It’s Brimfield time again! I love Brimfield! What is it? The Brimfield Antique Show in Brimfield, MA is the largest outdoor antique market in the United States. It happens three times a year in May, July, and September from a Tuesday to a Sunday. Usually my wonderful husband takes a day off to watch the kids so I can get up long before the crack of dawn to head out there for a full day of antiquing. I love it!
Unlike some people who go to Brimfield, I’m not a serious collector of anything. I keep a list throughout the year of antiques I’d love to find, but I’m usually looking for things that are maybe mid-century, on the smaller side, and something I can use. I save up Christmas and other money, but I don’t think I’ve ever spent it all. I love to look at everything, hunt for treasures and gifts, and get lessons in both history and the psychology of Brimfield. It’s never dull. I walk all day, and then I enjoy some good food.
This year, for the first time, one of my friends was a vendor. Laurel’s business is called Retromat Vintage and she sells vintage clothing as well as other things that are interesting and cool. Here a just a few pictures of some of her goods.
I vote for bringing gloves back.
Or how about hats?
I got the chance to work for her for about 20 or 30 minutes and, despite my nervousness, it went well. She gave me some sewing goodies that I wanted in return…and a lobster roll.
I felt richly rewarded for my minimal work! Thanks, Laurel! Laurel also gave me this Necchi-Elna catalogue, which was fun to look through since I have a much-loved Elna. I had no idea they were one company at some point.
The pattern was a freebie from another vendor. It has no instructions, but I’m working on tracking those down…
I also got to see my friend Maggie from my favorite fabric store in NH, and we had some fun checking out the vintage sewing goodies.
My strategy this time, since I wanted to be available to Laurel if she needed me, was to hit my favorite fields first, and then walk through whatever other fields I could get to. All the fields have interesting names. Because I love to delve into whatever I am really interested in, I started a notebook to record favorite fields (currently New England Motel, Quaker Acres, and The Meadows), notes to remember, etc. Inside I have directions to Brimfield, a page for each field with notes, general notes about where I like to park (in the middle), and my wish lists for the current year and years past.
Also included are a few Bingo lists I’ve made. My husband created Brimfield Bingo when we went together one year: think of the craziest things you can (because you never know what you might find at Brimfield), and then check them off if/when you find them. While I didn’t play Bingo this year, here are a few of the weirder things I saw:
In case you lose an eye…
or become a cook in a giant’s kitchen.
My notebook started to get so full of vendor cards, that Scott got me a little accordion file so I can keep track of which vendors are in which fields. Yes. We ARE cool.
Want to see what else I got?
Owl scissors! At $2 apiece, I wish I had bought a bunch more for gifts. Maybe next time.
A sleeve board for pressing sleeves. Don’t worry–I’ll clean it up before using it on my sewing projects.
I also got some fun jewelry:
And I got some gifts, some of which have to remain secret, but here’s one that doesn’t:
And finally, here are some pictures of things I saw as I walked around.
A Singer Featherweight sewing machine complete with case!
Not everything is antique–some things are upcycled from antiques or are handmade goods like these jeans or supplies for making other things like the yarn below.
It was a great Brimfield, I have to say. I had a lot of fun looking for treasures and hanging out with Maggie and Laurel. If you’ve gone to Brimfield, I’d love to hear your thoughts, tips, or favorites.