Finding the new normal

IMG_2851I feel a bit like that baby chick in the picture above…hiding and peeking out into the world to catch a glimpse of what it’s going to find….perhaps a bit unsure, and a bit curious all at the same time.

A chapter in my life’s journey ended as I closed the door of the shop last Saturday.  But another chapter was already being written, its complete revealing unknown to me as of yet. But still I journey, curiously yet cautiously.  Constantly clinging to the One Who wrote out the story of my life long ago.  “For (I) am His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that (I) should walk in them.”  (Eph 2:10)

Walk on, Connie.  Walk on.  “For (I) walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corn 5:7)

IMG_9848The shop at 244 W Main Street may have closed, but Burlap & Lace is still going strong. Vintage Market Days of Asheville is just around the corner and I am busily preparing for that event.  August 17-19 at the Ag Center in Fletcher you will find 100 vendors from all over the US boasting vintage and farmhouse wares such as you cannot even imagine.  But that’s not all!  There will be soaps, candles, food and so much more.  I am anticipating seeing many of you there!

IMG_6263My sweet sister will be with me again at VMD, and may I remind you that without the “lace”, the “burlap” would be lost!

IMG_3516And while you are waiting for VMD to arrive, find me at The Garage on 25 in Fletcher.  Well, not me personally, but my booth space.  New items are going in next week!

IMG_2989Look for where this sign may pop up next, for the dream is ongoing of places where I can meet with you again and share this amazing journey we call life.  But until that time, I leave you with…

~Blessings,

Connie

 

 

 

 

No crying allowed!

IMG_2884She thought she was ready for the day until….she wasn’t.  It was a big move.  A change.

Life does that to us, you know.  Brings change.  And I am learning it’s not the change that is the problem, if there is to be one.  It’s our attitude toward the change.

So with that in mind, I have decided to make a celebration out of a difficult decision to move out of my brick and morter shop and into a small booth space again.  And that decision has made all the difference.  So no crying allowed!

Sure, I’m sad to leave behind an amazing shop space that God granted me a year ago (truly the desire of my heart and answered prayer), but I am keenly aware that we have life seasons and this season I’m currently in is ready to give way to the next.  So here I go!  And I’m getting very excited about it all.

Welcome to The Garage on 25!

I moved in this week, and although you will see some of the same wares you saw at Burlap & Lace on Main St, I am excited to be showing you these things through a different lense.  Go check it out!  There are some amazing vendors there and you will fall in love with a whole new store!

IMG_3481For the rest of this week and for Thursday – Saturday next week, I will be at Main St waiting to give out hugs and smiles!  And my friend and fellow-vendor, Stephanie Schuster of Stephanie’s Creations, has kindly merged her wares with mine into the downstairs of the house so that we still have amazing, sweet finds for you!

IMG_3558Like these end tables!  Perfect for a bedside or by a chair….$184.95 each or $340 for the pair!

IMG_3572This antique dresser with beveled mirror is marked at half price – was $324.95, now $162.95.  So beautiful that I chose not to paint it!

IMG_3555Drop leaf table just $224.95.  Set of 6 chairs for $100, or $36.95 each.  And that sweet little black desk and chair in the background?  Just $75!  Help these pieces find a new home this week!

I’ve opened back up the dining room and kitchen this week in preparation for our July 28 celebration so there are plenty of “small” items to choose from as well.  Let’s finish this journey together and thank the Lord for all He has done in this place this past year.  What a journey it’s been!  Stay tuned in because there is still more news to come as I journey one….step….at…a…time.

~Blessings,

Connie

Summertime’s Calling Me…

 

I think it’s the flowers.  Or maybe it’s the things that remind me of the beach.  No, it could be the spring breezes turned warm under the heat of the sun.  Perhaps, just maybe, it’s a reminder that almost a full year has circled the calendar since I opened Burlap & Lace in its current location.  Let me just suffice it to say…..summertime’s calling me….and I’m listening.

I’ve come out to the porch to blog this afternoon, rain finally giving way to sunshine after weeks on end of deluge.  And the coolness of the breeze brings a surprising pleasantness to the day.  So I’ve snipped back flowers, tip-toed through the dandelions overgrown in the grass too wet yet to mow, and I’ve chatted with friends on the porch.  It’s a lovely day in every way.

IMG_2584This is my perching post today.  Why not come join me?!?  Check out the succulents and plants….all for sale at Burlap & Lace!  Think my scrabble wish for them to “grow up” will work?  Sure hope so!

Most of you likely dream of tides at the beach and flowers in the spring, but do you wake up having dreamed of how to use this tobacco bookshelf in a new way?  I did!  I think it would be fabulous on a porch with those garden succulents and inspirational books and magazines that make you want to sip lemonade and view your magnificent garden after a hard day’s labor!

IMG_2586I finally gave up on dumping rain out of my wagon and brought it into the dry.  And how neat that I can just pull it out when the rains stop!  Love these pinks with the red of the wagon….

Step into the cool with me for a minute and take a peek at these great chenille pillows!  What I love most about them is that they are made from bedspreads….so if they need washing, just slip the covers off and throw them in!  They come out just as beautiful as before!  These pillows are statement pieces for sure.

IMG_2605Stephanie is rocking it this month!  Her English style soothes the senses.  Come browse her room and see for yourself!

So much I love in her space, from the furniture to the smalls…..

IMG_2612Stephanie has displayed two pairs of lamps….ideal for any room in your home.  And don’t overlook these ladder back chairs….great accent pieces in any room as well! French Country never looked so good!

This wardrobe is my newest addition this week.  In near-perfect condition, it’s the perfect piece for the guest room that always needs more space, the bedroom that doesn’t like clutter (tuck it away in here!), or the kitchen/dining area….yes, you heard me correctly!  Hang those table linens, use the tie rack for hanging up odd utensils rarely used but handy when you need them; store that crock pot and other cumbersome items on the shelf and tuck away candles, cookbooks and other odds and ends in the drawers.

IMG_2627Take in the above shelf….perfect for the kitchen, the bath or the bedroom.  Small books will fit between the posts if needing a bedroom piece, and perfect for displaying the things you need daily like cream pitchers in the kitchen and toiletries in the bath.

IMG_2589When you’re all done browsing, come sit on the porch and take time to still your soul.  I may even join you there!  And until we meet again….

~Blessings,

Connie

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

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

Obedience is better than sacrifice…

IMG_6730It was my starting place….the desire of my heart being fulfilled.  And coming out of a well-paying job to take on my own business was quite a stretch.  But one thing I was certain of…..God’s direction in it for me.  And if I’ve learned anything in this life, it is that to obey sometimes costs you, but to disobey costs you so much more.  And so in January of 2017 the decision was made to open a brick and mortar retail space.  And God faithfully provided the first 500 SF location….an office space on Osborne Road in Brevard, NC. The lease was signed and the doors opened in March.  But close behind that 6 month lease came the fulfillment of the rest of the dream….a vintage home complete with gardens and more space to house Burlap & Lace.  IMG_8385

I would suggest reading back through old blogs for how this story has panned out thus far, but let me suffice it to say….I have learned so much already.  And in that learning, I realize some things that I absolutely have gotten away from while trying to grow this sweet little shop.  And therein lies my lesson of obedience.  May I just say here that God is so faithful?  He will let us “go our own way” for a time, but as a gentle shepherd, he takes that crook around my neck and leads me back to the right path…..again and again and again.

IMG_2162

Since opening the doors of Burlap & Lace, a lot has happened….both good things and not so good things.  My husband and I have been through 2 Vintage Market Days as vendors, we have “opened shop” twice in two different locations simultaneously while doing the market (which proved to be both exhausting and exhilarating), we have lost a parent to death after a five plus year stent of Alzheimer’s (the meanest disease I have ever witnessed), I got shingles, then broke my foot doing laundry….a break that put me in a walking boot for 4 months.  I have undergone Physical Therapy for the results of  wearing the boot for so long, and am still doing so.  That has kept me from doing my “normal” rearranging of the shop weekly, not to mention the set back of not being able to go bargain hunting like normal! Today, I am pleased to say, I saw the surgeon for what I hope to be the last time and have been released to begin normal activities slowwwwwly again. (That will be challenging!  I’m not sure I have a slow gear in my possession.)  To continue my saga, we are battling through the last few months of watching a second parent lose the battle to cancer.  And somewhere along this journey, I decided I should be open 5 days each week which I find has been impossible to do consistently.   I am having to close more than stay open in order to travel, take care of PT appointments and doctor appointments, and just “do normal life”.  Which leads me back to the beginning of this long story….obedience.

I clearly knew from the beginning of Burlap & Lace that I was to be open Thursday, Friday and Saturday, but when things began to slow down , I felt I could add more days. So I did.  And God has allowed me to “go my own way” once again, all the while prompting my spirit to slow down, breathe and enjoy what and who He has given me daily.  My confession?  I have begun not enjoying much of anything lately for the frenzy of it all.

Having taken time out this morning for a doctor’s appointment, I so appreciated the drive time to be still and to listen to what I knew God was instructing me to do.  To coin a phrase from my earthly father, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”  And that is what I have tried to do…”fix” something that wasn’t broken to begin with.

I had begun listening to people asking me how I could stay open during the winter months if I was only open 3 days/week.  I panicked.  And I shouldn’t have.  God is faithful!  Shame on me for forgetting His promises to me and getting off track….even for a little while.  So with that being confessed, hear this:  I am going back to my regular schedule of Thursday – Saturday 10:00 – 5:30 beginning next week.   And this week?  I will only be open Thursday and Friday, as we again are traveling Saturday and Sunday.  Sigh….

IMG_0825As these gorgeous flowers bravely poked through the debris of winter, I was delighted to see their pink faces gazing up at me.  Winter is passing….and spring will come.  But we must wait for it.  We are not in control.  Am I the only one realizing that?!?

So if you wander in to Burlap & Lace this week, wander in on  Thursday or Friday.  And I will be here (God willing!) to greet you.  Let’s take a quick peek at a few things you will find when you visit next…

 

New furniture pieces, tote bags and fun new wall pieces, plus so much more.  Thanks for being a part of my journey…..and until we meet again,

~Blessings,

Connie

 

 

Welcome touches of class….

IMG_0594The pattering rain on this ‘ol house’s tin roof brings a certain comfort to the chill of the day.  January is upon us, which translated means….a new year on the calendar, a year older for this shopkeeper, new venues to create, new challenges ahead, new friends to meet….the list is long.  So let me back up a step or two and bring you back to a couple highlights for me from 2017.

Featured in the photo above are a few things I beg you to notice.  First….the sign on the far left, though funny and certainly feels real every morning, the truth is that JESUS makes everything possible.  If you don’t know Him personally, I pray this is the year you do!  He has taken me out of a heavy, cumbersome boot after a broken foot and I am (for the 4th day now) walking in two shoes!  Albeit, I walk like I’m a toddler just learning again due to having worn that boot for so many months, BUT I am walking, and to that praise I thank Jesus for His healing work!

Now, please entertain yet another of my stories just bursting to be told….

Early in 2017 as I was opening my shop on Osborne Road, in stumbled Lynn Driver.  You can read more about her in a previous blog, but let me suffice to say this….Lynn is a local artist whose work is becoming more and more notable not only here but in other states.  To have her work grace my walls is almost too sweet to believe, but believe it you can!  Lynn has been terrific to allow me to describe my “wants and wishes”, and then somehow she magically creates even more than I could have asked for.  As she and I met last week before I reopened this year, she brought me a few of her pieces that – honestly – before when she has mentioned them to me I haven’t given them another thought.  Mostly, I didn’t feel I could give them the attention they deserved.  But with the help of another remarkable lady, by George, I think the three of us have done it!

Scroll back up to the picture….my words to Lynn’s painting are simply “stunning”.  Perched above a beautifully painted buffet, I want to scoop up the entire setting and transport it to my home!

 

So let me tell you the story of the buffet…

Late in November as I was hobbling around the shop in my boot, in walked Stephanie Schuster.  Here again, you’ve read about her on another blog of mine, but let me say this about meeting Steph.  I am more than sure that the Lord brought her to me at just the right time.  You see, that silly boot had me unable to bend enough to paint, not to mention that I was not allowed to move, pick up or tote anything of any weight, and so my furniture supply was dwindling toward the end of last year.  Having seen (and purchased!) Stephanie’s work at Country Creations, I was elated that she was willing to have me showcase her work in my shop as well!  I am not the easiest person to get along with because I am very picky about my style, and to be completely honest, some days I don’t even know what it is I am looking for.  But Steph’s work is art in itself, and I am thrilled to add her pieces here.

 

Adding in an abstract piece of Lynn’s to my den setting made the whole room pop!  And the addition of Steph’s upholstered chair to her beautifully painted and stained desk?  Well, I’d so put that set into my kitchen for a place to sit and pay bills, make out my menus or make my daily “to do” list while sipping on my hot coffee!

So help me in welcoming these two artists to Burlap &  Lace.  I am blessed to have their work here, which means that from time to time I am also blessed to have them here!

IMG_0663As we pop our heads out to the porch, I don’t mind admitting that I am having an early case of spring fever!  My sister has always loved blue, and so for some reason (maybe she has been on my heart a lot lately!),  I decided to bring in touches of blue and yellow throughout the house this month.  And I don’t mind saying that wicker has become a new favorite of mine!  This love seat has got to be the most comfortable piece of furniture I’ve had grace this porch!  Sold as a set (cushion included), pair it with the oval table and you’re ready to sit and sip lemonade!

IMG_0664I’m loving this metal table and chair set…perfect for the porch, deck or to use inside!  Remember how it was showcased last month?  Let me remind you….

IMG_9723Ok, back to January’s offerings….

IMG_0658Chippy meets burlap meets rust…..huh?  This old rusty spring is my new favorite piece!  I had it as an umbrella stand last month.  This month?  Perfect for faux florals to soften the corner of the room!

 

So with all the guests in for Christmas, I found that the first week of January was mostly spent doing laundry at my home, which inspired me to do two things….(1) create a laundry room at Burlap & Lace and (2) listen to my customers’ requests for picture frames!  You see, I have pictures of my family in nearly every room of my home, so why not add them to the laundry room as well?  Seems we spend a lot of time washing and folding the clothes of those we love so why not see their smiling faces gracing our room as we work to serve them?

IMG_0642I’ve also created a linen closet for those of you who – like me – love finding linens to use on your bed, your table, or anywhere really!

 

And the garden room is open again, springing up with lots of new, fun finds!

 

I promise you surprises at every turn, and new merchandise added weekly, so don’t let the dreariness of winter keep you indoors.  Come on out to Burlap & Lace and get a breath of spring.  It really is on the wings of winter!  Until I see you again –

~Blessings,

Connie

Telling the “why” behind what I do…

M and Mom  cheek kissAugust 2014 will always be sweet in my memory.  This is my moma….who I swear has NEVER answered the phone when I called without a smile to her voice, and who – as I have been doing some soul-searching this past week – is a huge part of my story of “why”  I do what I do.  Simply stated – she has inspired me over the years, not so much by what she has said,  but rather by what she has exampled before me.Dad's b'day #3I just celebrated my 57th birthday two days ago.  And if you know me at all, you understand that I am a processor….I think (and speak) out loud a lot of the time when I should be quiet and ponder before opening my mouth.  But in the end, if you know me, you understand. That’s just the way God wired me.  And it takes a lot of grace to love me!

For my birthday, my HubE gave me a book that has been on my wish list for some time now… and in the first pages of the book, the author asks the question, “What’s your story?  What’s your why?  How did you come up with the idea for your business in the first place?”  With some much-needed quiet after a blessed and active Christmas, I have written down that question on paper, and in my mind, and processed it over and over for the past two days.  And while I don’t have all the answers, I believe I’ve found a few.  So if you will allow me, let me share with you a bit about my story, and my why.photo 1This was the first house I remember growing up in.  I was blessed to have come from a small town where I could walk to school and then home again every day.   When I was a young girl, my mom would allow me to “play office” with her by setting up a card table in my room which was across from her office.  She equipped my “desk” complete with my own adding machine and drawer of paper money.  I would then have my sister come to my “shop” (which was my room) and purchase things.  I wanted her as a customer so much that I even gave her money from my cash drawer to use in “purchasing” my goods!  Thinking about that now, I laugh at how I had to coerce her to play my silly “shop” game.  I believe that experience impacted us both in ways that are still unfolding.

As those early years led into my pre-teen years, my mom owned and operated her own florist business – FANCY THAT – in this same small town.  At the time, all I knew was that my mom and a friend of hers spent their time while I was in school in this downtown shop making floral arrangements for people.  To this day, she has the sign from that shop hanging in her craft room.

As I entered Jr High and then High School, mom and I developed a like-passion for venting our creativity into various outlets.  We spent many a night and weekend making homemade crafts….anything from her floral designs to my cross-stitched Christmas ornaments….with the idea that we would enter into craft shows in our area.  That we did…and we each actually won a few blue ribbons for our wares!

Now let’s fast-forward some 30+ years.Booth 021The year was 2008 and my son was in high school, during which he took art classes.  During the summers, he would often have some project or another going, as would I.  It was during this time that he taught me the fine art of making my own pallet signs.  This was my first one, and I was quite proud!  I used stencils for the design work because I couldn’t paint a lick!  And I used spray paint, of all things!

Not long after I began making these signs, I felt the desire in me growing to have my own space to try and sell my signs.  Booth spaces had become a big thing, and I remember applying for and getting my first space in a downtown shop….The Eclectic Cottage.  It was a huge financial stretch for us at the time….$35 a month for a pole space!  Literally, the space was a supporting pole/wall that was not even 3 feet wide but that went all the way to the ceiling.  For my $35 investment, I could fill that pole with anything I could design.  And design I did!  It wasn’t enough for me to just hang my “wall art”….I decided to purchase a small chest, paint it and get a few Goodwill items to display with my signs.  What I soon learned was that I seemed to enjoy designing the space almost more than designing the art to go in the space! And customers were buying both the wall pieces as well as the furniture and do-dads!

I’ll spare you all the details, but suffice it to say that I went on to larger spaces in more than one venue over the next 8 years, all the while discovering a few things that I truly enjoyed almost more than making my signs.

My first discovery was that I found that God had given me a passion for seeing others overcome their own feelings of inadequacy or worthlessness (as He was surely helping me overcome my own), and He was using this venue to expose me to other women with stories all their own. I found myself being inspired by them all in one way or another.

Secondly, I discovered that God….the Master Creator….had instilled a bit of creativity in me!  I was drawn to designing spaces of intrigue.  I wanted others to be drawn into places of coziness and warmth just by coming into my booth space.  And when they wandered out of that space, I wanted them to leave with their own creative juices flowing!

My final discovery is one that was launched as I opened my own brick and mortar space.  I realized that I was becoming a part of others’ journeys, and I was overwhelmed by God’s goodness to allow that.  You see, whether it is a new bride that comes looking to adorn her first home with candlesticks for her mantle, or the couple that has moved out of their “forever” home into a downsized space for their aging years, I get to be a part of helping them find the perfect pieces to aid in their own personal journeys through the years ahead. And our lives – in a small but significant way – intertwine.  I love that!

I know there will be more discoveries ahead.  In fact, I have spent this week preparing Burlap & Lace with all new rooms for you to explore!  So much new merchandise, and so much more to come in the months ahead.  We have a lot of forward-journeying to do together.  But before we take another step forward, allow me to take a walk down memory lane with you, exploring some of my sweetest designs over the past 8 years.  Here’s to the memories!

Signs…wall art….my humble beginnings.

My sweet sister making pillows for my shop –

And then just a few of my “happy” spaces….

Thanks for being the biggest part of my story…and of my “why”.  I look forward to spending this new year with you!

~Blessings,

Connie

It’s the most wonderful time of the year

IMG_8856Little did I think when I began a retail business that Christmas preparations would need to begin before I had eaten my Thanksgiving turkey!  But such appears to be true!  And I am excited to tell you that Burlap & Lace will be one of 12 businesses participating in the first annual Christmas Crawl on November 11th!  You can start in Brevard at Burlap & Lace and make your way to Weaverville, visiting stores that will all be boasting Vintage Christmas appeal that day.  And I am pleased to announce that Anita will be on site with me that day hosting her Vintage Tea Party for you!  (She was with me on opening day….what a treat!)

All that being said, I have decided to deviate from my regular “change it every week” disclaimer and let Burlap & Lace dwindle down on Fall this last week of October.  Now don’t be thinking there will be nothing exciting or new for you to find though….on the contrary!  What you will most certainly find are LOTS of savings and LOTS of deals on Fall items, furniture wares, and all other manner of things.  Let’s take a peak at what you don’t want to pass by this coming week…

All real pumpkins have to go!  I have three white left and one round orange one, now all reduced to just $4 each!   The smaller ones are now $.25 each….better grab them while they last!  Oh, and one lovely green gourd is now $4 as well.

While wintering ferns is possible, I simply forget to water inside plants.  So this beautiful baby must find a new home.  I have two ferns at $1 each and this lovely larger one for $8.  Two cornstalks are ready to grace your porch at just $7 each!  And I have two mums in baskets marked down as well.  My last summer beauty on the porch is my favorite planter so far….this vintage file bin!  Some green thumb could keep this plant alive all winter in a sunny room….it takes very little water and a whole lot of sunlight.  The bin alone is a steal at just $20!

Let’s talk furniture….in the upper left picture, this child’s washbasin stand has worn out it’s welcome at Burlap & Lace.  It’s an antique piece that has been converted nicely into a side table/bedside table with one drawer and two shelves in the bottom cabinet.  Honestly, it has been a favorite of mine but has drawn little attention.  The fact that it has rollers for feet makes it quite movable.  So, what was once $145 is now…..(drum roll please)…$35!  You really should check this piece out!

In the next picture is a fabulous tobacco stake shelf.  While I have had this in my garden room since bringing it to  Burlap & Lace, I truly think this piece belongs on a porch as a garden shelf, or in a bedroom or den as a bookcase.  Marked originally at $156, this shelf can go home with you for $115!  It is definitely one of a kind.

In the bottom left picture is a hutch that has also gotten many accolades, but to date has not found the right home for it. I see this piece in any and every room of your home:  In a den as the obvious, a bookcase; in a kitchen to hold china, mixing bowls, mixer and recipe books; in a bathroom displaying rolled or folded towels on the shelves and baskets or canisters of bath products behind the sliding leaded glass doors; in a bedroom with shoes on the shelves and sweaters neatly folded behind the glass doors; in a laundry room with glass jars of washing powder and other laundry products and the bottom shelves to house baskets of dog toys, children’s’ hats and gloves or any other numerous but homeless items!  This piece, solidly priced at $574.95 has been reduced to just $350!

The cupboard, once a Hoosier, was $346.50 and is now $200.  Grey hutch was $155 and is now $100.

Can you believe there is still more?  From top left to bottom right:  Cradle was $74.95, now $15.  Farm table with red legs was $184.95, now $125.  Ornate dresser was $540, now $375. Pallet table was $190,  now $75.  Brown loveseat was $164.95, now $50.  Bookstand table (to left of loveseat) was $184.95, now $95.  Queen’s chair and ottoman was $184.95, now $125.  Wardrobe was $425, now $200.

Still not done!  Take a look at this Double Bed, complete with headboard, footboard and rails….was $164.95, now $95!  And this sofa table was $184.95, now $100.

Wait a minute…..why all the furniture discounts?  Because I have a fun new venue to bring you for Christmas and starting into the new year!  And while I have STILL not listed all the deals going on, I hope I have enticed you to come in and see them for yourself!  And one last peek…don’t forget the pieces for your walls!

IMG_8914IMG_8887Until I see you on the front porch of Burlap &  Lace-

~Blessings,

Connie