What I Bought at the Christie Antique Show.

I’m still on a bit of an antique show high, 2 weeks after the end of the Christie Antique Show.  I enjoyed it more this year than ever before, probably because I wasn’t really looking for anything.

I was just there to browse.  Wander.  I was keeping my eyes open for an nice vintage Jiffy Egg Scale, but that was about it.  I didn’t find the egg scale, but I did come across 2 things that forced me to part with my money.  The first is something for a craft I’ve been wanting to do for a few months, but I couldn’t do it without it’s one and only ingredient.


Yessirree Bobby.  I bought myself 35 feet of rope.  For $12.  I think that’s pretty cheap as far as rope goes.  The reason I bought it is because rope, oddly enough, is difficult to find.  You can’t walk into your local Home Depot and come out with this size of rope.

I understand that rope, is not something you’d think would be a hot commodity at an antique show.  Kind of a weird purchase.  Well, really weird.  Well ho, ho, the  joke’s on you because as it turns out my rope was the hit of the show.  I couldn’t walk two feet without someone commenting on my rope.  For instance, I heard things like this:

Hey!  Nice rope.

Clever stuff like that.

Those comments were nothing compared to what I got for my box of balls.

Yep.  My second antique show purchase was a box of vintage Christmas balls. $10.

I should let you know that I have not only an obsession with Christmas, but a particular obsession with vintage Christmas balls.

The ones that are uniquely shaped are pricey.  I have several of those that I happened to find at garage sales and I’m always terrified of breaking them. I also have an assortment of regular, round, vintage glass balls that I also picked up at garage sales.

I now decorate my Christmas tree solely with antique and vintage Christmas balls.  So there’s no colour scheme or theme.  It’s just a big ole tree with a multitude of different coloured and sized glass balls.

Some of them flaking, and most of them losing a bit of colour.  That’s what makes them so beautiful to me.  That and the fact that for some reason the hue of the antique balls can’t be duplicated with new Christmas balls.

Below is an assortment of some of my new, old, Christmas balls.

I normally scatter antique balls around the house in bowls as decoration, but now that I have a whole big box of them, I have other plans. If I can gather up a few more, I think I’ll have enough balls to make garland. That is my dream and I won’t rest until I fulfill it. Dream large Karen, dream large.

As for the rope? I have plans for that too. I just can’t let you in on them yet. Firstly, because I don’t want to ruin the surprise when I show you what you can do with a coil of rope. (other than, you know, the obvious … unwinding it all and making a scarecrow wig.) And secondly, I have no idea if it’s going to work or not.

If it doesn’t work out, no huge loss. I can still make that wig. Or have a sexy-party with the neighbours. There’s no end to the rope possibilities.

Have a good weekend!  If you’re looking for a really good time, spend part of it at an antique mall or garage sale.  Or go underwearless.



  1. Kat says:

    Yes I know the date of this post is over 1 year old but what did you do with the rope?

  2. rebekkah says:

    i have to say, i love your secret…..its too funny (you know the real secret). My family says I give a bit of TMI everytime i’m on my blog or facebook, so that made me smile a bit for that reason alone, i’m not alone out there in TMI land.

    love your blog.

  3. My aunt made me a GORGEOUS wreath with antique christmas balls. I love it…I’ll have to send you a picture sometime. It’s just one of those big styrofoam wreaths, hot glue, and balls, but it’s totally fabulous!

  4. B.J.M says:

    Rope, well, isn’t that great huh? Maybe you should get one of those large eye-screws that go into the ground to tie a dog to. Tie one end of the rope to it and the other end….just out to the length of the rope…empty. Stir up a jug of Sangria, sit out of sight with a camera and enjoy.
    Now that I can get!


  5. Kristin says:

    “I normally scatter antique balls around the house in bowls as decoration, but now that I have a whole big box of them, I have other plans.”

    hahahahaha! taken out of context, that line is cracking me up!! great post–although there was a bit TMI!

  6. Carol says:

    So last Monday I walked out of a Marine supply store with 12′ of 1″ dia hemp rope hanging on my shoulder – I’m not kidding. When I saw your post the next day I laughed at the sheer coincidence and KNEW you would buy that rope! (Marine supply stores normally will have some in the back if you ask for it, its just not on display). I’ll be using it on a wall and it involves a big metal ring too but that’s about all I can say,,,. I love the colour and texture, I’m sure whatever you do with yours will look fantastic, can’t wait to see!

    • Karen says:

      Carol! That’s funny. SEE? I’ve told you before, I’ll tell you again. If I were ever to use an interior designer, it would be you. :) ~ karen

  7. Stephanie says:

    I suppose you could combine the two to make a very, very heavy garland!

  8. marilyn says:

    hey karen great score on the balls and rope! a garland would be amazing.i can just see it now, so pretty with all those beautiful colors! thank god it wasnt the mannequin with those creepy human like eyes..ugh gross! the cow was humourous but once again the mangy fur..ugh gross! have fun with them can’t wait to see the results and the coop!

  9. Anne says:

    Hi Karen

    I would be all over that rope too! In fact yesterday I was looking at the Ballard Design website (to steal ideas-you can’t even get a catalogue in Canada) and they had a Spool Side Table that I thought was so clever and even though a sewer would get a kick out of it, I would use it more for a nod to a nautical theme. Black iron, cobalt blue, weathered wood. These are my backyard dreams.

    Thanks for always cheering me up! You do a great job on this site.

  10. allison says:

    Bahaha i love reading this everyday!! And vintage ornaments seriously are so much cooler!

    If i ever came across that much rope i’d make a hanging shelf:)

  11. Cleme says:

    Yay!! I guessed both items rigth!! Awesome!!! I feel like I know you… Did that sound creepy as in a crazy fan kind of way?? Meh, I am your fan anyways xD.
    They are really are great finds I believe, congrats!!
    Loved this post! Even with all the TMI :)

    • Karen says:

      Dear Crazy fan – Congrats! You got ’em right! I think you were one of only two who guessed correctly! ~ karen

  12. Just don’t hang yourself (which you might contemplate if you were to trip and drop that box of balls) – it looks like enough rope! The balls are very pretty – love all the colors.

  13. Rebecca says:

    I love the Christmas balls!

  14. They’re beautiful! Good luck with the rope project… Can’t wait to see!

  15. Evalyn says:

    Hemp or jute rope is hard to find, so good on you for spotting it. It’s the kind of thing I would do.

    Also, congrats on the Christmas balls. Old ones are glass, so they have a lovely patina and they age gracefully, unlike the plastic ones of today which are crap. I love to strew my assortment of Christmas balls in my window sills with garland and tinsel. My house is too small for a tree, but I have lovely 10 inch deep window sills.

  16. FlagirlinTN says:

    I was hoping you got the old man mannequin to keep your Oscar girl mannequin company.

  17. Bobbie in Oregon says:

    You (we) can never have too many chicken, updates and pictures. I agree with Kate S. we have missed out on the maturing of said poultry. Just try overloading us with it. I dare you…..

    Love the blog, Thanks!!

  18. Mindy says:

    Mouth agape. Almost TMI. Almost. Still laughing my butt off though, so it’s okay.
    I love those ornaments. I was REALLY hoping that’s what you came home with. So I could live vicariously through you. I have some hand me downs of the odd shaped ones that I’ve been blessed with. I love them to pieces. That entire box is like my dream score!

  19. Jennifer says:

    OVERDO IT ON THE CHICKEN PICS?? Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell but you really can’t do that! We need more chicken pics! Paleeeeeeeeese?

  20. Lydia says:

    WE WANT CHICKEN PICTURES! WE WAN … ok wait, no one else is chanting. Ahem.
    Anyway, nice balls and sorry about your “down there” situation. Happens to the best of us.

  21. ooh, I love those! my grandparents had a ton of these, and one Christmas while I was visiting from college I asked where all the glass orbs had gone. “they were getting fragile and breaking, so we threw them all away.” ugh. pain. I’m so glad you found some that were kept! they look awesome on your tree!

  22. Michele says:

    I was really hoping for the bear.

  23. Liz S. says:

    Nice balls.

  24. Kate S. says:

    K, so as nice as it is hearing about your woohoo, I feel like I totally missed out on the maturing of your chickens!! I realise that the coop might not be ready but I’m kinda jonesin’ for some chicky picks.

    Nice balls…


    • Karen says:

      Kate – To be honest with you, I didn’t want to overdo it with the chicken pictures. Overload and all that. So, I’ll try and have some for next week. How’s that? ~ karen

  25. Susan Perry says:

    I remember my dad getting those shapey Christmas balls as a gift from a local gas station for filling up the tank…balls were free, gas was about 20 cents a gallon. (I suddenly feel very, very old.)

  26. Brenda Watts says:

    Sigh..I was so hoping you took Viola home to keep the ‘dixie chicks’ company and to freak out the neighbors….
    Rope is good..[shelves I am thinking]and your vintage tree is lovely…great score on the balls.

  27. Emi says:

    Chicken coop, chicken coop, chicken coop. When are we going to get to see what is happening with the chicken coop? I know I can’t be the only one who is anxiously waiting for your reveal! How are the little ones doing by the way? Probably not that little anymore heh? Have a wonderful weekend. I just love your blog. I check in with you everyday and I am going to make the curry chicken salad this weekend. Thank you for always putting a smile on my face.

  28. Victoria says:

    Karen, I don’t know if you have new ads, or if I have a unique HGTV computer virus, but this HGTV/Sherwin William ad is killing your blog’s readability. Seriously. The whole screen is purple with streamers everywhere and paint can icons that say HGTV Home are in every corner. It even travels with you as you scroll down the page. And I cannot find the button that makes it go away. I really do not mean to complain. And I want you to get paid. But this ad is terrible. Like exploding clowns terrible. Still love your blog but hope HGTV tones it down some.

    • Karen says:

      Victoria – There was a problem with the ad earlier, but it should be fine now. The ad should run in the sides of the site and NOT in the centre. If it is still running in the centre of your site, you need to clear your computer cache. (your computer is remember what the site *used* to look like, prior to me and my computer gal fixing the problem. Lemme know if this doesn’t work! THx. ~ karen

  29. Katy says:

    If that’s what 35 feet of rope looks like, my bit must be 100ft! Can’t wait to see what you do with it so I can unashamedly steal the idea. I can’t even remember where my rope came from.

  30. Susan says:

    Karen, I thought I was the only woman in the world obsessed with owning rope. Since I moved down here, (PEI) my friend down the road who fishes lobster keeps giving me coil after coil of beautiful, soft, real rope for different projects. It boggles my mind that he actually wants to GIVE AWAY ROPE! Now, if only I could find a friend who liked giving away lumber…

  31. The box of balls is lovely. :)

    I just wanted to add that the HGTV home skin is really running into the content column on my computer (I’m on a PC, running FireFox).

    • Ok, that’s weird…when the page loaded after my comment, your blog no longer had purple and streamers!

      • Karen says:

        Kristen – LOL, the ad only shows up once or twice per computer per day. So you’ll only see it once or twice the it disappears. :) If it’s running into the centre column a little bit it’s because you have your “screen” so large I would guess. If it fills the entire centre, all you have to do is clear your “cache”. Your computer’s memory is remembering how things used to be! ~ karen

  32. Carol-Anne says:

    I made something with that much rope but I don’t want to mention it in case I spoil the surprise for everyone. I can’t wait to see! Also, would like to see how “the coop” is coming along. Exciting times here!

  33. Julie shinnick says:

    My heart skipped a beat when you mentioned old balls before I got to the photo…..pheewwwww!

    They look great!

    The rope you could also use as underwire….oh sorry….did I spoil something?

  34. Design Love says:

    Rope and Balls minus underwear…..where is this post going??? lol


  35. Emily @ NewlyWife says:

    I’m glad you got the ornaments! I really liked them in the photo you posted earlier. I thought that the colors could totally be part of year-round decor. Happy decorating. :)

  36. Jenn says:

    OH! You bought the balls! Excellent!

  37. Adrienne Audrey says:

    Can’t wait to see what you do with the rope.
    I like you balls too.

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