Saturday, July 5, 2014

Gypsy Caravan

A t-shirt I saw at the Gypsy Caravan.
Every Memorial Day St. Louis hosts a huge flea market called the Gypsy Caravan. The location has changed over the years as has the size of the event. For the past quite a few years the flea market has been located on the campus of UMSL (University of Missouri-St. Louis). The vendors were spread over two parking lots and a parking garage. This year it moved way out to the Family Arena in St. Charles, MO. This was a horrible decision on the part of the organizers. There is only one narrow road coming into the venue and the parking was almost nonexistent. Fortunately for us we had purchased early bird wrist bands so we could shop two hours before the general public. Since we arrived at 6:30 in the morning we parked right up by the entrance.

In anticipation of some great shopping this year I purchased a collapsible wagon. This was a great move so that we could keep our hands free to dig for treasures. Unfortunately we didn't take into consideration that we would need to park the big ole wagon somewhere while we shopped. It wasn't a big deal while we were touring the outside vendors (though the isles were much narrower this year).

While a two hour head start sounds like a lot of time we usually are only able to make it through about 2/3rds of the outside vendors before the general public starts flooding in. By this time we already had our wagon full with a hanging tomato plant being held until we headed to the car.

Besides the outside vendors that are setup on the parking lot there are "inside" vendors that are, I guess, supposed to be the nicer vendors. Honestly I can't tell a whole to of difference, between the vendors in the two locations, but they they tend to be more of the glassware vendors and nicer antiques. We always do that section last since the thought is that these vendors are going to be a little more expensive. Well, this year the inside vendors were smushed onto the floor of the Family Arena. There was absolutely no room to move. We made it down the first isle with the wagon and I almost lost my mind. We just decided to park the wagon, but even without it we could barely make it down the rows. It was just a mess. I felt terrible for the inside vendors and shoppers just moved with the flow of the crowd and really weren't even looking at the wares.

We had fun and founds some treasures. The line of cars trying to get into the place as we left stretched all the way back to the interstate. The Gypsy Caravan Facebook page was blowing up with dissatisfied shoppers or people who gave up and went home before they even got in.

Here are some photos of my finds.
I didn't buy these, but there were a lot of them and they were cool looking.
Scored these cool splatterware lunch trays. I have no idea what I am going to do with them, but they were cheap. I normally only buy a couple of finds like this and kick myself later for not getting more. So this time I went ahead and picked up 10.
I have a thing for bottle brush trees, so jumped when I saw these. My favorites are the ones with fruit or other things decorating them. Of course I couldn't pass up a vintage plastic spaceman. I have this craft idea for small vintage ceramic planters/egg cups, so keep picking them up if they are cheap enough. Of course I have yet to do anything with them.
Ok, so I couldn't pass these up. They were only a buck a piece, so I bought all of them. They came with a free extra roll of tape, so that was an added bonus.
I always need more blending tool handles (it's a stamping/scrapbooking thing) and a whole bag of them for five bucks was too good to pass up.
OK, so I didn't buy this. It was just so freaky that I had to take a picture of it.