Sunday, May 31, 2009

Carroll Park Flea Market

When Hubby and I did our spring cleaning last month, we realized that we had a lot of stuff that we were just never going to use again. For him, it was mostly old records and for me, books that I had gotten at flea markets, read once, and knew I'd never read again.

The Carroll Park Flea Market in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn was coming up so we decided to give it a go. My parents were excited about purging too and gave us 2 bags full of nearly new stuffed animals that the twins had never really liked. All the proceeds from the tables go directly to maintaining the park, so it was a win-win all around. Help the community and make some moolah with the stuff we were going to trash anyway.

We arrived early, double parked just like everyone else, and unloaded Grandpa's car. Hubby pointed out a parking spot and I ran over to grab it. I was sleepy as all get out and nothing much was going on in my head other than the thought of COFFEE, COFFEE, COFFEE. To make matters worse, there was a Dunkin Donuts across the street, looking wonderful and fabulous and full of caffeinated promise.

I got out of the car, locked the automatic doors, and slammed the doors shut. Hubby looks at me with horror and point to the inside of the car, where I left the keys in the ignition. The best part is that I left the car running! DOH! The COFFEE thought switched over to things I can't politely say on this blog. I called my dad, who was nice enough to pick up the spare keys from Grandpa and drive them over to me. I think dad wanted to make me sweat it out because he didn't show up for an hour! Carroll Gardens is only about 20 minutes from Sunset Park with traffic. I learned my lesson dad, I promise.

After the car drama, I ran over to DD and caffeinated myself, thus eliminating any further stupidity for the day.

Here is Carroll Park from across the street. If anyone has seen the movie The Object of my Affection with Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd, this is the park they live across the street from in that movie. It wasn't a good movie, but just sayin.

The woman on the left was reading people's futures. Apparently, everyone had a happy future because nobody left crying. The lady on the right was selling adorable hand made dresses. The flea market had a little of everything from old to new to vintage to crap. We sold a good chunk of our own stuff and made a cool $130 in profit, after paying for our table. Not bad for stuff that was going to get dumped. After we packed up and left, we drove to the Salvation Army and donated everything else.

There was a table right across from us that had had enough of the sun by 3:30 or so and started giving away the rest of their stuff for free. I wandered over and picked up a pair of grey arm warmers. Work is always cold and I thought if I bought a cheap pair, I wouldn't worry about someone stealing them. Cheap indeed...they gave them to me for free!

I also bought some buttons from Sue Rock Originals Everyone, Inc. Sue's husband noticed I was crocheting in my booth and wandered over to talk to me about their charity. They are a textile charity and in addition to monetary help, they sew, knit, and crochet for women who are trying to rebuild their lives from domestic violence. They offer all sorts of classes at their studio as well. Sue and her husband receive donations from yarn, fabric, and design companies, so she said anyone was welcome to come pick up yarn or fabric and make something for these ladies. Sue's husband knits and sews himself, which is pretty awesome. I think its an amazing idea and will definitely be helping in the future.

Warning: extreme jealousy to follow. Please place a bib on now for all the drooling that is going to follow.

When our booth became a little slow towards the end of the day, Hubby sent me off to look at a booth where an older woman was selling fabric in large boxes. I went over and started looking through it all and the woman started a conversation with me. She has sewn all her life and loves it. She had her one and only daughter when she was 42 and had collected a huge stash of cotton fabric, hoping to one day sew for her own grandchildren. Her daughter is now 32 and apparently has no plans for children, so she decided to pass the fabric on at super cheap prices and in her own words, make people happy.

I mentioned how I was learning to sew and was scared to buy and mess up expensive fabric. She was so sweet, giving me tips on how to cut, how to wash, and how to put fabric together to make unique designs. She asked me if I had kids and I told her yes and described my Pipster. We must have spent at least 20 minutes gabbing away. I asked how much the fabric was and she laughed and told me to pick out what I wanted and we would make a good deal.

All of the fabric was quilting cotton. I grabbed a whole stack full, not counting the yardage listed on each one. The lady came over and started pulling more fabric, showing me how to mix and match them. It was obvious that sewing and designing is this woman's passion. After I had my arms full to bursting, I asked how much it would all be, expecting her to count the yardage and calculate a price. Not a chance! She asked me for $10 and a promise that I would continue sewing.
I counted the yardage when I got home and there is 28 yards of fabric. 28 yards! For $10! That's less than 36 cents a yard for 100% cotton. Happy Dance! The red fabric with the hearts on it has the original receipt on it with the purchase date. She bought that fabric in 1984!

She threw in 12 5" quilting squares for free too! Happy indeed!

Oh, and this is the baby blanket I was making while in my booth. Its just a plain old granny square and is about 14" right now. Once its preemie sized, it'll be heading to the NICU.

I also got a suntan. Goodbye pasty!
Other than the car keys thing, it was a pretty banner day.


Kristina P. said...

I really like farmer's markets. Score on the fabric find!

Bezzie said...

Ha ha! Nice! But I thought they sold fleas at flea markets ;0)

Snap said...

Wow! Sounds like an all together great day! Good for you!

Mimi said...

What a wonderful day that was for you! I'm sure you'll always check the keys again ;)
Those cotton fabrics are pretty!

Caroline said...

Sounds like my kinda day! I would have loved browsing booths and visiting with people! Loving the pile of fabric! Can't wait to see some FO's!

The Elusive Loo said...

Great fabric! I am soooo jealous!

Karen said...

I am def. drooling over the fabric at the moment. I think you'd look spectacular in one of those tops made in one of the reds. :)

Cadance said...

What a sweetheart you ran into! How blessed to meet people like that!