Cabinet Overhaul

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Three weeks ago I posted a cabinet that I was going to spend the weekend redoing. Shortly after the post Beth contacted me. She came over and checked the cabinet out. And just like that my weekend project became a custom piece! A few days later I went to Beth’s and checked out her colors, style and we looked at paint samples and paper ideas together.

I’m so thrilled with how this cabinet turned out. What I am most thankful for is that Beth loves it. Loved doing this custom piece (thank you Beth!) and please let me know if I can paint/paper a custom piece for you! 🙂

I’m Not A Maker

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I’m not a maker. Many of my Vintage Peeps are. They use pallets, boards, all kinds of materials that they repurpose or rebuild in to something amazing. This would be the time for me to confess: I’m not allowed to use my hubby’s tools. The only tool I have is a screw-driver set. Apparently I’ve used tools incorrectly and wrecked them! (sorry honey!).

My passion, and skill set, is to find a piece of furniture that needs “shoring up” and then painting, etc. Fixing something up so it can bring joy to someone again. Usually I purchase the old, sad, brown items and give them a fresh face.

Last month I was at an estate sale, and in the basement was this old storage box. It had the “leans!” When I told the estate guy I was buying it he was surprised. When I brought it home my hubby asked how on earth it was going to be saved. Honestly, this piece was too far gone. But there was something about this piece that I just couldn’t leave it.

And so for the first time in my junkin’ career I bought something to take apart and reuse. The patina on the inside was just too gorgeous to let go. The front door of this cabinet came with great hardware and trim. The shelves were not attached to the cabinet, and they also had a great patina. Every part had potential to be something better.

The inside shelves are now the word boards. The front door is an awesome chalkboard. And the sides and top pieces are coming apart to become word boards as well. The cabinet could not be saved, but the pieces and parts will live on 🙂

In case you are wondering……I did take the cabinet all apart using only my screw-driver set!

Birthday Junkin Adventure!

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Let’s start with a little background…..My hubby HATES to antique. He says I wore him out years ago. Apparently I said too many times……Let’s stop here, just one more stop….ok, really just one more stop! Today he goes to only ONE market with me during the summer. So, for my birthday this year I asked for no gift, no card, no flower…nothing. BUT I wanted my gift to go junkin on Sunday, stay overnight at my favorite hotel (Weber Inn, Ann Arbor, MI), and then junk home the day after. AND…here is the biggie: I asked for my birthday gift to be no complaining! …… No.. Are we done yet? No…why would you want that….I wanted guilt-free junkin!

His first comment………..”I could get you a gift certificate!, Name your place.”……second comment, “Isn’t that what girlfriends are for!”……………….nope I wanted a few days away together. You should know Dan works a TON of hours and I wanted time for just us also. So, after a few days of bartering he agreed!

At Dan’s work on Friday several people asked about his Monday vacation day. When he told them what he was doing and what I asked for a gift……… complaining……..they chucked and wisely offered him their best wishes 🙂

We left Sunday morning. McCoy, the lucky pup, stayed with my store neighbor (Overtime Sports – side note McCoy has won over Jenny, Jay, Alex and Rachel!  He loves sleepovers at their house! )……..So, after dropping off McCoy we grabbed breakfast at Village Baker in Spring Lake and headed east.

We made three stops on Sunday. I managed to make a great dent in the bed of the truck and the back seat. Dan turned out to be an amazing sport! He offered to drop me off at the door and park. (I was surprised it didn’t take him 30 minutes to find a parking spot!) Here is the great part – he hauled stuff!! To the counter, to the truck, and I never loaded a thing!! It was AWESOME!!

A couple that shops at Vintage Green, usually on Saturdays learned about my Bloody Mary weekend fix. They gave me a gift certificate for a Bloody Mary on my birthday! How sweet is that! (picture on my facebook page – and thanks again Garry and Marion!).

We stayed over Sunday night at Weber Inn (Ann Arbor, MI). They have an AMAZING restaurant attached to the hotel. The food, and service, are wonderful. It is a great stay-over place! We also enjoyed breakfast at the hotel on Monday morning.

Our Monday agenda included six stops. Dan readjusted items, told me when an item needed more work than we wanted, redirected me to a dresser that really was in great shape. (You should know Dan is super handy and fixes everything before it gets to the store!) We snagged lunch at Zingerman’s (a local favorite!)…..and junked our way home. Dan also helped unload the whole truck when we got home.

And here’s the best part!! Not one complaint, not one comment that made me feel guilty! We had a wonderful escape – just the two of us. Dinner was filled with laughter and conversation. I feel reconnected with the man I married nearly 34 years ago. What more could I ask for! Seriously, the truck was filled with treasures…..but my heart is filled with pure, free love.

And Dan…… get a HUGE star 🙂

Antique Trail 1/1/2016

IMG_4899 (1)Montague Antique Mall
4586 Dowling St
Montague, MI 49437
12:00 – 5:00

The Golden Monkey Antique
8725 Water St
Montague, MI 49437
10:00 – 6:00

Treasure Hunt
2506 Henry St
Muskegon, MI 49441
10:00 – 5:00

Anything & Everything
3031 Heights Ravenna Rd
Muskegon, MI 49444
10:00 – 6:00

Seven Sister Antiques
3144 Heights Ravenna Rd
Muskegon, MI 49444
10:00 – 6:00

Airport Antique Mall
4206 Grand Haven Rd
Norton Shores, MI 49441
10:00 – 5:00

Muskegon Antique Mall
5905 Grand Haven Rd
Norton Shores, MI 49441
10:00 – 6:00

Spring Lake Antique Mall
801 W Savidge St
Spring Lake, MI 49456
10:00 – 6:00

Depot Antiques
14599 Cleveland
Spring Lake, MI 49456
10:00 – 5:00

Vintage Green
7 N 7th St
Grand Haven, MI 49417
10:00 – 6:00

The Yankee Pedlar
220 Washington Ave
Grand Haven, MI 49417
10:00 – 6:00

West Michigan Antique Mall
13279 168th Ave
Grand Haven, MI 49417
10:00 – 6:00

Lakeshore Antiques
10300 US Highway 31
Grand Haven, MI 49417
10:00 – 5:00

Wooden Shoe antique Mall .
US-31 & E 16th St, Holland.

West Coast Chic
13670 Port Sheldon St
Holland, MI 49423
10:00 – 6:00

Not So Shabby Antiques
2975 W Shore Dr
Holland, MI 49424
10:00 – 5:00

R. Lucas Scott Co
12330 James St, Ste B130
Holland, MI 49424
10:00 – 6:00

Harvest Antiques
12330 James St
Holland, MI 49424
10:00 – 6:00

Seedlings Art Bar
128 S River Ave
Holland, MI 49423
10:00 – 5:00

Cottage Roses
170 S River Ave
Holland, MI 49423
10:00 – 5:30

Antiques, Etc…
383 Central Ave
Holland, MI 49423

Wooden Shoe Antique Mall
447 US Highway 31
Holland, MI 49423
10:00 – 5:00

Saugatuck Antique Pavilion
2948 Blue Star Highway
Douglas, MI 49406
10:00 – 6:00

Christmas at My House




Merry Christmas!

When our boys were little I used to secretly take a day off of work. I would bring them to school, return home, and spend the next six hours decorating the house. At that time I had 12 large buckets filled (ok maybe crammed) with Christmas. I also had two very large bins for greens. It took me four days to get everything out. Most of our regular decor was moved into those buckets. We were overwhelmed with Christmas!

The boys loved it. Fast forward to them now being 29 and 25, one is married, and they have their own homes. So a few years ago I scaled WAY back. It now takes me four hours to get everything out. And hardly any of my regular decor gets put away.

I’ve embraced less is more. More greens, only the kissing angels made the stay, green ornaments and vintage lightbulbs fill bowls, plates and anywhere I can tuck them. My Jane Ray dishes and McCoy pottery are filled with greens and sparkle. A few vintage tablecloths and Christmas books complete the decorations.

While I love the simplicity of Christmas now….my boys….well, them say I’m lame 🙂 But I remember the memories I gave them…..leaving the house in the morning and coming home to the magic of Christmas!

Christmas Blessings my friends <3, Joyce

(PS – If you would like to see all the pics…..Pinterest:  Joyce A Workman…..”Love It” board)

Shop Small Business


I want to start with THANK YOU.

Words simply cannot explain how thankful I am for the support Vintage Green has been given. So many people have embraced Small Business and shopped my dream store. Sisters, Neighbors, Moms, Daughters, Friends, Coworker – I think everyone has been told to shop Vintage Green.

Did I mention THANK YOU!!

My goal is to have treasures that are affordable, transformable and desired. Each one of you have answered that goal. I am beyond blessed by each of you.

So…I ask you, well, I thank you…….for shopping small, for shopping local…for shopping my dream.

Blessings my friends! Joyce

Get by with a little help from my VG Friends

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This was the summer to redo my porch. The cushions were old, stained and begging for a change. I also wanted all my cushions to match….from the porch to the deck to the patio. Enter Vintage Green customer…now friend, Jess – Twin Fabrics. She has some amazing sewing skills! Jess is also willing to work with budgets and out of the box ideas 🙂 All the cushion fabric is actually painters’ tarp that I bought from Enter another helper….Sevens Paints, which is across the street from Vintage Green.

Enter Green Door – Jocelyn is someone I have been following on IG and FB. We met this past August and it was like spending an afternoon with an old friend! The cabinet with the wood top is from her store. I LOVE this piece.

Enter Playfully Vintage – the really cool green scale is from them. I’ve loved getting to know Kerry and Martin. Fun people to work alongside of. That scale became the springboard for the rest of the decor.

And last Enter I do Signs. I’ve actually know Amber for several years. Our initial connection was a love of vintage. Amber has a great eye. So last week I video taped my sunporch and asked her what color to repaint the chairs that are at the table. You can see she made a great color choice for the chairs.

The weather here today was wonderful enough that I actually ate my lunch on the sun porch. It was so great to just sit there. I love how the porch turned out…..but more importantly I love the people I’ve met through Vintage Green. Seeing items I picked up from each of them is like having friends all the time on the sun porch. I’m blessed by them.

Blessings my friends, Joyce

Estate Sale Thoughts and Stories

Estate Sale SignOK….Confession. I LOVE estate sales. It’s where you find the good stuff, it’s where you see how people live, it’s where you “feel” their story, it’s where you meet the most fun, amazing people. I LOVE estate sales.

I feel like every estate sale is an adventure – a first! About the time I think I’ve seen it all….another first creeps in. You should know I’ve been attending estate sales for decades. So….. a few of my favorites to share!

1. Last week I was at an estate sale where they handed out rubber gloves before you went in to the house OR garage! Yikes on the germs there. I didn’t buy much because I couldn’t get past the serious sadness of the dirt.

2. Yesterday I was at an estate sale of a woman who had been married six times. The undergarments for sale in one room – well, they made me blush 🙂 WOW on a major 92-year-old hottie 🙂 May I have that much lingerie someday 🙂

3. I was at a sale in IL – Where the house was a deep-block long. It was AMAZING. Because I love stories I asked! She was an interior designer and he was an architect. The house had a garden area on the side that was – seriously – like being in a different world! Coffee in the morning and wine in the evening. I could have found myself on that patio area 🙂

4. I’ve been to sales with dirt floors in the whole house – and houses that were furnished and decorated by the best of the best! But estate sales tell the story from private, poor, entertaining, rich to regular people. Honestly, It’s a privilege to be inside someone’s home. It’s lets you see/feel their story.

Plus….you leave with some really great treasures <3

Blessings! Joyce

On a Learning Curve

Six Months Later

It is hard for me to believe that I have been a store owner for six months! I feel like those months passed in a blur. Well, a lot of paint-covered, hauling furniture blur 🙂

First you should know…. I love this! Watching my dream come to a reality is absolutely awesome. The someday is today. The amazing people who started as customers and have quickly become friends. Nothing beats hugging a new friend.

But this is my first retail adventure (when I was a teenager I taught swimming lessons – so no mall work ever for me)……and that learning curve has been large. Last fall I asked everyone I knew…..tell me something about owning your own business. I learned SO much……from expensive wrapping paper and bags… be aware of rent costs… really trust and know who helps you on this path.

I’ve worked SO much…..from at the store, to finding treasures to getting them ready to paint. Painting, fixing, washing and tagging take a bulk of time. My hobby has become my job! But I am passionate about my job/hobby/my dream and that makes it all worth it.

So…passing on some advice:

1. Make sure you have six months worth of money set aside when you open your store. Rent (current and one month down payment), fees to turn on your water and lights, fee permits for signs… many things cost money to get started. I went through my “stash” in about three months. So blessed that I had those funds set aside! I also said no to lots of things. Sponsorships, etc. The one thing I said yes to was joining the Chamber. So thankful for that. They have been a huge support. I’ve also been blessed by Visit Grand Haven. They graciously put my store on their social medias. Grand Haven has a Downtown District that has provided numerous learning opportunities for me as well.

2. Work more at your store than anyone else does. You get to know your customers. You get to create that friendship, support, loyalty. You get to say please share my business and say thank you. Don’t forget to introduce yourself to your new business neighbors. Mine have been great about telling their customers about a new store.

3. If you are not a CPA get one to come alongside you. I’m certainly hoping it eases tax time for me. Yikes on that whole CPA/Accounting thing! Not my gift. So it’s important to ask for help with what you are not good at or enjoy doing.

4. It’s important that your family supports and encourages your dream. My hubby has been amazing with helping fix things, haul things and working as a sounding board. My sons, and daughter-in-law, have worked at the store, hauled things, and listened to me. Thankful for their embracing my dream as well.

5. Customers like change. I bring new stuff in every day. When something sells I redo everything. Change allows people to see things they have not noticed before. I love it when customers see new things and comment on how different things look. Customers also like clean! The store is vacuumed and dusted weekly. I love hearing people say how nice the store smells.

6. Social Media is a powerful tool. I’m still learning on this. (confession: I have two undergrad degrees in public relations and advertising – but both before the internet was invented!! Yes, the basics helps me….but social media is a BIG deal!!)……so again, I ask a LOT of questions, I pester people younger than me, and I work at trying to figure what is best, works, etc. Social media maintenance takes a lot of time as well. I post one pic every day on all my sites…..and know I should be putting out a weekly blog. Something to keep working on 🙂

7. LOVE LOVE LOVE what your dream is….because that makes it worth it.

8. Last, Balance. Truly work for balance in your life and owning your own business. My hubby told me last weekend that I don’t sit enough. I poured everything I could into my store for the past six months. I’m thankful, and I know I needed to do that, but now I strive for balance. Your business is a business it is not who you are. What are all those expressions….work for a living don’t live for work. That’s where I am at today…..striving for balance.

I am thrilled to be the owner of my dream, Vintage Green, and have checked a major item off my bucket list! So…if you desire to open your own business…please know I would love to share with you <3 Blessings my friends! Joyce