These are large acorn caps. Burr oak and other oak acorns.

New Products Lineup for Wild Ozark 2019

Lots of new Paleo Paint products in the lineup for Wild Ozark 2019! Look for new handmade watercolors, new packaging (less plastic!) and more paintings.

Since I started making the paint in June of last year, I’ve experimented a lot. And I’ve learned a lot. The same goes for the paintings using handmade watercolors.

As I’ve never painted with anything except these paints I make, I have little to draw on from experience compared with store-bought versions.

However, in my work-play, I’ve come up with a few more techniques for using and making the paint. And I’ve found some better ways to package the paints and make them easier or more fun to use.

Plastic Reduction

The usual thing nowadays used to hold paint are little plastic pans. I’ve gone through literally hundreds of pans since I started making paint. When it’s paint for myself, I wash and reuse them. As I’m developing new products for the upcoming year, I’d prefer to use less plastic.

Originally, artists used whatever was handy to their region. Those who lived near bodies of water typically used seashells. If they purchased paint, it came in seashells, I’d assume. However most of the artists of old made their own paint.

While I don’t have seashells handy, I do have acorns with convenient little caps. And we have a lot of wood scraps when Rob is in the workshop making his art. Nature abounds with all sorts of ‘holders’, so I’ll keep my eyes open for other natural items that will work.

Paint delivery with no or little plastics.
Paint delivery with no or little plastics.

For the acorn cup holders, I still need to use the hot glue to attach them to the base. So not completely plastic-free, but much closer.

New Products in 2019

More Colors

While my main focus for new products will remain on local colors, the Soul of the Ozark series, I would like to start experimenting with minerals from other places. Whenever I travel, I’ll collect the soil, rocks, or clay of that place and make collections called “Soul of That Place”.

I’ve learned to make an incredible blue out of lapis lazuli, but that rock is expensive and in short supply here in my possession, so it most likely won’t ever be one of my new products to sell. However, there are other rocks native to the United States that will make blue. Same goes for green. So these won’t be included in a Soul collection unless it is native to the region I’ve collected, but I’d like to have those colors on hand.

Another thing I learned to do, and now consider standard practice when I have a large enough source, is to refine the colors. The whole rock gives a certain shade. But if you separate the fractions of the rock using water, other shades are possible. Some of the shades can be quite vivid, like this Russet from the fines of the rock I used originally to make my Nirvana color.

More Art

I’ve entered the only two originals I have left into a show for the Artists of Northwest Arkansas. Which means in order to enter any other shows, I’ll need more originals. Right now I’m working on a goshawk and hopefully it will turn out well enough to compete. Before I can finish the painting, though, I have to make the colors I need.

The next exhibit I’d like to apply to is at the Springfield Museum of Art. I need to have this goshawk done by February for that.

My little twisted tree swatches have been popular items at the market, so I will make more of those and add them to the new product line as they become available. They’re small and affordable for people who want to own original art rather than prints. And they look just as nice framed as any larger sized painting would.

Paleo Duos

Whimsical, yet practical. At the moment, I only have enough of the large acorn cups to make 4 sets. If these prove to be a popular way to deliver my handmade watercolors, I’ll find more of them!

Each acorn cup holds more paint than a standard full pan. If all I can find are smaller acorns, then I’ll add more cups and call them Trios or Quads.

The bones of a new product. This is what will become Paleo Duo sets. Look for these to appear at Etsy and at the market booth by the end of January.
The bones of what will become Paleo Duo sets.

Wooden Palettes

These wooden blocks are awesome, and contain no plastics at all. When I finish the paints in one of mine, I’ll try washing and re-using it, too. My son Garrison has been working with me on this design. He’s doing all the work of making them and I’m filling them with paint and offering feedback. The one below is a working prototype.

Not one of the new products, but a new way to package the products. No plastic!
Not one of the new products, but a new way to package the products. No plastic!

Paleo Go

This is a portable set based on the concept of ‘whiskey paintings’. It features small acorn cups with magnets so they can be swapped out for different colors. Will come with the first set of colors, a miniature paint brush, shot glass for water, and the wooden plaque. I have been using this prototype as often as I can so I can make modifications as needed. Once I have all the bugs worked out and beautify the presentation of it more, it’ll be one of the new products at the market too. Look for this mid- to late 2019. Maybe earlier if I’m lucky with the first round of modifications.

Paleo Go prototype in use for one of my twisted tree paintings.
Paleo Go prototype in use for one of my twisted tree paintings.

Where to Find Wild Ozark?

Look for me on Saturdays at the Fayetteville (indoor) Farmers Market until March. I won’t be there the first weekend in January, though. You can find out when and where I’ll be by checking my calendar here.

I’ll be at the Community Craft Show in Bentonville on February 9.

My Etsy shop is at Etsy.com/shop/wildozark and it’s open all the time!

Got Acorns?

If you have any burr oak acorn caps, I would be happy to buy some from you! Ditto the other large caps. I have lots of medium and small acorns, just need more of the large ones. Email me if you’d like to donate or sell to the cause: [email protected]

Have a wonderful, prosperous, and exciting 2019!

Map of Kingston, AR 72742

Kingston, Arkansas?

There are some hidden treasures in the Ozarks. The tiny little town of Kingston, Arkansas is one of them.

The town itself is tiny, consisting only of a simple square with a gazebo in the middle for the “downtown” portion and across the bridge heading north there is the school and a gas station. That comprises the “uptown”.

Last I knew, the population was around 500. But most of the people live in the hills surrounding Kingston. And in those hills are a lot of crafty and artistic folks! You’ll see evidence of that if you stop in at some of the businesses in town the next time you’re passing through on your way to Ponca or Boxley.

What kind of business, you ask? Well, we have antique stores, a cafe, a gas station, a feed store, an old bank still using the old setup (take a look inside it), and an art gallery.

I’ve noticed that only the antique stores are said in plural. That’s a dead ‘small town’ giveaway to let you know just how small a town it really is.

Kingston Square Arts shop in Kingston, Arkansas.
Kingston Square Arts shop in Kingston, Arkansas.

Kingston Square Arts Shop (KSA)

Here’s a sampling of the kinds of things that are at the store:

 

Where the Heck is Kingston, Arkansas?

You’ll easily find it heading north on Highway 21 from Clarksville, AR (off of I-40) or by heading south on 21 (off of Hwy 412).

If you’re heading to Boxley or Ponca, you’ll already be in the vicinity.

KSA

Hours are 10-6, Thursday through Sunday.

Other than in the physical shop, you can find KSA on Facebook and at the website (still working on that). I’m the web and social mistress of the shop, so I’ll often post pictures of the items Greg (the house potter) or Barb (the house fiber artist) is working on or interesting things in there that’s for sale, or new things that the artists and artisans bring in to sell.

If you spot anything you want, it’s okay if you’re not close enough to drop in. They ship! Just post on the image in the FB timeline to ask if it’s available and they’ll take it from there.

If you’d rather call, the phone number is (479) 665-2559. The address is 100 Public Square, Kingston, AR 72742.

If you’re worried you won’t be able to find it, don’t be. If you can find the town of Kingston, you’ll find the square. And if you can find the square, you’ll definitely find the shop. It’s the big white store on the corner across from the post office.

Want to see some other places? Aside from KSA there are other things worth a stop in our tiny town.

Grandpa’s Antique Store

Maybe the only shop open on Sunday’s, Grandpa’s Antique store is on the square, too. If you have a pot missing a lid, whether cast iron or not, I bet you can find one to fit in Grandpa’s. There’s a lot of antiques and collectibles housed in this historic building, too.

The Bank

The bank is also a historic building. Pretty much all of the buildings on the square are. Inside the bank you can see the old tin ceiling tiles and the old bank vault. Both are in the lobby.

Others

There’s also a cafe (Waldron Valley Cafe), Bargain Buddy (antiques) the library (very small by most standards, but much larger than it used to be!), another antique store, and a new feed store. There’s a gas station just off the square to the north that also serves food.

I’ve probably left something out, so if you’re reading this and want to mention another spot to stop in our town of Kingston, Arkansas, or talk about the history of Kingston, just leave a comment and let everyone know!

New beginnings - Beautiful sunrise here this morning.

Endings and Hopeful for New Beginnings

Sometimes it takes a thing ending to spark renewed efforts to find new beginnings.

Endings

One of our little shops in town closed its doors abruptly this weekend. The owner has tried to make a successful business of it, but that’s a hard thing to do in a town with a population of only 500 or so. She did quite well, but the income stream was seasonal and not dependable. When she received an offer for a good job in the next nearest town, she couldn’t say no to that opportunity.

Tina’s Place on the Square (and the Artroom Gallery in the back) was a wonderful retail outlet for lots of the local crafters and artists, myself included. My books sold fairly well in there, and our syrup did too. I’d come to rely on that little paycheck, mostly because it offered “proof” my work hasn’t been completely in vain. A paycheck is a symbol of success, ha, no matter how small it is.

Kingston, Arkansas. If you find yourself there, stop in at Tina's Place on the Square.
Kingston, Arkansas

This closure marks a new beginning for Tina at a full-time job with benefits. In this day and economical climate, the importance of a regular paycheck and health insurance can’t be ignored. I’m still holding out on that (since we do have insurance and some income), hoping Wild Ozark makes a run for the money soon.

Her run with The Place on the Square spanned at least four years, selling vintage and antiques, and local arts and crafts.

Hopeful for New Beginnings

So now I have been motivated to find more outlets for my work and Rob’s syrup. Today I applied to be a vendor at the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market. I’ve heard it’s quite tough to get in there, but my fingers are crossed and my prayers have been whispered into the ears of the trees. Hopefully, the Universe will hear and respond in a way that makes me smile.

I’ve also recently applied to be a vendor at the Arkansas Made-Arkansas Proud Festival in Little Rock in April, and to the Sharps Show at the War Eagle Festival, too.

If I’m able to get into those three venues, it should be enough to keep me busy year-round making and selling products. It should bring enough income to keep plugging away at these things I love to do.

What are the products? What do I do?

I’m glad you asked 🙂

  • Art
    • Forest Folk
    • Fairy Gardens
    • Nature Drawings
    • Note Cards
  • Writing
    • Content for my blogs
    • Articles for publications
    • Fiction books
    • Nonfiction books
  • Speaking/Presenting/Teaching
    • on Ginseng Habitat
    • on Nature Journaling
    • on making Nature Art
    • herb walks
  • American Ginseng
    • seedlings
    • companion plants
    • demonstration garden
  • Bark
    • the bark is used in Burnt Kettle’s Shagbark Hickory Syrup
    • after making the syrup, I re-use it
      • smoking chips
      • added to Forest Folk crafts
      • garden mulch

The list above pretty much sums up Wild Ozark. Here’s to new beginnings! January is a good month to start making a renewed effort toward my business sustainability, wouldn’t you say?

Other Endings

One of the first people to help me with my writing technique died the other day. His name was Dusty Richards. He and his wife both died from injuries received in a car accident. I haven’t been to meet with the Ridgewriter’s in a few years now, but I’ll always be grateful to Dusty, along with Velda Brotherton. She and Dusty started the group I used to attend, and I think it is she who runs the event mentioned below.

Other Beginnings

I’m going to make a point to become active again in my writer’s groups. Socializing with other writers always did help me stay motivated to keep writing. Although I’m still writing – on this blog, articles for NANPS, and slowly, slowly on my Bounty Hunter trilogy (which I’ve renamed, by the way), mingling will spur me to write more words more often.

Annual Free Writer’s Conference

On March 10 I’ll be at the Annual Free Writer’s Conference in Fayetteville. I’ll have a table there with my books. If you’re in the area and are interested in writing, or want to meet some of the local writers, come by. Registration is required, but it’s a free event.

Saturday, March 10 – 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Ozarks Electric 3641 North Wedington Dr., Fayetteville, Arkansas

To register please email Velda at [email protected] They would like to get a head count and will have to cut off registrations at 70 because of the size of the room so register early. Watch Facebook for any forthcoming announcements.

Ozark Writers League Conference

The Ozark Writers League holds a conference for local writers four times a year in Branson, MO. I used to go often to these, but haven’t in quite a while. I’m not sure I’ll be able to make the February meeting, but if you’re a writer in search of a flock, this is a good one to join, too.

The conference is Feb 16-17 and you can find out more by clicking this sentence. It’s linked to the website.

 

Our Wild Ozark Market Season Outlook

I like to note the firsts of things weather related.  The rest of our market season outlook somewhat depends on weather, too – whether market patrons are fair-weather customers or are they dedicated like a mail-carrier, willing to go out in ice, rain, snow, or freezes.

This morning was our first frost of the season. I didn’t get a picture of the actual frost, since the only patch I saw was on the 4-wheeler seat. But it still counts as the first recorded frost of 2017 here at Wild Ozark.

The rest of our market season will depend on whether our customers are weather-brave.

It’s supposed to be quite chilly this weekend for market. Although we’ll be under a roof, I’m a little worried about how the glue will hold up on the Acorn Folk at 40*F or lower.

We shall see.

If you are up to braving the cold and possible snow flurries (is that still in the forecast?), come out to the Downtown Rogers Farmers Market. It’s the last saturday of summer hours. I’ll be there from 8 to 1.

Next weekend it shifts to winter hours and I’ll be there from 10-2 on Saturdays through November. If there aren’t enough shoppers to make it worth the drive to get there, end of November will mark the end of market season for Wild Ozark. We’ll return in May with the warmer weather.

Please note that there are two Rogers farmer’s markets. The one where we vend is at 100 E. Cherry Street in the old downtown district.

You’ll always be able to mail order most of the items we create, though. I’ll be working on adding more to the Etsy shop, but the herbal things like Amazing Sting Oil and ointments will only be sold through our online shop and the LocalHarvest.com shop when I get that set up.

The Burnt Kettle Shagbark Hickory Syrup will be available for mail order as soon as our certification goes through, and we’re working on that now. Hopefully before Thanksgiving, and certainly with hope before Christmas.

I can also meet in the Kingston Town Square to fill any crafty orders over $50. For orders under that amount, we can coordinate a meet-up on a day that I’ll already need to go out, if you like.

Just an Ordinary Blog Post, and The Lost Penguin

The Lost Penguin

Yesterday was mine and Rob’s 4th wedding anniversary. Our first date was in Eureka Springs, so each year we go back and have one of the mochas from Mud Street Cafe.

Well, I must have ordered the wrong thing, or else they started making them a LOT smaller in the year since our last trip!

Didn't really need to attempt sharing this tiny little cup!
Didn’t really need to attempt sharing this tiny little cup!

When the waitress returned, I inquired and was glad to know I should have ordered the mocha. Every year we each get one and they’re huge, but this year neither of us thought we had enough room after lunch to be able to drink a whole one.  So we’d planned to share. That’s why when the tiny cup came to our table, I was surprised.

Much better! Lots of whipped cream and a chocolate covered coffee bean on top.  Mocha from Mud Street Cafe in Eureka Springs, AR.
Much better! Lots of whipped cream and a chocolate covered coffee bean on top. Mocha from Mud Street Cafe in Eureka Springs, AR.

 

We spent the day in Eureka Springs trying to find places to put our crafts on consignment. We found the perfect little shop called The Lost Penguin.

The Lost Penguin is owned by Ramon & Lemia Laval. They have bonsai plants and hold workshops to teach others how to do it. That alone was what drew me into the shop at first.

But once inside I saw they have all sorts of very cool artsy-crafty things. Lots of miniatures for fairy gardens, and some fairy gardens, even. But the mini’s and gardens they carry now are not like mine, so they’re interested in seeing some of mine, too!

They do have some woodworked items in there, but not boxes like Rob’s, so we’ll be bringing some of his boxes in soon.

Rob and I both left with consignment papers to look over and fill out.

The Lost Penguin in Eureka Springs is an interesting artsy-crafty store.
Such an interesting shop in Eureka Springs, AR!

I couldn’t find a website, but they do have a FB page if you want to drop over there and pay The Lost Penguin a virtual visit. Then the next time you’re in Eureka Springs (AR) I suggest going by the store to take a look around. Maybe our stuff will be in there when you do!

Market Day

Today was market day. I sold the last two bags of ginseng rootlets. There’s 5 first year roots in a little cellophane bag with soil-less mix in it to keep them from drying out. I might be able to find some more for next weekend. Also sold a few bottles of our shagbark hickory syrup.

It was a pretty poor day as far as sales are concerned, but I did get to talk to a lot of new people who might possibly be back to buy next week.

Fairy Gardens still Recovering

The fairy gardens are nearly recovered from my RMSF event. Ha. Took them longer than it took me. Since I didn’t get out of bed to care about anything at all for a week or so, the moss dried out and the ferns died back. After a good soaking, it’s all beginning to re-green. Tomorrow I might get a chance to go out and get fresh moss and ferns to make new ones for next weekend.

The Rest of the Week

Tomorrow I’m likely going to do housework or rest. Then Monday evening the grand-girls are going to get off the bus here and spend the night. Then I’ll put them back on the bus Tuesday morning.

Our neighbor was the driver for our local route for 32 years, but he retired and so there was no bus down our road because we didn’t have any children down here since my own grew up and flew the nest. However, he’s on temporary non-retirement now, so while he’s driving again I’ll have the kids take advantage of the route while it lasts.

For the rest of the week I’ll be making more miniatures for fairy gardens and getting things ready for market next weekend. Oh, and maybe if the ginseng still has leaves that I can find, I’ll package up some more rootlets for transplanting.

What are your plans for the near future?

Earth Day Festival in Bella Vista, AR at the ARC

Saturday April 22, Wild Ozark will bring the Nature Boutique to the Earth Day Festival in Bella Vista (Arkansas) at the Artist Retreat Center otherwise known as “The ARC”.

We’re sorry to say the flood has torn up the driveway and bridges are still overflowing, so we couldn’t go to the festival 🙁

The Wild Ozark Nature Boutique

The Wild Ozark Nature Boutique Wares
A sampling of the Wild Ozark Nature Boutique Wares

I’ll have plants – ginseng and companions, ginseng jams, and ginseng art, along with my books.

Earth Day at Bella Vista Habitat Walk

At 10 a.m. I’ll be leading a nature walk into the woodlands out back to look for ginseng companion plants and possibly a good habitat site.

The Event Page on FB

Show interest at the ARC FB page event listing by clicking whether you’re interested or planning to attend and leave a comment here or on my FB page to let me know if you think you’ll make the habitat walk!

Ginseng Seedlings for Sale! At the Huntsville Farmer’s Market on Tuesday

Market Day April 18, 2017

I’m just going to update and repost this same market page each Monday night before market.

Tomorrow I’ll have ginseng seedlings, a couple of older ginseng plants, and various companion plants including blue cohosh, doll’s eyes, bloodroot,  and maidenhair fern.

Ginseng Companion Plants ready for market day.
Ginseng Companion Plants ready for market day. Pic may be sideways because it’s from my phone and I can’t figure out how to make it stay upright in WordPress, lol.

I’ll also have the books, art, and ginseng jams.

Hope to see you there!

April 11, 2017

The Huntsville (Arkansas) Farmers Market 2017 season is set to begin. Tomorrow (Tuesday, April 11) is the first market day this year.

Wild Ozark will be there, but it’s too early for plants. Tomorrow we’ll have ginseng jam, winter crud/cough syrup (jam), books, and nature art cards and drawings. If I can find a way to pack it in the car, I might bring my herb hanger.

Next week I should have some plants ready to go, including ginseng seedlings.

If you’re in the area stop in and say hello!

It's market day tomorrow! Wild Ozark's Market booth
I might not have the banner hanging until I get more grommets, but look for the tan top and green curtains 🙂