Sunday, October 31, 2010

It's almost the 1st!!. . .

And that means new kits over at Mercantile, for sale tonight at 12 midnight central time!

This month's Papercrafting Kit is full of the JBS newest release - here's a little peek of what Jill (below) and Betsy (second) have been busy creating for the gallery. The Add-On Kit, also featured below, includes some great vintage items such as the sweet wooden thread spools Betsy uses in the second photo.

My "Giving House" Christmas Album is this month's Project Kit (here's a little peek). You will get ideas for 8 pages but you will have enough stuff for more than double that! This would make a wonderful display or gift for Christmas.

And finally, I usually reserve these for the mid-month release, but I had this great Vintage Fall Crafting Kit and didn't want to wait until the 15th. Very limited numbers on this one!

And . . . all of our Ranger product is now available for sale at the website! Look for color suggestions to go with each kit in the future.

Happy trick-or-treating tonight!

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

My "Big Kid" Husband. . .

Poor Melissa - I took the photo (with my camera - sorry for the blurriness) but she had to push.

Did I also mention that he threw in a 10 pack of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups?

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More Country Living Fair photos -
Organizing by theme and color . .

I tend to set my booth up by color or subject themes. Here are a few of my favorites. . .

The yellow area. I sold absolutely everything you see here. I miss the little bird planter already.
The Halloween area - I love the vintage honeycomb decorations.

The crock area. I ended up using the #3 crock to hold our packing paper but we sold the rest that you see (I will have 2 of the feedsack pillows, thread spools and concrete number stamps at Silver Bella).

The horse area - I still have the vintage paint by number horse if anyone is interested. It's $16 and you just need to email us at the site!

Me, exhausted at the end of the first day. We sold the bench the next day as well as the quilt and one of the pillows.

I still have one more story to share, but I'm waiting on a certain someone (that would be you "Re Re") to send me the pictures! My battery died on the first day so she took some for me the next day. I'll light a fire under her tomorrow!

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Decorating Tuesday. . .

I have always had a hard time with wall art. Even before I turned to antiques for every nook and cranny in my house, I was never satisfied with what you would find in department stores. At some point I started to look at things differently. Architectural elements inset with mirrors or glass and ephemera or old photos finding new life in old frames started to take over my walls. This is just one such thing. I found this early 1900's classroom teachers aid at the flea market about 2 years ago (from a guy who sadly has never been back). I kept it in the attic until we moved to this house. I couldn't find an old frame to fit so I custom framed it in a dark, thick molding to match our floors. It hangs in our dining room and I couldn't be more thrilled with it.

As a side note, I talked last about "adopted" relatives living in my home and wanted to share a cool idea I got from someone at the fair. I had an awesome 11 x 14 group photo of an early Catholic school graduation. It was just lovely and I housed it in a thick gold gesso frame. A gal bought it on the first day and said she was going to hang it in her home with her children's first communion photos on either side of it. I thought that was so clever and yet another way to give yourself permission to rescue those old photos!

And along these lines, I am so excited to be teaching my Repurpose, Rethink, Reinvent class again next year over at Big Picture Classes! So if you want to learn more about how to incorporate collecting and art you may want to think about joining me in April! I will share more as we get closer to registration. . .

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Monday, October 25, 2010

Country Living Fair - Post 1 of many!

I have so many photos to share, that I thought it would be nice to drag it over the week a bit!

We had an amazing time at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta this past weekend. I wasn't sure we were going to make it at first. Jared had a bad stomach virus early in the week and when it was time to leave Wednesday night he had a high fever, chills and couldn't keep his eyes open. So. . . we waited until 5:00 the next morning when he at least had the strength to drive. When we got there Melissa and I unloaded the trailer while he slept for 4 hours in the truck! He got much better as the days went on thankfully. So here are a few highlights with more to come this week. . .

One of my favorite things in the booth - snatched up on the first day by this lucky gal (maybe she will post)! I had to look forever for an affordable red truck to use - old men in overalls love the rusted metal at auctions and I never win!!
We were nestled in the trees which was both lovely and challenging (lovely because the trees made great props but challenging to get a trailer through).
We sold almost all of the bundled books (the leftover parts from my Old Book Cover Journal Class), all of the vellum stencils and the wonderful wool blanket went home with Country Living editor in chief Sarah Gray Miller who I had the pleasure to meet at the show.
Just a little peek at the booth on Friday . . .
One of my favorite vintage store displays for "Hair Nets". Our Vintage Sew On Buttons fit perfectly in there. This was definitely the JBS product that sold the most. . .
Jared was the King of the checkout the entire weekend. We made a great little desk from a vintage plant stand and a heavy pewter tray I had. It worked perfectly - so perfectly that I decided not to sell either piece. . .

Vintage red tins (is there any other color?) and button cards on a vintage ironing board (a.k.a. a great fold-up table)!

More tomorrow...

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The view from behind. . .

This is now the normal deal for me. I go to auctions/estate sales every weekend that I'm actually at home and then drive around with the stuff in my car until the next weekend. It's a vicious cycle.

I know this isn't a "pretty" picture and you can't see anything, but I promise to take loads of photos of our booth this weekend at the Country Living Fair to make up for it.

I wish that I had found the time to set up some posts before I left, but alas, there wasn't enough hours in the day (and I'm nursing a sick husband)!

Baby steps, right??

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Monday, October 18, 2010

2 little piggies. . .

We promised the kids a trip to the pumpkin farm this past weekend so we headed out to Springfield, TN to Honeysuckle Hill Farm after church on Sunday.

Nothing like a cool 85 degrees to put you in the mood for a corn maze!

We did the "Popcorn Popper", watched the pig races and rode the fast slide, but by the time we made it into the corn maze we had all had it. Just a little too hot to answer trivia questions while walking around an open corn field with no shade. We did the walk of shame and cut through the corn (totally illegal) to escape.

(by the way, this one has not looked into the face of the camera in over a year, no matter how much I plead. He smiles big, but just looks aimlessly off into the sunset)!

Hope you all had a lovely weekend as well!

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mid-Month Release Tomorrow!

Coming tomorrow, October 15th at 10:00 a.m. central time. . .

Another former class kit. I actually only taught this class once and have just a few kits left. The tray is included and comes with everything you see here to complete this ". . .life is like a box of chocolates. . ." printers tray.

Vintage Royal Mounting Books (these were early versions of Scrapbooks)!. . .

Vintage La Mode Advertising Posters. I once included these in an Add-On kit and recently found more of them. They are so very sweet. . .

Been hitting some Estate Sales. Will share some photos next week!!

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fall Break . . .
This has pretty much been the scene at my house this week. We are feverishly preparing for the County Living Fair next week, but we did manage to sneak out to see Secretariat today (which was a lovely film by the way). I just wish I could snuggle up beside him and play too - he looks awfully comfortable ( a little bit too comfortable)!

Mid-Month release coming Friday at Mercantile (look for the previews tomorrow).
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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Adopted Relatives - an unexpected decorating resource . . .

It's no secret to my friends and family that I have a weird obsession with photos of other people's friends and family. Although I have in my possession some original, cherished photographs from both sides of our family, I don't have many. I hear stories of people being handed down boxes and boxes of photos and or albums. Ahhh. . . to dream! I have resolved for now to be the one who rifles through the boxes of those lucky people at the flea market or estate sale and rescue those lucky few who "speak" to me. While I use them much in my crafting (and will talk more about that in another post), it is also not beyond me to use them in my decorating.

For example, this wonderful painting is residing in my dining room for the moment. The ethereal blue/green background blends with my wall color perfectly. It didn't have it's frame, but that was one of the things I loved about it. I realize this isn't for everyone, but I truly love the feeling I get from rescuing a memory and giving it a home outside of the attic.

And as a little side note, if you love Cracker Barrel then you know "Uncle Herschel's Breakfast". Uncle Herschel was the good will ambassador for Cracker Barrel for many years and he past away in 1998. I went to an auction last year for much of his estate and this painting came from it. I would have to assume that it wasn't family or surely it wouldn't have ended up in the auction (or at least I like to think not)! Either way, I like to dream that he was a handsome young man who loved eggs and grits for breakfast!
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Monday, October 11, 2010

This is the first time. . .

that I have ever put anything handmade up on Ebay. After almost 5 years of creating Project Kits for the website month after month, I have decided to take a few here and there that have good "bones" and aren't personalized and put them up on Ebay. So. . .if you mourned the sold out Halloween Project Kit from last month, you could own the original instead! You can find the listing here

I have also been busy creating our new release for JBS - our latest addition to our Classic Red/Black line. I am in LOVE with the old class photo paper. My mind swirls with ideas everytime I look at it. I hope to have some time to create with everything this week!
Coordinating Journaling Cards. . .
A new product for us all together - Die Cut Journaling Card Books. We have 3 styles total. This Vintage set, a Polka Dot and Label set and a Calendar Set. The shape is based on an antique photo album I had that was die cut in this manner. In fact, several of the cards have images based on antique photo album pages.
New 12 x 12 Paper Pads in 2 styles pulling together our most classic papers. . .
and new Calendar Bingo Cards! This is the multi set but it is also available in vintage with black.

If you are a retailer the newsletter went out today and everything is up and ready to order at the site. For everyone else, we are shipping now, so look for everything soon at your local retailer!

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Sunday, October 10, 2010

Vintagefest Registration Now Open!!

You can sign up here (under Classes and Events) now. More specific information can be found here (under Events in the About section of the site).

We decided to move it to the town just up from us, Lebanon, this time. They have an old town square with 5-6 Antique Stores and a wonderful Italian restaurant in an old house just off the square. This is where we will shop and dine on Friday. And Friday evening, we will be hosting a Finger Food Supper at our home, attended by our wonderful staff and including a fun make-and-take. Saturday its all about classes and here are some sneaks at the 3 I have planned:

I found these amazing vintage tin ceiling tiles at the flea market a while back and stashed them away for a Vintagefest project. Paired with this sweet "12 days of Christmas" canvas and vintage tin reflector, I think it will be perfect on a mantle or bookcase this holiday!

I really wanted something that would be a good showcase for all of my vintage bits and baubles I collect each year for Christmas, as well as a good way to showcase some of the wonderful photo cards we receive from family and friends. This 7gypsies Receipt Holder was the perfect base and I've had so much fun creating tiny projects and garlands for it. . .

And finally, a sweet and festive Christmas apron to wear to all of your holiday soirees! . . .
We hope to see you there!!
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Friday, October 08, 2010

Oh Rats!!. . .

I missed posting yesterday. I had good intentions but I needed photos and had no light anymore. I plan to take a week's worth of photos on one day so that doesn't happen in the future!

A couple promotional things today. . .

I will be at the ScrapRoom here in Mt. Juliet (we have a new local scrapbook store!!!) tomorrow morning, Saturday October 8th at 10:30 - 12:30 to do the make-and-take you see below. We will be playing with my new inks from Ranger too! If you love my line and you are local, you now have a one-stop-shop for everything - our entire line! They are running a special tomorrow as well so check it out at the link above. Next week I will show this project again on the blog in a little more detail with some technique tips. . .

Vintagefest registration is coming on Sunday!! Look for my post Sunday evening here with all of the details (as well as a newsletter in your inbox). . .

I have finished two of the classes and am working on the 3rd. Here is a little photo I snapped on my desk as I was working. I love tiny details and this project is all about that.

Check back on Sunday!! Have a great weekend. . .
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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A Nice Surprise. . .
First of all, I love this photo. It is quite comical how it turned out to look like a Coke ad. In reality the wind was blowing so hard that day that I was trying, to no avail, to just keep the hair off of my face long enough to take the picture.

I thought this photo was gone forever, like my photos from South Africa, birthday's and zoo trips. I mentioned a while back that my external drive fell when we moved and my photos from the past 6 years were lost. We have tried to recover the drive 2 separate times with no luck.

But. . .a small miracle when we were in Greece. We found 2 memory cards in the camera bag that had not been erased. On them were these photos of our trip to the Coke museum in Atlanta, a zoo trip, a birthday, a hiking trip and most of our South Africa photos. It truly was a precious gift.

Just don't tell the Coke people that I really prefer Pepsi!
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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Because. . .

your dog should always match your house (although in this case, white hair all over hickory floors isn't really a fashion statement).

Introducing lifestyle crafting and home decor Tuesdays on the blog (and I promise the posts will be a little more exciting than this)! Something else I'm very passionate about that I'm excited to share with you more regularly here.

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Sunday, October 03, 2010

Greece - what can I say?

If you asked me 10 years ago if I thought my feet would ever touch the Aegean Sea I wouldn't have believed it. This amazing "job" (can I call it that?) has taken me to more places than I could ever have imagined. In fact, until I began working in this industry I think I had only been to 5 states total. My how things have changed!

Mykonos was beautiful. The people were very warm and the food was amazing. Every morning we were served chocolate crepes, ham and cheese souffle and croissants (and much, much more but these were my favorites)! Good thing there were at least 40 steps to climb back up to our room when we were done.

If you have the opportunity to do something like this I would highly recommend it. It was thrilling to me to have the opportunity to really get to know the group of woman that attended. Tricia did a great job at scheduling the classes, dinners, etc. in even smaller groups to mix it up a bit and make sure everyone had the opportunity to mingle. Elina and the staff at the hotel were amazing not to mention beautiful! It was an experience I won't soon forget and I'm so grateful to Tricia for including me. Tricia - you did a wonderful job and put on a lovely event!
We did manage to take some photos, but I must say I was relying on the fact that there would be a flicker group and a CD available. Jared took several and here are a few of my favorites. . .

I LOVE this picture because if you notice, Karen is holding her camera and Ali has her IPhone. I, on the other hand am not holding a piece of technology (surprise, surprise). Although, I could have used a pair of sunglasses. I so enjoyed getting to spend time with these girls. I had not seen Karen in years and it was so nice to reconnect. Ali and I had some time together after the event and it was lovely. She has always been one of my favorite people.

This was the view we had everyday starting our walk down to breakfast. . .

One of 5 windmills lined up along the edge of the island. . .

One of the churches that sat mingled in between homes and shopping all over the island. . .

One of the benefits of this trip was the opportunity to just "be". We have been so busy and overwhelmed that this forced us to relax and think clearly. Funny how decisions we needed to make and directions we needed to take became very clear to us here. Although I am finding myself settling back into "old ways", I am trying to hold on to the renewed sense of purpose and determination I had when we left to come home.

One of the things I want to re-commit to is this blog. My plan is to begin posting every day during the work week. I have a schedule laid out and big plans. Now that we have the Inspiration Blog and even a new blog for our retailers, I really can go back to focusing more on creativity and personal inspiration here. I have plans to have the blog redesigned too.

And in this spirit, we are making some positive changes at Mercantile too! New shipping with FedEx that will provide cheaper rates for most customers, a new Message Board (it's about time!) and new member benefits including first-to-purchase options for members. Be looking for more information in an upcoming newsletter and over at the Inspiration Blog.

Also this week, we plan to open registration for our Christmas Vintagefest event, December 3rd and the 4th to be held near our home here in Lebanon, TN. I have 3 very cool classes planned. I have been collecting materials all year. I am hoping to get some studio time to get them started tomorrow but I may have to open registration with descriptions only. We will see how the week goes!

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