Saturday, August 29, 2009

Allegan Is This Weekend!

Don't miss it! We're all things fall. See the show sidebar for details. Weatherman is calling for showers overnight Saturday, but clearing by show time! xo

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Transformation Thursday: Necklace Organizer

When one of our favorite clients asked for a narrow rack to organize and display necklaces in her oh-so-lovely closet (see Monday's post!), Joe went right to work. We used half of a vintage magazine rack, but anything similar will work just fine.

First, Joe changed the orientation, adding hook eyes for hanging and using Gorilla Glue to affix some trim to the top. Cardinal rule of any rhubarb reign project: trim is cute and cute is always better, even if it takes a little longer!

Next, we placed cup hooks at staggered intervals on each rung. Be sure to drill a pilot first using a very small bit. Note that the hooks here are on the table for placement; you want to drill your holes so that the hooks face outward, not downward.

Then, recruit a teenage boy to assemble the rack for you while you work on other things, like putting cute trim on stuff. In a pinch, you can also do this step yourself.

Voila! Finis! You can leave natural or paint, according to your taste. We used several coats of Krylon Ivory spray paint to finish ours in this case.

And here it is. No more tangled chains and you have the added bonus of being able to admire your well-organized baubles every time you see them! Thanks for joining us for Transformation Thursday. Click the button on our sidebar to see everyone else's fun projects. xo

Monday, August 24, 2009

Katie's Closet: OMG!

There's something wonderful about taking life's daily necessities and turning them into something special. Look at the French and food -- the stuff real people eat every day, not the 5-star restaurant concoctions. The freshest ingredients are served with the utmost care, and the results are unforgettable. It's all about paying attention to the small details. Keep this idea in mind and take a little field trip with me. Welcome to our friend Katie Palmer's closet:

Isn't it amazing? Don't you want to pack your bag and move right in? We've all got to put our stuff somewhere, but a space like this would make you want to get up in the morning!

You just have to love all the pretty colors, the adorable vintage hangers, the amazing little vignettes...

We appreciate Katie's attention to detail every time we visit her. It's evident both here at home and at her fabulous store, Sobo Style, in Columbus, Ohio. If you're ever in the area, or are planning on attending the Springfield Extravaganza or Country Living Fair next month, be sure you stop in and see for yourself!

Thanks for sharing, Katie! You're the best. xo P.S. Be sure to check out Katie's posts about her recent trip to the gift show in NYC; can't wait to see the new stuff when it arrives.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Fill 'Er Up!

If you're just joining us today for Transformation Thursday, welcome! This is our weekly post-show update and sales report -- all about transforming our empty booth to a full one, plus getting our show on! Last week was all about getting things done, yessiree!

Joe and I were really pleased to arrive at Midland Saturday and find our booth virtually empty! That means sales were good this month, and we couldn't be happier. Part of our strategy for 2009 has been to get more inventory to Midland during the summer, which can be challenging when there's a show scheduled virtually every weekend. We've had to juggle things around a bit, so it's really rewarding to feel that things are working out.

However, the empty booth brings with it the "problem" of refilling it. Can we get it all in, arranged and priced in time to get to Burlington and be ready for tomorrow's show? The countdown begins at 10 a.m. Ready, set, go!

It doesn't look like it, but two hours have already gone by, and Joe's suggesting a break for lunch. We have everything pulled out that's going on to Burlington with the us, and the display pieces that we'll be putting in storage are on the elevator, ready to go upstairs. Joe's gone in search of his favorite ladder while I make some adjustments to our floor plan notes.

By 2 p.m., things are looking a little better. All the furniture is in place, and we're starting to unpack the smalls. Only two hours left, however, and we still have to price everything and do the walls, which I always dread. Hanging pictures in "business life" is just like hanging pictures at home: fraught with peril and argument! "Just a little to the left, honey. No, maybe more to the right!" (: Plus, the van has to be reloaded. Ugh.

Success! It's only a little after 4, and we're almost done. Let's hope we're on our way to empty again. Kentucky, here we come (after I do a little Midland shopping, of course!).

By sunrise at Burlington on Sunday, we were unpacking smalls, and awaiting Heather's arrival. The show turned out to be a scorcher -- 84 predicted degrees turned into 96, with humidity that made it feel like 106. Despite that, we sold all our big furniture. Go figure -- usually hot temperatures translate into sluggish furniture sales. You just never know, I guess.

Our customers started to wilt in the heat around lunchtime, leaving us at 75 percent of our sales goal for the show. But we were pleased with the weekend overall. We always enjoy our time at Midland; the staff is so kind to us. A special thank you to Michael for his help with getting the world's heaviest, yet most beautiful, machine off the trailer, and to fellow dealers Heather and Chris for their kind words about our space and our blog. We appreciated it! And to our BFF Heather for joining us at Burlington with lots of new jewelry -- your creativity always amazes me! Love the new designs. xo

Friday, August 14, 2009

Restocking Midland Saturday; Burlington Sunday

We have lots of great finds ready to restock our space at Indy's Midland Gallery on Saturday, then we'll head south for the Burlington (KY) Antique Show on Sunday. Come and see us! Details on the sidebar. xo

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Transformation Thursday: Millinery Flower Pin

I'm a big fan of Emily Martin's fashion blog, Some Girls Wander. I think her outfits are truly original and really fun. I love how she layers things in ways I'd never think of. I noticed that she occasionally wears millinery flowers as accents and decided to start my own collection.

This was my first find. I think it's handmade. Got it last month at the Allegan (MI) Antique Market. Love the vintage turquoise velvet -- reminds me of the French Provincial chairs my grandma had in her living room. They were the same yummy color !

However, trouble struck the first time I tried to wear my new treasure. My bouquet was terribly top heavy and drooped dangerously to one side, almost making my walk sideways. Gasp.

To the rescue: one of my favorite Lisa Toland pins from Sobo Style in Columbus, Ohio. Pinned it on right underneath the millinery flower and somewhat accidentally formed this nifty corsage. Got lots of compliments on it, so now I'm hot on the trail of additional flowers to pair up with other pins. Be sure to check out all the other fun projects on the Transformation Thursday link. Just click the button on our sidebar. xo

Monday, August 10, 2009

Compare and Contrast: So Much to Love

There's something inherently appealing to me about things that don't seem to go together, but go together perfectly. Salt and pepper. Peanut butter and jelly. Industrial objects and primitive furniture. I've always been excited about that element of "compare and contrast," but it really has been a theme this week, both at home and at work.

For starters, the new J.Crew and Anthropologie catalogs both arrived. The J.Crew outfits pictured are full of contrasts -- dressy pieces paired with really casual ones -- not a new idea, but exciting to me because some of the combinations I could actually imagine wearing. Love the ruffled and embellished t-shirts. And check out the great industrial housewares in Anthropologie. I especially love the lighting -- gracefully and industrial at the same time.

Continuing the theme, one of my BFFs, Kathleen, was visiting last week from Chicago and showed me the fabulous website of Maggie Taylor, an artist whose work she'd seen in New Orleans. Taylor takes vintage photographs, scans them into the computer, then alters them in Alice-in-Wonderland like ways, and prints them out as poster-sized canvases -- sweet, but eerie at the same time. Love it!

Joe was excited about the article he found in Newsweek (7/29/09 issue) on Polaroids, which I understand have now been rendered extinct by digital technologies. However, just as the actual technology is being phased out, its style is hotter than ever. There is now a program called "Poladroid" that allows you to alter your digital images to resemble vintage Polaroids. As more perfect images become available to the average photographer, the more the hunger grows for the fuzzy Polaroid.

Next, I'd like to announce that as a 46-year-old, evangelical mom, I heart Guns 'N' Roses. I'm blaming it on numerous games of Name That Tune, played while listening to the classic rock stations we find while traveling. Whenever "Sweet Child o' Mine" comes on, I can never remember which band it is, but totally love the song. Joe rolls his eyes at my lack of musical recall, saying, "it's Guns 'N' Roses." Last time this happened, I decided to look for the video on YouTube, and now I'm hooked. I was sharing this news with Kathleen, who warned me that my man Axl was nuts. I did some in-depth research on Wikipedia and found that indeed, my fellow Hoosier had a rap sheet befitting his head-banging lifestyle. But still, there's something wonderful to me about a long-haired, foul-mouth, tattooed guy writing such a sweet song for his (then) wife. Sigh.

Even our booth at this weekend's Grayslake was a study in contrasts -- painted furniture, mixed with primitives, seasoned with industrial. Not a bad show, but not a barn-burner either. A special thank you to our customer Elizabeth from the Bent Fork Bakery for the delicious cookies. And to everyone who came out to support the show on the hottest weekend in the last 3 years! Now it's off to downtown Indianapolis and small-town Kentucky, as we get ready for this week's run to Midland and Burlington. xo

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Shop the Air-Conditioned Grayslake!

Just a reminder that Grayslake is this Saturday and Sunday -- see the show sidebar for details. We're excited that the new building is air-conditioned! Come shop in comfort. xo

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Transformation Thursday: Jewel Encrusted Vintage Mirrors

When our original project for an entire box of vintage mirror blanks didn't pan out, we put on our thinking caps. Inspiration struck in the form of a new book I'd purchased for making jewelry and the "Amy Mirror " was born, named for designer Amy Hanna. Our jewel-tipped mirrors incorporate an eclectic blend of jewelry bits and pieces, as do Ms. Hanna's creations.

To begin, we affix vintage or scrapbooking paper to the backs of the mirrors with spray adhesive. Next, a metal finding with a small hanging hole drilled in the top is epoxied to the mirror's surface; a similar piece sans hole is added to the bottom.

Next we dive into our parts box, pulling out beads and rhinestones to trim the metal findings.

I generally use one larger piece at the top, then add small groups of rhinestones. These are applied with E6000, allowing time to dry between rounds of embellishment.

Here's a close-up of a finished top. A pretty ribbon is added for hanging and voila, c'est finis! A smart girl would have taken a photo of the finished product, but that will have to wait for a future post -- sold them all at our last show! Yippee! Thanks for checking out our project; feel free to contact me with questions. Take a look at everyone else's by clicking the Transformation Thursday button on our sidebar! 'Til next week, xo.

Monday, August 3, 2009

111 Hours

Time works a little differently in the vintage world. Between the time this photo was taken Wednesday,

and this photo was taken Sunday, 111 hours had elapsed.

Actually, that was the number of hours logged by our crew getting ready for Kane County. But what a great show it was! Sales were strong in all categories -- furniture, smalls, handmades, industrial, primitives, original paint, you name it. Many thanks to our wonderful customers for coming out to support the show -- you're the best! Your loyalty and enthusiasm makes all the hours worthwhile. xo

P.S.: A great big thank you is due to our awesome hosts the Boyds; your hospitality is amazing.