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May 2015

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Swap meet secrets

May 29, 2015

Here are a few tips I’ve picked up during my time at swap meets (aka flea markets).

1. Know what you want…

Swap meets can be overwhelming. There can be hundreds of vendors and each stall can start to look the same, leaving you feeling lost and a bit dizzy. By coming in with a clear idea of what you’re looking for, you can eliminate a lot of the clutter of what you’re looking at and hone in on the specific of what you’re looking for.

Swap meet

Focus can help you find what you want.

2. …but be open

That being said, keep an open mind. You might spot a hidden treasure that wasn’t on your list.

Swap meet find treasures

Those metal things in the basket could be cool for an upcycled project.

3. It’s a numbers game

Know the average cost of what you’re looking for, or have a max price in your head. When I went swapping last month, I took my mom for a specific reason (other than it’s tradition and I love swapping with her): she knows plant prices. I was looking for plants for the first time, and mom’s been around the floral block a few times. By having her with me, I was able to refrain from buying overpriced plants and was able to score a number of plants that were priced really low.

swapmeetplants

So many plants!

4. But it’s also more than a number

Don’t let the price draw you in just because it’s cheap. For example, there was a shelf I spotted for $7. I got really excited about it and promptly asked mom for her opinion. “You can find better, or probably even make better,” she said (she’s so honest, I love it!). And she was right. Only after I walked around to the front did I notice how lame the shelf was. I got so sucked in by a low price tag I hadn’t really looked at the piece. I used that $7 to buy more plants!

Swap meet pricing

Jewelry for a dollar is tempting, but these probably aren’t worth it.

5. Cash is king

Most swap meets are cash only, so make sure you stock up. I like to keep a $20 bill in a pocket on its own so I don’t have to rifle through my entire wallet every time I make a purchase. It looks better, especially if you haggle the price down, if you don’t have a lot of bills around.

6. Timing is everything

Head to the market early if you want to make sure to get a specific item (ie hydrangea bushes). Popular items can often sell out at markets, especially if they are seasonal. Or show up later if you’re looking to bring the prices down a bit. Vendors can be more willing to lower their prices when they’re facing having to pack everything up and take it home. The less inventory they have, the less packing (and unpacking) they need to do.

Ready to start swapping with my mom!

Ready to start swapping with my mom!

I hope these tips help! And if you ever want to hit up a flea market or swap meet, give me a call, I’m always game.

Do you hit up swap meets/flea markets/thrift stores? What tips do you have?

This is the bathroom. No joke. Just warning you!

This is the bathroom. No joke. Just warning you!

Life snapshot

Life snapshot: May 22

May 22, 2015

That header image is me, (not so) patiently waiting for tonight (see below)!

Things I’m excited about:

1. Going to Las Vegas.

2. Going to Las Vegas tonight.

3. Going to Las Vegas tonight to see my best friend!

Allison and Josh circa 2008.

Allison and Josh circa 2008.

Project updates:

1. Packing for Las Vegas (does that even count if I haven’t started yet?!?).

2. Nothing else because life has been unpredictable lately.

Current obsessions:

1. Reminding my recently-graduated brother that he’s now living in the so-called “real world.”

Good luck bruh. Luh ya.

Good luck bruh. Luh ya.

2. Thinking about Las Vegas!

Clearly you guys know where my head is at this week 🙂

Pottery

Standstill Parade

May 21, 2015

This past weekend, Pretty Peculiar had it’s first event: the Whalan Standstill Parade! The majority of us were able to make it, and overall we had a very successful first day. We’re already planning events for the rest of the summer. Instead of telling you about the day, I thought I’d share some photos instead. Enjoy!

erin_demoderby

Demo Derby shirts by Erin.

dirtandlace_pottery1

Pottery by Dirt & Lace (that’s me!)

courtney_needlefelting

Needle felted monsters by Courtney

catherine_jewelry

Jewelry by Catherine

cassie_embroidery

Embroidery by Cassie

ali_leatherjewelry

Leather wrapped jewelry by Alyssa

pretty_peculiar_SSP

Our stand!

Life snapshot

Life Snapshot May 8

May 8, 2015

Things I’m excited about

1. Going home for Mother’s Day this weekend!

2. Our annual mother-daughter swap meet trip on Saturday! Seriously, this is one of the highlights of my summer every year without fail.

3. The MMPA Summit next week. I’ve wanted to go for a few years and now I’m finally able to. I’m really looking forward to the seminars and getting some new ideas and making my brain work overtime.

Project updates

1. I’m so close to having all of the boxes off the floor in my craft room I can taste it! Just don’t ask me to open the closets in there…

2. I’ve started working on some graphic design prints which I’m hoping to debut at the Pretty Peculiar stand at the Whalan Standstill Parade

Current obsessions

1. Podcasts. I’ve just downloaded over 100 episodes of various podcasts and I’m so pumped to listen to them all!

2. Lentils. Lentil tacos are my jam, they’re so good.

3. Mint.com. This is the best budgeting website ever! I’ve used it for over two years and it’s been so helpful in tracking finances and making goals.