Going to the Chapel


Give me a bright shiny fall day in the country-side. Give me gently rolling green hills, blue skies, fluffy white clouds. Give me junk! A big ol’ room-full of delicious vintage treasures, collected by some of the nicest, most talented junk sisters (and one brother) on the planet. Then, give me a chance to play with the big kids, the PRO-fesh-ional junkers and lifestyle bloggers–and let me sell my shiny new book, CHRISTMAS BLISS–and you’ve got a day that’s pretty doggone close to heaven. That’s what we experienced Saturday when we were invited to be vendors at The Chapel Market in Pike Road, Alabama. The market was the brain-child of our friends Layla and Kevin Palmer of The Lettered Cottage fame. Some months back, Layla asked if I’d be interested in participating, and of course, I jumped at the chance. The timing was perfect, as CHRISTMAS BLISS just came out last Tuesday. I even managed to rope Mr. MKA into coming along too–as junk wrangler/painter/fixer-upper/head salesman. Here’s an abandoned oak dresser he helped me save–it only had one drawer when we found it, so he made shelves, then painted it so I could wax and distress it. This found a new home on Hilton Head Island, S.C.



I made it back to Atlanta from book tour on Friday, just in time to jump in the SUV which Mr. MKA had stuffed to the gills with our treasures. We even had furniture roped to the roof, Clampett-style. We got to Layla’s postcard-perfect neighborhood, The Waters, just in time to unload the vehicle and get our booth set up. With just one little hitch. We’d left the boxes containing ALL my smaller treasures at home in Atlanta. A three-hour drive away. Glancing around the room at all the gorgeous booths of my neighbors, I was nearly in tears. Our cupboard was looking mighty bare. But my sweet neighbors came to the rescue. Mary of The Urban Farmgirl–whose amazing booth was right next to ours, loaned us some strings of lights–and a ladder to hang them with. Cindy, one of Layla’s neighbors, ran home and got some treasures from her now-closed shop to add to our booth. And suddenly, life was looking brighter, literally. We especially felt better after all of us were treated to a delicious dinner at the home of our gracious hosts Kathy and Eddie, who put us up in their beautiful guest house. Let me tell you, we slept the sleep of the dead that night!


Saturday morning, we made it over to the Chapel in time to put the finishing touches on our booth, and to meet the fabulous booksellers from Books-A-Million who brought many, many bins of my books to sell. I’ll admit, I was nervous. This was the first time we’d done a vintage pop-up market–and a book-signing. Would people come? Would they buy our stuff? Would they buy my books??? We thought they might when we arrived at the chapel at 7:30 a.m. and there were already people lining up for the 9 a.m. opening. We knew it at 8:30 a.m. when Mr. MKA took this picture…


Yes, folks wrapped all around the building and down the road! To shop and meet all these fabulous junk-istas. Like the uber-bubbly Karianne of Thistlewood Farms, who trucked down all the way from Kentucky and shared space with Susan from Finding Home and Heather of At the Picket Fence. Here’s a quick snap of their booth.

thistlewoodfarmsThey were there to shop with Shaunna, of Perfectly Imperfect, who has a for-real shop in Troy, Alabama. How much do you love those stalks of cotton–those sold out in a New York minute.

perfectly imperfectAnd they came to plunder the wonder of The Urban Farmgirl, who brought one of everything I would ever like to buy, all the way from Rockford, Illinois. I loved Mary because she loaned me lights–and also her very tall helper dude offered to help Mr. MKA hang them. Can you see a cute little Tonka red truck? I bought it before the doors opened–don’t hate me.

urbanfarmgirlboothAnd they came to meet rock-star blogger/author/furniture painter extraordinaire Marian Parsons, of Miss Mustard Seed, who trucked in such mouth-watering vintage loveliness, and styled it so beautifully I wanted to hate her–because my scanty booth was right next to hers. But I couldn’t hate her, because she’s so darned nice and talented. You can tell I pulled this photo off her website, right, because she’s a crazy good photographer. And I’m not…mustardseed booth

And they came to see Layla, of course, but she was hard to pin down, because she was buzzing around all day, and Kevin of course, but he was ferrying people around on golf carts. I didn’t manage to get pictures of all the booths, or all the dealers–because fortunately, we were crazy busy all day! And what a day it was. Nearly perfect. So good I almost didn’t mind hearing the screams of the Auburn fans because their team was winning, while we few Georgia bulldog fans were sulking around feeling sorry for ourselves. But here’s a pic we did manage to snap, at the end of the day, tired but happy.

chapelmarketvendorsOh, and, you know all those great vintage smalls that didn’t make it to The Chapel? They’ll be making their appearance this weekend at my booth at Seaside Sisters on Tybee Island. See, it all worked out after all!