Round Top Antique Heaven on Wordfree Wednesday

I had heard about it for several years. I wanted to go last year and the year before, but something always got in the way. This year, finally, was my time to visit Warrenton, Round Top and the rest of antique heaven in Central Texas for Antiques Week(end) — hard to stick to the “weekend” label when it runs for almost three weeks now. And I loved every second of it!

Now it’s time for the pictures to tell the story…

weird looking machine

1-Unfortunate pairing

An unfortunate pairing!
4-Steampunk Hat Old bird cage

Antique Crib

Old church windows

weird door

Metal people

Old stage light

Dead Peoples StuffBecause, yes, that pretty much is what it is!!  Antiques WeekJunk Gypsies Trailer(More about the Junk Gypsies in another post…too good for just one picture!)

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South Congress Books on Find it in Austin Friday

South Congress BooksAnyone who knows me, knows that I LOVE books. And bookstores.

And while the big box chain stores are fine for picking up a magazine or the newest best seller, I have a special place in my heart for small, independent bookstores. Sadly, they seem to being a dying breed. So when I find one I love, I need to share it.

Today, that’s South Congress Books. This tiny treasure is tucked in among the quirky shops and restaurants on South Congress, near places like Big Top Candy and Guero’s Taco Bar. But it’s not a spot for the party crowd.

This is the place to go for that rare book you just have to have for yourself or a gift. Or an out-of-print or vintage treasure you just cannot find in a chain bookstore.

 It’s also a place to wander through, and find yourself inspired by a beautiful image on a book cover, or magnificent illustrations or a haunting opening sentence —  and discovering that THIS is a book you cannot live without.

If you’re searching for a certain title, you can check out their online inventory to see if they have it in stock. But I prefer to just stop in, and ask. That way, I get to browse the shelves — and maybe find that the book-I-did-not-know-I-needed (but now do!) is sitting right in front of me.

Citywide Garage Sale is Vintage, Collectible Heaven!

Austin Citywide Garage SaleI’d heard about it. I’d even walked past it on the way to another event.  But it wasn’t until this past weekend when someone dragged me to it that I actually went into Austin’s Citywide Garage Sale.

And I think it took all of about 30 seconds from walking in the door to be absolutely hooked!  First, there were the tables piled high with vintage linens, from quilts to hand-embroidered pillowcases.  Then there were the primitives…furniture, metal wheels, and so much more, all rich with patina and worn with use. And as if that wasn’t enough, there were the kitschy collectibles, that just begged me to stop and look.

Everything was tempting…and yes, I do mean EVERYTHING!  It took a lot of willpower to keep my wallet safely tucked away (well, most of the time!)  But even browsing and chatting with the vendors was a blast.  Even kids I saw were having a great time checking out the “old stuff”, and asking questions.  And if they find something they like, it could be a chance to start them on a collection of their own.

Best thing of all?  This is not a once a year event!  It happens every month! And with the low admission fee ($5.00 and kids under 12 are  free!), it’s a guilty pleasure I can afford over and over again.  Want to make it even cheaper?  Sign up for their e-mail list, and you’ll knock a dollar off your admission!

 

 

The best of weird Austin is for sale at Uncommon Objects

Uncommon Objects Collectibles Austin TexasEvery city has its antique stores.  And most have vintage and collectible shops, too.  But there is only one shop in one town I know of where you can buy a dozen classic Shriner’s jackets, a set of French flashcards from the 1920’s, a wall-mounted statue of Ganesh, and a box of 6 dozen microscope slides of bug legs all in one shopping trip.  And you can throw in fine vintage china, a couple of Waterfall dressers and all the 1940’s sign art you can carry while you’re at it.

If you have not been to Austin’s “Uncommon Objects” on South Congress, you might think I’m exaggerating. After all the store looks kind of small on the outside.  But with Tardis-like magic, it seems to get bigger and bigger the further you walk into it.

You might be wondering why I’m including a store on the blog.  After all, this blog is about things to do and places to eat, right? It’s not about stores.

Well, from my first visit to Uncommon Objects a week after I arrived in Austin to my visit last week, this store has definitely been something to ‘DO.”

I go in.  I wander. I imagine.  I try to picture where I could put three 5 foot high letters from an old grocery store sign, just because I love the font.  I think about buying the Shriner’s jackets and using them for some kind of party theme.  I find inspiring words in a pile of 1950’s flashcards and I lay out the 6 I will buy to create a unique piece of art on my wall. I find a book from the late 1800’s with my daughter’s nickname in the title on the book’s artistic cover, and add it to my purchases, musing over how I will display it in her room. I get lost in looking at pieces of the past, and imagining how to use them now.

This isn’t shopping.  It’s doing.  It’s the place I take visitors and newcomers who are even more fresh to Austin than I am. This, I tell them, is not just a store.  It’s weird Austin, for sale.

Country Living Magazine comes to life in Austin

Country Living Fair Austin Texas

Okay, I’ll admit it. I have a few issues of Country Living magazine going back three states ago. They have been packed among my must-takes for each move.  Certain layouts are still too hard to part with, as I plan my someday-perfect country home.

So when I heard that the Country Living Fair was coming to Austin, I was immediately on-board.  And when I found out that it was to be on my birthday, I knew that this was something special.  So bright and early on my birthday, we headed out to the Fair at the Travis County Exposition Center.

I was not to be disappointed!  There were talks and demos by Country Living editors and samples of just-baked treats. There was a whole area with table-settings, something I LOVE!  And best of all, there were enough vintage,collectible and handcrafted goodies on display and for sale to satisfy even my country-loving heart. Some of my favorites this year included Pinked-eyed Sissies who made charming custom jewelry from optical glass and hand calligraphy on vintage paper, Tobacco Row Primitives  with their amazing selection of Texas-themed cabinets, collectibles and decor, and Stash Style for their AMAZING vintage-styled clothing.

The Fair was in Austin for the first time this year, but it’s been an annual event in Ohio and Atlanta for years.  And the good news is that according to Country Living staff I talked to at the show, they plan to make Austin a regular stop, too!

If you’re planning on going next year, do take advantage of the weekend passes and the early bird pricing. Admission is very affordable, but hey a few dollars saved it a few dollars more to spend on that great vintage fabric or a must-have something for your wall. And trust me, must-haves were all too abundant! (Oh, my poor budget!

One more thing….I have kind of created a “standard” for these posts, with one collage image at the top.  And I like that.  But this time I have to add one more photo…

My husband, co-author and partner in crime Lance decided to pretend to be a part of one of the banners at the fair. And the result is truly post worthy!  Nap time, anyone?

Lance takes a nap at the Country Living Fair Austin