Wednesday, September 27, 2017

What I'm Working on Wednesday

I have 1 - 2 shows a month until the end of the year in addition to my 2 booths.  I have been working on painting some furniture.  Last week, I was canning tomatoes and Shannon (my intern...) was washing, sanding and painting first coats on some furniture pieces.  It was hot and humid, so she was doing this at the kitchen table.  I turned from my 2 sinks, kettles and jars of tomatoes and said..."boy, I'm sure glad I am able to do what I have to do and you are doing what I have to do too...It's nice to have a 'Shannon.'"  She said, "I wish I had a Shannon too..."  We laughed!  She says she likes working here with me...even though I give her my least favorite jobs.  (wink)  I told my daughters "I'm sure going to miss having Shannon, I don't know if I can afford to keep her" (sounds like I'm talking about a puppy)...anyway, Anna messages me back..."well, just keep finding stuff she likes for trade!"  

With all that said, we worked on several pieces this past week.  I'm not sure what will go where yet, but these are only 2 of the pieces we worked on - they were both our favorites.  

The first table I bought from my old boss' wife, it was her grandmother's and needed some TLC.  The second one was from an estate buyout I did well over a year ago.  Both pieces were waiting for a new look.  I forgot to take the before pictures of each, I need to do that from now on!

Thanks for reading my blog.  I was so humbled by the kind words of a follower, actually, I don't have a large number of "follow along" people, but I must have many that do.   Anyway, while working that estate sale in Birnamwood, I had two ladies come up to me and tell me they like reading my blog posts.  It was nice to hear.  I've not been writing too much lately, but that made me want to keep going.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

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.