After spending three days at the Travis County Expo Center standing on the concrete selling, wrapping, rearranging, packing, and socializing, I thought I would be exhausted and drained. Instead, I found working at the Country Living Fair to be an incredibly energizing experience from which I gained new friends, lifelong memories, creative ideas, a few fun finds, some new skills, a plethora of photos for blog posts, and plenty of wholesome calories from pumpkin cookies and rhubarb nut bread.
I just can't thank Karen enough for giving me this opportunity to help in her space at the show. I had a blast working with the owner of Vintage Designs, her wonderful husband Brent, her patient niece Nancy (who answered my millionith question of "Hey Nancy, how much is _______ [insert some rusty tractor part]?"), and her crazy friend Cheryie (who, at one point, stood up from her cashier chair, starting dancing, and sang, 'I like to move it, move it...').
I admire so much about Karen: her vision, design skills, eye for repurposing, desire to stay affordable, and, most of all, her genuinely sweet-natured caring personality. I learned that her favorite word is happy; she had a coffee mug with the word printed on the front, she created a cool sign with just that word (it didn't last long in the booth), and today we snuck out to the show barn for some shopping and she bought a silver ring with the word 'happy' engraved on it. That very word describes her to a T. And her happiness is contagious - shoppers left content with their treasures and her crew was a happy bunch of hard-working and fun-loving people.
If you are ever near Burnet, you must check out her awesome displays in Cheryie's antique mall, Finds. Special shout out to Cheryie for making sure every customer left with my card, telling them, "That young blonde over there blogs about us since we don't do much with the computer. You should check out her blog!" That brings me pure happiness. So does the fact that I don't have to say the word 'cloche' anymore; I still think clo-shay sounds better, but I finally was able to say the correct pronunciation after day 2.
Thank you all for reading and enjoy these pictures from Karen's space at the show. I sure hope Country Living comes back to Austin next year!
Check back soon for lots more pictures from the Country Living Fair!
It is Country Living weekend in the ATX! Sunny skies, a warm breeze, dusty roads, beautiful displays, and loads of shoppers pulling rusty carts signified the fun had begun! I saw so much eye candy today and took over 100 pictures in the few minutes that I had my camera in hand. I will use just the best tonight to give you yet even more reasons to get to Austin for the amazing Country Living Fair.
I am the self-proclaimed protege of Karen from Vintage Designs out of Marble Falls/Burnet, TX. She has the BEST booth in all of Country Living! Not that I am biased at all since I am spending the weekend helping her, but even in my quick run through the arena, her talent just shines and shoppers are drawn to her space. I got to the Country Living Fair just before 3 today and the place was swarming. I met Karen's crew and they said that the crowd at that point in the afternoon couldn't even compare to the madness that had occurred earlier in the day. Even the show manager told me that Karen had a line of nearly 15 deep in the morning.
I had a bird's eye view of the space from the stadium seats. Notice the awesome chicken feeder lights hanging - a few years ago, any decor with chickens was all the rage; now, repurposed accessories used in chicken 'farming' are hot - feeders, waterers, nesters, etc.
The shoppers were so generous with their compliments of Karen's booth and at times they would say to me what a great booth I have...ha! I wish I could take credit for this creatively gorgeous scene. But I sure enjoyed talking with the customers and was shocked by how many are visiting Austin from out West - the shoppers I talked with were from Utah, Idaho, Washington, and Montana! Seriously, multiple ladies were from Montana. I love that they travel for something as fun as this. Andrew asked if I would ever travel to attend this show - heck yes! Looks like our next vacation will be in Columbus or Atlanta!
I had such a great afternoon working with Karen, her husband Brent, her friend Cheryie (owner of Finds in Burnet), her sister Mary, and her niece Nancy. I think I just barely got my feet wet (but tired) when the show ended for the evening. I am excited to see what kind of crowd the weekend brings!
Approaching the Arena
Inside the arena
More of Karen's space..
She will be bringing more stock tomorrow to fill all the gaps from everything that sold today!
On my way to the Travis County Expo Center, I took a little detour to hit up the Funky Junk Sister's Junk Salvation show at the J. Lorraine Ghost Town just east of Manor. It was awesome! How could a vintage/antique/junk show at a ghost town NOT be awesome?! I geeked out a bit at the entrance gate when I realized the ladies selling the tickets were THE Dixie and Linda from Junk Salvation. In addition to seeing the hostesses of the event, I met some other great vendors and really enjoyed viewing wonderful merchandise displayed against a primitive backdrop reminiscent of an old Western movie set. I will do a more thorough post later with even more pictures, but I will leave you with some snapshots to give you a taste of the treasures to be found there again tomorrow.
I ran out of time to credit all of the vendors whose displays I featured, but I will give them shout outs and links in the next post. I gotta hit the hay to rest up for another fun-filled day!
May your path lead to the east side tomorrow - the east side of Austin that is. These shows are within just about 10 miles of one another, so it is worth the trip. Hope to see you at the fair!
Less than 40 hours stand between me and the Country Living Fair in Austin! I took Friday afternoon off and the timing couldn't be better - both of the past two days I haven't left school until 7. I love what I do, but this teacher needs a break! Can't wait to recharge my batteries and be inspired by all the talent that will be in our city this weekend. Plenty of pictures to come for all you out-of-towners who can't make it, but I sure hope to see a few of you there!
Country Living Fair Details - click the link for all the specifics. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 to 5, rain or shine. Our space is inside, out of the heat!
Another peak at what's to come with Karen's booth:
Happy Day, Mother Earth! I'm just getting this post in on the tail end of April 22, the internationally celebrated Earth Day. I do hope that we take time to care for our planet more than just 1 out of every 365 days, and I want to give a shout out to all of you who help keep the "3 R's" moving in a continuous circle. Everyone who purchases old stuff is a contributor to those R's, particularly reuse. Many in this field refer to items being reused as 'repurposed,' 'refurbished,' 'renewed,' 'upcycled' - whichever semantic you choose, buying old stuff saves it from the dump and gives new life to old junk.
I celebrated Earth Day by hitting up the Austin City Wide Garage Sale. There were great vendors as always, some the same I have frequented on previous visits, and some new. They all come hoping to find a new home for their old junk. I just love looking at all the goods! Here are some scenes from the Palmer Event Center.
Remember this game? It sure was mysterious and I was always certain someone was moving it. But a fun and creepy way to keep occupied while trying to stay awake til sunrise with 13 other girls in 7th grade.
This was Linda's booth, and from the looks of the business cards, I am guessing she has a spot at Uncommon Objects. I loved both of those little cabinets and the rusty one on the right went home with me.
More of Linda's displays above and below.
I had a great time visiting with Megan from Salvaged, who I am excited to announce is starting a blog! She just spent two weeks in the fields at Warrenton and lived to tell about it. I hope she had a great sale at City Wide.
I also hope that we can make it to visit the dump and 'salvage' some great junk soon!
This was a super quick shot of her Salvaged space.
Below are pictures from a vendor with whom I wasn't familiar; I hope she forgives as I am pretty certain that her name is Debbie. She literally just pulled into town from Arizona and is looking to make Austin her home. I wish her the best and these photos show she is off to a running start here.
Look at those rusty old bumpers!
This is her logo. I was loving those little wagons and tricycle too.
I sure love orange, but wow, this is a lot of orange!
I finally got to spend some time in my space and did a little reorganizing to hopefully help older stock move so I can make way for some newer items! You can see my new rusty cabinet from City Wide already squeezed in - I had planned to take a piece home, but instead rearranged and stacked higher in order to cram everything in.
Be good to Mother Earth and buy something old rather than something new.