Friday, September 30, 2011

Circle of Life

It was the most beautiful late August summer day, that Dan took this picture of Grandpa & I and I will always cherish it. Maybe the last picture ever taken of him, at least of the 2 of us. Grandpa passed away on Wed evening at 97. He lived a wonderful life and we all marvel at what he saw in his lifetime and of the changes in our world that he experience. We have had marvelous conversations about all of it and it passed through me like a great movie with scenes so amazing. I have been blessed to have been able to spend lots of time with him throughout my life and have been privy to the "stories". 
Family is gathering and that is such a good thing.
But all of that said I will NOT be doing the show @ Everlasting Blooms, this Saturday Oct 1st.
We will instead be celebrating Grandpas life.
Thank you for your understanding and I will keep you all informed of our next hurrah. 


Monday, September 26, 2011

Everlasting Blooms Flea Market this Sat. Oct 1, 9-5

Is this not the cutest place!
Everlasting Blooms on Spalding off Cascade Road in Grand Rapids.
Dan & I are doing their first ever Flea Market this Saturday Oct. 1st from 9-5.
We will have lots of Fall decor and a lot of our handmade repuposed items with us. We will be set up in the greenhouse and from what I hear in GREAT company. Marcia and Sandy will be there from Nest as well as the girls from A-Gladstone-Company.

Hope to see you all there!
Happy Fall

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We received this great picture from CJ's Dad yesterday. The leaves are changing and there is a Fall feeling in the air.
We will be making a trip up north this weekend. I have spent the day loading the trailer for Then and Now in Petoskey. We are both a little sore and tired from the Country Living show. But, the one constant in this business is that there is always more to haul.
The bonus to our trip up north is that we get to see the start of Fall color and are going to spent the night on friday with CJ's parents. It is always a treat to be able to go home to Mom and Dad. I have been married twice and both times I was blessed with ready great in laws.

We also found a really wonderful magazine this past week. Autumn by Matthew Mead. This man is considered a regular male Martha Stewart. The magazine has mostly recipes and some decorating ideas all displayed with beautiful photos. The magazine inspired me to check out his blog and website both of which were equally inspiring.
It is such a beautiful time of the year. I celebrated today by baking an apple pie, went for a walk, looked up at the sky, and bought pumpkin ale. Life is good!!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Report from the Country Living Fair

It is now Saturday night and after a second day of the Country Living Fair we are tired. The crowds have been huge and the whole experience of being here has been everything we expected and more. Yesterday our sales exceeded all records for any previous one day of sales.
This morning before the crowds arrived I took a few pictures in the town green of this lovely historic village the show is being held in. The historic setting of the show adds a wonderful element to this show and combined with the wonderful Fall like weather it is truely a picture perfect place to be.

See if you can pick out our space as it looked first thing this morning in tent number 5. We are the people with the famous stacking pumpkins that everyone seems to want to photograph.

I picture latter in the day with CJ holding sway over the corner of our harvest table that has become the corner we use to write up our sales.

After the show today we made quick trip to see Sobo Style. We managed to also catch Joe and Sandy from Rubarb Reign doing a trunk show at the store.
One of the highlights of the weekend was a get together we had last night at the invitation of Katie owner of Sobo Style. Joe and Sandy were there of Rubarb Reign, we got to meet Mary Ellen of Twisted Style, and many other fine people including numerous friends from Grand Rapids. Diana Korhorn and Karen Kelder were at the party and were emotionally so supportive , Patrice of Elements in Grand Rapids was also present with here husband Stan. We were most grateful of the presence of Sue and Hugh Hufnagel who came down from Grand Rapids to help us at the show. We have never been busier at any show and couldn't imagine what we would have done without there help yesterday and today. Thanks Hugh and Sue you really rock!
Enough for tonight. I have to get to bed. One more day to go. We love the Country Living Fair and wish you could all be here.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

THE PILES - On Our Way To The Country Living Fair in Columbus!

The piles of merchandise have been forming here like you can't believe. We leave today for the Country Living Fair in Columbus.
Stacks of completed projects have been boxed and packed.
This is really one of the first times that Dan & I have created this kind of quantity. We set goals for ourselves, made lists, crossed things off and  added more. During this process we also worked hard and being mindful of the end result and honoring the creative process. For example one item that I was making I had on my list to make 20 of them, I put together 19 that I thought were fabulous (!) but number 20 just wasn't coming to me, so rather than making number 20 just to make number 20, I stopped. So I'm here to tell you all 19 ROCK!
So what were those 19 items? Ask me at the Fair!
And come see what we do with this bale of hey!
See you @ the Fair!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Country Living Fair this weekend

The truck is almost packed. Just a little more to go. My body feels every walk up the truck ramp at this point. We have borrowed a truck from Mike Dykhouse from Eastown Antiques for the use of his very large truck for our Country Living load. Thanks Mike!
It looks like right now we are scheduled to be in tent number five. We will be setting up on Thursday and open for business Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We are excited to see all of you that show up to say hi.

Monday, September 12, 2011


OK, we wanted pumpkins to take with to the Country Living show and we found that our favorite pumpkin patch just opened for business. So we purchased our pumpkins and along with them two bales of straw. We truly looked very funny driving down the road with two bales of straw on the top of CJ's car. Yesterday we also made a stop at one of our favorite areas to cut hydrangeas and we gathered some nice bunches to put in some of the many containers and sap buckets we are taking along.

A friend on face book also posted this really great quote about creativity. Since we are in this huge creative burst trying to get everything done this quote was wonderful to read so I couldn't resist sharing it with all of you.

It's really true!!! Tomorrow we start to load!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Creations for Country Living, Flea Market Style, Annie Sloan's chalk paint

We have been working on many creations for Country Living. I just finished making numerous wire picture holder's out of old door knobs and cast iron shoe lasts.

                                                                     I also finished three of these very colorful pharmacy cabinets. I am very pleased with how they have turned out. I was inspired by a vintage cabinet someone had showed me that had been painted in a similar style. The base coat of paint was black, I than applied bright machinery implement colors which were wiped off with rags soaked in paint thinner to expose the black. It was a very fun process.
I am also finishing some really great chalk boards made out of some great architectural trims and fragments.

With our lives being so consumed with so much creative activity you might wonder if we have time for anything else. Well, it just so happens that we do need to read a little at night in bed together before we can relax our brains and go to sleep. One of the magazines we have picked out the last couple of weeks that we have enjoyed is Flea Market Style.

It is full of lots of great ideas and projects. We found a few ideas we really liked and have added a few projects to our list of future projects.

We also picked up a new book called Creating The French Look by Annie Sloan. In the book she introduces us to a new paint product called chalk paint along with some really great projects. If  you read many of the blogs we are related to, you realize that there is a bit of buzz about chalk paint these days. It reminds me of milk paint which I have been playing around with lately. I will have to give this a try in the near future.

Well, time for bed. It is just a few days now before we pack. So the excitement builds!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Happy Labor Day!! Laboring for Country Living on Labor Day

We have been busy all weekend. Cj has been home in her studio giving her sewing machine a good workout. I have been in my shop making alot of sawdust and paint fumes. Most weekends we find ourselves working however with the Country Living show only about ten days away we have a new sense of urgency in our work. We have never made, created, or found so much for any one show and are planning on this being the largest load of product we have ever taken to any show. So our Labor Day weekend has truly been a weekend of labor.

This past week I finished three harvest tables I am planning on taking with us. The one pictured above in my paint spray booth was made out of a vintage plank door with porch columns for legs. About a week ago I found some really great apothecary cabinets that came out of a drug store in a town not far from here. I am readying all three for the show.
Today a friend showed up with a trailer load of vintage items he wanted us to take to the show. You have to love friends like that that just show up at your doorstep.
I found a couple of really great vintage cast iron urns that we are hoping to fill with pumpkins for the show. That assumes that pumpkins are ready in ten days. I did check my patches of bittersweet and it look like we will be able to take some bittersweet with us.
We are very excited about all of this. We hope that we get to see many of our friends/clients and hope to make lots of new acquaintances. Just counting down the days!!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Hopeful Gospel Duet & The Country Living Fair

OK, so I am sewing like crazy, creating something new out of something old and talking to my Mom another lifetime sewer about what I am working on and she asks me if these items are for someone in particular. So first you need to understand that the antiques part of our business is different but connected (how's that for clarity!) to the Interior Design part of the business. When something is being sewn for an Interior Design client it is a for sure sale. Designed and fabricated especially for them. Quoted and paid for (ya, I like that too). But....... what I am creating these days (& Dan as well) is based on HOPE. We are hoping that all of YOU coming to the Country Living Fair in Columbus will like our creations, new things from old, and buy them! So Dan & I have come to call ourselves The Hopeful Gospel Duet after the Hopeful Gospel Quartet with Garrison Keillor. Hope is a wonderful thing! We are both very excited about this opportunity. So hear we go "on a wing and a prayer" as another saying goes.
See you at the FAIR!