Ever have one of those days when things just don't feel right. Something or someone has thrown a wrench into your spokes. I was having one of those moments - a flash of -Why does this have to happen? Why now? Just as I'm about to enter the Pity Parkway - I take a detour to my mailbox. Here's where the story gets interesting. A couple of weeks ago - I met Claudia. There was an aura about her. Something almost palpable - a spirit filled with optimism, hope and her soft spoken words hung like tangible verses to keep and ponder later.

(childhood photo above) Claudia is an actress living part-time right here in Overland Park, Kansas. She resides with her husband, a survivor of the Holocaust, part of the year at their home in Poland. Providing education through community service and speaking engagements, they share a history that is overwhelming to so many and as each year passes with so few who remain.

You can't imagine my surprise when I opened the mailbox and found a gift from her. An offering so generously filled with warmth and kindness it made my heart swell. A lump formed in my throat the moment I started to read the notes that explained the many articles that have personal meaning to her. I call this type of sharing -a miracle. Small -- maybe- no parting of a sea - no burning bush - but her thoughts and sentiments moved me to tears - blubbering actually -- and there are some little treasures she shared that I don't believe I shall ever part with.

I knew the moment she left the shop - our paths may not cross again -but we were kindred spirits in understanding the history that is attached to bits and pieces of tangibles that so many take for granted. I knew that I would never forget her. So, I'm going to share with photos the personal and collected items she bestowed on me. Her note said to use them in our shop - sell them - or give them away. So next time you are in - you may be the recipient of some little whimsy, photo, or handmade card that I will share with YOU.

Here's just one of the bits of wisdom Claudia shared with me. The Chassidim say: "Act each moment as if the whole universe were in perfect balance between good and evil: and it is your next action that is the final straw that will sway the whole of creation to one side or the other." That's why actors have stagefright. They feel this balance and their role in it. When, after years of acting, stagefright subsides, it is because we have forgotten the enormous responsibility of our next action. Tremble: your whole lfe is a rehearsal for the moment you are in now.

It's meeting people like Claudia - who remind you that each word shared may impact someone in ways you never dreamed. Thank you Claudia. You are living your life with a purpose. I'm reminded -- this is no dress rehearsal!

Chari Roberts Peak

Mrs. Roberts (Chari's mom) Chari and her Sister, Tona

Here are some shots of Chari's show at the Gladstone Community Center. There were dozens of artists there - beautiful center! Here are some pics we took on Friday evening.
The show continues through today.


Gratitude. It's the word that fills my thoughts daily. Today - I'm especially grateful for the wonderful new friends and women who surround, support and keep me filled with creative inspiration. Kara Ward and Ali Gripp spent and entire day soldering these little domino charms for me. They brought them to the Miss Frenchie Show last Friday evening. I passed them out - they were little reminders of the wonderful classes we offer at Vintiques. They made 100 of them and I have 18 left. For all the recipients - who could hardly believe we GAVE them away - you share in the gift of their generosity. Kara and Ali - thank you for the kindness and the friendship. You are amazing women! Amazing artists! Amazing mothers and wives! Ahhh, the many hats we wear....

If that wasn't surprise enough .... Kara brought this charming little garland into the shop - another gift... I'm wondering if she ever sleeps!!! It's hanging on the shelf just behind the counter. A beautiful reminder of my dream come true -- a shop filled with all the things I love to create with! Sometimes you meet like minded - and you know "they get it!" They understand why you kept the little netting off an old hat. They see tattered lace and know exactly what to do with it. Girls who know and understand texture. Fiber freaks! Hunters and gatherers of the worn and chippy frames, old greeting cards, they love the flower images on antique calling cards - they simply get it. They understand my love for those odd bits that I've hung on to for the past 20+ years. I'm grateful for those of you who understand and collect those things as well. My kindred spirits!

Chari Roberts Peak - ART SPRINGS in Gladstone

Chari Peak - who shares some of her week with us -- almost every week- she's always at the ready to assist with whatever we need -- including the packing, lifting, moving, hammering, schlepping, hoping, discussing what's next and best of all-- she shares her smile and some of the coolest sculptures and mixed media art on the planet - am I biased? You bet - Am I correct - go to her show and you be the judge!

She's showing this weekend at ART SPRINGS - Gladstone. A juried fine art show and sale.
April 24-25 Friday 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Free admission! Gladstone Community Center 6901 N. Holmes St. Gladstone, MO

Here's a picture she'll yell at me 0ver - for posting - but she was invaluable to me at the Miss Frenchie Show. We had a plan - got there - had to change the plan - and we managed to cram all that we brought into our little space upstairs in the loft. It was hard work - but lots of fun when you can do those shows with someone so happy about life! She's the best friend anyone could ask for. HERE'S TO YOU CHARI -- hope your show sells OUT this weekend!

For those who were lucky enough to make it to the Miss Frenchie's show - I applaud your effors. There were about 75 people waiting in line 1/2 hour before the doors were open on Friday evening. A rare shopping experience with beautiful collections of antiques, home decor and whimsies made by the hands of some of KC's finest artisians. Here are some photos I took just before the doors were open. Enjoy!

Au Revoir to the Miss Frenchie Show

Dramatic effect? YOU BET! Elizabeth Maxson formerly Elizabeth House (St. Louis), Debbie Dusenberry of Curious Sofa, Gwen McClure and Teri Elliot of French by Design (Mission Road Antiques), Donnie Volkart -just back from Roundtop, Texas (River Market Antiques), Barbara Farmer of Parrin and Co., (45th & State Line Road), Carol Spinski of Raised in Cotton), brought truck loads of beautiful treasures from around the world. Karla Nathan (Karla's Cottage) & Beth Leintz brought a great collection of their handmade, hand-painted works of art. So many things to choose from - so little time to shop! Wonderful offerings from one of our instructors, Robin Mackintosh. Her new necklaces were amazing. I wear one of her pmc and charm necklaces almost weekly. It's a magnet for an "OH" or "Ahhhh" response. Followed by, "Where did you get that?" Sorry ladies -it's a one of a kind creation - and a treasure - just like Robin!

Marilyn Gash (Lauri's mother and show partner) in the background. I have several of Marilyn's little pin cushions. Warehoused in their little tart tins - they are pretty enough to eat!

Lauri Meyers - shopping the gauntlet of wares - she took home a beautiful birdcage from Carol at Raised in Cotton! Lauri has an eagle eye when it come to groovy stuff! Her artwork is as lovely as she is! Stay tuned - she's having a show of her own in June. I'll share the details later.

Artwork by Gregory Johnson. We own 1/2 dozen of his creations. So many of you have asked to purchase the one's we keep at the shop. His work truly inspires me - moves me. I carried the first piece I purchased in my car for over a week - just to show it to everyone I came in contact with -- it's still one of my most prized possessions! Did I mention he's one of my favorite people? Adorable -- absolutely - adorable!

Julie Reed's designs - delicate and intricate pins made from beautiful fibers - every detail was perfect. Julie was kind enough to make our vendor signage -- it was lovely and a ton of work to do. I for one truly appreciated her dedication to this important task. Thank you Julie!

New creations from vintage baubles were sparkling and affordable - from Dianne Ripper!
I'm so happy to have met her.

Lesa Dailey's beautiful sculptures! I wanted every single one of them. Came away with a tiny little pink birdie. I gave it to my daughter -who's as sweet as can be.

Our little section in the loft - crammed full of all that you would expect to find at the shop.

....random thoughts...

John Kelley, in the WorkShop last Friday.
He's putting the finishing touches on a piece
inspired by magazine clipping he found over a decade ago.
Moved by the image, it made it's way into his inspiration file!
This work is part of John's personal collection and is not for sale.

Need some direction?
We are constantly sorting and re-stocking
with bins and boxes full of
things you feel you have to have-
even if you don't have a use for them yet!

Why is it you can never find a sharpened pencil when you need one?
I've always liked to write with pencils. I've always felt comfort that
I could erase the mistake. We all make them.
Wish forgiving them
could be as easy.

So long to "Whithin His Reach"
This assemblage sculpture by Chari Roberts Peak
now resides at a residence at the Plaza.

Cool 78's, Children's storybook records, even some 45's.

I think old quilt fabrics share the most interesting
colors and patterns. I am fascinated by the color trends
of each decade.


Okay, here's the 411 on the Art Challenge Chari, Michelle, Craig and I just completed. We had these "paint it yourself" oval canvas. Each of us took one and there were no rules or restrictions. The first photo is the back of Chari's piece. Thank heavens she had not covered it - I forgot to take the BEFORE picture.

First up is Craig's work. He used his handmade paper and bits of his vintage button collection. He used an old tailors measuring tape as a new edge. Chari used images from her French magazine collection. Some were sacrificed for her project. Next is Michelle's piece. A recessed childhood photo of her is contained - to remind: find and dwell within your sanctuary. The last is mine. I found the illistration in a collection of children's stories. It stuck me - You never know what you'll find on the other side of the door! Thank you Michelle and Chari - Craig and I really needed the extra week of grace and production time. We've got another in the works - details and photos to follow!

Talk about the weather...

Open Studio Days!

Instructors Chari Roberts Peak and Michelle Buzzard at work!
If you'd like to use the WorkShop in lieu of your kitchen table.... or if you'd like to book the space and share the space with your girlfriends for a day or evening of creative endeavors - give us a call with your reservation.
816 283-0989 the table can seat 12 for small projects.

Getting Ready for Miss Frenchie's

Mark your calendars: APRIL IN PARIS SHOW! Alexander Majors House --8201 State Line Road.... Kansas City, MO 64114 (Inside Barn)
April 17th -- 6-9 p.m. (Admission required) and Saturday, April 18th, (free admission)
If you'd like to see more of what's to come, check out the Miss Frenchie's Blog: http://missfrenchies.blogspot.com

We are so excited to be participants in this show. If you were lucky enough to attend the Miss Frenchie's Holiday Broncante -- you'll be very happy to attend this one too! There are several Kansas City artists presenting new works in the loft of the barn. I'll be there with lots of little treasures! Here are some things we've been working on lately.