Thursday, February 26, 2015

Snow Birds...

We lucked out of the Southern snow (and ice) so far this year, but slightly to the north it has been a tough week for our neighbors.  And to no surprise, when the temperature dropped, all week we've had an influx of "snow birds" through the shop.  All are super giddy, love everything, leave with nothing.  ho hum.  On the other hand, online sales have been super and made up for our walk-ins with frozen wallets.

It's par for the course in retail...but, honestly on chilly days like this I'd rather be with my real snow birds at home with a cup of tea:
red bellied woodpecker
northern cardinal
ruby crowned kinglet
orange crowned warbler
cedar wax wings
Also, if you are a bird nerd like me, you will love this podcast about a young girl who has been feeding crows that now gift her odds and ends.  Crows are genius by the way.


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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Transitional Normal.

We're finding a strange new transitional normal (if you can even call it that) post babies - pre-homecoming (they are still cooking in the NICU).  I'm back at the store - which feels great.  I can't say I'm getting a lot done but I did throw together a St. Patrick's Day table top, basically whatever was green in the store -- its more than I ever do!

We became a dealer for a new chalk paint line, Country Chic Paints...which I owe a upcoming dedicated post.  I wasn't going to go there; I make my own and as much as I encouraged other to do it, I consistently was met with a blank stare.  So, I give up and you know what...this product is actually easier and better than what I was mixing.

Between NICU trips, I've laid out all the accessible thrift shops.  I found this stunner of an Italian leather purse for a mere $4.  I've picked up some sensational fabrics; a few have found their way to my Etsy shop and more are to come.  This past Sunday, one such shop was nearby this now gone and rundown gift shop...honestly the only giveaways that it was a gift shop is the remaining sign out front and now this gift wrap station exposed to the elements and a free range calico (where gift shops go to die).

Also, sadly...I received word this weekend that my Orange is the New Black Cross Stitch pattern was pulled from Etsy due to copy write infringement (according to Liongate).  I've experienced this with one other product and typically it's not even worth my time to fight about it.  The pattern is available from other sources that I won't advertise - since Liongate is sniffing around.  I honestly thought this was one of my most beautiful and intricate patterns and more of a homage to the show rather than a rip off of the show.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Beginnings and Endings

At 28 weeks and 2 days pregnant - I went into pre-term labor with my two little twins. 
This was 2 weeks ago to the day; both are doing well for such a rough and sudden entrance into the world.  We sort of expected they might spend some time in NICU but not months as it may be now. 

As elated as we were, we got a terrible shock when we got home from the hospital.
I found my oldest dog, Pepe, dead, passed away sadly maybe an hour before we arrived home, in my bed on my pillow - as if he was waiting for me.  It was quite a shock to go one minute celebrating life to mourning it the next.  C is handling it much better than me; he was old - we honestly do not know for sure how old and maybe it was just his time.  I still feel guilty that I wasn't with him and I didn't know how ill he probably was.  I am also so sad that my children will never meet him.

So, now we are trying to find our new normal...with no babies at home (yet) and no Pepe.  I am back to work at the store and hope to update the website and Etsy quite soon...we do have some new and vintage items that are amazing and I can't wait to share with you!


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Saturday, January 17, 2015

Pregnant Pause...

It's been a good month since I've blogged...and maybe this picture will be explanation enough!  Yes, we're expecting twins!  C and I have gone back and forth on when to tell and how much to tell since this has been a high risk pregnancy since day one.  So far, both babies are content and getting bigger each day.  I'm still working almost daily at the shop, though we did bring in help for the holidays.  Customers and friends keep asking in shocked tones "What are you going to do with the shop?!"  And almost seem in disbelief when I say "keep it and have them with me."  Honestly, I wish I knew exactly how it will all pan out but when you've never found yourself in this situation all I can say, at least, is to try your best.  Things we know; the shop is our 1st baby and will be 7 years old at the end of February!  We want our kids to experience this amazing thing we've created and see their parents as creatives.  And much like I've never wanted much for employees to run my shop/my dream, I feel pretty passionately that I don't want my kids in a daycare with people that aren't family spending precious time with them.  So, with those agreements, we will take each day at a time.

Our Nest is expanding!


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Friday, December 5, 2014

Featured Friday Fabric - Ikea Gunilla

This week's feature is a bit of a purge.  Say what you will about Ikea, but I think their fabric is awesome...from the design to quality.  I have quite a bit of a now discontinued fabric, Gunilla; it features a variety of stylized birds in black and white, popping on a pumpkin orange background.

It's a heavy duty fabric; I see it used mostly in totes and pillows and it is 59"-60" wide with a 25" repeat of the design.  (partially why I will only sell cuts by the yard)

If you missed out on this originally, get it while I still have a bit here in my Etsy shop.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, December 4, 2014

Painted Furniture - Part Deux

I've been enamored with painted furniture for some time now, specifically chalk painted furniture.  I took a class over the summer to perfect my skills and it really did the trick giving me a new found confidence. 

So check out what I've been doing...

First up was this darling vintage coffee table we picked up in Mississippi.  It has a great small scale and would just be lovely on a screened porch.

I really like the distressed look, and tho some just paint and wax, I like to add a step of grinding the paint in a little more and getting a super smooth finish with roughed-up edges.  By the way, I picked this color in that dark of Lowe's and swore it was is not...more like raspberry.  Still precious!

Next, we found this previously horrid frame in the back of the shop...neither of us knew where it originated from and it was seriously headed to the trash heap.  I had a teeny sample of Fiji from Benjamin Moore.  I mixed my own chalk paint from it and voila!

Much improved but I did break the original glass accidentally...

Then we found this sweet petite quilt rack for a song.  I sanded it a good bit to remove the super shiny shellac and chose a soft white. 

I further distressed it and then gave it a lovely paste wax finish.  Its gorgeous and I think I'm half crazy to part with it...but each of these pieces are now in our retail shop awaiting new families.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Small Business Saturday

We did it!  We had the biggest Small Business Saturday in our history of the event...we even broke our Grand Opening sales record of 2008...and that was quite an accomplishment!

As with every year, I include a free surprise gift with every in-store purchase $25 and above.  The gift is always something unique to the shop, i.e. it's never been sold in the shop previously and most importantly its handmade by me.  Sometimes I fall short of the handmade options based on time and my health...but in one week's time, I squeaked out this pretty new primitive flour sack towel with one of my popular old stand-by designs.

I have to admit American Express made this year's merchant loot extra sweet...super nice canvas totes, buttons and stickers (which the kids loved!)

Thank you to all that supported us today, we really felt the local love!  Online, you can join in through Cyber Monday in my Etsy shop and save 15% -- just use CYBER15 at checkout.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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