Sunday, April 17, 2011

Round Top Madness! Part 1

Tents and buildings line the sides of the road for miles and miles.
 Thanks everyone for all the great comments on my last post! Last night while looking through all the photos I had of our adventure as well as all the goodies we bought I figured I would break this up into two posts. If you love antiques and all things vintage, Round Top is definitely one of the events you must go to at least once in your lifetime!

Anyways, we arrived Saturday morning on the next to the last day of the show around 10 A.M. We decided this year to hit Warrenton first, as it was the farthest away and traffic at the Round Top Festival is notorious for being horrible. Last time we went, we made the mistake of stopping at some of the surrounding towns first and ended up sitting in a line of traffic so slow we moved less than 3.5 miles in an hour. By going to Warrenton first (which was farthest away from home) we were able to hit some of the most popular shops early in the day without sitting in traffic. Our choice of going on Saturday this year rather than Sunday also improved the selection. We discovered that most of the vendors pack up on Saturday before the last day of the show (Sunday) so that they can leave quickly, because of this everyone was willing to "negotiate" or "make a deal", unlike when we went on Sunday last time. It was bargaining heaven, I did not pay full price for anything we purchased!

Below are a few of my terrible photos I took while running around shopping that day. My husband took more "artistic" photos but since he has not edited them I'll wait to show you the links to those later. I think the most important thing to remember if you go to Round Top is to have a specific list of items you want to buy and a budget of what you want to spend on each item. This is really what kept me in check all day. There were home accessories, vintage western items, cooking equipment, furniture, and gadgets everywhere so it was easy to get distracted.
$60 Vintage Mixer with original instruction book - My husband would not let me take it home :(

Bakelite Heaven
 For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you might have seen some of my live Tweeting about the Bakelite vendor I found. She had some of the most amazing pieces I had ever seen in person and I'm really glad I had put a budget on what I was allowed to spend. Since I bought several pieces (which I will post in a little bit), she gave me 20% off each piece and I was able to stay in my budget (YAY!). She had some of the most beautiful items, one of which was the carved clamper bracelet with matching earrings. They were absolutely gorgeous to look at, but way out of my price range. What I did fall head over heals in love with was the red anchor pin which I was wearing in my last post.
I loved it so much I had to wear it!
 She also had a large selection of bangles and necklaces as well as some great books on identifying different styles of Bakelite. I stayed and chatted with her for a good 45 minutes until it was time for me to meet up with the men again for lunch (they thought Bakelite was boring so they had left me to go search for vintage camera equipment). I am hoping to run into her again in a few weeks at the City Wide Garage Sale in Austin which she recommended I go to. Apparently it is a great place to find even better deals than Round Top....

 Here are a few more photos of how some of the shops were set up and some of the goodies I saw like the vintage girls sunglasses on the original card seen above. One thing about Round Top though is there is never a shortage of glass collectibles. It is literally EVERYWHERE. This year I was not really focusing on it as much as I had on our previous adventure when I was shopping for centerpieces for our wedding but I still grabbed a photo so you could see what it looked like.
Who needs Anthropologie when you can stock up on kitchen accessories here?
 In terms of vintage clothing, we saw lots of late 1890's through early 1920's items but from what the Bakelite lady told me, we missed out on most of the good stuff from the 1930's - 1950's. Apparently the opening weekend is the time to come for the good vintage clothing deals because they sell rather quickly.

The furniture we saw was fantastic. I could have furnished 3 houses with everything I fell in love with that day. One piece in particular was the one seen below. I absolutely love this style and one day hope to own something similar but for now I have no room! 

Here's an example of one of the outdoor tents filled with hidden treasures.
 I think one of the greatest things about Round Top is all the hidden gems you can find. A lot of the times some of the vendors who are not experts at every item they have can overlook a few things. For instance our friend Ivan who came with us found 2 working vintage light meters for his camera worth 5 times the price he paid for them as well as a rare vintage camera in working condition worth over $350 that he paid $60 for. If you search through some of the more cluttered and random shops you can find some spectacular deals.
I love the stuffed vintage horse!
 Finally I shall leave you with a photo of my favorite item that I have no room for but one day would love to own of the day! It's a piece from one of the old grocery markets or feed stores that serves as a counter top as well as drawers holding stock. The glass squares on the front would be filled with whatever item was filled in the drawer, and when people would come into the shop they would point at the drawer, tell the worker how much they wanted and the worker could pull the drawer out from the other side to fill the order. Growing up the feed store we went to had something similar, but not nearly as fancy as this. Some of my earliest childhood memories are of going in and looking at all of the current seeds available for planting in one of these. One day when we get a "real" house and get out of grad school I would love to have one of these in my kitchen to store dry goods.
Thanks everyone for reading this! I'll have another post up soon with photos of the goodies we bought!


  1. oooh, love the pin!! bakelite is so fabulous!

  2. I absolutely love this post and all your finds! You obviously have a different shopping relationship with your husband then I do with mine, because that mixer would have come home with me.

  3. Ashley - LOL! Mainly he said no because we already have a working mixer so this would be an "extra" that we were not sure if it would work well or need to be rewired. Thus it stayed there... (sadness!)