Friday, February 26, 2016

Eight is Great...

Amazingly, we're approaching our (say it with me) EIGHTH anniversary of our brick and mortar store!  Leap years are particularly special because we opened on February 29th...who does that?!  It's been a wild ride and I've recapped our start in an emotional post on our 6th anniversary and a year later took it in stride as I added the title of "mom" to my list of duties. 

This year, I actually want to celebrate, as this past year has been one that's been full of introspection and in turn has redefined what success means to me.  I use to make millions and millions of dollars...for other people; part of why I wanted to strike out on my own was to use my skill sets and be paid for what I felt I was worth.  Retail is a gamble, and I'm no where close to a millionaire.  However, I talk to people everyday that are amazed by what I do, I bring innovative products to a town that most often would be overlooked, and I have a fair group of loyal customers (one just gave me a hug moments ago!).  So, maybe I've made a million hugs and this for eight hard and happy years is good, even great.
So, let's get this party started!  In store, visit us Saturday and be treated with a 15% off discount on all regular priced items (yes, everything!) And if you are sweet enough to favor us with a $30 and above purchase, I have an adorable gift for you too. 

Online customers, don't fret -- we haven't left you out (because you are a big reason we are still here too).  Both Etsy and Nest Websites are honoring a 15% off discount (on both regular & sale merchandise) from now through leap day.  Use LEAP15 at either store for your additional savings.

Featured in this post:
  • cupcake earrings in three colors of enameled frosting!  available online at Nest Interiors
  • antique hand carrier strawberry baskets - original to our area found in the location of an abandoned strawberry farm.  limited quantity in store only at this time.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Way to grow...

Spring is upon us, y'all...and I couldn't be more thrilled other than I can't quite feel I'm prepping and preparing usual.  Above is from my seed planting two weeks ago, baby glorious gleam nasturtiums from Hudson Valley Seed -- such good seeds; this is actually a 2015 batch that I took out of inventory when I reordered and freshened up our store stock.  Looks like every seed germinated in the package!
The new shipment arrived last week and I pinched a pack of tomatoes - purple Cherokee, an all time favorite (did you know they originated in Tennessee and are believed to be passed down from Cherokee Indians...hence, the name).  And a brand new cherry tomato, bumble bee, that promises to be like an heirloom but has the advantages of disease resistance of today. 
And I'm so excited to announce we are official vendors of Par-a-sol hummingbird feeders.  Lots of choices in the shop -- I stuck with small sizes as with the intense heat of Louisiana summers, I typically put out a small amount of nectar a day and replace feeders nearly everyday. 
I have hopes of making a feeder station at the store but I'm a little concerned about a mischievous person that's continuing to do silly things like pull up plants, throw trash by our door, etc.  We've narrowed down to a couple, until then my testing will be home based.  This is the pixie, and one of my favorites with its glass wings.
Also, to freshen things up a bit, C and I mixed up a limited edition color in our chalk paint line, Creole Tomato...its a tangy red, as I like to say and is working nicely with a dark finish too.
Our concept board!  I hope to move the paint online but as more people discover it locally, I am selling out quite quickly...faster than a momma of twin babies can stop and mix paint.  But the response has been great and I'm so glad we took this leap and moved away from sub par Country Chic.  I've been clearancing is for months...almost gone and a customer notified me that the green paint she bought was red - despite the factory label.  They clearly have some quality control issues...and I'm nearly done with them thankfully!
And speaking up leaping...its that time of year, not only leap day but the anniversary of our brick and mortar store, Nest Interiors.  Unbelievably, we've been open for 8 years.  Sometimes it feels like yesterday and others, it feels like quite a long time ago.  I'll write more on this later as well as details on the big sale this weekend.  And if you can't make it don't worry all my online shops will have a "treat" for you!  Stay tuned!

Featured in this post:
  • Hudson Valley Seed Library Art Packs - new and old favorites have been updated and are available from Nest Interiors.  
  • Par-a-Sol hummingbird feeders in a variety of styles are in our Garden section on the Nest Interiors website.
  • Cottage Nest Paint, limited edition Creole Tomato is available in store only but available to ship - call the shop
Nesting Notes:
  • I just finished a tremendous book...yes, about birds, but yet, so so much more.  The Bluebird Effect, by Julie Zickefoose is a storybook, basically, about an artist turn rehabber - or is it the other way around?  I truly savored each chapter of her illustrated narrative and can't wait for her next book to be released shortly.  The author asks that you do not purchase from Amazon as she receives no royalties (and trust me we want Julie to keep being Julie so go directly to her website)
  • On March 5th, I'm participating in a virtual retreat from the lovely Kimberly Wilson.  What the heck is that?  With a computer and internet access, I'll be treated to one of her exceptional retreats in the comfort of my home.  Yay!  PJ's all day!!  Anywho, she's got art journaling, guided mediation and yoga, plus more for us to explore throughout the day.  If you'd like to join us on a day of self care, please follow to Kimberly's page (and check out her blog, too!)
  • Ok, here's a little tidbit I found fascinating...Here's an article from Psychology Today about being a better conversationalist and the rule of three.  It struck a cord with me, as in retail, my business is all about conversations.  It's a good refresher on how to really be present and listen to the person in front of you and to help you notice when your are not being listen to...for what its worth.  
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Thursday, February 18, 2016

Feathers and Fiber

Last weekend we visited the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana for their Fiber Art exhibit and, as we always, we tried to fit in a little birding too.
great egret
mourning dove
ruby crowned kinglet
There were a good many people here for the art show, rowdy boy scouts running through the trails, and many, many couples (it was Valentine's Day)...we were actually surprised we saw as many birds as we did including a rare, for Louisiana winter, buff-bellied hummingbird!
buff bellied hummingbird
We took our time and sat at many of the feeding stations throughout the park and even with two giggly babies, we saw plenty of activity...until every person that passed, stopped and walked up to the feeders (where birds, moments before took off).  They would look, shrug and walk lady, hands on her hips, about 12" from an empty feeder, yelled "I never see any birds!"  Within three minutes of her departure the feeder was full with birds again.
We laughed but felt a bit sad so many people live human-centric lives and forget there is a big, big multi-species world all around us.  Quiet and patience brings a hidden world right to your feet. We shrugged too and said "at least they came today"
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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Spring into Action...

I think the older I get, I notice just how much work goes into Spring.  Awhile ago, I would wake up, flowers would be blooming and birds chirping as if Spring sprung itself into life!  Now I see the subtleties of a quietly changing world all around me.  My chickadees, wrens, and bluebirds are actively taking stock of each of the birdhouses we've cleaned and replaced.
A pair of crows have been scavenging sticks all through the yard, diligently working on a nest while a red bellied woodpecker has spent days drilling out a hole in an old dead gum hoping this will be the one his mate picks...he may have to try several times before she is satisfied that his work will do for her nest.  All this I've noticed as I've been planting seeds and cleaning the makes you realize Spring is a lot of work!
And waiting for me are a truck-load of boxes for Spring here at the store and online.  This was all considered and ordered in October, if you can believe.  But as my years are showing me, preparation does make for the best and when Spring does pop her pretty head from her slumbers we will be all the more ready to enjoy her beauty!
Some sneak peeks for Spring are already available here in the store and online.  I adore these sweet rabbit embroidery scissors.
And I'm so delighted to announce we are now an official vendor of Parasol Hummingbird Feeders.  Really the most extraordinary feeders for such an extraordinary bird!  They just arrived and I can't believe people already started asking about them before I could un-box them!
I am pulling together an awesome Spring flag collection; I particularly love this strawberry one and can guarantee I'll snag one for my own yard.

Nesting Notes:
  • If you like moi, need to recommit to your fitness (ahem -- Spring/Summer ready, right?).  I just found Yoga with Adriene on YouTube - how did I not know about this?!  I can't recommend this enough - Adriene is fun, approaches her lessons with joy - which are gentle but effective it (definitely feelin' it!)  I love that she exclaims that your practice is just that, practice...time for you to just let go and let your body explore!  Her videos, tons of them, I tell you, are all free and with varying lengths.  Give it a try today.
  • I wanted to give a brief shout out today to the Great Backyard Bird Count.  It begins tomorrow through the 15th and is sponsored by Cornell and Audubon.  It's totally free, once again, all they ask is you play citizen scientist for at least 15 minutes on one day of the count.  This year is more important than most due to El's sent birds all willy nilly (including species for Europe).  So be apart of scientific history and enjoy the outdoors as a side bonus!
Featured in this post:
  • Gilded Rabbit Embroidery Scissors - a small offering for Spring is up on Etsy
  • Parasol Mini Blossom Hummingbird Feeder - available at Nest Interiors; explore our site for more styles!
  • Strawberry & Daisies Flag - just a sampling of the many Spring flags I'm adding to Nest Interiors
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Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Nine Lives...

The weekend proved to be near fatal for our sweet grey tabby, Demi as she began Saturday quite suddenly lethargic, with no appetite or ability to drink water.  Off to the vet we went to be shocked with a diagnosis of diabetes.  Quite a surprise as she did not seem to have any noticeable symptoms, the vet felt like we just caught it and expects her to recover well as soon as we get her through this retched period.  We were able to take her home the next day but she took a turn, largely my fault by underestimating how much she needed to eat prior to her insulin shot.  FYI, if you ever suspect your cat (or anyone) is going in diabetic shock -- corn syrup on the gums.  It probably saved her life.  So now we wait until tomorrow to try once again to take her home and figure out a new routine of healing and wellness for sweet Demi.
baby Demi
I've had Demi since almost day one.  She and her siblings were abandoned by their mother for some unfathomable reason, and I found them crying a squirming under my bedroom window the next morning covered in maggots.  We bottle fed them for 2-3 weeks; the siblings did not make it but Demi did (not without a horrible case of ringworm).  And for a little over 10 years she's lived problem free as a happy indoor cat.
I've gotten a little push back from friends and family as to why would I even try to extend her life.  It seems unfathomable anyone would respond this way, just say "sorry" if nothing else.  But, diabetes, just like in humans, is very manageable and this cat knows no one else than us -- so why would we let her slip though our hands when she has to have at least 2-3 more lives left?
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