Monday, May 20, 2013

Extravaganza - exponential!

My sister, M, and I traveled to Cincinnati to meet up with sister J to hit the Springfield Extravaganza this past weekend, but it was only one of three main events we accomplished.  Friday was spent celebrating J's official retirement party (from  noon to almost midnight!), and Sunday morning started off by participating in Cincinnati's 2013 Annual Arthritis Walk.  And did I mention we spent six hours Saturday evening - up till 3 am (crazy, right?!) sorting through mostly linens we had purchased in bulk from a picker of ours in Wisconsin. Then made the four-hour trip home Sunday afternoon.  Yes, the weekend was an extravaganza - exponential!

We were up early Saturday am, ready to tackle Springfield, Ohio's Extravaganza and Vintage Marketplace event, even though it had rained Friday and the threat of rain was 50/50 for our day.  The extravaganza's an event we've been to several times before, held each May and September during the locale's annual flea marketing schedule.  Since the Vintage Marketplace was incorporated into the extravaganza last year, the size is now ginormous - over 2,000 vendors!

Here's what the scene in Springfield looked like, pretty much everywhere you turned that morning, but even the threat of bad weather does not deter those of us on a mission (just ask anyone who attended Junk Bonanza in the snow last month in Minnesota).  If the photo looks dark, it's because it was very overcast at that hour.  One guy situated himself right smack in the middle of one intersection, selling cheap ponchos - probably not so cheaply, but we didn't ask. And the rain held off during the time we were there, all but a few sprinkles once or twice.
Springfield is set up on the Clark County fairgrounds, so there were lots of vendors on the pavement, many in the fields themselves, and the Vintage Marketplace vendors were in both buildings and tents (which were pitched on the pavement), located in the central areas, near food vendors.  Here's a look at a couple of the higher rent districts:
The GOATS 1 building, home to several Vintage 'Marketplace vendors.

This is another area, tents on pavement, for Vintage Marketplace vendors.

Then there was the low rent district (the fields and pavement perimeters), where we mostly hung out, for these reasons:  1) it was closer to where we parked, so hauling was more convenient, 2) the treasure hunting was truly more in flea marketing style, where you actually hunt and dig for the gold, so to speak, and 3) the overall vibe and exchange with dealers just felt better, can't really explain it.
Here's a couple of photos to best explain what I mean:

Now, if you saw a sign like the one pictured above, what would you do?  We were all over this dealer's goods, starting with a basic curiosity, and ending up with the best exchange of conversation and some of the best finds of the day.  Our dealer came to be known as "ND".  Here's ND after we both had piles that made us smile (he with cash, us with wares).
ND was a chap originally from England, currently residing in Pennsylvania, and his brother still lives in England.  He travels back at least twice a year to literally dig for treasure, and his story was quite interesting.  In Victorian times, landfills were located in ravines, where the oldest castaway items (turn of the 20th century) would be thrown into.  Eventually, a layer of dirt (about a six foot deep barrier) would be placed on top, followed by subsequent, more current trash items.  ND and his brother would dig deep for items like bottles, apothecary jars, crocks, and various other collectibles that we folks in the states can't get enough of.  Digging has now become prohibited, so these guys now are clandestine, "stealth" nighttime operators, and have a way of digging six feet under, tunneling through to the crème de la crème, or lowest level.

Here's a sampling of some of the items we got from ND:
Pretty cool, right?  These are items you see priced anywhere from $40 - $100 EACH, depending on the venue you browse and/or shop, but we scored some deals with ND.  The largest one here was cracked, but the others were in pretty good condition (I wanted a nested set so I got the largest one for that reason).  Great graphics, great price, and great story.  I'll be fostering these for a while before deciding on whether or not to sell them.  I think they'd look great in the bathroom to dispense cotton, Q-tips, and maybe manicure utensils.

There was a lot of painted furniture at Springfield but, I must say, it all starts looking homogeneous once a trend catches on.  That's not to say that I don't like painted furniture, but most of what I saw just reminds me of the 'antiquing' that was so popular in the '70s, apart from one or two pieces that stood out from the rest.  There were lots of industrial items at Springfield also, and here's a Tony McCray galvanized table that I've been thinking about since the weekend, but didn't buy:


The sticker price on this was $375.  My vision for my sunroom could include an item like this, or the warehouse cart that I wrote about in a previous post here:  
And here's another item I bought, to satisfy the Art Deco diva within me:
This is a pencil sketch, signed by Cote, titled, "French Dolls".  It is very much in the style of Icart prints, and it features Flappers with their boudoir dolls.  I collect many Flapper-themed items, mostly purses, and a few other things, including two boudoir dolls.  I'll be keeping this print, an original dating from the 1920's - 1930's.


Out of the 2,000+ vendors at Springfield, we may have hit 10 or 12 - that's about one half of one percent of all the vendors, for cryin' out loud!  We didn't stress about it though, because we know we can go back, or go where the road is less traveled.....like the back road shops or the outfield fleas, or the little elderly lady's estate sale....and find some great deals and great stuff.  It was just fun being a part of the event, and soaking it all in (no pun intended).  Plus, we had many other things we needed to check off our to-do lists on this trip.  I was just happy to get home and get in bed at a decent hour!  And my car's still not unpacked!