Friday, September 6, 2013

Saturday Spotlight: Betsy from My Salvaged Treasures

Saturday Spotlight: Betsy from My Salvaged Treasures

Hi, everyone!  Myself and (Kris) Junk Chic Cottage wanted to do a regular feature on our blogs, something unique that hasn't been
 done before.   So we came up with an idea to 'spotlight the real life behind the blogger' in a more personal way.
There is so much talent and inspiration in blogland, and we thought it would be fun to bring you a closer look at the person behind the blog.
Every week on Saturday we will spotlight a blogger and have them tell us a little bit about themselves and their blogs.  You will be able to see and read about each of the bloggers on both Kris's and my blog. 

When I first came across Betsy's blog My Salvaged Treasures, she was posting about some jewelry that she had made.  I was smitten!  She recycles things like vintage keys and old clock faces,'s just fun jewelry and right up my alley!  I promptly emailed her to see if I could buy some of it (and happily she obliged :)  

But she's also incredibly creative and talented at repurposing all kinds of other things, too-she'll take a forlorn piece of  true junk and turn it into a work of art!   I knew I loved all of her creations, but I didn't know much about her personally.
Well, you're gonna love getting to know her better!  So sit back, relax, and read on...and when you're finished here, please head over to Kris's to read about Anne from White Lace Cottage.

Thank you so much Susan for inviting me over to share a little bit about myself for Saturday Spotlight.  I'm Betsy, and you can find me at My Salvaged Treasures where I blog about my estate/yard sale finds, jewelry creations, antique shows, repurposing projects, and my road trip junking adventures.  I can't believe it's been over three years since I took the blogging plunge and clicked that orange Publish button for the first time.  I questioned if anyone would be interested in my jewelry creations or what I bought at a yard sale, but instead I found a world of kindred spirits out there.  I consider myself a fairly private person and don't usually share a lot of detailed personal information on my blog; I'd probably bore you all to death, lol. However, I can guarantee you that if we were meeting face to face you'd probably know the story of my life within a couple of hours.  Yep, I can talk...a lot!!

In keeping with the "Saturday Spotlight" theme, I'm sharing a little bit about myself long before the days of blogging.  I sorted through loads of pictures and narrowed it down to a few old ones that shouldn't embarrass me.

Little old young me standing on the porch of my grandmother's (Nana) house during the holidays.  I have some of the glass pieces that you can see on both sides of the door, and I still remember how pretty they looked with the sun shining through the windows.

This picture was taken when I had my mom and dad all to myself....gulp, back in September 1955.  My brother was born three years later, and my sister five years after that.  I shared this picture once before in a Father's Day post in June 2012.  My dad passed away on Father's Day in 2004, and my mom is still my best junkin' pal.

This is my Nana showing off some of her treasures in her antique store in Palo Alto, Ca
in the late 30s or early 40s.  I remember spending many weekends with her when I was a little girl and I was always so fascinated with her antiques and painting projects; she was also a master repurposer.  Imagine that!  I always wanted to do what she was doing.

Fast forward many years....

I met Mr. MST waaaay back in the early 80s when we worked at the same aerospace company in the San Francisco Bay Area.
 We were married in December 1982 and lived in Hawaii at the time because of his work assignment.  No, this isn't our first home, just one of the many pictures we took while playing tour guide for all our mainland visitors.  He officially retired in November 2010 and keeps himself out of my hair busy by volunteering as an officer of our local American Legion post, serving on our congressman's Veterans Advisory Committee, and serving on our county Civil Grand Jury.

This was the view from the sixth story lanai of our second apartment.  Notice that white structure in the water in the center of the picture?  That's the Arizona Memorial.  We could sit out on the lanai for hours sipping coffee in the morning and wine in the evening as we watched the ships come in and out of Pearl Harbor.  Those were the days.

After moving back to California and bk (before kids) we spent every weekend during the summer water skiing or camping, and almost every weekend in the winter snow skiing.
I taught Mr. MST  how to snow ski and he taught me how to water ski.  Hmm, I don't think I'll be sharing a picture of myself in a bathing suit, lol.  The only adventure I need these days is a good flea market or road trip.

Fast forward another few years and two sons later.....
How could I resist sharing one of their early Halloween pictures.  I made the Indian costume and the cowboy shirt, and the stick horse was purchased at a yard sale of course.  Don't you love the dazed look?  He had the same look on his face the other day when he had to buy all the essentials for his new place.  Yep, we're officially empty nesters now.

I think this was about a year later at our annual pumpkin patch adventure.  Notice the similar haircuts?  They're as different as night and day now.  My oldest (left) was born in November 1987, works full time and has been serving in the California National Guard (MP) for almost five years now.  My youngest was born just 21 months later in August 1989, works full time and is a part time student.

Meet Buddy, our 15 1/2 year old Silky Terrier.
He doesn't see or hear too well these days, but he's still our sweet baby.

Both of my boys were introduced to the wonderful world of junkin' at a very young age.  This picture is from one of our road trips back to Iowa (where Mr. MST is from) in 1998.  To keep them busy, I used to pay them a finders fee for every treasure they discovered that I ended up buying.  They were good, really good, especially if they needed some extra money.

I've been hunting down treasures at antique shows, flea markets, and yard sales for as long as I can remember.  I started selling my treasures and repurposed items at craft and antique shows about 18 years ago, and still love every minute of it.  I also have an Etsy shop that's begging for some more inventory, and a few months ago I started selling at The Paris Flea Market, a local home decor and antique store.

I couldn't resist sharing a picture of my first indoor booth set up.  This was just the second time I had ever set up at all, and it sure was dysfunctional.
Notice those lights?  They'd smack you right in the face as you walked into the booth.  I remember a very kind lady from across the hall coming over and showing me what to do with the lights to avoid blinding a customer.  For the first couple of years it was all bird houses, vintage door knob boards, frames and chalkboards made from salvaged lumber, and mirrors made from antique ceiling tiles.  I just might have an assembly line full of these today if I still enjoyed playing in sawdust.  Nope.  I don't miss the power tools.

Fast forward to the present and what keeps me busy these days.....
My booth at one of my favorite outdoor shows, Mes Amis Vintage Antique Faire, April 2013.  I love being able to spread out in the huge 15' x 20' space.  

Some of my goodies from an early morning treasure favorite thing to do.

I love repurposing old junk.  This 1950s wooden car seat must have been so uncomfortable, but it sure makes a great shelf.

This rusty old metal foot board makes a great chalkboard sign.

I love giving new life to old junk.  Mismatched silver, buttons, typewriter keys, and broken jewelry give these little pumpkins some real attitude.

Minutes turn to hours when I'm on a jewelry making binge.  
Some of my hardware jewelry necklaces created from old key holes, typewriter keys, skeleton keys, and remnants of salvaged jewelry.

These are always fun to make....vintage thread spools and sheet music necklaces.

I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.
Thank you so much Susan for including me in your Saturday Spotlight series along with so many creative and talented bloggers.

Thank you so much, Betsy, for sharing more of your personal story with us!
Now everyone, please stop by Kris's to read about Anne from White Lace Cottage!  :)


  1. Betsy is one of my favorite bloggers. I often tell her I would like to just follow her around while she is hunting for treasures. She come up with the most amazing ideas.

  2. OH I'd love a day treasure hunting with Betsy, too! She is so creative! It was really fun to learn more about her!

  3. Been following Betsy for a while and I love her creations!!

  4. Loved reading about Betsy. She is one very creative woman!!
    Mary Alice

  5. So nice to meet you, Betsy. Love your upcycled jewelry! :)

  6. That was fun reading about Betsy and how she became interested in salvaging 'junk' for treasures. Great post!

  7. Such pretty jewelry! Also loved the throwback pictures!

  8. What a fun read Betsy!!!
    I LOVE those pumpkins - and LOVE this series!

  9. I so enjoyed getting to know a bit about betsy and her 'junkin' history. although i have been a follower of her blog for a while, it was great learn more about how her passion for turning junk into treasures has developed over the years.

    i love her creations, she is an inspiration to me and to many of us who junk. (is 'junk' a verb?)

  10. What a wonderful life story for someone so talented! And how precious those memories with her Nana must be. She inspires me to look at all "junk" differently. She's always coming up with something that makes me go wow!

  11. I adore Betsy and her boundless well of creative ideas. It was so fun to learn the back story!

  12. Hi Betsy,
    It is so nice to meet you. Thank you for joining Susan and my spotlight feature. It is so fun to learn about new bloggers. Love your special story and the pictures of you and your family. I love the picture of your grandmother. How sweet is that. You make the word Junk such a pretty word!!!!!

  13. Thanks for sharing a little more about yourself, Betsy. Great feature, of one of my favorite people in blog land.

  14. Betsy, I have always loved your creations and now we all know the story of how you have come to be.

  15. What a great feature and what a very talented lady! Loved this post-xo Diana

  16. I am heading over to catch up with her again. I sure could make this a full time job, wouldnt it be great to just spend all the days blog surfing.

  17. I loved reading more about Betsy and her amazing salvaged treasures.
    Going behind the blog is fun!

  18. I'm a huge Betsy fan and it was so much fun learning more about her and seeing her 'vintage' photos! Her jewelry is always creative and fascinating to me.

  19. Loved reading this post. I also am a big fan of Betsy - she is the queen of repurposing!

  20. I love Betsy, She is uber talented. When I see she has posted I know what ever it is will be fabulous, no fluff posts, just amazing. Betsy, you are so brave to do this, I am so thrilled to know more about you...Kid you've had a wonderful life!!


  21. Thank you, Susan and Betsy! I love hearing a blogger's personal story and Betsy sounds so fun and cute. I love how she re~purposes things and I would love to visit one of her booths...this one is astounding!! Lovely family, too! I have to visit her blog! :)


  22. Oh I remember those fabulous pumpkins! That's when I first discovered Betsy's blog, and I'm so glad I did. Her creative repurposing is pure awesomeness!

  23. Oh I remember those fabulous pumpkins! That's when I first discovered Betsy's blog, and I'm so glad I did. Her creative repurposing is pure awesomeness!

  24. great feature, susan! betsy has a fabulous blog! love her charms!

  25. Wow! I love the things Betsy creates! Thank you for sharing her with us. I'll be heading over to her blog now. Blessings, Patti

  26. I enjoyed reading all about you Betsy! I am the same way I don't like talking about myself.You did a great job sharing!Great family photos!

  27. This Salvage treasure lover is a treasure herself! Love her creations! I am enjoying getting to learn more about so many bloggers!

  28. It's so wonderful to learn even more about one of my favorite bloggers and best buddies! This is such a great spotlight! Thanks!

  29. Great post. I love Betsy's blog. Thanks for featuring her.

  30. Great post about Betsy...I learned so much about her today after blogging with her for years now...thanks for having her over...she is a super sweet gal!!



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