Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kane County Here We Come!

Join us Saturday and Sunday for the Kane County Flea Market. Lots of garden, industrial, furniture, smalls, creations and stuff for making stuff. We're excited!! Come and see us. Show details are listed in the sidebar. xo

Monday, April 27, 2009

Cute Rain Boots

So, what's wrong with this picture?

Well, for one thing, my cute new rain boots are standing in a huge puddle. One of many huge puddles that dotted the Allegan (MI) Antique Market grounds both Saturday and Sunday. After all our attempted rain-dodging last weekend, and my bold announcement that the weather at Allegan was going to be beautiful, it rained. And it rained. And then it rained some more. But you know what? We had a ball! Part of the fun was being neighbors with our dealer friend from Chicago, Diane Passi, who had decided to try the show. Next, was that at Allegan, customers tend to come rain or shine. And we thank them for that! Plus, look at some of the other cute boots that attended the show:

Here's Peg's from Bountiful.

And Rebecca's from Rivich Antiques.

And a new friend's, Susan! (Thanks for geeking out with me, Susan, over all things artsy and blogsy. Can't wait to see you again!!)

We made these cute little embellished ring boxes for the show.

These fun little yard kids were available for adoption.

Rain or shine, it was great to be back at Allegan, the first show Joe and I ever did once we started working together. We both grew up not far from here, so it always feels like a homecoming of sorts. Check Allegan out at And then come and see us the last Sunday of the month, April through September. Wear your cute boots! xo

Monday, April 20, 2009

I heart Joan Babb's stuff

I bought these amazingly cool "Girlfriend" gift tags from fellow dealer Joan Babb (pronounced "Joanne," thank you very much, but I need to remember to ask her why..!) yesterday at Wheaton. We've featured her work on the blog before, but wanted to point you in the direction of her new site, Visit and be inspired! xo

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Question: What do retailers, antique dealers and farmers have in common? Answer: We all spend a lot of time worrying about the weather. Since Monday of last week, I'd made countless visits to and the sports section of our local paper (that's where the weather report is located, go figure.) However, by Thursday, our worst fears were confirmed: it was going to rain in Kentucky for our first outdoor show of the season no matter how many times I checked. In fact, the forecast was worse than it was on Monday -- showers had turned to storms. So we started making calls. Luckily, the promoters at the Wheaton show had 2 spaces left inside. Then we checked with some of our regular customers -- would they be coming? By 1:00 we'd made our decision to change plans and head to Chicago.

Garden was a big seller at the show.

As was ephemera, photos, postcards and collage materials.

However, big furniture was not moving. No fun to load in the rain, I guess. But lots of small tables and industrial pieces found new homes.

We hate to change plans at the last minute and disappoint both promoters and customers. But we were thankful to be inside! And we made our sales goal for the weekend by several dollars. Whew. Next weekend, we are scheduled to be outside again, this time at the Allegan Antique Market in Michigan. And the weather is supposed to be beautiful. I've already checked. Come and see us! xo -- Sandy and Joe

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Late breaking news: We WILL be at Wheaton Sunday, due to a schedule change. We will be in the space behind our regular spot. Show hours are 6 to 8 a.m. Early Buy, 8 to 3, regular admission. Come and see us! xo

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Spring Cleaning, Dealer Style

Ah, the glamour of the antique business....Thought I'd show you the sum total of my work day last Wednesday. I spent 9 hours cleaning 4 "items," 3 of which are pictured. Okay, some of the items were multiples, but still! This type of cleaning is why my hands always look like I just finished changing the oil in my car.

These shuttle boxes (used to move textiles in a mill) were actually quite clean, compared to the nest of drawers pictured below. A little sanding, removal of some stray nails and a coat of wax were all that was needed. However, the nest of drawers was a mess!

Two hours of sanding, bleaching and varnishing were needed before a new back was added. But the piece looked great when we were finished. Had a lovely, primitive patina and would be terrific for storage and organizing.

Now this piece, along with some vintage factory bins, were the true bad guys Wednesday. This is the popcorn machine I mentioned in the Bright Spot a couple of weeks ago. It is adorable -- the top is glass and metal while the bottom is enameled and full of drawers. It would make a great display piece or a terrific cabinet. But what a greasy mess! Joe removed the popping mechanism and other wiring, then I went to work -- vacuuming, scraping, sanding and washing with Awesome (the world's greatest cleaner for oily dirt). Yikes. But by Thursday at 11, we were ready to add a wooden floor to the top and replace the one missing handle on the front. It really looked terrific -- and was one of the first pieces Joe sold Saturday when he made our April delivery to Midland ( Which is what makes all that cleaning worthwhile!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Yippee Kane!

Given the title I've selected for today's post, you may be thinking, "Where are the Kane pictures?" Well, here's the thing, we were so busy over the weekend that I never got the chance to take any photos. YIPPEE KANE! Many thanks to everyone for coming out to support Team Rhubarb. It was like old home week -- saw many of our regulars, plus some great customers that we haven't seen in a while.

So instead of show photos, this morning I've taken a few pictures of my at-home studio, which should be titled "Mess Is Everywhere," instead of "Art Is Everywhere."

Lots of the pieces in the studio were purchased at Kane over the years. It was the first flea market I ever shopped when I was newly married and living in Chicago. If you're not familiar with the show, you can check it out at Or better yet, come and see us there next month! See our calendar sidebar for details.

Saturday's nice weather really brought out a great crowd. Industrial, original paint, handmade items and garden were all strong sellers. We sold tons of collage, altered art and steampunk pieces, too. Sunday's weather, in typical Midwestern spring fashion, turned to sleet by afternoon, but we still had shoppers! Excellent.

Next weekend we will be off for Easter, but are looking forward to the start of our outdoor season at the Burlington Antique Show in Kentucky. Come and see us!! xo
P.S. Wanted to say thank you to the Boyd's for their excellent hospitality -- dinner was incredible. And to everyone in Ohio and Chicago and at home for making my birthday so special.