Sharon Springs Harvest Fest 2017

Brent and Josh at the Glittermoon Tent

Brent and Josh, founders of Beekman 1802, at the Glittermoon tent. Sharon Springs, NY Harvest Festival

I’ll be back in Sharon Springs, home of the Fabulous Beekman Boys and Beekman 1802 for the funnest and friendliest weekend all year: Harvest Festival. If you have never been before, get it in gear and go! And if you have been, I hope to see you there once again!

The dates are Saturday September 9th and 10th in beautiful Sharon Springs, NY.

This year I am super-duper excited to be stationed out at Beekman Farm with a small group of other members of the Beekman 1802 Artisan Collective (including my friend Beth Miller of Parris House Wool Works).  I will be doing a demo on wreath-making (in between petting the goats!) on both Saturday and Sunday.  You can go here to get tickets for the farm tour and to see me.  But don’t delay, the farm tour sells out really quickly!

Equally exciting is that you will be able to find some Glittermoon Vintage Christmas for sale in the Beekman 1802 Mercantile over the weekend! Whoohoo!

If, by chance, you are unfamiliar with Sharon Springs, their Harvest Festival, and/or the Fabulous Beekman Boys, you can read posts by me about it here…or here!

Hope to see you there!

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Sharon Springs Harvest Fest: There Must Be Something In The Water Up There.

I know you all are waiting to find out the results of the Guessing Game but I’m going to take a little detour to tell you all about what I did last weekend.

I went back to Sharon Springs, NY.DSC_0397 - Version 2

I don’t know what exactly it is about that place but, honestly, there is magic afoot – at least there is in September during Harvest Fest.  I suspect that it’s like that all the time.

If you remember, last year was my first foray there and I had a doozy of a time.  This time, Glittermoon and I were not alone; I brought my intrepid friend Phylliss along for the ride.

It was not a given that I would be returning.  This year, Harvest Fest was scheduled for a different weekend which caused a big conflict for me and I had to choose between going there and an event in Richmond that had been a good moneymaker for me.

I chose Sharon Springs.

Why?  Because of the people.

Last year, as a total stranger, I was taken under the wings of so many lovely folks and made so many new friends that I just had to go back.  I’m glad I did.

My main regret is that I still did not get the chance to see Josh and Brent’s place, Beekman Farm.  As a gardener and animal lover, I’m dying to visit .  So far, I have had to be content with driving by on my way to and from Cobleskill (where I stay) and with looking at everybody else’s pictures.  Maybe some day….sigh.

I packed the car, squeezed Phylliss in, and we took off last Thursday.  It took us about 10 hours to get to Cobleskill but we did pause for a leisurely lunch in Greencastle, PA on the way up.

IMG_0940 - Version 2

Here’s the scene as we rolled into Sharon Springs Friday morning.  It was pretty quiet.

I went looking for Joe Todd Campbell, first.  Joe Todd is a sweetheart and is in charge of the vendors, a fearsome task, if you ask me.  As I walked into the American Emporium where his shop, The Finishing Touch, is located I could spy him and his friend Harry through the glass door.  I knocked and hear “Is that Cackie?” coming from within somewhere.  It was Michael Pappa, a pine cone artist (MP Pine Cone Designs) from Wheeling, West Virginia.  We met last year and have stayed in touch since; I had asked to have my tent placed near him.  After hugs all around, Joe Todd said I could get started setting up that afternoon.

That done, we set off down the street to see some old friends. First stop was the brand new Beekman 1802 Mercantile and it is beautiful.  Unfortunately, neither Brent nor Josh were there at the moment.  After nosing around and deciding what we might want to purchase, Phylliss and I set off to have lunch at The Black Cat and catch up with Tony, the owner.  We sat outside on the deck, had a superb lunch, and immediately were engrossed in conversation with the folks at neighboring tables.  The magic was happening already.

The Black Cat

The Black Cat

After lunch, we headed down some steps to this wonderful shop (you know I have a hard time passing by any antique shop).  I had heard that Beth, whom I met last year and who owned a lovely shop named Garden Creations, might be there.

Heritage Living  Country & Vintage

Heritage Living Country & Vintage is an adorable shop

Beth wasn’t there but Holly was and we hit it off right away.  She is pure delight and I am so glad that I met her.  We made plans to get together Saturday evening with Beth for a drink at the American Hotel across the street.

As we were walking back on Main Street, I bumped into a customer from last year who became another internet friend, Sue and her hubby Angelo.  They had just left the Mercantile and let me know that Brent was in.  So Phylliss and I headed back to say hi.  Brent, as always, was ready with a hug and some conversation.  After we caught up a bit, Phylliss and I went to the car to unload and set up.

Later, we made our way over to the old Roseboro for some more vintage hunting among the thrift shops that are now tenants.  As luck would have it, we scored a couple of bargains.

The Roseboro Hotel This is where the Beekman Mercantile was originally located.

The Roseboro Hotel
This is where the Beekman Mercantile was originally located.

After that, I wanted to drive Phylliss around town to show her what the village was like.  We headed up the side street next to the Roseboro.  As I drove by, I noticed a gentleman setting out all sorts of goodies in his yard.  A yard sale!!  I braked, rolled down the window, and inquired if he was open for business.  Indeed he was.

Out of the car we hopped.  We were greeted by said gentleman; a tall thin man with Teutonic blue eyes. He was dressed rather peculiarly.  Intriguingly actually.  He wore a nicely pressed tuxedo shirt under a silk dressing gown; his feet were shod in Crocs and a pair of old socks.  The only thing missing was a pair of pants.  Yup – pants.  Interesting.

This gentleman, “R,” was quick to point out that he had rooms available to rent for the weekend.  After we told him that we were already staying at the Best Western in Cobleskill, he let on that they call him when they have an overflow and send folks there to stay.  Really?

His house is about as eccentric looking as he was.  Did we want to see the guest rooms?  Well, thanks, but actually what I’m looking for is some vintage Christmas.  Did he have any?  You know, says he, I think I have some in the attic.  Want to come up and see?  Ummm, well, maybe not to the attic.  Well, he says, come on in and see the rooms that are available and I’ll go on up to the attic and see what I have.

So we went in.  Now, this is an old 19th century house and it rambles on. The front room was decorated with hats.  Hats, hats, and more hats (fedoras) hanging on the walls.  Directly behind the hat room was what appeared to be an office. The walls in there were covered with a collection of old brass chargers, you know, the embossed ones with scenes on them.  The house had dark woodwork and looked as though it had been frozen in time.  And maybe not painted in about 90 years.  It was crammed to the gills with stuff.

Two words came to mind.  Alfred Hitchcock.  Followed by: Anthony Perkins.  And finally, Martin Balsam.  Get the idea?

Psycho 1960 Alfred Hitchcock Bates Motel pic 5

So, what did I do?

I followed him up the stairs to the foot of the attic steps, naturally.

I only went about halfway up.  I kept thinking about hatchets.

Sadly, “R” did not have quite what I was looking for.  Phylliss and I made our way back to the car.

We were greeted by another gentleman.  The next-door neighbor.  Who also has rooms for rent.  Lots of them apparently.  Thank you for the offer.  So sorry we can’t stay.  Bye, bye.

See, I said to Phylliss, how friendly everybody here is?  We are going to have an adventure this weekend.

That evening, we had a wonderful dinner at Justine’s in Cobleskill.  Everything was fantastic – from the adorable waitress to the delicious food and wine.  The portions were meant for cavemen;  we took doggie bags back to the room.

Saturday came.  Time for Harvest Fest!

The Glittermoon booth.  Nestled in between Michael Pappa on the left and Twin Hills Farm on the right.

The Glittermoon booth. Nestled in between Michael Pappa on the left and Twin Hills Farm on the right.

We had fantastic vendors all around us.  That’s Michael’s booth on the left.  And Twin Hills Farm on the right.

Michael Pappa.  MP Pine Cone Designs.

Michael Pappa. MP Pine Cone Designs.

Nancy and Lee of Twin Hills Farm.  They had a million different kinds of garlic for sale.

Nancy and Lee of Twin Hills Farm. They had a million different kinds of garlic for sale.

Pretty soon, a bunch of my customers from last year had made their way by the tent.  It was like old home week.  So much fun to reconnect and catch up on things.  I was humbled by the number of folks who made a point to come by and see me; several from Sharon Springs as well as folks from all over.

This is what is so great about the Harvest Fest.  It’s as if the Pied Piper has been reincarnated.  And he has, in the form of Brent and Josh.  They, and the magic of Sharon Springs, draw thousands of folks back to revisit, catch up with friends they made the year before, and just have a marvelous time for a brief couple of days in September.

I’m so glad I came.

Here are some pictures of Harvest Fest.  Since Phylliss was with me this year, I could sneak off and check out what was going on.  Please click on the pictures to see them full size.

I bought a gorgeous baby alpaca collar from Preston’s alpacas.DSC_0414 - Version 2

I got to meet Pam and Gary Kurst from The Dancing Bear Farm.  Their tent was in the row behind ours.  Pam and I had an instant connection; I liked her immediately.  We are already Facebook friends.  They raise Angora rabbits.  DSC_0412 - Version 2

This is Gary with one of the babies – about 6 weeks old.  I got to hold her and could hardly bear to let her go.  She was so calm and warm, like a little furnace;  kind of like a living muff.  Heavenly.DSC_0407 - Version 2

Brent and Josh came by Sunday morning for hugs and a chat.  Here they are hamming it up in front of the Glittermoon tent.

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And here I am with them.

DSC_0409 - Version 2And this is why I hate being on the other side of the camera.  I can’t believe I’m even showing it to you.

Monday morning, we packed up and made our way home to Richmond.  We tried a new route home, one that someone we met suggested.  It was much nicer.  We got off  I-81 near Harrisburg, PA and made our way down Route 15 until we got to Warrenton.  Along the way, we pulled into a diner in Dillsburg, PA.

If you are ever near there be sure to check out Wolfe’s Diner.  It’s the real deal, a nice silver diner that has been in continuous operation since 1955.  They even have a Betty Boop statue holding up the Specials menu.  A tunafish sandwich is $1.75.  I kid you not.  And I had the best milkshake I think I have ever had.

As we rolled into Virginia, I was suffering from antiques lust.  So what if we had been on the road forever…I needed a fix.  We pulled into this place called Really Good Finds.

IMG_0948 - Version 2Seriously, who could possibly resist this giant rooster?  Not me.  Sadly, there was no room in the car.

Almost eleven hours after we left Sharon Springs, we made it home.  It was a heck of a long drive.

But, boy, was it worth it.

Maybe I’ll hear the siren song of Sharon Springs again next year.  Who knows?

Atlanta Visit 2012 | Beekman1802.com

“Christmas Joy” Wreath
©Glittermoon Vintage Christmas 2012

Once again, the Fabulous Beekman Boys, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge, show me their niceness.  Read what they have to say about me – and my wreaths – here.

Atlanta Visit 2012 | Beekman1802.com.

I am so glad that our paths crossed a year ago.

PS They give great hugs, too.

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!