Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Berry Rough

Whoa...this weekend was Strawberry Festival and I still have not quite recovered.  The shop was packed all of Saturday and most of Sunday, unfortunately it was the worst crowd I've encountered in 7 years.  I say that, giving a lot of leeway to past festival behavior...we all know people are super casual, a little tipsy...whatever, right?  it's a carnival atmosphere.  This year was different.  I've not encountered so many people that were just flippin' entitled and rude.  From scowling at us when we would greet them at the door to the lady that snuck back in our bathroom and dropped the poo bomb (and didn't buy one thing).  There were people continually parking and blocking the driveways, a man that entirely lathered himself in sunscreen immediately adjacent to all of the baby clothes, and someone in the night took it upon themselves to kick over the planters I had just potted with new plants.  I can tolerate a lot, especially if I am making some money...but we didn't make any.  C says I must move on and stop talking about it...oh bother, I guess I can bitch again about in 52 weeks.

Anywho, I did buy a tremendous amount of stock for the festival...would you like to see it?  It's all still here!
new scarves

Blue Crab Earrings
Bella Rose Purse with a super cute polka dot lining
Reversible Messenger Totes
Owl Necklace Sets
The good news is...I think we're ready for Mother's Day!  Oh are such a gamble!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Strawberry Eve...

Starting tomorrow evening an estimated 300,000 people are set to descend on our small town of less than 7,000.  It's called the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival and it generally occurs the second weekend of April...give or take an Easter falling here and there.  Statistically, we're also told it's the largest free festival in the State of Louisiana right after Mardi Gras.

This week, every local I pass,
"you ready for this weekend?" 
"I about you?"

How does anyone really prepare for that volume of people?  This morning I weeded the front flower beds of the shop, planted geraniums and million bells.  In the distance, I could hear a marching band playing over and over a piece that no doubt will be featured in the parade Saturday.  I saw a bluebird dive for something on the sidewalk, right here on Main Street; the second day in a row and wondered if he would move on when the crowd arrives.

It's time for our sleepy little town to wake up...

If you would like to visit our shop this special weekend, we will have extended hours on Saturday and Sunday with parking adjacent to the building.  We are located at 380 E. Pine St. in the Old Nehi Building.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Monday, I thought I saw a strange cardinal.  On second glance, I realized I was not seeing a cardinal at all...but something I've waited for over twenty years now...a painted bunting.
The French call them "nonpareil," meaning "without compare."  And they are truly just that with red, blue and a shocking citron plumage.  It made my day, month, and year!
Vintage Bunting Print
Beyond staring out the window...I have been working.  We have our annual Strawberry Festival this weekend (a bit more on that later), but it's been a constant churn to make, merchandise, and stock those shelves.  My online venues have been waning a bit as the focus is so heavily on our brick and mortar...but I was able to list these two Thimble Necklaces:
I wish I could make this with a bit more regularity (and I wish I would make one for myself!).  But I just have to be in the right mindset.
I like to imagine kindred souls wearing these as they cut a pattern out of a pink calico print or gently guide a new baby quilt, whilst the machine makes a happy whirling sound, or even in the quiet moments of hand embroidery...taking each stitch with a thought of someone special.
And I should give a special thank you to Craft Gossip for featuring my Orange is the New Black Cross Stitch Pattern last week too!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Our Secret Garden...

We timed a visit to Windrush Gardens in Baton Rouge just perfectly this past weekend.  The azaleas blooms were tremendous and so plentiful that you could not walk through walls of pinks and violets without an emotional tug.  This is my most favorite garden of any I have been to partially because it's nearly deserted each and every time I wander thru and it feels like mine alone.  It's part of the LSU Rural Life Museum, which is also great but easy to miss unless you know to follow the winding road to the back of the somewhat utilitarian LSU Burden Ag Center.  Adjacent and with no fanfare is a double gate from right outside the museum leading right into this gem.  The day we went it was actually locked; they had had a party the night before and I think forgot to reopen the we actually used a side entrance and snuck our way in...deviants we are!
The garden is reminiscent of European gardens with statues that anchor and frame the spaces, but semi-formal enough to know your definitely in Louisiana with a piney forest to explore. 
We met this guy ever so briefly.

There are a few houses on the property; this property and garden belong to Steele Burden and this cute house was his garden shed and art studio.  I've always been ever so enamored with it.
Venus with a bird nest.  Always, always when we visit the little studio we find a bird nest like a small offering.

If you would like to discover Windrush Gardens, here is the best info I have found online.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

This is Where I Keep My Awesome...
Born out of necessity, I wanted a nice project pouch for my WIP's (works in progress).  Tired of carrying a tattered Ziploc bag from store to home everyday, I made it my mission to create a real one.  And it is!
I had some coveted Heather Ross Briar Rose fabric in pink that I silk-screened "This is Where I Keep My Awesome" because, well...that is exactly what's inside...right?
 A zippered top, fully lined interior and a 2-1/2" gusseted bottom and a generous 9" x 9" in length and width.
I am really excited about this new product and I'm hoping other makers dig it...I made for me and one for you right here.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I Think it Might Be Spring...

fig leaves emerging like clasped hands
Wisteria is racing to beat the azaleas in bloom
Oh Hai!  Lookie who just arrived from Mexico -
actually we've noted three and they are all vying for this feeder.
The weather is unusually dry with a slight chill in
these Springtime breezes - I think it's
delightfully unusual, Chico thinks she'd rather wear a sweater.
It was hard to be indoors during my time off this weekend...nearly every part of daylight is beckoning us out and about...the chickadees found our nest box, I planted tomatoes and nasturtiums, tiny blooms everywhere - nearly about to burst forth.  Spring almost makes me sad - its quick quick.  And I've said this before, Spring always signals an end to me - years that I saw a school year thru...wondering and wishing when my future was going to begin.  And just like that, Spring - it's done.  It's a season that demands your constant attention.

After dark, when we could no longer frolic outside, we settled on a movie on Netflix, Reaching for the Moon, based on the life of poet Elizabeth Bishop.  It totally unhinged me because there were parts of my life, my spring, that I chased for things that ultimately were lost.

One Art

By Elizabeth Bishop
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art” from The Complete Poems 1926-1979. Copyright © 1979, 1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel.

Source: The Complete Poems 1926-1979 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1983)