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Welcome to Chesley's Antiques & Collectibles Corner!

About Deb Chesley:

Deb was born and raised right here in Anoka County.  She currently resides in the town of Anoka.  She has been an antique dealer since 1995.  Deb learned to love garage sales and antiques at a very young age.  Her personal collections include Vintage Jewelry, Tobacco Tins, Red Wing Pottery, Vintage Furs, Mixing Bowls/Nesting Bowls, "Sharon" Pattern Depression Glass, Granite Ware, and much more.  Deb loves music from 1930 to 1965 which includes artists such as Shirley Horn, Dinah Washington, The Righteous Brothers, and Patsy Cline.   Her other passions include home-style cooking, crossword puzzles, and online word games.  This photo was taken at "Antiques Downtown" in Elk River.  763-441-1818.


Collecting antiques and other collectibles has become a hot hobby!  Here you will find lots of useful information about antiques and collectibles from a professional that works in the field.  If you have any questions about antiques you would like to ask our professional, there is a link below you can use to contact her directly. 

Below you will also find the Collectors Billboard with listings for antique shops, flea markets, garage sales, church bazaars, and so much more!   Enjoy!  Also check out Deb's list of What's Hot and What's Not!


Garden Décor With Old Stuff and Antiques 

Are your annuals, perennials and vegetable seeds growing? Here are some green thumb ideas on how to DECORATE and USE older items in your gardens.  Some of my ideas are useful and some ideas are whimsical.  It’s fun to add something rustic, a touch of color, a personal theme or just that one unusual item to your gardens. 

These ideas can be applied to any type of garden:  huge/small/lawn, veg/flower/shrubs, tabletop, patio/deck gardens, or outside your front door decorations. Items can be nailed or glued to fence slates or stakes.  Items can be inserted between the greenery directly on the soil both foreground and background.  Use your imagination.  I have a 1940’s washing machine in my garden.  Re-purpose and reuse.

Let’s have some fun with antiques.


-Nautical theme:  Use ½ an old boat horizontal or vertical, a ships wooden steering wheel, rope, fish decoys, nets, oars, wicker Creels.

-Hunting theme:  Use decoys, paint a bulls-eye, display several arrows – grouping items is a key to theme decor.

-Cabin theme:  Use old dock wood or any “seasoned” wood, drift wood, a wooden screen door, life preserver, fishing lures, large ice fishing lures, a grouping of bird houses. 

-Your personal collection theme:  If you collect tobacco tins…nail them on a fence in a grouping.  If you collect beer cans… nail them to fencing or insert on top of fence posts.  They will rust with time, but it’s fun to show your passion in your garden.  Replace with new tins as needed with weather age.

More Garden Décor Ideas:

-Make a name plate or sign using old wood and metal:  “Deb’s Daisies”,  “Chives”,  “No Weeds Allowed”, “Garden of Eden”.  You can make the letters with paint, nails, studs, old metal pieces.  Use railroad spikes.

-Common but adds a twist:  Milk can or milk stool – décor or planter.  Whicker chair – paint and remove the seat to insert a pot.  Wooden chair of any kind painted.  Splash on some bright paint, re-purpose and add some personality.

-Wooden bench:  Keep ¾’s of the bench to sit on, but remove 2 seating slates to insert a pot.  Or, remove the entire seating area and use as a planter.  A chair can become a planter.

-An old wheel barrel, plow, sled, barrel, wooden box/crate or wooden pop box, pail, water can.

-For tabletop:  Plant a flower in a 1950’s china tea cup with saucer under.  This also makes a nice hostess gift.  So simple, so small, so different.

-Crooks – Think both big size and small.  Use a 5 gallon or 20 gallon crook.  Use a 5” x 5” size crook on your patio table.

-Tractor Wheels -  Wood or metal, both last for years and years outdoors.

-Whirligigs, Windmills --  these are “wow” items.

-Old fence pieces - metal or wood.  Any type of old wood such as from a barn, a floor, window, barrel slats.

-Rod-iron pieces

-Re-purpose pieces of a picnic table 

-Use a Hoosier cabinet, vintage kitchen table or shelf unit as a garden table.

-Wood printer drawers

-Old wooden windows (with or without the glass)

-Almost anything can become a planter:  An old cracked bowl, a mixing bowl, crockery pieces, bucket, bath tub, a cowboy boot, military helmet, ashtray, copper kettle. 


Antiques can decorate any outside area.  It’s your yard – make it yours.  Use your passion and collectibles to accent your gardens.  Always, when decorating, keep it safety first --  rough edges, nails, sharp corners, doors that can close – keep it safe for your family and guests. 

Do you have a question pertaining to antiques or collectibles that you would like to ask? You can email Deb your questions directly.  She would be happy to answer your questions!  Be sure to bookmark this page for future articles and information.

                          View the archive of Ms.Chesley's past articles here. 


by Dr. Lori Verderame - See Complete Blog

Vintage Costume Jewelry/Bakelite Pins
While all types of costume jewelry command high prices today including pieces with these marks, there is nothing more desirable than the king of modern plastics formed into necklaces, bracelets, and pins. Bakelite, the colorful, cheap, and non-flammable invention of Belgian-American chemist Leo Baekeland (1863-1944) is still the cat's meow with collectors. Introduced in 1907, Bakelite jewelry came of age in the 1930s and 1940s. Rare and unusual pins in many forms like animals, creatures, and birds, are now attracting collectors in big numbers. These figural pins of Bakelite are worth 100 to 500 dollars.

World War I Memorabilia
Look for unusual objects in good condition that were used during the war like daggers, pickelhaube helmets with the Prussian Imperial eagle emblem, and military swords knowing how to spot a valuable sword. The value for this World War I memorabilia is soaring into the 10,000 to 50,000 dollars depending on several factors. Also, look for examples of brass trench art, brochures, pamphlets, and Red cross prints made and used during the Great War years.

Travel Posters
Travel posters featuring historic sites like Pompeii, fabulous cities like Monte Carlo, and quiet getaways like the Poconos are all the rage right now.

Rustic wood and metal items that can be repurposed in the garden decor.  Think outside the normal gardening pots and use something not "designed" for a garden.  Have fun.  Add rustic items or splashes of color.



-  Glassware in general is still not selling well.
-  Dollies.
-  Cookbooks still are not selling -- too many for sale and too new.
-  Antique reference books/manuals/guides --  It's free online.

                          View the archive of Ms.Chesley's past articles here. 

Collector's Billboard:

Every Monday Night: Auctions presented by Luther Auction House, 2556 7th Avenue East in Maplewood.  For more information, call 651-770-6175 or Click Here For Details

Last Saturday of the Month:  Antique and Collector Auction presented by Brown Auction 13229 St. Croix Avenue in Lindstrom.  Estates and consignments welcome!  For more information, call 612-598-9031 or Click Here For Details


We Want To Know About It!
To have your garage sale, estate sale, craft sale, church bazaar,
 flea market, etc. posted on Collector's Billboard, please email us
the details.  Please include date, location, time, type of sale,
and short description!





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