Angelic Moment

It seems like a long time ago when I posted that I was going to make a wreath with an angel for a centerpiece and I guess it was.  Between two trips out of town for shows and all the in-between getting ready, I just never got to show you the finished product.  In fact, I got two new wreaths made during a feverishly productive few days and I can’t wait to share them with you.

So without further ado, here is “Angelic Moment.”

I think she is a beauty.  She is larger than most of my wreaths, measuring a big 24 inches in diameter, not including the protruding bits and the drippy garland.  A basic color scheme of soft golds and silver is punctuated by pops of magenta and accented with some low-key greens and creamy whites.  The base is wrapped in gold tinsel garland.  The overall effect is soft and subtle yet it makes a clear, strong statement.  I can see this wreath hanging in lots of different type spaces and decorating schemes.

Here is a view that is a bit closer.And here comes a view of the left side:

Left Side

Now you can get a good look at some of the details like the cool Bradford Space Age plastic topper.  Right above it is another Bradford piece, an angel.

Right Side

The right side is packed with great stuff such as that enormous red and gold teardrop  indent.  Notice the little yellow angel Jewelbrite tucked in next to it, too.  And there is yet another small angel playing heavenly violin perched on top of a Shiny Brite and next to a wonderful small  Poland teardrop indent.

Close-up view of the top

Now you can really get a good look at the lovely angel (I call her Marilyn for obvious reasons) who has a fabulous bottlebrush tree on one side and on the other, a gorgeous big gold Shiny Brite with “Merry Christmas” on it.  Marilyn has a vintage light reflector placed behind her head to give her a halo effect.  I love it.

Another view of the left side

Here are some of the focal points on the left side.  How about that adorably precocious little angel in the diorama ornament at the bottom?  Isn’t she cute?  Did you also see the pretty gold ornament with the doves on it?  So many treasures!

A super close-up of the littlest angel

View of the bottom

Now you can see all the details on the bottom, including that fabulous magenta and gold Chinese lantern shaped ornie on the right. I really love the big gold ball with the painted lantern and holly and the silver ball with the painted snowy church/village scene.  The green and silver indent and the green ball tucked in beside the lantern really add a nice gentle pop to the color scheme.

Close up of part of the right side

This is a close-up of that jumbo red and gold teardrop shaped indent ornament.  It has quite the wow factor.  And you can get a great look at the Jewelbrite directly on its left.  I love the little angel with her deer.  Isn’t she sweet?

And, just in case you have forgotten, this is what I started with:

The beginnings of the “Angelic Moment” wreath
© Glittermoon Productions LLC

Recognize anything?  Now you can see what I ended up including and what I didn’t.  it is always an interesting process that seems to find its own way.  Luckily, in the end it usually turns out just right.

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A Small Town Feel-Good Time: How a Shy Person Made a Bunch of New Friends Far From Home

If you read my last post, you know that Glittermoon & I were heading off to upstate NY for the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival last weekend.  I wish I had taken a picture of my car for you – it looked like the Beverly Hillbillies were driving a Volvo station wagon.

And I was going alone.

This caused me no little anxiety.  To be going all by myself was daunting; I had been hoping until the last moment that my friend and partner in crime would be able to go with me, but, alas, that was not to be.  If you were to meet me at a show or festival, you might think that I am outgoing.  But you would be surprised to learn that I am actually a terribly shy introvert.  I have worked hard for many years to overcome the shyness but it is still pretty alarming to contemplate jumping into an unknown situation, far from home, and all by my lonesome.  When I made the decision to light out on my own with Glittermoon, I became determined to stretch my boundaries.  I have been challenged six ways to Sunday but, oh boy, has it ever been worth it.

Which brings me to Sharon Springs, New York.  Population 547.

When I was booking my shows for Fall 2012, I got a wild hair one morning and decided to email Brent & Josh, the Fabulous Beekman Boys (who you might remember I met at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta last fall).  I really did not even expect to hear back from them.  But to my great delight, within an hour (!), I received this lovely email from Brent: “So nice to hear from you!  We would LOVE to have you come to the festival!”  Well, golly.  How could I refuse?

And so, this past Friday morning, I rolled into Sharon Springs to get the lay of the land the day before the festival was to begin.

Main Street in Sharon Springs the day before Harvest Fest.

This is important to me (the getting the lay of the land part) because it takes me a really long time to set up my booth and when you only have a couple of hours the morning before a show starts to unload, park your car, set your tent & tables up, hang pictures, and make your display ready, it is a prescription for unmitigated anxiety and a guaranteed sleepless night the night before.  Besides I had never been there before and did not know a soul.

That would soon change.

I parked the car in front of the Roseboro Hotel, the building which now houses the Beekman 1802 Mercantile and walked into the shop, hoping to see either Brent or Josh, but expecting that they would both be at the Farm getting ready for all the Tours the next day.

The Beekman 1802 Mercantile

Well, there was Brent behind the cash register talking to a couple of customers.  I introduced myself and we chatted for a few minutes.  After asking about where I might meet Joe Todd Campbell, the vendor coordinator and owner of The Finishing Touch, another shop in town, Brent took me outside and pointed the way up the street.  In fact, Joe Todd himself was walking in the distance.  So far so good.

Then I went next door to check out the other shop in the Roseboro: Garden Creations.  I can never resist a garden shop, especially when it also has a bunch of cool vintage stuff, too.  While I was nosing around inside, the owner, Beth, and I struck up a conversation and I learned all about how she had just opened the shop this past spring.  She was open and friendly and I had a lovely time talking to her.  She was genuinely interested in what I do.  I gave her my two business cards (one for Glittermoon Cards and one for Glittermoon Vintage Christmas) and she promised to come visit my booth if she could over the weekend.  Here is a picture of the front of her shop and that is Beth on the porch chatting to customers.By now, I was starting to feel a little more relaxed about things and I set off to find Joe Todd.  His shop is next to McGillycuddy’s Natural Soaps so I headed up there to see if I could find him.

He had disappeared.  So, I went into McGillycuddy’s to ask.  There was the owner, Deb, soap maker extraordinaire, talking with a couple of local friends.  As you enter, your nose is greeted by the most delicious scents and as I remarked upon it, Deb turned her attention to me with a big smile.  We got to talking and she told me that she made 120,000 bars of soap last year!!!!  Can you imagine?  WOW.  In addition to the beautiful soaps she makes for her own shop (from goat milk as well as olive oil and in fabulous molds), she makes the Beekman goat milk soaps.  I had recognized her from Beekman Boys TV show.     As we talked, I thought about how nice everybody seemed thus far.  Not only that but they were interested in me, too.

McGillycuddy’s Natural Soaps

Shortly, Joe Todd and his friend Harry appeared, I was introduced, and even though he was a bit stressed out with trying to figure out vendor placement (he said they had just discovered another 25 vendors!), he very generously walked me back down the street, past the Roseboro, and showed me where I was to set up.  We had had a phone conversation that morning and after I told him that I had a lot of heavy stuff and it was hard for me to cart it very far, he switched my spot to this one where I could simply carry my merchandise a few feet from where I could unload.  Well, how nice was that?  And then, I asked him the $64 question.  Was there, um, anyway I could set up today?  He thought for a moment and said, “Sure.”  Yippee!  I immediately felt my anxiety level dial down several notches.

The American Hotel on Main Street.Kismet struck when Brent & Josh stumbled upon the American. Their lives would shortly change in a profound way.

I went back to my hotel, changed clothes, and drove back to Sharon Springs in time to have lunch at The Black Cat Cafe, next to McGillycuddy’s.  I am sorry that I do not have a picture to show you but the cafe is small and intimate and I had a swell lunch there.  I told the gentleman who had seated me that I was a vendor for the Harvest Fest and asked if he had any breakfast pastries to go, thinking it would take care of breakfast the next day.  Well, one thing led to another and during the course of our conversation, I found out that Tony is the owner of the Black Cat.  I asked him if he knew of a good place in Cobleskill (where my hotel was) to get a good glass of wine & dinner, having had a less than stellar experience the night before,  and the answer was a definite “no”.  Instead, he suggested I should come to the Harvest Hop that evening, where they would have good food and beer from a local brewery.  As luck would have it, I had already purchased my ticket for the Hop in advance.

After lunch, I set about setting up my tent and display.  As I was working, a very pleasant fellow named Jim came over and introduced himself to me.  Turns out he is a food vendor, Two Bears Provisions (We Don’t Hibernate on Taste), who would be selling near my spot.  As we chatted, I was once again struck by just how, well, nice everybody I had met that day was.

As I once more drove back to Cobleskill to change for the Hop, I reflected that had I not met all these nice folks I probably would have chickened out on going to the Hop by myself.  I am so glad that I didn’t.

The front porch of the American all decked out for the Harvest Festival.

As I parked the car, I could hear the strains of music from within the firehouse.  I went in and handed my ticket to a girl with a lovely, smiling face.  I recognized her from the show, her name is Maria.  And as she looked at my ticket, she recognized my name.  She made me feel immediately welcomed.

On the way to the bar, I passed Josh and Brent, who were sitting at a table.  I smiled and introduced myself to Josh and he shot back with a great big smile himself.  How nice!

 I chose an Ommegang ale and after looking around for a second, decided to head towards the food.  As I walked by, an arm reached out and grabbed me.  It as Tony and he was chatting with another fellow named Art Dudley to whom I was introduced.  As it turns out, Art and I have some commonality and I enjoyed our conversation tremendously.  He and his band were slated to play the music for the square dancing later on in the evening.  Eventually, I drifted over to the food window and was warmly greeted by Margie of My Sister’s Place Cafe, and her son, Sean.  Once again, conversation ensued and by the time I had my food, I felt that we were old friends.  They invited me to the cafe for dinner on Saturday night.  What is it with this place?

I settled down with my food to listen to the music.  I felt as though I was back in Virginia or my own small hometown as folksy bluegrass played and I watched the people of all ages who were sitting around me.  As I sat there, I thought to myself, this whole scenario just so wonderfully wholesome.  I stayed longer than I had planned, attempted to dance to an undanceable song, watched some square dancing, had a fun chat with Brent and Josh, and then headed for Cobleskill with a smile on my face, feeling more relaxed that I can ever remember feeling the night before a show.

Cobbler & Co. A quirky shop on Main Street packed to the gills with gifts of all sorts.

Saturday morning came early. After 2 nights in a hotel room with an ancient A/C unit that played a sort of cacophonous Anvil Chorus through the wee hours, I was bone tired.  But driving the 12 miles to Sharon Springs I was struck by how incredibly beautiful the landscape was in the early morning light.  No wonder Josh and Brent had fallen hard.  The rain during the night had washed everything clean and the clouds were scudding away in a golden and blue sky.  I was looking forward to what the day would bring.

As I went about setting up my displays, Jim from the Two Bears came over to let me know that he had come by during the night to check on my tent because he was concerned by the wind.  What a swell guy.  Here he was, a perfect stranger, looking out for me.  I felt very humbled.

When the wooden riser I use to display baskets of my prints collapsed, my near neighbor, Ben, painter of feel-good paintings, was there to help with his nail gun.  While he was unselfishly taking the time away from his own set-up, I found out that he is a former carpenter turned cardiac care nurse.  In other words, a prince of a fellow.  Interestingly, he had nailed one of his own canvases to the telephone pole on the corner and planned on leaving it there “to see what happens.”  His paintings were priced ridiculously low because he wanted them to go to anyone who wanted one.  His plan: sell out so he can paint all new ones for next year.

By nine, my vendor neighbors and I were all set to conduct business.  Shortly, the quiet little town swelled with people – lots of people.  They came from near and they came from far.  I had a wonderful time talking with everyone – they were just so darn friendly and nice and excited to be there.  Over the course of the next two days, I felt as though I made tons of new friends from all over the country.  There reportedly were 10,000 people who came to the Harvest Fest.  And never once, unbelievably in this hot-blooded election year, did I hear even one political statement or comment all weekend long.  It’s astonishing.

The Glittermoon tent all set up and ready to go.

It was as though everyone had partaken of a magic potion because something akin to joy emanated from every single person.  I have never seen anything like it.

The truly amazing thing is that every last one of those 10,000 people are friends of the Beekmans.  Brent and Josh spent all day for 2 days on the front porch of the Mercantile chatting up every single person who came and every single person felt special.  They truly are (and I have been saying this ever since I met them almost a year ago) the nicest, most down-to-earth, polite, and interested people you will ever want to meet.

The following encapsulates part of the Beekman philosophy.  When asked if they really wanted to do a Season 3 of their TV show, The Fabulous Beekman Boys, this is what Josh replied: “Yes, we do. It’s a big time investment, and can sometimes be a strain on our personal lives, but honestly, we’re really proud of what the show has accomplished. There aren’t a lot of positive media messages in the world about rural communities, being a good neighbor, and working hard for rewards. We think that there should be more. We try to represent the beliefs and values we see around us, and not those of typical reality TV excess and bad behavior. The show has also been a valuable contributor to our local community, which we’d like to continue.”

Looking back towards the Roseboro from behind my tent on Main Street.

People who bought from me on Saturday came back on Sunday just to say hi; several folks plan to visit me at other shows this fall; and everyone was incredibly complimentary of my work.  My vendor neighbors were a delight in every way, I am so glad to have met them. I expect that we will stay in touch despite geographical distance.  A couple of vendors made a point to come by to meet me after we had commented on the Harvest Festival Facebook page in the weeks before leaving home.  All my new Sharon Springs friends, Deb, Beth, Margie, Joe Todd, and Tony came by at some point over the weekend, too. On Sunday afternoon, Brent and Josh were able to make a circuit and stop by to speak with us all, too.

Oftentimes at the end of a show, many vendors, who have been perfectly pleasant all weekend, suddenly become less than nice in their hurry to pack up and get out.  Not so in Sharon Springs.  Everybody took their time and everybody helped, or offered to help, each other.  As I was trying to get my tent back into its storage bag, all of a sudden another pair of hands were there to assist me.  My new friend and next-door neighbor, Dana, a potter from New York City and I had big hugs for each other.  Across the way, Scott, whose botanical scanographs are gorgeous, came over to give me one of his pretty bookmarks to remember him by.  Tony stopped by to give me a yummy Blaak Cheese-Potato-Leek Tartlet for the road.

Some of my neighboring vendors. That’s Scott, creator of “Earthy Originals,” in the green sweater

This is a long post yet I don’t seem to be able to find the words I need to describe just how special this weekend was.  It was an experience that I went into with some trepidation, and there were definite challenges along the way, but I had a wonderful time that I will always remember.

Thanks, Sharon Springs, for the memories.  I just might be back again next year.  I hope so, anyway.

It’s Crazy Time Around Here

It’s official.

September is here and that means the holiday (and pre-holiday and pre-pre-holiday) show season has begun.  I kicked it off in Portland, Maine on August 25th and I will be doing a show (or two or more) every week(end) from now until mid-December.

This year, I have set a particularly challenging (crazy?) schedule for myself.  So I will be setting up shop with Glittermoon Cards, Photographs, and Vintage Christmas in a different venue or two every week and looking forward to meeting lots of new friends.  Check out my schedule here.

Right now, I am scrambling to get ready to depart on Thursday for the Sharon Springs, NY Harvest Festival.  Haven’t heard of Sharon Springs?  Perhaps not surprising since the population is about only 500 or so souls.  But it is the home of the Fabulous Beekman Boys, Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell, and their burgeoning enterprise: Beekman 1802: “A Shared Experiment in Seasonal Living.”

I first heard of them when I read Dominique Browning’s book review of The Bucolic Plague: How Two Manhattanites Became Gentlemen Farmers, which was written by Josh.  I immediately bought the book and could not put it down.  It is one of my favorite books.

So last fall, when I was set to do the Country Living (Magazine) Fair in Atlanta, GA I was excited to see that the Beekmans were coming to speak about their new Heirloom Cookbook.  As luck would have it, on Saturday morning they were strolling the show and came into my booth, attracted by my wreaths.  We spent some time talking, they were so nice, and then asked if I would mind if they tweeted me.  Seriously?!?!?!

Josh took a picture of me with Brent in the Glittermoon tent.  And here we are.

This summer, I thought it might be fun to go up to Sharon Springs and be a vendor at the Harvest Festival that they started a few years ago.  And that is exactly what I will be doing this Saturday and Sunday.

So if you are in the neighborhood, please do stop by my tent and let’s get acquainted.  See you there!

September 11, 2012

©Cackie Trippe McCarty 2012

A Beginning

I am beginning work on a new wreath.  If you remember from a couple of posts ago, I am in the mood to make an angelic one and this is the lovely lady I chose as the centerpiece.  She has a ceramic head and reminds me a little of Marilyn Monroe.  I think she is probably from the 1950’s or 1960’s.

This assemblage consists of pieces that illustrate what I think the overall palette will be.  I am starting with a 16″ wreath form so this one will be a little larger than usual.  She will have gold tinsel garland as a backdrop.

Even though I have an idea of what colors I want to use when I begin a project, once the actual work starts it seems to take on a life of its own.  I wonder how many of these pieces will actually end up in the wreath?  You may be surprised.

Time to get to work.  I will be sure to show you the end result once it is complete.  Stay tuned!

Santa’s Greeting Wreath

Today is September 2nd.  I can’t believe it.  Day after tomorrow the kids of Richmond go back to school and even though it still feels like a Turkish bath here, September signals to me that summer is over.

Looking at the calendar, I spy that Christmas is a mere 3 months away!  I’ve got to get busy making new Glittermoon Vintage Christmas.

Here is a look at a wreath that is currently available: Santa’s Greeting.

A fun wreath in traditional Christmas reds & greens with white & silver accents, this wreath features a large vintage dancing/waving Santa, an adorable “brick” Putz cottage, a white reindeer, a cool 1960‘s corsage, with lots of gorgeous old glass ornaments and other treasures from Poland, Germany, & the USA.

Here are some looks at the details.

In the top half of the wreath, you can see the great 1960’s corsage in the top center: the plastic holly leaves adorned with red ribbon and a white bell at the bottom.  There is a mini-me Santa waving back at his big daddy below.  Poking out of the corsage is a great vintage icicle light (there is another towards the bottom left).  I love that big red Merry Christmas Shiny Brite ball – I am pretty sure we had one of those on my childhood tree.  Did you?  

And on the bottom half, there is that sweet little brick Putz house tucked in at Santa’s feet with a white reindeer just outside.  The big green ball next to the reindeer is a fabulous West German one.

Here is a close up of old Santa who is both waving and dancing (he is very coordinated!).  He is about 8 inches tall and was made in Japan.  I remember Santas like these so well from times gone by.  The little red ball with the train and Merry Xmas on it is a real goody, too.

This is a close-up of the right side to give you an idea of how it all flows together.

And here is a view of the left side.  There are so many treasures!

And to finish, a super close-up of the tippy top with little mini-me waving.

Santa’s Greeting is for those of you who love the traditional Christmas colors and have a sense of fun and whimsy.

The finished diameter of this wreath is about 17 inches not including the red beaded garland and darling vintage ribbon with bells hanging off the bottom left.  As with all Glittermoon Vintage Christmas wreaths, it comes with its own nice storage bag and lots of bubble wrap to keep it safe.  I have it listed in the Glittermoon Cards shop on Etsy.com.  You can click here to visit.

If you are in the Richmond, VA area you can also see it in person at Old World Accents in Carytown where it will stay for another week or so.  I will be taking it with me to various shows, starting with my trip to the Harvest Festival in Sharon Springs, NY (home of the Fabulous Beekman Boys) in mid-September.

Unless it gets to go to a new home first.