Brenda Buckingham has always enjoyed old things and the challenge of taking something discarded and transforming it into a treasure.
“I love the concept of making something beautiful out of something others would regard as having little or no value,” she says.
That idea now fuels her life and her passion for refurbishing and repurposing what she finds at yard sales, and thrift and antique shops. She and her husband, Ron, started producing antique shows at Past Blessings Farm, their 1898 farmhouse in Spokane, where they live. (It’s also the name of Brenda’s business.)
They produce “pickin’ ” shows, a mix of antique, vintage and retro, knickknacks, furniture and more, mixed with artisan crafts, jewelry. Then she takes the quality up a notch by putting perspective vendors through a rigorous application process.
The Buckinghams bring a weekend of pickin’ pleasure to the Treasure Valley with their “Pickin’ Boise Antique Show and Artisan Market.” It’s the largest such show to hit the state in recent memory, with more than 120 carefully curated vendors from throughout the region.
You’ll find styles from Victorian to shabby chic, modern retro to vintage kitsch. Plus, a variety of artisans who make everything old new again.
How to pick a treasure
The goal is to peruse and pick through what’s there to find a new/old treasured item.
Boise’s Melisa James, owner of Home by Melisa James, a design store specializing in farmhouse modern design, is not in the show this time. A professional picker from way back, she offers tips on how to get the most out of a trip to “Pickin’ Boise.”
No. 1: “Timing is everything,” James says. To get the most out this event, decide what you’re looking for — a truly one-of-a-kind piece, or a great bargain. For the former, arrive early; try to be first in line — consider showing up at least an hour before it opens. If you want the latter, show up at the end. Vendors are tired and don’t want to pack things up, so you might be able to negotiate, she says.
No. 2: If you’re looking for a specific piece, especially furniture, be prepared. Know the space you’re trying to fill and bring a measuring tape so you can make a quick decision.
No. 3: Be decisive. “Don’t hesitate. When you see something you want, buy it or it will be gone and you’ll be disappointed,” James says.
No. 4: Advice from James’ mom, Laurie Lindsey: If you’re looking for a specific piece, arrive early and make a sweep of the building to get a general idea of the layout and what’s there. Then go back through and take your time.
No. 5: Take a market cart or big backpack with you to make it easier to carry stuff such as pillows or candlesticks, James says. Some vendors will have a drop-off location for big furniture, but you don’t want to waste a lot of time running back and forth to your car. Maybe bring a friend to help.
No. 6: If you really want to make a deal — and make a vendor happy — bring cash. You’ll find them much happier to negotiate prices and transactions are quicker. Bring small bills. It’s hard to break a $100 for a $10 purchase.
No. 7: If you don’t get the piece you set your sight on, relax. There will be many things tucked away. You’ll find something to love.
Pickin’ Boise Antique Show
and Artisan Market
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 14, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 15, Expo Idaho, 5610 N. Glenwood St., Garden City. $6 admission (good for both days), free for children younger than 12. A percentage of proceeds benefits the Idaho’s Alzheimer’s Association. PastBlessingsFarm.com.