Monday, March 21, 2011

Wagons Ho!

A 1966 West, 10' Camper
Pearl and I ready for our new on-the-road antiquing life!

I did it! I got my little camper in Warsaw, Missouri on March 19th, hooked it up and took a few test spins around KC, loaded it with necessities and hit the road. (That is the very condensed version of what transpired!) Pearl and I are currently in Round Top, Texas at the world famous antique show. I dusted off my boots, packed the bandannas and after many mechanical check-ups for my van and camper, we arrived here last Wednesday. We are spending our days shopping the fields, the tents and every podunk vendor set up on the side of the road.

I have been going to Round Top, on and off for ten years now and each and every time its a feast for the eyes, a lesson on navigation and a homecoming with friends. This trip feels like a new beginning now that the store is closed and I have less to worry about. I don't feel the added pressure of hurrying back home to be in the store or finding bigger items to make the trip financially worth while. Its also nice not to have to drive the fields with a 20' truck!

I am camped out at the Blue Hills Event Venue in Round Top, owned by Kansas City dealer Mike Peters. I sent Mike a plead to just let me park on his property and he responded with, "We have full RV hook up with guest bathrooms and showers!!!" Whoo-hoo! I am all set and did not have to deal with using the bathroom in my little camper!! He even had hired help to pull me in place and set up the water and electricity to my little home. I could get used to this!

Of course, makeover pictures to come.
(You didn't think I was going to leave it like this did you?!!)

Once I left home, the drive from KC to Wichita was not pleasant. The winds were at full force making me feel I was driving through quicksand. I was intimidated enough pulling this for the first time but once the winds died down, all was good. Pearl and I slept inside for the first time at a truck stop in Oklahoma and I found myself giggling as I cranked open the windows and snuggled with her under the covers for our first night on the road!

After we arrived in Round Top and unhitched the camper I drove around town seeing who was still open and ended up at Royer's having a beer with Bud the owner and Grand Marshall of this antique weekend. He caught me up on the latest news, telling me of Rachel Ashwell's venture with her new B & B miles away and then showed me pictures of his amazing home in Austin! OMG! Why someone has not featured this place in a magazine is beyond me. It looked like Uncommon Objects Gone Wild!

Since hitting the road, there have been many amusing anecdotes of which I will call the Curious Camper Diaries one day. (A new blog starting soon!)

To name a few:
- I forgot there are bugs and dirt while camping! How quickly we forget.
- Living in a 6' x 10' space is all about organization; lots of bins and bags and multiple hooks are needed to keep things off the ground.
- Do not be stupid enough to think you are going to completely redecorate your new abode on your first trip out. Learn how to live in it first. (This lesson was painful, you should see all the crap I brought with me!)
- If you camp near bathroom facilities, you will almost feel human.
- Be prepared to be without internet connection and living by your iPhone. (Second tough lesson.)
- Using propane to boil water brings a new found joy and a caveman-like accomplishment. (Even if it is for Ramen noodles.)
- Your beloved canine has no place else to go but in bed with you. Be prepared to sleep with paw prints and dirt.
- Have a local vet handy when your fluff-ball experiments with Texas rat poison. (Oh yes, mother and daughter now doing fine.)
- One minute you will love the simplicity of camping, the next minute you will want your MTV.
- Have many lavender sachets handy to bury your face in when a skunk wanders near your camper at night. (I thought I was gonna die!)
- ENJOY the junking and gathering great items for myself, the camper, the website and photo shoots.

More stories when I return!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

March Update

A lovely vintage Pin Cushion Doll (shot in my office) SOLD

Life is shuffling along just fine post Curious Sofa. Since closing the store my home has suddenly become a photo studio with props, backgrounds and merchandise scattered about. If only I had the means to build that wonderful studio in my giant back yard! Although my home is small, it is the perfect palette to use for shooting images for all the new (and old!) product I am offering online.

Distressed Wooden Peacock Tray shot in my living room.

Most of the shooting is happening in my office which is painted a lovely medium grey color. It has a large picture window too offering tons of natural light and a smaller window with a crochet curtain.

A new Victorian Display Hand shot in my office.

My tea stained bedroom wallpaper has worked perfectly for hanging pictures with the gauzy white window treatments.

An antique pair of Oval Prints shot in my bedroom.

The living room is a soft creamy color with the infamous fireplace, lots of natural light and curtains that are a bit different with a subtle pattern.

In my living room an Antique Shaving Mirror.

The dining room has become the holding area with my table covered with tools and props but it is also painted neutral with natural light.

I love the shape of this new Pendulum Clock.

I use the kitchen a lot because it is a painted a lighter grey with wooden counter tops and a lacy door panel.

In my sunny kitchen, a new Sunflower Watering Can.

And as crazy as it sounds, I just love the bleached out grey stairs to my screened in porch so they became the perfect backdrop for this wire dog.

Pearl is a bit miffed why her new friend won't play! Dachshund Topiary Form.

That just about covers every kind of backdrop I might need, although now I am buying different tablecloths, surfaces and curtains to switch things out as needed. Now I know a little how Martha used to feel when every room in her home was being used for her magazine! (Does this mean a big write-off come next tax season? I think so!!)

For over two months now I have had a stash of antiques to post online and slowly they are making an appearance to the website. I will soon change up the categories and disperse the antiques where they belong. I am adding a Display category for all you retailers and crafters that love show pieces.

I am also adding a Provisions category soon with my favorite wires, garlands, tools and such.

Back in stock: Burlap Garland

Also, by popular demand I have added American Express and PayPal to our payment options. I am also keeping the Four Seasons categories and adding Fall and Christmas items as I find them so be sure and check there too.

New goods from market have started to appear and I am loving these items as well:

Remember my friend and local artist Lesa Dailey? We had her sell her originals in the store for a few events but now you can buy her new Easter designs here. Someone has finally discovered Lesa and I am thrilled to carry her line. No one does handcrafting like she can and every little feather, bow and collar have her special touch.

Queen Bird by Lesa Dailey

White Birdie Ornament by Lesa Dailey (Blue and Pink too!)

This month I am headed to Round Top, Texas and will certainly be bringing back great antiques from there. I am so excited to meet up with friends I have not seen in a year and if all goes as planned, be towing my new vintage camper behind me!!!! Friday I am heading to Warsaw, MO to see one I found on Craig's List. It is not as unique as I would like, but it looks solid and has already been renovated. I finally got a hold of myself and realized I could decorate the heck out of it anyway, so who cares what the shape is? The cuter, funkier campers that I really want can run from $2,000 to $7,000 and I just cannot do that especially since I am new at this pulling-the-camper/living-on-the-road-thing and at $3.50 a gallon now (!!!) I need to take it slow. Someone told me, "Hey this could be your new thing to buy these old campers and decorate them and resell them!" Now that's the kind of flipping houses I could do!!

$$$ Probably Yes

$$$$$ Definitely No

My other news is that I received a wonderful opportunity from Better Homes & Gardens magazine. I am producing a ten-page editorial for their Halloween Ideas issue! This came to me literally 48 hours after I closed the store and the contract was finalized this week. I don't want to give away too much but let me tell you, this is going to be one BEAUTIFUL Halloween spread. It is not gory or gothic or spooky and no it does not include Marie Antoinette with crows in her hair!! This is all I'll tell you: Alice will be getting curiouser and curiouser... tee hee.