While the house is quiet, I thought I would gather my thoughts while they’re fresh and talk to all of you about how the Spring Barn Market went yesterday!  I had such a great day and there’s so much to share.  I also want to let you know what’s left over, so let’s do this!

Faith & The Weather

I was really nervous about the weather forecast for Saturday.  Rain was expected to fall at different times throughout the day and we didn’t know which outlook to believe.  Would it come right at 9 while we were setting up or fall in the middle of my MMS Milk Paint demonstration at 1?  It changed so many times that I eventually stopped checking and prayed my heart out that God would give us a nice day.

I’m so thankful and blessed to report that while we did have some high winds that whipped through the market from time to time, the rain didn’t fall until Marc and I pulled the rental truck out on the road to go home.  Once I heard the rain drops falling on the windshield, I almost started crying.  The only thing that stopped me was that I was too exhausted to form any tears!

Everyone and their mother was praying for our market day.  The girls in my online Bible study, my family and my friends on Instagram.  Confession – I had a little breakdown leading up to the market because I was so exhausted from loading up the moving truck and it was down to wire before the event was starting and the weather was still calling for rain.  I didn’t understand why God would allow the rain to go until the last minute and not give me the reassurance of a clear day from the beginning.  Why did it have to go right up until minutes before the market opened?  Didn’t He know I was having a mini break down?

I know I sound like a bit of a brat because God is God and He can do whatever He wants.  I’m also aware that I’m not the only person in the world and it doesn’t revolve around me, but I’m not a perfect person and I was so emotional and exhausted leading up to the event that I was probably super irrational.  (And by probably, I mean definitely.)  I didn’t doubt that God COULD change the weather but rather I wondered if He WOULD.  I had soooo much invested in the day – monetarily, mentally, physically and emotionally – and I could not understand why it seemed like God was making things so difficult for me.

In the end, there was nothing I could do about the weather and my prayers changed from, “God, please provide a lovely day” to “God, please help me prepare for a rainy day and be flexible, which You know is really hard for me when I have a lot of details to keep organized.”  I think the latter is much more realistic and less “genie in a bottle”.

Now do you understand why those raindrops on the windshield after we pulled out were so significant?  I tried to cry.  Really, I did.

The People & The Place

My Instagram post for today mentioned that it takes a village to run a market event.  I knew this to be true in my head, but after yesterday, my heart fully understands what that feels like.  First, Pheasant Run and Homestead Studios did so much work on the exterior of the property to get ready for the market.  They laid down gravel and provided a side entrance for people to come in and park.

Photo via Pheasant Run Antiques

They had the most delicious food truck there stocked with nomage that was definitely needed by hungry vendors and shoppers alike.  Their spouses were on site to help with heavy furniture, tent setup and breakdown and they took lots of video footage of the day on their social media feeds

All of the details about the day were clearly communicated and I didn’t feel like I was going in blind as a vendor.  I knew exactly what to expect, where I was supposed to be and when and what the rules were for the day.

They told us how to prepare, how to anchor our tents (because it does get windy up on their hill) and just about anything else we needed to know to be successful.  I truly felt so loved, appreciated and taken care of as a vendor and that is such a special feeling to have in this field!

The Setup

Setting up for the day was definitely stressful.  We staggered our unloading in 30 minute increments so all of the furniture people could back their trailers or trucks right up to their spots and unpack. 

Photo via Homestead Studios

I was one of two vendors who had 10 x 20 spaces and our 20 foot truck was completely full of stuff.

We didn’t stack anything because I didn’t want to damage my furniture, so we used all of the floor space we had.  We put all of the breakables and small decorative things in my Mom’s SUV.  We wrapped those up one at a time and put them in reusable grocery bags.

After we unloaded everything, I had a pile of stuff and I had to turn it into a well-staged mini store in a few hours.

Photo via Homestead Studios

At one point, I realized that my brain wasn’t working anymore.  I would literally try to make sense of the pile that was in front of me and my brain simply wouldn’t do anything.  It didn’t create any thoughts and it didn’t spark.  It was like it was a stick shift car that stalled at a red light!

It was at those moments when my Mom and Marc would start doing stuff and that would kickstart my brain again.  Everyone knew what the space was supposed to look like in the end.  It was just a matter of figuring out what to do first and where to put things.  When everything is in one massive pile, it’s a bit much to try to unwrap and organize in a timely manner.

At one point, I finally raised my head up and noticed the other vendors who were setting up on either side of me and waved hello.  I had my head down like an ostrich for so long that I didn’t notice my neighbors coming in!  I prayed a lot during that time too and asked God to help me make sense of everything and make good decisions with laying out my tents.  I wanted people to be able to walk around freely and for my furniture to be easily seen.  Marc mentioned the rain had moved back to about 2:00, so I spilled out of the sides and the front of my tents to give people more space to mill around inside.

I brought so.much.ironstone!  That’s what probably took the most amount of time to set up because we had to unwrap each individual piece and set it out.  While I absolutely love ironstone, I don’t think I’m going to bring quite as much next time.  Perhaps a smaller sampling that borders on normal will be best.  I have to say though, it sure did look mighty pretty up against my painted furniture!

There is plenty of ironstone left too, so that will be making its way to my booth at Morgantown Market this week.

The Shoppers and What Sold

Can I just say that I have the sweetest followers?  There were quite a few folks who came by to visit me that follow me on Instagram and social media.  Some said they recognized me by my face and my voice because they watch me on Instagram while others have known me since my days in education.  One of my friends from high school even came with her Mom!  As face after familiar face popped by, I had warm hugs waiting for them and lots of appreciation to bestow.  It truly means the world to me when you guys swing when I’m working at Morgantown Market or when you pop by for a demo.  It’s just icing on the cake when my followers wind up buying something during their visit.  Just seeing people show up is a huge blessing in and of itself.

As an artist, I get a bit nervous every time I put my stuff out on display for the world to see, judge if they like it, and spend their hard earned money on it.  It’s a special kind of vulnerability that I think everyone can understand, and it’s combated with every sweet compliment and affirmation.  Your comments, likes, hearts, smiley faces, emojis and emails mean the world.

Seriously though.  You rock.

My Bible study buddy, Nora, bought my Typewriter black sheet music dresser.

The Mustard Seed Yellow empire dresser found a new home and it will be picked up this week.

My Driftwood Gray dresser with the marble top went home right at the end of the market!

Marc and I wrapped this up in record time to get it out to the shopper’s car before the rain came.  I think Marc added a few hundred steps on his FitBit in one trip!  The buyer said she didn’t have a chance to buy anything all day and she was going to go for it on this piece.

This sweet little side table went to the daughter of a former coworker who I haven’t seen since I left education!  It was so nice to reconnect with her and hear that she reads all of my blog posts.

The Aviary nightstands went to Marc’s cousin.

And in between, I sold mirrors, ironstone, signs, cows, flow blue china, antique finds, a comforter set, Milk Paint, clocks and other treasures.  I invested in some industrial sized plastic wrap that came on rolls from Uline and that came in handy with wrapping furniture up for buyers.  (We also used the plastic wrap to protect our furniture on the trip over.  We would have wrapped it up at the end, but we had to pack up so fast to get everything in the truck before the rain came pouring down that we didn’t have the time.  Marc literally ran everything into the truck and we kind of threw stuff wherever it would fit!)

The Demo

Right around 1:00, I set up for a quick and easy Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint demo.  I used two picture frames from my local thrift shop to show how MMSMP behaves on raw wood surfaces and those that have an existing finish.  I used Tough Coat to show how it seals chippy paint and demonstrated how Hemp Oil soaks in quickly to dried out wood.  We even went on a field trip in my booth for examples of MMSMP on various surfaces!

Photo via one of my buddies who attended the event. 
I was way too busy to take pictures.  Next time…

I used Aviary in my demo and folks definitely loved the shade.  It’s such a killer color and Marian (aka Miss Mustard Seed) totally knocked it out of the park with this new addition to the line.

Folks were definitely curious about Milk Paint and I encouraged them to come to Morgantown Market to take some workshops with me and dive in deeper.  (I encourage you to do the same!)

The Breakdown

As the market wound down, the wind picked up really quickly.  We were told ahead of time to weigh our tents down with sandbags and weights, and our two tents had 10 pounds on each leg for a total of 80 pounds across the two tents.  They didn’t go anywhere, but every now and then, the wind would knock down some of my smalls and the MMS Milk Paint pouches would topple off the rack.  Eventually, I laid them down instead of standing them up.

By the end of the market, everyone was rushing around to pack up because the sky was growing dark, the wind was really strong and rain was moving in.  Even though we had 3 people to pack my space up, we couldn’t move fast enough.  Literally everyone pitched in and I was soooo touched!  There was no way we could have packed up before the rain moved in without extra help, and the gesture definitely didn’t go unnoticed.

Even my fellow vendors helped to break down my tent and get my stuff into my truck.  The sense of community was very palpable and we were all there to support one another.  If something blew down in someone’s tent, everyone went rushing over to help pick it back up.  If someone wanted a referral for painting furniture, I mentioned my neighbors.  If a shopper wandered into my tent with an unpaid goodie from the next tent over, I gently guided them back to pay.  I even lent a set of extra weights to my neighbor who wasn’t able to get some filled sandbags from the local hardware store.  Everyone was so nice and I think we all did pretty well in the end.

What’s Left

If you weren’t able to make it to the market and you had your heart set on some pieces, this part of the post is for you!  Here are the pieces that are still left with their prices and measurements.  Right now, all of these are at my home, but they’re going to slowly get moved around.  I plan on restocking my booth at Morgantown Market this week and I’m not 100% sure what I’ll be taking.  So if you see something you’d like, shoot me an email and we can talk!

I offer delivery services and you can message me for a quote.  You can also pick up and pay in person depending on where the item is (at my home or at Morgantown Market).  I also offer shipping if you’re really far away.  Shoot me an email and I’ll get you an estimate of how much it will cost.  (Keep in mind that shipping furniture usually cost more than the piece itself, so if there’s any way you can come to me, that would be the most cost effective option.  Plus, there’s good picking out my way, so make a road trip out of it!)

So without further delay, here are the pieces that are left. 
**Note that PA sales tax will be added to all sales.**

Vintage Brass Bed
Shined up with Hemp Oil
Can accommodate an XL full or a regular full mattress & boxspring.  XL full mattresses are common and easy to find online.  (Trust me because I went looking for them myself!  I simply decided to sell this bed without a mattress because I want the buyer to get a mattress that suits their preferences.) 
Mattress area measures 53.5″ wide and 84″ long (Here is where you can choose to buy a regular full mattress or an XL full.  The width is the same, but the length varies)  
Bed is tightened by nuts on each of the 4 corners and complete disassembles

Aviary Enamel Top Table
Painted in MMSMP Aviary, sealed with Tough Coat
27″ wide, 22″ deep and 29.5″ tall

Whitewashed Oak Dresser
Whitewashed in MMSMP Farmhouse White, sealed with White Wax
34.5″ tall, 36″ wide and 18″ deep

Primitive Scrub Top Table
Natural wood hydrated with MMSMP Hemp Oil
37″ wide, 29″ tall and 21.5″ deep

Typewriter Table
Natural wood shelves and metal frame, hydrated with MMSMP Hemp Oil
14″ wide, 26″ tall and 17.5″ long

Grain Sack Counter
MMSMP Grain Sack, sealed with Tough Coat
32″ wide,  22″ deep and 33.75″ tall

Octagonal Table w/ Drawer
GF Milk Paint in Seagull Gray sealed with HP Topcoat in Satin
24″ deep, 24″ wide, and 29″ tall

Pair of Vintage Nightstands
MMSMP mix of Marzipan & Linen, sealed with Tough Coat
$250 for the pair
14.5″ wide, 27″ tall and 18″ deep

Mora Table w/ Drawer
MMSMP Mora, sealed with Hemp Oil
36″ wide,  30.5″ tall (to top of backsplash) and 16.5″ deep

Chicken Crate Coffee Table
MMSMP custom mix, sealed with Hemp Oil
Comes with a piece of tempered glass cut to size for the top so you have a nice flat surface for your drinks and magazines.
35.5″ wide, 23.5″ deep 18.5″ tall

Set of 4 Balloon Back Chairs
Natural cherry wood frames with fresh padding and fabric
$85 each
34” tall, 30” wide and 20” deep

Round Tiger Oak Pedestal Table
The metal chairs pictured are not for sale, but if you buy this table with the balloon back chairs listed above, I’ll sell the set for $600 (a savings of $35).
$295 for the table
42” wide (no leaf) and 28” tall

Beautiful tiger oak top.

Lovely rounded empire style feet!

Enamel Topped Baker’s Table
MMSMP Eulalie’s Sky w/ Tough Coat
36″ wide, 30″ tall and 24″ deep

I don’t have any officially staged photos of this guy yet, but you can see glimpses of him in the photo below from my Instagram feed, and click this link to see my video from my Facebook page!  There is a pull out cutting board on the top!

Oak Side Table
MMSMP Mora with Hemp Oil
18″ square top and 30″ tall

The Future

So the question I’m wrestling with now is, “Would I do another market again in the future?”  At this point, I feel confident that I’d do another market.  I know I would absolutely LOVE to come back to Pheasant Run and be part of that selling community again.  I’d also like to try a smaller space (10 x 10) and go a little easier on myself.  Furniture is tough though, because it does take up a lot of room, so having a double sized space is kind of necessary.  We’ll see what opportunities present themselves!

In the next coming weeks, I have commissioned pieces I need to work on for three clients who have been patiently waiting for me to finish the market (because they’re awesome).  I also have demonstrations and workshops scheduled at Morgantown Market in May and I need to put my booth back together and refresh it with the goodies I pulled out.

Today has been low key, and Marc and I have enjoyed putting around the house, slowly putting everything back where it was.  We emptied and swept out the UHaul truck and returned it early this morning, and returned our tents to a sweet friend who lent them to me for the day.  After that, we went out to eat breakfast (because I wasn’t in the mood to cook anything) and promptly plopped ourselves in front of the TV to veg out for a few hours.  I’ve been taking care of computer things like updating my bank account, reading my sales reports (yes, I did well) and checking messages on social media.

So as the cat snoozes away under a blanket and Marc zones out while playing Call of Duty, I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of your love and support.  I’m feeling all the feels and I appreciate the stuffing out of you!

Welcome to my happy place!
I'm Jenn Baker - Milk Paint lover, photographer, blogger, and QVC Guest Host. Click below to learn more about me and my creative business.  LEARN MORE ABOUT JENN

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