Well, well, well….looky who’s back!


                                                                                                                                                          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.


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


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.


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!



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!


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!


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.


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


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


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…


Halloween goodies…


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…


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


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…



The little choo choo was busy all four days…


Just a small portion of this large show…


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????


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.


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.





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


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

Verrrrrry interesting!

Good morning ,friends!  Sigh….it has been awhile…once again time has escaped me.  We’ve been working very hard getting ready for a new show we picked up. Plus, Brian has been dealing with some difficult issues.  After many panic filled days, we finally had the issues resolved and all is quiet again…thank goodness!  We decided to pick up a new show near Pittsburgh…but this time it was a combination antiques and artists show put on by Whispering Pines Farm.  I have never been to an antique show so I was vey excited to see it.  It did not disappoint.   The family promoting the show did an awesome job preparing the area as you will see in the photos.  The farm was stunning as were the antiques.  Artists were scattered among the antique dealer booths also.  Enjoy…


I met several Facebook friends here..like Robin…..





Gorgeous dough box and bowls…and that ovoid tornado jug !!!




Directly behind my booth…


Lots of antique horses…and firkins…


and crocks…


Some of these pics are from set up day…hence the toolboxes and coolers…







Antique hornbeams…



Several pie safes!!   sigh…and a glimpse of my booth…thinning out a bit on the side!



Huge trenchers were everywhere!


Just look at the painting on that old dowery chest!


OMG!!  30 years ago I passed up a wood shovel carved from one piece of wood…it was $20…but I had toddlers…I still cry over that one!!




This trencher was about 4 feet long…amazing.


This is Sierra…she was ridden from the west coast for a cancer awareness fundraiser….she was hanging out right behind our booth…we’re best buds now! Did you know I used to show horses years ago as a teen…eons ago!!



make do chairs…


I really enjoyed this show, and I think it has great potential.  We did fair as far as sales….but it is far different from an art/craft show, so we have to decide if it is profitable enough to return to it. I think we did as well or better than most, but we are used to much larger crowds. We’re keeping in mind this was a first time show. I do know the family is very willing to work very hard for it’s success and were always there to assist the vendors…that’s a very good sign!

I hope you enjoyed the show pics..it truly was beautiful!    Thanks for visiting….Jan

calming down…

Original artwork on this blog is copyright protected by Buttermilk Hill and Janet Skibo.  DO NOT PIN !!   


            Hello everyone!  I was so surprised when I saw it has only been nine days since I last posted…it seems like a month.  It’s been a difficult stressful nine days as we have had a couple of crisis concerning Brian.  As with most moms and dads, our boys are our world and that world comes to a screeching halt when something scary is happening to them. We are so blessed to have good, loving sons and of course, we want everything to go perfectly for them.  Finally , things are looking like they are settling back down for Brian and we just have to hear about one more thing before we can stop holding our breath. Craig seems to be doing well…at least that is what he tells us…I think he doesn’t want to add any more stress to us if he does have a problem. He’s so far away, but keeps in close touch with us in case we need him.  I worry about him too because it must be difficult being so far away when there are troubles here.


Anyway, I have been working hard..it helps keep me sane and not worrying every minute of the day. It also wears me out so I can sleep at night.  My big paintings and the vintage pieces are the fun work for me.  I love that moment when I stain over the paint and they come alive. But…to run my business, I need a lot of the somewhat boring things too…things I mass produce …our bread and butter pieces. I believe every booth should have something in it that ANYONE coming to a show can afford to buy.  They may not want that piece, but there should be a complete range of prices in a booth.  I paint MASSES of these things…and it is somewhat mindless work. I work on them while watching TV.   Here are a few examples…buckets of shoe signs…


Stacks of small paintings…red houses sell best…..my next batch will be a group of mustard, blue, and tan houses…each one is different…a lot of people buy my winter ones to use as Christmas cards!…..


Stars (and hearts)…I paint these by the hundreds…..again, mindless work that is great to do when I am really tired or want to paint through the night…


These are the most mindless pieces…carrot snowman noses.  I’ll have to do a couple more batches (about 100 pieces ) like this before the season is over…plus, I have 100 tiny 1 inch ones to paint for an order of snowman ornaments for a lady in Dallas.   Each has to be painted, sanded on the edges, then stained and clear coated.  I can almost sleep while I paint these!


But I also paint multiples of bigger pieces at a time…  I try to do at least six of each at a sitting…it goes much faster then!






I wanted to show you a before and after…  A really ugly mirror I found at a flea market…


Sanded and 2 coats of red, dried well…then waxed….


Two coats of black over the red and wax…. sanded to expose the red…….then walnut oil stained and clear coated….


Then fitted with a panel Al cut for me and I painted….  the colors are not as bright as they appear here.


An old hat rack someone gave me…mirror discarded, sanded so paint will stick, and a panel cut to fit….painted black over red…panel painted…


Voila!   We sell lots of things like this at Shaker Woods in August.


Currently, I am painting more trowels, ice cream scoops ( ! ),  old wooden shoe forms, picnic baskets, more nail kegs, and signs…never have enough signs!!   I’ll be ready for my next show in 2 days, then will get busy preparing for a big July show…now, THAT’S when I really start cranking product out!   I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Happy Father’s Day…and Betty…..thank you…it helped these last 9 days immensely!!    Smile  ——-Jan

Home from Occoquan

Hello everyone!  We are SO GLAD to be home!  Last Friday we left early for our show in Occoquan Virginia…outside of D.C. 

Ahhh…lovely Maryland…



Getting close…we have done so many shows in this area….I love watching the constant stream of jets flying in as we drive along…


Unloading our personal things at the hotel before heading to the show site to wait for set up time…after all the years we have done this show, we finally have found nice hotels to stay at…  Smile



This is a consistently very good show for us and it is so nice to have a show that you KNOW is going to be very profitable year after year. On the down side, it is a notoriously difficult set up and usually blazing hot.  This year the set up was a nightmare mainly because a 20 foot trailer parked along the narrow street which hampered traffic flow and made unloading difficult for everyone. Sad smile  Because it was late (set up starts at 9 PM )…and hot…we just set up our tent, walls, and set the signs. Then we stacked our cases inside the tent and headed for the hotel to sleep.

By 7 AM we were hanging product and finished in time for customers at 9:30 (earlybirds ).  Saturday started very slowly and the temperature progressively got hotter. Luckily we have shade from a tree for most of the day…I love my space and insist on it every year. Saturday ended up very busy even though the crowd seemed to be down…we suspect from the insane heat.  We heard the heat index was 105 and constantly drank bottled water to stay hydrated.

The lovely ladies in my favorite store in town once again allowed me to take photos in “Personally Yours”.   Personally Yours is located on Mill Street (the main street) in Occoquan Virginia along the Occoquan River. So here we go…enjoy…


beautiful redware…


original artwork on antique breadboards…



I thought these flowers were so cute!


more artwork…


lots of Americana…


I loved this box set…so old looking and distressed…






I really need to incorporate some green in my house…




I regret not picking up this pillow!!  Sad smile



This wall cupboard was awesome…


Look at the texture on this little shelf…yum!



nice cubby…


Loved this little mustard table…


The street corner of Union and Mill…this anchor is HUGE…how cool is that!?!


I’d like to thank the ladies of Personally Yours for welcoming me and allowing the pics…if you are ever in the area, the stores in this little town are so worth the trip to see!  Personally Yours also just started on Facebook , so you may want to look them up. 

Well, I need to get back to work…we picked up another show and I’m feeling the pressure!  We’re heading out tomorrow for a big load of lumber and I need to get a group of painted vintage pieces done.  Thank you all for visiting and I hope you enjoyed the tour…especially those of you that don’t have many prim shops in your own area.—-Jan