For the Love of Antiques!

After we visited the Chic Antiques Grainery in Imlay City, Michigan, yesterday, we drove a little farther south to Almont, the home of Chic Antiques Market.

When I walk into great antique stores, the first thing I think about is coffee! Everything looks even better when I’m sipping a hot cup of brew. We were delighted to discover Chic Antiques is the home of Goodland Farm Coffee Bar! I ordered a delicious cappuccino.

I said to owner, Lori Schultz Bryan, “I want to just stay here and drink coffee!”

“That’s fine, but you have to clean the bathroom,” she said.

“No problem! I used to be a janitor!”

“You were?” Lori asked.

“When I was in high school.”

“You’ve done a little bit of everything,” she said, having no idea how right she was.

The old mill, south of town, is the site of Chic Antiques Market. The building is incredible without all the beautiful things inside. All the wheels that drove the belts that operated the mill are still in place.

I wasn’t going to mention this, but what the heck. I had my coffee in my left hand, and my phone in the other. I tried to take a picture of the huge wheels at the ceiling and poured coffee down the front of my t-shirt. Luckily, I had an Up North Flannel on, so I buttoned it up and walked around with a wet shirt, laughing. I’m sure everyone thought I was giddy over seeing so many antiques.

For those who are in or near Michigan, a trip to the Mill Chic Antiques Market in Almont, will make your day, week, maybe even your year!

When you visit Chic Antiques Market, I’m sure you’ll have the same feeling I did. You’ll want to walk slowly and take it all in, and maybe find a place to just sit. If you have a cappuccino, that is.

The old mill is still talking.

Decorative poster for Chic Antiques Market

Chic Antiques Market Christmas Kick-Off Weekend

Very old antique radio

I think I got my love of antiques from my mother. She was always hunting for antiques. Our house was full of them.

The first and only time I ever heard my mother cuss it was over an antique. She was trying to make a tall table short, so she cut the legs off. While attempting to glue them back on the base, they kept slipping.

She said, “Damn.” Only it wasn’t just a staccato damn, it was a teeth gritting, seething, venomous, thunderous, “Daammnn!” Being the incredibly holy people we were, I was sure Jesus would appear and throw us both straight into hell. Mom for saying it, me for hearing it.

Alas! We both survived that awful day. The shortened antique table still lives.

This is the exciting Chic Antiques Market Christmas Kick-Off Weekend! What could be more fun than many people bringing their best antique items to display, especially when they are for sale?!

Since our Up North Flannels will be available at the market, we were @imlaycitygrainery today, helping with preparations.

I actually did help a little bit, but I also wandered around, taking lots of pictures in the old building, once the home of Gibbard Brothers Elevator. The market is located at 505 West Fourth Street, in Imlay City, Michigan.

Decorative poster for Chic Antiques Market

I am really fascinated by this old elevator. I can just imagine farmers bringing loads of grain in during harvest. After weighing on the scale, the truck was driven onto the lift so the front wheels rested on the steel grate. The truck was lifted so the grain fell from the box into the hopper.

The new owners of the elevator have great plans for the days ahead. For now, the monthly market is the main activity. In the old office, there are still items left from the previous business. The chalk board has a hand-written list of items sold while the elevator was in operation. A skillful artist drew a nice farm scene for everyone to enjoy.

Only an old-timer like me would notice the phone numbers on the front of the phone book cover. Imlay City Oil Company, Phone 80. Martz Electric Company, Phone 203 R 2. Gibbard Brothers Elevator, Phone 65 R 2. Amazing.

The old stepstool is standing guard in front of the extremely heavy, rusted, but beautiful safe with the door wide open. With the decorative scroll around the frame, this safe was once a prize, even without the funds kept inside. I wonder how many kids could identify the little item with the hand crank.

Antiques never stop talking. They’re like ghosts that keep telling their story. This antique building is still alive. The only thing missing is the old rough hands that unloaded the grain, flipped the switches, and signed the receipts. Now, younger hands trade items that are cherished because of their history.

The heavy steel wheel was part of a belt drive system in the elevator. When I was a kid, many times I reached into a pop cooler and took an icy cold bottle of Squirt or Root Beer out of the water, popped the top off with the opener and listened to it drop into the container. My grandfather owned a gas station and had a cooler like this one. It was my job to empty the bottle opener.

It’s going to be a great weekend at the Chic Antiques Market. If you attend, make sure you stop and listen while you’re looking. The old elevator is still talking. All the items for sale still have a story to tell.

Dusty old truck, wood box, grain elevator garage

I had to include one more photo. This old dump truck was owned by the Gibbard Brothers Elevator, as you can see on the door. The owners hope to get the old truck running again. I hope I can help, even if it’s just wiping the dirt off the cab.

*Please note, the photos in this blog post DO NOT necessarily indicate items that are for sale. During the Chic Antiques Market, items that are available for purchase will be marked as such.

Awesome New Top for a Patio Table

Many years ago we bought a white metal table with four matching chairs. It had a glass top that measured twenty-eight by forty-eight inches.

We purchased the table at Forward’s Up North Store in Pinconning, Michigan. The antique-lodge decor-knick-knack store was a favorite stop on our trips up north, always followed by breakfast at H & H Bakery and Restaurant.

The table retained its beautiful condition until we moved from our house with a large covered porch. The patio set suffered Michigan winters and summer rain and soon showed signs of rust. I decided it was time to strip the table and chairs for repainting.

I purchased a sand-blaster attachment for my compressor. Big mistake. The first time I used it all I accomplished was filling my shoes with walnut shell grit. The paint chips and rust literally laughed at me. I knew it was time to go for the muscle.

I bought a grinder. The old paint didn’t have a chance against my new toy. My biggest problem now was my obesession as a proud card-carrying perfectionist. Every last speck of rust, paint, and corrosion had to go. Didn’t happen.

The finished product was beautiful. We took the set to Cottage Outfitters in Caseville, Michigan for sale. In the process, somewhere along the trip, I chipped a corner on the glass top! Ugh!

The answer to the broken glass is a new top made of wood. I used 1 x 4 inch, tongue and groove pine. I knew this material would hold together nicely.

I glued the pieces together, a few at a time, then clamped and weighted them overnight. I made the new top larger than the original glass to allow more space around the table.

The biggest challenge was making the frame on the underside to hold the tabletop in place. I glued at 24 x 48 inch rectangle made of 1 x 2 inch pine to the bottom. I then glued a 23 x 47 inch rectangle made of 1 x 3 inch pine to the first. This allowed the larger rectangle to rest on the table frame while the smaller dropped down inside to keep the table top from moving.

After the glue had plenty of time to dry, I used an orbital sander on the top and to soften and round the edges. I used a water-based, varnish with a white-wash finish on the entire piece. I then covered it with Polycrylic. Amazing, if I do say so myself. The table sold last week.