German Chalkboard & Market Finds

Marian ParsonsFavorite Finds18 Comments

Kriste and were able to squeeze in some shopping earlier this week on the way back from Megan’s house, to stock up for The Market on Chapel Hill.  It’s coming up so fast!  We didn’t find as much stuff as I had hoped for, but I packed the van full today with some amazing finds when my mom and I hit another of my favorite antique stores.  More on that later.

When Kriste and I were out, I did find a few cool pieces for the market.  One thing, though, I bought for myself.

You know when you see one of those pieces and you know right away that it’s special?  That’s how it was with this.

In the back of the store in an unassuming place by the men’s restroom, there was an old, worn chalkboard leaning up against the wall…


The chipped paint, wood planked writing surface, chunky frame and warm black color immediately drew me in.  And then the graph and the numbers and the writing.  And then I noticed…


The writing was in German!  For those who don’t know, I grew up in Germany, so the fact that some of the writing was in German made it all the more interesting to me.


Does anyone have guesses as to what this was used for?  Maybe a hospital cafeteria?  Some military purpose?  WWII perhaps?  “Tisch” means table and “anzahl” means quantity.  Any ideas?


Anyway, Kriste and I had our arms full already.  I was carrying an egg basket with an ironstone compote balanced in it.  Kriste found a few things she liked and was carrying things for me as well, but she managed to carry it all, so I could lug the chalkboard to the counter.  It’s much heavier than you would guess.


I am breaking my rule with this find.  The rule is that I can’t keep things unless I have the perfect place for them.  I don’t know where I’m going to put this, yet, but I’m willing to break my own rule to keep it.

Since it is my rule, I’ll allow it.

(Oh, and I got it for $75, which I thought was pretty good for such a neat piece.)

I did pick up this pretty coffee pot to sell at the market…


The detail on these old pieces always amazes me and I thought the black was so striking.

mms-0682 mms-0683

I’ll show more finds as I photograph them next week.

Until then, here is a preview of how things are coming together for my market booth this year…


The ironstone pitchers flew out of the booth last year, so I focused my ironstone search on those.  most of the pieces I’m bringing this year are from my collection.  I picked through the house and removed about 50 pieces without even making a dent!  That’s a good sign that a collection can handle being thinned a little.  I do that every year or so and it forces me to pick the pieces I really like and recognize which ones I had just because ironstone is “my thing.”


When I stacked the small cupboard on the table with the green base (which was painted when I bought it, by the way), it was a magic moment!  And the horse on top was like the cherry.


I will also be bringing MMS Milk Paint with me this year.  In the past, my dear friend, milk paint retailer and chapel neighbor, Shaunna of Perfectly Imperfect, has sold it, but now that I have my own stock for the studio, it makes sense for me to bring it to sell.


I will be teaching a milk paint demo at 1:00 at the event, if you’re interested in seeing our products in action and asking questions.

I’m really excited about how everything is falling into place this year and I can’t wait to show you everything I’m bringing.

Next week…

German Chalkboard & Market Finds

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18 Comments on “German Chalkboard & Market Finds”

  1. Wow, what an unusual find! I think you are right about both the era and use. I am from Germany and I don’t think I have ever seen a sign like that. Having been in the US Army the abbreviation KP – “kitchen police” jumped out at me. Could this have been used in a place where German POW’s were housed? There were quite a few here in the States, Anyway, that is my 2 cents worth. I adore your other finds as well and love the horse on top of the little cabinet!

  2. So you will be competing against one of your milk paint retailers? I’d rethink that if I were you. It’s just not a good business practice IMHO.

    1. No, she isn’t bringing the paint and I talked to her about it ahead of time. I only attend two events each year, this one and the Lucketts Antique Market, so those are the only time I’m personally selling my product at an event. I feel like that’s totally acceptable. My retailers know I support and appreciate them!

      1. I can’t wait for the market this year!! I asked for the day off at work a while ago and I told my hubby to save room in the budget! Last year we had to hurry home for the hubster to go to work that afternoon… so I had to miss the milk paint “class” I made sure to leave the whole day open this year so that we can stay all day! I can’t wait!

  3. I can feel your enthusiasm through the e-waves! Alas, I live on the West Coast and can only follow the show from your blog. Wish I could be one of the crowd at The Market at Chapel Hill.

  4. You amaze me. Your eye is spot on and your creativity is a gift! Loved what you did with the carriage and love how Chapel Hill is shaping up. Wish I lived closer–you made me want to scout my local antique store today–“inspired you”!

  5. You like ironstone, I like hutches. We went to an Estate Sale last week and I bought the most beautiful pine corner cabinet/hutch. It is absolutely beautiful and I have absolutely no idea where I am going to put it. It is currently wrapped in a tarp and under the gazebo in the back yard. We are going to have to hire people to move it into the house once I figure out where to put it. Wish we were closer so I could attend the Market but I’m in CT and it is a bit too far, have fun.

  6. I was wondering how you make a profit on items that you buy at an antique store to resell. Are you able to make much of a profit?

    1. It’s taken a bit of practice! I have come to learn the threshold of what I can charge for things, so I look for good bargains when shopping in antique stores and I only buy if I know I can make a profit. Yes, as Deb said, I’ve written a lot of posts on pricing. Just search “pricing” in the search bar at the top right corner…

  7. I am looking forward to the Market once again. I wasn’t very far back in the line (on the steps out front) but couldn’t get anywhere near your booth for quite a while. Didn’t you list or pre-sell some of the items? If you are doing that again, I sure do want to try to get some of that gorgeous iron stone! See you soon!

  8. The word hospital leaped out at me on that amazing chalkboard. I am guessing it was used in a medical setting mess hall and perhaps WWI because it looks very old. I hope you let us know because so far none of the comments have an exact answer. I am on an Island in Wa. state and trying to get to Round Top in Texas but no vacancy available for lodging. I may have to rethink for your Luckett’s show in the spring.

  9. I am not close enough but,we do have what we call Barn Sales in Okla. and they are huge,and i love to go.Congratulations on your German piece it is a wonderfully old piece.

  10. Hi, this message is for one of the person’s who posted a comment … MaryLisa Noyes … who mentioned Round Top. MaryLisa, I wanted to tell you … I’m from TX and quite familiar with all the goings on at Round Top semi-annually. Maybe you will look at this string again and see my post, or perhaps Marian can see your email address and forward this info to you. If you have not yet checked, there is a Holiday Inn Express in Schulenberg, TX, that is in a good location, an easy drive north to all the Round Top booths and misc areas that have booths galore during this HUGE event. We stayed there previously and already have reservations for the Spring 2016 event at Round Top. So you might want to check that out. Good luck! Round Top is definitely worth it!

  11. I believe I see a bit of purple in that AMAZING coffee pot. If there actually IS a purple cast, it might be “mulberry” transferware. Not very easy to find & there is a definite purple tone to it. Lucky you! Wish I could trek to the show & purchase it!

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