Friday, May 26, 2017

Ripley On Sale

For the past several days (since we got home from family reunion) we've been preparing for the big annual sale on the courthouse lawn in Ripley, WV. I've been painting like a fiend, and Larry's been getting tools and such ready too. We worked until late last night, finishing up painting and other details. Today was the start of the sale, so we were up at 5:00am this morning to get into town and set up. To say I'm tired tonight is an understatement!

But we had a blast. We shared our space with my friend Suzy and we were like bees buzzing around until 8:00am when the sale officially began. I can't say sales were tremendous but they were steady and we met so many great people, and saw so many old friends and isn't that what it is really all about?

Here's a few pics of our booth.

Lots of lookers at the end tables and chairs, but no buyers...yet. The compote sold to a family planning a wedding.

Lots of lookers at this table and chairs set too, so maybe they'll sell tomorrow. This was done with Annie Sloan chalk paint and General Finishes milk paint.

Larry's stuff also drew lots of lookers--we had a great spot near the main drag so that was pretty cool.

I painted lots of "smalls" for this sale--mirrors and frames and porch chairs, as I call them--woven seat chairs that are questionable for seating but great for display or flowerpots.I sold the balancing scales and the small table behind the chair, as well as the swan planter holder on the ground to the right. The scales and the table were bought earlier in the day; I sold them for more than double what I bought them for! Location, location, location.

Refurbished wheelbarrows and blue quart jars drew lots of lookers but no buyers today.

Ditto with the boke, garden plow, and ladders. But maybe tomorrow!

A table of 50-cent items had lots of sales. This was stuff I just wanted rid of, and I hope to sell more of it tomorrow. If it doesn't sell, one of the local charity thrifts will benefit because I don't want to drag it home.

More pics tomorrow--these were taken with my phone but I should have better ones on my camera.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Turtle Tales for Turtle Day

Today is World Turtle Day! Who even knew there was such a day? It reminds me, though, of all the turtle tales, legends and superstitions I have heard over the years.

For example, we all know that turtles are the symbol often used for longevity, patience, and wisdom. There is also a belief in many indigenous cultures that a turtle is carrying the world on its back, as in this story from the Huron legends.  In another story, the continents were formed when turtle's shell was cracked.

The story of tortoise and hare is a well-known Aesop fable but turtle stars in many stories, usually in a starring role. In one Caribbean tale, turtle wants to fly, and persuades some geese to carry him on a stick which two geese carry in their beaks. Turtle grabs hold with his mouth, and is soon flying high with the geese. He is so proud that he shouts, "Look at me!" to his friends below--and of course the moment he opens his mouth, he falls back to the ground, cracking his shell. Which, they say, is how the turtle's shell was cracked.

In an Anansi story, Anansi invites turtle to dinner but turtle must clean his feet before eating. Of course, every time the turtle washes them in the river, his feet are dirty by the time he returns to Anansi's house, and Anansi ate all the food. Turtle returned the invitation, and Anansi decide to go to turtle's for dinner one day. But turtles home was under the water, and since Anansi was very light he could not get to turtle's house, and the smell of the delicious food only added to his distress.

Folklore and superstition does not overlook the turtle. Carrying a turtle bone is supposed to bring good luck, and some people say the thirteen sections of a turtle's shell are symbolic of the 13 lunar months. Turtles were believed to offer protection against evil, so keeping one around the house was a good idea.

Not all peoples viewed turtles kindly, however. Early Christians saw them as symbols of bad luck during war. Some believed their shells were the shelter for evil spirits, others that the shell harbored the souls of dead sinners. A few other beliefs: "The Thais believe that if you free a turtle, you will find relief from sadness and upset, while the Vietnamese believe that if you see a turtle crossing the street, your plans will be delayed. The Chinese believe patting the shell of a turtle or tortoise will bring you luck and in parts of Angola, it is believed that putting a tortoise shell underneath your door will help you warn off a rival." (from the website Reptile Expert)

One of my favorite turtle stories is from Margaret Read MacDonald's book, The Storyteller's Start-Up Book. I bought this book when I first began telling stories, and Turtle of Koka was the first story I learned from it. This Caribbean tale tells of a turtle that is captured and taken to a village to be cooked for dinner. The turtle manages to trick the people into believing their weapons and methods cannot kill him, and then fools them one last time and escapes safely, waving goodbye as he swims away. The story is perfect for audience participation, and offers opportunities for singing, call-and-response and creativity. It also teaches gentle lessons of courage in the face of adversity, and thinking instead of crying about bad luck. Of course, each listener takes from the story what speaks to them, and that is the very best a folktale has to offer.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Few Small Projects

Sometimes I need a brain break. I just want to paint something, but I don't want to tackle any big project. That's when I turn to smalls; they give me the creative boost I need, and provide some unique booth items at the same time. Here's a few I did this week:

We found this little table last week and I could not wait to paint it. It's heading off to one of my sisters.

Several smalls here!  The oval mirror frame is plastic, and was gold. I gave it a more aged look. The cake stand was natural wood; I painted and added the glass dome. The little tray took lots of time and I learned how to set glazier's points in the process. 

Mirrors are good sellers when they are painted. I had this one in my booth in Marietta in its original finish and no one looked at it. I bet it sells in a few weeks now.

This was one of those projects that took more time than it was worth! But I love the way it came out, and enjoyed the process of making it over.

White picture frame: another of those "won't sell as is, so paint it!"

I've done a few more, but no photos yet. I love taking these discards and making them beautiful again!

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.
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