Sunday, October 28, 2007

Window Dressings

Are you having trouble finding curtains that will work with your windows? It seems that I always find curtains that are too short. I've found a solution. I was just discussing this idea with a customer/friend, Charley.

She has some curtains which she likes, but they're too short for her current need. Being a military spouse, she doesn't want to run out and buy new curtains at every assignment. (We learned to "reuse/recycle" long before Mr. Gore made his documentary!) She had been watching HGTV and found some inspiration.

It is a similar approach to the one I and my fellow military wives have employed for years--add a coordinating fabric to the top or bottom of each of the panels. Charley has decided to add a length of velvet to her colorful sheers in order to use them in yet another setting. Practicality is essential for those who move so frequently.

I'll ask her for some pictures.

Remember, too, the idea I suggested in a previous log about using burlap for a quick, inexpensive window treatment. In fact, I believe an article in this month's Country Living suggested using burlap for an inexpensive, seasonal tablecloth--now why didn't I think of that?

Note the tablecloth in the picture.

I hope to get started on the curtains I want to piece together for our bedroom. I'm using some sheets, velvet and burlap! Please, please, please ask me for pictures--force my hand!

Well, I hope everyone is doing well and you don't feel as though you've just wasted your precious minutes!

Thanks for your indulgence!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Holiday Home Decorating

There is nothing more flattering to this shopkeeper than to have a customer ask for advice or guidance in their decorating efforts. You like me . . . you really, really like me! Alrighty then, enough of that.

I've recently been showered with such flattery. My friend and customer, Judy, has asked me to help prepare her home for the Ft. Campbell OSC Holiday Tour of Homes in December. Wow!

Judy, her husband, Lee, and their daughter, Olivia, live in one of the newer homes on Ft. Campbell. It is a very nice home--without the usual "well, for Army housing" qualifiers. It's lovely. The layout is conducive to the entertaining lifestyle of most Battalion Command families and appears to take into account that these families actually accumulate stuff during their years in service!

Judy and Lee have a wonderful collection of furnishings gathered during their travels with the Army. It will be a pleasure to assist in enhancing this lovely setting with the beauty of the Holiday season!

With Judy's permission, I'll share some before and after pictures during our preparations. Put a circle on Dec 14th--you'll want to attend this event!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Holiday Tables

It's time to start thinking about setting your holiday tables. I've decided to write about this subject in October, rather than waiting until later because I understand how tight budgets become closer to the holidays; you don't want to find-out two days before your event that you need to drop some coin on additional dishes or napkins. I know, I know--I'm sounding like a money grubbing retailer, trying to conjure up reasons you should be shopping at my boutique. To be totally honest, I hope you will, but I know there are other places where it's possible to gather your home. Perhaps a few suggestions and photos will entice you to give Hodgepodge a try this holiday season. Here goes . . .

When you're planning your holiday entertaining, I think you should first establish your dining arrangements. Will you have a sit-down dinner or a steady flow of appetizers for your guests to casually pick-up on small plates throughout the night? Often the number of guests will determine this. A buffet dining arrangement is often considered the easiest approach, but it still requires planning.

Regardless of your approach--you need to take an inventory to ensure you have enough plates, bowl, glasses and flatware to service your guests. Of course, they do not all have to match, but they should coordinate.

This is especially true of your flatware. I've been an advocate of mix-and-matching you flatware for years; I've been using a plethora of mismatched silver plate flatware for better than 15 years. Furthermore, I don't polish it--oh, the horror! Same is true of your dishes--be they stoneware, ironstone or china--don't get hung up on trying to find another Franciscan Desert Rose cereal bowl. Take a look at other dishes that may coordinate. For instance, these cereal bowls from Comptoire de Familie (above picture) would coordinate nicely with that pattern or many others.

In order to take the edge off of this unorthodox approach, you may wish to find a common thread--other than a similar colors--to keep a theme. You could look for flatware with your last name monogram on it. You could look for china with a Greek key pattern or pink roses. This approach could also include mixing stoneware with china--a look displayed at Hodgepodge since we opened.
You'll also see in the picture below a few other ideas for your table setting. Use juice glasses for votive holders. Place cards and holders can be constructed from a variety of items--here I've
penned names on our faux fall leaves and placed them on mini easels. I used ceramic pumpkins to top the place setting--these are so inexpensive, they can be given to my guests to take home. The chargers seen in this picture are a sturdy sea grass construction which can double as lap trays if you opt for the buffet approach; they're also available in red. These items are not listed for purchase on my website, but you can contact me via email or by phone for more information or "long distance" purchasing.

This realistic turkey is a wonderful focal point for a sit-down or buffet table. We have wonderful accessories, from utensil caddies and napkins to plate stands and napkin rings. We hope to help you gather your table for the holidays!

Thanks for your indulgence!


Saturday, October 20, 2007


Hallow-when? Is anyone aware that Halloween is just around the corner?

If you have kids--I'm sure you've heard about it. Further, if your kids are like mine--they were thinking about "next year's" costume on Nov 1st, 2006! This is the first year my fifteen-year-old will not be trick-or-treating; the other two will transform me into the mother of Hannah Montana and, oh darn it--I can't remember his name--suffice to say he's a Japanese cartoon character.

If you're still in need of some decor to bring the spirit of Halloween into the home, I encourage you to stop by Hodgepodge for some ideas and accessories. We have a wonderful selection of vintage-look items from Midwest--Seasons of Cannon Falls and TAG. I've decided to have an unprecedented sale on my Halloween merchandise. So drop in early for the deals.

In my next blog, I'll try to provide some thoughts and inspiration on table decor; perhaps some suggestions about items to include in your china cabinet in preparation for the holidays.

Thanks for your indulgence.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Autumn Garland

Last night we hosted the first in our "How Do They Do That?" series at Hodgepodge. I was so pleased and flattered by the reception. I hope the participants were pleased with their time spent.

We made Autumn garlands using mini Indian corn, shipping tags and a variety of small items for the lettering.
Using the shipping tags, we each spelled-out an Autumn word with special significance. Pencil the letter onto the tag, then trace a light bead of craft glue on the letter. Add your bead, bean, seed or grass of choice to give the letter a 3-D appearance. Complete this process with all tags. After the tags have dried, you may choose to remove the string on the tag and replace it with raffia or twine--it's a matter of preference. Cut a six foot length of twine. You'll need a number of mini Indian corn ears to compliment the number of letters in the word you choose. For instance if you choose "gather," which has 6 letters you should use either 7 or five ears of corn. If you choose to use seven, your garland will start with a corn followed by a letter and so on. Starting about 9 inches in from the end of the length of twine, tie an ear of corn (around the husk) with a simple knot; leave about 6 - 8 inches and tie another--continue with remainder of corn. Then go back an tie on the tags in between each ear of corn. You may wish to lay the "pattern" out prior to tying to ensure the proper spacing. And Viola:

I had such a wonderful time sharing this project with these ladies. Thanks to Kate, Taylor, Martha, Karen, Erinne and Kendall for their enthusiastic participation.
Congratulations to Taylor--the winner of the Hodgepodge charm necklace!
And thanks to you all for your indulgence.

Friday, October 12, 2007

intentions and servitude

I intended to come home and start work entering the new inventory we’ve been receiving this week. It needs to be entered so we can tag it and back-stock it for the holidays. My eldest, Hunter, will be going to work with me in the morning to open about 16 boxes. She has become quite a pro and I’m happy to officially add her to my payroll!

It’s almost surreal. I was forced into indentured servitude for my father and I’m continuing the tradition with my own children. It brings a tear to my eye to think of how I’m causing the same misery once put upon me.

Haedyn and I just returned from The Roxy where we were privileged to enjoy the opening of The Picture of Dorian Gray. With every performance I see at The Roxy, I am reminded of how fortunate we are to have such amazing talent in our city.

This isn’t getting my inventory entered.

Monday, October 8, 2007

How Do They Do That?

Have you ever looked through your favorite magazine or home decorating book and thought, "I'd love to make that" or "I'd love to do that" or "How do they do that?" Well, I hope that we'll be able to help with some of those thoughts.

Frankly, most of it isn't that difficult, it's just a matter of carving out the time and resources. That's where we come in. We're setting the dates, finding the resources--including materials and instructors--and inviting you to attend.

The first in our series will be held October 15th at 6 p.m. We'll make an autumn garland. Then you can look forward to making a journal with a personalized cover. Later, just in time for the holidays, we'll host an event with a party planning theme.

If you haven't been into the shop lately, let me extend this invitation. We've been busy adding more autumn decorations and more ideas for gathering your home.

Our Halloween decorations are being picked-over quickly. If you have plans for decorating for this fun holiday I encourage you to take a look at what Hodgepodge has to offer.

I know I've mentioned this--every other breath or so--but this is my favorite time of year. I love the look, feel and smell of Autumn. It's for this reason I am especially excited about the new pendants I received from Cathy Penton. Cathy is a wonderfully talented artist--who expresses herself in a variety of media. My personal favorite being her beautiful pendants--my beehive/"H" pendant is my all-time favorite jewelry accessory. They're created from vintage pictures and/or ephemera framed in silver.

I've recently unwrapped some pendants with an autumn theme and, ta da da da, the Hodgepodge exclusive pendants.

I'll be giving away a one of the Hodgepodge pendants at our first "How Do They Do That?" program. Everyone registered to attend has an equal chance of winning. I encourage you to sign-up early--space is limited! Please call (931.647.0444) or email to sign-up.
Thanks for your indulgence!
Please visit my web site.

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