Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hello wisconsin!

 We took the kids to Wisconsin for a week this week. It is VERY nice to finally have kids who are big enough to travel and our kids are finally getting better at managing all the changes and adapting that travelling requires. We did ALL Of the things in 5 short days.

What is all of the things?
Eat cheese curds
go to the tipsy cow
go to the olbrich botanical garden
go to the henry vilas zoo
go to the UW geological museum
visit the Wisconsin state historical building
go to the elkhorn flea market
eat more cheese curds
Ride the ducks in the Wisconsin dells
Camp at silver springs camp in Rio
swim in the lake and a few pools
camp in a cabin
See the castle rock (so cool)
Visit the laura Ingalls wilder museum in Pepin
Visit the little house in the  big woods in pepin
drive forever in Minnesota to get home via iowa
and oh so much more!

We loved everything we did there really. It was hard for anyone to choose a fav. Madison is a great little town, I love how all of the things to do there are so much smaller than STL. You can take the kids and spend an hour and do a whole museum and not feel at ALL like you are so dead and ready to scream by the end. That also means you can do 2 or 3 things in a day. Madison downtown has a very laid back vibe. It is totally walkable, even for little kids and feels very safe to just have a wander and find yourself some good local lunch.
(Grant cleverly decided instead of cheese they should say cheese curds when getting their pics taken)

 The kids REALLY REALLY loved the ducks. I remember riding those in branson as a kid, and I loved it so much too, so it was high on my list. They laughed and laughed at the jokes and were amazed at driving in and out of the water.

 The campground at silver springs was VERY clean, very quiet during the week and had lots for them to do.  We did end up leaving a day early though bc it would NOT stop raining and it was really quite chilly, which puts a big damper on lake and swimming time.

 They enjoyed the old school game room during the rain.

 On the way to pepin I was amazed at how different the mississippi river is up there! It is so sprawling and swampy and not at all like the river down here.
 We finally made it to the wilder museum in Pepin. It's tiny but there were lots of quilts for me to see!
 (I REALLY wanted to correct this sign - this Is not a tied quilt)
 They believe this quilt belonged either to Laura or rose.

 We had been listening to a little house audio book in the car so the kids were super excited to finally reach the cabin in the big woods!

 We had literally just listened to the description of how Pa builds the lock for the door, so Grant was endlessly fascinated with the darn thing. He spent forever working out how that thing worked.
 You can see - still obsessed with the latch. LOL
 When we finally made it to Iowa we happened to be in the just the right place at the right time. The sun was setting on our right...
And the moon was rising on our left.

So cool!

All in all, a super great vacay!

Now to start dreaming of how many states we will see next year!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Elkhorn Flea Market

Way back when the winter seemed like it would never end, I cooked up a summer vacation plan one afternoon. I have been reading country living magazines for more than 25 years now and I had a bit of a list in my head of flea markets I want to go to. Elk horn in Wisconsin has been on the list a LONG time. There also happened to be a campground I was interested in and one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder properties up there, so, let's make a trip of it!

We went last weekend.  Let's start with some thoughts on the flea:

It is HUGE. They say about 500 vendors. I have been to plenty of 500 vendor flea markets but the lay out of this market is really, really chaotic. There is really no systematic order so it makes it really hard to tell how much you have seen, how much left there is to see, where you have been, etc. I am pretty systematic in all things in life - including flea marketing! I like to start at one end and purposefully make my way to the other end, so, I hated this. It made me hard for me to focus on the junk because my mind was like where are we? 

It was really hard to negotiate. After 20 years I am a pretty seasoned flea marketer. I very rarely bargain for things under $20 unless I have a legitimate reason to think the price really is too high. I did overhear other people saying that negotiating there was impossible and I found it the same.

The prices were pretty high. Most everything there truly is vintage or antique, meaning there were no real "steals", but nearly every quilt was $125+. Even quilts that were imported, in poor condition, were tied, had period inappropriate fabrics on the backs, faded, etc. That is a real turn off for me. I am happy to see nice quilts fetching what they are worth! but, meh on stuff that was really not worth that. 

Also a bit suprising is what I didn't see - no quilt blocks, bags of pieces, feedsacks other than a few that had been cut into napkins ($10 for a tiny piece), vintage fabric. I did only see about 70% of the show I think -it was hot in the sun, the kids were sweating, I was sweating and after 2.5 hours the kids were really at the end of their tolerance.

So, having said all of that, would I go again? I probably would give it another chance. Now that I have some clue how things are laid out my brain would probably find it less chaotic. Is it the most awesome flea I have ever been to? Nah. Is it the most vintage stuff I have ever seen in one place in a LONG LONG time? Yes. And I did see some things I never see locally. 

What did I buy?

 A yo yo quilt I am hoping to get repaired here today. I am going to tell everyone what I paid, just because I have mentioned the pricing at this market. It was $30. I am missing the full photo of it. The condition of it is really not that bad, but I had to look at hundreds of quilts to find one I could actually afford.
 This white table linen is SO gorgeous.
 Really delicate and amazing. It was $6
 This is a quilt top. I really think was another lucky score given the quilt prices up there, $35

 This is a pillow cover, the condition is not great, but it is society silk, something I really do not see very often here. (like once in a blue moon really.)  I had to kind of bargain endlessly to get this for $20. It is stained and I think there is no way to clean it because the red silk thread will bleed.
 A damaged Santa ($15) and a pristine picnic tin ($15).  Other tins were selling for close to $50.
 A very dirty doll quilt. Only $3.
 A really small luncheon tablecloth. $8. There were HUNDREDS and hundreds of tablecloths. Massive piles of them. $30+ each.
 A toy sewing machine. I did manage to bargain on this one a little, $35.

Now a few pics of things not bought, just to give a little taste of the flea:

 (None of these were less than $125)

So, one flea market bucket list item checked off for me! Now I need to decide what's next for next year.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Flea Market Sunday

 Lately I have been struggling to buy anything at what once was my favorite, old faithful flea market. It's a real bummer.  This month I picked up an antique quilt top. (The seller tried very hard to "school" me on it - insisting it was 1930s clothing scraps. It is not.)

 The first thing I bought was this old vegetable bin. I have had the itch to make over the master bedroom a little (it's still the same as it was when we remodeled 9 years ago!) so I was browsing my pinterest boards the night before the flea. I noticed I had one of these pinned and lo! there was one at the flea the next day. I am sure I wouldn't have bought it had I not been looking at pinterest. (Does anyone still use that? I do not.)
 By this point I was really looking HARD for something to buy. Picked up this old pot.
 Still having to really dig I started browsing a pile of postcards. Turkeys are unusual, so I grabbed those.
 These Christmas ones were just too pretty.
 And I found what I had been looking for when I started looking - 4th of July (I had none of those.)
 Better shot of the quilt top.
And the veg bin in place after painting. (The light color really highlighted how dented the front is, I had not noticed that when it was black. But it is a much better way of storing those things.)