Friday, December 30, 2011

Long Beach Antique Fair

So much cool stuff. 
A couple of weeks ago, we got to go to the Long Beach Antique show, courtesy of Rebecca's friend Ali.  While this is by no means the largest antique show, it is a really great gathering of vendors.  There are established antique dealers as well as novices, and they are all pretty fairly priced.  This is the kind of place that could take you all day long, because some of these vendors have so much stuff.  If you are going to go to an antique show/flea market like this, it really does help to have a game plan, or else you can get overwhelmed really quickly.  I actually had a list of things that I was looking for, just so I wouldn't forget anything.  
Now, having said that about having a game plan, and while knowing what you want and specifically looking for it can be excellent, there is also something to be said for just going without a plan in mind and browsing until you stumble upon a treasure.  Of course, this can still happen even with a list of specific items in mind, but sometimes if you are really focused on finding one or two particular things, you may look over an amazing deal you did not plan for.
Rebecca and I were talking and decided it would be great to go back and just hunt for something like jewelry; there are so many spaces that have case after case, bag after bag, pile after pile of rings and necklaces and brooches and baubles, that you could literally spend hours going through their stuff and still not have made it around the lot before closing time.  Case in point:
That might look like a pile of junk, but there were some really cool little pieces in there, and the seller had a few piles like this in different metals.  He also had trays that had nothing but old charms for bracelets or necklaces, and they were priced really well, at something like 6 for $5.  Considering Anthropologie is selling charms for bracelets at up to $15 a charm, I would say this is a pretty good deal.  And it's the real deal, which is what Anthropologie is mimicking.  For those of you who do not want to sift through piles of tangled up pieces, there are also sellers who display their wares in a more traditional manner, such as in glass topped cases.  This makes for really easy browsing, as everything is laid out so you can already see it.

This vendor, among others, was selling jewelry made from found pieces.  They had a really cool steampunk vibe, which is exactly how the seller described them.  There were actually a couple of vendors who were selling steampunk style jewelry, already  made and ready to go.  There was even one of the actual artisans there, making some bracelets while we watched.  You can also buy pieces like old springs and watch faces and plenty of other old gadgety type devices that you can turn into your very own steampunk-esque piece, if you like that look.  (I do!)
I will let Rebecca tell you about the clothes that can be had there, because she made off with some amazing pieces.  I didn't even realize what great finds she scored until I saw the pictures uploaded on here.  I have to say, I am a bit jealous!  I did get a pretty great purse for myself, though, and have already been carrying it all over and loving it.  The best part was when my Mom saw it and said it looked like something my Gram would have had.  That was the look I was going for, so that was pretty awesome.  
When we got home, Rebecca asked me if I had any regrets about my purchases or any of the things I left behind.  At first I didn't think I really did have any regrets, but now, looking through the pictures, I really wish one of us would have bought that ship painting.  I love, love, love it.  I have been obsessed with stuff like that lately, and that print is true vintage, in the original frame.  I love it so much that it would have been fine with me if Rebecca would have gotten it, because then at least I could go visit it.  Oh well.  At least there is a picture of it on here!  I have to admit, also, that I am kind of regretting the coat I bought.  Just a little.  The sellers (a super nice couple), didn't have a mirror, but I bought the coat anyway, because I really like the look of it.  When I got home and tried it on again, I felt like it was a little too big for me.  I'm going to have to play around with belting it after it comes back from the cleaners.  It'll be fabulous,  I just have to style it right.  Besides, Rebecca said it was cute, and I trust her opinion!
Just a little bulky, but what great colors!

My advice to you, before I turn it over to Rebecca-- if (hopefully when!) you go antiquing/flea marketing, make sure you dress appropriately!  Layers, people, layers, layers, layers!  It should go without saying, but make sure to wear comfortable shoes.  A roomy bag/purse is great for stashing a water bottle, wipes, and hand-sanitizer, as well as any little items you may pick up along the way.  Bring cash, both big and small bills.  And, and this is very important, haggle!  Now, this is coming from someone who hates haggling, but I actually tried it this trip, and it worked!  I got money off of items and in some cases, I got extra stuff thrown in for free!  Remember two things- all they can say is no, and who cares, because you'll most likely never see these people again!  I can't wait for our next trip and the treasures we may find!  Happy hunting!

Look at the racks of clothes in this picture!  For me, what is shown here
seems like a lot for what I am used to seeing in terms of true vintage clothes.  This picture doesn't even
begin to show just how many clothes there were.  Like Lori said, sometimes it is difficult to know if a piece will really work when you get it home, and there is one dress I bought that will have to be altered a bit, but the pieces are so well priced that it is worth having done.  Lori: your coat is fantastic, even if it has to be altered, and it is one of a kind!  By the way, does anyone know of a good place for alterations?

Here is the fabulous ship painting Lori referred to.  It was an early find in the day, so I wasn't sure I wanted to spend most of my cash on the first thing I liked.  That is what is so difficult about shopping a large fair-- it is hard to go all the way back later; also, the chance that it would still be there is slim to none.  I really hope that next month it is still there, but I doubt it.  If it is I think Lori needs to take it home. It is pretty great.

(This pic proves why I like a good lip stain.
I look like I have no color on my lips!)

I haggled and got this little suitcase for Alli for a few bucks
cheaper than the asking price!  Woo hoo!

It is hard to see in these pictures, but these prints are gorgeous!  They were far too
expensive for me, but in the scheme of art, they weren't bad.  I think they were asking around $225 each.  The subject and colors are lovely.  In fact, I liked the whole booth.  They had some beautiful botanical prints.

I need to return to this vendor when I have a few more pennies saved.

A kind man offered to take our picture for us, so here is proof we were there

I was really digging the industrial, up-cycling of this section of the antique fair.  There were lots of
pendant lights and chandeliers made from all forms of wire and metal.  This orb light is really cool.

Lori liked the beautiful reclaimed wood and metal tables as an island option
for her kitchen.

This bench is so pretty, and would be perfect for one side of a dining
table, if it were a little longer.

My friend Ali scored a dresser for her daughter; here we are strapping it into the back of her
truck.  The vendor who sold it to her was nice enough to bring it to her truck and help us lift it...what service!  Tip:  If you wait until the end of the day, vendors are more likely to sell things a lot cheaper.  There is a risk of not getting what you want if you wait, but you also might get an incredible deal.  Ali did.

Lori's awesome globe and suitcase piled in the truck at the end of our long, very fun day!  I like the idea of
vintage suitcases as storage for children's odds and ends...thanks for that new idea, Lori.  I will have to find some for my kiddos too and copy you.
Rebecca's Clothing finds:
This dress reminded me of one that Katherine Hepburn
wore in Bringing Up Baby.  It might need to be taken in a bit
at the sides, but I really love it. $15

Fun sundress $10

Classic shirt-dress.  This is perfect for work.

This dress is adorable and fits like a glove.

One of my favorite finds:  It will be cute in the spring with white jeans,
or navy cigarette pants. $10
Lori's Clothing Finds:

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