Friday, July 31, 2009

It's Time for Kane County!

Here's my business partner Joe, talking with our loading buddy Ricky Slaye, about how we're going to get this entire forest of furniture into our trailer after Wednesday's auction. Of course they managed -- we're professionals, after all!! NOW we're working on getting it all ready for this weekend's KANE COUNTY FLEA MARKET. Come and check out our progress!

We'll have lots of furniture -- all reworked from what you see here -- plus loads of smalls and projects. We're thinking fall. Details are listed on the show sidebar, a little farther down the page. You'll find us in our usual spaces in the main building. Can't wait! xo

Monday, July 27, 2009

Fringe Benefits: Friends, Food, Fun

It's no secret that antique dealers love to eat. At Allegan, our monthly neighborhood potluck is an excellent place to indulge in this particular pastime. The morning starts with a bottomless cup of coffee, brewed by our show neighbor Vanna, and actually delivered to our booth at regular intervals by her husband Jack. He even brings the cream and sugar. I think all shows should adopt this practice.

As if the beverage delivery service wasn't enough, several of our excellent neighborhood bakers provide cakes to go with all that coffee. And this is just the preview. By 11, there are two 8-foot tables covered with casseroles, crockpots, salads, sides and desserts. All that fresh air certainly works up an appetite!

Our monthly gathering has the atmosphere of an old-fashioned church social -- everyone talking and laughing, the ladies exchanging recipes and the gentlemen lining up for seconds. And true to carry-in tradition, no one goes away hungry, but you don't want to dilly-dally. But noon, the serving dishes are just about empty.
Although no rain was forecast, we spent the first pre-show hour drying things off, due to an overnight thunderstorm. Vanna quipped that in addition to coffee, she was also going to provide weather-forecasting services: "partly sunny with a chance of showers" was going to be her permanent response. Despite good numbers during early buy on Saturday, Sunday started out slowly. However, when it was all done, we came within $40 of our sales goal. Cubbies of all sorts were great sellers, as were original paint items and ephemera. We could have sold more industrial, had we had it. And we're starting to think about fall...
We wanted to thank our excellent friend Lynda for venturing over from Chicago, complete with cakes -- your presence always make everything more fun! And our new friends Dan and CJ for dinner Saturday night -- a totally unexpected "fringe benefit." We are most grateful. xo

Friday, July 24, 2009

Allegan Is This Weekend!

We're counting down the hours 'til it's time to load out for Allegan. As you can see, our "ready room" is packed! Come join us for this wonderful show, just a hop-skip-jump from the shores of Lake Michigan. Four hundred vendors, in and out, filling a charming, old-fashioned fairgrounds. The weatherman says it's going to be beautiful! See our show sidebar for details. xo

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Knocking Heather down

Sunday, I knocked my friend Heather down in the dirt. Yep, pushed her, stepped right on her helpless backside -- my eyes wild, teeth clenched, heart pounding -- like some crazed woman in one of those B-movie cat fights -- just to get my hands on this:

Can you blame me? Isn't she amazing? All Frenchy, crusty and splendid! And dare I tell you? $8!! This is what going to the market is all about!

Well, I didn't get her. In fact, there was no fight. Because, after all, Heather is one of my favorite BFFs, she saw the lamp first, and it was Sunday. And Kentucky. And I'm sure they have rules against ladies acting in such an unseemly manner in public. Even if it is an antique market. But don't you just love her??

The rest of the show pales by comparison! We featured garden and cottage-style furniture, with some store and industrial pieces thrown in for good measure:

The gate was good and the weather was fantastic -- who could have guessed it would be 75, partly sunny, topped off by a light breeze? Remember -- this is Kentucky! And it is usually hot, hot, hot! This must have been some sort of compensation for not getting the lamp.
Saturday, we had re-stocked our Midland space with industrial finds and arty objects, as well as some great primitives, a lovely mantle and a bank lobby table that would make a terrific buffet:

But all I could think of as we headed for home was "Colette." Sigh. Heather has promised me joint-custody. That's what makes her a BFF (or maybe she's just worried about getting knocked down the next time -- who knows?). Stay tuned! More about Colette to come. xo

Monday, July 20, 2009

Once upon a washstand

A note: I was planning on being tremendously clever today, writing two posts in one. However, I am once again outwitted by technology -- my camera batteries are too low to download this weekend's photos. So I'm going to settle for doing things backwards, writing Thursday's post today and Monday's later in the week! It's my hope that you will find me a rising blogstar -- witty, clever, ever so must-read -- and eagerly read both posts, telling all your friends about them, of course, ensuring a book deal in my near future. However, please feel free to pick and choose as your tastes and interests dictate! xo

Welcome to our first post for Transformation Thursday. We were given this cute little Victorian washstand by a client, asked to do some simply repairs and to "primitive paint" it. Joe's first task was to find hardware. We often talk about how hardware is like jewelry for furniture -- the right choice can greatly enhance the finished piece. However, as this piece was for resale, we opted for simple wooden knobs from Brushy Prairie Woodcrafts, an excellent simple solution that doesn't add a lot of cost to the client's bottom-line.

Next, Joe used Durham Rock Putty to repair the drawer's corner where a piece had broken off. This is an excellent product that's like one step up from wood putty -- can fill in if a small piece of wood is completely missing and is easily sanded smooth for painting.

In keeping with the client's request to keep the paint job "primitive," Joe combined Kilz water-based primer with our go-to off-white paint. This thins the paint, giving it a somewhat distressed look when applied, but keeps all the benefits of priming. For the second coat, the paint is used straight up.

Finally, the cabinet is vacuumed, the drawers are washed and the fresh paint is lightly distressed. Voila! Finished. The washstand is ready to go to a happy new home.

Please visit again next week for a peak at our latest Cinderella project. xo

Friday, July 17, 2009

Heading South: Midland and Burlington

Joe and I have been busy this week, getting ready for a double-header. On Saturday, we'll be restocking our space at Indy's Midland Gallery. We have loaded up on original paint, industrial, funky lamps and fabulous old print blocks. Sunday, we'll set up shop at the Burlington (Ky) Antique Show, one of our favorites. There we'll have plenty of cottage-style furniture, primitives, garden and ephemera -- plus new jewelry from Maddie Lisee. The weatherman says it will be beautiful, so do come and join us. See the show sidebar for details! xo

Monday, July 13, 2009

Fun at work

From time to time, people will look at me, cock their heads, and say, "Wow! You do this for a living? That must be really fun!" I find this sentiment a little troubling, sensing this is not said to doctors or lawyers about their work. Actually, I KNOW this is not said to doctors or lawyers because I see them at work all the time on TV, and no one ever says that to them. Maybe we need a prime-time series all about the antique show biz, which would help clear up all the grievous confusion about us having fun while working. And, no, the "Antique Road Show" does not help or count.

I have to admit, however, that last week, I had a good time at the auction, which is close to having fun at work. We were there all day and actually go to buy most of what we wanted, including the wonderful cabinet pictured above that originally housed men's shirts in an Ohio department store. Love, love, loved it.

It was one of the first things to sell at Grayslake this weekend, going home with some dealer friends, where we know it will live a happy life. The weather was fabulous -- sunny, light breeze, low 80s -- and we were busy, busy all weekend. It was great to see so many outside dealers. Many thanks to all who came out to support the show, including Lee and Mandy, customers from Midland Arts and Antiques in Indianapolis, who drove up to Chicagoland to see us because they enjoy the blog. If you ever decide to do this, be sure to mention it, because we will be both thrilled and flattered, and therefore dying to give you our best price on anything your little heart desires!
Speaking of Indy, we will be headed to Midland on Saturday before driving to Burlington for Sunday's show. We will be back to the auction before then, unless we get a casting call for "As the Show Turns," the first prime-time series detailing the truth about antique dealers having fun at work. xo

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Grayslake Is This Weekend -- Don't Miss It!

We found lots of pieces that we're really excited about for THIS WEEKEND'S Grayslake Antique Market -- great sets of industrial stools, a totally-cool vintage department store cabinet, dress forms, mirrors, lamps, furniture big and small, and LOTS more. Come and see us -- details posted in the show sidebar!!

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. (:

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Come see us at Kane this weekend!

A little bit of holiday, a lot for summer fun, plus a great load of furniture, smalls, projects and more! See the sidebar for show details. HAPPY FOURTH!! xo

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thrift Store Thursday: Eeck-gad! Twins!

I was innocently strolling through the most excellent Goodwill Store in Rochester, Indiana, one Monday, minding my own business, when these two wonderful boys caught my eye -- twins, one black and white, one color. For a mere 50 cents each, I gladly adopted them. I have a small collection of these "woodies" -- actually, I'm not sure exactly what they are called. Maybe someone out there knows? They're pictures that were applied to wood, which was then cut out in exactly the shape of the photo. Like real-life paper dolls. From the clothing, I'm guessing they are 1930s-1950s. I'm assuming they were a craft, although maybe a photographer's studio would have offered them, as the saw cuts would have been kind of tricky. Two of my favorites were spotted on some one's sweater at a show in Kentucky -- they were pins, made as carnival prizes! I've looked for them ever since with no luck. Sigh. But I'm still hunting! Until next week...xo -- Sandy/rhubarb reign