Saturday, July 2, 2011

Hidden Treasures - Lachute Farmers’ Market Lachute, Que.

A box without hinges, key, or lid, yet golden treasure inside is hid. J. R. R. Tolkien

Flea markets are a shopper’s delight, a perfect source of hidden treasures. Historians trace “flea markets” to the unclean goods sold at an 18th-century bazaar near Paris. In the 1950s, farmers began selling produce and auctioning horses at the Lachute Market and now Lachute is opened all year round. The warmer the weather, the more vendors there will be. 15 acres with several hundred vendors in the summer months. The market is an ALL day affair starting with antiques at 5:00a.m. and finishing with a horse auction and western band in the afternoon. Over the years, the market has become the largest in western Quebec, but it retains its roots with wares ranging from horse saddles to live ducks.

WHERE: 25 Main St. (Highway 148), Lachute, Quebec
WHEN: Tuesdays, 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

What to Bring:
Comfortable shoes and several layers of clothing are a must. You’ll be walking for a long time and need to have comfortable shoes. Dress down, dress casual. Don’t forget the sunscreen and a hat to protect you from the sun. In addition, a pull cart or recyclable shopping bag will save you from trekking back to the car with your purchases. Remember to bring water and a snack. A wish list, but be flexible you never know what you could find. A measuring tape is great in case you want to measure an item. And MOST of all, bring plenty of cash (with lots of smaller bills), as most vendors won’t accept checks or credit cards.

Negotiate Flea Market Prices:
If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to ask the vendor if the price marked is the best he or she can do. They expect negotiation from customers at flea markets. Make sure you don’t show too much excitement when looking at the item, or they will know you are already going to buy it. And if you really like it don’t wait and go back for it later in the day because it may be gone. I’ve done that so many times and got mad at myself for not paying an extra $5.00! And arrive early, better parking and first choice at the items for sale.

And most of all have fun searching for those hidden treasures.

Pocket Watch Necklace - Sparrow's Song - SOLD - watch case and key were picked up at Lachute

Skeleton Key Necklace - Willow Sage - both items were picked up at Lachute flea market

Skeleton Keys, rhinestone buttons and locket necklace - Twin Sisters - SOLD

Monday, June 27, 2011

Add a little SPARKLE to your life!

For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. Vincent Van Gogh

I love buttons, when I was a little girl my “nana” Stirling would give me a jar of buttons to play with to keep me amused. I would spend hours sorting through colors, shapes and sizes but my favorite were always the shiniest buttons the RHINESTONES.  Even when I was 5, I remember stringing the prettiest buttons onto ribbon and making necklaces for my mom, nana and of course myself. I loved the sparkle and beauty and thought my button necklaces were like stars in the sky. Over the years my button love has continued to grow and my necklaces are a reflection of that love. I find buttons at garage sales, auctions, thrift shops and flea markets. This pass weekend I found all the buttons in the below picture and have already created two necklaces from them, one is already sold and off to Washington! These buttons all have a story and we only have to close our eyes to hear their voices.

When it comes to collecting, nothing really beats antique buttons. Button lovers get crazy about their subject, and there are many online sites to wander through by searching such items as antique buttons, collectibles, antiques and Victorian buttons. There are button clubs, button conventions and button fairs, not to mention the fact that some buttons are truly valuable treasures. It’s really fun to learn how the different little treasures were made, too. Once you get started collecting antique buttons you are unlikely to ever stop. From rhinestone, glass, shell, bone, wood, to colorful composition to handmade buttons, the button search is on! So clear out a drawer and put some empty boxes and jars in it, then hit the antique stores, thrift shops, garage and estate sales and remember to add a little sparkle into your life.

I found these buttons at a local garage sale this past weekend.

Repurposed button necklace - Moonlight Reflection

Repurposed belt/button necklace - Starlight Reflection - SOLD