  It was a strange square shape but  I could work with that too.

The Sniff Test - Rug 2 - The Junkery

The Sniff Test - Rug 1 - The Junkery

Now for the bad news or should I say SAD news. There was not one visible discoloration or really even appearance of wear.  It appeared to be in great condition but my beautiful rug was a big, fat, huge, liar!

The Sniff Test - Rug 3 - The Junkery

Remember how I said I read somewhere that a good quality rug could be salvaged if it was only a spot or two of pee-pee? Yeah well this is clearly more than a spot or two.  I can actually make out where the couch and coffee table were most likely positioned.  Can you?  Those were the only areas of the backside of the rug that were not pee stained.  Now to their credit the previous owners did a fantastic job of cleaning the front side of the rug.  I’d even venture to say it may have been professionally cleaned in an effort to try and salvage it.

Needless to say…

I owned that rug less than 24 hours

The Sniff Test - Trash - The Junkery

That’s $25 of my life I’ll never get back.

Always, Always, Always do THE SNIFF TEST.

Thanks for reading,


Happy Hollerpalooza Street Fair

Happy Hollerpalooza Street Fair - The Junkery

September 26, 2015 North Central Street will be blocked off from Baxter Avenue to Scott Street to provide the people of Knoxville a chance to party in Happy Holler and see all that the area has to offer. This is a family friendly event offering free music, free parking and free admission. Bring everyone you know to enjoy food, handmade crafts, wares, artwork, jewelry and simply wonderful stuff from local vendors. Come dance in the streets and while you’re in the area check out the stores of Happy Holler, because there is certainly something for everyone.

Happy Holler Sign - The Junkery

This will be my first time participating in this event and I am so excited to be included!

Thanks for reading,


The Sniff Test

Before I get into today’s post I wanted to share a sneak peek of a couple of Fall inventory items that I will be bringing with me to the Sidewalk Sale.

Flask - KOA Mug - The Junkery

We have a camping trip planned for Labor Day and In the event you haven’t noticed I am super inspired!  Check out this Milk Glass KOA mug!  I guarantee you will not find this little booger in any KOA gift shop anymore.  Plus, it made it’s way to East Tennessee all the way from Durango Colorado, probably in that plaid suitcase I used as the backdrop. Who knows?  Next up is the this Lumbersexual Flask.  Ohhhhhh how I have been waiting to use the word Lumbersexual.  It’s real leather with a glass container.  I am swimming in flannel so stay tuned for more sneak peeks of the Fall inventory!

So I never do this, but today I made a hasty purchase and I’m beside myself.

On my lunch break, I was browsing the local thrift store when I came across about 20 Homer Laughlin Seville Cups like this one.

Sevill Blanc - Homer Laughlin (2)

They were .49 but were 50% off.  Freekin SCORE. I loaded those puppies up and was feeling fantastic. While I’m rolling over in my brain whether or not to keep them all for myself I spot an adorable thermos that will fit right in with my Fall inventory for dirt cheap cha-ching another score.  About this time I’m feeling pretty great.  Ya know the endorphins are in full effect.

I head over to the linen section and I see a gorgeous and I mean GORGEOUS, massive rug draped over the racks.  Since I am who I am (lol) I can most certainly call dibs whenever I want just like I almost did with those Homer Laughlin mugs and you can bet your boots I did on this rug.  I already had a place for it.

A 50ish woman was intently inspecting it. Like, readers on the tip of her nose inspecting it.  I start to circle, like a vulture, once, twice, in the third turn I see her go toward the door.  I assume, either I have successfully scared her off or she is going to call her man to bring the truck. In one of my passes I happened to notice the tag said $24.99.  What the???  I lug my mugs to the front still eyeing the big, beautiful rug.  I let the chick get me about ¾ of the way checked out when I say, go ahead and add that rug on too.

I never saw the 50ish woman again and now I know why.

Once I’ve eyeballed for stains, which I rather obviously did during my circling, I always, always, ALWAYS do The Sniff Test, for you know, smoke, pet odor and such.  I have always had pretty good luck purchasing used rugs and happy as a pig in mud I head back to work.  Then it hits me I didn’t do The Sniff Test!  The dialog in my head went something like this:

“Dagummit Amber, you just wasted $25.  Do you know how many rolls of jute you will have to sell to make back that $25.”

(in my super judgmental voice that I generally try to keep tucked neatly inside my head)  “Surely anyone who could afford a rug like that would not be a dirty bird, surely”

While different versions of this conversation ping-pong back and forth in my head, I cannot get back to the office fast enough. I whip and nea nea in to my parking spot and jerk open the back door.  FIRST SNIFF, DOG PEE! Geezflippinloueez!

The inner dialog begins again!

“No dang wonder is was $24.99 Amber!”

“But Maybe it is just the one spot”

“Yeah right, what are the odds that the ONLY one is the spot you sniffed first? That thing is probably covered in tinkle.  In fact, some crazy dog lady used it in her “dog room”

I am certain tonight I will have nightmares of gigantic Great Danes and tiny Teacup Poodles all using my rug like an oversized Wee-Wee Pad.

Oh, and yes, I am sure it’s dog pee.  Let’s not pretend there is not a difference.

Because I am at my big girl job until 4:30, the actual condition of the rug remains to be seen.  However from everything I have read online good quality rugs can generally be salvaged if it is just a spot or two.

If anything, I guess I just learned a $25 lesson; never let endorphins talk you out of The Sniff Test.

Thanks for reading,


Hi Friends!

Cottage Door Logo

I have a Recent Sales Recap post I am working on for next week but I wanted to let you know, tomorrow will be my first day working the counter at The Cottage Door where my space is located.  I hope you’ll come by and see me.

Thanks for Reading,