Barn Chic Antiques

Barn Chic Antiques

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Round Top - Warrenton Fall Show

Friday was my idea of heaven; I took the day off and headed over about an hour and half east of Austin to the Round Top/Warrenton Antique Show. This show is like none other – miles and miles of antiques, both collector’s items and junk, line the roadside. There are thousands of vendors (at least it seems that way) who come from all over the country for this semi-annual show. The ‘town’ of Round Top has a population of 90, but it is as busy as a bustling metropolis, complete with traffic at stand stills, for a few weeks at the end of September/beginning of October and again at the end of March/beginning of April. To find more about the show, visit Texas Antique Weekend.
Thursday before my day off was a long one - I got to school at 6:30am for Cross Country practice, then after the school day I kept score for the volleyball team, and finally I was able to start sub planning around 8pm - I didn't leave school until nearly 10pm! But the long hours were all worth it, as I just love spending some time alone in the junk fields and hunting for new finds. I got to see some fun antiquing friends and there were endless inspiring displays.  
I learn new lessons each time I go, and this trip was no exception. Here are some things I've discovered over the years:
-I took my trail shoes this time, and so glad I did; the gravel and dirt paths through the fields were uneven and rocky.
-I started out in flipflops, but between the tumbleweed, dust, and gravel, tennis shoes were the only way to go. There were ladies looking cute in their skirts and cowboy boots, but I had some serious shopping to do!
-Always carry tissues with you in case the portapotties (or PolyJohns) are out!
-Bring a cooler to have water, ice, and snacks on hand. Open containers are allowed, so if you want some adult beverages, those are welcome too! Buy or BYO.
-Towels to dip in water and wash off with are great to have, as a place to wash your hands is nearly non-existant.
-TAKE NOTES while shopping! This is a lifesaver. If I make a purchase and leave it there, I make note of what I bought and what's near it so I can later retrieve it! I also make notes of things I would like to go back and consider. However, beware, as it may be gone when you return!
-there are no parking charges for the fields east of Royer's Hall in Warrenton, and I can shop most all of the places I love by parking close to Renck Hall.
-Along the lines of taking notes and parking, be sure to note where your vehicle is parked. I just kept wandering further and further west through the fields and didn't think I would ever find my way back to my car! I then would move it west every few hours to not have to have the long hike back in the hottest part of the day.  
-Be sure to get an early start in the morning when it is cool(er). It was sweltering by noon. Dress in layers, and hats and umbrellas are great to shade the sun (or rain if it ever happens here again).
-I am so glad I wore sunscreen, but wish I had applied it more evenly!
-Bring plenty of cash; most people also accept checks, but they will never turn down cash! Very few accept credit. The only cash machine I have seen was in Round Top, and one year it took us about an hour and a half to make the trip from Warrenton to Round Top. (Note: they are less than four miles apart!) 
-Put sheets down in your car to protect the seats or floor, and I always empty out my car before going so as to maximize my available space!
-Most vendors are open from about 10-6, and you have nearly a week left to check it out! To find out who is open when, visit the calendar.
Here are some pictures of the cool stuff you can find in Warrenton:

Love the globes and pumpkins in this picture...uh, just noticed the weird head on the small luggage?!

Aww, this makes me think of home. Would look great in my mom's beautiful garden!

Speaking of home, what do I find but this cool newspaper rack from (close to) my hometown! I didn't figure "The Pantagraph" is a widely-used name for a paper publication, and it was indeed from Bloomington, IL. The guy said he lived in Decatur for a few years and picked it up while living in the great state of Illinois. You never know what you will find in Warrenton!

Thanks for reading my lengthy post, and I will share more later about my favorite blogger, her beautiful displays, and some fun finds I brought home. Have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Austin Antique Mall

The Austin Antique Mall has been a fixture in this great city for over 40 years. I consider myself very fortunate to be a vendor there and to have secured a space just as the mall was beginning a more 'modern' transformation - if modernizing is possible in the world of vintage and antiques! I love this place for so many reasons, including:

-the location: it is less than five minutes from my house and located along Burnet Road, the vintage headquarters of Austin
-the staff: they are so very friendly and will help you haul in your junk, even in 112 degree heat
-the hours: the mall is open every day from 10-6! Great for sales and for finding time to tend to the booth
-the customers: friendly shoppers who dish out compliments
-the merchandise: you can find everything from Halloween costumes to furniture, decore and dishes, junk to gallery antiques, vintage to primitive
-the online access: ability to check daily sales online each evening and easily track inventory
-did I mention the friendly and helpful staff?!

This place is great and I am really so thrilled that I got a space when I did; even though they had a waiting list this past spring, I believe it is much more lengthy now; the new vendors coming in are more 'trendy' and 'hip' than ever before! I am loving the new spaces and am happy to shop where I sell. I have been fortunate to meet the owners of several of my 'favorite' spaces, and they couldn't be a nicer bunch of people. I have run into these other dealers in Georgetown, Llano, Austin's Citywide Garage Sale, estate sales, and the Fredericksburg Trade Days. Here are a few of my favorite spaces:

This is the space I have admired since before I was a dealer in the mall, and it belongs to a sweet mom and daughter duo, Mickey and Brandy (hope I got the names right). They also have merchandise in the awesome 'Gatherings' of Georgetown.

The next few pictures are from my FAVORITE new vendor, House Wren. I first met this husband-wife pair at Austin's Citywide Garage Sale. I bought an amazing chicken nesting box from them and admired their beautiful industrial-styled custom lamps, as well as the tin roof panels that lined the walls of their booth. I was so excited to find out that they were joining the Austin Antique Mall, and now I can admire their creations frequently! I bought a great rusty bin from an old scale from them today.

This space is just down the aisle from me; while they are more industrial with their style, we have featured several of the same items: rolling metal racks, old mailboxes, locker baskets, and even the exact fan in the picture. They have great lighting fixtures as well.

The owner of this space bought some Mason jars from one of my friends at Burnet Road Flea Market when we had a space there in July. She has a great eye for eclectic pieces.

This space is always filled with vintage old-school goodness, like lockers, student desks, classroom maps, lab stools, etc. Love the maps!

The picture of this booth on the other side of the mall does not do it justice. They used to have this huge industrial silver metal table...would love to know what purpose it is serving for its new owners.

I absolutely love globes. Again, old school goodness. This vendor has a knack for blending delicate items with more the more masculine industrial style.

And what would a retail shop in Austin be without 'weird'? You can find it all here at the Austin Antique Mall! Be sure to stop by on October 1st and 2nd for storewide discounts, live music, and food.

Monday, September 5, 2011

My First Post!

After following and being inspired by blogs of fellow antiquers, junk hunters, and vintage lovers throughout the past year, I have finally decided to join in on the writing fun! I have had the great fortune of starting an antique booth at the Austin Antique Mall, and I have learned so much since opening in April. It has been such a great adventure and I have met many wonderful people along the way..several who have encouraged me to have a blog! So here it is...a way for me to chronicle my progress with my small space, showcase my favorite finds, and write about the fun I have while driving all over central Texas and visiting small towns (creating my own version of American Pickers!).

Here are some booth pictures from the 'grand opening' in April.

The finished product for Day 1. Sales that day = 0. My disappointment = huge! However, I sold the a piece on Sunday and that brought some relief.

I was excited and dreading the move all at once. I had a field trip with my 8th graders the night before to the Austin Symphony and didn't get home until midnight; I was up until 2am writing out price tags, and I could barely sleep thinking about how it would all come together. Thankfully, it did, with the help of my wonderfully supportive husband! Here he is hard at work.

This picture shows just how little inventory I had when I started! I can't believe all the bare wall space...I try my best now to cover the ugly (but practical) pegboards.

I didn't have a lot of display pieces, so I had the mall owners leave this bookcase in my space so I could house items on it. It looked terrible! Thankfully, by the next weekend, it was gone and replaced with one of my all-time favorite display pieces.

Here's a picture of the booth from Week 2 - ahhh, much better! There's my favorite display piece, a handmade hen nester I found in Giddings on my way home from Warrenton this past spring. It can now be seen in Gatherings, a gorgeous shop in Georgetown. I was sad to see it go and learned a hard lesson about how to price display pieces from that great gray nester.

Here is the booth about a month ago - glad to report that I finally sold that bird cage!

I so greatly enjoyed my summer shopping for my booth. My hobby has put 11,000 miles on my vehicle since I got it in March - can that be right?! A list of the places I have been:
-to my parents in IL
-Warrenton (twice)
-Burnet, Bertram, Kingsland, Llano (too many to count!)
-Geronimo, Seguin, and New Braunfels (a few times)
-Bastrop, Smithville
-South Congress here in Austin
-countless estate sales, flea markets, and garage sales

I even sweated it out as a vendor at the Burnet Road Flea Market on the last day of July with some good friends who are always up for a vintage hunting adventure. Not sure what we were thinking, but it was a memorable day! Not so much profitable, unfortunately....

Fast forward through the (hottest) summer (ever in Austin history), and here is what my booth looks like now:

It is still a constant work in progress, and I am still very critical of my displays as there are so many great vendors to which I compare myself! But I am loving every bit of it and of course learning a lot along the way!

A very special thanks to my very special Mom, who has been a great encourager and supplier of wonderful vintage wares for my booth. She saved a carload of goods for me, packed up my car with endless bags of carefully wrapped treasures, and even endured the 18 hour drive back to Austin with me. She has great taste and I am so glad to have had her help! Here is the one item around which the entire car was packed:

And here is my favorite item that my Mom saved for me; it is a beat up, rusted out mailbox that spent 20 years on our farm. It went to a good home last week, as a sweet vendor purchased it to display pumpkins at her house.

Well, that should do it for my first entry. Thank you for reading, and I look forward to posting more progress, fun finds, and inspiring displays from shopping excursions!


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