Six months ago my world changed...I found the amazing women of the wonderful world of mixed media art. Prior to this my creative bent had pretty much centered around fine needlework, lacemaking, ribbonwork and painting. But when I hit Paper Cowgirl last June, "art" turned 180 degrees for me...and the bonus I received came in the form of the individuals who created all this fantastic "stuff". Saturday I spent the day with one of them...Cami Dilsaver...a real loopy lou...who promised me an interesting day. Hmmmmmmm
First up was the Funky Finds Experience in Fort Worth. I'd never been to this "craft fair" before...and it was interesting. As we strolled down the aisles it became obvious that there were true artists among the crafters exhibiting their wares. We discovered several ideas we could "lift" for projects in our own workshops...even greater items to purchase...and then items that left us with the thought "what CAN she be thinking?!!??" For me that item was fashioned by "the wreath lady"......oh lordy folks......Cami's comment: "Well, maybe you could change it up with a little bling or something." Hmmmmmm.....yeah.....bling in the form of a blow torch.....Cami is just too sweet.....that wreath was ugleeee no matter what astral plane you occupy! LOL As we paid for our purchase at the last booth on the last aisle, I thought we were headed to lunch.....Cami had other ideas!
"Have you ever been to the Cow Barns?" she queried. Ummmmmm.....NOPE!!!! She started to laugh and claimed she was going to change my world. GAWD!!!!!!!!!! We strolled across the street and headed into some type of flea market dealio that apparently has been around since God was a child....and looked like it. Now, I'm a PURGER from waaaayyyyyy back....I don't save crappola....two steps into this place my comment was "Well! I think I know where all my stuff has ended up!" Cami was howling but immediately exclaimed "THIS is where we get the stuff to make our stuff Jan!!!" Hmmmmmmmm.....okay......is my world really opening up further? Will I be bringing home crappola from this place??? How in blazes are we even gonna FIND anything worthwhile in here? Stuff was piled on top of stuff. An anal retentive's nightmare....I was beginning to get the shakes!!!
I think Cami spied the look of bewilderment (and fear) on my face and expertly guided me down the first aisle, all the while cooing about which vendor to approach and which one to ignore...who had the best prices...who thought he/she was a Rockefeller etc. Within minutes I calmed down and said "Sheesh! You and Jan Vermillion-Thomason (another artist I adore) are bound and determined to drag me to the dark side!!" By the center of that first aisle I WAS crossing over! We had hit the area of "the jewelry lady".
These mixed media women work a lot of "bling" into their creations. Now, I've been huntin' down bling at my local antique mall...groan...at $15 to $25 a pop I ain't usin' a whole lotta bling pins etc. in my creations! Well...the "jewelry lady" at the cow barns had great stuff for $3 and $4 and I was grabbing like a madman possessed! While Cami continued to howl, and cull her own treasures, I babbled incoherently about all the great crappola I was finding. Then Cami said "OH! There's a woman at the end of this row who has old clothing and fashion labels!" BANG! I was closer to the dark side! I've loved this kind of thing BEFORE I even knew about mixed media. So we dash off to the label lady.
Unfortunately the label lady had forgotten to bring her labels with her but promised to have them for the next time 'round. No matter...there were more treasures to be had.....I was gettin' into the groove.....my hands were dirty!!!!
Midway through the next aisle we met a charming fellow selling tiny personal bank ledgers. Cami was yakking it up with him about prices. Note...NOTHING (or very little) is marked at this place...people make up prices on the fly. The beginning price started at $3 each (I think). When I became interested he said he'd make us a deal...$1 each if we took them all. So we started looking at them. I was only interested in one. After inspection Cami decided against them and passed. Once again I asked the price because by that time I was totally confused. Ummmmm....he charged me $1!!!!! ROFLOL Ya gotta love this place!!! I was DEFINITELY movin' closer to the dark side!!!
Then came the dapper gent with the books and the crystal pepper shaker. What a guy!! I picked up a beautifully shaped crystal pepper shaker, no mate, that had a $5 sticker on it. I was so excited I practically wet my panties. I store glitters in them so didn't need a mate. I pulled out $5...he gave me back $3...WHAT??? He explained the sticker really didn't mean anything. HUH? The dark side is lookin' good...REAL good!
Cami made a purchase from him I just can't understand...no matter how long I hang with these women I'll never understand it. I can't say that ALL of them are infected, but a lot of them have a sickness for plastic/rubber baby doll heads. GAWD It's totally creepy to me...I don't get it. Oh, they may buy the entire doll, but they'll rip the head off and slap it on heaven only knows whatever in the name of art. I have to admit some of it is interesting...but I look at it and I STILL see a mutilated baby doll. I refused to even glance at Cami's purchase...knowing the fate of the pitiful thing.
This was followed by an old gentleman with a stash of gorgeous prisms for $3 each...be still my heart! The dark side was beckoning louder!!!!
Then came the little lady selling depression era pressed glassware. BANG! I store my tools in this stuff. I thought I was gettin' pretty good prices at the local antique mall...HOLY CRAPPOLA BATMAN!!! The cow barns is the place to go for pressed glassware. Oh...you won't find a whole lot of it...but I got a great piece to store my rulers in for....wait for it.....$3!!!! It would have cost me at least $20 to $25 at the antique mall. Yes...with that purchase I had finally crossed over to the dark side. I was sold on these junkin' exercises. I believe I can learn to dig with the best of them. I can't wait to discover the next treasure trove these women haunt. I won't be huntin' down baby doll heads mind you...but I'll be kickin' and scratchin' for my piece of the haul!
For those of you who haven't crossed over to the dark side yet...well...the anal retentive purger in me says "kudos to you"...but the new me says "taken in moderation, the dark side isn't such a bad place...where else can you get $3 bling?"
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