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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Confessions of a Barn Sale Newbie

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 In May, I was a helper at the barn sale of one of my lifelong friends.  All I knew when I signed up was what I'd known since I was 8 years old: my friend Ann, (aka "Nellie"), is something special.  She has always had an amazing sense of style, more than her share of creativity, energy that knows no bounds, and enough grace and Midwest hospitality to make anyone feel welcome. 



With that knowledge, my own love of junking and farm girl background (I drove a combine for Del Monte as my "summer job" in college...but that's another story) in my back-pocket  and the knowledge that I needed a break from my corporate job and life in "suburgatory" (geez, I LOVE that term!) I was off to do what I could to be help with the sale. 

Needless to say, even wandering around the venue by flashlight after dark on the night before the sale, I was hooked.  I won't go into detail here, but I will tell you that I met wonderful people, had a whirlwind 48 hours and, at some point toward the end of the second day, fueled by the combination of euphoria, caffeine, moxie, and the temporary loss of sanity  that ensued, I vowed that I'd "make something" and be a vendor at the fall sale (yeah...what was I thinking, right?!)

Since I try very hard to be a woman of my word (regardless of my questionable judgement at the time that the commitment was made), in July, I started putting together a few things and trying out some ideas, I cleaned my studio (well, maybe "cleaned" is an overstatement) and started creating. I studied fine arts in college, had grandmothers who taught me to knit, crochet and embroider, a mom who taught me to sew and the rest I self taught and/or picked up along the way so the results are bits and pieces of many influences.

Time flew, warm weather came and went as my projects overtook the studio, my office, the kitchen table, the dining room table and pretty much any other flat surface that didn't already have something on it. My oldest son went back to college. Like all moms, I was sad, but this year his departure meant that I could use his room for "overstock"! 

With school back in session, mealtime and homework were often accompanied by whatever I was working on. My son became accustomed to having a wreath sit at the table on the chair next to him during dinner. It has gotten to the point that one blinks an eye when I'm regularly out in public with paint under my nails and glitter somewhere on my face and/or clothes. The cashiers at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Goodwill, Salvation Army, Archivers and Joanne's Fabrics began to know me by sight, if not by name. They pride themselves on the fact that they know that I never shop without coupons and I bring my own reusable bags to transport the "treasures". And I now have a card that gets me a discount at Goodwill. Who knew?? Free.

Now, it's October and, a week from Friday, I'm going to be a vendor at my very first Barn Sale. Emotions are running the gamut. Fresh off of quarter close at work, homecoming for my son, fall decorating and washing windows,  I'm finishing up, boxing up, and packing up!  I'm nervous and excited and maybe just a little scared.  My family, however is excited. I've decided that while I'm sure that they are excited for this opportunity for me, it's more likely that their enthusiasm stems from the belief  that they may get to have a meal where glitter isn't one of the ingredients within the next couple of weeks.  This fuels further optimism that we may actually get to sit at a table to eat it proving, once again, that even boys have dreams...and sometimes they don't involve sports!

Here are a few photos of things that I've packed so far this week (for the rest of the photos, check out Serendipity. on Facebook. As always, let me know if you want to know how I made any of it and I'll do my best to "show and tell" you how!


Got these watering cans at Michaels a while ago. Have used them for Easter place card holders, bridal showers, and now, ornaments!

Acorn ornaments with paper leaves, jingle bells and other miscellaneous "stuff"

Cute little boxes that I found at Goodwill decorated with tulle, vintage sheet music, etc. You've gotta love a crow wearing a party hat!

One of my favorites. One of a kind. Chocolate brown box with sheet music, a pine cone from my yard, moss, etc.

Autumn burlap wreath. This one made me smile.
Sorry for the long post and, if you've made it this far, thanks for reading!

xo,

S