Friday, September 21, 2007


Well, lack of sleep aside, I'd consider our Annual Autumn Gathering a success. I really expected incredible changes and my visions were a little more spectacular than reality, but not by much. One revelation of the day (I mean today--Sunday--the day after the event) was the fact that I didn't serve "Harvest Moon Dip" with the gingersnaps--as I thought. In the frenzy of packing the ice chest at 6 a.m. and the subsequent sleep walking through the day, I served up the left over Mocha Cream icing and misrepresented it as "Harvest Moon Dip!" No wonder I didn't hear the mmmm's and yummm's I expected. I couldn't quite taste the pumpkin--and for good reason! Well, I've got plenty of it here. Maybe I'll offer it this week. You can find the tasty recipe in the original Linen Napkins to Paper Plates, Junior Auxiliary of Clarksville cookbook. As for my Pumpkin Cookies recipe--I'll post it soon.

I must publicly thank my diligent, talented and tireless decorating entourage: Jennifer, Kendall and Taylor. Without them--Saturday would not have happened. I'm so fortunate to have them.

A bit about the pictures included here (I haven't figured-out a caption option for photographs in Blogger.) The top left pic shows the front dining table set for an Autumn Garden Party. Classic tabletop stoneware from TAG and reproduction transferware. The picture on the right, above, shows a stack of Halloween cake plates, topped with a "BOO" pumpkin and crow from Midwest, Seasons of Cannon Falls. This table setting has many wonderful ideas for your All Hallow's Eve celebrations. In the center, above, you'll see my favorite new item in the shop--a french-style vase with candles. This piece is so versatile, I can't begin to list all of it's potential uses! You can buy it as it appears above, flowers, candles and all (a Hodgepodge exclusive--created by Jennifer) or buy it empty and get creative! To left, you'll find the consummate harbinger of Autumn--cornstalks and mums! The cornstalks are courtesy of Anne Head (a friend at my favorite clothing shop in TN, Rogate's Boutique, 115 Franklin Street). The mums were a great deal at Betsy's Barn & Garden Center.

I hope those of you who were able to make it downtown enjoyed what we had to offer. I plan to continue to add to our inventory, as well as our inspirations. Provided I don't dry-up. Thank goodness for the creativity of others! I truly believe there are very few "new" ideas--just "new" ways to reinvent the old ones.

I've found a great deal of inspiration and information in Romantic Home magazine. This magazine has done a great job of filling the void. They have regular "department" articles entitled: Browsing; Shop Keeping (I dream of being featured); Entertaining; Field Trip; Aesthetics; Collectibles; and so much more. I enjoy the way the editors of this magazine make a point of supporting and encouraging women entrepreneurs. Needless to say, that appeals to me. I find their decorating, remodeling, do-it-yourself and garden features especially inspirational. I'm so glad to have them as a resource when I'm feeling dry.

I actually sell Romantic Home at the shop now. I offer it 20% off of the cover price all of the time. This month (September) however, I've been giving it away with a purchase of $25 or more. It won't happen next month!

Thanks for reading and thanks for your indulgence!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Annual Autumn Gathering

I guess it could become one . . . "Annual," I mean. I think I had one in 2005, but in 2006 we were moving into our new location, so we're going to give it a go this year--only I can't call it my "Second Annual." I'm actually pretty excited about it.

We're receiving new items every day. Some of which we've already put on the floor--other items will wait until Friday (Sep 14th), when we'll close early and decorate Hodgepodge for my favorite time of the year. I've been formulating sketchy plans, but no one will be more surprised at the outcome than I!

Rest assured that we'll have some of the old favorites--like the pinecone lanterns from TAG and the most recent offerings from Nicol Sayre--but the new stuff, OH the new stuff!

On a decorating note, I had a minor sucess today--at the time of achievement, however it felt HUGE. Now that I've had time and distace from this momentous occasion I realize that it's less than earth shattering. I've been looking for a particular type of pine garland (boy, this sounds silly), with a long needle and, perhaps, a couple of pine cones. Okay--so it's not world peace or a cure for cancer, but in my world it was something. (I'm almost too embarassed to leave that!)

Yet, there it remains . . .

Just so you know, I started this blog last week. I spent my "day off" shopping for ingredients for the treats we will offer on Saturday, foraging in the woods for branches and other inspiration and perusing my notes and idea books which I hope to translate into decor for the shop.

I hope you can join us on Saturday!

Thanks for your indulgence.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I'm full of it

You already knew that. I've often thought I have too many ideas. To the extent that they sometimes prevent me from paying attention to the immediate needs which surround me. I'd like to hire myself out as an idea guy--if only there were a market!

I'll tell you where I dry-up, though, is my display windows. There's so much pressure--especially since so many of you have commented on how much you enjoy peaking at them during evening strolls.

When we started making plans for the renovation of the building, our architect, Pam Powell, told us we'd have to lose at least one of our windows (in order to meet code requirements for a staircase to the second floor from Franklin Street) I was not-so-secretly gleeful! One down--one to go! I know, I know--I need windows. The plan is to have a smaller version of a display window, which will allow for more floor space and less pressure, maybe.

I have been planning one special display to showcase the new items from Moda Home, as well as some other new and vintage items. Don't you know that the old adage is true--you don't know what you've got until it's gone. Of course, it's not gone yet, but knowing that it may go away my creative juices suddenly decide to flow!

Well, I need to attempt some sleep. Let me know if you need any ideas . . . I've got some to spare.

Take care and thanks for your indulgence.

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