The Country Living Fair – Part Two & Some News


Part of what made the Fair so much fun was seeing my friends do what they do best. Heidi designed a great space at the Fair, chock full of all her finds. She might not have a brick-and-mortar shop anymore, but she’s still merchandising and styling. Her space was packed, her daughter Whitney and son-in-law Cory were on hand to help, the inventory was fantastic. Our friend, Susan Hill, took this picture. We both worked with Heidi at the shop, so at one time there were three of us Hills on the staff.

Heidi gave a presentation on Saturday and she was great.


Then there is my longtime blogging friend Elyse. She is a delight. Her presentation focused on ‘from blog to book.’ Her blog, Tinkered Treasures, showcases her charming crafts made out of simple materials. She also writes for several magazines. Her second book, Seaside Treasures, has just been published and I couldn’t be happier for her.

We had a chance to meet about 4 years ago when I was working in Providence, RI. We met for breakfast and never stopped talking the whole time. So I was very happy indeed when Elyse told me she was going to be at the CL Fair. We had a chance to catch up before and after her presentation.


So proud of her! (Boy, was it hot under that tent! We were wilting.)


My hair was wilting, I was wilting, Elyse was wilting…..

Right after Elyse’s presentation, I headed home.

trailer 1a

But, at the end of the first day, I ran across some of the wonderful Sisters on the Fly. Have you heard of them? They have vintage trailers and travel all around the country for meet-ups, some fly fishing, some campfires and a lot of fun. Four of the ‘sisters’ had their trailers on display. Since I’ve always wanted to have a little trailer that I could renovate and decorate, I had to take a peek.

trailer 1

Adorable. Pink and jadeite green.

trailer 2

Another trailer. Check out the floor and the vintage stove and the charming curtains and chandelier….hello!

trailer 3

Please, Don…may I have one?

trailer Janine

But the trailer that was the most amazing, by far, was the one that belongs to this lady, Janine. You won’t believe what she’s done with it. (She’s a veteran of this, having renovated several of these beauties.) When you first peek in the trailer and look to the left, this is what you see:

trailer bed 2

Sorry for the very blurry photo, but I wanted you to see this single bed she found on Craig’s List. She cut it down so it would fit. Oh my goodness!

trailer 4

I believe that’s a cleverly disguised heater. The toilet is behind that curtain and to the left.

trailer 5

The sink. The sink! The tiny refrigerator.

trailer 6

The perfect folding table, lots of pillows, a tole tray and that ceiling! This seating area converts to a bed.

trailer 7

Janine told me she had the tin that she used for the backsplash in her stash. And the motto on the wall is The Campfire Girls Creed. Perfect.

I’ve always wanted one of these little gems. Now I want one more than ever.

In other business, Janie F. is the winner of a copy of Eyes on You by Kate White! Congratulations, Janie. I’m sending you an email. I need your mailing address.

And my dear friend and colleague Darko Tresnjak (he’s the director I work with in Hartford) won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical last night! A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (first performed at Hartford Stage and then at the Old Globe) also won Best Musical. I’m thrilled for Darko and Hartford Stage. I screamed and jumped up and down when I heard his name announced – by Clint Eastwood, no less.

Finally, while I was at the Fair on Saturday, I got a call from an Artistic Director who wanted to know if I was available to coach a production of A Raisin in the Sun that starts rehearsals today. It’s a quick turn around – just 2 ½ weeks, so I’m headed out of here on Wednesday. I’m taking the train to the western side of New York state to work at the Chautauqua Theatre, part of the renowned Chautauqua Institute.

Needless to say, I’m bit discombobulated. There’s much to do before I can turn over the cottage to Don – even for just a couple of weeks. But I’m so grateful for the work – we need the income. So I’ll miss a lot of peony time and goodness knows what else will be blooming but it’s only a couple of weeks, right?

Happy Monday.



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  1. Vanessa Bower says

    I felt like I had attended the CL Fair if only through your photos and narrative. So glad you were able to scoop up that beautiful aqua lamp. Had I been there, I would have bought it, too. I’m very happy you’re able to pick up some work. Even though it’s short notice and only two weeks, there’s always the chance you will be approached by another Artistic Director to coach another production after this one.
    Have a safe trip,

  2. says

    Claudia, what a fun time you had. Connecting with old friends and meeting new one’s! Love Love the trailer! So happy you have some work! I’m off to clean out Mom’s house…no rest for the weary even on my birthday!

  3. says

    Thanks for sharing your experience at the fair. Looks like a lovely but hot weekend.

    Congratulations on securing a coaching job. Short and sweet and soon you’ll be home again!

  4. Debbie says

    Thanks for the tour of the CL Fair, there is not one anywhere near me, so it was fun to see your pictures and read your descriptions. Congratulations on the coaching job!

  5. says

    Claudia, My catalpa bloomed, I post a photo for you.:):) Congrats on the job and for your friend winning a “TONY” You had an amazing adventure . I loved the photos of you and your friends. You all looked great to me. I have never looked that cute when I am wilting. LOL. Blessings, xoxo,Susie

    • Claudia says

      Ours is not quite ready to bloom yet, though I took some pictures yesterday – it will probably bloom while I’m away. Darn it!

  6. Charlene says

    Claudia, thanks so much for taking us to the fair with you. When I saw the picture of the lamp I thought it looked like something you would buy. Very pretty. Congratulations on the job. I clinked on the link and it looks like a wonderful place.

  7. Linda says

    Congratulations on the job!! It is not such a big leap from dollhouse to little trailer. You can use your knowledge from that experience for your trailer. I have always wanted one and admire those ladies so much.

  8. Chris k in Wisconsin says

    Thanks for sharing your trip to the fair!! The trailers are wonderful, and I can see why you would want one. Just a bit bigger than a dollhouse!
    YAY on the job. Not too far to travel and only 2.5 weeks away.
    Sounds like your next 2 days will be busy ones!

  9. Tana says

    I’ve looked at the trailers of Sisters on the Fly and always just drool over them. They have a book and I’ve seen a couple of magazine articles. It looks like so much fun! And congratulations on having some work. A couple of weeks sounds just right! It’s a hard job that takes you away from home but have a good time anyway.

  10. Nancy in PA says

    Claudia, what a fun post! You are busy, busy, busy. Don will have Scout all to himself for Father’s Day. Daddy’s girl.

    The first photograph of that pink and green kitchen reminds me of Hummingbird Cottage.

    Someday, I would like to tell you about my experience at the Hartford Stage Company, in the very early ‘seventies. Was your friend there at that time? If so, does that mean you and I have one degree of separation? I remember a very funny production of “Charley’s Aunt.”

    And you’re going to Chautauqua! As a professional! Well done, Claudia!

    • Claudia says

      No, Darko has only been there for about 3 or 4 years. He worked at the Old Globe before that. My former colleague and friend from my days at BU founded Hartford Stage – Jacques Cartier – and I got to see him at the 50th anniversary celebration last year.

  11. Nancy Blue Moon says

    So much good news Claudia..and pictures of SOTF girls really know how to to Darko Tresnjak for his win..and of course to you for scoring a coaching job in a beautiful please..Now go get packed girlfriend!!

  12. Janet in Rochester says

    Congrats to your Tony-award winning friend, Claudia! How terrific to be honored by friends and colleagues in that way! I watched the whole show but I couldn’t remember the name you mentioned in your previous post, and unbelievably enough, it never occurred to me to go online and find it during the show! UM-DAY!! Will I ever get used to all this new technology? Enjoy your time in Chautauqua – Spring time there has got to be gorgeous!

    • Claudia says

      He’s the guy who talked about his mother teaching him to jump out of a plane and then thanked her in his native language. Do you remember now? He’s extraordinary and I’ve met his mother and she is equally extraordinary!

  13. says

    I’ve enjoyed all of your pictures, etc about the fair. And I love, love, love the lamp you got – can’t wait to see where you use it. So glad to hear you have some work :)

  14. Judy says

    Of course Don will be in charge of your blog taking photos of the garden, right?
    Just think of all the blogging you can do when you get YOUR trailer!
    Thank you for the tour of the fair.

  15. Rose H. says

    Congratulations on your job, Chautauqua looks amazing. Thank you for sharing your week-end with us. It certainly looked like a fun time.

  16. says

    Love your pictures. I have a daughter named Heidi. I like her Hi Ho Hi Ho…….that’s cute. The vintage trailers are to die for. I love the last one. – wow. It seems they bring different ones each year.
    Congrats on the job. Don’t fret Don can do this You don’t have time to stress out……just close your eyes and go. You can talk him through things over the phone.

    • Claudia says

      Yes, you’re right, Debby. I always forget about the phone! I still feel I have to lead him around physically and show him things and I will!

  17. says

    Oh Claudia – sounds and looks like you had so much fun at the CL Fair! I’m so glad. Know you will be rushed getting ready to leave. At least Don will be home with Scout! Travel safe!


    • Claudia says

      Yes, thank goodness he’ll be home. In the fall, I might have to take her with me to Hartford.

  18. Donnamae says

    Talk about packing a lot in a small trailer…and with such style! I can see why you would want one! You will be very busy the next two days…but congrats on the job! Sounds like it came at a very opportune time. Remember…you did just tell it to the universe that you wanted to work a couple weeks ago, didn’t you? Great timing! 😉

  19. Julie says

    Wonderful updates on the Fair. Very tempting to try to go next year.
    So funny about Sisters on the Fly. I just learned about them a few weeks ago and was intrigued. Their outdoor programs sound great.
    Congrats on the job.

  20. grace says

    Wouldn’t one of those trailers make a handy little ‘home away from home while working? wishing you productive preparations and a rewarding work assignment:)

  21. says

    Thanks for the fair tour…I love the trailers! I wouldn’t want myself, but they’re so cool to look at. Glad to hear you got some work, if even for just 2-1/2 weeks. My best friend’s son just majored in musical theater (Drake – Iowa) and is now in Nebraska working…and then he has a 9-month gig in Tennessee. He’s loving all of it so far!

  22. says

    Claudia– thanks for letting us see this fair through your eyes! Looks like great fun.
    So many beauties to behold.
    My favorite part of your tour… the CAMPERS!
    I still have my camper sitting in the back yard…waiting to be transformed. Oh! when will that day come?!
    I pinned several of your photos on my board… because they were just gorgeous. I loved the colors in both of them.
    It was like I could just jump into your pictures and relax in those little campers.
    I don’t want to be a “Sister on the fly” I don’t want to be a traveling craft person… I just want to hitch up and go!
    Your photos — brought that all flooding back to my mind. That and well, the time of year, I suppose.
    Anyway– thank you.
    Loved seeing all of it.

  23. gayle says

    Another great post! I love the pics and the fact you are working for a couple of weeks. Have fun.

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