Overwhelmed…

ALL ORIGINAL FOLK ART COPYRIGHT PROTECTED BY BUTTERMILK HILL FOLK ART–JANET SKIBO  2014    ….DO NOT PIN!   

 

                                                                                   Hi everyone!  Mea Culpa once again…truly I do try to post more often, but it just never seems to slow down here!  We have had two shows since I last posted….actually three weekends of shows.  We traveled first through West Virginia to the highlands of Virginia for a two weekend show. How I enjoy that trip!  I love mountains and the higher the better.  We were a bit nervous about the weather, but it cooperated and we safely made the trip.  What was interesting about this year’s trip was the number of deer we saw…literally probably close to 200 of them!   Deep deep fields line the roadway to the edge of the mountains and we saw herd after herd of deer, sometimes mingling with the cattle on the farms.  In one herd I counted 45 until I lost sight of them.  We always see groups of them, but never before have we seen this many!    Of course we also saw many tiny lambs and calves as well, but not as many as usual…perhaps because of the never ending winter?

Stunning Seneca Rocks…

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The valley in the Virginia Highlands…

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How I love barn quilts!  I missed getting a few more because to avoid a snowstorm we had to drive home a different route…

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My neighbor at the show made this GORGEOUS walnut pie safe…the tins are antique barn tin.

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The show ended up good, especially the very first day which was a record crowd…and a buying crowd.  Our second show was in Buffalo New York.  Everything went smoothly and we were happy to be up each of the three days.  Everything went smoothly , that is, until the wheel on our dollie broke during load up and we had to hand carry half of our stock.  Al has since replaced the wheel and we are good to go again.

Our business page on Facebook is doing better than I ever dreamed it would…I once again am overwhelmed by custom orders …and am so very grateful and flattered by such response to my work!  I just finished a group of vintage wash basins…I paint on the bottoms of them. While finishing orders, I try to put some stock away for shows.

A vintage enamelware pot…

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and a vintage basin…just finished four more basins today…

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and , of course, a couple more paintings…this size is so popular!  Smile

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I am preparing another group to put up on my page Monday….then I think I will take a short break…I have an urge to sew a few things for myself…and of course Easter is coming!  Brian will be coming home for a few days and it is always good to see him.  The only thing that would make it perfect would be if Craig could be here too….but we do always talk to him on holidays when he can’t be here.  Brian is doing OK right now medically, but has other issues stressing him.  Maybe being home will relieve him of that a bit. 

It feels so good to post again…hopefully I’ll be back soon!  Welcome to all my new followers!    I’m so flattered you are so interested in my poor neglected blog!  Thank you so much…and have a great weekend!  …Jan

Time is slippin’ by again!

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Hi everyone!  First, I would like to thank all my new followers for taking an interest in my blog…welcome!   I really thought I would be back posting again before this, but you know how it goes…life gets busy and complicated.  I have been trying to get a business page up on Facebook, but ran into a problem, computer illiterate as I am!   Thankfully I have a computer expert as a son, and he wrote a program specifically for the problem which works like a charm. Sooooo….a week ago I activated my page and  within 15 minutes started selling…..a lot.  Smile   I’m kind of laying low lately so I can get things under control again before I post new paintings! But I am ever so grateful !!   Things suddenly started moving fast and furious here…a show is coming up so I have been trying to get enough product for that despite the frigid weather, my publisher has emailed three times in the past week wanting new work, and our Brian was due for an MRI today.  The latter always throws me off my work.  He called a few days ago, very subdued, because he realized it was the anniversary of his brain surgery…the biopsies.  Of course that put me into worry mode for this MRI.  Thankfully, he called today after it was over and the tumor has not changed…so we are good until August when he gets his next one.  Smile

I would like to share a big project I just finished…an old ammo box a good customer brought to me for painting. I just stained it, so I don’t have that pic for you, but here is the progression of the project. It is about 3 feet long…

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The staining will, and did, tone down the colors to age it.  I did use a palm sander on it too ,to age it more and distress it. It will be hard to part with!  I think I will have to go on the hunt for a few ammo boxes of my own!

Today it warmed up a bit…funny how 46 degrees can feel balmy!  We have had 78” of snow so far this winter…and we always get a St. Patrick’s Day snow.  So today, Al was outside working furiously cutting and sanding 12” wood for my paintings, taking advantage of the weather.  He finished 10 of them…for orders and a couple for show inventory.  Tomorrow we are heading out for more lumber…I need to prep pieces to paint while we are at our show. I like to do tedious pieces at shows because I am trapped there and can take my time on more detailed work. I don’t work at as fast of a pace there as at home. Hopefully we can get a lot cut and sanded while we have a few warmer days because they say we will be back into the teens next week.

I also finished these cuties…out of 8, I have 3 left…stained these after this pic was taken…a Terrye French design with my own minor touches. I’m so lucky Al can cut whatever I need.

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So, I’m off to work a bit more tonight….hopefully with Brian ok for a little while I will be able to sleep tonight…last night was a rough one!  I hope you all are well, and warm….Spring IS coming!  (eventually! )……………….Jan

A promise is a promise…

Copyright 2014 Folk Art..Buttermilk Hill…Janet Skibo…DO NOT PIN!

 

Hi everyone! See..I said I would be back!!  I hope everyone is dealing well with the snow (we got zip, zero, nada)  and the cold (we are frigid here).  Tuesday it is supposed to get down to –10….so glad no one here absolutely HAS to go anywhere in the winter.  We kinda hibernate through the winter…we are soooo worn out after a long season of shows, it is nice to just stay home .  But….we still have to work…I have been marking boxes full of scrap left from a year of cutting for Al to cut into even smaller objects..plus, a vendor friend gave us boxes of scrap from their grandson’s karate meets. . ..like gold to us!!  It seems no matter how many hundreds of these small things we finish, we still don’t have enough for all our shows. Smile

 

Today I finished 13 big pieces of Folk art. It still is taking me a full day longer to finish a good batch of work and I need to get into high gear here.  I’m hoping to be in Christmas mode within the next month.  This year I am determined to count how many pieces we complete in a year…just curious.  Right now I am up to 43 pieces…but these are some of the more tedious pieces…the numbers will climb fast when I start with the signs.

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I am just stacking finished work now…it is way too cold for either of us to spend hours outside in the workshop sanding and staining for hours. They can wait…there is some slightly warmer weather on the horizon and by then I will have a huge stack to do.  I still have quite a bit of wood waiting for painting.  The last warmer weather, Al worked so hard to stockpile wood for me…including 4  pieces 48 inches long for my biggest folk art as well as 4 very tall vertical pieces.  I also have to start on a lot of vintage pieces  like kitchen scales and more ice skates.  So much to do and so little time!  I am also hoping to make something for myself…maybe a new prim bunny doll.

So now that these pieces are done, I’m off to prep more wood…I’m feeling like painting some Fall maybe….  stay warm out there…and please, bring those pups and kitties in…it is way too cold for them too!…….Jan

Well, well, well….looky who’s back!

COPYRIGHTED ARTWORK…2014 BUTTERMILK HILL…JAN SKIBO…DO NOT PIN!  

                                                                                                                                                          Hello everyone!  Long time no see!  I certainly didn’t think I would be gone this long, but life just kept me away.  I have missed all of you ,and writing, but things happen….good and bad…and sometimes you have no control of it.  Let me say that most of it was good….my shows were outstanding last year….so good, in fact, that we are giving up a good show in New York this year just to have more work time at home.  We had a string of shows in the Fall that we virtually sold out to the bare walls of our booth…and we take a LOT of product.   Sold out to the point that we were stopping on our way home from shows to buy a load or two of lumber.  Overall, we had 3 less shows this year, but did much more business!

Shaker Woods was insanely good…we came within a few dollars of matching our best ever year there…and Ligonier, despite rain and miserable mud, was wonderful. The previous year we had to cancel out of Ligonier because Brian was having problems…and it was so heartwarming to have so many vendors approach us to welcome us back . We got our normal spot back and we had a very happy time there.  Speaking of Brian, right now he is well.  In the Fall he had what you might describe as a stroke behind his eye. Sad smile   We took him to the eye doctor who then sent him to a specialist because he was losing his vision….talk about scary!  I thought the specialist would just look at him the first visit, but no…they numbed him and then injected meds directly through his eyeball!  YIKES!  Sooooo glad I didn’t go with them…I get queasy just thinking about it…..it was right before a show and I had to finish work.  They said he might need 2 or 3 more injections ,but thankfully the one worked and his vision is back except for one small blind spot.  Smile

I was going to start up my blog again on New Year’s Day, but when I tried to load pics, the reader in my computer wouldn’t read the card.  Fooey!  I talked to my computer wiz ( Craig )  and he sent me a plug in reader…which worked great until SOMEONE hit a button and it looks like it totally erased 100 pics off my card.   Fooey !…again. The card was full of new booth pics for this year’s applications.  Sad smile  Thankfully the shows I really needed them for have already been sent in with copies of the booth pics.  And yes…application season is in full swing…I really detest filling those things out! 

After our last show, we always take every sign we have left (not folk art) up to a store we sell in about an hour away. Actually, this year we had to make more product before we went up…we had a very good last show and had sold out of some favorites.  This, and with Thanksgiving being so late, made for a very busy stretch before Christmas. On the 20th, Craig flew in for a week…the following day, Brian drove home.  We had the best Christmas this year!  Everything went smoothly, and Brian was doing well…I can’t tell you how happy I was cooking for more than two! Of course, when everything goes well, the time flies…and in no time, Christmas was over and Craig was flying back to his home. I can’t imagine not seeing our boys at Christmas!  (insert photos of all of us at the airport…ooops! They were ERASED!!)

Sooooo…I’m back to work now. I have always wanted to keep a running count of how many pieces I paint in a year…I am sure it is over 1000. This year I am going to try to keep a total. Right now I have finished 22 big folk art pieces.  Today I am finishing 3 custom signs for customers that will be shipped next week.

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These bunnies are about the only rabbits I ever paint…a Terrye French pattern

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Then, I will start on this beauty..a custom piece for a good customer/friend.  Al scrubbed it out during one of our brief warm spells and it is dry enough now to start working on. She has a good number of my pieces and will pick this up as well as 2 other folk art  next time she is up this way.

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Hopefully I can catch up on all that has been going on with all of you…I even fell of my reading…Facebook kept me in touch with most….I could hop on there when paint was drying.  So take care of yourselves and be happy! ….Jan     P.S.  I WILL be back!  Smile

Be Ye Kindly Welcome!

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Hello everyone! Our upcoming show, Shaker Woods, is one we work towards all year long. Shaker is held on a farm underneath a canopy of very tall trees. There are acres of free parking spaces for the large crowds that attend. This show is a juried invitational which means you must send in photos ,or take actual pieces of work to the site for the promoters to judge whether you should be granted a space in the show. There are limitations as to how many booths are allowed in each type of craft. This balance is very important so that each vendor has a fair chance at making some good money.  Yesterday, Al took a vanload of product  over to Shaker and stacked everything in our little permanent house in the woods. Today we took a second load over and spent several hours hanging the product. Setting up our booth is somewhat like working a giant jigsaw puzzle because we have so many different sizes of work. Sometimes it all goes together easily, sometimes it doesn’t.  Luckily, today it went smooth as butter!  Smile 

Approaching the oasis of trees where Shaker Woods is held…more campers and trailers now than last week when we were here!

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Notice the back half of our roof is clear plastic to allow light in….the front is cedar shakes. Most of the inside is fully stocked now with most of the lower pieces having 5 or 6 more pieces behind…we sure have a lot of product this time!  YAY!  Al and I make EVERY SINGLE piece ourselves…no imports allowed in MY booth!!  The things in the middle of the floor will go outside of the building when we start the show.  Early Saturday we will set up product on the exterior and our podium.…sure is a lot of work!

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Here you can see the stacks…the tarp on the left will be taken down during the show to allow more light and air flow in.

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Acres of mowed fields for free parking…These fields will be packed full of cars!

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Tree carvings are scattered throughout the show and flowers were planted to brighten the grounds…

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I just finished these in time for the show…the one on the right was sold as I was working on it at my last show…

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Halloween goodies…

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I’ll be working on finishing up last minute details on a few things tonight and tomorrow we’ll pack the van again. I’m especially excited this year because some of our favorite customers, who have become good friends, will be coming up from the D.C. area for the show and to go out to dinner with us.  Adding to that, another good customer/friend emailed and is driving up also with her mother from D.C.!    It will be so nice to see them all.  Smile   I’m hoping to see some Facebook/blogging friends there too.

This is a three weekend show and we will be busy between the weekends replacing a lot of product that is sold.  Right now, I need to get busy staining tags so they are ready to paint tomorrow . So, thanks for visiting , and think about attending one of YOUR local shows…support your favorite artists!  Smile……Jan

just humming along…

Hello everyone!  Well, I’m finally back!   As many of you know, I took a break from my blog as well as Facebook because I really needed to get over a hurtful situation. I’ll never understand how someone I have known for over 20 years, never even had an argument with  , could think that constant criticism and snarky comments wouldn’t destroy the friendship.  I have enough on my plate to deal with and don’t need anyone tearing me down .  So, after much talking to my hubby, and burying myself in my work, I’m moving on. I know I am blessed.  I have a husband that loves me and respects my ideas and opinions but never tries to control me (as if he could! Winking smile ).  We have two sons that love us , keep in close contact with us, and would be here in a moments notice if we needed them to be. We have a crazy, growing business that constantly surprises us , and many happy customers that have become good friends. I’m finding myself smiling much more lately especially because of good friends offering cyber hugs and comforting emails. Thank you all.  I actually caught myself humming along to the radio in the car the other day..a true sign that I am happy.  We all need to gather around us those people that are caring and kind, and discard those that hurt and make us feel not good enough.  And so……

 

I’m starting fresh!  Smile  Since I last posted, we have had two shows.  Mid July we were back in Boalsburg for People’s Choice…how I love that show!!   It was stinking hot, but the customers still came.  On the way towards State College the hills were beautifully hazy from the humidity…

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The landscaping displays are always right in front of our booth…..

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I love perennials and have been working the past month on redoing my own perennial flower beds.  When they are complete I’ll post pics…

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The little choo choo was busy all four days…

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Just a small portion of this large show…

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I had to laugh…this Amish family spent so much time looking over the ATM machine they bring in for this show…hmmmm…wonder what they were thinking????

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They then moved on to one of the entertainment tents…and seemed entranced by the belly dancers!  Haha!  We are very fortunate that our neighbors all around us at this show are so nice and we part with hugs all around. It makes for a happy show.

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After People’s Choice we did a smaller , but very good show across the line into New York.  We have established a schedule of very consistent shows.  Of course, Shaker Woods is the one we work towards all year.  Today we went to the grounds to work on our building. Al replaced the roof on the little side shed on our building and patched a large hole in the roof last week . The roof on the back of our building is clear plastic and a branch had fallen from a tree and punched a hole.  Today we swept the building inside and out, sprayed for spiders, and installed our green louvered doors for displaying product.  Here are some random shots of the woods…each time we go it is a bit noisier as vendors arrive to fill their booths.

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And finally, our booth. Some product is in there, two more vanloads to come!

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This year we were asked to submit pics and a resume to be featured in the Shaker Woods newspaper. We were so excited to be chosen!

I still have product to finish, but we just received 6 originals back from the publisher which will be released soon…that will help fill the walls.  Our little neighborhood at this show is very close and friendly which makes for a fun show.

We are all well here, and Brian is doing pretty well right now. He had a problem while we were at a show but the doctor’s office helped him through it. 

 

I hope you are all well, thank you for visiting, and remember to keep smiling!  Smile

Stepping back…

Good morning everyone!  For those of you that are not on Facebook, I just wanted to let you know that I am taking a break from Facebook and my blog for about a month.  The last couple of weeks have been very difficult and I found myself stressed to the point of panic attacks.  I need to de-stress and find peace away from a very toxic person.  I hope you all stay happy, healthy, and smiling while I’m away.—Jan