EaStEaR Eggs on ThE CoUrThouSe LaWn

The day started off sunny and beautiful.. but a breeze brought in a few clouds. It looks like we have some rain coming. But not before the kids got to enjoy an Easter Egg hunt on the lawn of our Courthouse. We could hear lots of excited screams as the children discovered eggs. It was nice to see so many people turn out for the fun event.

We have gotten some Mad Scientist time to create a new product. We have sold tons of our Battery Operated LED Taper Candles so we know you like the look. But, with our being in Shipshewana in an unconditioned building this summer, we are looking for a grubby concoction that will not melt. We have finally come up with a process and have applied it to not only the battery tapers, but electric candles as well. Check out our new light. The boxes are made by a local Amish man and we finish them here ourselves. The candle has our new grungy finish. We are planning to make these several colors. Check them out while you are here.

All the excitement and kids have kept Bruce busy today. Here he is catching a cat nap.. but notice he is right by the door so as not to miss anybody. He takes being the official Greeter very seriously.

EnoUgh of ThiS WeaTher

Ok.. who is with me on this..

They are talking about more snow coming this week. Ugh!! People on some of the boards I’m on are without power in the Northeast.. and my Florida friends teeth are chattering with the unusual cold they have been having. Crops and tropical fish in the south are being destroyed with the cold. I think we will feel the effects of this weather for a while. We are paying higher utility bills now and will pay extra for other things throughout the coming year. Thank goodness they are talking warmer temps next weekend. I’m really ready for warmer weather.

Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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NeW iTemS for ThE HoliDaYs

Gift Card Holder
Gift Card Holder

We are starting to put out our Christmas items that have been arriving the last few months. We have several ornaments and  these little guys are not only cute on a tree, they are an adorable way to give a gift card, especially one of ours, to your Country or Primitive loving friends and family.

Snowman Ornaments
Snowman Ornaments

Another Primitive Snowman ornament are these two. They come as a pair and have a wonderful grungy look that will complement any tree, especially the German Twig Trees so popular in Country homes.

santa 2Even Santa has a nice grungy Prim look with these ornaments. Our Santas are a good size and I can see them hanging  in several places around a home as well as your tree. I am looking for unique places for them around the shop and will get some more pictures when I start putting things together.
Gold Flecked Tree
Gold Flecked Tree

These pictures do not do these little trees justice! Instead of a bright green typically found in Christmas trees, they are a neat olive color and are dusted with a gold glitter that just makes them something you HAVE to have this year. I bought the last three of these and am seriously considering keeping one for myself. They are about 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall and have little pinecones on the branches and are nestled in a primitive finished pot.

tree 3A close look at the branches and you can barely see the sparkle of the glitter. These trees look fine on their own  or add a few small prim ornaments or a small strand of rice lights for even more impact.
 

FeaThEr TrEEs

feathertree-5Christmas items have been arriving at the shop for months now. It has been no fun to have all this cool stuff and not be able to have it on the floor. In a few weeks we will be phasing out Fall and bringing out the Christmas goodies in preparation for our Open House November 7th.

One of the items we have new this year are Feather Trees. I did some checking on the internet and found out some history of these trees. I’m going to pretty much quote a page I found at Victorian.com. This site has a lot of cool information if you are into Victorian decorating so check them out when you finish reading this. Here is their article:

Yes, it is actually true that feather trees were the first artificial Christmas trees and they were originally made in Germany as early as 1845.  Like many inventions, tabletop feather trees came about out of necessity. By the mid-19th century, decorated trees were more popular than ever; however, in Germany deforestation was widespread, especially during the holiday season. It had become the fashion to chop off the tip off a large Fir tree to use as a Christmas tree; however, this practice prevented the tree from growing taller and thus made it useless as a timber tree. Statutes were enacted to limit people from having more than one tree, hence protecting the forests. With the introduction of the “goosefeather” tree, this problem was resolved. Goose feathers were plentiful and these feather trees began to be produced as a cottage industry as the alternative to cutting a live tree. These goose feather trees became the first artificial Christmas trees. Metal wire or sticks were covered with goose, turkey, ostrich or swan feathers. The feather sticks were drilled into a larger one to resemble the branches on a tree; the feathers were often died green to imitate pine needles. The trees were made to resemble the locally growing white pines of the German forestland, so they had wide spaces between their branches, short “needles,” and composition “berries” on the end of every branch tip.

feathertree-3Meanwhile in America, cut live trees were the cherished way to make the holiday come alive.  When the Germans immigrated to the United States, they took their beloved portable feather trees with them to use in their new homes. While it was the German immigrants that introduced feather Christmas trees into the U.S., the practice of using artificial trees really did not take off in America until Sears Roebuck first advertised artificial trees for sale in their 1913 catalogs.  Often they had berries and candleholders at the branch-tips and a round white base.  They ranged in size from 55 inches to 17 inches tall.  By the late teens, Japan followed suit and manufactured feather trees for the U.S. market.

In the 1920s feather Christmas trees were gaining in popularity, especially to European-born Americans continuing to follow their customs. However, by the mid-1930s their popularity declined somewhat as the tree farm industry grew.  In an effort to revive the market, Germany began supplying Montgomery Ward with a wider variety of color choices and fancier designs on the tree stands. Artificial trees all but disappeared during WWII. Then after the war, in the 1950s, feather trees were replaced by artificial trees made of synthetic substances, like visca and aluminum.  It’s no small wonder why feather trees are now a popular decorating choice for people with period homes.

Published in: on October 2, 2009 at 1:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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ChriStmaS in OcTobeR

findlay 09-1The Findlay craft show is this coming weekend, October 3-4, and we are very busy getting ready. We will close early Friday to get set up for the show and be closed Saturday. With all the Christmas items we have received around the shop the last few months it will be nice to get away and just enjoy Fall. The weather should be cool and crisp, perfect weather for strolling around the Craft Show. If you have never been to this show you are missing a wonderful way to spend a day.

Findlay’s Christmas in October is one of NW Ohio’s largest and most distinctive Fall Craft Shows. Every year it features over 300 exhibits from 10 States. With ten buildings, two tents & dozens of outdoor locations brimming full of Americana, Country, Contemporary, Folk Art and Victorian Arts & Crafts it is fun for the entire family!

You can pre-order your candles and lotions from us now so you can enjoy the show and pick up your items when you are done. No need to see us early to get the best selection or worry about your favorites being sold out. Buckeye is always sold out no matter how many I bring and we have some wonderful new fragrances that we are expecting to sell out of as well. Amish Harvest and Toasted Hazelnut have received many comments around the shop while being tested and will be available at the show. Other favorites will be  Caramel Crunch, Glazed Baklava, Coffe Cake , Pink Sugar and Pumpkin Crunch. In the lotions it is hard to beat Pink Sugar and Sandalwood Vanilla.

So come see us in Findlay this weekend. To get $1 off admission see HERE. Come for the day or make a weekend of it and stay in one of Findlay’s many fine hotel accommodations. We hope to see you there!

Another YeaR

01010622Here it is September. It is Fair time and also our anniversary. On September 18th we will have been open for 2 years. It has been a lot of work, but also a lot of fun. Our downtown is growing and we have fun events like Sidewalk Sales, our Fall Fest and Christmas around the Square. In the shop we have a week long event the week before the Thanksgiving week called Hunters Widow Party. During that week we have our specialty Dip mixes made as well as delicious, hot Cider and you shoot our Big Buck of Savings for your discount. If  you land in the grass or trees, or even hit the wall,  you get a 5% discount. Better shots will get you larger discounts.. all the way up to a ‘kill’ shot worth 30% off you merchandise. It is a fun time for everybody as most of the men are in trees hunting the Hardin County bucks and the women are preparing for the holidays. You can get a head start on Christmas gifts or just add some holiday cheer to your decor at great savings during this week.

gasgasMost businesses keep stats on sales figures, weather and whatever might be related to their sales figures. We have been doing that almost from the beginning as well. Tracking weather, foot traffic and starting last year, the price of gas. Since we started a new year it required a new spread sheet. I copied the old one and began changing the figures to reflect our new year.  One thing I noticed was our gas prices a year ago were $1/gallon higher. Other September events were hurricane Ike headed to shore and around the 15th the Market crashed.

So much has happened over the last year.. good, bad, exciting and ugly. Here at the shop we are looking forward to what this next year will bring.

Published in: on September 12, 2009 at 6:38 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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.

018

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.

Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 1:52 am  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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Findlay Craft Show

A quick reminder that we will be closed Saturday and will close early on Friday for the Findlay Show. If  you have never been to this show, it is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. Over 350 crafters will be there as well as tons of good food. The show is held every year at the Hancock County Fair Grounds..  1017 E Sandusky Street in Findlay. We will be in Barn E. Come visit us at the show.

Check out the  web site to get $1 off admission coupons or pick up some for you and your Friends at the shop.

Published in: on April 29, 2009 at 3:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Spring is FINALLY Blowing in..

We sure have has some goofy weather. I bought some Lantana in Texas with the thought I would put them in our pots outside. Somewhere… I guess in Arkansas.. we drove right out of Spring. I left a Lowe’s filled with tons of Petunias, Verbenas, Gardenias as well as veggies and herbs and got back up here and the leaves were not even out. Bummer!!

And yesterday.. though the weather was finally warming.. that WIND. I’ve been a bit spoiled here at the shop. We have had Hydrangeas, Hyacinths, Pansys and many other cheery flowers blooming since January. That, combined with the nice ivies, have made for a rather pleaseant diversion from the Winter that was hanging on outside. So now that the weather is finally warming outside, I’m getting ready for Summer. I’ve finally got the stuff I bought at the Cash and Carry out on the floor and now I’m in the mood to start rearranging things.

maybePlates.. we have several nice new ones. Our Dance in the Rain plate is a best seller and now this one is coming in right behind it. A similar sentiment and words of encouragement for a friend or family member. There are four plates in this collection all with nice sentiments. Sit them in a plate stand for individual display or add them to one of our wood or metal plate racks that allow the display of two or three plates either vertical or horizonally.

img_0239_2Another nice new plate is the one on the right. With the recent loss of my Father, the verse has taken on new meaning and is a gentle remider to live each day fully and with no regrets. If tomorrow never comes, do they know  you love them? I’m making sure family and friends know how much they mean to me.

basket1Check out this cute metal basket. I added two pip berry whisps. It will sit real nice on a shelf or table as well as hang on a wall with the wire handle.

Published in: on April 26, 2009 at 5:21 am  Comments (1)  
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