Sunday, November 24, 2013

Window Shopping in The Windy City

 We had so much fun in Chicago two weeks ago when the girls had a long weekend off from school.  We took the Amtrack from Holland right downtown to Union Station and stayed overnight at the Intercontinental Hotel.  As you can tell from the pic, the weather was less than desirable, but we made the most of it and got some real shopping and window shopping in.

I've been asked to speak to the Zeeland High Marketing class in December regarding window displays and merchandising and so I snapped a few photos of some eye catching displays while we were down there. 

 So inspiring. The creativity and the unique backdrops.  It made me actually miss the days when I styled out the vacant storefront window that now houses the restaurant "Public" downtown Zeeland.  Fun project, but very glad we no longer have vacancy issues and our storefront windows are nearly full! Feel the Zeel!

While in Chicago, Ken took us to Haworth's (his day job-no he's not my assistant full time:)! showroom located in the famous "Merchandise Mart".  He has been attending the Neocon office furniture trade show these past couple years in June and was excited to show the girls and I where he spends his time that week. 
I was drooling over all the high end interior selections (tile, plumbing, flooring, furniture). 
This small town designer was in over her head with sticker shock but it was still fun to dream.

Kennedy and Breck posing in Haworth's Tulip chairs. 
They're not kidding calling it the Windy City! 

And the bonus to end our trip was discovering my nephews, Alex and Chase sitting in Union Station heading back to Holland on the same train (Chase only, Alex was heading back to Wheaton where he goes to school) ! We had no idea! Such a fun way to wrap up a long weekend. 
I've got a big day in the garage tomorrow cranking out custom orders. You guys are keeping me busy. I love it. Hope you get your work done too this week so you can enjoy some family time on Thanksgiving. See you back here before then I hope.


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Selfie Sunday :)

Ha ha! Couldn't resist posting a picture from a Halloween costume party/scavenger hunt we went to a few weeks ago. Stumbled across this gem in one of my files online. Kennedy had taken the pic of us and then instagrammed it with the inspiration photo from the movie "Juno"-one of our faves. That's me, "Juno, and my very own "Pauly Bleeker" for those of you who have seen the movie. 

Don't have a lot of time to write tonight. We're heading to the "Windy City" tomorrow early by train with the girls for a short little jaunt overnight.  I'm going to bring my camera along and try to get some good shots of some store window displays. Don't know if they'll be decorated yet for Christmas, but I imagine so.

 In mid-December I've been asked to speak at a Chamber of Commerce event that they are hosting for Zeeland High School marketing students and they want me to present on window displays/marketing product. Should be fun. I'l share those pics with you here too if I think they're inspiring enough! :)

Here's some randomness from my scattered brain tonight:

Before pic of an end table that I purchased from a friend's connection to an estate buyer's sale. Loved the mustard yellow. Wasn't sure on the natural drawer front.
 Don'tcha hate when you almost like the 'before' better than the 'after'? That happens sometimes. You win some, you lose some. I'll mark it down in price and bring it to my booth as is. You can always repaint it. :) It's got some great character! Needs new handles on the middle drawer. That's what's bugging me.
I found these scarfed up but sturdy, chunky pieces in the 'unfinished room' at Not So Shabby and knew one of my friends/clients would be interested in the set of these for her bedroom. We were looking for nightstands that we could paint. These were huge, but so is her room so we figured they would work.
Looks like a dog had gotten the better of one of them but I knew my Pauly Bleeker could fix that without a problem. 

So sorry I didn't take an official "after" of the project. I thought I had.  We got new hardware and purchased some great big lamps with round drum shades. This coral color I picked from one of the quilt square colors in her Pottery Barn bedding. 

I stumbled across these cute pillows at Hobby Lobby this week. They have so many new products in there now, it's crazy! Dig through it...some junky, some really cool and funky. 

 And these cute little lamps. 

These pillows are from TJ Maxx

That chevron I tell ya, it's still all the rage. I did happen to spot a chevron stencil at Hobby Lobby as well, but I didn't love how it was cut out. Wait til I show you my friend Kelli's daughter's room that I roped her into doing! Hours of chevron fun! Stay tuned!


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Not So Shabby Christmas Open House-This weekend!

Still seems strange when fall rolls around that I am not working around the clock to pull together my annual  pre-Christmas tag sale. It's so bittersweet. I miss seeing your beautiful faces and staging my house and all the excitement that goes with it, but at the same time, Ken and I have commented no less than 10 times in the past several weeks, how relieved we are that we are not scrambling madly like so many years past. Well, we're scrambling madly but not for the tag sale. Just daily working, living, breathing. :) 
Just like all of you.
(On that note, saw a great blog post this week on Facebook, called "Becoming Minimalist". Google it. Good stuff). 

I can't leave you hanging this year Champs, without offering you the chance to purchase some Christmas goodies and this weekend at Not So Shabby you can do just that. 
We are having the annual Holiday Open House this Friday, (Nov. 8) from 4-7. The store will actually be closed all day until 4:00 for vendors to prepare.
Saturday, during regular store hours, the fun continues. 
Many vendors are offering markdowns in their booths. 
All furniture in my booth will be marked down 10%!

Here's a small sampling of what's 'in store'. :)

Come on out for some holiday treats (food and repurposed treasures)! I will be milling around there on Friday from 5-7. Hope to see you there!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Upcycling and beautfi-ing Jars


You Champs have been keeping me busy with sign orders! I love it! The one above I tried a new technique with sandpaper to give it a linen look for the background. I also just bought another great new stencil from Hobby Lobby that I can't wait to showcase soon on a sign. Stay tuned for that. :)

Quick tutorial on the project below: 

A couple of months ago, my faber (friend/neighboer) asked me if I could make some decorative jars for her to use as display.  She had seen the idea somewhere before and showed me a few pictures of what she had in mind.  She was going to fill the jars with beach sand and then place votive or tea light candles in them and use them in a cluster on her dining table.  Might have been a little more relevant during the summer, but I finally had time to work on them yesterday. Maybe she could fill with cranberries and candles for Christmas! (trying to give my procrastination a positive spin)!
Here's what I started out with: various sizes of jars that I cleaned up and upcycled for this project! (Honey jars, ball caning jars, anything!)
 Here are my supplies:  Burlap w/ lace  and regular lace from Hobby Lobby. Natural twine/raffia, hemp cord, buttons, ribbons and actual burlap cut from  coffee bags.

 Here's the end product.
 I think these would make really inexpensive and charming wedding centerpieces or accents. Maybe for a bridal or baby shower too using baby food jars! As a Christmas gift, keep the lids with them and fill them with homemade granola or chocolates. 
 I added buttons where I thought it looked plain.  There are all sorts of ways you could doll these jars up, but the lace wrapped burlap made it super easy! Arm yourself with my favorite tool - a hot glue gun and away you go!

The weather is turning chilly and the nights are getting longer. Start saving and washing jars. Grab some girlfriends and plan a craft night! 

Also...head's up for later this next blog post will be advertising our annual Holiday sale at Not So Shabby. THIS Friday,November 8 from 4-7 and Saturday, Nov. 9 from 10-4 (I think). More info and pics soon. 
Meet you back here on Thursday, 'kay?