Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Many of us dream of the idea of a simpler life.  A home more than likely in the country and no doubt has a porch, a garden and a wood pile.  My dream "Simple Life" exists on a lake where I'm sitting in an adirondack sipping coffee with a golden at my feet.  

It's early in the morning and there's promise in the day ahead.  No rushing out the door, dodging traffic, prioritizing in my head the tasks for the day and breathing a sigh of relief that there are no ballgames or practices I must tend to.

Sure, in my dream-world, there's chores to be done; a few meals to plan and the dewberry patch is demanding my attention, but the bounty will make for a sumptuous ending to dinner.   I walk into the kitchen that still smells of coffee and bacon from breakfast.  My gathered bouquet of coneflowers will be stunning in that old white pitcher…

White Buffalo Vintage

Even though in reality my house is in the "burbs", I do my best to create that same sense of place I long for.  We create our home and surround ourselves with the things we love and the things that have a story; that little stainless mixing bowl that reminds me of Granny's hand-rolled biscuits, or a kitchy Elsie cookie jar remnant of my great aunt's eccentric style.

 We love the beauty in our collections.  Hiding them away in a cupboard is not an option.  Instead of saving that good china for a Sunday dinner, we enjoy it daily with everything from cereal to pot roast.
I've always loved faded, water stained art against crisp white.  Old fruit prints from the 1930's or a pastoral print of cows in a floral meadow.

High Street Market blog

A good decorating book is fuel for our imagination and always a great way to escape our hectic lives.  It can be that  endorphin for our soul's craving for beauty.  One of my favorite things is a "magazine party".   My friend comes over for tea with her well-read, dog-eared magazines and we swap.  Now, that's pure bliss!

Have you seen this book by Emily Henson?  I'll bet you've seen many of her images on Pinterest.  I love that there are no rules for decorating anymore.  Mix your Mom's Mid Century Modern with reclaimed barn wood or hang a delicate chandelier against a rustic ceiling in your laundry room.

Hanna Borg Living Room


Beauty is definitely in the eyes of the beholder.  I say great taste is curated by travel and exposure.  The vendors we are gathering for Bella Rustica 2014 will wow you with remnants and treasures from their travels, thus creating a "Spectacle of American Vintage"...
Our homes are an extension of ourselves and our experiences, so share them with your friends.   Slow down and savor… the beauty, the sounds, the smells of the world you've created for yourself.   Grab another cup of coffee and breathe in the inspiring beauty God, the ultimate Cre-ateur has set in his awe-full creation.


Until next time…


Friday, April 4, 2014

American Vintage

Each day that passes as we work on creating this "spectacle",  the concept of American Vintage is becoming clearer.  At first, I was a little skeptical because most Bella fans had a skewed perception of what it meant.  No, not everything is red, white and blue; not everything has a flag, and no, it isn't about decorating for Independence Day.

Courtesy Maize Hutton
Living with a 16 year old has given me a whole new perspective on "vintage".  To her generation, "old" is from the 70's.  Ha!  That makes me ancient!  At any rate, I love the spin she puts on decorating with vintage and combining it with new.  Not everything is whites and creams, or Farmgirl chic, but a little bit boho slash general store slash mid century modern.
Courtesy Ganda-Ganda
Simpler influences.  Classic style.  

Think about the places we are drawn to.  Our favorite restaurants, a cabin on the lake, a porch rocker.

 And then there's our ongoing love affair with the American Farmhouse; screen doors, sweet honeysuckle in the air, whippoorwills; the ice shifting in your tea glass.  It's sort of like comfort food, but it's stuff.  Stuff that brings on fond memories or creates home in our Southern soul.

I bet I can speak for you as well when I say my pulse quickens when I drive through a quaint little town on a road trip.  You look at the houses and the big white church and imagine life there 40 years ago.  Step in to the corner grocery with the Colonial sign on the door, the cold AC hits you in the face and an old wood floor creaks beneath your feet.  The smell of bologna and bacon mixes with the over ripe fruit and it's all you can do to resist that moon pie at the checkout.   

Incurable romantics…that's what we are.  We've become accustomed to our comfort, yet never seem to be content.  There's nothing like discovering a few new pieces of the past.

Y'all come back now!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What's next?

plural noun: Americana
1        1.  things associated with the culture and history of America,
                                      esp. the United States.

     2.  incorporates elements of various American roots

Appealing to the masses has never been something I’ve been interested in.  Frankly, the term that best suits me is “renegade”.  But when I discovered this year is the Civil War Sesquicentennial, I began exploring the genre of Americana, a term I’d heard a lot here in Music City.  After a few hours on Pinterest and Google, I decided on this year’s theme: “A Spectacle of American Vintage.”   
I found there was a place for everything; American Farmhouse, Mid-Century Modern, Industrial, Rustic Luxe or traditional cottage. Having a teenager at home, I am constantly exposed to a modern way of looking at vintage; clean, simple and classic.   I love that look, but I’m still very fond my French farmhouse stuff too.
OK, perhaps there is also a place for European influences; after all, that is ultimately where we came from, right?  For instance, if you live here in Nashville or Franklin, you see those beautiful pre-Civil War stone fences- an obvious remnant of our Scotch-Irish immigrants.  THose influences are also in our architecture and furniture.  So, Bella vendors will include those too.

Here’s a few of my favorite pins, just so you don't think think we are all about red, white and blue.  You can find more HERE
A great mix of old and new!

Courtesy Tons of Land

Add caption
Cowboy boots and a Farmall…what could be more Americana?

Thanks for dropping by- stay tuned for regular updates!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

2014 Show Dates

The Park at Harlinsdale Farm will be host to our 2014 show!

America's darling of small towns, Franklin, Tennessee, will be the backdrop for 
Bella Rustica Vintage Market this October 10-11.   
"A Spectacle of American Vintage" will focus on Made in America and everything from the American Farmhouse to Industrial to Mid Century Modern and more.
We will join Middle Tennessee in celebrating 150 years since the Civil War, so you might see actors in period clothing telling stories.  There will be a petting zoo and hay forts for the kids and plenty of photo ops for you and your family around this lovely historical farm.  As usual, there will be plenty of live music, awesome southern food and a few surprises!
Vendors, look for info to be posted soon on our vendor page.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Third Time is Charm...

Martha's award-winning Picker's Market entrance!

 Four years ago when I approached Tom Burton, Executive Director of AGAPE, with the idea of a new fundraiser and began talking about selling couches in a barn and how folks would flock to buy rusty junk turned into home furnishings, I was met with some resistance.  Barn Sales were just becoming popular around here, but I knew, with the AGAPE stamp on it, it would be a winner; nearly 40 years of successful fundraisers had proved that.

 Today, Bella Rustica is a force to be reckoned with.  Vendors traveled from 10 states just to be a part of a show that is causing quite a buzz in the junker’s market.  Eighty-plus vendors, great music, tasty southern food all in the gorgeous setting that is Legacy Farm drew shoppers as far away as St. Louis, Atlanta  and Harrisburg, IL.
The August heat didn’t keep too many shoppers away- and thanks to Amy Kinslow who designed our cute, collectable Bella fan sporting national statistics on foster children.  Plenty of strawberry lemonade and shaved ice kept junkers cool while they congregated on the patio of the Gypsy Tearoom or gathered under the tent at the main stage for some knee-slappin’ bluegrass. Thanks to every musician that came out and played for us for free!

Many thanks to Legacy Farm owners Jerry and Kellie Bryson for allowing us to stage our third annual Bella fundraiser on their amazing property just south of Lebanon.  The rustic wedding venue was transformed into a vibrant vintage marketplace, with gleaming white tents filled with antiques and scattered around the lovely pond and covered pier, landscaped covered bridges with waterfalls, and stately pre-civil war manor house.  Main Event Productions provided gourmet lunch selections at the Gypsy Tearoom Café, including a Southern Peach grilled chicken sandwich and summer watermelon salad.  The Cowgirl Cantina offered  ‘picker’ pulled pork BBQ or burgers.  Fried pies, soft baked cookies and baby bundt cakes were favorites for topping it all off.  You can’t have a junk market without food trucks, so we welcomed Blue Monkey Shaved Ice and Dixie Belles Cupcakes.
Getting an early start...

Shoppers enjoy respite from the heat on the patio of the Gypsy Tearoom
Dixie Belle's Cupcakes

Crooner T.J. McCloud 

Always a favorite, Junky Jo's Secondhand Cottage, Marion, IL

A big draw for market-goers is the ambience.  Besides gorgeous displays by the vendors and the beauty of the venue, a few surprises delighted guests in a 1960 Buick ‘gypsy mobile’ provided by collector Terry Kemp, filled with glittery cheetah, bling, funky throw-pillows and lots of pink shopping bags.  Ryan Surratt of Ausden, Inc. built a custom garden shed for the front entrance and Three French Hens of Nolensville completely covered a bicycle in rags and lace.

Ausden Inc

As an extra incentive, this year we presented a “Best Display” award to a deserving vendor;  prize being free booth rental for the 2014 show.  Judges swept through the marketplace early Friday morning ‘incognito’ and were met with a daunting task; so many talented artists and decorators!   Hours later, they finally agreed on one, well-deserving display-  a show-stopping entrance to the ‘Picker’s Market’.  Designer, ‘Miss Martha’ embodies everything that is AGAPE.  She designed the entrance as a favor to the show and to draw attention to not just her tent, but the entire group of vendors known as the ‘Carter’s Creek Clan’.  She had also made hand lettered signs for other areas of the marketplace because she loves Bella and its cause.  Due to a loss in her family she was not even able to work the show, so she gave her space to another vendor.  Martha brought iced washcloths in baggies for us and gave us bottles of frozen water during set-up.  Her laughter permeates the rafters and she’s never met a stranger.  Martha never expected to win any awards that day, but just to do her best to make Bella Rustica the best show yet. 

Finally, we couldn’t do this show without all the volunteers; they are the backbone of Bella Rustica.  Directing a show of this enormity is extremely labor-intensive, so much of our staff takes a day (or 2) during the week give a helping hand.  Others have volunteered before and return each year because they have a great time and because it’s for such a worthy cause.  When one show has closed, we immediately begin working on the next show, refining procedures and brainstorming how to make it better.  Heart-felt thanks to all who worked so hard behind the scenes this year, and for being the hands and feet of Jesus to many who may or may not know Him.  I’ve heard it said more than once, Bella is such a success because of AGAPE, and I would like to add, because it is covered in prayer and given over to Him daily.  “Go ahead and steal my show; I’ll step back and watch you go!” are lyrics to a Toby Mac song that encouraged me daily.  From the gorgeous sunrises and inspiring worship songs on my 45 minute commute, to spying a herd of zebras in a cow pasture, the Lord sent his rain and satisfied our worn out bodies with His glorious strength.  
A heart-felt thank you to our good friends and supporters, and to the beautiful community that is becoming "Bella Rustica".

Please enjoy more photos...
Holli and Donna, Sistas at Heart, Thompson's Station

One of our favorite bloggers, Beth Lewis, Olde Tyme Marketplace from North Carolina

Beth has such a great eye for display

A must have for a Music City event-
Scott's Blue Rose, Dallas, GA., offered hundreds of boots fitting for "Nashvegas"!

Turning Leaf from West Tennessee and their sweet gypsy abode

Tulip Grove Farm, Lebanon, TN., had tons of industrial chic

A favorite cooling spot at Legacy Farm

Cat's Carpetbags, Atlanta, outfitting Bella Chicks

105 Design Studio, Columbia, TN - amazing reclaimed lighting

Be sure a visit our Facebook page for all the photos!

Ciao for now!