When I Die…

by Stefani on 7-April-2008

… just sprinkle me over Warrenton on the first week in April or October.

Maybe you don’t know about Warrenton yet, but honey, you oughtta!

Imagine if you will, a quaint little town (can it be called a town?), where the cattle far out number the people. Far. I think the sign said there were 76 residents, or thereabouts.

You detour off the highway and keep on truckin’ out into the cow pastures. After a while you come to think maybe you’ve taken a wrong turn, but no…

What’s that?

Miles and miles of white tents in the middle of nowhere? RVs rubbing noses with livestock? SUVs packed to the gills with goodies galore? Respectable women walking around in alligator boots and pink cowboy hats?

You’ve come to the right place.

I have been visiting this little antique fest for oh, about 10 or 11 years now, with some gaps in there, for having babies and all.

I always say I’m going to rent a room and take several days to do it, because honestly a few hours is barely enough to cover maybe 1/68th of the sights to see.

Really, I think this would be more like it:

Tin Can Junkin'

Every year, I drive the 1 and half or so hours down there, and then sort of wander around, mumbling to myself, overwhelmed and a little junk drunk. I walk around swilling beer (okay, Diet Coke) and stuffing myself with kolaches and funnel cakes until the sugar high and junk-o-rama reaches such a fever pitch that I begin to speak in tongues.

I have this problem you see…

I only have so much money to spend but there are acres upon acres upon miles upon miles of goodies to choose from. I never can commit to buying anything because, what if I spend all my money and the next tent down has all the stuff I’ve been hoping to find?

And then there’s the problem of carrying it all around. I can’t very well buy the hordes of Pyrex I’ve happened upon, and then expect to carry it all around for three more hours? Can I?

One Scoop or Two?

I bought one of those rolling carts this year, for all my many finds, and that helped. Some.

What I did not foresee, was the weather.

My mom and I had been on the road for a few days before we made our way to the festival. When we left Austin it was pleasant, in the 80s, sunny, but a few days later, by the time we made it to Warrenton, it was barely 60, windy and rainy.

And us in our shorts and no rain coats.

Luck For the Takin'

Bum luck.

Rusty Rides

So, as hard as we tried, it was tough going to focus on digging through the junk to find the treasures, when our toes where near frozen off and we were sliding in the mud.

Gone and Lost Their Heads

We did our best though. We’re Texas gals after all, made of spit and vinegar, steel magnolias.

Lavender

And we weren’t the only ones. See, this isn’t just your ordinary shopping experience. It’s kind of a cult thing. You have to come decked out in your countrified rebel gear, your feathers, sparkles, and cheetah print. You gotta bob your head and keep time to the redneck/gospel quartet/hillbilly punk band that’s playing on the corner, while you sift through vintage this and thats. You gotta catch the vibe, sister.

Gypsy Life

You have to have a certain swagger, mixed with a healthy dose of glamour, about you. There’s even a prom, hosted by the Junk Gypsies every year.

Vagabond

And of course, there’s the miles of buttons, pottery, old carnival rides, dishes, linens, neon signs, ironware, plants, puppies, vintage metal signs, mexican art, old tools, boy scout patches, magazines, albums, handwoven cotton, shutters, soaps, chandeliers, doll heads, marbles.. and that’s all covered in about three of the 3,000 tents!

Simmer down now, sweets. The law is watchin’.

The Law

I came home wet, tired, windblown, and with a trunk full of vintage cups, an old feed bucket, and several tablecloths, some homemade preserves and honey. Oh, and one very special tape measure for the winner of this month’s contest

Hi Ho

..not to mention, a little bit of a junk hangover… come October, I’m going to try to cure it with some hair of the dog that bit me!

If you can’t wait that long for your Warrenton fix, be sure to pop over to Stash Studios for an insider’s look. Sadly, I didn’t get to meet Cheryl this time. Next fall though, we have a date.

Anyone else up for a road trip?

leslie April 7, 2008 at 9:16 pm

ok october? i need to book a flight, this sounds amazing (wierd weather and all)

Holly C April 8, 2008 at 3:14 am

Ahhhhh…… The jars of buttons look like heaven!

Diane April 8, 2008 at 4:08 am

Me too! I’m in… can we cruise the azaleas first? Great.

amy April 8, 2008 at 5:13 am

looks gorgeous!!!

miss chris April 8, 2008 at 5:26 am

That looks amazing, Stefani! Yes, yes, yes! What a fun event to look forward to every year with your mom…. it sounds like a blast. Good stuff! (And lovely photos, of course. Those bikes! Ack.) xoxo

Tracy April 8, 2008 at 5:45 am

oh my god, I want to go there, spend all of my money, and then make things out of that stuff. Especially the jars and jars of buttons and lave. er. I mean lace. See? I can’t even type. swoon!

Sarah April 8, 2008 at 6:19 am

How awesome is that pink couch??

I just found out about this fair about 2 weeks, by pure accident while googling something else.

Have you been to the Round Top one? That one intriques me too.

stephanie April 8, 2008 at 6:44 am

Don’t think I’ve ever commented here before, so hi!

Just wanted to say how much fun it was to read this post 🙂

SpiderWomanKnits April 8, 2008 at 7:04 am

Oh my. My family and I are serious antique/thrifty/junk heads. These pictures are almost too much for me to handle. “The Season” hasn’t started here quite yet but we’re getting close…

Maybe next year we’ll have to take a road trip 😉

erin April 8, 2008 at 7:09 am

i want to go!

kristi April 8, 2008 at 7:11 am

I don’t know if you have ever been Canton, TX for first Mondays. It is very similar and lots of fun also. Count me in for a road trip!

Sarah Jackson April 8, 2008 at 7:24 am

Oh my gosh! How fun is that? Next spring, I’m so there. We’ll have a blogging family reunion!

beki April 8, 2008 at 7:28 am

Me me me!!! Count me in!! That looks like so much fun 🙂

Tara April 8, 2008 at 8:14 am

Oh I’d love to come back to Texas for Warrenton. I’m craving a kolache in the worst way. They don’t have them here in Georgia…don’t even know what they are! Can you believe it?

Keri April 8, 2008 at 8:24 am

Oh my gosh that looks like so much fun. And I’ve NEVER heard of it! What was I DOING all those years in Texas?!

Maria April 8, 2008 at 8:35 am

I want to do this!!! i want to be there!! But the fact is, I will never, ever get to TX. I just won’t. So there HAS to be something around here like that…there just HAS to!!
The photos are awesome!

Grace April 8, 2008 at 9:26 am

Oh my gosh, yes! Me, me! I wanna come!

As usual, beautiful photography. I’ll go over and fave my favorites on flickr for ya.

I love all those f’s. 😉

Cheryl April 8, 2008 at 9:31 am

great post – looking forward to the fall

Allison Fouse April 8, 2008 at 10:02 am

Oh mah gawd! That sounds like more fun than I can handle. Nurse!

Maureen April 8, 2008 at 10:14 am

Oh, how I wish they had those things up here in Canada…. I love antiquing, and the closest I’ve gotten to anything like that is jealously watching it on TV.

Wow, love the photos. Wish I could join you in October!

Mama Urchin April 8, 2008 at 12:12 pm

Wouldn’t that be fun. All of us traipsing about running into each other.

Megan April 8, 2008 at 12:37 pm

I love getting all cow-girled out…I think there should be an organized Canton trip…but not for a few months so I can save my money!

Eren April 8, 2008 at 1:58 pm

Count me in friend. Im saving my pennies!

And Maria, there is nothing like Warrenton in any other part of the world. Really.

emily ruth April 8, 2008 at 2:13 pm

junk drunk! i love it! it is the perfect description!…this looks so amazingly, totally fun…good job you, for saying goodbye to the boys & getting in some girl time with your mom…when do we see pictures of you guys in your countrified rebel gear, feathers, sparkles, and cheetah print? 🙂

Jade April 8, 2008 at 2:22 pm

We went this weekend too! On Saturday!!! And I took that very same picture of the bikes!

I had the same feeling the entire time!

Dee April 8, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Aw, I wish I had gone! I think I’m really going to try and make it this fall.

Relyn April 8, 2008 at 6:09 pm

I just spent some time on your Flickr account. I have a fascination for papercutting, and I have to say that yours are wonderful. I really, really love the one that was your middle son’s Christmas gift. In “Things Weighed Heavily On Her Mind” you captured exactly what stress feels like. I love it! You are so talented.

molly April 9, 2008 at 8:15 am

oh geez! that grey and cool sure did give a nice background to your photos, stef.

that place looks like a piece of heaven.

kellie April 9, 2008 at 6:55 pm

truly, loved, loved, loved this post & the ‘flowers of my youth’. amazing photos. felt as if i was almost there looking at them with my own eyes. thank you for all your time & effort that it took to post.

Em April 9, 2008 at 7:57 pm

This would be my dream weekend! I know there are things like that around here – I just need to find them! Thanks for sharing!!!

Lynn April 12, 2008 at 1:19 pm

Oooohhhh. I would love to go there. It looks like you had a great time.

katrina April 15, 2008 at 12:23 pm

incredible. i’ve come to your blog for the first time by way of stash studios. what a great post. super photos. and your writing style is just about fantastic! nice to meet you here. i’ve been watching warrenton from california via some wonderful blogs.

katrina April 15, 2008 at 12:23 pm

incredible. i’ve come to your blog for the first time by way of stash studios. what a great post. super photos. and your writing style is just about fantastic! nice to meet you here. i’ve been watching warrenton from california via some wonderful blogs.

katrina April 15, 2008 at 12:23 pm

incredible. i’ve come to your blog for the first time by way of stash studios. what a great post. super photos. and your writing style is just about fantastic! nice to meet you here. i’ve been watching warrenton from california via some wonderful blogs.

dianeinjapan April 15, 2008 at 10:18 pm

Oh, fun! It has never worked out for me to make it to Warrenton. I keep up with the Junk Gypsies, though–in fact, I recently bought one of those “Vagabond” t-shirts!

dianeinjapan April 15, 2008 at 10:19 pm

Oh, fun! It has never worked out for me to make it to Warrenton. I keep up with the Junk Gypsies, though–in fact, I recently bought one of those “Vagabond” t-shirts!

Sharon April 25, 2008 at 12:56 pm

You’re hurting me here…livin in the North is just not right…but it is big-garbage pick-up, citywide…so eat yer Southern hearts out…
sharon

Theresa-Garden Antqs Vintage August 30, 2008 at 6:34 pm

How funny finding your blog and seeing our bikes on there, well my husband’s actually. He’ll have more this Fall I’m sure. Hope you will stop by and introduce yourself this!! Can’t wait for the shows to start.

Theresa-Garden Antqs Vintage September 17, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Hello, the bikes in the picture look familiar probably because they are my husbands. Too funny. That’s our booth at Zapp Hall. I would like to use your picture of Gina’s booth (pink couch) and of course give you credit. Thanks, please email me.

kelly September 18, 2008 at 1:31 am

WOW, what an incredible sale. How I would love to have been there. Looks like a could have spent a fortune!

Kathy September 22, 2008 at 9:00 pm

Wow! Is that pink sofa still available & how much? It’s lovely!

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