Where did it all begin, this passion of everything Vintage? I think the first memory I have of loving old things was when I was a little girl watching “The Munsters” and “The Adamms Family”. Their old Victorian houses contained eclectic treasures in a seemingly unintentional manner.
From the moment you stepped into their home, the tall Victorian ceilings enveloped you and brought you into their moment in time. Spacious rooms and hallways awaited your every step, and all along the way there were “things” to catch your interest. It’s as if everywhere you looked, there were articles that told yet another story. The assorted mix of lamps, sconces, pictures, candelabras, statues, vases, and more mesmerize
d me. The grace and beauty of the aged items was intriguing and beautiful.
It seems, as I grew older, “old things” came to me to remind me that they are part of who I am. In my teens, I babysat for a woman who had a collection of old bottles on the ledges of her windows (in an old farmhouse! The land we built our house on was part of the original farm, The Jones’ Farm). The bottles were mostly colored blue, green and clear, but they came in interesting shapes and sizes, and when the sun shone through them, they sparkled and glistened, and it made it seem like a brighter, more joyful day. She had dug them up at the edge of the filed, along the ancient stone wall (she told me that you could find the “dumping area” of old farmsteads along the stone walls, and that would be where you would find the old bottles).
A few years later, a flea market started up in a hay-mowed field a town away. Late Sunday mornings were spent strolling up and down the isles viewing the array of old things: boxes, knick knacks, toys, china. It was about that time I told my mother I’d like to learn about selling antiques. She promptly dissuaded me, as “these people have been doing this for years, and their families were in the business. It wasn’t just something you could get into”. It made sense at the time, so I stuck with being a customer of the flea market, and took books out of the library to learn about old bottles and other “antique” items that caught my interest.
It wasn’t until many, many years later that I decided to sell antiques and collectibles on Ebay while I was a stay at home mom. At first, I’d pick things up at tag sales, and did a few house clean outs to obtain my “stuff”. That was when I realized I’d need another market place to sell the items I couldn’t sell on Ebay. The next thing you knew, I had a spot at a local flea market, and to keep up with a moving inventory, I took to the auction houses. THAT was when the real fun began. When you could buy a box of “stuff” for $4 and find a $45 gem inside crying “Put me on Ebay!”. Not only that, but the things that come through auction houses…absolutely endless variety of unique “stuff” , for example a liquor bottle that had a wind up ballerina inside the bottle (that went to my “dancer” daughter) I loved the fact that I could be a custodian of these pieces of history, marvel at their beauty and uniqueness, wonder who else held this item in their hand, and then sell them to the next “custodian” who loved it as much as I did. Along the way, we would choose things that we would hold onto for a little longer and keep with our family.
Eventually, a full time job was more realistic, and eventually I had to end the flea market, but I did keep a few of my favorite things; the compotes that now hold our fruit, or potted indoor plants, two dressers from the late 1800’s, an old chair with embroidered back, a vanity from the 1920’s, and much, much more which is still in boxes in the basement after we moved into my dream home, “The Pink House” (more about “The Pink House in an upcoming blog!)
Now that you know the history of my passion for everything old and vintage, stay with me as we journey through Repurposing found items, Create new uses for outdated things, Keep the pulse on Flea Markets and Auctions in Western Massachusetts, Virtually visit some local antique shops, junk shops, cottage style shops.