Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

Market on Chapel Hill, Alabama

Friday, October 9, 2015

Do you fantasize about vintage furniture, white stoneware, or repurposed metal pieces?  White sugar bowls, oversized pitchers, irregular-shaped plates, zinc-topped tables, adorable wooden carousel horses...   Do you daydream about attending well-known antique fairs?  Lucketts Antique Market, Round Top Texas Antiques, Country Living Fairs, The Market on Chapel Hill...

Yes?  Then we could be shopping friends.

However, most of my shopping is really virtual shopping on blog sites, not real shopping where I can actually buy any of the wares.  My latest obsession was with Miss Mustard Seed's posts this past month where she showed the items she was taking to the October 3, 2015, market in Pike Road, Alabama.... The Market On Chapel Hill.

Keep reading for tips for shopping an antique fair IN PERSON.

Source:  Miss Mustard Seed - Market on Chapel Hill
The two white stoneware sugar bowls missing lids just kept me going back repeatedly to look at Miss Mustard Seed's post.  Paperwhite narcissi at Christmas time are some of my favorite Christmas flowers, and I love planting them in white containers.  Visions of Ziva paperwhites in these sugar bowls kept appearing in my mind.  How I would love to buy both of these sugar bowls.  But, Pike Road, Alabama is a L O N G way from north Texas, about 656 miles.

Maybe you can imagine how excited I became when, all-of-a-sudden, I realized my trip back to north Alabama was Sept. 29 - Oct. 7, and The Market on Chapel Hill was happening during that time!  North Alabama to Pike Road, Alabama takes about 3.5 hours over 222 miles, the closest I ever was going to be to Miss Mustard Seed in my life.  Texas, my home, to Pennsylvania, Miss Mustard Seed's home, is 1,345 miles.  The closest chance I would have at actually buying her white stoneware sugar bowls was in Pike Road, Alabama. 

My sister-in-law and another friend were game to drive to Pike Road.  We got up 4:00-4:30 a.m., and left north Alabama at 5:00 a.m. thinking we would arrive at The Market by 8:30 a.m. before the doors opened at 9:00 a.m.  The last time I remember getting up that early, except for work, was to see the sunrise over the Grand Canyon.  I was pretty excited hoping to meet Miss Mustard Seed. 

When we arrived in Pike Road we couldn't find the subdivision where the antique show was located and drove around for several minutes looking for it.  Finally, I reached someone at Chapel Hill by phone and got directions.  We arrived inside the Chapel Market around 9:30 a.m. 

My heart sank as I looked from display to display in Miss Mustard Seed's booth.  

All these cabinets had been filled with white stoneware.  You can see how they looked at   Now they were stripped bare.  

There were a few white bowls and some transferware in this cabinet, but none of these were on my wish list.  

Wait...  the blue and white wooden horse was on my wish list.  There he sits above the nearly empty cabinet.  As I walked closer and closer to him, I was hoping he was in my price range. 

Yes, that is a SOLD sign, but not sold to me.  He was already sold before I got there.  Sigh...  
At least I got to see him in person and up close. 

Still, it was a good day.  

Miss Mustard Seed, Marion, is just as gracious in person as she is on her blog.  She cheerfully posed with a big smile for a photo with me.  Others asked and also had their photos made with her, always with a big smile.  Even if I did not buy anything from her, it was a real treat to get to meet her.  Did I forget to tell you it was a rainy day?  My hair was limply stuck to my head from all the moisture and humidity.  So, you don't get to see the photo.  A really bad hair day! Marion, on the other hand, was cute as a button with perky hair. 

Did I go home empty-handed?  No.  In a few days, I'll show you some of what I found at another vendor's booth.  

~ ~ ~ ~ ❦ ~ ~ ~ ~

Here are a few suggestions for anyone who plans to attend ANY antique fair to shop. 

1.  If possible, spend the night before in the area of the antique fair so you can arrive very early on the day of the antique fair. 

2.  Then, arrive very early at the antique fair.  Shoppers lined up as early as 7:30 a.m. for the 9:00 a.m. opening time at the Market on Chapel Hill. 

3.  Some venues offer early-bird shopping at a higher entry fee.  If there are certain items you have your heart set on, take advantage of the early-bird shopping. 

4.  Double check directions the day before leaving for the event.  If possible, do a test drive to the site and locate parking spots. 

5.  Read tips and guides written by the antique show organizers and/or by the vendors.  Miss Mustard Seed posted her booth's layout on her blog the night before the show.  This helps you know where to find that special item you are looking to buy. 

6.  Browse smaller booths after visiting the well-known vendors' booths.  A small booth had something similar to the items I had been looking for at Miss Mustard Seed.  Since there was only one of the item, it could have been overlooked by other shoppers.

7.  Study how the vendors display their goods for ways to use antiques in your own decor.

8.  Enjoy the location, sights, and people.  Buying is just one part of the antique fair experience. The Market on Chapel Hill is located in The Waters subdivision comprised of new homes built in vintage styles around a lake.  Seeing the houses with the yards decorated for fall was an unexpected bonus.

Please join me at these inspiring sites...