Up until last year, my husband had never been to a flea market. My parents used to take us often when we were growing up. Sometimes it was boring, looking at all that old stuff, but since becoming an adult, I see the value in visiting a flea market.
I find that it often brings back a lot of old memories. On our first visit, I came across salt and pepper shakers I’d grown up with. I’ve spotted Corelle Cornflower dishes (I had plastic ones to play with when I was growing up). I love seeing the vintage stuff.
Late last year, we’d gone to this flea market and stumbled upon some neat metal signs for our improved backyard. My husband was in love with flea markets by this point, and we loved adding these accents. One particular sign was “Hangover Cures from Around the World.” It was PERFECT for our outdoor pallet bar, a terrific conversation piece for our guests.
Until it was stolen.
We hadn’t noticed it right away. In April, we went to Newcastle (our vow renewal venue), it was during an ice storm that swept across the Golden Horseshoe. When we came back, we noticed our Adirondack chairs askew. One was flipped on its side, and the other was just out of place. My husband was pretty sure it was from the wind, but I just had a feeling someone had been trying to steal them. And why not? They’re gorgeous! Thankfully, I’d insisted that we chain them to the pallet deck we’d built. After all our hard work, I wasn’t going to just let the world have access to them. And remember, our backyard was not fenced in.
In May, we had post holes dug, and Devin closed off our backyard (I helped, but only minimally). We gated it and locked the gate… and went about pulling all our patio stuff out and setting it up for the season.
That’s when I noticed we were missing the sign. And that’s when my husband remembered that he’d NAILED the sign to our fence. We knew then and there, someone had stolen it, and our chairs were indeed on the wanted list. Thank God we’d locked them up. I was angry, of course. We’ve had some pretty cool items stolen from us over the years, and it feels like such a violation. It just bums you out when it happens to you.
So, back to the flea market. We knew where we’d bought it, and we headed back to get another one. We blocked out a Sunday afternoon and drove to the flea market, which is a good 30-40 minute drive from us.
When we got there, we started at one end and made our way towards the building we knew we’d bought it in. Then I saw this, and I was in love. Right from the second I laid eyes on it, I wanted it for our backyard.
When I expressed my delight in this vintage outdoor sink, my husband said (and I laugh every time I think of how he’d said it), “REALLY??”
There was some confusion about the price (there’d been two prices) and someone had gone off to find the vendor for us. She came out, talked to us a bit about the price, and said that it was fully functional. We moved on. I was really trying not to be impulsive, so we wandered through the rest of the market. I couldn’t stop thinking about that sink!
We finally entered the building where we’d found the sign, and were crushed to find that the vendor hasn’t returned this year. Ugh!
As I’d said, I couldn’t get my mind off that sink. She was selling it for $65 (firm, she’d told us), and I just wasn’t sure I’d wanted to spend that much, even as awesome as it was.
As we wandered back to where we’d started, I saw that it was still there. This thing was not going to last long, I knew it. I’d also never seen anything like it, ever! Who knew if I’d ever come across something like that again? My husband asked me if I wanted it… I had to be honest – I really did. I found the vendor, and told her we were interested, and that’s when I asked where she found it.
She found it in a boutique in St. Jacob’s, and her husband had the same reaction mine had 😀 She said her three-year-old grand-daughter had loved playing with water in it, but due to some outdoor shed renovations, she no longer had room for it. She’d paid $120 for it and was sad to let it go, but she knew from my enthusiasm that I was thrilled with it. She was glad it was going to a good home. Upon leaving with it, I heard another vendor tell her, “You knew that one would sell quickly!”
We stopped by a Canadian Tire to find two-way hose splitter. My husband and I ended up picking up a four-way splitter (it was the only option in stock). Then we bought a small piece of hose, as well. We really wanted to keep our garden hose hooked up for convenience, but wanted access to water for the sink.
Problem: standard hoses wouldn’t connect… they were too big at 1-inch. My husband went back to the store and managed to find a 3/4-inch connector and a hose clamp. He cut the 1-inch connecting end off, and fitted the 3/4-inch connecting end on, and clamped it. He hooked it up. I grabbed my cell phone and stepped WAY back in case it sprayed everywhere! It worked like a charm, but the tap on the sink itself didn’t work. The hose adapter is close enough to the sink to use that instead, but it’s still a feature we want to fix to make it fully functional.
I haven’t decided if I want to paint it or not – I’m thinking of just leaving it the way it is.
As for the sign, I found it on Amazon, and will be ordering a replacement. Behind a locked gate, it will be screwed into the fence. No one will be stealing this one.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve found at a flea market?