Sunday, February 26, 2012

We are going to NA DA again ! ! ! !

Hi Everyone,

Last year I waxed on and on about the small but incredibly, breathtakingly beautiful event we did call NA DA Farm Event, a very prairie holiday. I have talked about it to everyone at every show we did and I am back at it again, because . . .

I just received a confirmation email from Anne Marie and Jason at NA DA Farm that we are confirmed for the May NA DA Farm Event on May 18 & 19, 2012. Yippee ! ! !  We couldn't be more thrilled and you will be too ! It truly is the best vintage, shabby flea in the area.

You remember NA DA don't you? The beautiful setting . . . 

The charming visitors, feathered  . . .
and non feathered
the sun, the wind, the fun of it all. It truly is a spectacular event like no other. Anne Marie and Jason are promising more of everything, more vintage, more antiques, more primitives and of course, more cupcakes!

This year is kinda special in that NA DA just received a special honor being named one of the BEST flea markets in the country from the reader at Flea Market Style magazine. Quite an honor indeed! Last year it was the Midwest Living magazine article and now this. Way to go guys !

If you haven't gotten your copy yet, run to your favorite magazine store and get a copy now. It has way too many cool new things to list here including the flea market listing.

So mark your calendars for May 18th and 19th for NA DA Farm Event, 2423 South Woodlawn Road, Esmond, IL 60129. It is only 45 minutes West of Geneva IL. So very easy to get to and so worth the drive. Not all the details are available just yet so stay tuned in for more information.

I have sooo much work to do . . . 

the muze
our Etsy address  All My Musings

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Old Friends

Hi Everyone,

Well, I hate to I say I told you so . . .  Rick, but I was kinda' correct about the Wheaton Antique Show last weekend. We met some great new friends and even one great gal who fell in love with our booth and with a little bit of prompting told our show buddy Rick that hands down we were her favorite booth there. LOL!  It was fun to laugh with someone else getting so excited about our goods.

The crowd for the most part was older and very traditional but incredibly nice and talkative. We sold a couple of frames, a lot of paper elements, these sell no matter where we go it seems and chatted to everyone.

So for the next week or so, we are off the road and I am excited to be able to create. With a little planning, some sleep and time to sit at my workstation, I am hoping to introduce 7 new items for our next show. 

Here's a peek at the first one.

This is made from an old volume of Sherlock Holmes stories published in 1953. The paper has a wonderful feel to it and sews up beautifully. Add a couple of embellishments and you get yourself a very usable pouch. It measures with the linen handle about 4.25" X 8".

Wouldn't this be great for a gift card or hand written note? You could even slip jewelry inside, oh the possibilities!

The gloomy rainy weather outside wasn't the perfect help for a great picture but you can see the lace detail and the sweet accent buttons.

Out in the outdoor workshop, there is a whole lot of noise bringing to life at least 4 brand items, none of which are ready for their pictorial debut just yet. Some of us work slower than others, just kidding, not! If it does get to 50  degrees this week, who knows what we could get to doing!

My BFF, Linda the muze and I have been going at each other for about three days straight and the ideas and compositions are flying fast and furious. So stay tuned for more, what I am still formatting but I can tell you, you about to see some cool barn wood things as well as new paper items.

I am waiting on a phone call before I post our next show, we may be adding a new venue. Never a dull moment . . . 

Off to create,

the muze

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The latest addition

Hi Everyone,

One of the hardest and biggest challenges of doing all these shows is keeping new fun items in the booth. As a creative mind, once I have made something, that's pretty much it's lifespan. It gets sold and I start all over again on a whole new item. Keep it fresh and appealing is the everyday law to live by for most show exhibitors in our kind of business.

That theory springs from the idea that if a customer visits us on two separate show dates, we want them to get just as excited about all the new things as they did the first time they saw us. That was proven last Sunday when a regular Grayslake customer stopped to see us. She ooh'd and ahh'd about all the 'new' butterflies that were on display since she had seen us in December and proceeded to buy several. Thank you !

The newest offering will come out in Wheaton on Saturday, I think it will be called a hanging envelopes, still not sure of the name. This is The Bird On Print
This is one of four designs, each measuring about 7" wide and with the handle about 14" high. This could be a wall hanging, a larger gift envelope, a purse or just a fun embellishment. 

Here is what I call the French Parfum Ad,
This one offers a cool copper wire handle and antique cuff buttons. It is always about the embellishments, don't you know!

Today we picked up new ceiling tiles and a HUGE box of really rusted bed springs from the picker. Hopefully tomorrow I can make a new project from them. Stay tuned !

Back to creating,

the muze

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Roller Coaster Weekend

Hi Everyone,

It is already Tuesday and I had really wanted to get this post up early, oops . .  again. This past weekend was the roller coaster ride of the season so far.

After working  on new pieces and trying to get ready, Friday afternoon is started snowing. You know the famous expression in Chicago has always been, "Don't like the weather here? Well, hang around, in 5 minutes it will change". Boy, was that true this time.

The drive to the Antiques and Collectibles Show in Grayslake normally takes us about 1.25 hours but when you add blowing snow, 40 to 50 mile an hour winds and temperatures dropping rapidly from the 30's to the teens, you get a mess. The drive up was over 2.5 hours and the winds blew so hard that the building was forced to keep the overhead doors closed making the load in long and tedious. Everyone was working in coats, scarfs and gloves as every bit of the heat had left and the wind just kept blowing the cold in. There seemed to be a lot of chatter about warm vacations and sunshine, all wishful thinking. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking we were gonna get hurt if the weather doesn't let up.

But it did.

Saturday was bitterly cold but sunny and hundreds of people came out for the show. Vendors could be seen smiling from ear to ear! We met so many new friends, visited with wonderful past customers and did a lot of laughing and shopping this time.

We sold out of our hanging fabric hearts, I loved these cuties,
and a little bit of all of our lines, frames, lots of brown paper elements, wine bags, coffee bean bags, furniture and candles. 

Part of the paper elements we sold included this new tag,

 Just a great time and so cool to meet so many new friends. Just a heads up I bought cool new 'stuff' to play with so look for new things in the next couple of days for our new show Saturday. 

We will be in Wheaton at the Antique Show held at the DuPage County Fairgrounds. We have never done this show, but our fellow vendors encouraged us to try it a couple of time and see. Who knows what will happen.

Til then I need to continue creating,

the muze

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sneak Peek

Hi Everyone,

Just a real quick post about a new slip covered journal I was able to finish up for this weekend's antique show in Grayslake IL.

I just love the idea of being able to slip a new blank journal in these covers and keep the beautiful artwork at hand. 

This cover features a hand felted heart made by a great artist from WI  we met this summer in New Berlin WI at the fantastic Hawthorne Hill Farm Event. We will be going back there this year and can't wait. To save my life, I can not locate the artist business card but when I do find it, I will post it and relate the poor penguin story as well.

Here's the slipcover . . .

The printed page section is an old Sherlock Holmes volume and I just love the feel it gives pieces like this.

Well, I need to create a couple more things before this weekend, pray the snow does not materialize that they are talking about. 

the muze

Monday, February 6, 2012

A star is born

Hi Everyone,

Wow, two blog post in two days, the world may now officially come to an end, LOL! 

Back home again after two very good days in St Charles and we met a whole lot of new friends as well. Another wonderful outing! I am still saying silent thank you's as the weather is holding and it was beautiful here in Illinois, 48 degrees and sunshine instead of the typical horrific snow storms we always have had this week in past years.

After every show we finish, I always do a recap, what we sold, how I perceived people reacting to our merchandise and what conversations took place, so as to prepare for the next show. It has always been a standing rule in all my businesses that you really need to listen to what is and isn't being said in your store to get a feeling for what the customer is truly looking for. So, to that end, I try to talk to everyone that stumbles into our little world. Today, I heard the best line ever I think.

I approach a nicely dressed woman who was looking at our brown paper packages line and she asked if I made all the flowers and butterflies that were displayed on our primitive wooden ironing board. I told her yes they were mine and that I tried to introduce at least one new flower every show and a new butterfly every other show so as to keep my little garden fresh with nice package trims. Operative word here, try . . . .

She was very complementary and told me how much she liked all the different pieces. And then she said, very sincerely I might add, " You are truly talented, all these things are really so pretty but boy, it must be so very noisy in your brain, with all those ideas trying to get out."

I started laughing and she did too, and I told her she couldn't have been closer to the truth if I had written it out for her. It's true, some days, there is a real traffic jam up there trying to format all the ideas into reality and other days  . . . there is NOTHING, nadda, zilch, buptkus, zero. It is so maddening at times. You never really know who is going to show up and whether or not is is really going to work. An honest to goodness crap shoot from the get go.

But then, there are times when it really does work, like today with our old rusted bed springs. We sell quite a few of them, mostly to people who have absolutely no idea what they are going to do with them but just love the idea of having one. True, that's what most of them say! It is so funny to hear that sometimes as I am packaging them up.

So to help everyone get a clue, I came up with this idea and boy, was it ever a hit today.

A simple bud vase made with a test tube with our rusted bed spring. A big thank you to our next door show neighbor, Jeanine ( I need a French cruller now ) from Chippy Shabby. She always has fresh flowers in her booth and she graciously shared a beautiful Shasta daisy with me for this. It was so simple but so spot on for one of those perfect touches. A design star was born. If you need one of these, drop me an email, we still have a couple left ( you are on your own for the Shasta Daisy part tho).

We will be up at Grayslake IL next weekend for the Antique Show so if you are in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello. I will be the chatty one there . . . .

Til then I need to create a few more new goodies for the booth,

Suz the muze
All My Musings

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Welcome Surprizes

Hi Everyone,

Just walking in the door from a very busy day at the Antiques and Collectibles show in St. Charles at the Dupage Expo Center. Lots of great folks showed up at 11 AM and we stayed busy thoughout most the day.

I took some new things to this show that I was able to finish up in the nick of time.

First, is a new item for our Brown Paper Packages line called Prairie Hearts, a neat 4" heart cut from our wrapping paper and embellished with old Sherlock book pages, buttons, muslin and gauze. These are so sweet in real life and we sold some of them today.

Next is one of the many new designs in altered tin cans I am doing. This one is covered in paper with old antique foreign stamps and shipping tags attached to the outside. It will be perfect for a pencil or tool holder on a desk.

I have done these little covered books before but they sell so quickly I have never been able to get a picture posted. Gotcha this time !

The biggest surprize today came from one of our customers, Annette. When I saw her, I recognized that she had been a customer in the booth before but not remembering what she had bought until I looked at the bag she was carrying.

We are always encouraging everyone who stops in and visits to be creative and wrap a package, create something from paper of our elements and use some of those wonderful coffee bean bags into something.

Well, Annette did just that. She made this great tote bag from one of our coffee bags, one from El Salvador to be exact and it was just outstanding ! ! ! !  Talk about a full circle moment, it was really humbling.

Look at this adorable bag . . . 

I have plans on offering totes in our booth by this Spring, but was just tickled pink when Annette showed hers today. I am so thrilled to see our coffee bean bags finding new life and oh so fashionable to boot! Congrats Annette and can't wait to see the new ones you will create ( she took a armful of new burlap home today!). Thank you so much for being so generous in sharing your work. It truly was a pleasure seeing you and your bag today.

We are at St Charles tomorrow for the last time until Fall of 2012 and then on to Grayslake Antique Show next weekend. No rest for the wicked they say . . . 

Til then,

Suz the muze
All My Musings