Friday, January 28, 2011

Write On!

Over the last couple of weeks, we've talked with several people who are interested in submitting their artwork to Somerset. If you've been thinking about it, too, we want to encourage you to give it a try. The folks at Somerset are awesome to work with -- really helpful and encouraging.

If you're not a writer or photographer, don't worry. The have staff people to help. The most important thing is to get your artwork out there for them to see. Friend and customer Candy Martens, Artisan's Ball and frequent Somerset contributor, encouraged us to give it a try several years ago. Her advice was simple: send the actual artwork, if at all possible, and if it's your first time, go for one of their challenges/calls. These categories are listed both on-line and in the back of each issue. So don't delay! Check it out and let me know if there are questions we can answer.

We'll look forward to seeing you on the newsstand! xo

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I've never been very good at making or keeping New Year's resolutions. But I love the idea of the new year -- a fresh start, big plans, new projects. So I actually look forward to writing the business' goals for the year. Yes, I am that geeky. But I find that having a list of things to accomplish really helps keep me focused and moving forward -- otherwise I want to do and try EVERYTHING! This year, it's a given that we'll look forward to working with our awesome customers, such as Katie Palmer of SoBo Style in Columbus, Ohio:

Katie's a great fit for us because her look includes both cozy cottage-style furniture, like this pretty 5-drawer dresser with unusual built-in jewelry boxes,:

and items artfully crafted by artisans near and far, like these awesome lamps by Ohio's Claudia Curry, rebuilt from vintage elements and industrial finds:

They make my heart sing! I'm also excited about continuing to explore unusual combinations of found objects, mixed media and industrial finds. The new issue of Marie Claires Idees is chock full of all three:

I can sometimes find this magazine at Barnes and Noble, but it tends to be a little elusive. Amazon has made subscribing to foreign magazines so much easier, so I took the plunge last year and signed up. I've enjoyed each issue that has arrived in my mailbox -- straight from Paris to small-town Indiana. You gotta love it!
I'm also thinking we'll try to incorporate more natural wood and original paint into the mix:

Plus lots more graphics:

I also want to get our Facebook page up and running and pursue another magazine submission. Whew! I'll need to focus. So what's on your to-do list? Do tell! xo

Friday, January 21, 2011


Ladies and gentlemen, can we get a round of applause, please? We just wanted to say CONGRATULATIONS to several rhubarb reign customers on their inclusion in the latest issue of Chicago Home and Garden magazine:

Featured in the "Best of the New" section are Gosia Korsakowski and Bill Rawski of Architectural Anarchy, Brandon Nelson and Laura Soskin of Trilogy, Beth Harlow of The Painted Lady, and Mike Mains of Amsterdam at Vintage Pine. Way to go! And our thanks go to fellow dealer Diane Passi for pointing the article out. xo

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Brave New World; Wheaton Report

Wanted to share with you a quick peek at one of our favorite new projects -- Steampunk Globes! We took some kinda mundane spheres and spiffed them up with funky new bases and a special finish. What have you got hanging around in your garage/attic/basement that can be re-purposed? Share it with us! We'd love to see.

Wheaton Report

Many thanks to all who came out for the Wheaton Antique Market this past weekend. There was a great crowd! We sold most of our furniture and lots of the new smalls our shopping expeditions had turned up. We'll be off for two weeks now, seeing store clients, but will be back to Chicago the first weekend in February. Check back later this week for a look at some of our Chicago clients who are in the news right now.

And speaking of the "news," did you see the new issue of Lucky Magazine? I'm totally intrigued by the leather dye that's featured. Has anyone tried it? I wonder if it looks as good in real life as it does in the magazine...think I might have to give it a whirl! xo

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Half-Off Admission to Wheaton This Saturday

Can I ask you a personal question?

What kind of shopper are you? Do you like to be first in line at the markets, getting dibs on all the best finds? Or are you more laid back, preferring to stroll through later in the day, looking for a great deal? Well, let me share a little trade secret with you: the Wheaton Antique Market offers the best of both worlds! Many of your favorite dealers set up there, offering the same great deals, but because the show just isn't as big, you generally won't find hordes of other shoppers elbowing you out of the way. Sweet!

And as an added bonus, Zurko Promotions is continuing its HALF-OFF ADMISSION for this Saturday's show. Just print out this page and bring it with you; make as many copies as you'd like for friends, too. We'll see you there, and wink, it will be our little secret! Details are just a click away on the show sidebar.

Once you're done with the show, there still lots to do! Just one case in point, we were chatting recently with long-time customer and friend Nancy Shepherd, owner of Serenade, located in downtown Wheaton. Nancy says that right now her store is "all cozy in neutrals, really simple and fresh. Plus think wine by the fire -- inviting and soft." Nancy added that "January is the perfect time to get organized, so we've honed in on great finds to inspire you." Plus, she has lots of fun pieces for Valentine's Day, so be sure your trip to Wheaton includes a look! There is also an awesome French Market in town and lots of good places to eat. Plan to make a day of it. xo

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Special Feature: rhubarb reign Chez You!, Plus Grayslake Report and Wheaton Coupon

Just before Christmas, long-time Illinois customer and antique dealer extraordinaire Karen Hill and I were chatting about the concrete deer she had bought from us several months earlier. At the time of purchase, we had joke about its heftiness and how long it would take to get the outdoor charmer installed inside. She was following up, letting me know he'd made it into the living room and was now all dolled up for the holidays. He sounded so cute, I had to ask if she would mind sending me a photo:

And once I got it, another thought occurred to me. (Yes, I'm a little slow on the uptake!) I bet all you guys -- my blogging friends -- would get a kick out of seeing these finds in their awesome new surroundings. So I double-checked with Karen to get the go-ahead, and now you too can see the "dear deer" in her lovely living room! I'm sure he feels right at home with Karen's other treasures, some of which were featured last year in this Daily Herald article (wrinkles courtesy of my filing system):

Another Illinois customer Laura Wenzel also shared a photo with me of this cute red seed spreader she'd purchased from us, then repurposed as a container for seasonal greens on her front porch. Awesome!

Laura is better known to many of you as the creative genius behind our hand-painted signs and letters, which have been rhubarb reign bestsellers for many seasons:

Have a photo of something you bought from us that you'd like to share? Just shoot me an e-mail. I'd love to see it and will include as many as I can in future posts!

Grayslake Update
The show was fabulous! The crowd was so big Saturday that extra help was needed for the ticket booth, and additional security was called to help with the parking lot. A BIG thank you to everyone who came out to support the show. And thanks especially for all your kind comments on our article in Somerset Studio. For a peek at that, just scroll down to last week's posts.
Wheaton Coupon
Needless to say, Zurko's were happy with the turnout and are extending the HALF-OFF ADMISSION coupon to WHEATON this Saturday. Just print this page and bring it with you. Print was many as you'd like for friends, too. Show details are just a click away on our sidebar. See you there! xo

P.S. One last thank you to the kind person who left all the maps for me! I wasn't there at the moment, so I'm not sure who it was. Let me know so I can thank you in person. xo

Friday, January 7, 2011

Half-Off Admission to Grayslake and More

The nice folks at Zurko Promotions were so pleased with the response to last weekend's half-off admission perk that they've invited us to offer it again for Grayslake this weekend! Awesome.

All you need to do is print out this page and bring it with you. Make as many as you'd like for friends, too. But be sure to bring this page along -- this special offer is just for blog and e-mail customers. Thanks again to Zurko Promotions!

We will be offering our steampunk poppies, which are currently featured in Somerset Studios magazine, plus the entire SUV-load of smalls pictured below, a new group of furniture, some cool industrial carts, tons of containers and lots of handmades, including some super-cute chalkboards, photoholders, jewelry displays and our first Valentines of this season. Do make plans now to join us. Details are just a click away on the show sidebar. Can't wait to see you. xo

Editor's note: Thanks to everyone for their kind comments on the last two posts. I'm running way behind on my responses. Will try to catch up next week! xo

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

In the News: Second Article Published, Grayslake Coupon, Expo Report

Last fall, we were thrilled to learn that Somerset Studio had accepted our second article for publication as part of its "poppy challenge" for the January/February issue. In case you're not familiar with them, the Somerset magazines are all about the creative life, with titles covering a range of topics, from mixed media to collage, blogging to jewelry making, altered couture and more. Somerset Studio is Barnes and Noble's top-ranking paper-arts magazine -- you can go right now and see us on the newsstand! Too exciting.

Our first article appeared last January and featured our altered-art trophies. This article details the steps for making our lamp-part flowers, which we will be offering for sale at this weekend's Grayslake Antique Market:

Which brings me to my next piece of big news: due to the overwhelmingly positive response to last week's Expo Show admission discount -- special for blog readers thanks to Zurko Promotions -- we've been invited to offer it again for Grayslake. Here's the scoop -- just print this page, bring it with you to this weekend's Grayslake Antique Market, and receive HALF OFF your admission! Print as many as you'd like and bring your friends. How awesome is that?

The Expo Show was a blast! Smalls, projects, industrial, containers and small furniture were our big sellers. Thanks, as always, to everyone who came out to support the show. We literally couldn't do it without you. Work started today on Grayslake. In addition to the poppies, we'll be debuting our Valentine projects. Check back later this week for a peek at what else we'll be bringing. xo