Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Beginning of a Journey

Welcome to the Three Speckled Hens’ very first blog post! We are so excited to begin our blogging journey with you, and hope to fill this space with stories, antique treasures, and comments from our valued readers. Many of you have gotten to know us well over the years — from meeting us in person at our shows, following us on Facebook, and visiting our old website. However, we realized that we have never really told the whole story about how the Three Speckled Hens’ show was born. We’d like to tell that story today in honor of our very first blog post and our eighth season as a show.

So what do you tell your husband when you come back from a vacation with a 5ft x 10ft cargo trailer packed to the roof with junk? You tell him that you and your friends have decided to start an antique show, of course. The fact of the matter is in 2006, when we left for Spokane to attend the Farm Chicks Show, we were buying strictly for our own homes. We were driving Susi’s Honda Element because it got the best gas mileage and the back seats folded down in case any of us found a large piece we wanted to bring home. Silly Hens.

We left Templeton, CA early in the morning and over the course of several days we hit every antique store, junk store, salvage store and all interesting looking second hand stores between Templeton and Spokane. And of course, every coffee house and restroom. We stayed in nice motels and even indulged ourselves with a night in a lovely lodge on Oregon’s Rogue River. Our criteria for what constituted a nice motel was that it had to look good, it had to have a hot tub or Jacuzzi pool, and there had to be a nice restaurant with a bar within walking distance. Oprah had recently confessed her love of lemon drop martinis, and with a bar within walking distance, every evening we did a taste comparison of that motel’s beverage offerings. We consider ourselves official Lemon Drop Connoisseurs.

By the time we made it to Spokane, the entire car was stuffed with treasures. Wooden moldings, wire gym baskets, rugs, paintings and rusty garden urns were literally encasing whoever rode in the backseat. After the first day of shopping The Farm Chicks Show, we knew we were in trouble. Knowing we had barely scratched the surface of our buying frenzy, that night we rented a 4 x 8 foot trailer to pull behind Susi’s little Honda.

The second day of the show, we indulged our love of everything with a patina, or shabby, antique, or repurposed. At about three o’clock, we decided to start loading up our trailer. After piling up our wares—eyeballing Susi’s flower cart, Carrie’s upholstered vintage chair and my 6 foot high Calistoga wagon wheel among other things—we knew we were really in trouble. We could not begin to fit our fabulous finds into that little trailer. There was only one thing to do: rent a bigger trailer! To this day we praise the two young U-Haul shop attendants who stayed open after hours while we unloaded our trailer in the parking lot and reloaded everything back into the largest U-Haul trailer we could find. We made it home with God’s angels riding our bumpers and a vintage cement lawn jockey sitting between Carrie’s legs. But that’s a story for another blog. Silly Hens.

However, the greatest treasure we found on our maiden junking voyage together was the treasure of finding true friends. That friendship continues today, in our eighth year of producing the Three Speckled Hens Show. To that list we have added the close friendships of our many dealers and the wonderful people who wouldn’t miss a Hens show. We still have many new things up our sleeves, so stick with us. Maybe we’ll tell you the rest of our story.

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