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Found, Free & Flea

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


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The Bottom Line

Want to discover that enthusiasm you might have lost over your collecting hobby, pick up a copy of Tereasa Surratt's book Free, Found & Flea and you'll be in love again. it just takes browsing through a few pages to see something that will inspire you to either rearrange, dig out those stored pieces or go to the next flea market in your area.

My favorite treasures are often considered junk by the true antique collector -- in this book I found a friend, who I might not ever meet, but know we would get along just fine!

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  • Wonderful images making even the most mundane of collections look amazing.
  • Great display ideas, along with needed hints on how to do it.


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  • The photography in this book is inspiring and truly makes the book.
  • Unlike other elaborate books that might have gorgeous room displays, the feeling after reading this one, is "I can do this".
  • The display tips, along with hints on how to actually achieve the look, is great for design-challenged collectors.
  • All of the collections and photos from the book are at their summer retreat -- Wandawega Lake Resort.

Guide Review - Found, Free & Flea

I absolutely love this book, it's not often that a book about collecting keeps me as engrossed as the latest Vince Flynn thriller, but this one did. Author Tereasa Surratt's husband convinced her that they should buy a derelict summer camp, one that he attended during his growing-up summers. What a treasure trove it turned out to be, cabins and buildings filled with would-be treasures, many that only a true collector could love.

They wound up finding and saving those discarded pieces and turning them into full-fledged collections. Like all treasures, everything has a history and story to tell, we can only imagine what some of them might be.

The charm of this book is how simple pieces can turn into great collections. One excellent example is a display of things that probably could be found on a garage table for a buck each -- an old thermos holding flowers, a few decorative outdoor themed, and a porcelain dog combined to make a charming display out of pieces that others would be tossing out.

Prices are not mentioned at all in this book and they don't need to be. Tereasa decided that she would only acquire pieces "for free or at a bargain price: items that she found, negotiated for free, or unearthed at a flea market."

Are you a little shy when it comes to searching out those treasures? There is even a chapter Where to Get Your Flea Market On filled with loads of tips on flea market shopping, including negotiating prices and even how to dress.

But the real story or moral of this book is how things don't have to be costly to be either decorative or collectible. Everything in the book was, as the title says, Found, Free or Flea and you can do the same. Visit those church sales, garage sales and flea markets and look for the treasures that can make your house a home filled with treasures of yesterday.

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