Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Dog Ate My Homework

We had a nice little sewing circle meeting last night and I got a few inches of my sock done. Today the dog got bored while I was out and pulled out my knitting. Argggggg! I don't know whether to start over or try to fix this. I'm not sure I can fix it.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I Won!

I am so excited about the lovely things I won in the giveaway on A Lovely Thing!! Seashells and Shiny Brites!! Also some other goodies like some great vintage Christmas candles. I think I may make a little tree with Shiny Brites in our new blue bedroom this Christmas. I'm even going to use the ribbons from the wrapping on my tags. Thank you so much Inis!

Now, you know I really needed another project right? LOL Well, I've been seeing all the great handknit socks on Flickr. Check out this amazing collection of handknit socks! Anyway, I've been thinking I'd like to try them...and a new little yarn store opened in my town. The perfect excuse to get started on them. ...we haven't had a store like this and I would hate to see her business not get off to a good start. Got to do my part to help you know!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Look. So far, so good...I have a nice little cuff going there. I've never knit socks because they seem soooo complicated. But here I go. Hopefully all will go smoothly and not too much swearing will happen.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cottage Living

I've shared pics of the cottage before, but I took some interiors to share the way it was constructed. These little cottages were made as fishing/retreat cabins around 100 years ago. There are still some on our lake in original condition. They are a treasure because most of them have been remodeled through the years. You can see there is some framing (horizontal and vertical) that the beadboard is nailed to. Originally the other side of that beadboard showed on the outside of the cottage like in the link above. Definitely a for summer only in the Michigan climate. In the 50s or 60s my grandparents added steel siding to the outside so they wouldn't have to paint. They also changed out the original windows to aluminum ones.

Only the windows between the porch and main house remain original.

All in all though, our cottage remains one of the more unchanged ones. Back in the day there was a hand pump in the kitchen....we are all glad to have modern running water and faucets of course.

You certainly wouldn't build a house this way today...there isn't a nice system of studs so many inches apart. But it has stood here for a hundred years and I hope it will for many more. To me all the little old fashioned things add to the charm. And the modern touches like flushing toilets add to our comfort. When my dad first started coming here as a boy they had an outhouse.

Here's my mom sitting on the porch in the late 50s or early 60s. We still have the same swing's made from an old wagon seat. The grands were super at trash to treasure projects, but I bet they just thought it practical.

Here's the little back porch. It's a nice place for a cup of coffee or cereal in the morning. It's the first room to warm up during the day since it faces east.

Here 's the side that faces the road.

I love this pic of my dad. The cottage as it was when Nana and Granddaddy bought it behind him and the wooden boat. And Dad hamming it up for the camera.

And here it is today. My husband and I honeymooned here...we were young and making do on his apprentice salary. Granddad let us have it all to ourselves. And we had a wonderful time. Everyone today thinks they need palm trees for a honeymoon, but really all you need is each other.

Can you hear me now?

This is another charm of the cottage. We purposely don't have a TV here. Or a computer. Or a land line. And the cell phone reception is iffy. Does that sound charming to you? It is for us, because when we're not playing in the water, we sit and talk, tell stories, read, play cards and board games and make things. The kids almost automatically go into a different mode when they come here because they know the electronic things aren't available. They even told me once that they probably know more about their lake friends ideas than they do about the friends at home because they sit and talk more. Probably so.

We are so fortunate that our grandparents kept the place, and that now my dad and uncle are doing the same. I hope it stays in the family for a long, long time.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Red Shoes and Feather Your Nest

So after we left Sharon's shop, Another Man's Treasure, we headed towards Ann Arbor. With treats in hand, as you can see.

Ann Arbor is home to University of Michigan and home to a wonderful shopping district. Even the side streets are full of interesting shops. We came here to visit Red Shoes. We met Catherine, the owner, by chance when she stopped in. Her shop is whimsical and fun and just as wonderful as it looks on her website and blog. I forgot to take pics inside, because I got carried away looking at it all.

Red Shoes is also home to one of Ann Arbor's fairy doors. When I go back I'm going to try and find many of them. Red Shoe's door is undergoing a little repair. But look how sweet...the fairies even have their own little garden!

Next we headed down the road to Ypsilanti to visit Feather Your Nest Antiques.

I love to visit Jan's blog and she is just as sweet in person. That's me and Jan in the pic above. We met her daughter Cora and her husband too. I loved to listen to her could tell that he is so proud of Jan.

Her shop is adorable. Everything is displayed so nicely....tons of ideas for a shopkeeper like me! Look how she painted her cement floor~very pretty! I bought the cutest umbrella to use in my spring displays.

Jan has a lovely garden at the side of her shop. She sells the iron pieces too.

Do you have a dull little shed? Look what Jan did with hers. My mom has an ugly little shed in her yard and she wants to paint it up cute like this. As we were getting ready to head back to Ann Arbor for dinner before going back to the cottage, Jan mentioned there was an Ikea a few miles up the road. What?! None of us had ever been to one so ....

of course we had to go! From antique places where everything is one of a kind to the superstore of mass production..........but so much better designed than I've seen before. I think the shelving system might be the answer to my bookshelf problem. There is marketing genius at work in this store.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Another Man's Treasure

While were were in Michigan I wanted to visit some of the people and shops I visit on the internet. My sister, my mom and I reserved a day and took off across the state of Michigan. Our first stop was "Another Man's Treasure" in Plainwell, MI. We met Sharon, who owns the the picture above she is standing in the doorway...probably thinking, "thank goodness those crazy ladies are finally leaving!"
If you frequent the HGTV Trash to Treasure message board you have probably been inspired by Sharon who posts as "Sharon S" on the board. She makes wonderfully imaginative furniture (like the cupboard above) and accessories from things most people throw away. I want that cupboard in my living room!
Sharon was so sweet to us. She took us out her backdoor and showed us where some of her great junk is stored...that's the back door above. The back of the shop is cute too! Sometimes people just leave things back there that they think she'll be able to use.
Then she took me to her workroom. What a treat...this lady has a ton of good pieces parts for making things and the creative mind and know-how to do it.
She had dressers, benches, endtables, buffets, even a kitchen island all crafted from junk.

I bought this little table. It's going on my porch as a coffee table in front of our glider. I can't wait to get it home. We still have to pick it up this weekend...there wasn't room in the truck on the way home last weekend.
We had a wonderful time visiting Sharon and seeing her creations. Thanks Sharon!

Plainwell is a nice small town...we would have liked to have the time to shop at the other little shops, but we had to get back on the road to visit Red Shoes and Feather Your Nest. I'll share that part of the trip in my next post.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Home Again, Home Again

To market, to market to buy a fat hog.
Home again, home again, jiggety jog.

To market, to market to buy a fat pig.
Home Again, Home Again, jiggety jig.

That little rhyme is how my shop got it's name. We say that little rhyme whenever we come home from a trip. And I like the idea of all the vintage treasures finding a home again.

Today I spent the day rearranging to make room for new merchandise. It's challenging and fun since most of the things are one of a kind to our shop. No multiples.

This week I've got some great girls helping out in the shop so I can have some time off. I'm going to spend some time at home catching up on things and some time out and about. I'm hoping I'll even get to visit the shops of some of my online friends.

Tomorrow I'm going to try and make some more progress on getting our bedroom done! I'm doing a better job of keeping up at the shop than I am at home. I loved staying home, and I know it sounds crazy to all of you who work and seem to keep up with everything, but I'm still struggling with it. Maybe one of these days I'll get the hang of it, or maybe I'll start setting it up so everyone else can help more. Or maybe things will remain messy until I stay home again... Ack! I'm pretty sure that's not a good option! LOL My sister and I were talking about this the other day. She says since she's started working again, deep cleaning just doesn't happen as often...but she neatens and straightens and spot cleans much more. I think that's what I need to do: get rid of my all or nothing mentality. Any hints on how to find a nice balance?

Heritage Day on the square

Today we set up a booth on the square to bring a little of the shop out where people could see it. If you'd like to see what I was up to today, and see our Heritage Day celebration look at this post on the shop blog.

Thanks for all the suggestions on the last post about my windows....I'm definitely going to look into roller shades for the living room.