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!
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