Sorry for the long gap in posting but I have barely been able to catch my breath these days. I haven’t mentioned this before but a couple of weeks before we moved, I was given the opportunity to audition for a show at a professional theater based in Fayetteville (TheatreSquared). I think I mentioned in a previous entry that I used to act — it’s the reason I ended up in Chicago, actually. That was many moons and an entire lifetime ago, and I had given up on ever strapping my theater shoes back on, but this opportunity kind of landed in my lap like a not-so-small miracle and I thought — hey, who am I to turn down a miracle? It’s a wonderful show, great cast, and mine is a small part, so rehearsal time has been minimal, but rehearsals — though short — are still nearly every night. AND THEN…about a week into rehearsals, I got a phone call from Daisies and Olives, an antique mall in Prairie Grove, Arkansas, that has always been one of my favorite shopping spots in the world. I had contacted the owner when I first moved back to see if she had a spot open…we corresponded for a bit, but the time wasn’t right. She got an unexpected opening and is giving me a shot in a small (about 6X3) booth!

Given my love and admiration for this place, and my complete awe at the other booths there, there is a certain amount of pressure involved in this venture. I love the last antique mall I was in, don’t get me wrong, it was great — but it was very traditional, and let’s just say the quality varied greatly from booth-to-booth. I was never worried that I was the weak link in that mall. But at Daisies and Olives…these vendors REALLY know how to market themselves, and, as my Mom said when I took her in last weekend, each booth has its own distinct style and mood. And of course, their merchandise is fabulous. It really is a beautiful mall.

So I spoke to the owner on Saturday and by Monday I was painting the wall of the booth — it’s a great little configuration, with a back wall and an awning over it that’s made of vintage window casings. By Wednesday of last week I had most of my merchandise moved in…and I took a look at my tickets after last weekend and it looks like I’ve made my February rent already, so the pressure for that is off. Even though the space is somewhat small, I was amazed at how much I could fit into it — and I’m a little freaked out because I need to start stockpiling some wares. When I opened my last booth, it took a uhaul to get all my stuff down here and a storage space to keep it in. Not so this time around. The pantry is looking pretty bare. As soon as the show opens, I’m going to make some plans for some small buying trips, to Tulsa, maybe, or even St. Louis. And although I’m already planning to go to Chicago for graduation (I wouldn’t miss my seniors’ graduation for the world!) in June, I’m thinking an earlier trip may even be in the cards. Lots to think about, and all of it creative. If you had told me a year ago that we would be living in this great town, close to family, and I would be both acting and running a booth again — I wouldn’t have believed you. The world is weird.

Here are some shots of the booth so far. Keep in mind that this is SO FAR. I have many plans for it — I want to paint to the framing, and hang my vintage enamel welcome sign from the top, and get a new Pretty Quirky sign, and, and, and…much to do. My Mom just left from an 8-day stay which was AMAZING but I still have so much to do.  Does anyone want to borrow a pair of twins for a couple of weeks?

The green cabinet was made by my grandfather many moons ago. It was apparently part of a child’s kitchen set. I tried to hang it on the wall by myself — it weighs less than 50 pounds but, still is quite cumbersome and unwieldy. I almost wish I had a video of the proceedings. I was using monkey hooks because that’s what Justin used to hang it in our old apartment and it was totally fine despite the fact that the wall had no stud and was basically drywall. It took me a good twenty minutes to finally get it caught on the hooks only to discover that my casual measurements meant one side was a full two inches higher than the other. Take it down, rehang the hook, wrestle for fifteen more minutes — now the other side is higher. When I finally got it even, I just couldn’t trust that it would hang okay with the doors being opened and closed multiple times a day. But damn, it looked SO GOOD hanging on the wall. Almost made me cry to take it down, especially after all the sweat that went into it.

Remember this wicker chair from the Salvation Army in Chicago? Mom made a new cushion for it. I was in such a hurry to get it to the booth that I decided to forgo painting those wood buttons you see but now I’m thinking maybe I should. They bug me. But the cushion sure is cute.

I added a few things later in celebration of Valentine’s Day.

I LOVE the look of printing on old dictionary pages…so glad I finally sat down and realized how easy it is.

I have been hoarding these frames for years, because they’re so cool I couldn’t decide what was cool enough to go in them. They have the really old, curved glass, so I thought I would take advantage of that to frame something 3-D…I have them marked kind of high both because of the rarity of the curved glass and because I kind of want to keep them for myself.

These are both spray paint projects. Isn’t that candlestick weird? The bookends were gold before the spray paint.

Okay, so I think these glasses would be hilarious for a Valentine’s Day gift. They are part of my glass etching experiment. One set of etched glasses has already sold — featuring different styles of mustaches. So I’m hoping quirky is the appeal.

On the tags: do you guys remember my Silhouette tags?

People, I’m going to be really full of myself here and say that these are the BEST PRICE TAGS EVER. I can say that because they are the work of my husband, not me. But they were hell to make. It took him forever to figure out the print and cut feature of the Silhouette and then they didn’t really get cut all the way out so you would have to liberate each tag from the cardstock, one by one, and THEN punch a hole in the top. It was really labor intensive. We kind of half-heartedly revisited the process but only for about thirty minutes before I decided I had better things to do with my time (not to mention my husband’s time). So I went prowling around on Google and Pinterest and found this idea from this brilliant person — she suggested ordering business cards from Vistaprint, cutting them in half, and using them as price tags. She went the extra step of using a punch to further cute-ify them (her tags are ADORABLE)  but being the lazy person I am, I decided a square little tag was cute enough. When I got the business cards, I took them to Kinkos, where they cut them in half and drilled holes in them for under $7. Total cost for 500 full-color price tags was somewhere around $22. And no labor on my part! (Well, my brilliant husband set up the art for the cards. Because he’s awesome.)

So that’s where we’re at. I’ve got about a hundred bazillion projects that I need to get started on so that I can stuff the booth full to capacity…the show opens in a week and I won’t have rehearsals every day, so that’s when I’m planning on kicking things into high gear. If you’re in Arkansas, please visit the booth, and give me hints, tips, and pointers! All suggestions are welcome!

February 8, 2013 - 10:49 pm

Shara Your booth looks great! I will have to go over and check it out with my very own eyeballs. I love the look of your booth with all the whites. Mine is just a big old mishmash of vintage junk, but heck, I like it and it makes some cash, so I’ll just go with it. Someday I want a lovely pretty booth like yours.

My tags are from Vista Print too – I found a card that has a line down the almost center and put my graphic on the top and the bottom so I could cut it into two pieces and get two tags out of one card. Mine are long and skinny, but I like your nice square ones too.

Good luck at D&O’s and maybe we’ll meet on Buchannan Street one day soon!

February 9, 2013 - 8:26 am

Marsha Lara, this post made me sooo happy! Someone who is on Facebook told me you were in a play (which I couldn’t believe with your hectic life!) but this is all such good news!

I thought of you when I heard about the Arkansas couple who won TWO big lotteries at the same time, knowing your intense interest in the lottery over the years (wink, wink). Even without that, you seem to be having good things happening to you. Good luck and kisses to your toddlers.

Looking for an update on Zero to Twins too!

February 9, 2013 - 7:46 pm

Jane Hightower I would definitely like to borrow the twins for awhile!!

February 13, 2013 - 7:18 pm

Shannon Your booth looks AMAZING! You were born to do this! I’m so excited for you 🙂

February 15, 2013 - 2:45 am

Kathy Epley Love your booth, and have a question for you. Does the long skinny group photo on top of your grandfather’s green cabinet have any identifying info with it? I once passed up an old b/w photo of a group of young children and teens posing with their accordions on their chests, or laps, and they all had these blank, solemn stares at the photographer…I don’t think anyone had a smile on their face. It just made me laugh, because I wanted to know who these kids were, what year and from where, and if they liked playing their accordions, or maybe they were all forced by their folks to take lessons, I don’t know… It was in my hands, but I set it down, and about 20 minutes later a friend picked it up and bought it–had the perfect place for it in her home. Ya snooze, ya lose. It was one of a kind. How could anyone part with such a treasure in the first place?! =)

February 20, 2013 - 11:56 am

Lara Jo Oh, Kathy, that group photo sounds AMAZING. I saw one in Chicago years ago — it was at least four feet long, and was an entire town, it looked like. They were celebrating some kind of town festival, and it looked to be from the 1920s. One full section of the group was a marching band, in full uniform. You could look at it for hours and still see something new every minute. I think it was $125, which was too rich for my blood at the time, but looking back at it now, I wish I had scraped together the money to buy it. It was in this antique mall for months and I used to visit it on a regular basis…then one day, poof, it was gone. Major regret! The one in my booth DOES have some identifying information but I can’t remember what it is right now — I’ll look at it when I’m there next and let you know. I think when I researched it I determined it was taken in Little Rock, AR.