Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year! The Fort Worth Show Goes BLUE!

Happy New Year! 
What do these recent covers have in common? Blue!


The Color Blue will be the theme of the 56th Annual Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art on March 1,2,3, 2019. All kinds of blues – textiles, furniture, jewelry, lighting, art, fashion and more. French blue, turquoise, Lapis, gray-blue Americana, industrial blue, neon blue, maybe even some vintage Blue Fox.

Blue has many lives. It's the Blue Bird of happiness and, as Willie puts it: “Blue skies smilin' at me, nothing but blue skies do I see.” It’s also a color of sadness and the Blues, as well as the color of leadership, such as the blue suits of JFK and the blue and buff uniform designed by George Washington. It is the color of our home. As astronaut Neil Armstrong put it: “It suddenly dawned on me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was earth.”   

 Here’s a bit about me and blue. 

I’m a red girl, but I married into blue. A teenage Tom Harter went with his mother to the Weatherford Trade Days and came home with a huge 1920s Maxfield Parrish print, “Stars,” with the famous “Parrish Blue” sky --- or as our son once called it: “You mean the naked blond on the rock?” 

“Stars,” still naked, still hangs in our home.

More blues….

A year ago I came home from a hospital visit, opening my eyes to the first sight at home: a blue Bauer bowl that the same Tom Harter brought to me with my breakfast. There, right in front of me, was a Robin Egg’s blue that restored my hope. Made in California in the 1920s, that blue bowl has served our family for 25 years. 

When I was first buying antiques, I fell in love with the Blue Willow pattern. I bought plates in Maine, bowls at Brimfield, cups and saucers in Texas from the tiny store where my friend Kathy Flories started her business. A favorite New York haunt was the restaurant Blue Willow, with, you guessed it, Blue Willow dishes on the tables as well as the walls and ceiling. 

We also have the much finer 1950s blue Spode china that my parents received as wedding gifts. We use that on Thanksgiving, but the humble 1920s Blue Willow dishes we use every day. The original story of the Blue Willow pattern is a Romeo-Juliet type tragedy. Today the birds symbolizing the two lovers take flight in our kitchen and bring us joy. 

In the 1980s in New York, Yves Klein blue was everywhere – the Blue Dog art, the Blue Man Group and in my wardrobe. From Encore, the resale shop on Madison Ave. with consignments from Jackie O, I bought a neon blue Japanese dress that I may try to squeeze into for the Fort Worth Show on March 1,2,3, 2019. With it I wore blue earrings made from re-purposed slide frames, a gift from my in-laws. It’s possible that I wore this combo to the Palladium –now that dates me!

Blue as a color will saturate the Fort Worth Show on March 1,2,3 with examples in almost every booth. That’s because blue is so beloved and has been rendered in so many objects and forms. Over half of the people in the world say that blue is their favorite color, both men and women. 

In the ancient world, blue was a latecomer and very expensive to produce. But when indigo dyes first became available in the 1500s, blue was suddenly beloved by everyone, worn by both the nobility in a castle and the workman on the street. We think of the 1600s, 1700s and 1800s as centuries full of brown – actually they were full of blue, the favored color for clothing in all social classes, such as pants, shirts, coats. That’s one of the reasons Levi Strauss had a hit on his hands with the invention of blue jeans in 1873. We all love blue. 

In a year that has seen so much contention on the surface, the color blue is one of the things that unites us at a deep level: an unconscious, immediate affinity --- a deep love for the blue sky, baby  blue, the color of harmony.

Here are more blues from our home… 
1937 Oil by Nell Moseley
Blue Bottle Tree
Memorial to a Friend

Read more in the blog below about all the Blues coming to the Fort Worth Show of Antiques and Art March 1,2,3, 2019, which will soon be here! 
Happy New Year.
Mid-Century Modern Oil
Primitive Americana

Monday, November 12, 2018

True Blue!

“True Blue! Antiques & Art with Blue” 
at the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art
(Plus Every Other Color Too!) 
 56th Year  March 1, 2, 3, 2019

Blue your favorite color? You and about half of the world! No color has more fans or more complexity than the color blue.  On March 1, 2, 3, 2019, 150 exhibitors from across the nation will bring their best blues to the 56th year of the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art, with the show theme, “True Blue – Antiques & Art with Blue.” Of course they’ll bring their reds and blacks and whites and every other color too. But expect to shop over 150 examples of vintage and antique blue, as well as the use of blues in select contemporary art. Look for baby blues, vintage denim and indigo, sapphires, lapis, Blenko glass blue, blue and white porcelain and transfer ware, Swedish blues and American primitives in early gray-blue.  There will even be some (vintage) Tiffany blue and vinyl records, featuring early Texas Blues.  

In the middle of the Fort Worth Cultural District, the Will Rogers Memorial Center will host the Fort Worth Show with a rich mix of styles, including American, French, Industrial, Garden, Mid-Century Modern, Fashion, and Jewelry, as well as Art, both antique and contemporary. “Very few shows attempt the range of styles and prices that the Fort Worth Show offers,” says Show Director Jan Orr-Harter. “Each exhibitor presents the best display, at the best price, of the best pieces in their specialty, whether it’s fine French furniture or flea market style.”  

Visitors to the show will learn that blue, as a color, is full of contradictions, such as “blue blood” and “blue collar.” At once evoking creative energy and sadness, the blues came late to the human world of decorative arts, with true blue being one of the last colors that ancient peoples mastered. 

Some blues recede, like deep blues on an oriental rug. Other blues jump right out, like the sky in an antique Maxfield Parrish print or the 1960s electric blue developed by artist Yves Klein. Almost all blues contain some mix of other colors, such as the greenish turquoise in the Native American jewelry or the pinkish/white “Haint” blue paint used in the southern states. You’ll find all of these at the Fort Worth Show, as well the photography of New York exhibitor Gordon Watkinson, left, printed in blue tones.

The Benefit Booth at the 2019 show will support college scholarships for young women through the Tarrant County Branch of the American Association of University Women. Since 1881, the AAUW has promoted education and action on behalf of girls and women in the United States. Their Fort Worth Show booth will offer vintage fashion, “something borrowed, something blue,” art, antiques, jewelry and more.      

So dust off those Blue Suede Shoes! See you at the Fort Worth Show!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Fort Worth Show Thrives in 55th Year - Seeks New Owner in 2018

For Immediate Release

Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art
Jan Orr-Harter, Show Director
817-291-3952 janoh4@aol.com

Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art Thrives in 55th Year
Show Seeks New Owner in 2018

3.21.18 FORT WORTH, TX --  On March 2,3,4, the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art threw open its doors at the Will Rogers Memorial Center for the 55th year. “This is the best year of the show ---ever!” said Ann Williams of Fort Worth’s Ann Williams Antiques & Design. Was it gutsy? Over-the-top? You bet! It was also the highest attendance in the history of the show.
Ridgefield Gallery, Ortonville, MI

After a rough winter, Texas shoppers were eager for three days of unmitigated history, color, whimsy and fun. Dealers arrived from Pennsylvania, California, Florida, Minnesota and more.  Design author Sue Whitney, founder of JunkMarketStyle.com, was on hand to sign books, demonstrate a little furniture revival and show off her latest venture: a “She Shed,” created in the middle of the show by Liz Collins of Haute Nest in Round Top, TX.
Jan Orr-Harter by Della Orr-Harter

It was a sweet moment for the Show Director Jan Orr-Harter and her family. After 25 years of producing shows in New York and Texas, Orr-Harter is retiring, as is Associate Director Cissy Thompson. The show is officially for sale. “I’m so proud to see Fort Worth and Dallas embrace a large national show. Now is the right time to put it into younger hands,” said Orr-Harter. This show has terrific dealers, happy shoppers, a great staff and many friends in the media and community. It takes all of these folks to make a show in Texas continue to thrive and grow.”
Julian's Antiques of Minersville, PA sold a larger-than-life-size bronze panther.
 Fort Worth's nickname is "Panther City."
Founded in 1963, the Fort Worth Show has grown from a small American Country show to a 150 dealer happening with a light-hearted range of antiques and art of every style, era and price point. At the 2018 show, you could buy a five-figure European painting or a vintage Scrabble letter. And you could do it while listening to Rock and Roll, a little jazz and a lot of Willie Nelson.
reVamp of San Antonio took the prize for the best coffee/cocktail table
Commercial exhibits in the show included Red Shed Vintage Tours, the nation-wide estate sale company Everything But The House and the show’s Parking Sponsor, The Mercantile. Shoppers learned about the work of two charities in the 2018 Benefit Booths: The Center for Transforming Lives and Threads of Hope Textiles. Additionally, a trio of social media friends were on hand to keep things on-line: Christina Phillips of the Fort Worth shop Eighth and Park, photographer Della Orr-Harter, as well as Tracy Smith of Cactus Creek in Weston, MO. As a result of their efforts through Instagram and Facebook, exhibitors made sales to callers from New Jersey to Seattle, often with the help of on-site shipper, Roll’en Hills Moving & Delivery.
The French Corner Decor of France and San Diego left a happy Texas buyer with
 this extraordinary Aubusson tapestry.

“It’s ideal to look for a new show owner at a time when the Fort Worth Show is strong and vibrant,” says Orr-Harter. “Please spread the word: DFW is a terrific place to do business, the 4th largest metro area in the US. We are looking for a good team to take the Fort Worth Show into its next adventure in the center of the Fort Worth-Dallas cultural marketplace.”
Bachelor Hill Antiques of Walterboro, SC sold a life-size mule sculpture painted with quotations
 about mules, as well as a monumental bust of Abraham Lincoln.
Looking to the Future!

For more information, contact Jan Orr-Harter at 817-291-3952 or JanOH4@aol.com. Learn more about the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art at www.fortworthshow.com or www.instagram.com/fortworthshow     www.facebook.com/fortworthshow

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Sue Whitney Talks JUNK - Interview with the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art

The Fort Worth Show welcomes Queen of Junk Sue Whitney to our 55th year show. Sue will offer a hands-on furniture revival project and sign copies of her books, JUNK Beautiful: Furniture ReFreshed... JUNK Beautiful: Outdoor Edition & more. Sue will be with us Fri March 2, 10-6 and Sat March 3, 10-4. The show continues Sun March 4, 10-5.

 Fort Worth Show: Sue, when you first started JunkMARKET Style, what drew you to vintage items and up-cycling? Did you realize that the public would find it so intriguing?
   When I started, I had been a stay at home mom for 15 years, raising my kids. At first I could not afford antique and vintage items, so I looked for junk –things that no one wanted or knew what to do with. In one year I went from a 900 square foot building to 7,000 square feet full of design projects based on junk. This growth told me that there was a void in the market. My first occasional sale drew 35 people, all my friends and family. After that the business skyrocketed. My son would joke about my shoppers as women “with designer handbags loading up on junk.”
   Junk was built to last – tractor implements, corn discs, old table legs, chair parts…useless in their former purpose, but ready to be re-imagined. I tried to encourage being creative with true junk and being respectful of real antiques – not just painting everything turquoise! 

Fort Worth Show: Is fake vintage/fake industrial, like Restoration Hardware, a good investment? 

   No. They are probably built better than IKEA, but they are not style-makers. Both RH and Pottery Barn send their buyers out to shows like The Fort Worth Show of Antique & Art to copy and reproduce what antiques dealers find and create. They give the look, but they can never reproduce the real thing. Lift up a fake vintage table. Lift up a real vintage table ---much heavier and durable. Does the fake look good? Yes. Is it unique? No.
  The only way to get a style of your own is to acquire it one piece at a time and put them together in a way that only you would do. Your home is not a catalogue.

Fort Worth Show: In Furniture ReFreshed, what are some of the techniques that you show for improving old furniture and junk?
    You learn in the book how to use an intentional glaze by Valspar. Vintage pieces get patina and crackle selectively –not all over. I try to show the difference between merely changing a look and actually improving a look. I did the glaze on a large sideboard/cabinet that had been hobbled together. The front was old, the back and shelves were added later. It was a great piece to pull together with a deep gray paint and the crackle glaze. I painted the interior back and shelves a “JUNKMARKET green” so that it has an olive pop, which gives a modern tweek. It is a great piece.
One chapter in the book has a very easy project: a medical/dental tray stand up-cycled as a blanket holder. Sometimes abuse and the elements make a piece look better! On this piece, the metal had a great patina. All I did was remove the lead paint flakes and seal with poly. I used an old technique, Naval Jelly, to remove the rust. Then I used Penetrol, also an old product, to prepare the metal before I sealed it.
   In another chapter, I took a damaged old Art Deco desk and simply fixed the wood surface. I used a broken piece from the desk in a new way, as part of a mirror – it lived on in a creative way.

Fort Worth Show: Your upcoming book is called JUNK Beautiful: She Sheds. What is a “She Shed” and why do we need one?
    A She Shed is a new form of human cave—a place to hang out, eat, watch TV or use for artistic projects. A She Shed could be outdoors or it could be inside your home. It is a place to get away to, without actually going away. In my upcoming book, She Sheds, I feature several style-makers who have unique She Sheds. One example of a She Shed was a former cattle trailer. It took two days to de-poop.  Now it’s a writing shed, a very modern and fresh environment. This shed is mine. I get to leave my house, walk a few steps and find a private and serene place to write.
   A She Shed could be a wooden shed, an enclosed pergola, it could have an indoor/outdoor function. I did a She Shed for a woman flower grower who supplies weddings and banquets. Her shed has an attached flagstone patio, an indoor work space as well as a spot to relax. I worked on a She Shed for three sisters in Minnesota who hijacked a storage shed from one of their husbands to create a place for them to have sister re-unions, a place to drink tea by day and wine by night. She Sheds are a practical form of escape and personal renewal.

Fort Worth Show: Our 55th year show theme is “Revive! Revamp! Renew!” If your home is feeling a little blah, what is the best thing you can do to revive and renew your home? Where do you start?
    Start by moving the furniture around. If you buy things that you love, they will always work. But think –will it work in the kitchen? The bedroom? The living room? Anything you love can go just about anywhere. Move things around. Then think about buying accessories and accent pieces, which will be less expensive than big pieces. Add vintage or up-cycled junk in a fresh color or look. Seek out textiles at the show. You don’t have throw out your old textiles and collections ---store them and rotate them. I’m not a clutter-bug. I collect antique scales. I put them out in winter. Then I put them away. 

Fort Worth Show: You like to mix old and modern with a twist. Why?
   I do this because it doesn’t date a look. If you get pieces from different time eras and put them in your home, it does not date your home. My very first book, “Decorating JUNKMARKET Style,” is just as robust and fresh today as it was then. Go for an eclectic combination. A sweet Swedish piece could be an unexpected element in a modern design. It gives your eye a rest. It gives you options to move about your own home more freely. If you can move pieces from room to room, it will not look “dated” in a few years.

Fort Worth Show: Any thoughts about coming to Texas and the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art?   
    I can’t wait to hang out with my friend Jan Orr-Harter, who owns the show. I have not spent much time in the Fort Worth-Dallas area. It will be all new, a kid in a candy store. When I am not signing books and doing furniture demos, I will be shopping! I’m very excited about the Fort Worth Show. I am also excited to bring my books to life with displays and how-tos and provide a sneak peek at my upcoming She Shed title, as well as to talk with people about repurposing and refreshing pieces--- when to do so and when not do so. I will learn from them too.

Fort Worth Show: When you come to a big show like the Fort Worth Show, how do you decide what to buy?
    Well, my approach is always to go through a show twice. Go into every booth, even if they appear to not have anything you need. See what’s inside the booth. You never know what is behind the table! Get to know the dealers; a big part of shows is building connections with dealers, letting them know what you are looking for. Then I go back through a second time. My rule is: if you love it, buy it. You will find a place for it. Make your home out of things that you love, one piece at a time.      

Learn more about Sue Whitney and JUNKMARKET Style at www.junkmarketstyle.com and for a complete listing of her books, see www.tauntonstore.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Sue+Whitney            

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Fort Worth Show welcomes two Benefit Booths on March 2,3,4, 2018, both about transformation: The Center for Transforming Lives which helps Fort Worth women and children build new futures after homelessness and abuse (See Dec. Blog ) ... and Threads of Hope Textiles, an international micro-business that provides retail selling opportunities for impoverished artisans around the world who have the skill and determination to succeed.  

Founded in 1999 on Christian faith principles, Threads of Hope (ToH) began with seven artisans in a shantytown outside Lima, Peru. The new non-profit organization provided USA sales of textiles that brought in $7,000 that year for their community. Today ToH works with over 300 artisans and has sold a total of over $2.5 million on behalf of makers primarily from South America.

In 2014 The University of Mary Hardin Baylor donated warehouse space and technical support. This was added to a growing group of professional merchandising volunteers who partnered with the artisan communities to grow the concept in a sustainable way. A special ToH project links persons with wheelchair disabilities in the USA with their counterparts in other countries, producing unique textiles for "chair people" and forging a human connection across diverse settings.  

Cinde Rawn, of Plano, Texas, is the Executive Director of Threads of Hope. On a recent visit to artisans, Cinde met Susanna, a young mother of two boys, married to Edgar.
As Cinde put it, "They are committed to their family and giving their boys the best opportunities for a successful life." Susanna, right, has used her grants from ToH to start building the house they dream of for their family. By western standards, Cinde explains, it is a humble home. But through the eyes of people rising out of poverty, it is a castle that fulfills many hopes and dreams. Purchasing textiles from Threads of Hope empowers dreams and creates hope...one family at a time.

What can you buy March 2,3,4 at the Fort Worth Show from the sewers and artisans of ToH? Woven scarves, pillows, purses, children's and holiday items, rugs, pillows and other home decor. Quality, authenticity, beauty.

Threads of Hope works through public events like the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art and also through smaller events such as a church or club or a home sale. Find out about hosting a sale, shopping on-line, donating or just learning more about this extraordinary organization that gives hope to us all. 

Visit with Cinde at the Fort Worth Show or see threadsofhopetextiles.org  

Monday, January 29, 2018

Fort Worth Show Parking Sponsor -The Mercantile!

Jan. 31 Wine Down Wednesday, 3-6 pm
Feb. 10 "Be Mine" Pet Adoption Event!

The Mercantile on Fort Worth's Camp Bowie Blvd. is the Parking Sponsor for the March 2,3,4, 2018 Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art. 

How? Come in a carpool of three ticket buyers. Pay to park. Receive a cash parking refund at the Mercantile Booth at the show entrance after you buy your tickets.          

Look for the big red M. Pretty sweet! Pretty easy!

Why? Because The Mercantile wants to support the larger North Texas Antiques & Art community --and because they hope that you will get to know The Mercantile. And come visit and eat and shop. They are open 7 days a week on the Weatherford Traffic Circle, at 7200 Camp Bowie Blvd. 

Plus, all parking fee refunds at the Fort Worth Show will come with a beautiful gift for you ---and with a discount coupon inside for your next visit.

But don't wait! Mercantile Special Events:

Visit Wine Down Wednesday on Wed. Jan. 31, stop by 3-6 pm for complimentary sips and bites, don't miss the cheese board --and all the new finds throughout the mall. 

Sat. Feb. 10 "Be Mine" Adoption event with the Humane Society of North Texas, 11am - 4pm. There will be 10- 15 pets available, dogs, cats and maybe bunnies!

What's at The Mercantile? Founded by the late Fort Worth businessman Holt Hickman, The Mercantile offers 40,000 square feet with 200 dealer booths of antiques, fashion, decor, art, gifts, books and a tearoom, open 361 days a year.

There are lots of gift ideas, both new and old, a book nook, furniture, lighting, art, jewelry, rugs and styles from rustic to glam.

Several dealers at The Mercantile are artists, such as cowgirl artist TK Riddle. I knew when I walked in to TK's booth that it was hers-- not just because of her paintings of cowgirls like Mitzi Riley, but because of the vintage dishes and art with delicate images of birds. TK loves birds almost as much as she loves cowgirls.  

Some of my favorite booths include Tom Duke's collection of Staffordshire dogs and Susan Davis, with Victorian to early 20th C. smalls, jewelry and furniture.

The Mercantile also offers regular classes in DIY projects--crafting, home decor, seasonal projects. 

Plan now for early April Spring Mall-Wide Sale!


  Over the last few years, I've bought some good things at The Mercantile. Here's the jacket that I will be wearing at the Fort Worth Show. Arty and great texture and fit --or at least I think so!  

The 5 women's fashion stores there are fabulous. The staff are there every day to help you, they have dressing rooms and regular sales. And each of the 5 carries a different look and different lines of clothing and accessories. Look for these 5 clothing stores inside The Mercantile: FLAX, Hip Chic, Cashmere Bouquet, Swice and Chimps. Good range of styles, sizes and prices.       

And here are a pair of huge wrought iron panels that I bought at The Mercantile and displayed, right, in my booth at the Marburger Farm Antique Show. Sold!

By the way, The Mercantile has a great staff, willing to help you load the big buys like these. The mall is clean, well-lit and full, full, full of finds.  
Of course there are keepers too, such as this folk art inlaid wood table that I found folded against a wall in a Mercantile booth. "Anything," said Cadillac Jack, "can be anywhere." (Right now it's in my living room!) 

The Mercantile offers a mix of different styles and eras. English, American, estate sale finds, Victorian, Contemporary, and more. 

And that's not to mention the award-winning Rose Garden Tearoom. Try the Chicken Salad and Peach Tea! 

Thank you to The Mercantile, Parking Sponsor for the
March 2,3,4, 2018 Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art.

The Mercantile 
7200 Camp Bowie Blvd. Fort Worth, TX
Open Mon - Sat 10-6   Sun 12-6

Rose Garden Tearoom Open
Mon-Sat 11:30-3:30  Sun 12-3:30


Watch The Mercantile on Facebook for special events such as weekly classes and the Spring mall-wide sale, early April 2018. The Mercantile is also available for private parties, fashion shows and other community or business gatherings. For more information, contact Tim@the-mercantile.com

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Welcome, Sue Whitney, Founder of JUNKMARKET Style

JUNK Market Founder Sue Whitney Special Guest
Fort Worth Show March 2, 3, 4, 2018
55th Year Antique & Art Show Theme:
 Revive! Revamp! Renew!

Expect to roll up your sleeves and have some fun at the March 2, 3, 4, 2018 Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art. Design author and “Queen of Junk” Sue Whitney will make the trip from Minnesota to DFW to sign copies of her new book JUNK Beautiful: Furniture ReFreshed (Taunton Press) and provide hands-on activities for up-cycling vintage furniture and cast-off junk into fabulous and unique home d├ęcor.

Junk? You bet! One of the fruits of the last recession was a new appreciation for old fragments, broken industrial and agricultural equipment and just about anything laying around America that had outlived its original purpose. Enter Sue Whitney to re-make these discards into fun and functional home decor, re-fashioned junk that is now copied brand new by manufacturers in China for high end stores. Come to the Fort Worth Show to meet Sue Whitney and get a taste of the real thing.

Accompanying Sue Whitney will be a sneak peek at her upcoming book, JUNK Beautiful: She Sheds.
What's a She Shed???

A She Shed, according to Sue, is a “new form of human cave” for women to have “a place to get away to, without actually going away.” This She Shed exhibit might be a first for the Will Rogers Memorial Center in the Fort Worth Cultural District. The model She Shed will be constructed and offered for sale by Round Top, Texas exhibitor Liz Collins of Haute Nest. Sue Whitney will appear only on Friday, March 2, 10am to 6pm, and Saturday, March 3, 10am to 4pm. The She Shed, Haute Nest and the whole show will continue for shopping Saturday until 6pm and Sunday March 5, 10am to 5pm. One ticket is good all three days.

I first met Sue Whitney over ten years ago at the magnificent Marburger Farm Antique Show when she placed an "Up-Cycling Award" on a gun rack in my booth. It was a shabby chic white painted gun rack to begin with--go figure. I had turned it into a hat rack, simply by hanging it sideways with a Lone Star Beer sign nailed to it, the rack hooks covered in cowboy hats. She has a thing for cowboys.

A couple of years later, my daughter and I were visiting Mt. Rushmore in western SD when we saw on-line that Sue was having a garage sale in northern Minnesota. We drove all night and got there just in time. On another trip to Minnesota, we were wrangled by Sue into delivering a van load of hundreds of vintage Baby Ben alarm clocks to a dealer friend in Texas, ticking all 1,172 miles.

So I am very happy to welcome my friend Sue Whitney to the 55th Year of the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art. I warn you: she's fun! Whether on a national TV show or on a cross-country jaunt to photograph the best She Sheds in America, Sue is a champion of all of us who love old things and who embrace a creative approach to life.  

“I’m very excited about the Fort Worth Show,” says Sue. “When I am not signing books and doing furniture demos, I will be shopping!” Guess who may get to deliver her buys....

Sue Whitney is the founder of the wildly popular JUNKMARKET Style, a company that helps individuals incorporate vintage finds and industrial accents into their homes. Launched in 2000, JUNKMARKET has become a national leader in the “rustoration” industry, with Whitney a frequent guest on The Today Show and regional TV programs across the USA. Her books include Decorating JUNKMARKET Style, JUNK Beautiful: Room by Room Makeovers and JUNK Beautiful: The Outdoor Edition. JUNKMARKET boasts an active community of decorators and crafters at www.junkmarketstyle.com
 Sue will sign copies of her prior books, JUNK Beautiful and JUNK Beautiful: Outdoor Edition, as well as the new Furniture ReFreshed book ($24.95). Furniture ReFreshed offers 30 projects, something for every room in the house, with each chapter turning non-functional castoffs into cutting edge home style.

Along with Sue, of course, look for 150 top exhibitors of antiques and art, including vintage and contemporary art. To honor Sue Whitney's visit to DFW, the 55th year of the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art puts forth the theme: Revive! Revamp! Renew! Come seek a vintage piece to renew your wardrobe or revamp a tired space. Or pick up a tip or a book from Sue Whitney to inspire you to revive your home. Exhibitors will include jewelry, industrial, French, American, English, silver, garden, fashion, art, Mid-Century Modern and more. Even junk! This is not a show for the stodgy or stagnant. Come for fun. Come for inspiration. Come for the stuff. Learn more at www.fortworthshow.com

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Iced In- Happy New Year!

Updated from a prior winter storm blog, but still a good read if you love antiques and art. 

Happy New Year - In with the Old!
 “He uses his old inkpot and his old brush, but he paints new things.” 

                              --translated from a Japanese scroll hanging in my laundry room

 It’s a lot easier to start something new than to re-make something old. That’s why there are so many churches…so many new houses…new gizmos…new nations…new beginnings. Re-vamping the old is much harder. But to me, it's better. This blog will tell the story of taking a well-loved 55 year old antique show in Fort Worth, Texas and re-making it into a shining star for the future.

You have to be a pretty good antique show to throw open your doors for 55 years. Once a small, prestigious, high-quality Americana antique show at Will Rogers Memorial Center, the  Fort Worth Show is now a mega-event with antiques and art of all eras and styles.

On Friday, Saturday and Sunday March 2,3,4, 2018, look for Pre-Columbian to Mid-Century Modern. There will be art and antiques from France, England and Italy. There will be American Colonial and Spanish Colonial. Look for Garden, Vintage, Industrial, Retro, Textiles and Jewelry, as well the top-quality American primitives for which the show has been loved all these years by a strong regional audience. There will even be a diverse selection of contemporary art. We mix it up!

Why Me?
I first exhibited in the show in 1998 as Hot Tamale Antiques. It was difficult to get into. The owner JJ Frambes was tough. She vetted every dealer for authenticity and quality. I just barely made the cut. I started writing press releases for JJ and, simply because JJ  was so much fun to work with, I gradually became more and more involved with promoting the show. In 2009, our family purchased the show.

Since 1998 I have also served as the staff writer for the magnificent Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top, Texas. This month I will write what is probably my 90th Marburger Farm press release, chronicling the cow pasture that became a blockbuster international antique show.

Before 1998 I was a Presbyterian pastor in New York City. While some ministers yearned to start shiny new churches, my passion was to re-develop old churches and to bring them into a new sense of mission and purpose, building on the best of their history and traditions and memories. I was lucky enough to serve two such churches over 19 years, the West-Park Presbyterian Church on the Upper West Side and the Jan Hus Presbyterian Church on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. I can tell you a thing or two about antique plumbing, ancient boilers and how to help an old community find new life and end up dancing in the aisles on Easter Sunday.

I first learned about antique show promotion by organizing benefit shows for the church in New York City, with the help of Irene Stella and the Stella Show Management Company. The Stella team is, in my view, the best antique show promotion company in the world. Once again, I got lucky.

And now I find myself in the position of owning a 55 year old antique show in the town where I grew up. Or perhaps it owns me.

Why Antiques?
Over the last decade, there have wars and a recession. There are the threats of terror, wildfire and the darn $10 parking fee at Will Rogers Memorial Center. On top of all that, there are ads in every direction that scream “Out with the old! Buy something new, new, new.” Yet still, I got lucky.

Why? Because I get to spend my energies in the community of those who buy, sell, live with and love antiques and all things vintage. We are those who would rather re-imagine and re-make the old than lust after the new. We are the lovers and re-purposers of the material culture of the past.

On Christmas Eve a few years ago, we had a rare snowstorm in North Texas. In our old farmhouse on the prairie, the Orr-Harters were snowed-in. We could not get to the mall, even if we wanted to. We could not even go to my sister’s party where there was shrimp and tenderloin, which we definitely wanted to.

Still, we were lucky. Our home was warm and the snowy landscape cast a light into the house that helped me to see our old things in a new way. Except for our computers, the Orr-Harter family lives only with antiques. Even the TV is more or less an antique. From any spot in the house, I can see our history in the stories of each chair. At last count, we have 53 chairs, indoors and out, and I can remember where each one came from. We use them all, except for the 2 Danish Modern ones in the store-room that came from Tom’s mother. We have saved those for our young architect son.

On Christmas Eve, I sat by the fireplace in the rocker that we bought at a roadside flea market in Maine and carried home in a Honda Civic. I saw the mission settee that the future architect son bought so proudly at an upstate New York auction for $25, theoretically for his tree house. Our 10 year old daughter sat in one of the old chairs around the kitchen table. Tom and I were sitting in those kitchen chairs when we decided to try to conceive this very child.

In case you think we have only ample seating, on Christmas Eve I also studied each piece of vintage art on the walls--- the scene of trees and cows that hung over the sofa in my grandparents’ home, the metal Wonder Bread sign that I gave to mother and that she re-gifted to me, the big primitive painting of a cowboy playing a harmonica on his horse in starlight. I lugged it all over America before accepting that no one would buy it. So there it is in our kitchen; it reminds me of my still-harmonica-playing father. There is a hooked rug of a butterfly hanging on the living room wall and a seven foot tall bottle tree in the bedroom. With a collection of old cobalt blue Pepto-Bismol bottles, it is a memorial to a friend. When I wake up each morning, I see a 1950s poster of a cowboy on a bronc and a painting of trees that once read faintly on the back, “painted in exchange for lunch and overalls.” These things inspire me to seize the day.

I got lucky. I have the love of a sweet and healthy family and of friends and dogs who put up with me. And it all happens in a home where antiques are used every day, for both utility and for memory, for practicality and for comfort and joy. What I realized about antiques and art that Christmas Eve is that the comfort and joy that they bring us are in fact very practical and necessary. We have created a new nest out of old things. This comforts us. Bring on the snow.

That’s more than enough about me. Each week watch this blog for the inside story on the dealers, artists and customers who will bring the Fort Worth Show of Antiques & Art to life for the 55th time, in a new way on March 2,3,4, 2018. You'll hear about experienced dealers re-thinking their buying for younger shoppers. You'll discover some new and upcoming dealers and see how they approach a 55 year old show with a new eye. You'll hear about our theme: Revive! Revamp! Renew!  You'll meet Sue Whitney, our special guest, queen bee of re-purposing and of something called "She Sheds." And much more.

Let us hear back from you. How do you love and live with antiques and art ---and why?
See you at the show March 2,3,4, 2018! www.fortworthshow.com