The Vintage Bazaar is in a mere two weeks, we’ve had family graduations up the wazoo, special orders, commissions, etc., etc. We’ve been delightfully busy. Today I’ve hooked, picked up a Craigslist find, shopped for fabric, and am now tea staying the almost perfect fabric I found to upholster the magnificent bench that Dave’s been building from an antique bed frame. And the day is still young…
I was now in custody of a whole lot of other people’s discarded relatives.
On this outing I got stuck in the second stall, rummaging through baskets of vintage linens and napkins. When done there, I only made it two stalls further. He was two rows away by then, though I could still see glimmers of the safety orange sweatshirt he wore specifically to increase his visibility (I get lost easily) .
We love antiquing. I believe I’ve said that before. Combing through flea market stalls, Craigslist ads, and other local haunts always sucks us in. But it has come to the point that our vintage finds are requiring the same level of management as my stash. Gasp! So it has come to it. We’ve decided to start a Catch and Release program for those wonderful pieces that we just adore, but simply don’t have the right place for in our home. It is sort of like we are acknowledging that it is okay to be a foster home for antiques. Take it in, clean it up, nurture it, and send it back into the world to be enjoyed. Beats a stint in storage in our barn.
As a fiber lover, stash management is always an issue. Everything seems to have such intrinsic value. And that has only been getting worse for me as I’ve been exploring rug hooking and quilting. Every little tiny scrap is suddenly a representative of enormous value. I don’t want to throw anything away. This is especially true when I am working with vintage textiles, rugs, and linens. I love discovering the new life that lies hidden in an old tea towel or tattered rug, repurposing its charm into pillows, purses, and brooches. But what to do with the remains? Those leftover little pieces of antiquity that lie on the cutting table? This has become my personal challenge: find the latent purpose of these remnants of our forebears. They certainly wouldn’t have wasted a scrap, so why should I?
Craigslist: Love. It. How was the grammar there? Never mind.
Flea market junkies, bargain hunters, cheapskates–ahem, Frugal Yankees—that we are, CL is a haven. We’ve found sofas and antiques and cars, but it is also just the ripest picking ground for fiber lovers. I’ve bought and sold yarn, found rug hooking tools and supplies, and discovered vintage books of technique and design to die for. And my latest discovery?? Vintage Indonesian batik sarongs. Gorgeous. The design wheels are turning… What to do? What to do?
Around these parts, Todd’s Farm is the flea marketing and antiquing mecca. First Sunday of April through until hardy New England souls can’t bear the weather any longer. Yesterday, being the first Sunday of April, we got our walking shoes out and hit the stalls.
When I first met my husband, he was already a Todd’s Farm devotee. He called going to the market every Sunday, “going to church”. Yep, it looked good early on that this guy was going to work out okay. For our first few years together, I frequently had to work on Sundays, so I’d only be able to wonder all day what he’d discovered that morning and wait until I returned home to find the treasures—or get reports of a complete bust. Didn’t matter. It’s the thrill of the hunt. I joked the other day as I was taking photos for the website that we’ve turned our home into our own prop department. The backdrop for most of my photos is an oversized primitive farm cupboard we found at Acushnet River Antiques. When it is not fulfilling backdrop duties, it holds my pots and mixing bowls. The organic dishtowel is draped over an antique clothes ringer we found a Todd’s, yarns are displayed in vintage measuring scoops, and we have a derelict headless carousel horse from Dudley Do Rights’s that is just begging for its chance to shine in the right photo shoot. I also find fodder for my studio work in the form of antique rugs to make pillows with and old hooked rugs to sample from for inspiration.
All said, Todd’s was smaller than usual yesterday–just getting its feet wet as it winds up for the season. Still, it was nice to see familiar faces, familiar dogs who apparently are of the flea marketing bug, too, and some familiar pieces—you know the ones that were on display last year but you couldn’t afford? Surely, there must be a markdown by now.