Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Flea Finds: How To Use Them?

DH and I were on the road early this morning headed for the flea market in Woolwich, Maine. 
I ended up buying a couple of items just because I liked them...now I'd love your help figuring out how to use them.


Here's mystery item #1. I bought it (actually DH picked it out) because it met most of my flea market criteria: 1) great old chipped paint, 2) rusty, 3) handmade, and 4) the guy only wanted $1.00 for it.


At this point I have a feeling you're wondering what the heck it is...so was I. So I'm going to turn it this way for you...now you can see that it was made to hang vertically. See the little screw holes on the top?

If you look closely, it appears to be a little water wheel. I was thinking about hanging it outside on my porch...maybe above a plant to give the impression that water may have once actually eminated from it? I'd love to hear some of your ideas for creative uses for this strange little piece of folk art. Would you have even bought it? How would you display it if you had?

I also bought this hinged tin box for $5.00 after haggling it down from $9.50. I think it may have been used for fishing tackle before someone got a little too ambitious repainting it...a little sanding and beating with chains should take care of that.

I love anything red and the inside of the box has six cute little compartments that I can't wait to fill and display...but with what? I'd like to use something less obvious that dried flowers or kitchen utensils...any ideas?

I picked up this salt & pepper set for $2.00...they were marked $5. I collect peach McCoy pottery and these are definitely the right age and color but are unmarked. The dealer said he thought they were Franciscan...I'm thinking they might be Hull or McCoy...do you happen to know?

Signs seem to be getting really expensive in our area...even at flea markets and even when they are not particularly well painted. I wonder if that's why so many of us have taken to painting or stenciling our own?

This "Berries" sign, for example, was marked $65.00. For that much, I'd expect the dealer to at least offer to throw in a few quarts of berries!

This was my favorite sign of the day though. We passed it on the road heading home from the flea market. It's been hot here all month (but who's complaining?) and we live on the coast so this one gave us a good laugh...for free!

I'm looking forward to hearing some of your creative "new uses for weird old items" ideas.
Meantime, I'll be compulsively carrying these latest "finds" around the house trying to think up a few original ones of my own.  Ahhh...the dilemmas of a junker!

I'm linking up to these amazing blogs parties:
Wow Us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style
Would You Buy It Wednesday at Junker Newbie
Terrific Under Ten Tuesday at At Home With K
Transformations & Treasures at The Pink Postcard
Twice Owned Tuesday at The House of Grace
Nifty Thrifty Tuesday at Coastal Charm
Tuesday's Treasures at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Vintage Inspiration Friday at Common Ground
Transformaton Thursday at The Shabby Creek Cottage
Time Travel Thursday at Brambleberry Cottage
Home Sweet Home Party at The Charm of Home

16 comments:

Into Vintage said...

Love the red metal box -- I can picture it filled with tall milk glass vases (inexpensive & easy to find at thrift stores) and pretty flowers.

I have to wonder if at $65 that sign was more to draw people in? I wonder if it sold? I need to make some signs if it did! :-)

Rose @ Confessions of a Curbshopaholic said...

You got some great buys there!The green chippy piece is my fave, I'm a sucker for folk art wind catchers and that sure looks like it was part of one!
Not sure what I would use it for though.
The metal box is very cute too, another of my weaknesses. I think it would look cute in a bathroom, with rolled up hand towels and stuff like that in each compartment.
Great buy!

gail said...

I see my friend Rose right up there. :)
I like the idea she has about the box in the bathroom. That would be cute.
That sign??? over 60 dollars? crazy! Oh my!
gail

Pamela Gordon said...

Hi Cheryl, I just found your blog through Common Ground. You got some interesting finds at the fleamarket but I'm afraid I can't help you with your questions about them. The red box could be used on a desk for storing related items I suppose. I live in New Brunswick right next door to Maine! We are hoping to take a little vacation down your coast in a few weeks as it's one of my favorite places to tour. Blessings, Pamela

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

I love the idea of vases or old jars with flowers in the red case. That is really a great find. I don't know what the other thing was...but I like the idea of around a hanging plant. Great finds...

Debra @ Common Ground said...

Oh I love that little red tin box! thanks for sharing at VIF, xo Debra

~~Carol~~ said...

The green chippy thingy reminds me of a folk art whirligig that I saw not too long ago. That's my guess, but really I have no clue what it could be! I just love the look of those old handpainted signs, but I sure don't like the prices!
Happy REDnesday,
Carol

Sherry said...

Cheryl,
You got some great prices on these pieces for sure. That first item has me stumped. It would look good in a vignette of things. Love the finish on it. The red box it great. I would plop that on a table and fill it with mason jars, silverware, flowers, etc. Thanks for linking it to Home Sweet Home!
Sherry

LV said...

What a great day you had on this browsing spree. I am not sure about the wheel in that box. I am sure there is a simple answer, but not from me. Enjoyed visiting and seeing all your goodies.

dogsmom said...

I like your flea market criteria.
I wish someone would admire all the rusty junk in my yard. What if you hung your water wheel the opposite direction - so the "water" flows off the pointy end?
I am even thinking it may have had something to do with seeds originally.
I love the buys one gets cheap when no one knows what they are.
Could you keep the red tin on an entry way table to store keys, gloves, outgoing mail, etc?
Or use it for picnics with napkins, plasticware, drinking straws, S&P shakers etc.
If signs sold for that much I should be out there pulling boards off my barn!

Laurie said...

I love that red box. What color is your kitchen? If you want it to be useful, you could use it on your kitchen counter as a catch-all; I keep a wooden one there and it holds a pencil cup filled with pencils, a vintage sugar bowl filled with paper clips and other little doo dads, and scrap paper and small pads of paper; in the side that faces the wall I keep vitamin jars. I love having a cute nook for all the counter clutter.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

I would have been intrigued by your item but not sure what I would do with it. I love the red box!

Bargain Hunting Treasure Seeker said...

LOVE the red metal box! I can picture it on the counter for a buffet with friends with mason jars in the compartments (if they are big enough) and silverware in the jars, and napkins, and condiments! Or with jars of wild flowers...

Kathy said...

I love your blog, coming over from House of Grace. What a wonderful antique sale it was loaded with great treasures. Ours in the south are nothing like that. I found several things I could find a special place for. I love your blog, I will be back. Drop by mine for a visit. Kathy

tammylovesdishes said...

I love the little red box you found and the price you paid for it, too! Great find!
The little waterwheel piece is a mystery to me; although, I think it is visually very interesting and should look great on your porch.

Amy said...

I love the chippy green paint wheel! I would have definitely bought that - even if it was more than $1!