Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Celebrating Summer Vacation

Sorry I haven't had a post in the last week. As most of you know, I teach at a community college and these past few days have been a whirl wind of grading, report writing, clean-up and "a mess of other things".

Friday was my last day of school. Official last day. Grades are in. A done deal. My goal was to stay all day until I was finished. Came home achy, exhausted and eating my way to the couch. Ahhhhhhh. Shoes off, TV on, dogs and cat to cuddle with and dreams of the weekend.

I have been waiting for this weekend for a long time. Not only because I could welcome summer vacation but both days held the anticipation of two really fantastic vintage/flea market sales. I could be in heaven for TWO whole days. In my element. Basking in the bargains and fantastic finds. Oh joy. I can hardly stand talking about it.
One of my favorite flea market bags that I took to both shows. Could have sold a ton of them. Everybody kept asking where I "bought" it. It is an old rug that was made from an army blanket. I folded in half, sewed up the sides, put long handles on it and you are good to go at any market!

The Vintage Bazaar was in the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago on Saturday. Held several times a year this modern pop-up flea market has vintage oddments, collectibles and more! I was introduced to it by my youngest son last October as we wandered through his Logan Square neighborhood. "Oh, yeah, mom...there's a flea market going on in the Congress Theater today." WHAT! Made a quick turn into the sale and stepped into another world of treasures, unique pieces and fabulous prices. There was even a disc jockey playing music! The Congress Theater is old, dark and a vintage jewel in it self. Felt as if I had stepped in a Mad Max movie. An underground civilization of "junkers".

The sale on Saturday was held in an old warehouse that also housed another antique shop AND an the Urban Art Museum. SCORE! Art and antiques. Trash and treasure. Perfect. Made the trip with a good friend and her equally cool daughter. Love the city. Anything goes in fashion. Cute girls in 40's dresses, cat eye glasses and pill box hats. We drooled over the vintage clothes, dingy mannequins, worn ephemera, and oh that so good food. Bleeding Heart Bakery was there (your local sustainable punk rock bakery, Oh yeah!). I scooped up a box of four cupcakes that we shared over pulled pork sandwiches and turkey ruben pitas. Simply scrumptious.
Cute birds that I had to have for $1.00. I'll make some planter boxes out of old sewing machine drawers and stick one in as a finishing accent!

On Sunday I hopped over to Pecatonica with my husband. Bless his heart. This sale goes on twice a year and it was another event that we stumbled on when I went to pick up a lovely hutch that I purchased for my daughter-in-law for Christmas last year. The weather was crisp for May and rain threatened but we showed up in spite of it. This sale is held outdoors and in animal barns on their fairgrounds and the vendors were ready to deal. The best prices are with the outside vendors. Things stacked in musty boxes and wobbly tables. No real rhyme nor reason to anything. We picked up some old flat keys for altered art and paintings, a few old union buttons, three large outdoor cement planters and redwood trellises, old scale weights and some vintage glasses that the dealer sold to me for half the marked price before I could even start the dealing process with her. It was a long wet, weekend and she wanted to go home with less then she came with. Inside the sale barns is a whole different story. Neat and orderly displays and higher prices. An old blue fiesta plate that I had purchased outside for $4 was $17 inside! Oh and did I mention the food? Butterfly pork sandwiches, sweat and sour cole slaw, lemonade and kettle corn. Mmmmm. I'm drooling just thinking about it.
Some old scale weights. Glass test tubes from the chemistry lab that were going to be thrown away are glued in the small holes in each weight. I'll add some scrabble pieces around the bottom to spell out J-O-Y or G-R-O-W and place a stem or two of the herbs that are growing in my yard in the glass tubes, Perfect little bud vases for the Farmer's Market.
A vendor from Pecatonnica. Notice the sign on her head.
Too funny!
Now that's what I call a great weekend!  Food, finds, friends...a great way to start my summer vacation. There will be more sales and more great deals this summer but they can't compare to these two favorite events. Vintage Chicago pops up about three times a year and Pecatonica will run one more sale in September. If you love the old, worn and quirky finds you'll love taking a drive to make a day out of either one of these shows. Maybe I'll see you there!

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