Saturday, March 28, 2009

These Vintage Motel Chairs Are Ready To Bounce Back!

In hopes of sunnier days ahead, we are starting to put out all of our vintage patio and garden finds. These include some wonderful vintage motel chairs. The two green ones are actually rockers and the third one is a bounce chair. It is also marked with what I believe is an "R" with a circle stamped in the metal. (Does anyone know what maker that stands for? We've hunted on the internet but haven't found anything just yet.) These are so roomy and comfortable and bring to mind warmer days spent sipping lemonade while enjoying the comfort of the sun.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I can't help it. Right now I am so excited that spring is sooo close. St. Patrick's Day really seems to make it seem even closer. I thought I would share with you some of my little baby plants to show you how far they've come!

First, here is my first batch of little veggies. The peppers haven't really started yet but you can see that the spinach, lettuce and tomatoes are really coming along.

Here is a picture of some baby snap dragons. If you are wondering what that planter is, I took a 24 can cardboard box and cut it in half. I then inserted one half inside the other and lined it with newspaper. I then loaded it up with some Miracle Grow Organic potting soil (I have just discovered this and I LOVE it!) and voila! a cheap and crafty planter which saves your money for something a little more fun, like that vintage tablecloth you've been wanting. As you can see, the little snapdragons seem to be liking this just fine.

Here are some of my crocuses which are just adoring the wonderful weather which we've been having. Fortunately, the squirrels don't seem to have found all of my purple ones yet!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We Have a Crocus!

I took this picture a couple of days ago and wanted to share it with everyone here. It is our very first crocus of the year. This little baby just popped right up out of nowhere. Since I took the pic, it has been joined by a whole bunch of siblings!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

We Have A Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to all of you who participated in our giveaway, we really appreciate all of your input in our survey. I wrote everyone's IDs on slips of paper, folded them up and put them in a bowl, mixing them up really well. Mom then, with eyes closed, drew a slip from the bowl, unfolded it and revealed that Gretchen M90 has won. Gretchen M90 has won this lovely giftset full of scrumptious A Prickly Pair toiletries.

Friday, March 6, 2009

It's Time to Start Gardening!

I am so excited! I think it was about a week or so ago that Mom and I had been out doing some errands together when we noticed that the first of the seed packets had already come in. We bought a bunch, I think about 19 or so at only 20 cents a packet! We also got some potting soil. A bunch of veggies and then some flowers too. Last night I sowed the first of the veggies, those that can be started early indoors. I've had everybody saving their cardboard egg-cartons since sometime after Christmas and I put them to good use. They are so easy to make into planters, especially if you follow my directions below. I like to use the vintage cabinet in front of our breakfast room window to start the seeds because they seem to do best there. But any suitably sunny spot will do.

First, I cut the lids off and used them as saucers for the egg toting halves.

Then using an old large measuring spoon I scooped soil into the individual egg compartments. You don't want too much because it will spill out all over the place!

For right now I marked in permanent marker the names of the plants I was starting on the carton lid saucers, but I will go back later and put a name stake in (I forget where I read this, but someone had suggested using plastic knives as stakes, just write the name on in permanent marker on the handle and stick the blade down. They are especially nice if the blade is serrated as it really catches the ground. You can transplant this stake at the same time you do the plants.)

Then you put one seed in each compartment, and using an old pencil or a bamboo skewer, gently nudge the seed beneath the soil, according to the directions on the seed packet.

I like to keep one variety of seeds in each carton just because it is a lot easier to keep track of your plants.

If you really want to maximize the space you can split cartons down the middle to fit on your window sills.

***Remember to put a liner of some sort under your plants. You don't want to have to refinish or paint later!***

Water as directed!

Right now, I am on the border of zones 4 and 5 so I started my tomatoes, spinach, lettuce and peppers. I am hoping to start some snapdragons soon too.

Gardening is so rewarding in and of itself because you get to literally reap your own rewards for the labor that you put forth. Not to mention there is something almost magical watching the seeds grow into something you can eat, or in the case of flowers, enjoy for their beauty. However, in these times, gardening is a great way to be environmentally friendly and frugal.

For just a few dollars at the outset I will be able save a considerable amount at the grocery store from the spring through the fall.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


We are having a sale through this weekend in honor of Louisa Stetson Larrick's birthday. She lived in our house during the mid-nineteenth century and was the sister of John Stetson, (yes the cowboy hat Stetson). Our shop's building is actually known locally as the Stetson House.

For this sale, we are taking 25% off of all jewelry and toiletries in our bricks and mortar shop and 25% off all jewelry in our Etsy shop. So be sure to stop by!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Little Things in Life Count

I have posed this question to several people, and often pondered upon it: Why do we go through such big bad things, such as death, illness, money problems, etc. and the good things are usually so small in comparison, such as seeing a flower bloom, enjoying a quiet afternoon reading on the porch, watching the waves break on the shore? It seems that the good things should be as big as the bad things and we should win the lottery, or get a great paying job, etc. If it seems that I sometime argue with God about this, I do.

But yesterday, I had an epiphany. My family and I have had to deal with the illness of my father and I am an only child so there is no siblings to help share the load with my mother, just me. The store is only two years old, the winter has not be conducive to shopping in a place where you walk outside from store to store, and the economy is having its problems. We have a house near the campus where my children have gone to college that we bought so that they could live there after their freshman years on campus (I wanted them to have a campus experience)and our youngest has been so involved in his college life that he has not lived in the house. Our last renters ended up in jail and left the place a mess and owing a great deal of back rent. We have not been able to rent it or sell it yet, but the mortgage and utilities still have to be paid.

Now, you may wonder why I am telling you this personal information. It is because these are big things that have been stressing myself and my family. As far as stress goes, I have felt very much at my limit lately. The nearly last straw was getting a notice to serve jury duty (my husband had been called up last month the same day our dog died) and this was not the first time. Right now, with my father, I really can't plan my days because I never know if he is going to need to need to be hospitalized (twice in the last three months) or if I am going to need to go to the doctor's with my parents at the last moment, so jury duty seems like the last thing I need.

But yesterday gave me a reprieve from the stress. Kerry and I made two good sales that totaled $100. My dad agreed to go to cardiac rehab for reconditioning and has been eating and taking liquids more which had been a real issue. Kerry and I are potentially going to receive help for our store's marketing from an unexpected source. Just little bits of good news but they really made me happier than I have been in some time. That's when I realized that it is a gift that God gives us--to be so happy about little things and that those little things can sometimes balance out the big bad things, or at the very least make them bearable.

There are really so many more little good things out there than big bad ones and while they may not make the bad things go away, they are God's way of helping us cope and one of his gifts to us is the ability to make each of the little good things alone give us so much pleasure that it takes a really big bad thing to mar it. In other words, on the scale of life, the pleasure in one small good thing is portionally greater that the sorrow of one big bad thing. We can't all be rich in material goods but we can all be rich in the ability to enjoy the small bits of bliss that come our way.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Just a quick note, we celebrated Grandma's birthday last night. We had a lovely evening with everyone gathered together. It was so lovely to be to be able to have the boys and have the family together. Happy birthday Grandma!

Our Very First Giveaway!

We have decided it is high-time for us to have a giveaway here on our blog. If you participate in the following survey you will be entered in a chance to win this lovely A Prickly Pair toiletries giftset. This giftset includes a lavender-vanilla scented, rose-shaped soap paired with a Royal Albert "The Ancestrial Series" Saucer. As well as a matching lavender-vanilla scented, rose-shaped solid lotion in a pink floral giftbox and a lavender-vanilla room spray.

These A Prickly Pair toiletries are made by a local mother/daughter team right here in Ohio and we are very proud to be able to offer them to our customers in our bricks and mortar shop.

If you would like to be entered into the drawing for this giftset all you need to do is leave us a comment with your answers to the following survey questions between now and 12:00 A.M. EST Sunday, March 8, 2009. We will then write out an entry slip for each person who comments and will put them in a bowl, shake it around and pull out the winner.

We will then contact the winner through their blogger account to get all the pertinent shipping details. If we have not gotten a response within a week, we reserve the right to hold another drawing.

Here's the survey:

Question #1:
Do you shop in small towns and if so how many times a year?

Question #2:
If yes, how do you find the small towns to visit? I.E. Word of Mouth, Magazines, Internet etc...

Question #3:
About how much would you say you typically spend in a given trip?

Question #4:
Do you prefer day trips or overnight getaways?

Question #5:
Do you visit with your significant other, friends, family or do you prefer to shop alone?

Question #6:
If you do prefer an overnight getaway what sort of packages appeal to you?

Question #7:
What are important draws for you for visiting a small town? I.E. Historical sites, shopping, eating, entertainment, nature etc...

Question #8:
When shopping in a small town what do you look for?

Question #9:
What sorts of shops catch your eye and your attention enough that you are likely to go inside and shop and what turns you off?

Question #10
At the end of the day, what sorts of things are you likely to be bringing home with you?

Thank you! We can't wait to hear what all of you have to say!