Friday, December 31, 2010

UPDATE: Half-Off Admission to Expo Show This Weekend, Plus a Sneak Peek of What We're Bringing

Thanks to the nice folks at Zurko Promotions, we have a little gift for you -- 50 percent off admission to this weekend's Expo Center Antique Market in St. Charles. Just print the first page of this post and bring it with you! Print as many as you'd like to share with friends, but be sure to bring them along. This offer is just for our blog readers and e-mail list customers!

This is the Expo Center show's second season -- it started last year since there is now no Kane County in January or February -- and it was TOTALLY AWESOME. No doubt this year will be even better. Many of your favorite dealers will be there, so make plans now to spend part of your holiday with us. Show hours: Saturday, January 1, 11 to 5, and Sunday, January 2, 9 to 3. Details are just a click away on the show sidebar. Here's a peek at what we'll have:

Some wonderful industrial pieces, like this great vintage bindery cart;

A whole group of lovelies for all you Francophiles out there;

Great graphics, including some awesome new alphabets, framed and ready to hang;

Lovely furniture, both big pieces and small. Plus we have a ton of great smalls, terrific new handmades, and containers, containers, containers (great for getting the new year off to a more organized start)! Can't wait -- see you there. xo

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Half-Off Admission to Expo Show This Weekend!

Thanks to the nice folks at Zurko Promotions, we have a little gift for you -- 50 percent off admission to this weekend's EXPO CENTER ANTIQUE MARKET in St. Charles. Print off as many as you'd like and bring a bunch of friends -- but you have to bring the "coupon!" JUST PRINT THIS PAGE. This is the Expo Center show's second season -- it started last year since there is now no Kane County in January or February -- and it was TOTALLY AWESOME. No doubt his year will be even better. Many of your favorite dealers will be there, so make plans to spend part of your holiday with us. Show hours: Saturday, January 1, 11 to 5, and Sunday, January 2, 9 to 3. Details are just a click away on the show sidebar. Check back later this week for a peek at what we will be bringing! xo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Heartfelt Holiday Wishes

From my house to yours, a very Merry Christmas. Thanks for all you do for us all year long!

Friday, December 17, 2010


Join us at the DuPage County Fairgrounds SATURDAY for the Wheaton Antique Market!

We will have a TON of handmades for gift-giving and decorating, lovely furniture, great industrial pieces, lots of smalls, plus a sale on vintage ornaments. Don't miss it -- details are just a click away on the show sidebar. Early Buy from 6 to 8 a.m. Wheaton will also be hosting an indoor French market downtown, across from Starbucks, from 8 to 2, plus the town is full of great indie retailers. Why not make a day of it? Ho-ho-ho. And as always, xo. See you Saturday!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Should We Stay, Or Should We Go Now?

What do you see when you look at this map? (Other than it might be time for us to break down and buy a new one.) Well, Chicago to the west, which is where we were Sunday evening, after packing up at Grayslake. Plymouth, to the east, where I live and would like to return to. Anything else? Well, Lake Michigan...Right! Now you are getting warmer. I'll give you a hint: it sits below the lake, seemingly innocent in print, but actually is the Bermuda Triangle of winter driving in Indiana -- LaPorte County.

Sunday, Chicago had its second snowstorm of the season, and road conditions seemed tough enough locally that we should stay over. Monday, things were looking much better in Illinois, but roads in Indiana were still closed. Due to lake-effect snow, which was still falling, LaPorte County had gotten more than 20 inches in less than 2 days. Drifts were 7 feet high in places. And that's on the road. News reports told of 100s of stranded motorists. Even fully-loaded salt trucks were in the ditch. Black ice and 50 mile-an-hour winds pushed them around like a child clearing Tonkas off a table. Our friend Lynda was kind enough to take us in for the evening, but by Tuesday morning, we really needed to get back.

According to the state police, Route 30 eastbound was now "passable." And man, that's all it was. Actually, it was barely passable. Above is the roadway just outside of LaPorte County; below is the road IN LaPorte County about 5 minutes later:

Blue sky is gone. A foot of snow and ice are still on the road, with more coming down. The front of the van is jumping around "like a buckboard wagon," as Joe put it. And the back of the trailer is heading for the ditch, to join the legion of other cars and a semi already there from the weekend's carnage. It is only a 10-mile stretch, but you have to go through it. And just like the troll under the bridge, it's gonna make you pay.
Ten miles at 25 MPH seems like an eternity. But once we were through, we were only 15 minutes from home. Whew. We'll be headed back Friday for Wheaton, so keep your fingers crossed that Old Man Winter will be taking a break this weekend.
Many thanks to everyone who came out to support us at Grayslake! The show was very busy Saturday, and it was great to see everyone. Extra super big thanks to those who came out Sunday, despite the weather. Check back later this week for a Wheaton update and plan to join us there Saturday! xo

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Enchanted Forest Coming to Grayslake

We're bring an entire ENCHANTED FOREST to Grayslake this weekend. Full of new winter and holiday projects:

Wondrous woodland creatures:
Fairy crowns, snowflakes and more!

Plus a brand-new load of auction finds, furniture and industrial. Come join us! Details are just a click away on the show sidebar. xo

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Kane Update; More Miss America; Snow Day

Chicago got its first big snow of the season this weekend, just in time for the Kane County Flea Market. Not necessarily the two things you want to see happen at once. The show was definitely quieter than normal, but over all, not bad, considering 6 to 8 inches had fallen between Friday night and Saturday noon. Here's a peek at a couple of projects:

These cute illustrations from a children's book were purchased this summer from our favorite paper dealer Patty Suttle. We found these nifty barn windows just last week and thought they'd look great together. Something I'd never seen before are these little iron stars, original to the windows:

Have you ever seen these? Joe thinks they are simply decorative pulls. Or maybe they functioned somehow to hold the window open? If anyone knows anymore about them, we'd love to learn!

Last week we also found these funky old wheels, which worked just great on the lab stands we also purchased over the summer from our pals the Iowa Junk Gypsies. We just needed a little expertise from our friends at Argos Hardware to come up with the fasteners. Just like so many things in life, it takes a village! Many thanks to all who braved the weather to attend the show; we never take your support for granted. Today, work starts on Grayslake, so plan to come and see us there.
But first, a Miss America update! Shellac is the final step in our makeover process, adding a rich, dark patina to the paper structure. If you want to try it, work in a well-ventilated area. Put down some disposable plastic and wear gloves -- things are gonna get messy. Use a disposable brush or be prepared with a can of ammonia to clean up afterward. And work fast; shellac dries extremely quickly.

But nothing else give such a great finish; here's how she looked before-hand:

One last thing: we got out first snowstorm of the season last night -- looks like at least 6 inches to me! I always love the hush that snow brings to our busy street; we live in town, but everything is muffled by nature's handiwork.

Today is also my son Jack's birthday. His big day generally coincides with the first storm of the season, just like it did 16 years ago. He always feels this snow is just for him -- and enjoyed the 2 hour school delay this morning! Like a good son, however, he went out and shoveled the walk. But here's a small-town bonus -- some nice neighbor had already taken care of our driveway. Sigh. It's gonna be a good day. xo

Friday, December 3, 2010

Last Kane of the Year; More Miss America

I can't believe I just wrote that, but it's true: this weekend will be the LAST Kane for 2010. Come join us! We'll have lots of fun stuff, including these nifty letters:

More holiday:

Plus tons of furniture, smalls and more. Great ideas for gift-giving and decorating, too. So ho-ho-ho! Come stock up before the show takes its annual two-month break. Details are on the show sidebar. See you there!

Back to Atlantic City. Our first contestant will definitely win Miss Congeniality, as she was the nicest of the bunch starting out. At least in terms of physical condition. Step One in re-doing a dress form is removing the fabric. On MC here, this was a breeze, as the stocking was all one piece. I gave her a nice rub-down with a little bleach water then set her up to dry. Her stand was brushed down with a pad sander to remove rust, then buffed with a sanding sponge. Check back next week for her before and after make-over photos and for an update on our next two contestants. Miss Congeniality will hit the run-way tomorrow at Kane. Be sure to stop by and say hello! xo

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Miss America? Where? Plus an Expo Update

Strike up the band and join me on the chorus! "There she is...Miss Americaaaa!"
Now, if you're thinking, "Where? All I see is a bunch of butt-ugly mannequins," stay tuned.

These ladies may not take the sash and crown right now, but after their make-overs, we'll show you how they've topped our sales sheet all year long. The transformation starts today! Check back later this week for a peek.

Here's another pretty face:

All things Christmas were in high demand over the weekend at the the DuPage Expo show! Thanks to everyone who came out to support the event. Sales were brisk Saturday, with holiday, smalls and graphics leading the way.

Sunday was quiet and not much furniture was sold, but paint-by-numbers were a huge hit! Go figure. Overall, we were satisfied with the show and are looking forward to January. Work starts on Kane today. We'll shop tomorrow. Check back later this week for a preview of the weekend's attractions. xo

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

New Show Details and a Very Happy Thanksgiving

The hall is sold out and the excitement is building! Hope you can join us this weekend:

We will have a brand new selection of furniture, both big and small, plus industrial, containers, smalls and LOTS of handmades for holiday gift-giving and decorating. Come join us. Additional details are just a click away on our show sidebar. See you there!
And Thursday, have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Joe and I are truly thankful for all our fabulous customers, for our friendships with many dealers and promoters, for the support of our families and for being able to be part of the inspiring indie business community. We are blessed. All the best to you and yours this holiday season. xo

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Show!

Be sure your calendar includes a visit to the BRAND NEW DuPage Expo Center Show next weekend, November 27 and 28, in St. Charles, Illinois. Details are just a click away on our show sidebar.

The sold-out hall will be packed with antiques, handmades, collectibles and more. Joe and I did the market the only other times it was held -- January and February of this year -- and thought it was fantastic. Due to the enthusiastic response of both shoppers and dealers, this third date was added. Make plans now to join us. Check back next week for a sneak peek of what we'll be bringing. xo

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Grayslake Was Great! Plus Expo Center Preview

Just a quick note of thanks to everyone who came out for the Grayslake (IL) Antique Market this past weekend -- what a great show! The hall was packed with dealers -- many there for the first time -- and the crowd was really enthusiastic in response. You could feel the excitement in the air.

Handmades and holiday were big sellers for us, but furniture, industrial and smalls also sold well. Plus, it was great to see so many of our blogging friends -- Gracie's Cottage, Hot House Market, Chippy Shabby, Apron Strings -- if I get a chance later today, I'll post the links; already running behind, I'm afraid!

Today, we are getting ready for a trip to Columbus and Indianapolis. Don't forget about the new Expo Center Holiday Market in St. Charles -- coming up the Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. Check back later in the week for details. xo

Friday, November 12, 2010

Grayslake: Getting Ready!

The weather has been fabulous the last few days, so we're jumping on the chance to work out in the sunshine as we prepare for this weekend's Grayslake (IL) Antique Market. In the pipeline are these great vintage frames, just waiting to become chalkboards:

Some new industrial pieces, like this fun book truck:

Lots of handmades, such as our signature jewelry stands:

Plus tons of stuff for the holiday:

We'll also have a great group of furniture pieces, both large and small. Make plans now to join us! Details are just a click away on the show sidebar. And make sure your November calendar includes the DuPage Antique Market at the Expo Center in St. Charles on Thanksgiving weekend. This brand new show started last January and is only held three times a year. Don't miss it! xo

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wedding Wonderland, Plus a Kane County Update

I promised last week to share with you a few more photos from customer Chris Barickman's (Emerson Creek Pottery and Tearoom) wedding to her sweetie Dave Demiduk, so here goes! The sepia tone of their engagement photo hinted at the color story of their "glam country" wedding:

Here's the view from the front of the tent, just as guests were arriving:

Cocktails, cake and later dancing took place in the barn, adjacent to the tent:

Remember these chandeliers? Our friend Lynda found them at the Third Sunday Market and had them painted white. They turned the barn and tent into a fairyland:

Especially when you added the candlelight!

The event was photographed for "The Knot," a Chicago-based wedding magazine, and Chris is already booking weddings for 2011! Click the link above for details.

Kane County Update
A chilly, but sunny, weekend awaited shoppers at the Kane County Flea Market. Christmas was definitely on every one's mind and was selling briskly. We didn't sell much furniture until Sunday, when several architectural pieces also found new homes. Ironstone and ephemera were popular with customers, but our apothecary jars and banker's cabinet are still looking for new homes! The talk of the town was definitely the opening of Architectural Anarchy, a new venture for customers Gosia Korsakowski/Blue Bell Bazaar and Bill Rawski/ZAP Props, which will take place next Friday, November 12, at 2229 S. Halsted in Pilsen. Be sure to check that out. And thanks, as always, to all our wonderful customers for coming out to support us at Kane. Check back later this week for a Grayslake update. xo

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holdidays, Here We Come!

Several years ago, two of our favorite Chicago customers, Rich and Laurel Seidelman, lugged a big old bag of random Christmas tree parts into our booth, thinking that we'd come up with something to do with them -- bless their artsy hearts. After a little head-scratching, a rhubarb reign holiday staple was born: the repurposed feather tree. We've used all kinds of things for the bases -- lamp parts, stove rollers, croquet mallets and more -- and I'm sad to say that I used the last couple of branches yesterday for an order. Thanks, Rich and Laurel, for thinking of us! Those branches were the start of a lot of fun.

Happily, we've found another tree to work with so the tradition can continue for at least another season. Come see what we have for the holidays starting tomorrow at the Kane County Flea Market! As always, details are just a click away on the show sidebar. In addition to seasonal stuff, we have great furniture, industrial, some wonderful finds from a Wisconsin estate, tons of vintage fabric and LOTS more. It's supposed to be chilly -- that just fits with the holiday spirit -- but sunny. So grab your mittens -- we'll see you there.

A quick congratulations to our friends the Demiduks on their beautiful wedding last weekend. More on that to come! xo

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Oh, You Better Watch Out..."

Today, I'm all about snowflakes, glitter and ho-ho-ho! Working on rhubarb reign's 2010 Christmas line-up. Check back later this week for a sneak peek of all things merry and bright, which will debut at Kane County this weekend. xo

Saturday, October 30, 2010

So Excited: Three Fabulous Pieces

Last week, Joe and I had the opportunity to buy some fabulous stuff, in fact several of my favorite pieces of the whole year so far. Just check out this vintage banker's cabinet:

It stands about 4-feet tall on metal legs with casters. We were told that the individual drawers held the tellers' counted cash for the start of each day. What a great storage piece!

Next is this wonderful 10-foot ZINC TOP worktable. We were told that it came out of a machine shop in Ohio; its patina is awesome and it would make a wonderful island, buffet or studio piece.

Last but not least is this all original 1920s kitchen hutch in terrific condition. It would be great for its intended purpose, but would also be sweet as a store display, in a craft room or in a child's bedroom.

The pictures don't do any of these hotties justice -- we were in the middle of our annual pre-winter studio cleaning, so everything was in a jumble. Just consider it live action! The hardest part was deciding which things to take where. Joe is headed to Midland tomorrow with the worktable and the hutch, in addition to a bunch of great industrial finds and smalls. I'm off to Chicago with a load of Christmas. The banker's cabinet is headed to next weekend's Kane. Check back next week to see what else we've got up our sleeves and have yourself a FABULOUS weekend until then. xo

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Vintage Vocab: Parlez-Vous? Plus Weekend Update

Just like every little corner of the work-a-day world, the antiquing business has its own insider vocabulary. Bet you already know a lot of the key words, but if not, read on! We'll have you speaking like a native in no time:

antique: technically, to be "antique," an item must be at least 100 years old

vintage: this one's a little loosey-goosey and seems to depend mostly on the age of the person using the term! But you're probably safe using it to refer to any item from the '70s on back

as is/as found: means the owner is aware of a flaw, but has taken that into consideration when pricing the item (so don't aggravate him by pointing it out when asking for a lower price!)

NFS: boo! This thing is Not For Sale

flea market vs. antique show: a flea market can contain any kind of merchandise, while an antique show offers old stuff and/or stuff made from old stuff, depending on the show's rules

c.: this means "circa" and usually appears before the owner's age estimate on a piece; it generally refers to an educated guess as to which half-century an item originates from

provenance: documentation about an item's history, ownership, origin, etc.; an interesting provenance can increase a piece's value

bespoke: actually, I've never heard anyone use this term, but I see it all the time in British magazines, so I was curious. Turns out it means "custom order," so just let us know if you'd like anything bespoke from rhubarb reign!

I know there are lots of other terms bandied about out there. Any come to mind? Leave a comment, and we'll see if we can help! xo

Joe and I were on the road this weekend. Our first stop was SoBo Style, getting Katie all re-stocked. Next we headed over to Lebanon, Ohio, to visit our friend Heather of Maddie Lisee. Along the way we picked up several fabulous items that will be destined for Midland this weekend. Yesterday, I opened my new issue of "Where Women Create" and was pleasantly surprised to find our customer Beth Harlow of Chicago's The Painted Lady profiled. Congratulations, Beth! Check back later this week for a sneak-peek at our Midland load!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Five MORE Fall Favorites

ONE: Vintage Handwriting (Italian-style)

TWO: Original Paint (in seasonal colors!)

THREE: Funky Old Signs

FOUR: Vintage Saints

FIVE: Fabulous Skies (is the sky ever bluer than on a clear fall day?)

What about you? What do you love this time of year? Let me know! 'Til then, we are headed to Ohio. Have a great weekend. xo