Thursday, December 2, 2010

Antiques, Boutiques and Blog Candy Giveaways!

I am back! And I have missed you :-)
I have so much to share with you, including the fact that this is post #99 for me! And I have not forgotten that I promised that I'd have celebration giveaways for my 100th post.
We'll chat about that more, but first I want to show you a little bit of what I have been up to since my last post.

As you know, I love flea markets, antique shows, estate sales, etc. My husband and I have been partners in antiques hunting since we first started dating (about 30 years ago!). And we still love it.

Although I did not happen to take pics at every place we've been to the last couple of months, I did take some. Hopefully you'll have fun seeing some of my favorite recent West Coast jaunts :-)

The first is at the Long Beach Antiques and Flea Market. We went on a very cool and cloudy day (unusual for Southern California). It was nice though. We never got too hot or sunburned, which is often a risk while outdoors around this part of the state!

It wasn't too crowded, either. I had fun, but will admit: I am not the kind who likes to rummage through a lot of "junk". I know, one man's junk is another's treasure. Well, my treasures usually are not among junk, lol. This place was fun, but a bit on the rustic side for me.

There was a little bit of this- no, I'll correct myself: A LOT of this and a LOT of that...

And my husband even found one of his favorite dealers. He specializes mostly in military items and all kinds of weapons. He has been seen on t.v. on the Military channel and other shows. He really knows his stuff. Very fun to talk to. He actually has a shop down near San Diego, and my husband takes our teenage son there and they have a great time. When I first met him in his store several months ago, I found out he knew my brother. Small world, huh?

I think the space above was among our faves. This guy had a great set up. Best visual there, we thought. A really great collection of antique and vintage sports related stuff. Not really my "thing", but I have to say we really enjoyed it anyway.

And what's a flea market without the popular "Shabby Chic"? There was lots of that.

So... that was one place we went to in the last couple of months.

Next, I will show you what I have come to find is my favorite location. It's not only really easy to get to, but it's always pretty consistent: Nice, not crowded, free admission, lots of close free parking, a lot of stuff but not too much walking involved. And the vendors are all really nice and pretty easy to bargain with. Yet, for the most part I don't even try to ask for a lower price because I think their prices are really reasonable to begin with. And, I don't find there to be nearly as much "junk" to weed through. And this is put on every month year round. Even when it is hot, it's not all that bad. There are quite a lot of big shady trees and many vendors have tents or awnings. I love it here:

And now, I will show you where we had the MOST fun! It was at the Holiday Boutique at the home of our friend Anke (pronounced On- Kah). She is among the sweetest people you could ever meet! A lovely Dutch woman who has a heart of gold. She lives in a big, beautiful old Victorian home and opens it up to the public several times a year to do boutiques which benefit various charities.
We have known her and her wonderful husband Mike since we first started attending our church about 11 years ago. They have been a very, very big part of our congregation for many years- dedicating themselves and their time like few will ever do. They are a wonderful example of devoted, loyal and giving Christians. I admire them tremendously!

One year I actually participated in her craft boutique and sold my handmade cards, candles, and various other things. It was sooo much fun! But it's always great fun just to be a "customer", too.

Here is the outside of her beautiful home:
Isn't it wonderful? I especially love the wrought iron fence, and that awesome front porch.

And check out that clock that's on the side of the house! Isn't that cool? You just never know what you will see at this house- inside or out! ;-)

Behind the back yard is where Mike works on his cars. He collects antique automobiles. Here is one we happened to notice.

Just part of that awesome fence.

And now to show you some of the inside of their home:
All the rooms in Anke's house are awesome. The antiques and the way she has it decorated is just wonderful. Check out this chandelier. It is even bigger than it looks in the photo. I can't imagine having to clean it, lol!

And how neat is this? Her old phonograph (aka the "talking machine") is definitely among my favorites.

Sorry some of the pics are dark, but I didn't want to go around using a flash. There were too many people shopping.
Here is where Anke does her magic! She is an amazing cook/ baker. And she sells her baked goods at her boutiques. For example, you can just get a slice of something and a cup of tea, coffee or cider to eat there, or you can purchase larger amounts to take home with you. Scones, pound loaves, coffee cakes.... they are like none you've ever tasted before. So fresh and delicious. Oh, the smell of all that baking going on was incredible!
We brought home scones and bread. Made with fruit she picked right off her own trees! They were fabulous.

Here's Anke with my husband Mike. He had just finished a scone and cup of tea. That made for one happy man. And while he was eating, I was shopping- worked out great, lol!

And here's another incredible chandelier in the dining room. Again, can you imagine cleaning it?!

Look at this beautiful old Grandfather clock! (I was just sorry I could not fit it all in the picture.)

Heading for check-out. Hopefully they had a lot of business and did really well that day.

And finally, here is my man holding some of the clothes I purchased. We bought a ton of stuff, and the clothes seemed kind of "iffy" to me. Turns out, I wish I had bought two of everything! The jogging suits I got are among my favorites. Hopefully the same vendor will be back again in the Spring. I just love them.

So, there you have it. I have shown you some of the places I have been hunting and shopping, but purposely not shown you what all I have found and purchased. That is partially because some of it is for YOU!

Since my next post will mark 100 posts to my blog, I am going to celebrate with some blog candy. I will have two different prizes: one themed around stamping and paper crafting, and the other around loving all things "old".

I have visited many other blogs for inspiration to help me figure this all out and I have decided on a few things I need to share with you:

First of all, as much as I wish I didn't have to do this, I am going to take the advice given to a fellow blogger by one of her readers: I am only going to make this available to viewers in the United States and Canada. I plan on giving away enough items so that postage outside of those areas could be far more expensive than I can handle on top of the cost of the items. I am so sorry about this, but I hope you'll understand.

Secondly: You may enter both drawings if you wish, but if I pick a winner for one prize, then that person will not be able to win again. So, if you like one prize a lot more than the other, you may only want to enter that drawing.

I am going to have several ways for you to enter so that you can have multiple entries.

Please keep checking here because although I am not yet revealing exactly when this all will be, I will tell you it will be sometime soon. Maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe later. But it will certainly be before the end of the month. And who knows- I may have even more surprises in store for you. The only way to find out is to keep your eyes on my blog :-)

In the mean time, I hope you have liked my little "tour of the hunt".
I also hope you'll leave me a comment. I always love hearing from you. As a matter of fact, I'd love ideas about what kinds of things you hope I will offer for prizes. For instance:
Are you a paper crafter? If so, what are among your favorite things to work with?
Are you an antiques lover? What, if anything, do you collect? What do you admire?
You never know... I just might have some things from my stash/ collections you might like :-)

Thanks for stopping by today!
Happy crafting and happy hunting! :-)


Jenn Fontaine said...

Such pretty things! Even though antiques are not me- I love that you Love them so much! I get excited looking at them because I see your excitement and passion!

Rebecca said...

Thanks for sharing your pics with us! I'd love to be there in person to the flea markets, but this is the next best thing!

Betty: Reflections with Coffee said...

Fun tour to go with you! Thanks for all these pictures and the commentary!

Bonnie Lynn said...

Sarah, there were so many awesome things in those pics. Darn, I need to find time to come south and flea market shop with you. Also, I just Anke's house! Thanks for sharing your pics and tour.

Laura said...

What a fun post! It was almost like I was there except it doesn't look to be 13 degrees there. :-)

I love hearing about your finds!

Wall Lights said...

nice posting keep blogging