I live in a little suburb of Austin, which is the capitol of everything awesome. Okay, maybe LA and NYC take the titles of the Capitols of Awesome, but Austin is easily the runner up. I’m probably a bit biased, but we really do have the best of everything.
Last week, a new awesomeness came to Austin – the Country Living Fair. For the past 9 years, Country Living (yes, the magazine) gathers some of the country’s best artisans, antique dealers, presenters and chefs and brings them all into one place. It’s seriously like the magazine comes to life! The CL Fair is normally held in Columbus, Ohio and Atlanta, Georgia, but we were lucky to have them add Austin in the mix this year.
Rustoleum (one of my favorite DIY brands out there) is a major sponsor of the CL Fair, and they sent me some passes so that a friend and I could check it out. We had a blast taking the morning to shop for vintage and handmade goods, and I took my trusty ‘ole camera so I could capture the awesomeness for you.
I could spend days and days wandering through vintage shops, so the shopping was definitely my favorite part. It’s been nearly a week later, and I’m still kicking myself for not picking up this concrete poodle statue. I’ve noticed that I, quite on accident, have started adding a fun animal figurine to every room of my home, and this would have been a great addition.
Aren’t these chairs darling? I wanted two of them (they came in red, too), but I didn’t take any home. They were priced at around $150 a piece (for a reproduction!), and I thought that seemed a little crazy. Maybe they were made with magic fairy dust or something and I just didn’t realize it.
I was absolutely enamored with these red lighted stars from an old carnival sign. I really have a special place in my heart for old signs like this, and I have a special place in my home for these particular signs. Too bad I couldn’t afford them.
I did end up bringing home a few other old carnival signs, but you’ll have to wait to see those…
I also thought this little house was adorable. Couldn’t you see it on a little table on your front porch surrounded by little plants? So cute! I’m sure that the lady in the background doesn’t think it’s so cute that her rear is now on view for the whole world to see. Sorry, Lady!
As you may have noticed from my remarks, the prices for the vintage items were a little steep. But, I will have to say that I am becoming more and more willing to pay a bit more for vintage. Now that I have my little nearly 2-year old (!) in tow most of the time, I don’t really have the time (or patience) to pick through things for the best deal. I’m happy to pay a bit of a premium for someone to do the picking, hauling and cleaning for me. Perhaps that will change once Miss Em starts preschool in the fall. I’ve read some other reviews regarding the pricing of goods at the Austin CL Fair, so that’s just my 2 cents on the issue.
There were also a few gorgeous tablescapes set up by Country Living, and this one featuring faux butterfly specimens was my favorite. I think it would be a cheap and easy DIY, and it would really set a great theme for a spring or summer party table.
Besides the vintage goods and antique dealers, there were tons of hand crafted goodies by independent artisans. I met an artist named Shawna Robinson who has a business named Happy Chair. I must have stopped by her booth 3 or 4 times. I have never seen such artistry put into a piece of furniture, let alone dozens of pieces. Unfortunately, the photos I took of her pieces at the CL Fair didn’t turn out because of the lighting situation, but I’m going to connect with Shawna so that I can get some better photos to share with you. You are going to flip. I’ve never seen anything like it.
There were other handmade items that I wanted to share with you, as well. I thought this pair of dachshund pillows were just too darling. Why didn’t I think of that?
I mentioned my friends at Rustoleum earlier, and they were there to show off some of their wonderful products. If you follow me on Facebook, you saw my ridiculous delight last week about Rustoleum’s new Furniture Transformations product. It’s very similar to their Cabinet Transformations product that I have tested and love, except the Furniture kit comes in array of bright, delicious colors – Bright red. Apple Green. Lagoon Blue. Nom, nom, nom.
I’m going to be testing out this product in the coming weeks, so look for a review soon. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited about a new DIY product.
If you live near Columbus or Atlanta, I definitely recommend checking out the Country Living Fair when it comes to your area. Whether you are going to hear the great speakers (we sat in on talk by Cari Cucksey from HGTV’s Cash and Cari), eat some yummy Southern food, or search through the vintage or handmade goods, its worth a trip. I walked away with exactly what I was looking for, and you might, too!
P.S. I have totally forgotten to announce the winner of the $50 Container Store gift card from Apartment Guide. Congrats to Caryn! Please email me so we can get the card to you.