Tag Archives: Canton

An Iron-Clad Deal


I feel like a failure.  I went three whole years without knowing about the closest trade day/flea market to us.  Forget treks to Round Top or Canton, McKinney, TX is just 20 miles away from us (okay, kidding- you know I’ll still be frequenting those places despite the distance).

McKinney Trade Days occur on the weekends before the third Monday of the month.  It’s no where near the scale of Round Top or even Canton, but it has a nice selection considering it’s a short drive away from us.  I’m sure some would consider 400 vendors more than a “nice selection” but hey, my benchmark was set by the infamous Round Top.

We saw quite the array of goodies.

Iron items galore such as this Cinderella-carriage looking chandelier and patio decor.

It wouldn’t be America without school branding on every item imaginable, including bird houses.

Rooster yard art, anyone?  It’s just what your backyard needs.

One of the coolest things we saw was a variety of art made of license plates, like this map of the United States with each state depicted by an old license plate from that particular state.  I can’t imagine how long it would take to collect all these and create a map!

My eyes were of course drawn to this cute little nightstand for $45.  I didn’t find a mate for him so I sadly left him behind.  Maybe next time, little buddy.

And who could forget this gem?  Welcome to Texas, y’all.

In the end, I managed to convince Chris to let us walk away with an iron cross and outdoor iron lantern.

We finally added a little Texas to our cross wall (notice the star and horseshoe in the middle).  Not too shabby for $4.

Our cross wall is quickly growing!

The lantern was our big purchase.  I can’t wait to put a mosquito candle and light it one night!  I’m still not sure how I convinced Chris into this one… especially because the line, “think of how much money I saved you by getting this one for $37 instead of the $100-something one from Pottery Barn,” didn’t work.  But, seriously, what a deal!


I really don’t understand these “trader day” things. Somehow Julie has managed to trick me into going to three different ones, but I have yet to drag her to a swap meet. Oh, what adventures await!

Anyway, this time I lured a friend into going with me, promising to pay for parking and a beer. But there was no beer. NO BEER! I don’t know what these “trader” people think, but this is Texas… we’ll have a beer.

Regardless, we managed to give our wives the slip and found a handful of guy-friendly booths- Army surplus, license plate novelties, guitars- but still found ourselves buying corn dogs out of boredom. Of course, it wasn’t long before the girls found us and announced their purchases.

Julie apparently has a thing for iron, because everything she wanted was made of it. She somehow managed to talk me into buying what is effectively the world’s most overbuilt candleholder. She sold me on it with a grandiose vision of enjoying mosquito-free nights of sipping lemonade on our patio, but it wasn’t until I was apologizing to my friend for rust-staining his car’s interior that I remembered Julie doesn’t really go outside. Doh!

I’m not saying I won’t ever go to another one of these glorified swap meets, but I’ll be toting a cooler to the next one.



Filed under Deals & Finds

Canton Oh Canton!


Sunburnt, exhausted, deliriously happy.  That pretty much sums up my post-Canton feelings.  Chris and I traveled to the bustling town of Canton, TX (a whopping population of 5,000) this weekend to check out First Monday Trade Days.  I’ve been wanting to head down there for over a year but always seemed to have something scheduled for the one weekend the event occurs every month.  Finally, Texas spring ends, the 100-degree weather starts, and one of our weekends finally clears up.  I decided not to mention to Chris that a majority of the event was non-air conditioned and outside… oops.

The heat kept the crowds away, which was nice, but, boy, was it hot.  I’ve been told by everyone and their mothers (especially their mothers) what great deals and unique items you can find at First Monday.  I wasn’t let down.  Not only was it fantastic people watching, but I stumbled upon the greatest finds.  The long drive and sweltering heat was so worth it (no matter what Chris says).  I am now, however, at the mercy of Chris’ continuous banter of “you owe me’s.”


This was the most miserable experience of my life.

If you’ve ever been to a swap meet, you know what Canton is like. The difference is that instead of old car parts, people are hocking “antiques”… or at least stuff that’s manufactured to look antique. I suppose I should clarify by saying that there are two distinct areas in Canton: 1) the true antique booths, which is where you’ll find these fabled “good deals” if you have a few hours on your hands and can muscle your way past the white trash and 2) the retailers, which is more like a disposable shopping mall filled with overpriced junk (complete with groups of weirdos that wore matching t-shirts to commemorate the event). And guess where Julie wanted to shop.

There’s not actually enough bandwidth on the internet for me to explain exactly how much I hated this sojourn, so I’ll simply say that despite the less-than-ideal weather conditions (Julie claims she “didn’t realize” it would be so hot, nevermind she’s spent the last 23 Junes in Texas), I consider this trip to have been a success for two reasons. First, we actually did get some decent junk, including an old milk pail from a gentleman claiming to have eaten dog (see above swap meet reference) and second, I finally got Julie to shut up about going.

P.S. If I hear the phrase “shabby-chic” one more time, I going to punch someone.

Check out some of our loot!  More pics to come as soon as we figure out where to put everything!


I love this flower pot made from an old aluminum bucket.  This would be an easy, inexpensive DIY project.  The vendor selling these simply spray painted the lettering onto the bucket and added chains to turn the bucket into a hanging flower pot.  As I type this, I can’t help but laugh remembering the vendor recount the tale of eating German Shepherd at a fine dining establishment in China.  In case you’ve ever wondered what dog tastes like… apparently it tastes like alligator but not as tough.  Noted.

I found this rickety, old, wooden stool and immediately fell in love.  It wasn’t until we got home and placed the stool in the entry of our bedroom did we notice just how rickety… and crooked… this old stool was.  It doesn’t get shabbier than this but, hey, it still works as filler for a space I wasn’t sure what to do with.

If you don’t already know my affinity for letters, you soon will.  They’re scattered all over our house.  Chris jokes that if strangers came into our house not knowing our names, they soon would after taking a look around.  I even managed to pilfer one from Chris’ parents’ house (thanks Mrs. Weber!).  As I walked into this one adorable shop called The Gypsy Pearl, I knew I had met my Canton soulmate… a set of black block letters.  It look awhile to locate a J, C, and W but once I did, I knew it was fate.  They look great on our new stool!

I stumbled upon this mirror in a stack in the corner of someone’s booth.  Although I have an insane number of mirrors sitting in rooms waiting for a home, I knew I had to add this one to my collection- I mean, it’s white, distressed, and sheer perfection.  It could work in a variety of rooms.  Now, I’m just stuck with the dilemma of which room will be the lucky home for this treasure.  It may live a nomadic life for the next few weeks until I figure it out.


Filed under Deals & Finds