Playing Dress-Up on My First Year Anniversary

My studio Is finally taking shape, almost a year after moving to our farm in Maple City, Michigan.  I’ve had such fun making it a home, full of light, color and pattern.  Just like my clothes! 

At special request from a few of my stores, I actually put on mascara, combed my hair and modeled two pieces for their ads.  This is like torture for me. At age 62, I don’t really recognize the person in the photo, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do.IMG_2065

The Mitten Tunic IMG_2056The Flip-out Tunic

Green Acres Tale: LEAN IN

This is a rather long-winded tale, but worthy of someone’s blog, so it might as well be mine.

Our resident farmer, David Flaughers, pastures 40 goats and sheep on Fake Rock Farm. IMG_1883 He practices rotational grazing (see above bucolic scene) by moving them every day or so onto new grass, using a temporary solar-powered electric fence, which keeps the beasts corralled as they munch fresh greenery.  That is, until the goats go looking for greener pastures.

In early July, our son, Henry Gretzinger, was visiting the farm with his girlfriend, Hana Cheng, for his 30th birthday, and Jerry decided to bake cream puffs for the birthday dessert.   I was on duty for salad and marinating the chicken, when I glimpsed a few errant goats and sheep out the kitchen window.  We ran out with our trustee canine assistants, Sugar and Spots, and started to corral the flock before they got into the garden or worse, the road.  After calling David in a panic and finding out he was 30 minutes away, Jerry remembered his cream puffs in the oven and vowed to return, after he put in a second batch.  So I was elected to secure the perimeter with a couple of talented doggies and clogs on my feet.  That’s it.
The goats soon discovered the feed buckets atop the mobile chicken tractors and in going for the feed, just about trampled the poor hens cowering beneath.  While I was manically shooing the goats off the roof to avoid squished chicken dinner, I noticed one sheep who’d polished off a bucket of feed and gotten it stuck on her head, blindly zig-zagging the 20 acres between the woods and the road.  Naturally,  all the sheep followed their  leader!
Jerry did return about 15 minutes later, with his idea of helpful tools: a rake and a cell phone, and disappeared again into the kitchen, muttering about burning dessert.
I’m finally rescued by a couple of our dinner guests, who arrived on time and spotted me out in the pasture waving my rake wildlly.  Minutes later, farmer David showed up on his bicycle and took control.  I collapsed at the kitchen table, and watched our guests take over dinner preparation.
We had a lively supper conversation at the picnic table, one of the topics, amidst the twenty and thirty somethings, being Sheryl Sandburg’s book,  Lean In.  I thought this very apt, though I’m sure Sheryl never thought her leadership principles would be applied to female herders. But in retrospect, having read the book, I’m sure Sheryl has run into a number of corporate hot shots whose style of leadership parallels the sheep brandishing a bucket over its head,  with a flock of unquestioning followers at their hooves (I mean heels).
The cream puffs were perfect.
Here is Henry, Hana and Jerry that fateful evening:

A Loyal Fan is happy once more!

sharon's photo

Kay Martin and husband at her son’s 2005 wedding wearing Staley / Gretzinger.

Dear Meg,

I thought you might be interested in the saga of this top.

In 2005, when my son was about to be married in Tuolumne Meadows, I found a wonderful dress in a small local boutique (Ellyn’s – since closed). I love this dress, and when my daughter decided to get married this September, I asked her if I could wear it to her outdoor wedding on the banks of the Skokomish River on the Olympic Peninsula where she and her fiancé live. “No,” she said, “I want you to wear something different.” I looked in every store I knew in Cleveland. I kept telling salespeople that I wanted something that felt like this dress. They all proceeded to show me what they had. Nobody “got” it.

Then I decided to look at the tag in my outfit. And, I found your blog. And I found Kaye-Louise in Florida. They were kind enough to send photos of the tops they had. And I chose the one I am sending to you. I love this top. It is playful, it is fun. I’ll feel wonderful wearing it.

But, last Sunday, I went to a local arts fair (Cain Park Arts Fair in Cleveland Heights) to look for jewelry. As I put the top in a canvas bag, I had a brief moment when I thought I should bag it separately from the book and newspaper I was carrying, but ignored that. When we were caught in a brief and welcome downpour, it didn’t dawn on me to pull the top out of the bag and put it in something else. I can only guess that the newsprint bled onto the top.

What perseverance!  I was so impressed that Kay Martin tracked down Meg Staley Handmade at one of my best stores, Kaye Louise, in Boca Raton, Florida. Kaye Louise caters to women like Kay, going to any lengths to satisfy their need to look and feel uniquely comfortable and beautiful.   The piece Kay chose from Kaye Louise was easily repaired and this fall she sent me another picture from her daughter’s wedding this September.  Doesn’t she look relaxed and happy?