(Originally posted 7/17/2011 on magnoliapresents.wordpress.com)
Last weekend was one of my favorite days of the year. The White Elephant Sale! It is easily one of the most fantastic “tag” sales ever created (I use the term tag sale lightly, not only because of the quantity but also the quality of things found). The White Elephant sale is held annually in Old Lyme at The First Congregational Church usually the weekend after July 4th. The sale happened to fall on Friday the 8th and Saturday the 9th.
My mom and I were up bright and early on Friday morning to get ready to fight our ways through the crowds. My sister joined us around 8 and we headed over to the church to wait until the bell struck 9. The volunteers always manage to keep the area surrounding the church roped off with chain and caution tape to keep early birds out of area until the stroke of 9am. I usually line up early in front of the furniture tent because I’m always on the look out for furniture to furnish my future apartment. In the past I have managed to get my hands on a fantastic kitchen table that expands with 2 leaves, a stainless steel kitchen cart (still in need of some minor repair), and an end/coffee table that I ended up completely refurbishing. This year I was keeping my eyes open for some kitchen chairs and I’m always on the look out for trunks.
(NOTE: If you have gone furniture shopping or mainly in my case, browsing, you would quickly find out that I have a trunk obsession. I don’t know if it’s the fact that trunks have so many different uses, their aesthetic, or what, but I absolutely LOVE trunks! They not only provide storage and a horizontal surface but they always come with stories and history.)
I have tried to get my hands on a nice trunk since my trunk obsession started a few years ago. This year I was in luck! When I parked myself in front of the furniture tent, I spotted not one but TWO great looking trunks. One was on the smaller side and made of wood that would have made a fantastic coffee table (and would have matched my end table). The other trunk was classic, old and what I would call a “traveling trunk”. It had leather buckles and nice brass hardware. So you would think with two trunks for sale, the odds would have been in my favor right? Wrong! At the stroke of 9am, I raced to the back of the tent towards the “traveling trunk” and my mom went to the front towards the nice wooden one. I was beaten to the “traveling trunk” by seconds, mere seconds! Turns out it was only $30 too! Talk about bummed out. I tried to push my way back towards the front, to see if my mom was successful. Alas, she was beaten to the wooden trunk! So unfortunately I ended up with no trunks and I had no luck finding any kitchen chairs.
After my disappointment in the furniture tent, I decided to brave the huge crowds and the tiny, tiny aisles to head inside into the kitchen area. Luckily I was able to fight my way through and get in line. Once inside I was delightfully surprised by a little collection of blue, Ball mason jars. I have been in love with mason jars for a while now, especially the blue ones. I’ve batted around an idea for an event that would need a lot, and I mean a LOT of blue mason jars, so I snapped up all 7 that I saw and headed to the check out. I ended up getting all my mason jars for around $8 all together. Talk about a deal!
On my way out of the kitchen area, I stopped at one of the fabric tables, and managed to score 3 nice sizes of different cloth for all of $5. Perfect fabric for me to practice my sewing skills on with my new sewing machine! Hopefully I’ll have some projects to report on soon using the fabric. I see a lot of plaid in my future.
After the fabric table I met back up with my mom and sister and we hit the road. We decided to make a day of it and visit a few antique stores and shops in the area. I did end up getting a great grey suede chair for only $45, so at least I ended up getting a new piece of furniture. I also found a few more blue mason jars to add to my new collection.
Overall a fantastic day, and if you are ever in the area for the White Elephant sale, remember to go!! Make sure to go both days too. You get some great stuff on Friday and then on Saturday everything that is left is half off. Talk about some great deals!