Saturday, November 29, 2008

Artisan Profile: Daddy Deer : )

Mom and I would never be able to have the shop without the support of our family. In particular, Dad really makes all of this possible. He is a computer scientist and works at all sorts of technical things all day, often pulling long nights, to support the family and the opening of the shop. Plus, when there is a problem down here like siding that has been blown off by super strong wind or heavy duty yard work, making dressing rooms, he is definitely the one to whom we turn.

However, in one way the shop is giving back to Dad. He is getting his craft on again. It has been awhile since he has been able to build anything but he has actually been busy down in his workshop. We are really proud to be able to say that he has been making some adorable twiggy reindeer for our shop. He is hoping to start making some furniture like shelves and the like for the shop at some point. Don't you think that he did a great job with these?

And here are the "babies":

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lighting Your Home with Lights From the Past

How neat is it that we can enjoy the same warm glow from Christmas lights as others have forty, fifty or even more years ago? Here are 2 vintage foil electric candles that we just listed in our Etsy shop:

This is just a small taste of the vintage Christmas lights available. There are Christmas strands in beautiful pastel colors and old bubble or "snowball" lights as well as nifty novelty bulbs that date back to the 20s and 30s. The earliest examples can be quite expensive, particularly the intact theme strands like the original Disney Snow White and Seven Dwarfs, but you can find these foil candles and other Christmas lights and strands from the 50s and 60s at much more accessible prices. Cindy Chipps and Greg Olson wrote a great guide to this collectible lights called "Collector's Encyclopedia of Electric Christmas Lighting Identification & Values" which really gives you a great idea of the wide variety available.

We also recently acquired these two midcentury santa novelty bulbs, which we will be putting into inventory soon:

If you do plan on using these old electric lights do be careful and check the wires carefully. Items like the foil candles can be rewired but be sure to follow directions on the light kits. Just to be safe pleae do not leave vintage lights on while unattended.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Aren't You Feeling These Vintage Felt Stockings?

There is something about the handmade vintage felt stockings, like the tree skirts and banners, they are just so fun with their retro stylization and their bright beads, sequins and rhinestones. They are so versatile and really do add that special something to the holidays.

Red felt stockings, with our names picked out in jaunty green glitter, are hung on our mantle every year. Mom's dates back to when she was a little girl and she and her parents each had one. When she was married she made one for Dad and then each of us kids in turn. They are stuffed with gifts Christmas Eve and are the last thing opened Christmas morning. Even our four furry girls join us in opening their stockings (although theirs are newer and personalized, with my, ahem, "primitive", "folksy" cross-stitching).

Despite our sentimental attachment to the stockings that we have, or perhaps because of it, mom and I find ourselves drawn to other vintage felt stockings. Because we would never think of replacing ours, we have come up with other ways that we could display them.

Instead of hanging them on the mantle by the chimney with care, you could hang a few of them across the top of a window as a valance. You could intersperse them with or without beads or garland down a bannister. Or if you are handy with thread, you could make a tree skirt out of stockings by tacking them onto a larger round piece of fabric.

If you would like to add some vintage felt stockings to your Christmas collection, we have several of them in our bricks and mortar shop in Waynesville. We also have about half of them listed in our Etsy shop and hope to list the rest soon. You can also check out your other favorite local vintage haunts.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Artisan Spotlight: Ruth Simon

Like Kelly, Ruth Simon is another lovely and talented lady that we met through our shop. A few weeks back she came into our shop and showed us some of her beautiful and sentimental creations. Using vintage and antique cutter quilts that are too fragile and worn for regular use and vintage ribbons, laces and trims, she makes beautiful Christmas stockings. She makes the larger regular stockings as well as mini ones that can be hung on a tree or a package (a clever use she suggested was to use them to put gift certificates in). Many of her mini ones are made of lovely vintage ticking.

We were thrilled that she offered us the opportunity to carry her line of creations, By the Chimney with Care, in our shop. As it is, the pictures of the larger stockings that we have below is, with one exception, of our second larger batch because they just flew right out of our shop! They have recieved so many compliments from people with varying decorating preferences. Whether primitive, cottage, vintage or romantic in their leanings so many feel a connection to these the past represented by the hand-stitching of the original seamstress. The large stockings are $15.00 each in our shop and the small ones are $5.00 each. If you see anything you like, please just send us an e-mail at!

Here are some of her mini ones:

(PLEASE NOTE that these designs are Ruth Simon of By the Chimney with Care's intellectual property and as such she reserves all rights to other words respect both her creativity and that which God has given you and create your own unique art!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Artisan Spotlight: Kelly Rigano

One of the many lovely things about being a shopkeeper is the sweet and talented people that you get to meet! A day or so before Hearth Warming Holidays, a very nice lady, named Kelly Rigano came into our shop with some goodies that made us oooh and ahhhh. She had some very fun and glitzy glass ball ornaments that she has decorated by hand in some terrific designs. We were just so thrilled when she decided to consign with us!

Kelly can also be found with her Brush Stroke Ornaments at craft shows. If you need any ornament personalized she is very happy to do so...individual ornaments personalized through our shop may take up to a week to be ready. She can also take larger custom orders. If you are interested, e-mail us at and we can put you in contact with her.

Here are some pictures of her ornaments in our shop:

(PLEASE NOTE that these designs are Kelly Rigano of Brush Stroke Ornaments' intellectual property and as such she reserves all rights to other words respect both her creativity and that which God has given you and create your own unique art!)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Romantically Reminiscent Christmas

Christmas is, as they say, a time of comfort and joy. The very nature of this holiday celebrates family and coming together and for those who love the Romantic Cottage style, we find comfort in incorporating the warmth of the old, with the pleasant memories of family and friends they bring, in our celebrations of the holidays. This, as any good Romantic knows, goes beyond seeing things at the face value of their assigned roles. Here are a few examples Mom and I have put together in our shop of giving freedom to finds from the past so that they can help warm our homes and our hearts during this season.

Mom used vintage cookie cutters to decorate the tree below. For that warm glow I put battery operated tea lights in old Jello molds (the tree is supposed to be flame retardant but we weren't going to push our luck!). Old red and white kitchen utensils on a red and white striped tree skirt help to spread the cheer.

These are some Pyrex personal carafes with the rubber neck bands on an old moire tray spruced up with some lovely poinsettia picks.

Here is an idea for a festive centerpiece that is very retro chic as well: Use a gilded pyrex tall carafe and fill the bottom with shredded gift foil or a piece of satin. Wrap a paper towel or plastic dowel in pretty coordinating ribbon and insert it in the top, place ornament hooks and floral picks in and arrange them to your taste. Then hang some pretty ornaments and voila! you have a pretty centerpiece!

Give Thanks and We'll Thank You!

Waynesville is a town which has always taken great pride in its sons and daughters who have served or are serving their country. In a place of pride, close to the corner of 73 and the southern end of Main Street, a large plaque stands, proclaiming the names of those who have answered the call of their country. This is not some hollow gesture either.

Up at The Village (not to be confused with the equally important Village Restaurant...a delightfully yummy place which serves up homestyle comfort food) where the police and various town administrative offices are, they have been quietly collecting and shipping out toiletries, snacks, and other items which bring comfort and support to the troops.

They have also been collecting and sending little treats which the soldiers can share with the children that they meet in the Middle East. Especially well recieved are little school supplies.

Joining the Village, the merchants have decided to expand the support to the troops in an effort called GIVE THANKS AND WE'LL THANK YOU! From now through the end of Christmas in the Village (December 5th through the 7th) we are hosting a village-wide drive for toiletries, cards of appreciation, school supplies and monetary donations to send to the troops who are serving.

In return for any donations, you will recieve a raffle ticket. The merchants have come together to provide some wonderful gifts which have been put together in some lovely Gift Baskets whcih can be seen up at the Hammel House (Another one of our especially YUMMY restaurants) in their lobby which will be raffled off after Christmas in the Village as our way of saying thanks to those who have donated.