Brimful of Antiques on the 45

I grew up in Wakefield. I live and breathe the words of  Springfield. But my heart, my little wooden heart, belongs to Brimfield. 

Sunday Funday took on a completely different meaning as my friends Katie, Jill, Jill’s unborn baby and I piled into the Jeep and took off for the largest outdoor antiques fair in the world.  Brimfield takes place three times per year (May, July and September) and each show lasts six days. Today was the last day of the July show so we knew some dealers would be packing up to head home but it’s also a great time to get some deals.

What do they have at Brimfield? Everything. Seriously. Whether it’s vintage clothes, rusty awesomeness, gorgeous furniture or even vintage vinyl, you can find it at Brimfield.

I followed this sign. It brought me to an empty table. Sounds about right.

I followed this sign. It brought me to an empty table. Sounds about right.

The day was warm, to say the least. It was 96 degrees. That’s only two degrees less than a terrible boy band! It was stifling. I was a sweaty mess. A swess. Jill procured not one, but two frozen lemonades over the course of an hour. But that didn’t stop us. (It stopped us briefly at times, and we may have stayed JUST a little longer in the tents that had fans…) I ended up with a small haul (for me) taking home  a vintage dress & skirt (at 50% off!) and some planters but I think if I had more time and was more hydrated, I could have done some serious damage.

I wanted to buy these but I didn't. I regret it.

I wanted to buy these but I didn’t. I regret it.

Hat and red lipstick. Bodyless head after my own heart.

Hat and red lipstick. Bodyless head after my own heart.

Brimfield is gourd-geous.

Brimfield is gourd-geous.

One of the shopping tips for such a huge event is that if you’re looking for something in particular, make a t-shirt that says it so folks can help you when you’re poking around their booths. If I had made a shirt for today, it would have said “creepy clowns” because for some reason, they have been cracking me up lately. And we found a few that stole our souls hearts.

KILLITWITHFIRE

KILLITWITHFIRE

CREEPY CLOWN CANNIBAL

CREEPY CLOWN CANNIBAL

Some of the booths were just so cool in an awesome cluttered, colorful and unique way.

Do these chairs only look cool if you buy 20?

Do these chairs only look cool if you buy 20?

Crazy for Crates!

Crazy for Crates!

I love birds.

I love birds.

Poppin bottles.

Poppin bottles.

So much death. And it looks AWESOME.

So much death. And it looks AWESOME.

I definitely want to head to the September show, maybe even for more than one day. I know we didn’t even get through 1/10 of the market today and I would love to be able to just take it all in, talk to some dealers and boost my closet and collections. And maybe this time do it with 85% less underboob sweat.

Counting Roosters: Auctions and Everything After

Another night of treasure hunting in the books! This time Mrs. M  of Country Design Home and I headed to Crown Auctions in Medford to check out what was on the auction block and see if anything was worth raising our numbers. We’ve been there before (and Mrs. M wrote a great post about Crown here). If you’ve never been to an auction, it’s definitely…interesting. The folks at Crown are super nice and I literally laughed out loud (LLOL’d) a few times at their banter and one-liners. Tonight people were getting killer buys on things like furniture ($25 for a dining room table and chairs) as well as breaking the bank for not-so-hidden treasures.

This sign sold for almost $600!

This sign sold for almost $600!

I think that’s part of why I like going so much – as the bids start flying around I think to myself “What do these people know about this object that I don’t? I didn’t even give that vase a second glance and now it’s almost $700?” It’s a great way to get a bargain, grab some cheap inventory and make some (hopefully minor) mistakes as you’re learning the ropes…

…and buy metallic poultry!

My two new friends

My two new friends

Sure did. I couldn’t resist these guys and knew that as long as the price was right, they were coming home to Waltham with me. They’ll end up for sale eventually but for right now, they’re just chilling. Roosting? Whatever.

You good, bro?

Seat belts save lives.

Buckle up, Lil Duck!

Buckle up, Lil Duck!

I made sure they were safe and sound on the car ride home. It turns out, I’m actually a pro at driving poultry around in my car, as I scored this guy last year from my Aunt & Uncle.

It's a rooster AND a lamp!

It’s a rooster AND a lamp!

As a gesture of solidarity, I even played Counting Crows on the way home.

And even though Mrs. M hates birds, she still got a kick out of the handcrafted rooster and water fowl. Although maybe she was still just pining over our favorite friend from the Vintage Bazaar last week?

Photo courtesy of Country  Design Home

Photo courtesy of Country Design Home

I’ll be writing about some of my other finds soon (hint: misogyny!) but until then, the bird’s the word.

And I Am A Material Girl

What a weekend! First of all, I turned 32 on Friday. Pretty crazy! What does that mean for me? What does anything mean, really? What does mean, mean? Who am I? Exactly.

Second, I got to attend the fabulous Vintage Bazaar in Salisbury, Mass! If you’ve never been, it’s an amazing weekend-long bazaar, once in June and once in September, featuring more than 125 artisans in tents bursting with awesome. I was the date of the lovely Mrs. M of Country Design Home. She wrote a great post about the Vintage Bazaar on Friday and I could not wait to get there and check out all the tents and chat with some of the smart and creative folks behind the scenes.

I knew I was in heaven as soon as we got there and the first thing I saw was a vintage truck. I. Love. Vintage. Trucks. If I was Madonna in the Material Girl video, I totally would have gotten in that rich guy’s old truck too, even though he only bought it knowing I wasn’t impressed with all the flashy things he was focused on before, but the effort was there and hey, vintage truck!

What the truck?

What the truck?

And continuing down the path of “Things Lisa Loves,” one of the first places we stopped was Fish in the Garden.

Just keep swimming.

Just keep swimming.

The work of the very talented (and extremely nice) Mr. Tyson Weiss, these ceramic koi, trout, and stainless steel stripers were located throughout the grounds of the farm and made me so happy. I, of course, bought one of the stripers for Mom & Dad’s garden, bringing the total number of stripers I’ve caught this year up to one.

Shortly thereafter, while strolling across the beautiful Pettengill Farm, I exclaimed with the excitement and wonder usually reserved for small children meeting Santa or Mickey Mouse, “MRS. MATHISON OH MY GOSH IT’S THE TRAILER! IT’S THE TRAILER!”

THE Bettie B!

THE Bettie B!

The work of L Kells Antiques  and Log Cabin Antiques, I have been following Bettie B’s transformation every step of the way on Facebook and the final result did not disappoint! It was so cute, all decked out with vintage awesomeness and colorful kitsch. Unfortunately she was already sold, but I did scoop up this awesome mini minnow bucket.  It looks great on the larger one I purchased last summer, situated right next to my vintage tackle box and lures.

Buckets on buckets.

Buckets on buckets.

I also had the opportunity to chat with the lovely ladies of Bel Monili and juNxtaposition. These are two artisans who know the purpose of re-purpose and do it quite well.

Brace yourself.

Brace yourself.

Bel Monili creates gorgeous jewelry made from…well…other jewelry. Here are bracelets made from vintage earrings,  I scooped up one of these bracelets for myself, I couldn’t resist.

juNxtaposition also makes upcycled pieces “all made with items that others would throw away,” including typewriter keys, skeleton keys, silverware and more.

Recycling is KEY

Recycling is KEY

I also snagged these awesome votive candle holders from The Flea Circus. 

Croquet anyone?

Croquet anyone?

These lovely ladies from Leicester made these great candle holders using old croquet balls. I just thought they were so colorful and clever, I had to have them.

(Of note, Mrs. M was quickly exposed to my shopping style, which consists of me seeing something, saying “I need that.” and pulling out my wallet. No debate. No hemming and hawing. Blink and you might miss it. But in the vintage world, blink and someone else might buy it before you do!)

Last but certainly not least, I also got to meet one of my most favorite treasure hunters, Cari Cucksey of Cash & Cari!

Cash & Cari!

Cash & Cari!

She had tons of cool stuff and was super nice. I don’t even think she noticed that I was repeating “Act cool, Leese. Act. Cool.” in my head over and over in order not to gush. One thing she did notice, however, was my bracelet and asked if it was a Whiting and Davis (which it was).  I basically died instantly on the spot.

Ke$ha was here?

Ke$ha was here?

Overall, The Vintage Bazaar is nothing short of amazing. I cannot WAIT to go in September to hopefully see some familiar faces and be inspired by the overwhelming creativity of all the folks there. And buy more stuff. Because I need it.

I Have HAT IT Up to Here!

Recently one of my favorite vintage stores, Cur.io Vintage (right in Waltham!) posted this great article on the inimitable Tziporah Salamon. I’m not really sure that describing her as “stylish” even does her justice. She needs her own word. She’s just so…Tziporah. It’s like “That’s So Raven” only she was never on The Cosby Show. The article explores how she puts together her famous looks, even waiting years (seven, in one case) to wear certain finds until she has what she considers the perfect, complete outfit.

I can’t even handle how elegant this woman is, seriously. She’s just so…Tziporah. Compared to her elegance, I feel like the kid from the “I like turtles” video.

I had two main takeaways from the article (besides reinforcement of my own inadequacy):

First, style is not the same as fashion. I love this. As someone who also eschews labels (But not as well. I’m not so Tziporah), I truly believe this and it’s a big part of being a vintage shopper. The look vs. the label. She says it best (Obviously. For the love of gosh, this woman!) “And I’m not fashionable at all; I’m stylish. Fashionable is of the moment. Fashionable is the latest Prada, Gucci, or whatever is “in” this minute, and I rarely have what’s in-the-moment. In fact, when I buy new clothes, which I do, the more you can’t tell who it is, the better. I’ll never wear something with someone’s initials or name on it.”

The second, hats! She loves hats. She wears a hat everyday. She considers them an exclamation point on an outfit, and she’s right. And in a strange alignment of the Universe, my darling friend Leslie brought me a bunch of hats this week that belonged to her grandmother.

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Hats from my darling, Leslie

One of my favorite hats (and also #1 on the list of things I would grab if my apartment was on fire) is this awesome hat from my grandfather. That’s the handsome gent in the banner of this blog.

Hat stands, I'm a big fan.

Hat stands, I’m a big fan.

My Gramps was wicked smaht, kid.

My Gramps was wicked smaht, kid.

The hats I wear are usually more of the baseball variety but next time I see a hat I love I’ll ask myself “What What Tziporah Salamon Do?” and maybe be inspired to try it on. And buy it.  And find every perfect accompanying piece to go along with it, even if it takes years. And wear them all beautifully…yeah probably not.

The F***ing Egg Plate

First market in the books! The weather was hot, the crowd was lukewarm and my medium iced coffee was cold for the 38 seconds of its existence before I drank the entire thing. I would consider it a success, not because I sold a lot (I did not) but because I was finally out there on the other side of the dealer’s booth. The first time of many, I hope.

It was an early morning start, I hit the road at 5:30 a.m. to pick up my parents’ SUV (which they so generously let me borrow for the day, and also make up 50% of this blog’s readership. Hi Mom and Dad!) and met up with Mrs. M from Country Design Home.

We headed up to Amesbury and set up our booth. Luckily, our EZ-UP tent stayed true to its name and we had no* (*very few) problems figuring out how to put it up.

The before shot. The after shot has a whole 5 items less!

The before shot. The after shot has a whole 5 items less!

We had lots of great stuff, from awesome canisters and china to bottles, burlap and crocks. (Teachable moment: A crock  with a “k” is a piece of earthenware. A croc without a “k” is an ugly shoe. The more you know!)

Canisters!

Canisters!

Awesome stuff!

Awesome stuff!

One of the most surprising sales of the day was what I lovingly refer to as “The Creepy Crying Girls Plate” because it is a plate that features four creepy crying girls. Sometimes I’m not very creative with names.

The Creepy Crying Girls Plate

The Creepy Crying Girls Plate

My favorite moment of the day, however, involved the f***ing egg plate. If you know me in real-life, you’re likely aware of the fact that I have the handwriting of an 8-year old boy. I even received a “C” in handwriting in third grade. Third grade! It was my first (but not last) foray into the terrifying fear that comes along with potentially disappointing my parents. I cried for days over my terrible, terrible handwriting. (But my answers were always right, weren’t they, third grade teacher Mrs. Richards?! Weren’t they?!) Anyway. So Mrs. M misread my tag for a lovely blue Fire-King egg plate as saying “A f***ing egg plate” and I could not stop laughing. And really, she knows me so it was an easy mistake to make considering that does sound like something I would do.

The F***ing Egg Plate

The F***ing Egg Plate

Overall, it was a very slow day, good foot traffic but folks didn’t seem to be looking for antiques as much as they were looking for books on tape and $3 picture frames. So at about 1 pm we packed up our respective CRVs and hit the road. I’m  looking forward to the next market though, even if I have to get up at 3 am to drive to Todd Farm to do it. A cup of coffee, a plate of f***ing eggs and I’ll be off!

(Author’s note- On Friday night, Mrs. M and family had to say goodbye to Daisy, their beloved dog. Daisy would have turned 16 this year and was one of the most wonderful and loving dogs I have ever known. I was lucky to spend the following day with Mrs. M and know that Daisy is greatly missed. Thinking of the whole M family. xoxo)

How Bazaar!

Well, I guess it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. (Which, by the way, is a gross saying. Money has SO many germs on it. Don’t put money ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR FACE, but I digress.)

Along with the always fabulous Mrs. Mathison, one of my mentors and founder of Country Design Home, I’ll be at this week’s Macy Street Bazaar. Held in the parking lot of one of my favorite antique stores, Mill 77 Trading Company up in Amesbury, Mass., we’ll be selling some of Mrs. Mathison’s beautiful vintage and refurbished furniture, china, teacups, some killer luggage racks and lots more.

Would love to see you there and catch up in between my reapplications of sunscreen. Come spend the hot day checking out some cool vintage finds, you never know what might catch your eye! (And if you put money near your eye, it will likely be conjunctivitis that you’ll catch, I cannot stress this enough).

Hope to see you there! xoxo

Mill 77

Finding Your Perfect Match

When you’re a single gal, everyone will tell you, “You’ll find someone when you’re not looking.” Seriously. That’s a thing. People will say it right to your face. Just a quick heads up, that’s crap. However, when it comes to antiques and cool vintage things, it’s spot on. You never know what you’re going to find when you’re driving down the street, walking through your neighborhood or even checking out the eaves in your new house.

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That’s where my Mom and Dad found this awesome brass match box case! It was in the eaves of my childhood home, right up in the attic. It’s brass and enamel with open sides (to allow for access to the striking surface) and frankly, it’s pretty badass. Especially when you think about how disposable everything is today. There was just a different level of  care that went into carrying around something as simple as matches. That’s part of why I love vintage and antique items so much. There’s a pride and workmanship that goes into everything and all the items you purchased were meant to last.

I guess you could say when it comes to vintage, I’ve found my “perfect match?” (Groan.)

Have you found any treasures when you least expected it? Maybe in your house, left by previous owners (Or ghosts? Totally could be ghosts)?