Office Supplies

4.14.14

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Junior Vise Signals::Coming to our Etsy shop soon!

How was your weekend? If you are in the Midwest, you loved the blue skies and warm temps! We did “around the house” type of things on Saturday. I did squeeze in a trip to a favorite antique mall and will show you my finds next week! Three things I bought are special, because they have a story of their own!

Business happenings: This week entails uploading clean, crisp product photos on our Etsy shop!  Vintage office supplies, ribbon and this & that–oh my! Plan on seeing the online shop restocked by the end of the week! I do have to price things for a tag sale at the Antiques Village in Centerville. Slowly, but surely we’ve been getting rid of excess vintage inventory. I’m focusing on getting the wholesale line launched and must keep editing what I have around here! I’m a collector and don’t want to become a hoarder! However, it’s so fun doing the “finding”!  So be sure to pop in the 24th for some amazing sales in our booth, #7007.

Starting an endeavor is mind boggling at times. Matt told me to stay organized and make sure, when I’m scrolling Instagram feeds to be aware of wasting time. I’ll be setting the timer from now on. Matt is good with processes, so hearing his opinion in a lot of things, is good for me. He is my helpmeet after all!

Personal happenings: I’ve been doing a Move 2 Lose class at the YMCA. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but exercise is becoming a routine in my life. It feels good to see the benefits. I never had to diet until after the 3rd baby came along. I’ve learned a ton and am loving the benefits of eating healthy + exercise. It’s a win, win! I signed up with a dear friend and it’s so exciting to have the support in this “getting fit” journey. How about you, what makes you feel healthy? {Oh, and if I lose my 20#, I’m going to purchase these, Nike Vintage Collection Waffle Racer Sneakers. I do turn 40 this year and these sneakers were introduced that year!}

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Lately

4.07.14

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Hello! Do you ever have one of those days where you want everything to happen at once? Yes, I do too! I recently took the steps to get our product line produced, finally! One particular item has been in the works for a year, the sample for shows will be ready soon! Starting with the core part of our line first. I have found a producer, think letterpress for some of our items! Once I find boxes for those items it’s a go, exciting! I do believe I found a box producer in Ohio for those items. My goal is to launch at the wholesale NSS next year. Everyday I work on one thing to close that gap!

I found an old machine to secure our catalog with. I do believe in printed along with a digital catalog. I still love looking at beautiful wholesale catalogs, in my hand. The feel of the paper texture and faint ink smell! For some reason, I have kept my favorite wholesale catalogs over the years.

Most of my props have been purchased to use in displays at the gift/stationery shows. For some odd reason this is the easiest part of the start up, go figure! The harder things is having to hear, “no”. First box company I contacted told me their machinery cannot produce the smaller size I wanted. So, the above box producer I thought was a go, and now it’s halted. Not for long, I have a few other companies to start inquiring about box production. This week entails: find a box manufacturer and narrowing down designs for letterpress. Plus, reworking  photos for Etsy of the staplers we import. If I get to uploading some vintage, office finds for our Etsy shop, well that would be swell too!

Another item, I was keen on having reproduced from a vintage find, a company told me their machinery couldn’t cut it the way I wanted. Sad, as the company was 100 years old and thought they could help. However, there is more things to see if they can produce! I’m not giving up on that section of our line. Always keep moving forward don’t let the small stuff get in the way! Mini pep talk!

Basically, it’s just steps. Everyday I do a couple of big things on my goal list. When a step seems hard, I just think, ” if I get this out of the way, I’m one more step closer to seeing B.H. Storm&Co. come to fruition”!  Zach will enter kindergarten this fall, Luke will be in 3rd and Vivian turns 4 this August. Two years ago, I wanted this business idea to go full throttle, however it was too soon, with my younger two still being, wee tots, 18 months apart! I feel at peace, stronger and more disciplined than ever….

I did enter the social media contest for Stationery Academy! Why, did it take me so long to hear about this? It’s in Chicago this summer and would love to be able to attend to learn more about wholesale,  NSS show, cohesiveness and branding.  The resources would be invaluable as well! Learning from other experienced and talented folks in the industry, would empower! Plus, the added support in meeting other attendees; would gain a strong network long after the Chicago Stationery Academy. Coming back to teach as an alumni would be exciting as well!  I really like that it’s directed to the stationery/gift sectors. I would love to win one of their scholarship spots! I will keep you posted.

On a side note, as I was researching Stationery Academy, one of the founders, Whitney English caught my attention. Back in 2008 when our shop, McMaster & Storm was featured in Country Living Magazine, March 2008 issue; Whitney English was one of the Women Entrepreneur Honorees  that year! 7 years later Whitney is helping other entrepreneurs through the Stationery Academy and Authenticate. Whitney created a brilliant and well researched, Day Designer for entrepreneurs. Design your life by purchasing one here. (I’ve found it to be very helpful, it helps me keep track of business goals + daily life.) One of the best things that I’ve ever bought.

The feeling of peace for this direction I’m taking is amazing. Keep learning and be curious always, that is so important. Also, I’m going to try my best to post once a week. I’m finding that at 39, I’m still learning new things, and enjoying all that each day brings. Live well and seek beauty in the everyday! Have a beautiful Monday!

 

 

 

Frilly Meets Farmhouse Birthday Party [Part 2]

2.25.14

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Photo Credit Molly Dues 

Summer parties are a blast as space is not constricted and can be held outside. Our boy’s birthdays fall smack dab in the middle of winter. Brr. Vivian’s is in the dog days of summer-August. We let our boys have some friends over too, so they can enjoy an outside party.

That gigantic ice cream cone is bigger than life! Where you pick that up? A closeout store in Dayton called Mendelson’s! It’s an experience, just go and you’ll see why. Wink. I happened upon these and no plans in mind, but they were inexpensive. It’s handy to have a sweet stash of party supplies on hand!
If you want the easy route, these giant ice-cream honeycombs are available at the same place, where I purchased the petite honey comb balls, Devra-Party Supplies.

 

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

Are you fond of these checkered style laundry baskets? Me too! I use them a million different ways. Yes, it’s possible to be totally in love with these baskets. Flea markets, antique store & google searches!

To keep things simple for this summer party we have served this Cilantro Lime Salad with Grilled Chicken for 3 years in a row. Trust me, it’s good. As the hostess, having the same salad every year means less work for a busy mom! Please grill the chicken like it says, it makes the salad! Also, make plenty as this is a one dish meal and the men gobble it up!

 

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

One of my favorite things about Vivian is when she hugs me…..she wraps her arm & legs around me….just like a monkey.

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

Little folks enjoying a picnic. {Those eco-friendly boxes come in handy, go here to learn about them}

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

Documenting a party on this here blog is more than just a post. It’s a diary, and a beautiful way to remember that day!

 

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

Props! My favorite part. Where you find them? Farm table came from a Church auction. Read about that here! The garden cart was picked up at National Trail Antiques and is in my hometown, Lewisburg, Ohio. The tablecloth came from there as well. What’s that yellow drape-y swag in the front with the tassels? Another favorite haunt is The Little Shop in Verona. I’ve been shopping there since 1999.  When we lived in CA I would fly back and stock my shop in CA with things from The Little Shop! Now I live 4 miles up the road from this gem- of -a shop! Oh, yes the yellow swag, I did pick this up in the aforementioned shop, it was from a curtain set in a previous life.

The buggy was falling apart and I fell in love with this $5 find. Vivian used it as her “outside stroller” for her baby dolls. Then my husband there it away because he thought it was junk. Well, that’s a story for another day!

The other items came from garage sales and the Springfield Extravaganza flea market.

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

Sweet little braided bun. Bare feet. Summertime. Bliss. Green grass.

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

Festive hues. That day made me so happy and my sister plus here kiddos, were visiting from California–such a bonus that they got to be here at the party!

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

Pretty wrapped presents.

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

I have kept an eye out for one of these cake tins. Finally I found one in a shop I popped into for the first time! There it sat for $5.00! Sold.

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

I love wedding day mints, otherwise know as cream cheese mints. I remember these as a child and being served these mints at weddings. Usually they were in shapes, butterflys. hearts, etc. I tried to use my molds and they would pop out broken. I solved that problem by rolling them into balls, then a sugar finish. Perfect, polka dots! {It works} The recipe is available here, Betty Crocker’s.

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

What is it about those dime store vanilla & strawberry cream filled wafers? They have that nostalgia factor for me. Plus, they just scream party! Vivian’s making a wish! Three has been a delightful age, enjoying every minute of it with her. Glitter candles from Dollar Tree, because we all need a little glitter now & then.

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

On her tippy toes for her cupcake. I should say “pupcake” as that is what she calls them! I don’t correct her as it makes me smile when she says it.

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

My absolute favorite go to for a box mix is at Trader Joes! It’s a vanilla bean cake mix and calls for butter. {all butter, all the time is my motto}
I have these on hand most of the time for last minute baking. This icing recipe, Salted Vanilla Caramel Icing by King Aurthur Flour is another go to favorite. I use this for all sorts of baked goods, it’s swell on top of big baked apple pie! Please do buy the meringue powder, this makes the icing stiff and keeps the icing’s decorative swirls pretty.
I have also used caramel syrup instead of melting caramels, to save on prep time! The decorative circle on top of the cupcakes, are Necco wafers!

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

The streamers on the left hand side of the cupcakes was from the flea and some sort of old may pole decoration. It’s cute and girly.

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

I love this photo. Can you spot Luke our oldest making quite a “I’ve had it face”……who knows what was going on! I’ts pretty funny.

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

Oh, this little girl who is our sunshine! She loves her brothers and calls them Lukey and Zachy. If she can’t find them she says “where’s the boys?”—love!

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

You just can’t forget ice-cream. It’s a birthday and it’s hot out. We all scream for ice-cream!

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

One thing I don’t want to ever forget  is a few days after the party, remnants of the party remained outside. Walking Luke to the bus, Vivian stated in her sweet voice, “my party went by-by”. Where did it go?”.  Oh, sweet little one! You are a gift from above!

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Concentrating on the noisemakers…..who has time to eat?

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Photo Credit Molly Dues

Since, it was held outside, the kids had the run of our property. From the big trampoline to a small apple orchard and paths through the garden; they ran with no care in the world. The sandbox provided entertainment too! They use their imaginations and had no problem showing up for cake & sweets! Our Zach fell out of the apple tree that afternoon. Some tears then, pell mell back into the festivities!

We dine in between curly-q, old mulberry trees and the adults discussed current events and some parenting advice thrown in! The golden afternoon faded to evening and string lights lit up the night. The children’s laughter sparkled the night with memory magic.

Frilly Meets Farmhouse Birthday Party [Part One]

2.19.14

Viv is 3!!!-208

Photo Credit | Molly Dues

Vivian Miette turned 3 last August. I’m finally posting it, which feels great since the summer-y pics make me smile and wink at the icicles hanging from the window where I sit.
I’m going to write about the party in parts and give links to where party goods were purchased to make your front yard party ready!

Where did the fun honeycomb balls come from? Devra-Party. Oh, and can you tell us if there are directions for the banner of honeycomb balls? Sure, I found the DIY here! [oh happy day! is a fun blog for all sorts of amusements!] I employed my husband to pick up the two wooden poles, which the honeycomb banner is attached to. They are from Lowe’s and are bannisters! I stained them and had Matt screw in eye hooks on the tops and that is handy dandy. I have used them for a wedding and in our pop up shop!

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Photo Credit | Molly Dues

The girl on the left is Miss Genevieve, Vivian’s little bestie. Six months older and Vivian think she sparkles! I found the vintage tricycle down the road in Verona. I bought it for her—an oldie, but a goodie kind of birthday present!

So, where did ya’ll find their dresses and shoes? Vivian’s dress came from Target, I was smitten with it and Vivian calls it her “princess dress”! Every girl loves a good “twirly” dress. Vivian’s sandals are bright red to offset the fancy dress. We are huge fans of Saltwater Sandals, I wore them as a kid! Genevieve’s mom picked up her vintage dress at a store no longer in biz. Sad. Genevieve’s shoes are from Target.

Don’t forget to tell us where you picked up the gigantic balloons! Sure, they were purchased at Balloons Fast and I had them filled at our local hardware in Arcanum. Oh, and the foil “3″ & “V” are available on that same site.

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Photo Credit | Molly Dues

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Photo Credit | Molly Dues

Swirling on the lawn under a cloudless summer day. Bright sunshine for our sweetest ray -of -sunshine! Matt & I still smile at the memory of the “it’s a girl!” moment in the hospital. We are so blessed to have her.

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Photo Credit | Molly Dues

Mom tip: I have found as a busy hostess, it’s easier to pre-pack what I can ahead in boxes for the kids. That way I can enjoy the party. If you don’t have enough tables and chairs—do throw a blanket on the ground and take out boxes are perfect for a “picnic”! These textured creamy boxes [not styrofoam] available at my favorite, Webstaurant Store.

Paper napkins for the kiddos and party noisemakers: Dollar Tree

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Photo Credit | Molly Dues

Is that battenburg lace I spy under that lace overlay? Yes, it sure is! We received it at our wedding 16 years ago from a lovely aunt. I almost got rid of it, then after she passed away I was so thankful I didn’t. I updated it in a vat of rit dye to make it a salmon pink. The lace is from a garage sale, only .5 cents!

The divided box is vintage, from a school auction. It came from the Home Ec room. It’s a dandy and original color to boot!

Rifle Botanical Garland banner spelling “Vivian Miette” via Paper Source created by Rifle Paper Co. 

Cups and plates in tangerine: They were picked up at the local party store, the straws from Sugar Diva.

Pink forks & spoons: Dollar Tree

Cloth napkins: Really they’re scarves from Wal-Mart. Fun to use things other ways!

 

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Photo Credit | Molly Dues

Up, up & away. Pretty blue sky on that August day.

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Photo Credit | Molly Dues

Come back soon for part two! We can’t forget cake!

xo

Hello, Autumn

10.10.13

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The Kinfolk Table | Picture Crate&Barrel

“Why, hello there!” When did you come up our lane and through our front door? Welcome, welcome and please stay awhile. Pretty please? A whirlwind of a summer, which left my heart so full and then autumn showed up on my birthday! Please, stay with your chilly mornings and warm afternoons. The windows flung open wide to let Autumn weasel it’s way in and we’re glad it does!

I could tell you every last detail of the last two months–but, really I’m going to speak about one thing that gave me joy. Really, it was a simple meeting in another state, but it gave me a boost!

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I discovered a gal in Virginia, who had seen our Summer Fete look book we produced last summer. I pretty sure she left a comment on my blog and I found her blog. (That’s how these blogs work!)  Then I then started following her on Instagram and was blown away by her simple, beautiful style. It was real and genuine.

My brother recently was married in Virginia and I had the chance to meet Amy. Matt & I have three kids so it seemed like a lot to put on our hostess! (Yes, Luke stepped in dog poo and it ended up on Amy’s bathroom floor, I scrubbed to beat the band.)

So, I got to meet Amy, her husband and her parents to boot. Oh, yes the kids ended up over at Amy’s nieces & nephews neighboring home! I’m so glad we drove up to meet them. It’s these things that make the internet so interesting. Amy has also opened their renovated 1868 “mill” home up for a bed&breakfast, her style and hospitality is all packaged up ready for you to visit. Recently, Amy & Hope hosted a Kinfolk event; Art of Camp Cooking & Grilling. To see the documentation of this event go here.

As I embark on my 39th year, I’m ready for simple beauty in everything, from entertaining to our home. I’ve been cleaning out and ready for lots of meaningful endeavors. Stay tuned for another inspiring gal, I know you will enjoy!

What do you have planned this fall?

 

 

Wedding Planner

8.08.13

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In April I had a consultation with a lovely bride-to-be! The last few months I had wedding planning on my mind. The above photo is the morning of and Julie was getting ready to head get to the church to get ready for her big day! This picture captures Julie’s personality so much. The day was full of putting details in place {12 hours with the exception of running home to change clothes!} I was there at 7am and I hit the ground running! The shed that Julie is standing in was filled the few weeks before with very organized piles of decorations, etc. This building to me is special as it was the backbone of Julie’s planning stages. I wished I would’ve taken up the offer of a friend to come and shoot some behind the scenes and the setting before guests arrive. I have so many thoughts on making a successful wedding take place and for that matter, events in general.

I loved seeing the father of the bride that morning in his work clothes and wellies as much as I loved seeing the bride & groom walk into the reception tent! I wasn’t able to make it to the wedding at the church as I was busy finishing up everything. I can’t wait to see a video of the ceremony! Thanks to my husband, Matt for his amazing help and the food help among all those who made it happen! Cheers! I hope to get photos from the photographer to add to my portfolio and share with you all.

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A peach orchard in Ohio at the bride’s home. Her mother is from California, hence a taste of her home state in Ohio!

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The bridal table before any of the details in place. The golden hour that morning was spectacular, but one run to the shed to gather supplies I missed it!It rained that early morning and then the rain held off all day! It was perfect weather for a wedding, not too hot and cooled down that evening. Very odd for August in Ohio!

 

Sweet Summer

7.14.13

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& the living is easy. coconut popsicles, scent of fresh cut grass, humidity, campfires, kids with skinned knees and playing until the very last drop of day….sweet, sweet summer.

picture: molly dues photography

styling: kara garber

 

Auction | Pictures of Finds

7.08.13

Have you ever went to an auction? I don’t go to very many, but every once in a while I come across a really good one. My mom told me about this church auction in a small Ohio town. I went to the preview and made my list. I scored tons of white dishes and I’m even keeping the ones with chips for props! After bidding and winning them a gal asked me “what in the world was I doing with all these dishes”? I told her maybe for a wedding, props for photographs and what ever else I have up my sleeve. She then proceeded to tell me their over 100 year old church had recently sorted through their old dishes and would I want them! YES, sure thing—I’ll be there right quick! Lots of them were chipped, but there was so many I could pull out the good ones once I got home. I handed her a donation for her church, I didn’t feel right just taking them. My dad told my husband–well, now you are in the dish business!

I purchased six 12′ white farmhouse style folding tables from the church basement. When I won the bid, the auctioneer asked me, “how many do you want”? All of them, yes, all six. I have learned that sometimes if things are a good deal and you are bidding against someone and they win, the auctioneer will then ask how many do you want of that item if there are multiples, they sometimes take the whole lot! So, I have learned the hard way. I also, will figure out how much I want to pay for an item and/or how high can I go. One of the parishioners, told me the tables were from the 40′s or 50′s, they are heavy duty and the way they fold is clever.

 There were also 80 folding wooden church chairs and there again, once the guy won the bid he took all 80. Those went for $800.00 for 80, but, if you break it down that’s $10.00 per chair which is a really good price for neat folding chairs. {But, $800 is gulp, one big price!}

I bid on some other neat things, a flag stand, box of beautiful old religious books {a couple will go on Ebay}, a bookcase, a  vintage commercial coffee maker, and lots of neat odds and ends. Church auctions are rare according to this auctioneer. This church was closing due to declining attendance and thankfully the building and the beautiful curved pews were sold to another church that was going to move into this building.

The man in the second to last picture had moved to this area from Dayton when he was 3….he attended this church for 75 years. Love that! Faithful follower of Jesus Christ!

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Rose Mille Shop

7.04.13

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On our trip out West, we made a fun detour up to Stillwater, Minnesota on our trip. A quaint river town on the St. Croix River, then up the steep bank and above the downtown is the cutest little shop, Rose Mille.  I was quite happy to see the shop in person and I get to share it with you! The owner, Michele Jorgensen, was so sweet and even came up to meet me after her darling shop girl rang her! Michelle Rose Jorgensen, also has a blog, so you can see what she is up to. I love meeting designers and shop owners, to me it adds to the experience.

I also, had a few questions for her as I still dream of launching a wholesale business and looking to find a place to rep my line. Michelle totally understands the busy life as a mom to young children as she has been there too! Isn’t the world such a nice place when we reach out to others! I think in business the more you surround yourselves with creative folks and have a support group, it makes it not so daunting. Sharing and caring is so important in small business.

{Also, on a funny note we drove a camper out West and we left late one evening, drove most of the night and when I arrived at this shop I still had the same dress on and no shower yet! What an adventure driving a camper is! I look just plain awful and tired!}

Rose Mille Glitter

German glass glitter

Rose Mille millinery

Vintage millinery flowers {that display case!}

Rose Mille Millinery

Piles of beauty!

Rose Mille Stamens

Flower stamens

Rose Mille Postcards

Darling postcards designed by Michelle

Rose Mille Mushrooms

German mushrooms, who can resist these?

Rose Mille Textiles

Texture and I’m loving these coverlets!

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The atelier. Millinery supplies………..

Rose Mille Hats

More millinery materials

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Summer vignette

Have a happy 4th of July weekend!

Vintage Marketplace

6.01.13

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Darcy made up pretty little plants in burlap for Vintage Marketplace at the Springfield Extravaganza in May.

 

 

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Darcy, Anne & I split a booth and that made it so much more fun. Always a ball to chat in between customers and have booth coverage so we could all shop!

 

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I found this faded flag and it made a fun prop!

 

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I found this one-of-a-kind find for the booth. It’s a vintage timex watch case! The light works, the watches were displayed on the revolving rack inside, but that has issues and doesn’t want to revolve anymore. Anne saw it from the side before we put it out and thought it was a hot dog warmer and got a laugh from all of us!

 

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Katie Runnels helped Darcy design two styles of prints for the Deaton’s adoption fundraiser. They will also be available at the sale next week!

 

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I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted to. It seems you always get so busy in the set up stage and afterwards into the selling mode you forget to take lots of pictures!

Soon I will let you know about an amazing church auction that I was able to attend!

 

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