Monday, October 26, 2009

A Big Box of Junk

Ordinarily this would not be something I would want to call attention to. It's not exactly adding to the character of what we are trying to do here....but,

behind these big ugly doors awaits Ranch Dressing's future. Inside are treasures galore. It's been 15 months since we discovered the bounty inside and today it finally arrived.

It's a long story about how this all came about. It almost didn't happen...but today, it showed up here about 10:30 am with enough stuff to get the shop off to a great start in May.

Stop back by later this week for peeks.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lexington Barbecue Festival

For my local readers, don't forget the Barbecue Festival in Lexinton tomorrow. "One of the Top Ten Food Festivals in the U.S.A."
-Travel & Leisure Magazine
This years marks 26 years and if the bbq sandwiches aren't enough to get you there, you aren't going to believe the entertainment list this year. There will be six stages with shows starting at 9 am ranging from country to beach music. This year's headliner is Big Kenny from Big and Rich. You know I will be there! I'm a big fan of the duo... you may remember my "Pigs in the City" pig inspired by the group last year. Pig and Rich is the name I chose for him but, he was called Pig Pickin' by the BBQ Festival. He along with this year's pigs and  others from year's past will go up for auction at the Davidson County Fairgrounds Oct. 23rd.

Last year's brochure featuring Pig Pickin' by Angie Nelson

Along with good food and entertainment there are of course, juried art and crafts for sale, and loads of other attractions, such as pig races, a car show, swine wine by award winning winemaker Mark Friszolowski, and a carnival of rides for kids...and the list goes on.

Rain or shine, I hope to see you there! Get there early...parking spaces are extremely hard to come by!

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's Monday and I'm till Party-ing.

We went to a Pirates of the Carribean costume party on Saturday night hosted by our neighbors who completely converted their barn into the Black Pearl. There were pirates of all sizes along with every other character you can imagine and food galore...including a cat litter cake. You've got to experience that at least once in your lifetime. Imagine scooping out your portion of streusel topped cake with melted, twisted tootsie rolls randomly placed, with a kitty litter scoop... I couldn't follow through...although my husband had two helpings and it was a popular treat for the kids.

At any rate, it's that time of year when everyone loves a party and it's just the beginning of bigger things to come in the next couple of months. Speaking of parties, Flea Market Style is hosting a blog party today and I'm heading over just as soon as I upload my photos.

It doesn't look like much at first glance but I am quite happy with my haul.

As promised I have the rest of the pics from the little unexpected junking trip my sister and I made early last week to the little farm house going up for sale near my old high school.  My husband and I had hoped to return over the weekend for the bigger pieces but we weren't able to work it in after pieces will come later.

I brought it all into the studio in just 3 trips from the truck, but there are several good treasures among the rust and dirt. First you will remember the bean pot that I've claimed for myself and already put on top of my corner cupboard.

...and if you'll notice what looks like a plain fish bowl in the top photo....

it's actually a Lance peanut butter jar. This too, I am keeping for me, but it will be used in the shop to display...I don't know...something that needs to go in a jar. Maybe a fish after all.

And then there is this very sweet handmade fishing box. Inside were all kinds of old fishing line weights and sinkers. The antique tack hammer was lying on the tool bench next to the box and was there for the I did.

And you know I love advertising tins and bottles so I emptied all the old nails, screws and bolts from the cans and put as many of the cans as I could fit into this hand made kindling box and put them in the truck.  Some I will add to my personal collection in the cupboard on my porch....

and some will go onto the shop.

Everyone I know already has several of these old rake heads hanging around displaying dried herbs or being used as a keychain holder, but not husband is too practical and makes new handles for the ones I've found. This one is hidden and will be made into something...anything...but a rake head...same for the old pieces below...

They were photographed in the herb garden, but they too will be hidden away for later use as something decorative and hopefully functional in some way. The hoe and "tater" fork have already been given new pipe handles by another practical man. I may reuse those as birdfeeder posts.

There are too, a couple of sets of whitetail antlers. I plan to use them in winter wreaths. One for me, and one for the shop...well, maybe two for me and next year when the shop is officially open I will part with one for the shop. We'll see.

Don't forget to join the party to see all the treasures.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cold and chilly, A good day for beans!

I scored big this week for my thrifty find. It was $0 and my sister actually dug it out of a box for me when I was in another room.

It is a Watt Apple #76 Bean Pot. It's in perfect condition with no chips, but I couldn't find the lid. Even without it it's a wonderful find considering it was hidden away in the attic. I got my first piece of Watt pottery from my great-grandmother when she passed away...the pitcher. Next came the bowl at a flea market when I was 25. It was only$6. LOL! Even though it's been almost another 25 years,I guess now I am officially a collector.

This bean pot came from an old house that is being cleaned out to prepare for sale. After the owner's passed away most everything was left as is. The tablecloth is still on the table and medicines are still in the cabinet. Kinda creepy! The house has sat this way for many years so you can imagine the precautions we took going through things. I DO NOT like spiders or mice! ...and whatever the larger varmit was that left his calling card in the attic. The farm, though, is lovely and I will try to get some pictures of it when my husband and I go back out, hopefully on Saturday to get a couple pieces of furniture.

Thank you so much Debbie and Jimmy for letting us rummage through!

This one I am keeping, but I did find several fun things out there for the shop that I will show you on Monday.

Happy Thrifty Thursday! Link back here with your finds...I'd love to see.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Impressions - The Logo

I've been spending a good deal of time thinking and playing around with images for my logo for Ranch Dressing. I want something simple like the one I have for the studio and at the same time convey that I definitely am not the salad dressing.

I've got several ideas that are appealing to being dictionary-like using only words and then the other is a sort of paper doll-like concept. I've always loved paper dolls and used to buy them often as a little girl, when I had saved up a few dollars. My grandmother subscribed to McCall's magazine and of course, she let me have the Betsy McCall paper dolls each month. I even liked to design my own clothes for them, coloring them with markers or water colors until they looked almost as good as the printed ones.

This Doris Day paper doll set was a surprise that was included in a box of "junque" at an estate sale. I only wanted the Charles Chips cookie and chip tins, not knowing inside were several treasures.

I really like the idea of the avatar that I found and made on Yahoo. She's the contemporary paper doll. I chose the elements that made her look like me -with the exception of the waistline- and I can continue to redress her for occasions, the season and even put her into various environments. I just don't like the Yahoo link that goes along with her so now I am on the lookout for a program that will let me make paper doll-like avatars without any strings attached. Anyone know what I might need? Maybe I will just use Doris. Who knows?

Maybe I will use both somehow together or maybe do something altogether different. I will eventually get my vision and one day, hopefully soon, you will notice that I will be sporting a new logo and banner, and just maybe a cute little spokes person that will clarify that Ranch Dressing is not just for salads anymore.

Just my two cents!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday's Thrifty Find

My thrifty find this week came in a pair. Someone obviously doesn't like birds as much as I do and donated a pair of bird planters to the Salvation Army Thrift Store. They still had the tiniest bit of paint left on them for eyes and some on the nests, but when I scrubbed the embedded filth off I washed their little eyes away completely. So sad.

The happy ending to the story is that the birds now have jobs unless I decide to put them in the shop...but that's not likely because I really, really love them. The little tan one is perched on my desk and holds paper clips and rubber bands. The cup came with my stainless steel cookware and has been in a drawer for about 10 years. If I ever need it I will know where to find it. The other 3 may or may not be in the drawer.

The other little cutie sits on the cook stove and holds our toothpicks. I'm a flosser myself, but you never know who may need one and this little bird has a nest full.

They, of course, were a steal or I wouldn't have brought them home with me...well, to be really honest, I probably would have paid twice what I paid because they were in my basket before I looked at the tags. We will just say it was a pleasant surprise.

Got a thrifty deal you'd like to share? Leave a comment and I will visit your blog to take a peek. I'd love to see! Too, if you'd like to see more finds stop by Junk Sophisticate. She does this each Thursday as well.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pops! What a bottle collection.

I have collected soda bottles for about 30 years. I am not a serious fact, I didn't start the collection myself. My dad worked for the power company for many years in construction and also the retail end of it, so he was always on the side of the road somewhere. As they were digging for poles or underground cable they would often times unearth old bottles. He not only found soda bottles but medicine, liquor and sometimes baby bottles.

He always brought home his finds, but they remained in 5 gallon buckets or on shelves in the basement. He enjoyed looking at them and pulling them out and showing us kids from time to time when we'd be cleaning out (re-arranging) the junk.

When I moved out into my first country home that my sister and I rented, down the road from our parents, we needed something to decorated with. I thought of the old bottles and asked for a few of the cleanest ones to take with me. The liquor bottles were used as vases, the soda bottles with graphics were used as art, and the old ink and baby bottles made nice little accents on top of books in shelves.

From then on, when friends and family came across an old bottle they began bringing them to me...and the rest is history. I still look for the freebies...ones found digging around in forgotten trash piles on old homesites, and in old buildings but I will buy a few here and there for a reasonable price.

The bottles in our dining room are displayed all along the plate rail and on top of the corner cupboards with a few pieces of Coke memorabilia. We've been very fortunate to find original Coke trays...again digging in someone's trash and we found a  Coca Cola dip pen in the old house that once stood here at the Ranch.

Now that our daughter is in Oklahoma I have a fine excuse to visit  Pop's Soda Ranch.
...the biggest, coolest soda pop selection anywhere – and THIS one’s on the one-and-only Route 66 in  Arcadia, OK.

 The can't miss the giant soda bottle and straw.

  This is a view of the store at night.
The giant pop bottle is 66 feet tall and weighs over 4 tons.

If for nothing else, visit their website just to hear the fizz! Just my two cents.

Friday, October 2, 2009

New in my Etsy Shop

Little Pieces, Big Impact

Hand Painted Coaster Set by Free Rein Studio on Etsy

Framed and double matted print from original coaster by Free Rein Studio and available from ImageKind

Similar items will be in stock for the first open house at Ranch Dressing in September 2010

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Recycle, Upcycle, It's all Good!

This post was started on Tuesday, but with our daughter's move taking place this week I am just now getting the time to sit and finish my writing...

As I trot along daily with my idea notebook close by at all times, I am on the constant lookout for things for the shop. Not everything will be hand painted or vintage ready to sell items. That's going to be a big part of the business and the easy part, but the absolute most fun part will be the things that have been re-purposed or up-cycled.

Living on an old farm has been a 21 year treasure hunt for us. Every time we dig in the dirt around here something from years past seems to magically crop up...from arrow heads dating back hundreds of years to old pieces of farm machinery and horse and mule shoes by the dozens.

I've never had the heart to throw any of the treasures away even though most of these things were worthless to the ones that left them here. Art can be found just about anywhere and it's beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. I happen to love rusty old stuff and have made the old horse and mule shoes the focal point of the walkway through the herb garden. I have so many now that I have decided to use some of them in the new walk into the shop.

I believe we should recycle in the first place and of course reuse what we can. If we can do this as an art form it's even better. When you come out to our first open house, in the spring, you can be sure to find some assemblage art pieces. You can call them recycled or doesn't really matter. They will of course, be made from something that someone else thought was disposable and it will be given a new purpose and once again be of value.

I found a wonderful example of a rusty ranch assemblage this morning on one of my favorite websites, Junkmarket Style, by upcycle  artist Jenny Kompolt .

It just makes good horse sense to reuse what we have. What can you reuse today?