LoCal FlaVoR

Kenton is such a wonderful place. The area has a rich history, people are friendly, the architecture of the old buildings is interesting and the miles of farmland encourages one to slow down and relax a bit. Our shop is located downtown on the square in the Historic Courthouse District. When I came to Kenton 5 years ago, not much was happening on the square. Now we have several interesting and thriving businesses and upper floors are being converted into living space. I see downtown Kenton a real happening place in a few years.

Kenton is also home to some very talented local artists. I am very fortunate to have several of these artists as friends. Sycamore Circle Heritage Farms produces hand-made herbal soaps with herbs they grow on their farm. Their family is  four generations working together on various aspects of farming. They also have a concentration on nineteenth century (or “heirloom”) herbs, apples and poultry. Sycamore Circle offers several lines.. herbal, specialty and goat milk soaps, soaps with Civil War and Victorian fragrances and their incredibly popular Foot Scrubbies and Doggie Bath line. They can be found at several markets and craft shows in Ohio, at Whole Foods and at Helen’s Gifts in downtown Kenton.

Another very talented local artist is Marilyn Reed. Her motto is “if it doesn’t move ~ Paint it!” The owner of Marilyn’s Artistry, Marilyn has painted everything from wooden bowls to murals on buildings. Kenton’s own Michael Angelos is a show case of her work. A lifelong student of the arts, she is inspired by the latest trends and colors and a master of many techniques.  At the shop we sell her hand painted furniture, candle boxes, plates and what ever else she can get a paint brush on. Right now we have a wonderful table with a checkerboard painted on top and a delightful potting bench. Be sure to check them out when you stop by.

When you do craft shows, you meet  and get to know the regular professional crafters. Over the years we have become friends with talented artists and always enjoy seeing new items they bring forth. Cindy and Frank were two crafters we enjoyed and they constantly had new items. Their booth was always attractive and full of people buying.. a nice thing to have next to your booth. And, I learned about crafting from them.. from setting up my booth to always have something new. Imagine my surprise when I found out they lived right here in Kenton! I begged and pleaded and finally have some of their items in the shop. This house is only one of their lighted houses. We have smaller, shorter and wider ones.. and they are available in mustard, burgundy and cream. Their lighted church is darling.. and the price point they offer can not be found else where. They also make a narrow shelf that we are constantly selling out of. They do not have a web site but can be found at many of the finer craft shows in Ohio. Look for them at shows we will attend.

Because we started out as crafters, we love to support other crafters. If you make a quality hand-made country prim product and would like to consign at the shop, stop by and discuss it with us. As the area grows and more tourists come through, there will be a market for locally made items. If your not ready to sell and just need some advice, also feel free to stop by. I am more than happy to share the knowledge I have picked up over the years. Who knows, someday you too may have a business on the Square.

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Do You Have a Great Idea..

Have you come up with a nice display combination?  Have you repurposed an item in a unique way? I know I get a lot of inspriation from seeing what others have done and I love those ‘I never would have thought about that’ ideas I stumble across.

Share your tips and ideas with others by sending them to me for posting here on our Blog. If I add them to the blog I will give you one of our highly scented and long burning candles at half price or a $5 gift card for the shop.

And if you like the little bench in the picture, click the picture or HERE to check out the Etsy shop I found it on. Nice stuff.. her motto is “ Because a Womans Place is in the Woodshop”. I love it!

Published in: on March 1, 2010 at 1:23 am  Leave a Comment  
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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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Cheesy Potato Soup

I’m not sure where I got this recipe.. but it is a favorite and a delicious rib sticking meal for these colder days we are stuck having.

  • 1 C  pared potatoes – diced
  • 1/2 C  celery – diced
  • 1/2 C  onion – diced
  • 1 1/2 C   water
  • 2  bouillon Cubes
  • 2 C  milk
  • 1/2 C  Sour Cream
  • 4   tsp flour
  • 8 oz  Velveeta
  • 1/4  tsp pepper

Combine potatoes, celery, onion, water, bouillon and pepper in large sauce pan. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender. Add 1 Cup milk and heat. Mix sour cream, flour and remaining milk together. Gradually stir into soup base. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Serve with crackers and bacon to make a delicious winter warm up.

Published in: on February 28, 2010 at 6:07 pm  Comments (2)  
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Lighted Willow Branches

These lighted branches are HOT! There is a lot of buzz about these right now and they are getting hard to get as they are getting backordered because of their popularity. We have had these in and only have a few left. We are reordering more today.

 This great innovation is a fantastic way to add light to floral or twig arrangements without the hassle of dealing with an electric cord. You can also add them as light spray accents in trees. There are 20 lights on the branch and they give off a cool white light which has a slight blue hue. Branch is 17 inches long and requires 3 AA batteries (not included).

We are also getting in on some advance ordering for some branches that will have more of a warmer cast to the lighting instead of the bluish one these branches have. We do not look to have them in any earlier than May right now.

We will have a tall one at 39″ as well as a smaller one at 19″. Be sure to get some of these for yourself. the demand is high and supplies may be limited for most of the year.

Published in: on February 25, 2010 at 6:11 pm  Comments (4)  
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A Primitive Place

I have found another wonderful site to visit.. A Primitive Place. From their site.. “Our site is full of primitive & colonial inspired homes, primitive inspired gardens, decorating and craft ideas, trash to treasure makeovers, monthly crafting tutorials and much more! ” Well worth some time just looking at the great decorating ideas.

 I especially enjoyed the trash to treasure and craft sections. Also check out their blog. Though it is now past my bedtime.. I can’t stop looking at all the wonderful pictures of decorated homes.

Cool Blogs to Visit

I love information and reading. Both are combined in searching the internet. I was spending some time looking for decorating ideas, repurposing sites and generally any kind of info for those of us who are having to tighten up and make things stretch. My search led me to several blogs dealing with Goodwill finds, crafting and being frugal. I find I enjoy reading blogs as the tone is conversational and you feel like your hanging out with one of your friends.  Here are some of the sites I found interesting while searching.

Suddenly Frugal – a cool blog with a lot of info. There are Freebie Fridays with info on free stuff from retailers and restaurants, information was given on where to find the best shopping deals during the holidays and there is lots more. I found this blog a bit later in the evening and was a bit too tired to fully explore. I plan on checking back regularly.

Primitive Lifestyle – This blogger is in Ohio and loves to hit the Goodwill store and repurpose items she finds. She posts the latest treasures and will later post her project to change the item into a new piece for her home. I enjoyed going back through the archives to see all the neat items she has reclaimed and given new life to. Though I too love to redo items, she has inspired me to look at things a little differently to find the hidden treasures.

Behind My Red Door – OK.. not really a lot of How-To-Do.. but the pictures are delightful eye candy to those that love the country/prim style of decor. Cruising thhrough her posts gave me ideas for decorating the shop. Sometimes the bets way to save money on decorating is to get some free inspiration. Enjoy..

Published in: on February 8, 2010 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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We Offer the Largest..

.. selection of candle and melt fragrances anywhere in Ohio. Each and every Northern Lights Candle and Melt is made right here in the back of the shop. As candle makers we have always offered a large selection, but now, with over 100 fragrances, we offer more than you will get any where else in the state. Each of our candles has been designed to be burned 6-10 hours a day without getting a large flame and each one MUST be highly fragrant. Out testing ground is the store and the testers are those who come in to shop our decor items. We listen to hear comments about different fragrances burning through out the shop. Those fragrances that repeatedly cause comments are added to our line when testing is done.

Each month we have a half dozen new fragrances to try out. How long does testing last? At the shop we burn 7-8 hours a day. Burning every day, 5 days a week, it will take us about a month to completely burn a test candle down for evaluation. Our candles easily go 115 hours total which is great for you.. but makes the testing phase take time. When a  fragrance is deemed worthy to be added, we order in the fragrance oils in and get busy making the candles and melts. Total time from start to finish is about 5 weeks.

With 100 fragrances you would think we have enough. But I love fragrance, and I have the ability to display 154 unique candle fragrances in my candle room. So, that is the number we are headed for. Do you have a favorite you would like to see us carry? Post it here or stop by and suggest it. Suggestions we are currently looking for are Cherry Lemonade and Vanilla Lime.

BeAuTiFuL BoXeS

As stated in the earlier post.. I like to get inexpensive little containers like boxes to use in my decorating. Often old boxes can be found for a few dollars a piece and the beat up nature of old boxes in general lends itself very nicely to country and prim decor. Take this little green box, for instance. It is a reproduction but it is made to look like a little drawer from a spice box. This box actually has a hook on the back for hanging on the wall as well as sitting on a shelf like it is here. We have put all kinds of things in it and right now it is home for a twig ball. The rounded ball plays a nice complement to the little wood block’s rounded top and the box’s round pull. The square shape of the box is a sharp contrast to all the other spherical shapes in the arrangement. A nice floral pick with trailing stems ties the green color of the box to the arrangement and of course it softens and ties it all together.

This is my new favorite treatment of small rectangular boxes… masses of pip berries! We have some great, thick pip berry wreaths that I have been scrunching together and putting in boxes. The pip strands are long enough to pull up above the top of the box and the thickness of the wreath makes a very full effect in the box. With this little box I added a mini candlestick light. Is that not the cutest way to display a light?? Instead of the candle stick light try adding a small strand of christmas tree lights or the popular mini rice lights. Those tiny lights look darling in among the berries.

Once again I have taken one of our pip berry wreathes, this time a mustard color,  and flattened it sideways to fit in this box. You can see how thick and full the berries are in the box. This box has a neat rustic fence behind it that just begs attention. I stuck a star up there for no reason other to get the star up where it could be seen. I can see this box with some nice ivy trailing over the side and up the fence and some spring colored florals added in for color. Or add some brightly colored eggs or a cute little rabbit and you have a seasonal piece for your wall or table.. and it could be easily changed for the coming seasons.

The texture of time-worn boxes can also be used to set off other pieces. This candle stick is fairly new. We added a candle ring to dress it up and then put this unique box behind it duplicate the tall vertical feel of the candlestick. And of course, the beat up box adds to the rustic finish of the candle.  The compartments in the box are a nice place to tuck little things like a wood block or a small picture.

Boxes are also very useful for adding height to an arrangement. A well placed box with items on the top help to draw the eye up without drawing attention to themselves. This reason in particular is one of the best for having a collection of boxes to use in your decorating. And.. the best part.. is they are usually cheap and easy to come by so having several will be easy on your purse. First thing to do is look around for the free ones. My grandmother had several in her garage. A cool old box with items to repair shoes in it and several long, shallow boxes with compartments for screws, bolts and what have you. A quick scrub and her trash became my new found treasure. I have picked up boxes at auction for just a few dollars each. Even larger storage boxes with hinged lids can find use to get items up off a floor and to add visual appeal next to a table or hutch. Happy collecting.

DeCreAseD EcOnOmY = InCrEasEd CrEaTiViTy

The slowed economy is showing up all over. People have cut back on trips to town, groceries and the little extras that make life nice. Retailers too are having to cut back and tighten up with reduced inventory and rethinking product lines. But all this is not bad news for decorating your home. With some creativity, you can have new looks for the season that add warmth and are pocket friendly.

I love to go to yard sales and auctions. And my favorite things are baskets, bowls and boxes. Unique glassware will also piqué my interest and most of these things can be had for little to nothing. Why do I like them so much? Because they are a blank slate to make something unique.

Alone this little bowl is very cute. It can be set on a shelf and it will add a bit of punch on it’s own with the chipped finish and the red trim. To dress it up a bit all you need is some greenery.

Greenery and floral picks are a place I do not scrimp. Kinda odd maybe.. but I like my florals to look real, and, to stand up to all the bending and twisting I will put them through when I am working on an arrangement. You won’t get that with dollar store florals. So, I get nice stuff. Ivy is always a good base and investment. At the shop we offer ivy in deep rich greens, muted greens and creams as well as variegated picks and stems. No matter what your decor tastes.. and what they might be in the future.. ivy will go with it. This little ivy bush is about $6. It has good scale for the little bowl. There are several longer stems that can be bent around to soften the edge of the bowl

Check out that first photo of the bowl placed with a cheese grater and a candle stick. Now these are new items at the shop.. but you know things like this can also be picked up at yard sales and such. A rusty old grater would actually be really cool here.. especially with a little light under it. Its shape offsets the rounder shapes of the bowl and candlestick. And, they ivy trailing over the edge softens all the piece edges and ties it all together. So check out the sales, check out the garage and basement and see what interesting items you can come up with where you can add a beautiful piece of greenery to create something new for next to nothing.

Published in: on February 1, 2010 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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