Sunday, June 29, 2008
These are shots of our beautiful riverfront and the main thoroughfare running by our downtown shopping district, our shop was half a block from here. You can see how the roads are impassable. Our city, over a week after the waters receded, still has not removed the mud from the road, which has added to the traffic snarl in the downtown. All of the free parking on the riverfront and leased parking was under water contributing to our already stressed parking problem. You have low-rent housing that takes up our spaces and for the life of me, I don't understand why some businesses and their employees park in front of their stores and mine...all I can say is 'lil' bitty brains'...This is the reason Lorie and I are closing our store, there is nowhere for a shopper to park. I have heard it over and over again by the locals who would shop downtown but there is no where to park. When asking city officials when are you going to clear the parking, they say we have more pressing issues. They are creating the death of a beautiful historic downtown, 17 empty storefront and more on the way. This is nothing new in the retail world, but my hope is someday the overpaid city officials will see the big picture...WHATEVER...
Friday, June 27, 2008
Are these not the cutest lil' faces, this is Diamond and Mac, they are Bichons and I just can't stop laughing at their funny little faces. I stare into Diamonds eyes as I am trimming and just can't help but laugh at her...not just laughing, but guffawing, while she is just staring back with the most sober expression...like "come on lady...can we get this over with or what". Every time I do a bichon, I save the face for last because it cracks me up to look at it...all I want to do is hug that little mug. These little charmers will be coming in every 2-4 weeks for baths and touch-ups...cause their Mom really loves them and who wouldn't with those faces. They sit perfectly still for me which just makes me chuckle even more...they are smart little dogs and know that if they stand really still they will be free soon...well, not really, but they are just well-trained and frequently groomed. This is the same breed that Deb from Curious Sofa has...lil' Pearl. But if you think you want one of these non-shedding breeds, just know that they require constant grooming to keep the look of the Bichon Frise.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
OK, I have been moving stuff for an entire month, emptying out our store and trying to fit the candle/soap biz back into the chateau...NOT...did I acquire more stuff??? I'm also in the middle of redoing my kitchen, stripping the paint off the floor and taking down the 60's paneling exposing the 1930's wallpaper, so the extra stuff is a pain. Good thing I live alone...I'd be driving HIM crazy, Scratchy doesn't notice, cause it hasn't effected her space on the floor(food bowl). But living in an old farm house that's had no improvements since the 1960's paneling, is not for everyone. It drives my daughter(city gal) crazy with my lifestyle, but I'm just curious as to how simple one can live without all the conveniences and still be happy. I use a rotary mower around the house and allow the rest to blow in the wind, although keeping the trees and weeds out is a chore, the effect is beautiful in the prairie winds. The horse statue was here when I bought the house and stands as a symbol to the mustangs that once wondered the lands. It ain't much, but it's mine, all 6 acres with plenty of room for gardens. I'm trying to keep a little patch of Eden for the wildlife as the industry encroaches with light and noise pollution...maybe something a little more remote is out there for me, but for now this is it...you just wanna live in a little hundred year old pink granny's house don't ya'...maybe some day I'll don the long dresses of the pioneers as did Tasha Tudor, who we'll all miss...naaaa, I'm more the Calamity Jane type...gimmee my jeans and my boots...lotta work ta be done...I'm thinkin' of raisin' chickens and bees again, what fun!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
There is just something that draws you to the garden urns and old white paint of the iron patio chairs. The chippy white paint just rings of antiquity and old world charm that makes me want to wonder the garden...however this year with all the flooding, we have an abundance of skeeters and they are voracious. I tried to fill the birdbaths last night and was chased to the porch by the lil' buggars...but the drive to Sisters wasn't as bad as I thought it would be with all the road closings. I got to drive through historic Iowa City and see some of the fabulous old Victorian homes, although many were ravaged by a tornado that swept through there two years ago, it was still a step back to the 60's for me when all of us kids would party in this college community (we won't even go there, another chapter). To live in the Midwest, you have to be of hardy stock and prepared to help your neighbors in the hard times...just good ol' country folk in the land o plenty (so far).
The French street brooms are here...just in time for flood clean-up...
There is something calming and crisp about the color aqua, even just the tiniest bit, makes a statement. I just love this old cupboard with it's fancy scroll work too and the blue of the old sign would just add to a beach house or cabin, if you are lucky enough to have one. But blue to me just says summer...and Barb knows how to make it happen.
Now mind you, Barb is just a little bittey ol' gal and this cupboard is HUGE...how her and Brent dragged this one in is beyond me, with only inches to spare through the front door of Bloom, they gotter done...the original green paint still embellishes the inside. Can you imagine the linens and glassware you could display in this piece, but you better have a pretty big space, cause it's a biggen'.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Just thought I would warn yous guys to get the hankies out for the drooling...I am going to Sisters' tomorrow to deliver more stuff and to see what new goodies she has dragged in...not to worry, camera will be in hand and flashing furiously. I will have to drive about 30-45 minutes out of my way to get there because of flood-ravaged roads, but it's gonna be this way for a while, so might as well get the route adjusted. Have many new soaps to take up too...this is the Garden Herb soap. It is filled with dried herbs and cornmeal to get the garden off your fingers and toes (if you garden like me). With the scent of mixed herbs, it is hard to describe, very earthy and pungent. As I was sitting on my porch pondering life with out a shop and forcing myself to stay home and work...LOL...the smell of freshly mown alfalfa stirred my brain cells...A NEW SOAP SCENT...I got this new grass scent that just had a different smell to it than my ol'standby...this is what it smells like...ALFALA...well I can't sit here talking to you guys, I better git to makin' my new soap. What better place than Sisters'to take it...Iowa farm country...
Saturday, June 21, 2008
And does it really surprise any of you that I collect 'Goofus Glass'...there is just something about the decadent patina that trips my trigger. They call it the poor man's carnival glass, but actually, it came out before the traditional carnival glass. It too was given away as prizes at fairs and carnivals. But I am experimenting with the shades, which are new, spraying them with tea dye to give them that faded look and turning the vases into lamps...what'da ya' think? Well, we'll see, I am taking the first one up to Sisters' to see if there is a market up there for them. I think they are very vintage looking and very bordello-like...and soooo me...
Friday, June 20, 2008
Well now, my friend Cathie(cconz) from 'This Girls Art', has suggested that we all show a little of our strange...collections that is. Well, there are a few of us that do tend to think out of the box with this biz...ahem...Lauri at 'Chippys'...crack head baby dolls and Lulu 'Chippys'...she has my chicken...so I thought I would show you mine if you show me yours...OK...I rescue bewildered taxidermy...from certain ridicule to be sure, like the coon hide my daughter did in taxidermy school, as well as the snake. Now to me this adds a certain charm to my already questionable lifestyle and those who know me will agree, like Cathie, who now owns my toads playing guitars and drinking beer. Well, I caved, she had been looking for quite some time, so I knew they would have a good home, she also owns one of my roosters "Cecil", a great newel post piece...but this is what makes life interesting...aye
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Another great reason to shop IOWA, MANLEY'S ANTIQUES...I have been buying wonderful pieces from Dave and LeeAnn for years, but thanks to technology, I can virtually share their gems with you. This shop is truly a gem to behold, if you like old world vignettes, LeeAnn is a master of design. Walking into their shop is a journey back in time. They bought the two buildings 13 years ago and the renovations began. They broke holes in between both buildings upstairs and down, living in the upstairs and adding double space to the main floor showroom. This has added a wonderful storefront to an historic downtown, with a beautiful view of the Mighty Miss. Dave has been lucky enough to have added a workshop in the back of the building for repairs and new construction of altered parts. Truly a landmark in Muscatine, Manleys' is a must see, prices are reasonable and furniture is in excellent repair...enjoy the tour.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I love to alter the look of a piece of furniture to give it a look of antiquity, putting on a glaze that warms the look of stark white. The walls in 'the chateau' are the original plaster finish, left virgin after the removal of the wallpaper(it fell off). This finish is perfect for my taste and is catching on up at Sisters. The statue of the Nubian princess, was painted with orange and red fingernail polish by heathen children left to their own devises and salvaged with white paint and glaze, as is the statue on my newel post. Painting frames and chairs and even the fireplace surround, has given each piece a new life...or an old life, however you perceive it. Even altering a lampshade with tea stain, gives it a new personality. Anyway, it's just having fun with paint and there are so many women out there that just can't do it, so it is up to me to put the ideas in their mind and show them a vignette to induce their own style. I love painting walls with the glaze, but that's another post...