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.

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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.

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

Hello My Baby, Hello My Honey!

Hi! Welcome to Rita Jo’s Vintage. Although this is my first entry during this blog  journey, this ain’t my first rodeo. Ok, that’s a lie, I’ve never participated in a rodeo. What I mean is, vintage has always been a part of my life. I grew up with an attic full of treasures and always  loved every pin, fur coat or tin steam shovel we uncovered and have truly incorporated these items into my life. From wearing my Nana’s clip-on earrings to decorating my apartment with items from the past, the more unique, the more I love it.

Luckily, I’ve been allowed to take some of these items and use them as my own, but I’ve also made the hunt for new (but old) treasures to bring into my home a major part of my life. I’m hoping to share some of my adventures at auctions, flea markets, antique stores and street finds on this blog and would love to hear your stories as well so please don’t be shy.

I’ll also be selling some of my finds (a one-bedroom apartment is a little limiting) and dropping some knowledge on what I know about what I find.

If you have any suggestions, requests, etc. let me know! I’m looking forward to this journey and hope you are too.

Vintage is the way to go. Can you dig it?