Friday, December 19, 2014

Holiday Decorating Advice from Three Wise Hens

Are you decking the halls? Draping evergreens across your mantle? Stringing lights through your entryway foliage? Filling every vintage vase and tureen with chippy glass ornaments? In the spirit of the holiday, we Hens thought we would share some of our own inspiration! 

Kathy has always gone full bore on decorating. In year's past you could find her using everything in her ten bins of Christmas decorations to light up, repurpose and reuse every antique and vintage receptacle she owns, creating the overdone Christmas rooms that have always exuded holiday magic. However, this year she needed something more gentle. The Hens recently got together and gathered giant pinecones, Douglas fir and Monterey Pine boughs, and branches of bay laurel. Each of us used them to decorate our mantels and display them in soft, warm, natural ways.

Carrie, on the other hand, has always been drawn to the magic of Santa's helpers. She was decorating with elves long before 'Elf on a Shelf' became the rage! Her "collection" started with an innocent comment to an aunt many years ago, when she spotted her elf, sitting on her computer in February. Long story short, he didn't get packed with the Christmas stuff and he became CARRIE'S! So now, she collects vintage elves from her travels and loves putting them on her cabinet that holds her many pictures and family heirlooms. It is just the yang that makes her traditional Christmas decor a little more fun!

Then there's Susi. She's the junker of the group that turns one of a kind pieces into collections that look like they must be right out of a magazine! Everywhere you turn in her 100+ year-old farmhouse you find another piece of Christmas reminding you just what you loved about the holiday spirit. Her flare brings together the stories of the antique pieces with the styles of today's chic home decor!
We each took on the holidays in our own way this year. However, the most fun part was drawing inspiration from one another! As it is the season of giving we thought - why stop there? We've included some photos of our decorating this year with the hope we can provide our fans with some last minute inspiration before the big day.


In this hectic time of year remember, a little sparkle is always a plus but at the end of the day, the simplicity and beauty of nature is also very grounding during this bustling holiday season. Either way, glitz or plain greens, we know your homes reflect the beauty and peace of the season.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving & Cheers to a Fabulous Show

Here it is November and we’re just getting around to telling you about our October show! Is time going that fast for you? Is it because we’re getting older or because we are just so full of projects and ideas and tending to all them makes the days fly by? We prefer to think the latter.

Our October Three Speckled Hens show was amazing! Our dealers were over-the-top with their individual styles and unique selections of rustic relics, chic repurposed furniture and accessories and hard sought after primitive pieces. Add to that the homey ambiance of Paso Robles Events Center’s Frontier Town, amazing food vendors and an air of fun and adventure and you’ve got a good picture of our show.


The shoppers had so much fun scrambling from booth to booth to score their perfect finds! We did notice that quite a few stopped by our Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar for refueling. At the end of the day, happy shoppers and happy dealers. A win-win to say the least.

What’s on our to-do list now? No rest for these Speckled Hens as we are well into production for our May 2015 show. There is always something that needs tweaking to better serve you, our loyal fans. We love hearing from you and any thoughts you may have on how to keep our show the biggest and best in the west!

We send a heartfelt wish to you for a lovely Thanksgiving holiday with your families and friends.

~The Hens 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Vendor Spotlight: The Junk Girls

If you are an antique fanatic or have ever been to a Three Speckled Hen’s show, you have likely heard of The Junk Girls. This amazing duo, based in San Luis Obispo, have an incredible business, a heartfelt mission, and some newly unveiled projects in the works. We decided we were long overdue for a conversation with one of our favorite vendors. Below is a special interview with Jenny Kompolt and Melissa James of The Junk Girls, whose passion lies in transforming antique, vintage, found & recycled objects into unique and beautiful treasures. The Junk Girls can be found in booth #105 at the Three Speckled Hens show on October 4-5, 2014.

Hi Junk Girls! Jenny, we know you didn’t start out your career as a full-time artist, but worked for major companies doing creative direction & graphic design. Have you transitioned away from that type of work today?
I transitioned in such a way that Junk Girls is now our job 150%! Both Melissa and I come from a graphic background—Melissa on more of a production side and me more on the creative directing side. But we utilize those skills on everything from designing our own packaging, designing layouts, signage, and all sorts of things that require a graphical eye. We comment to each other often that we’re glad we’ve had so many different lives in our past and done so many things, because now our toolbox is full of many different skills that we can pull on.

What made you make the switch from graphic work to physical art?
Well, I did a lot of corporate work for eBay and Netflix in the graphic arena, both physically doing it and managing it. But the art I do really came out of art therapy, because I’ve been challenged with anxiety and depression. I started making art and hanging them on my office walls, and things started selling. All of a sudden I was being invited to shows, and it evolved to other events. Both of us had the opportunity to leave our other company, and we decided to do so and jump into the Junk Girls with both feet. Junk Girls really encompasses all things vintage, antique, and repurposed; the art aspect of that was part of my healing. It’s how I took something that was less than perfect and turned it into something impactful or beautiful, which was similar to how I interpret my life. Melissa’s slant on that was taking phrases or words that were important to her, and metal stamping them on spoons, brass, and different materials that we use. Taking those, people can create their own bit of beauty and heartfelt messaging. We have a real desire to give back to the world and to help others, because art has definitely helped us. We’ve got our arms around a lot of different things, but we’ve never been happier. We’re the happiest we’ve ever been.

What are some of the most unique antique items you’ve ever made art out of?
Oh wow, that’s difficult! I’ve used so many different materials between my art, my lighting, the tables that I make…I would safely say that I really go for vintage and antique, and the more worn out the better, because to me it has more personality. I don’t like too much of one thing, because I’m always trying to find innovative ways to do something new. For example, there were some handmade accordion reeds I took out of an old antique organ, and those were beautiful. I’ve used pieces of copper and brass that have been part of piping and fixtures, I also like a lot of old toys, tools, and musical instrument parts. It’s about finding the stuff and then turning around and finding a place or a home for it. That’s probably one of the best parts of my job. Usually with my art I begin by choosing a metaphor. I choose the metaphor and then I work with it in the form of a quote that tells the story I’m trying to say. A lot of people ask what comes first: the quote or the piece. It’s both. Sometimes I read or find or create a quote myself, and build the art around that. And sometimes I find a piece and go oh my gosh—this is going to be perfect for something. I only work with stuff that talks to me.

Your work was recently unveiled as part of the new Levi Stadium art in Santa Clara, CA. Can you describe that project for us and how it came to be?
Well, we had a warehouse art event and this nice gal came through who I didn’t know. She said, I’ve been watching you for a couple of years and I think you’re very talented. She said she was curating for the stadium and that she was putting together a series of museum quality art, and would I be interested. I said oh my gosh, absolutely! I was definitely different than all the other artists invited to participate. I wasn’t a painter, I wasn’t a sculptor, I didn’t create things with paper… I was much more three-dimensional. I was given themes to include Agriculture, Mining, Levi’s, etc and then begun the hunt for all the stuff to work with. I got to use old worn out footballs, farming tools that had been dug up around the turn of the century, (my!) old Levi jeans, and even an old football trophy from the 1930s. I even got to pick through Candlestick Park to go through and salvage pieces and parts. In total I made 10 different art pieces for the Levi Stadium, and everything I made was out of found and vintage objects. My largest piece is eleven feet long by five feet tall; it’s made out of antique gold pans and is displayed on the fifth floor elevator on the owner’s level. When it was framed and hung, it pretty much took my breath away. 

Melissa, we can’t wait to hear from you as well! When did you passion for making art first begin, and when did it become full time?
Gosh I’d say I’ve had the inkling since I was very little, and I just never actually thought I’d do it as a job or a lifestyle. My mom was very artistic and always coming up with new crafts or Christmas gifts, and my dad did stained glass and took classes to learn how to make lamps. We were always open to that as a family. In 2009, both Jenny and I were both ready to make a change. The pressure and stress of our jobs was really affecting both of us. Jenny’s art was really starting to take off, so I quit my job to support her initially to support and give her as much freedom as possible. It just evolved into me helping and doing more, and finding other ways to participate and incorporate what I love to do which is my metal stamping business.

Why are you considered the “soft side” of the Junk girls? Don’t you work with metal??
Well, I love working with fabric and paper and am more crafty I suppose. And my work is not nearly as heavy as Jenny’s—or as dirty! With my stamping, I actually don’t know that much about metal smithing and I’ve never even really thought of myself as a jewelry maker, but people tell me that’s basically what I am doing! I love laying out the words and using my antique metal stamps from the late 1800s and early 1900s, and it’s just a challenge and a joy to lay out the different words and phrases. At the show, I’m creating a one-off special piece for someone right there and I’ve got to nail it on the first try. Both Jenny and I come from a give-back mentality, and some of the things that customers have had me stamp, I’ve been moved to tears. I work a lot with flattened spoons as well as other metals like brass, bronze and sterling silver.

Melissa made the above piece for Jenny to wear at her at the Stadium Art Opening. “No bird soars too high if she soars with her own wings” is stamped on the brass round and layered it with "Courage" on a small spoon with a Mercury Dime on top.

What can Three Speckled Hens Show attendees expect to see at your booth this fall?
Our booth is known for people going a bit crazy at the very beginning—running to see what we have, and it’s good until it’s gone! Our booth this show will be filled with lots & lots of tables and trugs.  We found a whole bunch of sections of doors from the 40’s and 50’s and all painted those wonderful butter mint green, blue, yellow, etc. colors and have created 15+ tables and lots of wooden trugs with them! And of course, we will have Melissa’s custom stamping, our charms, a bling bar, and some cool furniture pieces. And, we just recently acquired an antique, turn-of-the-century Graphotype machine, which is what they used to make dog tags in the military. So, we’re going to be doing custom dog tags with the antique machine, and debuting it at the show! Our favorite thing about doing the Hen’s show is that they bring in such great vendors. Many times we walk around the show and I buy for my art and Melissa will find something she can’t live without. That’s what I look for at the show – what can I take and repurpose into a big wall hanging or a lamp? The Three Speckled Hen’s show is such a great community; it’s like a family reunion!

Thanks, Jenny and Melissa. We can’t wait to see you this weekend!