Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Sharon Wolff

Some finds are a little scary
People often ask me, "What do they sell at your flea market?" Of course, the appropriate answer is a list of whichever 10 categories of merchandise I can conjure up at the moment. However, when am feeling philosophical, I answer "Everything that has ever been manufactured, sold, old, new, discarded, dusty, crafted, resold, re-made, found, tossed, lost, one of a kind, mysterious, mass produced, broken, repaired, rusty, shiny, valuable, junky, funky, created, overstocked, overlooked, discounted, abandoned, liked, disliked and anything else that defies logic."

Each week, laden with clipboard, reading glasses, walkie talkie, cell phone and two cameras, I navigate the markets. If I am at Rosemont, I also carry a 10 pound backpack, sunscreen and water bottle. Often, I drop something. Thank you to everyone who helps me retrieve my papers before they fly away.
Where would you put this? Who made it and where has it been? 

I make frequent stops to scrutinize a particular object that catches my eye. Rather, I am drawn as if by magnetic force to the unique spreads that vendors have carefully, carelessly or just nonchalantly placed out for sale. Some items I have never seen in my life, and will never see again. Some I see over and over again and others remind me of my childhood. Some are even scary. I often wonder about the thought process and planning behind the original
manufacturing of the product.
Disco Shoes

These objects inspire me in an ongoing, never ending quest to group like items together into facebook photo albums and youTube movies.

Actually found this twice!

Although, Elvis visits frequently,
he appears in a specific form only once

No matter how many photos I take, I will never be able to say that I have seen it all. And what applies to flea market shoppers, applies to flea market photographers. Better grab it/photograph it now or it will be gone!
Some find are sweet

Ribboned up Barbie
So, what's in your bag? To see just a fraction of America's trickled down items and beyond check out a few of our more unusual albums on facebook and Pinterest. Ever changing, ever growing.

Seen just one time

Tire planter (still for sale in Palatine) 
Really? This is on the Outsider Art Wall at Palatine
(AKA Ugly Art Wall)
Handmade. Go Cubs!

Thursday, January 3, 2013


The new year begets resolutions. Maybe you are thinking about finally tackling your "junk drawer".  Don't have a junk drawer? Surely you have at least one (dark) area in your home wherein resides those pesky bits and pieces that you don't think you should throw away. Yet, deep inside, you know they will never serve you in their original purpose. Don't despair! We will help you repurpose your junque into a Recycled Art Collage. It's easy, just dig in to your pile and find a couple of grateful bits and pieces that are ready to embark upon a new purpose in life.

Please read the guidelines below.

In a mere 4 minutes, we found these items: 
Ooh! The possibilities!

Kids and adults, present drawings for suggestions of the collage outline. Use your own paper or pick up a form at the Palatine information table.
Customers and vendors will vote on the theme and transfer the winning outline to a large wooden board
Please include your name and contact information on your design
Winning entrant will receive a cool prize!

Bring your bits and pieces to the Palatine market and place in the "Bits and Pieces Bucket" near the entrance.
Guidelines-Please Read!
1. Objects must be smaller than a golf ball-approximately 2" x 2" x 1"
2. Objects may be metal, cardboard, plastic
3. Examples: broken costume jewelry, gears, buttons, keys, silverware (size ok), watch parts, wires, washers, nuts, bolts
4. Objects must be clean and safe for handling and gluing onto board: no sticky/toxic residue, nothing sharp or pointy, please be sensible, as kids will be working on this project

Once a design is decided upon, we will create a RECYCLED COLLAGE with all of the bits and pieces
Kids and adults welcome to participate


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

FAVORITE MAGAZINES: Decorating and Inspiration

What inspires you?

Sharon's favorite magazines for 
inspirational decorating with flea market finds