Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Meet Lisa Love Harris-tireless junker and author of an intriguing Flea Market Mystery series!

We are delighted to feature Lisa Love Harris as our guest blogger for Petticoats on the Prairie today!  Lisa is one of the most genuine ladies we have been fortunate enough to meet in our journey, and we are honored to have her with us today! 

Hey,Y’all! THANK YOU to the the ladies at POTP for inviting me to post here. I’m Lisa Love Harris— gypsy spirit, vintage journalist, tireless junker, owner of Garden Cat Vintage, and author of First Monday Murder A Jimmie Rae Flea Market Mystery. Hey! Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute…an author?  
Yes. I write a Flea Market Mystery series starring a sassy independent Texas woman who moonlights as an antique dealer with an obsession for junk and cat-killing curiosity that lands her into heaps of trouble. I am often asked how in the world did that happen…how do ya mess with JUNK and WRITE a Flea Market Mystery series for cryin’ out loud?
Well, it’s not easy, but I've owned my antiques business for the past 17 years and have written professionally for more years than I care to admit to. And let me tell y’all, it hasn't exactly been the glamorous life I dreamed of many (okay, many, many) years ago as a journalism student. However, the road to writing and publishing a Flea Market Mystery series has been a serendipitous life journey that began with a passion for junkin’ and a 2003 breast cancer diagnosis.
You see, ten years ago on the verge of turning 40, I was blessed with the realization that life is short and I'd better get on with all those goals, dreams, and travels I'd been putting off. What was I waiting for? With a professional background in public relations and journalism what I really wanted to do was write fiction.  I believe cancer gave me the kick in the tush I needed to take the risk and realize my dream. 
A long time ago in a place far away I sat in Professor Jack Bickham’s Novel Writing class and tried to follow along. “Write what you know,” he said repeatedly.  Back then my life lessons were few. It took some valuable life experiences and a whole lot of junkin’ to fill in the gaps. 
While we lived in McKinney, TX  I discovered you could find incredible Victorian treasures right next to the Tupperware and Thigh Masters. An 1845 prayer book for a buck? Are ya kiddin’ me? A bag of tatted lace for fifty cents? Really? Yes, I’ve always been thrifty thanks to my Daddy who grew up on an Oklahoma cotton farm during the Great Depression, but even more than that was (and continues to be) the untold stories each of these wonderful pieces of history tells or at least conjures up in my vast imagination.

My protagonist, Jimmie Rae Murphy, was conceived and born as I recuperated from the umpteenth surgery.  At first she was shy and venerable -- and yeah, plenty boring.  I began to write and study and rewrite. Before I knew it, Jimmie Rae emerged as a strong, independent, boot-wearin', keester-kickin', God fearin' Texas woman who wasn't going to take any garbage from anyone. 

In the process of creating Jimmie Rae and plotting First Monday Murder I made a personal journey and discovered my seventh generation Texas roots run deep. 
I discovered a complete fascination with wearing cowboy boots, embroidered jeans, and sassy t-shirts. I fell in love with old time Texas swing bands like Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys and Asleep at the Wheel. I listened more intently to my grandparents' stories of how they grew up in southeast Texas and managed to make a life together for more than 60 years despite all the obstacles in their journey together.

Back then music filled our Victorian house as I wrote and revised and wrote some more. Not the music of my pre-cancer life, but the raw, deep tones of Texas musicians like Lightnin' Hopkins, Leadbelly, Lyle Lovett, Guy Clark, Stevie Ray Vaughan, ZZ Top, Steve
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Miller, Miranda Lambert, Dixie Chicks, Patty Griffin, Lucinda Williams, and Susan Tedeschi. 
I created characters based loosely on the many people I met along the way.  I created an antique mall called Blessings From the Past in what was once an old church building. I even created an entire town, Niceton (Nice Town) based on a combination of several Texas towns. I wrote, and revised, and wrote some more. Write what you know,”  Professor Bickham’s words echoed in my head. 
“What did I know?”
Texas. Being a strong woman. Junkin’.

Somehow these ingredients began forming a plot…take an idea and begin creating it in words. Sprinkle liberally with imagination. Add a gorgeous Texas sunset, a salty honky-tonk, Texas music, lots of Lone Star attitude, and lots of JUNK. Add a cowboy or two…or three.Toss in a beloved location, a little romance, and a story begins to emerge. A novel is written.
From Pintrest pinned by
A job related move to Washington state five years ago, led me to meet my fabulous critique partner who suggested I combine my passions for both writing and junkin’.  In between getting my final First Monday Murder revisions together I began to set up my Garden Cat Vintage goods at vintage markets in the Pacific Northwest. It was at Funky Junk Sisters Junk Salvation in Hillsboro, OR that I met the ladies and first learned about the fabulous Petticoats on the Prairie— The Premiere Vintage Market in West Texas.
There’s been no looking back.  In the past three years, I’ve started a blog, published First Monday Murder, participated as a vendor in more than 16 vintage markets from Seattle, WA to Colorado City, TX, and moved our family back to Texas all the while meeting as many other creative folks as possible and writing the next Jimmie Rae Flea Market Mystery VINTAGE MURDER due out next spring. 
Yeah, it’s been a little busy, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Life is short. My bucket list is long. And there are so many wonderful people, new roads, and great things to discover along this life journey.
From the git-go my Flea Market Mystery series was inspired by the junkers, bohemians, crafters, dreamers, rebels, artists, vendors, road-trippers, gypsies, and pickers who keep our junkin’ community full of style, creativity, originality, and fun.
As I race toward turning 50 in a few weeks, I look forward to meeting more new friends, writing more stories, buying and selling more antiques, and traveling down that always exciting blacktop road of life.
I'll always remember not what cancer took from me, but what it gave me.  I'm very thankful and abundantly blessed.
Until next time,
Peace, love, and all
the good stuff to ya,
sweet friends!

Lisa is a member of Sisters in Crime, SinC Guppies, HoTX SinC, Romance Writers of America, Brazos Writers,and Writers' League of TX. Her book First Monday Murder is available on Smashwords and Amazon. She’s on Goodreads as Lisa Love Harris, Twitter as @txgardencat and Facebook as The Garden Cat. She lives with her 1981 prom date and husband of 30 years, their two almost-grown kids, a slightly spoiled, but sweet dog, and spunky old cat.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Brunch at the Baker tickets now on sale!

Just a little over a month till show time!! We are so excited about the incredible vendors we have on hand for this show, some of the BEST in Texas!! And also thrilled to have Fancy Smith as our very special guest. Fancy is the owner of Cactus Creek Mercantile in Weston, Missouri and has also been featured in Cowboys & Indians Magazine. We are certain everyone will enjoy meeting her and learning about her adventures! Tickets for our early-bird shopping event are now on sale! The perfect chance to learn more about Fancy, she will be speaking about her TV appearance on the show "Picked Off". The Brunch is going to be catered by Sweetie's Cakery and Kaci is an incredible promises to be yummy! The Brunch portion of the morning will held in the courtyard behind the historic Baker Hotel in downtown Colorado City! After the Brunch, the party will move back down to the Fairgrounds for 2 hours of early-shopping before the doors open to the public. Tickets are $30.00 and can be purchased in advance by emailing us at Come and join us!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lucky Star Art Camp with Lisa Field-our first guest blogger!!

We are thrilled to introduce Lisa Field to our readers, she is the founder and visionary behind Lucky Star Art Camp, in beautiful Hunt, Texas!  The Camp will take place at a magical, real-live girl's summer camp called Waldemar, on the banks of the Guadalupe River.  The retreat is coming up October 9-13th and could very well be the boost your creative soul needs!  Lisa has also teamed up with Bernadette Noll, author of  "Slow Family Living" for a HUGE giveaway!   One lucky woman will win free tuition for Lucky Star Art Camp. They will also win a copy of Bernadette Noll’s book “Slow Family Living”.  Bernadette will also be the featured speaker the first night of the camp!  The giveaway ends September 2nd at 11:59 p.m and you can find out how to enter on Lisa's blog,  Lucky Star Blog


I am so glad for the opportunity to get to post here and share my dream-coming-true with all of you. Lucky Star is an event that is a lifetime in the making and in just over a month, I will be standing in front of a room full of bright-eyed, bushy-tailed women who are just as excited as I am to be in that room. It will take just as much work for them to get there, as it will take me to make it all happen. But when we come together, magic will unfold. I’m sure of it.

Lucky Star is a four night, five day women’s art and whole living retreat set in the hill country of Texas. Women will travel from all over the country to take in the beauty of their surroundings, take classes, make new friends, listen and share, eat good food, laugh ’til they cry, sing around the camp fire, gaze at the stars, and just be in the moment.

Don’t let the name mislead you. You do not have to be an “artist” by the standard definition to come to Lucky Star. We believe there is “art” in the every day details of life and therefore we celebrate the everyday “artists” who can be found in the kitchen making a lovely meal for their family, in the garden planting a row of peas, in the wee hours of the night sewing a Halloween costume, or in a cubicle using a rainbow of colorful file folders and sticky notes to do anything to brighten the day. Just the act of braiding your hair can be deemed a work of “art” by our definition. Creative people can’t help but be creative. You know who you are. Lucky Star is a candy store for the creative soul. Lucky Star is for YOU!

A trumpet sound will start the day, signaling it’s time to find your class and starting creating, making, learning, listening. There will be the sweet smell of Sycamore and Cypress leaves on the breeze as they just begin to succumb to the changing of the season. Birds chirping and the sound of cool, clear running water will be interrupted often by outbursts of laughter coming from the hillside. An occasional cry of “CANNON BALL” will be followed by a big splash and the ripples on the water will make landfall again and again and again like they so hypnotically do. The combination of anticipation and excitement will fill the air with electricity, yet the peacefulness of the natural surroundings will remind us to slow down, take a deep breath, and just be in the moment. Embers will spark and glow into the night sky and we will circle, enchanted by the warmth of the fire and the sounds of music. Our heads will rest on strange pillows, reminding us as we drift off to sleep that we are not at home because we are on an adventure! This is all taking place this October 9-13th and it will be as I’ve described, but you have to be there to see for yourself.

To sign up for Lucky Star Art Camp as a Sleepaway Camper or Day Camper, visit our website today at  Registration closes on September 30th.

Lisa Field

Monday, August 26, 2013

Lady Baltimore, I presume?

Happy Monday evening dear friends! Last June, the three compadres set out for Fredericksburg to meet up with friends and do a little shopping. Ok....alot of shopping! Fredericksburg Trade Days was at the top of our list!

The first stop was at Sister's Treasures, to see good friends Betsy and Elaine. Their cottage never disappoints, lots of goodies to be found, inside and out!

Also stopped in to see Deidre and her hubby from Junkyard Dog!

Then after a quick drink to help beat the heat, we came upon Diane and her husband Roger, of Blends. Mary walked into their booth and stopped in her tracks, she had spotted this "Lady Baltimore" suitcase on top of a display. Mary has a definate "thing" for vintage suitcases!

Roger told her that it wasn't for sale, that it was an old salesman's sample that he just couldn't part with. So, we kept on looking throughout the booth and visiting with Diane, and suddenly, Roger got the suitcase down and handed it to Mary. He told her that God had told him to give it to her, that she would appreciate it and give it a good home! I have rarely seen Mary speechless, but this really surprised her and she was almost in tears! The suitcase is now in a very special place in her home. Thanks to all of our friends in Fredericksburg for a memorable weekend, and a special thanks to Roger and Diane for passing along this special antique!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


Hi sorry for the lack of news on our blog, but we are working on a new website!! We will let you know we are in full planning mode for the Fall show, coming up October 18-19th in Colorado City, Texas! Super excited about this show, as our very special guest is Fancy Smith, of Weston, Missouri.

Fancy is a born & bred Texan who now lives in the heart of the Midwest, just outside of Kansas City in a little tourist town called Weston, Missouri. After attending Texas A&M, and a couple of corporate stints, Fancy made a leap and opened her own shop, Cactus Creek.

Cactus Creek has been in several locations since Fancy launched the business almost 13 years ago but is finally in the best location yet, a 100 year old building on Main Street in Weston, Missouri. The shop offers Rustic * Western * Vintage Furniture, Cowhides, Art, Antiques, Home Accessories, Gifts, Jewelry, SALVAGED goods & more. Fancy and her three young sons live in the apartment above the shop, fondly known as their "shopartment."

Fancy loves to travel all over the country finding new people & new things to love, and then taking them back to the place she loves, Weston MO. Fancy and her store, Cactus Creek, have been featured in Cowboys and Indians Magazine, and she has also appeared on "Picked Off" on the History Channel, along with her friends from Junk Mafia!

Make plans now to come to the show!!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Brunch, with Binky, in Ballinger!

We are so thrilled to announce that Binky Morgan is going to be our special guest at the Ballinger show!!  Binky, and her husband Ron Anderson, are owners of a funky antique co-op named, Binky La Faye, in beautiful Llano, Texas. 

Photos from Binky La Faye Blog
Binky herself is an internationally known artist and designer.  In addition to designing her own line of flea-market inspired jewelry, she also designs amazing hats for the London based company, Johnnie Loves Rosie.   She has also authored a book, Flea Market Jewelry, that helps to teach others how to create their own unique jewelry from vintage and thrift store finds.  We recently had the chance to ask her some questions and want to share that interview with you!
Tell us about a little bit yourself and your family?
For 8 generations both sides of my family have lived, loved and created in Llano County. We have strong ties to the land, to the Creator and to each other. I live in an 1890's house that sits on a little hill only blocks from the town square and that was fortunate enough to retain it's outbuildings. My daughter and 2 precious grandsons live just a few doors down. I feel so very fortunate that I get to be so involved in their lives.

Where you artistic as a child?
As far back as I can remember I have enjoyed creating. Both of my Grandmothers were creative as well as both of my parents. I think a lot of what they created they did so out of necessity. I'm grateful that my parents and grandparents instilled in me a desire to create, a joy of making something out of nothing. I have also been drawn to antiques and objects with a history since I was a little girl
What sparked your creative spirit?
I believe we all have a creative spirit. Whether it's creating relationships, great meals, or just being a genius with numbers, really in everything we do we are creating. So to answer your question I think that for me, just like for everyone the spark is ignited by the desire to imitate the Master who does it all so perfectly.

How did you get started with your business in Llano?
We decided to come back to Llano in 2004. We had been in Austin for a few years but my Grandparents were getting older and needing some help and our first Grandchild was a year old. We wanted to help care for my Grandparents and raise our Grandson in the "country". We had sold our vintage clothing store and we were designing lighting and home decor for Carol and Tim Bolton's furniture showroom in Highpoint, North Carolina. I have bought and sold antiques since I was 16 and the opportunity arose for us to acquire an antique co-op here in Llano. Funny thing is Ron was all about it but I was very hesitant to take on that extra responsibility. But of course it has turned out to be a great thing and I'm very grateful that Ron persuaded me to go ahead with it.

What are some of your favorite things to do in your spare time?
I love creating, whether it is something tangible like the jewelry, pillows, lighting and re-imagined furniture I make for our shop Binky la Faye, or creating memories with Echo and Epic by playing lively games of checkers and chess or making double chocolate fudge cupcakes with sprinkles. And I love the walks Ron and I take in the evenings. Seeing the slow changes that Nature creates throughout the year is really fascinating. We take a pouch full of doggie treats and each dog in the neighborhood now jumps with excitement when they see us coming.
Tell us a bit about your book......Flea Market Jewelry.
Jo Packham approached me about doing a book back in 1999. It was great fun experimenting with different ways to repurpose and remake vintage jewelry. I'm still making jewelry from vintage elements, the look has changed some but the concept is still the same.


Tell us about your hats for the company "Johnny Loves Rosie" please.....
Mary Rose Monroe , the owner of Johnnie loves Rosie has been a friend for years. She has been so gracious to allow us to stay in her darling London flat on several occasions when we visited the U.K. I had helped her decorate the guest room in her flat and on various other small projects. She asked me to design a line of hats for her wholesale company in 2010. The hats are all made by hand here in the U.S. I use things such as vintage ties, old lapel pins, vintage pocket watches, bits of silk and lace patchworked into a hat band. We introduce news styles twice a year.  

Ever had an encounter with a celebrity?
I have had several celebrity sightings, I partied with Quintin Terentino and there are many people that I consider to be celebrities that I hang out with on a regular basis. After all aren't we all celebrities in our own way?

Please join us for our Early-Bird shopping event, Brunch with Binky, for the chance to meet this incredible woman!  The Brunch will kick off our show on Friday, April 12th from 9:00am till 12:00pm and you can purchase tickets by emailing us at  A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the historic Carnegie Library in Ballinger. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

We are back!

Sorry for the absence....we are working on getting our very own website! We are also gearing up for our Spring show, Whimsy at the Warehouse, coming up April 12th and 13th in Ballinger, Texas! It's going to be so much fun! You can apply on our Facebook page, or email us at!