Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Vendor Spotlight: A Junker's Journal

The Three Speckled Hens "Vendor Spotlight" blog series continues this week as we ramp up for a fantastic May 2 &3 2015 show in Paso Robles! Today we get to share with you the wonderful story of Sherri Spear of A Junker's Journal. Sherri is a genius when it comes to transforming what some may see as simple "junk" into beautiful treasures such as jewelry, lamps, furniture, and more. You can  follow Sherri on Instagram at #ajunkersjournal, on Facebook, or shop for her treasures on Etsy.


When did you first become interested in antiques and junking?
When I was a little girl I'd pretend I had shop where I sold things I loved. I also always dreamed of having my own home that I could decorate just the way I wanted it. Fast- forward a few years when I lived on my own for the first time... I had big ideas and a tiny budget. I shopped flea markets and garage sales, often needing to rewire lamps and refinish furniture. I brushed up on my sewing skills and made all my own soft furnishings. It's hard to believe I've been at this for over 30 years!  It started with projects for myself, family and friends...wish I had photos of some of my earlier transformations, like the homebuilt farm truck bunk bed that I bought from a friend and transformed into a tug boat for my son's room.  

How did you learn the "tricks of the trade"? 
About 15 years ago my husband, son, and I moved to Paso Robles. I was fortunate to be able to stay home and follow all the professional tradesmen around our house while it was being remodeled. In exchange for being a "laborer" I was able to learn so many new skills. That experience made me realize there isn't anything I can't do if I put my mind to it. Watching the transformation of our home made me realize that everything is worth saving and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I decided then to try to see the beauty in every "thing." My first project after the house remodel was a chair that my contractor had in the back of his truck to take to the dump. I just couldn't let him do it. As far as I know, that refinished rocking chair with its one-of-a-kind upholstery patchwork cushions still sits by the fireplace at Hollyhock Farms B&B. I do what I do now because I love the idea that I saved something that was headed to the dump, transformed it, and now it gets to have a new life in someone's home.  

How have you honed your creative style over the years?
I think the older I get the more I'm able to let go and just be creative. I have so many different things that I like to do but I would have to say that I'm currently into transforming things. I love to take things apart so although working with "junk" is not at all glamorous and comes with certain challenges, I like the fact that I've learned so much about how things go together just by deconstructing them. I like making "things" (like jewelry trees) out of lamps and other recycled materials, and lamps out of "things" (like shoe lasts and fire hose nozzles). I've always loved puzzles so I like taking things apart and rebuilding something completely different, like this antique organ keyboard table, or the screen door displays in my booth. Years ago, I made lots of decorative pillows that I would like to think of as "functional art" and still like to sew from time to time. And then there's jewelry. I took a jewelry making class in high school and a few years ago decided to get back into making jewelry that I would like to wear and now have made enough pieces to share.

Like I said, I dreamed of having my own little shop where I sold things I loved. So, Thank You Three Speckled Hens for letting me set up my little shop twice a year right here at home!


  1. I love your articles & your pictures. Like yourself, I've long dreamed of having a shop where I could sell decorative items. In lieu of that, a friend & I have rented a booth at an "antiques" & home crafts mall. We're finally making a few dollars doing what we love.

  2. As I read your article, I could relate to every word. I have always wanted to make something from the unusual, unwanted items found at yard sales, flea markets and auctions. Being creative seems to make me the happiest. I am retired now, and I can do whatever makes me happy. Loved the article.

  3. I want to use lamps to display my necklaces. How do I go about that. I see that you have cut off the bulb part, but how do you secure the top part?