The fall Christie Antique Show & Sale. What $80 bought me.

I woke up a few Saturdays ago to what can only be described as the ideal day to stay in bed. It was dark and menacing looking with the forecast calling for pounding rain all day.

I’m sure you know the kind of day. It’s what many people refer to as a pajama day. You wake up, and pad to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee. Looking out the window it looks closer to nighttime than daytime. It’s the kind of day you can make your coffee, get back in bed or on the couch and watch television or read a book guilt free, with the only reason to move being a smoke alarm or having to pee.

Somehow with rain, comes absolution of guilt for laying around doing nothing.

So I made my coffee, got dressed and headed to an outdoor antique festival.

My niece called me late the night before to ask if I’d go with her. She never gets to go and since it only happens twice a year it was now, or wait until next Spring. Who knows what might happen by next spring. All the antiques in the world could disappear or burn up or be eaten.

We were at the show for approximately 9.3 seconds before it started to sprinkle rain. 1.4 seconds after that, it was a torrential downpour that lasted for 3 hours. I don’t own a raincoat. Apparently I’m too stupid to own a raincoat. Or optimistic.

She does own a raincoat, but was too stupid to wear it.

Not a surprise when you consider she also willingly went to a Bikram Yoga class by herself. For fun. ‘Cause she thought it would be fun. It wasn’t fun. It was vomitty.

We did have a single umbrella that we shared only it didn’t go well. I started out holding the umbrella because it’s my umbrella and I’m particularly fond of it because it says “Shit, it’s raining” in French on it. Also I knew she’d be an umbrella hoarder. She’s the type. If you met her in the grocery store and took one look at her you’d say. Hurmph. Umbrella hoarder. She’s probably really nice and all but … umbrella hoarder.

I have no idea how it happened but one minute I was holding the umbrella and the next minute I was standing beside a 9 foot tall stuffed bear and a $6,000 harvest table, soaking wet.

I spotted her in the distance with the umbrella and ran under it but it was too late by then. I was soaked right through and my fingers were starting to get that weird wrinkle thing they get when you’ve been in the bathtub too long.




And my hair got wet. As every woman knows, it’s not the wet feet, it’s not the see through top, it’s not the being so cold your nose turns alcoholic red. It’s the hair.

First the things I didn’t buy …

This chair.



I loved this chair and ottoman for my living room, and at $450 for the pair it was a good price. But I wasn’t in the market for a chair and it was pouring out and I couldn’t make the decision under pressure. Buying something big at an antique market on a whim is dangerous territory. It’s not like buying something from a store that you can just return the next day if it doesn’t look good or you decide your impulse buy was a little too impulsive.

I also didn’t buy this table.



EVERYBODY who walked past this table stopped to look at it. It was wood and metal and had stools built into the legs that you could spin out from under the table and tuck away when you were done with them. They could also be moved up and down. It was $3,200. It was a great piece, but in my opinion priced too high for its age and materials. Industrial is in, but it’s not that in. Also the table was huge which means even if you could afford it, you’d also need a massive room to accommodate it. It’s the type of table that would appeal to someone who lives in a loft. And loft’s are usually not huge. See? You’re getting a little lesson in pricing antiques today too.

Now onto the stuff that WAS purchased. These were not bought by me. They were bought by the umbrella hoarder.


We had a bit of a scuffle over these lockers, but since she has 3 kids and long, sharp fingernails, I let her have em.

Now onto what I was able to buy at the Christie Antique  Show and Sale with the $80 I brought …

An incredibly strange handmade egg basket from a general store somewhere outside of Stratford, Ontario. ($23)


Egg Basket
A beautiful crock with cute little handmade ears on it (those are the handles).  Crocks are cheap now. They’ve gone down in value.  If you’re a collector or want to start collecting them, now’s the time. (Paid $22)


A burlap chicken feed sack, which I’m going to use to hold my potatoes for the winter. ($10)

Burlap Sack

A handmade copper pot from around 1860.  It needs to be retinned.  All copper, even copper from the 1800’s had tin poured into it.  The tinning prevents the slow poisoning that can happen from cooking with acidic foods on a copper surface.  If you have a copper pot or pan and it has more than a quarter sized area of copper showing through the tin, you need to stop using it and get it retinned. ($25)

Copper Pot

I’m going to teach myself to retin my pot.  For fun.  Because fun isn’t only reserved for Bikram Yoga.



  1. MAdMAry says:

    I saw that umbrella on Yonge Street in Toronto years ago, but the saying was written in a lovely script, which made it funnier. I alway have regretted not buying the umbrella when I saw it.

  2. Carole Moore says:

    Karen – Don’t know if you have a World Market in your area, but they have a repro of that same table with the swivel seats. It’s great-looking, and much less expensive (although I can’t remember the price).

  3. Laura Bee` says:

    Wicked cool stuff. I have a single vertical locker I scored from a restaurant I worked at. And another horizontal one a friend passed on to me when she moved back to California. I painted them both red & built a base for the horizontal one & topped it with two sideboards from a waterbed to make a workbench in our carport. Merde, I just had a great idea. I need to move it to the basement now. The carport is small & the other day hubby crashed his motorcycle while parking it in there. In the dark. (’cause the light was all the way inside the back door) It landed on my bicycle & broke my daughters bike carrier. But the good news is I found a nice bike trailer for $25 on Kijiji :) The bench is a clutter catcher really. Maybe this was unnecessary rambling, but it proves that you do inspire & make people think!

  4. Bols says:

    You have no idea how I envy you – the rain.
    It often makes it up to the 401, or to the most southern part of Kitchener, but the rest is dry. I haven’t seen any rain the entire August and September, with the exception of about 2 hours last week after a cold front passed after the tropical heatwave. THis is about the 7th time when a front passes without a drop of rain. Everything in my garden is dead, despite the money I am spending on water.

  5. Jeni says:

    It is supposed to rain in the morning. I REALLY hope so. Then I can go to work and say “Merde il pleut!” when I walk in. That’ll impress everyone! … or reinforce what an eccentric I am …

  6. marilyn says:

    love it all! and the little chick is cute too…i have a matching pair..maybe they should get together! and i too loved that line..personally i know your niece..she is a scrappy little thing but you could take her!

  7. Danice says:

    Great price on the bag!! My sister has been looking for some and my mom spotted one somewhere and it was 90!

  8. Melissa says:

    What I wouldn’t give to go antiquing with you! I bet you have a knack for ferreting out the best stuff! You scored very well with the $80, btw.

  9. Joanna says:

    Love the egg crate! Like the Amish here in Indiana use!

  10. Shauna says:

    I so want your umbrella and it’s the only thing not pictured here. That table is a close second, but for the price I’m studying it to see if I (or anyone I know) could possibly make a similar one. It’s those little spin out seats that get me.

    • theresa says:

      so with you…would be awesome in my little kitchen if it were just the three seats…come on Karen you could make one of those right?!?!

  11. Barbie says:

    It’s so funny that Marti said that….I had to go back and re-read the 2nd paragraph…but the funniest thing is I actually thought to myself “I really love the way she wrote that” to the very next thing you wrote.
    ” Somehow with rain, comes absolution of guilt for laying around doing nothing.”
    Not just because of what it said but “how” you said it. I’m a little weird that way. :)

    Also, I think you should make sauerkraut with that lil crock….

    PS: I LOVED that table…..but I agree the price tag was ridiculous!

    PSS: Every time I see an egg basket I always think “Oh I bet Karen would love that, I should grab it for her” then I remember we are not “see ya tomorrow at the get together” kind of friends… ha! ha!

    • Karen says:

      LOL! I get that a lot. People wanting to pick things up for me then remembering they don’t actually know me, plus I’m often in another country than they are. I only like sauerkraut on Rubin sandwiches. Perhaps I can find a teeny tiny crock. Come to think of it, I OWN a teeny tiny crock. Now I just have to find a teeny, tiny cabbage. ~ karen!

  12. Lisa in Montana says:

    The 2nd paragraph reminds me of Douglas Adams’ writing (RIP), which would be why it reads so well.

  13. Chris says:

    Thank you for the tips regarding crocks. I need to find a larger one to hold all my kitchen utensils that I use frequently. Right now I have them in two small ones and is eating up what little counter space I have. Good on you for braving out the rain. It was a nasty day! I am waiting for the spring show but will try to find some crocks until then. Again thanks for all the good information.

  14. Auntiepatch says:

    Rain? Is that the wet stuff that falls from the sky? We are so far behind this year in San Diego that everything is covered in dust! If the cats sleep long enough in one place, they leave a clean spot when they get up! Please send some of that rain to So. Calif.!

    Great finds at the show!

  15. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    I love it when you go to the Christie always bring home some cool stuff to show us..Those lockers would be so great to have in the mudroom..I think I would have wrestled in the rain & mud with her to get them..I want an umbrella that says “Shit It’s Raining” in French..I bought the BH&G Christmas mag last evening..It was very nicely done..Great pic of you and the other “chicks”

  16. Thera says:

    I took shop in high school and we had those tables, good finds!

  17. Amber says:

    That egg basket is amazing! I’ve never seen anything like it before. Merde il pleut here too and I’m at work, not working, wishing I was in my pajamas.

  18. Niki Dee says:

    I was hoping to see a shot of the umbrella as well. It sounds adorable! It must have been difficult to see the lockers go. Lockers, just like those, are on my wish list. I probably would’ve looked like shredded paper but those lockers would have been traveling home with me…lucky niece!

  19. saf affect says:

    Great haul! I missed Christie this year so I am happy to live vicariously through you. :)

  20. Jeanette says:

    Love the lockers! You should let us see them when she has them fixed up and in place.

  21. We saw you when you walked in and I was totally going to be like, Hey! I’m Money Pit Love – AKA Your Stalker!!! But my husband, who I dragged to the show with me, held me back. It’s all thanks to him that your blog post does not contain references to being accosted by a blogger super-fan :)

    The rain was AWFUL. We hid out in the bathrooms waiting for it to pass until it got a little weird (it would seem there’s only so long you can loiter in a public washroom before people start snapping your photo and calling 911, even in a crowd of 100 other people doing EXACTLY THE SAME THING). Then we got lunch, and then we gave up. I’m amazed you stuck it out!

    Love the egg basket, the crock and the lockers. Awesome purchases, all. I went with the intention of buying a chicken-shaped butter dish but no such luck. Will have to wait for spring :(

    • Karen says:

      I was accosted numerous times at the show by Art of Doing Stuff readers. I will just assume you’re saving your accosting for the conference this weekend. ~ karen!

  22. cred says:

    Love those lockers! Would be a great place to store the wet umbrella after hoading it from your aunt.

  23. Jessica in WI says:

    Thank you for your wonderful post and blog! I think your writing is wonderful, funny, honest and real. I enjoy you so very much. If you wrote a book I would buy it :)

    We are having a day here in WI just as you describe. I am not however, padding around with my coffee *sigh* having already drunk it.

  24. Alex says:

    Every year I say I am going to trek out to the show and every year I miss it. Next year damnit!! I love those lockers. And your egg holder rocks.

  25. Jane says:

    LOVE that chair! Someday I’m going to make it to that sale….
    A little late, but glad to have you back!

  26. taria says:

    that cafeteria table looks like the one Cost Plus World Market has copied and is selling for about $600. Neato looking but not especially practical. So with the rain were the prices better than a sunny day would have brought?

  27. Ev says:

    The egg “basket” is stunning in its oddness! Perhaps you could just set it in with the girls and they will fill it for you. Unless they think it’s too odd!

  28. Nancy Eileen says:

    Nice job!
    I do love that chair and ottoman

  29. Kim says:

    I was at that show too – and have never been so wet in my life- right down to the underwear! Mascara streaming down my face – of course we had umbrellas – they were just in the car! Glad you got some good finds.

  30. Janet says:

    I want to see a picture of the umbrella! I’m really looking forward to reading about re-tinning the copper pot.

  31. Susan Dulley says:

    Well, at least you had rain, Cincinnati seems to have fallen off the map, where rain is concerned. The show looks like great fun, except for the soaking of course. Wow, the prices in Canada must be so much higher than they are here. I am glad you skipped the chair…Too Pricy, and the table…well, I agree, Too Pricy. The egg holder worries me a little, what exactly is it made of? Remember eggs can absorb stuff, liquids, and perhaps even metal. Can’t tell from the photo what it is made from. Crock, good deal. Now all you have to do is make Sauer Kraut and you are set. The other pan, well, I suppose for a project it will give you something to do when the rain stops and it starts snowing. Have a good one.

  32. Linda J Howes says:

    That large table looks like it came from a woodworking shop classroom. I remember them from when I went to school, way back in the day when they still taught those types of skills.

  33. Dagmar says:

    That egg basket is so fun. What is IT made out of? It also looks to be some sort of metal. Am I right, or is it just made to look that way. Because if it is metal, you could also put tea light candles in it, and it would be very pretty and different.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Dagmar – It is indeed metal! It’s been painted about 100 times (really badly) and it’s bent and a bit hacked up. Which is why I have a fondness for it. ~ karen!

  34. Ritz says:

    I agree with Marti. That is a very nice paragraph. Should you ever write a mystery novel, you could use this paragraph again. Few would be the wiser.

  35. Amie Mason says:

    Wow Karen, you didn’t buy nearly as much as I thought you would! Your egg basket looks like the weird projects we used to make in high school Design & Technology (stupid fancy name for wood & metal work class). Rad!

  36. Mondo says:

    Merde il pleut…awesome! I always wanted to know how to say, ‘Shit it’s raining!’ in French. You’re always teaching me Karen. Cheers!

  37. Maureen says:

    I was at the same show and it was hell! I took me two days to get warmed up.

  38. TucsonPatty says:

    Is that a metal egg basket? Welded together? Or massive globs of glue? What in the world? It is awesome, and holds one dozen eggs and that is all it needs to be.

  39. Kate says:

    I hope retinning the pot isn’t vommitty.

  40. jenn says:

    Damn you. I must get that umbrella.

  41. Marti says:

    As well you should. Read it, re-read it and make everyone who comments after this pause, wonder and go back to re-read it.

    I loved those chairs, but yeah, so hard to buy big stuff when you’re out with a scary niece with big fingernails. The table was gorgeous, but for that price, you can have it custom-made and they’ll deliver it, too.

    But really that egg basket (at that price? HECK YA!) was the find of the day. Excellent shopping! You should definitely go again in the spring!

  42. Marti says:

    Teach me how to say “Shit, it’s raining” in French, please?

    Also, for what it’s worth, I think your second paragraph tonight was one of the most beautifully written bits of writing I’ve ever seen on your blog. Well done!

    • Karen says:

      Merde il pleut! And thank you. Now I’ll have to go and reread it. I have no earthly idea what I wrote. ~ karen!

      • Toronto Boy says:

        Hahahahaha! “Merde” was the first french word we looked up in the english-french dictionary! I vaguely remember all the kids in my grade 5 class giggling as they changed a humourous tune “merde, merde, merde” ad finitum! Ah I miss being a 10 year old idiot!

      • Emily says:

        I agree with Marti… and I had to go reread it too! LOVED that table… wonder what the history of it is. Was it intended to be used in a home or was it for a business? Love things that are different.

        • Karen says:

          As someone else mentioned somewhere in the comments, I believe it was probably used in “shop” class in a highschool. Someone else at the show remarked they remember one in theirs. ~ karen!

        • cheryl says:

          Hello Karen , the table with attached stools was genenerally used in a science class/lab…

    • Meg says:

      I actually want to comment on the sentence AFTER that one. “Somehow with rain, comes absolution…” puts words to that feeling of being truly cozy, instead of feeling like a sloven. Also lovely.

      • toekneetoni says:

        the absolution sentence, my fave also. :D
        well done Karen.
        i definitely sat at one of those tables in my h.s. shop class too.

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