Posts tagged etsy

An Overachievers Diary…

It all started with a grand plan that got grander, pick up the son from college, do a show, build Mt. Vernon, have a historic jacket custom made, make a petticoat, a bum roll and 40 new pieces. Sounds like a weekend to me. Did I happen to say son is in Virginia, 700+ miles away, show is in Newport News another 200+miles, Mt. Vernon is being built from foam and sticks, and I have all the parts of the 40 pieces in the studio waiting for me to assemble. All in all I’m a optimist and feel everything you want can be done if you just try hard enough. Well we tried, through the down pours of rain here in Illinois we worked every weekend all weekend long, and still we failed. But failure should never detour one, you can learn so much, and just the effort of trying produces some great things!

Hubby is working like a madman these days at the real job, so the new historic line we are calling “Coach House Heritage” will launch slower than expected, some pieces are up on Etsy now and others we will be adding over the next week to our site and Etsy. It will feature pieces inspired from the mid 1700’s through the Civil War. Lots of new hard-stuffed, fabric pieces in very limited editions of 25, which are all hand-painted. Very classic papier mache pieces, soldiers with wired on arms, and pieces which combine papier mache with fabric in one piece.

We will be re-erecting Mount Vernon here some time in mid June and having a show right here on our studio grounds. I’ll post some dates and details soon so you all can come out.

But my trip to Virginia was great and wanted to share some wonderful parts with you all.

American in Paris–excellent antique shop, in Paris Virginia. Call first and the darling owner Carol will open it up to you. Paris, VA is a very small, quaint town nestled in the Blueridge Mountains. Here is their link so you can pre-shop,

The Red Fox Inn-a quick lunch and one of my most favorite places, located in Middleburg Virginia, which had to include peanut soup.

Oh yes and the boy child is now home and my family is all here again. And really, what more could one ask for?


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Us and the Lion


Well again another long time in between postings…but alas, no more beating ones self up. I have been so busy with work and orders, I have been truly blessed! Thank you to all!

Hope everyone had a fabulous Turkey Day, ours was just great. A little side bar, if you have never had a “Hoka” Turkey, do yourself a favor and order one for your next feast, it was just the best as usual.

Wanted to share a photo with you of our recent trip to mine and my husbands alamata. I think of the whole Art Institute of Chicago as my college, even though the School of the Art institute is on the back side, many of a snowy, windy or rainy day we’d cut through this magnificent place to get from Michigan Ave to the Columbus Drive side, cut through the Exchange Room hall, the student gallery and vola in the hall of the school, (oh, the places a student pass will get you). So when we returned last weekend, I was walking through the main hall and telling my daughter this–she looked at me as if your crazy, right? You see, my son was in from college, so a lot of reminiscing about college life was going on. Gone is the day of the free pass, cutting thorough the main hall, going on Sunday morning to do research before the public would come in. You learned when the museum was busy and when it was slow, you would know the guards not by name but at least by face and give them a little nod, you could sit on a beach in front of a Picasso and just soak it up. Some how when I’m there I feel 18 again, I remember how the gallery’s have changed over the years, that my favorite O’Keeffe was down for a while but now she’s back. I can look down into the inner garden and remember how it looks in all seasons. We only make it home about once a year now, my son goes willingly and will go to every gallery I visit. He looks thoughtfully at the paintings and sculptures with me, I’ll share a tidbit or two that I remember from art history classes, but he has been going there for some 19 years. My daughter on the other hand goes reluctantly, looks a lot at her watch and wants to leave at the drop of a hat. She however this year did find interest in the Thorne Room Miniatures which I took her to for the first time. And also made me very proud when her father asked her over cocktails what her favorite piece was and she pulled out David Hockney, “American Collectors” and told him a little about it (which I had just told her an hour before). But hey, I’ll take what ever I can squeeze into her in regards to culture. My son teases her that all she has to do is touch the lions tail and culture will just pour into her…so hence our photo this year with one of the lions!

A lion side bar: The two bronze lion statues were created by Edward L. Kemeys. The sculptor gave them unofficial names: the south lion is “stands in an attitude of defiance,” and the north lion is “on the prowl.” We are standing with the south lion…how appropiate.

And to all the wonderful people who have been asking what’s new. Here is the first new piece in a while “Partridge on Pear”, an ode to the 12 days of Christmas…it might just become a series. Check it out on Etsy at:

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A Flurry of Good News

Something happened last week which I knew was coming but sorta came in flurry. I’m pleased to say we have hit another personal milestone on Etsy. We have over 300 sales!!!!! Last time I hit a mile stone I did 100 of my favorite sellers on Etsy. Sorry, this time I just don’t have the energy to do 300. But I do wish to say a BIG THANK YOU to all the wonderful customers on Etsy who have been very generous and bought from my little shop. 

I’m also pleased to announce that Etsy has selected Middleburg to be the Featured Seller on the front page starting at 1:00 p.m. EST on Friday, November 7th. We will be up for three days it seems. You can view my personal outrageous photo and read my interview. We will be listing new pieces and trying to make it fun for all of you who’s viewing. This is a total unexpected honor from Etsy, it’s not something you can buy, lobby for or get by being a high seller. As a shop owner it’s something you wish for, pray for and wonder why did that shop get it before me. But when it happens to you and you get that little convo, it’s like Christmas! 

When I got the e-mail last week, my immediate thought was OMG I need a new head shot, but them I remembered I’m an artist now not that corporate suit with the perfect hair and makeup. I thought what could I do that would be different, unique, something that pushed the creative envelope of the the Ho Hum head shot. I thought I want Annie Leibovitz to shot me, but she was booked…so I had to go with hubby. I wanted to be surrounded in my art, but not nessarly show you the flurry (my new favorite word) of chaos I work in. So here’s what we came up with, I’m showing you both photos my hubby shot of me this weekend! He was a dear to put up with my craziness. So we are having fun with this and hope you enjoy reading about my hopes, dreams and goals for my business and on Etsy!

A quick show announcement as well–We will be doing only 1 show for this Christmas season and here are the details. 

This is a one day show, The Winnetka Home Craft Show 

Thursday, December 4th from 11:00 am to 7:00 p.m..

283 Ridge Ave.

Winnetka, Illinois

(2 blocks South of Willow Rd and 2 blocks West of Green Bay Rd.)

At fellow artist Cindi Samaha home, 10 high quality artist will feature their wears, trunk show style. So stop by for the most perfect Christmas decorations and gifts to complete your lists.

And don’t forget to stop by my Etsy shop often this holiday season we are posting new items almost everyday!

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So much to catch up on…

I know it’s been a while and no I’ve have not fallen off the edge of the world. First off sent my Greyson, my oldest off the college this fall, he is doing great and I have good and bad days. Let me tell you if you have ones that is under the age of 12 or so hug them every minute you can, because one day they to will be unhugable, as it’s to far for even a mothers arms to reach 1000 miles! 

The high side of all of this is he is in my beloved Virginia! I returned to Middleburg, Leesburg and got to see family we haven’t seen in years. Got to go the Middleburg Tack Exchange, the only real tack shop and bought Greyson the most stunning pair of black field boots. He is at the most beautiful college you have ever seen Randolph College in Lynchburg. He has made the riding team and will be going to his first team meet the first week in October! 
I have created a ton of new Halloween Pieces and I’m proud to say they are very, very good. Lots of new papier mache! Great new garlands, of black cats, skulls, and leafs. I still continue to be inspired by great old antique toys. I love wheels on the pieces and imagine what Halloween was like way back when. You can see and buy pieces from my etsy site.

You must plan on going to the Country Folk Art Show! It’s next weekend, starts on Friday night, September 26-28, 2008.

Well the long awaited Fall Folk Art show is almost here. I say long awaited because if you’ll remember our lovely Kane County was building us a new building out here at are fair grounds and we skipped the Spring show. Well it is fabulous let me tell you, great natural light and air conditioning! So tell your friends and come out. 
Here is a link if you need more details
Sorry and sad to say 😦 I will not be their, as it is parents weekend, so I’m off to Virginia again like a good mommie. But please I encourage you to go a shop some of the best artist and craftsmen from around the country. Here a short list of some of my friends and fellow artist I think you should pay special attention and go see.
Valerie Weberpal / Harvest Moon
Rosann Wynykoski / Paintings 
Terry Graber / Terry Graber Studio
Ed Pribyl / New Traditions Wood Work
Jain Faries / Mox Nix Textiles
and Ginny Henson of course.
And so many, many more. So go stop by a say hello for me too!

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It’s Good to be Green…even at your wedding

Sorta didn’t do a special posting on Earth Day because it’s like going to church because it’s Easter. But I did press paper (recycled) and even dumped my mop bucket water outside over a new little Ginkgo tree we just planted (using a biodegradable soap).

But today I got a total surprise and was featured on Vintage Indie’s Wedding Blog, Indie Wedding Guide. Just for being green. As I’ve noted before I started my company green even before it was all the ‘buzz,’ and I try all the time to improve or lessen our ‘foot print.’

Here is a little bit about our papier mache.
Middleburg is Green…it’s not just a saying, it’s truly the way we started. All of our papier mache pieces are made from 100% recycled ground newspaper. We just add water and a biodegradable binder. Our paints and glues are all made in the USA (we have checked)–not just beautiful, but smart too.

Also let me share one of my most recent projects, I am the lead on the Etsy Wedding Team. I’m such a sucker for a good wedding. And this is a group of very talented, quality shops on Etsy that create things for a beautiful hand-made wedding. So many do customizable items for the bride and the whole wedding I encourage you to check them out. Here is the ‘our blog’ link or just search on Etsy by inserting “Etsy Wedding Team” in the search window and all my team mates will pop up!

Find more great Etsy Wedding Team Shops on our blog:

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What All Mom’s Want

Moms all over the world would agree that there is an age you wish you could stop your children at or at-least go back to.

Some personal stuff first then the new pieces.
I have loved every age my children have been at and even more as they grow into the person they will be for the rest of their lives. For me with a son graduating this spring and going to college it is bitter sweet daily. When he talks to me and sounds so intelligent, I think how did I raise him to be so wonderful, then the next moment I realize he will be gone soon and I won’t see him. But WoW will I be proud. I’ll turn him over to the next phase of his life. I look forward to being with my daughter more, to do more with her, but she too will be off soon. So if I could I would like to stop them at around 6 or 8, just so they would need me as much as I still need them.

So there is something that maybe will put them back in time a bit.

We are creating for Mother’s Day, Customizable Family Portraits of your family.
You can add any number of children form 1-10+, you choose hair color, skin tone, clothing colors, size of children, boys and girl. We can add a saying to the front of the base or leave it blank. Please see one of these two links for all details. We will even be gift wrapping and send them in white box with black ribbon and a gift tag you can leave a message on.

We would love to make up one for you, just the way you remember them!

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In great company…

Ever go to a party and find great people were invited? The conversation is stimulating, the guest have great interests separate form your own. Well found myself in a very similar place purely by chance yesterday in a treasury on Etsy, titled “a little touch of red” here is the link The curator of this one is another great artist herself. Everyone on the pages work is exceptional, I was very proud to be included. But also noticed I had selected all the same artist on my list of fav’s.

I’ve recently discovered the best way to shop on Etsy is through others shop favorites, it’s like getting a tip from a girlfriend about a great new store in town. You rush over to see if it fits your taste too, and when it does it’s shopping heaven. So pop on over to this great treasury today while it’s still up and shop, shop, shop, it’s like your best friend told you!

I’ve also included a list here of these great shops, so if you miss the treasury being live, check them out. A tip from a friend.

oh and me

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