Monday, February 27, 2012

And the winner is....

C Eddins is our winner for the one year subscription to FOLK magazine.

Congratulations! You should be getting...or have already email from me letting you know the good news. I know you will love and enjoy the magazine.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Are You an Indie Tither?

I recently heard the phrase, indie tithe and realized I am an indie tither. More and more artists and craftsmen are becoming indie tithers in support of their peers and the trend seems to be growing quickly from what I've been hearing. 

 For those not acquainted with the word indie, it is a term used for independent artist....and in case there is anyone that isn't familiar with tithing, it is usually associated with the giving of ten percent of your income back to God's work.

So if you wanted to support other artists or craftsmen with a percentage of your income on a regular basis, you'd be an indie tither

My parents are good examples of lifetime tithers and told us early that we could never out give God. It's true. We've been very blessed and I believe it's because we tithe regularly. I will tell you that it was very hard in the beginning as a young couple with small children...learning to trust that we'd have enough to cover our bills and put food on the table...but we quickly discovered that we were provided for...not manna from heaven, but extra side jobs for Rick or another floorcloth order for me. Regular tithing has been a way of life now for us for over 20 years and it lead us to be indie tithers before it had a name.

When the need arises for us to buy either a gift or something for our home, we like to shop for something handmade or vintage rather than going to a mall or looking for the best deal online.  It feels good to support independent artists and merchants and to see or imagine the smiles on their faces when they find out they've made a sale...I know how good it feels to know that someone really appreciates your work! 

This wasn't written to say that I am good because I tithe or indie tithe...but, to say that
when we open our hands to give they are also open to receive blessings ourselves.

It seems like I continuously hear people complain about money...or the lack or it.  To me, it goes without saying, that if we give of ourselves then it's universal law that we too will be given something in return. This can even apply to our time.  It takes some faith, but what doesn't? If you think this is a load of bull...then it is. If you believe that it's possible...then it's something to think about and at least try.

Oh, if you didn't already do so, leave me a comment on the previous post for a chance to win a year subscription to FOLK magazine....Here we go.

Until next time,


Monday, February 20, 2012

FOLK Magazine Subscription Giveaway...Get the Scoop Here!

FOLK Magazine Issue IV

I don't remember exactly how I discovered FOLK Magazine, but I know it was sometime last summer and probably through someone's blog or Facebook...What I do remember is that the magazine wasn't yet published and I anxiously awaited, along with so many others, until September for the first issue because of the enthusiasm of the young staff and the freshness and variety of content.

So Cute!
When I say young staff, I mean...I am old enough to be their mom! It doesn't seem like so long ago that I was a twenty-something ready to set the world on fire and here I am already looking at the next generation's great accomplishments. I'm so very impressed at the vision, editor-in-chief, Ben Ashby and the staff at FOLK has for this new magazine...which is soon to go national by the way with Issue V

Blueberry Sun Tea

In their blog announcement they say, "We are all about the country, sweet tea, indie music, antiques, roadtrips, small towns, comfort, home, artists, locally grown and locally made, one-of-a-kind art, open spaces, photography, patriotism, simple living, and the little things." 

Do I need to say any more? They had me at "sweet tea"!

There is more...lots more that will appeal to you, my blog readers, besides the beautiful photography, great ideas for your home and the scrumptious family recipes...

...they call for submissions for each issue from their readers and this month they are collaboratively working with Donna at Funky Junk Interiors. If you've ever wanted to get published, this could be a wonderful opportunity for you! The folks at FOLK are looking for contributors of projects and stories. If your submission is selected you will receive: 
- a feature in FOLK!
- 5 free FOLK magazines of the issue you are in
- 1 free year's subscription to FOLK
- an opportunity to host your own FOLK giveaway event on your blog
Follow the link below for complete details if you are interested....

Have you ever seen such a generous opportunity? 

Well how about another? 

1 year subscription

FOLK has given me a year's subscription to give away for one of my readers. For the next week , here at the ranch, I will be running a contest for the winner. I have to keep things simple so here's the deal...

1)Follow the FOLK blog....American Folk Life and leave them a nice comment.
If interested you can also find them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest...look for the links on their blog sidebar...again, let them know you found them.

2) Leave me a comment here on this post. That's it! 

If you don't have a blogger account you can follow a blog by subscription (RSS link in sidebar) and can leave a comment by checking the anonymous option for commentors. Also, if you don't have a blog you will need to leave your email address with your comment so I can contact you if you are the winner.

It would also be great if you told your friends and sent them back here too for an opportunity to win too...oh come on, let's share!

This contest will run until midnight, Sunday February 26th, be chosen randomly and announced on Monday morning here on the blog.

 In the meantime you can pick up a copy from your retailer, locally here or buy a subsciption here.

Good luck!

(photo's from FOLK's blog and Funky Junk Interiors blog.)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

What Makes a Good Antique Booth?

I haven't posted any booths pics here in a while so I thought I'd show you what it looks like these days. I sold the big beautiful mantle (see in this post) last weekend and had to get creative this week to find enough to fill the space before this weekend. I have a couple of large pieces in the barn that I'd planned to have ready but real life isn't allowing much time for projects lately. At any rate, this is it....

Pictures always highlight the gaps I need to fill! 

This is the quick fix for the void the mantle left...the metal tool bin is ready to hang with predrilled holes...
If I were to keep it I'd probably let it sit out in the weather and rust a little, then spray it white and let the rust  do it's thing...put it in the kitchen and put all of my little salt and pepper shakers in the cubby holes...

I've never liked this wall for some reason, but the beds work as well here as anything I've had maybe they will sell soon and I'll be back to square one awkward area!

Ugh! Big hole...needs something with a WOW! factor.

I took the doors out of the back corner for the other I see my neighbors drop cords coming in from 3 other booths...I am looking for more doors!

I am liking this little area and so are my's becoming  my magic table . When I move  something here that I've had for a while it magically sells!

The other booth doesn't get quite the attention from me that the Ranch Dressing Booth does...and it shows! I'm almost embarrassed to be seen working in it! If you're a reader of this blog, you'll remember it was intended to be a children's specialty booth with antique and vintage toys, furniture and such...the reason for the color scheme.

This was it during the Christmas season...

Dec. 2011...We did rather well...considering!

In January, I called my booth partner Cheryl and asked if she'd mind if I painted it out solid turquoise and get rid of the beige...we'd joked around the day we painted it saying that empty, it looked like a cantina. Well, it just never got any better with stuff in it! We also decided to let it be an everything booth after all.

This is it this week...Feb 2012

It still is plain Jane and I am NOT happy with it. There are some really great treasures in there but if I were the buyer I'd pass this one by in favor of the many, many other well thought out and creatively designed booths. Ours looks like something we threw together on the fly!...oh, well! We DID!

I know that it all takes time to evolve...and time is something I feel very slighted with these days! I do have some ideas..finally, for this one. Ideally, I'd love to have the booth directly behind my Ranch Dressing Booth to take advantage of our rough cut board wall that's already in existence but until it comes available again, we will make this one do.

Having a booth that is successful takes an incredible amount of work. I had no idea when I started!  I thought this would free up my time to work in my studio more by not having to keep my shop open myself. Now, I'm having to plan every little detail before making the hour long trip down there, where as in my shop here I can make changes anytime I need to. 

Booths not only need to look great, show creativity, and be stocked with great finds...they have to be straightened up weekly, cleaned twice a month and rearranged at the very least once every month...and then when you are fortunate enough to sell out you have to be ready to restock ASAP...which usually requires rearranging again! I have realized quickly that when I put a lot of effort into my booth I get a nice reward! It's becoming part of our lifestyle. Fortunately, it's fun and I'm enjoying it.

Yesterday after I had reworked the Ranch Dressing Booth a man came in while I was snapping pictures and complimented my efforts telling me it was "decorated attractively". YES! I left a happy woman. 

We have a lot of competition at our mall, The Depot, but we also feel like family there among the other 500+ booths...another of the benefits of working your booth regularly. It's nice to be known by your name by the staff in such a large place and be able to network with real people!

How is your booth doing? Got any tips you'd like to share? Leave a comment for all to benefit from.

Until next time,


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Third Generation Picker

I'm teaching our son to pick.

It's not really a new concept to him. Bless his heart, we've dragged him to auctions and antique malls since he was a baby. When he was playing little league sports on Saturday mornings I would pray for an early game so we could stop by any yard sales along the way and hit the estate sales on the way back.

We come from a family of pickers. My daddy is a picker but not a seller. He got me started with my bottle collection when I was in my late teens and early 20's. He would dig up bottles he found on job sites...see this post for the story.

Part of my soda bottle collection
Corkers in the bathroom window

I love bottles in the window
He has a varied collection of things he's picked from over the years. He rarely if ever sells anything, but for the most part he can justify keeping his treasures because he has put them into use at some time or another. What he hasn't is somewhat on display around the barn or shop.

At any rate, I got the bug honestly. I spent a lot of time as a kid, digging through old trash piles on farms near where I grew up, finding little saucers or zinc jar lids...enough to make me want to keep digging and searching. 

My first auction buy was a Diamond King wood cookstove that I saved until we built our house and still have it today. It cost $150 in 1981. I was offered $500 for it a couple of years later and I wasn't even tempted to sell. I loved it that much. 

Our cookstove, here piled with stuff during our recent ceiling reno project...we now have tin, but more on that later...

And now...generation three. Our son.

Sam NEVER intended to be a picker. Since becoming a teenager four years ago he began his protest against anything old. But, now at a wiser seventeen, he can be motivated.

Sam likes to spend money. His likes far exceeds his needs, which is probably true for most of us. Being homeschooled has so many advantages, one being we get to choose curriculum. This semester his electives are Photography and Essentials of Business along with his last English class needed to graduate. 

With jobs for teenagers being slim to none here, we finally convinced him that he can be his own boss and generate as much or as little money as his own efforts he will be earning school credits at the same time...or in other words, an internship.

Picking without selling can become hoarding! We can easily have a relationship with all of the cool things we, I've started Sam out selling first to get a taste of profit and motivation for more. We still have a barn stall full of things from the trailer...see here for story... that need to be sold. I'm letting him pick from there first. He has been sifting through boxes for smalls to list on ebay. 

Ford Volt Meter

Model T Headlight

He cleans, researches, photographs, packs, weighs, measures, writes descriptions, lists on ebay or craigslist,  answers any correspondence, ships and collects his rewards. This helps me immensely by taking care of things that need a broader market than than our local venues, by building positive feedback in our new ebay account, and saving me the incredible amount of time it takes to do all of this.

He is doing a great job, all the while, using his creative writing skills, business essentials, plus teaching me all about the functions of my camera. Win! Win!

The items above end this evening, February 8. Click on either photo for a link to the auction if interested.

Do your kids work for you? How's it going?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Part 3...Been There, Done That, Will I do it Again? favorite part of the business...

Over the last five years or so, I've felt like it's been a struggle to find the time to just create. I feel like I've  literally wasted years of my life on my computer learning how to make my own websites and blogs and social network connections. It's been an addiction of thing lead to another until I was spending hours daily online...working but not creating., when do I get into the studio? To be quite spurts...between other obligations. When I have orders I work at nights without interruptions. I have to admit that's harder than it was when I was in my 30's!  My studio is in constant chaos..and sometimes so is my life! It's not been the life I had intended to have by working at home.

I've thought long and hard recently about why I've worked so hard at being busy all these years and have only come up with one reason...I wanted to be taken seriously as an artist and designer, but unfortunately it may have been at the expense of my family members and pets.

Well, I am done with all the busyness of business! I read once that you can't be creative if you are on information overload and I truly believe it. The writer suggested giving up information for one week and see what happens...meaning all, newspapers, internet...etc. I didn't try it until just recently and I'm here to tell you it does more than bring back creativity. It is most liberating!

Creativity can't be planned, not for me anyway. Planning to spend xx amount of hours at such and such a time has never worked for me. When I'm motivated and inspired, creativity happens! I don't have to fit time in for getting into the becomes my priority.

I'm not saying I won't use the internet ever again, but I will say, it will be on a limited basis. I don't really care what the marketing gurus say anymore. I appreciate their views and advice but, I've been in business long enough now that I'm already seeing some things come full circle. I've found that networking in person and mailing out postcards to real mailboxes is becoming the preferred method for information for my customers in particular.

2012 is going to be a year for going back to my roots and remembering why I wanted to work at home in the first be able to spend more time with my family.

I realize that only by the grace of God, have I been given many talents along with a wonderful family, friends and home. I realize my talents were given to me to use for the glory of God himself, not my glory. Anything I do that is creative and makes our lives as a family better is in the new plan. Anything that takes away time from our family is out!

I hope that this series can help you in some way, but I've written it for myself as case I slip and need a reminder.

If you missed Part 1 or Part 2 I hope you will go back and catch up...and leave me a comment with your experiences.