Monday, September 12, 2011

Brimfield Fair~Day One

~This video is at the end of day one of shopping~
I attached it at the bottom of the blog, but it popped up here at the top and I can't remove it! So you will see it again at the bottom of the post, so you might want to wait to view it.

 If you ever wanted to go to the Brimfield Fair, come along with me and my girlfriend Sue. Neither of us had ever been and we were totally excited to see what it was all about. Trying to be bright eyed and bushy tailed we left at 7 am and arrived in Brimfield an hour and half later. This post is about our adventure and hopefully what you might expect if you decide to take a trip out here yourself.
 Brimfield Fair is one mile of fields and tents with vendors selling vintage and antiques, all  located off the main drag in Brimfield Mass. Lots of homeowners near the venues sell parking spots on their front lawns, which is where Sue and I parked. We unloaded our wagon~the beach buggy cart Sue picked up would be worth its weight in gold. We also packed bubble wrap, sun screen, some snacks and waters. I was warned ahead of time by a blogger who sells here that I would be wise to wear boots as the fields were muddy from the heavy rains and flooding at the beginning of the fair. Sue and I enjoyed sunshine and nice weather for our first expedition, so come along with us!
 Shirley removed the Handicap sign in the yard so we could park on her lawn!
 At the end of Shirley's street was the main drag and it was quite early so there weren't many people here yet. You can see all of the tents on the road side.
 This stand had a zillion venetian mirrors, but I quickly remembered my self imposed buying rule of NO MIRRORS and NO CHANDELIERS. I was here to find purple transferware,  and Sue was here to find some artwork.
 Mostly there are tents set up for the sellers, but sometimes you will see old barns like this one that is full of merchandise.
 I was very excited to meet Linda from Juniper Hill Antiques. She has a blog that I started following a year ago, and I have admired her shabby chic furniture that she creates with her sister, Suzanne.  They buy old furniture and add appliques and crystal knobs and then give them the perfect creamy white paint job. They have been sellers at Brimfield for 13 years!! Can you imagine? She gets many repeat customers...anyway as I walked into her tent, Linda looked over at me and said, "Its Maison Decor!" and we laughed and hugged and spent time together like we had known each other in real life!  We would bump into Linda and finally meet her sister later on in the day many times. Brimfield has a small town feeling, and it is very warm and friendly.
 This is Linda's booth. She told me that each time I came into her booth that day, I brought her luck as she sold 3 large pieces each time I left!  That is sweet of her to say, but her reputation precedes her.
A very important benefit of being Linda's blogging pal was that she showed me her very clean porta potty! It had a nice hand washing station...I had not used a porta potty since college concert days, and this was as good as it gets in that department.
 If you love vintage clothing, there are many dealers selling things like this old racoon coat. But alas, my arms are too long...but I love a good racoon coat to go with a pair of jeans.
 We were in the thick of it now, pushing our cart along the paths that were lined with tents. Look at this gorgeous stuff.
 There were also creative makers/sellers who had things like these old book floor lamps.
 Searching for purple transferware, I kept waiting to come around a corner and see a booth filled with it~but all I kept seeing was red, blue and brown....and it was just bits mixed in here and there. This set was pretty.
 Sue points, "lets start on this side and come back up the other side". You have to have a general idea of how to cover this many venues. Let me say we only saw about 1/4 or less of the vendors in two days.
This was my favorite booth~this was a lady from either Georgia or Texas, I can't remember now.  But I think she was my twin, because every single thing she was selling, was stuff I collected or desired. I spoke with her a little bit and she said that Ralph Lauren (his peeps) buy from her booth and some of the other biggies like Tommy Hilfiger etc. However the rain kept them away this year, and she was disappointed.
 I am drooling just looking at these pics making this post. So this was some of the stuff this lady had, transferware, tole trays, tole work, brass and crystal candlesticks...
 Florentine trays and boxes and sconces, more beautiful tole trays alabaster grapes...her prices were higher retail, but I was able to get a decent price on my first piece of purple transferware. It is a polychrome with a few other colors in the pattern and it is marked Aurora, which is a British company that makes ironstone.
I didn't snap a pic in her booth, but this is it on my dining room table when I was unpacking. It is an old ironstone container...It is a nice size, about 9"x6"~I think I am going to throw my kitchen sponges in there.
 See that Mora clock in the corner~someday I hope to own one of those authentic Swedish clocks. This one was very nice and was $3600.  This booth had high end antiques of very nice quality. You will see flea market junk right next to a booth selling thousand dollar paintings!
 I snapped this pic for all of Miss Mustard Seed's fans who like those old burlap sacks. My GF Sue said this could be a new idea for blogland, and I think she is right...has anyone put one in an old frame yet?  This vendor has a shop in Leesburg, Virginia, called German Favorite Antiques. I found that out after a comment was left on my blog~they are right in Miss Mustard Seed's neighborhood for pete sakes!
 Sue seriously toyed with the idea of buying this Ship's maiden and mounting it over her garage doors on her  Maine home.  She lives on a river, so that would make sense~but she walked away from the fair maiden.
We only had Sue's wagon to carry our treasures home in so we had to try to not buy anything big.  The next thing I know she is buying this mantle to put in her daughters bedroom. We would return later with the car and they would run it out to the street for us. And just in case it didn't fit they would refund the money. Isn't that nice? Sue paid for it and we continued on with our hunt. I had one measly purple bowl and it was getting on towards lunch time.
 This was a lovely tent selling european style treasures. See our buggy parked out front. Practically empty still with just a big roll of bubble wrap just waiting to used!  It was hard pushing the buggy over the rocks and after about six hours it was really annoying!
 I spotted this gigantic brown/white transferware foot bath container and rapidly approached. Goodness~it was $450! Keep moving...when you see things that are overpriced you just wait for the next tent and hope the prices are better.
 Lovely french chairs~this dealer put cups on the legs to keep the wet ground from ruining them.
 Totally french and very yummy expensive things were in his booth. I didn't buy anything here.
 This was an exquisite array of old chandeliers and sconces. I followed my rule of NO CHANDELIERS.
This lady was called Shabby Fifi! Sue asked me if that was Fifi O"Neil's booth! Nope...this lady does have an online store, but is not a blogger. I had heard of Shabby Fufu, but not Shabby Fifi. Her little dog was in a playpen wearing a pink coat.
 Anything you can think of they sell here, although I was having a hard time finding the purple stuff I wanted.
 Sue and I were both interested in these vintage rose oil paintings and many were to be found, but usually over $100.
 What  a pretty tole chandy!
 We saw Linda out walking her Australian cattle dog, Caleb. Isn't he beautiful. Lots of people brought their dogs with them, and many vendors had their dogs in their booths.
This was a huge tent filled with reproduction furniture and Mora clocks.
The prices were the same as the antique clock I saw earlier.
 We were getting tired and hungry now, so we headed to the food court with our mostly empty cart.
Roast beef sandwiches and ice tea were in order~we found a big tree and collapsed on the ground. My feet were sweaty from walking in rubber boots and my legs were sore. This shopping is tough stuff.
 We only stopped for 20 minutes and then we were back on the trail~here is a souvenir plate shop.
 I wasn't seeing any transferware at all~and getting frustrated! I was trying to save my money for the big platter I was picturing bumping into and I wanted to have the cash to buy it.
 We kept walking and walking~Sue wasn't finding the right piece of art for over her sofa either.
 We stopped back at Linda's for a potty break and I finally got to meet Suzanne, the other half of Juniper Hill. I also got to sit down on a very nice chair for a little break. I had my big sun hat on now, as the sun was in full force and I was getting baked. I wished I had a pair of flip flops!! We were also tired of pushing our cart through the rocky paths so they said we could leave it with them as we continued our search. Thanks girls!
And then it happened~I came upon the first group of purple transferware by Mason's. It is called Puritan and it looks like a snowflake or lace...She had a set of dinner plates, a set of large shallow soup bowls, and a set of small 5" plates! Each group priced separately. I took the bowls, figuring I wanted to have enough to buy a platter. I already had dinner plates and I thought this pattern would mix nicely with my Rural Scenes pattern.
 A few more booths and we were calling it a day~6 hours of shopping in rubber boots was enough for me. There was always tomorrow and our plan was to start at the other end of the mile stretch and hope for better luck. We had to pack the car and then call the lady to bring out the mantle piece on the way to the motel.
 I couldn't take my boots off fast enough~ We were packing up our few purchases and heading out to the main drag. I took a video of us driving past the venues if you care to take a look. Videoing things is not my field of expertise, and my voice is kind of  monotone~fair warning before you hit play.
 The mantle wouldn't fit in the car so Sue got a refund and we headed back to the motel.
 The required stop before the motel was the package store, as we call it in New England. Where you buy your packages of liquor~Sue and I intended on having a nice glass of wine in our motel room.
So there we were, all tuckered out, with plenty of cash left for round two! I will share that we were more successful on our last day, so come back next time and see how we fared! Signing off from the Brimfield Fair, day one!


  1. thanks, Amy, for this wonderful tour of Brimfield. I have been there several times. When I was in the antique business we drove twice up there from Oklahoma and I just loved it. Thanks for the memories! Also I bought the pitcher (cobalt and lady) from you and I just love it! Hugs from Oklahoma!

  2. Amy, I love seeing the antique fair. What fun. Thanks for taking away shopping time to include us.

  3. Amy wow I can see how this would be such a fun, yet exhausting excursion. Great finds everywhere So glad you found some purple transfer pieces. Too bad no one had flip flops for sale!!


    Art by Karena

  4. You captured the tone of the show nicely! We had a wonderful time meeting you in person, you are as sweet face to face as you are in your blog. When you come to Brimfield remember you always have a place to stop and rest in our booth! What a fun visit!

  5. That looks like so much fun!!! I wish I lived nearby. Glad you found some purple transferware!

  6. Great tour! Those black tole trays are amazing, they would have been my downfall!!

  7. Debra, I learned from a vendor that the black tole trays are very popular in Texas right now, and I remembered I recently sold 4 of mine to Texans! Hello to Earth Angel!! Thanks so much for commenting and let me know that you bought that victorian style pitcher~so nice to meet you! Linda, it was a highlight to meet you and get the personal touch on our first visit to Brimfield!

  8. I've always wanted to go to this. Lots of good stuff there I see. How cool that you got to go. You two do look tuckered out. Can't wait to see what you bought the next day.

  9. Oh my, it looks like so much fun! I also loved the booth you showed that belonged to the Georgia/Texas lady. I don't have tole platters, a couple I guess, but I would love to have some really pretty ones.
    I LOVED the footbath and though I couldn't afford it, I actually thought it was a good deal based on others I've seen online. I haven't found one for less than $950, that is a true antique. If I could find one for a couple hundred I'd snatch it up!
    Can't wait to hear about day two!

  10. Hi Amy,
    I enjoyed going along with you-so much to see! I love all the transferware.
    A couple of years ago I was actually there too.We were driving up from Long Island and stopped near Brimfield for the night to find out almost all the hotel rooms were booked because of the Brimfield fleamarket so of course I had to see what it was all about!
    I saw lots of pretty things but I only had an hour or so to look.
    Looking forward to part 2!


  11. That was so cool, thanks for taking us along ... there is so much stuff,!!! i'd be having total and complete attention deficit disorder with all that to see. You were very good resisting those mirrors, but I don't know how you walked away from some of those chandeliers... unless of course they were massively expensive.. can't wait to see round two!


  12. Now I wish I had a bigger wad of cash! I am having so much fun hanging my artwork and rearranging my vignettes! You bloggers are so inspiring to us regular folk. I checked out the Juniper Hill blog and put it on my favorites! Such Nice People and Antiques!

  13. Crapola...your videos are unavailable.....

    I want to go to Brimfield soooooooo badly!!! I see so many treasures I would love, but they are a wee bit out of my price range....OUCH!!! :D

    Thanks for posting so many neat pictures for those who can't go. It is nice to see what it is like through your eyes, Amy.

    Ricki Jill

    PS Spend all your cash tomorrow ;P

  14. What a great fair. It looks like a fantastic day - exhausting, but so much eye-candy.

  15. I think Blogger is having issues...hopefully the video will be up later!

  16. Amy,
    looks like you had a fantastic trip! So many great things to look at! Brimfield and Round Top are my 2 dream trips! It was fun tagging along with you and your BF! Can't wait to see day 2!

  17. Loved this post, wishing we had fairs like this in New Zealand. I think my mums house has enough amazing peices in it to start my own fair!

    I love your blog and so pleased I discovered it.

  18. Looks like you had an awesome day! When I lived in California I used to go to the Veteran Stadium Antique Swapmeet in Long Beach. Rows and rows and rows of beautiful vintage and antique goodies. I now live in Southern Nevada where I feel they are fairly "antique challenged". So I intently followed along with your post and photos... thank you for indulging me with a "visual day trip" to Brimfield Fair :) Just what the doctor ordered!

  19. I loved reading about your expedition on Day One! I passed many of the same dealers. It's fun to have something in mind and then keep your eyes open for it. I'll looking forward to seeing what you found on Day Two.

  20. Amy, I haven't been blogging all summer..busy busy... but was pleased to open tonight and read your Brimfield experience. My husband and I went a few years ago, and boy did we have a blast. We took a cargo trailer and came home with some really neat old cupboards and such. Good luck on your purple hunting; I love it too! You were wearing me out thinking about those boots! We also found some great buys at the temporary fields, those that are only open on Wed. or Thurs. Hope you find your items.

  21. One of these days I will get there!
    Looks like so much fun. I am so impressed you took so many photos.
    I always get so caught in the moment and I am trying to find that great deal and then realize I never took photos!
    Thanks so much for sharing this adventure. Look forward to seeing what else you found.
    Love the plates!

  22. Oh, I'm soooo disappointed for you re the fp mantle. :'( I bought one (that looked bigger) in Atlanta and fit it into a SantaFe!
    The trick is to go through the (driver's) back passenger door with one leg, rotating clockwise in to the car. The top of the mantle will be on the passenger side of the car and the bottom "legs" will be on the driver's side! Oh, and, looking in from the back of the car, the mantle may have to rest diagonally--with the top at the roof, and the legs on the floor! But I bet it would fit!
    I hope you guys have a fantastic day tomorrow!

  23. Oh, fun! Brimfield is no joke...especially if you love antiques! How awesome that you were able to go.

  24. I was looking at this with a mix of extreme jealousy (the nice kind) and total awe at all the fabulousness!! Wow I cannot wait to go! It looks like sooooo much fun!!!!! Sounds like you had an amazing time, thank you for taking us along and cannot wait to see part 2!!

  25. Fun, fun! You put us right in the moment. My feet are even hurting! Can't wait to hear about day two.

  26. looks like you had so much fun! The last time I went I was pregnant, so that was about eight years ago! So many treasures... I found myself drooling, especially over the chandys and I think I saw the sconces that would be perfect on either side of my mantle!

  27. It looks like you two had a great time! I love how your friend saved a spot on her lawn! lol too funny! great videos too!

  28. How fun that you liked our booth - we are fans of Miss Mustard Seed too! We bring tons of vintage feedsacks and other great from Germany stuff like the blueish old cabinet (wine or coffee bar) in the blog from day 2. It's always good to see what creative people are doing with them. Miss Mustard Seed's sells at Lucketts Store and we're 10 minutes from there in Leesburg, VA. Thanks again for the compliment of mentioning us!
    German Favorite Antiques

  29. I can imagine that walking on that stone was tiring. My sister has an old Swedish clock that was my grandparents. I'll have to get a picture from her. She told me, recently, that many countries are getting picky about having their antiques and art being sent out of the country. In Sweden you can't ship stuff out unless you were born there. Well it turns out that my parents lived in Sweden when my sister was born. They planned on staying in Sweden but my dad had to leave ...well that is another story... So my smart sister has bought amazing tables and stuff. My mom and her had shipped some of the family heirlooms many years ago.


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