Thursday, June 21, 2018

Hello Summer!

Hello Summer! Today marks the official first day of summer, although its felt like summer for a while now. Any who... we are celebrating summer's arrival and the arrival of some new items in my shop!

Summer is all about sweet tea - sprinklers - chasin lightning bugs & daydreams - guitar nights under twinklin stars - sunshine - flip flops - porch sittin - back roadin - and dancin with the one you love. 

I was printing and transferring the images to fabric this week and Jeff said "what if you could make a wrap fit a Mason jar?" Hmm, let me check on that...Summer is all about sweet tea - sprinklers - chasin lightning bugs & daydreams - guitar nights under twinklin stars - sunshine - flip flops - porch sittin - back roadin - and dancin with the one you love.
Well guess what? With the addition of one extra strip of Velcro, the same wrap will fit a quart jar or a 30 ounce tumbler! Pretty cool, right?!? Versatile and fun - because while we love ice tea in Mason jars, hot summers require stainless steel tumblers, if we are going to have cold beverages in our cup for any length of time! Plus the tumbler fits in our cup holder while on the road. Seriously, I don't leave home without my tumbler full of ice water or tea, my purse, and my planner notebook. The three must haves! 

Summer is all about sweet tea - sprinklers - chasin lightning bugs & daydreams - guitar nights under twinklin stars - sunshine - flip flops - porch sittin - back roadin - and dancin with the one you love.

 Here's my favorite place to drink tea, daydream, listen to the sprinklers, watch for lightning bugs, and do a little porch sittin'!
Rustic Summer patriotic yard gazebo
I printed a few large images and created patches for a couple of denim shirts and vest. I am very tempted to keep this first one for myself! I love the cut of this vest plus it has pockets and I've got a pink sleeveless shirt and turquoise jewelry that would so match this! For the moment it is online, unless I change my mind! 

denim shirts, vest, and cup wraps

There's also a larger version of the Summer graphic on a distressed denim shirt. 

All of these items are in my etsy shop and can be shipped or I'll take any available to the next Mineola Antique Fair on July 13-14.

So tell me - what's your favorite thing about summer???

Gypsy Farm Girl graphic

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Quitman Arboretum, Stinson House, and Medicinal Herb Class

A few weeks ago, by Sister-in-Law Lisa shared a post on Facebook about a Medicinal Herb Class at the Quitman Arboretum. First, I didn't know there was an arboretum in Quitman (which is about 20 miles from our house) and second, I love herbs and wanted to know more. 

We discussed it and our schedules both allowed it, so we decided to go! Quitman Arboretum, here we come! My niece Brenna was also able to attend with us and we had a fun girls day. 

Holly Ross from Hollyberry Herb Farm near Canton, Texas was the presenter for the very informative and enlightening class! We got to make a herb tincture and purchased some herb plants that we usually don't see at the local garden centers. 

This quote was in our workbook and I believe this is the way we should view our food. I've always grown some herbs and love to pick them fresh for cooking, although now I will be studying and making some more tinctures and even household cleaners, with the plants I grow here at home. 

quote for healthy living and eating
After the class, we got to tour the arboretum grounds and the Stinson House that is on the arboretum property. The Quitman Arboretum is all volunteer operated and funded. Last year, they had extensive wild hog damage to the grounds and they are in a rebuilding and replanting stage. 

This was the drought tolerant garden - after the initial planting and first year of watering to get the plants established, there is no irrigation to the plants in this garden.

I've never grown echinacea, although I'll be looking for some plants to add to my garden and can even make some of our own tinctures in the future! I certainly think it is a very pretty plant and love the flowers! 

My husband swears by his triple echinacea (aff. link) tea for help with allergies. We order it on Amazon, since it is no longer available in local grocery stores. A few weeks ago, we ran out of his tea, before the new shipment came in (I procrastinated ordering it) and he had some dizzy spells and allergy trouble while we waited for it to come in. He was so relieved when it came in and two cups a day keeps him on track! I seldom get sick, but if I have a a scratchy throat, I'll drink a cup of the tea and it always helps me. 
 Here's the path to the gazebo. This place is great for pictures and is located right behind the Hogg Park in Quitman. It's such a peaceful and calm place!
 The property is steeped in history and has a story to tell - this is the George Bridge that was once used for wagon traffic to cross the Lake Fork Creek.

 The Stinson House is located on the arboretum property and the class was held indoors the home built in 1869. It is also very steeped in history. The first native born Texan to become Texas governor was Jim Hogg from Quitman - he married Sallie Stinson, who grew up in this house near the present day Pine Mills. Their daughter was Ima Hogg (yes, really) and she was instrumental in getting the house moved to the Governor Hogg Park in 1969. Ima's initials are on the trunk pictured below.
Lisa and I both loved the tour of the house! We both have a love for old homes and history, so this was a fantastic day. Last week, while we were at the Mineola Antique Fair, we got to talking about gardens, photography, and eating healthy with one of the co-owners of the fair. Through that conversation, we found out that Deanna is also the President of the Quitman Arboretum. She gave us the tour and told us a lot about the work of the arboretum. Lisa and I have already made plans to go back in December when they have the Christmas tour! The exterior of the home is currently being painted, so I didn't take exterior shots of the house with the ladders set up and windows covered with plastic. Rest assured, we will be going back! 

After we left the Arboretum, we headed down the road and had lunch in Mineola. Next, Lisa and Brenna shared one of their favorite place with me. While I have seen the signs for the Mineola Nature Preserve, I had never been and it was a treat! I can't wait to go back with Jeff for a return trip. I took lots of pictures there and we only saw a tiny portion of it (it's almost 3,000 acres!) I'll share them in another blog post, so stay tuned! 

Friday, June 15, 2018

An Artist Hands...

I've worked with fresh flowers this week and my hands look filthy.
An artist hands by Gypsy Farm Girl

This reminds me of a time a coworker was accused of not bathing and just being nasty because her -florist hands were dirty / stained. 17-18 years later, I've never forgot those words that were said to me, about another creative person, by someone who worked in the industry.

Y'all, I've washed them numerous times. I've hand washed the dishes and I've taken a bath every single night, I've scrubbed, I've scraped my nails... They are still stained. Everything I made this week had a type of eucalyptus in it. We have private well water with iron in it. The combination makes my hands speckled. It's crazy, but eucalyptus is gorgeous and it won't stop me from using it or from creating art!

You know, it rials me up when I see and hear people comment that they judge a person by their hands (or feet, etc.) Don't get me started on feet and why cute shoes are not supportive or comfortable!

I'm proud to be an artist, who puts my hands, heart, and head into everything I make. I'll proudly wear the stains of my work on my hands in order to create something for you! I'm not embarrassed by the stains or the paint, and the cuts, wire scrapes, etc on my hands. I encourage you not to ridicule someone because their hands are not perfectly manicured.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

How to Plant Succulents in a Vintage Chicken Feeder

It's summer in East Texas and that means three things: it's hot, it is dry, and some of my spring plants were looking sad. When I saw a nice mixture of succulents and mini cactus at the store last week, I had to grab up a few! They thrive in the hot and dry conditions and forgive me if I get busy and forget to water a day or two. 

I knew I wanted to plant some of the cactus in a vintage chicken feeder, like I've done in the past. It has been a couple years since I had a chicken feeder with succulents, so it was time to plant one again and I thought I would share a few tips on how I plant in them. 

 I gathered my plants and started to do a video, but I was a hot, stinky mess and decided nobody wanted to see a video of that, so I hope you can follow along here. The chicken feeders are a shallow container, which means it will not hold a lot of moisture or be able to accommodate plants with deep roots. That's why the small cactus plants are perfect for this!
 The chicken feeder on the left is planted with Hens and Chicks, creeping Jenny, and some volunteer phlox.
 Now here's the trick that most will miss, if they don't know how the feeders work. Take notice to the gap in the wire frame. You can grab a hold of the bars on each side of the gap and squeeze them in and lift out the top frame from the bottom piece!
 Now you can start planting in the bottom tray, without having to work them between the bars!
 I purchased 6 small plants - I think they were considered 3 inch plants. I also used one small succulent I had in a planter from last year. Sometimes they will survive over winter here in Texas, some times they don't.

I don't have the names of each variety handy - although I want you to take notice of the barrel shaped cactus that looks like it has two arms reaching out. I had a similar shaped cactus a few years ago and one morning I walked out to the prettiest pink bloom ever. This cactus will have white blooms and I can't wait to walk out  one morning and find them!
 Now, slip the cage piece over the plants and be careful to work the plants between the rails.
 Now, you can either display the planter on a flat surface or you can add a hanger.

I save all the hangers from hanging baskets. It's seldom now, but occasionally you find a wire hanger. I simply wired the hanger to the feeder and made a quick hanging basket. Easy peasy!

Then I was able to hang it under the arbor, as the set was setting through the trees. I watered the plants this evening and they will forgive me for not watering for a few days.

I'll have a few of the rusty chicken feeders with me at the Mineola Antique Fair, so you can plant your own or repurpose them anyway your heart desires. 

I'll also have the two tall galvanized chicken waterers  that can be used as plant stands, hanging baskets, etc. We've even created a flock of tin birds that will be at the fair this week! (For the time being, I'm keeping my pig feeder / flower container / pedestal.) 

A tip if you want to use the tall watering can as a planter - I turned a few clay pots upside down in the tower and set the basket of springeri (asparagus) fern in the top opening.The pots keep the plant from sinking to the bottom of the container. You can even put a saucer in there to hold water Also, the lip of the hanging basket didn't want to fit in the galvanized container, so I simply took my scissors and cut it off!  

So there you have it - a few tips for flea market style gardening, using vintage farm related containers! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Customer Wedding Pictures!

Janet was a recent wedding customer and we created a custom burlap bouquet for her.and boutonnieres for the men in the wedding party. She wanted a turquoise burlap bridal bouquet with something flowy and draping out of it. We discussed ideas and we decided on adding cascading greenery to the bouquet. Last week, she sent me a few pictures from their California wedding! 

Photo credit to Helen P Cherry Weddings - photographer

Photo credit to Helen P Cherry Weddings - photographer

Photo credit to Helen P Cherry Weddings - photographer
 Congratulations to the Bride and Groom! Sending my Congratulations and best wishes for many happy years to come! Thank you for letting me have a small part of your wedding day! 
Photo credit to Helen P Cherry Weddings - photographer

All pictures were provided and used with permission from the bride. Photography credit goes to Helen P Cherry Weddings - photographer.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sneak Peek at Our New Space at the Mineola Antique Fair!

We are so excited about our NEW place at the Mineola Antique Fair! Last week Angea and I closed the door on our booth at Uniques and Antiques and moved down the street to our new location at the Mineola Antique Fair. The fair will be held the second Friday and Saturday of the month and we will actually be there to work it and meet all of you! Working predominately from home with my online shop and then having the booth in the store (that we restocked once every week or so,) we miss getting to talk and connect with our customers and friends, so we are definitely looking forward to getting to meet  and visit with y'all!
Vintage market booth

We've still got a few more things to take over to Mineola this week, before opening day, although we wanted to share a few sneak peeks of our place. The building is 111 years old and located downtown Mineola, Texas (behind the Sonic on Hwy 80 or can be reached from the street by the depot and railroad tracks if coming in from Hwy 69.)
GypsyFarmGirl and Rooster Tails vintage market booth

We've got more room to display our items and have several themed vignettes with our Shabby Chic section, our repurposed clothing, a patriotic / 4th of July and turquoise section, vintage kitchen gadgets and pottery and some furniture pieces. Garden pedestals, containers, and yard art along with some floral arrangements are mixed in our display. There's a little something for everyone! Jeff and I have made more of the tin Mason Jar signs and will have them available on Friday when we open. I think Angea has a few more things she's working on as well!

GypsyFarmGirl and Rooster Tails booth at the Mineola Antique Fair

Please don't let the name of the show fool you - there are antiques including this 1950's Hall 'Heather Rose" pitcher and platter I recently found that came out of an old farmhouse, although there is a nice mix of handmade, repurposed, paintings, jewelry, and new items from local artisans. This month there is a BBQ food truck scheduled to be there and live music at various times. 

We've also got an antique bed and Angea has that gorgeous lamp from the 1940's that will be available.vintage pitcher with pink roses
All of the vendors we have met are super nice and everyone talks about how fun the show is! We are thrilled to be joining the fair this month. 

We shared this short Facebook Live preview Saturday morning giving you a glance around the building and a walk through our area.  

Here are all the dates for the rest of 2018 and the address if you are plugging it in your GPS. We will be open 9:00 to 5:00 each day. Hope to see you at the fair and if you're a blog reader, please stop by and introduce yourself!

The building / barn is beautiful and rustic on the inside. The brick walls make a perfect backdrop for our space. The overhead timber beams are great to hang things from - Jeff made us some big over-sized hooks to hang chandeliers from. It is summer in East Texas, so dress cool and comfortable, just as you would if you were going to Canton Trades Days or heading to the ball park. There are big doors that are open for the breeze to come in, lots of fans in the building and all of the vendors are bringing fans for their spaces (we've got two and may add more), and they are adding new ventilation this week. Free water will be available as well. With it being under cover, we will never have to worry about the show getting rained out, our tent and displays blowing away, or inventory getting wet! That's a win in our book as we always dealt with rain or wind on set up day! Oh and it's FREE parking and entrance!