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The Pop-Up Flea Market

When our friend Rachael asked us if we’d be interested in joining her this past weekend for a Sunday stroll through The Vintage Bazaar, we couldn’t tie our shoes on fast enough. First of all, holy cow. How did we not know about this? Second of all, we thank our lucky stars for gals like her to keep these two in the know.

Held in our neighborhood’s fabulous Congress Theater, The Vintage Bazaar held their second “pop-up flea market” to a crowd of thousands. It was hot (enter ponytail), packed to the gills, and amazing. This lovely, thrifty mecca was founded by Katherine Raz and Libby Alexander. Simply put (in their own words), the bazaar is “a vintage and antiques marketplace for the thrifty set, filled with reasonable priced vintage and antique decor, furniture, clothing, and accessories.” The thrifty set? Ah, yes. Us.

We weren’t sure what to expect, but skimming their website left us salivating. Armed with our camera and enough cash (not too much for guilt, but not too little in the case of the omg-gotta-have-it), we arrived 20 minutes after the doors opened. Greeted with homemade goodies from Hoosier Mama Pies and frosty beers provided by the beverage stations, we knew we would not be disappointed.

After making a mental note to grab pastries on the way out, we joined the ranks and tossed ourselves into the mix. Massive shelves of kitschy baubles ran aplenty, displayed alongside gorgeous lamps, too-cute curtain panels, marble tables, mid-century chairs, and eclectic collections of original art.

We were definitely sad to leave some items behind (a retro set of aluminum table lamps come to mind), but we did score a few things of our own. As soon as Rachael pulled this sweet turtle from the shelf, I was instantly reminded of the same jewelry case from my childhood – right down to the stamp on his underbelly (reminding the buyer he was “Made in Korea,” of course).

Right down to those gaudy gold guts, I began to wonder if this was my turtle. I mentally retraced the steps in my mind, trying to pin point the moment that I went from kid-turtle-owner to turtle-less. Doing my best to remain rational, I realized that over the years, it couldn’t have been mine (could it?). Regardless, it didn’t stop me from pleading with the hubs to negotiate a friendly deal.

Considering I stash my precious wedding band on the nozzle of my favorite perfume bottle (hey, I’m not a big jewelry girl), I feel so much better knowing that at the end of the day, they’ll land in the belly of this guy. He’s perfect as-is, but I wonder how he’ll clean up with a glossy coat of paint?

And while I may not own many bangles, I am a girl who loves a handbag. One more can’t hurt. (Really, Scott, I needed this one.) After debating the price tag for too long, I eventually put my bargaining skills to work and talked the vendor down to a solid deal. The burgundy leather stole my heart, and those two flaps open to reveal double pockets.

But believe it or not, our holy grail was found in the first 10 minutes. For just 15 bones, we like to think it was a drop in the bucket. You better believe we’ll gussy it up with a fresh coat of color, that is, once we figure out where it will go.

A few hours later, we left satisfied and eager to put our new finds to use. And as expected, we all felt a few bills lighter. Rachael scored a duo of crystal bedside lamps and the most adorable glass jar for housing kitty treats. Which, of course, had me wishing I’d snagged a doggie dessert dish of my own. It’s contagious, I tell you.

And here it is, Monday again. A happy day to you all and an even better week ahead! But now we wonder, how was your weekend? Any other Windy City locals out there have a vintage-bazaar-story to dish? Or perhaps your own city is wrapping up their summer with some fun events of their own? Let’s hear it.

  • Danielle - August 23, 2010 - 8:35 AM

    Great finds! I am in love with your new clutch!ReplyCancel

  • Lauren at Trim NYC - August 23, 2010 - 8:42 AM

    Oh, that sounds SO exciting! And I absolutely love, love, love the turtle.

    New York closed Park Avenue to traffic on Saturday morning for the last weekend of the Summer Streets festival. I took a nice long bike ride with a friend and enjoyed some gorgeous weather before the rain showers moved in.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - August 23, 2010 - 9:24 AM

    I love your finds! My favorite is the turtle jewelry box. It makes me wonder what ever happened some of my old childhood trinkets, too.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - August 23, 2010 - 10:14 AM

    Lauren – sounds fabulous!

    Amanda, isn’t so strange to wonder what ever happened to all those old trinkets? My family moved several times after I left for college, so there were many chances for items to get lost in the shuffle. I bet my gold turtle is packed in a box in their garage.ReplyCancel

  • Cait @ Hernando House - August 23, 2010 - 11:09 AM

    That turtle is too cute! And I’m surprised at myself, but I really like the mirror!ReplyCancel

  • Brick and Brack - August 23, 2010 - 11:53 AM

    a girl after my own heart! LOVE thrifting and LOVE a good bargain:)ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - August 23, 2010 - 12:59 PM

    Jealousy is dripping from my bones!! :) Great finds as usual!ReplyCancel

  • Renee - August 23, 2010 - 6:49 PM

    Ahhh Miss Vargo, as usual you found some good stuff! Wish I had known about this…next time. :)ReplyCancel

  • Leilani - August 23, 2010 - 10:37 PM

    Hi there, I came across your blog while looking for write ups of the Bazaar (I was actually working at my friend’s booth yesterday). I write a vintage-centric blog & live in Chicago and am always on the lookout for other local bloggers! You can find me here: http://www.thriftaholic.net

    I’ve also entered the AMC/Banana Republic contest for a walk-on role, I’d appreciate it if you took a look at my picture and voted! :) http://tinyurl.com/voteforleilaniReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 24, 2010 - 3:39 PM

      Leilani, glad you found us! And…you got our vote! Fingers crossed!ReplyCancel

  • chrystie - August 24, 2010 - 1:53 PM

    Hey!! What great finds. I’m also one that can’t pass up a great handbag. Your new one looks awesome! Can’t wait to see the mirror all fixed up ‘Yellow Brick Home’ style :)

    We spent the weekend working on our tans and relaxing, then towards the end of Sunday we fit in a bike ride and a bbq with a friend. That is how I love to spend my weekends, but it rarely happens..so yay!

    http://www.anchoringgemini.blogspot.comReplyCancel

  • Katie - August 24, 2010 - 4:53 PM

    Hello – I found your blog from a comment you left on Apartment Therapy, and I just had to comment here! Your blog is so cute and inspiring and I love that mirror you found at the Vintage Bazaar. I, too, found something awesome within the first 10 minutes, and almost talked myself out of it – like “it’s can’t be that great, I’ve only been here for a little while!” Luckily we both snapped up some great finds!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - August 24, 2010 - 4:54 PM

      Katie, we got there 20 minutes after the doors opened, and already so many things were being snatched up! We knew we had to put our game faces on. So glad you found something equally awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie - August 25, 2010 - 2:25 PM

    Amazing finds! That mirror is beautiful. We have an old drive in theater that uses the space on Sundays as an open air flea market. I went last weekend and picked up some treasures.

    PS I love your blog header!ReplyCancel

  • Lynn Stevens - August 25, 2010 - 6:32 PM

    Ok, a little horn tooting, but mostly FYI. Tho my blog is very content and geography specific, I often include neighborhood events (trending toward free) at the bottom of each post.

    That mirror is a good find. I’m thinking yellow paint.ReplyCancel

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