Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Coming to a crossroads.

There has been so much going on in my life that I wanted to share with everyone, but there hasn't been a spare minute to post.  We have all been working 24/7 since my spring posting.  The fact that our pace is too hectic has brought us to a crossroads in where are lives and business is heading.  But it's kind of like cleaning out your space.  The process of purging makes it a bigger mess before it gets better.  We are just about to turn that corner to getting it better.

My husband Mark and myself opened our retail store "Mrs. O'Leary's" over 20 years ago, expanding it in April 2011.  We also retail and wholesale our wares of rubber, trinkets and altered jewelry though out the country.  We started "the Brickyard" an outdoor music venue, bar and grill 15 years ago.  We also have traveled around the country taking the Artful Illusions trunk show on the road (sometimes weeks at a time) and teaching altered arts as well as doing rubber stamp conventions.

Our bodies are tapping us on the shoulders, no revise that...   hitting us over the head saying "You really think you can keep this up forever? You're not getting any younger you know."  Thoughts had been working in my head knowing a change needed to be made, but earlier this summer our son come to us and said "No! really you have to stop".  So I'm telling the rest of the world what some of you already know, that we are retiring from show business.  I'm writing this blog while traveling in the truck to Stampaway, Cincinnati, OH.  This will be our last show.   But don't be sad.  We are still going to be creating and in fact it will eventually give us more time to bring all our ideas to fruition and get the info out to you via the Internet and Facebook.  I just can't find time to do that while so much of my energy is going to packing up and planning for the booths and travels to the shows.

We are making the space at Mrs. O'Leary's better to suit the classes with more equipment and supplies. We will be holding more of our Art Unplugged workshop weekends like the one we just had in June.  There is another one scheduled for mid October 2012 - Art Unplugged Victorian Flair.  I'll send out more info in that shortly with samples of the projects.  We had guest sfrom Ohio, Indiana,  North Carolina, Texas, Michigan, Oklahoma and Kansas attend.  We will also be offering online classes and project kits.

If you come to visit you can chose from a variety of wonderful hotels including several historically preserved renovated ones in our area.  Our daughter Faron has a beautiful massage salon in our building, "Zenful Indulgence" that offers a relaxing full body massage or a quick fix chair massage to work out a kinked neck.  We are also treated to the food and fair from the Brickyard menu.  Now our son who currently lives in St. Louis is coming to Wichita to open a full service restaurant in the Brickyard.  The Public at the Brickyard.  He is a fabulous chef that brings the unique to the table.  It will mean commuting for him for awhile and we will all be spending time on the redo of the dining and kitchen spaces, but it will be great having him back home with us.

So come for a visit in Kansas. Where the skies are not cloudy all day.  I promise we will treat you right and if you are in the area of Cincinnati this weekend come to the Stampaway convention for our swan song.  We have gone all out in preparation to make this our best show ever and leave this phase of our lives on a high note.  We have new stamp images, project kits, hand screened art shirts and lots of vintage finds to offer.  Plus we would just like the opportunity to just say thanks...  Artful Joni

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mary & Joni's Excellent Adventure - Round Top, Texas

WOW!  It goes on forever.

Let me go back...  we stopped in Plano, Texas to teach a couple of classes at the Stamp Asylum and it was wonderful being with all my Texas pals.

Upon finishing my last class on Tuesday afternoon, my junking buddy Mary and I gassed the truck and headed south to Warrenton, Texas - the pre Round Top show.  We made our way down the darkest 2 lane road I've ever traveled, up, down and around the hills to arrive late night.

Early the next morning we headed another 30 miles from our hotel to get to the center of the action.  I don't think I can properly tell you just how big this show is.   There is no way to see it all.  As I parked at the first location it seems I was on a steep ditch.  When Mary opened the door she slid right out.  When it was time to go I had to pull and hold onto her left arm so she could try to stay in the seat and reach with her right arm to shut the door.  Of course we were laughing so hard that may have been slowed the process as well.  We didn't find any keepers at that first stop, but we started the day off with a bit of humor and found even more to delight us as we came upon a true Texas car.

In our stash of ceiling tins is a selection of pieces from a bank in Racine, Wisconsin that was robbed by John Dillinger in 1933.  They will become part of the structure for our new vintage room.  

I had to purchase the MUSE head for Mary's early early Christmas.  

                                        Now where else can you buy a full size stuffed moose.

                           The chicken feeders are from Arkansas and will become light fixtures.

                                                           Mud the Frisbee catching dog.

                                                         Haul in the back of the truck.

                                          Junking is a dirty business.  Time to hit the showers.

                               End of day 1.  Of course we had to make our traditional supply stop.

                                              Day 2 starts with a smoothie at the coffee bug.

Just can't pass up petting the puppies.

We stopped at Reba's for lunch and this was the ladies room sink.

 Antique Time Clock

Our trailer load at the end of day 2, but there is still room for more.

Notice the head peeking out in the back row?

 Another sweet pooch.

Mary had never been to a  Whtaburger so we had to make a stop for the return trip.

The Texas countryside.

As if we didn't have our fill of junking, we headed to Hutchinson, Kansas early Sunday morning for the Antique Bottle and Postcard Show.  Between all of these markets, I've gathered enough things and ideas for 4 new classes.  More to come...