Tuesday 5 October 2010

Striking a Balance Between Hoarding and Rejecting

When I was a lot younger, I had a far-off vision of myself living in a foreign land, and at the weekend enjoying a morning coffee on a cafe terrace, or haggling at a flea market. I am very lucky to be able to say that these visions have since come true.

Sunday morning was gorgeously sunny, warm enough for short sleeves, and full of promise. There was a big flea market/car boot sale (without the cars) in the park around the corner from us, and for once I had a definite idea of what I was looking for. There was a gypsy swing band playing music, the smell of delicious pastries wafting through the air... but nothing would distract me from my quarry.

I didn't actually expect to find the thing. When I clocked it I fairly pounced on it, and when the lady at the stall said to me "Two euros" I nearly dropped it.

I finally get to start my own letterpress tray-like project! It'll be a long time coming, but watch this space...

(The mug is for scale, and the chipped piece of wood to the left of the mug is due to me. And our dog. While we were queuing for said pastries, Django dog decided to make a dart for a pigeon. I was holding the house frame in the same hand as the leash. The house frame went flying, but possibly worse, Django dog caught the pigeon, much to the distress of onlookers. A few minutes later a passerby saw the feathers on the floor and joked to me that our dog had been eating pigeons... he stopped smiling when I told him that it was the truth. I can't report that the pigeon is OK, but I can say that Django dog had his teeth around it for less than ten seconds, after which it went into hiding.)

All in all I spent ten euros, and I got the house frame, three tins (one of which is for altering) and an old letterpress hand-printing set, which was too fascinating to put down, even if it's incomplete and doesn't work so well anymore.

So my tip for today is not to underestimate the value of things, and in particular the things in which others no longer place value. Go to the car boot sales, the jumble sales, the flea markets, the house clearance warehouses. Be prepared for a lot of junk, but hold out for that gem you know will make your day. This one made my week.


  1. Great finds, I'm intrigued about what will become of them!

  2. I love the look of that old stamp set. WOW! Reckon you'll have a lot of fun with that =) Does Django dog like his food on the fly then?!

  3. what great finds! I love the letterpress stuff and the frame, can't wait to hear your plans. Would love to do the markets with you one day!

  4. oh my word, what wonderful things you've got there ... very very jealous. Can't wait to see you work your magic on them.

    I'm now dreaming of pastries and vintage finds .. and trying to forget about the dog and the pigeon LOL.

  5. Jealous doesn't even begin to describe it :P What amazing finds! Never seen a printing tray in a house shape like that!

  6. I love the house frame. Jealous!