Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Here We Go Again

A beautiful little family quote by Desmond Tutu - perfect for Thanksgiving
A few weeks ago I started fixing up my shed/studio in anticipation of inviting a few friends over to celebrate its becoming a warm cozy place to gather amidst antiques and decor and craft items. I was getting frustrated because the store has been closed during the months of August, September, and now October because of the remodeling. Everything I had been working on for Fall and Halloween was just sitting there.  

Because I couldn't sell from the closed store, I revamped my Etsy store and added more listings, and when I had to retrieve an item I sold that was still at the store, I had a little surprise waiting for me. I found out that the business model had changed, and it wasn't one that would work for me. I didn't fit in the new plan. I was going to have to move. Consequently, I went from staging cozy little vignettes to opening up space in order to be able to accommodate all the furniture and accessories from the store into the shed/studio.

Another nice pottery piece with leaf shapes left unglazed
Hand thrown pottery pitcher perfect for Fall

Hutch top displayed with some Fall and everyday and a touch of glitz
I worked all day last Thursday, moving most of the furniture and accessories to clear the space and then on Monday, John helped me move the antique hutch top, the last heavy piece in the way of opening up the room. He also moved a hanging light fixture and a chair so the movers wouldn't bang their heads in the moving process. Obviously those low hanging items didn't bother me.
Space ready to be filled by the movers

John moving light fixtures and a chair hanging too low from the beams

As you can see everything is piled up against the walls, leaving an open area in the middle of the room for the movers to fill up with all my inventory from Stella & Notte.

Existing inventory and inventory added from the store all packed tight

Open area just waiting for the onslaught

That open space didn't stay open very long. Two Men and a Truck went to the store, and wrapped, and lifted, and loaded, and arrived with all the store inventory, and here we are with painted screens and painted furniture and boxes of ironstone and silver plate and wire baskets and woven baskets and whatever else strikes my fancy.

Boxes and tables and chairs and washstand awaiting a plan

Oil paintings and screen paintings and easels
Looks a bit overwhelming, but it will come together all in good time

Painted Hutch with its Fall array awaiting that special buyer
We did sell a nice big item and loaded it into a customer's truck instead of the moving truck. It was amazing how quickly it happened. When I found out I was no longer going to be able to sell from the store, I went home and immediately listed that lovely hutch on Craigslist. Within an hour I got a response from someone who really wanted it. Unfortunately, I couldn't show it to her, because Jeanine was concerned about liability with all that construction going on.  However, the buyer was there today as we were moving, and the hutch was just what she wanted.  

I didn't plan this new circumstance, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason, and I have faith that very possibly it is for the best. My business plan will have to change. I will be listing more in my Etsy shop and on Craigslist and in addition to pick ups, I will be having a few quiet gatherings and celebrations in my redone shed/studio.

So, hopefully, the next photos you see will be of a completely staged space with fall and Christmas and whatever else I have planned. I see a BIG sale coming on and some fun times and I am looking forward to welcoming you to Just A Second once again.

Welcome to Just A Second!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Falling into a Fall Frame of Mind

Light weight coverlet, pastel shams and pillow on summer bed
Wool throw and flannel shams

More pictures than words today as we transition to the cooler days of Fall. Even though I just checked the weather and it will be 80ยบ today! John couldn't wait for me to change out the accents on our bed. He doesn't care for pastels and loves the stronger colors and pattern of the buffalo checks and wool plaid throw.  

It does make quite the difference. Haven't switched out the curtains yet, because I had to order some new ones to replace the full size heavier fabric ones I use for the darker, earlier, cooler, yes much colder, days of winter. And with eight windows in our "sleeping porch" kind of bedroom, covering up all that glass is necessary for privacy (when I go upstairs early, cover up, and read in bed) and for warmth. The curtains were in a different room in the house when we purchased it 35 years ago, and after 35+ years, they were splitting at the sides last year. Can you imagine that!?! I had no choice, so I ordered very similar, "weaver's cloth" from  Country Curtains.They are well made and simple. My rods don't look like this photo, just simple tension rods within the window frame.

Country Curtains "weaver cloth" plain and simple!

Ironstone tureen with silver and faux fall garland

I did the table with a simple cream and grey runner topped by a vintage ironstone soup tureen, silver candlesticks and collected-over-time napkin rings, starting with my grandmother's engraved one. Then the touch of color - pumpkin spreaders and a faux fall garland. 

grandmother Irene's silver napkin ring

Touch of faux fall leaves with rust and neutral pumpkins and "g's" plus a painting

On the front hall shelf, actually a wood enclosure of a front hall radiator, is a collection of "g"s, and another tureen, this one pewter, purchased on our 40th anniversary trip to Italy, a gift from our children (an advantage of having a large family, plus they all contribute to our social security!), and another bit of faux fall, all gathered under an unfinished painting of a farm building by Tom Heflin.

Nesting time sign
Finally a couple of simple hand done signs - fall and rustic- one painted on an old fence board and the other on a board from Amish country in Indiana.(available in my Etsy shop along with that wicker bed tray shown on the bed)

Rough hand down "lodge" sign
Hope you are enjoying the change of seasons as much as I am as I look forward to being done with yard work, (at least here in the north), and cooking up some of those "comfort" foods that warm the body as well as the spirit.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Sharing Shipshewana

Just had to share a post about our little outing with the Mending Club. To recap, the Mending Club was started by Sandy (shown in the kitchen) who along with Cyndy had The Pink Cupboard located in what is now the Prairie Street Brewhouse before it looked as it does now. Many of us who were a part of that wonderful vision are still involved in antiques and decor and get together once a month for various activities, mostly dinners at each other's homes We try to escape once a year in the fall. This year we visited Shipshewana, IN, an Amish community.

And here is Sandy pointing out the red dishes. Could she coordinate any better ?!?!

Hall way from Kitchen to Living Room
Sandy and Sandi had already been there and they wanted us to experience it too. They had stayed in this delightful cottage I am sharing. It is decorated in all red, white, and blue. We walked into the kitchen, and you can see what I mean: blue countertops, red dishes, white cabinets, and so it goes. Not your usual lake cottage for sure. 

There were 7 of us and we rented this 3 bedroom, 2 full bath bright clean cottage, and this is the unbelievable part. It cost each of us a grand total of $35.00 - yes! and that was for 2 nights! The hallway show doors to a bedroom and closet and a view of the living room. Note the ceiling and the floors. That TV was not turned on once. We just sat around and talked and laughed and shared.

Part of Living Room showing two of the three sofas

Red and white Bedroom

On to the bedrooms: the red and white one housed 3 of us and we had our own bath. My big fear was that I would drive them crazy with my snoring. Fortunately, both roomies assured me I did no such thing!

Bunks and Queen size beds with en suite bath

Twin red, white and blue quilts room

Here is another bedroom, again in red, white, and blue! And I should mention that on this trip we got to know two kindred spirits - past/present vendors at Country Cottage in Rockton, IL. We had openings so Sandy, who had been there also, invited them. Make new friends but keep the old...
At the theater showing the 1950's musical Plain and Fancy 

We shopped, ate, toured an Amish Farm which also held a theater in a barn with an unbelievable ceiling. We found out from our guide that this barn actually belonged to her family and was disassembled, moved, and rebuilt on the foundation of the original barn which was destroyed in a fire.

Shopping for jellies and Amish baked goods
The ceiling of the theater

Did I mention we ate? Oh my, just to describe one meal which was part of the dinner/theater package: Cabbage salad, bread with an amazing peanut butter spread (did not want to say with marshmallow fluff), bean soup, turkey, fried chicken, ham, beef and noodles, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, green beans, and choice of pie for dessert - coconut cream, apple, lemon meringue, peach, pecan, etc. You get the picture. Just a FEW carbs.

And the finale - a fleamarket/auction venue that featured a three ring auction that was so loud, I could hardly hear the auctioneer right in front of me. The merchandise was amazing. Sandy told us, before going in, that the huge room would be absolutely cleared by the time it was over. If a bidder liked one wire locker basket, he/she bought the whole stack. It was a bit out of my league. 

The only things I purchased on the trip were some Amish jams which contained no sugar but were sweetened with concentrated grape juice - love that idea! and some salvaged boards for signs. The old barn wood and other salvaged boards were behind an amazing store with architectural salvage plus smaller antique items. I am hand-lettering them (the boards), and they are or will be in my Etsy shop, which I am updating (after a few years of neglect) because Stella & Notte is still closed for remodeling, and I need a sales venue.

I just love our little group and our always fun outings! Here's to faith and friendship and fun!