Everyone who lives in South Texas knows that Fall weather for us doesn’t usually begin until about Thanksgiving, so it is hard to get excited about pumpkin spice everything when the highs are still in the 90’s. We need to psych ourselves up to get in the spirit by decorating with all kinds of pumpkins and colored leaves. Don’t get me wrong, I love decorating for Fall and pretending that we will be able to drink hot chocolate and light a fire in the fireplace, but it takes a few days of semi-cool weather for me to put the first pumpkin out on the porch. This is not to say that I don’t stay away from the stores until I am ready for Fall. I get caught up in the season as soon as I see that first beautiful garland of colored leaves or hand painted pumpkin, I just don’t like to admit that I am taken in so easily.
Now that school has started and there have been a few rainy days, I am feeling the urge to pull out the decorations for Fall and maybe even be persuaded to purchase a few more. In that spirit, I thought it was time to visit Homestead Handcrafts and Antiques on Thousand Oaks. (There is a second location in the Stone Oak area but I will save that for another day.) Homestead Handcrafts is a place I usually like to visit when I still have people on the Christmas list and no idea what to get for them. I can usually find something interesting here that I wouldn’t find in ten other stores in San Antonio. I was not disappointed on this visit. Homestead Handcrafts is a craft cooperative and has a large number of booths containing a variety of items. The very talented crafty people spend their time crafting and creating and Homestead Handcrafts does the work of selling their products for them. (Allow yourself at least an hour to wander the aisles here.) I have a couple of favorite vendors that I always seek out first, but I do make my way down each and every aisle to see what else I can add to my wish list.
As you might expect in a place called Homestead Handicrafts, you can find items that have been crafted by hand. One of my favorites is the booth full of wooden puzzles, wall hangings, nativities and toys that were meticulously cut out and simply finished. Another has hand painted decorative items I find hard to resist. (I only bought a pumpkin decorated birdhouse and a small cross this visit.) There are also a few booths where people are showing off their sewing, knitting and crochet skills. I admire anyone who can knit or crochet as I have never learned how to do either well. (I also found really fun “keyhole” scarves here and will probably go back to purchase a few for gifts.)
The other half of the name of this place is and Antiques. I think they are probably more “vintage” than antiques but I guess it depends on your definition of antiques. I think of vintage as antique-like because most of the items are not actually old enough to qualify as antiques but keep an open mind. This is the place if you are looking for old glass Christmas ornaments (think Shiny Brite) or old dishes. There are also some beautiful pieces of furniture to be found here.
By now you may be wondering why I titled this experience “Pumpkins and Paint”. As I wandered the rows of booths I came across not one or two but at least three booths selling specialty paints and waxes. If you are looking for specialty paints like Miss Mustard Seed milk paints, Dixie Belle Paints or General Finishes Chalk Paints, you can find them here. I do have a few pieces of furniture that I will be refinishing soon, so I will be back to explore the different kinds, colors and techniques.
Homestead Handcrafts and Antiques is worth a look see if you have a spare hour or two.