I've always loved sunflowers, but this year, we are actually growing them and I could post a picture of them everyday. They make me happy! We also spend a lot of time at my in-laws house and we help with the garden there as well. There's a flag pole by a square flower bed, near the veggie patch and my mother-in-law wanted to plant a pollinator garden there. I helped plant the area and I planted some sunflower seeds, in hopes that I would get to take a sunflower and flag picture and she'd get bees to visit.
My father-in-law was retired from the Air Force and died this summer. He wanted a military service and he was fortunate to get his wishes (with the current situation, we didn't know if he'd get full service, but he did.) It was a very emotional and touching service. The past few years, we have become very close to them, as we've helped with his care.
Honestly, we've been feeling the sunflower / flag vibes all summer - from my painted buckets, to gardening, and shirts. The week after his funeral, I was checking on the garden and found the first sunflower along with the flag gently blowing in the breeze. It made me tear up. Their farm land and black top road in the background... One of the songs we chose for the memorial video was Small Town Southern Man by Alan Jackson. As we drove through our small town, on the way to the cemetery, Jeff and I were both overcome with emotion, as everyone stopped and waited for us to pass... true small town life. As Jeff said: "it's just different when it's your dad." Yes, yes it is.
We've been in sort of a funk the past few weeks, but Sunday afternoon, I sat down at my computer. I wasn't sure what I was going to create, but I pulled up a sunflower graphic, then a flag appeared while I was browsing my files... I piddled with it a few minutes, then I started getting the vision and it all came together. It's got buckets of sunflowers, crates of pumpkins, my Granddaddy's well bucket with wildflowers, hay bales and wheat, a rooster, a vintage turquoise pick up truck... did I leave the flag background or not? That's not really fall, but I wanted it there... Fall words or what would it say? That's when "Small Town Country Girl" hit me and I just knew that was it. Quite possibly my favorite original design to date!
I got the shirt made and listed online today and I love it! I'll definitely be making one in my size!
I really wasn't thinking about these things, when I sat down at the computer, but I can look back and see how it influenced my design process. When I posted a message about his passing and that I would be away for a few days, I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and kindness you shared with us. I really just thought it would have been a simple announcement that I'd be away, since only a few local friends knew him personally, but once again, you supported us.
|Our set up at a recent Gilmer Area Farmer's Market - I can participate as a local make, so I've been taking the old buckets, windows, and things from our closed booth and painting them. We also make all of our tees, right here in the county.
I've been advised to "clean up" my Instagram feed - no more quotes, flower pictures, cute farm animals, our yard or gazebo (by the way, pictures of it got us on the Country Living website this spring), heartfelt ramblin's from the backroads, etc - only limited personal pictures and to only have pictures of business / products for sale post. I did back off my personal pictures on ig, but I've certainly been thinking about it - those things that I'm not suppose to share are the things that influence us, the things that connect us to you. They are our journey on the rural route... I'm not so sure having a product only, perfect feed is really what it's all about. Maybe for the big brands, that's ok, but not for us, a small town country girls... What do you think?
Since we've got so many items featuring a sunflower, I also created a new collection ( and menu) on our website that's called "All Things Sunflowers!" I think you might like a few of the things you find there as well. From buckets to key rings and car accessory kits to all the shirts with a sunflower on them and even a wedding bouquet. There's just something about a sunflower that makes us all happy and this world needs a lot more happy right now!
As always, we thank you for always supporting us with your comments, words, and allowing us to make something pretty for you. Y'all are the best!