Sunday, February 13, 2011

A beautiful weekend in SoCal: San Diego and the Rose Bowl Flea Market

This weekend found us in Southern California, as we were visiting my college friends Edny and Christine.  Edny just bought the cutest little Spanish style house in San Diego and invited Marc and I down to come see it and help her fill it with vintage finds.  So we both played hooky on Friday and seeing as there were a few local sales in the area, we hit those before we got on the road.  The first sale I went to was in Castro Valley and said it opened at 7.  I arrived at 6:30 only to see the familiar cadre of dealers carting out boxes already....sigh.  Anyway, I was still able to find some cool stuff, although the best was some enameled cast iron cookware from Copco, Michael Lax, Denmark:

I love enameled cast iron pieces.  I think I might keep the orange one, but I think the yellow one may be destined for resale.

It's actually in really great condition, although I doubt it's worth $1000 (I found this link while doing some research).  I need to get off my laurels and start that Etsy store!  Marc and I did hit up another estate sale, and got a bunch of stuff (pyrex, Pyrex, PYREX!!!) but I'll post about that sale separately later this week.  We also bought an orange enameled cast iron Le Creuset-esque dutch oven that made a great house-warming gift for Edny.

Friday was mostly taken up with driving, but we got up early on Saturday to indoctrinate Edny and her husband Tazo into the joys of estate sale shopping.  Unfortunately the first two were duds, but the last two actually turned out pretty well.  It turns out the Clairemont district of San Diego is where to find the mid century mojo.  I picked up this amazing chinese-print screen:

It's about six feet tall and has cool hinges that can be opened both ways (fancy!)...

One side is definitely sun faded, but the other side (pictured) is pristine.  

I also found some other random items at those two sales, including a complete fondue set (with forks!) for resale:

And an ashtray to add to the collection:

The real reason we drove down south was to go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena.  I'm sure many of you have watched the Rose Bowl or seen the parade on TV, but did you know that every 2nd Sunday of the month they use the venue for a flea market?  L.A. is somewhat of a mecca for mid century design, and the Rose Bowl Flea Market always has AMAZING vintage finds in beautiful condition.  I think it's much cheaper than the Alameda Pointe.  Needless to say, Edny was impressed and I think she and Tazo will be making the 2 hour drive from San Diego in the future.  I totally scored at the Rose Bowl.  I bought both of my things at the same booth.  First, I got this amazing Paul McCobb designed platter for $5:

The top side

The bottom

But truly, the biggest score of the weekend was this great little painting:

I was drawn to it first because of the color palate (yellow, black, and white):

Don't you love the poodle and the black gloves?  The dealer who sold it to me said that it had been hanging in his bathroom for the last twenty years, and then quoted me the absolute steal price of $25.  It's signed Alex Ross, and after doing a little digging, I found out that he was a commercial artist who did lots of advertising work from 1940-1970.  In fact, he drew almost every cover for Good Housekeeping for 12 years!  My search was complicated in the fact that Alex Ross is also the name of a modern-day comic book artist.  However, I was able to find some other paintings by Alex Ross (the mid-century illustrator) that sold for over $2000!!!  Of course, Marc was really excited when I uncovered that information, but I think I'm going to keep it in the our guest room because it looks like it was destined to be there.  Here's a sneak peak of the guest room (by the way, everything except the curtains in this photo were thrifted):

It's perfect!  What should I name her?  I think she's needs a great name....


  1. Love that painting!!! It is *so* meant to be in that room and since fine art rarely depreciates, keeping it can't hurt.
    I would say her name is Belle-for Belle Watling from Gone with the Wind. Not Belle from Beauty and the Beast, though the yellow works for that.

  2. That's cool that you had some good finds at the Rose Bowl. We live fairly close to it, but I have to admit that we rarely go - they have a lot of great stuff and it's enormous, but we feel it's so expensive and the admission is the steepest of any flea mkt around. Funny you mentioned Alameda, have been wanting to go visit that flea mkt one day if we happen to go up to the bay area!

  3. Not to be too predictable, but I'd want to call her Audrey...

  4. Hmm, I'm going with Tallulah or Bette for your lady - good find! I got art this week too - no idea about the artist though - and it was my turn for orange Le Crueset last week. Gorgeous screen too.

    I keep wondering about an Etsy store too, but it's as much as I can do to keep up with the blog at the moment!

  5. Those are some fantastic finds. Looks like that painting will fit right in! The platter's really great, too. It drew my eye right away.

  6. Love the enamelware... still waiting to score a lotus bowl

  7. wonderful finds. i followed you here from apron thrift girl... and i just read a bit more about you. i can so very much relate to that feeling of being born a little too late. i find myself gravitating towards things from decades past. the orange enamelled dish up top is gorgeous! (i have a very orange kitchen, so i might be a bit biased ;))

    off to have more of a look around your blog. nice to meet you!


  8. I love that painting! I like Tallulah (oh its already been mentioned) or Bodacia as names for the woman...and her dog is Claudette!
    Hope there are lots of fun names to consider...I will enjoy reading them!

  9. Love all the suggestions! I think the poodle really is a Claudette! Since the dealer told me that she hung in his bathroom for so long, I'm thinking perhaps "Belle of the Bathroom" or "Lucinda of the Loo"....