Friday, February 25, 2011

After the show.......Backroads!

Since I had to take I-75 all the way down to Renninger's, I was SO ready to get on the backroads for the flip trip. I wanted to head straight to the ocean, but with so much traffic around Daytona for the race, I decided to aim farther north at Amelia Island, since I had never been there.

I started north on 19 in Eustis and went by this pretty little park at Lake Eustis where the sailboats were out for a regatta.

Traveling through the Ocala National Forest (no phone signal and always on fire) I needed some exercise so I stopped at Juniper Springs and did the nature trail. Now I really felt like I was back in Florida, with the tunnels of live oak dripping with spanish moss, cypress swamps, palms and palmetto bushes around every turn.

The incredible clarity of the spring water doesn't translate so well in my pics, but it is just amazing.

The trail follows the river where you can see the clear water at every turn, and also see the sand "boils". These resemble boiling water coming up out of the sandy bottom, but are artesian springs of underground fresh water being pushed up through the honeycombed limestone which runs throughout central and north Florida, where there are almost 1000 springs!

The river was a bit low from the usual spring drought--I wonder how far these kayakers got?

When I arrived on Amelia Island, before I hit the ocean, I first cruised through Fernandina Beach, and what a surprise! It is such a quaint and scenic little historic town! Plenty of shopping and nice hotels close to the walking district (beware the blasting train horn throughout the middle of the night if you stay at the Hampton!)
There are tons of beautiful historic homes that have a wide variety of different types of architecture!! (There are a few antique malls in town--don't miss Trailer Park Collectibles-- with a few more scattered around the area)

Pressed for time, I did just a quick drive by photog of as many houses as I could......

......these aren't the greatest pics, but show the general idea of how different all these places are.

There is a really neat old cemetary in town that is quite interesting.

FINALLY I get to see the ocean.......and it was SPECTACULAR!!
Beautiful crashing waves......
.....perfect weather for a beach run..... was hard to tear myself away!

(I cruised around Amelia Island for awhile--the beach road is under construction--a bit disappointed at the massive development and endless beach cottages with for sale signs all along--Note to self: visit the unspoiled areas of the NC shore)

I got such a late start (slept late because of those !@#*! train horns) that I only had time to stop at ONE place along the backroads (341) to Atlanta, but it was a WONDERFUL stop in Baxley where I got to meet the very special father and daughter artisans and antiquers Jimmy and Clair-- who own Honest Al Antique Emporium.

Clair is a talented potter who has some beautiful pieces in the store, and Jimmy is retired Marine who plays the harmonica----both having attended the Campbell Folk Art School in Murphy NC.

(I'm always amazed to find that there really are no nicer people in the world than Georgians, and I'm always glad to be back where "Southern Hospitality" is a way of life that you find so easily along the backroads!)

Jimmy has the most amazing museum quality display of artifacts from the turpentine industry in Georgia that was so important to the early economy of the state. It was very interesting to learn about the different stages, tools and progression of the extraction of this useful but toxic by-product of the tar from pine trees.
There were the ridged clay sap pots that I have always loved, the metal cone-shape (and later rectangular) sap pots, and even the very rare glass sap pots made briefly during the war....along with the hauling buckets and other tools used.

Thank you, Jimmy, for taking the time to explain that interesting history!

This shop is filled with every sort of antique and collectible you could think of, and I wish I could have spent all day there....I am definitely going back!

I loved the tool room......and then there was the bottle room......

And when I thought I saw it all......there was the enormous warehouse out back that I could have spent all day digging around in----and me without an inch of space left in my car!!!

Ahhhh.......another backroads fix! Can't go too long without one!!

(Note: books on tape really fill in the time between stops, and make two hours of driving seem like a few minutes! I listened to Randy Wayne White again, and always appreciate the Florida history, archeology, geology, and the scuba diving details that he intertwines within his suspenseful tales)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

More Renninger' friends

This was the view from our booth lawn chairs for three days! The cool vintage model T car was a guy magnet--I wondered why Sharon never left the booth! (JK Girlfriend!)

**There were so many people that stopped by our booth that I don't have pictures of-- but SO much enjoyed meeting, like:

Susie from the blog
From My Home To Yours ;

Carol Gammal from Tampa who is in Summerhouse;

The girls from the shop Relic on Manhatten in Tampa;

The totally sweet girl, Babs, from Michigan (Babsjustababblin)-- and some very nice people that bought my junk!
(I'm so sorry I didn't write down all the names 'cuz my memory is awful--it gets overwhelming when I travel so far to set up, sell, shop for merch, photograph, interview, and network all at the same time--with sleep deprivation too!)

I got to see Nicole and Ryan of Prism again, who are there every month;

AND I heard that bloggers Sweet Pea and Becky of One Shabby Old House were there but I missed them!

On to some of the awesome new dealer friends I got to meet that I DID manage to get pictures of!!

My favorite booth at the show belonged to Debbie Wilson-- pictured on the left with her sweet friend Lorie. I had the best time shopping in her booth, and talking to these totally nice girls! I bought two wonderful french doors, a huge chippy lantern, carved oval frame and a vine covered lampshade from them.
I can't wait 'til Debbie gets her new blog started-she is mega-talented!

I loved meeting Mariann of Bella Flamingo Designs, and her friend Debbie--they were so much fun, and I really enjoyed talking to them!! Mariann does cool jewelry design, and Debbie has very unique vintage treasures!

Pictured above is fellow blogger Debi (check out Vintage Soul on Typepad) and her friend Robin who stopped by.
Here are the French Nest girls Martha and Shelley (Marsha wasn't there) who do a fabulous booth in the building near ours. They have a shop in Orlando at 2300 Edgewater Drive, and you can find them on Facebook. (I bought the "Quartermaster" iron bed in the below pic)

We really enjoyed meeeting Jim Perkins of Duluth Fish Decoys. His father David started carving these fabulous ice-fishing lures out of various types of wood many years ago, and they can be found in high-end shops along the East Coast from Maine to Key West. Jim travels 6 weeks a year to the shops and shows selling, and has lots of different types that are all works of art!
I originally planned to go on to Webster antique market on Monday after the show (heard it was fabulous), but since I didn't have an inch of space left in the car I went to the beach instead! (I didn't have time to get home to Sarasota--but I'll probably get to go back in April)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Renniger's show pics

These are COOL mercury bottles......they were a big show hit!

**It took me ALL day today to download these few show pics (I'm pretty sure my computer is getting ready to crash) so I'm going to do 3 different posts on the Florida trip: these general Mt. Dora show of the awesome new friends I met there....and then the pics of the backroads places and people!

I ended up buying these corbels, and 2 more like it, because they reduced them to a great price for me.....not crazy about the paint, though.

These burlap dealers were here in November.

The European linen above is fabulous........$18.00 a yard I think the vendor said.

The panda cookie jar displayed in the big wood bin was cute.

Shell art seemed to be big.....and there were some great primitives.

You find these industrial carts in lots of booths now---I saw chippy green ones, corrugated metal top ones, rough ones and shiny finished ones.

I really like the concrete sheep.....

This dealer with industrial furniture seemed to have the busiest booth at the show.

This show is spread out over 115 acres, with another big flea market next door to it, so you could spend all 3 days trying to see it all! It also felt like Equatorial Africa with the 85 degree heat, blazing sun, and dry, dusty wind! I was looking forward to it, but it turned out to be a bit TOO hot!

(Darn it........I had LOTS of great show pics, but gave up trying to download them!!)