Answering The Call

 

My restless, roaming spirit has called.

“Traveling is like flirting with life.  It’s like saying, I would love to stay and love, but I have to go; this is my situation” Lisa St. Aubin de Teran

The Coop is currently at an all time low in the junk department.  While I love pouring over beautiful catalogs, ordering from a catalog pales in comparison to the joy I experience junking, and meeting up with my friends who deal in the coolest junque!  “Chief Junker” is my favorite hat that I wear at The Coop.  Returning to The Coop with a trailer load satisfies my restless, roaming spirit with adventure.  I hate to leave my beloved Burton, but I have to Fly The Coop.  This is my situation.

The Coop will be closed January 14th – 23rd

Jeff and I are answering the call with a road trip to Ohio.  Armed with audio books and a journal for my crazy ideas, we’ll hit the road next week.  The hours on the road often feel endless.  If I’m lucky, we’ll stop at a few interesting places on the way.

I know once we make it to our destination I’ll have plenty of treasures to pick from.  I have an idea of what I’m looking for, but am always open to the unexpected.  On our last trip Jeff bought a stack of eight foot church pews (the seats and backs, without the ends) from our friend Ken.  I wasn’t 100% sold on the idea.  They took up a lot of room on our trailer.  There were enough ends to make four pews.  Jeff cut the eight foot pews into four foot sections and added a galvanized detail to the ends.  The finished product turned out fantastic.  The owners of The Grand Texana saw the pews Jeff crafted and commissioned him to make eighteen short pews out of the remaining stack of eight foot pews.  I shared this story with Ken.  He laughed and reminded me, “Tiffany you weren’t even 40% on those pews.”  Lesson learned.  Jeff and I will never question each other’s wisdom or sanity when junking.

I am on the hunt for specific treasures for a few of our customers.  I enjoy the satisfaction of finding the perfect piece and their delight when it is delivered.  Email me what you are looking for at eckhardt.tiffany@gmail.com if you are interested in this service.

Remember to stayed tuned to the Flown The Coop Facebook Page and Instagram account @2FlownTheCoop!  We’ll share our adventure on these two platforms.

Flown The Coop Reopens January 28th

The doors will reopen on Thursday, January 28th.  Will you answer the call to fly the coop?Plan a road trip to be the first to pick from the treasures we bring back to Burton.  While your here, show off your wings by taking a picture in front our Gen.U.Ine Free Spirit mural.  Tag them with #2Flownthecoop so we can celebrate all our free spirits!

#BringmetoBurton

Happy Trails!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky.

Destination shopping

As much as I love hitting the open road, it is refreshing to discover a fun destination close to home.  Annette’s Touch of Class, located north of Houston, isn’t your typical junking experience!

I LOVE a good success story

I had the privilege of meeting Annette at the Dallas Market Center Vintage Home.  Annette and her daughter Megan have spent the past ten years creating a successful retail business, eventually expanding to wholesale and trade shows, selling unique apparel and accessories.  In May they celebrated the Grand Opening of their 5000 square foot “spirited” shopping experience, complete with a full soda bar, man cave, child’s area with tv and a barn filled with unique junque (my fav).

This mother and daughter team got it right, in my opinion.  🙂  They have created a fun destination that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

Sensory Overload

My junque senses were in overload!  I love their creative displays using awnings, old signs, car parts, benches, etc.  I saw something to ooh and awe at everywhere I looked!

 

Family Friendly

Who doesn’t love an old fashion soda fountain?

And a place to park the hubby!

The Red Barn

Owning a barn like Annette’s would be a dream come true!  🙂

Abel, a young junker in training, was impressed too.  🙂

Inspiration

I enjoyed a fun morning shopping Annette’s, looking at all their creative displays and junking in the red barn.  I left inspired by the successful business Annette and Megan built together.  And I definitely recommend taking a road trip to visit them!

 

 

 

 

 

Dedicated to those who can’t be caged

 

Flown The Coop is dedicated to those who can’t be caged, because I aspire to live authentically.  I want to surround myself with individuals who are giving themselves permission to BE.   I honestly believe in the American dream, that we all have gifts to give and that we all can soar past our limitations.

Occasionally we find ourselves caged by ideals and circumstances.  Flying free is not always easy.  I unexpectedly found myself caged and am willing to share what I learned in hopes that we can encourage each other to fly free!

Caged by the Do

Time between shows and buying trips makes me restless (and crazy).  I love the road, finding unusual junque and then finding new homes for the treasured pieces!  I also love to be busy, proving myself to be productive and useful.  In the month of March I was super busy, only home in Houston for five days.  You would think that I would welcome a few weeks off.  After only a few days of rest I was anxious to get on with another project, hit the road, DO something productive.

Well, here’s the thing… I was caged by my need to “Do.”  You know I like the HUSTLE!  I equate doing with successful people.  I tend to fight for what I think is necessary for success.  I erroneously believed that if I stopped the madness, nothing would be accomplished.

My forced down time has given me the opportunity to read, garden, walk/run, watch the DIY network and spend time with Jeff.  Funny what you discover when you slow down!

  • I read The Invention of Wings and wondered what women of that era would think of the freedom we have today? I devoured a few Brene Brown books on shame and vulnerability, discovering a few things about myself and my perceived limitations.
  • I serendipitously discovered TX/RX Labs while picking up an industrial shelf I purchased on an online auction.  Jeff and I joined the lab, signed up for classes and now have a renewed excitement about creative projects we are planning.
  • One day, I won a GoPro camera watching Brene Brown on Chase Jarvis Live, which has inspired me to pick up my camera again.
  • After watching Brene Brown on Chase Jarvis Live, I also watched an interview with Brandon Stanton, creator of Humans of New York.  I fell in love with his project, bought his book and daily read individual stories on Facebook.  We are all so unique, but still struggle with similar issues.

Although I fought it at first, slowing down has given me a new sense of HOPE, creativity, and made room for new opportunities.  I am reminded of the importance of BEING.

Caged by Comparison

Comparison is a cage I desperately need to be free of.  GEESH!  This one kills me.  If I wish to be vulnerable and authentic, I need to be honest about this one.  I found myself envious of the success of others.  I immediately fell into despair thinking I will never achieve success with all my limitations.  I have had time to process this cage and take flight.  First of all, my personal journey will not look like any other journey.  The hardest thing for me to grasp is that my self worth is not tied to my net worth, productivity, or the accolades of others.  Life has meaning and hope when I free myself of that crap!

FOCUS

Improper focus is another cage.  I’ve always had a Focus Board of dreams.  I have several posters covered with magazine images of what I thought life should deliver me.  I dreamed of big houses, cars, exotic trips, etc.  Dreaming and ambitions in life are not bad.  I treasure the dreams and accomplishments of my life.  I realized, after reading Brene Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfection, that the acquisitions and accomplishments I strive for don’t necessarily bring joy.  Love this quote in Brown’s book,

Joy seems to me a step beyond happiness.  Happiness is a sort of atmosphere you can live in sometimes when you are lucky.  Joy is a light that fills you with hope, faith and love

~Adela Rogers St. Johns

I see a pattern.  Once I achieve a dream, I always set the bar higher for myself.  Striving for success in the future robs me of present joy. Now, I am working on a Focus Board for JOY, the things in life that bring meaning and hope.

The Avett Brothers sing it best!

Head full of doubt/Road full of promises

Like a bird in a cage, I broke in and demanded that somebody free it!  I am grateful for the downtime and for discovering creative people who inspired me to live authentically.  In sharing my journey, I hope to encourage you to break free from whatever cage ensnares you.

I’d love to hear from you!!!!  Let’s encourage each other in flying free.

Here’s to freedom!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Urban Market Houston

This coming weekend is Urban Market Houston weekend!  The fun starts on Saturday, Feb. 8th at 3pm and continues through Sunday at 4pm.  We are excited about another Urban adventure in our own backyard.

We’ve been working on projects at the Flown The Coop headquarters in preparation for this weekend.

Here’s a sneak peak…

These corbels from Ohio have been updated with a metallic finish.  The table below has the same finish.

Guess I’ve had a little too much fun with my new paints and techniques I learned in Vegas!

After several different techniques, I think I can call this workbench finished.

In addition to the projects, we have several pieces from the last Ohio buying trip and new pieces from recent auctions.

Hope to see you this weekend…  Spread the word & bring a friend!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Acquiescence

source unknown

~A reminder for me to surrender to the journey and trust.

Sentimental

While most people are busy dashing from one holiday event to another, I find myself curled up in our “empty” nest decorated for two and thinking about the journey.  This year had unexpected bends in the road.  I wonder what 2014 will bring?  It feels good to be still, enjoying our first Christmas tree at FTC headquarters and establishing new traditions for the two of us.

I am excited that Flown The Coop has settled into a nice routine of quality shows and feel blessed beyond measure with customers who have become friends this year!

Even though Jeff and I have “flown the coop”, we are grounded by our expanding family!  We are having fun planning our daughter’s wedding in 2014 and getting to know our son’s girlfriend and her son.

“If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back in pain and regret.”  Jim Carrey

I am determined to not allow the mountains Jeff and I had to climb this year wear me out.  Cancer, a stolen trailer and other various disappointments slowed me down a little.
Cherishing the relationships in my life and enjoying rest in December will rejuvenate me.

If I live the life I’m given, I won’t be afraid to die.  ~Avett Brothers

There is no way to predict which way the road will bend in 2014, the uncertainty is both scary and thrilling.  Life is a journey.

I’ve spent time researching trends, dreaming of projects to undertake and looking at what worked in 2013.  When it comes down to it, I know this journey is best traveled simply pursuing what I love.  I envision “Road Work Ahead” signs along the way.  And that’s ok.

I love being the author of my job description and pursuing new ways to connect with junque and the lovers of junque.  I love deep roots in family and strong friendships.

source unknown

I hope to be known as a person surrendered to LIVE the journey given me, despite the unexpected bends in the road.  I will reread this post mid year and see where I stand.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Hope your December is filled with the warmth of your relationships and traditions.  I also hope that 2014 will be the beginning of an excellent adventure!  Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love.  Fly free!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

 

 

 

Admitting a problem

Chair Addiction

I’ve always had this problem.  When I go shopping, it’s guaranteed I’ll bring home a chair.  I used to sneak them in, like an adorable orphaned puppy that I can’t possibly take care of.  After years of this behavior, I’m ready to admit to an addiction.  I prefer to call it a love affair with chairs.

Walking around my home, the problem is obvious.  To my credit, I don’t discriminate.  There is no rhyme or reason to my love affair.  At any given time, there is a wide variety of seats to take in my home.  Take a peak at our current options…

These classic wood desk chairs are waiting the perfect kitchen table.  Don’t they look like wallflowers waiting to be asked to dance?

My desk chair is one of my favorites!  This is where I spend a LOT of time.

Here is a recent rescue.  This will be a fantastic chair when I get around to recovering it.

Here is one of my favorite projects.  I think the school bus seat covered with faux cow hide turned out great!  It found a home at the Crazy Oaks Lodge & Retreat.  I love that!

Here is a wonderful vintage arm chair that I had professionally upholstered.  I can visit this lovely chair at my friend Katrina’s home.  Stayed tuned… I’m picking one up similar to it soon.

This Toledo drafting chair is a recent pick.  Isn’t she sweet?  Look closely, you’ll see my beloved butterfly chair, another recent pick.

The best part of my “job’ is that I can preserve my love affair (aka addiction or problem), enjoy the treasures for a time and then send them off.  As proof, take a look at a collection of chairs that have been placed in good homes.

What are you drawn to when you shop? Have you been accused of having a problem?  Are you warned not to bring another one home?  Admitting the problem is the first step.  🙂

Here’s to our love affair with vintage and simple pleasures!

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

I took a leap

And now I’m flying!

Two years ago I took a leap with my friend Kristie Herlong (now owner of Dorcey’s).  We naively set up at the Springfield Antiques Show and Flea Market in July, a traditionally slow month.  Kristie and I had NO idea what we were doing, but embraced the adventure and figured it out.  We were thrilled with our sales and decided to launched Flown The Coop.  I had no idea that a little experiment with junking would turn into a passion and sustainable business venture.  Making it up along the way and carving out our individual niches, Kristie and I have both “built our wings.”

These little wings have flown some distance since then.

Last month I shared a space at the Dallas Market Center, Vintage Home section with my good friends and mentors Brian and Meloney Russell of the Seed Box Designs.  Needless to say, I am in awe of where Flown The Coop has taken me.

It helps to have talented friends in the business!  Congrats to The Seed Box Designs for winning Best of Vintage Home!!!

A flight home

This month I will return to the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market.  Two years ago I would have never guessed that I would travel such a distance to shop the flea.  I am still excited about the journey and the unpredictable flight pattern.  I’m so glad that I took the leap, Flew the Coop and continue to build my wings!

If you have a dream, take the leap!  You’ll figure out how to build your wings on the way down!  If you are a leaper, what is your experience?  I’m sure there are kindred spirits who could benefit from sharing your experiences.

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky.

 

Just keeps getting better!

Flown The Coop’s third trip to Urban Market Houston was a huge success!

It was rewarding to see my recent pickings come together in the display at Urban Market Houston.  It just keeps getting better as I gain more confidence merchandising with each show.    The ultimate gratification is watching my treasured junque leave with excited new owners.  I love my job!

 

Breaking for FUN!  

Brian Russell from the Seed Box Designs borrowed his neighbor’s bike and took Miss Ivy for
a ride.  I don’t know who giggled more, Brian or Miss Ivy.  Hanging out with my crazy friends is another reason I love my job!  Click on the image to see a Vine Video….

Little Miss Ivy is serious about furniture modeling, click on the image for another Vine Video.

Urban Market Crowd

Urban Market Houston is one of my favorite shows, held three times a year at the Bayou City Event Center on Knight Rd.  Excited customers line up early for the Saturday evening preview, a great way to kick off the weekend!  A crowd lined up early on Sunday morning as well.  The weather was perfect for shopping!  Let’s hope we have a repeat of the beautiful weather October 26 – 27th for the next Urban Market Houston.

Thanks to all my Houston friends who stopped by to say “hi!”  I was honored to meet a few more friends that had been following the Flown The Coop flight pattern.  I love chatting with like minded people who love junque as much as I do!  Yet another reason I love my job!

Remember to send me pictures of treasures you buy from Flown The Coop.  It’s fun to see the pieces in their new homes.

What’s next?

Next stop:  Jeff and I leave for another trip to Ohio at the end of the week.  Stayed tuned.  Jeff has warned me that he plans on using his new Vine app to document our shopping.  This should be fun!

Next show:  Dallas Market June 19 – 23rd

As always, follow our flight pattern on our Facebook Page!  You can always let me know if you are looking for a particular piece.  I’d be happy to assist you on your search!

Here’s to happy junqueing…  It just keeps getting better!  

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!

Texas Antiques Week

I am so grateful for the freedom to fly free!

Spring is one of the most welcomed seasons, a time of renewal evoking the senses with fresh flowers and new life. It is a time for me to fly free on my biannual gypsy trek to Warrenton for Texas Antiques Week, also known as Round Top. I spend two weeks in “the field” with my incredibly talented friends buying and selling our beloved junque.

 

Texas Antiques Week, a precession of fields stretching twenty-six miles between Warrenton and Round Top, is a serious shopping event each spring and fall. It is safe to say that Texas Antiques Week is more accurately three weeks long, with each field having their own start date. A shopper can find everything from high end French antiques in fancy air conditioned circus tents, to rusty treasures uncovered only by digging in a pile of junk.

Picture by Antiqueweekend.com

Picture by Antiqueweekend.com

The fields each have their own quirky personalities. The fields of Warrenton can be likened to any typical high school lunch room, an idea I stole from my friend Kim. Zapp Hall is where the cheerleaders and jocks party like rock stars. Renck, Bar W, and North Gate are where the ag students sell their rusty treasures and typical flea market finds. Venturing out to Excess and Clutter you’ll find the hipsters on the fringe of society.

Guess where you can find Flown The Coop?

There is so much to be said about all the marvelous fields within the twenty-six miles surrounding Warrenton and Round Top, but I love the people who add to the whole experience.

Brian and Meloney Russell, of The Seedbox, travel from Missouri with a truck, trailer and a U-haul packed with their sought after, hand picked treasures to sell at Warrenton. Along with their wonderful pieces of vintage furniture, they bring along their adorable granddaughter Ivy, who has become a celebrity in these parts.  It is safe to say that she  has almost everyone wrapped around her little finger, including Bud from Royers Round Top Cafe. She once told a customer at Royers, “You can’t sit in the chair by the door because that is Bud’s chair.” It is precious when she tells customers at the booth, “Come on it and let me know if I can help ya!” Ivy celebrated her fourth birthday during the spring show. It was heart warming to see all the people, who have become like family, stop by the booth to wish her a Happy Birthday.

The talent that is represented in the fields brings buyers from across the country. This trip I had the privilege to get to know some of the buyers from California.  Next fall I hope to join my friends from Orange in what will become the go-cart round-up. I’m sure Peggy will lead the way, or not.

Two memorable events!

This year I had the pleasure of attending the 3rd Annual Private Bloggers Luncheon at Royers Round Top Cafe. A joint event with the Dallas Market Center (DMC), the luncheon combined Royers famous food with a special event organized by DMC. Carley Seale, owner of The Gypsy Wagon spoke to the group about the Round Top experience. Carley spent years shopping Texas Antiques Week with friends and family before she launched The Gypsy Wagon. Having only been a dealer in the field, it was interesting for me to hear the strategies of the dedicated group of annual shoppers. Carley and her friends made years of memories and bought treasures that are proudly displayed in their homes today. Check out Carley’s Instagram at @dragginmywagon for the pictures she shared.

Another highlight of my trip was the Round up in Round Top, an evening soiree hosted by the Dallas Market Center at the new Henkel Square Market. The night was complete with a buffet catered by Royers Round Top Cafe, a fashion show by Rodeo Royalty and a special fiddler performance.  Miss Ivy stole the show as she watched the fashion show paraded in front of her, completely in awe of the models. It was a fantastic evening!

Flown The Coop changes venues

Now that spring is behind us, we are already looking forward to the fall Texas Antiques Week. Flown The Coop, along with my friends at The Seedbox, will be flying over the Bar W field. We are excited about the change of venue, located on the main Bar W Road just passed the office on a corner lot to the left.

What are your favorite memories?

I would love to hear your favorite memories of Texas Antiques Week. Do you love a particular field? Are you a dealer in the field? What is your best find? Any advice for a novice to the fields?

If you are planning to take a dream trip, I suggest you pick up a Round Top _ Warrenton Show Daily Magazine. You can find them on Facebook and their web site. It is the Bible of any trip to Texas Antiques Week. Wether it’s your first trip or you have a biannual tradition, please make sure you find your way to Bar W and visit Flown The Coop and The Seedbox booths!

 

Anticipating Spring Markets

Ground Hog day is just around the corner.  We all hope he ushers in Spring sooner rather than later.  This week Folk’s Journal agenda challenge:  In the near future, what are you looking forward to the most?

Upcoming Spring Markets!

I’m looking forward to spring markets, with Urban Market Houston kicking off the season February 9th & 10th.

Planning displays for the upcoming spring markets is much like the itch I used to get for spring gardening. Throughout the winter, I used to spend hours pouring over magazines looking for ideas for gardening projects in anticipation of spring.  February always made me anxious to get outside, get my hands dirty and do the projects that I’ve been designing.

The upcoming spring markets allow Flown The Coop to create anew. In January I begin dreaming about booth displays and spend hours on Pinterest looking for fresh ideas for the upcoming markets. I’ve learned a lot since Kristie Herlong and I set up at our first market in 2011 and am getting better at pulling ideas together with each new display. Thankfully, Jeff is always up for whatever crazy idea I want to try.

Flown The Coop loads of fun the past few years

I love the community!  The hours spent hunting unique Junque, transporting and refinishing the Junque, and then planning ways to display the Junque is rewarded by seeing all my friends in the field once we arrive to a market.  It is fun to be the first to see the treasures they’ve uncovered in the past months. Their creativity and talent sets trends and is inspiring. I look forward to catching up with them, as well as catching up with the many loyal Flown The Coop friends!

If you are itching to create new spaces in your home or garden, I invite you to come out to one of the upcoming markets!  You will either be inspired by the creative displays or find the items you’ve searching for to finish the project you’ve spent this winter designing.

Urban Market Houston February 9-10

A two day outdoor Antique Market held three times a year in Houston. A fabulous collection of dealers, designers, and shop owners with spectacular antiques, furniture, and home decor.

Cole’s Antique Show (Round Top & Warrenton Antique Weeks)  March 25 – April 6

This rambling flea market that originally started in Round Top now encompasses about 26 miles between Round Top and Warrenton.   Cole’s is located at the edge Warrenton where several halls and dozens of fields are filled twice a year.

Will the ground hog see his shadow?  Regardless, I am looking forward to spring and the upcoming markets.  What are you most looking forward to?

 Linked in 🙂  

~Tiffany

And the birds fluttered around her writing “YES” in the sky!