Ohhhhhhhh things took a turn on me this year at The Christie Antique Show.

Swear at the alarm clock, wake up, get my coffee, stand outside waiting for my sister to pick me up.  That has been the Saturday morning routine for every Christie Antique Show for the past decade or so.

The day then progresses in a familiar and traditional fashion with our preferred route around the show; up the aisle, turn left, down the aisle, turn right, up the aisle turn left, down the aisle turn right, squeal in delight.  And so on, until we develop the condition known in some antiquing circles as Musty Guts.  An stomach condition wherein the smell of all the musty furniture makes you feel like you’re going to barf –  unless you eat french fries immediately. So upon the first signs of the affliction we run to the french fry stand.

That’s the way it goes.  Every.  Single.  Year.

This year the unthinkable happened to poor Pink Tool Belt.  The sort of thing you see on the news and think That’s so horrible! I feel so bad for the family. I wonder if I should send money.   You never think it’s going to happen to you.  But it did.  On May 27th, 2017, the exact day of the Christie Antique Show … Pink Tool Belt had to work.


Now what?  Betty was at home waiting for some company to come and open her pool because she’s obviously the laziest 82 year old you’ll ever meet, Fish Pedicure was on some sort of gardening rampage, and then there was me; crumpled and misty-eyed on my couch the night before wondering what I was going to do.  I was going to have to go by myself. That’s all there was to it.   I’m a strong independent woman.  I could do this.   What was going to happen when I squealed in delight?  The general public is suspicious of lone squealers.

Then I remembered I “had a guy”.  You know how you “have a guy” to do plumbing, or electrical work or taxidermy?  Well I have a guy who needs a minuscule amount of help buying some accessories for his house.  BAM.  A few hundred texts later I had badgered him into coming to Christie’s with me.

And this is our story.

This is what I was looking at while he was on the phone checking for measurements so he wouldn’t buy anything too big or small.

Ditto for the sap pails.


Still on the phone …  so I wandered over to the metal flashlights and let out a tiny squeal that I don’t think anyone heard.

He was on the phone getting another measurement.  In the span of an hour so far we’d gone in one very small circle around 2 booths multiple times.  I was already getting Musty Guts.

He’s off the phone and now we’re wandering.  I feel like he’s got his bearings and we’re good so I lead him up an aisle.  But he gets distracted and goes in one direction and I get distracted by this …

… and I go in another direction.  We’re going in circles again but somehow manage to circle right back into each other where he asks me to keep my eye out for a big Buffalo head.  He thinks a great big buffalo head is exactly what his house needs.  I’m unsure of this direction for his decorating but agree to keep a lookout.

Directly behind me the entire conversation was this fella.  An antique show is no place for humour.  It’s a serious, serious endeavour and these precious commodities of the past should be treated with the reverence they deserve.



The owner of the erotica line drawing below quickly informed me he had a whole STACK of these by the same artist.

How does one respond to that?

Here is the exact moment time stood still.

I loved this chair and ottoman.  It was a set actually, for $1,200. Two chairs and one ottoman.  The design was beautiful, I loved the black and they were relatively comfortable. But they were vinyl.  And just musty enough for us to make a beeline to the fry stand.


Fries.  Always fries.  (click for the full story on that phrase)

By about halfway through our trek we started to develop a rhythm.  It was working.  Change isn’t always bad.  Only usually.  Like for instance if someone had bought the above mannequin to spruce up their bedroom.  That would probably be a bad change.

If you remember THE CHAIR that I’ve been looking for, this is by the same designer for Plycraft.  It’s a fantastically designed chair and if it had had the ottoman to go with it I would have started squealing and haggling and dancing all at the same time. But it did not.  But just for fun I did those things anyway.


Antiquing at a show like this is funny.  You have to make your first purchase.  Until you do that, you feel like you’re just wandering around a museum.  But once you have made that first purchase and broken the barrier, there’s very little anyone can do to stop you from buying anything and everything, including but not limited to a Coca Cola sign that’s the appropriate size for hanging on the Great Pyramids.

That’s why it’s good to go with a friend.  To both encourage good purchases and stop stupid ones.  The theatre seats, skateboard and wood front drawers were some of the purchases we made for his house.  The theatre seats will go in a front hall as a place to put on your shoes, the drawers will slide into bookcases allowing him to hide some stuff while still keeping it accessible and the skateboard?  The skateboard will hang on an office wall with a bunch of other skateboards.

More wandering, more cash being withdrawn, more contemplating.

The final purchase of the day were these antique tools to hang over my friend’s fireplace.  People always think art has to be a painting.  It doesn’t. Art is anything you love looking at.  If you have a space to fill, fill it with things that mean something to you.  He happens to like building  things so a collection of antique tools over his mantle is way more meaningful and unexpected than a print from Homesense.  ( That’s Homegoods to you American folk.)

That is not my friend’s hand.  My friend’s hand isn’t quite that old.

A few hours later we were done.  The day did not progress in a familiar and traditional fashion.  It was kind of like a baby giraffe taking its first steps; awkward and rambling for the first little while but we soon hit a graceful stride.

Plus.  We ate french fries.


  1. Marti says:

    I’m with Eileen. I liked the look of the turquoise cabinet on the spindly legs.
    I was also curious about the photo below the theater seats. What are those wooden half-rounds with the handles cut into them?

    • Karen says:

      I have no idea what they were! I think they might have been just for displaying the saddlebags but I’m not sure. I wanted to ask but we were whipping around at that point to finish up so I didn’t have time. :/ ~ karen!

      • Marti says:

        No matter. I’m still excited at the thought of another Christie’s den of antique iniquities for those with too much dough in their pocket. I’m already looking forward to when you show us what you left with…. and whether someone in your party picked off the buffalo head. (Or was that merely a joke?)

        My tomatoes are going great guns, but only one (the indeterminate cherry) is on a string. There was really only one spot in the stairwell for a string… otherwise, it was either too short or too tall. The rest are determinate and in cages… although I may go buy some stakes next week. I think it may just come to that. So as usual, advice, if you got it?

      • Karen says:

        No advice. Just make sure they have enough fertilizer or compost (because they’re in pots it’s way more important to make sure they have a constant supply of nutrients) and keep pruning off the suckers of the indeterminate. :) ~ karen!

      • Marti says:

        I can never figure out which are “suckers” and which are small little things that will shoot out more tomatoes. Didn’t you have a post on that? And where is it?

      • Karen says:

        These first 4 posts all contain something about pruning suckers …

      • Paula says:

        I wondered about the wooden half round things too. They kind of look like some props we use in my yoga class. Same wood and color. The ones we use are a gentler more offset curve though.

  2. Eileen says:

    The turquoise metal cabinet on the spindly thin legs! Oh please Karen, did you buy that for me?
    (obsessed with metal furniture…just bought a little 2 drawer table which ended up too big for the space I thought it would go in. Busily rearranging entire house to accommodate $20 table)

  3. Sabina says:

    Next year we need to know about this in advance, I would love love love to go! Best looking flea market I’ve seen in years! And the fries! Died and went to heaven! Just like Eli’s french fries at Crystal Beach, wooden fork and all! Good stuff right there!

  4. Lin N says:

    I love your Christies Antiques post every year. I think I went one year When I lived in Ontario. There’s nothing like it. Would love to find something like it in B.C. Thank god someone ask about ‘the thing’! There was also a wee gargoyle that I would have taken home. (Picture w the elephant) looking forward to your ‘what I bought at Christies’ post.

  5. Benjamin says:

    Is there a contest and prize this year for the person who picks three of the things you purchased for your home? I already decided you probably bought that Elvis record and the framed erotica picture and the small covered warming dish in the sea of silver kitchen stuff.

  6. ronda says:

    My friend and I have been hitting Christie’s in both May and September for many years now, and its always a great time! This year we took it slow and easy. SO MANY PEOPLE!! We kinda meandered down the middle of each aisle, scanning into the booths as we passed. And you’re right. The first purchase seems to take a little while to get over and done with, but once you’ve got that out of the way, it’s game on! Can’t wait to see what you bought!

  7. christine Hilton says:

    Hot damn! i forgot again.But I do have a 25″ older and more patinaed priest if you are interested.So beautiful but creepy as hell.

  8. Carole says:

    I used to live in Burlington, Ontario and would go to Christie’s every year until about 5 years ago when I moved to Hudson, Quebec. Finnigan’s is now my go to flea market, not quite the scale of Christie’s but just as much fun…with poutine of course!

  9. Jan in Waterdown says:

    And oh the hipsters! Lordy they do crack me up . . . so self involved. Would love to take their photo and show them what they look like to the rest of us but then that might confirm their “ironic” viewpoint. Cripes I sound like an old fart.

  10. Jan in Waterdown says:

    OK OK, first, I did not see you there but I kept forgetting to look cuz there was sooo much crazy stuff . . . there were actually 2 buffalo (bison?) heads! But apparently you didn’t see me either cuz I’m not in any of your pics and I really checked them too. Well that sounds kinda all weird and stuff. Somehow I missed the erotic drawings but must say that they bare lol a resemblance to the drawings in the Joy of Sex from the 1970’s!

  11. Mary W says:

    The landscape of what could be a Florida back canal looks suspiciously like a Highwayman painting. You have it centered in your picture so I wondered if you noticed who painted it. They seem almost like paint by numbers but are actually quite expensive if you find one. What did you come home with?

  12. Nancy W says:

    Love that everyone sees different things in the photos…I am going to go back to see the bulldogs, and the thing between the priest and the other thing…thanks for showing us the cool stuff!

  13. J says:

    Oh Karen-what did you buy? I’m betting on the two mahogany dogs,,,

  14. Melinda says:

    I enjoyed this trip around the antique show so much!!! I’m glad you were able to find someone to go with you. I really want to make some clever comments, but it’s lunch time, so fries are calling…

  15. Darla says:

    Karen had to have bought at least one flashlight. Other than that I couldn’t guess. I had to go back and find the bulldogs someone talked about…they were next to the cabinet that my eyes automatically went to…lol

  16. Lynn Johanson says:

    I’m lusting after the french doors and the late 1800’s fret work! Ah, the joys of architectural salvage…….

  17. Barb says:

    Very curious – How much was the buffalo/bison head? And the iron bulldogs!! Were those for a fireplace? So many cool (and weird) things to look at!

  18. Brenda says:

    So I loved the wooden “whatever’s” beside the orange stools with the saddle bags slung over them – but what ARE they really? I was thinking … maybe hang them up all in a row along a hallway so everyone who didn’t duck (not as in quack quack or line them up like, etc) would knocked their noggins … pretty but not practical … so don’t buy (I’d have needed a friend though to talk me down) I can vicariously see now how one should NOT ever go alone … thanks for bringing us (oh and what a good thing that lady with the issue getting her one stocking off had that bandage for her butt).

  19. Jody says:

    This was the first year in many years that I did not go to Christie’s. There wasn’t anything I thought I might need/want. Weird, I know.
    I have a question though. The erotic line drawing of the woman. Is she trying to use her foot and hosiery as a sling shot? I don’t understand.

    • Linda in Illinois says:

      ROFL !!! now that made me giggle out loud only because I am at work reading Karens post and I should not be.

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