destination: unknown

for thanksgiving, we did what we always do. we did what is tradition in the sikes family. we went to our 3rd-generation family farm in arkansas.

{crossing the state line...smokey & the bandit-style}

it’s kind of like a redneck prenup…when you marry a sikes, thanksgiving at the farm is non-negotiable. and this is why.

{on the banks of the little river...where heaven meets earth}


{the road to the cabin}


{early morning fog on the farm}

it’s where the gypsy met the cowboy

and in true gypsy fashion, we took several days to get there…because truly, the best roadtrips have no destination.

we realllllly got held up in good ole east texas…our old stomping grounds. where majestic pines reach into the heavens and the fall colors are pictureseque…amazingly beautiful this time of year.

let’s just say it took us 2 nights & 3 days on the road to travel about 320 miles…

to us, roadtrips are measured by the number of griswald-esque moments.

including but not limited to…

football stadiums…

{stopping to admire possibly the coolest high school football stadium ever. jacksonville, texas}


{the east texas oil museum. seriously cool}

thrift shops,

{the kids scored some goodies...camo, old wranglers, homemade angels, and magic tree house books}

and fried catfish…

{oh good lawdy...fried goodness. come to mama.}


and of course a trip to east texas wouldn’t be complete without a stop here…

{not that we made any purchases here or anything...}

and then…we all got a little teary when we stepped through these doors…


{the restaurant that built us.}

OK…that’s a bit of an understatement…we bawled like babies.

“people used to take roadtrips to have a good time, not to make good time.” -sally the car, cars movie

and finally…we were off to arkansas for a little nature therapy…bald eagle watching, hunting, hiking, river wading, 4-wheelin’, and priceless family fellowship…

{the cabin. oh, the stories it could tell...}

{cabin decor. years of shirttails cut-off from missed shots}

it’s what you might call a downright good ole time.

and lest i forget the food…

aunt alice’s homemade rolls (honey  hush), our cousin robert o’s (he’s so cute it oughta be illegal) caramel apples & fudge…

and more food than you can shake a stick at…(although i pretty much go straight for the rolls and commence upon challenging myself to eat at least half a dozen at one sitting)

here’s to my granny…mama to 7 boys, nurse, farmer, wife, cinnamon roll baker extraordinaire…

and although i have many years of practice before i can proudly carry on her bread kneading prowess, her legacy of love is alive and well at sikes farms.

here’s to long roadtrips and taking the realllllly long way to get there. here’s to family. and bread. and knick knacks from the crisis center. here’s to east texas and arkansas. and biscuits. and pink liquor stores. and pine trees. and oil wells. and rolls. and lone star beer. here’s to the stars at night that shine extra bright in arkansas. and to unknown destinations. here’s to god’s great amazing beautiful world.

December 3, 2012   40 Comments

with love.

we’re winding down from yet another fantastically patriotic 4th of july here in round top, and now gearing up for mom and dad’s episode tonight.

our inspiration? rustic americana. the cowboy & the gypsy. because that pretty much says it all…

we dug up some pics that remind us of everything americana. everything we love as a family. as a company. as a country.

the things that inspired us as we prepared to surprise mom and dad with a living room makeover…

rusty, chippy, peely. turquoise.

love this pic…american flag, old beat up truck, perfectly worn-in cowboy hat, rough-out boots, a travel bag, turquoise…and a prom dress. GoD bless america.

great junk. rich colors. yep…this just makes us happy.

and this…this giant american flag we scored makes me even happier…

{we bought this at an auction years ago. it's 60'X40' and flew over the state fair of texas in 1972}


amie and dad in the early days…

this picture reminds me of one of dad’s favorite old cowboy songs (and our bedtime song he would sing to us when we were kids)…”well i was hangin ’round town, just spending my time. out of a job, not earnin’ a dime…” ~strawberry roan, marty robbins


and our biggest inspiration….

mom and dad. looking over the little river on our farm in arkansas…

because this makes us the happiest of all.

with love from us to y’all…

July 7, 2012   23 Comments

the cowboy & the gypsy…

on this day 43 years ago, janie patterson & phillip sikes were wed…here’s their story i wrote back in november of 2010.

happy anniversary, mom & dad.


have i ever told ya about mom and dad?

{mom and the courtin' days...circa 1964}

let’s start at the beginning…way back when…

DaD was born and raised in southern arkansas … waaaaaay out in the country. Where the pine trees are tall, the twang is thick, and the Little River dances through the farm.

{dad in his favorite Hopalong Cassidy pearl snap}

He was the youngest of 7 boys. Yep, that’s right…SEVEN boys…(God bless my granny’s pea-pickin’ heart)

{granny and her boys...ages 7-23...circa 1952}

{the sikes boys...uncle ray, the oldest was serving in the Army at the Korean War in this shot}

Papa was the county judge and Granny was a nurse…Papa never missed his daily game of dominoes down at the store (there was, and still is, only one store that served as the post office, general store, market, hardware store, gas station, and local domino hall).

Granny was famous for her homemade cinnamon rolls and good ole down-home cookin. At every meal, she would serve enough plates to “feed the boys and the ‘stranger at the door’.” There was no indoor plumbing, no air conditioning, and no video games…just wide open spaces, and ponds and creeks and cows and everything else a little boy needs to let his imagination run free.

It’s the place we love to be more than anywhere…it’s where we learned to put peanuts in our glass coke bottles. Where we ate orange push-up pops and where we were taught to be good stewards to the land.

{me and amie at our farm...cliffside by the LiTTLE RiVER...and yes, i'm sportin the super-stylin' leg warmers}

 Where we learned how to shoot a gun…

ride a 4-wheeler, and appreciate all of nature.

It’s about family. Love. Good times. Being free. Loving life.

Mom grew up like a texas gypsy…moving from town to town.

{little janie on a carney mule ride...circa 1951}

 Mom, her older sister, and older brother were raised by a hard-workin’ single mom (that always held multiple jobs at one time).

Bargain shopping and thriftstores were a way of life and she developed a serious passion (borderline obsession) for the thrill of the hunt, bargain stores and recycling old into new. She had a wild spirit and a beautiful way of bending the rules.

She would spend her summers in Arkansas…and play with a cowboy about her age named Phillip…..

{janie and phillip (ages 6 & 7) on the Little RiVER at the farm...with her big brother and sister}

PhiLLip & JaNiE sittin’ in a tree….

By the time they both headed to their respective colleges in different states, they had spent many summer days together….baling hay, cane-pole fishing, riding horses, having fried-chicken picnics, and cruising in Mom’s brother’s convertible.  Life was sweet and good.


  Janie headed for the big city of DaLLAS while PhiLLIP finished up a degree in business and realized he only had eyes for his Texas sweetheart. He packed up his cowboy duds and made like a cow patty…headin to the city like a renegade outlaw on the run, swept her off her feet, and the rest is history…  


{mom and dad...circa 1969...the year they wed}


 they wed, became business partners, raised 2 daughters (whom, i would like to add, have never given mom a stress-filled, sleepless, night…ever)…and now find themselves on a series of crazy adventures as their story continues….

off into the sunset they ride with their 2 daughters, 2 grandkids, a son-in-law, a dog named birdie bluebell buffay, a truckload of junk, and no hopes for retirement anytime soon….and we think, they couldn’t be happier.

Long LiVe the LoVE story of the COwBoy and the GyPSY!!!


May 17, 2012   119 Comments

she was junky when junky wasn’t cool.

she’s large. she’s marge. she’s large marge the party barge. our official fleamarket mascot, junky mode of transportation, and all around good-timin PiNK mobile.

but her story begins loooong ago.

remember the post of the sleepy little town amie & i were lucky enough to grow up in? overton, texas…where the pine trees are tall and the twang is thick? well, large marge spent her early years there. at overton isd. amie & i took many a school roadtrip in that white suburban. it was used for many things…FFA events, UIL meets, tennis & track teams…among many others.

{at a state UIL meet after a roadtrip to austin in marge.circa 1993. yes, that's a GIANT scrunchie in my hair}

when the day came that marge (she didn’t know it then but that was her name) was to be replaced with a shinier, newer ride, she was put up for auction. GypSY daddy & janie hit that auction likes moths to a flame (actually janie hits any auction, junk store, garage sale, or flea market like a moth to a flame…buuuut i digress).  and they walked away with…well, a $300 1980 white suburban. the seats were torn, the dash was dry rotted, and of course, no power locks or windows, but mom and dad just knew they had to rescue ole marge. they knew she needed a new home with our family. they knew she wasn’t meant for the scrap yard, but for great celestial things. she was meant for great adventure.

she. was. to one day be. a … suuuuuperhero (you have to say that oprah-style: suuuuuperrrrr-he-rohhhhhhh) of junky epic proportions.

(actually, i think dad thought she might end up at our farm in arkansas…as a farm cruiser so to speak…but when they brought her home, we loved her and knew that fate had landed at her final and intended destination).

{first trip to the farm for some good timin' river days...our cousins carved their names in the dash}

that was in 2002.

then, we decided she must be pink…

{one of marge's first photoshoots...fortune small business magazine, circa 2005}

with horns on the front, flames down the sides, pink striped curtains, and lots of bumper stickers to make her extra fancy!

and then in 2005, we did what any good gypsy with a salvaged-junkafide pink suburban would do…we held a contest to name her. it had to be the coolest of cool and totally bad-to-the-bone. and we knew we needed a little help from our friends…

submissions came from across the globe…from near and far…from sea to shining sea…

here’s just a few (well, that’s a slight understatement….) for you to peruse:

the JUNK deville – claudia from MN
gypsy soul suburban – pete from CA
big PINK – eddy tom from TX
road trippin JUNKER – betty from new orleans
LOLA – todd from TX
gypsy jalopy – julie from bandera
pinky mcpinkersons – nathan from CA
FLO – caye from el paso
rosa enfuego – hj from TX
crackalackin’ junky-smackin’ – buck from las vegas
ROXI – stephanie from TX
big bertha – meghan from houston
hot, pink and righteous - shane from hollywood
sugar shack – joe pete
lil junker – brandi from NYC
petticoat junktion – carol from TX
gypsyville wrecker – kimberly from RI
pink hunk o’ junk – heather from KS
pepto paddywagon – dee ann from Ft Worth
pink lady wanderlust – angie from FL
pickled fink – janis from KY
large marge, the party barge – theresa from HOLLAND
junk yard DAwG – malisa from TX
pepto gizmo – deb from CO
pinky tuscudaro (fonzie’s girlfriend) – susan from TX
junkillac – Denise from HOUSTON
PINK punkaRELLI – TiffaNY from AuSTin
JUNque-a-BAGo – THeresa from HOLLAND
after hours and hours of deliberation, we narrowed the list down to our top 10…and then left it up to y’all. you voted. and it was henceforth declared that she shall be known across the lands and throughout the world as LaRGE MarGE the PaRTY barGE.
fearless and full of wanderlust…she’s traveled the world. 
from the tour de france…  

{lance could barely keep up with ole marge…}

and the eiffel tower… 

{did we mention she can fly?}

to running with the bulls of pamplona…

{marge in spain, valentines 2007}

and she once flew the coop on a celestial roadtrip through the MiLKY waY…leaving nothing but her rhinestone-studded tire tracks and a taco wrapper (her favorite food, extra spicy) behind.

{marge cruisin like a cosmic cowgirl towards the milky way}

it’s true! read it here!

she’s left her mark at the famous cadillac ranch…

annnnnd she’s also had a few famous hook ups…

{the paparazzi caught her stealin' kisses from the GeNERAL LEE...who could blame her?}

and recently…MaRGE took a trip to the beauty shop for a brand new PiNK paint job and new custom graphics!

{marge gettin' fannnncy this past summer}

and she got a new seat cover…

{yeah, that's right. faux fur. texas longhorn. yeahhhh, baby}

and she’s made a special stop at the service station for a little pre-antiques week check-up…

{in round top at the service station last week...thanks 2 tara royer steele for the shot!}

AND now…we think she needs to be accessorized! we’re putting out a CALL 4 BuMPER stickers!

and we need a little more help from our friends! y’all send us yer stickers! mail ‘em in! bring ‘em to the antique show!

let’s get margie realllly dressed up!


March 23, 2011   15 Comments

of sticks & stones…

now that you know a little about our ArKANSaS farm, let me show ya what we did last ThaNKSGiVING…

we built a teepee.

a hodgepodge, woodsy, sticks & stones, davy crockett-esque, teepee.

{amie & indie in front of our thanksgiving teepee}

in their coordinating mama &  little gypsy papoose  mocs…

it was unplanned, it was spontaneous. it just happened. it just seemed like the thing to do.

complete with a heart-shaped firepit…

{we gathered stones from the LittLE RiVEr for our perfect firepit}

 and funky AiRSTreAM lights

and a river rock-lined entrance path, and a grapevine doorway (and wreath) for the perfect martha stewart-ish touch…



{burn, baby burn}


  1. gather long, straight branches and tie together at the top (don’t tell anyone because it’s verrrrrry un-woodsmanlike, but we used zip ties. i mean, helllooooo, we are junk gypsies and we DO believe that pretty much any problem can be fixed, solved, or otherwise re-directed using zip ties!)
  2. we then covered it with leafy branches & green Yaupon Holly (the red berries were the perfect pop of color for that decorator touch!:))
  3. frame your door with grapevine or any other type of thick vine
  4. throw on a grapevine wreath while you’re at it (home sweet teepee)
  5. deck the halls with some totally junk gypsy-fide ChRiSTMAS lights

{a room with a view...}

 6. grab some cider and enjoy your room with a view…

happy THaNKSGiVING, y’all!!!

send us your teepee pics!

November 16, 2010   20 Comments