I always joke with my friends that I don’t know how anyone finds anything at flea markets or garage sales or rummage sales. When it comes to that, I have no eye. I walk around and see things all spread out willy-nilly on a table and think “this is all just trash!”. Lol. Now, I know this is not the case. I am just not good at seeing things apparently for what they could be.
My friend Kelly however is a mad genius of taste and decorating. Seriously. Her home is beautiful, like something out of a magazine despite having a two year old. One day I will do a series on her house maybe – it deserves to be talked about. She has an innate ability to know what will look good where, what colors to use, and of course finding treasure at flea markets.
We are entering the season of these sales in our area, and we are all excited to start going. I love them, despite my innate inability to visualize new homes and lives for the things that people are selling. I am a curious sort of person, I like to see what people once liked. But this year, I am challenging myself to look beyond, and to see what an object could be. I am sure most of the time I will fail. But, I have been studying magazines like Country Living and HGTV for ideas, and to read about what other people do. And I asked Kelly what her magical secret is, other than it being her own natural creative talent. She told me I need to go in with an idea already, something I am already looking for. Like art for a specific wall, or a piece of furniture I need, or just a little something extra, but to have a plan.
So this morning Billy and I popped in spontaneously to a church rummage sale. I didn’t have a plan, but I did have an idea. We are redoing my office, and my “theme” is Michigan artists and writers – even if it was just for a brief time, like Ernest Hemingway. It was inspired by a postcard I found of the artists colony in Saugatuck in the 1920s, and I am pretty excited about it. So while we were poking around, I spotted something in a box on the floor under the table and was rewarded for my eagle eye nosiness.
A vintage calendar of block prints by Gwen Frostic! I was so excited. Gwen Frostic is a Michigan artist and poet. She even graduated from the same high school as I did! She moved north to Benzonia, just a few miles from where our family vacations every summer. And she loves nature, just like me. So I was super excited about my discovery! I couldn’t wait to show Kelly and Chrissy, who both validated my instinct.
We also picked up a bunch of other stuff – it was fill a bag for $1.00, so we threw more stuff inside. I added a small green Pyrex bowl for Chrissy, who has a collection. A grey cardigan that looks perfect for winter days writing or reading or exploring. A slate tile with a fox engraved in it from Wales (Trallong, Brecon). Billy added a small silver frying pan, an old fashioned ice cream scoop, some weird little silver pans that he said are used to poach eggs, and also an 80s era light blue Camaro t-shirt for me. Wyatt’s contribution to the bag was a roll of Christmas ribbon with Nutcrackers on it – we aren’t sure why, but hey, if he wanted it. He does love the Nutcracker episode of Daniel Tiger, so maybe he did know what they were. And then finally, an oval box with Christmas trees. That was a random pick up as we were walking to check out.
My husband noticed too, that the calendar from 1979 actually matches date and day for our current year – weird! So I can actually use it this year and then frame it at the end of the year.
So a pretty random assortment, but I feel like I got at least two or three pretty cool items! I am looking forward to what else we find this year.
What’s the coolest thing you have found at a flea market or rummage sale/garage sale?