One Woman's Trash ....

Is another woman's treasure..

Waaaaay back when, what feels like a million years ago, in February 2020, my husband and I made a Sunday trip to Clarksville to some of the area antique shops to promote our Spring Fling event that was to go down April 27, 2020. Clearly, by now, we all know that the event celebrating our ten year anniversary in business was cancelled due to Covid19. 

But! Before everything collapsed, that was the purpose for our day trip and I love day trips with the hubs, especially when we go junkin’ together! This was a really fun day. 

We stopped by Antiques Plus, a darling little shop tucked away on Main Street in downtown Clarksville and that’s where I found the subject of this blog. After ten years in business and being a junker for life, my eyes are well trained for the hunt. I dart around and that’s when my eyes fell upon….


My heart immediately skipped a beat spying a McCoy jardiniere in one of my favorite patterns, the quilted leaf. Simultaneously, my thoughts exploded  WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD HAVE PAINTED IT HOLLY JOLLY CHRISTMAS COLORS at some point over the years?!?!   In shock, I pointed it out to Aaron and  walked away, shaking my head.

 As I kept shopping throughout the store,  it just kept talking to me. 

I just absolutely couldn’t let this be its last life. I had to save it. 

After carrying it up to the front counter, and much discussion on how to safely remove the paint without damaging the original delicate glaze, the worker gave me HALF OFF the 50% off price. So I walked away with this “could be”  beauty for just $12! MAJOR SCORE!

By now, you guys all know I am a major McCoy collector. I have the “green gang” in my bedroom, a healthy number of bamboo, turquoise, yellows, and whites, totalling around ummm…. Let’s not go there. But let's just say we’re over 50 pieces in my collection. Here's just a few peeps of some of my pretties. Trust, it's scattered around every corner of my home. 

Here’s what a normal quilted leaf jardiniere would look like, in turquoise glaze. (Back off, this one is also from my personal collection.)

 Clearly, I saw the potential. I knew I had a lot of work ahead of me to restore this, so let the journey begin. 

In hopes the holly jolly paint was water based, and easiest solution, my first attempt was several overnight soaks to remove. No dice. Nada. After much scrubbing, nothing budged. 

Okay, let’s move on. Then someone recommended brake fluid, that’ll take the paint off anything. Sweet! Tried it. Much scrubbing. Nothing. Let’s move on. 

Then Covid hit and our world shut down. 

Everyone has been posting all the projects they’ve gotten to during this time of quarantine. Redecorating and reorganizing! Creating! Progress!

For me, it’s been the exact opposite. Shifting to in-store closure, zero staff, working minimum 10 hour days, seven days a week. All projects for personal enjoyment, tabled.  My focus has been strictly on nothing else except trying to keep my life's work alive. This is not me complaining, this is me staying alive. I’m not special.  Ask any small business owner, anyone for that matter, you’re here with me. It’s all relative.  

In the past nine weeks, I have taken a total of five days “off”. But today, today was one of those days where I removed myself from everything. This crisis is affecting all of us, none more important than another. Again, it's all relative. As humans, brothers and sisters, we are all in this together. It has been a journey. And a journey with, right now, no clear end in sight. 

From the depths of despair to flashes of normalcy, there is no true balance. 

Today was a day where I needed to unplug, disconnect, and do something that brought ME joy. 

 And there sat the holly jolly jardiniere . . .  staring at me.

 Today, I was determined.   

Last attempt and the one that actually worked, finally, ACETONE is the answer!! 

Bought a bottle of Goof Off and quickly discovered  that it's basically nail polish remover, and the tedious journey began of removing the gold, greens, and reds commenced.   After several, several hours of scrubbing with towels and steel wool, (I definitely gained Popeye arms and cracked skin/nails) LOOK.

Just look at this beauty. Yeah, she’s chipped. Yeah, she’s still showing signs of the red, green and gold. But I scrubbed and scrubbed my troubles away and now, she’s perfect. She's perfect to me. 

I am drawn to items that are flawed. Vintage condition has never deterred me, it brightens me. It comes with a story, a life previously lived. I love to honor that and add to its story and this beauty will reign in my collection amid a myriad of reminders of our current climate and condition. 

In the writings of Louisa May Alcott, Jo March said it best, “ We are all hopelessly flawed”. Let us find beauty in our flaws. Let us see that, see one another. And love one another despite the differences, despite the flaws.

Always look for beauty, it's all around us. Even if it's covered under layers of hideous red, green and gold, paint.