Located in Independence, MO, the 31 room Vaile mansion was built during the early 1880s by U.S. mail contractor Harvey Merrick Vaile and his wife. It was inspired by a large house they had visited in Normandy, France. The home was completed in 1881 at a cost of $100, 000.00 and is said to be one of the most costly and beautiful homes of its era.
The Vaile Society hosts three public events each year to help raise money for the furnishings of the mansion, which are in keeping with the splendor and style of the Victorian Era.
The Strawberry Festival, held the first or second Saturday in June, is one of The Society's fund raising events. It also happens to be one of my favorite local antique shows to attend.
We always arrive early so we can have loads of time to look and eat and look and eat!
This is the mansion when approached from the front sidewalk.
No, the mansion does not tilt--the photographer is the "guilty tilty"!
You can tell we were there very early, because the vendors were still setting up.
Visitors were greeted by the official "Ms Strawberry 2008". The strawberry outfit looks like it has been around a few festivals, but Ms Strawberry was a good sport and struck a cute pose!
We ran into these friends ---- they are always early birds like us! They also like to eat as much as we do.
I took a photo of them.
They took a photo of us!
Don't you just love our Junkmaster shirts? Bonnie gave me mine as a birthday gift a couple of years ago. The shirts tell it like it is----we love "junk" and we feel we are "masters" of it!
A little stroll down the first aisle and we see these sweet little dresses--hanging on the line!
This booth always does terrific business with their beautiful plants.
One of the great parts of local sales is that I always see so many folks I know. This vendor is Karen and I went to high school with her! She thinks she's pretty swell because I am OLDER than she is----by one whole year.
I always zero in on old funeral baskets---I happen to collect green ones, but I'm always looking at prices and if I find one really, really cheap--then I buy it. I like to use them as display pieces in my booths at local sales---of course, they will be for sale, too!
This lady is Dee. We served on PTA committees together when our daughters were in elementary school! Dee makes wonderful aprons and she is shown here demonstrating a "ditty bag". It's a tote that can be extended to hold more items! Clever.
I love vintage creamers and tea pots--so this display caught my eye.
This booth belongs to Diana, a vendor I have gotten to know over the years. She sells vintage and primitives and ALWAYS at great prices.
Wonderful linens beautifully displayed.
Great enamel pots and pans in a well-used wagon.
This beautiful mother-daughter team of Samantha (left) and Lesa sell wonderful vintage items as well as lovely and original hand made creations.
Along with Cassie, Lesa's other daughter, they have an on-line shop at ETSY.COM. Their user name is Sweet Peace(sweetxpeace). Among the items they offer on line are: needle felted creations, jewelry, purses and folk are pieces. They are a talented trio!
I also need to add that Lesa works with Renee Nanneman in creating beautiful items for her NEED'L LOVE DESIGNS publications.
Marian (holding the goods) waits as Bonnie (the one with the word "junk" on her back) pays for a cute wicker tray AND a GREEN FUNERAL BASKET!! She KNOWS I love green funeral baskets and she nabbed it right out from under me anyway!
To ease the pain of my green funeral basket loss, I searched out the booth selling (what else?) Strawberry Shortcakes.
Being the kind and forgiving and generous and loving person I am, I forgave Bonnie for nailing that funeral basket before me AND invited her and Marian to join me in a little morning snack of strawberry shortcake and ice cream! It was 9:30 a.m. at that time! The fellow in the background had already has his snack and was now taking his morning nap!!!
We listened to some great fiddle and accordian music as we savored our strawberry delights.
We were soon on the prowl for treasures again. Marian was the first to score! She proudly shows her hammered aluminum Lazy Susan. I know it will look great in the middle of her dining room table piled high with fruit or perhaps it will hold a glass hurricane and a candle. She'll get lots of use out of that item.
The clear blue sky started to become cloudy, but the mansion still maintained its striking beauty.
For a second, I thought the gal in the white "I heart NYC " shirt was Pat from Mille Fiori Favoriti.
As I got closer and I called out: "Hey, Pat! You came all the way from Brooklyn for The Strawberry Festival"! She looked at me and grabbed the lady next to her and they moved away from those ferns (and me) as fast as their little feet would go!
Another view of the beauty.
OH, Bon Apetit! It's lunch time!
As we munched on lunch, we enjoyed the talent of the local symphony.
Our treasure hunt was over this time.
Bonnie and Marian loaded up their finds. (Which included one green funeral basket already tucked into her vehicle!)
Here I am with three (one is in the car)----and I said three vintage metal picnic baskets. Bonnie collects those. I got her back! Boy, oh boy, you don't mess with the collector of green funeral baskets without paying the price!
As we were leaving, Ms Strawberry and a very kind officer, told us how much they enjoyed our visit to the festival this year. They also hoped we would come back for The Strawberry Festival 2009. We assured them we would!
Before I left the house to go to the festival, a little "birdie" told me how much THE STONE RABBIT loves fresh strawberries- - - - - so when I saw Ms. Strawberry handing out souvenir baskets of strawberries, I was only too happy to bring one home for him.
He was thrilled.
Thank you Ms Strawberry Festival 2008---you made my rabbit so happy!