Monday, December 31, 2012

Obsessive hoarding fix

Hi Everyone,

As part of that lovely reorganization we are still working on, I have come to the determination that all of us in the 'handmade' industry are hoarders to some extent.

It is damn near impossible to throw out scraps.

There I have said it, but alas feel absolutely no better for it. Or any closer to resolving the HUGE issue that entails.

I have however, found a bit of solace in creativity about it. After discovering a slew of gauze scraps, I made some drop dead gorgeous flowers. If you have drop dead gorgeous flowers, you must then create something to place said flower on.

Has any of this made sense?

It did to me, there' a problem right there . . .LOL!

In February, we have agreed to be part of a huge bridal event in Chicago called Indie Wed. If you are a bride to be, it is the best of the independent best to be found. Really great artisans in the bridal industry. No corporate stores or firms allowed.

And then there is us, the burlap and poultry netting folks.

Last Spring we did the show at the Harley Davidson Museum and it was spectacular. We were inundated from the moment the doors opened to closing as we were the only shabby / rustic / romantic farmhouse type vendors there.

So now that we have one under our belts, look out our displays are going to be killer this year.

That is as killer as one could be in a 6 X 6 space. Really ? I digress. So sorry.

I used my scraps for a table setting item that everyone has thought about, the infamous mason jar / glass jar centerpiece.

Here is  Jar #1 Gauze and copper wire with satin rose


Jar #2 is lace and German Glass shards

Jar #3 is painted jar with lace and gauze rose

What do you think ?

There is still a big bag of scraps and I can see more gauze roses in the future.

Road schedule


February 2  -  Indie Wed , 4025 N. Ravenswood Ave  Chicago IL 

Working on the new things and off to get in more trouble,,


Suz
the Muze

Friday, December 28, 2012

Main stream and new introductions

Hi Everyone,

We have finally had a teeny tiny dusting of snow here in the South suburbs of Chicago and I am hoping that we don't receive anything else til we get back from Michigan in about 8 days. One can always hope . . . 

While out running errands early today, I stumbled on something kinda' cool. For a couple of years we have been proud to say we were part of the new revolution of the standard antique market industry. When referring to antiques these days, one also needs to include words like vintage, shabby chic, mid century, industrial and retro as they are integral parts of the industry today, 2012.

This has made it into mainstream as evidenced today at the new Whole Foods store near us. Take a look at the cool checkout lane lights.

Yep, vintage soda bottles! How cool is that? Then down the aisle they had these for sale . . . 
Yes, boys and girls, canning jars and wildflowers, the exact items we have been showing for our  shabby chic/ rustic farm/barn weddings for the past couple of years. This store also has beautiful tin ceiling accents and tons of worn wood, patina finished pieces, a real shabby feel. Guess we have arrived, if the building industry is shabby-ing upscale stores!

I have a sneak peak for you on our newest line to be shown at Grand Rapids next week. After serious contemplation, I decided to design a line of totes, not purses for practicality reasons. Seems there are a slew of bags out there, all about the same size, so I have a new line of really use-able tote bags, shabbied up with gorgeous laces, fabrics, beadwork, doilies, vintage jewelry and handmade flowers.

Here is a corner of the first tote . . .
And the second one . . .
That gauze rose is to die for in real life. These totes are very generous, 13" W X 14"H  X 7"D with additional handles, ready a million different uses. If work continues at the current rate, there will be 4 new designs of these gorgeous new totes and if they make it through the MI show I will put what ever I have left on Etsy. You know you are on the right road when you take your new project out in public and several people stop you and ask about it! (Just another reason to move into the Trader Joe's, but I digress . . . ) So it is a serious push to get all of the it done, new runners, new journals and new totes. 
Back to the mill, more later,

Suz 
the Muze

Monday, December 24, 2012

Introducing . . .

Hi Everyone,

Well, as promised, more new items are finding their way here and without further adieu our newest tassel in the family, Scrapper
This tassel was literally a culmination of all the scraps I found during my big workroom redo. A piece of lace here, scrap of shredded muslin there, leftover piece of ribbon found, each time I added a scrap, it added a dimension to this tassel. Pretty soon I was in awe to how gorgeous these guys turned out. Kinda' shabby, kinda vintage and a whole lot of fun, that pretty much sums up Scrapper, coming to a show near you in the near future.

Back to the desk,
Suz 
the Muze 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Newest additions

Hi Everyone,

Having a little bit of time off of the road and a really good cold snap is as good of a reason as any to sit and create for endless hours. That and having the Crockpot helping out with dinner. Can we say the world's best slow cooked barbecued pulled pork ever? (contact me for the really easy super delicious recipe) Then, there is the pot roast and root veggies for the family dinner today. Good old fashion comfort food, yes sign me up now. Being on the road makes you appreciate good cooking, trust me on this one.

So, having everyone else taken care of, I sat down to add some new, "old things" into our first of the year show in Grand Rapids MI on the 5th of January. 2013, where did last year go to and so quickly?

When the first couple of industrial tassels were created, I immediately saw tons of possibilities, all sorts of different textiles, fibers and materials to incorporate down the line. Saw them but had absolutely no additional time to get them created until now . . . 

Here is the one of the latest,

meet CR, a relative to Silky,

A wonderful permanently, scrunched and stained ribbon tassel perfect for an accent anywhere, front of a cabinet door, pull for a window shade or window treatment, pillow and the list goes on and on. Oh heck, just fun to have because you can! 

This tassel medium will be shown in two ways in our shop, cut, like pictured above and a looped version as well, CR Loop. 
Today I am hoping to finish a lace version and a new sample of Hercules so I have a lot to do. We will also have some of our regular tassels, IT and Cutter making an appearance, so it will make a nice display.

Two days ago we cut 30 new runners, 16" X 72" 11 gauge burlap as well, some to be sold as elements on our Elements board for those of you needing a basic piece to start with and others to be embellished with vintage doilies, lace and anything else that strikes my fancy at the moment. Ahh, the joy of being able to create at whim. Nothing like it in the world. Those get packaged next week, hopefully.

The last item or should I hint at items, is something we have been asked about for over a year now. Sure I could tip my hand but I would rather try to finish the first two and show you here but suffice it to say, I think everyone will be surprized at what I have been able to come up with. I know I am, as I never thought I would try to make something like this. But because we value your input and inquiries, I am going to try my hand at this. Heaven help the fashion industry, here I come . . . 

Til then, I am busy, busy, busy . . .

Road schedule,


February 2  -  Indie Wed , 4043 N. Ravenswood Ave  Chicago IL 

Working on the new things,

Suz
theMuze



Monday, December 17, 2012

O M G ! ! ! take 2

Hi Everyone,

This past weekend we set out for Columbus Ohio early, like 2 AM in the morning early. We were headed to the Scott Antique Market, an indoor antique market held only in the fall and winter months.

For those of you who are rejoining us, welcome. I have no idea what that glitch was all about, but once again I apologize on behalf of Blogger for keeping this soooo entertaining.

As I was saying, leaving that early in the morning or was it leaving so late at night?, makes one question one's sanity at times.

Here in northern Illinois, the state that taxes dead people not once but twice, we pay exorbitant prices for gas. Next to California, we are right up there, consistently, without fail.

So the one joy in traveling is trying to find reasonable gas prices because logic states if we are leaving Chicago, it's gonna be less. We usually make our first stop right over the Indiana /Illinois boarder as it normal drops about 20 cents a gallon immediately.

On Friday morning it did. Yeah!, less money to fill up. Home was $3.39 and Gary Indiana was $3.09. But wait there's more.

Next stop somewhere in the Indianapolis area usually.(can you tell we have made this trip too many times?)

And there it was.

Gas priced under $3, Since it was a little before 5 AM, I wasn't sure if I was dreaming or not, so I took a picture. Yes, the other customer thought it was pretty funny.

We drove on to Ohio, arrived just in time to make our load in window and had an interesting weekend. Senior citizens are so much fun.

Then we packed up, bought gas in Columbus at $3.03 a gallon, again feeling pretty excited and headed home.

Next stop Indy. I am sensing a definite pattern here.

Imagine my shock and disbelief when I pulled into the same station Sunday evening and saw this. Keep in mind we are accustomed to seeing much higher prices on Sunday evening between Michigan and home, as everyone and their Mother is coming back from their weekend away and therefore, they jack the gas prices way up.

But nope not Indy.

Can you believe this? It was amazing to fill up the truck for $37.50, not over $50.

It's the small things that make us smile and after this past Friday's events in Conneticut, we all need to smile thru our broken hearts and tears, wouldn't you agree?

Home to create for awhile,

Suz
the Muze

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back to the road (again)

Hi Everyone,

Before it starts getting back to the normal level of crazy, I thought I would post two new items we are taking to Ohio with us this weekend.

A couple of years ago, our customers from downtown Chicago told us they loved our wire boards for organizing, especially their earrings. Seems the theory of having all of it where you can see it, means that you wear it more often. Sounded sensible to me, especially when you think about digging through drawers and boxes in the wee hours of the AM. The one request we got time after after time, was to have a place to have both earrings and necklaces or bracelets.

So we did exactly that. And boy, have they been popular. So popular I haven't had a chance to photograph and get them here. As soon as we load them for a show, they disappear and the process starts all over for the next show.

These two babies just left the shop to be packed so I grabbed them quickly.




Lots of hooks to hang just about anything, bracelets, lanyards, necklaces and don't forget keys.

I personally love mine by the door for keys and last minute reminder notes. Anything to organize me is a huge win-win, just ask the DH. He would jump on that one!

We are off again to the wonderful area of Columbus OH for the Scott Antique Market at the Fairgrounds. It is a sold out show, so bring plenty of cash and your walking shoes, there is plenty to shop with over 800 dealers. I am worn out already and haven't driven the six hours and done the set up yet.

Just remember, we're the folks with all the coffee bean bags and tons of burlap and of course, while they last, wire jewelry boards!

Here's the next couple of shows;

December 15 &16 - Scott Antique Market, Columbus OH 

For 2013 - (can you believe that ? ? ? ?)

January 5 & 6  -  Grand Rapids Antique Market, Grand Rapids MI

January 26 - Indie Arts and Vintage Marketplace, Carmel IN at The Fountains

Until then I need to get back to creating the Spring line,

Suz
the muze

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Thank you Sandy

Hi Everyone,

Things have been crazy busy here with our big workroom redo that we undertook starting Wednesday. Here it is Sunday evening and we are about 2/3 rds the way done. Thank heavens, it was so much more difficult than I had planned. Where did all this stuff come from to begin with?

Since we are a majority of handmade items, that requires a whole lot of different mediums and materials to have to work with. Add in I only work a minimum of two to three days a week creating and producing until it's back on the road again, things get out of hand real fast, i.e.; why clean up, I am just going to be back at this in a couple of days. You can see where this was going, real fast.

To compound the situation, I have been grabbing up every bit of lace I come across as we have been using quite a bit in a lot of different projects (and I am a sucker for a beautiful piece of lace). When it came time to straighten out all those pieces, I discovered how many I really had. Uh oh, there are a whole lot of lace pieces that I need to find a home for. Multiple that by 30 or 40 different materials and I have a huge storage issue.

So I took a little break and checked in on some of our 'road' friends, fellow vendors that we don't get to see very often. What everyone is doing and showing in their booths.

One of my favorites is our friends Joe and Sandy from Rhubarb Reign. Sandy describes their business as;

rhubarb reign is an antique and design business specializing in cottage-style furniture, artsy smalls and found objects. 

One of the main reasons I fell in love with their booth was Sandy always has cool laundry baskets like this


She and Joe always have really cool stuff. They are two of the nicest vendors we have the privilege of showing with, professional, kind and oh so knowledgeable about everything in this crazy business.

As of today, Sandy moved up on my appreciation ladder a couple of more rungs. When I went to visit her blog to see where she and Joe were going to be in the next couple of weeks, I noticed that she has this little blurb under the category of,

BLOG ROLL: SOME EXCELLENT CUSTOMERS AND FRIENDS

That's us ! That I am aware of, it is the very first time anyone has every listed our blog. Thank you Sandy for listing us, it means the world to us and hopefully we will show together again soon. It seems like forever since we were in Allegan and April seems like a long, long time off. We should cross paths somewhere at a Zurko show in January if everything works out.

In the meantime, thank you Sandy, for making my whole day. It was so kind of you but that is so you, just being you, a sweet friend.

Back to creating something out of all these goodies,

Suz
the muze

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

All in the Details

Hi Everyone,

I forgot to post this cool picture of our booth from Louisville on the last post. Rarely do we show at night and there are always challenges when you do. Mr. Wonderful has really gotten that lighting issue under control and we have great light to show our handmade products by.

I thought it looked pretty good at 7:30 PM in Kentucky Friday evening.
The tent to our right had halogen lighting and was super bright. They showed jewelry and it was very well lit.

It dawned on me as I was going over inventory needs this morning that I have neglected to show the heart and soul of our line, our wire frames.

We offer literally hundreds of different sizes, shapes and profiles and they have been used for every room in the house, many a jewelry display in stores and professional booths, tons of weddings and a few corporate meetings as well. If these frames could talk . . .  the places they have been and the things they have experienced.

We discovered that many have tried to duplicate these frames and many have failed because of the structuring protocol we use. The simple way would be to slap the wire on the back side of the frame and throw a few staples in. The problem with that is they will not support much weight and we have jewelry designers that work in chain maille and it is incredibly heavy. So, our inside installation and reinforced application makes for a very durable and long lasting frame you can use for years. Mr. Wonderful does a really good job if I must say so myself.

There have been square frames as well as octagonal, rectangle, hexagonal and yes, a couple of ovals and rounds along the way. Then this year we started a new addition called jewelry boards, where the boards come with additional hooks at the bottom our wire frames for necklaces and bracelets. I loved them for next to the backdoor for keys as well.
Who knows where these guys will end up at. According to my numbers, we should hit 1.000 wire frames in February. WOW ! That's a lot of frames. Everyone was an antique or vintage piece that was hand finished and meticulously assembled and finished for a clean backside as well. Double picture hangers mean you can hang regular wire frames in either direction, giving you even more choices.

The best part is the fun we have with the phrase 'chicken wire'. Everyone we hear say that in our booth we start a conversation with them that this material is no longer known as chicken wire but now a days is called 'poultry netting'. Guess the duck, roosters, swans and other foul life on the farm demanded equally billing so now a days we use poultry netting.

Yep, that chicken wire has been pretty good to us, just saying. At any given show, we have between forty and sixty frames in stock to choose from and custom requests are never a problem as we probably have close to 2,00 frames in stock.

In the next couple of posts, I will try to show our mixed medium boards. It is difficult to get pictures of the as they sell way too fast when they debut at a show. Earlier this year, we put two boards out that had just been finished and about the second or third customer that wandered in hesitated to actually buy one and said she would be back. I told her we only had the two and they wouldn't last long. Low and behold, the next two customers that came in bought the two boards back to back. We started laughing and saying how that would never have happened normally and if the original customer came back, she would think we were pulling her leg. Sure enough she came back and when I explained that the boards sold right after she had been there, she was none too happy. What's that old expression, you snooze, you lose? 

I will try to get them shot and up on here soon.

I need to go and be creative today.

Suz 
the muze

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sweet Louisville

Hi Everyone,

This past weeekend we found ourselves rubbing elbows with the charming and hospitalible folks in Louisville Kentucky.

We were showing at the Winter Fare at TJUC and were OUTDOORS ! ! ! ! yes, it was a balmy 61 degrees and sunny, a great day to be out enjoying art.

As per our usual expectations, I always feel we are the 'unexpected party guest' at these events. Inside the building were the 'artists' , sculpturers, weavers, jewelers and woodworkers. So, by the time they got outdoors, the reactions were hands down hysterical at times.

We were overwhelmed by the kindness and charming visitors who graced our little world. One of our customers was so sweet to return to our booth the following day and present us with an actual horseshoe from the Kentucky Derby. It is so cool and has a story card to go with it. We got invited to lunch and dinner at two different homes, so we are definitely planning on visiting again. Such a great time.

Several new journals made their debut at this show as well.

Again, I can not get the pictures to post correctly, this is beyond frustration at this point. I am so sorry.
This lace and jeweled book turned out so aged looking, a bit of a vintage feel as well. What would lace be without a few beautiful pearls to boot?

We also have a few new smaller blackboards that found new homes, sweet additions to desks or childrens rooms as well.
We are trying to firm up the rest of our year but do know for sure we will be in Grand Rapids at the first of next year at the DeVos center for the Antiques Show. Let's hope the snow stays to a minimum.


I promise to post the rest of the schedule soon. Just not enough hours right this second !

Suz
the muze

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Awakenings and blessings

Hi Everyone,

This has been an unusual week for me personally.

First and foremost, it marked the anniversary of the passing of my best fur buddy Nubian. It is still hard for me to grasp that he isn't part of everyday life here. I miss him something terrible.

Recently I said that to someone and they looked at me like I was from outer space and then it dawned on me that probably no one understood what I was referencing.

When most people speak of the four legged creations in their life, it usually something that inhabits space in their home.

Nubian defied that myth.

His space was literally where my space was, all the time, not just occasionally but constantly.

Here's an example. As he got older and more arthritic, he wanted to be held. If I was sitting, he thought he needed to be on my lap, in my arms  or sleeping on my shoulder. Mind you, he was a large size cat. In his earlier days, close to thirty pounds and still close to twenty in his last. And mind you I create strctly by hand, this was definitely a conflict of interest.

Nubes and I at my desk while I am creating by hand
He is balancing on the arm of my chair and my chest while I was making something. Every night was like this.

Gone were the days where I could tuck him in bed, literally for his nap and work at my desk.
As his arthritis got worse, he couldn't get up and down by himself so that had stopped over the years and we did a whole lot of this
Yes, 'we' would fall asleep in my chair after exhausting hours of working.

So, going into the show this weekend at Carmel Indiana, my heart was very heavy and raw. The farm twins, Jack and Ass, aka Mamie and Lige,
have held tight to their, 'No cuddling, no closeness and and absolutely no snuggling rule' for almost three years. They are nice enough, funny enough but definitely not close enough.

I worked very hard to make sure the booth was full of handmade goods this weekend and our devoted, loyal, wonderful customers some how sensed I needed cheering up. The trip to Carmel was challenging but they made it all worth while.

First, was the gal who had emailed me to make sure we were going to be there so she could purchase the last two vintage laundry pins we had. After walking directly into the booth and picking up her pins, she made the point of telling me "You and your booth are the only reason we came out today". It made my heart a little lighter.

Then, there was the gal who bought several handmade items to give as gifts and as I was packaging her goods said to me, "How do you do this? It just amazes me that one person can be this talented". Again, I just was shocked to hear those words but my heart sang a little bit more.

Near the end of the very busy show, I accidental ran into a vendor that I hadn't had a chance to see in almost two years.

A long time ago, literally hundreds of shows ago, we showed next to a delightful young lady that has an incredible vintage jewelry line called Ella E Vintage. While her line is breathtakingly inspired and gorgeous, as her neighbor, I was supremely jealous of her tree branch display.

See the branch in the middle right of the picture
It made for the most amazing hanging display and the story behind how Laura chased down the tree trimming crew in her neighborhood to get it was even better. Hence the start of a great 'show neighbor' relationship. Laura's parents were actively involved in helping her set up her booth each week and we got to know them as well, such sweet people.

On Saturday as I was walking back to our booth, just as I saw that now famous tree branch, I heard this voice say, 'Hey, I know you' and sure enough it was Laura. She went on to relate that she had taken a bit of show advice I had given her and her business was now growing leaps and bounds. It was cool to hear those words and I was extremely grateful to know another handmade artist was making a difference in this industry. Laura and I promised to catch up soon and I can't wait.

This lifestyle on the road sometimes is very difficult and tiring but when everything is said and done, it is the amazing relationships with fellow vendors and customers that make it all worthwhile.

So, in the week of all thanksgiving, I am incredibly grateful for all of you and your inspiration. It means so much.

We are also taking a piece of advice from one of our customers who begged us to post a few handmade items on Etsy so it would convenient for last minute gift selections. Yes, Annie, I am taking your advise as well. So, look for a few goodies on Etsy in the next couple of days.

There is no show schedule posted next as we are trying to make up our minds as to which shows we want to do. So I will post as soon as I figure it all out and get everything up on Etsy.

Til then,

Suz
the muze

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Anticipation

Hi Everyone,

It seems that every television station in the world is cramming Black Friday sale news down our throats at the moment. (Guess it's better than all that political stuff we had to endure for what seemed like for ever) The whole world seems to be gearing toward another highly commercial holiday.

That all changed in an instant today when I received news that the gracious white way of living, aka Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine had been sent from Denmark to All My Musings.

Not any issue mind you, but the issue.

The one everyone has been pestering me about for months now. THE Christmas issue.


It has finally been printed, packed with care and mailed to us. It almost makes one giddy with excitement.


For those of us who read this wonderful publication, slowly and deliberately every month, the highly anticipated Christmas issue has never failed to push the limits and entice the senses to new levels.


The folks at JdL as we call it here, understand two things very clearly, the volumes that a well taken photograph can speak and the joy of sharing a truly magical and calm lifestyle month after month from Holland, Denmark Sweden, Germany and many other places that appreciate what the gracious warmth of white decorating can bring.


It will be here shortly and be mailed to all of our subscribers the same day. We still have a few single issues available on our Etsy site or if you need subscription info, click here.

I am so sorry that I can not be responsible for the countless hours lost by slowly and methodically passing through each page time after time. We jokingly refer to this magazine as "Your fifteen minutes of guilty pleasure each month" when in reality, it can and usually is much longer. LOL!

Normally, this magazine is available at our booth at all of our shows but with winter approaching, it is going to be harder for all the addicted followers to find it since our choice of shows narrows to practically nothing for the next few months.

So I thought I would remind everyone that it can be found online from us and sent directly to your home. 

Yep, I enabling this wonderful addiction.

Hey Santa, this would indeed be a gift that keeps on giving. Call me, we'll talk.

Suz
the muze


Monday, November 19, 2012

Flying in from Covington Indiana

Hi Everyone,

We had a really nice surprise this past Saturday in Covington Indiana at a pop up market called Hobnob Market.

Having been the very first show for Holly and Scott, every vendor was thrilled when we opened the doors at 9 AM and promptly got slammed with buying customers. We had a bit of a traffic jam in our booth, couldn't move anywhere to show customers something specific but it worked out in the end.

Holly, Scott, Ramsey and her entire family, including Grandmom, a spry 92 year old looking for Zane Grey books, were an absolute delight to work with. Ramsey was our personel helper, unloading and loading us back in to the trailer and made our show so much more enjoyable and less tiring.

The interesting factor in everything was the time zone difference. The Hobnob Market was in the Eastern time zone and our hotel 4 miles away was in Central time zone. Let's see, what time do we get up and have breakfast and lose an hour to make it on time? It took a little bit to make sure we got it straight. And we did arrive on time, will miracles ever cease.

One of our newest additons was our little music birdy. I have tried every suggestion on rotating these pictures and have yet to prevail, so thank you in advance for looking at sideways pictures!


He or she, I didn't look, is about 7'' long and his wings are covered in our German glass shard glitter and topped off with a  ribbon tie.


We are heading to Carmel Indiana, the Fountains Conference Center for the first indoor show for the Indie Arts & Vintage Market this weekend.  The weather has not been friendly for everyone of the Indianapolis shows so it will be interesting to see if we have a drop dead gorgeous day and be indoors!


Off to create,

Suz
the muze

Monday, November 12, 2012

All about Annie

Hi Everyone,

Well, we did it. We made it through 70 shows this year. Our highest show week was in the summer where we did 4 shows in one week. It has been grueling and oh so educational.

This weekend was tough as well. This venue, Hawthorne Hill Farm is a four day show. The good news is, it's a few days between setup and tear down. The bad news was we got the wrong size space and it was windy and cold in the barn. Did I mention rainy as well?

Basically, the space was less than a closet size but we made it work. It was drop dead gorgeous if I have to say so myself. But what really made it special was Annie was there. My pal Annie . . .


Annie is my friend from 3 Wren Street, this unbelievably cool collection of vintage and stuff that she and her family collect. Here are the great  pictures from their Junk Bonanza show recently.

Annie is the kind of person that lights up a room when she enters, full of laughter, always positive and always the biggest smile. She knows junk like no one else I know. She has that sixth sense about something cool. We laughed, talked, texted, shared our need for guacamole and chips, snarked about customers outfits and stuff we saw all weekend. She made four days seem like a brief hour. It was the best time at a market in a long time. I miss her all ready.

I came home with new shutters from her booth as well. Thanks Annie, great pick! ! !

She was so complimentary about how the booth looked this weekend. That really helped as I stressed out with the reduced size we had to fit into.

Here is our ladder display, can we say slighty crowded?


Our new Chantilly lace angel wings
And the most controversial item we have every placed in our booth hands down, our industrial light bulb Christmas ornament.

You would have thought it was beyond comprehension. The number one comment/question was,

what is it?
a light bulb

how does it light up?
it doesn't

why?
the jute on the top makes it hard to fit in the socket, which by the way requires 220 AMP service because it is a 400 watt lightbulb

oh

We have stitches in our sides from all of us laughing so hard, who knew this would happen. Out of all of them we sold, only one gentleman walked in, picked it up the correct way(not upside down) said, this is really cool, I'll take two. Everyone else had to have them explained, several, many times. It was wild.

It's late and a goodnite's sleep is in order. We had some great brainstorming this weekend and I will have new items coming up.

Off to rest and then back to creating,

Suz
the muze

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Shabby Santa Sack

Hi Everyone,

I didn't have this sack for pictures yesterday so I got a chance to grab it today for it's blog debut.

Time after time we talk about re purposing and recycling everyday items and when I saw this item this summer in it's true role, I saw all sorts of other possibilities.

Here is our new Shabby Santa Sack, perfect for larger gift items this Holiday season.

again with the wrong angle, I give up!

Let's try for the tag
Yea! ! ! I got one straight. This is an old French post card that I added a French greeting and trim.
Together they create a great reusable gift sack that could be used for gift giving occasion including Christmas.

Off to finish this weeks goodies,

Suz the Muze

Monday, November 5, 2012

Oui, oui

Hi Everyone,

Well, I have survived a weekend of French being spoken everywhere I turned. We had the privilege of showing at the Lycee Francais Annual Market in downtown Chicago and it was an interesting time to say the least. I still can not speak or understand that language but I did try. Over and over and over again. I got crepes and creme brulee correct and that was all that matter. Yes, both were fantastic.

This is an international school and everyone except me spoke French. So, I spent the weekend nodding and agreeing a lot! We were busy both days but Sunday was swamped from the get go. Met tons of new customers and laughed many times during the days so it was definitely a great show.

Several new items made their debut into our line and one was our vintage linens. We have been collecting table runners, napkins, scarves and tablecloths for several months now and finally got them all washed, pressed(thanks Candy) and prepared for their debut. It is something to watch people dig through neatly stacked items and finally find just the right one. The refolding part, not so much. Ah, but tis' the life of a vendor.

Several new paper items made it out as well like our new hand sewn Noel gift tag.


This burlap, lace, stamped muslin tag went over nicely and I am thinking of adding a couple more, perhaps in English this time.

Our folded trees also made it to this event in all their glory. It seems everyone did this type of a technique back in their younger days, alot of references to Reader's Digest were made. As we have said time after time, it is all about recycling, re-purposing and reusing. So our little trees qualify under recycling an old method, re-purposing an old book and reusing coffee!
Would someone please explain how these pictures turn themselves? ? ?  I have spent an hour trying to get both of these turned the correct way and NOTHING. Okay, I am done ranting, still frustrated but done. You have to admit that even tho it is sideways, it's a cute tree.

This coming weekend we are all traveling up to Wisconsin to do the now famous (hey, it made Craft Gossip, it doesn't get any better than that) Decorate! Market at Hawthorne Hill Farm in New Berlin Wisconsin. If you are within an hours drive of this place, it is well worth the effort. Bonnie Lynn gathers the best of cool artists and vendors in a magical, real barn setting, (dress warm) and you can shop for anything for the holidays. Lots of handmade items and of course, we have the gift wrapping situation under control. Check out our new Shabby Santa Sacks that will be there.

 Here's our next couple of shows,

 November  9 - 11  Decorate! ! ! at Hawthorne Hill Farm New Berlin WI

November  24
Indie Vintage & Art Market, Carmel IN      INDOORS! Yeah!


Back to creating,

Suz
the muze
our Etsy address  All My Musings 
our Facebook address  All My Musings





Monday, October 29, 2012

By the grace of God and really great friends

Hi Everyone,

Just when I thought we were back on schedule a few bumps, literally got in our way.

Mine involved 7 staples after a nasty head meets door frame incident on our way to Indianapolis three weeks ago and then George had to one up me with his attempt at a 'widow maker', the worst of all heart attacks last Saturday after NA DA Farm Event. Just when I thought our life was all over, he came through with not as much as a blip on his EKG. The cardiologist refers to him as the 'luckiest bastard he knows'. I have been signing emails all week with 'still here George'. I still get a chuckle over that one. and thanks for the anniversary gift darling, next year, skip the gift of two complimentary nights at your local hospital!

So, when we decided to go ahead and try to do our show this weekend, I really learned what unbelievable friends we have. The majority of them responded with 'what can we do to help' and that was very touching to receive that kind of response. We couldn't believe the outpouring.

And then there was Michelle from Reimagined just for you and her incredible family.

When we did the Midland MI show in September, I got to know some of her amazing children and admire her work.

This was one of my all time favorite pieces she showed.

Her work is just beautiful. But what is truly amazing are her 9, count them 9 incredible children.

Friday when we arrived at our show, because George is on a no lift restriction, really? geessh !, Michelle and Brian and 6 of the 9 children drove an hour each way to help us unload and set up. Then on Sunday, arrived with 8 of the 9, Joshua, Luke, Isaiah, Victoria, Sarah Grace, Isabella, Josiah and the one I really wanted to take home as a souvenir, Elijah. Each one pitched in and we set an all time record for getting packed up and on the road in 45 minutes! This normally takes us a minimum of 1.5 hours on a really good day. George and I talked about it all the way home, how blessed we are to have such generous good friends and that we got to enjoy these wonderful children. I tried several times to somehow steal Elijah away but Michelle caught on early and kept rescuing him from my grasp.

So to the entire Gryzbowski family, you are absolutely the best friends we could have asked for. So generous and so helpful, we truly would have had to miss the show if not for you and all your help. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts. May we someday be able to return your generosity.

I had made several new things to show and only got one photographed, so sorry. Been a little distracted you think ?

This is one of our new shabby pouches, a burlap drawstring pouch that has so many possibilities.

I will try to get some of the other shot this week. The other picture I want to share is of Mamie, our absolutely weirdest animal ever.

Every Monday morning I have to get our deposits and funds for our cash box organized and settled. Mamie will break her neck to be in the middle of it every time.
Can't you just her her saying it's mine all mine? George says it is in her female DNA to natural search out the cash. I just think she is hysterically funny and flat out the strangest cat we have ever had.

We have some really great shows coming up. Stop by and say hi.

Here's the details;

November  2 - 4    Lycee Francais de Chicago Market, Chicago IL


November  9 - 11  Decorate! ! ! at Hawthorne Hill Farm New Berlin WI


November 17  TBA


November  24 Indie Vintage & Art Market, Carmel IN      INDOORS! Yea


Back to creating and trying to catch my breath,


Suz
the muze
our Etsy address  All My Musings 
our Facebook address  All My Musings

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New friends we make along the way

Hi Everyone,

While traveling this past 12 weeks, we hopped over to Springfield OH for the big Extravaganza market in September. The weather was amazing compared to our first visit and a whole lot cooler by comparison.

This is quite a production and we were thrilled to be invited to participate in the Vintage Marketplace area where they gather all of the shabbies and vintage type booths together. Lots of cool stuff to be discovered and neat people to meet.

This is a three day show and we come in an entire day earlier to do set up. Its a lot of work for three days. On day one when we were headed back into our hotel, we observed a fairly large group of women pushing 2 large baggage carts. What drew our attention was the items on the carts. Cart one contained lots of baggage, which raised the question of how many were checking in and cart two took the cake. From top to bottom, it was chocked full of food and beverages, from chips to nuts and all sorts of adult beverages. I looked at the happy bunch and asked where the party was. I was then informed that 8 of these lovelies had come from several different states for the entire 3 day market experience.

Every year, they all decend on Ohio and have a huge party doing the market. So the following morning, very early as we were getting ready to go and open up for the day, I noticed these ladies starting their breakfast and all had these green shirts on. Finally one passed me and I started smiling.

Here's the coolest Tshirt I have seen in a long time.

















But the clincher was the back . . .

Is that cool or what ? Everyday I would see these gals, whether it was them unloading all their treasures into their multiple vehicles, cars, vans and trucks or at breakfast plotting out their day.

Sunday was special as they finally made their way to our booth and we had the privilege of snapping their group photo, of course in their shirts.

I have said it before and I will say it again, we get to meet some of the neatest folks on the road in this industry. I thought this group was pretty cool!

Need to get back to making new gift bags,

Suz
the muze
our Etsy address  All My Musings 
our Facebook address  All My Musings
  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Where in the world is AMM?

That is a great question . . . and I haven't the slightest idea as to where to begin.

Hi Everyone,

I so apologize for my very lengthy absence but I truly have some really good reasons.

Let's start with since our last visit, we have done . . .

28 shows
driven over 7,000 miles
sold over 1,800 individual items
visited with, laughed with and enjoyed over 1,270 customers
visited 9 new markets or shows
eaten entirely too much fast food
heard back from 9 very happy brides and Mother of brides

Yep, that pretty much sums it up. Been just a tiny bit busy and something had to give. The blog got the short straw. So let's see how I can make it up.

Back in July, we had the misfortune of doing a show in Ohio during the height of the really hot weather. How hot you ask ? Well, for three straight days they closed the show early because the heat became hazardous, 126 degrees on the asphalt, the county health department asking people not to go out, it was crazy. We were almost 400 miles from home and couldn't sell anything because people stopped coming out to what was a normally really busy show. So we packed up and left almost empty handed, no business. The following weekend we thought we would try something new and go as far north as we could, maybe cooler weather.

Midland Michigan ended up becoming really important. It was a good show for us, met a lot of cool people including the owner of the show, Lori Oberlin. In a conversation with her, it came up that she is a lover of all things shabby and really wanted to do a special shabby area at her next show in September.

I volunteered to help produce this event. What was I thinking? The heat must have fried my brain the weekend before and I said something to the effect of, 'Sure I can get a dozen vendors to come up and do this new show'. After all I had 8 weeks to work on it and only 12 shows to do in between, piece of cake.

Shoot me now.

But it was fantastic.

Here's a picture of the entrance to 'The Shabby Experience' at the Michigan Antiques and Collectibles Festival from last weekend.
More pictures are available at their Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/antiquefestival













I created this wonderful shabby bed with our stained muslin and a layer of beautiful fresh roses, carnations and other exotic florals. The little nightstand and accents were from our dear friends at Re-Imagined Just for You.

A close up of the pillow. It was gorgeous to see and the fragrance was wonderful.

I also sweet talked some of my favorite industrial vendors to come up and play in the other half of our area called 'Industrial Way'. Cool sign, huh? I am pretty pleased how it turned out and a special thank you to Steve at MAF who sat for hours attaching all those nuts, bolts and tools to it. Then mounted it to our pavilion tent so that that gale force winds wouldn't tear it down. Nice job Mr Yoder !












Cool sign, huh? I am pretty pleased how it turned out and a special thank you to Steve at MAF who sat for hours attaching all those nuts, bolts and tools to it. Then mounted it to our pavilion tent so that that gale force winds wouldn't tear it down. Nice job Mr Yoder !

The industrial dealers brought their best to show, like these fantastic pumpkins from Mike at Amsterdam Antiques, Saugatuck MI that literally flew out of his booth.

The whole experience was very exhilarating, very tiring and I can't wait until next June to do it again. 

I have to download more pictures, including wedding photos of some of our very happy brides and grooms.

It has been a whirlwind of a summer and fall doesn't look any slower !

Here's the details;

September  30 Allegan Antique Market, Allegan, MI

October  13 Indie Vintage Market, Indianapolis, IN

October 19 & 20, NA DA Farm Event, Esmond IL

Back to creating,


Suz
the muze
our Etsy address  All My Musings 
our Facebook address  All My Musings