I’ve always loved going to garage sales, flea markets and second-hand\antique stores. The thrill of the hunt is so much fun and there’s nothing like finding that perfect something for your home, or your kid’s, or your wardrobe! When my kids were little a lot of their clothes and toys came from garage sales….and that’s also where I started my vintage tablecloth collection. We didn’t have an abundance of money at the time and I loved weekend mornings spent scavenging through other people’s cast-offs. When we moved back to California (from Illinois) I continued my weekly hunts in people’s driveways, as well as the added bonus of going to Old Towne in the city of Orange, with their numerous antique stores. At some point we had enough money to purchase new furniture, etc… and I kind of fell out of the habit of going to garage sales….not the mention the fact that most weekends entailed hockey, lacrosse, baseball, dance or some other kid-related activity.
A group of my neighbors, Kelly, Carre & Jan (plus or minus a couple more), go to garage sales every weekend and come home with treasures. I’ve gone with them a couple of times, but haven’t got the bug again…until recently! I’m moving back to my home in the old ‘hood this July and I am in need of lots of furniture. What with the downsizing from 2800 to 400, then up to 1000 and now back down to 200 square feet, I really don’t have much furniture to fill up my larger home. I do have the most important piece…my dining room & kitchen tables…with all the memories they evoke, and a love-seat that was my parent’s and has been in our family since the 60’s, but, except for a few side tables, that’s about it. So, the girls are out a couple of weekends ago and they see a couch for $50…FIFTY DOLLARS!! They take a pic, text it to me and say “what do you think?” I called Jan, she said it’s comfortable, very similar to a couch I used to have in that same home, I could store it in her garage and they’d deliver it. I said, “great, go for it!” I went later that day to visit my new couch and it’s perfect! The seven or so pillows alone that line the back would be more than $50. So, now I have the second-hand furniture bug again! I’ve already acquired 6 dining room chairs from another neighbor, Peggy, an old chest that was in my house originally, as well as a table we used to play mahjongg on that Jan’s been keeping in her garage. I am constantly on Pinterest and Houzz looking for decorating ideas….beachy meets Paris bistro is my theme…and have a bunch of decorating magazines stacked up next to my bed that keep me up late re-imagining my old/new surroundings.
One of the magazines I love is called Flea Market Style (this is a link to a bhg video…couldn’t find any mention of “flea market style” magazine on the web…weird!) and has soooo many fun ideas for recycling/up-cycling things you find at flea markets, garage sales, etc.. They have listings of great flea markets all over the country and I see one that looks really cute called Matilda’s Mouse. It takes place once a month and it’s about an hour & a half drive away. I sign up for their email list and soon find out there’s one coming up! So, on a recent Friday, Jan & I hop in the car and head down to Valley Center. It was such a cool layout…some things outside, some inside an old barn…. and I had so much fun taking pictures of their little vignettes set up everywhere. I’m not sure it was worth a 3 hour round-trip, but it was a fun, different way to spend the afternoon….and I got another tablecloth, a vintage rower tin toy (pic above) and a couple of vintage plates, one with an image of Blarney Castle (Taylor, you can have one too if you like them.) Here are some of those fun pics…
I have rowing practice every Saturday morning, but I’m going to try and join them once a month in April, May, June and July (sorry team!), in hopes of finding more treasures for my home. Until then, I’ll look for their pictures and texts on Saturday morning asking about things they’ve found that would be “PERFECT” for my home. It’s nice having personal shoppers!