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,

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