My Latest Find

ImageRecently I had a chance to go to the Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT. It’s a great place to find that treasure you’ve been hunting for and it has recently been gaining a lot of popularity from the HGTV show Flea Market Flip. In fact when I arrived, I wasn’t surprised to see Lara Spencer and the crew filming on location that very morning. After a little distraction, my hunt began as my daughter and I worked our way through the aisles. When I go to a flea market I always like to have something in mind to keep me focused. So with my mental list I scan each vendor space and then move in on anything that catches my eye to take a closer look. 

During this particular visit, I was thinking lawn art, signs and vintage fabric/linens. I ran across a few items of interest, but didn’t purchase anything until I saw this sign. It’s perfect for my outdoor patio bar and since the space is not well lit, it functions to improve lighting as well. Flea markets and antique shows like Brimfield Antique Show are a great place to find unique pieces to add to your decor or repurpose to suit your needs.  So if you decide to venture out to a flea market in your area, keep these few tips in mind:

1. Wear comfortable shoes and clothing (layers are great).

2. Bring a bag and/or a cart to store your finds.

3. Have a mental list, at the very least, of what you’re looking for.

4. Stay hydrated.

5. Bring some cash and checks. (credit cards may be accepted but cash is good for bargaining)

6. Don’t be a bully on price, politely ask what is their best price, or offer your best price.

7. Arrive early for the best finds.

With these few tips, an open mind and a positive attitude your hunt for treasure is bound to be a success. Happy hunting!

 

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Add Color and Character with Furniture Store Accessory or Flea Market Find

A recent trip to Elephant’s Trunk Flea Market in New Milford, CT yielded a non working vintage camera for about $5.00. I’ve noticed vintage photography items being used as decor in catalogs and magazines so I decided to pick one up and I grabbed a couple of old movie reels as well. Of course before I knew it I was seeing photography equipment everywhere, placed on a bookshelf, a side table, clusters of cameras, movie reels and more.  Non-working cameras found at a chain furniture store are selling for many times more than my flea market find. Just wondering if you can really see any difference? Do you like the look of vintage cameras in decorating?

Furniture Store Accessory

More Great News! Another Way to Make Photography into Art!

Along with great bargains, I am always looking for fun and creative ways to display my photos. I recently came across an old picture I took while on vacation with my family. It is a beautiful landscape that I wanted to show off in a unique way. I didn’t think just framing it would suffice. A recent trip to Lillian August gave me some inspiration, when I saw a triptych photo. Triptych photography is when one photo is broken into three separate panels to make easy and interesting wall art. This can be done with any kind of picture and it adds a designer’s touch to any room. I also like this idea because it’s a simple, personal accessory that adds impact. Check out  EZ Photo Design  if you want to create your own triptych art or try Canvas Art Designs for some ready made pieces. The triptych photography method is a great way to add art into any room, if you have other great photo display ideas  feel free to share them!
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Sweeter Dreams When you Save!

I’m all about being creative and innovative, and if I can be self sufficient at the same time that’s just an added bonus. By that I mean, if I feel I can create something, or find a cheaper alternative to something such as an upholstered headboard, then I will. I’ve been looking around furniture stores with my interns and it never ceases to amaze us how expensive the upholstered headboards are. In some stores they are priced at over $1,000! After looking around Lillian August, I was determined to find inexpensive alternatives to their beautiful headboards. If you really love this look like I do, don’t settle for the expensive one in the store just because it’s convenient. Take this opportunity to express your creative side and make a work of art. But if that’s not your thing, shop around. I found this great, three piece upholstered headboard on CountryDoor.com.  If there is one thing I’m adamant about, it is shopping around.

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There is no need to break your bank for a stylish look that will fit your life. If you can find it cheaper somewhere else or make it yourself, then do so. In this case both are possible. To make it, you would just need to make a plywood frame, cover it in batting, then using a staple gun to cover it in the fabric of your choice. I would love to hear from you about headboard horror stories regarding over pricing, possibly a great piece that you got for a steal, or even a successful self-creation!Image

The Art of Signs

Signs add visual interest to this outdoor patio.

Signs, signs, everywhere signs… It’s true, everywhere I look I see signs being used as accessory art in the home and I’ll admit I’m a collector. I think it started when a friend of mine gave me a sign that reads “Don’t mess with my Feng Shui”. Now I’ve collected several and continue to look for more. In particular I like distressed looking signs, but I also choose them for the message.  For the most part signs are an inexpensive way to add art to a space. The right sign in the right place adds visual interest, can be inspiring and might even help strike up a conversation. If you like the idea of a custom sign you can try a site like Saltbox Signs or Etsy is great if you want more of a selection. Do you have any signs? If so do you have a favorite?

Cool Way to Make Your Photography into Art

Finally, your woes about what to do with all the family photos you have stored away, are over! Show off your photography skills in a fun and creative way that is sure to attract attention.  Photo mosaics are a great alternative for displaying a collection of pictures as a single image. Choose from a single event or several events and like magic your photos become a memorable piece of art.  Check out Design A Mosaic for creations starting as low as $24.99, just think your entire life on display as a wonderful piece of art! I love this idea as a memorable and creative present, so try this out and share your experiences!     Image

Wall Lamps or Art?

Even with a plan going into IKEA, it is hard to just walk by all of their interesting products. These wall lamps caught my eye because they are an inexpensive option that will give you an expensive look. In various sizes, patterns, and colors, they are perfect for any style, whether it be traditional or modern. They could flank a fireplace, or be used in your teenager’s bedroom as a stylish and graphic wall art. Don’t assume that you have to spend a lot of money for the look you want. There are thousands of ways to achieve a great look for less if you are willing to look. Share your ideas and don’t be afraid to get creative!

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Brimfield is less than two weeks away!

I love this time of year. The weather is great everything is coming back to life and most important the outdoor antique show season begins!

One of the best in the East starts on May 8th. Located in Brimfield, MA, The Brimfield Antiques and Collectibles show is probably the largest in the country. According to their website there are over 5000 dealers in over 20 different fields. It is truly a maze of dealer after dealer and a great place to start the antiquing season.

Since the show is so large, you won’t be able to see everything in one day and you might go away empty-handed if you don’t stay focused on a few items. Some pretty standard advice is to wear comfortable shoes and clothes, bring a rolling cart if you have one, stay hydrated and enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Another word of advice, when you find something you like make sure it’s value is acceptable to you, it’s quite possible to find the same item with another dealer for less. I’ve seen this on several occasions and it’s always a little disturbing, but just like clothing and furniture,  collectibles and antiques have trends. You might want to do a little pricing research on Ebay or other antique and collectible sites, especially if you are looking for something in particular. Many of the dealers have web sites as well which might be worth viewing. You can always ask the dealer to bring the item to the show. You may also want to do a little research on the Brimfield website, each dealer rents space in a particular field and all fields are not open every day. The fields also seem to have their own style and some fields charge admission. There is plenty to see without paying admission, but if you are looking for something in particular, you may decide on one of the paying fields.  Brimfield Exchange is a good source for information or try Brimfield.com.

There are other sites about Brimfield but I leave it to you to discover them, please feel free to add them in your comments.

Well I’m heading to Brimfield next Friday, as always I’m looking for signs, garden accessories, interesting bar ware, fabrics and anything else that blows me away…I’ll let you know how I make out.