Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Branches Fall show 2012 is almost here! Directions and more photos

We have battened down for the storm, but now we are ready to throw open the hatches! The staging has begun with a flurry of furniture moving and merchandise upwrapping. The show will go on, as planned. You should come. you will have a good time and most likely find something you like.

Branches: the Barn Sale Without a Barn
 Friday, Nov 2 from 10 am-8pm and
 Saturday, Nov 3 from 10am-5pm

Getting here: If you live in the area, and you know where West Springfield High School is, the show is in the neighborhood right behind the school. Please turn on the road NORTH of the school, Center Road, rather than turning at the light. This will make it easier for you to park, although you can get here by turning at the light in front of the school
Here are a few more pics of what you'll see in the show:

Ok, this peice is too cool, so I just have to tell you guys about it. This is a painting made of flakes of glass! Then the artist, Emily Pezzulich, sticks the peices in a kiln and fires them into one sheet of glass. It really is amazing when you see them in person. Here are a couple more.

Photos of the glass art by Alan Pezzulich
That is just the tip of the iceberg. Seriously. I have to keep adding furniture peices to hold all the stuff we have for you guys. And we have four different mini cupcakes for you to try form Cakes By Amy. You won't believe the flavors: Gingerbread, Cherry Chocolate, Pistacio, and Key Lime.

You should come, if just to try the cake.

See you all there!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Building a Barn Sale

It's Barn Sale Season!!!!

 Which means my regularly scheduled life has left the building. Sharon and I have been feverishly "Gathering Branches " here in Burke, to bring you our best show yet! We are also being featured in The Burke/Fairfax/Springfield Connector Newspaper! So look on your driveways, before you back over our cute little faces.

We have a gorgeous venue, a house in Springfield, VA with high ceilings, 3 spaces open to each other and decent parking. I am always amazed that someone would let us come take over their life for a week, so please make sure to say thanks to Lauren (she's the cute lady on the far right) and buy her bears and aprons, if they suit you.
I know you guys are thinking, "Come on Marian, just get to the pictures."
So without further delay, here's the info you need:
Branches: the Barn Sale Without a Barn
When: Friday, Nov 2, 10am-8pm
           Saturday, Nov 3, 10am-5pm

So you wanna see what's gonna be in the show?

We have some much really great stuff this year! I am super excited.

The soap smells like heaven and is hand made by a woman and her mother in Sterling. The wallets and purses are made buy a guy who goes and buys old leather jackets at thrift shops and up cycles them into the delightful bags you see before you. You're gonna buy 4 when you see how reasonable the prices are.

And the wreath above is made of hand twisted paper. Here's a closer pic, so you can see it better:

Don't you love how she singed the edges?

And I almost forgot...We have Kelly of Stylish Patina selling Annie Sloan Chalk Paint at the show!!!!!!


OK, that's all I have for you today, but I'll come back soon with more unseen pics of cool, amazing things we have been gathering for you. And I'll tell you some more about our fantastic artists.
So go on. Write it down on your calendar. Branches barn sale. Can't miss. Nov 2-3.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Celebrating Columbus Day at Mayne's Tree Farm

Here in Virginia, we get pretty excited about Christopher Columbus. I mean, he DID discover our continent. Well, maybe a little after Erik the Red.....and thousands of years after the Native Americans, but somehow, in Western European culture, he gets credit for the New World. Virginia thinks this is so cool, we get a holiday from school and work. In the middle of October.

 I have come to love this, as it gives us a day every year to appreciate how spectacular fall in Virginia truly is. And trust me. Spectacular is usually the word for it.

Source (Unfortunately this one isn't mine) 

This one isn't mine either. My husband took it though, so that makes it almost mine.

My family has developed the tradition of going to a pumpkin patch on a farm in Maryland every year to celebrate not being in school on Columbus day. More specifically, we head to Mayne's Tree Farm, in Buckeystown, MD. (Also home of Chartreuse and Company, my favorite of all the barn sales.)We have been doing this for about 15 years now. Al and I read about it in the Washington Post's list of fall activities soon after moving here from the West, and we have always come back. It really is that good.

Mayne's Tree Farm has that wonderful balance of then and now. There is a corn maze, and a moon bounce and other modern farm delights.

But there is also the beauty and simplicity that comes from just being a farm. You walk or take a hayride on a tractor bed to the pumpkin field. You walk out amongst the vines in acres of pumpkins to find just the right one.

After discovering a million that you want to take home, you look at your wallet, decide how much you really want to spend pumpkins, and buy all of them in your wheel barrow anyway, just because it is so stinkin' fun to be in a giant patch of pumpkin vines instead of at work or at school.

At some point your kids will notice the large bales of hay that they can climb on. Let them. This is super fun for some reason.

They will also notice the line of old tractors across the field from the parking lot. Let them run free over there and "drive" a real tractor for a while. They are full sized and make you feel very tall and farmery when you sit on them. Go on! Climb on up! You know you want to.

The corn maze is always fun, although there is an extra charge for it. It won't be as much as a lot of the other places though. The Maynes try really hard to keep their prices reasonable for families. We usually do it, and I always walk away with some wicked good black and white photos. Corn husks are an amazing back drop for kid's (and adult's) photos.

Especially B&W.

See how cute the corn maze makes me look? I think this may end up as my bio photo.

I have to say though, our favorite thing by far, other than the pumpkins themselves, is the mini pumpkin slingshot. They have a bucket set out in a field, and if you get your mini pumpkin in the bucket, they'll give you one of the giant pumpkins for free. You get three shots to do this. I think it cost $2 for the three shots this year.

We have never won yet, but someday, someday that huge pumpkin will be sitting on my doorstep for little Halloweeners to climb over if they want their candy.

Oh, I almost forgot. You MUST buy the apple cider. Just go for the gallon. If you only buy the half and then drive off before you try it, you will just end up going back for more anyway, so save yourself the gas and time and just buy the big one. Nectar. of. the. Gods. Seriously. Go get you some.

Mayne's Tree Farm also has year round activities. They have pick-your-own berries and produce in the summer. And as their name suggests, they are a Christmas tree farm. You and the family can go wander the fields until you find THE perfect tree. And their wreathes are amazingly low priced. Like think Home Depot pricing, for a way fresher, prettier wreath. Just check out their website for what's in season when. Here's the link again, just for the people standing in the back.

If you decide to go home the Point of Rocks way, by turning West on rt 85 (and this is recommended if you are a barn saler, as this puts you on the very road that goes in front of the Old Lucketts Store and On A Whim), you will pass another delight. Rocky Point Creamery. Now if you've never had farm fresh churned ice cream before, you really should stop. It has a texture like nothing else. it is closed on Mondays, but we just happened to stop while the owner was talking to some friends outside the building. He took pity on our car full of hungry kids and let us come in and buy whatever he had pre-served. On his day off. What a great guy. Thanks Mr. Fry!

And thus tuckered out with an abundance of country goodness, we drove back to Virginia, land of gratitude for the man who discovered "India."