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Fall Market Stand


In looking through old photos recently, I came across these pictures of a fall market stand I made during the late 80's when there was still a miniature club in El Paso. A local shop owner sponsored a contest where everyone used her basic stand and as far as I know every miniaturist in El Paso entered. (Those were the days; there are no shops any more and I think I'm the only one left still making minis!!)

Sorry for the quality of the pictures; wish I had had a better camera in those days before digital.

By the time I got through making stuff, I had to build two additions on the right end to hold it all. The awning and trims were from a wallpaper sample book.

I extended the basic premise by making more sections for the other end and for the back. The blackboard is just a piece of cardboard painted black and framed with strip wood; the trim was cut from the wallpaper border. For the chalked messages, I wrote on it with a toothpick dipped in white paint.

This stand was selling the plentiful fall vegetables and fruits, nuts, corn, greenery, and other basics for making your own fall and early winter displays, as well as finished arrangements.

I couldn't resist adding a selection of Americana items.. .

... that filled the entire exterior back shelves. Although you can't tell it from these pictures, that's a cornucopia on the end of the counter which I made by winding glue-soaked thread around a Fimo form that I had baked. I made several cornucopias at the time; at least one or two are still around somewhere, along with some that I made from glue-formed needlepoint canvas.

Pre-made wreaths and arrangements are for sale, as well as baskets and containers of all kinds.

The orange and beige basket was made by a Native American woman somewhere on the coast of Maine, using some kind of marsh grass. After all these years that basket still has a wonderful smell. I have a Native-style cradle she made, too, as well as a small hat basket. I wish I had had more money at the time we were there because she had gorgeous full size baskets, but we were on a limited budget and far from home, so ....

I was really proud of my bushel basket. It was made with painted paper, but most people thought it was real wood. The arrangement in the wooden bucket has my first cat tails. I made them by pulling dried flower stems through glue and then rolling them in cinnamon. Smelled great! lol

These are among my first mini arrangements. We had had workshops on working with Fimo and these were my first squash, Indian corn and pumpkins. Darn, I wish the photos were clearer!

A wreath made of nuts, cones and seed pods is in progress at the other end of the counter.

Bunches of blooming branches are displayed at this end. The actual colors were very vibrant, not so washed-out as they appear here.

Behind the produce stand, the stand owner works on more beasic wreath forms when business is slow. Her faithful dog eyes the food and drink on the table, wondering if he dares make a try for it while she's away.

The produce stand was made inside a picture frame that I lined with linoleum which reminded me of the tile floors at a local mall. If I were to do this now, I would probably have it as a totally outdoor market locale.

Unfortunately, in those days I hadn't thought about how natural materials were likely to fade, or how dusty an uncovered scene like this could get. Nowadays I try to cover everything, and most of the time if I am going to use real plants, I spray or paint them with acrylics or chalk.

Eventually, I just took it all apart and kept the items that hadn't faded or gotten too dirty, and recycled or threw out the rest. The wreath-making table behind the stall wound up on a grapevine wreath which hangs on my hallstand each year. The stand reappeared some years later as Miss Minnie Sparks's Spirit of Freedom Fireworks Stand.

I think this was the first prize ribbon I ever won; a quite respectable showing. First Place went to a Mexican market, as I recall, which used my spilling-out-of-the bag beans!



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