My Pictures... in thoughts! Death of a camera.

The weekend had been chosen.  Plein Air Art Fest in Door County July 23, 2011!  Something I had been waiting for since last year.  I had asked my sister and brother-in-law to come along, but something came up and their son was coming into town, they had to decline.  I had asked our friend Jinny to join us too... but plans changed at the last minute as they can and I understand!  My husband was invited to his company picnic, as he would have been my first choice.  He has been a steadfast companion on these trips in the past and sometimes even holding the umbrella for me as I paint.  He had just gotten a new job and felt obligated to participate in the family picnic event... No bother!  This adventuresome soul never minds!  So... it was...This is the story of my travels to the Door!

Packing. Waking up at 2 am to head to Door County, Wi ( 5 hours away) for a painting competition, I took off at 2:30 in driving rain that had just begun half hour before!  White knuckle driving for 4 hours in a downpour..."a-turn-your-wipers-on-high" rain. Knowing the car was packed well!  Heading southbound on my own little road I met my first roadblock, a flooded area that, even by taking the "high ground" in the middle of the road... sent my car sputtering and the check battery light on!  Thoughts of having to cancel my trip and head home flashed before my eyes.  I could not let my trip find its demise so soon!   I pushed the accelerator to the floor and knew if I were able to make it through that, I would find higher ground to get myself to the expressway. Thank goodness... my little trooper of a car continued forward and didn't sit dead in the water like a duck!   From then on I would maneuver my bug about the lanes to be sure I didn't hit any more high standing water!  Determination.

About 25 miles out, just as I hit the underpass at the O’Hare Oasis, I decided to stop for Gas... heading up the ramp to fill my little tank... giving the girl a drink for the long ride ahead...I sat in the car as the pump was ticking off the dollars.  I was glad I had exited to fill my little tank.  It gave me a break from concentrating so deeply on the driving rains. Sitting quietly in the car as the tank continued to fill... the ground began to rumble... behind me began rolling the traffic, up over the oasis and down the other side, I tuned my radio into WBBM am... our local Chicago news radio station... they had just received a report that many cars were in deep water at the O’Hare oasis underpass... They were notifying travelers that the oasis lanes were in the process of being closed. Seems the cars I had been following were mired in the water under the oasis.  Thank God I had not filled my tank the night before!  Sometimes procrastination DOES pay off!  I would have been there too... I simply was stopping to fill up the tank!  

 After a good fill, I was off and northbound.  Again chasing raindrops!  

 I continued to hear of that road closing and they’re trying to remove the original cars from the water...as I traveled well into Wisconsin. Even a slight delay would have disqualified me from the competition.  Only an Hour window in which to have your canvasback stamped to prove you have not painted on it previously.

Along the way...Taking photos of the rain, a vibrant sunrise in Cedarburg Wi, the bright sun peeking from behind water stained clouds, Ah... 5:15 am.  Pulling off for my first cup of Joe... and a bite to eat, on the run! Just outside of Manitowoc.

Finally, with merely an hour left to travel... just as I crossed the county border, while going over things in my mind... Easel...Check.  Paints, brushes and canvas...Check. Camera, Water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, solvent... Check.
Tripod...? ...!

 Pulling to the side of the road, just over the county line... and frantically searching the contents of my car... The clock ticking... 6:30 am. Realizing I had forgotten the tripod that supports my pochade box!  All this way... on such a high, feeling so prepared, Great music of my past playing on the radio.  Songs I would have chosen to capture each moment... playing naturally from my radio!  Hanky panky, Dream Weaver, Here Comes the Sun!  And on and on!

 My husband had put a folding chair in my car last night... for what?  Trying to think of ways to McGuiver it into a tripod...
(Long story... I was packed!  But, the night before, as I was settling in for a nice 4-hour nap...before my departure, my son ran in for the flashlight.  When I asked what he needed it for... he said... "I lost my friend Dan"... as though he was setting out to find a lost puppy... "We were walking home and we thought someone was whistling and following us"...rather than sticking together like any good boy scout would... they parted ways and Dan, who is an incoming freshman with no cell phone, who has never been to our home before, doesn't know our address... is now lost in the neighborhood...!  I said to my son, jump in the car!   My tripod was taken out and put it in the garage.... unbeknownst to me. 
We found Dan, or Dan found our home!  He asked a nice couple that had been walking by if they knew our home. He said, "It is pretty distinguishable".  He may have been referring to the antique round topped white door my Husband had made into an arbor for my birthday last year... and the HUGE 3 ft wide by 5 feet tall wooden, brightly painted flowers that are abloom all over our front "Secret Garden". 
(My vintage, quirky style came through in the end!)

Finding an open Wal-Mart to replace the tripod at 6:30 am. 
Wal-Mart is not a place I usually shop these days, as a matter of fact... it's been years! I prefer the quality of handmade things, things that are old or vintage and well made... or AMERICAN made.  I NEVER dreamed I would be so happy to see the lights on and cars in the lot...as I was Saturday morning.

Making it to the 7:30 paint-out on time and even finding an open parking space..."down the road a bit"! 

Taking photos of the work in progress...my view of "Moo's Garden" and of all the art that was created. 40 pros and over 60 non-participating artists (some pros and some amateurs) again... photo journaling along the way. Boats on the water, beautiful sunsets over the bay. Children building sand castles...

 Forgot to bring my uploader, a replacement for my tried and true cord.

The camera guy told me to go with this one, now I have to take the scandisc out all the time to upload! I HATE that, makes for more trouble! 

Stopping along the road...mile after mile to photograph.... Old trucks in abandon fields, Buildings fallen from years of neglect.   More old trucks peeking out of old rust stained barn doors backlit with the morning sun! Bright red cherries aburst on the trees! Cows standing poised in front of Alizarin Crimson Barns...dotted with ivory black and titanium white...Lazy beasts? A herd defender, large nose ringed Brown and white cow with a chain trailing off the ring...down to the wallows on the ground 1400 pounds of beef.... looking at me, eye to eye...Mine, through the lens of my Canon camera.... One loud snort and treading full hoof toward me with only a tiny old single metal wire and some warn and weathered posts... several queen annies lace and some blue cornflowers... between it and me!
 (No horns and I didn't stick around long enough to determine if it was a dominant female or one POed Bull...chasing me in fields)  That would be determined later...while viewing my upload! 

 Meeting wonderful folks along the way.  Making connections with locals who would love to see you rent their places for a night or two... Sleeping in my vw bug on my own property in Bailey's Harbor...fending off a summer cold (unsuccessfully). Photos of folks voting for MY painting.  Photos of my painting among all the others.  Lines of folks for an hour and a half... until the voting ended.... and an hour more until the event ended... all smiling, chatting and discussing Art over a fine glass of Door County Wine. Proud to say...(My painting sold after only 5 minutes.) but no one will see it, only those in attendance!

Riding with the Convertible down after the event.  Taking in the Clean Crisp air.  Catching 1000's of Seagulls swarming like mosquitoes... seemingly the size of mosquitoes compared to what I would see next...

Eagles in flight and an eagle's nest nestled atop a Cell tower with mama sitting Sentry to ward off any threats to her eaglets. Flowers bending in the " after the shower" breezes! 

Photos of The antiques shops along the way home. Some tucked neatly inside Barns, Granaries and Newly erected garages and pole sheds... and all the characters that filled them to the brim! A barn clad only in metal signs that one dealer opens every Sunday in Sturgeon bay... at 5:03 pm. just after he closes his real antiques shop, an old garage in Algoma... complete with the oil on the floor from the " pit" back in the day.  (Great Guy and quite a character…He reminds me of myself and the sales I have had in the past.)  Folks arriving at the counter with an item. He tallies it and then says... $30.00...” who would want to pay that”.... how about $25.  (Reducing his own sales prices... to guarantee a return customer another day). He lives 3 minutes away from "work"!  He says his barn is open on the weekend evenings... it is cash only and all the free beer you can drink!  A piece of property I would have loved to show my husband...

More shots...A glimpse into the artists at a favorite stop while heading home... "The Flying Pig" where a lovely garden walk event was taking place... 6 foot fences created by using old doors and fence slats... creatively painted and lovingly brushed with a fuchsia wash... decorated with an acrylic, brightly colored floral painted board or two... this goes on for almost 350 more!
(Pictures in my minds eye!)

I have been away from my computer and all I wanted to do was to put together a post to share with the team.  My Vintage Etsy Society group...my " travels in Vintage" a photo narrative about my adventures! A photo journal of a wonderful weekend spent alone! 

Tonight, I had a moment and what was the first thing I wanted to do... head to my computer to upload the photos... I did, and all seemed well. Something came up on the screen to delete any photos that were already uploaded. I hit yes, 'cause I know there were about 25 of my place of employment that were outdated and I no longer needed and after all... that is what I usually click! 

In a moment...poof... all photos disappeared from my screen. I pulled the disc out of the little reader and popped it into my camera... they would not show there either. Nowhere to be found! Only solitary memories of the places I had been. I pushed the disc back into my camera... only to find that the disc damaged the prongs in my camera too... and now I am unable to upload anything. I pray it has not been the death of my camera too... I know it is of my scandisc and all of the photos I took on my alone weekend!

 Sadly, I forget details when I am unable to be refreshed by my photos.

It means...Not being able to upload photos to Etsy mean no Etsy Sales. No Sales = no income + no income... = no new camera... and no new camera = a sad day for me.

Just had to share. 

Has anything like this happened to you!

Praying I hit the lotto...heading out for a ticket now!

Thanks for being my sounding board!



"Etsy Finds" Email Feature July 15 2011

What a surprise this morning when I learned, via my friends Laurie from Birdie1.etsy.com  and Kathy from Flumestreet.etsy.com who emailed me, that my home was featured yet again on Etsy!  This time in the Etsy Finds email for July 15th! <--- click here to view with links.
 I NEVER tire of the honor!
              Here is a copy! You can share it with your friends if you like!

 What an honor it is to be recognized by Etsy yet again! And, I have been told by Christine, Etsy admin,   Mine was the most viewed and commented "Get the Look Decor" blog post in Etsy history.  I am sure that had to do with all of the support from the Vintage Etsy Society Street team! ( join us ...won't you?)
         Enjoy... I am!


Looking Forward ... Door County !

                                                                                                             Photo courtesy of Door County Plein air 2009
Sadly, this weekend I was unable to attend the Vintage Market held on the grounds of a favorite stop whenever I am in the Door.   Viva La Cottage.  This darling and beautifully decorated shop sits just north of Baileys harbor and south of Sister Bay, next to the Door County Bakery on Highway 57.

They always put on a beautiful event and I am always surprised to see many friends who are showing at that little fest.
It really has made a name for itself.  Was named one of the best, small flea Markets in the Country by Flea Market Style Magazine!   Maybe you caught it this weekend!
                                                                                      Artists Palette on a rain soaked morning 2010 dockside
I had to put my Vacation on hold so that I can take it in several weeks.  I will be heading to Door County, but to participate in the Door County Plein Air Festival.  This fest is gaining greater notoriety from year to year.  Last year I participated and was able to paint along side  Ed Terpening, an accomplished pro and all around great gent!
                                                            Ed in the rain... Fest 2010
 I painted Malibu Moo's Ice Creamery.  I had a reason for doing so.  I've found that over the years, while attending the fest, the paintings with landmarks seemed to sell for the most money.  I believe people want a memory of  time spent in the Door and for an affordable price.  So, with that in mind, I set up my easel to  paint on Saturday morning for the quick paint.
                                                                                           Malibu Moo's Frozen Griddle 2010
The Dockside Quick Paint includes some 60 community members and other painters from all over the country.  All gather at 8:00 am and at the sound of the horn, exactly at 9:00 everyone begins to paint.  My weapon of choice was Oil.  There were Watercolorists as well as folks working with pastels.
                                                                                       Moo's framed piece
The horn sounds and you have exactly 2 hours to complete your painting.  When the horn sounds again, you have to put your paint brush down and  have to check it in for a final review.
                                                                                        2009 dockside framed works, just completed!
Shortly after the Dockside Paint Out at Sunset Park,Fish Creek... they have a lively auction of the professional's works.  I love this!  All of the folks who have gathered to watch the artists,  have the opportunity to see the freshly painted pieces, still on the easels of the artists... all in one place, lined up in a row.  So great!
                                                        Post quick paint auction indoors 2010
The past several years, the rain has come up from over the bay and they have had to move the auction indoors.  Last year they relocated it into the little town hall just next door to the park.  Paintings ranged for sale at auction, from $250 to thousands depending upon the subject and the artist!
                                                                           quick paint original Oil wet from the rain
After the paint-off, there is some down time but the amateurs take their pieces to the Penninsula School of Art to set up for the night's activities.  A wine and cheese event held on the beautifully blooming grounds of the school.

                Beautiful gardens at the Penninsula School of Art                             After the Wine and Cheese event watching the sky! 2010
                                                                                         God's Plein Air Painting 2010
Amateur artists ( such as myself) compete for a spot in the Fest the following year.  There really are some talented  artists in the competition.  More and more, you will find many professionals who are vying for a spot in next years competition.  Talent abounds here!

 I will be off and running Friday night July 22nd and will compete in this years paint-off Saturday morning.  I hope to have a sale that night, Last year I sold my painting for $195.00.   A nice percentage goes to the School of Art on behalf of the artist!

I hope to see you there!
     ahh.....  Plein Air!

Always a Happy Morning!

           I just love it when I get an Etsy sale.  I tend to cruise to craftcult.com to find out if the item that sold was featured in a treasury.  Occasionally, I am surprised to see my item was featured in an Etsy Finds Email.
That was the case this morning.
          Be sure to find your favorite way to search Etsy.com for some great handmade and Vintage fun!
 ( My featured item was the little set of bowling pins.  They sold right away!  Thank you MaryMary!)


Inspired a colorfloral collection!

I  hope you will check out these dynamic shops!
     Each is wonderful!

I was first inspired by the pink daisy from JessicaTorres.etsy.com
   that was the jumping off point for my curation!
I just love the color combo of the Fushia Pink, Chartreuse green and Chocolate brown.
        What inspires YOU? 


Happy 4th to all!

Please be sure to visit these wonderful Etsy shops!
You may click on an item for purchase as well
Many of the shops featured are on my
Vintage Etsy Society Street team!
They are all wonderful!