Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sachet this way Dear . . .

One of us is really tired today, can you tell?

Hi Everyone,

Despite rummaging thru 1880's barn doors and corrugated steel roof panels, there has been a huge flurry of activity here the last couple of days. Oh and don't forget the 'estate sale' I stumbled on in my Mom's neighborhood. Sorry folks, but a total of 43 pieces of assorted items, (mostly dirty Rubbermaid) one riding lawn mower and four pieces of furry furniture does not constitute an estate sale! But I did score a 42" round to 60" oval kitchen table for $5. It will make a good display piece down the road. Remember me saying this in about 6 months. Just saying . . . 

After an afternoon of sewing at Fran's, I finally finished our little sachets. Two little packets tied with a stem of our dried lavender finishes them up nicely. 

Now Mom's house smells like wonderful lavender. And pizza. She was in a pizza mood and who are we to deny her want for pizza? Not I, that's for sure. I didn't have to cook tonight! Yeah!

So, now we have lots of little bundles, all dressed up and ready to travel to Indianapolis next week. And then on to Rockford, hopefully there will still be a couple left.

Here's that schedule again . . .

April  6 2013  -  Indie Arts and Vintage, Indiana Sate Fairgrounds, Indianapolis, IN

April 19 - 20  2013  - The Vintage Market, 919 Garfield Avenue, Rockford IL

April  28  2013  -  Allegan Antiques Market, Allegan County Fairgrounds, Allegan MI

May  6  2013  -  Indie Arts and Vintage BACK OUTDOORS ! ! ! Glendale Shopping Center Parking Lot, Indianapolis IN


May  17 -18  2013  -   NA DA Farm Event  2423 South Woodlawn Road, Esmond IL 

May  24 - 25  2013  - The Vintage Farmhouse Spring Market  9180 Hunt Club Road Zionsville IN

May 26  2013  -  Allegan Antiques Market, Allegan County Fairgrounds, Allegan MI

We are cutting butterflies this evening, designing tags and playing with a new box of lace and burlap that arrived yesterday,


the Muze

Friday, March 29, 2013

Look what I found!

Hi Everyone,

We are in real deep in the creation/assembly/producing end of things, getting ready for the 11 or so weeks on the road swing about to start, so I am going to keep this quick.

Had to share what I spied today, look at these beauties nestled in remainders of fall foliage . . .
Mother Nature is up to some new trick or the neighborhood squirrels are, one of the two are (my money is on the squirrels, they are really crafty) because I have never planted crocus anywhere other than out around our big ash tree in the front, about 140 yards away from this spot, BEHIND the house. I was amazed to see their beautiful color poking out but welcome them with open arms. The picture doesn't do them justice, the color is so deep and rich.

Spring really is coming our way, I truly thought it was a cruel joke seeing snow last week but these little buggers made their way through.

We have a cool announcement coming about a really special event that we have been invited to and I will get the details out once it has been officially announced on the host end of things, so stayed tune, this one is pretty cool.

Til then, it's back to work,

the Muze

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

International Relationships and laughter

Hi Everyone,

Almost finished our sachets today, my back was not cooperating with the whole sewing and ironing program I had laid out for today's activities. Along with Fran care, lunch and dinner for her and talking my dear friend Ana into buying another building and opening another business, it was a really, really full busy day.

Oh and celebrating my nephew's first day on his new job. and reading emails, wonderful emails from all sorts of great folks.

First up early this morning was a client who was over the moon with some new ideas that I came up with for her daughters wedding. That's a great start. Then there were several phone calls and emails about having actual lavender plants for sale at The Vintage Market in Rockford. Yes, we scored big time thanks to Theresa in Michigan!

Beautiful real lavender plants.

That will one day hopefully look like this
Yes this could be yours! With a little water, a little sun and a good growing season. Get yours in April at the Market in Rockford IL.

A full day with Fran care, sewing, ironing and a great dinner, thank God for Rival Crockpots, I'm just saying, and soon it was back to business at the office. Tons of work just waiting for me. Argh!

Then about 10 minutes ago I opened an email that made me smile and laugh out loud. No, the latest edition Shoppers of Walmart is not out, but an out-of-the-blue hello from some great gals we meet last market in Indy.

We had been swamped and I don't remember exactly what transpired up to the point that I do remembering asking one of the gals where she was from. I could distinctly hear a German accent. Well me being me, you can enter an eye roll here, when given the information that they were actually from Holland and Germany, came up with the monikers that Heidi and Gretchen were shopping our booth to other customers in our place at the time. You all know me, everybody gets into the conversation. We all were laughing quite hard and they were saying that when I go to the Netherlands to shop that great Burbri Antiek they wanted to come along as real life tour guides. What, were they serious?

Naturally I agreed, rather enthusiastically. I couldn't imagine how cool that would be to actually shop with someone who knows the ins and outs of a foreign place that well. 

So imagine tonight when I opened an email addressed, Dutch connection:) how surprised I was to read the following. . . 

We met at Indie Arts and Vintage on the 9th of this month and I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed our chat.
I was there with my bestest friend. You referred to us German girls as 'Heidi and Gretchen'. LOL
Although truth be told I am more Dutch than German. Well, I'm equal parts... but I FEEL more Dutch since that's where I grew up. ;)
You even wanted us to go to The Netherlands with you to shop for antiques!
I do hope you remember us. We should be able to go to your next show at the Indy Fairgrounds too. :)

Have a wonderful evening!!
Irenea aka. Dutchy
I believe you called me Gretchen, due to my dark hair ;)

Not only did we remember, George and I started laughing out loud because we remembered how funny they were and just a down right delightful to have in our booth. We definitely couldn't forget them. Nope, not at all.

I have said it before and I will keep shouting it from the roof tops, we are so incredibly blessed to meet and share our lives with some of the coolest people on the planet. It really is the true nature of the group we are fortunate to show with and the great visitors/customers/friends we meet along the way. 

It's after 11 PM and I still have a couple hours of paperwork to go through, so we will chat again,

the Muze

Monday, March 25, 2013

Merci bouquets, lots of bouquets

Hi Everyone,

Now that we are back in reality, (thanks LBT for a great relief effort), I am back crackin' the whip in the ol' production scene. There simply is never enough time to get ahead.

The DH is thrilled that one of our 'projects' has finally met it's end. We literally gathered all our strength and wits to gather lavender the past two days. The whole house, both vehicles and a couple of noisy four legged pests that can not keep their noses or tails out of anything of mine, are all scented in the absolutely wonderful fragrance of lavender.

Our bouquets, that will be available in snow covered Indy in just a few days, turned out very nicely if I may say so myself. Each bouquet is about 14" to 18' in length. I found a beautiful gathering basket to display them in.
OMG ! ! !  I can not believe this goofy Blogger is now turning pictures upside down. I was over the moon that all the pictures I took were right side up and when they downloaded into this format, viola', upside down. This could seriously drive someone to drink beyond all sensibility. So maddening.

Okay, back on topic, I apologize for digressing. Blogger makes you do things like that. 

Anyway, the what seemed like millions of very tender beautiful stems of lavender were all bundled up, about 150 to 200 per bunch, (I was not about to actually count) and wrapped up with our really strong heavy brown paper, a shred of lace and some wonderful jute twine! As I was tying them off, it occurred to me you could actually use these as wedding bouquets if you wanted to and wouldn't that be a cool scent for the bridal party. Maybe keep all prospective brides and grooms a bit calmer.

Our bundles will be on display with our lavender sachet packets as well. Indy will never know what hit them, it will smell so good in our booth. I will try to capture a pic of the sachets, God only knows which direction that will be in.

On to the journals tomorrow as well as new chalkboards. 

Never a dull moment around here, that is for sure,

Here's our schedule again.

April  6 2013  -  Indie Arts and Vintage, Indiana Sate Fairgrounds, Indianapolis, IN

April 19 - 20  2013  -  The Vintage Market, 919 Garfield Avenue, Rockford IL

April  28  2013  -  Allegan Antiques Market, Allegan County Fairgrounds, Allegan MI

May  6  2013  -  Indie Arts and Vintage BACK OUTDOORS ! ! ! Glendale Shopping Center Parking Lot, Indianapolis IN

May  17 -18  2013  NA DA Farm Event  2423 South Woodlawn Road, Esmond IL 

May  24 - 25  2013  The Vintage Farmhouse Spring Market  9180 Hunt Club Road Zionsville IN

May 26  2013 Allegan Antiques Market, Allegan County Fairgrounds, Allegan MI

I am headed to be creative,

the Muze

Friday, March 22, 2013

Shhh! Don't tell anyone . . .

that we completely snuck out from work and had a great night off last night!

Hi Everyone,

We will just blame these folks . . .
That's Jimi, Kimberly, Phillip and Karen known to all in country music as Little Big Town. They just happened to be visiting a mile and a half from my home so I thought I would surprise my DH and wonderful hard working sister with excellent seats to go see and hear the magnificent harmonizing vocals this group has to offer. Unbelievable voices that could harmonize over the phone book I swear.

We were checking in over 10,000 lavender stems that arrived very late yesterday and I then persuaded Candy and George to go to dinner. I surprised them at dinner with the news that they were going to go hear LBT for the evening. Sure beat bundling lavender for the market next week !

So we are a bit exhausted today but it was so worth the fun evening and the beautiful music we got to hear for almost 2 hours. These folks put on a fantastic show and I am so glad they stumbled off the beaten path our way. 

Thanks guys, you were superb and I so needed the night out,

the Muze

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pew Bows anyone?

Hi Everyone,

Things have been in high gear here and being off the road has been a huge help, trust me when I say that. The joy of doing shows in a million places is meeting a whole lot of cool people, getting involved in really beautiful events, like weddings and celebrations and finding out where our things end up at, but the downside is handmade things can not be made anywhere but here.
Just a small hiccup

One consistent item we sell is burlap garland, by itself in rolls, made into simple bows, 

made into elaborate pew bows
I know, aren't they beautiful? But, after you have seen say 80 or 90 of them, they start to wear on you just a little bit.

Just like the 90 cases of burlap garland that just arrived. 90 cases, they go on forever and ever. Sad thing is they won't last long and I will be searching for scraps to finish something! Happens every shipment.

Remember this guy?  We all know how popular and beloved our wreath is. They eat up 4 rolls of garland at a time. 

It amazes me how long it takes to make the wreath, make the roses and whoosh, they are gone in the next show and back to the drawing board.

So on top of bows, runners, jar wraps and wreaths, next comes all of the new slip covered journals. They are all naked right this second and can not come out and play  but as soon as I can I will try to post pictures of them all dressed up and ready to party.

Schedules are picking up as well. First off the bat, is our new location in Indiana for the Indie Arts and Vintage Show. We are moving to the Indiana State Fairgrounds for this show only on April 6, 2013 and at the exact same time our show is going on, the 3rd Annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace is happening. Two shows one location. What a great Saturday! Make plans to spend the whole day with all of us at the fairgrounds.

One show we are thrilled to be invited to is The Vintage Market up in Rockford Illinois.

Here's my friend Polly driving to a junk sale now,
Just kidding Pol, but I do love that picture and truly believe you two could be sisters!

Here they are really,
She and her amazing hubby Steve actually open their home and invite 15 of us crazy vendors to come in and show our wares. Last year's Roscoe event was so cool and we all had such a great time. So on to Rockford next month. Please come join us and shop as Polly has listed, handmade, vintage, re-purposed, shabby romantic, rustic farm style and vintage garden. Sounds like something for everyone.

And it is finally here. Allegan is back and we couldn't be happier. We really miss all of our great friends up there and weather permitting, we will have a great show on April 28. Can not wait to see that beautiful area this year. Look out Larry, the block captain is on her way!

Here's the road schedule for the next little bit,

April  6 2013  -  Indie Arts and Vintage, Indiana Sate Fairgrounds, Indianapolis, IN

April 19-20  2013  -  The Vintage Market, 919 Garfield Avenue, Rockford IL

April  28  2013  -  Allegan Antiques Market, Allegan County Fairgrounds, Allegan MI

May  6  2013  -  Indie Arts and Vintage BACK OUTDOORS ! ! ! Glendale Shopping Center Parking Lot, Indianapolis IN

May  17 -18  2013  NA DA Farm Event  2423 South Woodlawn Road, Esmond IL 

May  24 - 25  2013  The Vintage Farmhouse Spring Market  9180 Hunt Club Road Zionsville IN

May 26  2013 Allegan Antiques Market, Allegan County Fairgrounds, Allegan MI

Can you believe two great events in Illinois? Pinch me, I must be dreaming. The car will think we are mad at it.

I am tired just typing all of that . . .whew. I had better get back to work


the Muze

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Indianapolis and stun guns

Hi Everyone,

It is really cold and rainy here in dismal Illinois but we are still warm and fuzzy from our unbelievable trip to Indianapolis yesterday.

As you may remember, in the past summer months we had nothing but the worst weather on the face of the earth for every single show in Indy. It became like an unwanted relative every single show. Since we moved indoors, it has been the opposite. Drop dead gorgeous days and huge crowds of shoppers.

Yesterday was the same and at exactly 9 AM the doors opened to this mob moving quickly,
(It's raining and this thing REFUSES to straighten out today. I sent and re-saved it four times and still sideways. Oh well . . .)

Anyhow, we were slammed. Our booth was third in from the entrance and immediately we were crowded and selling. My very first customer was a repeat customer, who was so thrilled we had returned and quickly gathered up what she wanted and headed to the ironing board.

As I was chatting with her and writing her rather large order up, a new woman walked up and started being so incredibly rude and difficult to deal with. I smiled politely and told her I would gladly help her in just a minute as soon as I finished the sale I was working on. She threw her selections at me and the ironing board in disgust and walked off.

I looked at my customer in disbelief and was going to start apologizing when my customer said the most amazing thing.

"You know if I had a stun gun right now, I d let you use it on her!"

Well, needless to say, that's all it took and I was in fits of laughter. We're talking a true Depends moment. We have been so incredibly blessed by the wonderful people we meet along this journey, offers of lodging, home cooked meals, gifts and so much more, but I do believe this was a first. It took quite a few minutes for me to regain my composure and news spread quickly as others heard her offer and pretty soon it was laughter everywhere. All I could think was, what a way to start a show.

The crowds didn't let up for several hours and that really limits the time I can spend with past clients. 

And yesterday that bothered me a lot. I looked up at one point and saw a face I knew I wanted to remember, that brain injury thing was working overtime and all it was saying was, " You know this person" and NOT a thing more.

Turned out that Marilyn and John from Louisville had driven all the way up to the Indy show, more than 2 hours away. I had invited them back in December when we first met them.

It was near closing at our first night in Louisville last December, that really warm weekend we showed outside at the art show. They came into our booth and stayed for at least an hour. It was such a delightful visit and here they were, all the way up in Indy to see us and do this show.

John said that when Marilyn walked in the auditorium at The Fountains, she let out a little squeal of delight. The market really was spectacular this month and here she was quickly gathering up items in my booth and before I could turn around twice from answering the others, she was gone, leaving John with an armful of goodies waiting patiently to be checked out. As if that wasn't bad enough, on their way out, they tried again and we were swamped again. I had to settle for a wave and thank you from across the booth. It really meant so much to see them and to know they made the effort on my suggestion to come up and try the market there. It doesn't get any better than that.

So, to all the incredibly great customers that couldn't have 'quality' visiting time, thank you for spending time with us in our booth. We really appreciate each and every single one of you.

The afternoon spend by like lightning and before I knew it George was talking about hooking up  the trailer and bringing boxes in. Really, not again.

We have a routine for breaking down the booth and I started with the desk, when I noticed another woman still in the booth. I walked over and she asked if we were closed yet and told her absolutely not. We started to figure out a couple of decorating issues she had in her bedroom and we were able to resolve several areas she needed pieces for. Our wonder loader, Tony had started breaking down other fixtures and George was dropping off the dozen or so crates and boxes and Peggy kept saying, "I can't believe you are still helping me". Truth be told Peggy, I would do just about anything to get out of breaking down ! But, working on the vignette we created for the top of that chest in your bedroom, won by a huge landslide. Truly, my pleasure.

I finally finished her sale and we packed up and with our friend Mark from Michigan, got on the road going north towards home.

Such a great day, new friends, new clients and offers of weapons. 

What more could a girl want? 

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes for my Mom, she is getting a bit stronger every day and we will continue working to til we get her back in the saddle.

In the meantime, I will be working to get a our new Spring line launched and figuring out where we are showing the rest of the month. Kinda' depends on Fran's recovery and how much time we will have.

Please remember that next month in Indy, we are actually at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and at the same time we are there, there is an art show going on. So it's going to be a big deal, two shows, one location. Start making plans for the first Saturday of April now.

Catch you all later,
the Muze 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A little inspiration

Hi Everyone,

So sorry for another absence, um, let's see, one ill parent, hopefully being discharged from a week at the hospital tomorrow, a crazy, funny bridal show and weird weather.

Yep, that's pretty much sums up the insanity level around here. Also known as normal.

It is very difficult to keep all the proverbial balls in the air or juggling as it is sometimes known as, when you physically make about 90% of everything you show by hand. So anytime away from your creativity area is always hard to get back. Heck, it's just gone.

The two bright spots this week started with a bridal show in Indiana. I knew it was going to be 'different' when a woman walked in the booth and looked at our table setting display, which by the way is really very pretty in real time,

and said, "Oh, you're a catering company".

Where do you go from there? (Hysterical laughing is not a politically correct choice I found out)

When all was said and done, it was a great show, albeit a humorous one at that.

While spending a whole lot of hours at the hospital this week, it did give me a chance to really catch up on some of my favorite blogs.

I follow blogs from all over the world, to get ideas and inspiration. One in particular sent me into a huge tail spin.

Songbird is from the Netherlands. She loves all things chippy, old, industrial, antiquey, quite the renaissance gal.

Recently, she visited what she called the "Salvage Store from Heaven".

I have already checked out the ticket cost to Holland.

It is just unbelievable. The place is located somewhere near the airport, their website is written in Dutch but the passion and beauty come through loud and clear. Thank goodness cuz' I do not speak or read a single word of Dutch.

Burbri International, also known as Burbri Antiek is a huge warehouse that houses architectural and industrial goodies. I am posting a couple of pictures from Marianne's blog but please take the time to go see all of them. It is so worth the time.

Oh my, these are ALL stained glass

every color imaginable of shutters

I was ready to pass out  . . .  and then saw this

Iron gates + European design + antiqued AHHHHHHH!

Then she showed this

So I am going to start making plans on a buying trip.

Step one - see how large of container I can secure and what freight is going to run

Step two - find at least two more places to shop while in Holland

Step three - learn enough Dutch to be able to say phrases like, "Really, that is your BEST price?" or "If I take all of them, won't you come down a bit more on the price?" " No, the Euro is not a better form of currency"

This might take a little time to work on, okay maybe a lot of time. But who's up for making the trip with me? Come on, it could be a hoot!

In the meantime, back to reality, we are shuffling down to Carmel IN for next Saturday's Indie Arts and Vintage Market. Have I told you how much I love going to Indy, as much as Allegan MI, almost!

I'll be back,

the Muze