It's been a while since I showed you some of the new old goods that have arrived in the shop. Some are from my personal collection as I now have personal items that are way beyond 20 years of age and a few were collected from a buying trip earlier this week (always a lot of fun!)
Who doesn't love Peter Rabbit? This miniature tea set is itching for a new loving home.
Can you sew? This cut and sew soft book makes the sweetest alphabet book for baby. I just love the illustrations and a red, black and white color scheme has been proven to stimulate baby's brain. I've seen these go for quite a bit, but I have a pretty fair price on this.
Vintage brass buttons! My favorite is the horse and horseshoe; sold as one lot.
And what a beauty. This Cookson Pottery planter needs your succulents, cacti or even a bonsai?!
Most are available at our brick and mortar, Nest Interiors in Ponchatoula, LA but all are online in our Etsy shop. Use coupon code HAPPINEST15 for 15% off your Etsy order for a limited time.
It's hard to believe Easter is upon us! We celebrated last weekend at the "Old Fashioned Easter Celebration" by the LSU Rural Life Museum. The kids participated in their very 1st egg hunt, tried egg paquing, and were terrified of the Easter Bunny again and now a pygmy goat.
We all had an amazing and exhausting time; so this Sunday for Easter, we are going to have a very quiet celebration. One in which I can tackle some projects in the garden. Exciting things are afoot...we are really becoming something of a butterfly farmette. About a month ago, I played with the idea of selling some of my excess seeds as a way to finance and support our conservation efforts. I started with a small offering of my Swan Plant. It's a fun type of milkweed, which grows very tall, can support a lot of Monarch caterpillars and produces unusual seed pods.
My goal was to make enough to buy monarch tags this season...my first year trying this! Within a week, I had sold out! Plenty to support the purchase of our tags. I hope to get more seeds saved for next year. And to include more variety for attracting all kinds of butterflies. A great way to see what I'm doing is to join my group that details our Monarch Waystation (plus tons of great info). You can always check my Etsy shop too and see if any small offerings of seeds have been listed again.
I really meant to share these gorgeous new totes earlier as these two prototypes sold out pretty quick at my retail location, Nest Interiors. This idea has been a longtime coming. I bought a similar tote a couple years ago and use it like crazy for daytrips. I wanted to recreate it but with my own spin. I ended up finding a pattern in a book we sold here at the store. Funny how that happens, it sat on the shelf forever; I picked it up and knew that was the bag. From there, it still seemed forever to have the pattern enlarged at a copy store. The fabric, too is from last year's trip to the Houston Ikea. Once all these parts and pieces came together, I realized I hated how the pattern came together. Technically, I thought it would fall apart with heavy use. So, I modified it and voila! A finished product two...long...years in the making!!!
Not to fear, more are being assembled and in different fabrics. Next up is a gorgeous maybe vintage Ralph Lauren rose print paired with a ticking stripe...giving this tote a totally new feel. I'll have this up on our Etsy next week if I can squeeze in some quality time with the sewing machine. But I have recreated my crochet farmers market tote in a delectable spring time blend.
Available now, but limited! Check it out and keep watch for new totes on my Etsy shop.
Tomorrow I celebrate a milestone: 10 years operating my brick and mortar shop, Nest Interiors. The words of my grade school best friend's mom have been resonating in my head, when I myself, turned 10, "Ohhhh double-digits!" And in the last couple months, I've thought about my past and future. I think I said before I don't want anymore of the competitive nonsense that I have to be THE store. I've just been trusting my gut and not taking it too personally if we just don't meet the mark for a handful of browsers.
It is really hard to not take things personally tho, especially when you wish customers understood its a miracle I'm here and this store exists. It's all here on the blog; there are, of course, the usual economic struggles, but the highlights...a hurricane extensively damaging our store the 1st year, a cancer diagnosis in 2010, and a high risk twin pregnancy in 2015. All this and I'm a terrible introvert. As I've said, this is a miracle. And honestly, if you ask, every brick and mortar has not only a dream but a story to tell you.
I am humbled by so many customers, now friends, that have reached out to me in the last couple weeks as we announced our big celebration and sale tomorrow. Every part of this business has been a reflection of me and it has made me who I am today...so thank you to all who have ever walk thru our doors or clicked our links.
So Tomorrow is the Day! We honor our 10 years, opening at 10am until 4pm.
Every purchase will choose an egg revealing a surprise discount between 10-30% off
A couple years ago, I stayed overnight at Rip Van Winkle Gardens. Which in itself is pretty cool, it was July and hotter than hell, but we had free range of the gardens all night. I remember thinking how beautiful the camellias must be in winter...
They were! We went this past weekend and timed it perfectly!
And cue the Japanese magnolias...rain is slated this week, so we witnessed its peak!
Also, among the blossoms, I found a rare buff bellied hummingbird and a few butterflies like this hairstreak.
They also have a large population of free range peacocks; which clearly makes every photograph that much more enchanting.
And of course, these two enjoyed that first taste of Spring. And a big first...we toured it without a stroller or wagon...who are these big kids now??!!!
And here's a quick weekly shop update:
Hudson Valley Seeds are back with a really fun update; I'm currently testing my favorites but you can pick your own on our main site.
The vintage items I gave you a peek last week, are now on Etsy; vintage quilt and repurposed washboard are ready to ship; plus spend $55+ and save 20% on your entire order thru February.
Next week (fingers crossed) I should be putting the finishing touches on a new line of totes. The first two examples are nearly done as I try bit by bit during nap time!
This week had me racing...two holidays, Mardi Gras and Valentine's Day back to back and the week began wintery gray and ended with the sun blazing, a balmy 75 degrees. Typical Louisiana.
This week I also began updating my Etsy with some vintage items from my private collection. I hate to part with any of it...but I have 3 year old twins now. If I don't, no one will get to enjoy any of it...as they are now climbing the walls. (send help!)
Sold in hours of listing, is this beautiful ceramic bird twine and scissor holder. I had dreams of a proper craft area with this beauty. I hope it enjoys its new home and owner. The turnover on Etsy has been this way for weeks. I post and usually that night or the next day it sells. So, here's a peek at some of next week's listings...
A very primitive quilt...I have loved it for so long; now it needs a new chapter in its story.
This vintage washboard was a real find a few years ago. The metal is actually magnetized for small magnets to be used and small cup hooks were added. A lovely catch all near a door.
Keep watch for some time mid week for these listings to go live. Also, as an incentive, I'm offering 20% off purchases $55+ on Etsy. You can also enjoy the new flat rate shipping of $5.95 on my brick and mortar's site: Nest Interiors. So many cute things were just listed there this week too.
This week felt like an endurance race. A private event, a huge shipment to the store via 18 wheeler, a new product introduction and of course, it's Louisiana, we had torrential rains almost daily!
Monday I led a private talk about butterflies and our monarch waystation to a local brownie troop. It was intense...7 and 8 year olds ask a lot of questions...all at once! It was an honor, really, to be asked, and so nice that their troop leader pulled our little garden out of obscurity in our town!
Then Tuesday, an unscheduled 18 wheeler dropped off a palate full of boxes taller than me. For the record I'm not very tall but when you are the only one unboxing them it's pretty much Mt. Everest.
Some new items arrived in floral supply like these gorgeous cotton and greenery picks. I was able to get these on Etsy; the other home decor items will have to wait until next week to be launched on our store's main website.
And silk-screened last week, last year's Honey Bee design on a new vintage style towel with a honey yellow bordered stripe. This was the first day we had sun long enough to photograph it! It's a great update and now on Etsy too.
I'm off for the next four days! I've got a birthday in there - woohoo. No big plans but relaxing, starting seeds for Spring and Netflix. Stay tuned, more new updates coming to both the Etsy and Nest Interiors website!
In my post before, I touched on my renewed interest in redeveloping my hobbies. Actually its been more of a life saver in a busy life that I'm constantly treading water. Most nights I get and hour or two to myself and crochet has been my go to.
This pinafore dress is so sweet; I made one for my daughter's first Christmas and it was absolutely adorable. This one, I call it "strawberries and cream" is for a newborn to about 3 months. With most crochet work I do, it's finished off in the back with a couple vintage buttons from my grandmother's stash.
These chunky basketweave hats were the best this winter! I called this style my "CC's Beanies" killer...because every store in a 25 mile circumference has those made in China knit one size fits all hats. So...for the person that wants a unique look this was a crowd pleaser. They never made it to the Etsy shop but a handful are still available in our brick and mortar.
Also, sold out but I will attempt to make another...this gorgeous net style French Market tote. I worked it up in a beautiful linen blend yarn and it was one of those sales that I almost snatched it back from the customer. Yes, I'll make more but at least one for myself this time!
I was pretty excited when I moved on to baskets...I did make the first one for myself (a pink one...to hold more yarn!) and then I went even bigger with this over-sized chunky black yarn. It has a really amazing high end look, even though it would be perfect for mundane things like toilet paper or towels. I find it a little floppy, so it does need to be put to work holding something for you...but still available in store and online.
What are your favorite projects when you can steal away a couple hours? Comment below...
It's been a full six months since I've blogged, which is an eternity online. And honestly, the only excuse I have is I just didn't know what to say. Every blog is an "expert" or a "mentor" or some other exceptional being...am I right? I'll be the first to admit I'm nowhere close to any of those titles (nor do I really want to be).
So, what happened in 2017? For one, it was wonderful and secondly, it was horrible. I know, dramatic, right? So here I found myself, life plan forging ahead. My own business burgeoning on 10 years, 2 year old twins, a selectively supportive spouse. Living the dream! In some ways, but the reality is two 2 year olds in the terrible two's, coupled with coming prematurely giving them both a significant speech delay, i.e. frustrated babies + can't cope mom = disaster. On top of that, my first baby, our retail store nearly 10, we were finally hitting our stride, I at least thought. I finally assembled a staff (all of which are now gone) and tho, I'm in a very small town, some new competitors moved in and played dirty. Professionally and personally, I got a huge reality check.
But, some amazing things happened, I went to Belgium in October. I only found out 6 weeks before we left that I could travel with my spouse on her work trip. I had not been to Europe in 20+ years; I cried when the airplane took off because I just didn't think I would ever feel what take-off felt like again.
I became a full fledged butterfly enthusiast. I raised and released a number of butterflies ranging from Black Swallowtails, Giant Swallowtails, Gulf Fritilaries, Red Admirals, and of course, Monarchs. My Monarch Waystation, created in 2016, finally got some local notice and next month I will give my first official lecture to a Brownie Troop for their "bug badge" - I am thrilled!
And despite their frustrations, my kids did blossom. They've been in a State provided intervention program Early Steps receiving OT and Speech. Our therapists were miracle workers and often a sounding board for me as well. They just aged out and I'm so proud of how determined, even at two, they were to learn and overcome a rough start.
I ended 2017 and began 2018 with most likely the flu. It was the sickest I've been in a long time but on the bright-side, a good time for reflection. What I deduced was:
I will stop pressuring myself to run the best store in town, in the state, in the world. I will just strive to run a good store.
Planning and being prepared is better than multi-tasking
Stop expecting people to help; be grateful when they do.
Trust my instincts - when my stomach says "no" my head asks "why"
And lastly, I do want to take up this sweet blog again...even if most days its just me and my thoughts. During my convalescence, I also decided to take up some of my old hobbies; I've been crocheting beautiful things, and making jewelry. Also, I will probably get back into soap making as I feel it calling back to me. Planning, as I stated above, will be key in getting all these things accomplished. I hope you'll continue to follow along this journey with me!