Rose Bowl Flea Market & Thrift Store Treasures

I met some friends in Pasadena last weekend.

I spent Saturday night by myself at the Courtyard Marriott in Monrovia.  This hotel is right on the 210 Freeway – convenient, but kind of loud.  If you’re a light sleeper, this may not be the place for you.

On the upside, the room was super clean, the hotel was nicely decorated, the service was excellent, and this was the view from my room:

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I didn’t mind the traffic noise at all and I felt very safe in the area too.  There are a ton of large chain restaurants and stores nearby and parking is free and plentiful, even at the hotel.

I thoroughly enjoyed moving at my own pace, wandering around a couple of stores, then going solo to a late evening soup and salad dinner at Mimi’s before heading back to the hotel for the night.

I found these four huge, sparkly ornaments on clearance at Kirkland’s for $1.24 each:

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On Sunday, I met my friends at the Rose Bowl Flea Market.  Have I told you how much I love that place and wish, with all my heart, that I could go to it every month?  Sigh.

I picked up an odd assortment of things this time.

First, there’s this:

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He is missing a foot (fin?) and has been wrapped in the middle with fishing line to keep from coming apart, but I love him.

He’s made from a gourd or some kind of seed pod and he is filled with little stones that make a very pleasant rain stick kind of sound when you move him.

Um…yeah…if you know me, then you know it was not possible for me to leave without this guy.

I’m not sure what to make of the mermaid and her friend on his back:

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I also found my favorite ribbon vendor and picked up a few things in her 3/$5 bin:

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I found two more Delft-style milk maids too.  I don’t know if I really love these ladies though.  Their faces aren’t as sweet and well painted as the other two I have, so I’m not sure I will keep them.  For the moment, they are in the china hutch with the others.

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I love these little Matryoshka egg dolls:

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I’m not sure how exactly to display them, since they won’t stand up on their own, but they amuse me!

I picked up the sweetest little wooden duckling too, but the ten-year-old promptly claimed it on my return.  I haven’t seen it since.  😦

My favorite find of the day was this wire cake stand:

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The seller wanted $15.

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I offered $10 and hoped she would take $12.50.

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She took the $10!  Yea!  The silver stand below it is another of my favorites from long ago.  Just one more and it’s a collection, right?  Uh oh.

When hunger hit us, I wasn’t in the mood for our usual Italian place, so we ate at the Cheesecake Factory.  I rarely go there, so I never know quite what to order.  This time, I copied my friend – faro salad and fried avocado egg rolls.  Oh my, was that ever a tasty lunch!

We wandered the shops for a while and then went to Goodwill and an unexpectedly large and interesting antique store in South Pasadena before parting company.  It was a disappointment to find the Out of the Closet thrift store closed for the day, but we all felt pretty good about our other adventures.

What a great weekend!  Good friends, good food, good finds, good fun.  Thank you, Leighann and Corina!!

Back on my home turf and apart from my son after three and a half long weeks of winter break, I wandered through the Goodwill and Salvation Army stores near my home yesterday.

I picked up a little wooden candle holder:

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and I found this amazing little wooden stool:

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At first glance, I thought it was painted.  It’s actually decorated with beads.  They are hammered into the wood.

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I would love to know how the artist did this.

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The wood seems soft, but surely there’s a secret.  The whole thing makes me swoon.  It’s clearly hand crafted, an interesting shape, probably Mexican or central American, colorful, detailed and lovingly made – just my taste!

And that’s it!

What did you do this week?

♥♥

Rose Bowl Flea Market Purchases

I buy ribbon and rickrack everywhere I go.  This pile of generous bundles cost only $10 total.  I love the blue with the red and white.  They’re kind of fitting for the season, don’t you think?  😀

I also buy Little Golden Books.  I got these three and the colorful little book below for a total of $3.00.

The Little Small Red Hen book was wrapped in a plastic bag when I saw it, so I knew it was probably badly damaged inside.  I was right.  There are pages missing and others torn, but I love the colorful cover and there are a few additional color plates inside that charm me anyway.  And really, the title is so sweet.

I’m not sure I know what to say about these next items.  I collect buttons and dominoes, but the buttons aren’t the greatest specimens and those two dominoes are all I got – not a set.  Don’t know what I was thinking.  Guess I don’t care since it only took $2.00 from me.

Arthur Burdett Frost’s Br’er Rabbit has been in my dreams for months.  I saw these twin reproduction art plaques of him at the market in January and have been wanting them ever since.  Now, they’re mine!  I’m glad they were near the exit.  Once I had these heavy boys to carry, I turned into a complaining nightmare.  “Oh, my aching back!”

I bought this bag to put them in and it made a big difference!

This bag is HUGE and made of super lightweight fabric.  I wish I had bought more than one.  😐

I also bought our initials.  Each ten-inch letter is cut from thin metal, then painted.  I’m not sure where I’m going to put them yet, but I am sure I will buy another letter or two every time I go to the market.  The guy who makes them just tosses them all on the ground and people walk on them and kick them aside to find the colors and letters they want.  All that rough handling gives the letters a good scruffy salvage look to them.  He makes smaller and larger versions and there are also numbers and some funky three-dimensional flowers too.

I can’t wait to add more to my collection.  I feel an art installation brewing, maybe for the wall to the right of my stained glass window??  You know, this wall:

Can’t you just picture it with a sea of letters swirling about like the curly waves in the window?  I can!

Last, but not least, here is the teeny bird I bought at Goldbug.  He’s very sweet, but extremely difficult to photograph.  My friend got one just like him, but with less of the green patina.  I love him.

I feel like I’ve forgotten something.  I will check my treasures and let you know!

Oh, I also bought four magazines on this trip.  Four.  Because this was MY weekend and I like magazines.  Woohoooo!

Happy Monday!

P.S. I forgot to mention that I also went to Mignon Chocolates.  I have to confess, I am a diehard See’s Candies loyalist, but I would happily eat another of Mignon’s Amaretto truffles if I had to.  😀

P.P.S.  The little boy seems pleased with my one and only purchase from Lula Mae this time:

♥♥

What a Lovely Weekend

I spent last night alone at the Marriott in Pasadena.

I drove up by myself, walked all over Old Town, popped into a few little shops, and took myself out to Il Fornaio too.

I had forgotten how much I enjoy eating all by myself in a nice restaurant.

It’s so fun to people watch, and somehow, the solitude makes you really savor the textures, colors and flavors of your food.

I started with a Caesar salad.  It was very fresh and just the right size, but I was not a fan of the croutons.  There were only three and they were almost too crunchy to eat.

The bread that came with the meal was similarly crunchy and also difficult to eat.  The olive oil and balsamic vinegar helped.

Next, I enjoyed ravioli filled with butternut squash and walnuts.  It was served with brown butter, tomato sauce, and crispy sage.

The sage was great.  It was actually dipped in something a little denser than a tempura batter and then fried.  It was unusual and a very welcome addition to the plate.

My only disappointment with the entree was the amount of the tomato sauce.  The ravioli needed a little more oomph, but there wasn’t a lot of that sauce to do it.  The flavors were all wonderful, just not quite proportioned properly.

Of course, none of that stopped me from cleaning my plate. 😀

I got dessert too.  I ordered by sight from the cart and really didn’t know what I was in for.  To say I was pleasantly surprised is an understatement.  It was possibly the best chocolate mousse I’ve ever eaten.  It included a layer of fresh raspberries and it came in a pool of cream fraiche and raspberry coulis.  Another raspberry sat on top.  Delicious.

The entire day was delightful.

And long overdue.

I haven’t needed a break that badly in quite a while.  😐

This morning I got up early, ate some cereal in my room, then drove to the Rose Bowl to meet a friend for the monthly flea market.

We both had some cash to burn this time, so it was a lot of fun.

When our feet could take no more, we drove back into town, bought a couple of teeny bird figurines at  Goldbug, ate a very pleasant, leisurely meal at Mi Piace, and then looked at every single item in Lula Mae.  I LOVE that place.  So sweet.

We parted company around 4:00 p.m.

On the way home, I stopped at Cost Plus World Market to finish out my fun.

Now, I am exhausted and ready to hibernate.

I’ll post pictures of my new treasures in a couple of days.

I hope you had a good weekend too!

Happy Sunday!

♥♥

Rose Bowl Flea Market and Pasadena

I met two friends at the Rose Bowl Flea Market yesterday.

It was a long day and the weather was chilly, but we had a great time!

One of my friends knows the market like her own backyard, so she played navigator.  That worked well for me, because I got turned around at the end of just about every aisle.  😕

We shopped for hours, saw very few things twice, and still didn’t cover even half the venue.  The Rose Bowl Flea Market is BIG.

The parking is free and plentiful.  The 9:00 a.m. general admission is only $8.00 and worth every penny.  You can pay more to get in with the early birds, but my friend cautions that sometimes vendors are still unpacking before the regular crowd gets there.

Deep in the rows, there is a lady who makes caramel apple muffins from scratch in her own kitchen and sells them for $2.00 a piece.  My friend buys one every time and raves about them, so I was happy when the three of us arrived at her booth well into the morning and still found three muffins left in the basket!

They were really delicious – sort of an angel food cake with a center of brown-sugared, tender, appley goodness.  Yesterday was nothing, if not a thoroughly delightful food day.  More on that a little later.  😀

Another vendor sells art plates from old books.  There are stacks and stacks, black and white as well as color, as beautiful and varied as the people who buy them.

The bibliophile in me grimaces at the dissection of what were surely amazing whole volumes, but I appreciate the art in the single leaves and I couldn’t go without this page:

Not far from the front entrance, there is a vendor who sells colorful tablecloths from Provence.

French linens are very cheery, usually made well, and have always appealed to me, but they are typically out of my price range.

I stopped at this booth because she also has a table full of batik stamps!  Woohoo!  I chose this one for my collection:

I also picked up this teeny little rabbit for my blue and white family:

a tiger clicker for my son:

and a small gift for a friend. 😀

As always, there were a few things I regret leaving behind.

Most of those were slightly out of my price range, but are regular items that I could acquire with better planning on a future visit.

Some were unique items I just wavered on and will absolutely never see again.  I guess that’s okay.  If I waver, then they’re probably not meant to be mine.

On our way to the exit gate we stopped by the food vendor area to say hello to my mom and Lou, who had also driven up for the market.

They arrived after we did and were taking a quick break, but were heading back in for a little more shopping after we headed out.

Departing from the Rose Bowl was an adventure.  😐  I lost my car, worked up a sweat looking for it, and finally had to call my friend to enlist her navigator instincts to find it.

Then I sat sheepishly behind my wheel and watched as she deftly moved a giant traffic barrier by hand just to get me pointed in the right direction.  So embarrassing.  😳  Funny, but embarrassing.

At least this all helped me to warm up after being so chilled by the cloud cover.

I followed my friends into Old Town Pasadena for a little more shopping and some late lunch.

My favorite store this time is Lula Mae.  Teeny, charming, colorful and packed full with “gifts of wit & whimsy” –  this is definitely my kind of place!

My friend and I both left with Andy, the Black Sheep:

I love him.  He is made of cast iron and weighs a LOT.  Don’t ever wanna drop this boy in my tiled house with my bare broken feet nearby.  Oy.  Gotta find just the right place for him.

I was amused when I got home to find that Lula Mae had wrapped Andy in French Fry tissue.  So funny.

From Lula Mae’s clearance bin, I picked up this hand-stitched house ornament:

and this cloth Tooth Fairy bird:

I love the idea of this, but I will probably just hang him from my Christmas Tree since we have something else for our son’s Tooth Fairy exchanges.

I rounded out my Lula Mae purchases with two yards of wired chenille ribbon.

I have a definite weakness for pretty ribbon, especially when it has a drastically reduced price.  🙂

That about covers my purchases for the day, but the treasures I brought home also included two amazing gifts from my friend.

She gave me this spectacular chair:

and this gorgeous, charming butter dish:

I am in love with this big Sun Lion.  In love.  The colors, his face, his swirly handle tail – all of him.  In. Love.  Thank you, Leighann!  😀

And the chair.  It’s beautiful.  😀  In fact, it’s officially the nicest thing in my house.

The most unusual shop we visited is definitely Gold Bug.

I’m not sure the merchandise is my taste exactly, but it is very intriguing and I wish I’d stopped in on a slower day and hadn’t felt so claustrophobic.  It’s a very small shop and there were a lot of people in it.

If you’re in the area, particularly on a weekday, you should definitely stop by.  It’s unique and has a lot to look at.

For our very late lunch we went to Mi Piace, one of my favorite places in Pasadena.  Wait, have I been anywhere else?  Who cares!  Mi Piace is really good.

Unfortunately, they were completely out of the Butter Nut Squash Ravioli with browned butter and sage.  Big, disappointed, collective sigh.

We buried our sorrows in good hot garlicky bread chunks served with balsamic and olive oil.

I ordered Fettuccine Alfredo with julienne vegetables. It was priced a too high and would be more enjoyable with a small green salad (priced separately – grrrr), but it was extremely good.

For dessert, I ordered this Mi Piace Special:

It was three layers dark and white chocolate mousse and cakes, topped with black and red raspberries and accompanied by a beautiful puddle of kiwi and strawberry coulis.

My only complaint with this dessert is that it came with that completely white, unripe, unappealing strawberry.  I would have left that off the plate.  I just pushed it aside.

I devoured the rest of it, feeling only mild guilt for denying my husband any leftovers.  They wouldn’t have kept on the three-hour drive home anyway, right?

My friends and I parted company shortly after our meal.  I headed south and they headed back to the high desert.  We all had a great time and I can’t wait to do it again.  Maybe in March or April??

Love you guys!!

P.S.

The best moment of the day was when Bob Harper from Biggest Loser (or his clone??) finally left his table facing ours, so that we could relax and eat without his fitness guru-ish-ness monitoring our mouthfuls. 😦

The worst moment of the day was the insane coughing fit I had on exiting Lula Mae.  😳  Mortifying.  It was the kind of thing that makes strangers pull their kids in close and flee.   Embarrassing.

The stupidest thing I did was forget to bring water into the market.  $5.00 per bottle if you want to buy it there.  Ugh!

The smartest thing I did was bring my big purple purse.  Not super attractive, but it’s lightweight, cavernous and durable – perfect for shopping!

P.P.S.  While I’ve been typing this morning, the little boy has been stapling paper and drawing scenes from his computer games…

wearing my two oversized sweatshirts at the same time…

eating cheetos…

and being very sweet.

I sure love this little boy.  I missed him yesterday.

Gotta go play now.  Catch you tomorrow.  Maybe.

Happy Monday!

♥♥