Found, Free, and Flea: Creating Collections from Vintage Treasures
Grandma’s rusty teakettle, old fishing lures, a broken antique camera from the attic—these are your foundation pieces for building authentic collections on the cheap.
When Tereasa Surratt’s husband convinced her that they should buy a derelict summer camp in Wisconsin, they had no idea the treasure trove they’d inherit with the property. While renovating the decrepit cabins at Camp Wandawega, they kept stumbling upon curious objects, some dating back ninety years or more: a Boy Scout patch, an old sled, a pristine set of Fiesta Ware, dozens of midcentury aprons, an untouched box of board games in their original packaging.
Tereasa knew the power that one mundane object has when grouped with its siblings. So rather than discard everything, she set out on a five-year expedition to turn the more than 150 found items into full-fledged collections. Relying on her own thriftiness, she only acquired pieces for free or at a bargain price: items that she found, negotiated for free, or unearthed at a flea market.
Found, Free & Flea explores Tereasa’s passion for collecting while encouraging you to tap into your own with ideas on where to look to see collectibles. Throughout the book, she shares her secrets and historical tidbits behind these prized antiques, now used to create innovative displays and for entertaining guests at her renovated lakeside retreat. From vintage wine taster cups turned into a wind chime to cheese boxes reinvented as drawer organizers, to a chicken feeder that houses old tea cups for impromptu coffee bar setups, everything at Camp Wandawega earns its keep.
Learn how to navigate flea markets and how to best negotiate, why “localvore” collecting should matter to the thrifty shopper (and what finds to expect on your travels), which vintage collections are easiest to start and the quickest to fill out, and what tips you should employ for turning even the most simple items into stunning displays. The beautiful photography and Tereasa’s clever DIY projects and sharp eye for design will inspire anyone to add charm and personality to interiors with a few well-worn objects.
A celebration of Americana and ingenuity, Found, Free & Flea is a must-have for knowing how to spot treasures, complete collections, and display them artfully.
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