Thursday, June 30, 2011

Flea Shots

Our evening at the North Shore Flea in Highwood, Illinois was pleasant.  Merchants of vintage and artists were set up in the street while food & farmer's market vendors were in the park.  
Kathy and I had adjoining spaces and co-mingled our merchandise, as we normally do. 
 This was just the third week of a new weekly market so we didn't know what to expect. There were several vendors of vintage clothing; we were glad that we'd brought some. 
 This trio, (girlfriend, brother, sister), went home with Kathy's three matching Hawaiian shirts.
 Maria Tirabassi was next to us...we fell in love with her whimsical style and the sweet manner she had of dealing with the youngest buyers in the crowd.  It was a great group of vendors all around; everyone was relaxed and friendly.
 The market has a wide variety of food selections, from the sophisticated to the simple.
My vote for the best available dessert goes to this coconut cake with coconut buttercream frosting.
 Buyers were mainly local folks enjoying the pleasant weather.  While the evening was profitable, sales were nowhere near the level of most of the shows we do.  We met several folks who mentioned how surprised they were to see great vintage items. 

We think this market has great potential. The promoter, Melissa of Pure Vintage Chicago is working to spread the word that shopping for great vintage items doesn't have to wait for the weekend. We hope to be back at the North Shore Flea again later in the summer, schedule permitting.  

We'd love it if you'd 'like' us on facebook!  We're posting interesting tidbits there. We don't always get the time for a full blog post, and if you're like us you don't always have time to read a long post. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What You'll See at the North Shore Flea - Tonight!

We're gonna toss you a little curve tonight at the North Shore Flea!  Kathy,(Down Lilac Lane), and I have adjoining spaces and we're going to mix it up a bit. Of course you'll recognize our signature style, (loads of great stuff!), but we're adding in some great vintage clothes and sunglasses - just for fun!

 Hope to see you at the flea!  It runs from 4-9 p.m. tonight in Highwood, the farmer's market!
P.S.  Thanks to Mara of  Mara's Market for the shout-out in her Elkhorn post

Check out her great pics

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Come See us at the North Shore Flea - Tomorrow!

At the cottage, we're nothing if not spontaneous!   We've just made plans to be at the North Shore Flea in Highwood, Illinois, tomorrow night from 4-9.   This fun market is promoted by Pure Vintage Chicago.
 The weather promises to be perfect and we'd love to see YOU there!  If there's anything specific that you're looking for let us know.  We just may have it!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Perfect Day at Elkhorn

We love the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market; it's nearby and we consider it our 'home' show. Elkhorn never lets us down, the shoppers come out and we always do well there.
 Yesterday, Elkhorn positively rocked and we smashed all previous sales records. We saw a lot of our regulars and made new friends. THANK YOU to each of you...we appreciate you!
The morning started off a little quietly, but we figured that most shoppers were hitting the outside vendors first. Outdoor sellers often have to contend with rain or heavy wind at Elkhorn. Not yesterday. Sunshine and blue skies ruled the day. We were happy for our outdoor friends Margaret, MaryAnn, Judy and Janice, Anita and Judy, and our new friends at Tattered Tiques
 Around 10:00 the crowds came inside and we barely had a moment to breathe for the next four hours. Kathy had brought some great metal lawn chairs and industrial stools; most were gone by the end of the day. Wish I'd snapped a picture of her nearly empty van as she headed home.
My beautiful memory jug went to a happy collector. The mini shopping carts, big industrial fan, and fabulous early large advertising umbrella,(upper left corner of above pic), found wonderful new homes. Loads of smaller items went out the door along with most of the flags and toy batons we brought.
I can't end this post without giving a shout-out to CG who manned the post here at home yesterday to meet some nice buyers from Chicago.  They came to pick up a couple of larger pieces in the garage and found some other items while they were here.  CG  was happy to help in my absence.  I'm pretty sure that what he was most happy about was reclaiming the space.    ;)

Today we start preparing for our next show, Viva la Cottage Vintage Market in Door County on July 9th. We've been setting aside special items for this won't want to miss it!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Elkhorn Antique Flea Market Preview

It's gonna be a Yankee Doodle Dandy day at Elkhorn on Sunday...perfect weather, hundreds of vendors inside and do not want to miss this!   We've been stocking our cart with great finds for your summer pleasure.
 With the fourth of July just a week away, we've got dozens of flags in all sizes for your festivities, including cotton, wool and silk.  Two of our large flags are from a Daughters of the G.A.R. post.  
 Carnival canes add a touch of whimsy, and kids love 'em!
...clocks & corbels in abundance
 Of course we'll have our popular Fixings Bar, loaded with little treasures for the artists who shop our booth.  Here's a peek at 4 drawers full of fabulous chandy prisms, including some beautiful BLUE drops.
We're 'fans' of industrial items too, and are bringing a few select favorites!
Patriotic, industrial, shabby, primitives...we've got a wide variety of wonderful finds for YOU.   The Elkhorn Antique Flea Market is easily accessible from Chicago, Madison and Milwaukee...and you wouldn't be disappointed if you drove a few hours from Iowa or Minnesota or flew in from anywhere else. We promise!  The market opens at 7 a.m. on Sunday.  Early buyers can also get in on Saturday afternoon during set-up.  Hope to see YOU there.  We'll try to post some pics on our new facebook page during setup. 
We're in the SMALL ANIMALS building, space 29

We're linking up with the blogger block party today...check it out!
Update...we were the 1000th link-up to the party and it's still growing! Big congrats to all the host bloggers on a mega-successful party!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Folk Art Memory Jug... and Speaking of Altered Art

Did you think that altered art was the creation of hip young artists? Not so. Check out this memory jug I picked up last week.
An old cracked vessel was re-purposed into this wonderful bit of folk art. The exact origins of memory jugs are sketchy.  Some believe that they were fist seen in Southern African American cemeteries. They were covered with mementos relevant to the life of the deceased and used as grave markers.
Others believe that those wacky Victorians who loved scrapbooking, took it to the next level by embellishing objects with what we at the cottage call "schnibbles and bits".
This particular piece is well done, with artfully arranged shells surrounding various objects.
Broken jewelry, buttons, medals...
 dog tags, advertising pieces, sewing objects
souvenir pieces
and even a doll eye appear on this marvelous piece. Based on the items used, I believe this piece was created in Wisconsin or Minnesota around 1900. 
It's a marvelous bit of history.

****Speaking of Altered Art**** 
The talented mother/daughter duo of Candyce Martens & Jill Kerns of Altered Ever After are offering their first class on August 31st. Candyce and Jill have been featured in multiple publications and are now going to share their knowledge with the rest of us.  I need to exercise my creativity more and can't wait to participate in this class.  The class includes lunch - check out Candy's post on the location. Would love to meet some of you there!

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Super Day At a Country Auction

I love auctions.  I especially love country auctions. A country auction loaded with great items and sold by a top-notch auctioneer?  Triple love.  At 5:30 Saturday morning I hit the road for a 163 mile drive to attend just such an auction.
 Chuilli's Auction Service was selling the estate of a collector gone wild.  Auctioneer Jerry Chuilli, (pronounced chili), assisted by two other auctioneers ran the two-day, two-ring sale.
  I don't get to many Chuilli auctions; most of them are 3-5 hours away from me.  Their ads are often enticing and this one looked just too good to miss. I was able to attend only the first day.
 The first thing you'll notice at a Chuilli auction is a big tent. (In this case, 2 big tents). With chairs.  That's rare. Most outdoor auctions in Wisconsin are byocaiywsosbau, ('bring your own chair and if you want shade or shelter bring an umbrella').
Items were clean and well-organized.  There was a huge amount of merchandise to be sold, yet it was sorted in a way that  made it easy to preview each item. Large items were lined up on the grass.  Small items were divided into box lots.  And guess what? They sold the whole lot without piddling around. I can't tell you how many auctioneers bring up a flat of stuff and then start choicing out the can take 10 minutes to sell one flat.  Not here.  Shown & sold. 
The auctioneer stood in the center with a table on each side. Each table had a staff member who put the small items up on a platform so you could tell exactly what was being sold.  In the meantime, the staff member at the other table was loading up, readying his lot to go up.  This is the most efficient system I've seen.  Buyers were able to see what was about to come up and there was no delay for the auctioneer...sell from the left, sell from the right, sell from the left...
And speaking of staff...all seemed relaxed, yet very efficient.  A group like this doesn't come together by accident; the tone of a business is set by the leader. Jerry's demeanor is calm, confident and professional.  (So many auctioneers in this state get frustrated, snap at their employees and bidders, don't know where they're going next, waste time trying to wring blood from a turnip....). 
 A few select items came home with me; a wonderful box of prisms, a delightful folk art memory jug, an advertising umbrella, some clocks, toys and other odds & ends. Some of it will be available at the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market next weekend.  You'll see the shabby table & bench that I got at the Viva la Cottage Door County show next month. 
This auction was well-worth the long trip; I only wish I could have returned for round two today! 
Enjoy the rest of the photos.