A few years ago I became obsessed with vintage hats. It started when I purchased a portion of a collection of fantastic Edwardian hats. Soon, the closet was loaded with hats & hat boxes and there were full bins in my storage area. Kathy also had loads of great styles and we began to feature them in our space at the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market. Here's a snapshot from last year.
One of the best moments of that show was when a young customer named Chloe purchased one of Kathy's hats to wear in a July 4th parade. Isn't she adorable? (It was fun to see her again at Elkhorn a few weeks ago!)
Hats have been good to me and I feel a little disloyal in saying that I'm going to let them go, in the interest of creating space for other things. While I still admire their beauty and unique personalities, there are other types of old things that are calling to me now. I'm realizing that having too much inventory can become a burden and stashing things away for "some day" is not the right course of action for me.
Our neighborhood rummage sale is tomorrrow. My hats will be out with hopes that they will find new homes where they can be loved. Goodbye my pretties...
Do you notice a change? I've been unhappy with my blog background for awhile. While the green & brown combo perfectly matched my Gracie's Cottage logo it seemed "heavy" and a bit oppressive at times. This temporary background better matches my mood and will reside here while I search for the perfect new look.
In the meantime, I urge you to take a peek at my blog list to the right and a little down from this post. I'm inspired by these bloggers with each new entry. There are amazing photographers, artists with talent that blows me away and folks so nice that I wish they lived next door. Spending a little time each day reading their latest posts is a treat that I give myself. Indulge in a few moments of discovery; you just may find a "great read" to add to your list.
Yes, some things are worth getting up early for on a Saturday morning. I was out the door by 5:30 to shop at the "ChiPPy! ShaBBY!" sale in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. A line formed well before the 7:00 a.m. opening, and the two gals next to me were up at 3:00 a.m. ,(!), to drive down from Upper Michigan for the event! This chair at the gate gave just a hint of what was to come.
Jeanine's staging was amazing; at every turn was another dreamy vignette. The place was packed and it was difficult to get many pictures; check Jeanine's blog for more. I came home with a big old barn key and a large tin vase that I dearly love.
By the time I left, there were cars parked along the road for as far as I could see in both directions. Congrats to Jeanine, (& crew!), on a great sale.
Rushing off from Cedarburg to get to an auction in Franklin, my hopes were high. When I pulled up it certainly looked promising.
As it turned out, there was a lot of stuff but little that was of interest to me. Condition was poor on most of the vintage items. This birdhouse was quite charming; it sold for far more than I was willing to pay.
A few linens, some doll clothes and a couple of carnival canes were the only items I purchased. The most memorable thing about this auction was the fact that the family had been unable to agree on the division of property, thus all items were up for auction and they had to bid on anything that they wanted. The large crowd was stunned when a common china cabinet sold for $19,000.00, (yes, you read that right!) Two family members were dueling it out for the right to have it. I always feel a little sad when I see a situation like that.
I hope that your weekend was fun, that your finds were fantastic and that the coming week will be a pleasure for you!
For those of us living in a cold climate, flea markets are an eagerly anticipated seasonal event for both buyers and sellers. One of the best in the Midwest is the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market. Four times a year, the Walworth County Fairgrounds in the small town of Elkhorn, Wisconsin plays host to the market.
Promoters Nona & Skip of NL Promotions have done an incredible job of keeping this a "pure" market for lovers of antiques & collectibles. You won't find t-shirts, knock-off purses or office supplies here. What you will find are over 400 vendors selling old items of every description.
Kathy & I are sharing a space and our booth will be packed! We're loading our vans with items of every description; girly, primitives, shabby, ephemera...you name it! First thing into the van was this terrific old "hired hand" bed spring from a farm in Omro, Wisconsin. This has great possibilites for a room divider or inspiration board using magnets & S hooks.
We're bringing some fantastic shabby white moulding from the Usinger mansion, (torn down in the 1960's). In 6-8 foot lengths, all you need to do is add coat hooks and mount it on the wall.
Of course we'll be bringing loads of grain and flour sacks, along with some that have been stretched to hang and others crafted into floor cloths. Feed sacks are superb for upholstery, pillows, totes... you name it. It's fabulous fabric to work with and the graphics are great.
This shabby little plant stand doesn't take up a lot of room. The wire wheels are so sweet! And, the plant holder at the top of this post is coming along too - it's aMAZing!
Come on out and spend the day - you'll love it"! You'll find us in the Small Animal Building, Space 29 . In the same building you'll find Pam from Vintage Girl Stuff. Outside, you'll find the Iowa Junk Gypsies and Altered Ever After with their fantastic array of goodies. The weather man has promised a perfect day; hope to see you there!
The Elkhorn Antique Flea Market is just a few days away now. I'm sharing space with Kathy and we'll be in the Small Animal Building, Space 29. Our booth will be packed with a wide variety of fun items. We'll have our usual array of "schnibbles & bits" for our artist friends and girly, primitives and shabby finds for the rest of you.
I recently found a box of convex clock crystals in two sizes for large clocks and think they are perfect for making centerpieces or displays from shade frames. I'll be bringing them along to Elkhorn. Here I simply dropped the smaller glass, (12 3/4"), into the shade first, and topped it with the larger one, (14 7/8").
I apologize for the hasty photos; yes, those are raindrops on the glass. It's too gloomy for indoor photography. Besides, I like to give the neighbors something to talk about when I run outdoors to take pictures! In my photos the glass is just resting in the frame - in fact you can see that it's a little askew from it's hasty trip outdoors.
I added a few ribbons and if I wanted to make this permanent I would affix the glass and finish the top & lower edges off with a ribbon border. For perspective, the pencils are on the top shelf and the 'ice cubes', (glass buttons), are on the lower shelf. There are so many possibilities for this. Lace & millinery flowers on the lower shelf with cupcakes on the top for a bridal shower, vintage baby shoes and a sweet vintage planter with flowers on the top...the potential is unlimited.
"Never fall in love with your inventory" is a cardinal rule of retail. Whoever made up that silly rule obviously didn't sell old things. Truth is, I love everything that I got at Josie's sale. Here are a few of my very favorite items.
The chippy step stool and the small stool are two slightly different shades of blue that play well together.
Would you believe that I almost missed the "Antiques" sign? I never saw it. A late-comer to the sale had it in his pile and decided not to take it. I didn't even know what it said, as it was upside down and partially hidden, but knew that I wanted it. When I was loading it I finally realized what it said. (What can I say? I love old signs...)
This sign was with it so I got it, too. Gracie is looking for the Kruger's. If you know them, tell them that we've got their sign.
Here's a closer look at the two blue stools -
Check out these crazy dudes; these are three of the five that I got. They have a carnival/outsider/folk art vibe. Josie didn't have any history on them but we all agreed that they are at least as much fun as the average guy!
This old bucket bench is perfect for the end of the bed. CG asked if it is an "outside bench". I replied that "it was outside...now it's inside". Gracie likes it because she can hop up on the bed more easily now.
I love the years of wear...
The funnel on the right is from Josie's sale.
It's a sibling for the one that I found a couple of weeks ago.
This big ol' primitive scoop is holding some feed sacks at the moment, but would be great loaded with flowers, towels or a multitude of other things.
These are the highlights - come see us at Elkhorn this weekend to see more!
I know I promised a look at the things that I bought yesterday but the van is still loaded. Why? Well, for one it's rainy here today. And two, CG is home sick today. I don't want to alarm him by parading a load of new stuff into the storage area. (I usually get new additions stashed away while he's at work...shhhhhh!)
On the bright side, I did find the Mother of Pearl button hooks this morning. They've been eluding me all week. I've just listed them on etsy and wanted to give you a chance to view them first. I love Mother of Pearl; it's like standing outside in the midst of the night looking at a full moon. The glow is mesmerizing.
These old button hooks make wonderful gifts for a bride. They also look great on a vanity and are delicious in a Gustavian Gray room. Enjoy!
Kathy spotted the ad for an "Old Stuff Sale" a couple of days ago and we made plans to meet there this morning. The location was near the little town of Eagle, on a narrow country road. A small crowd was waiting at the gate.
What we didn't know was that this was an annual event, eagerly anticipated by the regulars. Just before 8:00, the gate was opened and everyone hurried down the winding driveway.
I was torn between my "touristy" instincts, wanting to gawk at the beautiful scenery, and the urge to dash on in to see what was for sale. Dashing won, as I figured I could see the sights later.
What was at the end of the driveway was "Josie's Sale", and what fun it was! This photo was taken long after my van had been loaded and many others had taken their finds out. The items in the center of the driveway were purchases waiting to be paid for.
This is Josie, a wonderful lady who has been collecting for decades and offers her treasures just once a year.
And what delights she has...planters, chairs, benches, wheelbarrows, birdhouses, signs, baskets, primitives....old paint, chippy paint, no paint - you could tell that she truly loves objects with character.
Josie's sale was so well run, with her husband, daughter & granddaughter helping out. You started a pile - they tagged it with your name and watched it so that you could keep shopping. You had a question, it was answered with a smile. You wanted to check out, they were right there to tally you up. And then, Josie's husband loaded the wagon on his tractor and hauled your purchases right to your vehicle. Is it any wonder that Josie has such a loyal following?
I owe Kathy one for finding us such a great sale to attend.
Thanks for a great morning Josie and family...and for letting me take some pictures of your beautiful property.