Thursday, July 30, 2015

I made a planter and used asparagus for flowers......

On the heels of my hair brained idea to get back to regular blogging, I am attempting to be more spontaneous with my info.
A lot of you emailed me having similar thoughts with the blogging world and although a lot of those bloggers put a lot of time and energy into their work and attend conference after conference the info I am receiving is people are unhappy. I mean everyone can post what they want. The info is free take it or leave it right?I also appreciate all the love for my blog, life and epiphany moment yesterday.

So what does a shopkeeper morning look like?
Well to be honest everyday is different and it rarely looks as relaxed as Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail (my favourite movie if you want to bring the pizza and i'll supply the wine)
This week let's start with Tuesday night on my run to the shop to get the garbage out. Just my luck that our garbage delivery comes at the crack of dawn Wednesday morning before anyone is at the shop to put it out so Tuesday night rides to visit my little store have become common place.
The orchids on my counter finally kicked the bucket. The plants themselves aren't dead but the flowers sure were. Not bad. That lot lasted since the first week of April. Even if you kill your orchid in a month or two just think how many bouquet of flowers you would have had to murder. Cost wise quite effective.

So I left them there for Wednesday but planned an outing pre shop opening for today.
The plants have been going off like gang busters in the shop and I love that. The green and black thumbs are uniting in the love for green and that allows me to keep hunting great new plants for you guys to take care of or kill.

Plants make my vignettes work, it's like the make or break it with me.
I dream of having a big store with a garden centre/nursery attached to it.
One day, always a dreamer.

This morning I loaded my beloved Jeep with a great smattering of projects I finished at home as well as hauling my sewing equipment to the store as I feverishly try to get ahead a season. One of my great customers does a lot of heavy duty sewing as well and may have helped me solve my indecision on a second machine so the hauling becomes unnecessary. (a huge motivator right now)
 I ran to the post office to drop off some packages, went to a plant wholesaler to stock up on the fern varieties everyone loves so much and then to the grocery store to pick up some extra idea starters incl. asparagus and apples. plus lunch because I forgot mine and Franklin's on the way here trying to remember to pack all the custom work and requests for people. Poor dog. It's cookies and peanut butter for him until we get home.

Into the shop, late by 5 minutes today (what else is new?), dropped 2 plants, cleaned up and then onto the pretty.

This is what my brain gave me today. 
I really like it.

The end of my counter needed some sprucing after tossing the orchids off and I wanted it to reflect the rest of summer without putting shells into it. Summer is a harder season for me to decorate for.
I know right?
You would think easier with the white and bright but I don't naturally gravitate to shells and fluffiness that summer brings. My style although quite white tends to be more earthy (in case you hadn't noticed) I made a new vignette on the counter with my inspiration from my Style and Simplicity book by Ted Kennedy Watson. I scooped up some asparagus and placed it in our clear hobnail jars. I added granny smith apples in a copper colander, cut some branches and stems from our yard this morning including green japanese maple and hydrangea stems. 

And then I made a planter.
These round concrete planters have been on my brain ( i posted a photo of one on Facebook about a month ago and am still thinking about it) and since there was just one sitting there I decided to fill it up.

I make planters for people all the time in the shop but didn't have any on display. I generally line the bottom with styrofoam peanuts leftover from orders instead of just recycling them and buying something else like rocks. but both work well. I try to always add some form of drainage as not everyone knows when to stop with the watering can and most plants hate wet feet.
 A good potting soil and plant placement comes next.
I topped this arrangement off white some chalky white stones for a bit of flair.
Moss would work nicely as well or nothing if that suits your fancy.

Individually so you can see their texture I used,
Staghorn fern

silver leaf fern

and a rabbit's foot fern. (don't you just love those fuzzy tendrils?)

et voila!
fresh, local and summery.
the asparagus container and the current scent in the store hill country are contained on an old pie tin to continue that let's make a pie with the summer fruit feeling

Ciao all


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Getting back to roots, not hair roots although those can be problematic.

So I was looking for an idea starter, brain pull start on Pinterest this morning and came across one of my photos of a retail display at Watson Kennedy home.
This store is (and I believe there are actually 2 of them ) are in Washington state so sadly too far away for me to visit tomorrow.
Anyways tangent... I clicked through the photo realizing I had never looked at his website.
I have his book and love it which means I should probably look at carrying it in the shop for all to enjoy.

Of course I had to remove my vignette items so I could see the top of this book but doesn't my flower flog collection go well with the cover?

Like I said I started reading his blog and realized he writes an actual blog. The way blogs were originally intended to be written. I have been writing mine for about 6 years now and never really went over to the power blogger side because I wasn't interested enough and  really couldn't make the time. I probably could have found the time but, that's the story for all of us right? We don't have time until it's important to us and then we make the time.
I find lately I read less and less of these blogs as I can't tell who's writing them anymore and the ideas just seem turned out because they had to be not because there was passion behind them. Did I become like that, gosh I hope not.

Another tangent there, sorry.
I was fascinated while reading and see that he runs 2 award winning retail stores and writes a daily blog. 

It made me realize that maybe my blog has become a little you only see the finished product and don't know me that well.
I am not making promises to blog daily but maybe just maybe I will try to revert even more to just writing.
Showing you the things that matter to me, what I'm up to. Little blurbs about new products I am excited about.
Oh I'll still be here with my home tours, pillow shenanigans and furniture redos of course but let's get back to business and why blogs really started.
I love my camera but don't carry it with me and since I don't and have gotten into the every photo needs to be perfect mentality I have slowed my blogging when in fact my iPhone takes splendid photos now and I take the photos anyways so why not share more.

Blogs were/ are a journal of sorts of the author and my focus is usually about the home and gardening but you may see other things I love and quotes that inspire me.

Here was today's from Ted's blog

I think it sums it up nicely. I think we all get lost in our woes, me included  sometimes and forget to focus on the brilliant. You are as old as you act and yeah it's hot out.
We bitch all winter about the cold so suck it up and go for a swim.
Our area is rife with lakes and beaches. Just take your shoes off and walk in the water.
Go for a late night walk along the parkway.
Find a new favourite ice cream stand and get it all over your hands.
There are a lot of great things that don't require skill or money just your pure enjoyment of life.
I'm making it my goal to try to slow down a little and enjoy my time more.

I hope you do too.

and to more conversations in the future


Thursday, July 23, 2015

B & A: Not too black and some greenery.

and it's Thursday!
I know super interesting opener but somedays there just isn't anything snappy coming out.
Yesterday kicked my toosh around the block trying to balance being a dental hygienist and my needy dinging iPhone that desperately just wanted me to do business work.
a good disaster of my own making.

I will admit I fully relaxed at 11:30 into watching an old episode of Full House while I wrote most of this post.
I'm not sure what my fascination is with old sitcoms from many years ago but they don't make you think to hard and they always give you a laugh with no dead people.
Did anyone else ever notice that Uncle Jesse's last name changed from season 1 to 2?

My garage has been filling and emptying as of late of some fantastic furniture pieces for customers. It's like when it's time to get your hair done. You go in with wet hair in  a ponytail with 3 inch roots and when you come out it's all touched up and bouncy.

This dresser had 6 inch roots. Yikes. A gorgeous solid wood body with a rotten finish. Literally the varathane was just peeling off so needed some serious sanding right down to the wood.

Check this beauty out now.

the request for this piece was black but not too black. my go to black got a break for this one as it is a true black and we were going for a more antique charcoal look.
where to turn?
why annie sloan comes to mind
graphite and a load of dark wax antiquing

aren't the wood handles and detailing on this piece fantastic

and this dresser has a surprise. it is a sweet little writing desk with a wood surprise inside.

you can see the peeling on the drawers in the photo

i also found these photos hanging out in my camera from a few weeks ago of some succulents i potted up for the shop. these are mostly sold but i just thought it would be nice to look at with the colours and different containers.

Well have a fantastic day everyone,


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Pinterest Strikes Again: Galvanized wood planter

Hey everyone,

Little break from the computer world there the last few weeks. We went on a mini holiday up north for a few days and had ourselves a smidgen of relaxation which was quite nice, but came home to our beautiful basement reenacting the lake. Just in case we missed it you know?
We had 2 inches of water all the way across our basement floor as our sump pump also decided to take a little holiday. 
This of course means we now have a major renovation on our hands. Our lovely antique wool rugs will be finding a new home at the dump along with our flooring and lots of drywall and trim.
Super shit I say, but we may also be trying to finish our downstairs bathroom while we rip everything apart so lemonade in the making! and more blog posts for you.

The beginning part of today's title is dubbed from Trevor. Every new idea starts somewhere and this one was inspired by something I saw on Pinterest.
I had been looking to change up the front of our entry to something simple, less dirt catching for a little bit and was actually looking for stock tanks to do it.
I saw a vegetable garden that looked much like what I ended up with and a cheaper idea was born that I thought would look just as nice.
I did do some DIY photos for a tutorial but haven't had a chance to finish editing/writing the details so for now the pretty pictures with an eventual promise to write the instructions.

ah, my lovely model on his outdoor rolling bed sets up shop in front of the new galvanized rolling planter.

we found the pig sign at a local antique store and after leaving it behind the first time we saw it and talking about it fairly regularly, the junk gods were with us as we went back and it was still there. 

i planted the planter with 3 simple mountain boxwood plants in a big fluffy style. we also changed the light fixture to a more barn style light in black and stainless.

super simple whitewashed grape wood wreath for summer

i took these photos a few weeks ago honestly and my window boxes are so full now but thought i would still share the photo of the combinations used this year.

Have a great day everyone,


Monday, July 6, 2015

The back of the store; more revamping!

Well the start of another week or the end of mine. Another fantastic week in the store and I even managed to sneak a few photos around customers on Thursday. We are finally getting to a point where the physical displays in the shop are working for us and the product vintage and new that we are bringing in is easier to display and see.
Since I teased you a few weeks ago with the front of the store I thought it high time to share what we got up to in the back of the store.

although cute and at the time cheap, the crates at the back of the store on the chalkboard wall were becoming a mental hindrance to me. the idea works well in our front hallway in our home because i don't move my displays around that often. trying to make each cubby look awesome every time something sold and make each one visible was becoming a quick pain after only a few short months.
we bought metal shelf brackets from rona in different colours to get enough and sprayed them black to practically blend into the chalkboard paint.
we added the same colour shelving as our pipe shelf to tie everything together and voila. new merchandisable shelving.
the capri blue candles are all lined up and in their mercury glass containers they look great against the black. (the small size of this candles should be back in stock soon for those waiting for favourites)

aren't those cast iron horse heads cool?
i thought so and i'm not even a horse person

our peshtemal inventory gets a hanging place. much easier to see and feel when they aren't rolled up.

a good portion of the pillows are on this shelf. not all because lets face it, WE HAVE PILLOWS in the store in lots of shapes and colours because i am a fabric whore but this shelf is working it with more of them in one place

our more floral scented soap line from hidden lane farms in smithville. this line is made from goats milk in scents of lavender, lilac, pear and sugar etc.

the center of the store back here also got some reworking. trevor spent a good amount of time hanging that ladder and the party lights. our ceiling is a drop ceiling and makes hanging anything difficult. we are trying to make some creative displays from the ceiling while doing the least amount of destruction.

this black table was a work table we had at home i painted. it is at the wrong height for anything in a home but works out perfect here.

oh a peek of our first new very old unit

our second soap line gets a resting place on a vintage canada post mail sorter. this line is made from coconut oil in earthy scents like patchouli, lemongrass, coconut, sandalwood etc. this line is from harmony on west in port colborne. trevor and i have been pretty well exclusively using bonnie's soap for about 8 years and really love it. natural products, great smells and bonus less soap scum in your shower. have you looked at the ingredients in your soap lately?

ah, the knob display. my mom and i drove an hour away to pick up this vintage mechanics bin and after laughing ourselves to death trying to fit the damn thing in our vehicle we got it home in one piece, well 6 pieces really but you get it. we also managed to jam a few other goodies in the car that day. master packers, that's us.
 trevor removed about 50 extra dividers and we had a local friend spray it white and i love the look. we have a good selection of knobs now but i am hoping to find a lot more great choices.
here in canada we don't have places like hobby lobby to just go and get knobs like this for furniture projects so people have been pretty excited to see this kind of thing.

my new favourite spot in the store. this thing weighs a bajillion pounds. it is a real canada post sorter and i love it! it holds so many of our smalls including our new illume candle line and ticking tea towels that just arrived making them all  look nice and orderly. it attracts wonderful attention too.

Well have a splendid day all,


What I'm listening to: (it's been awhile)
Bailando: Enrique Iglesias
No Sleep: Janet Jackson