Brimfield & Beyond

I’m off to the Brimfield, Massachusetts Antique Show from Wednesday, May 15th to Saturday May 18, 2013.

I’m participating in the New England Motel Show (next to the main food court with the yellow and green umbrellas) in space 303 (main entrance, 2nd tent on right)  I hope to see you there!

I wrote in an earlier post about my top 10 tips for navigating the Brimfield Antiques Show.  If you are going to the show and haven’t been before, it is a must read!

My first and most important tip—“If you see something you love (budget permitting)–buy it on the spot!” was a lesson I learned the hard way….

I was shopping several years ago at the Brimfield Show with my husband—part of our annual trek that serves as my birthday present. 

We parked in the Quaker Acres field and my husband  immediately came across a great find…

When he pointed out the sign to me, I let out a gasp of surprise that got the dealer’s attention. Certainly not a good thing when you want to negotiate—especially if your last name is spelled C-H-A-C-E (of course I didn’t admit it when the dealer asked!)

Personally, I was ready to buy the sign on the spot but my husband was against it—we had just arrived in Brimfield—we had barely begun hunting…maybe he thought it was too easy game?  Anyhow he somehow convinced me to move on.

Fast forward 6 hours later –we were heading home.  It was all I could do to persuade him to go back to that field to see if the sign was still there.  It was!   I thought it was meant to be.   He didn’t want to buy it, didn’t like the price and he had no idea where we would use it.  We headed home sans sign.  Strike two.

Of course I was kicking myself that we didn’t buy the sign.  When I returned to Bristol I told my sad story to Robin Jenkins and Jeff Gladding of Robin Jenkins Antiques and Epilogues.  Robin said she would have bought the sign at that price herself.   They advised me to bring my girlfriends to Brimfield next time (sorry Rick!).


A few days later, Robin flagged me down to show me a picture she had taken with her cell phone—it was my sign (or rather the sign-that-should-have-been-mine!)  Apparently the Connecticut antique dealer (who Robin knew) did not sell the sign at Brimfield and it ended up in his space at an antique shop in New Bedford, Massachusetts.  I was so lucky she came across it.

After a few phone calls (thanks Robin) and a secret shopping trip with my Mom and my Sister, the sign was mine—or should I say “ours”!

While it was a fortunate stroke of serendipity that we ended up with our now treasured sign, if you are shopping at Brimfield I would advise you not to count on lightening striking twice!

Happy hunting!



See you in September…@ Brimfield!

It is time to get ready for the September 2012 Brimfield Antiques Show!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Brimfield Antique Show is really a collection of shows. I will be participating in the New England Motel Antique Show (next to the Food Court) from Wednesday September 5th through Saturday September 8th.

You can find me near the central parking entrance to the New England Motel Show.  I’ll be in space 303A&B–the 2nd tent on your right as you come through the main entrance.

Hope to see you there!

The shop will be open from 10am-5pm on Friday and Saturday August 31st-September 1st and then closed for the duration of the show. I will be returning to normal business hours the following week.  Any online orders received through Sunday (9/2) will be shipped on Monday (9/3).  Orders received after Sunday will not be shipped until Monday, August 10th (inventory permitting).

I am so looking forward to catching up with everyone!  Keeping fingers crossed for fair weather.  If you are new to the show, check out my earlier post on my top 10 tips for navigating Brimfield!

What is on your wish list for Brimfield 2012?










Back from Brimfield – Part II

It was a busy week unpacking from the Brimfield Antiques Show!  Luckily this time I was able to sneak off to do a little shopping at Brimfield as my friends and I took turns watching each other’s space.

For the very short time I had to shop, I was pretty happy with what I came home with…

 This 1930′s sofa table is my favorite.  I love all the details.  I think it will look great painted!

 On the smaller side… a 1940′s map of Newport, RI…

 Old cast aluminum street signs…

A coat rack made from the remnants of an Eastlake headboard…

A frame in the same style…

A saddle style stool with spool legs, a handmade bench with fretwork and an old wooden bowling pin lamp base.

 A 4-light globe tole light in need of rewiring and and some fresh paint!


And finally an Ironstone Soup Toureen in perfect condition—ladle and all!

Do you have any fun finds or favorites to share from the latest Brimfield Show?


Back from Brimfield – Part I

It was a fun but very hot week at the July, 2012 Brimfield Antiques Show.  I must say I prefer the heat to the torrential rain we experienced last Fall!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the Brimfield Antiques Festival is really a collection of shows.  I participate in the New England Motel Show.  The field opens at 6 a.m. sharp on Wednesdays of the show weeks scheduled for May, July and September of each year.

I was still pricing and tweeking my space at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning after doing most of the set up on Monday and Tuesday.  After the work was done my space looked like this…

I set up a wall area to display some Annie Sloan product and sample finishes.

For seating, I brought along my restyled wicker chair painted in a mix of Provence and Old White Chalk Paint™.

My friends Robyn and Mohammed from Kingston Krafts are my nearest neighbors in the co-op tent we rent for the show.  They are the sweetest couple who do fabulous painted and restyled vintage and antique furniture.

They have a gorgeous Etsy Shop and a Workshop/Studio space in Providence where they do custom furniture refinishing.  A number of their pieces are finished with Chalk Paint™ so our spaces are very complementary and visitors flow freely between them.

The star of the show was their amazing zinc top table!

Since most of my booth consisted of antique and vintage smalls, and my friends had some large furniture installations, I opted to share part of my space for the July show.

Just shortly after the show opened, my largest piece–a rustic white farm table –found a new home on Martha’s Vineyard along with a folksy hand made boat and a dotty 50′s era glass ice bucket.

This vintage aqua bottle is going to be used to house a sea glass collection — only the very smallest fragments.

One of my gothic cabinet doors (salvaged from a former Newport Mansion) was sold to a sweet couple who are making an old church their new home.

The pre-1940′s carnival wheel will be gracing the walls of a family game room.  The yellow Abington Acanthus art pottery vase (directly below) is now in the home of a collector that was admiring its rich color and near mint condition.

 The Daniel’s Auto Radiator sign was happily carted off by another ‘Daniel’—no doubt!

One of my favorite finds was a pair of vintage green and yellow water skis.  I just love the color and the slightly worn finish.  They were purchased by a sports collector.

I also, love-love-love this sculptural deco watering can!  It came home with me from the show so I get to enjoy it for a little while longer.  The pair of candelabras in the background were purchased by a Connecticut photographer to be used as studio props.

I didn’t get a great picture of the vintage yellow and red Royal Crown Cola cooler, but it had spectacular color and just screamed nostalgia. The couple who bought the cooler were not collectors, they just loved the color too!

As things get sold (or not sold!) the space is rearranged multiple times before packing up and heading home.

By the end of the show, it is hard to even remember the initial set-up as items are re-grouped, moved to a more prominent location or set aside as ‘sold’ to be picked up later.

All in all, it was a fun and successful week.  Thanks to all for coming by to visit!  It was great seeing all my old friends and meeting some new ones, talking antiques and vintage-and of course Chalk Paint™.  Now off to unpack–and then luxuriate in some air conditioning! More to follow…

Off To Brimfield! Shop closed this week…

The shop will be closed this week. I’m heading back to the Brimfield Antiques Show to finish set-up for a Wednesday Show opening. I’m hoping for a quick set-up and some time to shop later this afternoon!


I’ll be at the New England Motel Antiques Show from Wednesday July 11th through Saturday July 14th. The weather forecast is looking good—at least for the first several days. I hope you will come visit if you are at the show. I’m in space 303A&B. It is just past the food court that has the green and yellow umbrellas (if the food court is on your right). It is the second tent on your right when you come through the main (parking) entrance to the New England Motel Show.

Earlier I posted some tips for attending the show—I have one addition. If you are lucky enough to find central parking (New England Motel is a great spot!), you can make several trips to your car to drop off your treasures rather than carting them around all day.

Hope to see you there and happy hunting!

10 Tips for Navigating the Brimfield Show

It is hard to believe it is almost time for the Brimfield Antiques Show again!  I shared an earlier post about how much I love to take my annual trek to the mecca of all things antique and vintage.


For those not familiar, the Brimfield Show is held in Brimfield, Massachusetts three times each year (May, July and September).  Yankee magazine describes it as both the Ultimate Antique Treasure Hunt and a three ring circus.  It has become a rite of passage for many antique lovers in the region and attracts visitors from around the world.  According to  Yankee Magazine, the number of antique dealers (6,000) alone outnumber the town’s population (3,500) which swells to upwards of 130,000 during the show.

I will be one of the dealers at the show in May.  If you’re in the area please come by for a visit! I will be at the New England Motel & Antiques Market  (303A & B) at the center of the action from Wednesday May 9th through Saturday May 12th, 2012.  Look for me on the right just after you come through the main entrance.  The New England Motel Show hours run from 6am to 5pm on opening day (Wednesday) and 8:30am to 5pm for the duration.

As I gear up for the May event, I thought it would be timely to share some of my tips on attending the show.  To learn more, check out this link.

1.  If you see something you love, buy it on the spot.

One lesson it has taken me too long to learn is that if you see something you really love and you can afford—buy it on the spot.  There is so much to see and so much geography to cover that even if you had the time to circle back, it is easy to forget where you found your vintage treasure in the first place! It is also very likely that in the meantime someone else has found it a new home.  If you absolutely have to walk away, it is good to note the name and location of the show and dealer in the event you want to take your chance at a return visit.

2.  Don’t worry if it is too big to carry.

If you buy something, you can get a receipt from the dealer and a business card with the name of the field and the location of the booth.  Before heading home you can drive to most spots or a pick-up zone to load up your car.  Just check to see what times pick-ups are allowed in that particular field.  Also, if you need to come back for your fab find another day, be sure you confirm with the dealer a good day and time to return.  Some shows are open all week, some one day, some have optional days.

3.  Consider getting help with Shipping & Delivery.

Shipping services are available along the Show route and you will see places where they sell rolling shopping carts to carry your wares and even porters to help you collect your purchases.  It is a good idea to check with the services first about shipping large or heavy items and the costs and logistics.  It is great to have options for those larger items that won’t fit in your car.  Last year, I bought an oversized storage cabinet and the dealer offered free delivery since it wouldn’t fit in my van.  Lucky for me the dealer lived in a neighboring town! Some things are just meant to be…

4.    Cash is king.

You will get the best deals if you pay in cash.  While there is a cash machine at the New England Motel Food Court, it is better to come prepared and hit the ground running.

5.     Dress comfortably and bring some baggage

Make sure you wear comfortable clothing and shoes as you will do a lot of walking.  Layers work best so you can adjust to the changing temperature.  After experiencing the rainiest Brimfield ever last September, I would say ALWAYS bring a rain coat and galoshes just in case.  Not only will they keep you dry, they will allow you to hunt out some better pricing while those fair weather shoppers stay home or go running for cover.  For the smaller and medium purchases that you might carry with you, consider a fold up bag, backpack or rolling cart.

6.     Kids and carriages can slow you down

I’ve had lots of fun and success going to Brimfield with my little ones but our usual 6-8 hour shopping window shrinks considerably.  In general it is easy to navigate Brimfield with strollers.  Be aware that a few fields have gravel and the carriages can be hard to push in those areas. I can vouch for that!  If you are bringing the little ones have realistic expectations of how much of your shopping they can endure!  Sun screen, sun visors for the carriage or hats, layered clothing and a bag full of snacks and beverages.  A stop at the Food Court for a breather may buy you some extra time but try to avoid the Noon rush by opting for an earlier lunch (11am).

7.    Familiarize yourself with the Show Schedule and locations.

Brimfield is not just one antique show but a collection of shows.  Some shows are open for one day, some for the whole week and some opening dates and times are staggered.  Look at the show schedule to help you select the best day or days of the week to visit.

8.  Pick the best day for you.

In general I like going to Brimfield earlier in the week for the best selection.  Of course that depends on the weather forecast and childcare coverage among many other things!   I have friends who always go on Sunday because there are more deals to be had—especially on larger items that have to be packed up and hauled back.  In my book, any day at Brimfield is a good day.  Go when it is convenient for you, but realize the trade-offs.

9.    Arrive early and expect to pay for parking.

If you are driving to Brimfield the day of the show—leave as early as you can stomach.  Set your GPS and grab breakfast on the road.  Early birds will  be rewarded with prime parking spots in central locations and first crack at what the day has to offer.   Expect to pay $5 -$10 for parking per day.  If you get there on the early side park at the New England Motel & Antiques Market.   If you get stuck in lots of traffic, keep an eye out for signs for parking.  You may be better off parking and hoofing it rather than waiting in traffic if things are at a standstill.

10.  Enjoy the hunt!

My very best memories of Brimfield are scouring the fields first with my husband (who takes a vacation day each May to attend Brimfield as my birthday gift), then during my pregnancies (although the frequent trips to the Porta-Potties nearly killed me), and now with my daughters who have developed their own sense of affection for all that is Brimfield.  My youngest came home with a few finds last year including a free vintage basket from a sweet dealer that just liked her spunk.  Not a bad deal for a 4 year old!  We have brought home some great finds from Brimfield but even when I come home empty handed the sheer joy of the hunt is enough to keep me coming back year after year.  It looks like I will be in good company!

If you have some favorite things about Brimfield or tips for the hunt, please share!  Hope to see you there!

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Brimfield or Bust!

I am so excited!  I will be at one of my favorite places in the world in September - the Brimfield Antiques Show… only this time as a dealer!

I will be at the awesome New England Motel Antiques Market at the Central Pavillion (PA-24) and will  have a selection of hand painted furniture and vintage finds.   Best of all,  I will have 4oz promotional samples of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint!!!!

These pre-production samples are exclusive to the Brimfield Show.  With the purchase of 1 quart of  Old White Chalk Paint at the New England Motel Antiques Market, you can purchase promotional samples for $5 each while supplies last.  See my Events page for all the details.

I’ll be up to my elbows with  projects and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint until then!  Hope to share some before and afters in the next few weeks.    In the meantime, here are some pictures from my last Brimfield trip.  I can’t wait!



Brimfield Calling!

Since I probably won’t be able to sneak off to the Brimfield Antiques Show in Massachusetts this week, I need to wistfully recall the fun I had going to the show in May.  Each year, as a birthday present, my husband takes the day off to join me in my annual pilgrimage to the mecca of all things antique and vintage.  Yankee Magazine aptly captures the spirit of the show in its May/June 2010 issue where it describes Brimfield as both the utimate treasure hunt and a three ring circus.  I just call it heaven!

As a new Stockist for Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, I was on the hunt for a display cabinet for my first paint shipment that was arriving any day.  I scoured the fields in search of the perfect piece and hurried past a turnoff that led to a row of tented shops and then to a dead end.  I thought better of it, turned back and headed down the previously ignored path.  Here it was, my diamond in the rough!

Since it was early in the show my husband thought it would be better to do some more looking around and circle back (Golden Rule #1–There is no circling back in Brimfield!).  Alas, it was too late—I was smitten!  It was a little worse for wear and tear but the price was right and it fit the bill perfectly.

One problem  – no way would this big boy fit in my van!  Luckily the stars aligned and the dealer turned out to be from the Out of the Blue Antique Shop in nearby Swansea, Massachussets.  They offered to deliver it to Bristol on their way back from the show.  To my surprise I heard two of my favorite words–FREE DELIVERY!!!!

Well after a lot of cleaning up, and a fresh coat of Annie Sloan’s Henrietta Chalk Paint on the shelves, this little cast off has been officially revived.   And boy can it hold a lot of paint!