Monday, May 30, 2011

Flea Market Frenzy!

First of all, let me apologize to my regular blog readers for being somewhat sparse in posting of late.  I had the show to do, I had homework to complete and I must admit, since starting the Facebook page my attention has been pulled in many directions at once!  My master plan - as it is shaping up - is to use the blog for longer, more intense, funny (debatable!), reporting and resource-based posts, while I use the Facebook page for more sneak previews, conversations, questions, debates and links to other FB pages, current events and articles. 

With that said, I offer you a long-winded comprehensive blog about the Flea Market Frenzy I experienced this morning!  I had not been in a while and this morning I decided to get up early and have a blast...and I did!  This post includes photos of things I did not buy as well as many, many items I bought both for the shop and for me!  This covers the Where Do You Find That Stuff? , What Do You Keep? and "Things I Did NOT Buy" categories quite nicely!   I am starting (for some reason not quite known to me...) with this bike.  A little web research dates it to 1979 when is about the time I would have coveted it!  What a little gem!  Hope it went home with someone...

As a little proof that I really did get up this morning and be at the flea by 6:00, I snapped these photos of a) my car clock at 5:46, and b) the road deserted on the way to Dunkin' Donuts.  Wow, not sure I have ever seen these two things before...

For further proof of how early I was up, I sat next to this DD menu board for 5 minutes before giving up and driving to the window.  Get this...they WERE NOT OPEN YET!  Yet another first.  I almost panicked, but then remembered I live in Rhode Island, and drove about 1/8 of a mile to another Dunkin'.

I had actually never been in this Dunkin' before and thought they had no drive-through until I got close.  The Drive-Thru [sic] is in this creepy concrete tunnel at the back of the building!  Remind me not to stop by after midnight...

Back on deserted roads again to the Flea!  A hub of mini-vans, filth and cigars...I mean, treasures!

Within minutes I'd handed over cash and returned to my car with my first load of filthy stuff.  (It cleaned up well though...see later in this post...)

I know I have shown these dogs in my blog before because they are so darn cute!  The black one is disabled and cannot walk, so, the white one is happy to ride around with him so they can see the sights and meet people together!  This little sweetheart in the back is new.  The couple who owns the other two dogs is fostering her from a puppy mill until she gets settled and is ready to find a new home - how sweet is that?

Ok, anyone who knows me knows I have a little "thing" for kitschy vintage Christmas items. This blow mold of Santa in his sleigh was at least 3 feet long and awesome!  And they only wanted $5!  And he was still there when I left after 3 hours!  I took this photo as further proof to my husband that there ARE things I do not buy...really!

The above three items are all things I DID NOT buy, but, ironically, they were all being sold by the same guys from whom I bought, like, 87 other things!  Evidently these four guys had cleaned out an estate the day before and just had truckloads of gems!  (the Santa was their's too!)  Every time I passed by, they had unpacked more, and I handed over more money!  Luckily, they were right near my car... (and reasonably priced!)

Can you imagine a new-millennium mom putting her child into a metal swing with metal chains????  Neither can I!  But kids survived these things for years (though I admit, a few lost digits probably helped form some of today's regulations.)  Regardless of all that, this was made by Graco (who made the very new plastic swing I helped locate for my friend with a newborn two months ago!) but I think the graphics on this one from the 1950's are even better! 

Before I drove home I turned around and snapped this pic inside my Jeep.  Do I provide a full virtual experience or what?

Ok, now for the gallery of items I DID buy...
The estate sale was chock full of dog and cat items.  Although I am more a "cat person" I find that vintage dog items sell better so I snapped up these gems!

I looked at a lot of hats today but this is the only one I plunked down cash for.  A Lilly Dache...

This person must have collected watering cans because they were everywhere!  I picked up these three. The two at the top are tin litho from Chein.  One is missing a handle but is still cute as can be!  In fact, the illustration on that one looks just like my mom as a young girl!  The bottom one with the yellow silhouette is actually the largest one.

You'll see this amazing item in my shop next November for sure!  A "Crystal" tree, in clear hard plastic, that assembles to about a foot tall with tiny little glass ornaments hanging from it!  Includes ALL pieces, the matching candle holders and is in the original 1940's/1950's box.  Wow!

I've never met a Soure bag I did not love!  This beauty is no exception. Remarkable condition and design - it looks like it was made yesterday.  It is, however, over 40 years old...

Oh my!  Gorgeous 13" Manhattan pedestal cake plate in mint condition!  I've offered this already to a woman who purchased a set from my mother for her wedding.  If she does not want it I will either sell it, or, keep it!  A beauty!

Oh deer!  By finding this pair of mid century flocked deer I feel like I have been given the keys to Etsy city!  I can now take artsy photos of my items with cute little deer placed artfully beside them!  I will ditch my "models" and rely on the deer, who, for some reason also unknown to me, seem to work for oodles of Etsy sellers!  If that does not work, I will simply take artsy photos and sell them instead....  Ok, I'm getty a wee bit snarky here.  These deer will likely be sold next November in my shop... (But really, what's up with the deer and Etsy thing?????)

Now when I think of cute vintage deer THIS is more my style!  Hard plastic Rosen Rudolphs.  Complete on a lighted stand!  (and I do have that second tree; just needs to be glued back in place).  Oh my, I think I may need to keep this one and the one below.  See, I already own one of these Rosen candelabras, with Santa at the center and two white deer flocking him.  I have never seen others never mind having found two others in the same day!

This pair of photos is going out to my friend Christine at Diary of a Mad Antiquer and Salvage Chic fame who recently posted about people who believe vintage = haggling.  Read her hilarious post (and others) here.   Dear buyers, I love you, (and 99.9% of you are incredibly appreciative and understanding about pricing!) but, just look at what this stuff looks like when found!  Now granted, it is not all this extreme, but, this is not so uncommon.  We dealers (yes, I can call myself that!) have to get up at 5:30, dig through crap, flirt with 63 year old guys, haggle a price, drag stuff home, hide it from our husbands, inventory it, clean it, research it, photograph it, describe it, pay to list it, pack it and ship it to you.  This is not rocket science but it does take a fair amount of diligence, patience, the ability to ignore a LOT of junk and hard work to pull off!    Oh, and by the way I am probably keeping the item above.  I know I have a replacement Rudolph here somewhere...that's just how I roll...

Am I crazy for buying these late 1960's banks for the shop?

My most expensive item of the day - a whopping $20 (though purchased with other items) - for this Weller Jardinière for me!  It is huge, at least 10" across, and looks worse in the photo than in person as the flaws are front and center.  1920's art pottery for a bargain - love it!

This fabric is a mystery to me.  Appears "mottled" sort of faded, but is a big long roll and is the same throughout.  I'm thinking this may be fabric used to create the seat of the old wooded sling style deck chairs?  It is heavy cotton and hemmed on both sides of it's narrow width; about 30 inches.  Any ideas?

I look through a LOT of boring and drab portraits to find one sassy chic like this to add to my "models."  MEOW!

My friend Michelle at The Red Velvet Shoe is styling an upcoming disco event so asked me to keep an eye out for some disco duds.  These two pairs of shoes both came from the same woman who wore them in the 70's.  Only problem is - they are tiny!  She wore about a size 5.  They are AMAZING just to look at though, are they not?  Those boots are all soft blue leather and go up to the knees!  The back heels rise 6" off the floor!

A day at the flea would not be complete without some vintage tablecloth finds!

Mid-century silk scarves?  Check!  We've found those...some with the original tags!

A later morning find - these three 1950's/1960's swimsuits!  (the Jantzen tag is from the one at the far left.) 

Every Scottie tie tack I have been lucky enough to offer in my shop has sold to a happy customer, so, how could I leave this incredible assortment behind?

I love finding lots of things that are so "flea market" in nature.  Like a stack of unused 1960's hair nets or highway maps - love them!

And last but not least, this giant reverse painted lighted advertising clock for me.  $10!  Needs to be rewired and have the hands added but I like projects.  My husband also liked it which is a plus!    I've been looking for another one of these since my Elsie the Cow clock fell off the rotted wall at my old apartment and shattered into a million reverse painted glass pieces...

So all told, I spent no more than $100 on all items above minus the $20 jardiniè THAT'S a good day at the flea!


  1. Ooooh! What lovelies! Love the scarves and swimsuits best. :)

  2. Thanks Stephanie! I just washed the recent swimsuits today so need to model/photo them and determine sizes & measurements hopefully over the next week! I have a backlog of scarves...if there is anything specific you are looking for just drop me a note!

  3. Love the Dunkin Donuts component of the story - so RI! I would not want to put Roni in that swing, but it is definitely cuter than the one you found! And more eco-friendly, too.

  4. That Jantzen size 16 swimsuit would be a size 8-10 in today's sizes! I am amused by the incredible changes in women's sizing to accommodate the ever larger American woman's proportions. I remember my mom being mortified when she went "up" to a 16 back in the 1960s, and dieting back down to a 12. That 12 would be about a size 6 today. The black swimsuit design is stunning and should be revived today -- looks like it would be super flattering.

    Thanks for sharing your adventures! I am amazed at how diligent you are. Having done just a bit of the search, buy, restore, and sell biz on eBay, I understand all the hours of work behind the products for sale. (It's great fun, though.)

  5. Anne, you are exactly right! I washed that suit and modeled it (pics on my FB page...) and it is a wee bit big on me, about a contemp size 8, which, would be about a contemp size 10 swimsuit size. I am sort of glad it does not fit because it would be that much harder to part is FABULOUS!

    And the black one has a great cut, but, too small for me to model...about a 2/4. Also had some "dusting" issues so I plan to offer that one at a reduced cost for photo shoot...

  6. or patterning (the black one) as you suggest for a contemp suit design!

  7. You have Drive Thru Dunkin Donuts!!?? Awesome.

    I wish I could have been at that fab flea. What killer deals you got on some very cool stuff. Nothing is like a great day at the flea market!

    Pumpkin Truck

  8. We have any form of Dunkin' Donuts you can imagine! For a while you could buy it while shopping at the supermarket! I used to work for them - the corporate office "break room" is a giant open Dunkin' with coffee all day, and donuts, muffins, bagels, cookies, etc...stocked fresh daily....


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