They weren’t Kidding..

janyary-snow-004We got a bunch of snow! At this time we are under a Level 1 Snow Emergency. That means “roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads are also icy – drive carefully.” School is closed, my DH work is closed and I’ve decided to stay home and not deal with being on the roads. Sure, I could get a lot done up at the shop.. but, if this gets any worse I don’t want to be on the roads trying to get home. I lived in Texas for a reason… I hate driving in this stuff. Would much rather stay home and admire the beauty of it all.

janyary-snow-002Here are some pictures outside right now. The side of the house with the drive way and the old maple in the front yard with the field accross the street. We live on a state highway so the road in front of us is usually plowed fairly well. Something I tend to forget and then get to sliding on the other roads I have to travel.janyary-snow-011

Bruce is hanging out in the windows watching the snow and DH plowing. You can see he is very interested. He appears to be quite mesmerized by the whole plowing thing. So typical of a cat, he is very curious about everything.. especially if it involves people.janyary-snow-013 We have two bay windows at the house. One in the kitchen and one in the dining room. These windows have become a favorite spot for Bruce to hang out. Every morning when I come downstairs he is hanging out in one of them.

The weather reports says we are still supposed to get several more inches of this stuff. Yuck! I’m still kinda used to having flowers blooming this time of year. Even though I have been up here a while, this is my 5th winter, by January I am tired of dreary winter and looking forward to Spring.. my favorite season. I still haven’t gotten used to winter lasting till March. Time to get some hot chocolate and cozy up in front of the fire!

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Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 3:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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LeT it SnOw

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Need I say more.. this picture was at 4 pm. They are predicting 8-12″ of snow by morning. At least when I get to the shop I can walk into beautiful flowers and cheerful colors. How much longer is this going to last…?

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Saturday, a friend from Church called and said they were taking school pictures of her daughter. And since it was winter.. and there was snow EVERYWHERE.. could they come up to the shop and shoot some pictures. I told her the shop was in a transition and not in the best shape.. but was more than happy to have them come up and we’d move things around to get some nice photos.

I have an outhouse by the front door an Amish friend made me. I use it as a coat closet. It was a big hit for the photos. They were able to take several shots in the shop as well as photos in several Victorian homes here in town. I think she will have some very unique photographs and look forward to seeing the proofs.

Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 2:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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Room with a View

Front Hutch

 All though the weather is cold and snowy.. inside we are definitely looking like spring.  And I am finally getting some things together. This beautiful old hutch is the first thing you see when you walk in our door. It is being done in various shades of blue and has touches of yellow in it. But.. if you look real close.. you will see a unique decor item. Can you see it.. in the hydrangeas.. under the shelf part of the hutch.

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It seems that Bruce has found himself a cozy perch to take a nap and wait for his beloved people to come in. He hasn’t been up in this hutch for months. During the Fall, he got up into that little cubby hole and took a nap. I was rearranging some things on the hutch one day and stuck some greenery up in there and he came flying out. His exit aged me a few years and my startled scream must have deterred him from that area for a while. Now it looks like he’s back. Probably warmer than napping in the front window these days with below freezing temps outside.

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Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 2:30 am  Comments (2)  
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Primitive Houses

shop-pics-0591Here they are.. the promised pictures. These are the hand made primitive houses we got in last week. All of them are lighted. Here are a few pictures. I put several of them in the front

shop-pics-052window and they look great. One of my favorites is the large wide one in a dark green color. It is the only green house we got in. Another favorite is the church. We got a half dozen of the Churches and several of each of the other sizes scattered through out the shop now. I don’t have any pictures of the barn red color… but that color is also available.

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Published in: on January 28, 2009 at 12:49 am  Leave a Comment  
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Monday Musings

Today is my day off.. sorta. As I sit here typing, Bruce is chewing on my hand trying to get me to play with him. Hopefully he’ll settle down and tak a nap. He’s been running around the house all morning. Me.. I’ve been working on ‘computer stuff’. I have signed  up to do some email newsletters and have been designing the email format. With that comes a bunch of test emails to make sure everything is working.. the links, the spelling and the delivery.  We are going this route to keep our customers informed about new items and special events. As I look back at the thousands of dollars I spent in advertising last year, and know that many people missed things because they did not read the papers, I am going to do things differently this year.

Because I hate my inbox filling up with junk.. I want a timely letter that has information you will be interested in. We will showcase new arrivials at the shop and have something special every month only for newsletter subscribers. You can sign up here:

Sign up for our Email Newsletter

   

It is my desire to make sure every one that is interested knows about the promotions at the shop. In addition to the emails, we will also send out postcards informing everybody about our events. There is a definate preference for the ‘snail mail’ over email in my customers.. but for shop updates, the email is going to be the only medium. The bonus with the emails is a coupon good for a special promotion that month.

I was up waaay too late this morning making some changes to the web site as well. Adding the signup link, rearranging some of the boxes and adding an About Us page. There is still a lot of work to be done on the site.. pictures need to be taken and uploaded. There are still things I want to get added, like a section featuring the artists and their crafts that we have at the shop. I finally have items, from a talented couple that I have done shows with for years, in my shop. More on that in a bit.. I also want to feature the homes of my customers. I’m still not sure how to do it, but pictures of their houses and decorating would be a nice addition to the site.

Now, about those new items.. Cindy and Frank are professional crafters from Kenton. We met at the shows and their booth is always very busy. They do some really neat country/prim things and I have wanted their items in the shop for a while. The bright spot of all this winter cold and drabness is the primitive lit houses they brought by last week. I will get some pictures and get them up for you to see. I have the most adorable Church, several houses in tall and wide configurations.. and they are all lit. I am working on getting some of them in the front window of the shop. The houses are in nice prim type colors of cream, mustard and red, and I have a really nice large green house that I am partial to.

So, a day off for me is not always a day off. I did get to sleep in a bit [ nice after the long hours last night ] and am still in my jammies, but I also have floors to clean and labels for candles to print. I also have a meeting in town with the other downtown merchants to discuss upcoming events for the year. So, I guess I’d better get off this computer and get after it.

Published in: on January 26, 2009 at 6:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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New Arrivials

Another delivery today! My plates from Hearthside came  and we got them all 20080416092511-579862priced and put out. Some favorites are back in stock and we have a few brand new ones. Many of these plates have nice inspirational messages like these from designer Barbara Lloyd  “Once you chose HOPE, everything is possible.”  “Some days there won’t be a song in your heart… SING anyway.” and “Do not be afraid of tomorrow, for GOD is already there.” We also got some fun ones for coffee addicts.

school1Another delivery received this week that we got put out today are wax warmers. We got some of our regular Revere warmers and also some of the Village Warmers. We have been waiting for months to get the Schoolhouse and Church warmers in. Beautiful as an accent in any home, the light bulbs in these warmers quickly melt wax tarts to fragrance your home. If you need wax melts for these or any other warmer, check out our selection Here.

Another item that has been back-ordered and finally in are the Saltbox Night Lights. We recently got our other night lights like the Outhouse, Federal Star, Paul Revere Lamp and Tent Top night lights. To see all our night lights see Here.

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Paperwork

Well, we’re back from Market and the Cash and Carry and we spent most of the day entering  invoices in the computer. I learned the hard way to get things entered in the system before dragging things out and pricing. I did get all the prints we bought priced and out though. My son had the job of hammering the hanging brackets on the backs of the prints. He got to work on his math skills dividing whole and fractional numbers in half. I’ve been told I need to add pictures to my blog. So.. when we get the shop a bit more organized we will get some pictures of the new stuff up for everybody to see.

As a reward for helping me at the Market this past weekend, and all the help he gives me around the shop.. I got my son a fish tank. He has been talking about one for a year now and I thought it would be a nice hobby for him to start. I had one myself at about his age and really enjoyed it. I have a nice 30 gallon tank that I’m wanting to setup in my office when I get around to getting it organized. Right now I hardly spend any time back there.. about once a month for filing things. The office is in the back of the building and a bit cold with the fridgid temps we are having right now. The back door needs to come off and a steel frame installed and the entire setup better insulated. Going to have to make that a priority this Summer. Once I get that taken care of I’ll get the tank setup.

I did find a cool site while cruising around reading some blogs. If you like primitives, check out Primitive & Rustic Crafts . The site is quite busy with lots of posting and there are lots of blogs and web sites to check out. If you get a chance pop over and check it out.

Published in: on January 22, 2009 at 1:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Reading Level

I was cruising some other blogs today and came accross a post that talked about the education level requiredelementary_school to understand the writing in a blog. Upon further reading, I learned that the norm amongst journalist is to write at an elementary level so they can be understood by the most people. Being ever so curious I clicked the link and had mine tested. And this is what was returned.  Then I entered in some other Blogs that I had been checking out today and most of them also came up with this rating. Check it out for yourself by clicking the picture..

Published in: on January 21, 2009 at 6:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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To market, to market..

Two days of shopping and I’m pumped up! The cash and carry was a lot of fun. Even the bitter cold could not dampen the excitement of getting new things. I picked up a lot of framed prints. We had gotten low on prints at the shop and I hate to just order from pictures in a catalog. Being able to to look at the prints before buying is much more of an enjoyable process than trying to imagine the size and framing. I got several that have been popular in the shop as well as quite a few new additions. Most of the prints have black wood frames but we did get some that are framed in old barn wood. That frame compliments the pictures in them nicely.

Signs are always a good seller around the shop. We got some from a new vendor that are of nice quality and in several sizes. We have a very popular plate in the shop that reads “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.” This saying is now available in a wood sign in 4 colors.  We also got some really cute signs that have a magnetic strip for hanging on the fridge. Or hang an old cookie sheet on the wall and put your magnet on that for something whimsical.

Since we pulled the rack for the candle rings out of the candle room to make space for more melts, it is now possible to have even more of a selection in our candle rings. I picked up several styles and colors as well as some really neat berry floral picks. At another favorite vendor we picked up some unique wreaths and Spring florals. Also now back in stock is the 2 and 4 arm candelabras with the twist in them and some more candle stick pans. Our LED battery tapers should be back in stock soon and they look great in these kinds of pans. These new ones will be another price point in these items.

Today at the Market I placed orders for the coming year. It was kind of hard to think Christmas again so soon but we have some new items scheduled for delivery later this Summer. We will tell you more about these items a little closer to the holidays. Scheduled in the next few months are more punched tin wax warmers. New for this year are the Junior Revere warmers and a new finish on a few of the old favorites. Also on the horizon are cake pillar candles by Thompson Candle Company. We have had requests for this type of candle and I just don’t have the time to create and test them  here at the shop. So I spent all day checking out and sniffing several different lines of candle. The Thompson candles have a nice, primitive and rustic feel and they appear to have a nice fragrance load. I am excited about bring this line of candles into the shop to continue making The Comforts of Home your source for candles. Also coming are wick trimmers. These tools are designed to trim your candle’s wick to the proper length and also to catch the trimmed wick for easy removal.

Although we have a lot of new goodies coming to the shop, the party is not over. Monday I head to another cash and carry for more Spring items.  Knowing my love of florals and my hatred of  this winter weather, I can pretty much guarantee I will bring home lilacs, iris, lavender, pansies and even more. I also have some restocking to do on charm lights and other everyday items. There will be new jewelry items out and we will bring some of it home as well.

My son, always very helpful, is not as excited as I am about all the new things. I think I walked him into the ground today. But he did manage to have enough energy to spend several hours in the pool again this evening. And, I was told, he really enjoys all the good food we eat when we do trips like this. After tomorrows cash and carry we will head to Steak n Shake for our ‘traditional’ lunch before heading home to unpack. Several years ago, when we started doing craft shows, we decided that a nice meal was a good treat for all the hard work that goes into a show. And so it has carried as ‘tradition’ into the shopping for the store. We get to relax and spend some time just hanging out and talking.. something that doesn’t always happen with the home schooling and the demands of the shop.

Published in: on January 19, 2009 at 5:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Spring is coming..

shop-pics-005Well the shop is now really a mess. Several days of nothing but snow and freezing temperatures have slowed the traffic in the shop. So I have been rearranging everything. Yesterday it snowed all day and I just kept rearranging. I have the Spring stuff slowly but surely going out. With all that snow and now, below 0 temperatures, the sight of hyacinths and daffodils is very refreshing.

I think the only one that enjoys the chaos in the shop right now is Bruce. There are empty boxes to play in, fallen leaves to pounce on and so many new things to get into. I guess any time something is new there is just an excitement for everybody at the shop. Now that I have done the rearranging, I am looking forward to my buying trip this weekend.

Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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