About ten years ago I joined a small group of ladies from my church and went with them to the War Eagle craft show. I really had no idea what War Eagle was…or what to expect…nor did I care…with four kids at home, that were sucking the life out of me, a trip to the dentist would have been a treat.

Once we arrived at our destination of War Eagle Mills in Rogers Arkansas I was sold! There it stood, a water powered Gris Mill on the banks of the War Eagle river, surrounded by rolling hills, draped in brilliant colors of orange, yellow and green. Behind it I could hear the gentle, lull of water being lapped up by a huge, wooden, water wheel. I’m telling you, it was like a little slice of heaven…and I haven’t missed a year since! You can read about last years trip in the post entitled War Eagle 2011.

The first year, we all piled into one car. It was packed to the gills and rockin’ n rollin’ with excitement. This year, with 15 ladies in tow, we had to take three SUVs …they were still packed to the gill and rockin’ n rollin’ with excitement! Here’s a quick roll call:

Susan (she made all of the reservations and coordinated the trip for us! Thanks Susan for all of your hard work)
Paula– one of our awesome drivers and a fellow antique lover
Darlene– a real sweetheart who knows how to get around in Arkansas and helps keeps us on track
Dana– my bestie and partner in crime
Glynda– my mom! I was so happy to have her with me
Diane– my moms dear friend and a delight to have around (and this years rookie)
Beth– sweet Beth is Susan’s mother and the oldest at 79! and knows the hills and hollers of Rogers, Arkansas better than anybody!
Lana– a dear friend who loves to shop as much as I do, we’re dangerous!
Tammy– one of my favorite people in the whole wide world! Love her!
Denise– another one of our awesome drivers and a hoot to have around 😉
Roxie– a newbie this year, we had a blast with her!
Angie– Tammy’s sister. A transplant from Missouri who fits our group like a glove! I hope we fit her as well;-)
Lisa– a beautiful soul with a contagious laugh
Deanna– this girl is as sweet as pie, so glad she made it this year

Here’s a few shots of the gang having fun.
Here we are trying to assemble for a group picture. It was like herding cats! See me in the front trying to get people to stop talking and listen to my instructions? It was a loosing battle.Finally…some order.Here’s another. Notice my mother posing with a Starbucks Coffee…what is that all about? maybe she thinks she’ll be discovered by Starbucks 😉Here’s me and my bestie, Dana. She doesnt really care about antiquing but she endures it because she knows I love it. She’s the best friend a girl could ask for!Here we are, once again trying to come together as one for a common goal…it was like nailing jello to a tree…I see Darlene has her spot. I guess the rest of us just have to work around her 😉Here’s the finished product.True Treasures! My favorite stop on the trip. I always find a true treasure here…it is an antique and junk lovers Paradise! Look them up on Facebook 😉From left to right: Lana, Diane, my mom and BethFrom left to right: Denise, Deanna, Paula and SusanMe and Dana

Here’s a view of the War Eagle mill from the bridge that crosses over the river. Isn’t it picturesque?This is a view of the river and waterfall. I don’t like heights…as a matter of fact I hate heights…so this was very nerve racking for me to stand her long enough to snap this shot…but I’ll do anything for you;-)

One of the highlights of our trip is of course…eating!Oops! How did this get in here? This is Susan eating ice cream and Dana giving her the, ‘now Susan, you know you don’t need that ice cream’ look.here we are gathered for a much needed and much anticipated dinner at Copelands.And these are the best sweetpotato fries on planet earth….at The Marketplace…soooo delicious!Helmut’s Strudel is a must! They have the most amazing, flakey, warm, gooey strudel ever, and with choices of apple, cherry, cheese and almond it’s hard to pick just one….I just eat a bite of everyone else’s so I get a variety…what?…it’s the way I roll…or should I say, it’s the way I strudel 😉

We love the comrade and friendships that we have within this group, and we love laughing till our sides hurt and eating till we wanna puke…these are all great reasons to get together…but the real reason for the trip…is shopping and there was plenty of that to be done! Our shopping stratagy was mapped out long before we left home base. We are the kind of women who know exactly what we want and what we’re looking for and since we have been doing this for years, we have learned what’s worthy of a visit and what needs to be passed by.

The War Eagle trip used to be for the sole purpose of Crafting, but now we have evolved into a dual purpose hunt. Some of the girls go for the crafts…some go for the antiques…and some go for both, like me 😉 When it was all said and done, we had hit four huge craft fairs and countless antique malls.

Here are a few of the treasures I came home with:

On the bottom right is an antique cash register drawer from the 1940’s. Don’t ask me what I’m going to do with it (Mr. wonderful already asked that) because I don’t know yet…I’m waiting for inspiration.

See the cute little orange stools? They were love at first sight (yes I fall in love with stools) I’m going to paint them red and put them on either side of my front porch swing to hold my sweet tea 😉

The suit case will hold Mr. wonderful’s hunting magazines by his chair. He liked it!

The large oval frame is from an old mirror. It will hang on my bedroom wall with the existing frame collage. It’s a cheap way to fill a large space. I’ll show pictures of the finished product later.

See all the little punkins? I fell in love with these too. The little bitty ones were made by a little 83 year old lady named Grandma Tooter! How could I pass up that? Here’s another shot. aren’t they cute?

The apron hanging on the left is one of my favorite finds. I have this thing for vintage clothing especially vintage aprons…the history behind them and stories they could tell inspire me to keep the stories and history alive. I love the colors of this one and the smock pattern is perfect…it makes me want to go bake some cookies 😉

And for the finale…

The Grand Poobah

The mother load of all vintage finds

The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow

The Marilyn Monroe of vintage clothing

Drum roll please…A winter white leather coat with an Arctic Fox collar and cuffs. Isn’t she a beauty?? I can’t wait until it gets cold enough to wear it!

All in all I’d say this years War Eagle trip was a huge success. The only bad thing is now it’s over and we have to wait another whole year till the War Eagle Gang rides again!

Thanks for reading! I love you more than the antique mall 😉