The great thing about having a barn is that you have a place to store your stash of salvaged and flea market goods. The bad part about having a barn is that you have a place to store your stash of salvaged and flea market goods. And even with a small barn like ours, things accumulate. A lot.
When our barn is brimming, or just when we feel like visiting old finds, we take a stroll through our collection to see what’s what. When things go well, we leave with arms and heads full of fodder and ideas. On a less successful venture, we leave with bowed shaking heads asking what are we going to do with all this hoarded stuff. We are turning into our parents…
Salvation comes in many forms, and for us on this one day of touring, we left with armloads of balusters with beautiful faded and chippy paint. There are a couple of things in the works with these, but the first to emerge from my husband’s workshop was a nifty little footstool. I knew the compact proportions were going to make it the perfect foot prop for a guitar player or quilter looking to balance her frame.
My turn to add my touch to a piece we are working on together is always a bit daunting. I never want to screw up anything my guy has already done, so I agonize over fabric choices. But I’m very happy with this one: a worn but sturdy little remnant of an antique oriental rug. So, our work here is done.
Time goes by so quickly and it was certainly a winter of busyness rather than hibernation, but last weekend the wintry nap of flea marketers came to an end. Todd’s Farm Flea Market’s first day was an awakening of old friends, familiar rituals, and great finds. I still need to picture and catalog all the goods we reaped in, but suffice it to say that the studio is brimming with new fodder for our crazy ideas, exquisite pieces will be joining the decor of our home, and our Ruth got herself a nice new napping spot in my studio office in the form of an enormous vintage wooden shipping crate.
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?