I have been doing some research on the history of denim this week (did you know it was in use as far back as the 1700’s?), and came across the Volkswagen Jeans Bug from the early seventies. I had forgotten how cute these vintage bugs were.
The Jeans Bug’s interior is all denim, how cute!
Curious to see if there are any of these still around, I did a quick online search and couldn’t find any for sale. I could find parts and such but no complete original ones. I know Volkswagen has brought back the Bug in recent years but I think they should re-issue this version. Especially in those great retro colors!
I took a little time at lunch today to stock up on Bath & Body Works hand soaps. I love all of the wonderful scents. Whenever they have a sale I always try to stock up. Right now they are 4 for $10 which is a great deal. I noticed they have a few new scents and have discontinued some of the old ones. I have had the unfortunate experience of losing my entire sense of smell over the last 6 months or so. Because of that, I wasn't able to test the new varieties but I'm sure they are all wonderful.
The Button Bar is in sight . . . . finally! In October of 2008, we took on the mother of all estates. You may remember me writing about it on this blog. It took us about five months to move the entire contents of a house, truckload by truckload from the house in North Portland to our store in Hillsboro. It is the reason in fact, that we opened our second store location. The house was so full from the basement to the second story, there was only a small pathway to navigate through. Built in the early 1900’s, the house had been occupied by two generations of one family, who all loved to collect. When I discovered the boxes upon boxes of jars upon jars and ziplock bags and cigar boxes and old cookie tins filled with buttons I was in heaven. I hauled those buttons up out of the dark, grimy basement by putting the jars into smaller boxes so that I could carry them and then carrying the large jars by themselves. Who knew buttons were so heavy? Well, buttons in glass jars are very heavy. I have no idea how many buttons there are but it is the most I have ever seen in one place.
We came up with the idea somewhere along the way to sort out the buttons by color, displaying them in candy jars (buttons really are as good or better than candy to many of us aren’t they?) to create the Button Bar. Who doesn’t love to run their hands through jars of buttons? Picking them out one by one, examining their texture, quality and beauty. The jars and buttons have been waiting in our garage, while hopes of getting them sorted have been pushed aside by all the other work that has had to happen. We have made great progress on going through boxes from that estate, we still have a long way to go. Finally though, the space is chosen for the Button Bar, I’ve spent the last couple of days cleaning it out (still have another weekend of work left to do on that), the shelves are ready to go up, the jars are washed and I can picture it in my mind.
Once the shelves are up the clean empty jars will go up and then as the buttons are sorted they will be placed into the jars so the inventory will be constantly changing for quite awhile and it won’t be so overwhelming to look through all of the buttons at once.
I have assembled some help with the sorting, put out the word that you need help handling and sorting buttons and people come out of the woodwork. I could probably charge admission to have people sort through buttons. Instead, the honor is going to my mother mostly. She is taking jars home with her to sort during the day.
If all goes well the Button Bar could be open by May 1st. We will be including both vintage and antique lace, as well as ribbon. I may have to plan a Grand Opening event soon. Buttons are a great excuse for a party don’t you think?
Even though it is a gray day, the calendar says it's spring. That is very exciting. We have had a crazy winter here in the Portland area. More snow than I've ever seen in one winter and boy has it been cold. I can feel a shift in the temperature just this week. The bitter cold, you know the one. It chills you down to your bones and you just can't get warm. Well, it seems to have passed for the year. At least I hope so. The flowers are hoping so too as they bloom and start to brighten things up around here.
I am looking forward to my first Sunday off since October. This morning it hit me, I have nothing planned for Sunday, what will I do? My first thought is that I will just lounge around and maybe watch a couple of movies and knit. But then I realize that next Sunday I am finally going to get to join up with one of my art groups and I really can't take two Sundays off in a row without feeling a little guilty. I will most likely work a bit at the store and get some things sorted and unpacked or maybe I will stay home and get back to sorting the tons of buttons and jewelry pieces that have just been sitting in my family room waiting for me. We shall see. I do know I won't be doing anything too strenuous. My body is exhausted and needs some recovery time. I've been having some hip pain that doesn't seem to go away. I am blaming it on all of the trips up the stairs from the basement in that house, carrying boxes and such.
Tomorrow night I am getting together with some art firends to work on art journaling. I'm really looking forward to this. I brought my journaling bag to work with me today so I can do a little pruning and sorting and getting it ready for tomorrow. I have a strong urge to start a new journal but I'm trying to fight that off and just continue in one of the two I have going. What is the lure about starting a new project? I have knitting patterns and yarn paired up for 4 new projects and I want to start them all at once.
I have been taking some photos and they are all still on my camera, I'm finally getting a new laptop as soon as I can get to the computer store. They have great prices but very limited hours. I'm hoping to get there on Saturday. This is the little gem I'm getting:
It is the Acer Aspire One, weighs 2.2 lbs. It will fit in my bag! Actually, I'm thinking of making a little felted sleeve for it. I am getting it in black (not the blue shown in the photo). It was between this and the Ipod Touch. I was swayed to the Acer because of the keyboard. I type with both hands so I wasn't too excited about having to type with one finger on the Ipod. This way I can actually get some work done like website updates and blog posts and such. And I'll be able to upload my photos more efficiently. I have heard there have been some issues with this notebook when it first came out but I know someone who recently bought one and loves it. I imagine like everything else it has improved since it was first released. Doug & I have been sharing the one laptop we have (also an Acer which has been a great computer, even after I spilled an entire cup of coffee on the keyboard) so it has been kind of a hassle. When I was talking to my mom about this one she offered to buy it for me. I'm a lucky girl!
I've been doing lots but I have not photographs to share. I have noticed the increased minutes of daylight however, and I'm thrilled!
Sorting Beads, Buttons and Baubles! Tons of them, jars and crocks and bags. I have some ideas for many of them and yes, I'll be selling lots of them soon. First, I have to sort them so I can see what I have, but believe me, there's some good stuff in there.
Continuing to unpack estate items at the store, packed all the Christmas away (yay!) and now the window is full of pastel colored treasures.
My job-that-pays-the-bills has fortunately, been at a tolerable level. Although gearing up for the busy season again.
I am looking forward to a vacation. Yes, it is going to happen. The last vacation we took was 5 years ago. A cruise in the Carribbean, it was wonderful.
This time we are going to Hawaii. Kona, where I have never been. I've been to Maui twice, but never Kona. Doug bought a week's stay at a condo, which was donated for a charity auction at a local Hillsboro art group. Now, Hawaiian Air is having some great deals on airfare so I think it's time to book the tickets.
I am looking forward to a week of relaxation, drinks, snorkeling, drinks, sun, drinks, you get the idea. The problem is, I have been eating whatever I want since last summer. That means none of my clothes fit now and the thought of getting into my swimsuit makes me depressed. My focus now is to stop the madness, get back on track and get myself back into my reality where I am eating healthy and can actually fit into my jeans (not to mention that swimsuit). I have a few months (3) so now is the time to start, which I did Sunday. I have a strategy and a plan and my will power is revved up.
I'm already feeling better, not so sluggish. I know all the water helps. I always feel better when I drink water, so why do I reach for the soda? And the sugar, that withdrawl hasn't started yet but will any minute I just know it. Sugar is not my friend, never has been. I love it, but it makes me crazy! I want more and more and more! So sugar, stay away from me and my hips and everywhere else on my body. Go find someone else. I'm too busy for your shenanigans. I'm too busy dreaming about this:
**I have been continuing to art journal daily. I'm really enjoying it and while I'm behind the others in the online group I'm just happy I'm doing it regularly.
**Thanks for all the comments on my last post about claiming my creative self. It is something I have been working on for several years now and finally fell like I'm "getting it".
Finally, the Vine Lace Cardi is finished. I love this sweater, it is so warm and comfy. Took me awhile to find the right buttons. I finally made a trip to one of my favorite places in Portland, Buttom Emporium, and of course they had the perfect buttons.
Since I haven't been doing much art lately, thought I'd show you some photos of what I have been doing. Setting up the new store - Sellers' Emporium. Is located at 147 SE 2nd Street, in Hillsboro. Right now, just open Satudays and Mondays while we are setting everthing up and getting more organized.
I've set up an area in the front much like a living room where you can sit, listen to records and there is free wi-fi access (from the City of Hillsboro's public access). Don't you just love the 70's flashback to the avocado green? I hope to add a little more to this area to make it really fun and funky.
And, sitting on the stereo are one of my favorite recent finds. I've named them Flower and Chester:
Are they adorable? Love their green polyester matching outfits. Even with hats! Well, they might be for sale - but it would have to be to a very special home. They seem quite happy where they are and they've kind of become the store mascots for now.
Well, it is back to work for me. Stuff to unpack, clean and price. I will leave you with a cute puppy photo though. Pinto is getting so big! He likes his spot at the new store - on the counter where he can see the comings and goings and visit with everyone (and bark, but we are still working on that).
My morning started out really crummy. Woke up with a horribly stiff neck, spilled coffee on the seat in my car, fought traffic all the way to work, one of my work projects blew up (not literally, but was a major crisis that started at about 10:00 am), and I have a terribly crabby co-worker who has been this way for weeks and can't seem to get over herself and be nice no matter how nice I am to her. The stiff neck had caused a headache that was making my head feel like it was going to explode right out through the top.
So, by lunch time I was ready for something, anything to break up this day. I decided to go drop off a payment (which later received a call that I wrote the check 24 cents short and need to drop that by tonight) will it ever end? then I went to the yarn store. I have been hearing how fabulous Malabrigo sock yarn is and wanted to see for myself. Maybe wandering around the yarn store, fondling fiber and looking at all the beautiful colors and knitted garments would help me feel better.
Well, let me tell you - the Malabrigo Sock Yarn is truly heaven it is so soft and I cannot wait to knit up a pair of socks for myself with this stuff. The color selection was limited. I imagine this stuff has been flying off the shelf. I chose a beautiful blue called impressionist sky
I was feeling better already. Then, on my way back to work I decided to go through Starbucks drive-thru and get myself a latte because I still had the headache and thought maybe some caffeine might help. When I drove up to the window the cashier told me that the woman in front of me paid for my drink. I wasn't even paying attention, maybe she saw me pressing on my brow to try and alleviate my pain? Most likely she was just having a much better day than I was and wanted to pass that on. I told the cashier that I really needed that, I was having a horrible day and that just made me feel so much better.
Well, I arrived back at work feeling better but still with the headache. It finally resolved after the crisis was resolved around 4:00 pm. But, the co-worker was still crabby when she left at 4:15.
Now, I'm looking forward to getting home and breaking into that skein of Malabrigo. Problem is, I still have a hat to finish and then a scarf to make. It won't be tonight but the Malabrigo will wait for me in it's heavenly fiberyness. If you knit, go find yourself some.
I actually just received a note that Knit Purl received their shipment of Malabrigo Sock Yarn today (a GIANT box as they describe it) - hmmm, I know where I'll be going tomorrow at lunch . . . . . . . .
. . . . . .and I feel like we are running trying to catch up to it. So many things are happening so fast. Wonderful, amazing, fantastic, scary, exiting things. It is incredible how things happen so quickly, it all started with a phone call.
"Would you be interested in taking a look?"
Last year we purchased a small estate from a couple who had been left in charge. The estate was from a friend of hers who had also been one of her customers. You see this woman (the one left in charge of the estate), was a former antique dealer. She was left in charge of liquidating this woman's estate because she would know what to do with the antiques, their value, etc. She kept quite a lot from the estate but many of the items left were good quality and we purchased the remainder. We cleaned out the house and everyone was happy. We enjoyed talking to the couple and she seemed very knowledgable about antiques and described herself as having a "house full". He was witty, a straight shooter and an all around nice guy. He said he was working on her to clear out her stuff. "She has way too much and needs to get rid of it". She was obviously not in the same mind set, but did say that she would give us call when and if she decided to sell some things.
We had put it in the back of our minds. This past summer was extremely busy for us. One estate after another, sales, shows, etc. If you've been following along on this blog you've read all about my lack of free time.
Well . . . . .last week we get a call from the Mr. Remember me? Of course we do.
"She's finally decided that she just can't sort through everything that she has, her health is failing and we want to sell the house. Do you want to come and take a look?"
So, we arrive at the house late one evening. It is dark, many of the lights don't work in the house but what we can see, we don't believe. It is all very dream like and a bit overwhelming. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We talk about all of the details with Mr. Timelines, money, etc. He needs to talk it over with her and with his daughter who is the only living relative. We'll talk the next day.
We are just excited beyond belief. If this really happens, where on earth are we going to put this stuff? There's so much of it. Do we rent storage? What to do? Will it really happen? Do we . . . . . open a second store?
We have been wanting to open a second store for about a year. We've tossed the idea around as one of those things we will do "someday". We have storage that is already full, items we haven't even displayed. We had an auction this summer and sold some of it but there's still a lot. It would be nice to have a second store so we could actually display it all. We had even gone so far as to look at retail locations.
Neither of us slept much that night. The next morning we both start doing a little research, storage, truck rental, who can we hire to help move stuff, boxes, retail space available near our antique store. As luck would have it (luck or ?) the space that we had really liked before was available again. A business had moved in and just moved out. The location is perfect, right around the corner from our antique store, large enough for what we need, good visability, nice landlords, reasonably priced. Then it happens, Mr. lets us know, yes. It is for sure, they want us to do it. We have no time to waste. We call back on the retail space and lease it.
The work begins. We spent every available moment this past weekend at the house, sorting, packing and being amazed. This woman was an antique dealer for over 40 years. She knows her stuff. The things we are finding under the piles of paper and dust (the dust is an inch thick at least) are things you just don't find. Good things.
The ball is rolling and I'm not sure if I can catch up or if it is going to smack me awake and I'll realize this has all been a dream.
The plan is to begin moving boxes this weekend to the new store. Work there on sorting, cleaning, etc. All of our merchandise that is 1950's and newer will be at the new store. This will include all of the items we cannot adequately display now. Vinyl records, vintage clothes, books, knick knacks, Barbies, doll clothes, furniture, vintage craft items. The Main St. store will remain the antique store and will only be 1940's and older. Mostly the true antiques (100 years and older).
We have all of the shelves and store fixtures in storage. Our current hope is that we will open the new store by January. Possibly a couple of weeks before Christmas if we can to give customers an opportunity to shop during the holiday season.
It is all so unbelievable but it really is happening. Are we crazy? In this economy? Who opens a business? It is all very risky but exciting at the same time. I will continue to work at my full time job until things are running well enough (and hopefully the economy picks up) then I will be able to leave that and run the store full time.
I still can't believe this is all happening.
If you've been reading this blog you know there hasn't been much art making going on. I thought I'd share with you some things I've bookmarked to try when I do have some time. I am a technique junkie. I love to try new techniques and play around with art supplies. Mistakes turn into opportunities as far as I'm concerned. This technique by The Artful Mama looks like something I need to try, nice and messy. Overstamped, Double Saran Wrap, & Watercolors Tutorial
The other thing I came across today is Tin Can Art. It is funny timing because just the other day Sandy (from one of the local art groups), mentioned this for a project to try. I really like the Harley Davidson can with the wings.
So other than dreaming about future art projects, this weekend I'll be working at the store and also finishing up a couple of swaps. Another Halloween Charm Swap, this one is orange inchies. I made them from ploymer clay and just need to put some finishing touches on them and get them into the mail. Then I need to make metal pages for a book. I have an absolute plan on these but need to find some metal for the page base and I'm not quit sure what to use. I know they will come together but I'm a little stressed about making it happen by Monday.
I'm also hoping to finish up the February Lady Sweater that I've been knitting. I'm on the second sleeve and should be able to get that done this weekend so I can sew on the buttons, wash and block and wear now that the weather has cooled off.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend whatever you do.