Let’s back the truck up……..

Hi everyone!!  Yeah, yeah, I know…..I’ve been AWOL for awhile!!  Well, we are entering into our peak show season and when I have shows each weekend, we get home late Sunday;  unload,shop, bank, and buy lumber on Monday; which leaves Tuesday and Wednesday for replacing sometimes up to 100 pieces for the NEXT weekend!!  See, everything we make is finished with an oil stain which takes 2-3 days to dry enough to be clearcoated.  Then we load the van again and are off!! Sooooo….not much time for ANYTHING else…even blogging!  Sigh…..I’ve been missing it!  I just finished staining a large batch of big pieces and thought I would take some time to post. We just finished 2 shows and have a string of shows coming up that are very demanding…so I’m not sure when I will be able to post again.  Sad smile   Soooo…let’s back the truck up so I can tell you what I have been doing!!  Labor Day was spent taking a picnic down to Brian’s place…it was so good to see him and Stryker. Stryker is comfortable in his new home now…he was pretty skittish at first being in a new apartment, but now likes his roomier digs and spends much of his time behind the blinds watching anything and everything outside. He has also become obsessed with the front door and likes reaching under the door to swat at unsuspecting human feet walking down the hallway. Brian had his meds changed after a flare up of seizure- like feelings and seems to have adjusted well to them. Thank goodness!

I’ve been busy with painting, of course, but also some odd orders such as jar bonnets….I used to sell these by the thousands at shows. They fit mason jars or jar candles like Yankee Candle . Back in the day, I made them in prints,with appliqued hearts, or hand painted muslin.  At one show, we sold over 500 in a day!! Amazing! I haven’t made them for a long time, and when I got an order for 80, I wasn’t sure if my sewing machine still worked. It did, and I quickly was able to get the order out in time for the Eastern Star banquet.


The weekend after Labor Day we had a show in northwest Pa. that we had done years ago and decided to try it again. When we did it years ago, we got a terrible spot and never went back. This year we got a great spot beside a friend …but had to set up in the rain. UGH!  There is nothing worse than setting up in the rain at a show except tearing down in the rain!! The first day of the show was a torrential downpour and was so bad we had to have the front of out tent closed up—not very good when the crowd can’t get into the tent!!  But, we did sell even though our neighbor said the crowd was down by half. The second day also rained, but sales were pretty good…so we will be going back to this show again—sometimes you just get a feeling that you connected with the shoppers and will do very well if you get decent weather!The BEST thing about this show was that Traci of York Mountain Primitives came to visit us and brought her adorable daughter Maygan with her!  It was such a pleasure to meet both of them…Maygan is such a sweetie pie!!  (OK…so are YOU Traci!!  Winking smile )  They surprised me with one of Traci’s prim kitty dollies…isn’t she the cutest!?  Thank you so much ladies—can’t wait to see you both again next year…but maybe in a little drier state. Smile


I also bumped into a vendor friend I haven’t seen for years…and bought one of her prim dollies…she’s so ugly she’s cute!!  Love her nose!


After that show we loaded up on lumber and just worked our tails off to build up inventory. That…. and mowed grass, had our AC fixed, mowed grass, had our AC fixed again, MOWED GRASS, and had the AC fixed AGAIN!!  UGH!!  Last weekend we had a show up near Buffalo New York again. THis show was very good for us last year for folk art…signs not so much. Sad smile  We had planned to drive up to Niagara Falls first, but once again…it was raining! I just love the falls—so beautifully mesmerising! We had to be in line on the street at 3:00 to be able to unload close to our location,  so we got in line and then waited until 6:00 to pull in…yep…STILL raining!   This show is high pressure to get unloaded and move the van out quickly. Luckily we were able to get the tent up and all the product quickly under the tent to protect everything. Then the rain stopped!  We set up the signs then closed up the tent to go to the hotel. Early in the morning we set up everything else and had 2 BEAUTIFUL weather days and great sales! Even signs!!  I bought a witchie mouse box from my friend Jodie…you may remember her pumpkin mouse too…



The day after we got home from Buffalo, we did the usual chores…banking, etc. but had lunch before going for a large load of lumber.  Unfortunately I had lost track of the age of a few things in the fridge and ate something I shouldn’t have.  By that evening I was deathly sick. Over the course of the next 36 hours, I slept 30 hours and was violently ill –probably should have gone to the hospital. Food poisoning. It was far worse than any chemo I went through…really.  I’m feeling much better now, but still can’t tolerate much more than eggs and applesauce. Al has been a BIG help with carrying the wood for me.

Friday we got a nice surprise…we got a catalogue from the publisher and guess who I was introduced alongside!?  Billy Jacobs!! What an honor!!


This is our spread—the 2 pieces on the bottom right are not my work.  I will be spending a lot of time this winter building up my portfolio for them.  The more art you have, the more royalties you get.


So, here’s where we are….a string of big shows coming up, plus we just got accepted in the number one show in the country. I also am almost totally out of folk art to sell at those shows—not a good thing that I lost work days being sick. Right now we are working like crazy people making product.  That doesn’t leave much time for blogging for awhile.  I really miss all of you, appreciate all my new followers, and I will read as many posts as I possibly can…and comment as much as I can.  This is really crunch time for us as we won’t get any pay from December to March except for what we get from the store we sell in. We need to earn as much now as we can.  I hope you all enjoy what seems to be the favorite season of all of us….autumn….. and stay safe, happy , and healthy…..and creative!!  I’ll be back as soon as I can….   blessings….Jan


14 comments on “Let’s back the truck up……..

  1. Cindi Loretz says:

    Wow! I am so tired just reading about all of your activities. I am glad that Brian seems to be doing good on his meds, praise God. Also glad you are feeling better, not a fun thing to have. Praying that you continue to have very successful shows. I sure wish I lived out there as I would love to come and see your things…and buy! LOL Take care,
    Be blessed,

  2. marly says:

    Me too!! I’m worn out just reading about how busy you are. Sorry you were ill. Love your mouse. All those weekends without rain ~ and then you get doused for shows. Sounds like all went very well and you connected with friends though. Good thing you have a slow down after December so you can rest!!

  3. Rhonda says:

    Hi Jan
    So glad all is well with you. Was wondering what you were doing. I figured you were painting up a storm. Glad to hear the shows are going well.
    Glad to hear Brian is doing good. Regulating the meds can be a long process.
    I’m hoping to see you at Apple fest in Franklin. I neeeeed some winter pictures to replace the fall ones before the Americana ones. Hope to be there early enough to get what I need.
    Sorry to hear you were sick.
    See you

    • Hi Rhonda! Yeah, this time of year virtually EVERY MINUTE is precious to us. When I DO get on here, you can bet I have paint drying and I’d rather be here than watching it dry!! 🙂 Brian IS doing good…thank God!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  4. Cindy says:

    And I thought I was busy!! So glad to hear that your shows have been good…hoping that Sauerkraut Festival is good again this year for me.
    Happy crafting!

  5. christine says:

    It’s been good catching up with you Jan, though hope you are feeling better every day – what a hectic schedule!!! But it’s encouraging for sure, that there are still so many people buying!
    Congrats on being in the catalog – you deserve it for your wonderful work!
    Best wishes

  6. Karen says:

    Wow I’m totally wore out just following you around the country! lol
    Jan I’m so happy you are selling – even in the down pours!!!
    Congratulations on the magazine spread – so well deserved.
    I sure hope one day to get to a show you are doing – what a special time that would be to meet you.
    Take some time to breath ya hear!!!

    And thank you so much for visiting my blog and leaving such nice comments all the time!


  7. Traci says:

    Hi sweet Miss Janet…. I am signing up for email updates for your blog, I always have a hard time finding it… 🙂 Hugs, Traci

  8. betty crowe says:

    Oh goodness, Jan, you are busy. I need another cup of coffee and to put my feet up after hearing all you are doing! So happy Brian is doing well. The catalog looks wonderful. Hope all the rest of our shows are wonderful as well as the weather.

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