Friday, July 22, 2011

Antiquing in Northern Michigan

It was another of a string of days where the air is so clean, the sun so bright, the sky so blue, the temperature perfect. As I went into town to do my marketing, I saw signs for a Barn Sale and thought, "Why not? I'm on vacation!"

Driving several miles out of town I came upon this barn -- it is one I discovered a few years ago with my cousins on a gloomy August day. I hadn't been my best that day, but on this July morning I was on the top of the world! I was convinced I would find something perfect in one of the four open barns.

I should have known better.

The barns are owned by the same family that owns a sort-of antique shop in Gaylord. I call it "sort of" because old things, antiques and collectibles are crammed into a tiny space with things imported from Mexico and other artifacts that aren't all that old at all. Doesn't mean they aren't cute, but I hate it when things aren't so up front as to say what's what or bargain appropriately. And, it's the kind of store when things are so tight that one could never go there in winter -- the added bulk of a winter coat would make just sidling through the aisle almost impossible.

Thing is, the barns were as stuffed as the store. I knew this from before. But I am an optimist! Besides, they had a store cat! That's always charming!

The first barn was filled with packaging, dishes, bottles, bits and pieces -- the kinds of things you might expect. Badly displayed, but there you have it.

The others were filled with tin yard art.

Now, I like this tin yard art -- one piece at a time.

There is something fun and whimsical about charming flamingoes...

...or colorful birdhouses.

But, you have NO idea how I had to crop these photos simply to find a focal point.

Everything was so crammed (and unmarked, with no one close at hand to ask) that I felt overwhelmed. And not in a good way.

I don't have room for a dress form, but they had a bunch. Couldn't get back to them, but they had them. They had LOTS of them!

I'm always impressed when I visit blogs of those who go to lots of sales or have their own booths and at how artful and inviting they seem. (It's totally possible my blog buddies are good croppers, too!). Nonetheless, I always want to crawl into those photos and shop. Here there were a very few spots like that.

Mostly, I was just glad to get outside.

It's not out of the realm of possibility that I might someday bring one of these colorful tin pieces home from their shop (that's where the rest of them were!). But I think I will give the barn a pass.

Life is too short for frustrating shopping.


Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Oh Jeanie

I see what you mean.

I think my only temptation would have been the dress forms - but then how would you pick it up without creating chaos!!

Just too hard... They need to have a re-think so they can be:
buyer friendly! lol


Anonymous said...

that peacock is pretty cute :)

Tracy said...

Ooo... I love such scavenging too---pretty treats! :o)

Judy Winter said...

I wanted to stop at an Northern Michigan barn sale or two last weekend, but Dick just wasn't into it. Thanks for capturing it for me, JC!!!

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Fascinating place, but I can see what you mean about the poor display. All of that is truly overwhelming and makes you want to run outside for some air! Hope you do find some treasures and bargains elsewhere with your antiquing!

Janet said...

I hear you! I don't like shopping in chaos. And when I'm afraid to move for fear of toppling things then it's time to leave. Sometimes too much stuff is really just too much!

Becca said...

Wow - talk about sensory overload! I get too confused to think when I'm in place like that. Not to mention the claustrophobia!

I did like those birdhouses tho...

Joanne Huffman said...

Display and ease of movement are very important in my shopping. Since this sort of thing is discretionary purchasing, I expect them to make it enticing for me.

Jennifer Richardson said...

loving on all of those blue skies
and barns....and all the crazy-beautiful art they inspire!

Vagabonde said...

Here we go to the Atlanta Flea Market – they have thousands of exhibitors and it’s fun just to watch. I have not been reading blogs as we were away in Tennessee then I also spend all my mornings watching the Tour de France, live, on TV. Wasn’t Cadel splendid today at the time-trial? He certainly did a “job of work” like Paul Sherwin says. Another good Tour – then I’ll get Tour withdrawals till next year…

Oh said...

Jeanie! I've missed so much, in just ONE week (didn't have the laptop on at all except for an article written on the fly.)

Loved this photo story on the "barn." and your comments that nail it for what it is. Ah, but to rummage and maybe even redo-redesign the place for them - you could turn it into a veritable wonder, I have no doubt! (will you ever have your own shop? please sign me up as summer help if you do!)

Loved the store cat.
Loved the dress forms. (why? I don't sew, have no need for one, but like 'em).
And, you made me laugh, mostly because I can hear your voice and this little excursion was such fun!

more later,

Marilyn said...

It is frustrating when things are so crammed together and it is indeed overwhelming. A barn could be such a fun place to visit if it were done right.

Privet and Holly said...

good barn sale;
always an adventure.
Even if it's not
really all old
xx Suzanne

Bella Rum said...

LOL I know what you mean. I've been to places like that. I always start out optimistic and end up empty-handed. Better luck next time!

Sandy K. said...

You have just described one of the reasons I don't usually go to Barn Sales, or much else along the road. Or in town. I probably miss a lot of good "stuff," but the crowded, poorly displayed, and otherwise frustrating aspect of shopping takes over. So...though the barn looked interesting, and I did want to photograph the little stone building, the chairs were more my cup-or-tea:).

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