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


  1. How can I get to the site that tells about Art Unplugged and the schedule ... I have loved your shop/both for many years and look forward to being able to come for a weekend of fun ..... Linda M Findley

  2. Hi Linda, since this was our last show we will now be able to spend time completing our web site and getting word out via social media about all our activities. If you want info before then, you can email me at or and I'll send you info directly as it comes out. Thanks so much for supporting Artful Illusions. Joni

  3. I am coming to Wichita in October but from your post not sure if you are open? We are staying in old town.