Friday, July 29, 2011

Flea Market Steals

So, I started this blog post yesterday, but somehow it messed up and everything was underlined and blue so I deleted it and decided to try again today. Really though, it's for the better because as I was looking over my great finds, I was going to name the post 'flea market finds' then I decided to change the title to 'Flea Market Steals' because really, it was like I was stealing the items I found because I got such a great deal on them.
Just real quick, a side note. Flea market shopping is not for the faint of heart. When/If you do go, remember this: flea markets are really antique stores and antique stores are really expensive. The reason for this is because you are looking at antiques and these things are expensive. Since the economy has been down, not as many people are buying up collectibles and antiques like they once were. (That's a whole other story).
Now, I don't go looking for antiques, I go looking for a great (cheap) find. Often times flea markets give me sensory-overload. Usually the isles are small, the booths are usually small (they range in size), and are packed with items, and since it is a flea market there is usually a range of smells. So, if you go be prepared but take your time. Even if you don't buy anything, I think it is fun to look at the items from the days gone by. I see old telephones, magazines, and dishes and think about my great-grandmother using items like them. Also, some stuff is just really neat to look at. A tip as you go shopping at a flea market- have an idea of what you want in mind- it will help, trust me. I told you about getting sensory overload and if you don't have an idea of what you are looking for, you'll never find it because you'll be too busy looking at everything else.
With all that being said, I went to a few flea markets just to look around and get ideas for my house. I had an idea in my head to get red and white items for my kitchen (and possibly laundry room). Living so close to the University of Arkansas, where the school colors are (you guessed it) red and white, I figured finding these colors would be easy; but apparently, it has all already been bought up. :)
I did manage to find some great items and without further ado, here they are:

2 things about this item made it a great find. 1) The booth I found it in was a non-profit booth (not at all common in flea markets but a way for non-profit groups to make a little more money out of the items that are donated). 2) Everything in the booth was 75% off. That made this cute-as-can-be watermelon pitcher only 25 cents. I take that back 27 cents with tax.

Brace yourself for this next find.
Clutch handbags are all the rage. I haven't bought one because they all look the same- black- with or without some flair (like sparkle or a flower). This bag caught my eye because it is vintage from the 1950s (I had to explain to my husband that, yes, it was really from the 1950s, not just made to look like it). I could have spent around $20 (or more) to buy a clutch at a department store but I found this one for only $3 at a flea market.
Vintage 1950s clutch=$3
Standing out from the crowd with a handbag like no one else=priceless

It is even big enough to hold my iPhone and still snap!

I said to brace yourself for the clutch, maybe I should have saved it for this next find.
At another flea market, I found another booth having a 75% off sale. (Just to let you know- this is very uncommon. Sometimes you might see 40% off or 10% but hardly ever more than 50%). I found these white salad bowls and they are gorgeous! The picture didn't pick up all the details. They are shaped like flowers, the petals start in the middle and work their way up the outside. There are 5 small bowls and 2 large ones. A salad is going to look so pretty against the white. Ah, I love them but what I love even more is what I paid for them. Are you ready? You won't believe me. I got all 7 pieces for $4.50!!!!
The small bowls were only $2.00 to begin with, so I got all 5 for $2.50 and the bigger bowls were $4 to start, so those were only $2. Yea, I couldn't believe it either.

The white bowls are going to look great with the rest of my white dishes and can't wait to use them. I still need some red items, but those can wait. That's the thing about shopping like I do (and so many others). You have to be patient and wait for the great items to find you. Flea market finds like this are rare. Please don't be mad at me if you go to a flea market and every dish you pick up is $50. Actually that happened to me at every turn yesterday. I found the cutest bowls that were white with red polka-dots and I loved them but they were $45 each. Um, no. Couldn't do it- but maybe you can.
Just know that if you are redecorating or searching for a special gift and want great deals that you'll have to be patient and don't expect to find everything in one day. That wouldn't be fun at all- I like to stretch out my finds so the thrill lasts longer.
Well, here is hoping that you'll try out a flea market every now and then- you never know what you'll find and the items change all the time so you need to go often. Let me know about your great finds too.
Happy hunting :)

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