A Wicked Visit to the Flea Market

Jane/Susannah/Sadie here, feeling generous…

One of the things my family likes to do together is visit flea markets. My son looks for vinyl record albums (yes, these are resurging in popularity). My husband looks for old, well-crafted hand tools and fishing equipment. I…try not to buy books or any more china or sparkly glassware or crystal, but I do allow myself to indulge in some costume jewelry here and there.

A couple of weeks ago we visited a flea market in Dudley, Massachusetts. Because I really shouldn’t bring more stuff into my home until I can get some stuff out, I decided to buy virtual gifts for all the Wickeds.

For Edith, I got this oval cast iron griddle because it reminded me of Maddie Day’s new series . Suggest removing that piece of combustible-looking rawhide around the handle and just using a potholder:

Wicked Griddle.jpg

For Sherry, I got this 4-foot-high urn. Because you can never have too many of these. And I felt like this was some thing Sarah Winston might find a clue in:

Wicked Urn

For Jessie, I got these boxes of yarn. I didn’t paw through them, but there’s a good chance there’s some gorgeous baby alpaca in there in just the right color and quantity:

Wicked Yarn

For Barb, I got this awesome hand-carved mariner’s head. This is another thing you can never have too many of. She can hang this prominently, well, anywhere really, for that nautical, fishy, Gorton’s of Gloucester touch. Although, now that I’m looking at this again, it might be a conquistador or Miles Standish, in which case Barb can regift if she wants. Oh no! Is that some crystal in the background? Move away, Jane/Suze/Sadie!

Wicked Mariner

For Liz, I got this adorable little stuffed animal that reminded me of her dog. Clearly, I was so overcome by the cuteness that my hand shook as I was taking the picture. Liz’s dog could also use this stuffie as a chew toy. I love gifts that do double duty.

Wicked Puppy

For Sheila, I got this set of apple candlesticks. At least I think they’re candlesticks for a fat candle? Or maybe a dish can go in each of these metal circles for candy or nuts. Anyway, I just know she needs more apple-themed stuff.

Wicked Apples

For Julie, I was looking for something to do with the theater. But then I saw these Paris Hilton heels and knew I must get them so Julie can wear them to the Agathas banquet to accept her award.

Wicked Shoes

Finally, for Kim, I got this … tall metal cop. I don’t know exactly what it is because it was up high and I wasn’t wearing my glasses. The head might come off, then she could store stuff in there, liked cursed rings:

Wicked Tin Cop

And frankly, it’s a good thing this cop was around. Because there might be some criminal activity going on at this flea market–at least of the grammatical variety:

Wicked Grammar

And that ended my shopping spree. Or did it? Fine. I did buy a couple somethings for myself. And they were shiny! But practical too. I bought a small vintage copper-bottom Revere Ware saucepan, and a matching 6″ skillet with lid, all for $8.00. These will go to my cabin, and I really do need them to replace other cookware of lesser quality. So I felt quite virtuous when I left.

Wicked Pans

So, readers, do you love flea markets? What kind of virtual gifts would you buy the Wickeds?



32 Thoughts

  1. That is the sweetest thing, to buy us all flea market finds! Maddie and I love the skillet. I haven’t been to a flea market in years – but I might need to go find one now.

  2. First Saturday of the month, I go to a flea market at a firehouse in Maryland, about 6 miles from me. It is a fantastic experience, because there is a wonderful variety, the vendors are so friendly, and the snack bar is run by retired firemen, who are all adorable. I get a lot of costume jewelry there. Plus, vintage tablecloths, my weakness in life. In fact, this reminds me to wash and iron my Easter tablecloth before Sunday. You Wickeds are lucky to have such a generous friend!

    1. You don’t need to walk in them. Just pose! Or you could get a couple of hotties in tuxedos to escort you and keep you from falling, like they do for all the women in unwearable dresses and shoes at the Oscars and other awards shows.

  3. You are so funny, Jane! I think my urn would also make an excellent murder weapon or something Sarah could grab to defend herself! You know I love a good flea market!

    1. We have lots of fun ones in New England. One of our favorites is in Connecticut, Sundays in the parking lot of a drive-in movie theater. The drive-in is still in business. I love how the owners have figured out a way to ensure it keeps going by adding the flea market component. Yankee ingenuity.

  4. Thank you for the apple whatever-they-ares. Yes, I keep finding more apple things, from giant glass plates to apple earrings (more than one pair!). Julie’s shoes are gorgeous. And I already have the Revere Ware pans from my mother (my small skillet comes with an egg poacher!).

    I’m addicted to flea markets, yard sales, sidewalk sales, and of course, some of the bigger events like Brimfield–which I have stayed away from for this past year because I don’t want to cram one more thing into my overstuffed house (at least until I get rid of some stuff).

    Regardless of whether you buy something, it’s fun to let your imagination run wild, thinking about what the items might have been used for in the past–or which ones would make good murder weapons.

    1. I didn’t go to Brimfield last year for much the same reason 🙂 And keep your eyes peeled (har, har) for an egg poacher for my little skillet! I really, really want one now.

    1. I have my mother’s AND my grandmother’s. And when I was growing up, I got a child-sized set for Christmas one year (now that might be vintage!). Those things were built to last.

      1. How lovely! Thank you. My mother did hang on to one of the covered pans from that set–she used it for melting butter. The rest? Who knows where they went?

    2. I have Revere Ware I inherited from my mother-in-law, as well as a set of Revere ProLine that we bought with some of our wedding money. More than twenty years later, I’m still using something from one or both sets pretty much every day. So when I see some of the older copper-bottom pieces, I usually pick them up for my summer cabin.

  5. That was a very fun post!

    I must admit I don’t tend to go to flea markets. When I go, I never find anything I’m remotely interested in. Even the books they have are things I don’t care about. I guess I just haven’t been to the right ones.

    1. Ah, but you never know! One of my all-time favorite finds happened when I was walking around my old Swarthmore neighborhood and stumbled on a very small yard sale where a single family was obviously clearing out their basement/attic/garage. I spied a large (two feet by three feet), nicely framed engraving of what was clearly a New England town, from the late 19th century. I had to have it, which meant I had to wrestle with myself over spending the princely sum of $40 they wanted for it (since I didn’t have a job at that point), but heck, the framing alone was worth more than that. It now occupies the place of honor over my fireplace (and I think it did turn out to be a Massachusetts town).

    2. Mark, I used to go to the Orange County Fairgrounds flea market when I was in college and try to barter stuff. I still have a lovely pink and purple knitted wool afghan that I got for a dollar … in 1974!

      1. Where I grew up in Massachusetts, we went to church basement sales and the real Filene’s Basement in Boston. When I was older and living in California the trend was to garage and yard sales. I think they were the same thing! My mother and I used to go to the Rose Bowl flea market. It was tremendous.

        There aren’t many of these events where I live now, but there are neighborhood garage sales here once in awhile. I asked to participate with a group of friendly neighbors who were putting their few items together into one large sale. They said no. I found myself giving thanks for my friends back in New England! It was a very odd day!

        I took my things home and put them out in the driveway, but no one stopped by until the Salvation Army truck came to cart the items away. Then someone came running after it. They wanted the lawn mower. I think they were expecting me to drop the price then panicked when they saw the truck. 🙂

  6. Jane/Susannah/Sadie–whoever you are! Thank you so much for the, er, head. I will display it prominently with all my other heads.

    I don’t go to flea markets any more, because I’ve reached the point in life where I need to get rid of stuff, not bring it into the house. However, I always thought the subculture of a place like Brimfield would make an excellent mystery or series.

    1. I thing I read a paperback set at Brimfield in the past year or two, but I don’t know if it was the start of a series. Do I remember the author or the title? Alas, no. (I should be horsewhipped.)

  7. What a fun and thoughtful post! Every knitter needs more yarn! When I was a child my family regularly visited flea markets and antique shops. I still love them but I rarely bring anything home anymore.Instead I use Pinterest to collect things without sharing house space with them.

  8. I admit that I do like flea markets. Isn’t there always that hope of finding a treasure? And Julie, I’m sorry to admit that I haven’t yet gotten over the pretty bling of crystal and dishes. I’m addicted!

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