Rose Bowl Flea Market December 2014


It happened again.

I got up before the crack of dawn.

To shop, of course.

What else is worth getting up early on a weekend for?


My husband and I both love going to The Rose Bowl Flea Market in December. The weather is nice and cool. Cold but not too cold. The vendors are a little more jolly. It is just a nice time to go. Plus, it is fun to pick up unusual one of a kind Christmas gifts for people who will truly appreciate them.


We have now worked out what is most enjoyable for us when we go to the flea market. We like to get there early and leave early. We got there at 7:05 and left at 9:05. Well, we left the first time at 9:05 and the second time at 10:05. But that is a long story involving me thinking we had lost a piece to an item only to come to the conclusion it had always been missing. You know, because items that are old… Vintage… They are always in pristine condition and you should never inspect them before you buy. Or always inspect them. It is one of those for sure.

There were so many amazing items there this time. We saw a beautiful library cabinet. It was too expensive for us, but I am sure someone grabbed it. And, of course, we did not get a picture of the beautiful piece.


An Indian wedding bench from a wedding house. Actually two of them. And the third one, a blue one, had just sold. They were $350 each. They were so beautiful they made my heart ache. I have absolutely nowhere to put them. The sweet owner said I could treat them and put them outside to which I not jokingly replied I would move my bed out there first. I would never ruin such beauties with the outdoor elements.


This green laundry bin was really cool. I have enough laundry bins. But I had not seen one like this before. And I am not quite sure it was a laundry bin, but it was perfect for the task. I hope it went to a good home. It even had wheels.


I ended up taking this old game wheel home… I know. But my bleary (not Beery) eyes fell in love.

It was probably from some hometown carnival many years ago. It was not a professional wheel, but I loved the colors and the sentiment of it. Now where to put it? I had originally planned on hanging it above my daughter’s bed. Then the grogginess of the morning wore off and I once again became aware that we live in earthquake country. Probably not the wisest move to hang a heavy wooden object with rusty metal above your kid’s bed. It is a good thing I do not make most of my life decisions at dawn.


I loved this old, I believe it was from Nepal but I could be wrong, alter. It was from the 1800s and very pretty.


Of course, I had to take pictures of the unusual, too. This old Hamburger symbol. It was huge. I do not know what someone would do with it, but I had to take a picture of it after that dream I had a few months ago.


Dolls. Dolls. Dolls.

They are watching me.


With hungry eyes.


I do not know why, but this sign made me giggle. I just pictured giving it to someone as a gift. I have since learned it was an old time actor. But I thought it was a bar sign. Both cases make me smile.


In my hoarder’s ultimate fantasy, I would have a room filled with these metal letters. And I could reach in and grab handfuls at a time and they would slip through my fingers. And whatever letters were left would be my fortune for the day.

And that would make as much sense as a bar sign advertising Beery. Which, by the way, would always be my fortune of the day.


I did not buy any of these letters, but they were neat. It was an overwhelming amount of choices.


The coat is Anthropologie Tartan Blanket Coat (previously styled here).

There is a man at the flea market that sells exotic textiles whom I think has the best taste. He was there again on Sunday. He was selling the most beautiful blanket. It was like a kantha, but unlike any kantha I had ever seen. It was white with red and blue stitching. It had patches of kantha-like material. It was subtle but beautiful. I wanted it desperately. But my sweet husband really wanted to buy me a coat at another vendor because he thought it was perfect for me and I would wear it and think of him and so he did for Christmas. And the blanket had to give for the coat. I took a picture of the blanket in my mind. The coat will stay on my body and in my heart… When I get it.


I picked up this fun little chest covered in fish for $20.


I also purchased three of these afghan cardigans. Two for me and one for my daughter. I did not really think she would like them, but my husband was insistent that she would. What would be your guess? Would a teenage girl wear one of these?

I do know the answer.

Just like I did before the purchase was made. ; )


I saw this dog and I thought it was a perfect cross of what Ollie and Murphy would look like if they had a love child.


What would one would do with these geese? They looked interesting. Almost like they were from a set of a 1940s movie. They were also in pristine condition. I would have loved to have learned what the purchaser was planning on doing with them.

Remember when that man asked me if I was looking for an iceberg detector the last time I went to the flea market? Well, my husband recognized him again right away in his booth. He actually had glowing devices and was asking people as they walked by, “Do you need an iceberg detector?”

He added a new part to the line this time, too, “Or a zombie zapper?” So, if you are looking for either of those devices, look no further. But best to have some beery before your first use.

Would you be excited or sad to get a gift from a flea market? I only purchased gifts for people there who I knew would like them. If I gave certain people a used item, I would never ever ever hear the end of it. I will show the pictures of the gifts I bought in “Keepin’ It Real” at the end of the month. July’s Rose Bowl Flea Market trip can be viewed here.

P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.

Our New Coffee Table


When we were at the Rose Bowl Flea Market a month ago, we purchased a new coffee table/ottoman from the booth of the Los Angeles based store, Uber Chic Home. They have an amazing set-up each time I am at the flea market and it seems they always have something new and crave-able that I want to purchase. In fact, I have never gone to this flea market and not purchased something from them.


All of the grain-sack pillows I have made in our home are from their booth. We also recovered our piano bench in one of their feed bags.


Now they are creating furniture. We fell in love with their coffee table/ottomans. The one we picked out was covered with a vintage Czech army blanket. It is soft and I like the interesting striped pattern that matches the lamp shade that we purchased a few years ago from Pottery Barn.


The piece boasts two large drawers that are actually vintage food crates. With my two children now both in junior high school and high school, we have a copious amount of books to store at home. These drawers actually hold all of their books and then some. And by “and then some,” I mean I still have half of the storage room left for other things.


Even Murphy loves the new coffee table. Although he is so short, he can almost not quite see over it.


The colors match the room perfectly. I have many custom slipcovers for my couch, but I have not changed the cover in years. This fall and winter, I plan to put on my grey velvet. I am hopeful it will work well with it.


Our old coffee table was from my first apartment before I met my husband. It matched the side table on the right. It had a glass top and when my son was one, he flipped over the couch backwards and knocked his head on the coffee table, requiring us to get him staples on the cut. I was glad to be rid of the thing. It only took us an extra ten years.


Speaking of side tables, we also acquired the small little one on the left of the couch (not from the seller above) on the same day as our new coffee table. I do not know its function before we purchased it, but we use it to store video game remotes.


I am pretty confident with saying that that was probably not its original purpose. Please excuse the mess. This is just what it looks like everyday. It was the cousin of the ones my husband truly wanted that were sold while we deliberated over them. The twin cousins had two drawers apiece and were slightly taller. We are happy to have grabbed the one we did. He was incredibly inexpensive.


Because I dislike change, it took a lot for me to finally make the decision to splurge on a new piece. We got a fantastic price for the beautiful item and we are extremely happy to have made the choice that we did. Now I just need to make the choice to get the carpets cleaned.


What was the last piece of furniture you purchased for your home? Was it vintage? Do you love it?


I do not know what to call our coffee table/ottoman. Two parts of it are made from vintage pieces, but the base is new. I will just call it pretty as I put my feet up on it and indulge in some wine.


And Rice Krispie Treats.

Rose Bowl Flea Market July 2014 Recap


We left our house at 5:00 in the morning to be sure to get down to Pasadena and get the good parking ahead of the crowds. I knew I wanted to pay the extra entrance fee to enter at 7:00 instead of waiting for the general public fee of $8 at 9:00 in the morning. The entrance fees per person go like this:

Before 7:00 a.m. = $20
7:00-8:00 a.m. = $15
8:00-9:00 a.m. = $10
9:00 a.m. and later = $8

I find that before 7:00 most vendors have not finished setting up, so it is generally not worth the extra $5. In fact I overheard a lady complaining about it to her companion that she felt ripped off when so many vendors had not even begun to display their wares.

Even at 7:00 there are still people arriving but the majority of the vendors are ready to deal.

We knew we wanted to be in and out.

Make a quick trip of it.


Here are a few tips:

1. Arrive early and then leave early to beat the crowds.

2. Haggle. Haggle. Haggle. I never pay asking price. It is the name of the game. It is a friendly conversation. They expect it. You should do it. It is fun. The end.

Wait. I spoke too soon:

Funny thing about that. We were leaving and these two hipster chicks were carrying the most amazing leather chairs to their Range Rover. I knew how much those chairs were worth because Emily Henderson has a pair. And Anthropologie has recreated them and sells them for almost $2500 each. So, I had to ask.

“How much did you pay for those?” I rudely quipped.

“$700 for the both of them,” one of the girls replied. I wanted to bite something in my jealousy.

“That is a fantastic price!” I told them.

“You think so? He wanted $1500 for both but I threw out $700 and he agreed really quickly… Almost too quickly.”

Ha! That happens every time. You always wonder if maybe you could have done better. Either way those girls scored. So be prepared with your offer and know what something is worth.

3. Bring a cart. We used to lug around a beach cart, but now we have a handy dandy cart that we purchased for $20 last year at the flea market. They rent them for $15 at the entrance but some booths near the back (of course) also sell them.

4. Read Emily Henderson’s Flea Market Tips. It is handy. I do not think you need a notebook because most of us have cellphones that we can just write the booth’s info down into.

5. Do not hesitate. We lost out on the coolest storage end tables because we decided to walk around and think on it. We did end up getting their smaller cousin for a great price ($20) and he worked out perfectly where we needed him (pictures in a future post). But they were something my husband really wanted, so that was a bummer.

Things are one of a kind so they sell quickly and early.

6. Pay for parking. VIP Parking is $15 for the upfront parking. It is a Godsend. You will be doing a tremendous amount of walking. Why walk more after a long day? This is especially true if you are buying large pieces. This is not a store and you are required to get your items to the car yourselves. It is worth it.

Okay, enough! Let’s get into the flea market all ready!


I waited in line until exactly 7:00. And I do mean exactly. The windows do not open even one second early.


I made my first purchase of these cool vintage carpet remnants that I am currently sewing together and finagling into a giant pillow.


We always forget to take pictures of the beautiful things and usually take pictures of only the weird ones. Sorry about that!


I guess from these pictures you can tell we are drawn to the wacky and strange.


As evidenced with the boar head above.


I did manage to take a picture of the coolest vintage foosball table that had immediately sold. Isn’t it amazing?


An anchor. Yes, an anchor?! For $600. I cannot imagine where you would put this, well, unless you are super practical and bought it for your boat. But if you have a boat that needed an anchor how is your boat remaining in place?

This poses the question:

Which came first the anchor or the boat?

It was too much pondering for my wee brain at the crack of dawn. It weighed it down, so to speak.


This has nothing to do with the picture above, but every single time I am at the flea market I see this lady selling a cool vintage cast iron garden bee. I love it. It has been there for three years.

It is overpriced.

She will not haggle.

It is extremely strange. And I do not understand how she can go to the flea market if she is too attached to her things to actually part with them.

This time she had a small garden gnome (I did not get a picture of her booth) and I asked how much he was. He was not anything special. Just a gnome.

She said, “Oh, you mean the magical rainbow leprechaun who grants wishes?”

Um, sure.

“He’s $25… $125.”

We walked away. ‘Cause no.

But now I wonder if she truly is a witch and selling magical cast iron creations. It would surely explain the prices.


We had not gone to the flea market for anything particular. We didn’t need anything.

Which is why we bought everything.

As it goes.

The only thing we needed was a stop sign for my son’s room because he wants one every time he goes to the flea market and his birthday is coming up, so I figured it would be a good surprise for him.

And it would have worked because I found a cool weathered Stop Sign for $15 (priced at $25, but haggling is the best part). Except the sneaker saw me editing this picture and said excitedly, “So you did find a Stop Sign?”

Do not let me handle a surprise for you.

We found the cool ottoman coffee table. I love it. It is made from vintage crates and the fabric is a vintage Czech army blanket. This booth is always my favorite. The owners are constantly one step ahead of their competitors and one step ahead in terms of trends. The ottoman was a fabulous price and we are so happy with it.


I got this. I will showcase more of it later. It is just a sneak peek. I cannot tell if it was a good purchase or not, but either way, I had to have it.


So, we got into the flea market at 7:00 and we left the flea market at 8:50. I thought maybe I should meet some people down there, but we wanted to be quick. It was the perfect amount of time for us. We were in and out and home with the kids for lunch. We beat the heat. And most importantly, we beat the crowds.

Have you been to the flea market lately? Have you been to The Rose Bowl Flea Market (last year’s trip can be found here)? What do you look for when you go?

*The next Rose Bowl Flea Market occurs this Sunday, on August 10th.

P.S. I shared this on Savvy Southern Style.