A few of my favorite things

IMG_1492When anyone tells me to “pick your favorite”, I struggle.  I  have a LOT of favorite things!  And I just finished telling a customer how much I loved something she noticed in my shop, then I laughed and thought how egotistical that sounded!  But of course I love what is in my shop!!!  All of it!  That being said, however, I do have some favs and I thought I would share those with you today, as well as the story behind the love.

Let’s start with the picture above….sitting atop a splintered wood desk I placed a rusty grate I found on a picking spree.  When asked what I was going to do with it, I had no idea.  But when I found these succulents it all began to come together!  If you’re like me and don’t have much of a green thumb (I killed the succulents my sister gave me for my shop when I first opened!), try a few artificial ones.  They make much less of a mess and look so much like the real thing!

IMG_1504But I am a bit of a nut about live plants as well…..especially ivy cause it’s really hard to kill!  This old organ stool came from my grandmother’s house and I absolutely LOVE this piece. Maybe because of its memory, but I adore the chippy paint as well left from her artist days…

IMG_1540When I can combine antique with new, I’m thrilled.  Lynn Driver’s artwork keeps me happy in my little shop….and this bicycle was a special request she did for me.  How perfect that it has teal and pink combined!  Oh, if only I could find it a new home.  Maybe mine!

IMG_1527Honestly, I’m trying to find room in our home for all these favs!  The washtub stand would be so perfect on a patio with a bowl of ice and drinks, or a potted plant for those of you who can keep those real beauties alive and well!  And the bird pitcher and bowl …. what’s not to love about them both?!?

I found this antique spice box and fell in love with the patina alone!  What would you use it for?  I think (once again) some succulents, or to store jewelry in.  How perfect it would be for travel.

IMG_1545Admittedly, I have spent a lot of my life around gold pieces (I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s) and I have tried to get past it!  But for some reason, this plant urn called my name and I couldn’t resist it!  Paired with black it gives off a rather classy look, don’t you agree?  So I’ve added it to my list of favorites this month…

My husband says I could warm our home without actual heat just by lighting all the candles!  So I’m a natural hunter of candle holders and these two pair are just as different as can be.  The white ones are a light metal; the pink and green (my two favorite colors, especially when paired together) are ceramic.  So unique that I had to get both sets!

IMG_1493I forgot to brag on this beauty!  Wouldn’t you love to dine on a table with these lit up?

IMG_1496Candlewick glassware is my new favorite find.  I decided to pair these two pieces on a desk….one for paperclips and the other to hold sticky note pads and pens!  But maybe you would prefer using them in a bath to hold soap?  Or as actual dishes….the smaller round one for lime or lemon slices and the larger one for butter….or maybe put the round one on the oblong one and you have a chip and dip plate!  The ideas are limitless, and the candlewick pattern makes it a bit more special than plain glass, yet they match any decor!

IMG_1495Because I love books both to read and to display, I have a great collection here, held together on a desk by the innards of a chicken feeder (a rusty one of course!).

And before I continue with the pictures, let me go backwards a bit to say that almost without a doubt my favorite things will include the following:  flowers (especially daisies and hydrangeas), birds, books, rusty things, chippy things, glassware, baskets, candles and prints that tell a story.  So on with the photo gallery…. starting with….

Baskets and containers

Prints/art that tells a story

Flowers and chippy make a great combo!

I also love things that were intended for one purpose but work so great for another….

Old drawers make fabulous displays for your wares, rusty oil pans make great dish holders, an old tackle box makes the perfect jewelry box, a wine bottle holder gives your rolling pins or towels a lift, and an old washer is a great plant stand!

And pink….well, pink works whenever for any reason….because I love it!

My love of birds is evidenced here, there and everywhere!

IMG_1489More rust for you….old scales work great in so many places….indoors and out!

IMG_1497Sigh…..I think I’ll find a place for it all!

Come see why I love what I do and know you are the best part of that reason!

~Blessings,

Connie

Advertisements

My Tribute

IMG_1300Meet Wilma.  She was one classy lady…..even in her death.  She was my mother-in-law, but more than that, she was my friend.

On Tuesday, March 13, my HubE and I picked up the Uhaul and began loading out the shop for Vintage Market Days of Asheville.  Months of planning had gone into the event….an event that encompasses 100 vendors from all over the US.  What a privilege to have been chosen as one of those vendors, now for their third show!  Five hours into the loading process we were nearly finished when the call came from Hospice that “mom” was declining rapidly.  We needed to make a decision to go ahead with VMD, or bale so someone else could quickly take my spot.  We decided to be with mom, and I’m so very thankful for that choice we made.  So we spent the next 3 hours unloading the truck back into the shop….in heaps of furniture and boxes spread between three rooms.  Hindsight…what was I thinking????  Somehow I thought all that would fit into a 10 x 20 booth space!  (I’m smiling….)

We arrived in Cary early Wednesday morning and spent the next 4 days with mom, leaving her side only for meals when her dear friends would come and sit with her.  For the first 2 days, she could speak albeit garbled.  But in those days, she gave her son a hug and told him she loved him.  And that was well worth the trip all by itself.

IMG_1296I was able to tell mom the one thing I had always wanted her to know….that she had shown me Christ through her grace, love and forgiveness of me after the years that my HubE and I spent apart.  She was an amazing and kind woman who raised three men to be gentle, kind men of integrity and faith.  Her legacy lives on in her sons, one of whom I am blessed to call husband.

Spring came to the mountains while we sat with mom.   Proof that life goes on.  In the first day we were with mom, I asked her if she was afraid of dying.  Her answer was quick, “Oh no!  I can’t wait to meet Jesus!”  She was sure of the fact that life indeed does go on….even after death.  Her eternal life would be one of peace, and she was ready.

She passed from this life on Sunday morning, March 18.  Just 12 hours prior to her passing, after days of not getting up or moving about at all, and certainly no more speaking, she sat bolt upright in her bed and began the motions of slipping her arms from her sleeves, though her gown had no sleeves at all.  She ran her hand down one arm, then tried to do the other and said to me (eyes closed), “You finish”.  So I ran my hand down her other arm as if helping to remove the garment she wanted off.  Then she took her hand and slipped it over her watch, as if to remove it.   She continued with her wedding rings and then cupped my hand and “placed” the items in my palm, closing my hand around the invisible valuables.  She then said, “Done” and laid back down.  That was her last word.  She knew the time had come, and that was the last thing she needed to do.  I wept.

She was one classy lady….even in death.

IMG_1274Easter is on its way, and though many celebrate bunnies and candy, I will be celebrating the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Because of His death and life, all those who believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.  Mom is living it up….literally!  And we rejoice with her, though we weep for ourselves.

Through this last month, Burlap & Lace has been closed more than open.  Now you know why.  And I don’t regret any of the moments we high-tailed it to Cary when she needed us.  Sometimes it was for doctors appointments, other times because she needed to physically move her residence, and at moments it was simply because we heard in her voice that it would be nice to have family close by, but she would never have wanted to disrupt our lives.  It was as if she believed her dying process was an inconvenience to those she loved, and far be it from her to let it be so!  We never felt inconvenienced; we felt blessed to be with her.

I’m trying to formulate a plan to reopen….and yet we are still in the process of grieving and saying goodbye.  The funeral is this Sunday so we will return to Cary Saturday.  There are details to take care of regarding vacating her apartment after the service, so for a few days we will remain in Cary.  My hope is to reopen Thursday, March 29.  But to be honest, it’s a tall order I’m not sure I can fill.

This is only a small vision of the chaos that awaits sorting at the shop…. one corner of one room.  And there are three rooms full with only a walk-path between.

I am going to do my best, and I apologize that I can’t give an exact reopen date until after the funeral takes place and I know how long we will be gone.  So I simply ask that you watch my Facebook page for notice of the reopening and spread the word.

Through it all, I thank you for loving me and my family, and for giving such grace yourselves by understanding the shop closures this month.  It will be good to see you all again soon.  Until then,

~Blessings,

Connie

Roots growing deep

IMG_1244Winter and I have never been friends.  But I have come to realize that without Winter the roots couldn’t reach deep into the soil to gain nourishment and to push forth those early Spring buds.  I recently tried my hand at  planting some curly willow from a cutting.  When I saw the buds bursting forth it gave me such a thrill!  And I pondered this…when we allow God to work in us and our roots are in Him, do you think He thrills when we burst forth new life from what He has sown in us?  I like to think that He does.

My life seems to have been going through a very long winter season of late.  And truthfully?  I have been complaining about it….a LOT!  Now I’m pretty sure that my complaints are not at all the right nourishment for my soul, and I know too that nothing good will grow from those groans.  So today, I decided to look to my Source and ask forgiveness.  Faithful as He always is, God has provided exactly the encouragement I have needed today.  I am beyond words.  So humbled.  So thankful.  So blessed.

IMG_1252On the outside I often look like this old tin….rusty, bent out of shape a bit and worn out.  And then…..sprouts of life burst out of that old worn out vessel and offer hope for the days ahead.  Thank you, Father.

IMG_1249As the sun streamed in the upstairs window of the shop this morning, I  felt a renewal in my spirit.  And again, I breathe out my thanksgiving to the One Who always hears our cries and meets our every need.  You hear that?  Our every need.

IMG_1247Rusty?  Yes.  But look again….life springing out of the old.  Turn your gaze outdoors a moment.  Lift your eyes off the screen.  Go ahead.  I’ll wait for you.  What do you see?  Anything springing forth new life today?  It’s there if you look for it. God will use the old, rusty, worn out and fatigued and skillfully bring forth a beauty you might not realize you possessed.  Let Him do His creative work in you.  I’m giving in to Him as well today.  Why?  Because I personally know His faithfulness.  Even working against my stubborn and occasionally hard heart.

IMG_1243May you find joy in your journey today, my friend.  God loves you so much.

~Blessings,

Connie