Sunday, March 22, 2020

Oh Corona...

Just a little over a week ago, we had our show at the Mineola Antique Fair. While we all practiced extra hand washing, had plenty of hand sanitizer, and didn't hug on all our sweet customers,  I don't think many of us realized just how serious this was quickly becoming. (At that time, gatherings in Texas were strongly discouraged if attendance was above 250 to 500+, while the building we were at doesn't have that capacity at any point.) 

Since then, group gatherings are limited to no more than 10, lots of stores are closing, we can't eat in a restaurant, schools are shut down for several weeks, and the list goes on. 

Since this is the week after a show, not too much has changed in our personal life, with the corona virus restrictions. Now please hear me out! I work from home, almost all of the time! The week after a show, I am always working from home, making sure all the recent wedding and online orders are being made and fulfilled. This week has been all about wedding bouquets and I've been in "the factory" (my small bedroom turned work room) making lots of burlap roses. I would label myself as an "extroverted introvert." I was working in public (our show) and on the go for several days last week and now I am happy to be at home working in the quiet. Jeff and I both work from home, so we've really only been in contact with 4 other people (family members) this week, except for a few store clerks, where we picked up the essentials. 

We also still have to go the farm and take care of animals and that doesn't change, no matter what the conditions are around us: rain, snow, drought, sunshine, or pandemic... the well being of our cattle and donkeys must still be attended to. A couple of new babies have certainly brightened our week!  
Please say hi to Gracie! I ask on fb and ig for name suggestions - there was so many that I couldn't decide. Jeff's mom saw her pic and a video, then I read her all the names and she said "she looks like a Gracie to me," so Gracie she is! 

Jeff and I also help provide some care and assistance to some family members, so we are helping them all the same. 

We live about 12 miles from town, so we normally only go grocery shopping once a week or less anyways. Tuesday, we did have several important stops in town to make, but we only went into the stores one at a time. He went into the feed store, I went in the grocery store (Have mercy at the empty shelves - it was late in the evening, so it wasn't crowded and I got almost everything I was after.)  We've got hand santitizer in the truck and use it before and after entering each location. I cleaned my desk and even found some more hand santitizer that was a freebie from a booth at the Yamboree last fall - it was like finding gold, lol! 

We seldom eat out together, so we continue to eat at home, as usual. 



Corona Virus has us like "Whoa Nelly!" 

A couple of things that have changed for us: 
We haven't been in such a rush this week and didn't set an alarm on most mornings. I've been saying "I'm tired" for several weeks, so I'm taking this time to get some extra rest. I've also had a "cranky" sore foot that is bothering me, so I'm trying to be easy on it as well. 

Angea and I didn't go junkin' or eat lunch together on Thursday. We usually meet on Thursdays and go pickin' and hunting for new inventory or restock our booths, then have lunch aka "board meetings". We've had a few "phone conferences" but haven't seen each other since we left Mineola last week. 

We know our shows scheduled for April will not happen. Vintage Market Days of East Texas has been postponed to June 18-20 in Lindale. The Mineola Antique Fair will not be held in April and we hope we can all gather there in May. 

We still have items at Kickin' K Cattle Co. in Quitman - although the boutique is not open daily now, but she will meet for curbside service on appointment and is offering free shipping on most orders over $25, till we get through this pandemic. Kadyn is also doing facebook sales or you can contact her for items in the store. Kickin' K just joined instagram too, so please welcome her and tell her I sent ya! 

We are taking extra precautions, washing our hands even more that usual! #washyourhands

Even if our clothes don't seem to be dirty, we are washing them after going anywhere. (you know how you wear a shirt for a little while when going to town and it doesn't get dirty, so you lay it over a chair to wear again - now it's going in the dirty clothes as extra precautions.) 

What to expect in the coming days from us:

We will continue to work on our wedding orders and ship items from our home on the rural route in East Texas. Orders will still be processed in a timely fashion and shipped out. The USPS says they will continue to deliver! I am ordering more supplies online, instead of going into the store to shop. 

I still haven't unloaded my vehicle from the Mineola show and we have some new shirts to photograph and list online. (This is something else I usually do the week after a show, but since we've been getting extra rest plus it's rained a lot this week, we didn't get around to it and my "wagon" hasn't been cranked all week, as we've just been going places in the "farm truck")  We are considering doing a live sale on my Facebook page this week in addition to getting our new things uploaded to our websites. If you are interested in the live sale, please head over to our fb page and make sure you have notifications turned on. 

This is a peek at a few of the new designs to be listed! 


We will continue to wash our hands a lot and hope you will as well! 

We will still maintain our daily positive words of encourage, fun memes, and pictures on our facebook page to help get us through this difficult time. 



We are always, always grateful for your support of our small handmade business and appreciate each and everyone of you!!! We understand there is so much uncertainty at this time and we are so very thankful for everyone who orders a shirt, allows us to design your wedding bouquets, fix flowers for your loved ones or events, or comes to our shows.  We couldn't do this without all of you. Thank you doesn't seem adequate enough, but we don't know how else to say it. We do hope all of you are well and we can't wait till we can see you all again soon!
Until them, we still have our website and etsy shop that you can find lots of our things (and there just might be a sale happening now!)  Send me an email or message on facebook or instagram. We are here to help you, however we can! 





Sunday, March 8, 2020

Our Rustic Gazebo

Years ago, way before we all had fabulous camera phones in our pocket and blogged about such projects, we rescued a gazebo from a trash ditch. Actually, we helped rescue two. Our friend had spotted two gazebos, rolled over on their side in a trash ditch, so he stopped and ask the owner if he could have them. Joey called Jeff and ask if we would help pull off the rescue, in exchange for one of them. We took a truck, tractor, and trailer and loaded them both up!

Well, over the next year or so, we completed a makeover on ours and it became the focal point of our yard. By this time, we were blogging all the time and took pictures of the process! We got featured by several blogs at the time, it's been all over Pinterest, and usually gets featured by a few garden pages each spring (that I see).

In January of this year, I was ironically enough out junkin', when I got an email that said "Country Living Feature." A staff writer was asking permission to feature my junk gazebo on CountryLiving.com in a round up of DIY Gazebos. Of course I said yes and they would link back to us here on our blog. (I love features, when permission is ask and credit given.)

I checked this weekend and discovered the article had been published a few weeks ago!

15 DIY Gazebo Ideas to Bring an Outdoor Oasis to Your Backyard

Have your gazebo match your style.

We are included at slide # 8. 




So for all of you who don't know the story or seen the past pictures of my gazebo, I'll provide a few links back to the original post for you to catch up on (or you can use the search feature and type in gazebo to see even more.)


Here's the original makeover with paint and a scrap metal roof can be seen
at https://www.gypsyfarmgirl.net/2011/08/gazebo-reveal.html
(please forgive the collage pages / pictures - I was also an unsuccessful affiliate for a digital scrapbooking website at the time and trying to use their products with my pictures.)



The first spring after the makeover and the unveiling of the Junk Yard can be viewed at
https://www.gypsyfarmgirl.net/2012/03/welcome-to-junk-yard.html
This is when I decided to only use upcycled, repurosed containers and you wouldn't see plastic or store bought planters. Some of favorite gazebo pictures reside here!



The Rusty Bottomless Bucket tutorial was also created around the same time. Find the instructions at https://www.gypsyfarmgirl.net/2012/03/bottomless-rusty-flower-bucket.html

galvanized bucket upcycled into hanging flower basket

We also have fun decorating it for Christmas




As you can see in the 
 2019 spring gazebo reveal, https://www.gypsyfarmgirl.net/2019/04/spring-in-gazebo.html, the shrubs and trees have sure grown a lot in the last few years. The bushes have almost overtaken the bicycle and now it's in need of rescuing! 

We've certainly enjoyed our Junk Yard and planting and decorating the gazebo throughout the different seasons. Thank you Country Living for including our gazebo in your round up! 


Please stay tuned, because the 2020 Spring Reveal will be coming soon! I've started planting in more unique containers. 




P.S. Want to feature or use our pics? Please ask like Country Living did and always link back to my blog. Also, please do not remove our watermarks! (I recently discovered some stolen pics with my watermarks cropped out and this does not make us happy.)





Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Let's Plant Something!

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." 
- Audrey Hepburn 



My morning quote and picture that I shared on Facebook today spoke of gardening and later in the day, I just happened to find myself at the garden center!! Two actually! 

So we had to come home and officially kick off the spring 2020 gardening season! I recorded a live Facebook video planting some succulents in upcyced containers. Hope you enjoy and get inspired to get outside and plant something this spring! 




Sunday, February 9, 2020

Moss Covered Reverse Canvas

Have you ever seen something in a quick glance, can't stop thinking about it, then we you go back to find it, it's nowhere to be found? 

One day, I unlocked my phone and Facebook was open and I saw a beautiful reverse canvas with moss on it. Of course, we were in the middle of cow feeding and I just saw it at a quick glance, loved it, but didn't share or save it. I couldn't stop thinking about it though. I've recently started following a few new pages, so I went and checked to see if it was on one of their pages - nope. I stalked a few friends pages, whom I thought might have shared it - nope, not to be found. I even ask my friends on Facebook, if anyone remembered seeing or sharing it. Still didn't find it. I even searched on Pinterest, where I did find some beautiful reverse canvases, but still not  exactly what I had saw.

I couldn't stop thinking about them. This weekend, while waiting on some supplies to come in, I found myself with a couple of hours of time to just craft whatever I wanted. I had a couple of 8 x 10 canvases and decided to make my own version! 
I call this one "flourish" 

I had everything on hand to make the frames, including 
dried flower stems, bird nest, eggs, twigs, twine, scrapbook paper, feathers, pine cones, seed pods, burlap, pearls, and of course moss. 

reverse canvas frame
This one is called "Life is Beautiful." I deconstructed a pine cone to recreate 3 pine cone flowers on the corner of the frame. I found the real bird nest in the bushes, where birds nested last year (I wouldn't have stolen a nest that was in active use and do not advise it.) 
I'm pretty excited about how these two turned out! Still not sure what I'm going to do with them - they can be set on a shelf or if I find my little easels (that are hiding somewhere in this house) they can be displayed setting on one of them.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Find us at the NEW Kickin' K Cattle Co. Boutique!

2020 has been off to a busy start! Just a little over 2 weeks ago, I got a message from a friend that she was opening up a new boutique / vendor market and would I like a booth? Ummmm, I thought about it for a little while and finally decided to take a leap of faith and just do it! Then we had to get busy!  I really didn't have any extra display shelves that I can leave in a store all the time and of course, I had to get busy making inventory to stock the booth, before the Grand Opening on February 1, 2020. I had 12 days y'all and of course lots of other work to do in the same time frame. We got creative and pulled it off! 



Everything has a story and I must share about a couple of my fixtures. I've known Kadyn, the owner of Kickin' K, almost as long as I've known my husband. We are family friends and her mom says I'm like a sister to her. We purchased several things from Pop's estate (Kadyn's grandfather) about 5 years ago, including the locker. It's been sitting beside our shed, just waiting for a place to go. I've intended to take it to Mineola or another show, but it just didn't happen. I knew I wouldn't have a ton of hanging clothes in this space and the locker would be the right size and give some height to the space, so on a cold January morning, I was outside giving it a bath, before loading it up and taking to the boutique.



 Now for a 5 foot t shirt rack - what could I do??? I thought about a shutter shelf, but then I left two of my tall shutters at the Mineola Antique Fair last month... Jeff said "hey, we are suppose to get the shutters (closet doors) from mama's house." Years ago, a little invention called the microwave called for a kitchen makeover at Jeff's grandparent's (now parent's) house and the sliding pantry doors were removed and stored in the attic. A recent insulating job uncovered the doors and the were moved to the shop, waiting for us to take them home to do something with them! Whewee!  So I painted the doors white and then Jeff cut up a privacy fence panel and removed a few of the slats in the doors to make shelves.
 Clotheslines on the top and bottom allow us to display several shirt styles and then we can have stacks of shirts on the shelves. I've gotta say, we are pretty ticked with how it turned out and didn't cost us anything out of pocket!


Our friends at the thrift store say if you want something, to wish for it. So I wrote my list of wants down, hoping they would come true! The list included a mirror, rug, chandelier, shelves, and drapes.

Well, in a little over a weeks time, we came across all of those things! The ladies at the thrift store called when they got a rug in, that just happens to be the right size, an awesome texture, and color to go with our products. We actually found two mirrors, two pieces of furniture, and some leopard gauze-y, drapy fabric between a couple of estate sales and the thrift store! Angea found a chandelier at a garage sale and sent me pictures wondering if I wanted it? My answer was yes, because all booths need a pretty chandy!


 Jeff was good help in getting all my props built and set up!
We got everything made and ready for opening day on Saturday! although we won't be working inside the store on a daily basis, we did go back and stay for most of the Grand Opening. It was a busy day at Kickin' K and I've already got to make more shirts to restock! 





Here I am with Kerri - she's wearing a serape dress from Kickin' K and a denim jacket that I upcycled (It has a leopard cactus on the back of it.) Of course, I am wearing one of my new Cactus Motor Inn bleached tees. 
Becky and Kerri were both wearing one of my jackets and look super cute modeling them! 

It was a great opening and the store was busy all day! If you are near Quitman, Texas, make sure you stop by. There are at least 18 different vendors in the shop, so you are sure to find something you like! The shop is located right next door to the Dollar General and in the same parking lot as the police station on Highway 37 (main street) and a couple blocks from Highway 154.

 If you aren't local, we still offer our goods on our website and etsy. Plus you can still find us at the Mineola Antique Fair each month.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Wedding and Event Pictures

2020 has got off to a busy start! Last week, we had several events, all happening at the same time. It took lots of planning and coordinating, but we pulled them all off, with help from our friends! The Mineola Antique Fair was Friday and Saturday, with us having to put the finishing touches on our new space on Thursday morning. I also had funeral flowers to deliver on Friday and a wedding on Saturday. I did as much advanced prep work the week before, since I knew it was going to be a busy weekend.   

We finshed setting up Thursday, then I picked up all the flowers and started the prep work for Friday and Saturdays arrangements. I opened Friday and closed on Saturday in Mineola, and in between made lots of pretty floral bouquets. This large arch was one of our favorite things to make. The Spencer Wedding was held at Dove Hollow Estates in White Oak. Madison's colors were white, black, silver, and burgundy. 



wedding arch with fresh flowers
 The view from the second story...
The bridesmaids carried bouquets of burgundy roses and callas.

 The front entrance of the elegant barn.
entry way flowers

 Hydrangeas and iced branches comprised the entryway arrangement, where guest would sign in.
wedding entry table
 Sharlette helped me with the on location work at Dove Hollow.

 The bridal bouquet was a cascade style arrangement with white roses, callas, and orchids. (Can't wait to see a picture of the bride carrying the bouquet, since I didn't get a great pic of it.)
 Always have my scissors nearby! The arch was huge at about ten high, so we climbed up and down the ladder a lot.


 Friday night we had storms and a huge temperature drop. Saturday temps were definitely winter like, but the shows had to go on! As soon as we finished up with the wedding, we hit Highway 80 west to Mineola.  Many local schools and businesses closed early on Friday (in anticipation of a storm that didn't hit till after 10:00 pm Friday night. We certainly didn't close or stop work, because the shows had to go on. We are thankful that the storms weren't as bad as predicted.
Selbie was nice enough to help Angea, while I wasn't there. 
We are liking our new space in the building and heard lots of compliments on our new set up. One things for sure, one picture can't capture all the booth anymore, as you can shop from all the way around it. 


A couple of years ago, I give a presentation at a 4-H meeting. At the meeting, I officially met Mrs. Fite (although I had known of her for many years.) We talked and she ask for a business card. Later on, we discussed sewing machines, since she wanted to get one for her granddaughter. A few months later, she called me about flowers for her son's funeral. She had specific ideas and flowers she wanted to use and I was able to make the flowers for them. 

Last week, I got a call that she had died and left instructions for her family to call me and I would take care of it. They didn't tell me any colors, just that they needed a casket spray and an easel with ribbons on it (that was the only details that they give me.) That level of trust and respect for my work is truly humbling. I later talked to her sister on the phone and she said Mrs. Fite always talked about my work. 

I knew she had picked out a pink or red dress to be buried in, so I decided to go with a mixture of red roses, stargazer lilies, along with pink and purple mixed flowers. 

mixed flower casket spray
 Last week, I also wrote a blog post about living in small town America. The word "Community" was on my mind a lot last week. It was a community service type event where I met Mrs. Fite. It was a lady in our community that recommended me to the Spencer family, when they were wedding planning. It took a community of friends for me to pull off everything in three days. The best selling shirt at the fair last week was the "Rural Route" - it's a t shirt design inspired by our life and work in the rural community and apparently it resonates with many of you as well. 


My business depends on your referrals and an online community of support and shares. I am extremely grateful for all of you that are a part of our community! 

Here's to a great start of 2020! Looking forward to helping all of you in the coming year!