Thursday, April 23, 2015

Due Date...

Two days before my actual due date, we got the call from the NICU to "room in" with our son.  It had been a typical Saturday at the shop until that call - we closed as quick as we could, car seat in one hand and diaper bag in the other, we sprinted to those NICU double doors.  We still are waiting on our little girl to complete our family, but this little guy is giving us lots of practice and has already worked with me two days at the shop.
I also committed to a fuchsia while navigating being a new mom.  They notoriously do poorly in our hot Louisiana...but its so pretty.
That same morning, I bought the fuchsia...then got the call, I fortuitously saw this beautiful painted bunting.  The first time I saw one, last year, I was deciding that I wanted to be a mom.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/230883843/four-footed-lover-rabbit-aged-decorative?ref=shop_home_active_5
So work with a newborn is still happening, but at a much slower pace and that's ok.  This is one of the new pretty aged papers I received last week.  I've only photographed and listed this one and that seemed to be a pretty huge achievement for the week.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/230877195/vintage-round-ruched-pillow-in-red?ref=shop_home_active_6

https://www.etsy.com/listing/230877195/vintage-round-ruched-pillow-in-red?ref=shop_home_active_6
And this lovely vintage ruched red floral pillow; perhaps one of my last thrifting finds for awhile.
a ceramic hen on nest.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/226590078/vintage-multi-color-check-retro-fabric?ref=shop_home_active_4
and this fun vintage fabric -- I have yards available and not a clue (nor time) to figure out what to do with it, so it's listed until I have a purpose and I may pull it (grab it quick!)


--Lisa

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Friday, April 17, 2015

April Showers...

Today is the first day all week that we've had a bit of a break from an onslaught of heavy rains or April showers.  And you know what they say...April showers brings May flowers (at this point, perhaps an ark, too).  Let's hope this is true because we just opened a beautiful new line of heirloom seeds in our shop.
This this is why I love what I do.  Sometime in 2013 when we traveled to the Atlanta market, we took a side trip to the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  In their well-curated gift shop, I found Hudson Valley Seeds.  I bought a package, one of their Art Packs - a commission design enveloping their lovely seeds.  Funny that I went all the way to market and found this gem elsewhere.  
Of course its two years later...life happens.  But the idea of little package stayed with me and I even bought some seeds from their retail site.  This year I convinced myself that perhaps its not just me; that maybe my customers would be enamored with these seeds too. 
So here we are!  Hudson Valley Seed Library allowed me to custom my order to seeds just right for my area and I should say -- I picked many easy to grow varieties for the budding gardener.  Nasturtiums, zinnias, sunflowers (staples of my garden always) and organic herbs which includes a nice basil medley, oregano, and catnip (cat lady representin').
I've kept back a few packs and through the raindrops, I've been directly sowing them to bring on those May flowers and test what I do indeed like.  In the shop, its already been immensely fun as I love talking about these little seeds.  I just had a conversation with an eight year old today about Milkweed and the benefits to our monarch population.  She was sold!  I've also listed these on our website, take look yourself and see what you can sow!

some pictures in this post are courtesy of Hudson Valley Seed Library

--Lisa

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

New around here...

Come and gone was this weekend's Strawberry Festival...a mix of tourists drunk on strawberry daiquiris, hipsters from New Orleans buying armloads of strawberry flats, and wide-eyed children dragging their parents one-armed to the carnival rides.
We hang back.  Hoping people are nice and they don't barf in our planters.  By that account, this year was a success!
Our dear friend, Mary, opened her very own shop next door to us Saturday during the festival.  This cowgirl was one of her first customers...oh she was something else!
I was a bit more focused on this crowd.  Every year in front of my store, Southeastern lubber grasshoppers hatch.  They become huge, ominous black looking things...but they eat mosquitoes and that alone is one great reason to encourage them.  The bebes are miniature versions of their future adult selves...and with anything miniature, I'm always in wonderment.  They all hopped into the plants away from the constant procession of street feet, gobs of them...and not a soul noticed even with the throngs of people pushing down the street to the festival.
And a couple new introductions in the shop before the Fest.  I found through Etsy Wholesale a new soap line: Three Sisters Cauldron.  I absolutely love the packaging and it smells wonderful...I'm ready for some product testing STAT!  I'll be adding these pretties to the bath section of our main website very soon.
https://www.etsy.com/listing/229208251/fleur-de-lis-vintage-style-hunter-green?ref=shop_home_active_8
Also, new...a green checked prim style towel that I silk-screened with a simplified fleur de lis.  I really adore these towels I've been using (see my primitive ticking stripe towels).  They are super thick and launder so nicely.
Now the rain is washing over us for a few days; April showers, right?  But it's brought in this bright blue guy...an indigo bunting.  Always a thrill to see them and this year they are playing in the rain puddles non-stop.  So, while they have fun in the drops, I'll carry on inside where it's dry and there's plenty to do.
 
--Lisa

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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Greening up...

Ahhhh...this is such a nice time of year in Louisiana.  That brief moment when both wisteria and azaleas bloom in concert, with vibrant pinks and purples that just have to be experienced in person because you just never can capture their colors truly on film.  I feel we've missed out on it a bit as we've been running back and forth to see our twins in the NICU (8 weeks this week!).  We did get our blue bird box up...chickadees have moved in.  Hummingbirds are back and this guy, the blue-headed vireo is probably saying his goodbyes as he travels north.
Something wonderful happened...I was gifted quite a bit of beautiful merchandise from one my favorite craft vendors.  These lovely wooden thread organizers for embroidery and cross stitch.  Too too many for just me to squirrel away.
My favorite...the owl!  The mustache is a close second.
and then these miniature travel sized fob thread organizers - gah!  This is to launch their new Belle Epoque line and to get it into shops to test the new designs.  Here's how I lucked out, the contest gave three obscure clues and through this rare blend of smarts and my Art History minor (it did pay off!) I looked up from the computer screen, scratched my head and said "Belle Epoque"  Oui, oui!

Honestly, this is more than I'll ever use and I'll help them test out the new line by slowing adding it to my Etsy shop by next week.

Speaking of cross stitch, if you are an enthusiast like myself, but with better time management skills you might be interested in joining the Bust Magazine and Subversive Cross Stitch Stitchalong featuring a darling pattern with the Broad City ladies!  This is a perfect starting place for newbies and seasons one and two of Broad City are now on Hulu...treat yo' self!

--Lisa

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Dog is My Co-Pilot...


After last week's lackluster sales and collection of visiting weirdos to the shop, I decided to beat those blues back with my best buddy.  Yes, our own VIP (very important puppy), Chico.  She always puts a smile on my face.  Even though its been a busy day, its been really nice to have hug here and there from someone who cares for you unconditionally. 
I've been working on our accessories nook for a couple days now.  New scarves in, a tote bag here and there...and lots and lots of jewelry.
I made these; Native American brick stitch earrings.  I've actually made these off and on since high school (we don't have to talk about how long ago that was).  They were a bit of the rage back then and I remember begging my mother to take me to the bead shop in this nearby speck of a town called Lacombe, Louisiana.  I'm not sure how I knew this was the place to find out how to make these pretty earrings...it turned out to be, yes, somewhat of a bead shop but also the home of a young Native American woman (who I thought was just lovely with long thick black hair).  Of course, I must have been the hundredth adolescent girl that had landed on her doorstep in reference to these earrings.  We came all that way and she was pretty put out; told us "no" she didn't have any books, patterns, or supplies.  I must of just looked heartbroken, and perhaps it convinced her I was honestly interested.  Exasperated, she said "just wait" and went to the back of the house and retrieved a small booklet.  I've treasured it for years.
It takes me about two to three hours to make a pair; I'm not sure I should admit that I'm such a slow poke.  Most of these were made while I was pregnant and it was good fun when I couldn't do much of anything else.  Currently these are available in store; if I can find the time, I'll add them to my Etsy shop.

--Lisa

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Friday, March 13, 2015

Keeping it 100...

This week has been cray-cray at the shop.  First off its rained nearly non-stop with foggy mornings and humid, soggy evenings...no one has thought much of coming out to town period.  Those that have ventured through town seem a bit touched (as a way to put it).  All week what foot traffic I did get asked for the most bizarre things -- the highlight: an hourglass; that's a first for sure.

Then yesterday, we had a couple ladies come in and pinch a couple of nice items.  I won't go into detail of how we had been had; I never like to broadcast how someone got one over on us.  But for other retailers out there...even after seven years in business - they sure caught our attention and changes are already being made.  I highly recommend reading this post from the Specialty Retailer...great points that I knew, but I needed to be reminded.

Today has not been much better...the first person in asked if I could give them gas money...seriously.  Then a telemarketer that I refused, decided to be a smarty pants and call back repeatedly for spite.  By the time a couple of solicitors came in this afternoon, I was in a mood and sure ripped them a new one.

With a bit of extra time on my hands this week, I've been researching other shops and lines.  I landed on one...and I apologize not divulging who as I'm about to be a bit of a snot about them.  They are in a beautiful space, great high end lines, about 3 or 4 years old and already in most retail top 10 lists.  Looking through the incredibly stylized pics - my first thoughts were no one in my town would shop this store...at all.  For one thing, one picture showed a tiny crate of soaps sitting on the floor - no one would bend over in my shop, unless they were stealing.  I asked C her thoughts; how this shop appears to have so much fanfare but in my town would be seen as farfetched and inaccessible?  Her take - money.  She's usually right on about this things.  So who out there in retail is genuine, do we honestly have to pretend it rainbows and sparkles all day long?  Maybe if we're real - we might just teach people this is hard and worthy of them not stealing and taking advantage of us?
All pics are from the shop this week as I've been cleaning, fluffing and preparing for upcoming Spring holidays.  The Happy Keaster towels featured in the last pic are now on sale here.

--Lisa

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Seven and Counting...

This week our shop makes SEVEN years in business!  I actually can't believe it has been that long, but over a quiet weekend - I reflected that, yes, quite a lot has happen in all these years and in these four walls.  I had a nice recap last year here.  This past year I learned how to be a pregnant shopkeeper and waddle thru the displays (knocking over things left and right with my new belly).  This year is sure to bring even more changes once we have our twins here daily.

The best thing that this anniversary brings (at least for me) is space.  I no longer feel so emotionally tied to the business and shop.  It's all grown up, so to speak, and I feel it's okay for me to explore and want for other things in addition to this wonderful little dream of a shop.

So, no big party or sale...I just quietly celebrated with an early Spring walk:


--Lisa

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