Our day at the Country Living Fair (Atlanta)
Ok, as promised, I'm back with installment 2 of our trip to Atlanta. Ok, first off...me and Aaron are not late risers. I think on an average day we're up at 8:00 or 8:30. But waking up for the Country Living Fair at like 5:30 or whatever seemed nearly comical. There we were in our pitch black hotel room...didn't really sleep a wink due to nerves and just the bodily upset of traveling...and when our alarm when off I seriously laughed out loud. I think Aaron told the alarm it was "stupid". So, the reason for the early wake up call was so that we could all be Early Bird entrants at the CL Fair. In near darkness we all caravanned over to Stone Mountain State Park...which is breathtaking. We've got great wilds in Jersey...but it's obvious that Georgia would have better.
So, we arrived...and man was it chilly!! And it stayed chilly for a good portion of the day. If anyone looks awkward in the following photos (mostly meaning Aaron!) it's because it was so cold. Aar cringes in cold and looks like a stiff. ha! So along with the very few others who wanted to be Early Birds, we all lined up and got ready to see some fab stuff.
First stop was the Earth Angels Studios tent. This was a boon for me and Aaron being that so many of our favorite folk artists, and friends have their work on display with Earth Angels. Namely... Laurie Meseroll aka Mud-Cakes. Some of her work is seen above and below. Her girls are my fave. And gosh is she prolific. Me and Aar marvel at painters who paint so darn much. In fact, Laurie even left the fair midday to go get some necklaces she was painting in the hotel room the night before.
Here's two Jennys...posing by some more of Laurie's work. The tall Jenny on the left is a brand new friend of ours who we did some custom work for in the past for her wedding. Absolute sweetheart! Behind us you can see the sun coming up...finally.
Aaron and the super sweet and talented Jennifer Lanne. We met Jennifer a few years ago at the Where Women Cook launch in NYC. So great to see her again. She is another super prolific painter. And EVERYTHING she does is great. Aaron is a technician when it comes to painting and he loves to really look close at other artist's work. And nothing thrills him more than when he can't figure out an artist's process...such as with Jennifer's work. There is so much lightness and dark going on...some distressing...blasts of color either laid beneath an antique patina or overtop. What's so great is her variety of subjects all fit together so well.
More of Jennifer's work.
And more still. Aaron's fave was the butterflies and lily of the valley piece in the middle.
And as if you didn't know...the mastermind curator behind Earth Angels is Jen O'Connor...unfortunately not pictured here. I definitely remember posing for pics with her but maybe the pics were taken on her camera. Just look at this stuff in the Earth Angels tent. It's no wonder that they are situated front and center in the fair grounds.
More from the Earth Angels tent...just brimming with Christmas magic...vintage photos, assemblage ornaments, everything. The above creations are by Sue Parker.
Ok, me and Aaron don't watch a lot of television. Mainly we're into whatever our one big show of the season is...like The Walking Dead or Breaking Bad. So when Cari Cucksey of HGTV's Cash & Cari called me over to snap a pic with me...I didn't know who she was...tv wise. All I knew was that she was super sweet, cute, and had an awesome booth of stuff. I grabbed this pic from Cari's Instagram.
Yes, here's her set-up...also right in the middle of the fair grounds.
We were mega mega early birds. Amazing how empty these photos are. This was wayyyy before the masses showed up. Seriously, later in the day there were thousands of peeps everywhere you looked!
This little trailer was beyond adorable. Love the name: "Mudflap Motel". There was a mini village of these things peppered throughout a section of the woods. We couldn't help but think of our UK friend Happy Harris...she woulda been in "Caravan" heavy.
Here's a glimpse inside.
Jeez...check out the vintage motel keys above the guest book that Aaron is signing!
And you can guess why this is the one that really really made us think of our friend Happy.
This dude...aka Bobby Boyd Designs. I call him a dude because that's what he is. A man's man...totally reminded me of Aaron's cousins and uncle all rolled in one...a little bit country...a little bit rock and roll...and yet he and his crew make this gorgeous pastel toned stuff out of vintage tin ceiling with original chippy paint. Everything from Christmas ornaments, and wall hangings, to musical notes, and little plaques with hearts and stars and horse shoe cut outs. He's most known for his custom tin art guitars and has a long list of celebrity collectors.
This is the backside of his tent...which caught our eyes from fifty yards away.
Aaron's fave were the music notes.
We picked up on of these sweet pieces...actually the one you see laying down in the bottom right corner came home with us. And we also got a Christmas tree ornament.
Bobby shares a booth with a longtime blog/facebook friend of ours Tricia Samsal of Vintage Bliss. It was our first time meeting in "real life". Tricia is a sweetie and her designs are seriously fabulous! She uses lots of tin that Bobby and his boys cut for her.
This pic is epic. Seriously a crack up. First...somehow I look like I'm wearing a cape...second, am I smuggling acorns in my cheeks? And third... Aaron sees the pic later on and says to me: "ohh so I guess you play guitar lefty?" Who the heck knows...ha! I never ever said I wasn't a spazz! These dudes are part of bobby's crew and they were working hard. And umm...check out those fantastic guitars.
One of our absolute faves was Stash Style. A perfectly curated lifestyle brand. Loved everything about their offerings and display.
It really was this dark in the woods...yes, the fair winds all through the woods.
More Stash Style.
And more...yes, those are actual turtle shells.
Right down to the little bits they are full of style.
Loved these simple farm stand signs.
And this piece and typewriter combo...right up our alley.
If you have the chance to attend the Country Living Fair you MUST! Seriously MUST! miles and miles of this stuff. Not a dud booth in the place.
Turning Leaf Crafts booth had lots of fun painted furniture...repurposed antiques...made new with paint.
Here's a chair she did which made me think of using CeCe Caldwell paints on an upholstered piece we have.
Loved these vintage Santas.
This was also at the tippy top of our list of fave booths. Dilley Brand. The Home Sweet Home and really all of the home art pieces stopped us in our tracks! Loved them so much! Vintage paint by numbers and landscapes juxtaposed with cafe style lettering. And the chalkboard pieces were perfect.
Loved the map of the states.
How fantastic is this piece?!
And these old advertisements were great...the Ladies Panties was a crack up.
We LOVED these. We've been collecting portraits like these forever...such a cool idea to spook them up a bit. These were from Vintage Grey.
There were so many amazing vignettes everywhere you looked! Every booth went all out with their displays.
Aaron and I are really crazy for furniture. We've been in the business for over 20 years collecting original chippy paint pieces. If we had a van with us that day I think it would have been trouble! So many amazing pieces...and great prices.
The park was gorgeous...winding trails...tents for miles and miles
You may already know that I am a sucker for vintage blow molds. These guys made me smile big!
We really liked these painted windows.
It was so so so cold early in the morning but when the sun finally peeked out of the tree line we walked back to the center of the fair where the sun shone brightest...just to grab some warmth. Above is one of the few tents where they were doing Country Living demos all day long.
And here we are in one of the food areas standing in line for some Country Living chili.
Loved this tower of pumpkins and gourds. At this point in the day me and Aar sat in the grass for over 3 hours. We seriously wanted to just soak in the sun at the end of the day. I wonder how many pumpkins and gourds are in that tower? Of course we probed it a bit saw that underneath the outer layer there are hay bails propping 'em all up.
Ok, thanks for reading. Tomorrow I'll be back with the third installment of our Atlanta trip, which will show and tell everything about the class we taught at Sweethearts on the Homefront.
xo, Jenny & Aaron