Sunday, January 6, 2008

Treasures: The Thrill of the Search

In the poll "What kind of Chic Are You?", to be found on the right side of this blog, Treasure CHIC-er, seems to have the slightest lead. A Treasure Chic-er is someone who is driven (noooo, I don't mean chauffeured) to search for vintage , antique or ordinary items that offer endless decorative and nostalgia potential. While some folks "rubber-neck" at traffic accidents, we have to replace the brakes in our cars at least three times a year because of too many shrieking stops for garage sales & tempting curb throw-aways. Sighting an estate sale sign posted the night before the sale sends us straight to the address to see-what-we-can-see before the sale. Though many of us try to pretend it is a hobby; in truth, it's a do-or-die obsession. We've got it bad...not only do we want to find and "save" the pieces, we would like to know all about them - from who originally made and purchased the item to who who didn't love the items enough to preserve them. Some people "save" animals - we save old stuff. If we don't know the history and provenance, we are apt to romanticize our own idea of who owned it and used it in another time. We are hopelessly sappy.

I search for treasures everywhere. My husband and I go to so many yard sales that I often feel I can't climb in and out of his tall work truck (the better to haul the treasures home) one more time. We have this unrelenting voice telling us -It's out there and can be yours - if you find it FIRST - so go, Go, GO!!! We search as many of the local estate sales as possible, are first to raise our hands if family heirlooms are offered and attend a few auctions and outdoor trade shows regularly. We know where the best thrift stores are and the best junk furniture stores. It's a passion that has not abated in over ten years.

Do we treasure our finds if we pay more for them? Not necessarily, some of our favorite finds were free - found on a curbside or even dumpster-diving. Many of the most cherished are family hand-me-downs.

As a rabid Treasure CHIC-er, I sometimes take a fond visual inventory of my treasures and have a lot of fun recalling how they came to be mine. The above photo shows a grouping of treasures I especially love. Can you guess where they were found? How about which one was found on a curbside? Which one is a re-purposed find? The answers are in white beneath each photo in the post below. Immediately after the identifying text, beneath each photo, just highlight with your mouse to read and discover whether your guess was correct.

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