Monday, November 30, 2009

Calling a Dealers: New Show in Town, Plus a Peek at the Midland Load

Calling all dealers: there's a new show in town! Zurko Promotions, of Grayslake and Wheaton fame, is now booking space for the first weekend in January.

Booth space for the new show, to be held in St. Charles (IL) at the DuPage Expo Center, is comparable in size and cost to Zurko's other shows, so what are you waiting for?! Get the new year off to a great start. Joe and I are psyched -- with Kane County on break in January, this is just the opportunity we were looking for. Come join us.

Back to November: hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving! On Saturday, we took the day and went to restock at Midland. We were really happy with this load; lots of interesting industrial pieces, plus groups of smalls that worked into logical vignettes:

Let's play store! Mannequins, hat blocks, display cases made this corner feel like an old department store.

Cool It! A great group of vintage fans -- all of which work.

Heavy Metal -- stacking bolt bins, fabulous film reels, vintage metal advertising pieces.
The parking lot was packed -- we were busy all day -- hauling, rearranging, pricing and chatting with customers. Whew! Today, we start work for Kane County. We'll have lots of great stuff -- furniture, industrial, smalls, plus tons of handmades and gift ideas for the holiday. Come see us! xo

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Many Ports of Call

We just got back from an appointment at SoBo Style in Columbus, Ohio. The store looks fabulous -- all decked out in pink and silver for the holidays. Katie's clerk, Heather, made these pretty frosted roses -- don't they look tipped with a light dusting of snow?

The pink and silver holiday pieces were perfectly set against Katie's green walls and painted furniture. Her windows were adorable -- simple and striking -- with a handmade paper chain pulling everything together. Katie said mercury glass has been a huge seller again this season -- wouldn't it just make your holiday table?

She also has a terrific selection of Cody Foster -- I picked up a new piece for my collection. Katie called while we were on our way home to say that she'd just had her best Sunday in the eight years she's had the store. Excellent! You go, girl!! For more photos, check out Katie's blog and watch for details on her upcoming open house.

Last Monday, I was on my way to Chicago for a little face time with my BFF Kathleen Hughes. We went to see the Victorian photo collage exhibit, which was fascinating. I was glad that they had a catalog to go along with it, as the pictures are very intricate and detailed -- full of symbolism, which I love learning about. The catalog will give me more time to do just that.

Here's just one example: who knew that spider webs were common themes in Victorian photo collage? Seems kinda sinister, especially with the bats, but I gather that was not the implication. Don't see much of that on the scrapbooking shelves these days. I could do a whole post just on one or two of these pages. Stay tuned -- I'll come back to it.

The day before my trip to Chicago, we'd been at the Wheaton Antique Market. Although Wheaton is the smallest Chicago show we do, it was our biggest venue in November -- wow! Many thanks to our wonderful customers for turning out in force to support it.
Here's a peek at some of my favorite projects from the weekend -- Snow Day Mini-Photo Holders;

Fanfare Jewelry Displays, made from vintage lamp parts;

Aladdin Trees, again made from vintage lamp parts;

And this Enchanted Forest tree, a special order for one of our favorite clients -- I loved the glass ball and finial at the top. We sold merchandise in all categories at Wheaton and were delighted to see some of our wholesale furniture buyers, who were mostly absent from Kane and Grayslake. They've just been busy was their report -- again, good news.

I hate to end on a somber note, but I wanted to share this with you, as I'm still thinking about it. I was running late last Saturday, needing to get to the studio to finish the projects I just showed you. But Jack and I were decorating the front porch with flags. Not for a parade; this time for a funeral.

We were surprised and saddened to learn that one of the soldiers killed at Fort Hood was from our little town. Although we didn't know the family, we'd driven the same streets and walked the same halls. He was a neighbor. The motorcade for SSgt. Justin DeCrow would pass right in front of our house, and we wanted to let his family know our thoughts were with them.
The town turned out in full force to say good bye on a beautiful fall day that was eerily reminiscent of 9/11 -- remember how blue the sky was that day? He was only 33, with a wife and little boy. What a shame. Please remember them, and our other soldiers and veterans, in your Thanksgiving prayers. xo

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Be sure your weekend plans include Sunday's Wheaton Antique Market at the DuPage County Fairgrounds. We have some funky industrial stuff, great furniture and a new group of holiday projects. Come see us!

About next week: just wanted to let you know that like last week, I won't be around Monday. I'm headed to Chicago with my BFF Kathleen to see the Victorian Photocollage Exhibit at the Art Institute. So excited! Will have photos later in the week! xo

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Grayslake: A Tale of Many Projects

In addition to the time spent in my sewing room last week, it was all hands on deck for our first round of holiday projects. Here's a peek at just two of my favorites:

We made these Snowflake Magnets from vintage chandelier crystals and an assortment of great old papers from our scrap stash. I love how they turned out -- each one different, just like real snowflakes!

We also made four different types of photo holders using vintage bottles, metal odds and ends, thread spools and rulers. Here are the thread spools; my son was in Indy for the final band concert of this season; I was wishing he was there to help, because he would have loved using the dremel to make the tiny holes in the top of each spool! We had those little wire holders since the beginning of the year; anyone have an idea of what they are? I have no clue.
In addition to the projects pictured, we made a batch of our signature Vintage Holiday Vignettes and handmade Holiday Banners, plus embellished Wonderland Jars and tiny feather trees. My mom, aka Granny Elf, was a huge help in getting everything finished -- an extra pair of hands for cutting, pasting, tying, you name it, makes everything go that much faster.
Many thanks to our wonderful customers for taking just about everything home! We'll be hard at work this week on another round of projects -- plus more furniture and smalls -- for next Sunday's Wheaton Antique Show; check the show sidebar for details and come see us.

P.S. As I mentioned in the comment section of the post on these burlap basket liners, we ended up going with stencil numbers to embellish them; here's the photo I promised. I think I'll use this post for Transformation Thursday this week, so if you're reading on Thursday or after, remember to click the button on our sidebar to see all the other great projects listed this week! xo

Friday, November 6, 2009

Come see us at Grayslake this weekend!

Come see us this weekend at the Grayslake Antique Market! We've got lots of holiday projects, funky smalls, DIY and some really beautiful furniture. Don't miss it. Just click the link on our sidebar for show details. xo

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Transformation Thursday: Burlap Basket Liners

I spent the morning at my sewing table today -- something I haven't done in a loooong time.

We got six of the baskets pictured below a while back. Because there is so little structure, we thought some liners would make them much more usable. Burlap to the rescue once again!

There were several shades to choose from at JoAnn Fabrics. I had a hard time deciding, so I picked two -- one light, one dark. Each basket measures approximately 18 x 24, so I figured I'd need about 5 yards of fabric.

Sewing without a pattern is still a little nerve-racking for me, even though I used to make slipcovers for a living. I just hate to start over; I always want to get things right the first time -- I think that's part of what makes me nervous. One lesson I've learned about the creative life is that you just have to push through fears like these. It seems like a little thing, but I'm amazed at how stuff like that holds me back sometimes.

Behold, the serger -- one of the greatest machines of all time!

It trims and finishes the edges as it stitches the pieces together -- what could be better!?

Here's the finished stack. Now comes the fun part: tomorrow at the studio I'll get out all my trim and embellish the baskets. Check back to see what I come up with and check out all the other great projects on today's Transformation Thursday -- just click the link on the sidebar. xo

Monday, November 2, 2009

Of Blind Dates and Antique Shows

Sometimes doing antique shows is like going on a blind date: you know generally what to expect, but you won't know the specifics until the evening's over. Well, this weekend's Kane probably won't get invited home to meet Mom, but we did get a wonderful dinner out of our time together.

Christmas was a strong seller, but not the traditional stuff. It was the funky homemade stars and wacky '60s ornaments that were snapped up, plus a bunch of the DIY stuff we'd tied up in florists bags. Ephemera in general was a strong seller.

Small furniture, anything funky and everything upholstered were also popular this weekend. For example, these two French Provincial chairs went home just hours after we bought them.

Larger furniture, however, mostly came back with us, including this beautiful dresser with its fabulous original finish. We had lots of lookers and even some measurers, just not many takers.

But as I mentioned, we did have a fabulous dinner. Our tremendous hosts, the Boyds, were having a Halloween party -- this is just one of three buffets! There were trick or treaters (at the door), dancing (mostly just the girls), candles (everywhere) and '70s rock trivia "contests" (mostly just the guys). Plus lots of laughter and good company -- who could ask for a better way to spend Halloween?

Coming home with some furniture means less painting time this week and extra time for projects, which is never a bad thing. We'll get more Christmas ready, maybe some jewelry, and a couple of surprises, plus a fresh round of smalls and small furniture. Make sure Grayslake is on your calendar for next weekend. We don't want to start advertising in the "Personals." xo