Friday, December 30, 2011

From My Heart

Looking back over the past year
I have to tell you how blessed we've been at
in so many ways!

Our customers and friends are incredible

they're our best advertisement,
bringing their friends
family members
and their out of town guests
to the shop.

I can't tell you how many
"once a year",
"out of town"
stopped to shop
while they were visiting family and friends
for the holiday.

(Many on their way in from the airport,
with the comment that
was the first stop they had to make!)

This sort of affection and excitement
warms out hearts.

It builds business in a solid fashion
keeps us 
in a  position to continue
seeking and providing
a treasure trove of fresh items for the shop.

There is no finer compliment than being recommended
by someone who has enjoyed our ambiance
 atmosphere and design sensibility.

Many of our "regulars"
have brought a dozen friends to us through the years!

This encouragement is what keeps us going,
spending countless hours
and back breaking work,

in rain, heat, mosquitoes, mud, ice and snow,

all across the country 
through thousands of worthless objects
in order to find those few
special items
that spark sweet, warm memories
get you excited!

are why we do it!

Thank you,
from the bottom of my heart!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Almost New Year

It's almost the
 New Year
time for resolutions . . .

I think I'll make one or two.

let me assure you
I'm not going to make one to exercise more
or totally reorganize my house
or to do any of those wonderful things we
will only chastise ourselves for 
forgetting by February.

No guilt.
No tough requisites.

Just want to be a kinder, 
more thoughtful
generous person
in 2012.

A little more apt to not make comments while driving,
be annoyed by someone racing to take a parking spot,
irritated by many little things.

I'm blessed and content,
 and happy to be here in America,
wish to smile more
be a blessing to other people 

What's your resolution?

Thanks for reading along this year - it's been fun!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Spirit

I was lying in bed early this morning, stretching,
 and relishing the fact that I had plenty of time to simply lie there
enjoy the warm coziness
for a change

and my thoughts ran to Christmas.

Now, generally, when my thoughts run to any upcoming event
I'm barraged by my mental
"to-do" list
and have a rush of panic at 
how much there is still to be accomplished.
There is the accompanying guilt
"why didn't you start earlier",
and the feeling of being slightly overwhelmed
followed by the big
"why am I perpetually in this cycle"

For many,
Christmas can be a big guilt inducer . . . 
when you consider that bloggers all around the world are bombarding
us with the beautiful gifts and decorations they've made from scratch

and the stories of how they're helping to save the world
living the ultimate
"green lifestyle"
and how all their gifts are made from
100% recycled trash
thereby saving the planet
while stunning their friends and families with their
time management.

But this morning I simply shooed away that demon
thought about the Christmas memories
that stood out from my 

I recalled fragrances:
real evergreens 
cookies baking
hot apple cider with cinnamon sticks
clove studded orange pomanders
popcorn being strung
ham baking
ripe pears
nuts toasting
hot waffles

I recalled being surrounded by family . . . 
(there were five generations of family when I was small).
Grands and great grands and great great grands!
There were aunts and uncles and greats to boot.
There was a plethora of cousins,
and neighborhood friends took up where the cousins left off.

There were Christmas trees - 
one in each home
of all these relatives and neighbors,
and the grandaddy Christmas tree of them all:
the tree in our little church.
I believe it must have been 25 foot high,
(but then I'm sure it only seemed that way).
Lights and ornaments were unique on each tree, 
so every one was a small miracle
and delight!

Our neighbor had a molded, white plastic tree
whose branches looked somewhat like combs . . . 
the most wonderful and "modern" tree . . .
it was always decorated in a single color,
and I seem to remember one year especially
when the tree was all in blue!
Ahhhh . . . 
so much more sophisticated than our hodge-podge family tree,
brimming with the handmade ornaments and paper chains
and the eggshell collages my mother lovingly crafted!
We had some family heirloom ornaments
and the precious ones my mother made
and the 
school paste and macaroni and glitter ones,
and out tree was breathtaking!
We literally held our breath while the light cord was plugged in.
The final touch was my mother painstakingly adding the silvery tinsel . . . 
one single strand at a time
in perfect symmetry.

I remember my mother using specific gift wrap for the gifts from family
and then, secretly, after we children were asleep, 
wrapping the 
Santa gifts
 in a unique paper - so it would be obvious that he
had brought certain presents
 from his workshop at the North Pole!

When I was old enough to know what was going on,
 I was privileged to stay up late and help her wrap those Santa gifts
for my younger siblings.
My first role was to lend my finger to hold the knot securely in the ribbon while she tied a bow.

We finished special baking details, and sometimes prepared the turkey stuffing.
I was a entrusted with tearing bread into cubes and crumbling cornbread.
It was a right of passage I'll always treasure!

Every year our church had a Christmas pageant.
It was traditionally the story of Jesus' birth
in the manger in Bethlehem.
There were speaking roles and non speaking roles
and members of all ages took parts appropriate to their age, size and ability.

I was often a part of the pageant, 
and loved the rehearsals, the costuming, the music, the lighting
and all the adrenaline rush of the production.

It felt so real, and so holy and I was filled with awe!
Luke's recounting of the nativity event
came alive
and it seemed we were whisked across the world to that very sight
on that
 very important silent night.

I treasure so many wonderful memories
of Christmas!
The best are the feelings of being loved
and the wonder of so many relatives and friends gathered together,
and the abundance of delicious treats on the table,
the wonder of Jesus being born
in the city of Bethlehem,
beneath that shining star!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Continuing The Organizational Quest!

There has been some progress on the organizing front in the little workspace I think of as my studio.

Truth be told,
I must use this niche for creative space,
office space,
" hide the piles until the company is gone"

(Oh, you know what I'm talking about . . . 
don't even pretend you dont . . .)

I'm toting out boxes of half finished projects and broken items I told myself I would fix.
I've got bags and boxes of items ready for donation
and a couple of trash bags
as well . . . 
and a rather sizable stack of papers for shredding . . .

Where does this paper originate?

I have called and written and emailed every organization that sends me mail,
demanding to be removed from their mailing lists
and email lists.

(There are limits to what I can endure!)

I have organized and discarded magazines.
I have rearranged some furniture.
I have purged my bulletin board.
I feel so virtuous!

I'm rounding up
vintage jars 
to hold all the little messy bits of office supplies 
and crafty components!

There is such a sense of accomplishment
in such a small change.

Do I hear applause????

Monday, December 5, 2011

Organizing My Life

Well, it's 4 degrees outside my back door this morning, with a high of 10 degrees forecast.

I'm guessing this would be a great day to reorganize my creative space.

I believe I'll tear it part and move some furniture around
and create a more efficient environment.

There should be more walking room in this area
and fewer piles to have to jump over and skirt around.
I'm in here every day,
so much seems to pile up.

More defined spaces for my buttons and book pages
and strings and clothespins and all those yummy pieces of life I love to create with.

Hmmmm . . . 

This could take some time . . . 
I believe I'll begin with a cup of coffee.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gift Wrapping

 I found a wire basket,
 a tin box
some vintage linens
 to use for

I'm continuing to amass my ephemera:
book pages
sheet music
and some lovely items I must keep secret
until the family gift wrap competition is complete.

So much fun to use these
 timeworn and repurposed treasures
 to hold my little Christmas surprises!

There are so many sweet ways to wrap your gifts . . . 

think cloth:
antique pillowcases
crocheted tablecloth
burlap and twine

woven baskets
reusable fabric totebags
wooden boxes
wire bins

recycled boxes:
any kind, 
upholstered in fabric
or recycled papers,
tied with live evergreens and 
vintage Christmas ornaments
or old linens and laces

We're attempting to avoid the commercial
 use what's on hand
earth concious

what fun!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Happy December

Just on cue the snow began on December 1st here in Denver 

 I'm certain I heard Christmas music,
 and possibly sleigh bells this morning as I awoke.

There is nothing quite so beautiful as fresh snow, falling gently in the early morning.
I'm inspired, and have decorated for Christmas!

There are wreaths and garland,
pine sprays and berries

There are apothecary jars filled with vintage Christmas ornaments
a snow-girl-angel with a banner which says

I have my cinnamon flavored tea and my first Christmas cookies,
baked by my friend Barb,
all yummy and chewy with white chocolate and cherries and nuts!

There is a stack of Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers,
 awaiting some creative gift wrapping . . . 

I've challenged my ultra-creative
and very "green" daughter to a creative-wrapping duel!
We'll try to out do each other in the recycling of
 beautiful fabrics,
vintage papers,
 antique ribbons, 
and a wealth of gorgeous and up-cycled 
 innovative packages!

Be sure to see Kellie's blog:
for a chuckle at her escapades.

More to follow, as we attempt to get on with the challenge

Happy December!

Friday, November 11, 2011

You Will Change the World

so it's apparent that this time of year begins to be stressful for a lot of people.

I heard that yesterday was a tough one for several friends
for a variety of reasons,
and I've had 9 requests for prayer 
for people I know
who have either fallen off ladders and broken bones,
or had their two year olds hospitalized,
or been diagnosed with cancer,
or lost their job,
or had something terrible and destructive happen
in their life,
or who are just plain stressed to the breaking point due to a series of little issues.

Friendships have teetered on the brink after a lifetime,
couples have separated,
and in general it's seemed like a really hard week for a lot of people!

I cannot hope to solve any of these problems of course,
but I can address the fact that many are hurting 
and in need of an extra dose 
and prayer.

Here's what I propose . . . 

Go out today with the intent to be a catalyst for change 
in your circle of influence.

Now, I know you can't solve any of these problems, either . . . 

But . . . 
If I know this many folks who are having a hard time, then you do as well.
Multiply that by several tens of millions of folks around the world,
 and it all might just seem a little hopeless . . .

consider that you have a sphere of influence
which includes every person you see today.

Yes, YOU!

Your smile
your gentle word
your helpful hand
the cup of coffee
or the inclusion in conversation
or whatever kindness you can afford to extend
may be the effort that saves that person in some way.

Let someone merge into traffic,
give them a hand,
touch their life in some soft way
it may remove the one straw that would have
 'broken the camel's back'.

A touch on the arm or the shoulder is risky in our society
and I do it every day.
Human touch is healing to the spirit.

A well chosen kindness is theraputic.
You know what I'm talking about.
Someone once did that for you.
Pass it along.

Tip the waitress a little extra,
smile at someone,
say thanks, in a big way that lets someone know their job makes a difference.
Let the person with three items get in line in front of you at the checkout counter.

Sacrifice something, for someone else's joy.
A compliment will change someone's whole outlook on life.

You might never know how much.

I challenge you to do this for a day
and to see if
you might just like it so much you do it for another day.

I will suggest that if enough of us did this for a month,
it would change the world.

To the world you may only be one person,
but to one person, 
you may be the world!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

It Was Lovely!

The Christmas Open House at
went off without a hitch
for two glorious days
our precious customers streamed in and enjoyed the
holiday cheer!

They found vintage and antique Christmas treasures
as well as
fresh delights to adorn their trees

their mantles
and their packages!

Mercury glass, glitter, greenery, holly berries,
handmade stockings
garlands, lace, crystal,
pearly, wiry,
 rusty, peely paint,
little treats
were chosen,
and whisked away!

There was ironstone and silverplate
French feedsack and warm, mellow treen
chosen with care
to grace holiday tables
and fill boxes under the tree.

Galvanized tin pots
stone urns will hold fir trees.

There was champagne
and chocolates
and ginger snaps
and candy canes
and visions of sugar plums
dancing in our heads 

There were many hugs and smiles
 and the days were surely blessed
and I'm thankful
and content
and pleased!

Spending time with the folks
who truly appreciate and enjoy the beautiful things
that I love,
makes my heart happy!

There will be lots of pretties coming in each day,
carefully chosen to excite and deight,

so please come visit
enjoy the season!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

That Time of Year

In independent retail businesses, 
particularly the small business owned and operated by one person,
the Christmas season is the
 "make it, or break it" 
time of the year.

We work tremendously hard for 10 months, 
and then in the 2 months prior to Christmas, 
we can do the same amount of sales we did in the previous 10.

Knowing this to be true,
these two months become very significant to our well being.

Did I say, "very significant"?
Okay, truthfully, these two months are way too important.
They can be stressful and frustrating and difficult and back breaking.
They can make you lose sleep and work in your shop till midnight, only to drive 20 miles home in a blowing, blinding snow storm, sleep a few hours and go out and scrape the 7" of snow off your car, drive back to work, and do it all over again.

They can disrupt your sleep, your attitude, your appetite and your general ability to communicate with others without taking a bite out of them.
No one moves fast enough, cares enough, has the sense of your need to complete a task,
or apparently any idea of the urgency with which you seemingly must live through these weeks.
The world should be in "fast forward" with you


t h e y 
a r e 
i n
s   l   o   w
m    o    t    i    o    n

Okay . . .
I'm a crazy woman when it comes to my 
"one woman show"
of holiday retail.

The shop must be turned inside out
it should
(in my mind)
be found to be one of the very nicest and most loved shopping spots in
the front range.

appearing in 
Victoria Magazine 
last winter certainly raised the bar.
  5280 Magazine's
Editor's Choice Award as
Top of the Town
 Home Accessories category
two successive years,
added to my stress to impress.
Esprit 'd Noel's 
Christmas House Tour
to benefit Children's Hospital,
and appearing in 
Colorado Homes and Lifestyle
this month
was another beautiful compliment for
It also adds the challenge of surpassing last year's grandeur
 when we decorate for the tour
and try to do everything with a fresh new eye
to captivate our customers' imagination.

When the magazine spread appears on the news stand
the week of your annual
(to which you've invited several thousand of your best customers,
 friends, family, competiton and hottest critics),

you can begin to tremble and shake

with the need to keep
 "out doing"
 what you've done in the past.
Your dreams and conversation can be peppered with phrases like, 
"over the top" and "outside the box" and "killer"
 and well . . . 
you get my drift . . .

this year
I'm taking it a little easy.

I'm trusting that what I can do will be accomplished,
and what I can't do - only I will know about.
That there really is no amount of stress and frustration that can improve
 who I am
what I do.

I'll say my prayers and do my best
 and count on my creativity and my blessings
 to spring from God.

I will plan my work
work my plan
and ask that it's blessed.

Perhaps this is a sign of age - (hopefully maturity)?

I will take time for my friends
have a cup of coffee
smile at strangers
return my shopping cart
have my grandchildren spend the night 
take donuts to the guys at Grease Monkey
leave a gift on my neighbors doorstep
bake cookies
have a Christmas party

Monday, October 10, 2011

Time for a change

The weather is changing fast, and I'm loving the changes.  

I was inspired to sort through the closet, 
rotating warm weather clothing and cool weather clothing 

I'm thinking hearty potato/cheddar soup
rich beef stew 

I have a desire for pumpkin bread
baked apples
ginger snaps

My candle fragrances are evolving into
Votivo's Red Currant

Scarves are tempting me . . 
burnt oranges 
 harvest ambers
cinnamon browns

I'm beginning to layer my table top with textural neutrals
in raw silk, burlap, hopsacking and linen

It's time for a change
I'm loving it!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Early Morning Thoughts

I'm venturing out again now,
testing my endurance and navigating skills.

Though I'm not as strong and sure as I was,
there is a challenge to every day
that I enjoy meeting.

I took my market basket and started out into my brave new world.

I found several lovely items for my little shop
and stopped in to arrange them

It was early and quiet and calm.
Sunlight hitting the front windows at a new angle and lending a different aura.

I lit the pretty mercury glass lamps and admired the soft glow they cast.

I love to putter early,
before anyone else is about . . .

Just touching
 these treasures from 100 years or more ago
starts me musing about
their histories . . .

What hands have touched these ironstone bowls
silver inkwells
old photo developing frames?

Who has opened and closed those peely shutters?
Against what storms of life . . . 

What Brittish market or apothecary shop used this little scale
to weigh out goods for a home maker?
What home will harbor it next . . 
Where has it resided in between . . .
What stories could it tell?

Each piece is precious in some way
because it holds those stories,
and because it will accumulate

Only time will tell

who will own this treasure next . . .

Will they think of it like I do?

I love my work!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good Morning World

Good Morning and welcome to my world.

I'm going out to work today,
 just my
real day
since July 18th.

Some tremendously life changing
"side effects"??
after surgery
have knocked me for a

Today I will brave the world,
with assistance,
  see if
I can
back to work.

No one knows just how disconcerting it is to find one cannot
grasp objects
until it happens to them.

I have a new compassion.

God is good about teaching us the skill set He intends us to posess . . .
even at this stage in life.

He will give us all the tools we will need to be tender hearted
and ready to assist and understand
and have empathy for
the people
wants us to serve.

I hope this
lesson is well learned
I do not need to
study it again . . .

There are people I need to thank
a thousand times
for what they've done 
to bless me
during this process!

Now I will attempt to go to work
several days a week
and to
 have a fresh perspective
how blessed I've always been
to be healthy and strong and self-sufficient
and capable.

Thanks for your well wishes and love!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...