Have you ever decided that you just aren’t allowing yourself time for the fun things in life?  You know, the activities that make your heart sing.  The things you do that put a smile on your face?  I know that for me to be happy, I need to be creative. I love to find little (or big) treasures that need some tender loving care (I’m a nurturer), and discover ways to make them beautiful.

Last weekend I decided that it’s been a long time since I’ve given myself permission to explore the creative side of my personality.  And the perfect time was here to do some exploring and shopping at the local antiques market.  Just thinking about it got me excited!  What a perfect way to spend a beautiful, hot, lazy Saturday in the South.

At the end of my successful day, I discovered that there are some things you need to do to prepare for your adventure.  So sit back, put on your “creativity cap” and follow along!


1. Set an intention to have fun.Go with a mind open to the possibilities of things you might discover.  Have a sense of adventure.  The perfect garden decoration or wall art might be there.

Wagon garden art

2. Make a plan. It’s nice to be spontaneous.  We all do that sometimes.  But it’s also important, for your wallet and your space constraints, to think about what you might want or need to complete a decorating project.  I even think about what my daughters, friends, and clients are looking for, and have been known to email a photo or two.  The most important part of planning is to decide how much you’re willing tospend for an item.  If you set a limit to your spending, you’re less inclined to get carried away by the excitement and spend too much.

Table and chair set

3.Arrive early.  Go back late.Always go to the market on the first day to see the best selection of merchandise.  And on the flip side, visiting the show on the last afternoon might yield a special discount or two.  If a vendor has to ship unsold items back home, or hasn’t sold much, they are often willing to negotiate a better price.

4. Take plenty of cash or your check book.Most vendors don’t give the option of credit card purchases.  If they do, it’s likely you will be asked to pay an extra percentage to cover their fees.  That being said, cash is what they prefer.  So go prepared.

5.Put on your “creative cap”.Don’t reject an item because it’s not perfect or looks strange.  Sometimes strange is good.  And imperfection is just an opportunity for your creative juices to flow.

6.Don’t get in over your head with a complicated project.You are the only person who can decide how much you want to tackle on a “fixer-upper” item.  Remember that your husband, son-in-law, or father might not want to spend their time on your perfect “find”.  And don’t buy something that looks like a good deal that you can use later.  I ended up selling some stained glass windows at a garage sale (and losing money) because I couldn’t gather enough enthusiasm to even begin the refinishing process!

7. Consider how your purchases will get home.Is your car big enough?  Do you know of a delivery company?  How much will shipping cost?  These are things you need to think about before you purchase something large.   Last summer the precious $25.00 wicker baby buggy I purchased in Newport, RI was going to cost $250 to ship to Atlanta.

In the car

Antique markets can be fun if you remember to be prepared.  I would love to hear about your flea market adventures.  Please leave a comment or email me any photos you’d like to share.


Happy shopping!!!!!