finds to fancy

hello everyone! i know, it's been awhile since i've made an appearance around here and i'm working on that- as soon as i finish getting this house all set up i want to get back on the regular blogging schedule.

i hinted at it on Instagram and Facebook on Sunday, and here it is- the Rose Bowl Flea Market edition of finds to fancy!

for the few of you who might not have heard about it, the Rose Bowl Flea Market happens once a month, right here in my new home- Pasadena, CA. it is one of the largest flea markets in the country and you can find everything from vintage and antique items to handmade goods, new items, even plants- pretty much anything you can think of.

i had been eagerly awaiting my chance to check out the market, even before moving here. Saturday night i prepped all my gear, and woke up early on Sunday in order to arrive for the 'express entrance', which gets you in an hour earlier than the normal opening time. the mister dropped me off, i purchased my ticket, and wheeled my cart in, ready to get started.

i had read a number of blog posts about the market previously, and everyone said to head left from the gate if you're looking for vintage. so i headed far left as i could go. once i was at the very edge of the vintage section, i started working the grid of vendors, trying to be as methodical as possible so i didn't miss anything.

now, i've been living in the vintage/thrifting world since i was about 5, and i've been to many a flea market in my day, so i say this with a certain amount of brevity- this market BLEW MY MIND. especially the clothing/accessory/shoe vendors. racks of vintage clothing extending across entire sections. 30 foot sections of nothing but leather purses. piles and piles of shoes. entire 10x30 foot booths full of nothing but belts. i've never seen anything quite like it.

an entire booth of nothing but tee shirts.

just one of the many all-bags booths
knowing that i wouldn't make it all day in the warm California sun (it was in the 90's by noon), i had to decide early on what to focus on. most of the items on my 'shopping list' were things we needed for home, so i made the tough choice to ignore the clothing booths and just concentrate on home goods. (don't worry- i'll be back for a day of just clothing shopping). even having narrowed my focus, there were still an almost overwhelming (in a good way) number of booths to peruse.

i wanted about half of what this vendor had- so many fun industrial things. 

i tried to convince this vendor to sell me his umbrella- i even offered to come back at the end of the day so he wouldn't lose his shade. i was unsuccessful. i've also thought of it almost daily since. it would match our 'new' yellow patio set perfectly!

this vendor had nothing but vintage eyewear. i had to restrain myself from going in- i'm such a sucker for vintage sunglasses. really love those turquoise oversized frames in this pic.

just thinking about this booth still makes me sigh- filled with vintage french linens (these are bolts of grain sack). i think on my next visit i'll have to buy a small scrap as the current budget won't allow for anything else but it's all so gorgeous!

i could have moved into this booth. so much goodness. i dream of someday having enough wall space for an old motel sign (i am obsessed with old signage- see my previous post about that), and this top hat one would be amazing.

one of the many things i regretted not buying. it's a little shinier than i usually go for in my own home, but i love the facets. so perfectly on trend. 

around 1PM i noticed that despite my best efforts to reapply the sunscreen, i was getting a serious sunburn and knew i should call it a day. i hadn't found everything i hoped to (or at least for the price i was hoping to), but i reminded myself that i live here now so i can go every month if i want to, plus my cart was totally full so i called the mister for a pick up.

i've been saving this since the Funky Junk Show last year, with this very day in mind.

i definitely put the old cart to the test and it passed with high marks. 
when we got home he mentioned being amazed that i willingly stayed out in the heat for so long (i HATE hot weather and usually turn into a whiny baby if it's above 90), and reflecting on it i realized that i was having so much fun being perfectly in my element that i barely even noticed how hot i was. it was an amazing day. oh, and i found some really great things too- here the finds i fancied enough to take home...

as you might have guessed from the g&h logo- i love arrows. i couldn't pass these up- they even came with that amazingly weathered leather strap. 

my latest obsession is black and white enamelware and there was an abundance of it. i controlled myself and just picked these three pieces. i love the little pot with the double handles and lid! 

my tillandsia (or air plant) died in the move so i was excited when i found a booth selling a huge variety of them. 

i was so pleased when i talked the vendor down on his price for this cool metal drawer set. it will hold regular sized paper perfectly so i'll be using it to sort invoices and such on my desk. 

remember my newest collection- milk glass? i found some great additions. i especially love those bowls with the black stripe on them. now that i know Anchor Hocking made a pattern like that i'll be on the hunt for more! 

one of my favorite moments was visiting the Oh Hello Friend booth and meeting Nick, Danni's mister! unfortunately Danni was out visiting other booths when i was there and i didn't have time to go back to meet her, but i did pick up some great pieces from them. i've been looking for a stamp carousel for the longest time and this one is in great shape to boot!

i was hoping to find some vintage advertising from LA, so this old nut crate was a great score!  Danni had a lot of great items, including her handmade goods. if you haven't been to the Oh Hello Friend blog before, i encourage you to visit! 

in addition to that crazy good haul, i also picked up a tall wire shelf that folds up. it will make the perfect home for our stereo and record player. i'll share photos of it once it's all set up.

i hope that everyone who enjoys hunting for vintage has the chance to check out the Rose Bowl at least once. if you do happen to make it, here are a few tips to make your visit as awesome as possible...

-spend the extra $2 for the express admission. i arrived just after 8am and had about 2 hours to browse in peace until it got busy. they offer even earlier admission but 8 seemed about perfect as most vendors were set up or still setting up, but there wasn't a crowd.

-bring your own water. i brought two of my reusable bottles that i filled and chilled overnight and was glad i did. they sell bottled water, but it's a steep $5.

-if you have a cart or wagon, bring it. if you don't have one they rent them there and your shoulders will thank you. i carried both my purchases and my supplies (water, sunscreen, etc) in the cart, and then just wore a small (light) purse with a long strap for my money, tape measure and business cards.

-dress comfortably. i wore a light cotton batik dress with cotton leggings and comfortable sandals and was pretty set for the day. layers are also helpful, especially if you start early in the morning and will be there through the afternoon.

-wear sunscreen, and remember to reapply. you may also want a big brimmed hat. i didn't have one and wished i had- i got sunburned pretty badly on my shoulders.

- if you'll be more than a few hours you might want to bring some snacks or a lunch. they do have food vendors but again, the prices are pretty steep.

-if you're bringing children, use the smallest stroller you have. most booths can't accomodate strollers or carts, so you have to leave them just outside the booth.

- like i mentioned earlier- if you're looking for vintage- go left after entering the gate. seriously- go left until you can't go any further. you'll pass over a bridge that leads you to the very edge of the vintage section. i started here and worked my way back to the section closer to the main gate.

- don't be afraid to bargain. i don't think i payed the marked price for a single thing all day. if you're not sure how to bargain a great starting place is just to ask 'can you do any better on this price?' or 'what's your best deal on this?'. every vendor i bargained with was very nice about it- even if they couldn't give me a better deal. another good method if you're planning to buy more than one of something is to ask if they can give you a deal if buy all of them- i scored that entire stack of small plates for $6 even though she originally told me $2 each. many vendors don't have marked prices, so you'll have to ask for a price. if you can't pay what they quote you, or want a better deal, most vendors will go down- especially if you start to walk away. remember that vendors don't want to pack this stuff up- they want to sell it so be bold and try to get a price you're comfortable with (within reason- you don't want to be insulting). it never hurts to ask.

-if you buy a large item most vendors will allow you come back and pick it up later. just write down where they are so you can find their booth again. they also have people who will deliver furniture to your vehicle for you- i think there is a fee for this service, but it's helpful if you're alone and buy something big or heavy.

if you're planning a visit to the Rose Bowl Flea Market- let me know if you have any questions- i'm happy to help if i can.

happy weekend y'all. i hope it's a great one! oh, and don't forget- i'd love to share your very own finds, so email me for details if you have something you'd be willing to let me post.