Flea Market Finds: Ok, ya bought it…now what?

vintage thermos, water ski shelf

What I'm listening to today: American Girl by Tom Petty (RIP Tom! I used to steal my sister Nicki's "Damn the Torpedos" album whenever she went out! She now knows this and can't beat my ass anymore!)

What I'm drinking: Coffee Regular (This is a fine blend of Light Roast and whole milk. Just enough to make it the right shade of taupe! It's morning! And I just returned from a short vacay in FL where I drank my lunch a couple of days!)

UGH! Flea market "season" is ending here in the Midwest!! Didn't it just start?  One of the good thing about living in Florida was that flea market season was just gearing up around this time. One of my favorites, Renninger's in Mt. Dora, has 3 extravaganzas during the winter months with so many vendors I've yet to make it all the way through.  Being back in Ohio, I've yet to travel to the original in Adamstown, PA.  (6 hours and 31 minutes. I checked. Because who knows?)

Anyway, if you checked out my very first post EVER, then you know I went to NWO Picker's Paradise in Napoleon, Ohio with my sister Libby.  Just to look.  Definitely not to buy.  Ahem, yeah. I'd hate to see what we got if we went there to all-out shop!

flea market, vintage cooler, vintage thermos
This is what you buy when you're "just looking"!

So we went and we conquered!  This is a snap of my haul!  My sister Libby got a lot of great stuff too. (and she was getting discounts without even asking! What the hell?)

I've seen blogs and Pinterest posts with "rules" when you go to a flea market.  My rules are simple; there are none. Yes, I've thought, "I'm not buying if I have no room" or "I already have 75 of the item that I now have in my hand" and so on.  It doesn't stop me. I buy now.  I worry about the details later.  If you find something awesome, but you don't know where you'll put it, then you get home and find the perfect spot?  Now you're screwed.  The time to buy it is when you see it! (Right, Frank Fritz?)


Here's the breakdown of what I bought:

  • Royal Crown Cooler (spotted before we even parked!)   $35
  • 4 Wooden Folding Chairs ( because I have a lot and need more!)   $5 each
  • Locker basket (when you see one this cheap, you get it!)   $10
  • Girl Scout First Aid Kit (it's awesome!)   $5
  • Tripoley Game (Hey! it's plaid!) $2
  • Checkers and Horseracing Game (been looking for this forever!) $5
  • Wool blanket in a plaid case (because wool and it's plaid!)   $2
  • Thermos case with 2 thermos bottles (it had 2 thermos bottles!)   $5
  • Red Thermos (again, it's a thermos!)   $5
  • Blue Thermos (see above)   $2
  • Silver Thermos (because 10 silver ones aren't enough!)   $3
  • Plaid Thermos (yes, I know!)   $4
  • Vintage Flashlight ( I only have one so it's ok!)   $2

So, now what?  It's in your car.  You just love what you've bought.  Never a thought about where it's going to go.  And going to a flea market can be sooooo irresistible with all those low prices!  You'd be stupid NOT to buy it, right?  Well, that's what I tell myself.

Now it's taking what you've bought and incorporating your gems into an already gem-filled home.  Sometimes, it's strategically placing things so your husband has no idea that you've bought another damn cooler! Or is this just me?  Anyhow, let me show you what I've done with my fabulous purchases!

Royal Crown Cooler

vintage cooler

A total steal! The cheapest I saw on eBay was $74.00 and they go as high as $699! Seriously!  This one is obviously not mint, but then again, I don't like mint. I want well used.  I want to see that it went to picnics. And the beach.  With the only idea in mind was to have fun.  If it got a few scratches while they were listening to "Beach Blanket Bingo", so be it.

 It is now a side table paired with my Trip-nic cooler!  My small, red, totally adorable little cooler has morphed into many things.  It's been used to hold Wii games, photo shoot prop, front porch decor and, believe it or not, to hold cold beverages!  Now they are awaiting their turn to be called into action again for their intended use. 

I know that this weekend I'll use them for my daughter Breckins' wedding reception.  It's a fall theme/camp theme and there are so many uses for them that I'm not too sure how I'll use them.  Some will be "tables" beside the bales of straw that will be seating.  Others might be used to hold drinks, flowers, who knows!

4 Wooden Folding Chairs

Have you noticed how expensive these have gotten?  Or maybe their not your thing.  If so, let me know where you live and I'll buy them! Lately, I've been seeing these go for $29-35!  I won't, as a rule, buy them for more than $5.  And then, people go and get all fancy and ruin them with paint! HUH? Do that if you want to keep them for yourself, but for the love of all that is holy, please sell them unadorned (especially if you live close to me).  I use these for picnics, parties and for everyday use.  Plus, I LOVE CHAIRS!! Come to my house? I got a place for your ass to sit!

Girl Scout First Aid Kit

vintage Girl Scouts, vintage radio, vintage camera, vintage booksI have always wanted a chimney cabinet so I got one at a local flea market last month for only $35. I put it in my collapsible wagon (get one! It's a total game changer!), and pulled it the length of the place.  It's in my mudroom and I took off the door to "display my wares". Yes.  My husband laughed and repeated this phrase several times throughout the day.

If you walk into the back door, you'll swear you just came in from fishing.  And walked into a vintage cabin.  By a lake.  In the mountains.  I have been obsessed with what I call, "The Vintage Lodge Look" for a while now.  I was all Shabby Chic, green, pink and white.  Girly!  Then I got married and I had to have something masculine, but reflective of me as well.  I started with a jug thermos and I did not look back.

This cute little kit fits perfectly in that cabinet right by my plaid Arvin radio.  Don't you love it?  There's another one on eBay right now in better shape, $85.00.  And yes, I did consider buying it!  I held back though. See? Restraint!! (I'm still watching though!)

Wool Blanket

vintage blanket, vintage thermos, vintage pennant pillowRemember when I said I had a shopping cart?  In my dining room?  Here it is!  This is where the new wool blanket with the plastic case now resides!  The case itself was dirty, the label was peeled off and left a nasty residue and the blanket was stuffed in haphazardly. Some cleaning and a little bit of Goo Gone brought it back to life!  And the blanket doesn't stink! Bonus!

There are 2 wool blankets and 2 plaid quilts that get plenty of use for outdoor movie nights and I'll use them for my daughters' wedding reception.  A pillow with a Windsor, Vermont pennant, a steel jug, ice fishing poles and a stack of games on the bottom round this out.

Honestly, if there were more of those wool blankets, I would've bought them.  They can be used for so many things!  Use them as a tablecloth, over the back of a chair to cozy-up a room, Christmas tree skirt or as curtains.  You can even use them as a blanket!!

Tripoley Game

vintage thermos, vintage cooler, vintage fishing, vintage picnicI guess this is like a Where's Waldo pic, cuz it's really hard to see it. (really bad lighting. Sorry) It's there.  Right on top of the green tin picnic basket.  I love old board games and buy them for the look and the subject matter.  I don't really care if they're complete or not.  This game was plaid, so I'm all about it. And for $2, I could not go wrong!

Board games just take you back to a time before social media and 10,000 channels ruined everything.  It's as if they say, "Come in and let's all do fun something...together"!  I do have a bunch with all the pieces and Caeb and I have had a blast playing them.


vintage thermos, vintage water ski

Sigh!  Definitely a weak spot for me!  I have them everywhere!  In every room in my house!  Why?  Not sure why I love them. So.  Damn.  Much.  But I do and unfortunately, my sisters are now in on this too.  It's become a problem.  Lucky for me, I've been collecting for years and got them before them before the prices went up. (thanks, Country LIving!)

These are in my family room.  In August I went to an antique mall in Maumee and found this wooden water ski with no mate for $5.  Not sure what I'd do with it, I just left it propped against a wall.  I walked around my house last week looking for a place to hang it.

Maybe above a doorway?  Long ways on the wall?  Maybe a picture on it?  Or a shelf!  I had 2 brackets left over from a project so I quickly spray painted those a cream color and moved around some pictures and TA DA!  A shelf lined with thermos bottles!  I love it!  It is perfect in my family room, or any other room if I had space!

Not only do they look great, but again, have multi-uses.  Use as intended for picnics or the beach.  How about at a party with pre-made drinks?  Maybe a hot cocoa bar at Christmas time!  They also make fabulous super-cute vases!

Let's not forget the Checkers and Horseracing game.  It's not listed because I need to frame it.  I saw this game on Pinterest last year.  It was in an adorable vignette!  Stacked plaid lunch boxes and a vintage toy truck with plaid Skotch ice on its' trailer bed.  Swoon!  I've been looking ever since!

My sister was thumbing through a stack of games and I was just going to say I was looking for this particular game and BAM! There it was!  Not in the greatest shape, but I am so ok with that.  Hopefully, a vinyl record frame will fit it. I think I saw wood ones at Urban Outfitters, but I'll have to check again.  I can't wait to hang it!

The locker basket is also waiting for placement.  There are literally a million things to do with that.  Fill it with vintage books and an old ironstone pitcher with flowers?  Use it for vintage linens?  I was thinking of using it in my kitchen for my collection of old, vintage cookbooks.  TBD.

So, lets' wrap it up.  $100 worth of awesome flea market finds, not counting a weiner and a DP (Diet Pepsi).  And a few of my ideas on how I bring new items and curated them into my chaos (heh heh Get it?)  I love doing it and I'm not sure if I could ever break the flea market habit!  If you like what you see or have even better ideas than I've shown you, drop me a line and let me know!  I'd love to hear all of your great ideas too!









Check this out! Curating your chaos!

Hi! I'm Ginger and welcome to my very first post on my very first blog! Can ya tell it's new? By maybe, the lack of style, perhaps? Well, like my house and myself, it's a work in progress and I'm learning as I go. So....why should  you keep reading? And, why should you give a damn about my unique perspective? Grab some coffee and I'll tell you. Seriously, get some...I'll wait. All set?

Honestly, I don't think I'm that unique. I love cheap, ahem, affordable. I love collections (a little too much maybe... hence the chaos). And I love the look of a home that shows off what you've hunted down and gives it that "collected over time" look.

That brings us to curated-to select, organize and look after the items in a collection. How you arrange your hoard to make it look purposeful, but also like a happy accident. To turn a house into a home without making it look like it was ripped from a magazine. I mean, who wants to walk into your home and see page 64-65 of the Pottery Barn catalog? (Words of advice from Phoebe on Friends)

Fun fact: I just read that every time this episode runs in syndication, Pottery Barn catalog sales increase!

Not a jab to Pottery Barn! I shop there! But not all the time, because, money.  The bed in my master bedroom is their Claudia Bed and I have a few Christmas items from there as well. But, I digress.

Ahem, get to the point. The point is, to make a house yours. A lived in look that expresses who YOU are and all the kitschy, quirkiness elements that you possess. Anyone have a shopping cart in their dining room? Yeah, I do. Or a fake moose head with a vintage camera around its' neck? Of course I have that too! It's what makes me, me!

And I'm sure that you have that too! Anything can be lighting. Anything can be a side table. The possibilities are endless! And I'm positive you'll share your ideas too! (C'mon! I'm sure we live far enough apart that we won't look totally the same! Unlike my sisters. Who totally steal my ideas. But that's a post for another day.)

I plan to share a ton of ideas on here! DIY (because not all of us can pay top $$). Flea market finds and what I do with them. Rehabbing ideas while we work on our 1900 house. And my love of all things vintage, be it authentic or a well-made reproduction.

Yesterday, I went to Napoleon, Ohio with my sister Libby to what is known as "Pickers Paradise" at the Henry County Fairgrounds. We went "just to look".  After just 2 hours (and twenty miles walking) this is what "looking" looks like. How can you say no to this loot? At "giving it away" prices!

Hopefully, you'll come back and see how I integrate my finds into an already find-filled home.  And, hopefully, you'll bear with me while I figure out how to make this site the best it can be. And please! Let me know you're ideas!  Like I said, we live far enough apart, right?  On your way out the door (and I promise I'll NEVER make you take your shoes off), stop by my About page to learn a little bit more about the person behind the chaos.

I'm sure your coffee is cold, and hey, it's 5:00 somewhere, so grab a cocktail and thanks so much for stopping by! A toast to the start of a long friendship!