Monday, June 24, 2013

Junkstock ~ Summer 2013

Junkstock is the crème de la crème of Junk revival in the Omaha metro area.  It is the reward or light at the end of the tunnel for my hard work.  Junk has made a comeback and it shows by the amount of people that attend the festivities.  Last summer for its virgin tour, JS had about 6,000 people go through, we don't have final numbers but my best guess is well over 10,000 patrons.  Amazing turn out means bigger dollars for the bank account.  (In my case, it means a new pair of running shoes and some new clothes).  The event is something that is really indescribable, one has to actually set foot onto the barnyard to get the experience in full.  It is the quaintest of venues and the people are as eclectic as can be.  Vendors range from Antique Stores under canopies to Jewelry Designers to similar artisans like me.

When we arrived for set up, we had 2 full cars (one being a Yukon XL) and a trailer, FULL.  We left with 1/4 of a trailer.  We unload and set up, the art of display helps draw the customer in, so I find myself in a constant state of rearranging as items go.  I always have a couple of "pieces" that I am anxious to see that they are taken and loved on.  The 3 that I had in mind went.  Each left on a different day with a different loving family.  My first sale on Friday was a lovely lampshade that I handcrafted out of an old burlap sack.  The customer left it for pick up later in the day, I could have sold it 30 more times.  Wild!  I was not even sure it would go at all. 

Part of the fun, includes the fabulous food vendors and hillbilly music.  I had the BELT (Bacon, Egg, Lettuce, & Tomato) sandwich 2 of the days.  The wait was up to 40 minutes for one of these tasties, well worth it!  I partner with my neighbor for the sale, so we relieve one another for the food breaks, amongst other kinds of breaks if you know what I mean.

Arrival home, means unpacking what is left and renegotiating the game plan for the fall sale.  My wheels are already turning.  I can hardly wait!  See ya'll in the Fall!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Junkstock Bound

It is that time again...Junkstock Time.  What is this, you may ask?  Quite possibly heaven on earth for folks like me.  This is a venue where the old becomes new and loved again.  I am busy preparing my goodies....

Both large and small.  Most of my bigger pieces are done and behind me, now it is me sifting through the piles to find the little fillers.  Amazingly, the little gizmos and gadgets go as well as the big ones.  This season, I painted up more than 20 picture frames.  I love a frame collage as much as the next person.  Funny thing is... when someone wants to get rid of old frames, I tend to find them on my doorstep!

Today I completed one of my fav's!  OK, I have to admit that my fav's change with the direction of the wind.  This particular dresser is of the French Provincial kind, the most fun for me to get creative with when adding color.  I went with Old Ochre and Aubusson Blue by Annie Sloan.  I shabbied it up with a  little brown shoe polish and some walnut stain.  The end result is just fanciful.  It would be darling as a side table or an addition in a bedroom.  Love Love Love it!

The show is just a little over 2 weeks away.  I love the hubbub, live music, and most of all the people.  I am anxious to show what I have and see what the other artisans have as well.  Sometimes I have to come home and move stuff around, just so I can bring home new found treasure!!!!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Who Am I???

Now that I have been involved in this project, or job,  for a couple of years, I need to determine just who I am.  What do I mean by that??? Well..... when I am introduced to new people, the inevitable question is: "What do you do?" or "Where do you work?"  I am never quite sure what title to give myself or should I say allow myself to have.  I need to be comfortable saying, "I am an artist."

  1. A person who produces paintings or drawings as a profession or hobby.
  2. A person who practices any of the various creative arts, such as a sculptor, novelist, poet, or filmmaker.
When I look at this definition as provided by google, I fit the mold.  I just need to embrace it.  I get nervous saying that is what I am.  I cannot explain why... as I love my job more than anything else I have ever done.  I am taking a hobby and making it my life's work.  I feel like people will lump me into some sort of category or preconceived notion, or they won't see my work as art.  I realize art encompasses a lot, but does it encompass painted furniture?  How about taking old junque and finding new ways to look at it..... look at the little vintage suitcase table, a transformation that really has a delightful result.
I see art in this, but do others?  Art is subjective, peaceful, angry, happy, colorful, whimsical, catchy, joyful, humorous, different ~ Oh my goodness, I could go on and on with what art is and I can take those same descriptors and apply them to me... what does that mean?  It means that I AM AN ARTIST!

Chateau Gray Makes the Rain Go Away

I am in love with Annie Sloan's color Chateau Gray.  This is a new one for me to use and quite obviously I went gangbusters with it.  I painted a few items yesterday and sanded and stained them up today and I am loving the results.  Mind you, the color from the can is different than the photos you see here as I set my paint with dark walnut stain.  Quite frankly, straight out of the can the color looked a pale lavender.  Take a peek at some of these cast-off's refabulized:

I call the first grouping, the trifecta for obvious reasons.  The bottom photo is a handmade coffee table.  It is heavy duty and durable. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Back in the Groove Thing

I have participated in JunkStock both times that it has been out there.  I am anxious to give it a go again.  This is a really unique art fair.  It encompasses a broad range of items from flea market finds to flips.  I fall into the later category with my junque.  I love to find old furniture and make it fun and whimsical with my own touch.

 I generally stick to the basics for my goodies because the intricate painted pieces take too much time, those I save for my customer commission work.  I cut off my customer requests on May 1st so I can busy myself preparing my inventory.  I have sporadic pieces that I do in between customer's work, but I am rolling now.  I finished several pieces today, crazy thing is I have already sold 4 of them just through my facebook posted photos.

 One of the biggest monstrosities that I tackled today was an old oak desk.  Huge & Heavy in all of it's glory.  I used Annie Sloan's Old Ochre to make the transformation.  I love the end result.  I sold it within 10 minutes of posting it's photo.  I am also thrilled with the look of a little side table I had fun with in Go BIG Red. 
 Today's high was 96 degrees.  I love the heat, so painting outside, catching rays, listening to tunes, and doing what I know, Thank the good Lord above for all I am blessed with.

I am Back!!!

I have been incredibly busy and have put the blog on the back burner.  If you follow my Facebook page, you will see just how busy I have been.  I continue to do commission work for customer's and fit in my own pieces in between.  One piece I have just finished is this desk with a United States map on the top.

Looks pretty simple right???? Not on your life.  I felt a lot of pressure to get it just so.  I can throw a USA outline on a piece of paper in no time, however once you start adding in outlines of each state,  it is a whole new being.  I took extra care to make sure Iowa was smaller than Texas but bigger than Rhode Island.  As a Nebraska raised girl, I have always been able to pick out that state and make it resemble what I grew up knowing.  Once you have to add the other states surrounding it, not as clear cut.  I am now a fan of Colorado and Wyoming... why?  They are simple in their outline.  I have had 2 additional customer requests for this type of piece.  Due to the time and effort, I have decided to call it "one of a kind.".  I may change my mind down the road, but since it is so fresh and I know I put 30+ hours into it, we will call it rare and unique, and keep it as one!!!!!  God Bless the USA!