Junkin’ in Fort Langley

A sweet comment I found the other day was someone wondering what I look for when I go shopping. The outcome may surprise you abit, so follow along on a shopping day in…

… historic and beautiful Fort Langely, located in BC Canada.

I recently had a kidless half a day, so I scurried on over to this quaint little historic place, chalk full of antique stores. I went in knowing it wasn’t a buying day as the prices are pretty high for a DIYer, however a place like this is LOADED with great inspiration.

I’d bet you’re thinking I snapped pics of all these things I wish I could take home. Not necessarily. 🙂

I’ve recently been in a mission for old labeling and sign inspiration, so there was plenty of eye candy. I like studying the ‘olde’ way of signmaking, when it use to be done by hand. I love the simplicity and boldness of the Mother’s sign. The 2nd one had me eyeing how the top line ran upwards, then dipped down. Note the AND, both have that swooping motion, very common in older signage. NICE detail!

I lied. I wanted to take this Blue Ribbon Tea box/trunk home. It would have made an amazing mini coffee table, however if you look closely, it’s a box with a lid and feet. And very cool old hinges. Heck girls, we can make this!

Very nice reproduction! Classic old style hand done lettering. Love the slight arc to the top line and how the signboard mimicks the look right along with it. White on weathered grey barnwood looks great for a softer tone on tone effect.

I know. What gives, right? Check out the gigantic hinges. What a neat way to mount something to a wall. If I had that panel I’d make one big honkin’ olde tyme sign out of it. Think like a builder and you find all kinds of neat stuff.

Indeed a replica, but it shows me what white lettering with a slight black shadow looks like on a galvanized surface. Why cross your fingers and guess when this one provides the perfect visual?

I ’bout fell over when I found this old railway cart. I wanted this one BAD for a unique coffee table. But the owners had refinished it and IMO they made the wood too dark. And the price was $1200.  Upon closer inspection, boy that base looks alot like a wood palette I can pick up for free…

I LOVE the strong primary colours on white in this piece. It’s so kitcheny! Love how the lettering styles are mixed up abit too and how tight they’re laid out. Neat shelf!

Next up, I ventured into a very modern store that was out of the norm for the rest of the town. But there’s always something to pick up. The wall behind this display unit is bare concrete.  The rustic BEEFY shelves against the concrete and white… it was an awesome fresh look. If I ever build shelves, I want them to look like this!

The same modern store had these amazing industrial edgy lights. $325 a pop. They were large enough to even have just one above an island. I had to study them 3 different times to drink it all in.

You white lovin’ gals will love this. It’s an all glass chandy. Look how magnificent it looks against that woodsy flooring! Kapow! Love it. I think it was around $800. I use to think this stuff was too girly for me but I think I’m changing my ways just a nudge.

And then there was the church. Oh my oh my. It was dusk by now. Aren’t those cross beams incredible?

The curve of those doors are 2nd to none. Even the old hardware had oodles of charm. Just a beautiful old piece of architecture that is obviously well loved by the community. Pristine shape. The doors had me on this one. I could implement that shape on something I make myself.

I ended my inspiration bonanza with a mocha and a leisurely sit by the river. It was sooo quiet. I love it when nature takes over. I just allowed my mind to go blank, took deep breathes, and enjoyed.

Basically put, my shopping goes far beyond what I can grab and take home with me. Some trips are purely for educational purposes. My artist friend Dan always says, you have to keep refreshing your ‘card file’ for new ideas. My interests are pretty diverse, but what better way to get a full rounded and free education that is card file heavy than to just snap free pictures?

How do you shop? Purely for what you can take home, or has this shown you a side you quite possibly never thought much about until now?

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  1. Oh my! What awesome eye candy! I am loving all the signs! And the chandelier was to die for!! That is a great idea to go and take pics…that way you have the ideas on digi or you can see if the items fits! Love it! Yup! I knew I wanted to go shopping with you. But you are right…a tug of war might ensue!! LOL!!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

  2. Love the way you look at things donna. Thanks for showing and explaining your thought process as you look at things. How do you go about taking pics when shopping? Do you first ask the shop owner, or just snap away? I’ve always been afraid to do either, thinking they would not like it. Just wondering.
    Thanks again for sharing these pics.
    Rose

  3. Hi Donna,
    Thanks for taking us on such a wonderful trip!
    I heart that shell chandelier and I would be tempted to buy it in a heartbeat!

    I have a booth in an antique mall so I am always hunting for good things. Of course I also love to get ideas for my home. I love yourd diversness and style.

    hugs
    Sissie

  4. Oh what a great shopping trip Donna. I shop kind of the same way. I love taking pics and then taking them home and studying them. Those olde signs and lettering were just great.
    Thanks for taking us on your shopping venture. Your riverside view are just beautiful.

    Have a wonderful week.

  5. Mmmm…. shopping…. kidless…. Oh sorry, was just dreaming there for a bit. I love getting out without any other distractions. I can only shop without kids. Otherwise, it just is no fun! I love just wandering around looking at everything. What a great place to go shopping. Makes me want to go to Mason even more now. I usually forget the camera at home though cause when the runway is clear with the hubby I just zoom off!

  6. Thanks for sharing your trip! Loved all the signage. And the shot of the river is just gorgeous. I love the little red shack! You should frame that one.
    ~anita

  7. Love this post and love that idea of “refreshing the card file”! Lots of times I come away from my favorite flea with nothing in hand but I have lots of things to file away for a creative day! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  8. Oh my! What a virtual feast for the eyes. And that town—-where in the US do we find those kind of towns? Someone please tell me.

    You must live in such a wonderful area. All of your pictures while you’re out and about reflect that so well. And that river, geez, (!), how much more beautiful can you get? You must have really enjoyed yourself.

    It sounds like you had such a restful and plesant day, and you told the story of your discoveries so well that I felt like I might bump into you just around the corner somewhere.

    I envy you for your resources. I just moved and I can’t seem to luck up on much here. I’m so bummed. I’ll just live through you until I can explore some more.

  9. ooohhh donna…so nice! love me some of those wood signs, hinges (the first set where the metal has bled into the wood & ooh the patina), thick wood shelves, amazing industrial lights (how the cord is cleverly woven into the scissor arm)and the curves of those church doors. great pics. i’m inspired
    ~judi 😉

  10. How fun it would have been if we ALL could have come with you (in real time!) However, taking this photo walk with you has a splendor all its own. I’m in love with the rustic shelves, as well as the church doors. I love unique doors!

    The river photos with the mountains in the back drop…had me longing to move out of the city! I love the punch the red wooden box (duck shack?) made in that one photo! Just beautiful! And yes, I shop the same way. Lately, I’ve been “shopping” here in blog world. But when I do go out on a day like you had and go to the quaint towns here in New York…I feel as though I’m connected to the “old things” I see like family!

  11. What a wonderful shopping day – and the ideas you took away with you were creatively priceless! 🙂 I like to take my camera along with me too. I ask to be sure they don’t mind – because some stores/vendors do have a policy.

    Happy junking!

    Kathy

  12. Hi Donna, new reader to your blog I really like it, I was born and raised in BC and it is the most beautiful place in the world. I hope to send you some DIY pictures soon of my home in Oklahoma.

  13. I love the shopping trip photos. Nice seeing how you shop through your eyes…

    so how was the shop owner while you were taking pictures? Did they mind? I feel awkward taking pictures in someone else’s shop.

    BTW– my favorite… the flour ad/sign– shelf.
    Great piece- it would look nice and useful in my kitchen!

    thanks for the tour!

  14. Thanks for sharing your trip to Fort Langley, it’s one of our favorite places to go for an afternoon, dinner at Wendell’s and a nice stroll up and down the streets and poking around in the antique stores. Love the pictures you have taken…

  15. Hey, where did my comment go?!? Ok, here we go again… I wasn’t ignoring you. 🙂

    #20 Kathy, thanks for that link! Everyone, go check out comment #20 and go to that link if you desire some artwork.

    #10 Polly, I use to frequent nearby U.S. townships for antiques all the time. If anyone is in Washington, check out Snohomish. Oh my goodness… the entire town is crafts and antiques. Heaven!

    #8 Cindy, I totally take my camera with me wherever I go. 🙂 It’s just a point and shoot. By habit, I have it with me when I work and I was working earlier that day.

    #2 Rose, I indeed ask before snapping pics inside the stores. I’m amazed the indoor shots turned out as the stores were VERY dimly lit.

    Since renovating my home, it’s become habit to carry my camera with me to snap pics of things I desire to purchase. That way you can go home and think about your purchases.

    #24 Anon, I thought of you when I was there. I may have to check out your campsite nearby yet. 🙂

    Glad you all liked the tour!

    FJ Donna

  16. I’ve just begun doing this kind of ‘window shopping’ in earnest as I’m trying to whittle down my likes and loves. 🙂

    Not that this keeps me from buying too much or regretting purchases that I shoulda bought. 🙂

  17. Oh Donna,
    What a fabulous post. Can you here me gasping and swooning! Thanks so much for the inspiration. Going out in my garage for the antique boards!
    smiles, alice

  18. Ahh! Fort Langley. I love Fort Langely. My mom and I used to go there all the time, we’d take the ferry from Maple Ridge and spend the whole day at the antique stores. I got my first vintage Pyrex bowls in Fort Langely.

  19. WHAT? You live in BC??? I love Fort Langley and have bought many treasures there…I must go out again one day soon!
    I shop to buy for clothing but love to just wander and pick up and poke when looking at places like this!