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Get ready. We're heading into Junk Gypsyville, Texas, with the HGTV stars Jolie and Annie to find out what it takes to be a true Junk Gypsy.
"The raucous and rowdy home of gypsies, junkers, dreamers, and true-blue rebels across the globe! We believe every man’s trash is truly our treasure, junking is a way of life, and garage sales are our Rodeo Drive. We’d rather be at a fleamarket collecting chippy-peely cast-offs than anywhere else."
Chat with hosts Mark and Theresa live here or on Twitter on Wednesday, September 26th at 8pmET. #FixitUpTalk #blogtalkradio
You're inside MyFixItUpLife with Mark and Theresa.
Today, we ride the road from junk to jam, trash to treasure, lost to found.
We discover hidden gems from flea markets to roadside fares with the rebellious design decorators Amie and Jolie Sikes of HGTV's Junk Gypsies.
If we are rough in time, we get some gravel in our travel.
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And my oh-so-handsome FixItUp husband, Mark.
And we're taking our trash and making it treasure today.
We are making trash into treasure and we are talking to some experts today to help us get going because what we like to use cut off some projects, I mean like to reuse old things from that we find around our house, we don't do a lot of like going out -- Mark wasn't...
Like seeking it out.
Seeking it out.
Yeah. Like if we come across -- I mean, you name it. A window weight, an old window sash, or framing in our remodeling activity like we can kind of see, "Hey that can be art" but they actually, our two guests and they are the Junk Gypsies from HGTV, have made it their careers.
Yeah. They actually go out and seek these treasures all throughout America and then they actually make some really cool stuff out of them. So, you know, I'm always inspired for everything that I see when we're doing a project, just walking around in general in life and looking at houses and buildings, and I'm always trying to make little crafty things out of unusual objects too. So what they do for their jobs and their living is like making actual awesome things out of things that people abandon. It's pretty cool. I'm so excited to talk to them and kind of get like their whole strategy mojo vibe from them, because like...
Which one, their strategy, their mojo or their vibe?
All of it!
All three might not be available.
You know what I kind of really like too is that the Junk Gypsies, you can buy gear from them on their website. Did you know that?
I did know that and again, we don't plan this, the stuff you see are abandoned and the things you less use.
You know like I saw recently there was a bell from -- I didn't know what it was, it was a Masonic Lodge thinking. It was a giant bell. You can buy that stuff.
You can buy that as well...
If it is all abandoned, you can buy it on their website.
Is it on the National Geographic update or in his web?
His website, their website. He works with his wife.
And what's their website?
Oh there you go, it sounds like you can also go on the Junk Gypsies website which is junkgypsyblog.com and they sell cool things that are reused, but they also sell cool things too like they have like dream catchers and like the gypsy teepee.
Well, they got a whole like fashion line.
And like they've got this like cowgirl ruffle pants and leopard steering wheel cover and it's like really cool, fun, funky stuff that you can sort of like infuse into your daily life and kind of become like a part of the whole Junk Gypsy experience.
I want to be part of the Junk Gypsy experience, but I'll ask them for a T-shirt. Is that cheap?
You can buy one on their website.
Hi! It's me Mark. Can I have free T-shirt?
Well you know all these kind of puts me in mind of the Artisan's Asylum where I get those videos for Popular Mechanics and Radio Shack of outside of Boston.
Those are bunches like they make cheap stuff, like they make stuff.
Yes in this new major category the breath of stuff that they make in that place, it's 35,000 square meters. I can't possibly go in all of it, but there were so many things, there were so many anonymous people that made like there was a robot, I'm doing -- making my finger crossed.
Wait, wait, wait, anonymous people?
Oh yeah! They're not on TV.
They don't have this little nametag that says "My Name is Bob"?
They don't have a store in front. We shot at night so maybe nobody, not maybe nobody was there, mostly nobody was there. So and one of the places that we set up to do out interview for the Popular Mechanics guys who may be The Laser Harp, right next to it was a robot made of art and we've made on like a slot machine with a bunch of pipes and washers and wires and it was awesome.
So in this Popular Mechanics thing, is that a video that people can watch?
It is. It is popularmechanics.com and it's the great make I think.
The great make?
The great make.
You can go and check that out and there are like clips of the different things that you are talking about there?
We should put it up on our website.
Okay, we'll do that at myfixituplife.com, we'll put it up there and we can share it with everybody too.
But you also don't need to like you know well, stuff together or go to abandoned properties or you know go on every roadside fare. You have made some awesome stuff out of things we have around the house like old jeans and stuff.
Yeah, you know one thing that we always try to do is try to reuse and upcycle the stuff that we have around our house from projects so just you know when you grow out of there and you are constantly trying to figure out who to give our kids' old clothes to and toys and things to, but you know I am always trying to look at them with the different kind of device that you know what can we use to make that into something awesome that we could actually then use again. So I have made pillows out of some of like cheap little skirts and kind of cool things like that. So there is always something you can -- you just kind of look at it from a different perspective.
Well, we've got to look at taking a break from this perspective. We are going to do that now, we'll be back with more MyFixitUpLife
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And you're inside MyFixitUpLife and it's FixitUp fun time.
It is FixitUp fun time nation, you've found and I found the most famous wire you've never heard of.
Okay, the most famous wire I've never heard of?
Yeah, it's ridiculous that it should be famous wire. It's ridiculous that wire can be famous, but this stuff is super cool for upcycling projects.
It is famous wire, which like a soap opera, I will stop talking about now so you'll stay with me to find out at the end.
Well, I'm kind of curious, is it like a tightrope wire like you're going over the Niagara Falls or something?
No, it's not a tightrope wire.
Or like Evel Knievel like driving over it or something?
Yes, Evel Knievel from his 70s or 80s is driving over in a wheelchair or motorcycle.
So that would be really famous wire.
That would be famous wire, but no...
And then you could reuse that wire and make it into something really awesome.
Well, that's what this is. It's called Sundial Cloth-Covered Electrical Wire.
And it's just wire, but like for example, we have a lamp that we inherited with this house when we bought it that's got replacement cord in it, but old school, old fashion vintage cords are braided and you have these big awesome plugs at the end. Well if that's worn out, you can't just go buy another one except that you can. You can get it here at Sundial Electrical Wire.
Oh, so this is a replacement wire for older fixtures?
Yes. Or you can...
I feel like I'm listening to an infomercial. Well, wait! There's more...
We're like there's more! It also cooks turkey. So yes, you can use it. So like if you come across a Victrola phonograph, an old fan, whatever it is and it needs new wire, you can replace it with this vintage wire and this vintage cord so that the whole thing has a great look to it. But the other side of the coin is you can make your own custom pendant lamps, pendant lights, that have these braided colorful -- you can choose all kinds of different colors, I don't know how many they have, and make a pendant light that way. And it's texture, it is nice. Nobody else is really going to have it.
Okay, so that you can make something kind of new look old.
And you can make something old look...
Or you can upcycle... old look new.
Okay. Very cool!
Exactly. And now, if for example, you have a fan that you found and I'm not making this up and you need some information about it, you can go to the American Fan Collectors Association and get some information about your fan, how to fix it, what wire it would have, what color it would have, etc. But here's why Sundial Wire is famous. Movie and set designers call them all the time for designing sets and it is shown up in movies like -- I have to read the list, Water for Elephants, Sucker Punch, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Seabiscuit, King Kong, War of the Worlds, and has been on TV on Fringe, Bones, and Heroes among other shows.
So where can you find out information about them?
It's very cool.
Now, you have a fine.
I have a fine. I can't wait to share with you because it's going to make you -- like when I put you on your own money.
You said money, I'm now listening
Did you know that you could actually legally make your own money in this country?
You can legally make your own money in this country. I've read this in Money Magazine.
Good magazine to talk about money.
Yes, it is. I love this magazine and you can go online and you can check it out and read the article that I've read because I've just captured this for like months and I've just like tucked it away because I was so excited about it. I didn't really know when to spring it on you, but I thought that this show would be the perfect opportunity.
Have you planted a money tree in the backyard?
No, but it's actually legal to make your own money and whether or not like your thinking about the Zombie Apocalypse or if you're just trying to be ironic and you want to print money with your own based on it, there are a couple of things you have to do to make it to be legal in this country.
Okay. The questions are piling up, but please continue.
Okay. To make it legal, you have to, first of all, make sure that it doesn't look anything like the money that currently you are using as US currency.
Yeah, to make it look vastly different.
Not like money.
You have to make it look vastly different than what those current currency looks like. And for example, you can go on Money Magazine and you can check out a dozen different places that have made their own money and they actually use that in their circulation. For example, Seattle has more than a million dollars worth of their life dollars have been exchanged since 2004 and then, the BerkShares in Berkshire, Massachusetts has three million BerkShares in circulation right now and in Philadelphia, there's Equal Dollars and you can earn them and flop them through community service.
So it's a service for the dollar, is that how they have value? I'm not -- I'm not seeing all the pieces.
Well, they have -- you can earn them. What you have to do is have people that are willing to use it and to trade with it. You can buy things in stores and you have to -- stores have to opt them to be able to trade with them.
And so they have to have value, so a couple of things that the US government wants you to do if you do this, it is to make sure that there is an exchange rate for US currency because they're going to tax you on those dollars. It's not a way of getting out of taxable income. You have to be able to claim this. It's a value that is, you know, relevant to US currency which is kind of cool.
Yeah, I get that. Okay, that makes sense.
So lots of people are already doing this and they've been doing this for a long time and it's more than just like those little like the coupons that people do or like those little member cards that you have at the grocery store, every single place that you go to, these are things, these are actually printed out paper currencies that you can trade at -- you can trade for stores and services and between people too.
That's super cool and I do have to point out that I did drift off because I was envisioning my face on a bill.
Yeah. And then the pyramid on the back, I'll make a little house...
But I'll cut the top of it.
Yes, timber framing?
Timber framing cut the top of the gable off. Instead of an eye, the all-seeing eye, I'll put it an ear.
The all-hearing ear.
The all-hearing ear, so what's your question?
I don't think I have one.
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Or grab a roll at Lowe's today. And you are back inside MyFixItUpLife with my wife, Theresa
And my husband, Mark.
And I want to turn some trash to treasure.
And I also want that to be easier to say.
Well, I kind of want to become a junk gypsy because I think that whole like mojo, the whole, that whole thing is just -- it's kind of like free and exciting and it's eclectic and fun. It looks so much fun.
We should go to Texas.
We should go to Texas
Where the junk gypsies are, Amie and Jolie Sikes, who are the junk gypsies and have managed to turn the word "junk" and "gypsy" into not only an awesome design and decoration business, but a television show on HGTV. Amie and Jolie, how did you do that? Go.
Well, we don't know.
We like careful planning, you know. We got to strategize. You know what, we always say Junk Gypsy. You could have never planned for this business and we're __18:02__ and all the magic that we feel because of it. So we don't know. We just kind of stumbled into it and we decided we were going to figure out how to make the most of it so.
We adhere to the plan of not having a plan.
Oh, I like that.
That's good. I'm...
And working your booty off, lots of sweat.
Well, that's really good too. I like working your booty off because it keeps you in shape too. It's healthy.
That's right. That's right. It really does and we call it "junkercise".
Junkercise? Oh, serious, that is awesome.
When does the exercise video hit YouTube?
Same, same... we ask junky people to help us out of it. So you also come on and do it with us.
We'll do it. I can spray paint something and then do 50 push ups.
It's like a little too far there. We're talking about loads and furniture
We're taking you out of our exercise careers.
Oh. It's heavy manual labor.
Lots of manual labor, that's right.
You're good at that Mark.
Well, what is the heaviest piece of junk that you have unjunked?
Oh, I'm glad our dad came here, and he brought down -- Good thing dad is not in here.
He always says "do you all know about the heaviest stuff known to mankind?" We've bought lots of concrete and we bought (crosstalk) table that we put in the craft room. Yes. We bought a 12-foot tall elephant one time.
A 12-foot tall white elephant but it was actually fiberglass that wasn't as heavy as it looked. We bought a carnival ride from the 1920s and you know, they don't make them like that anymore. I mean like steel and you know, all American made and I mean those things are heavy so that's probably our heaviest thing, old circus ride.
We just thought it's really fun stuff. I mean everything we like is sometimes maybe not completely practical, but for our store and for Junk Gypsy and for our parent, it's lots of fun and we just can't have that fun things like that. And if the Junk Gypsy doesn't work out, we're going start to traveling side show and make pizza and have our carnival.
Oh I love that.
Can I be the funnel cake guy?
You want to be the funnel cake guy?
I didn't know what a funnel cake is.
That's a carnival thing right?
Yeah, I think it is.
That is crazy. So now you are doing people's houses and like what's your house like? You know, what are your houses like or use it like carnival rides and everything that I am seeing like on your website and everything?
Well, our house is, I don't know about you all, but our houses will never be finished because you think they never take time to do your own stuff but my -- this is Amie talking, my house is pink and my house is kind of crazy. It's just me and my little girl. So we kind of have gone overboard on like cotton candy floss, I guess.
And Amie was actually featured on one of the HGTV episodes.
I love that.
Now it's that the house that you moved?
Yes that's it.
That is awesome!
Actually, that would be the heaviest thing we've ever bought.
Yes, yes that probably was easily the heaviest thing we've ever bought.
And now we live in it, yes. And what's funny though is my daughter, her perspective at home is that if we go to the beach she will say, "Mommy, we should leave our house here at the beach." Like in her mind, you can just pick up your house and move it.
Well, why can't you?
Well apparently in your mind, you can do that too.
In your reality (laughs). Now and I love the stuff that you are guys are selling on your website, junkgypsyblog.com., like there is a cutest thing like the little girl ruffled pants and leopard steering wheel cover is outrageous and so cool. Like who even thinks of having a gypsy teepee?
We do not know. I have one in mind I'm like sweating so...
That's kind of what brought that about.
Okay, because that's simply crazy and I know that our kids would desire if we have that in our house.
That's true. And also to live up to a promise I have given myself, I said I would ask you for a T-shirt.
You got it.
Consider it done.
Done. See? Done.
You know, you guys have to...
You really want him representing you out in the world. I mean. Seriously? You might want to reconsider that later.
You might want to send out with a contract.
He looks strong so I'm thinking that we might get a little manual labor out of this.
He is strong. I have relied on him to like lift heavy things and move heavy things for me. So yeah.
Yes, unfortunately I've earned the title strong-back-weak-mom.
There is nothing wrong with that. Don't let anyone ever tell you different.
Oh, that's so kind of you. Now, I have a question that is a little bit complex. So, between gypsyville.com, your antiques week, the designing, the decorating, the painting, the TV show, the constant hunt for treasures, what don't you do?
Get a pedicure?
I don't have a pedicure like 12 years.
I mean I really feel sorry for the person that gives us... (Laughs)
Well, I have a question and I am curious because I have read that your parents own pizza parlors there and like are you sick of pizza or you still like to get it all like going out for pizza and bringing your daughter and the whole thing?
Yeah, oh my gosh.
Pizza is our comfort food.
We love pizza.
Yeah, we can never have enough pizza but we're slightly, I mean sadly we're a little bit a pizza snob.
What's your favorite pizza?
It happens in a pizza business when you made pizza pretty much everyday of your life as a child. You know a good pizza from a not-so-good pizza.
And so, yeah, we're real pizza snob. It so hard for us to go out to eat pizza.
Yeah, we like it a lot at home there.
Okay. So, what's your favorite pizza?
Oh, veggie. We love veggie pizzas like we'll put every veggie in the world on a pizza with jalapenos.
Tons of jalapenos.
And avocado because we have avocado.
Oh, that sounds really good.
We just keep putting stuff on there.
That sounds like a very Texas mix of vegetables for pizza. I am not so sure you get a lot of that say in New York or Seattle.
We have commitment issues so we just brought -- we've kind of equal opportunity with all the vegetables.
I love it.
So I want to know -- like you know I also read that you guys had other jobs between helping out with the pizza parlors and now being junk gypsies, like what jobs or careers were you doing between all of that?
We market our restaurants growing out and then we both -- we have a little busy town with one flat and like so it is at little Baytown, Northeast Texas and then when we graduated High School, we both went off to Texas A and M and went to college and got a degree. Amie has a degree with law and then mine was in medicine.
I am not actually a lawyer. It was just gearing towards law. I was on the prelaw track.
Right. And she graduated first because she is older. I said you can take it from her.
Yes. We heard that.
Okay. So I actually did not get a law degree. I was on a pre-law track and then Jolie was on the premed track at A and M. But then we both left college. I went market the capital in Austin in politics. Jolie went to teach school for a little while until she decided what her definite plan of the track was and then ended up going -- she admitted going back to college to get her master's degree in nutrition and so basically, we have no experience in the junk business before we got into the junk business and I think I was saying also that Jolie's masters degree in nutrition is kind of why, hence the veggie pizza thing happened.
Well I just have to say that just like the designs and all the photos that I've seen and your TV show and everything, do you guys have such a rich eclectic background too that you like it kind of like it make sense to me in a way that how creative and how just rich in texture all everything is that you create.
It really does make sense. But at least it makes sense to me.
Even though we don't have a degree in Junkology, we grew up just with a lot of junk and being self-employed because our parents -- in the restaurant, they were always decorating just with recycled things in the flea market and we helped renovate all of the old buildings that they were and they were always in old downtown building and we were far across this as kids and I was like all the decor was and our mom, we have been wearing __26:49__ clothes since the beginning. So I think we just -- we didn't have a choice this far so either we are going to love junk or not, we've always love it.
Well, is it something that you guys are like scouting for right now or like you have on your list of I wish we could find this for our project that we are working on?
I wish we could find a giant 10-foot chandelier for our store.
Like huge, gargantuan, or one of those kinds you see like in a Vegas casino or something exact.
Because nothing says not gypsy like goddie.
Oh my goodness gracious.
Of all the stuff that you've found over the years and all the projects that you've done, what strangest thing or the thing that yet like the least fate in that turned out to be just a homerun?
That's a really good question.
Do you have one that like turned out to be a total dud, you are so helpful and was like, "Wait this doesn't work".
Oh god. I will take that.
On one of the episodes, we build a desk like a fold down desk out of a tailgate. It turned out really, really cool and like a cheap tailgate and turned out a really cool desk.
It's kind of classy but really great color. Old tailgate from the junkyard basically and on the top, we put a piece of plywood and chalkboard paint and then we put down -- the part of the wall once it put down, we try and fill corkboard and then it has a shelf above it and it is the cutest, coolest, nonfunctional thing and really for any age like good for a little boy' room but as Amie said as we were installing it, she was like, "Hey, this could go to college for tailgate party in their house." So it was really cool DIY I guess you would say.
I think my husband will probably like it too for his office.
Really, there is no age on that tailgate desk because it was really cool.
That sounds awesome.
I love it. I am going to have to run outside and take the tailgate off my truck right now.
So for everybody listening you have to go to junkgypsyblog.com. Check them out on HGTV. Follow them on Twitter, @junkgypsy. We have to go to break.
We will be back with more MyFixitUpLife.
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It's good to talk.