We’ve been busy doing all the things. Here’s a recap to get you in the loop.

Mom and I listed our farm (Gastel Grain LLC) after we returned from Silver Dollar City Harvest Festival 2022 and sold it in December. We’re happy with how things have shaped out since then, with a few key highlights:

~ Mom and Dad moved to town. She plans to retire from the Assessor’s Office in November. We moved all of her flowers to her new house and to my place. We have moved a lot of the sandstone rocks that we collected over the years to build hardscaping around that house. Most of it has gone to her new place and we’ve built hardscaping around the trees in the back yard and around her little garage workshop. I still need to move a couple large cap stones, then I’ll be satisfied.

~ We moved the barn wood stash to my homestead (a mile from the farm we sold). All the tin and wood inventory is here at my place now.

~I was commissioned to create a giant pieced barn wood quilt for Silver Dollar City, which was used as a photo backdrop at the Bluegrass & BBQ festival in May. Huge honor for us!

~ We spent a lot of time on horseback in the winter and spring, and we went to Baker-Spain Stampede and spent a week glamping with our horses next to a spring-fed creek. We love that event because it’s so close to home and it’s a lot of fun.

~We had a great June show at The Junk Ranch in Prairie Grove AR…until it rained out the event. We purged a lot of treasures that we didn’t feel would serve us as we niche down into the metal art.

~We just got back from a run up to Rutledge Flea Market in northeast Missouri, a short drive from my sister’s place in southeast Iowa. We hit that place like a whirlwind. At one point, I was at the junk metal guy’s booth, diggin through and wheeling and dealin for a massive pile of those hand saws that I cut up at SDC; Stephanie was off on foot at the other end of the place, scouting out vendors that had what we were looking for: gas cans, thumb oilers, teapots, anything copper and cutupable (that’s my word) and flat metal items; and Mom, on the gator, going back and forth between us two and relaying info because this flea market is so remote that cell service is sucky. We filled the entire stud stall in the horse trailer with awesome junk. On our last trip to the trailer, we had just hit the jackpot of 5-gallon cans with a vendor, and we had filled the bed of the Gator and stacked several fuel cans and a Miller HIgh Life cooler for my BIL up on the roof. It was like The Clampetts Go To Rutledge, which is kinda normal for us.

What’s next?

Now we make art.

I need to build inventory for SDC23 and for my studio.

The Lamar Fair is at the end of August, and I’d like to have some renovations in the studio wrapped up before then and get some new shelving installed so that when we open for the fair, there’s amazing stuff to see.

We’re planning another Iowa trip in August. What Cheer is another large flea market, which covers the Keokuk County Fairgrounds, including the inside of a dirt track racing oval. We hauled the Gator in the horse trailer to Rutledge and plan on doing that again for What Cheer. Hopefully we find some unusual stuff for custom work at SDC.

I’ll be making and sharing new art like crazy for the next 6 weeks, so if you see something you love, make sure and snag it! I’ll be listing it all on the site with free shipping.

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the year:





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