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Weather doesn’t stop French market shoppers

MORRIS – Rain did not dampen the spirits of those attending the 3 French Hens French Country Market luncheon Saturday.

Instead, the luncheon, originally slated to be outdoors, was moved inside the Whimsy store on Liberty Street and was attended by a group of women eager to learn how to transfer images to items such as fabric, tile and stone. The presentation was hosted by artisan Rosemary Barnes of Lansing.

“We are here for fun,” said Gina Overstreet of Des Moines, Iowa. “We checked out some of the shops [at the market], and it is a real nice event.”

Overstreet, who was at her first 3 French Hens market, was among a group of 14 women registered for the luncheon, although three did not attend.

Barnes instructed them how to transfer images from toner-based copy with a blender pen.

“A lot of people don’t know that it is possible,” Barnes said before her presentation. “That’s just one of the ways to transfer. I’m going to show them how to do that, and they will all get a pen, so they will be able to go home and do it.”

Traci Tessone, owner of Whimsy and a French Country Market organizer with Monica Spence-Vogel, is familiar with Barnes.

“I have known Rosemary for years,” Tessone said. “She has created things for my shop. ... She has been to our market before, and she loved it. We just knew that the ladies who are joining us at the luncheon would really like her technique. She has a great following.”

Barnes, who runs a blog named Villa Barnes, has been a dealer of antiques for more than 20 years. During that time, she also has learned to paint and repurpose items. She was featured in “Romantic Homes” magazine as well as various online articles.

Ros Massel of Bensenville was happy to get a seat at the luncheon. Last year, she attended the market, but was unable to attend one of the previous luncheons because it was sold out. She made sure that wouldn’t happen this year by making a call several months in advance.

“We’re here and we’re really excited,” she said. “Look at the ambiance; it’s just fabulous. We are really excited about today. We didn’t care if it was raining or not. ... We were still going to come.”

Gloria DeSanto, who accompanied Massel to the luncheon, agreed, and was looking forward to Barnes’ presentation.

“We’re always interested in learning something new,” she said.

The local market, which has been featured in several magazines, continues to receive widespread recognition.

“We are going to be in ‘Midwest Living’, and we were just contacted by Romantic Homes for a Christmas edition,” Tessone said. “They are going to feature our holiday market that is at the [Grundy County] fairgrounds.”

Spence-Vogel said there were 127 scheduled vendors Saturday, although some canceled because of the weather. 

“We had a steady turnout [of shoppers] – not what we normally have, but we had a lot of people out shopping,” she said. “We are grateful they came out and supported the market and vendors.”

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