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,

the muze

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


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.

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,

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

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


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,

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,

the muze
our Etsy address  All My Musings 
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