Sunday, July 24, 2011

Flea Market Adventure

Saturday morning, I started thinking about Sunday morning flea marketing.  I also was thinking that I needed a change of pace.  The weather report seemed favorable enough and the calendar agreed that I had an opening (probably the only one for a while) so I decided to make a journey to the Elephant's Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, Connecticut.  I had read about it numerous times in various magazines that I read, and all reports were favorable and encouraging.  Their own site claims it is the largest regular Sunday morning flea in New England with over 300 dealers each Sunday.  It sounded like a good adventure.  I thought about inviting a daughter or friend along, but when I thought about it, what I really needed was a little solitary time.  Since school let out, I haven't had any alone time, and lately I'd been craving it, so no invitations were made and I headed off alone on Saturday evening to make the three hour journey there where I planned to stay in a local, well rated hotel that I'd been able to book a room in on line right before leaving. 

The trip down was pleasant, with my GPS navigating me with his consistent little bit of a naughty attitude.  I listened to a favorite movie on the way down played thru my ipod and some inspirational music.  I made reasonable time (despite my GPS's attitude) and arrived in good humor.  At check in, I discovered they did not have my reservation that I'd made on line and tried to give me a more expensive room.  Fortunately, since I had my confirmation print out, they were forced to honor my original booking and price.  The room was quite nice, surprising for a little local hotel.  All was well and I enjoyed some television in bed.  Shortly after turning in for the night the hotel fire alarm went off!!  Let me tell you, that gets your blood pumping especially since it was my first time traveling alone like this.  Turned out to be a false alarm, but the adrenaline rush made getting to sleep again very difficult.

After a short night's sleep I awoke feeling surprisingly refreshed and set off to the flea for the 7am opening.  ( I chose not to go at 5:45 for the dealer's early hours and pay an extra $20 admission).
Yeah.  Here I go!

The market backs up to a beautiful hill.  There were indeed lots of dealers, but alas only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the usual number.  I heard people in the entrance line grumbling that there had been only this many last week as well.  They were speculating that the heat was keeping them away.  Only problem with that theory for today was that although it was quite humid, it was not hot.  It was only about 75 and was the same when I left town at 1:00.  Just my luck, I finally get down there and it's a small turn out.  Drat.  There were happy things to look at, however, it turned out that I couldn't afford most of it.  Seems this flea is too close to New York City, and people with more serious money, to have the kind of prices I am used to.  Here are some of the happy, but free things I saw today both at the Flea and nearby as I was driving around town.

Several of the dealers were selling plants.  These sunflowers just made me smile.

THIS, I absolutely LOVED!!  I spoke with the lady using it.  She had pulled the old stroller frame out of a dumpster, painted it and added the crates and linens and bike basket to create a one of a kind flea marketing cart.  Well it won't be one of a kind for too long if I can get my hands on a stroller frame anytime in the near future.  I gotta make me one of these "sweet rides."

Saw this sweet, well maintained farm house on the side of the road.  It just says, "New England".

And here is my dream truck.  Ohhh I just love this truck!!  I'd love to go flea marketing in one like this.

SO.....despite the lack of sleep, lack of dealers and lack of reasonable prices, I did bring home some goodies.  My car was full, not with quantity but with bulk of larger items.

The wooden file crates on the left need to have the funky 70's contact paper removed and a new paint job.  The metal cart will get a fabric liner made for it and be a fun flea marketing cart to sell.  The little spindled two-tier table will get a coat of cream paint and a distressing.  The wire basket will get de-rusted and sold as is.  The two hosta plants and lettuce seedlings are for my gardens.

The two vintage hats will most likely end up in my personal collection.  They are in fantastic condition.  Wish I could wear them out somewhere like our vintage predecessors did.  The vintage towels will be for sale.

The little vintage purse is for me.  Vintage bags are back in, so I'll be toting this baby to church next Sunday.

These vintage boxes of bluing may be for me.  I haven't decided yet.

My largest purchase of the day was a big white cupboard, which you won't see in this blog.  It was still in my car when I took these photos as it was too big for me to get out alone.  It is quite unique, but needs LOTS of work.  I'll show you photographs of it soon. 

 All in all, I'm glad I went.  I was disappointed with the overall flea, but it all worked out fine.  I spent some time at the Flea and found some treasures; took myself out to a nice breakfast at a quaint dinner where I poured over a new magazine I'd brought form home; went back to my hotel for shower to freshen up; found a church much like my own here and took in a service, where I liked the pastor and his message very much; and listened to two more movies on the ride home.  In all, it turned out to be a relaxing and rewarding day.

Would I go back and try it again.....???   Probably not.  Even with more dealers, it is still too expensive for my pocket book.  But it was fun and good to meet myself again in the quiet hours of it all.  Take care.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beach Time (in the livingroom!)

The weather has been excruciatingly HOT and HUMID here.  It has curtailed my outdoor activities for the time being.  Even taking the dogs out briefly or picking berries in the evening when the sun is gone has become very uncomfortable, to say the least.  The air quality is terrible in this heat and humidity and really bothers my asthma, so indoor activities are what's on tap.  Yesterday I changed over my mantel in the living room from a "let's go fishing" theme to a beach theme.  I won't be going one to anytime soon, but I can have some reminders on display.  Thought I'd share them with you.

The little bottles of sand on the left are saved from beach trips when the girls were little.  The test tube is a "letter in a bottle" with sand and tiny sea treasures in with it.

Enjoy.  If it is hot where you are, try to stay cool.  And remember all the little critters outdoors are suffering too.  Leave out a shallow dish of water in your yard in the shade if you can.  The birds will enjoy a cooling bath and the littlest animals will appreciate a cool drink.  I watched three chipmunks enjoying a refreshing drink in our bowl yesterday and the robins were out in force in the bird bath.  Stay cool!

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Studio....Finally!!! Part Three: nooks and crannies

Last but not least, some of my favorite details and nooks and crannies in the studio...

I love drawers with lots of little divided sections for lots of little goodies to hide in.

This is one of my favorite ways to display vintage photos and ephemera.  Old metal hangers have more uses than just holding clothes.

I made this shadow box to showcase little vintage toys.  It doesn't serve much purpose except to make me smile, so I guess that is purpose enough.  We all need to smile more.

Inside one of the Hoosier side cabinets.  The bottom shelf is all vintage birthday party items.

This is a box, with three drawers that are each divided into many little sections.  The box alone makes me happy, but then fill it with little art supplies and goodies and oh what a happy box!

Sparkly glass glitter and some modern Martha Stewart glitter as well.

Vintage glass canning jelly jars full of a rainbow of vintage buttons inside one of the apothecary drawers.

Another happy drawer in the apothecary full of vintage ribbon and lace bits.

These boards are from a vintage receipt book.  The book was made of many of these metal pages with the spring loaded clips to keep a salesman's or storekeeper's receipts organized.  I clip happy little bits of ephemera to it, both for organization and for eye candy.

This vintage display rack was a happy birthday present from a good friend and is perfect for organizing my vintage postcard collection.  The little collapsible metal basket next to it was once used for gathering eggs, but now it a great holder for my adhesives.

Happy rolls of vintage wall paper on the apothecary shelves along with vintage berry baskets and cigar boxes.

I'll end the tour with a peek into this happy drawer of vintage labels of all sorts.  I am always afraid to use these, since when they are gone, they are really gone, so I am pretty choosy about what I use them for.

Well that's the studio.  Hope you enjoyed the tour.  I'd love your feedback, now that I finally showed it all to you.  Thanks for stopping by to visit.

Yesterday's Flea Market

Sunday dawned bright and warm.  I debated staying in bed having had a good haul at Brimfield, but with my inventory still so low from the successful markets, I decided I'd better go check it out.  Turned out it was good I did.  I found a bunch of larger items this time.  Here's a peek.

Love the summer colored stripes in side the suitcase.  The green sink is destined for a project I started a couple weeks ago, as is the table.  More on that in a future post.

I've never seen such a fancy folding table before.  The vintage chairs fold as well.  I think the table will be painted cream, with maybe a chalkboard painted top.  If I do go with this idea, the chairs will stay black to match, otherwise I'll repaint them a different color.

Love the vintage office supplies and flashcards.  I especially love the vintage Dennison luggage tags.

Here is the best buy of the day.  A completed quilt in very good condition in the Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern.  It is a particularly difficult pattern to make since it is all based on octagons.  I have never been able to afford one before and this one was sure a steal at $30!  I do need to wash it.  Hopefully the red does not bleed.  Cross your fingers for me.

Now this by far is my best find of the day.  And it was FREE by the side of the road on the way home from church later in the day.  Oooooo baby!  I've been looking for a vintage classroom chalk board for my house for a while now to no avail.  I did find two at Brimfield this last time around, but with a price tag of $275 there was no way I was going to bring one home.  Free has such a nice ring to it!  I need to clean it up a little and find a metal cleat to hang it with and it'll be set to go. 

The weather the next two days is supposed to be nice and sunny and low humidity, so I think I'll be outside painting and gardening.  I'll snap a few photos to share with you later.  Thanks for checking in.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Studio ----- Finally!!! Part Two

This is the portion of the studio that is dedicated to sewing.  This is the home of the inspiration boards I blogged about some time ago.  The sewing dress form holds a sweet vintage dress I picked up at an estate sale.  The red sweater was made and worn by my grandma long, long ago. She passed it down to me when I was 13.  I wore it some and then saved it all these years.  I love having it hanging there.

The blue cabinet was a garage rescue from an estate sale.  I picked it up for two dollars, gave it a coat of paint and outfitted it with a vintage curtain.  It now houses my extensive collection of vintage fabrics.  A worn vintage chenille spread yielded just enough fabric for a cushion and ottoman cover for this relaxation and pondering corner.

The little black and white photo on the top left is of my mom's dad as a very little boy, bringing refreshment out to the workers in the field.  The one below is my dad and his brother goin' fishin' when they were young boys.

I covered the top of my sewing desk with a piece of plaid fabric, vintage magazine advertisements and valentines and protected it all with a piece of Plexiglas.  Much nicer than the old scarred college dorm desktop.

The cabinet the old sewing machines are displayed on was built by my great grandfather and used in my grandma's house as long as I can remember.  It now graces my sewing room with family memories and is filled with historical items from my grandparents' lives, including the suit and shoes my grandma was married in.  I even have the ring box, her engagement ring came in.  Oh so very, very special.

Last, but not least, a shadow box I made with vintage sewing notions as the inspiration.
Thanks for visiting my happy place. This morning was a great flea market for me. Check in tomorrow for the photos.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

My studio.....Finally!!! Part One

No I did not forget about showing you the rest of my studio.  I had the time to take pictures the other day and it was neat and tidy, so here you go....  The studio is divided into two distinct areas based on the obscure shape of the space.  There is a sewing area and a creative zone (not that sewing is not creative, just different kind of creative).  Here is the creative zone.

This is the piece de resistance.  The original pharmacy on main street in Pepperell held two apothecary cabinets built in the 1920's.  This is one of the two.  The pharmacist who took over in the 60's eventually put both cabinets into his basement storage.  A few years back, he decided to pull one out and put it on the side of the road for free!  Yes I said FREE.  I happened to see it, called my friend and the two of us somehow managed to stuff it in my minivan.  I had it in storage for a couple years then made a home for it in my studio.  It needed a lot of refurbishing.  I am still in need of a counter top, which I will build or have built this summer.  The drawers hold wonderful goodies.

I built the set of shelves that hang over the apothecary.  They too hold wonderful goodies.

This very special piece was a great, happy find.  It is very hard to come by a complete Hoosier cabinet set.  This three piece set was my 40th birthday present from Fritz almost three years ago.  It was a grand Brimfield find.  The folks I bought it from are so nice.  We still talk about the set when I run into them at the shows.  The glass canisters, all lined up, hold vintage millinery flowers, organized by color.

Central work space.

This cast off dresser lost its drawers but makes a great shelf unit for storing my collection of vintage rubber stamps and ephemera hidden by the curtain.

This vintage rolling factory shelf holds small items destined for sale at the Cooperage. 

Here I pair up modern technology with vintage technology. typewriter!

Check in later this weekend, and I'll post part two of the studio tour.  Thanks for joining me today.

Friday, July 15, 2011

July Brimfield Antique Show -- YEAH!!

The weather was hot and super icky humid this week, until.....yesterday!  A great day to take in the July Brimfield Antiques Show.  July is always a questionable show for me to attend.  With the girl's summer schedules varying so much from year to year and hot weather being a huge factor in attending, I'm never quite sure if I'll be able to go.  But everything worked out well.  Girls were all set, the weather was picture perfect and I had some money in my pocket so off I went for  great day.  Here are the pictures of my finds.
Love the graphics on the old battery sales rack from the 50's.  The star is for Heidi's room.  Good combination of her love of old licence plates and stars.  This five point star is made from old Massachusetts plates.  The dealer makes them for all states. 

Love the patten  and the soft jadeite color on this roll of vintage wallpaper.
The metal item is an expanding vintage dish rack that I intend to use as a file folder holder/organizer.  The paper is a vintage biscuit store inventory pad.  The crocheted pot holders are intended for unique appliques on chenille pillows I plan to make out of the pale blue spread draped over the chair.

Love these little aluminum numerals.

The flowers on the hat will be removed and used for a variety of projects.  LOVE the old-new stock sweater clip!  I will look so vintage when I pin it on my little cotton shrugs.

The little tins are destined to become pin cushions.  The two small glasses will be added to our Swanky Swig collection (I show them all on a blog some day.)

Some aprons to sell.  Some to keep and add to my personal collection of aprons to both wear and enjoy looking at.  The chiffon one on the left was made with sections of a vintage handkerchief.  The one in the center front was made from a feed sack.

Love the color and pattern on this vintage dress.  I have to let our the hem, and then it will be a perfect fir for me.  I even found a vintage full satin slip to wear underneath.

Here is a happy little picture to leave you with.  I bought this aqua polka dot work dress for the fabric (it was made for a very large woman and has many holes in it, but the fabric is great 40's fabric).  Earlier in the morning I picked up the little red and white stool.  Come lunch time, I found myself a shady spot with a tree to lean against, spread out the dress as a blanket and used the little stool as a table for my lunch with the vintage thermos and plaid lunch box I bring my lunch in.    Oh it set quite a happy mood for my day!  It makes me feel good even today.