Monday, February 29, 2016

classic midwestern vintage

Over the past few months, I've been busy researching vintage markets that I felt Mick & Rita's would be a good fit for. In the process, I discovered a pretty amazing one I'd never heard of before. I printed out the application, checked all the necessary boxes, and sent that baby off in the mail. I waited, with fingers crossed, for that email to find its way into my inbox saying that I'd been approved to be a vendor at my very first show. When that email finally arrived, I have to admit, I was absolutely on cloud 9.. There was finally a date circled on my calendar to work toward. Its given me more motivation than I had before, and there was a lot of that to begin with.

The market is called 3 French Hen's Country Market and its located fairly close to home, in Morris, Illinois. The show I'm signed up for is June 11th and I can hardly wait. While I was applying, I had to sum up in words what my "style" was and what types of items I would be selling. Putting into words what Mick & Rita's "style" is was harder than I thought. I could see a vision in my head but wasn't quite sure where it fell in terms of the usual style buzz words people like to throw around when talking about vintage ( i.e. shabby chic? industrial? retro? kitsch?).  After making a brainstorming sheet, ala' 4th grade, I wrote out the words "classic midwestern vintage".

A lot of the items I gravitate toward as they sit on hayracks at estates sales had previous useful lives on farms- whether the item served its purpose in the barn or in the farmhouse kitchen. The majority of the furniture I purchase to refinish would look great in your average midwestern farmhouse. Furniture that's sturdy and strong, with design that's no-frills but appealing & classic in its simplicity.

In relation to my handmade items, most of the reclaimed materials I'm using had previous lives in farm kitchens and feed bunks, seed sheds & farm shops-- old aprons, feed sacks, seed sacks, ticking, quilts. Or as the structural sides of barns & corncribs.

Filling out applications for shows has allowed me to really hone in on what my vision is for Mick & Rita's. A few applications required pictures, so I went out in the cold and started grabbing items out of my garage and staging them. So here's a small sampling of some of the treasures I've compiled & constructed thus far. I hope you like what you see!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

the magic of january

No matter how cliché it sounds, January is the queen bee month of motivation.  Even if, statistically, many people forget about their New Year's resolutions before the end of the month swings around,  there's something to be said about the magic that January brings. For me, no other month holds as much potential in a a single day than January. I'm able to see every goal I've set for myself clearly. Everything seems doable. Mountains seem to look like molehills. Plans are being made.

I've been prioritizing and it feels great. In November of this year, I will turn 30. I'm not upset about it at all. As I've neared closer to 30, I've honestly felt better about myself and the life I'm living than I did 10 years ago. Its a great feeling. For my 30th birthday, my husband and I are planning a trip to the Grand Canyon. I visited once when I was 12. Standing near the rim on crutches and smiling for some family photos was the extent of my visit. So for this trip, we plan on obtaining backcountry camping permits and backpacking to the canyon floor and back over the course of 3 days. I'm SO looking forward to this, but the endurance part of it has me a little bit worried. The magic of January has helped me carve out 30 minutes to an hour every morning before the kids wake up to workout on my own. Its felt marvelous! I really hope I can keep up with it.

Due to January's sweet motivation, I've read both Marie Kondo's  acclaimed books on tidying and plan to put them into action after we return from a quick trip to Texas next week. I can't even begin to put into words how much I am looking forward to everything having a place in my home once and for all.

My stockpile of old seed, feed, and flour sacks is getting higher and higher and my brand new, Christmas present sewing machine is looking awfully lonely in the closet. My finger tips are tingling with excitement at the idea of making my first set of vintage throw pillows for Mick & Rita's. I can't wait to post them for all to see when I get them put together.