Journey 352: The Fancy Farmer

I had the pleasure this afternoon of visiting The Fancy Farmer, an antique and boutique shop in Baxter Springs, KS. Although chilly, the sun was shining, and it was the perfect day to make the short drive from Joplin to Baxter Springs to check out this fun store for the first time. 


Located at 1144 Military Avenue in downtown Baxter Springs, The Fancy Farmer carries an eclectic mix of vintage and repurposed merchandise, furniture, collectibles and hand made crafts. Upstairs is the Spirit Shack with school and college related clothing and accessories. 


What a wonderful half hour I spent wandering through the well merchandised shop. The owner, Jen Smith, has an excellent eye for detail and possesses a gift for staging product and creating pleasing vignettes. After greeting Jen, whom I’ve known for years, I returned to the front door and slowly worked my way through the store. 

I found so many great items. In honor of the season, there are Christmas decorations on display. And everywhere, artfully arranged here, tucked in there, are fascinating items such as cheery fabric pillows, metal pieces, old wood crafted into signs and shelves, screen doors and wooden shutters, glassware and candle holders of all kinds. 

Furniture ranged from oak antiques to painted dressers, end tables and cabinets. There are full dining table sets to choose from and unique, individual chairs. The Fancy Farmer carries a selection of chalk paint for Do it Yourself projects. And at the back of the shop is a counter where floral arrangements can be custom ordered. 

I so enjoyed looking at everything within this charming shop. And I’m thrilled for Jen. We were realtors together in Joplin. I know Jen to be a classy woman who doesn’t hesitate to roll up her sleeves and get things done. Baxter Springs is blessed to have her here and the community benefits from her entrepreneurial spirit and sheer determination. If life hands my friend Jen lemons, she does more than make lemonade. She creates a scrumptious lemon meringue pie and serves it up on spotless fine china, using impeccable etiquette. I am so proud of her and I know she will excel at this, her latest adventure. 

There are so many amazing pieces I’d like to purchase at The Fancy Farmer. Today, I bought these items. 


I have the oval mesh candle holders on my little turquoise table in the dining room, perfectly accenting my silver metal Christmas tree. And the row of rusty, punched metal trees now adorns my buffet table in my studio.  The little green stoneware pitcher, which I absolutely love, holds a Christmas pick and dried eucalyptus from my herb garden. I smile every time I look at it. 


I look forward to my next visit. If you are looking for the perfect gift or for the right piece to grace your own home or you want to show school spirit, check out what The Fancy Farmer has to offer. You will be delighted. And be sure to say hello to Jen! 



Journey 66: True Treasures

true treasures exterior

Today was such a gorgeous spring-like day, temps in the 60’s, abundant sunshine, signs of earth’s awakening everywhere. I journeyed to Arkansas to visit Greg’s dad. We chatted and enjoyed a late lunch together and Greg and I did a little laundry for Dad Moore while we visited. As we left, the day just called to us, and we headed east, no real destination in mind, no schedule, no appointments to take us back to Joplin yet.

true treasures entrance

As we drove the winding road, approaching Bentonville, AR, Greg suggested I google antique and junk shops, to see what was nearby. We both enjoy browsing through these treasure troves. It’s a type of scavenger hunt, where you don’t know what the item is that you are searching for, until it catches your eye and your attention. I located a number of such stores in the area. Yet the one that pulled me toward it was called, interestingly, True Treasures, located at 10770 Hwy 72 W, Bentonville.

true treasures booth 2

In a few moments, thanks to my phone’s GPS, we had arrived. I was intrigued immediately, just with what I could see grouped in the yard and on the porch of the inviting structure. As I opened the front door, I noticed the hours of operation. Saturday the shop closed at 5:00. The time was 5:05. I’ve worked in retail. I know how it felt when a customer walked in just as I was closing up. I hurried in to ask if they were indeed closing. The sales clerk VERY, VERY graciously invited us in to look. I had already seen enough, from my peek through the door, that I couldn’t resist that invitation!

true treasures booth 3

We moved quickly through True Treasures, exclaiming over interesting finds. The displays were so artfully and creatively arranged and there was a bit of everything there, from painted furniture, old doors and windows, and vintage linens, to collections of buttons, Scrabble tiles, and wooden blocks. Even the public restroom was adorable with items for sale sharing space with the toilet and sink.

true treasures buttons

Loved this big bowl of loose buttons!

True Treasures is the type of space that makes me smile, and that I normally would linger in for quite some time. Today, I didn’t linger. I was very conscious of keeping the sweet woman who invited us in, late. We will come back and visit another time. The merchandise changes daily, and I have no doubt I can find new treasures every time I stop by. Tonight, I spied almost immediately what I wanted to purchase on this trip. A pair of black and turquoise stools caught my eye. They are perfect for the island in my kitchen and loaded easily into the back seat of my car.

true treasures booth

What a beautiful store, aptly named, designed to delight and inspire. I’m so glad we stopped. And so grateful for the kindness of the young woman inside. It was the perfect adventure for this beautiful day. I’ll be back!

true treasures stools

Day 165: The Screen Door


Family gathered today for an early Father’s Day celebration for my step-dad, Walter. We enjoyed lunch together and this evening, a time around the fire pit in my backyard, chatting, laughing, sipping drinks, toasting marshmallows and making S’mores. In between those two activities, the ladies slipped away to do a little junkin’. For my first today, I visited The Screen Door, located at 112 E. 4th, on the square in Carthage, MO.  My mom and sisters, Debbie and Linda, accompanied me.

We girls have a good time, no matter what adventure we set off on. We love to browse in flea markets and vintage stores. Although today I didn’t have any particular items that I was searching for, my sister Debbie was on the hunt for specific treasures to use for Halloween decorations. The Halloween Party War is on, between Debbie and her daughter, Ashley, and my daughter Elissa and grandson Dayan. Both families throw amazing parties, and it’s all in good fun. For the rest of us, we get the benefit of enjoying two outstanding parties.

I’ve looked forward to visiting The Screen Door. I’ve read good reviews and seen pictures that piqued my interest. I was not disappointed. This is a very cute, very clean shop, full of flea market type items, vintage pieces and antiques. There is truly a bit of everything here. We took our time wandering around, looking at treasures, discussing what we could make with them. It is always fun to discover an item that we had as kids or remember a grandparent using, like ice tongs.

Debbie scored with a vintage wicker doll carriage. With some slight repairs and Debbie’s or Ashley’s handiwork, it will make a great addition to their Halloween décor. I foresee a zombie baby or other creepy kid nestled within it. Debbie was delighted with her find.

I found many interesting items, including fun pieces for the garden. I didn’t purchase anything today, but I will certainly return and check this store frequently. That’s part of the fun of junkin’ and visiting flea markets, seeking and finding and walking out of the store, feeling like I’ve found a treasure and a bargain.


Day 24: Country Pickin’s Antique Mall


Yesterday’s “Yes Day” appeared to spill over into today. And being in a great space of giving and receiving, I let it continue, which made for a very busy day! So for today’s first I picked something fun and yet simple to do. I visited the delightful Country Pickin’s Antique Mall at 5836 N Main Street in Joplin.

I enjoyed browsing through this amazing place. Primitives shared space with antiques, artistic creations and interesting objects.  Although it is bitterly cold outside, I am already shifting into gardening mode. I spied several items that would look great in my backyard as it is being transformed this year.  My daughter, Elissa, who was with me, nabbed a couple of wire baskets that captured her attention.

I am newly in love with repurposing. There is something simple and yet deeply satisfying in taking a piece that has been worn by time and usage and extending its life by finding another purpose for it.  I’m excited to incorporate this look into my gardens. Rusty metals, chippy furniture, cracked statuary, and wooden objects with worn surfaces will all have a place there. It will be a peaceful, inviting, eclectic space.

I was surprised to learn that Country Pickin’s Antique Mall has been in its current location for 9 years, and was on Range Line for 3 years before that. One of the joys of doing a year of firsts is discovering businesses and restaurants in my own hometown that I have somehow missed. This was my first visit to this wonderful store. It most certainly won’t be my last!