Flea markets are the most remarkable place to discover vintage fabrics and embellishments complete with all the possibilities for re-working, re-purposing and re-using. Every time I’m at Alameda, I swing by Euro-Linens – www.euro-linens.com. Their set-up and offerings thrill me every time and every single piece is original ranging from 35 – 135 years old. They have vintage French linens made into pillows, and other boudoir comforts. The workmanship is splendid and the prices very reasonable and more than that –they are striking! Monopoly pieces, plastic and wooden checkers, doll heads, skeleton keys, drawer pulls, jaxs, charms, typewriter keys are available for as low as one dollar. Many collage artists and scrapbookers delight in the small and original chotchke items. Fun stuff. I picked up a blue plastic princess phone keychain which is a replica to one I received in Kindergarten for learning my alphabet. Ma Bell used to give them out as swag. I also bought my friend Rita a Mahjong piece with her favorite number. $2.00 total. Also a gold drapery tassel with cording that will make a beautiful trim embellishment on a pillow perhaps. $3.50!
Moving on up the rows, I spot Jennifer Saxton and her linens. She embraces the notion of re-cycle, re-do, re-find, I was most intrigued with a beautiful piece of bark cloth (circa 1940’s) that made me want to reupholster everything in my home. The peacock blue, the fuchsia pink – all so vibrant. Jennifer also has her own children’s clothing line, Princess. Princess, which features little jackets and dress sets made from some of the most sweetly colored cloth – some chenille, some florals – all darling.
The quality and workmanship in yesterday’s fabric is a true find at the flea market. The cottons and linens in particular offer a subtle softness. I collect vintage pillowcases for just this reason – they are so perfectly soft and look great on the bed all mixed up. It’s original, comfy and pretty, all at the same time.
The Alameda Point Antiques and Collectibles Faire or simply “Alameda” if you are in the know, offers a stunning array of vintage finds from jewels to furniture to collectables and everything and I do mean everything in between.
I’ve been foraging Alameda for about eight years with stunning success and much happiness. I love everything about this monthly event – the wares, the people, the typically cold weather and the view of San Francisco Bay Bridge and skyline. This market is second only to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena! Fabulous.