May 5, 2009

Better Late Than Never!

Well, although everyone else has had their photos up for some time now and the Miss Frenchie show is definitely a "been there done that" event....I thought I would throw mine up anyway. I have been so swamped and it seemed the second I returned from that show in KS City I haven't stopped long enough to download the photos. Hence the kitchen photos on my prior posting (those I already had and they were timely since the article is being currently featured in Romantic Homes magazine...).

I thought I would at least start with a pretty shot - this is a beautiful French youth bed at the right. But below, I will tell a quick story of the show because once again, I am off - this time - for fun! My sweet barber of a husband (poor guy, he will probably never be known for anything else now) surprised me and is taking me to NYC to celebrate our anniversary of the day we met while running in the park here in St. Louis. And now we are going to run together in Central Park, NYC - so while I should be packing, I am instead trying to get this out before it is really way too late to even mention it!

Okay, I will keep it short and get to the pictures - and no bloody photos of any fingers this time. The story begins with me, in the dark, with Randy, loading up an 18' truck with goodies that I am to drive to KS City for the April in Paris Show for those of you who may be new to the blog.

A lot of people can't believe I drive such a big truck, but actually, the bigger the better because I feel safer in them, I sit up high and I can see the road, and I know how to use the mirrors really well. When I pulled up to my hotel at 2A.M. the security guard and hotel desk clerk got the biggest kick out me driving the truck. He said, "look at you...wearing earrings and everything..." I actually thought he was funnier for noticing my earrings than he thought me driving a big truck. But I digress.

Below is a photos of just one of about 20 totes of small stuff I had in my home that needed to be loaded along with the big stuff.

I made it safely and was greeted by Carol of Raised in Cotton, and her fantastic husband (Sam?) who took a day off work to help us - is that great or what? I mean, he took a day off to do hard labor - so he is either really, really sweet, or really, really crazy...I choose sweet... And no, I am not making a fashion statement, my really, really sweet husband insisted that I wear a back support while doing lifting - which helped a lot, even though it can get really hot.

I like this photo because I call it the "chuck wagon" photos of all the "wagons" gathered around in a pow-wow. The flea-market takes place in an historical site (barn) in the middle of KS City. For more info you may go to Alexander Majors Barn and check it out - it is great to rent for an event such as a wedding, reunion, party or whatever!

Here is the big space I am about to fill up - I discover that I have only one electrical outlet and I am now left to figure out how to plug in about 10 chandeliers that will be hanging about 20' high.... Carol is looking up at the rafters questioning if I should be hanging anything at all....

Stuff is getting moved in. Carol from Raised in Cotton is my neighbor, we sort of blended our booths' entrances and her stuff and my stuff went well together! Those are my huge columns that lead into my area where the rafters are.

Yes, that is me up on the ladder, which freaked out the ladies. I used to be in theater and hung lights so climbing ladders doesn't bother me too much. When doing a lot of climbing, I always wear knee-high leather boots with rubber soles. The leather protects my shins - which lean against the hard metal ladder - and I mean lean....that is how you keep balance when not holding onto the ladder....

We had a lot of laughs making fun of my "vampire" chandeliers. They all hung in garbage bags. Remember the posting with my bloody finger? Well,this proves that those chandeliers are indeed vampires! All those broken chandeliers are inside. Keeping them in bags prevents them from poking the hell out of me while hanging them and from grabbing the cheese cloth as well.

This give you an idea of the scale of things.

The outside of the barn is getting ready as well. Donny was my outside neighbor. I am sorry, but I was working such long hours, I never got out of my section of the barn for long. Carol, at Raised in Cotton did a great job in capturing names and vendors so please visit her site to get all the real info and all the photos. Karla did a great job too at getting info. I just had such a large space to fill I didn't have time to even shop!

The early bird ladies are lining up on Friday night! What is so funny about this photo below is that I was working non-stop right up to the time the doors opened and these ladies saw me running around in my sweatshirt, looking dirty and sweaty and then someone announced that the doors will open in 10 minutes so I ran to my truck and got out my make-up bag and brown velvet overcoat ran to the bathroom, did a quick change and came out and took these outdoor photos....looking all "calm" and "collect" when only moments earlier they saw a sweaty, sweatshirt lady wiping dirty hands on her jeans....hahahaha...I guess I am not fooling no one!

And speaking of "calm" and "collected" this is Kenny - he is the manager of the barn site. He is basically the only guy on site and just about the sweetest and kindest man you will ever meet. He doesn't get excited over anything and if there was blazing fire in the barn, he would say in his quiet, southern accent, in a slow, soft way, "now ladies, you might want to finish your shopping before the fire gets out of control....just be careful now...." I saw him in this photo and this is the MOST expressive I think I ever saw him - poor guy - surrounded by a lot of a cackling ladies waiting to get inside! :-)

This is my "check out counter" that is an old utility cart on wheels. I ran out of time and I grabbed a bed cover and whipped it over it and tied it in a knot. Well, wouldn't you know it that the ladies made such a fuss over it that it made me laugh - I only tied the knot so high because the grass was wet! You would think that the knot was made of gold - but I was very flattered that my knot got so much attention - my lady customers make me smile and laugh every single time - the things they point out!

This was my "stash" that I kept with me at my counter. In my basket, I have my point and shoot camera, berry candy, pringles, soda and salt/pepper cashews. But what I really wanted to show you was the basket. That is my German shopping basket that I bought over 25 years ago when I lived in a tiny village. Germans don't really use bags over there when shopping and I learned that the hard way when I went grocery shopping for the first time. I bought groceries after living there only two days and when I checked out the clerk looked at me blankly and I stared back - she didn't speak English and the best I could say was "Nicht don't German" which is a really butchered way of saying "I don't speak German" as if I really needed to explain that to her. She pointed at the next customer's basket and I realized what she was trying to tell me. I didn't have one, so at the time, I was wearing a big, long shirt tucked in, so I pulled it out, and piled my groceries in it and carried all my groceries home in my shirt (I didn't even drive in their country yet). As soon as I got home, I went out and walked around the village and bought me a basket - and I have used it ever since. And once again, as my husband likes to say, I took the "scenic route" to get to my to continue...

Here are some photos that I quickly took in my space in no particular order.

Me and Carol from Raised in Cotton. I just love this woman. She is so real, so sincere and so lovely. She threatened to blog something about me, but she was too nice to, and so, I will confess the thing she didn't blog about me. We were setting up and working and working. She said she saw me standing in my space studying my area intensely and wondering where to put my stuff. She said she watched me move stuff around and then I stopped, put my hand on my hip and got a serious expression on my face as I studied my space in silence. She said just as she wondered what creative thought I was drumming up in my head, I announced, "I think I need to go poop." She just about fell over laughing. I laughed too because l was like a kid playing with toys, and I didn't want to stop all because I "had to go." I don't care how many velvet coats one may own, how many crystal chandeliers one may light up, or how many elegant Belgium linen sheets cover your bed, when girlfriends get together, someone will eventually announce a bodily function - and you know I am telling the truth, so don't be acting like you haven't made a poop announcement before because we all know you have :-)

Me, Debbie from Curious Sofa and Marsha(?) in the center. I am so terrible at names! This is hilarious. I finally got a moment (just a moment) to go look at the other vendors and Carol calls me back to my booth. I enter my booth and Debbie introduces me to Marsha (so sorry Marsha if I got your name wrong) and she tells me she has been wanting to meet me and she has followed my blog and so on. The reason I am laughing so hard is that right before this photo was snapped, her little son, Drew (?) came over and stood in front of his mom and she reacted loudly with "DREW, NOOOO" and moved him to the side, out of the photo, and we just cracked up how she would get the mother of the year award. She was so neat, so funny, and such a sweet woman - and Drew, you were a doll - you waited patiently, you didn't mess with my stuff, and you made us all laugh. I am always so flattered when someone takes the time to meet with me. So thank you, Marsha (geez, I hope I have that right!)

This is Brandon (I know that is right!) He drove all the way from Iowa and has been following me (in a good way) for a long time. He has a little booth in an antique mall and is slowly growing his business. Brandon came to my store after reading about me several years ago and he emails me once in a while and surprises me by popping up here and there. I hadn't seen him in a good while, and it took me a moment, but I did remember. It was really nice to see him! He works hard at his space, like everyone, and like a smart business owner, he tries to stay on top of trends and keeps track of what is popular in his market.

Below are various photos of my space:

Below is the only photo I could grab of Secret Leaves' original artwork. Sharon Derry created four pieces for my show and one sold before it left St. Louis and the other two sold before I could photograph them! There is only one left - so if interested, contact Sharon, it is all hand made with authentic ephemera and all hand cut - you have to see it to believe it. The women who bought the other two just squealed with delight and one said, "I know Secret Leaves!!" Which of course, made me smile.

I never got a good photo which bums me out - I wish I could have spent more time taking photos. But this is my Big Bertha - who found a home this time! When my booth was all set up, I put her under all the chandeliers and well Bertha, being Bertha (sort of filled out) she looked a little out of place with all the super skinny mannequins so I put a sign on her: "An American in Paris. God Bless America. Every Ounce of Her." Everyone loved it and loved her enough to take her home. I loved Bertha - she was beautiful on the inside and out - just like America :-)

Here are some photos of Donny's space outside:

A few photos of Carol's space, Raised in Cotton:

A few of Curious Sofa Space:

Curious Sofa Head Manager, Pearl

Deb getting ready...

Well, there is plenty more to see with plenty more vendors, but what I showed you were about as far out of my space I ever got. I was at the very end of the barn and busy with customers and never got away - but look at the sites I mentioned earlier for all the vendors and more photos. When I saw the others' photos I died because I saw all sorts of thing I would had loved to had bought! It was a great show with a lot of people, laughter, and fun.

I am glad you decided to visit for a moment. I may not always be up to date or always current, but I do want you to know that I do appreciate you pretending that I am not that far behind. You really do mean a lot to me and I enjoy getting the chance to "visit" you on your sites as well.

I have no profound thoughts to leave you with, so I will leave you with this:
Don't hold it for too's not good for your bladder. Or so I am told.

From my house to your house,


the wild raspberry said...

I'm so glad that I got to see photos before you got wiped was so beautiful. I am glad I wasn't a witness to the ladder incident. I would have been freaking out too!

You are so right about Kenny. I liked him the instant I met him. What a great guy.

Thanks for sharing your funny stories. I was laughing out loud.

Have a great night.

Anonymous said...

Hello , Elizabeth , Wow, oh , wow! You all have The most beautiful things - what a lovely show. Thank you so much for sharing ( and for being so real! ) Sue

Pammy J said...

I love all your pictures of this show - particularly the one of Bertha. I have a size 40 dress form we named Big Mama, and I adore her! I participate in a similar show in California you may know of: Remnants of the Past (you and Judy Watkins must have been seperated at birth!) I am new to the world of blogging and yours was one of the first blog I listed as my faves! Lovely, simply lovely....thank you!

Shannon said...

Hi! I just found you from Rate My Space and just wanted to let you know that I love your blog. The nursery you put on RMS is wonderful!

trash talk said...

I am in awe of anyone who will get on a ladder that tall (man or woman) and hang chandeliers while using legs for balance! I just hope you took care of any nature calls before crawling up there. Would that have not been the worst?
It all looked fabulous and well worth shedding blood for.
I love the back story of the guys and an earring wearing, big truck driving mama! Men, schmen...anything they can do, we can do in high heels!
Great post.

sepiadreams said...

Awesome !!!!! Love Tiina...

Brenda said...

You were so sweet at Miss Frenchie's. While I was waiting to check out with you, I noticed how enthusiastic you are with each customer and how you commented on the items they were buying from you. You are a delight, and I'm so glad I got to see you in action after reading and rereading your blog for inspiration!
I'm looking forward to the next Miss Frenchie's.

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Chasity!

Isn't Kenny the sweetist? Sort of like Andy Taylor and a really smart Gomer Pyle (and I mean that in a good way). He is also a very talented carpenter. He does a great job over there. Glad you got to see some photos too.

Thanks for visiting!

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Welcome Shannon!

You announced it before I did - I will announce it later - but thank you for joining us and visiting with me - I am glad that you stopped by.

Take care

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Pammy,

Yes, Bertha and Big Mama would be the best of friends right along with Ben and Jerry....and welcome to the blogging world - it is really a great place to be.

Visit often if you can,

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Debbie,

You are so funny - I can hear your accent as I read your comment - you make me laugh. I hope your grand baby is doing better and I think of you often. You are right - it was funny (to me at least) how the security guard was all impressed that someone wearing earrings could drive such a big truck - I found his comment hilarious. He was being serious - not sarcastic - but complimentary in his own way!

Take care

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Brenda,

What a nice thing to say - I appreciate it very much. Yes, I do love my "stuff" and when it finds a new home, I do like to gab about it to the customers. So glad you got to stop by. The best part about it all is not the "stuff" but it is the people who feel it is as cool as I think it is and want to take it home with them - there is a connection between me and them. It isn't about the sale itself, but rather about the two of us seeing the same "cool" thing about it. I like that a lot.

Thanks so much again,

Anonymous said...

Oh! I so wish I would have been able to visit the show - as I'm going through your pictures, I now have a long list of "must haves!" What I love is that you don't just collect stuff to sell ~ I can really see that you love the items, the look and the art of displaying them all. The barn was beautiful! Do you sell online - I thought I read that you closed your shop? I am painting my living room today (my husband is out of town :)) and would love to do the aged look like you have in your kitchen. Take Care!

Claudia said...

I love all the photos, Elizabeth. Such fun to hear about the behind-the-scenes shenanigans! How I wish I lived nearer because I certainly would have been there. I love your truck driving. I once drove a big truck from Philadelphia to Boston (I was moving) with a stop in Manhattan to pick someone up. I had a ball!

Myrna said...

Thanks for sharing...and please know us fans never mind how late you post--just POST!!! ;-) You are an amazing talent-- from words, to photographs to decorating and displaying wonderful 'stuff'! Thanks for giving us a peek into your world!
(no, I don't have multiple personalities, I'm just hoping I speak for the rest of the 'commentors'! :-D

the paris apartment said...

Wow! What an enterprise! Someone should be following you with a video camera, how do you do it all!?
Have a wonderful trip with your hubby!

Maison Douce said...

Oh, my goodness.... It looks like a wonderful place!!! Thank you for treating us to so many pictures!!

Gretchen said...

Elizabeth you sure do know how to write captivating blogs. I just always enjoy your blogging so much, regardless of what you post and say. You are a kindrid spirit indeed as I too take the long version of every story and admit that I too announce things like bathroom needs lik you said you did while setting up the show. I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one that does these quirky things. My inlaws actually have about a 2 minute attention span, thus my long stories aren't ever appreciated. Too bad!
Great to see the work leading up to the fabulous show results, as most people blog about the after, but not always the nitty gritty.
Today, I was hanging off a ladder cleaning and replacing and fixing the angles of about 35 can lights in our new shop "the French Flea".
We are already gearing up for another sale next Wed-Sun, so with 2 this opening month we are scurrying to say the least. I can't imagine how you do so much yourself all of these years. You're an amazing woman.
I hope you are having a grand time with Randy in Central Park, and how romantic he is. Great gal deserves the great guy.
Many blessings and happy years ahead for you two-

Gretchen Schaumann

Anonymous said...

Sweet E,

I will never question your "Creative Gaze" again";) Because I know the "end results" will be dramatic:)

Your space was magical and can't wait for the next show but I AM bringing my Nurse kit:) Have fun with Randy in NY, what a special guy he is:)


Becca said...

Elizabeth, what a beautiful life you have! I want to live in that barn!!!! Thank you for sharing the process of creating the stunning space

Becca said...

Thanks for the daily inspirations!
There are so many talented and creative blogs it was hard to pick just a few!
I have nominated your wonderful blog for an award.

Unknown said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I just read your shop talk. I like how you try to make people feel comfortable even when the don't buy anything. I don't go in some small shops because of this. I love your blog! How do you do it. I can't keep up with my family and home.
I'm driving from Orlando to Montana in June and hope to stop at your shop.
Thank your,

Anonymous said...

Hi again ~ I'm back for more ideas. (when you have a few free minutes) would you mind letting me know how you did the aging on your kitchen walls and the entryway you posted on RMS. Stain? Glaze? Also, just wondering . . . do you attend the Antique Walk/Show in Walnut, Iowa? We go every year - it is the "quaintest" little town with some of the best antique shops. Last year there were 45,000 people who attended -
thanks for the help! :)

Becca said...

Thanks for the daily inspirations!
There are so many talented and creative blogs it was hard to pick just a few!
I have nominated your wonderful blog for an award.Becca said...

You probebly don't have time to read your comments, but let me thank you anyway for the wonderful few minutes I've just spent drooling over "Better Late Than Never"


Chloe's Couture said...

Great photos! Still would love to know about your experience here in Germany. I live in Nanzdietschweiler, your neighbor to Shonenberg-Kubelberg. I laughed at your german basket post-I wish they would adopt that in the States, don't we all love our baskets over here!

Angela said...

I love seeing your creative genius at work and will be meeting Carol this weekend so I will have to pick her brain abt. how y'all do it.
It is good to know that she is used to the "Poop" announcement since I tend to air out all my business, hahaha. Thanks for sharing and thanks for the laughs, hope your trip to NY goes well and congrats on what sounds like a wonderful marriage!!!

Southerner said...

I am an old reader of your blog and had deleted when there was a long absence. MySweetSavannah just shared your RMS on her blog and it led me back to your blog. I just read what caused your absence and wanted to thank you for sharing. Glad you are back and feeling better.

Oliver's said...

Oh I wish you would give a tutorial on how you accomplish your aged walls in the entry way of the home you listed on rate my space. I have wanted to attempt that faux finish for so long but do not know where to start. It is absolutely stunning! Paula

Debe said...

I do so enjoy your blog and thanks for the pictures. Just wish KC wasn't so far from Houston..would have loved to be at that show. Carol is a doll, met her when she drifted this way for Antique Week last year! Loved the article in Romantic Home also. Your booth just looked luscious!! What did you do if there were any leftovers? Maybe there weren't any to haul back in that big truck! Great post!

Antique Therapy said...

Beautiful as usual!!! I have never met you but I thought I saw you today at the vintage textiles show in Sturbridge Mass!! Was that you? Do you ever attend the Brimfield antique show?


Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi KarenSue,

Just a quick note - thank you for reading my shop talk (my other blog to those of you unfamiliar with it). But please know that I no longer run a shop - so please don't spend a lot of time looking for my shop in St. Louis! :-) However, there are many wonderful shops in the area. I choose to discuss the shop owning business because I love the business side of it and always will and I didn't have a clue about a thing when I opened and didn't have anyone guiding me either. I always told myself that if I ever figured out a thing I would share it with other new shop owners - I learned a thing or two - not much - but I am willing to share!


The French Bear said...

What a blast!! I wish I could have been there!!! Love your stories!
Congratulations on being published, I have my copy!!!
I love your basket story, so funny!!
Margaret B

Becca said...

I finally finished!
Thanks Elizabeth for the ok to blog about you.
You’re talent is such an inspiration to me that I had to share it with others.

Unknown said...

Elizabeth, you have such an eye for such beautiful things. I love reading your posts.

Faded Plains said...

Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos with us. You have an amazing sense of style and are so inspirational. I also wanted to thank you for your business blog. I just read all the posts and they are so helpful for new shop owners...Thanks again!

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

You have a great blog. I would love to go shopping with you...thanks for sharing.

mama c said...

Hi Elizabeth,

Love your kitchen and your booth space. You are my inspiration! I am helping a friend with her bedroom and she wants all natural linen/cotton fabrics. Can you divulge where I might find fabrics like your's without going to France!???

Mindy said...

Elizabeth, I am just now getting caught up with some reading and I can see that I need to spend hours looking at your pictures from this show. I can see that the hours you took in preparation, from buying to fixing, to toting to's all just wonderful! Thank you for documenting your time and space. I seriously can't wait to peruse your pictures and drool on my keyboard more! ~Mindy

rozetta said...


I love your decorating style! I have but one regret, and that is that you don't have more time to blog.

I have so happy that your life is going so well.


Gretchen said...

Hey Elizabeth - its your jewelry friend, Gretchen. Just checking in on you and wondering if you had a fabulous time in New York with your dh?
Have a blessed day!

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Gretchen!

Yes, so much going on since our return! I plan to post a few pics soon and catch everyone up - it was a great time.

Thank you for asking :-)


Elizabeth Maxson said...

You and I have the same regret - I love blogging - it is like gabbing with text. And those who know me personally would agree I love to gab. I hope to blog as much I can find time to :-) Thanks for making me smile.

Take care

anythinggoeshere said...

What wonderful pictures and better late than never as my mother used to say. Thanks for sharing. xo Joan

Its So Very Cheri said...

I just found your blog and added it to my favs. I wanted to let you know I have a GIVE AWAY that ends to day.


Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Howdy do! First of all, I am pooped just reading about all of this fun frenzy! You REALLY do drive a BIG truck!

Amazing story and gorgeous photos. I so wish I could have been there to shop. I am drooling over all of that ironstone....wiping my chin off right now!

Have a delightful weekend!!!


Its So Very Cheri said...

My GIVE AWAY will be posted by tomorrow morning-there's a peak preview of one of the items-go check it out and send everyone over to get their names in Monday morning.

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