Monday, July 6, 2009

Chalk Talk

I've had a long-standing love-affair with chalkboards. I think it's just another chapter in my love story with school supplies in general. My chalkboard romance began back in the long-ago, before Joe and I started working together, when my BFF Tina Mullins had fabulous chalkboards made for her excellent little shop in Barrington, Illinois (which to this day I still miss terribly -- quick, get the tissues!) I used to supply her with frames for her boards -- it was a match made in our dusty little corner of heaven.

Switching back to the present, chalkboards have been excellent sellers here at rhubarb reign for the last several years. Hot frame colors have gone from green to blue to red, with ivory being a constant. The more unusual the frame, the better. Some of our favorites once housed beautiful Eastlake mirrors or ornate Victorian pictures. We've also used old rowing machines, doors, windows and metal games. Pictured above are two using bottle cap frames by Chicago folk artist Casey Lewandowski. Our boards have shown up in some wonderful places, including Mary Engelbreight's Home Companion, in stores from Chicago to Columbus, and on one of our favorite blogs (no, not just ours!)

This weekend's crop of chalks disappeared by mid-afternoon Saturday at the Kane County Flea Market. We weren't really sure what to expect with a soft raining falling on a cool Fourth of July as the show opened. But we were thankful to be steadily busy all day. Sunday was beautiful, with lots of shoppers strolling the aisles both inside and out. Small furniture, handmades -- especially jewelry and mirrors -- and ephemera were strong sellers. By the end of the weekend, we'd also sold a number of our larger pieces, including a lovely buffet and several ornate tables.

This week, we're off to the auction to stock up for Grayslake, and it looks like we'll be headed to the paint department to reorder, too. Come and see us on Saturday or Sunday. xo

P.S. A big thank you to Heather for trusting us with her jewelry and to the Boyds for the tremendously fun holiday cookout. (:


anythinggoeshere said...

Wow! Here we are in the great minds department. I posted about chalkboards, too.

Unknown said...

Those chalkboards are such a good idea. Glad you found something that sells. I am still searching.

Linda Summerfield Crispell said...

You know I bought every single one of your chalkboards at Grayslake a few years ago. Those photogenic chalkboards became quite famous!

Linda Summerfield Crispell said...

P.S. I emailed you about Saturday night, I hope you can both come!

Sandy and Joe/rhubarb reign said...

Thanks for the comments, ladies! Joan, I saw your cute project with the cabinet door. Linda, thanks for buying those boards in the way-back -- those were the ones I was talking about in the ME article. Cat, would chalks fit in with the painting you do? Maybe some painted frames with chalk inserts? xo