Monday, September 25, 2017

Product Review - Plantscape, Inc.

One of the "perks" of writing a blog is when you are asked to do a product review and receive FREE merchandise!  This post is about just that!  

Plantscape, Inc., approached me to do a product review.  I generally use real plants, branches and boughs in my creations that I sell for my business.  However, sometimes it is not possible to do so.  Also, many of my customers consider the items they buy from me for their decorating as an investment.  They intend to buy, decorate for the season, save and reuse them again.  Artificial materials make that possible.    

Plantscape, Inc. at sent me a fall wreath.

Isn't it pretty!  

First, I was impressed with the packaging.  The wreath was wired into the box so that it didn't move around in shipping.

The wreath is well made, tightly secured to the back and I had no loss of material even when I shook it...I had to make sure it was well made.  The only loss of decoration I had was when I tried to hang it on the horse fence and fell against the posts because of the pumpkin vines as they wrapped around my feet.  I fell on it and broke off one of the berry bunches.  Which wasn't their fault...

I did a photo shoot around the farm to show many different ideas of how and where you could use this wreath.  It would also look beautiful on a table with a pumpkin or candle in the middle.

On my front door....

On my shop/studio.....

Around the junk that decorates the outhouse....

The other antiques around the farm.

I can honestly say, that I would rate this product a 10 out of 10.  Their use of quality materials, construction of the wreath and their packaging were top notch.  Thank you Plantscape, Inc. for the opportunity to serve you and inform my followers of your products and how they can order them too.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Monday, September 11, 2017

Urban Farm Girl's Main Street Market, Rockford, IL - Fall 2017

I don't know what to say....can NOT say enough good things about this's just amazing!

I always get asked, "why would you drive all the way down there to sell what you sell up here?"  The answer - for inspiration and rejuvenation.   Sometimes it's nice to go somewhere, where the customers don't know you.  I am always intrigued to see the customer's reaction or rather, reception of my goods and art.  

Many of you know that in Ringle, I'm the "go to gal" for our event, and  keep in mind - I'm kinda a "one woman show."  Anyway, if anyone knows the amount of time and energy it takes to pull off an event of any size, it's me.  Mary, and is amazing!  One of her volunteers told me that they sold out of wristbands (6,000) the crowd was HUGE!  

I left Ringle for Rockford with no single available spot in my van.  I even had a ladder over my head.  I came home with only 3 tubs, the rest were empty.  I could not believe how how much I sold!  I've been doing this for a L O N G time and this was almost as good as the "good old days" when we sold out!  

I didn't see any single thing I thought the customer's had in their bags or wagons that would be the "next big thing."  I do know what they bought from me - something I wasn't even going to take.  I wouldn't have even been able to get to it had I not had hired a "summer intern."  Shannon helped me organize my studio and I found tubs of stuff I forgot about.  Dried goods, the mini pumpkins were a HIT!  I had a huge jar full of them.  I found these cute little paper coffee bags (I bought from a rummage, they were extras, unopened from a coffee wedding favor) and it was $1 for a cup/scoop.  The crowd was honest in telling me..."I have 3 scoops or I have 1 scoop."  Like I said before, I'm going back to what I use to do.  What worked years ago, is now coming back.  

I took time to paint, I enjoyed it and the customers said "did you paint these?"  When I said yes, EVERY one of them said, "I love that you actually made them."  It's coming back around, original, hand-made things....too many of the same old is getting old!  Even my creepy art - dolls and parts in a jar - SOLD.  One young mother, shopping with her mother said, "why would someone put a baby in a jar?"  I piped up, "honey, when you are my age and your children are grown and gone, you will wish you could preserve your babies in a jar!"  Other women in the booth said "yes!" "she's right" "that is so true!"  One mother said, "or, keep them from becoming a teenager!" LOL

So, I sit here today, looking forward to...not next event.  I have a few new ideas, gained insight into what to focus my energy on and feel I have a new grip on the "heart beat" of the market.  Thanks Main Street Market!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Wise & Harmless

I have a love/hate relationship with social media.  Do any of you feel this way?  Oh, I use it, it has become an invaluable tool for my business.  However, for well over a all know what I's too MUCH!  For my friends "across the pond" - I'm sure you have your own political and social issues - but, Americans tend to be over the top....can I get an AMEN!  I've even stopped watching the news...I can't wipes me out emotionally...ALL of it!

Don't be fooled, I'm not uninformed - to the contrary - I am, what I like to call "awake."  Are you?  Awake to what is really going on, not only in my country, but the world.  I would love to share some of my thoughts, but like Alice, you can't just "jump down the rabbit hole," it's too much to hear these things all at once.  I recently told one of my friends, "I want to share some stuff with you, but I can't tell it to you all at once, I will feed you little bites every now and again."  She recently sent me a text..."I just saw a (...) and heard  (....)"  Yep, those are signs. 

I have had years of a slow "awakening" influenced by scripture that has guided me, especially this past year, to this very conclusion:  Matthew 10:16  "Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves; be ye therefore wise as serpents and harmless as doves."  This, Jesus' words, says it all, not only for that dispensation of time - but ours!  There is only 1 truth in this old world - ONE - and that is Jesus - God manifest in the flesh!  1 Timothy 3:16 "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."  People this is our hope through salvation.  

So, I try not to comment on my face book page about the current topic, even LIKE other's posts or get caught up in any controversy - not because I don't want to, trust me I have strong opinions - it's because we are to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves." 

Why harmless as doves?  A dove is the universal symbol of peace.  Peace:  "freedom from disturbance, quiet and tranquility, mental calm, serenity, freedom from war and violence, freedom from civil order"  Do I need to say more?  No, I don't think so.  

So, I will try hard to "hold my peace," on issues, not click LIKE or leave offensive comments that may stir up more problems.  I will however, remain "awake" and pray.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"How Is the Clean Out Going?"

I mentioned earlier that I hired a Summer Intern, Shannon.  We have spent many days this Summer shuffling, boxing, stacking, moving, hauling, loading....needles to say.....she has been a big help to me! 

I've had some interesting business prospects over the past 3 months and Shannon said something that had me laughing.  As we loaded and I tried to shut the door on an...ahem...I hate to unit...(ya, ya, I know it!! will only be until Ringle Harvest was a buy out I couldn't pass on)...anyway...Shannon said..."what happened to the clean out...?!?"  I said, "ya, you're not doing a good job...LOL..."  She said...."this isn't on me....I'm only doing what you tell me to do!  This is all you!"   

If you are on the outside looking into my line of work, you must keep in mind, just like it takes money to make money - it takes junk to sell junk.  My friend's husband asked me yesterday..."how's the clean out going?"  I said..."1 step forward, 2 steps back!"  So, If I can get rid of some actual garbage and replace that space with actually good junk, I'm ahead of the game!  Let's not fool ourselves, my building should never be empty, if it was, I wouldn't have any inventory to sell.  

Yesterday was one of those days, that if I would have been alone here, I would have QUIT and went in the house and took a nap!  My goal was to have Shannon and I each take 2 garbage bags to my pole building and fill them.  I opened the big sliding doors and we started there....we couldn't turn around...but, we started there.  In fact, we actually filled about 8 or 9 garbage bags and had over 2 dozen old weathered boxes for the burn pile.  Yes, I did toss many things I maybe could have sold at a flea or even crafted with, but it wasn't the "best" stuff I had.  We did fill many boxes for a future barn sale here too - it wasn't all garbage.  The dirty, holy rags or broken, chipped glass - they went bye, bye.  Oh, if you ask Shannon she might say I did a wee bit of whining - I wanted to quit and do something "fun."  She said, "boy, you sure get distracted easily..." (really??? ya think!)  I've been laughing about this since she left.  

But, honestly, for real...I'm pleased with the progress we have made....she might turn into the "Fall Intern" as well!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Monday, August 21, 2017

What's What? I Don't Know Anymore?

A crazy title, I know.  I could write many a post about "what's what" however, this one is on my recent buying trip to Minnesota.  I was hoping, to gain a bit of perspective on the up and coming new!  We spent 3 days shopping from here to there and I still have no idea what people want to buy.  

In addition to the thrift and antique shops we visited we went to 2 flea markets in 2 different cities - a total of over 2,500 booths of 96% vintage/antiques/junk.  It was truly amazing to see all the different booths.  Other than gaining a few new ideas for how to set up the Ringle Harvest Day: I didn't see one thing I thought was going to be the next big thing.  

As much of a writer's block that I mentioned I had in my previous post...I've had that same "I don't know anymore" block for my resell business.  I have the inventory...we all know that...but, I don't know what to dig out anymore that people would want to buy.  Oh, I've sold over the summer - yes, I've done that, just not my "best work" - so to speak.  I've sold to many dealers and pickers over the past few months and that's fine, I'm thankful for their business.  

One thing I overheard 2 dealers talking about, is the very thing I was suspicious of myself.  Here is the quote..."I never thought I would see this day...." my ears perked up..."I guess it's here"....(what? what is he talking about?)....he then says; "people just aren't buying - we have the stuff - now what?"  BINGO - I thought to myself.  He nailed it!  

As I walked around these 2 flea markets, I mentioned to my friend that I thought the average age of shopper was around 50...or older....where are the millennials?  (IKEA or Target I guess....).  If we, as dealers, can NOT inspire the next generation to buy antiques....we are in trouble.  

The one saving grace...Pyrex!  Yes, to the bright colorful dishes that grandma used - Pyrex just might save us, just like Martha Stewart did to Jadite.  The Pyrex booths were packed!  
I saw very little painted furniture....yikes...
I saw very little galvanized being carried around....yikes...
I saw lots of farm stuff....still there at end of day....yikes...
I saw many pieces of cheap furniture, quality, real wood, dove tail drawers kinda one buying....(IKEA really?!?)...

I don't want to sound pessimistic as that is contradictory to my core.  I have reinvented or rather, evolved my business before and I will do it again.  I know some of you who read this are dealers as well and maybe you don't see this coming, but I can assure you it is.  Just like the solar eclipse we will see today, changes in the business, happen every few years.  

So, I will keep plugging away, picking from my stash what my "gut" feelings are telling me to pick and go with that for the rest of the year.  It will be interesting to see what the new season of Fixer Upper will start as a trend...I am betting on 1970's macrame', brown furniture, glass and brass and pottery....just my "gut" but, If I'm right...I "called it."  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Posts in "Unpublished Blog Heaven"

Do you know how many posts I've written this summer and not published?  Let me tell you - it's dozens...

I guess I have hit a writer's block.  That is the only way I can describe it.  I've written many posts, just to finish, proof and read them - they just weren't good - delete!

I have noticed a trend in the blog world - lack of posts!  

Maybe other's are feeling the same - how many posts about food, crafts, kids can one read?!?  Now, as I've always said "I write this blog for me" - thank goodness I do/did post recipes on here - as I've had to look them up!  It's just that too much is too much!

I follow some "up and coming" junkers.  I see their daily vlog, photos and posts - it's all too much!  How many pics of "pickin" can one see?!?   I know social media is the way - but, wow - it's overwhelming!  I personally think customers are getting tired of it all too.

Anyway, I write all this to explain why I haven't posted.  

Just when I lose my blog incentive - I had several people come up to me at the fair and say..."I love your blog."  I didn't even know some of them read it!  They don't follow it... 

Anyway, it was so nice to hear.  Then, that same week, I received an email from a company that wants me to do a product review for them.  O.K. - blog world what are you telling me?  

Thanks for reading and following along.  More meaningful content on it's way!  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Friday, August 4, 2017

Alter Bridge Meet and Greet

So, I love rock ballads - my favorite!  The lead singer of Alter Bridge is Myles Kennedy.  For those that don't know, he sings with Slash of Guns N Roses.  Anyway, here is a youtube video of a song he did last night -

We were were given the back stage meet and greet from our friend, thanks Mia.

Wausau, Wisconsin isn't up on "who is who" I swear!  This was one of the best shows I've been to in over 30 years of going to the fair.  We had reserved seating and people around us were from all over - some said they would have paid $100 for their seats and another drove 4 hours one way!  

When I met them, I told Myles that his voice was truly a God given gift...I made sure to repeat...God given...and pecked him on the arm...LOL...he nodded and smiled and said "thank you."  (If you've received an 'arm peck' from me, you know I mean business - smile).

I believe in something called the Illuminati (go google it, it's real) anyway, most Christians feel rock of of the devil.  I see it at times too, but, this man has a voice!  I will ALWAYS love, love rock ballads.  I listen to all lyrics with caution, see bands, their signs and such for who they are and I listen with that knowledge.  

Al is beginning to see it too...he loves all metal...he about fell over when I told him who "Mr. Crowley"- an Ozzy song - was.  After googling the lyrics for him - you know Ozzy...hard to understand at times - he was like...NO!!!  Ozzy is one of his favorites.  Then we looked up another band he likes, Ghost and their lyrics....oh boy!!!

Anyway, Alter Bridge was an awesome concert!  The members were super nice, very fan oriented and I think enjoyed playing for smaller crowd of "real" fans.  One funny thing Myles said was, "is it true Ted Nugent is going to be here tomorrow night?"  When the crowd shouted yes, he said "that's it...I'm staying!  I learned all my swear words from listening to Ted...I won't repeat them as there are small children in the crowd."  What class!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Love One Another

I believe my dreams help me solve some of my problems.  I also, believe that some of my dreams "mean" things, are for me, given by God.  I have experienced things through my dreams that have lead me to believe this.  So, when I have one of "those" dreams, I know I need to study the "why" or "what" of it.  

I had 2 vivid dreams about church and Christian friends....I can't explain them in a way that any of you would understand, because we don't have the same shared life experiences.  However, God did use mine in a relevant way for me to understand what I think these dreams meant.

You know people always say...."we need to love like Jesus."  First, there is NO WAY any of us can love like Jesus - we are human he is God.  We are his children he is our heavenly father.  I can't begin to love my friend's children like I love my own.  I love them - but, not in the wholehearted, unconditional, death do us part kind of love that I have for my girls.  I may have to get along with one of God's children here on earth, but I can't possibly love them like He does.  

Second, does this mean that I don't think we should show love one to another - of course not!  John 13:34 says. "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you love one another."   It's just over the years, we all have come in contact with people that we may...lets say...not particularly like.  Am I nice to them?  You bet, I'm nice to everyone (unless you do something to one of my kids, then I turn into a crazy woman).   Anyway, these 2 dreams came to me consecutively in an order that makes total sense to me.  If I follow Him, I am called to love one another, but my capacity to do so LIKE him is unattainable.  

I was listening to the radio, I like all kinds of music and I listen with an open mind....some of the most beautiful lyrics are in metal...just, Five Finger Death Punch has a song - "Wrong Side of Heaven" - I've heard many times before and the video brings me to tears.  One of the lines is "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell."  Have you ever felt like this?  Maybe not quite fitting in with "Christians" but "too good for the sinners?"  Welcome to my world!  

But, you don't need to love me like Jesus does.  You never could!   Neither can I do the same for you.  These dreams have put my ability to see others as His children - spoiled brats at times, but I don't need to discipline them, that's His job.  He is your heavenly father and loves you, loves me - His ability to do so is mind boggling to me.  I can't stand to be around some people, but he loves them!  I have a new appreciation to that and I am so thankful.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Margarita Pizza

We had a successful "pop up" sale at my friend's new business venture:  Ewe & Herb, LLC

She had bags of fresh cut herbs for only $2.50 a bag.  I knew I was going to make a Margarita Pizza when I bought the basil. 

I have posted my recipe for pizza dough on my blog before, but it was a long time ago.  I have had requests, since posting a picture of this on instagram, so here is the link:

I made the sauce from scratch too...only because I didn't have any...

Here is the link to their face book page:

They will be able to supply you with fresh herbs year round.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Saturday in Mosiacs

Our Saturday in mosiacs...

Al's...chicken butchering time...

This was mine....getting ready for the "It's for EWE - Vintage Pop Up Sale" at my friend's new business, Ewe & Herb, LLC.

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Vintage Ice Cream Maker

While cleaning out my estate inventory, I found this vintage ice cream maker.  

Justine and I experimented with it today.  We looked at pinterest and came up with a good base and decided to make up our own variety.  We dug through the pantry and Justine came up with the idea of making an Almond Joy Ice Cream.

It was really easy.  This is the recipe.

1 3/4 C heavy cream
1 1/4 C whole milk
   1/4 C sugar
     1   T almond extract

Justine toasted some slivered almonds.  Next time we will toast the coconut too.  Then we added;

1/3 C coconut
1/3 C chocolate chips
1/3 C almonds

Put all of this in the ice cream maker.  We put the ice and salt in the outside of the container and turned it on.  It only took about 20 minutes and we had the most delicious ice cream.

We also made a healthy version of frozen strawberry yogurt.  This was even easier, we put in 4 C of non fat vanilla greek yogurt (1 large container) and about 2 C sliced strawberries.   It also took about 20 minutes in the maker.

These both were so good.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Friday, July 7, 2017

Cookie of the Week 37 - Sour Milk Cookies

I had some sour milk to use, so I made some cookies.  It was the 4th of July and on goes the red, white and blue sprinkles.  You could always frost and decorate too.  These cookies are soft, more biscuit like - they actually remind me of vanilla wafer cookies.  

Sour Milk Cookies:

1 C white sugar
1 C brown sugar
1 C shortening
Cream together, add;

3 well beaten eggs
1 t vanilla
blend together, add;

4 C flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
blend together, add;

1 C sour milk

Mix well and chill for an hour or more.

Roll about 1/4" thick, cut out in desired shapes, bake at 350 until lightly browned.  

It tickled me to hear my 2 little great-nephews tell me how good these cookies were.  It's not the same as Al telling me...(smile).   Enjoy!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Sour Milk Coffee Cake

I couldn't stand to throw away some milk that turned sour - with just the 2 of us now, this has happened a few times.  Women have been baking with sour milk forever - I just haven't.  I looked through some recipes, but couldn't find something I wanted to make.  So, I decided to make one up.  

Sour Milk Coffee Cake:

1 C shortening
zest and juice of 1 lemon
3/4 C white sugar
3/4 C brown sugar

Cream together, add

2 eggs
1 t vanilla
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
4 C flour

blend together, add

1 C sour milk

Mix well.  This will be enough for 2 round coffee cake pans or 1 rectangle pan.  The dough will be thick, but spoon into a prepared pan.  Top with fruit of your choice.  I did blackberries and raspberries - you could use really anything you like, apple slices, cherries, chocolate chips - be creative.

Then top with the following crumble:

1/2 C flour
1/2 C butter
1/2 C brown sugar
1 T cinnamon

Bake at 325-350 until done.  Once cooled drizzle with powder sugar glaze.


Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.  

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Five on Friday - Good, Bad & Ugly

For my Five on Friday - I'm giving homage to my week in reference to Clint Eastwood's movie, "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" to make it 5, I'm adding The Funny and The Blessed.

1.  The Good:  My friend Terry referred a partial estate buy out to me.  I was able to buy some really nice stuff.  It was a good day of junking/hunting/picking.

2.  The Bad:  I was "junk drunk" off that pick and I guess I ran a stop sign....unfortunately, a cop just happen to be there....

3.  The Ugly:  The weather, it's been raining here in Wisconsin like every day!  

4.  The Funny:  My "intern" Shannon, is very healthy and runs marathons etc., well she wears a Fit Bit.  The other day, she said, "we have been very active and had X number of steps."  I had to laugh as, if you do what I do for a living, you know the lifting, shuffling, loading, up and down steps - it's actually a pretty demanding physical job.  I have bruises and scars to prove it.   Anyway, it was funny to think, if I do all this activity, why am I still fat?  

5.  The Blessed:  I was able to spend the night at Anna's house in Waukesha and we went to the flea market in Elkhorn.  It was nice to have some one on one mama daughter time with her.  Another blessing was that my friend and her daughter came down to shop the flea too and I met up with them for a ride home.  

So, that's it...have a great weekend.  For my fellow American friends, Happy 4th of July - May God Bless America!

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin. 

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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Blog Give Away - Bicentennial New Old Stock Linen

I wanted to share a give away with my bloggers as well as my business Facebook page followers.  

One of the items of my partial estate buyout this week was a box set of several Parisian Prints linens.  These are what we call "new, old stock" which is picker lingo that means, vintage or antique, but new and never used.  

The give away is for a Bicentennial themed linen dish towel, made by:  Parisian Prints - All Linen - made in USA "Nothing Dries Like Linen!" (slogan) - I would agree.

If you like this and would like to try to win it, this is what you need to do:

1.  Go over to my business Facebook page, link here: and like my page to enter to win.

2.  If you don't have Facebook, just leave me a comment.  If you are new to my blog, be sure to click "follow this blog."  

That's it.  I will pick a winner on July 4th.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.