Monday, June 28, 2010

Stormy Weather

My partner Joe has got to be the hardest working guy in show business -- antique show business, that is. In the almost 10 years we've worked together, I could count his days off on one hand. But he had received an invitation that was just too good to pass up -- attending Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival with our friend Lynda's husband, Preston. To make it happen, Lynda and her son, Tyler, were driving to Indiana at 2:30 a.m. Saturday -- Lynda was coming to work Allegan with me, and Tyler was taking Joe back to Chicago for the concert.

The logistics of all this weren't worrying me. What was on my mind was the weekend weather. Storms were projected for both days, and we'd already had a couple of doozies. Lightning, hail, and strong winds are not what you want to see coming when your livelihood set up in a tent city.
But all the worrying in the world was not changing the Weather Channel.

Saturday, however, had turned out to be beautiful -- sunny and breezy. Lynda and I got the tent up with no problems and had the best Early Buy that we've had at Allegan in several years. Plus we had more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

But Sunday morning looked like it might be a different story. It started to rain as soon as we pulled into the fairgrounds. However, that didn't deter the crowds. Neither did the storms that came and went all morning. We were having a great show, despite the weather. People were just in the mood to shop. Our neighbors were actually still negotiating a deal when the tornado siren sent everyone into the concrete block restroom buildings. It was just one of those days -- people were in a buying mood. And thank goodness for that! Last weekend had been a little soft, so we really needed this one to count. I feel like that sounds a little selfish -- obviously, we don't want anyone getting hurt. But the van payment still needs to go in the mail this week. Come on!

Projects were great sellers, as were garden items and furniture. Industrial and art were a little soft, but that didn't seem to hurt the bottom line too much.

Sold almost everything we bought at Burlington, except this cute concrete frog. He will just have to wait for Kane. And so far, the forecast for next weekend is beautiful. Thank goodness for that too.
And while I'm on the subject, THANK YOU to everyone who came and shopped, despite the rain. Thank you to my wonderful neighbors, like Celeste, who worries about me burning and always brings:
As well as Jack and Vanna, who keep us supplied with:

And of course to the Boyds -- what a weekend to remember for all of us! See you for the 4th! xo

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Allegan Is This Weekend!

Don't miss the Allegan (MI) Antique Market this weekend -- we have LOTS of fabulous new finds, including some original paint, lovely painted furniture, graphics (including these fun vintage fish) , garden, industrial, smalls and MORE! Click on the show sidebar for details. See you SUNDAY. xo

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's 11 a.m.; Do You Know Where Your Money Went?

It's 11 a.m. 93 degrees. Burlington, Kentucky, and I've already had a busy morning: breakfasted, set up the booth, had a decent early buy, chatted with some of my favorite show customers, then...went out shopping. I know it's rough, you weep for me, but what can I say? Shopping's my job. And it's not as easy as it might seem!

I thought it had started out pretty good -- got these fabulous lawn chairs from our excellent neighbors, Bill and Judy Wright (she even threw in the cute red metal R just because she knows we like those!) And two great pull-down French school maps, several cute concrete animals, plus some other odds and ends. But it was getting really hot, and I had kind of stalled out. Maybe a little lunch would help, then I needed to get serious.

Part of the problem was being picky -- I'd seen lots of great furniture, but I was really in the market for smalls, and I wanted something special. We've been making an effort to find more smalls for each show, but getting something fabulous and affordable is not always all that easy. That $47 was burning a hole in my pocket. Found a cute green bread box, as well as a little house that was only $1, but my quarry alluded me. Thought I'd take one more tour through the horse barn before calling it quits.

Bingo. Third booth from the end. Not one. Not two. But SIX turn of the century store mannequins -- albeit in various shades of disrepair -- for a very attractive group price. SOLD! (Although I had to go back and get a little more cash from the Bank of Joe. ) They will be terrific once cleaned up -- come see at Allegan!

Many thanks to all who came out to support the show despite the heat. And a special thanks to everyone who mentioned the blog -- that's always really encouraging! Saturday, we restocked Midland. Now's a great time to stop and see the booth -- and practice your own shopping skills! xo

Friday, June 18, 2010

Heading South and Happy Father's Day

We were pleased to see the Burlington (Ky) Antique Show featured in last month's Romantic Homes magazine! We're headed there this weekend with a great load -- come and see us Sunday; details are posted on the show sidebar.

And bring your dad! Here's mine, Jim Causey, way back in 1938. I could not have asked for a better one -- supportive, encouraging, involved. I think my son, Jack, would say the same about his dad, Bob. I'm also privileged to have a great father-in-law, Bill. Joe has twin boys, Matt and Mark, who will be 20 next month -- who can believe it?! And he also has a most excellent dad, Herb Kenz. Wanted to wish them all -- all of you out there -- a very Happy Father's Day! xo

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Race Is On!

Greetings, sports fans! The 2010 summer flea market season is now well underway, with both Chicago-area veterans -- Kane and Grayslake -- posting impressive numbers. As you no doubt recall from last week's report, our heavy-weight champ, Kane, had taken the lead in this year's race. However, while both markets have been plagued with post-construction-related injuries, our contender, Grayslake, regained the lead this Sunday with an impressive sale right at the bell, despite the challenges posed by inclement weather.

Tune in later this week as Team Rhubarb hits the road for a double-header -- Midland and Burlington, Ky. Better yet, get a ticket and plan to join us! Midland is always fabulous, and if you've never been to Burlington, it offers some of the finest shopping around. Don't miss it! As always, thanks to our wonderful "fans" -- we couldn't do it without you -- and to our fabulous roadie, Lynda. xo

Friday, June 11, 2010

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

Come see us this weekend at the Grayslake (IL) Antique Market. We've been shopping like crazy since Kane and will have a fresh load of summery projects, fabulous smalls and lovely furniture. Something for everyone. Just click on the show sidebar for details. By the way, I just checked the forecast, and it's looking better all the time -- no rain Saturday morning and just a chance of an occasional shower Sunday! We can live with that. Plus the new building is air-conditioned, so you can shop in comfort. So what are you waiting for? Come on out and see us. Can't wait. xo

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Rain plus Tea equals Happy

It's never a good sign to be driving straight toward an iron-clad bank of storm clouds, especially at 6 a.m. on Kane set-up day. Thunderstorms and having a good show don't usually go hand-in-hand. However, happily, there are exceptions to that rule. Despite heavy rain Saturday morning, and at times during the rest of the weekend, we had one of our best shows of the year to date! Our thanks to all who came out despite the weather to support the show.

But what I really want to tell you about was the fabulous party we went to Saturday evening. Our customer Chris Brickman, owner of the Emerson Creek Tea Room in Oswego (IL), invited us and our hosts the Boyds (she and Lynda are also great friends) to an after-hours tasting at her restaurant.

All I can say is WOW! You really need to go. When you turn down Chris' lane, it feels like you're literally driving back in time. Surrounded by hedgerows, wildflowers and song birds, you pull into the driveway and take a deep breath. On your left is a renovated farmhouse, which holds Chris' charming gift and garden shop. On your right is the tearoom, pictured above.

Walk up the steps and into the most charming dining room (above); take a seat or cozy up on a bar stool. But where-ever you choose to sit, be prepared. The food is some of the best you'll ever have -- fresh, fresh, fresh -- all served on her signature pottery.

The tearoom is currently open for lunch and private parties. Plans are underway to host weddings and other larger events as well.

Don't delay! Grab a friend and call for reservations. Be sure to plan enough time to linger. The trip to Emerson Creek will seem like a mini-vacation.

Back in real time, Joe and I have been shopping, shopping, shopping -- getting ready for Grayslake. Let's hope there's no rain -- but plan to join us in any case. xo

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sneaking Up on Summer: Kane County's THIS Weekend

I must have missed the memo, but apparently SUMMER IS HERE! Seems like we went from sweaters to shorts almost overnight. To save you from this tragic fate, we are working overtime this week to be sure our Kane County space is full of everything summery -- furniture, original paint, garden, handmades and more.

Of course we'll have industrial, graphics, ephemera -- in short, everything we can pack into the van. Don't miss it -- click on the show sidebar for details and plan to join us. xo