Mar 30, 2009

So Much For Going to the Gym...

(Above is a how Me, Debi, and Carolyn looked after a day in the Bermuda Triangle - read below for clarification...)

A week ago Thursday, I am in my office, working away, trying to get 90 things done at once and accomplishing none of them, the phone rings mid-morning only to hear on the other end of the line, "Hey girl friend, whatcha doin'???" I immediately knew the southern twang - it was Debi Mattingly, the Junkin Yaya, of Yaya Chique in Houston. She is wanting me to go with her to Warrenton and Roundtop (Texas) antique show with her this year and of course I can't because I have a zillion things to do, but we chat anyway and catch up. She tries one more time to convince me to go shopping with her and so I ask her, "So when is the antique show this year, anyway?" And she replies, "Tomorrow." She thinks nothing of the fact that it is already almost noon, and I live in St. Louis, and the show is near Houston, Texas. She continues to entice me and I continue to say no.

But, I haven't been in several years, and I didn't really want to do the 937 things that I was trying to do in the next two days, but not accomplishing any of them anyway, and so I quickly called up my handsome barber husband and ran it by him, to which he happily agreed that I needed a break and gave his blessing (actually, practically booted me out the door because I think he wanted a free weekend of hanging out, eating pizza, watching guy movies as loud as he wanted...but I digress...). So, before I know it, I got a plane ticket, I am driving to Walgreens to buy travel toothpaste, shampoo, skittles, and People magazine, when only two hours earlier, I was just sitting in my office, minding own business, doing my work and wondering if I could find time to go to the the gym while also trying to convince myself that if I didn't go, I would be saving the environment by not driving the car and causing pollutants to fill the air....but packing for a quick trip to Texas was just the excuse I needed to procrastinate my work and so much for going to the gym....

The next morning, Friday, I was on the plane and was greeted with a "howdy" by Debi and her Texan hubby, Greg, and off we went talking, catching up, eating, more talking, lots of driving, and oh, did I mention talking? Greg offered to be our chauffeur for the day and drove us 72 miles to Warrenton. We made a couple of stops to hunt for antiques along the way and right away I met up with some people who knew me who knew someone who knew my friend who knew my store friend's sister who knew my cousin's dog walker who reads my blog who also has a blog.... and so I am going to be upfront right now before I go any further.

So please hear me loud and clear:  

I am the WORST (and I mean worst) when it comes to remembering names, places, blog names, and faces. If you don't believe me, ask my very good friend, Sharon Derry, of Secret Leaves, who worked for me for almost 5 years. She has told me many times that she has never seen anyone as bad at remembering names or places than me. Just to give you an example, I had met a woman in Warrenton (will tell you about her later) and only MOMENTS later, I went back to her, and I said, "I'm sorry, did you say you liked to go by Christy, or Christine?" And thankfully she gave me a friendly smile and said, "Neither, I go by Joanne." And we cracked up laughing. So, I only tell you this because I am dreading showing photos of people later in this blog because I know I will get blog people wrong, faces mixed up and even locations - so I may just be vague and let you figure it out - or let someone leave a comment and correct me. But just know I loved meeting everyone and it was great, great fun getting to know the people that goes with the blogs, the readers of my blog that I met, and the wonderful vendors and artists. If I get you all mixed up it isn't because you weren't spectacular people, it is just the wiring in my brain runs a little short in the name/face department.

Okay back to the adventure.
No sooner than did we arrive and parked in the field did I tell Debi to watch out for the cow patties. And I would say it took her only about 30 seconds to find the biggest, juiciest, cow patty to roll her shopping cart right through. Greg, her ever devoted husband, was glad to point out the evidence for all to see in blogger land. (He also was a sweetheart and washed off the cart for us when we got home so our cart would be patty-free for the next day.) 

We looked around and wondered how the vendors would fare with the high winds and threatening clouds. Having done shows before (actually that is how I started out), I know how hard it is to set up and when weather acts us, it can just throw off an entire show. I hadn't been to this show in several years, and I was very surprised at how few shoppers there were. Of course, this was the first day, and I wasn't there for the following weekend. The vendors seemed to have good spirits though. 

I got the opportunity to meet and befriend Carolyn Westbrook, of Carolyn Westbrook HomeShe and I hit it off immediately. 

Of course I love her look, her bedding and her style. I was going on and on about her look and her set-up in her space and she said, "Of course, Elizabeth you love my look, it is a lot like yours!" I laughed and said, "Well, you obviously have good taste!" We seemed to spend a lot of time at Carolyn's area, which I named "The Bermuda Triangle" because I couldn't seem to get out of a 100 yard by 100 yd triangle for most of the days there. And when I did make it out, I got sucked back in again and again.

But while in "Berumda, Texas" I did get meet Chris Brown, of Urban Prairie Refueled and photographer, Cheryl of Stash Studios

Those of you who may not know of these two (and if you don't, you should! :-) they are talented beyond words. They have an edge and an eye that most of us don't and they see things in a way that only by visiting their sites will you understand why I admire their work. I had never met Chris nor Cheryl in person until now, and it was an exciting moment for me - I have been a long time admirer of their talents and Chris honored me a couple of years ago by featuring me as one of many artists on his blog.

On Sunday, I discovered that there is Blog Party, hosted by Theresa of Garden Antqs Vintage who provided lots of wine, cheese, fruit, but mostly a gathering of women who loved to laugh. I met many wonderful women that I am sure I will forget some names or mix up some names but here are a sampling:

I believe I have this correct, and if I don't someone will correct me. From left to right: Amy of Whisper Wood Cottage, Theresa of Garden Antqs Vintage (our fabulous hostess), Mindy of Primitiques 'n Poetry, Shelly from Sweet Pea, me, and Theresa of Time Worn Interiors

Do ya'll magazine junkies remember a couple of years ago that article in Country Home magazine (or was it Country Living?) with the trailer home that was all done up very, very cool, in Shabby Chic style, but even better? It was a fantastic article - anyway, if I don't screw this up, Theresa, the woman in the blue skirt, is the owner and designer of that trailer! I hope I got this right, but I was very excited about meeting her and I loved that article. I am a firm believer that with some imagination - space, location, and size have nothing to do with making a house a real home and Theresa proved that.

While at the blog party, I look up and I see a very familiar face with a look of disbelief, then curiousity, then, frustration, then finally a half smile - I think? Can't tell, she is too far away, but at least she is waving - yes, that is Debbie of Curious Sofa, waving at me - I don't go near her because I am pretty sure she is stronger than me - I may be faster, but she looks stronger and I didn't tell her I was in town. I didn't tell anyone for that matter - I didn't even know myself. Actually I am kidding about Debbie - she came up and gave me a hug and we caught up some and basically we both know we are all business when it comes to antique markets. I have no doubt she and Carol of Raised in Cotton, found some great stuff. They flew and then rented a truck and drove back. Carol, Debbie, and I will be doing Ms. Frenchie's Market in Kansas April 17, 18 - more on that later.

Debbie of Curious Sofa waves to me in surprise, but hugs me below - or is she squeezing me to a slow death for not telling her I was in town? :-)

I also had the opportunity to meet with Sue Whitney and get an autographed copy of her third book, Junk Beautiful, Outdoor Edition. We had a nice chat and I was inspired to work even harder on my own book (yes, I really am working on - more than you think - more on that later!) Below is me, Sue, Carolyn, and Debi.

I also had the fun opportunity of meeting and running into friends and people who either knew of me, heard of me, or has read my blog. I am always so flattered when that happens (not that it happens often, but it amazes me how thoughtful and kind you are). While sitting at Carolyn Westbrook's table in the Bermuda Triangle, two women were walking by and stopped and were trying to decide if I was who they thought I was. I was totally unaware of this, because, I was gabbing with Carolyn (what a shock, me talking). Suddenly, these two women just start to scream and scream in delight, and Debi, Junkin Yaya, almost spilled her tea as she walked past them, and these two women, with huge sunglasses on, standing about 15 feet away kept screaming at me and yelling, "It's us! it's us!!!" They were jumping up and down and so happy, and I was happy too, but I had no idea who they were. Finally, they took their sunglasses off, and jogged my memory, and reminded me that about 7 or so years ago, I painted Janet Cox's kitchen black, who lives in San Antonio, TX, and her friend Joanne's bathroom, aged ivory. I did these two projects under the gun, right before I left for St. Louis and have never seen them since. They were so kind and told me how they followed my blog and read everything I wrote and I was so touched by their sincerity. What touched me the most was that they went on and on about my writing long before they complimented me on my design work - which meant a lot to me because I have been doing a lot of writing "behind the scenes" so to speak (more on that later). But below are my two biggest "fans" from Warrenton and they made my day with their genuine sincerity, and while they said how much I inspired them, it was them that really inspired me and encouraged me more than they will ever know and I want to thank them so much for taking time to talk with me.

Oh - remember how I said earlier how horrible I am with names and places? Well, at one point, I was pulled away from our conversation and when I got back to them, I asked, "Now, please tell me again, do you go by 'Christy' or 'Christine'?" And she looks at me blankly and says, "I go by Joanne" We all just laughed and I think they realized that some things never change.

Joanne (aka Christine) me, and Janet of San Antonio

Okay, below are a mix of photos that I have been trying for over 30 minutes to load in order and it isn't working, so I give up. I will try to notate, but just enjoy!

Shadow box above from Willow Nest.

Linda from Willow Nest with me. 

Debi behind her counter at Yaya Chique.

Had to take this photo in honor of my husband, the fantastic barber!

Blog party!

I have more photos but I am pooped!  I do want to close with a few thoughts...

I enjoyed my time at Warrenton and meeting so many people. I didn't get to shop nearly as much as I normally would, but the Bermuda Triangle was in full force!  :-)  I did learn a lot about myself though. I learned that I have grown more than I gave myself credit for. I learned that I am really okay with where I am and what I am doing with my life at this point. While in Warrenton, I actually enjoyed being on the sidelines and watching others "do their thing." I didn't have anything to peddle and I actually enjoyed that! I didn't have store to sell, or a booth to empty (not yet at least), or a show to promote, or a product line to market, or brand to get out, or a book to push (hopefully some day though), or anything going on that required me to get out there and get my share of the pie so to speak. And the best part of all of that is that I am truly okay with that. I didn't have any little nagging voice in my head telling me I should be doing more, creating more, selling more, getting on-line more, starting a facebook page, twitter, flicker, or whatever. Whether this is good or bad for my business, I don't know, and I really don't worry about it at this point. Maybe later I will, but that is later.  Being around all the vendors and all the store owners and all dealers made me realize that while I admire their talent, hard work, and creativity, I am very happy to be on own path right now. Going to this show gave me the validation that I needed that I am exactly where I need to be right now and I am making all the right choices and I am very happy about that.

I am happy to share my path with you as I discover all its twists and turns. So far, it is good. Very good.

Happy trails to you too and may you discover that your path is actually leading you to an exciting destination...

From my house to your house,


Unknown said...

Thank you! for the great story... it's no wonder I admire you, your style and talents so very much. We, apparently, are inspired by some of the very same people! :-) Enjoy, and I'm looking forward to hearing more about your book!!

the wild raspberry said...

love how your story flows from one subject to the next...i like how your brain thinks! cracks me up that skittles are a traveling necessity :)
looking forward to the show in kansas!!!!

*The Beautiful Life* said...

Girl. YOU ARE CRAZY! I love it! I always wondered what it would look like if I typed things out just the way I talk. Now I do. This was a post that you really need to fasten your seatbelt for and hange on for the ride! I felt like I was right there like a fly on the wall! Thanks for the vicarious trip to Round Top. Excellent!

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Wild Raspberry,

Skittles are great because when they fall out of the package and into the bottom of your purse, they don't get too smashed or melted. And if my sweet tooth is strong enough, yes, I admit, I will dig around the bottom of my purse and hunt for a skittle that jumped shipped a few days earlier....I hope I didn't burst any vision of living a glam life over here... :-)


Elizabeth Maxson said...

Hi Ruth,

Thanks for what I think is the best compliment anyone could pay me: "typed things out just the way I talk..." good or bad, I always had hoped my writing comes across as thoughtful, honest, and hopefully reader feels as though she (he) is chatting with me one-on-one. Glad you enjoyed the story - it was a lot of fun!


Garden Antqs Vintage said...

E: meeting you in person was a dream come true for me. I'm loved your style ever since I first discovered you in a magazine, then online, but this was just the icing on the cake. Then, to have you attend my blog party, well there are no words to describe this event. Truly awesome. You just inspire me and with Deb there and all the others, it just couldn't have gotten any better!! Thank you so much for joining in on the fun. Let's do this again in the Fall!

Anonymous said...

I have been looking for blogs about the show and glad i picked yours to read tonight....not good with the names as all either....and it get worst as I age, thanks for blog love to read

Refueled Sidewalk Surfboards said...

Very cool to finally meet. Thanks for all the kind words. You rock and roll baby!

Peace & Love,

Zita - Mlle Magpie said...

Thanks for the wonderful photos of the big show in Texas. Looks like you had a wonderful time. You look very happy. My best buddy and I are excited to hear that you're working on a book!

Stash said...

I love it - the Bermuda Triangle! You are so right about that! What fun to read about your adventures. I was honored to have you and Debi look us up. Take good care and good luck on those 937 things which (if you are anything like me) have probably doubled by this point!

Peace out,

trash talk said...

I think the Bermuda Triangle is a perfect title for "our" area of Zapp Hall. You can just get lost there forever and never want to leave. It was so great to meet you and put a face to someone I have long admired. I appreciate the time you take encouraging and helping others in starting a business or project. Your articles were a great help to me. I hope you and Debi make the trip back in the fall. Next time, bring a trailer!!! Debbie

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you Debbie for the lovely comment! Nice timing too - I appreciate it. It was nice meeting you and I hope to see you next time I go - and yes - a trailer is a must! :-)

All my best,

The Chic Housewife said...

Wow! What a great story... you are very talented. Love the pics!!!
The Chic Housewife

time worn interiors said...

Hey Elizabeth! It was great to finaly meet you, what a pleasure! Thanks for the compliment about my house in CL! I have admired your style for years and look forward to seeing more of your creativity!

Gretchen said...

Hey Elizabeth, I surely did enjoy that long blog post. I love when bloggers use words as well as beautiful photos and you do both. A book is a definite must in your future, and I'll be first in line to buy it!

How fun that you connected with Sue Whitney of Junk Market Style. I am a contributor on their site, but currently they've asked me to mostly feature my vintage redesign necklaces, but earlier on I did a lot of junk redesign posts as well.
Sue is an awesome gal, and I've really enjoyed working with her as a contributor and getting to know her on a personal level.

I'm so happy you are at peace with where you are at and what you are doing. That is such a blessing to have that validation and to be able to rest in that knowlege.
Have a blessed Easter and a wonderful time at the Frenchie sale selling your wares.

If you have time visit my blog to see my recent posting with regards to the new "French Flea" shop I have the privilege of being a part of. So exciting!


sweetpea said...

Hi Elizabeth! I am so happy to have met you at the blog party! I have followed your blog for years and am a huge admirer of you and your style! You are an awesome person!


Jancey Craig said...

Hi Elizabeth,
I stubbled upon your blog today and have been reading your posts all afternoon/evening. I loved reading this post about Warrenton. I got to go last year with my Mom & Sister-in-Law for the first time. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

Elizabeth Maxson said...

Thank you Jancey

How sweet of you! I am amazed at sweet readers are out there in cyber land. Thank you for joining me and my group of friends. The more the merrier! :-)


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