Our Love Affair With Wood Printing Block Letters

Sherry, Burger and I day-tripped to Washington DC recently and just had to stop by the District’s famous Eastern Market.  Built in 1873, it’s located near Capitol Hill and is DC’s longest, continuously-operating marketplace. It comes alive on the weekends with a Farmer’s Market on Saturdays and a Flea Market on Sundays. And the Sunday that we visited was no exception – even if it was a little chilly and overcast.

The vendors at the market ranged from peddling jewelry and paintings to antique furniture and vintage collectibles. Basically, lots of eye candy and a nice break from the usual fare of Target and Ikea.  For instance, we were tempted by more than one booth selling these rustic, iron-framed mirrors.

Or this stand that mixed in some cool, old windows turned into framed mirrors.

There were also tons of furniture vendors, like this one that specialized in Asian-inspired pieces.  We haven’t incorporated an Asian item into our home decor yet, but now we know where to go when we want to…

We did find this mid-century display case that was totally our style.  Could’ve been a cool substitute for your typical bookcase or china cabinet.  Too bad it couldn’t fit in our trunk…

The booth that really got our hearts pounding was one that sold hoards of vintage items – maps, photos, and these old school keys.  We were tempted to grab a couple as a subtle accent to a side table, or a bunch of them to display as a collection in a jar…

… but we were too distracted by these classic woodblock, printing press letters.  This guy was selling boxes full of ’em, so here’s at least a little taste of the selection:

Sherry and I already have a special place in our heart for these babies.  During the early days of our relationship, we picked up a set of ’em at the Hells Kitchen Flea Market in New York City. We purchased our initials and a “7” to mark our July 7th anniversary of dating – which would later become our wedding anniversary too.  These sweet reminders of our dating days currently live in our guest bedroom.

So naturally, we had to snag a few more at Eastern Market (for only $3 a pop) to sit atop a stack of sentiment cards from our wedding guests that we display on our living room console table. A little sappy? Yes. But every lady deserves some love letters from her man.


  1. says

    question to other readers of this blog, does anyone know of any decent flea markets in the new jersey/new york area? Any of the flea markets I’ve checked out in Jersey were seriously lacking any of the cool stuff this D.C. one has.

  2. Marilyn says

    That’s not a display case. It’s a barrister’s bookcase (or lawyer’s bookcase). The units stack together, so may have fit in your trunk!

  3. says

    You two have amazing taste and a really great spirit. I hope you someday raffle a chance to meet you! :) Anyway, if anyone knows of flea-markets like this in CT please let me know. I am a huge fan of tag-sales and flea markets so anything of the sort would be wonderful and helpful.

    Best of luck to Sherry & John and all of your avid readers!


  4. Nan says

    This is funny! We live in Occuquan during the week and go to our property (Lake Anna)on weekends and the first thing I want to do is go junk hunting in Richmond. I find it funny that the two of you come north and we head south.

    Do you ever go to Class to Trash in Ashland or the Bazaar in Ladysmith? It is hit-or-miss but usually there is something interesting to check out at either place.

    Here’s to junk hunting.

  5. Alysia says

    I’ve go to DC at least once a year to visit a close friend. I’ve been been to this flea market..and I can’t wait to check it out. ps. The keys and block letters are uber cute.

  6. Lori says

    I live in Richmond, but whenever I go to visit my sister in NoVa we head out to Eastern Market. I purchased two antique rice measure boxes from the vendor of Asian pieces that you featured. It is fun to see it all here on your site! And thanks to Nan, now I have two places to check out here in the Richmond area!

  7. Rowan says

    i am jonesing for the mirrors. i want to cover one of the walls in my condo with a variety of mirrors in different sizes and frames. those definitely fit the bill!

    i need to scope out some flea markets in this region of the pacnorthwest.

  8. YoungHouseLove says

    Please do swap good local flea markets in this comment section. I wish we could suggest more than just in our area, but we’re not that well traveled. :)

    And thanks to Nan for the local suggestions. We’ve never been to that place in Ashland and while we’ve passed the Virginia Bazaar in Ladysmith frequently we’ve never stopped. Something else to add to our list!

    Marilyn, I would’ve never recognized that as the type of bookcase in a law office (all the vendor bothered to tell us was that he thought Sherry was a good bookcase model…why I oughta…). But now I regret not figuring out if it came apart. Oh well, live and learn.

    And Lissa and Laura – you’re making me blush.


  9. Katie says

    I’m a portland, OR native but live right around the corner from Eastern Market here in D.C. I’m there every weekend, I’m surprised I didn’t see you two! If anyone makes it over here, Eastern Market also has an incredible selection of art, fresh farmers market produce, and authentic butchers, cheesemakers and more. It’s a great place to visit!

  10. says

    I LOVE Eastern Market. We have purchased several pieces of furniture. Most recently we got a beautiful antique honey maple dresser for our guest room in the basement. We actually went there looking for a dresser and found one which never happens. Score! Pictures to come at http://www.houseography.net

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