Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Flea Market Finds..a Purchased Memory

 I went to the local flea market on Saturday with my husband and son.  What an adventure!  Being in the South, the flea market is such a schizophrenic mix of antique dealers, old junk piles, wholesalers, pets? (i thought this was a bit weird), a few crafters (mostly metal and leather mediums - think handmade Harley Davidson type stuff), and farmer produce.  We navigated the circus of it all with our little red wagon and went on a search for anything that could be used for display in my booth next week.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera, (had to borrow these market pics from HERE)   
This made me blue, because there were some really incredible moments that I would have loved to share with you... giant mastiff being walked on a leash next to a chihuahua, the old man sitting on a stool leaning on his cane in the middle of a huge pile of junk he's collected (a serious pile of junk let me tell you),  the lady selling cowboy hats and also wearing one of her items - a hot pink cowboy hat that matched her pink outfit perfectly (mind you she was at least 85 years old), and my favorite - the 16 year old skater boy selling parrots and turtles, trying to explain to us that they only sell baby turtles that carry small amounts of salmonella on their shells, and their family would never sell the ones that have large amounts of the toxin (what's a small amount and how do you know?). 
 from here

I didnt end up finding much for my display, but what I did find was a sweet old man selling antiques and a pile old photos from the 1930s-1950s.  I was in mixed media art heaven!  I asked him about the photos, and he had them priced from $1-$5 depending on their size, and then he started telling me stories about the people in the photos.  Wait a minute! "these are your family photos?" I asked him, and he nodded.  

I thought about what it would be like to sell my family pictures to strangers, watching them pick over them, scrutinizing their quality, but this man didn't seem bothered by it, so I started looking through them.  I chose a set of pictures of two sisters, the man's aunts when they were girls.  I liked their smiles, and they reminded me of me and my sister.  As I went to pay the man, he took the photos from my hand to check the price and he paused, holding them gently, smiling a bit, and then looking almost sad for a moment.  I felt incredibly awkward.  I wanted to tell him never mind, to keep his pictures and not to sell them, but then the moment passed and he gruffly said "four dollars."  

I scanned the photos into my computer this morning, thinking of all the possible uses for them in different artworks.  I started playing around with the images, layering with other digital images I had created.  It was surprisingly really fun to do (I don't normally enjoy making digital artwork).  Here's the original photo.

 And here's what I made from it...
I think I may mount the image on a wood block as a wall hanging.  

I had so much fun making it that I started making another one using an image that a very talented friend took of my family. (thanks again patricia!) Here's a look at what I made with that one.

 I love this picture!  Its so us (notice the little feet without shoes - he discarded them as soon as we started walking) This may also become a wall hanging.  I'm not sure yet. 

Anyway, I wanted to share the second sister photo with you and see what loveliness you can create from it.  I am listing it in my Journaling Freebies Section as well.  I uploaded it in a High Resolution format, so you should be able to copy and paste it to your own computer and play around with it from there (personal use only please) - :)

 arent they amazing! love the old-school bathing suits!
Also, I just listed an 8X10 print of my mother and child painting for sale (BLOGGED HERE).  I am calling it "Little Star (a mothers song)."  It would make a really sweet picture for a nursery or a gift for a new mom.  You can see it on Etsy HERE.

Thanks for reading and following my art journey stories.  I have close to 14 million things that I must attend to for the craft shows right now, so my postings have been a little less regular than normal.  Bear with me, please.  I will find a balance soon :)  Also, in the next week or two,  I will be putting up more from my process of getting ready for craft shows with videos and updates from the shows themselves, so stay tuned!


  1. This is all really great Harmony!!! Good luck with your table display.

  2. Love what you did with the photos, it turned out beautiful!

  3. Hi Harmony, What great finds! You are definitely onto something those altered photos. Wonderful! Which craft shows are you doing?

  4. Love the photos!! I too like to purchase old family photos (not mine) at times for little projects... Haven't done that in a while. I'm getting excited for your booth at the craft fair - wish I could stop by and see it!

    You should print and hang some of these digital picture arts... Maybe some people would want you to create custom digital art with their family photos?

  5. Hi Harmony,

    Thanks for visiting my blog and encouraging the creative process (it's been such a struggle to incorporate it into my daily life and I am so happy to say that I feel like I'm finally getting there).

    Little turtles do carry salmonella! You taught me that! And because of it, Kerm (the turtle I stole from Boggy), now works at Camp For All (in Texas) as a germ instructor for kids. Teaching them the powers of "look but don't touch."

    Danny sends his love!


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