What $323 Got Me At the Christie Antique Sale.

After the excitement of nearly killing my sister at the Christie Antique Show & Sale wore off, I started to get the sweats.  We had been shopping for around 4 hours and I’d already spent all the money I had brought ($100) plus all of Pink Tool Belt’s money and Fish Pedicures.  I spent all of our combined money.

Uch.  The only thing worse than the meat sweats; the buyer’s remorse sweats.   You know the feeling I’m sure.  You’ve bought something, thought you loved it, started to wonder about it, convince yourself it’s entirely wrong, realize you cannot return it, start seeing stars, feel tingly all over and then pass out into the arms of a stranger wearing an “I Brake for Antiques” tee shirt.

I didn’t quite pass out, but just after lunch at the Christie Show I started to get the remorse.  The yikes, I never should have bought that thing.  For me it’s usually the small items I freak out over buying, not the big ones. Because I rarely impulse buy a big item.  If I buy something big and costly I usually research it, know I need it and can deal with the fact that it’s costing a lot of money.  But buying little things like magazines or impulse items make me feel like I need to put my head between my knees.  If only to see if there’s some money down there.

Now that I have everything home, I’m good.  I have a bit of buyer’s remorse on one thing because I can’t find the right place for it, but once I do I’m pretty sure I’ll stop shaking.

So you saw all the pictures from the show last week which included the things that I bought.  Some of you guessed right off the bat what it was I bought and some of you were so far off I wonder if maybe those were the things I actually should have bought.  And now I have not-buyers remorse.

We’ll go from least to most expensive.




I paid $5 for 3 wood and metal berry baskets which I’ll add to my stash of photography props.  They’re bound to make an appearance here on the blog when I harvest my first flush of Charlotte Strawberries.  No buyers remorse over these.





This one wasn’t actually in the photos from Christie’s. I thought it was but when I reviewed my photos, nope.  It wasn’t there.  Hello buyer’s remorse. How are you?  $30 for this incredible patinaed copper box.  I love the box. I love it.  But for the life of me I can’t figure out where to use it. I do not want to use it as a planter. I want it in my kitchen. For now it’s holding my potatoes under my counter, but I would really like to show it off a bit more. The problem is there isn’t any space on my counter for it.  I’ll figure it out.  I hope.





$62 for this set of 5 Ironstone dishes.  I very nearly didn’t buy these, but I collect Ironstone and I only collect  pieces I’ll actually use. Which means I don’t need any more platters or bowls, or gravy boats, but dishes??!!  Yes. I can use dishes.  No remorse.




Antique library ladder complete with handrail.  $225.  This of course is for what will be my dining room/library combo in the fall.  I knew I wanted a library ladder but I really wanted an old one.  This was a good price for it and it’s in great shape, has a great worn colour and has a handrail on it which is hard to find.  The only problem is now I have to buy all of the hardware for it which will run me around $500!  So I’ve got my eye on Kijiji and Craigslist and hopefully I’ll find some used rolling library ladder wheels and rails for less money by the time I’m ready to install it.  Oh!  It’s about 2 feet too high for my ceilings so there will be some chopping going on.

When I look at the list here $322 is actually a great price for all of these things.  Especially considering antique shows aren’t always the best place for finding cheap stuff.  It’s the best place for finding interesting, hard to find stuff.

Kind of like my basement actually.

By the way … I asked you all to guess what I bought.  Reader Liz got every SINGLE thing RIGHT. Here’s her comment:


ladder, chicken and something ironstone from that cabinet. Maybe not the chicken and the wood baskets with tin trim instead.”

Liz.  You know me well.  Maybe too well.  Creeping me out well. She didn’t get the copper box because I didn’t show it in the photos originally but if I had, I’m sure she would have guessed it.  Because she’s creepy Liz. ;)

Have a good weekend, get stuff done and relax.  You can always resell it on Craigslist.






  1. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Excellent choices Karen..can’t wait to see that ladder in your library..

  2. Janelle says:

    I love the ladder. I have been looking into getting a rolling ladder for my new kitchen which will have hiiiigh upper shelves – and there’s an outfit called rockler.com that has been helpful. They ship to Canada, but let’s be honest…Lee Valley needs to stock them.

  3. Kelli says:

    Super jelly. You make it seem like Canadians have much more ‘fun stuff’ in your stores, garage sales, antique sales and the like.

    Or maybe I just live in a bad neighborhood. :(

    LOVE the ladder, but those wood boxes and that triple level lamp shade made me swoon!

  4. Jan in Waterdown says:

    And speaking of Fish Pedicure, I thought of you and her while on vacay last week. Walking around the marina in Cabo, there were quite a number of pedicure stalls with tanks of water and ladies attempting to convince me to just give it a try. No. No thanks . . .

  5. Dale says:

    Neat stuff from the antique sale.
    Any advice on the early care of the milkweeds in our garden as we prepare for the arrival of those majestic Monarchs? I have been weeding weeds around my milkweeds. That statement has my farming Father and Grandfather rolling in their graves. I’m sure they realize it is for a good cause.
    I currently have 20 mw plants scattered around my backyard. I am giving them support stakes and plucking bugs off them. No Monarchs yet.
    Patiently awaiting your first article of 2016 on the Monarchs in your garden(s).

  6. Jan says:

    The box is beautiful. Dimensions unknown for yours, but I have a similar one on the hearth for strips of fatwood kindling (on end). If it’s not too big, dividers inside it for rustic flatware holder on buffet. or to elevate a lamp on a side table, or toiletries in the bathroom, or…gee I know several places in my house it would work. I’ll email my address.

  7. Rondina says:

    Your copper box dilemma reminds me of what happens if I have an empty drawer or suddenly find myself with empty shelf space. It gets on my nerves until I figure out what would be appropriately stored there.

  8. Jasmine says:

    I coveted that ladder the first time you posted it. So glad you got it! They are HARD to find. Good work!

  9. Audrey says:

    Karen — Your library ladder— I am pretty sure you could make the necessary hardware for a rolling library ladder. I don’t think it would be that much different than barn door hardware which is not all that difficult to fashion from metal pipe and readily available hardware and black spray paint. Put on your thinking cap and I’m pretty sure you can DIY it…after all that is your middle name is it not?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Audrey. Yes I’ve made barn door hardware for my pizza oven, but honestly … it would take days to figure it out and make it, lol. Plus it really needs to support a fair amount of weight with people climbing the ladder. I’ll look into it, but it might end up being worth it to just buy the hardware. Sometimes you have to pick your battles. :) ~ karen!

  10. Liz says:

    Lol! creepy Liz, signing off. You picked great stuff :)

    • Liz says:

      also, Karen and creepy Liz have the same butter crates. I think I will reserve any further comments until next years Christie show.

      • Karen says:

        That’s creepy, Creepy Liz. Do you live here in my house? Is that what’s going on? ‘Cause I haven’t seen you, but maybe you live in a cupboard I don’t open a lot or something. It’s possible. If you DO and you find my miniature dustpan, let me know. ~ karen!

  11. Guess what?! I have Amish made wooden wheels for you. They are the same ones that I sell on my blog for door track hardware and yet I bet they would work fabulous for your ladder. Want to give them a whirl? I can get your boyfriend to set them up and show you how they roll. ?

    You may have to come to the treehouse to get them. Woot woot. Road trip!

    Lynne xx
    Design The Life You Want To Live

  12. Patricia says:

    Wow, never would have guessed ladder hardware would be so expensive. Then again I didn’t realize barn door sliders would be either…we ended up doing some conversion to a closet door slider to save some money.

  13. Nancy says:

    I was hoping that someone else would ask, but no one has, so here goes:
    Why is the phrase “Always fries” funny? What am I missing (besides my second cup of coffee)?
    Was Fish Pedicure high?
    Please excuse my obtuse-ness. (I added that to spell-check dictionary, so, as of now, it is a word, yes.)

  14. I am freaking out over the ladder!!! By Jove you got it! You lucky, lucky lady. Can’t you raise your roof instead of chopping off the ladder? I know, ridiculous but oh I can’t wait to see it installed.

  15. Jane Hill says:

    Love the copper box. I collect boxes as you know. You know where I am should you wish to sell. Of coarse now you won’t want to get rid of it!

  16. Jane S says:

    I swear that black stool used to be mine. I thought I took it to the dump.

  17. Jen Topp says:

    Forget the beauty of that library ladder….is that a hairy beaver in the photo with it??

    • Karen says:

      Huh. Would you look at that. Yes it is! Totally missed that, lolol. Of course I’m quite cosmopolitan and probably wouldn’t have even given it a second glance anyway. ~ karen!

      • Dale says:

        Being “cosmopolitan” I’m surprised you did not buy that mink(?) stole over the back of the chair behind the ironware plates. Something to keep your neck warm as you go out in the winter to feed the chickens. So practical.

    • Kay says:

      I will admit that I saw the library ladder, the block and tackle stuff, the lamp shade and then the hairy beaver! My first thought was how does someone collect such diverse items? And then I may have laughed out loud!

  18. Mary W says:

    Yea, one of three right. I was sure the plates had to be yours. But I was also sure the chicken. What gives with that? And no Halloween props? I’m really loosing it. The ladder is just wonderful. Can’t wait to see it finished. If it were in my house, I would line the outside of a storage box with old book spines and use it to store stuff on the top book shelf. I think I guessed the ladder also but thought it would be too costly – need to go back to check what I guessed. That would be two of the three items. But not the chicken? WHY?????? Course, I cheated and guessed about 10 things. Wouldn’t the chicken have looked cute out in the garden or on your front porch? I just don’t understand what happened.

  19. Ei Con says:

    Houzz has an in depth article about library ladders. http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/31700579/list/aim-high-what-to-know-about-adding-a-library-ladder
    Who knew they were so complicated! But our K will figure it out. Can’t wait to see.

  20. Jenny W says:

    I’m giggling now, because when I was going through your pics of the show the first time, I wondered who on earth would spend their hard earned dollars on those little wooden fruit baskets?
    Karen would! That’s who :)
    Granted, the metal trim does set them up a notch, and the price was right – now I want to DIY them!
    Oh yeah, Today is my 50th Birthday, so if you are still suffering from buyer’s remorse, feel free to send them my way ;)

  21. Judy DeLacy says:

    Hi Karen ~ I don’t know the dimensions of the copper box, but since you don’t have room on your counter, perhaps it could go up on a shelf (on it’s side), like a shadow box to show off something placed inside it.

    BTW, I “finally” ordered the chicken swing for your babies. I misplaced your address and was embarrassed to ask for it again. I recently organized my office and found your address…I was so happy. I don’t know how long the swing will take to arrive, but it’s on the way. :-)

    Judy D.

    • Karen says:

      LOL! That’s great Judy! Thank you so much! Someone just sent me a link to that swing and I told them a reader wanted to buy it for my chickens at one point. :) I guess that point is now, lol. ~ karen! p.s.I once had to ask someone to help me out of a sports bra. So no need for you to be embarrassed about having to ask for my address twice!

  22. Susan says:

    You have incredible self control. I loved your pictures, and saw so many things that I would have thrown my sister’s money at if I’d been there…

  23. Sherry in Alaska says:

    Love the copper box and that was a great price. I guessed the ironstone. Glad to know I was right but it does seem a steep price. All together a nice haul. Nice.

  24. Martina says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t get the chicken…I would have bet money on that! Good thing I don’t gamble…lol

    • Karen says:

      I don’t really decorate with chickens Martina, but I did love that chicken because of how rustic it was. However … it was already purchased by the time I saw it. :/ ~ karen!

  25. Stephanie Barnhart says:

    Good job, Liz! Dang it, I didn’t get a single thing right. Oh well. There’s always next time! Great purchases!

  26. You should have buyer’s remorse for not buying the guy with the beard.

  27. Jennie Lee says:

    You did good, Karen. Copper boxes are one of my things, too. The ladder was so big, I didn’t see it. I was too busy looking at the sewing machine drawers. I want some.I still wish you’d bought that truck. Then we could have seen it again. It rocked.

    • Nanette Lewis says:

      I was lusting after those drawers too!!! I have two and I lined the bottoms and put glass pulls on them and one holds the mail and one collects… just collects…. stuff.

      • Jennie Lee says:

        One of the things I sold back when I was really hard up for money, and regret selling, now, was an old sewing machine. The whole thing, machine and stand. The cabinet was oak, and had LION’S HEADS carved in relief on them. I have never found another like it on eBay. (sound of quiet sobs)

  28. Rosemary says:

    Love the copper box . I have some old copper pots (no lids unfortunately) that were used for boiling laundry on top of the stove. At least one of them even has the twist of fabric in it that was used to mend a hole.
    The ladder is wonderful. Good score.
    I am surprised at the price of the plates, but if you collect it you would know what us a good price.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Karen says:

      Oh the plates weren’t particularly cheap, lol. But this was the first time I saw ironstone plates (even though they’re possibly platters). So I bought them because they’re hard to find, not because they were cheap. ;) ~ karen!

  29. Patti says:

    Be still my heart, that library ladder! I neeeeed it! I wouldn’t chop off an inch. I’d move first!

  30. Barb says:

    I love everything you bought but I actually want that basket of rolling pins! All of them!!

  31. Mark says:

    My favourite is the copper box. Not exactly sure how large it actually is, but I would think it could do a good job holding a centerpiece at a thanksgiving table?

  32. robert says:

    That copper box is absolutely gorgeous, is it really blue or is my screen misguiding me? Maybe you could use it as a centerpiece

  33. Bobbles says:

    I fell in love with the library ladder first thing!
    (First post)

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