Last weekend, I sacrificed myself in the name of research. I spent one of the last fall afternoon driving around to garage sales. It was a beautiful fall day, the sun was shining, but I got a late start due to having to wear out the five-month old puppy first.
When I finally got in the car with my patient husband and not-so-patient Australian shepherd puppy, we made our first stop a mere block away. Our neighbor, who loves antiquing and garage saling, was setting up her front yard with Halloween decorations. She had a few items out, including two vintage Schwinn bicycles, but nothing we needed.
Then we drove down the street and found one house that was chock full of stuff, including these clown paintings. I was tempted to purchase one for a friend who is afraid of clowns but decided to pass. They also had a lovely double gilt mirror
The next stop featured a collection of children’s books, National Geographic magazines and a vintage wedding dress preserved in a box. I wondered about the bride. Who she had been? Was she happy? I hoped so.
Not satisfied, the next day we traveled a little farther out to a sale that advertised seven tents, including vintage items. Unfortunately most of it was all old children’s books, VHS tapes and camouflage belts. None of those interested me. Then we drove to another location advertised on Craigslist and found a wonderful barrister bookcase that was in need of restoration. Some vintage items including a set of mason jars.
When leaving, I spotted a sign for a book sale, and I couldn’t pass it up. We drove to the storage locker. A couple who ran an online book sale business were clearing out their inventory. The inside of the locker was neatly encased in organized bookshelves. All books $1. I loaded up on books on witchcraft (research for a new story), several biographies and this wonderful book on Lalique jewelry. All for $6. These will be added to my growing pile.
While I was out doing my “research,” the real-life Anne, inspiration for the fictional Anne of the Antique Hunters traveled to the Randolph Street Market, one of Chicago’s largest antique and vintage fairs. She found this lovely set of chairs and was inspired by their artistic lines. She says, and I quote, “They were these cool chrome-looking garden chairs, looks like they were straight from art nouveau Paris. Alas, no table! Lots of pure style, sensual, lots of curlicues.”
And, both Anne and I have spent hours on our new favorite auction website, Everythingbutthehouse. While I haven’t bid on anything yet, I have spent hours looking, all in the name of research.
Up next, this week, a trip to an antique store, perhaps? Or maybe a rummage sale?