Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Looking Back on 2019!

2019, whew what a year!

We started making t shirts and more personalized items, while learning and creating more original designs.

You showed up and supported us at 16 shows. You drove from Indiana, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Texas, and lots more places to shop with us in rural East Texas. It was an exciting show year as we had our monthly shows at the Mineola Antique Fair, then got accepted to be included in Vintage Market Days of East Texas, we returned to the East Texas Yamboree with an indoor space in the exhibit building, had a great day at the Methodist Church Christmas Bazaar, and a fabulously fun time with Miss Gussie the glamper at the Gilmer Yulefest.

Through our etsy shop, our handmade items have now been shipped to all 50 states and multiple countries. We’re thrilled to help you with your weddings and special events.

We launched a new website and still trying to figure all that out. #workinprogress

Our Facebook page has more than doubled in size since early spring. Welcome, Y’all!

 And gosh, we all love the sweet donkeys and baby calves at the farm and they make their way into our post and even on our shirts!

 We marked 5 years of being self employed, creating pretty things for all of you.

But don’t think it’s been all roses though, as we all fight the behind the scenes battles, that don’t see the light of social media... #hideyourcrazy #focusonthegood

Through it all, we say a great big THANK YOU for being a part of our year and riding along with us!!! We appreciate y’all so very much! Much love to all of you! ❤️

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Christmas in the Gazebo

The Gazebo is now decorated for Christmas, so grab a cup of hot cocoa and let's take a tour! 

While the Camper Christmas is a fun mix of trees with lots of pink and turquoise parked along the driveway, the gazebo is tucked in our yard and has a more traditional color scheme with red, white, black, and grey.

 Natural greenery and berries, red trucks, a couple of fun gnomes, along with some buffalo plaid ribbon decorate the setting. Of course our rustic gazebo has plenty of galvanized buckets and containers, along with a dishpan snowman! 
I painted a red truck with trees and snow on a old chicken feeder. I picked cedar, pine, berries, and pine cones at the farm and added it to the buckets and the grapevine garland. Once the holidays are past and the greenery dried out, it will go to the compost bin. 
I had previously declared that I would never purchase used Christmas lights again, but I did. I found the old fashion big bulbs at the thrift store for $2 a strand. In my defense, several strings were still in the boxes. I did buy a couple of extra strings, in case I needed to change out a few bulbs.  I mean, $2 for this style lights is a steal of a deal! 

The youpon bushes are about to overtake the old bicycle. When I planted them, they were so small in 1 gallon containers - they sure have gotten big! By next spring, I may have to rescue the bike, until then, the basket on the front has more cut greenery and a string of solar lights. 

 Mr. Dishpan Snowman has a plaid scarf and consist of 3 old enamel pans. The holes were already in the small pan and make the perfect face!
Mr. Dishpan Snowman
I had to make a few gnome trees! (You can find the tutorial on how I made the gnome trees, here.)

This red truck was a Christmas gift and is actually a bird feeder and house! In the past, I've had a cardinal family spend a lot of time in the gazebo and even raise their babies in the bushes beside it, so I'm hoping they come back to visit. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

How to Make a Gnome Tree

Gnome, gnome, gnome - you've got to say it three times! So we have become a little obsessed with gnomes lately! If you've been following along on facebook or instagram, you might have seen our recent gnomes at our shows and even Jeff holding a couple of them! We even have a new gnome tee! 

I sure do love me some bearded boys! (Angea made the two that Jeff is holding, although I've made some that are similar for our shows.) 
 Our friends have said we need to make Jeff a gnome hat and others have said we should just call them "Jeff's" instead of gnomes! lol

Since then, I've been planning my outdoor Christmas displays and I decided we needed a couple of gnome trees! We went thrifting to find some items to make our gnome trees. I saw some very generic and skimpy ones at one of the big box stores, but you know us - can we make it cuter and for less? In this case, yes! 

I found two artificial trees - one for $2.99 and the other for $4.99 (it came with lights.) I picked two that had longer branches and instead of "fluffing up" the trees, I pulled all the branches down, except the very top branch.

 I found this grey sweater for a quarter. Now for the hardest part - I pulled it over the top of the tree, with one sleeve over the top branch.

 Now, just take a sharp pair of scissors and cut about where you want the gnome hat to be. I had the ribbed collar for the front of the gnome. Since I know where my trees are going and that they won't be seen from the back (after this how to), I'm not real concerned about it being perfect on the backside.
 I was outside and didn't have all my supplies nearby and I really wasn't even considering sewing the hats. I had been string lights on my other trees and of course that meant there was lots of those little twisty ties from the lights ( you know the wire ties that you take off the new lights?) Anyways, I take one of those wires and use it to "sew" the back of the sweater together. It was stiff enough to thread through the sweater and twist together, to make the hat fit better. I did trim the sweater up a little bit.
That's what the sweater looked like after making one hat. 
If you work with much greenery garlands, you know there's always a piece or two that will fall off. So I took one of those pieces and tied to the sweater cuff to close off the sleeve. I shaped the one branch that was still sticking up, to make the hat have the curve I wanted. 

 Now for a nose... I went searching for anything that would work and came back with a shatterproof Christmas ornament and simply hooked it on a branch under the hat. I saw one pretty gnome tree made with fresh greenery and they used a potato for the nose.

I added a few bells to the hat and a little more decor to make it complete. While the camper has a kitschy pink and turquoise Christmas vibe going on, the gnomes are headed to the gazebo, where there will be more traditional colors with red, white, green, and grey. 

Of course the gazebo has rustic metal containers, so the gnomes are sitting in a galvanized water cooler and on a pig feeder. 

So whatcha think? Two cute gnome trees for $8.23! That's a fifth of what I saw the store bought gnome trees for and they were skimpy.

Here's a sneak peek of the gazebo - stay tuned for the full gazebo reveal coming real soon!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Miss Gussie, the Glamper, and the Tree Farm Lit Up for the Holidays!

Hey Y'all! Miss Gussie is all lit up for the holidays and we couldn't wait to share pictures! We decided to have a "Tree Farm" theme this year. Our tree farm has some fun and non-traditional colors. We have 16 trees in shades of pink, aqua, silver, white, and a couple of green ones! I already had several of the trees, since I've used them in past displays and shows, although we went thrift store shopping and found a few more to add to our collection. I've been told pink trees are supposed to be the color this year, although I didn't know that, till after I was working on my decorating. I simply decorated the trees with tinsel and lights and it's made it a fun and happy set up.

Pink Christmas trees

We actually lit her up one night last week on a Facebook Live Video!

You may remember me talking about the ugly garden makeover, earlier in the summer. There once was a garden fence and bricks outlining forgotten raised beds. The briers had taken over and it was hard to mow. I was tired of looking at the ugliness, so I pulled it all up. I never really showed the after picture of what we were planning - well the spot is now "The Campground."  The camper is closer to the house and that's the greenhouse in the background. It makes it a better place to hang out and of course I take a lot of my product pictures outside by the camper. Nothing is attached permanently in this spot, so that we can hook up and move her, if needed. (although it will take some careful maneuvering to get her out!)
Vintage Glamper Christmas
All of the trees are in tin buckets, old wash tubs, milk cans, or even vintage chicken feeders - you know, the things I had flowers planted in, until frost killed them. So as we cleaned up the yard, the containers got moved to the camper for the tree farm. 

We were at the Swap Meet  in October. I ask about a couple of items and somehow I came away with a truckload of things including some porch rails / post. They were unloaded by the camper and I was trying to firgure out what to make of them. Well, I've always wanted to be able to hang a chandelier by the camper, so those three pieces were wired together, so we could hang the chandy and a sign and of course covered in grapevine and Christmas garland! 
The chenille bedspread covers the metal bench and just makes it cozier this time of year! 

The night before I was planning my photo shoot, I decided we needed a couple of flamingos. Living in a small town, I didn't know where I could find any by the next day and I really did not have time to travel to a larger city to look. So I ask my Facebook friends if they specifically knew anywhere I could buy a couple of pink birds, locally. A couple of my friends tagged the local girl scout leader and I was loaned a couple of flamingos the next morning! As one of our friends said - only in a small town can you ask for pink flamingos on Facebook and within two hours of networking find what you are looking for! (The Girl Scouts use them for a fall fundraiser flocking people's yards, so they have a lot on hand.) I would have gladly purchased the birds, but I was thankful to be loaned them on short notice. Anyways, I put Christmas wreaths around their necks and they they added a fun touch to the display! The t shirt has a couple of flamingos and deer on the front, so that was a couple of elements that tied in with the graphic.

fun glamping Christmas scene

The same day I got everything decorated on the camper, I went to sign up for the Gilmer Yulefest Christmas Show. I was planning to just use my tent, but in conversation at the Chamber Office, Miss Gussie was invited to go to town, so we will have to take it all down next week, as we prepare and go to the show. It's December 7, 2019 on the Courthouse Square in Gilmer and we will have our shirts and Christmas decor for sale. We will be open from 9:00 am till 7:30 pm and there will be vendors, food trucks, carnival rides for the kids, Candy Cane Lane crafts for the kids and the evening will end with the Christmas Parade. It's also designated as a Shop Local Day in Gilmer. We are excited for next week, so come out and see us - we will be taking some of the trees, but not all 16! 

Of course, if you aren't local, we can always ship the shirts to you. Shop online at gypsyfarmgirl.etsy.com or www.rustandromance.com

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 Yamboree.com 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: Yamboree.com 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 gypsyfarmgirl.etsy.com or our website rustandromance.com 

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.