Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Happy Birthday to the "Man in the Green Shirt"

October 1 is the illustrious occasion of Joe's, my business partner, (aka "the Man in the Green Shirt," you'll have to ask him to explain) 54th birthday. In honor of this auspicious event, I would like to present 10 of my favorite facts about Joe, in no particular order:

1. Joe is the oldest of 6 children, 3 boys and 3 girls

2. He went to Catholic school all the way through

3. Joe's middle name is "Herbert," after his dad

4. Joe's great-great-great grandpa was racquets (a pre-cursor to modern tennis) champion of Great Britain; Joe's grandpa was the tennis pro at the Detroit Country Club and had many of the Fords as students

5. Joe collects pocket knives; he especially likes this little kind with a trick closure that only will open when held a certain way

6. Joe's favorite band is Mott the Hoople; coincidentally, they are playing in London this weekend; he says he's available if anyone would like to take him

7. Joe graduated Cum Laude from Western Michigan with a degree in English, emphasis on creative writing; he received the Waldo Sangren award his senior year and produced a book of poetry entitled "Reliquary"

8. Joe is a voracious reader

9. He loves to dance and has more than 1500 LPs

10. He's a certified appraiser and a fabulous auctioneer

Whew! Joe, you are the best business partner ever. (: Happy Birthday, buddy. And many more. xo

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And a Quick Trip to Midland

Mondays are usually our day off here at rhubarb reign, but this week, we headed to Indianapolis' Midland Gallery to restock our space.

If you're familiar with our work, you probably guessed that this is NOT our space, and you're correct there -- this is the gallery's showcase, right by the front entrance. It's always gorgeous -- well worth the price of admission.

Here we are -- full of cubbies and industrial objects this month, in addition to some great folk art pieces, like this funky handmade real estate advertising piece.

Midland is fabulous -- well worth the trip, located right off of 70. Click on our show sidebar for more details and come see us soon! xo

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall Comes to Allegan

It was picture-perfect: oak leaves swirling gently to the ground; bright blue skies; apples, pumpkins, bittersweet and hay bales strewn all around...the kind of fall setting that makes a Midwestern girl's heart smile. Fall had come to Allegan.

The show was great -- steadily busy all day, everyone in a good mood. Industrial pieces, containers and anything seasonal were the strongest sellers.

Everyone oohed and aahed over our favorite piece -- this fabulous original-paint dresser, complete with beveled mirror. Look at the great detail on this trim piece:

We didn't sell it, but it's soooo pretty, I won't mind if it hangs around for another show or two. Joe's original recipe Thai Curry Chili placed second in the annual cook-off, missing the trophy by only one vote. Every last bite was gone! Somehow, I ended up with the pot to wash...hmm. Something seems wrong here... (: Today, we're off to Midland, then we'll be getting ready for Kane. Come and see our beautiful dresser there, plus all the other great fall finds we'll have ready. xo

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Don't Miss the Last Allegan for the Season

Come join us Sunday for the Allegan (MI) Antique Market -- the last for this season. The weather is supposed to be fabulous -- 70 degrees, sunny, with that fall-in-southern-Michigan snap in the air. We have one of the best loads we've had all year -- lots of industrial, original paint, cool containers and more. And Joe will be looking to regain his title at the annual dealer neighborhood chili cook-off! Can't wait. Show details listed on the sidebar. xo

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dress Form Re-do

Here at rhubarb reign, we rarely meet a dress form that we don't like. However, the inspiration for this particular project was actually a nifty antique wire skirt hoop, which we bought from our pals, the Iowa Junk Gypsies, at a recent Kane County Flea Market. We thought it would make an excellent accessory for the next dress form that came our way.

Fortunately, a candidate presented itself that very afternoon, in the form of this English "Venus" form, looking a little like an android here, after we removed its plushy blue velour exterior.

To give the form a more "period" feel, we decoupaged its exterior, using turn-of-the-century ledger pages. First we shredded the pages, then affixed them to the form using Formula 77 spray adhesive.

To complete the transformation, we covered the form with several coats of Mod Podge, allowing each coat to dry before applying the next. We also spray-painted the top-knot black before gluing it back into place.

Once the form was finished, we decided that we actually liked it better without the wire hoop, so we sold that separately. The finished mannequin was instead mounted on a vintage lamp base. She went happily to a new home at the recent Lake Forest show. Yeah! For more great re-dos, check out the other projects posted on Transformation Thursday. Just click the button on our sidebar! xo

Monday, September 21, 2009

Shopping Springfield: The One That Got Away

We've all been there. Out cruising the show's aisles, you spot IT. Whether it's a life-long search or this week's must have, the mists part and the object that sets your heart pounding comes into view.

Depending on your shopping style, you make a mad dash in its direction or amble slowly toward it, feigning disinterest. But one way or another, you have to take a look at the price tag. And then you see it. The dreaded "SOLD" sticker. Some other intrepid shopper beat you to IT. Suddenly, it's like someone let all the air out of your balloon. Well, it happened to me not just once, but two booths in a row at Springfield! Ugh. Thought I'd be sick. One thing was a great dress form, wire cage and all, and actually in my price range. The second was the group of school tables above. While they may not look like much, they would clean up great. And to add insult to injury, they were all $5 to $10!! Boo, hiss, pout.

Somehow, I managed to survive -- barely! The gorgeous weather helped. As did the company of our BFF Heather with her fabulous jewelry in tow. Her sales were really brisk, and she picked up a new wholesale account.

We also enjoyed seeing tons of our favorite customers and friends from near and far: Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, Indiana, Pennsylvania. And being neighbors with our Chicago pals Janis and Judy; how ironic that with 2000-plus dealers, we'd end up right next to each other!

Furniture sold well, as did projects and Halloween. I wished that we had had more industrial, but that's been a constant this year. We're always on the look-out.

Saturday afternoon, we headed out to Burlington, but unfortunately, the Sunday morning brought with it persistent rain showers. By 2 pm, we were packing for the journey home. Tuesday, we'll sort our new finds and start working toward Allegan. And Wednesday, we'll be back out shopping for IT. xo

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Extravaganza -- Here We Come!

Come join us this weekend in Springfield, Ohio, for the September Extravaganza -- 2000-plus vendors, inside and out! Click on the link for show details. We are outside space 31 and will be there Friday from 7 am to 5 pm; Saturday, 7 am to noon. After that, we head to Burlington, Kentucky, just outside Cincinnati, for a show on Sunday.

This same weekend, the Country Living Fair will be in Columbus, just 30 minutes from Springfield. And while in the area, be sure to visit our friends at Sobo Style and Bloomsbury Loft; their links are on our blog roll. As our friend Heather said, "It's Antique-Lady Woodstock!" Don't miss it! xo

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lake Forest: "Showing" Off

One of the great things about a special once-a-year show like Lake Forest is that all the dealers bring out their best stuff. Every one's booth looks terrific. Here are just a few examples of some of the great finds:

A beautiful fall arrangement by Diane Passi, Wheaton, Illinois;

Adorable outdoor chairs with original vintage cushions from VanDaff's Interior Design and Antiques, Grand Rapids, Michigan;

Way-cool metal dresser, industrial sign and designer chairs from Amsterdam, Saugatuck, Michigan;

Halloween collages and steampunk jewelry from Altered Ever After, Lake Villa, Illinois;

Lovely grey mirror, Vintage Nest, Glenview, Illinois.

Chez rhubarb reign, we featured everything needed for a funky and sophisticated fall season!

I could go on and on; every one's booth was a feast for the eyes, and the weather was gorgeous. All that being said, the show didn't seem quite as busy as last year. I determine this by a very scientific formula: if I have time to look at my watch or visit the ladies' room in the first 2 hours of any show, we just aren't that busy. I did both. Sigh. However, we headed home sunburned and satisfied when it was all said and done. Next we set our sights on the Springfield (Ohio) Extravaganza, which starts Friday. If you are headed to the Country Living Fair in Columbus, remember that we are only 30 minutes away! 2000 dealers, inside and out. We'll all be there, waiting to "show off" for you. Come and see us. xo
PS: A big thank you to Megan Townsend for her set-up help and to Liz Bearwald and company from the Bentfork Bakery, Highwood, for the excellent cookies! And to everyone for letting me take pictures -- if I didn't use yours, it didn't turn out. I still luv ya.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Don't Miss Sunday's Lake Forest Antique Market

I just checked the forecast, and it is now supposed to be sunny and 74 degrees -- perfect antiquing weather!

For more information, A great show for a great cause! Come and see us. xo

Monday, September 7, 2009

Happy Labor Day!

Don't you love the delicious irony of Labor Day, where we all celebrate working by taking the day off? And what better way to spend a day of leisure than by attending the second largest festival in the entire state of Indiana -- Plymouth's Blueberry Festival.

We live on main street and do our best every year to get into the holiday spirit by hosting a Porch Party during Monday's parade.

Of course you are all welcome next year, however, you may want to crash our neighbor's party, too -- they have better decorations and lots of matching chairs. We are jealous.

My son made his hometown debut with the Pride of Plymouth Marching Band (at least we think that's him, as they all kinda look the same in their uniforms!) And my husband ran in the race.

In keeping with the spirit of Hoosier Hospitality, the parade features something for everyone:




and Republicans. After the parade, we head over to the park with our 100,000 annual visitors to see horse pulls, arm wrestling and 50s tribute bands (not to mention weird outfits, wild hair and
miles of craft and food booths.) We're exhausted by the end of the day and totally ready to get back to work!!

Thanks to one and all for coming out to support Kane County over the weekend. There were lots of great vendors and some super bargains. Furniture was a strong seller for us, as were smalls and projects. A special thank you to the Boyds for their excellent hospitality and to Lynda for sending not one, but two, banana-walnut coffee cakes home with me to share with my Porch Party guests. Those were a big hit!

This week we'll turn our attention to the once a year Lake Forest Antique Show. Check the show sidebar for specifics on this terrific event. Will have more details later in the week. xo

Friday, September 4, 2009

Come see us at Kane this weekend!

We're decked out for fall with a full load of furniture, smalls, projects and more. Don't miss it! xo

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Transformation Thursday: 3/50 Project

Interested in transforming your local economy? Consider this: if half the employed population spent just $50 total each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate $42.6 billion in revenue. More than half of this returns to the local economy! Want to learn more? Visit the 3/50 Project, which incidentally started as a blog post. We love us some independents here at rhubarb reign -- don't you? Indie business is what it's all about. Many thanks to our friend at Musings of a Sea Witch for calling this important outreach to our attention. Thanks for joining us for Transformation Thursday. Click the link on our sidebar for more great ideas. xo

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Times They Are a Changin'

Well, the seasons anyway! The last week has been unseasonably cool here in our little corner of the Midwest -- even the trees sense that fall is on its way.

This was the inspiration for a change in our product mix at last weekend's Allegan Antique Market -- we were all about fall -- and had a terrific show.

We even threw in a little Halloween.

And while we're on the subject of change, check out this great article on "hacking" -- taking pieces from retailers like IKEA and upcycling them into custom creations. A new take on the word "hack" -- not generally a compliment according to the dictionary -- and on repurposing. Fascinating. There's so much creativity out there.
Thanks to one and all for coming out to support the Allegan show. One thing that hasn't changed -- we have the best customers in the world! See you at Kane. xo

P.S. Sorry if you checked yesterday and there was no post -- once again outfoxed by the camera battery!