Monday, July 25, 2011

DC Big Flea, Part 1 ... Stuff That Inspires

I went by myself to the DC Big Flea on Saturday.  A few blog readers and friends contacted me, most saying that they'd love to come along but couldn't.  Going alone turned out to be a blessing in disguise ... I could blare my music in the car without deafening anyone but myself, race through the show at my own pace, and just enjoy the alone time.

This show is HUGE, with hundreds of dealers offering everything from fine antiques to jewelry to country collectibles to reproduction craft items.  The crowd was ALSO huge, and I shuffled my way through most of the show trying not to step on people.  I assure you, it was really difficult to get photos of my favorite things, because there was almost always a person in my way and I had to snap quickly whenever I got the opportunity.  (Because of this, please forgive the quality of some of these photos.)

In today's Part 1, let's take a look at some of the things that stood out to me.  Most are timeless and inspirational but some represent trends that have seen their popularity and it's time to move on.

This table was beautiful!

If you collect art pottery, this booth had a wonderful selection.

For you lovers of primitive decor, how about this grain bin made of beadboard.

I was sad to see that all of the pieces of this set of Spode china were priced individually ... and priced too high, in my opinion.

I love everything in this vignette!

Whoever chose the fabric to reupholster this antique mahogany sofa was a genius!  The muted color and the modern pattern updated this old beauty and it would now look perfectly at home almost anywhere.

I loved how these antique metal animals were displayed in this soda crate.

Though the glass globes don't appear to be antique, $60 for this light fixture is a DEAL.

This photo of an antique porch railing, with its sawn balusters, is offered as a tease to let you know that there's progress being made on OUR old porch.

The writing on this old iron piggy bank, which says "Invest In Pork", rings particularly true ... at $225, buying this IS an investment.

The size and shape of this old pie safe was super, but the eye-popping blue isn't a color that I really care for.

This 1980s-era Steiff bear looked so perfect sitting in this old green high chair.

It saddens me to see wonderful old photos like this sitting out for sale.  I always wonder who these people are and why their families don't love these photos as much as I do.

Aren't these old concrete flamingos FABULOUS!!!

Why do people do this?  The word 'Biscuit' is clearly spelled correctly on the box ... but it is misspelled on the price card.

I wonder if I have a place where I can use an idea like this.

If I had another bathroom renovation in my near future, I would have snapped up this medicine chest.

Chalkboard paint on these old lockers was a neat idea.

I have a telephone exactly like this pink princess phone, but it doesn't work.  I talked to the dealer and he will repair it for me this fall.

This dealer had a thing for black paint and toile wallpaper.  Not only did she do this table, but she subjected a really nice 19th Century hutch to the same treatment.  I couldn't get a photo of the hutch because there were too many people in the way.  Trust me, it wasn't good.

Here's a hutch that IS good ... along with boxes, and watering cans, and wooden buckets.

I have a 'thing' for redwork pillow shams.

I know these stencilled pillows appeal to a lot of folks, but I don't particularly like them.

I got a skate key just like this off of a nail in my in-laws' basement last month!

Like the teddy bear I showed earlier in this post, Raggedy Ann was perfect sitting in this old baby swing.

Lots of dealers had painted furniture.  Some of it was done well, like this painted dresser ...

... and some of it they should have left alone.  I really don't like imitation distressing on most furniture.

I fell head-over-heels in love with this wedding cake topper!  I'm paring down my collections, so I didn't even THINK about buying it.

Here is a ready-made collection of blue canning jars!

This was the sales table for one dealer.  Isn't it great how she used the quilt top to skirt the underneath?

One thing that I saw over and over were old, refinished work benches.  I love them, but I have no place to use one right now.

I will finish up today by showing you a few things I saw that reminded me of some of you:

I remember Diane (The Blue Ridge Gal)  saying once that she's looking for a laughing Buddha.  This one had loads of personality, and a pricetag to match.  $100 was too much for him.  The dealer tried to tell me that he was hand-carved.  I wasn't falling for it.

Linda (A La Carte), our resident Pyrex collector, would have loved this display ... but not the prices.  She usually gets unbelievable deals on stuff like this.

Doesn't this look like something that Kim (Savvy Southern Style) would do?

These dog figurines remind me of a post that Suzanne (Privet and Holly) did the other day.

Speaking of Suzanne, tomorrow she is hosting a link party.  She is encouraging everyone to visit and show-and-tell their collections.  For Part 2 of my trip to the DC Big Flea, I will share with you some of the things that I found that would fit perfectly into MY collections.

See you tomorrow!


  1. I agree about the painted furniture. Maybe I've just been seeing too much of it.

    Those workbenches are very cool.

  2. I enjoyed your day of fun at the flea market. I love flea markets too.

    To bad that the owners of some of the antiques do not understand how to price them or perhaps they are just greedy...

    I liked the little dog figurines, the flamingos, and the Buddha.

  3. love love love love love the sofa... love it!

    And you are right.. way too much for Mr. Buddha. But I will take one of those workbenches that are redone. Preferably the first one. No clue where I would put it, but danged if I wouldn't find a spot. LOL

  4. What a great place, it looks HUGE!!! I love looking at everyones things and then wonder what possessed them to price certain things the way that they do! :)
    I love the workbenches, wish I would have kept my grandpa's! One well.

  5. I wouldn't have been able to drag myself out of that place! I love it all. Great job on the photos.

    I can't tell you how much of that Pyrex I have in the cabinet. Lots!

  6. I love your post. I've just started going to auctions looking for furniture & art. I love the antiques & the deals!

  7. So many cool things, I can't wait to see what you bought. And like you, I always wonder about old photos for sale and wonder why no one cared enough to keep them and pass them on?

    Kat :)

  8. Emily, dear, thanks for the compliments. My husband and I started shopping for antiques at flea markets and auctions when we were fresh-faced newlyweds. Most of the furniture in our house (except the upholstered pieces) once belonged to others ... some of my favorites even came from the side of the road.

    You should consider making your email address visible, because I generally reply to blog comments via email.

  9. Just finished up
    my post for tomorrow
    and had a few minutes
    for visiting....So
    glad I popped over
    to take in all this
    goodness....WOW! Must
    have been some show.
    Can't wait to see the
    xx Suzanne
    PS: So nice of you
    to take ELVIRA along!

  10. Thanks for sharing your weekend trip with us. I wish I was closer, I would have loved to join you! Looking forward to see what you picked out.....

  11. That was me above, clicked the anonymous by error. Ron S.

  12. Hi, great photos and thank you for sharing; looks like a blast! I totally agree with you on the stenciled pillows and the painted and artificially distressed furniture. So glad to know I am not alone! ha!

    I love your sweet animal photos in previous postings (what wonderful dogs ) and yes, so great to see the darling kitties - Thank you!

    PS our new 'Squire' rose bushes are doing great so far... the color red is lovely : )

  13. Among all I like the teddy and that laughing Buddha is awesome. I like to bought it soon, laughing Buddha is best sign of happy home or keep peace and joy in our family.

  14. Oops, with Facebook, twitter, Google+, I forgot how my blogger profile was configured! Thanks for the reminder :) Have a wonderful day!


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