Variety.. the Spice of Life

I like to get a lot of bang for my decorating dollar. Soo, I look for pieces that I can change with the Seasons.. or my moods. Big bowls and our Lighted Twig Garland are two of my favorite items right now. Large bowls or troughs look great with candles and candle rings, potpourri, yarn balls, bells at Christmas time.. and the list can go on. And the garlands.. well, I like them in just about anything that will hold them.

40This is one of our nice, heavy pieces of Treen to which we have added a variegated ivy pick and a lighted twig ball garland. It lights up this corner of the house in a unique way. These twig ball garlands are very versatile.. you can put them in crocks, Treen pieces and large pots.

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On the last post you saw one of the smaller Barn Star wall pockets with a pip berry pick stuck in it. Here is the largest one with some of the muted green and cream ivy and some orange pip berries stuck inside it. These stars give you a nice base to change out over the seasons with different floral elements. This one is transitioning from Summer into Fall colors with the splash of orange. Add a gourd pick to make a real statement in the Fall and change it all out and put in some pine boughs and cones for the holidays. I have one of these with the multicolor variegated ivy in my kitchen.

005-2I know, I know.. it doesn’t seem very versatile. BUT.. these German Twig Trees are the Primitive Ficus. After the holidays, put away all the ornaments and decorate the tree in something seasonal. Grungy, fabric hearts and red bows for Valentines Day, print out pictures of your family and tie them to the tree with some homespun for Mother’s Day, or red, white and blue felt stars for the Fourth of July. Coming into Fall try some orange and purple lights and some grungy cheesecloth ghosts. Best of all, come August, we are going to offer a pre-buy on these trees. If  you place an order and a deposit by the first of September, you will get a discount and untill the end of November to pick it up. I’m still working out the details but I will keep you posted.

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Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 1:52 am  Leave a Comment  
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Light Up thE Night

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We carry some nice lighting by Katies Lighthouse. For almost forty years they have taken pride in hand-crafting the best colonial lighting in America. Their skilled craftsmen build, finish and inspect each of their products by hand. We can custom order any heirloom-worthy piece of art for you to have in your home.

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If you love decorating in Country/prim.. you just can’t have a plain ole Wal-Mart night light. Especially when you can have one of these. We actually offer several nice styles, including an outhouse, that will make  a walk in the dark a pleasure in itself. And of course, we have replacement bulbs for all these fixtures. Just for fun, when you replace one of these bulbs, try one of our Flickering Night Light Bulbs. They are incredible, especially in the lantern styles.

Published in: on May 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Catchin some Z’s

b8I took a walk down to the farmers market before we opened and when I came back, Bruce was looking like he didn’t like being left behind. He got wound up yesterday because a different UPS driver came in and got him a bit fritzed. The regular guy talks to him and pets him.. this guy just left.. and I guess Bruce was a bit put out. So, he was a bit silly all afternoon. Now today, completely out of the usual routine, he got left alone. After following me around a bit, some kids came in and he got busy playing with them. He settled into chasing his string and playing hide and seek under the cabinets with the kids. All was well with Bruce again. Then we got more kids.. the Farmer’s Market brings families to town and we get a lot of traffic because of it. And best of all, Bruce gets a lot of kids to play with.

b2Things finally setteled down in the afternoon and I got busy putting the shop back together. Poor Bruce! All the excitement today wore him out. Instead of napping in the front window.. or on my counter.. Bruce got up in the hutch facing the front door for a nap. I had a step stoole in front of it as I was changing out some stuff on the top, and Bruce just cruised up and got comfortable.

b6If you’ve been reading this blog, you know this is not his first time up here. I imagine it is pretty cozy and it still gives him a birds eye view of the front door so he doesn’t miss a thing. Most of the time he gets up here when I have something in front of the hutch to climb up on. For a shop cat he is pretty good about not getting into or onto things. More often than not he is under things so he can play with your feet as you go by.

b4The hutch isn’t quite finished yet. We are still changing things around. But for now I will let Bruce finish his Cat Nap.

Published in: on May 17, 2009 at 3:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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Putting thinGs Back Together

2Well, the shop is still a mess.. but it is coming together. I  have moved furniture and rearranged some things. This is the red cabinet to the right inside the front door. Hard to make out in the photo, but I added a strand of the 140 Deco or Rice Lights. The lighted Church and Prim House are locally made and we are having a hard time keeping them in the shop. In the display are a couple of our newer plates and some of the nice prim fabric stars are stuck in a basket of greenery and in that metal bucket with the fern. These stars add a different texture to the floral elements and are just plain fun.

5 As you come in the front door you will see this. A nice rusty watering can with this festive fern poking out of the top. More rusty pails and an assortment of pansies and berry picks are stuck in them for color. Add a nice Barn Red Star for contrast and you have a nice arrangement for a front porch.

4This black cabinet also got a makeover. It was pulled out of the corner and put flat along the wall. Another lighted Prim House is on the top with some lush ivy spilling out over a basket. Some nice pictures of herbs and a few plates and crocks round out the display.

6This is in my Spoon Carved hutch. It has a nice light inside and it shows off anything burgundy very well. This time, I decided to change out the burgundies and add something different. This rustic pot on the left is cool.. dark and great texture. The pocket star has a pip-berry pick stuck in and it is in front of a nice, colorful plate I use as a backdrop to a lot of things because it has so many colors in it. The little blue crock is hand made and the fabric bird is added for whimsy.

Published in: on May 17, 2009 at 1:04 am  Comments (1)  
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Amish Country

farm 4Another place my son and I traveled about and took pictures on Mother’s Day was in our Amish Country. I love a drive out past the Amish farms and along River Road. The rolling hills and stately barns make me hard pressed to enjoy Amish Country any where else. The beautiful sunny day and gentle breeze made the drive a wonderful way to spend the day.

horses Sundays are a day of rest for man and beast in Amish country. Here a herd of Belgiums are enjoying the beautiful weather.  My son got to drive a pair of these horses when he helped an Amish friend dig his basement. That’s right.. DIG.. with horses. They are hooked up to a large scoop and layer by layer they scrape up the soil. Then it is shoveled onto a wagon and taken out into a field and scattered like their manure. My son loved every minute of all that hard work.. especially when he was given home made bread and Coconut Cream Pie.

baby bell2Spring also brings all the young colts and fillies. We caught this young’un trying to reach something on the drive. He was funny to watch as he spread his legs to get anywhere close to the ground. He was also a neat light color with a darker strip down his back. I imagine he will be a light buff color when he matures.

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 This farm is also along River Road. I wish I lived out that way as I would love to travel this road every day. The winding turns, beautiful farms and the river make for some incredible scenery. I have yet to drive this road and not meet a horse and buggy along the way. I can think of no better way to slow down and enjoy the simpler things in life than a ride in our Amish Country.

Published in: on May 11, 2009 at 10:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Happy Mother’s Day

10Mother’s Day dawned breezy and beautiful. After a nice Church service and lunch, my son and I decided to drive around and take pictures for the photography contest we mentioned earlier. We thought it would be a nice way to remember the day if we got some photographs. Having one of them a winner and turned into a post card would be nice too.

8Every Mother’s Day my husband and I take a walk in Lawrence Woods located off 68 just outside of town. Since he had to leave for business today, my son stepped into the role of taking Mom for her annual walk. Spring is still new this time of year and the sun dapples through the trees and many flowers adorn the 1 hour walk.

4This year I spotted only a few of the Trilliums I usually enjoy. It is nice to see these lovely flowers in their natural surroundings. There was a small patch of about a dozen flowers.. maybe it is a bit early.. or a bit late for them. The few I did get to enjoy made my day.

13Other flowers dotted almost the entire walk. Shades of lavender and sky blue were sprinkled under the canopy of trees and dancing in the breeze. Spring brings so much rain and the damp air and new growth make a Spring walk in Lawrence Woods one of my favorite things to do around Hardin County.

15When you first enter into the woods, you come upon this unique tree known as the ‘Rhino Tree’. It is one of the few really mature trees in these woods of several hundred acres. When you see the young trees bent by the ice storm about 5 years ago, one can imagine a storm bending this tree in it’s youth and shaping it’s future. Because it was not tall and straight, it was not harvested.. and now it causes young and old to marvel at its shape.

6Another tree, this one broken by a recent storm. My son is still several inches shorter than the clearance under the branch.. but as the years pass.. he should be able to stand under it and touch it with the top of his head. This will be fun to check out on Mother’s Day in the coming years.

Hope everyone had a delightful Mother’s Day!

Published in: on May 10, 2009 at 11:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Flowers at Last

lantanaI finally got the pots out front planted. Being a bit of a rebel I refuse to put Petunias out there. As pretty as they can be, they are water hogs and by the end of the season they tend to look a bit ratty and tired. So, I went a bit different route.

The Lantana I brought back from Texas was sulking a bit here in the colder Ohio Spring weather we were having. For those not familiar with this plant.. it is a power house all summer long. Living in Texas a gardener needs to think about water. I like lots of flowers but I hate watering. So I like drought tolerant plants and Lantana is one of the best. Hard to find here in Ohio it is well worth looking for. Bright little flower clusters adorn the plant all summer until killed by frost. Down South this plant is perennial.. but up here it will be an annual. A unique benefit is the plant roots release something into the soil that keeps seeds from germinating. Nice if you don’t like weeds. Most Lantanas also have a cascading habit and are a refreshing replacement for the petunias.

To add some height with the Lantana I added a really dark Coleus. Almost black in color it wll look nice against the reddish brick of my building and the bright yellow oranges of the Lantana. Also easy to take care of and a bit forgiving with watering. This combination I put in the two larger pots at the corners of my shop.

caladiumwhitechristmasBy the front door I put some white Caladiums. I added some English Ivy that has a yellow edge and some orange Impatiens for color. Being on the West side I get morning sun from the East. The brick absorbs a lot of sun and creates a nice warm micro-climate.. it also tends to really dry out the pots. So, in addition to my regular dose of Osmocote fertilizer, I added some water crystals. These crystals absorb water and then release it back into the soil as it dries out.. giving you additional time between waterings. Since we have to carry buckets of water from the back of the shop every other day.. I’ll take all the help I can get with watering.

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 3:03 am  Leave a Comment  
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Farmer’s Market

fm-1It’s getting that time of year again.. time for the 6th annual Farmers Market in Historic Downtown Kenton. Set amid the distinctive architecture of our historic downtown, the Market offers fresh produce in season, local crafts and Amish goods, flowers, demonstrations and family fun. Opening day for the Market is May 16 and runs from 9am to 12.

Many of our vendors are regulars and have developed a following by consistently providing a quality product. VanScoy Farms offers hydroponic tomatoes, cucumbers, bib lettuce, and strawberries that are always a delicious treat. And one of my favorites is hand made pottery by Matina Rostorfer. I have one of her large mugs and just love a cup of tea or chocolate in it. .. check here for a list of this years vendors.

The Market is also a great place for new crafters or growers to introduce their product to the county and refine their presentation as well as product offering. As a professional crafter dreaming of a business of my own, I jumped into the Farmers Market as a way to test my products and get to know the market I wanted to do business in. The Farmers Market helped this non local get to know people and that paved the way to opening my business as I established a local market for my product. I continue to support the market with a booth run by my son. He is learning invaluable job skills.. sales, making change, interacting with customers.. and is also getting the best part of the Market.. the great camaraderie of both vendors and customers. See you there!!

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 8:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Photo Contest

camera3378350116_c2ef4ee3f9The Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance is sponsoring a photo contest of Hardin County images. All area photographers, age 18 or older, are encouraged to enter the contest which will be held from April 15 – May 11. Winning entries will become part of a new series of Hardin County postcards to be sold by the Tourism Division of the Alliance.

 The 2009 contest is open to amateurs taking snapshots around the Hardin County area. The competition has no specific subject category but all photos should capture the unique character of Hardin County.  Color images are preferred. For more information on the contest see the Hardin County Chamber & Business Alliance website. All entries must be received by May 11 and include name, address, and phone number. Be sure to also include where in Hardin County the photo was taken.

Here at the shop we are looking forward to getting the post cards printed. We get a lot of out of town visitors here at the shop, and I know the coffee shop Jitterz also gets a lot of travelers. Many are looking for something to take home after visiting the area, and post cards offer a piece of our history, architecture, rolling farm land and Old Order Amish. There are so many unique and wonderful things in this area to take pictures of.. maybe I’ll take a few myself.

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 6:40 pm  Leave a Comment  
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MySpace

office2Finally.. I am getting some work done on my office in the back. There is a lot of dark paneling in the back area.. including my office. I don’t get to spend much time back there, but when I do, I’d like things a bit more cheery. So, to lighten the paneling I selected a warm creamy color. So far I only have 2 of the 4 walls done, but it has made such a nice difference and brightened up the entire room.

basketIn the office I have a simple old wood desk and several metal filing cabinets. I put together this basket with the multi colored ivy bushes and a few of my rusty star picks for an accent. The colors play off the creamy walls quite nicely. I’m planning on relocating some notebooks on the top of one set of file cabinets and putting this basket up there. What else? Well, right now I don’t know. A grapevine tree with some lights might be nice. Might also add some of my favorite crocks. First I need to finish painting the room. Then, I will find some favorite items to put in there and enjoy the time I will be spending there.

Published in: on May 6, 2009 at 2:32 am  Leave a Comment