Picking and Searching for Treasures

I have a problem. No more like an addiction when it comes to shopping. It’s something I wish I could do everyday. Facebook marketplace, ebay, etsy, amazon, and auction sites are my kryptonite. Usually I’m looking for the perfect antique or something for the house or gifts for my family. Sara congratulates me every time we go past an estate sale and I don’t pull over. She is well aware of my vices and thank God she still puts up with me. It’s a habit I will try and break, but like all habits it is easier said then done. Luckily I usually just look and only buy if I have the money. Thus is it really a problem? Probably yes. However I realized I’ve been doing this since I was a child.

My Grandma Crow used to take me to garage sales and flea markets all time when I was little. She was a master of garage sales in the pre smart phone age. She would get a stack newspapers and then go on map quest and create a battle plan. She knew how to find a bargain in a sea of junk. Other times she would take me to the flea markets that were held at my family’s campground and give me a few dollars to buy something I wanted. I think it was from here I had my first taste of buying other peoples junk and searching for treasures.

Over the years I have found amazing things because of my shopping addiction. Most are amazing deals that made their way to the Crow’s Nest while others items are waiting for their time and place to be used or seen. Thus I feel like I am justified in my shopping addiction. I long for big, shiny, and extravagant Victorian greatness. When I see something I like, I become like Gollum from Lord of the Rings wanting his precious ring. It must be mine my head says, but in the back of mind someone calls out you have a mortgage payment and two cats to feed.

I digress, this week would have been the annual trip to go picking with my Aunt Lenny, Uncle Bob, Mom, Dad, and Sara in Shipshewana, Indiana. Shipshewana is an Amish and Mennonite community that has a massive flea market/auction but also lots of barns to look through and specialty shops. Alas the shut down makes this impossible. It really bums me out but really it’s a Godsend because I have to many projects right now and I don’t need another…10?

However my dear readers I feel I must share with you some of my best finds ever.

Look me without a beard! This Eastlake dresser came home with me a few years ago from one of the barns at Shipshewana. It seems every year that I go there I come home with another purchase.

Louis Sullivan hardware…I will one day use this…but where?

This dresser was in complete shambles when I bought it for $25 off of craigslist. Luckily after some elbow grease and a lot of help from a family friend it became an excellent dresser for me to use at college and now my home.

I have a weakness for inlaid anything. Especially if it is inlay wood from Sorrento, Italy. My grandmother and parents brought lots of pieces like this home from there travels. I saw this beauty when I was at school in Iowa for $15.00. You bet it came home with me.
My cheap chandelier that I bought in Shipshewana. It now hangs in the library.

This curio cabinet was a gift to me from my parents when I graduated Architecture School. Unusual gift I know, but I love it. We were at an auction and almost no one was bidding on it so my parents got it for me. It is now in the travelers suite.

Ahh, our stained glass window. This will have its own post next week. Sara and I found this at an antique mall in Woodstock, IL. The owner was a bit desperate to get rid of it so he sold it to me at cost.

Our insanely 8’ tall non functioning grandfather clock. It is painted with a faux wood grain and is considered a folk art piece dating possibly from the 1860s. It was the first piece to come into the house and we bought it at auction for $100. Eventually I plan to make it bar storage as the gears and mechanics were stripped out long ago. It’s 5 o’clock somewhere. (Note: Sara just rolled her eyes at me for making that joke. I thought it’s subtle as I plan on leaving than hands stuck at 5’oclock.)
Another italian piece I picked up off of Facebook for $160. It now is in the travelers room.
I bought this desk for $15 at a garage sale to use for college. Sadly I did not do a before photo. I painted it black, restrained the top and stenciled it. I also put on vintage hardware. Sadly it is falling apart after so many moves. It will be repurposed though, but that is another post.
A lot of places I go pick look like this. They are cluttered and filled with all sorts of odds and ends. Usually I have feel bad for these places and my OCD kicks into overdrive. Sometimes the condition of these items has been effected by the environment they are stored in. Lord help the next salvage guy I meet who uses built in buffet cabinets ripped out old homes as a way to store merchandise

3 thoughts on “Picking and Searching for Treasures

  1. No fear my friend….our Shipshewanna trips will return someday day. I hope sooner than later…then we can make up for lost time.LOL

    Sent from my iPhone

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