Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Monday, December 28, 2015

Special Discount Offered for Antiques & Vintage Goods Vendors

This post is for you vendors of antiques and vintage goods.  If you don't fall into that category, maybe you have friends who are interested.  I would appreciate it if you share...or go ahead and make plans to visit for the market!  Visit the website at www.downinthedelta.net for more information.

To make things exciting, we're offering an early sign-up discount for vintage and antiques vendors. We will discount your space fee by 10%. In order to get the discount, you must first apply (juried market), be accepted, and pay your space fee by January 29, 2016. Your discounted space fee will be reflected on your Paypal invoice that will follow your acceptance notification.  

To apply, click over to the "applications" page, http://www.downinthedelta.net/application/, follow the instructions, and then wait to hear back from us.  A space map of the pavilion is at the bottom of the page.  Space sizes vary slightly in the pavilion, so you will want to apply early with your space requirements and preference.  Once the pavilion is full, we will begin to fill the large tent with 10' x 10' spaces.  

As a BONUS, we will discount your space another 5% if you do the following three things:
1. "Like" our facebook page, 
2.  Share our facebook page,  then leave a comment telling me you've done both.
3.  Follow me on Instagram and leave a comment letting me know.

I will be checking!!!

Thank you for participating!    
Oh, and I will be doing giveaways all along the way, so stay tuned!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

I'm Blogging in Two Places Now!

Hi friends!  Did you survive Christmas?  All that decorating, cooking, hosting, visiting, wrapping, opening gifts, cleaning up after gifts, etc., etc, etc., can wear a person out!  I'm slowly recovering, and the bad part is, I really didn't do that much this year.  Guess I'm just getting old.  I've enjoyed seeing pics posted by everyone on facebook and instagram, and I'm catching up on my blog reading, so it's fun seeing what you all did during the holidays.  

I think one reason I'm so tired is because I'm not sleeping as much as I should be.  I'm so busy planning the vintage and antiques market that's happening April 1 & 2 (Yikes!  It'll be here in a flash.) that I can't turn my brain off at night to actually sleep.  I was up last night around midnight because the sleep thing just wasn't happening....and I started blogging about ways to use vintage and antiques things in the home.

Since I don't want to repeat the same post twice, I would love for you to jump over to the new blog that I've created for Down In The Delta, LLC-A Vintage & Antiques Market.  If you would like to follow that one, I would really appreciate it.  I would love for you to share it with friends, too.  It's going to be a fabulous event, and that will be the best place to stay informed on the market.  There's also a website, www.downinthedelta.net, and a tab at the top that will link you to the blog, so it's all linked together. The best way to find any of it is to remember this logo and name:

If you search this on the search engines, it should locate us.

I'll still be checking in here to blog from time to time too.  I'll just redirect you to the other one, like I did here, if I'm posting over there.  Did you follow all of that?  I'm not sure I did!  

Thanks for being here.  I appreciate every one of you.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sharing a Sweet Christmas Memory from my Childhood--With Tutorial

It's almost Christmas and I'm still decorating!  I don't remember a year EVER where I waited until the last minute to make the house look like Christmas...and, you know what?  I probably would have just not decorated at all, except that I found this great little vintage cart last week while out junkin', and it inspired me.  

I decided to put it in the living room and just throw some tiny trees in it and call  it done.  I actually really like it, because the funk factor is really showin' out and it's a little bit tacky...it's so my style. It's fun, too.  I think the grand-kids, niece and nephew who will be here for Christmas will get a kick out of it. 

And, speaking of the kids....once I got going down this path, I thought back at some of my own childhood memories that really stuck with me.  

One memory was of a gumdrop tree that my little church had every Christmas.  Our church was a tiny one with around 30 members (on a good day) and church on Christmas was like celebrating with family--they were part of my God family, and still are.  "Mom" Sutton, our pastor's wife, always did special little things for the kids.  When I was really little, I thought for the longest time that she was my other grandmother, because I had heard her grandchildren call her "grandmother" and so it just went that way...It was so much fun to go home with her for a day or even a few hours between Sunday services because she always had baked goodies, big jars of buttons, and she would take her hair down out of the bun so that I could see how long it was.  Mom Sutton just celebrated her 100th birthday...Anyway, I believe she was the one who started the gumdrop tree that remains so magical in my mind. It was a simple twig tree with candy gumdrops just stuck on all over it.  She was from Germany, and that just seems so German to have Hansel and Gretel decorations, so I'm sure it must have been Mom Sutton's contribution to the Christmas decorations at Simmsville Bible Chapel.  After the Christmas service, when we would file through the door on our way home, "Pop" Sutton would hand each of us a brown paper bag filled with fruit and hard candy...Yes, I have sweet memories of my childhood growing up in that small love-filled church.  

I thought I would try to reproduce that little gumdrop tree this year to make some sweet memories for the kids in my family, and I decided it would be nice to share so that if you want a fun, easy, cheap project for the kiddos, this one is it.  Now let me show you how I did it.

Since my decor is a little tacky this year, I went with a pear can for my container.  I added a strip of burlap around it and tied it all together with a ribbon.  This is where you can get creative and make it "go" with your decor.  It could be pretty in a silver plated bowl, a wooden container, or stuck into something with a hole in it (wooden shoe form)...just use your imagination.  Since the can was lightweight, I added stones to hold the little tree in place.

I then poured in some sand for added stability to fill in the spaces between the stones.

This is the way it looked before I trimmed it.  I decided to give it more of a Christmas tree shape.

Then, I started adding the gumdrops.  I found these at Wal-mart for $2.48.  I had envisioned multi-colored ones, like the ones from my childhood, but these were the only ones I could find...

This little twig tree that I found in the edge of our yard is perfect, because it has a lot of little twig things on which to stick the sugarplums.  The little gooey candies just sort of "grab" right on if you smash them onto the little twigs just right.  Side note:  I may or may not have cut the top out of a plum tree that hubby planted...He just asked me where I cut the tree...pray for me...Christmas is the season for forgiveness.

And after fifteen or twenty minutes of adding the little sugary gems, it's finished!

Warning:  Don't let the kids eat the candies after they've been stuck onto the tree!  

Now it's found a place to hang out over by the tacky funky cart filled with Christmas goodies.  

And, it's the first thing the kiddos will see when they arrive on Christmas Day.  I hope it brings a bit of magic to them and causes them to tuck the memory back in their minds somewhere so that they can pull it out to share with their grand-kids one day.

Hubby just told me that it was his plum tree...I sure hope the kids enjoy it.  He did forgive me, but I probably need to find another plum tree for him to plant when spring rolls around next year...

If I don't see you again before the big day, I hope you have a good one, filled with blessings and sweet sugarplums.  And, remember to whisper a "Happy Birthday" to Jesus before the day is done, because, after all, He is the reason for the season. 

Thanks for spending some time with me!  And I would love for you to visit my other website www.downinthedelta.net and make plans to come on down to the delta for a visit!

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Featured Artist--Down in the Delta Vintage and Antiques Market

Good morning!  I have some exciting news to share with you.  If you follow my other page, www.downinthedelta.net, you probably saw the post yesterday--if not, then stay with me while I share!

As many of you know, I'm currently accepting applications for vendors to participate in the Down in the Delta Vintage and Antiques Market.  I will be featuring one artist at the market. Now, you are probably wondering why just one artist, or why any art at all...well, art is a huge part of my life and I love to work great art into my home alongside my vintage and antiques treasures.  I feel they go hand-in-hand.  But, since this market is first and foremost about vintage and antiques goods, I decided that I would have just one artist at each market.  And the artist would be featured as the artist of that market.  Their work would have to be fabulous.  It would have to play well with antiques and vintage goods.  With that in mind, I've chosen the artist for the upcoming market.

Drum roll.........

And the artist is....Jerry Bradley of Red Dog Pottery!

I have known Jerry for years, and back when I co-owned an art gallery, he was one of our most popular artists.  People collected entire sets of his work.  It is so simple, beautiful, useful, easy and enjoyable to use.  I really can't say enough good things about his pottery. Let me just show you some of my Red Dog Pottery pieces.

This vase is large.  And I always keep it out to be enjoyed and shown off.  When the pine branches leave, forsythia or fruit tree blossom branches will take their place to celebrate spring.  It's one of those pieces that just always works with whatever branches you want to gather and use. This light glaze color is perfect for spring and summer, but also has warm browns that work well for fall and winter.  

The pie plates...aren't they just pretty?  And just imagine a freshly baked, bubbly pie, pulled straight from the oven in one of these pie dishes.  Can't you just smell it?  The bottom one with the ruffled edges is really deep, so it's perfect for those one-dish pie meals and hot dips.  I LOVE my pie plates.

If you every drop by my house and have a cup of coffee with me, it will be served in one of these fabulous mugs.  I've literally enjoyed hundreds of cups of coffee in my mugs over the years.  

See the medium sized bowl/dish behind the coffee cup?  I usually have it out on the island filled with onions, although it would work equally well holding apples, candy bars......or, whatever.

I collect this color, but he also does a dark brown glaze that is popular, too. And, sometimes he does Raku, which is beautiful, but not as functional.  I'm hoping he shows up with the kind I collect, because, well--I'm being selfish.  

If you're able to make it to the market, I'm sure you will fall for Red Dog Pottery just like I have, and you will have to take a piece home with you...then you will be calling for more....yes, it can be an addiction, collecting his work.  But at least it's a healthy addiction.

If you sent in work to be considered for featured artist of this market, thank you.  All art is beautiful and it's hard to choose just one artist.  Next market, I will most probably go with two-dimensional work, so if you are an artist and would like to be considered, go ahead and send in some pics for me to see.  My e-mail box is always open and you can find it by visiting www.downinthedelta.net...click on "contact us" and it should open a dialogue box.

I hope everyone has a good week!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Visiting a Treasure in my Own Back Yard--Malbis Plantation Greek Orthodox Church

Have you ever driven by a place and said to yourself, "I want to go inside there one of these days"? Well, I have done that at least a hundred times whenever I've traveled through Malbis, on Alabama Highway 181.  If you're familiar with the area, you probably already know where I'm talking about; for those of you who aren't from around here, I'm referring to the Malbis Plantation Greek Orthodox Church, also known as the Malbis Memorial Church. Today was the day--the hubby and I were out and about and decided to venture over there after lunch and see it for ourselves.

The church is a private family chapel that was built as a memorial to Jason Malbis, founder of Malbis Plantation.  It is built in the Byzantine style, with all elements of art and marble arriving here from Greece, according to a nice lady who was greeting visitors today.  The craftsmanship is simply something to be studied and appreciated.  I could have stayed inside all day long just snapping pictures of details.  It is open daily to visitors, and several other individuals visited while we were there.  To learn more about the church, please visit these links:  Wikipedia the tiles ...and there are many more if you "Google" it.    

The outside is pretty, but it doesn't even compare to what's inside.

The art is amazing, and the architecture...it's all something to see.

If you ever find yourself in Baldwin County, Alabama, you really should put this on your list of places to visit.  I don't know why it took me so long.

Thanks for hanging out with me today!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Down in the Delta--A Vintage and Antiques Market

Hi friends! The following is an excerpt from my new website www.downinthedelta.net. If this sounds interesting to you, jump on over and read more about it. It's a new event, so I'm trying to spread the word. I would appreciate it if you would share!  

Welcome to Down In The Delta- A Vintage and Antiques Market--the website-- where I will be sharing info about my new business by the same name!

The first market will be held April 1 & 2, 2016, just as the grass is beginning to turn green in the delta, and we're all ready to get outdoors to play a little. The pop-up event will be held in Baldwin County, Alabama, in a beautiful setting with a gorgeous view of the Mobile-Tensaw River as it winds around through the delta. We are situated in a county park where the oak trees are dripping with Spanish moss...so the setting itself is a magical place...just imagine what it will be like filled with vintage and antique treasures! There is no other pop-up vintage and antiques show that I'm aware of anywhere in South Alabama, or along the Gulf Coast, so it will be a market that I hope will grow into a premier event that our vendors and shoppers look forward to attending each season, year after year. The plan is to do a spring market in 2016, and if that goes well, I will add a fall market to the line-up for 2017. As things grow, there will be a holiday market...I hope you will make plans to attend and help me grow and enjoy this dream!
Visualize with me for a minute if you can, what I've described above--the delta. Now imagine vendors showcasing wares that they have sourced specifically for this event. They will be bringing their best, and because each vendor has been vetted, I can assure you their merchandise will be staged in dramatic and inspirational ways--a visual feast for your eyes! You will take away decorating tips to use in your own home by studying their displays...There will be something for every decor style and taste, to include chippy, shabby, rusty, rustic, farmhouse, French country, french fancy, and industrial pieces. There will also be vendors who specialize in up-cycled and recycled pieces, and painted furniture. You will find art and jewelry, too, and I'm sure there will be some rare and unusual pieces that make an appearance to keep things interesting...
If you are a vendor of vintage, vintage inspired, up-cycled and recycled pieces, or antique goods, and you would like to be part of this fabulous event, click on the Applications tab at the top of the page where you will find instructions for the application process.
I am hoping to book some special guests that you will want to meet! Please check back frequently for news and updates.
Inquiries? Please contact me at DownInTheDeltaMarket@yahoo.com
On Facebook, the page is https://www.facebook.com/downinthedeltavintageandantiquesm…/


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Christmas Open House and Some Amazing Estate Sale Finds

Well, the holidays have most definitely arrived!  Thursday evening was the Christmas Open House at Antiques at the Loop, and I was set up with the trunk show of jewelry that I've been working on for weeks.  It was a sparkling, twinkling event, and everyone was in the Christmas spirit!  There were hundreds of shoppers, and I met some great fellow vendors. A good time was had by all.  

It ended around 9:00, and we were all tired.  I asked if I could come by on Friday morning around opening time to pack up my merchandise.  (I think most of us had the same idea because I saw several vendors there hauling things out to cars the next morning!)  I knew that I would be attending my favorite estate sale that happens the first Friday of each month, and I would be finished shopping that sale by the time the antiques mall opened.  I was so tired, I actually contemplated sleeping in my car, because it would only be a few hours until the doors opened for the estate sale.  If I slept just so, sitting straight up, I wouldn't mess up the hair, and I wouldn't freeze to death because I have heated seats! That insane thought only lasted a few minutes....my bed at home is so comfy.  I told myself to just drive the 55 miles.   After I got home, I set my clock for 4:30, but the cat decided I needed to get up at 3:30....................oh well.

I met Linda from Coastal Charm at the estate sale (as we had planned the night before at the open house), and we chatted for the hour or two before the doors actually opened.  I passed out business cards and talked about Down in the Delta-Vintage and Antiques Market to fellow shoppers who stood in line waiting.  I met a new friend, Debbie, who makes fabulous jewelry that I have always admired. I think she's wanting to do the market!  I sure hope so, because her jewelry needs to be shared with the world!  The estate sale was great, but my eyes were tired, so I missed a lot!  I did wake up enough to score a few treasures. Then Linda and I went over to Cracker Barrel for a really nice breakfast of French Toast stuffed with sweetened cream cheese and covered with giant blackberries and blueberries. I will certainly have to go back for more of that!  It was a fun morning, and I'm so glad I dragged my sleepy self back to Mobile!

Now, I'll show you some of my treasures...

An old Bible, a pretty piece of black lace, and an old office clipboard...and an old but never used set of Grumbacher soft pastels.  I do soft pastel artwork, so I'll use them!  I paid $5 for the set, and I've found them online for $35 to $40, so that was a great score.

Then, there was a stack of old Christmas ornaments.  I use the teal color a lot at Christmas, so I grabbed them for $1!  They're a different shape...sort of oblong.  At another store, I found the silver plated punch bowl (That's what the tag said it was.) that I'll use  one of these days, but probably not for punch.  Maybe it would be nice just filled with some pretty green moss and Christmas ornaments...

But, the find of the day was this copperplate etching!  I love birds...and hands...and black.  It was perfect.  I had no idea who the artist was, but since I liked it so much, I decided to grab it and research the artist when I had time.  I did just that today...

First, when I "Googled" his name, it popped up on Wikipedia!  I knew I had something special, because for an artist to appear in Wikipedia, I mean, they MUST be somebody, right? Here's the link: Wikipedia-Marvin Hayes, artist.

Then, I clicked on the next one...it was the same etching that I have---for $150.  Granted, it was framed, but I can do that.  I once owned a custom framing shop/art gallery.  Yep, I know how to do that part of it.  Here's the link to that one, if you would like to see it framed. After you click on the link, scroll down to  the third listing...Oh, and I paid $1!  

I found some other fun things, too.  There's another single Christmas ornament in the teal, a big wood spool with string, a white crackled bowl, skeleton key, lace and some sparkly things...

I slept off and on all day today, so now that I'm rested, it's time to get some Christmas decorations up...(Don't tell on me, but I still have pumpkins out!  Those have definitely got to go.)  I think I'll keep the decorations simple this year.  I bought a great Christmas nativity print on canvas to hang...I'll share that after I get it all together.

Hope you're having a great weekend, and I'll see you in a couple of days!