Wednesday, November 30, 2016

SERIES: the hard to buy for; the VINTAGE lover

Hello all!

I am continuing on with our hard to shop for series today. Did you miss our first person to shop for the Decorista? find it HERE. I know a lot of you are waiting on baby news (believe me I am going stir crazy waiting myself), nursery photos and Christmas photos. I'm getting there, promise. I will soon have lots of that to share.

Today's person to shop for is the vintage lover. Now from my perspective this could be the hardest person on your list. Why?

Well usually a vintage lover settles into a certain niche, they collect something really specific and/or it's very hard to know when adding to someone's growing collection if you are duplicating something they already have or vintage is not your niche at all so what if you buy a fake. If you really want to buy the real deal, sometimes you just need to bite the bullet and ask what the person would like, where to find it etc.

While all of the above are great points, keep in mind vintage lovers usually will appreciate vintage and a really good quality reproduction as well especially at this time of year. Especially if they use said vintage to decorate their homes.

for the vintage theme i have gone with a traditional red, green and gold as it will be the most common when purchasing something that is actually vintage

left to right:
a] vintage red cone ornaments b]handmade wooden block decor with vintage santa holiday card motif c] antique brass tray d] reproduction lovely bottle brush tree e] lab beaker f] pewter measuring pitchers g] vintage silver deer h] bottle brush wreath ornament i] handmade pottery mug j] provisions food items k] vintage style role poly santa m] brass candlesticks 

deer are always a big winner this time of year. brass, silver doesn't really matter but adding one that has a bit of history to a collection will usually be much appreciated. vintage lovers also tend to like the "one of" approach so a handmade mug/ set hits those notes as well

artisan food stuffs are also a nice little additive to a gift. if you are adding to someones antique lighter collection or maybe found some really great vintage bottle brush trees but want to add just a little bit more. foodie items can fill in wonderfully and at this time of year will likely get used up quickly.

ah, the bottle brush phenomenon. finding large real ones is getting more and more difficult but some of the reproductions out there like these are sure to still hit the spot.

Other great ideas for the vintage lover gift giving:

cast iron antique tree stand 

vintage wool blanket [make sure there is still a label of origin attached]

antique polish ornaments

vintage santa figurines

package of tinsel [also makes a great gag gift]

Have a great day everyone,


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Series: the hard to buy for, DECORISTA

I have been told I am hard to buy for. I can see that, I am picky [i know this], half my stuff is vintage, Trevor and I tend to save and buy what we need and I also own a retail store with the things people would have bought previously. So sure I suppose that knowing what to get someone like me can be difficult.

I don't always see it like that as I have so many interests that you kind of just have to nose one of them out and this year, seriously I have been on alcoholic detox for 10 months so just bring on the booze lol. As I sit here patiently waiting for our little one to make an appearance as today officially marks my due date with this little munchkin.

We all have those people in our life that we scratch our heads over what to buy. There are only so many times you can get away with the same sweatshirt or gift card deal and unless that's what they ask for I don't always like just giving a gift card. It doesn't feel thoughtful and like you just grabbed it while doing groceries.

My father in law gives me the cold sweats at this time of year. I think about it all year and sometimes think I have a good plan but here's the issue. His birthday comes 2 weeks after Christmas so it's the double whammy situation. And for all the wonderful points of my husband and his shared love of shopping for home stuff, he stinks at  presents for people other than me. [guess thats not so bad]

Anyways in an effort to ease some pain as people have started mentioning it coming into the shop, I just never know what to buy I thought I would put together a few simple gift guides for Oliver and Rust. 
Different types of people we have in our lives and some simple suggestions to help you through the season. My suggestions obviously come from my shop but many local decor stores will have similar product and if you must a bigger box store will also have ideas similar to these.

I have also found some of the gift guides out there in recent years to be a little bit extravagant. Just me? Love the ideas but I cannot be buying every person on my list a $200 cashmere robe or $175 toaster. I'm not a scrooge by any means, and love the tradition of thinking what to buy, wrapping it nicely and presenting gifts. Some yes more expensive than others but it seems all the gift guides are pushing the $100 per person mark.

I am almost done my shopping this year mainly to ease time once our little girl gets here and managed to do most of it small business which makes me happy. I have found over the years, asking some people what they want and starting early allows less stress on the bank account and more time to enjoy myself especially with the newfound daily life of a shopkeeper during the holidays.

Today's person I have aptly named the "Decorista"
- the person that loves to decorate their home, takes pride in their space but you aren't sure how to fit things into their style

now i have gone with a gold theme here but this could easily be changed to any colour scheme, silver, teal, red depending if you have visited their home before. white, silver and gold are pretty safe bets for your decorating family and friends at this time of year though

left to right;
a] white geometric christmas ornaments, b] simple glass tealight holder, c] mercury glass votive holders, d] mirrored antique star ornament, e] acrylic snowflake various sizes, f] illume winter white candle, g] flocked brown deer decoration, h] glass pinecone ornaments, i] simple geometric pot doubling as a votive holder or plant holder

i hear price ranges all over the map when being asked for help picking out a gift. combining a few smaller items like a votive holder and a few ornaments makes a lovely presentation without breaking the bank. and any tree can have a few odd and end ornaments without being off balance.

a large luxury candle hits a beautiful note especially when in an excellent reusable container such as this one. this metal vessel would be perfect for a small fern or succulent after the fact. need to up the ante? how about a candle and a diffuser especially if your giftee has mentioned loving a certain scent but doesn't want to splurge on themselves. or attach a small gift certificate to a nursery or store like oliver and rust that sells plants with the suggestion of what to do afterwards.

a handsome jar useable in just about any kitchen, bathroom or living space. fill with ornaments for your vintage lover, cookies for the cookie monster (Trevor would love that), slide a book inside, socks (ooh thats me I love socks) the possibilities are endless.

Other great thoughts for the decorating personality,

tea towels for the season in their colour scheme

heritage wool blanket or faux fur blanket to treasure for years to come (black and white is always a good choice if you aren't sure)

holiday pillow

local artisan wood tray, or any style serving tray. us decorators don't just use those for food setup. we'll put a tray under anything

Hopefully this helps get the juices flowing,
Watch out for a few more guides to come in the weeks ahead, as well as our holiday house tour which yes I am still doing this year for the people who have emailed asking.

Have a great day everyone,


Thursday, November 17, 2016

Walking past the gum drops. Christmas shop tour part II

****just a reminder everyone, i took these photos the day after setup. we have since gone through almost 2 weeks of sales and an open house already so many items are sold or have been replaced by new goodies that are still arriving. as much as i would love to keep everything in stock for everyone certain items fly out the door as fast as this lady can find them and or find time to post them.***

To continue our meandering this morning. We are wandering past the pipe shelf and the swirly twirly gum drops to see the festive plantings and more rustic vintage.

a little in love with these lovely wood bird houses and felt birdies. great in a garland this time of year but kind of perfect any time of year if you think about it.

pots? what pots? oh mylanta we have pots. shelves full of them because i have a full blown problem. pot hoarding. little bit of a joke that any new store concept ideas if i need a new name could be called "f**king pots" cause we got 'em

you may notice that this tree in the center of the store is not a traditional red and green. i wanted to do something just a bit different with the vintage indigo blue and copper, plus it also gives a home for some of the xerographica air plants. just don't forget to water them still if you choose this approach.

and lastly another of my favourite items that came into the shop. these cute roly poly santas  came in 2 sizes and the paint is even perfectly chipped in some places making them actually look old.

Have a great day all,


What I'm listening to:

Come back to you: Royal Wood
Conversation Piece: Kings of Leon

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Christmas at Oliver and Rust in Fonthill

Merry Wednesday all.

We are officially on the Christmas train here in Canada [we celebrate Thanksgiving in October in the middle of fall here. I didn't realize how many of my American followers may not know this as wholesale reps I deal with in the USA keep sending me get the shelves stocked for the Thanksgiving and Black Friday rush emails.]

Nope we are ho ho ho-ing all the way into December at this point.
 We got the store setup for the holidays just after Halloween as I just really can't fathom doing it before as fall is such a short lived season here in retail. We celebrated our Christmas open house this past weekend to wonderful success. I am also very happy to report that through all this craziness i did not go into labour so bonus points there and I know Jill and I were both breathing huge sighs of relief. Now we gift wrap and idea decorate everyone's homes until December 24th, as we all get ready to fling open our doors to family, friends and coworkers over the season.

With each changing of the season, as always I try to give an idea of what the store at least started the season like. I took these photos the day after setup was complete so more has arrived and many pieces have left but it gives a little idea and sparkle of what Trevor, Jill and I created. I even had to rope my lovely mother into helping unpack an order one day so we could get it all finished in time.

So for today we will do a little tour of the back of the shop and I will be back tomorrow with the front.

while the store isn't small, it isn't large either so having more than 3 trees can become slightly problematic on the space front. i found this great white stick tree to use as a display and it's keeping all the mice in line while not looking too "thick".

ah the back wall. this wall becomes my favourite part of the shop and then the most hated every season. we start with an incredible [to me] display, have 2 or 3 backup plans as things get sold and removed and then by the end of the season my vignette-ing layer monster just wants to rip the whole thing apart.

right now we went with a slightly french vintage winter wonderland. deer, trees, polar bears, ironstone, enamel and even some feathers. i still like to keep some everyday items in the shop over the holidays and even though these feather prints tie into the look they certainly don't scream winter once the season is over.

the ever changing pillow palooza

the vintage corner.

i collected and hoarded a lot of vintage ornaments over the year along with tree stands, santas and other bits that could all go together for the die hard retro lovers out there. between the tartan blankets and stella in her tree skirt i think it may be one of my favourite corners of the shop.
something about vintage ornaments that really just adds that extra bit of sparkle to any space no matter your colour scheme.

and i would like to take a moment to show some recognition for that skirt. i did not make it, jill did not make it. my outdoorsy dirt bike riding husband made that skirt to perfection. he spent about an hour building that thing and tucking everywhere to make it look perfect and i think he nailed it. i feel more fortunate everyday that we are building this business together. he is interested, he cares, he shows up [mostly right now i think to make sure i don't lift anything i'm not supposed to] and there just aren't enough words to convey how grateful i am to share this part of our life together. we've been working on this life for 16 years and are celebrating our 11 year anniversary in a few weeks and i'm just not sure how it could get better, but it always does.

*sappy part over :)*

the whole vintage concept may have come alive when i discovered those large vintage looking santas you can see on the top of this shelf. they hang and/or stand at about 4 feet. i got one for myself to stand next to our tree in the basement.

this year's counter theme much the same as last year only instead of bears i went full tilt with the deer. we tried naming them all but got lost in our silliness and could only come up with names starting with h or f for some reason.

votive for centrepieces anyone?

Well enjoy your day all.