Does anyone ever ask you, when you mention that you're going to an antique show or estate sale, what you're looking for? Happens to me all the time. And there are a few things that are always on my shopping list, like feedsacks. (Saw a fair number of them at the Bouckville show, but left behind a lot more than I bought. The prices were good, but the quality wasn't.) Obviously, ornaments are always on my list. (We'll talk more about Christmas soon.)
Beyond that, though, it's pretty hard to say what I'm shopping for. I did not arrive at the show and set out to find a toy metal dish rack, boxes of decals and a maple leaf thingy (it hangs on the wall and holds a flowerpot, but I feel like it has a higher purpose, yet to be discovered).
Also found decals in a larger box, and a teapot napkin holder. Also not on the shopping list.
Quilt squares are probably always on the list.
Quilt tops, too.
However, if I'd said "What I'd really like is a quilt top that has the original label on the fabric, because the person who made the quilt top was so excited about her project she didn't bother to remove it," I'd probably have been disappointed. Finding one was just a bit of serendipity.
Vintage linens, always on the list. Vintage tea towels, especially ones that have never been used, of course. Vintage tea towels with kitchen motifs hidden in the center of flower blossoms? Who would think to look for that?
Sewing notions, you bet. Six yards of ribbon embroidered with fruit? Another happy surprise.
So the next time someone asks me what I'm looking for, I think I'll just answer like this: I'm looking for charming vintage housewares that I didn't know existed until I found them.