Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Artist in Me

 For my birthday this year I was gifted this wonderful book about being creative. Having read the book the subject of creativity and our business has been on my mind ever since.
Being creative is an important part of any business. For our business being creative in the design part of our business may seem obvious and the many items we repupose out of vintage also call upon our creative side. But creativity in marketing our product and deciding how to display our product are also important parts of any business.
One of the particular things I loved about this book was its premise that nothing is original. The author encourages people to embrace all influences, collect ideas, remix and re-imagine in order to discover what your path is. I am always amazed at how people claim ideas as their own as though they own them and no one else can copy them. This author claims that no one owns an idea and that if an idea inspires you you need to own it and work with it. If you truly work with an idea you are copying; I believe that if you are true to yourself you will make it your own. Nothing is original, we all borrow ideas from the things we see and experience.
 I think if you do what you love it will show in your work. Collect pictures and ideas of what you love.That doesn't mean that you won't be bored or frustrated sometime. Make a list of the things you can do when you are bored with what you are working on. If something isn't working out give yourself a break and work on a different project. Be curious about all things that interest you.
Do not be afraid to fail. I almost hate to say this because I learn from everything I do whether everything works out like I want it to. Even the "failures" often let me know which directions I need to go in and what I need to move away from. Some time things don't work out or I don't like the end product. I have at times created things that I like but I just can't get the money I need for the time I have invested. Be prepared to change.

Do what you do because it is important to you. There will always be people who don't like you or what you do. This often has nothing to do with you. Some people just seem to find fault like there is a reward for it. I don't mean that you shouldn't  listen to constructive criticism or evaluations of your work but just remember some people are just negative and they get their power by trying to make you feel inferior about what you are doing. Don't listen to them!! I speak as someone that spent many years not finishing projects because I was afraid that my finished project wouldn't be deemed perfect enough.

If you don't like the rules make new ones. I grew up in a setting that was sometimes so rigid that I often  accepted the rules that were laid out for me even those they didn't work. I spent alot of time trying to make my life fit those rules when in fact I should have changed the rules. Creative minds are rarely tidy. Do what works for you.

Finally, you can't use up creativity. The more you are creative the more you creative you will be.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!!

 It is Christmas eve! We actually didn't have a very busy Christmas season as far as our family obligations but some how the season has just flown by.
A couple of weeks ago we had Christmas with my son and daughter and their spouses. Cj's parents have already taken off for Florida so we are having and enjoying a quiet Christmas together. We are always grateful for any time we get together.  CJ has had a modest amount of design work this year and the antique, repurposing, creating side of our business has kept us incredibly busy. But we are so grateful for all the work we have and through it all the support of friends, family, and faithful clients.
 Thank-you to each and everyone of you and we hope each of you has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Holiday season.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hand Made Christmas

Dan & I just wanted to share with all of you a few images of some of our handmades that we have been working on for Christmas
We are fortunate to create all year long, but is seems to bring extra joy to us at  Christmas.  Our hand mades
& can be seen and purchased at BlueDoor in Grand Rapids      


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Shop Hop

Holiday Shop hop is here tonight in Grand Rapids. Come and see our space at Bluedoor. There will be lots of holiday cheer and fun to go around.

Friday, November 30, 2012

I hope all of you are busy enjoying the wonders of this season. We have been so busy that we realized today that we haven't changed our Thankgiving photos or done a new blog. So today I am doing a short blog just to get the Christmas season up on our blog.
Will add more soon!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

We have found ourselves very busy this fall and here we are at Thanksgiving already. Tomorrow we make our trek up north for our Thanksgiving feast with CJ's family on Thursday.

As we think about being thankful we can't not help but think of the many clients, friends and family that have supported us this past year in so many ways. We are grateful for each and everyone of you.

We are busy like elves in our studio and work shop getting much ready for our spaces at Bluedoor and Then and Now. CJ is doing a few last minute project for design clients. When we get back from Thanksgiving we will have more to share with you about our various projects and finds.

In the meantime may all of you have a wonderful time this Thanksgiving and coming holiday season.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Shopping and Supporting Local

We have been gearing up for the holidays with lots of vintage finds and new handmades for the holiday season. Tomorrow we are making a trip up north to restock at Then and Now. Then I we need to come back and work on product until we take a break again next week and head back up north for Thanksgiving with CJ's family and another load of goodies for Then and Now.
If you haven't been to Bluedoor here in Grand Rapids lately you have got to stop by and check things out. Christmas is beginning to make a big appearance at the store. We really feel like our space has never looked better. We have a new dealer across from us at Bluedoor who's look dovetails very nicely with us.
The last show we did was Beneath the Wreath about a week and a half ago. The show exceeded our expections and we loved the many new local shoppers we meet and introduced to Bluedoor. We value all of you who show up for our shows and patronize our spaces in Petoskey and Grand Rapids. Supporting local artists, antique dealers, local people who creat product and services is such an important way we can all support our ecomony and neighbors who are trying to make a living. So take the pledge with us to shop small, spend local, eat local, and enjoy local!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


We hope all of you have a good and safe Halloween today. I have lots of great memories taking my children out trick or treating when they were little.
We are busy getting ready for the Beneath the Wreath show this weekend. More on that in the next 24 hours.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Vintage Fabric

Dan & I are busy getting ready to do the Grand Rapids, Junior League annual fundraiser shopping event held at The Cultural Center at St. Nicholas, 2250 East Paris Ave SE, Grand Rapids, Mi. November 2, 3 & 4. I will post photos and more info about that show later in Oct.

Today I wanted to just share some eye candy with you. I have a love of vintage fabrics, collecting them and using them. This morning the sun was coming through our 130 year old windows in such a pretty way that inspired me to take a few photos to share with you. Enjoy!


Friday, October 5, 2012


 Our space at Bluedoor has been redone! While we were gone to the Country Living show our space at Bluedoor had a badly needed paint job.
 The ceiling was painted white which helps our space look alot brighter and the floor was repainted in a great diagonal checker board pattern.
 The day after we arrived home from Country Living we decide to finish the project by painting our walls as well with a warm color(Benjamin Moore copley gray)  that complimented the new look on our floor and ceiling.
The space has now been put back together so stop by and check out our new look. Bluedoor has never look better and we have lots of great product to check out.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall is Upon Us!!

We headed north this week to fill our space at Then and Now in Petoskey. When we got on the freeway north of Grand Rapids we realized that Fall is truely upon us. I love the early color mixed with the green that is still on many trees.
Fall is by far our most favorite time of the year. The cooler air is very welcome after our very hot summer.
 We got to Petoskey and found our space at Then and Now nearly empty. Fortunately, we had loaded the truck as well as the trailer so we were able to fill our space up with lots of new product.
 However, we realized that we will need to make a return trip with in the next week and ahalf with more items. So we are now back home getting more ready for our next load.
 Today we took another drive in the country to see a little more color. We also made a number of stops to do a little shopping for additional vintage items for our spaces. We came back with a number of really great items that will make their way into our inventory soon.
Hopefully, we will be back on the road again in the next week and ahalf with more product for our north country markets. We will get a little more opportunity to see some Michigan Fall color.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Country Living - final report

 We packed up on Sunday night when the Country Living show ended. We meant to write a report after we got back to our hotel room. But, we were so tired and sore we put off  making our final report until we got home.
 First we just wanted to say that we are so grateful for all of you that showed up and supported us. We saw lots of familiar faces and made many new friends. Stella shows and Country Living deserve credit for putting on an outstanding show. The show meet all of our expectations.
 Sunday morning when we got to the show and tidied up our booth we went for a walk and took pictures of some of the spaces around us that had wonderful and interesting displays.
 So, for our final report from the 2012 Country Living show we hope you enjoy seeing pictures of some dealers that did the show with us.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Country Living Day Two Report

 We had a great second day at the Country Living show. This show always manages to come thru for us. It is amazing to see the turn out of people for this show. This morning before things got in full swing I walked down to want of my favorite spots in the show.
 The entire show happens around a historic village of old buildings that have been moved to create a town with a village green. So this morning I snapped a few pictures so you can all get an idea of how special this place is.
 This vintage panel truck was in the parking lot last year. This year I found it parked in the village green.

Enjoy the pictures. We are tired so that will be all for tonight. By the way the bank in the last picture actually has a working atm in it. We love this show!!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

First day of the Country Living Show

 We had a great day for our first day of the country living show. This show never seems to disappoint. We had huge numbers of people turn out inspite of some very mixed weather. We sold most everything across the board and got to meet some old friends from last year and make some new friends.
 Gathered Comforts is set up across from us. They do a great job and are very experienced at doing Country Living shows. They do this show, next month do Atlanta, and next spring do the CL show in Texas. When I asked them how that managed to put away so much product in such a short time they simple told me they put away stuff just like squirrels all year long.
 Front and center in their space was this wonderful drawer cabinet that in spite of one missing drawer cabinet had me wondering how I could come up with the money to buy it. I so love these things. It sold in the first hour of the show so my time coveting this piece was short lived.
 Up the row from our space was a dealer selling this wonderful German educational posters. CJ flipped when she saw the cat poster. I don't think that any of these posters lasted the day.
I did get a chance to walk to one of my favorite dealers that always has alot of architectural. This place is so filled with so many interesting and exciting dealers and product.
If you get a chance to get to the show this weekend please stop by and say hi. Tomorrow we regroup and add more product.