Monday, January 29, 2018

Bonus likes! A mountain Craft show

We visited the "Simply Vintage Market" this weekend at the Arapaho County Fairgrounds.

I interviewed 5 artists and it was a fun mix of antiques, art from antiques and trash, and art. This is part one of the experience... enjoy

The photo above is from a silk artist who is also an art teacher in the public schools.
It's my opinion that in today's society of making money at any cost, we are losing sight of the fact that expressing ourselves in the arts (music, dance, theater, writing, painting, etc) defines us and touches us as humans.
She is a young woman, moved here from Kansas, and she was providing paper and marbling paint on water to let people experience mixing color and seeing what came of it.
In the booth next to her was a man who moved here from Wisconsin, selling curds.
Mark at Cream City Market 262 388 2083
Yep, like the nursery rhyme, curds and whey? New to me, and unappetizing in the blister pack, he was busy creating a smell of grilled cheese by... um....grilling cheese
Pretty much just curds in a cast iron pan creating these little yummy bits...

We threw caution to the wind and had some.


He said, they are the cheddar cheese before the moisture is pressed out in a form.

I didn't purchase any... but they were good
We did purchase some pure maple syrup made in Wisconsin. The maker said they moved here but kept their farm and her husband returns every February to tap trees and make the syrup. We always bought syrup at the MD craft show, made in the NE so this was a sentimental purchase.

Moving on we saw lots of repurposed items like this suitcase put on legs... 
And memories washed over me seeing this phone bench like the one I grew up with...
except they had slapped a coat of flat gray paint on it. I remember answering the one house phone we had while sitting on a bench like this and twisting the cord in my fingers. Sitting here wishing a guy might call. Laughing with a girl friend over class.

Pretty much all our family's babies sat in something like this...
I so enjoyed meeting the owners of this business, The Ruby Bear, named for their little furbaby.
We chatted with them because of the picture, and found out the story. Like us, this little boy was their only "child" and passed two years ago at age 17. They were so bereft, they cried, they sought peace, then one day it came to them to start a business in his honor, of re-purposing items into beautiful home ornaments.
I asked if they had a large work space, and the husband said they work in the garage.

They find bits and pieces all over, and think of what it could become. Sometimes they bring home old rusty stuff not knowing what they can do with it at the time, then the magic happens (we know that feeling don't we??) and they look at an item not as it is but as it could be!

Look at these by a different artist... old window sashing turned frames...
Imagine your photo done this way! Apologies for not getting his card...I do ask before taking photos

This artist sells her repurposed and painted furniture in Boulder
I spoke to her about her technique of color mixing. It's so organic, and pleasing to me. Look at the old PE lockers... shudder.... reminds me of junior high.... I can still smell the locker room.
Anyway Claudia Schimert is the artist behind Furniture Arts by Briar Rose.
She said she loves color, and when she paints with a brush, she doesn't clean it between colors. She swipes on one color, then dips it into the next, and swipes on the next effectively blending in a linear way (my wording) It is lovely the way colors blend and emerge.

She laughed and said, she seldom cleans the brush til end of the day! I think it's a beautiful way to work. I loved the way she took old blistered furniture, and made it bright, put on new hardware then sold it to bring color into this drab place. (again my wording)

Now, lookie here! Don't you just want to get down there and dig through this pile of stuff???

 It was sold by the bag, a mix of game pieces!!!
Or climb into this display, an actual teeny little trailer...
full of new clothes. It was packed, of course two people caused it to be packed!
There was a lot of eye candy here! Look at these sillies!
I talked to lots of artists today. I asked about their process, about finding high end craft shows (it's going to be sparse here) about their lives and their hair. One artists gave me her hair dresser's name. Another one, who worked with a blow torch and metal to make jewelry, said she most loves the pieces she thought were mistakes!
She called them happy mistakes... I made this emblem, didn't like it but cut it in half, then it looked like wings, so I added it to this little squiggle...
                                  you know that story don't you? Can you relate? I sure can!!
I sure wish she lived closer to me, so that we could hang out. I was so busy talking to her, I didn't get a card or a photo but she was one cool woman! If I hadn't asked where she got her ideas, I would not have gotten to know her. It gave me a sense of connection to another artist even if we won't become hard and fast friends.

This booth was AWESOME! The owner was too! She was a bubbly young woman, who said she LOVES color! Sure, look at some of the stuff in her booth...
the flamingos drew me in, but this made me really look and chat with her.
That quilt has beautiful old feedsacks and the design and balance sang to me. It's about a double bed size and she's only asking $95. She doesn't actually make any of the items, she finds them and puts them together to make me want to have them. That's creative! As we talked, and I got to know her story a bit, I found out she's been doing this a year. She is married to a man who is working in another country deactivating bombs.
 I was astounded at her bravery!
He is away for months at a time, while she is raising her 3 children. He is in a dangerous country in a dangerous job. I asked how she handled that, and she said, "I trust him to take care! He is trained and great at what he does! We plan for the day he can live with us full time!"

When I met my DH he was flying with NOAH on P3's in hurricanes. I worried all the time! He said it was like a roller coaster, and the mechanics flew with them, so he felt safe.
 She was so full of love, her flamingos made a heart, and I loved her garlands, snipped from old paper folded over the string.  And the string through the felted balls??? so cute...That's my love in the red sweater, being patient (secretly enjoying the conversations I start)

She is the type to create love wherever she is with what is at hand!
 Look at the other hearts, the ones cut out? They are also put on string.
I purchase a few things I will share tomorrow, you'll love them too. And of course there is a story behind both purchases, and two more interviews with the artists.... you know how I am...

For now, here are a few more photos of the day...
From the Painted Gecko, I wanted this bedroom set. There was a bed, dresser and this "waterfall" makeup table.

From the 20's. She repainted it in white pink and gray, with original mirror.

If we had a home already, this little set would have come to it with me.

It sings! I can see a woman sitting here at night, brushing out her hair with long strokes of a flat brush, patting on face powder, clasping a beaded necklace, carefully applying rouge...
I adored this large poster from Robert Fulghum. I read his book years ago, everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten
It's the way I choose friends and mates!
It says. " He said,we're all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness and call it love... true love"

Whether it's love of a friend, a pet, or a mate.  Weird might be a harsher term than I would have used, I might have said quirky. Replace weird with quirky and I'm in. None of my friends are boring... we all have a story and all overcome obstacles, and all suspect we hold an important place in the universe... if only to support each other!

More tomorrow! ( link to that is HERE !)

Linking to among others on my page


  1. That was a fun and very creative ! I enjoyed it! Thanks for sharing your full of great ideas day!

  2. What fun that must have been! I haven't been to this type of market in years. I'm jealous!

    The painted drawers really caught my eye. Very pretty blending of colors. And knowing the "curd" guy came from Wisconsin didn't surprise me at all. Cheese curds are a Wisconsin/Minnesota thing although we can get them here too. Curds are so yummy - and squeak when you eat them!! A state fair goodie.

  3. looks like a fun trip! I love that telephone desk, not so much the gray paint, but I'd love to have one of those and furniture type stuff doesn't usually catch my eye!

  4. Ha da down-you find the coolest places to visit! That little chair caught my eye. Also the teeny traiy!

  5. This is brilliant LeeAnna, I used to love reading about your artist interviews at various exhibitions.
    Do you have an actual list of things you ask? or is it just in the flow of the conversation?

  6. Sounds like lots of fun! I loved the multicolored chest of drawers and the photo comment "why buy it for 7$ when you can make it for 92$. Thats why I give stuff away rather than trying to sell it plus selling changes the dynamics of creating to thinking "how can I make it sell".

  7. Cheese curds! These are one of my favorite things ever! Any time there are cheese curds, art, and bonus things to like cannot be bad. The mountains look amazing, too!

  8. I was so happy when I saw you had come across like minded peeps! Thank you for sharing with us. I smiled the entire time I was reading your story!!!

  9. oooh grilled cheese... and this suitcase screamed my name... together with an ole field glass and a old camera and a topee it would make a super decoration for my empty corner in the wardrobe (why I have an empty place there? ...note to myself... buy more clothes LOL)

  10. Looks like a fun place to be and what neat things! Cheese curds.....I love them!

  11. Oh my heart, a fellow craft lover. I have always loved finding something to repurpose or sewing or crocheting. The suitcase on legs, my daughter-in-law made one for my furbaby repurposed into a pet bed with legs close to the ground. Sadly though, my furbaby would not use it. Enjoyed seeing through your photography the fun craft ideas.

    Peabea@Peabea Scribbles

  12. I can totally relate to the "why buy it for $7 when you can make it with $92 in craft supplies" sign. 😇 Looks like you had a lovely outing. Being around those artisans buoys one's spirit. See, Colorado has some positive people/things and not solely a state full of back water knuckle draggers.

  13. What a wonderful event and such creative items and creative photos too!

    Happy Week to you,
    A ShutterBug Explores
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  14. Golly, I would've thought I'd gone to heaven if I was there. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Oooh, so many many possible's impossible to choose...thanks for taking us through all these treasures. And I agree about "Why buy it for $7...if?" Simply wonderful.
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  16. I love going to places like these with the samples and the collections you can rummage through!! Thanks for sharing.

  17. How fun. Maybe not as many art shows, but the ones you will find are always fabulous. You have not experienced cheese curds?!?!? You can get fresh curds in Wisconsin sometimes they call the squeaky cheese. But fried cheese da bomb. So many great treasures. Glad you are getting out and about and visiting.

  18. I "U" turn for craft shows!!!!!!!!!

  19. I would love to visit here! Looks like so many great items. I work in a primary school and we still value art and music, though I think we think less of it as a society. I wish that were not true. Thanks for linking up today!

  20. This looks like a really fun vintage market. I like the phone bench and the old trailer! Have a great weekend.

  21. Interesting entry!
    Thanks for taking part in the Travel Tuesday meme.