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Elephant Trunk Flea Market

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Some might call me crazy, and others will totally understand, but I planned my Maine vacation around two things: the start of my master’s degree program and the Elephant Trunk Flea Market.

If you are an HGTV lover, more specifically a Flea Market Flip (FMF) lover, Elephant Trunk Flea Market will immediately ring a bell. It’s a giant flea in New Milford, Connecticut that often plays host to Lara Spencer and her FMF competitors. The gist of the show is two teams of two go through a flea market and buy old crap, transform the crap into something awesome, and then resell the awesome goods at a flea in New York City. You win based on making the most profit. Buy low, sell high.

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I love this show an unreasonable amount. I also think I’d kick ass if I ever got to go on the show. Some people do the most outrageous, hideous flips. Psh, my taste is impeccable and my stuff would sell in an instant! (That’s confidence, not cockiness… right?) HGTV PICK ME FOR FLEA MARKET FLIP!

But for real, my office mate and buddy Carrie and I love to talk about how we’d rock FMF. So when I knew we were going to Maine and would have to pass through Connecticut on the way there and back, it just made sense to stop at one of the featured FMF fleas. Originally, we planned to come home on Saturday, but since Elephant Trunk is only open on Sundays, we extended our trip for an extra day. Darn! 

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I should give my husband the kuddos he deserves — not all spouses would be cool with spending more money on a vacation just to go to a flea market. He’s the best.

Anywayyyy, we got to the flea market shortly after it opened to the public and the parking lot was already insane. You’ll see in some of the photos that it was supper foggy at first, but it cleared up quickly and filled up even quicker. Holy smokes, there were TONS of people! Right away, the flea market met my expectations — so many vendors, so much neat stuff.

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We weaved through the whole market in about an 1 hour and 15 minutes. I would have loved to have taken more time and gone slower, but we did have to get home at some point.

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Once we saw the whole thing, I knew what I wanted to buy. Don’t hold your breath — it won’t be exciting to anyone but me.

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Growing up, my dad had (and still has) these carved wooden mallard ducks. Many vendors had similar ducks, but one had a mini. I saw it and loved it. For a whole $7, it was mine.

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You are probably thinking, “What the heck — a whole post about a flea market from a DIY blogger and no crazy purchase?!?” Well, remember that we’d already spend a lot of cash monies on vacay and had my tiny car to drive home in. Plus, I’m working on two furniture pieces now, and didn’t reallllly need another project. The duck was just fine of a purchase for me.

By the time we left the flea to get back on the road, the parking lot was just nuts and the parking spot vultures were out. I was glad we go there early.

Overall — great experience. Brian liked it way more than I thought he would. There are so many different vendors with such a variety of things to sell that there is something for everybody. The two things I would say I was surprised by: lack of furniture, cost. It wasn’t that there wasn’t furniture. Many vendors had tables. But compared to the show where the contestants seem to have unending choices of desks, chairs, tables, etc., I thought there’s be more or a selection.

I also thought things were priced high. I guess all of the $15 tables and chairs sold at 5(ish) a.m. (you can pay an early bird fee and go before anyone else). Or vendors are more likely to bargain when a huge camera is in their face.

Complaints aside, it was awesome. I wish we had a giant flea market like it in Maryland. If you know of one that I am just completely unaware of– TELL ME!!!! If you have the chance to check it out, I recommend it. Who knows, you might find a little duck of your own.

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Lucketts Spring Market

I should have spent Sunday finishing the door project we started last week, but instead I drove to Virginia with my friend Carrie and her family to do a day of shopping at the Lucketts Spring Market. I’d never been to The Old Lucketts Store before, but this seemed to be the right weekend to visit. They were hosting the annual Lucketts Spring Market with 150 vendors on site selling amazing stuff (refinished furniture, vintage finds, cool accessories, etc.). Carrie’s husband and son dropped us off to have a daddy-son day of their own, so Carrie and I got to walk around for a few hours perusing each of the booths. Man, there was some cool stuff!

I walked away with a milk crate and Carrie got a handwriting sample poster for her new playroom. I was half tempted to spell out “Smith” in old printing press letters, but they were way too pricey for my taste. Oh well! If you ever get the opportunity to visit the market, definitely go — and go early! We had no traffic issues, but when we left there was a huge line of cars sitting in traffic to get in.

Even if you don’t buy anything, it is worth it just to walk around and see the amazing amount of creativity in one space.

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Flea Market awesomeness

Who has seen HGTV’s Flea Market Flip!? It might be my favorite HGTV show because, to me, it is the most relatable  Some people simply cannot afford to remodel their homes or don’t have the know-how to DIY their gardens — but I imagine most people can find a treasure at a flea market and make it into something cool. Or just treasure their treasure!

I totally dream of being on Flea Market Flip. My girlfriend Carrie and I talk about how cool it would be to be on it together. So when my aunt, mom and I were driving home from an outing in New York and we came up on the Super Flea, I pretty much died with excitement when my aunt asked if I wanted to stop.

{A Smith of All Trades} Super Flea

I’m pretty sure I screamed, “THIS IS THE BEST THING THAT HAS EVER HAPPENED TO ME!” Sorry husband, but our wedding is second to the Super Flea.

Just kidding…

… kind of.

The Super Flea is intense — vendors are everywhere, inside and out. It’s sort of dirty, but that makes it even more authentic and charming. Plus, that’s what hand sanitizer is for. Between the Super Flea and the two thrift stores we visited, I think we probably drained my aunt’s supply of sanitizing hand wipes.

Within minutes of walking around I spotted an awesome, old ginger ale crate. I’ve wanted to do a project with a wine crate for months now, but can’t bring myself to buy the fake ones at Michael’s. It seems like cheating. So when I saw the ginger ale crate I made a beeline for that vendor’s table. She was asking $10, which was close to all I had in my wallet. So I walked away.

After perusing more and more, I decided I wanted to go back and buy the crate, so I forked over $10 (which is a steal) and grabbed my London Dry Ginger Ale crate. SO COOL!

{A Smith of All Trades} Sweet wooden crate from Super Flea

I am not sure what I am going to do with it just yet, but I was thinking that it would be cool to turn it into a storage ottoman with casters on the bottom. We’ll see what I decide on eventually.

My mom and aunt also had great luck at the market. My aunt found a few beautiful rosaries and my mom scored a beautiful vase and a porron (the porron was marked $15 and the vendor sold it to my mom with her vase for $5!!!! TOTAL STEAL!!!!!!!). We also found a few pretty, inexpensive dresses that they bought for my sister and cousin.

It was so much fun and now that I have some flea market mojo, I might go to one this weekend and try my hand at haggling! Woot!

And in case you couldn’t tell from the earlier picture how I excited I was, here’s another picture of me TOTALLY cheesin’ it at the Super Flea. I am thinking this needs to be a new family tradition.

{A Smith of All Trades} Cheesin' outside the Super Flea