Surviving the storm….

Hi everyone!!  After our last show, we have been SOOO busy—we moved Brian into his new apartment, worked at our little house in the woods to get it ready for our August show, and bought lumber, painted, bought lumber, painted, ad nauseum!!  Our August show is 3 weekends—Saturday and Sunday of each. It is a beautiful setting in an oasis of trees on a farm in Ohio. I remember taking the boys when they were little to the show one of the first years they had it. I always dreamed of participating in it, and now we do!!  Smile  We own the building we set up in, and rent it out to vendors who do the antique show and the Christmas show there.  The rent will pay for the building eventually!  Our building is surrounded by a brick sidewalk that has become uneven, so Al is pulling it all up and relaying it. He worked so hard on it the other day, but only got half done. Today the promoter called and told us that he had his workmen finish it for us and they also filled the crevices with gravel. Wasn’t that kind of them!?  There is more and more activity going on there each time we go over. New buildings are going up, others are being renovated, and the woods are sprayed for mosquitoes. Flowers are being planted, and product is already being stocked in buildings. ( I saw some things that WILL come home with me! ) It is amazing how quickly the woods come alive!!  Here are some pics of the woods as they are now…quiet, but waiting for the owners of the buildings to arrive…

Approaching the show woods….


Heavily shaded area…


Ahhh….sun dappled woods….







Just waiting for it’s owners and customers….


Church services are held in the little church in the woods…


Craft classes for children are held in the little red schoolhouse….


Over the footbridge to more vendors….


If you’ll excuse me…..



Time to visit the food booths…..


Anyone for an acorn birdhouse?


Our santa carving friends’ little home in the woods….




tree folk carvings…


other side of the stump….


We still have to install our display, clean, spray for SPIDERS! and more SPIDERS!!  Did I say SPIDERS!!?  Then we will start to load in the product, podium, props, and our big sign that hangs over our building—lotsa work to do!!

This past weekend, we had a small show in Westfield,New York . Westfield is grape/wine country and is just into New York from Erie Pa. This show is set in a small park centered by a gazebo and is a remarkably consistant show. However, this year it was being targeted by severe storms. A tornado DID touch down not too far away…We reduced the amount of product we normally take because there is no sense in taking more to get damaged by bad weather, right!?  Lake Erie was covered by frightening BLACK clouds as we passed it. Shortly after we arrived, it rained hard with lightening. We were not sure if we should set up, but did put up the tent and walls. Early Friday, we finished setting up. Fortunately, Friday’s weather was wonderful and the crowd bought til they dropped ! Saturday was rainy early, then cleared. We had an amazing show—almost sold out and almost matched our record show there!! We would have if we had taken our normal amount.

Westfield’s grape tribute…


Al’s lovely hand…..Winking smile



The Welch’s building…..(Welch’s grape juice )…..


Westfield was where a little girl famously wrote a letter to Abraham Lincoln suggesting that he would look better if he grew a beard. This statue shows Lincoln meeting her in Westfield.




Note the dropped rose…



Vast grape vineyards…


This sweet peahen had to come home with me—her creator was a sweet lady in her eighties—antique lace, buttons, spool, and hatpin…on a hog scraper base…


I know, I know…a looooong post—hope I didn’t bore you too much!  I ‘m staying up tonight to paint…hope I can stay awake!! Smile–have a great week!–Jan


Steph’s Blogiversary!! YAY!!

Yep, Steph of Front Porch Primitives has been blogging for one year!  She is having a “Christmas in July” giveaway and has been working like a workaholic elf making special goodies for it!!  So, jump in your sleigh and high tail it over there before the deadline to wish her a Happy Blogiversary and enter. If you win, you’ll be shouting jolly Ho Ho Ho’s from here to the North Pole!!  Click on the link to the right to visit her blog!! Good Luck!! ..and to all, a good night!  Smile  –Jan

Home from People’s Choice…tired but happy!

Hi everyone! We finally got home last night from our show about 10:30 after a brutal five days. This show, called People’s Choice Festival, runs from Thursday through Sunday. It is located in Boalsburg Pa. at the Military Museum  which is very near State College Pa.  The show’s hours are long—10 to 8 for Thursday , Friday, and Saturday, and 12 to 5 for Sunday. It’s a wonderful show and we have been taking two vanloads for the last few years. We drive early Wednesday with our tent, display, and load of product, then go back home to load up a second time. Then we drive back  straight to the hotel…getting there about 11 at night. That’s three trips of 180 miles each on Wednesday!!  At least the journey is pretty!!





This show covers a large area—200 vendors with single frontage for each—laid out in a huge circle with an entertainment stage on each end. A large and varied food court is on the south end and children’s activities are in the center.







The entertainment varies from belly dancing to magic, to different music—bluegrass, country, celtic, gospel, 50’s rock ‘n roll (Bill Haley and the Comets ) , to instrumental—MOST of it is great!! Smile



Landscapers come in and put up displays—these are in front of our booth….they are dismantled after the show….





Then the vendors..everything from pottery,to leather, paintings, metal sculpture, clothing, clay, glass, jewelry, and carvings….

My booth….







Our besties, Gloria and John…santa carvers—John carves and Gloria paints the pieces….



    Their bunnies….




Shoppers come from all over…some by train….


by tank……..(display at the museum )


by motorcycle…..


and by….what the heck is THAT!?!


Even by covered wagon!!!  Smile


If you remember ,ar our last show, another vendor (Coleen ) and I agreed to a swap—she needed a sign for her booth, and I loved EVERYTHING in her booth! Here’s her sign that she picked up at this show….


and here is the gorgeous needle punch pocket I got!!  SOOO happy!!


Ahhhh….Gloria and my treat almost every day—chocolate dipped frozen cheesecake! YUM!!  The food court has virtually anything you could want to eat…


We had many wonderful visitors…including sweet Annie who cooled her tummy in my booth….


This visitor came incognito as a pirate!! ……….we have come to know many customers at this show and it is so gratifying when they come in to see what is new…I even get a lot of custom orders for folk art here ….


Golf carts gave people rides around the show when they were tired or needed help getting around…even to haul purchases to cars—the fellow in the tophat runs the show…


This show is one of my biggest of the year and is one we always look forward to even though it is brutally tiring . It is open only to Pennsylvania artists and is run by an artist committee and artist volunteers. Despite the awful heat and humidity, this year we were up. Wonderful sales, food, neighbors, and friends. Tomorrow we are off to buy lumber to start all over again…we were pleased that all the new designs were successful.  So, one more under our belt!…on to the next..a small, but nice two day show in New York.

I hope you enjoyed the tour—the show was fun because we get to see a lot of good friends! Have a happy week!–Jan

Prayers needed…..

Please ,everyone, Sheila of Seasons of Thy Heart needs our support! Her hubby was flown to the hospital with stroke like symptoms. Please offer her your prayers—our lives can change drastically in a flash—I know all too well as do many of you! Click on the link on the right side of my blog to read her post and connect with her.—thank you so much!–Jan

winding down and cooling off

Hi Everyone!  Finally, I have finished everything for my next show. Actually, I finished awhile ago, got more orders, finished again, got more orders, and at last finished AGAIN. I really don’t like special orders, but hate saying no to anyone. We always tell customers to give us two weeks if they want to order because things need to dry—and that can take up to three days–, but we always get the emails a few days before a show!  This time I finished early so there was no problem.


There is always so much to get ready for a show—product, the display, and many many items must be checked to make sure you have them or enough of them. We actually carry a box(our junk box) that holds odds and ends. We need:  zip strips, masking tape, pens, first aid kit, paper towels, record book, bungees (several sizes ), price stickers, C clamps, hooks, gripper clamps, charge card signs, charge slips, scrap wood, batteries, adding machine tape, etc.  Then, there is the display….tent, poles for sun shade, lattice, doors (walls ),cash register,cover cloths, tarps, wood planks, pins, stakes, trucker strap etc. Of course then the snacks, paper plates, plastic utensils, hand sanitizer,and on and on!! I’m sure I missed listing dozens of needfuls!!   That’s not even considering organizing product—as the shows get bigger, we need to adjust how many of what pieces we need to take to sell—of course it depends on the season also.  Our next show is a biggie—we’ll take two van loads of product—so if I took 6 of a particular piece before, I’ll take 20 to this one. Some pieces will be increased from 12 to 40. We keep meticulous records of what we sell at each show so we can look back and get an idea what was a good seller last year—and what didn’t sell well. Each show is very different and what sells well at this show may not at the next. We constantly juggle what we take to each show.  Hotel reservations must be made, clothes readied and packed, the record book must be written up ,and Ethel (our GPS ) must be programmed as well as printing out driving directions from the internet. By the time we leave, my head is swimming!!  But, this time I am ready early! How’d THAT happen!?!  We’ll be in good shape—as long as Al doesn’t forget the cell phone again!!  He needs that to authorize the charge sales. This is a fun show to do because many friends also do the show and we all stay at the same hotel. We usually end each day by going out to dinner together.  Now, I can prove I’ve been busy!!……….



All these signs are about half of what I got finished—at last count I did a little over 200 !!  I don’t do much cute country, but I do like to have some for variety—thus the santas…


Of course I did a bunch of folk art too, but didn’t get a pic of them yet—this is what I worked on today—they will be ready for the show in August……chairs…..


Hopefully the weather will be cooler for this show—my heart aches for those caught up in the fires, floods, and terrible heat. I am lucky that I can work in the cool house—I do not tolerate heat well. This show is notoriously blazing hot—so far it looks like it may be cooler than normal!

Thank you so much for visiting—I appreciate each and every one of you and enjoy every comment!  I’ll be back to show you pics of this wonderful show, so take care and stay cool!!——-Jan