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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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Louisiana State Vintage Style Souvenir Towel

It's here!  My new Louisiana towel!  Lots and lots of people having been clamoring for a vintage style Louisiana souvenir towel in my shop.  And for a few years now, I've not been able to find a suitable choice through other vendors or through my own designs.  Then, stored in the attic...I find this adorable head scarf from the 1960's in my grandmother's things.

It was perfect and I got to work semi-quickly on cleaning the image up and readying it for transfer through the emulsion process.  I had some quality control issues that perhaps on a second run we can broaden the image back to its full glory...but the towel, a bit too stinkin' cute!

Currently these are available in my brick and mortar and online on Etsy.  This is a small run currently and I hope, if received well, I will stock it year round in the coming months...but why not just grab it it while the grabbins' good!

Also, My Don't Make Me Go All Cajun on You towel has been restocked too and makes a nice companion towel to the new Louisiana design.

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Featured Friday Fabric - Hometown Special

Today's offering are two new Robert Kaufman prints...two that seem to be a perfect fit for my hometown of Ponchatoula, LA.
First up is this fun strawberry print, Metro Market, designed by Margaret Berg.  It's the state fruit of Louisiana and we celebrate it in town in a big way with a Strawberry Festival.  It sells by the yard and is available for purchase here.
And in honor of our town mascot (why yes, we do have an alligator as our mascot and he lives right in the center of town), is this adorable print from Ann Kelle, Urban Zoologie.  Snap it up here.

Oh, by the way, I've joined the Goody Goody Giftswap this year...a fun Secret Santa type gift swap for creatives and other independent shops.  Check it out and maybe you'll get moi!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Do Over...

Today is my do-over day from yesterday; which from the start was one fiasco to another.  I've never done this before but I actually just turned off the lights at the shop and locked the door around 2pm and didn't look back.  Call it a mental health day...a hot bath, lavender chamomile tea and lots and lots of rest has put me back in fighting form!

This week I am focusing on putting some of our new Louisiana-made and Regionally based products online:

Re: Garlicky Vinaigrette is quickly becoming one my fast favorites.  It's a dressing, It's a's good!  (also gluten free, if that's an issue for you)  Seriously, we brought a bottle to Houston for our friends to try and we nearly went through the whole bottle in two days!  It was conceived by two BFFs and produced in small batches in the kitchens at LSU in Baton Rouge. They also make a New Orleans style crouton that I can't even put on the website because we sell out too fast (ok we eat a good share of them too).

Made in Jackson, MS (just a short 2-1/2 drive from the shop) is the exquisite letterpress prints from Thimblepress featuring the state flower within the shape of the state.  Each print measures 11" x 14", signed by the artist, and includes a package of wildflower seeds.  I'm hoping this will be a real keepsake gift at the shop for 2014.

And here is a work in progress from me (shall we say a soon to be Louisiana made product):
Found in my attic, dating to the the 1960's if I could guess, is this adorable silk-screened head scarf.  I've already cleaned up the image and edited step is to burn it on the screen and print.  I plan to produce a new towel but I may do a few tank tops and totes.  Fingers crossed that this happens this weekend!

--Lisa LeBlanc

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