Sunday, October 13, 2019

It's Yam Time 2019!

You see me posting and saying It's Yam Time, so what is the East Texas Yamboree all about???

"The East Texas Yamboree is one of the longest running festivals in Texas with well over one hundred thousand people attending every year.
What makes the Yamboree special to so many people?
Many would say it’s the great carnival that we make sure to expand every year with many exciting new rides and attractions. Others have said that its the wonderful Queen’s Coronation Pageant with all its beautiful and talented young ladies and the spectacle that they bring to our stage. Then we have the Livestock Show and Sale where one gets to enjoy seeing the animals  and shop projects that our youth have worked so hard on for sale.
Others love the barn dance where we get to see the rising young stars of country music and dance the night away. Let’s not forget the the school and the grand spectacle of the Queen’s Parade, gospel singing, the outside exhibits where people come to sell all types of wares. Then we have  the art and photography shows, the food (that’s one of my favorites), high school football, spending time with family and old friends plus myriad other activities taking place over this special weekend in October.
All of these things and more make the East Texas Yamboree an event that people come from all over the world to enjoy every year.
So come and see for yourself what makes the Yamboree special to so many of us; you won’t be disappointed." From website

The Queen, Ladies in Waiting, and Yamboree President on the front of this years Yamboree Brochure. 

Our town, Gilmer, Texas (population about 5,000) swells to over a 100,000 for all the festivities surrounding the Yamboree. It's everything described above and sooooo much more! From Yam pie and decorated yam contest to band marching contest, the livestock shows and sale, the band stand and fiddlers contest, a barn dance, two parades and pageants, carnival on the square, lots of fair food, bbq, and of course lots of sweet potato pie! Craft vendors gather at the Yamboree Fair Grounds (located just north of WalMart and the Gilmer Civic Center on US HWY 271 North), along with all the livestock related events where Upshur County 4H and FFA students show their cattle, pigs, chickens, goats, rabbits, and shop projects. Canning contest, the art show, photography show and exhibit, and the pie contest are all held at the "Blue Building" at the fair grounds as well. There truly is, something for everyone and folks come from all over the USA to the yearly homecoming event! Oh, and its the only time of the year that I ever eat a corny dog and maybe a funnel cake! 

(A couple of my calves I showed at the Yamboree - Rosie and Ace, circa 1994 and 1999) 

I grew up showing my steers and a heifer in the livestock show, while I was an FFA member in high school. I sold my steers through the livestock sale and used that money to pay for my college. Some years, we rode our horses in the parade with the 4H Club. A few years ago, I decided to enter the yam pie contest and after a couple tries, I carried on a family tradition and won Grand Champion Pie, 40 years after my sweet Grandmama did!

(That's the winning pie on the bottom right!) 

Janice and Angea - aka GypsyFarmGirl and Rooster Tails at our very first show at the Yamboree in 2015! We've came a long way, baby! 

We haven't particiapted in the Yamboree the last two years, but we got a special invitation to return this year and we will be inside the exhibit building at the Yamboree Park (also known as the blue building at the fairgrounds.) If you've attended in the past few years, the blue building won't look the same as before, so come on out and see what all is happening at the fair grounds! We will be inside in a climate controlled building (exited about not having to deal with outside elements this time) and have all of our clothing, some decor, and lots of fun items! Of course we have the It's Yam Time tees as well. These will be in limited supply at the show, so come early to get yours! 

We are super excited to be returning to our home town fair and event and get to bring all of our items to you, right here in Gilmer! Just like when we showed steers, which were county born, bred, and raised, our clothing and items are made right here in the county as well! And to me, that's what the Yamboree is about - creating / growing / producing / making your items and taking them to town for the fair, whether it's yam pie, livestock, pictures for the photography contest, canning, art work... it's about taking your specialty and getting to share them with everyone at the county fair!  
Also, watch on Facebook and Instagram, as we unveil a few new surprise items that we are working on as well! 

Let me also tell you a little about my Yam Time tee shirt - The heifer pictured is one of ours that was born and raised on our farm, here in the county. Since the fair is about Queen's and Crowns, Sissy the heifer needed a crown as well! So I  made a sunflower and orange rose flower crown and then added in my 1994 Union Ridge rodeo crown for some bling! Of course the livestock show has always been one of my favorite parts of the Yamboree, so I incorporated some of the other show animals. I happen to take thousands of pictures and found one of my 2010 Prize Winning Yam Pie, so it's on there too! Of course, what's the fair without a bushel basket of sweet potatoes and fall leaves? I found pictures I had taken of my nephew standing beside the basket at the flower shop where I used to work. The basket was part of the Band Stand decorations for the Ribbon Cutting, several years ago and was able to convert it to a digital graphic! And every fair has a Ferris Wheel, so I couldn't leave that out! 

Here is a copy of the Yamboree Schedule of Events:

10 a.m – 4:00p.m. Quilt Show  (CC)
7:30 a.m. Tater Trot (HS)
10am-4pm Quilt Show (CC)
7:00 a.m. Broiler Sifting and Show (YP)
10:30 a.m. Museum opens – display of Queen’s
11:00 a.m. Rabbit Check-in, Sift and Show (YP)
1:00-4:00 Home Canning entries accepted (YP)
4:00 p.m. Market Swine Weigh-in (YP)
5:00 pm. Shop Project Check-in (YP)
6:00 p.m. Carnival/Youth Night (CS)
All rides ½ price til midnight
7:30 p.m. Queen’s Coronation (CC)
8:30 a.m. Market Swine Show (YP)
9:00 a.m. Home Canning Judging (YP)
10:00 a.m. Bandstand opens (CS)
Inside Exhibits Open (YP)
10:15 a.m. Coffee for Queen/Court
First Baptist Church Parlor
Cass Street
10:30 a.m. Museum Opens – display of Queen’s
11:45 a.m. All Service Club Luncheon (HS)
12 Noon Carnival opens (CS)
Outside Exhibits open (YP)
Goat Weigh-in (YP)
1:00 p.m. Goat Show (YP
5:00 p.m. Steer Weigh-In & Dairy Heifer Udder
Check (YP)
6:00 p.m. Inside Exhibits close (YP)
7:30 p.m. Queen’s Coronation (CC)
8:30 p.m. Street Dance at Bandstand (CS)
10:00 p.m. Queen’s Ball for Queen Yam and her
Court (By invitation only)
8:00 a.m. Shop Project (YP)
9:00 a.m. Outside Exhibits open (YP)
Bandstand opens (CS)
10 – 12 noon Yam Pie Check-In (YP)
Inside Exhibits open (YP)
10:30 a.m. Museum opens – display of Queen’s
11:00 a.m. School/Youth Parade (CS)
12 Noon Carnival opens (CS)
Area bands perform on Bandstand (CS)
Yam Pie Judging (YP)
1:30 p.m. Steer Show (YP)
3:00 p.m. Commercial Dairy Show, Open Jr. Dairy
Show (immediately following Commercial
Dairy) (YP)
Yam Pie results (YP)
4:00 p.m. Gospel Stage opens (CC)
6:00 p.m Inside Exhibits close (YP)
8:30 p.m. Street Dance at Bandstand (CS)
8:00 a.m. Jr. Beef Judging,
8-10 a.m. Antique/Classic Car Show (W. Cass St.)
9:00 a.m. Outside Exhibits open (YP)
Bandstand opens (CS)
10:00 a.m. Inside Exhibits open (YP)
Fiddler’s Contest registration –
Bandstand (CS)
10:30 a.m. Museum opens- display of Queen’s
11:00 a.m. Queen’s Parade (CS)
11 – 2 p.m. Yamboree Barbecue (YP)
12:00 p.m. Gospel Stage opens (CC)
Carnival opens (CS)
1:00 p.m. Fiddler’s Contest (CS)
Marching Contest (HS)
1:45 p.m. Livestock Pre-sale Activities (YP)
2:00 p.m. Livestock Sale (YP)
6:00 p.m Inside Exhibits close (YP)
8:00 p.m. Barn Dance (NYEC)
8:30 p.m. Street Dance at Bandstand (CS)
YP………Yamboree Park, Hwy 271, N (North of Civic Center)
CS…………………………Courthouse Square, Downtown Gilmer
NYEC…New Yamboree Event Center (Behind Gilmer Civic Center on Bob Glaze Drive)
CC………………Civic Center, Hwy 271, N (North of Wal-Mart)
WH ………………..……..Wesley House, 231 Quail Drive
HS…………………..Gilmer High School, 850 Buffalo St.

Schedule Source: Go there to see more info and pictures about the Fair.

Items highlighted in orange specify the times and location we will be open.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Recapping Vintage Market Days of East Texas

Last week, we got to participate in our first Vintage Market Days of East Texas event! Twice I had turned down invitations to join the show when it was in Nacogdoches. When it moved to Lindale, we were able to join the show!

Of course, anytime we have to up a tent for a show, you can count on it raining. We've been in a two month drought and the farm girl will always appreciate a good rain. Just a few days before the event, I was standing in our very low pond... anyways, the week of the show, Tropical Storm / Depression Imelda developed in the gulf and was predicted to head straight for us in east Texas at the exact time of set up and day 1 of the show. I declare, we need to start scheduling a August show, so we can get some late summer rain and avoid these droughts ;) 

Anyways, it was a rain or shine event, so we took extra precautions to protect our products. I bagged a set of shirts in each size and style, bought and customized a big umbrella, loaded the mud boots and slogger shoes, bought extra stakes and tie down straps in case the wind got up. Each weather forecaster give a different path and prediction - from a 1/2 inch to 3-6 inches of rain and wind varying from 5 - 35 mph. While we set up on Thursday, we dealt with a little bit of drizzle, but nothing major. On Thursday evening, the rain started at home (33 miles from the venue) and it rained all night. 

Loaded down! 

Let's go, Vintage Market Days, here we come!
 Friday morning, I woke up and checked the radar and guess what?!? The rain had passed over Lindale, while the farm got over two inches of rain! The best of both worlds!!! We were in the clear!
Tropical Storm Imelda passed us by! 

My mud boots and umbrella never got out of the truck! We got busy Friday morning and got our tent ready for business! Since we were expecting the big storm, we had only put up our props and tent on Thursday and didn't finish set up. Friday afternoon, we had about 5 minutes of rain and had to move a few things inside the tent, but we survived and our tent didn't blow away! 

The line forming to get in on Friday morning!

If you shop at Vintage Market Days, you probably love all these things as well! 

This was one of our smallest spaces ever, but oh how we packed it full plus we restocked daily. 

One of our favorite quotes from one of our favorite customers "You can never have too many baseball tees!" 
We were one of the smaller booths (and it was the smallest booths we’ve ever worked.) We still had lots of shoppers in our little space, sometimes waiting in line to get inside! You told us we had the cutest clothing there, which was a high compliment, since there was lots of clothing boutiques. You see, we are the makers and our items are all made locally and not mass produced. Our hearts and hands have prepared every item.
We were also told we were the most helpful. Helping ladies try on flannels, finding sizes, and even watering dogs and creating a make shift dressing room. It’s what we do! We are here to help you. 

Cookie was one of the cutest customers on Friday! And his mom picked out 3 flannels! 

Here's a video I did on Saturday morning. 

 Angea and I have had so much fun preparing and working this show! So happy to have a friend like her, who shares many of the same creative ideas as I do and we can share the booth spaces.
 Sunday morning, we got to walk around the venue and see several of the booths and took a few pictures in front of the take me away back drop.

 With the threat of rain gone, we were able to put some of our shirts on two sides of the tent and it really helped us show case many of the shirts and different designs. Since all of our flannels and plaid shirts are one of a kind, it really was a game changer to help the shirts be seen.

Donuts, snow cones, and food trucks... oh my yum! 

What goes up, must come down! 

We are so thankful for Jeff and Randy (Angea's husband) who helped us with set up and tearing down the tent! As we were getting the tent back in the bag, Jeff said "it's like putting skin back on a fish!" I'm sure everyone around us wondered what was so funny and if you've ever taken down a tent, you will be able to relate!

The show was over...On down the road we go...

As we were all loading up the playlist with your favorite songs was still playing. Willie Nelson sang “Here we go, on the road again
Like a band of Gypsies we go down the highway
We're the best of friends
Insisting that the world keep turnin' our way...” 

Seemed most appropriate for this traveling road show!! 

The event was well organized and advertised and we can’t thank Amanda and the VMD staff for hosting a great show and giving us an opportunity to be involved in a premier event.
We appreciate each and everyone of you who came, shopped, and shared about our business. Y’all are the best! We are grateful, thankful, blessed.

Miss the show or too far away to make an in person event? You can shop online in our etsy shop or our website 

In October we will be at our usual booth at the Mineola Antique Fair, where we have lots of junk and all our clothes on October 11-12. 

We will also be returning to the East Texas Yamboree, where we will have an indoor, air conditioned, rain and wind proof space at the fair grounds in the "blue building." We are super excited about our home town show and have some exciting things in store for that show, so stay tuned! It will be October 17-19 in Gilmer, Texas. 

Thursday, September 12, 2019

A Preview of our Mineola Antique Fair Booth

It's time once again for the Mineola Antique Fair! Angea (aka Rooster Tails) and I  got our booth ready this morning and recorded a short video to show you around our space!

If you can't make to Mineola this weekend, we will be in Lindale at the Vintage Market Days of East Texas next week, or you can find some of our items in my etsy shop. See something in our pictures  that you like and can't find it in our online shop - just send us a message and if it's possible, we will ship it to you!

Hope yo see you soon!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Getting Ready for Vintage Market Days of East Texas!

So (almost) every Thursday, Angea and I get together and go junkin'  or work on items for our booths. The next two weeks, we will have back to back shows at the Mineola Antique Fair, followed by Vintage Market Days of East Texas in Lindale. This week, we did a little junkin' and decided to drive over to Lindale and prowl around, figure out exactly where the venue was at, which route would be the best travelling, and shop at a few stores we've heard so much about. We figured this was our last opportunity to check it out, before we get really in the thick of things. 

 Picker's Pavilion was very easy to find and the drive wasn't bad at all (about 33 miles from home). It's right off Hwy 69 and FM 16 in Lindale and just a couple miles from Interstate 20. Miranda Lambert's store, the Pink Pistol is caddy corner from the venue.
 We stopped at the Pink Pistol, then ate lunch, went to Main Street Market that we've heard so much about, and then stopped at this quaint little candy store called Kaitlin's Confections.
I can't even recall what this thing was called, but honey hush, it was good! 

We made a couple more stops and I know everyone in town is excited about the event moving to Lindale. (It was previously held in Nacogdoches and will be held in Lindale for the first time.) 
 So with our busy show schedule coming up, we have been working like crazy getting things ready. We've been ripping up wedding dresses and sewing lace on jackets and shirts, we've been creating t shirts, and distressing flannels since June!

We are in the process of getting everything organized and ready to go for our next two shows... This is  is maybe  a 1/3 of the inventory scattered out on my bed! I'm trying to get everything labelled, tagged, and sorted by designs. 

This week we will be at Mineola Antique Fair and the following week in Lindale! Busy and fun times! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

It's Yam Time!

It's (almost) Yam Time! We are in a county fair state of mind and have created original graphic tees to celebrate a few of our favorite fall things! The Yam themed shirts have a heifer wearing a flower crown, while that's a picture of my Prize Winning Yam Pie on there, plus a basket of sweet potatoes and leaves that once decorated the Band Stand. We've got other show animals, a Ferris wheel, and a blue ribbon... All items that embody the spirit of the our local fair!

The fair has been a part of our life, since we were a child. From watching the parades from the back of our truck to riding our horses in the parade with 4-H a few years later. Carnival rides on the square, corn dogs, funnel cakes, and then the decorated yam contest when I was in the 4th grade to attending the Queen's coronation pageant the following year. 

 In high school we participated in the Livestock Show with our steers and heifer. (Our favorite part of the fair!)

As an adult, I have made many arm bouquets for the Queen's and Duchesses and helped decorate the band stand. I've also entered pictures in the photography contest and carried out a family tradition, winning the Yam Pie contest in 2010! A picture of that winning pie is included on the shirt.
 In 2015, we had our very first booth at the East Texas Yamboree, where we debuted our camper, Miss Gussie! What Angea and I expected to be a one time show, has turned into a fun ride we have only got busier! We've got 7 shows lined up between now and December. We've missed the Yamboree the last two years and will be returning this year, with a large booth inside the Exhibit (Blue) Building at the fair grounds.

You can say that the county fair runs deep in our roots! My grandmother and aunts were also a winner of the Yam Pie Contest! 

We are currently taking pre-orders for the Yam Time Shirts, to be made in plenty of time to wear in October.
Message me to reserve yours or find them at  (Unfortunately, comments here don't always show up or set up as no-reply, so please email, message on Facebook, or through etsy.)  
We are also planning to have some in our booth inside the Yamboree Exhibit Building, October 17-19. 
 This shirt features more of all fall favorites... leaves, boots and flannels, football bonfires, pumpkins, fun, and county fairs... This one is currently available in all sizes in my etsy shop, along with several other fall designs.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Ol' Blue

I found a picture of Ol’ Blue, recently. Some of you may remember me telling the story of her before. If you haven’t, well here goes!
I started driving Blue, a 1980 Ford, when I was 4! Yes, four! My daddy would load hay in the back of ol’ blue and we would head out to feed cows. My mom was expecting my brother and didn’t go out to feed with us. Daddy would stick her in granny gear (1st gear) and stand me up in the seat, jump out and start throwing hay out to the cows as the truck inched along. Now I don’t remember the day I must’ve drove crooked, but I’ll NEVER forget the day I drove straight!

As daddy was getting out of the truck, he kept telling me to “drive straight.” As I approached a big water hole, I pondered his words and my 4 year old self reasoned that if he wanted me to drive around that water hole, he wouldn’t have pointed me in the direction of the wet spot and emphasized “drive straight.” So I didn’t go around it. When ask why, I said “but daddy, you said drive straight!” We walked home on a cold winter day and got the John Deere tractor and went and pulled her out.
Flash forward 10 years and I drove her all over the community, to church, grandmama’s house, checking cows and following the tractors between hay fields. (I got my first paycheck for driving a tractor at age 11.) Drivers Ed was only a technicality and the first time I ever drove an automatic... where was the clutch?!?
The air conditioner spit water at you (it felt good on a hot summer day) and operated with a light switch, the radio only worked with a wire running from under the steering wheel and wrapped around the radio dial. More than 1 pillow had been lost in the seat. The bed was held together with a cable, because too many loads of hay and fire wood were wearing it out. Daddy locked his keys in it one night and reached through the floor board and opened the door. A wheel took off in the opposite direction of the truck one time. Everyone teased I would drive her to school when I turned 16. I always said no way!
One day daddy called from Lone Star Steel and said to meet him when his swing shift was over with a truck and trailer. Ol’ Blue had died, just a few months before I turned 16. I was relieved I didn’t have to drive her to school... but dang, we lost a good farm truck that day!
As today is “Labor Day,” I’m reminded of our upbringing - this long weekend would have been a prime square baling weekend. Daddy usually would take vacation from work to work even harder in the hay fields and we would be out of school to drive tractors, rake hay, and pull hay wagons. There would be many loads that looked similar to this!

We were taught “work before play.” Take care of your responsibilities, before the rodeos, play days, and 4-H shows, etc. We worked hard, but we played hard too! Today I’m thankful for a family that taught us the value of hard work and responsibility!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

On the Road Again!

So you probably didn't know I was off the road... well, I was, but I wasn't. Let me explain. Last October, my truck broke down. Since then, we've borrowed vehicles, coordinated trips and schedules like none other. Juggling the farm, appointments, work, caring for family members, and even just trips to the grocery store, post office, and to get supplies were carefully thought out. It was hard, it was humbling. The winter was tough, because of our vehicle situation and dealing with the after effects of the drought last year and the subsequent high cost  and shortage of feed for the animals at the farm. But we survived and are extremely thankful for the ones who have been there to help us out!

Early summer, I finally admitted that I might need something different, other than a truck to drive. (I keep hoping that one day Jeff can fix mine.) I searched and studied and let me tell ya, buying a vehicle makes me nauseous. It's the worst.  I've always heard the saying "don't trust a horse trader." Well, it didn't take much looking and checking to remind myself why I have never placed much trust in a car salesmen either. Lordy mercy! The contradicting post on marketplace and Craigslist, and the sales tactics by some are so dang sketchy... It gave me headaches and stressed me out. Most of my vehicles have all been purchased from family or friends, so we knew something about them, yet one of them lied to us about the actual mileage.

I missed out on a couple of affordable vehicles, being an hour late to see the post...

I saw a vehicle sitting in town one day and stopped to look at it. A little higher mileage than I was really looking for. A few days later, a friend called me about it, because she knew I was looking and she knew the people who owned it and that it had been well taken care of. A few days later, it showed up on Facebook marketplace and was still available, when we finally decided to see if we could take a test drive. It was one of the busiest weeks and I said I didn't have time to deal with buying a vehicle during the middle of a show, but we did!

We feel like we dealt with a very honest person and the vehicle has been well maintained. Searching the make and model, they all appear to have a very long life, when taken care of. So, a few thousand miles back down the road, we got us a new (old) vehicle, that has became known as "the wagon" at our house. I've always maintained the thought that a "vehicles job is to get you from point a to point b" and it really doesn't matter so much about age or appearance, as long as it can complete the task at hand. I've hauled a lot of things in my pick up truck and looking back, sometimes I wonder how we got it all in there at times, but we did it. It did it's job and served us well in that season.

When searching for something new, we decided an SUV would probably be the best fit for us. ( I really, really did not want a minivan!) Rear cargo space was a must, with seats that fold down. Hauling flowers and going to shows, we need a place to haul all our inventory and I must say the 6 foot area is pretty exciting and having a back access door, instead of having to load everything from the side doors, is great. Our gridwall can even fit in there!

So while I'm not a "look at my new vehicle" type of person, I am excited to have my own ride again and be able to move out more freely and have something to get the job done. The fact that its the smoothest and nicest vehicle I've ever owned is really just icing on the cake and you know what - it's older than my truck was and has a couple hundred thousand miles on it!  It does have heated seats and the duel control heat and air works! (The heat on the drivers side of my truck didn't work properly and I absolutely hate being cold, so I'm sure the heated seats will be put to good use this winter!)  I've even been able to start using my new air fresheners and decorate my mirror again! To all of the one or no vehicle families out there, I get you. I understand how hard it can be and hope you have the opportunity to get something of your own, soon. New vehicles are so outrageously priced, that's not even a consideration for us. Now, if we can get those dang telemarketers to quit calling about extended warranty, we would be good, because they certainly will hang up on you when you say you've got 200,000 miles on your ride!

By the way, have you seen all the new car air fresheners and key chains we've been making? They come with cute graphics, but the air fresheners are unscented, so you can add your own essential oils or perfume to them. Find them in my etsy shop here or on my website here.

With our fall show season, we will definitely be loading down the wagon as we travel to our events, because as I've always heard "You can't sell out of an empty wagon!"  

Now back to sewing and working on things for fall and Christmas! Hopefully we will get to see you down the road sometime soon!