Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Groves Antique Market in Irvine

The first Sunday of every month I look forward to treasure hunting at The Groves Antique Market in the city of Irvine, California.  It is located at the Great Park, which is easy to spot from afar due to the giant orange hot air balloon floating above the grounds (see photo below).
There are several things that are unique to this particular antique show that always keeps me coming back.
  1. Quality, upscale antique vendors, and beautiful, well-kept grounds.
  2. Dogs are permitted here (rare because most flea markets in So-Cal do not allow dogs) and you see them everywhere!  Being a huge animal lover, I really look forward to meeting so many well-behaved, social, and beautiful dogs.
  3. Right next to the antique market is an excellent farmers market where I can buy organic produce, eggs from free-range organic chickens, beef from grass-fed local cows (not treated with hormones), and get lunch from one of the many gourmet food trucks.
It was an overcast day today, which I usually prefer to being in the direct hot sun.  It was more crowded than I have seen it in a long time!  Photos below of all the hustle and bustle!
I did very well today on my hunt for vintage jewelry making components.  There is a lot of very expensive, quality vintage costume jewelry here, but you can also get lucky quite often and find some great bargains if you know where to look.   Below are photos of some of my steals (things I found that were definitely underpriced) and some of my splurges (more expensive pieces that I usually try to limit myself to just a few of).  For me to pay really good money for a piece of old costume jewelry, I must:
  1. really feel the piece tugging at my heart strings
  2. have a good vision of how I will use the piece in one of my jewelry designs
  3. be convinced that it is something I will most likely not come across again in my searches
  (Below) Some steals!  Vintage 1950's earrings.  These seem to be going up in price lately, but I got lucky and found one vendor selling them much cheaper than everyone else.
(Below) Reasonably priced.  Rare vintage faceted, flat-back, foil back, rhinestone components.  I love that they have holes drilled at the top and bottom.  This makes it easy for me to incorporate them in my designs. 
(Below) A steal!! I bought a ziploc baggy filled with vintage glass leaves & flower petals.  These particular components were used in the design of mid-century "jade glass trees".  I'm not going to make trees with them, but will use them in my jewelry designs. 
(Below) Vintage clasps.  I got them at a great price because most are missing rhinestones or pearls.  I have lots of loose vintage rhinestones and pearls at home that I can use to repair them.
(Below) Vintage mother of pearl buttons.  I love the one embellished with a metal horse!  I love buying old buttons because they are almost always cheaper to buy than other vintage jewelry making components.  All of the buttons I bought today I got at a great price.
(Below) All of these buttons are from the Victorian era.  I love all the wonderful patina!
(Below) These buttons are not as old, but they still have a look that I love.
(Below) These are vintage faceted glass buttons.
(Below) The large striped buttons are celluloid over metal from the 1930's.  The large black button is old carved plastic.
(Below)  These are my favorite finds of the day, including a few of my splurges.  A couple of old cameos, a guilloche enamel pin, a French cut steel buckle, two reverse-painted glass brooches, and a sparkly rhinestone star-themed necklace.
(Below) Some good deals here.  A vintage glass beaded flapper necklace from the 1920's.  Plus some loose vintage glass beads, including some gorgeous aqua blue "wedding cake" style beads.
 (Below) A couple of French treasures.  A 1933 almanac, written all in French, with wonderful art work!  Also an old pair of French opera glasses made with mother-of-pearl.

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