And I’m back! After taking a little more than a month off of blogging, it’s time to get back to it, and first up is a report on my trip to Brimfield Antique Show in mid-July.
For anyone who hasn’t heard of Brimfield, it’s a small town in western Massachusetts that hosts the largest outdoor antique show in the US three times a year (May, July, and September) for about a week (Tuesday-Sunday). I love antiquing, and while I don’t get to go every year, I make it for a day when I can. The show (which is really a collection of different fields) stretches out on either side of a one-mile strip of road. You never know what you will find, from sought-after antiques (and new things that play well with antiques), to repurposed items, to raw materials to make your own upcycled creations.
I love antiquing. A full day of wandering through the fields with a friend or by myself is one of my favorite kinds of days. This July, my best Brimfield buddy Jo-Alice (of Hillcraft Designs) and I managed to get away for the day. We left before the sun was up, drove out to western MA, and got walking! Each show has its own flavor, and July tends to have fewer vendors and fewer customers, because it can be the hottest weather (although sometimes September is pretty toasty, too). Having said that, though, there is still A LOT to take in. A few of my favorite vendors weren’t around, but despite that, we walked from about 7 A.M. to maybe 4:30 P.M. and found plenty to look at.
No, that didn’t come home with me. That dress form made me laugh and cringe at the same time.
I always go with a list of things I’m looking for for our house, my sewing practice, as gifts, or just fun things like jewelry and plants. I save some of my Christmas money toward this end, and don’t usually spend much, but always have a great time. Anything I don’t spend, I roll over for next year. I only get things I can use, because our apartment is small, and we don’t have wall or shelf space for knick-knacks.
Storage items are always useful finds! I didn’t find any affordable pattern storage boxes, though. I’m not willing to pay a lot for those.
Hm. Maybe I should have gotten this sign. 😉
Health fads of the past…
I didn’t find quite as much as usual this time, but I still came away with some good finds: deadstock top sheets with a great border print. These were unused and unopened and are 100% cotton. I think they’ll make a great maxi dress.
I found a sparkly necklace and this cute chocolate tin for gifts, but…bonus! It was filled with sewing odds and ends for me!
We needed some enamel ware for camping. Check!
I also thought I would try out this folding drying rack for holding patterns that have been cut out but aren’t sewn yet. Right now I drape them over my husband’s chair and, while he’s very patient, I bet he would like his chair back.
My favorite jewelry lady and plant lady weren’t in attendance, so no treasures from them this time. Not a huge haul, but a good one, nonetheless. Next year, if I get a chance to go, I’ll reevaluate this year’s list and roll anything over that I am still looking for.
After a day full of walking and looking (and eating second-breakfast and a delicious lunch of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream), my friend and went to Cracker Barrel for dinner since it’s on our way home. What a great end to the day, and a wonderful chance to hang out with a dear friend!
If you get a chance to visit Brimfield, here are a few tips:
- Don’t bring your young children. If you plan to make a full day of this, it’s a lot of walking and can get long and hot. Can you do it with kids? Definitely. Will you (and they) enjoy it? Probably not.
- Bring cash.
- Wear good shoes.
- Park in the middle so you can drop things off in your car as you go back and forth.
- Write down the fields your favorite vendors are in. After walking for a while, things start to look the same and the paths through the fields are sometimes curvy, which can make remembering exactly where you found that perfect item a little tricky when you are tired. My current favorite fields? New England Motel and Quaker Acres.
- Pack a cooler filled with water and leave it in your car. Plan to take a midday break with some water and a snack as you drop off your purchases so you can get that second wind to keep going!
- Wear sunscreen and be prepared for varying weather.
- Have fun and chat up the vendors. They are usually really friendly, really interesting, and great to learn from (whether you want to know the history of your latest find, its provenance, or the psychology of Brimfield).
Do you have a favorite antique fair where you live? Have any tips to share or recommendations for fun flea markets/fairs to visit? Leave them in the comments!
Looks like fun and you got some great things!!! Love that drying rack too…I’ve always wanted to go but haven’t made it yet. Happy Sewing!
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Thanks! I hope you get a chance to go sometime. It’s really fun!