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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Entertainment Center

The biggest most awesome totally fabulous outstanding project I did during my Christmas vacation was our entertainment center. Our entertainment center. Sigh. I never hated our entertainment center, but I never loved it haha. Which is hard to say, since Brian and our contractor/lifetime friend designed it themselves. BUT (sorry men), it was man designed! They made the shelves too tall so you can see straight past the equipment to all of the jumbled up wires. And They did a hugely weird angle.

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When we redid our basement I had to call my dad because I was so upset about it. It did not fit in with my “vision,” but it was Brian’s total vision. So, per dad’s wise advice, I sucked it up. I made it almost two years of sucking it up, but I didn’t want to suck it up anymore. So I put my tweak on the piece.

I did something crazy.

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As you can see from my hands, I stained it! That might not sound so crazy, except that the entertainment center was built out of MDF! CRAZY!

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Our house stink, stank, stunk of stain for days after I was finished. I ended up doing two coats of the black stain, following up with two coats of poly. But, the end result and the temporary stench (and high) were worth it!

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I picked up new baskets from Michaels that were made of fabric because our old baskets scratched the soft MDF — that’s the biggest downside of using stain instead of paint. It’s easy to scratch. But I love the baskets and I eventually want to make fun labels for each.

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The top of the entertainment needs some accessorizing, especially at the corners. But the black stain makes a world of a difference.

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And the baskets just complete the whole thing perfectly. Can you see cords? Me either 🙂

 

And in case you were wondering, I chose black because our bar is black. The colors tie in together nicely.

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Glad to have this one crossed off of my list. My head hurts just thinking about that stinky stain.