Sprucing and springing—display chain

I’m almost done with my work so I am taking a short break to post my Tuesday display chain. Thanks Misi for hosting it!! I am cheating a little bit as a few of these photos are from our trip during the Washington Cherry Blossom Festival. I’m calling this “Spring’s Rainbow”………..

Soft  BLUE skies with puffy cottony WHITE clouds……..




Golden YELLOW daffodils………………….



Pastel PINK cherry blossoms……….


Perky vibrant YELLOW bells of forsythia……………………….


Rosy MAGENTA tiny blooms of the Eastern redbud………………….


Smiling happy faces greet us in ROYAL PURPLE…….(they looked more purple in person)


and LAVENDER………………………




frothy WHITE blooms of a Bradford pear……


With my schedule of shows, I have neglected changing up my house—I have projects that are waiting until after my last Spring show. But I DID do one little area that I have been wanting to “spruce “up…. remember this photo? Nice, but I’m bored with it….a little change up……


and you get this….not a LOT different, but a little brighter and a little bit of a change…..


Have a great week and enjoy whatever signs of Spring you  have in your area!!–Jan



Thought I might post again to give you all an inside look as to what happens at a big art/craft show. We left home about 9AM on Thursday and arrived at our show venue about 3:00 in the afternoon.  We scoped out where our booth space was (had already seen the show map on the internet) and then went up front to register and get our show papers , lanyard (necklace) badges, tax forms(yes,we pay sales taxes in 5 states—ick!), and visit the exhibitor’s lounge. This promoter supplies DOZENS of boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts—a very important part of the show to the vendors!! Smile Once, the donuts were replaced with cheap, terrible cookies and there were a LOT of disgruntled vendors all weekend! Smile with tongue out  Then it is time to try and get a parking space  close to the door nearest our booth as possible.We start to unload and dolly boxes and display pieces,always keeping an eye out for a closer parking space. This time, cars and vans were being ticketed with fines from $50 to $500!! (we didn’t get one). We DID eventually get a space right at the door! YAY!! After unloading half our stuff, we started assembling our walls. 90% of the time at these shows, we find a neighbor has encroached on our space—we don’t allow it because the spaces are tight and VERY expensive. Luckily it didn’t happen this time—our neighbors were very nice about staying in the space they bought. It makes for a much more pleasant show.


Our walls are louvered doors that we bungee tie and zip strip tie together. We then stabilize them with a bar across the top locking them together. We use a different system at outdoor shows. When the doors are all connected and in place, I start hanging product while Al loads in the rest of the boxes. Each of our boxes weighs about 60-70 pounds. For a show like this one, we usually have 6 of these boxes plus maybe 3 slightly smaller ones. It is a good workout!  Remember, we have just driven 300 miles to get to the show!  This time, I nearly complete the setup before we leave—( Al doesn’t hang stuff because I usually move stuff he has put up) –we then wrap the booth with tarps and plan to get to the show early to finish setting up. It usually takes about 3 1/2 hours to set up. This time when we arrived at the hotel, they were having a Manager’s reception!! we were allowed 2 free drinks and hors doerves. (sp?) Al and I don’t drink, but because of all we have been through lately, I got a small glass of wine. (my boys are probably laughing hysterically if they are reading this ). I swear, if I smell a wine cork 20 yards away,I am dizzy. I took 2 sips and  was under the table. Smile  We went out to McD’s  for sandwiches and ate them in our VERY nice room—fridge, microwave flat screen,down comforters. Ahhhh…makes you want to blow off the show and just crash in the room!! We use a corporate lodging card for hotels that gives us close to half off prices—I like my deluxe comfy room!! Smile





We left for the show a little after 8 in the morning to finish setting up. Usually I am still doing it when the show starts at 10, but this time I finished about 9:30. Al set up the register and I moved into my little cubbyhole corner to start painting. These are photos of a couple show aisles……




This show ended at 5 each day (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). That is not the norm—many of ours end at 9 PM.That is especially rough because then you go out for dinner and get back to your room at 11.The next day starts early too!! Each day wears you down more. Finally on the last day, you are REALLY looking forward to packing up. I take inventory late in the show so I know everything I need to make to replace what sold. Set up took 3 1/2 hours, tear down took  1 hour. Of course the juggling for a close parking space happens all over again. By 6PM we were loaded, had double checked our booth space that we didn’t leave anything behind, said goodbye to friends, and we were OUTTA  THERE!! On the way home we grabbed burgers to eat on the way (and ice cream) . We finally arrived home after a 25 minute nap at a rest stop, about 1 AM Monday morning. Al was up from 4:30 AM Sunday to 1 AM Monday. Poor baby!!

After we slept a bit, I unloaded the van of all the odd things,  smaller boxes, and signs. It takes both Al and I to carry in the heavy boxes. After we carry in the boxes, Al unloads the doors. We leave the boxes packed, but repack them right before we load up for the next show. After having lunch, we drove to get a new load of lumber –we have cleaned out our own local Home Depot so we have to drive farther. Getting home, Al unloads  the lumber, I start dinner, and we crash!! Smile  Now you know why we giggle when someone says to us—It must be so much fun  to do craft shows as a living!! Smile  Whew!!  I’m tired!! Well, I actually have a Halloween order to get ready for the next  show—yep, Halloween!!  Hope you enjoyed a little look at what happens before a show opens—it is VERY hard work but I do enjoy it!!—have a great week!!–Jan

Revolving door

Hi everyone!! It seems when our show schedule starts that We are stuck in a revolving door—make product, drive to show, do show, drive home, make product, drive to show etc., etc., etc.,and repeat. We left at 9 on Thursday and made good time to Chantilly Va., which is outside of DC. The weather was beautiful, but I was still a bit sickly (I’m fine now) so I slept a bit on the way. Anyone that knows me, knows I have a thing for windmills—Al even wakes me in time to see them—he knows not to let me sleep through them!!Winking smile


I love seeing rows of them high on the hills. We continued on our way through Pa., Maryland, and into Virginia, making very good time. The skies were gorgeous bright blue and the sun was shining the entire trip.  This is the Allegheny Mountain tunnel…


Entering beautiful Maryland….waves of daffodils……..


Approaching mountains of Maryland. The farther we traveled, the more we saw green in the forests and along the roadways……the mountains took on a red blush from the trees budding….



Outside our hotel….rows of blooming cherry trees………(Cherry Blossom Festival in DC ) Everything was much farther along as far as blooming than we have ever seen down here in past years……


Vendor across from us…Gorgeous jackets—I wanted one until I found out they ran $600—$800 each!! Yikes!! The blouses were $250 each!! She sold half a dozen jackets and a few blouses.


Dark photo—spoon maker……..


My booth……………….


Patti Cobb—sits on floor and chisels Santas from wood during show….interested??? email her at pattcobb@msn.com. She normally sells out at every show and is very popular. Very unusual product and demonstration!! My bones ache just from watching her!!


Fountain by our hotel………………..farther down were dozens of blooming cherry trees—they were literally everywhere..in the hundreds!!


Rows of blooming cherry trees in the hotel parking lot……..


There were piles of cherry blossom petals everywhere…usually when we do this show they are just budding…this time they were in full bloom and breathtaking!! 

After a rain, the petals were plastered to all the cars parked nearby and were inches deep along the curbs. The trees were like pink clouds.


I hope you enjoyed the tour..our show was fair—We thought the attendance was down somewhat because it was the 100th year of the Cherry Blossom Festival and the promoter raised the price to get in the show to $8 per person. We noticed less families there. Going for lumber today—it never ends!! We’ll be in Buffalo NY next. Have a great week—I’m trying to catch up on all the posts since we left Thursday!!—blessings, Jan

Happy Birthday time!!

Everyone should rush over to visit the Cranky Crow—It’s her Birthday!!  Robin, I hope you get a few sheepies for gifts….your collection looks a bit sparse!  NOT!!! Smile with tongue out

Anyway…Have a Happy, Happy Birthday!!!——tooting a birthday horn, Jan

Misi’s Tuesday display chain

Misi of 1890 Gable House Musings  is hosting a tuesday display chain and this is the first I have participated in. The theme is Lion and the Lamb. Here is my lambie—a bit too cutesy for what I like now, but it was painted by a friend and I keep it just because!!


Next is my little lion cookie cutter—I remember using this at Christmas with my mom during cookie baking sessions. She is gone, but memories linger and are cherished.                                                                               


Of course, this is my FAVORITE wild, roaring lion….(at least he THINKS he is) ….he’s really a sweet pussycat that loves having his belly rubbed!!


Thanks for visiting!!—-Jan


Hi everyone!! Well, we are home again. The past weekend we finished up our first show of the season. This time, we took a different route—via Winchester Virginia. The scenery is also beautiful going THIS way. The Shenandoah valley is greening up, apple trees were in bloom, and the hills were less treacherous this way.Smile


The hills were so pretty…..and look at this old barn….


Beautiful…nature’s glory…..look at the sky….


Oh my…so pretty…..


A host of dancing daffodils….


Early morning sun glowing on the mountain.


Our show this weekend was good—every day of the show was up from last year. It was a totally different crowd from last weekend. We sold the opposite, for the most part, from last weekend. Funny how that often happens. This is our 33rd year and we still can’t predict what will sell.  Spring shows are especially difficult to predict. Actually, I would prefer to not do any spring shows, but because this is our living, we have to. Generally, spring shows are less profitable than later shows.


All in all, the show provided us with a getaway..even though the first weekend a kind customer shared their cold germs with me.Sad smile I slept much of the trip this weekend and struggled to get over my watery eyes and runny nose. I’m fine now, but now Al has it. Poor baby!! We saw lots of pretty sights, crossed the Potomac River, drove alongside George Washington National Forest, crossed Bullpasture and Cowpasture Rivers, climbed Chicken Hill Lane, passed Two Bucks Lane and Getta Way ,(love that road name!) saw Miss West Virginia Roadkill (gorgeous girl—the Roadkill Festival is a big deal in West Va.),saw quilt barns (5!!), old restored square log cabins, and a quaint back country church.


Beautiful mountaintop scenery….



We stopped at an overlook—Shenandoah Mountain Pass….



The ride home through the Monongahela National Forest….


Sigh…I.want.this…around a cedar sided saltbox….(not gonna happen)



It’s now 1AM….I stained work tonight—a bunch of signs and here are 4 of the 5 paintings I did at the show drying in the workshop. I am staying up tonight to try to get 12 more signs done—a short week this time.


Hope I didn’t bore all of you with so many pics…but I don’t get out much in the winter so I was REALLY happy to see something besides my 4 walls!! Smile with tongue out Next stop…we go from this show in the backwoods to the big city!! We’ll be outside Washington D.C.—across from Dulles Airport at a beautiful higher end art/craft show. Have a wonderful week and weekend—enjoy the early warm weather while we have it!!–Jan                                                             

Hoppin’down the bunny trail…..

Yoo Hoo!! Everybody listen up! Steph at Front Porch Primitives is having a HOPPY giveaway!!  She needs to find a home for a sweet little bunny and some Eastery treats! Stitchery eggs and prim perfect eggs just may find their way into your Easter basket if you hurry now and enter! Everything is just waiting for you to hop on over and enter your name. Good luck and hop on down the bunny trail to Steph’s!!–Jan