{show & tell} car boot sale finds

show and tell: car boot sale One of the things that I miss about LA is driving past yard sale signs, slamming on the breaks, and parking the car to go hunting for new (to me) items on the cheap. Though I know that I'm not guaranteed to find anything vintage, yards sales are a great way to buy second-hand goodies without having to dig through a thrift store. In fact, yard sales, vintage/thrift stores, Craigslist, and flea markets have always been my main source for home-decor shopping. I guess I just really enjoy the satisfaction of finding something rather than picking one-of-many off the shelf.

This Saturday morning was perfect for a yard sale. It was bright and crisp but the only thing missing was, errr, a yard sale. In London - due to the obvious lack of lawn space - they have community car boot sales instead. These sales, often located in church or school lots, began with people hawking items directly from the trunks (or boots) of their cars. Now the norm is to set up tables or lay everything on the floor or on a blanket. This was only my second car boot sale but I've quickly learned that to find even one thing that you like, want, or need,  is to call it a shopping success. Here are the items we found that made us pretty happy...

1) A single cotton pillow case that will make a great set of napkins - i love little sewing projects!

2) Pair of heavy duty glass containers that we can use for anything. They hold our grains for now but I think they'd be great as vases, too.

3) A lock for our next trip to Paris. You can bet we'll be throwing the keys into La Seine :)

4) A nicely textured brass vase...perfect for displaying the cabbage flowers we bought later that afternoon at Portobello Road Market.

Still on our list of items to buy for the home are dining chairs and a side-table. I think I'll have to go down to Sunbury for that as they seam to sell more furniture than any other London-city market. It'll be a great excuse to pick up a few items for the shop, too ;)

{market memo} sunbury antiques market

Hover over each image for the caption

an early start to a perfect market daysuch a sucker for these a whole lot of awesomeness going on (see large lion) beautiful handpainted chair + love the wicker seat tiny hats and ribbons. they go together a tranquil setting for the usual flea frenzy take your pick of desktop lamps + awesome floral burst mirrors (love me some black and gold) cute childrens birthday cards. too bad they stopped at 10 i'm normally not into dolls but these little handpainted wood ones were more cute than scary the dudes' drawer. but i'll take the horn, thank you phonographs are cool. period. these metallic trimmings made my heart sing

Last week I shared the things I bought at Sunbury Antiques Market via show & tell. Now it's time for a market memo!

Sunbury is held at Kempton Park Racecourse on the second and last Tuesday of the month and since I'm currently a quasi stay-at-home wife, I was lucky to be able to make the one and a half hour trek down there. I've always wanted to be one of those people who can go vintage hunting any ol' day of the week, or better yet, be one of those people who do it as their job. We'll see what I can come up with to make the latter a reality but for now I feel a little ridiculous getting to do this stuff mid-week. How did my desk job day-dreams actually happen?!? Oh yeah, Joe's desk job got moved overseas but I think it's safe to say that we're both winning here :)

Back to the market...Sunbury opens at 6:30am and goes until 2pm. It makes for a very early day but I'd much rather shop in the wee hours anyway when the air is crisp, my energy tank is full and I can go at a leisurely pace. As soon as I walked in I knew that the trek down there was worth it. There were more vendors within stones throw than I'd seen at any other market in London thus far. I did a little dance and carried along to see what I would find. Similar to the Rose Bowl Flea Market, vendors are spread out all over the parking lot and the outside ring of the stadium. What's nice about Sunbury is that they also have two indoor areas which came in handy when the weather turned and continued shopping required shelter from the scattered rain.

I found the market to be very easy to shop based on what you're looking for though it's still worth it to weave in and out of all of the areas if you have the time. The vendors were knowledgeable about their products, prices were fair, and the atmosphere was light-hearted. It was actually the most fun I've had photographing at a flea market since each vendor was happy to let me take a snap (very unlike Paris's Vanves Market, that was like pulling teeth!). Some vendors even joked about receiving royalties while another suggested I take photos of him wrapped in the fur coats he was selling. I should have taken him up on that. Next time.

See a few more photos + captions here!

{show & tell} vintage finds from sunbury antiques market

vintage finds from Sunbury Antiques MarketCrown Devon espresso cup and saucer Paris-made brass buttons Dunragit Creamery stoneware jar

I'm still smiling from my trip to Sunbury Antiques Market yesterday. It was exactly what I was looking for in/around London in terms of market size, merchandise mix, and price points. I'll share more on the market experience later...today I want to give you a peek at what I brought home with me in a new blog feature I'm calling show & tell.

Now, feel free to imagine me standing in front of your second grade classroom holding up my new found treasures...

1. I've desperately been wanting a serving tray to use while lounging on our bed. We don't have a sofa so I spend A LOT more time on there than I normally would (maybe that's why I'm always so sleepy?). This Picquot serving tray is absolutely perfect. I love the texture and color combinations of the sycamore wooden handles, aluminum sides, and etch printed laminate center.   Turns out that the tray is a sibling to a Picquot kettle we bought at Camden Market (as pictured on the manufacturer's home page). I love that kettle just the same.

2. Joe likes his cup of joe (and espresso) so I bought him a swanky espresso cup with saucer by Crown Devon Fieldings of England.  Based on the style of their stamp - and a google search - I learned that this set could be from anywhere between the 1930's to the 1960's. Awesome. I love the matte look of the black paired with the gold...just can't seem to get away from this combo. I've literally been buying black and gold/brass things for years!

3.  With an eye for DIY, these brass buttons made in Paris beckoned me to think "necklace." All I need is some chain and I'll be ready to sport a new baubly accessory :)

4. We don't have many country-esque elements in our decor so I thought that this stoneware jar from Dunragit Creamery of Scottland would be an easy touch - just add some flowers and voila! A bushel of billy balls would look really nice, si?

And with that, ladies and gentlemen and fellow second graders, we wrap up our first show & tell. Did you like? Let me know what you think, your comments always make me smile!

P.S. There were more treasures that came home with me but they aren't for show and tell just yet. I promise that you'll see them soon!