Sunday, May 16, 2010

Flea Market Saturday, and Meet Mr. Creepy

Like I said yesterday, it's a great weekend to go to the flea market! So we did. And we had a great time! And I contracted a debilitating sunburn.

First was breakfast at Ihop. We loooove Ihop, but it's pretty far away, so we made a special trip. I got Nutella crepes and Douglas got cinnamon bun pancakes. And so we didn't die of instant diabetes, we split a mushroom, tomato, spinach, and cheese omelet. Soooo good!

We are fortunate to have several awesome flea markets in our area. Two of the best ones are right across the street (ok, Interstate 75) from each other! First we hit Turtle Creek Flea Market, which has been changed to "Treasure Aisles." Lame. Anyway, I love to start with this one because it has the best outdoor stuff. We rarely go inside, except to hit the vintage candy shop, because it's just a bunch of retail booths. There are some regular outdoor vendors, but I love the ones that are more like a garage sale. I think it's only like $15 to set up an outdoor booth, so people bring truckloads of random junk, and in these piles I find my favorite things: Vintage buttons, handkerchiefs, and dishes. All of which I found yesterday, yay!

Pile of vintage embroidery patterns, all for $1!
Unmarked ball pitcher, $5. 
This will look awesome on a shelf against the turquoise living room wall! I have several of these, I can't wait to put the shelf up!
Vintage hankies, $1.
I'm saving up a ton of these for a project. Not sure what yet. I was thinking of carefully slipstitching the edges together and making a giant curtain or wall hanging?

Ok, now don't freak out when you see this:
He's been named Mr. Creepy by Douglas and Carly. I don't know why. He's adorable! It's not that I like clowns or anything, I don't! It's just that, well.... look at his clothes! And the pompoms, who can resist orange pompoms?? I saw him under a table in a box full of junk. I had to have him. I said he'd look adorable in our living room, and Douglas said if I dare put that hideous thing on our sofa, he'd never be able to sit on it again. So I sadly walked away, but then I had to go back and take his picture so I could remember him forever. That's when the vendor, seriously amused at this point, convinced Douglas to give him a dollar for it. Yay!
Then when I got home and examined Mr. Creepy more closely,  I realized he was completely handmade. Maybe out of a gigantic sock? Not sure, but look at his clothes!
Someone really put a lot of time and care into this little guy. Aww don't you just love him?

Enamel kettle, $1
I've been wanting a real teakettle for a long time, but haven't been able to find just the right one. (I used to have a Fiestaware Copco enamel kettle, but somebody left it boiling for like an hour and it melted!) Only once I got it home and scrubbed it out, I realized it wouldn't make a very good kettle:
Maybe it could be a planter? Hmm...
Vintage buttons, $10
I am glad I bought these, even though it goes against my flea market rules.
See I like to take a handful of dollar bills with me, and try really hard to keep all my purchases to a couple dollars each. By limiting the cash I have on hand, I [usually] don't end up coming home with a bunch of junk. I have to think harder about each purchase and really use my bargaining skills. For example, the buttons were originally $15 and that kettle was originally $5 and the patterns were originally $3. So even though the button guy came down a little, it was still a major purchase for me. 

Also they were stored in a ratty old plastic bag that was sitting out in the sun and filled with condensation. The cellulose buttons were pretty much destroyed, and the fabric-covered ones had to be tossed. I'll do more photos when I get them scrubbed and sorted out.

That's a major bummer sometimes- Any vintage stuff you find for a good price is going to be sitting out in the sun and you know it hasn't been stored properly. But these are the people who don't know what they have and really don't care, because they just want to get rid of it. 

Then you have the people who really belong at an antique show or an auction, not a flea market. They know exactly what they've got, and they aren't letting it go for a penny less than the latest book value. You can typically spot these imposters by their artfully arranged booths and because anything of value will be turned upside down so that you can see that it is a McCoy, or genuine Fiesta, or whatever. As tempting as it is, do not even venture near these booths. It is a complete waste of time. 

Yeah, those folks get me a little wound up hehe. I mean, we're here to dig through the boxes you brought from your dead relatives' basements, not to make an investment. It's the thrill of the hunt, y'all!

"T-Rex doesn't want to be fed, he wants to hunt!"

Of course, if it wasn't profitable for them, you wouldn't see several at the flea markets every weekend. Apparently there are some poor schmucks out there who are willing to pay $150 for that McCoy striped bowl with the big crack in the bottom.

Then my ex-husband called. It was his weekend with Carly, and that's why we were doing this whole date weekend thing. Sorry, but I just can't take a 3-year-old on a bargain hunt. I can't focus, you know? So he calls and says everyone but Carly is puking and she has to come home early. We still wanted to go across the street [interstate] to Traders World, so he met us there to drop her off. I'm glad it worked out that way, because Traders World is more of and experience, not a bargain hunt.

My Dad has been taking me here every summer since I can remember, and I carried on the tradition as an adult. Traders World is more of a kitschy museum than anything, and it's located right next to the Big Butter Jesus, if any of you have ever heard of that. (Maybe from Heywood Banks?)
Hilarious and frightening stuff right there. I can't believe it hasn't caused major traffic issues. I mean imagining driving down the highway, when out of the corner of your eye, you see a giant sculpture of Jesus drowning. Or whatever he's supposed to be doing. It's just weird.

Yes, that is a gigantic horse on top of that sign. Complete with light-up palm trees. Seriously, they're everywhere.
If you want to really shop all the way through Traders World, you've got this to get through:
That's twelve indoor buildings, plus the main building in the center, plus the outdoor booths. And at the entrance of each mural-painted building is a monstrous animal statue. It's not uncommon to see a mural of an underwater tropical ocean scene behind a 30-foot giraffe and a deer lawn ornament or a life-sized wax indian.
And don't forget the palm trees. Next to every door, on top of every building, I mean everywhere.
And they have these adorable medallion things hanging all over the place:

Gosh I love this place! Now I wouldn't do any serious bargain hunting here. Even the outdoor vendors are mostly retail or antique imposters. Although you will see more plant booths than your local garden center can shake a stick at!

Next time we go back without the kid, I'll show you the inside. You don't want to miss it. (Think flea market hair salon and bridal shop!) And I've been craving their split pea soup. Good stuff.


Anita said...

Awesome finds! All but Mr. Creepy, he's just...well, CREEPY!!!

My hubby works weekends so it's been a long time since I went to a flea market. We only have one close by & it's not the best.

Good Girls Studio said...

I looove this post! You scored some fantastic treasures (even if MR Creepy is well..creepy)! Traders World looks like so much fun & holy cow why is The Lord drowning? He's like the Titanic going down with His ship :) Hilarious!

janet said...

drooling over those hankies!!!! Sorry but the clown cares the hell out of me!

Ariela Bonen said...

I agree...Mr creepy is definitely creepy. He looks well made and made with love but it only takes away a little of the creepy!

Nice button find though! Jealous :)

Jessica said...

Looks like fun! Felix won't be able to sleep tonight because of that demonic clown. Thanks a lot! ;)

HeatherScraps said...

ooooo, those hankie and buttons are quite a find! However, I may have nightmares tonight from Mr. Creepy! AAAAHHH Clowns!!!

Anita said...

So glad to see that I'm not the only one with clown issues! LoL

SHARON said...

Your post makes me a bit homesick! I'm originally from Cincinnati but, I am now living in Germany. I miss Traders World. It's not so easy to find good vintage shopping outlets here so, I'm jealous. Great finds!