Friday, March 28, 2008


Feedburner works. The notice of a new blog posting arrived--it took nearly 24 hours, but it will arrive in your email inbox! If you want to receive notice of new postings to this blog--click on the "Bee In Touch" link to the left of this posting. I can now move on.

Move on . . . back to the fame shop. ARGH!

The kids come home today! I'm so looking forward to having them here. They've been in Naples with Nana since last Saturday. Darren was here visiting when they left, but he returned to Kansas on Tuesday--so it's been three nights of the pets and me.

Random insert--I did find a location for one of our custom furniture items. It's back in the area deemed the "french room" because many of the accessories and table items are from a company based in France. (They're one of my favorite vendors--as the look is so vintage European!) I've included pictures of the new chicken coop-style display hutch.

The idea for this hutch hatched (hardee, harr, harr) out of the request of customer expressing a need for a display space for her pedestal cake plate collection. This is sort of it. The only thing we'll have to change is the top. The base of each "shelf" is angled--as a chicken coop would be, but they'll need to be flat in order to display the cake plates. I'll be painting this one--partially--to have it fit into Hodgepodge. As I've mentioned before if you need a piece of furniture for you home, let us get you a quote. This piece is very similar to one we found in the Sundance Catalog--with about the same cost. Ours (which is larger and you choose your finish--stain or paint color of your choice) is $350--including local delivery. You can order the pieces separately, too. Our furniture maker is happy to give quotes for just about any piece you can imagine. I think I've already shown you this cabinet, but I just wanted to provide another example of our custom furniture pieces.

Alrighty, it's Saturday and the kids are here and I'm happy to have them around me again. I've got to get moving--the shop won't open itself.

Thanks for your indulgence.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

testing, testing


My last effort to have the dedicated and/or accidental readers of my blog conveniently notified about new posts via email was less than effective. Most assuredly, it was user error, but there it ends, as I cannot figure another method with that service.

So, I've inserted this new option to the left under "Bee In Touch." It looks similar, but it is different. They promise and actual email in your in box when I've added a new post to this blog. Click on it--try it--let me know what you think.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

framing an idea

Will it ever be done? The frame shop is evolving. I'm just not sure it'll ever be done. Darren and I took out the over sized, carpet covered counter on Sunday. This should help with the flow of traffic through Hodgepodge--especially for those who still do not grasp the concept that Neblett's is no longer. (I need to prepare the application for our new sign tomorrow!) This counter was a sort of "road block" as it's been difficult to get people to understand they could go past it. The behemoth is no longer. Our custom furniture maker is building a new work table to replace it--although it'll take-up considerably less room.
Today--I took down the mind numbing pegboard. Have your ever had to spend hours in a room surrounded by peg board? It's discombobulating to say the least. Today, I had the pleasure of removing most of it. I took it down, cut-it-down to a smaller size and glued black velcro fabric to it. It is curing as I type (I hope, I hope, I hope!). I plan to attach it to the walls tomorrow. We'll then display the frame corners on the walls.
Other than all of the physical changes I'm making to the shop, I've also been teaching myself about framing. I've taken a course in framing while we were stationed in Germany. I don't remember a thing about cutting the mats, but I am refreshing my memory about taking the essential measurements. I'm also having a blast putting together mats, frames and prints. Those prints of the masters I mentioned a few posts ago have provided a great learning exercise. I've been poring over our selection of mats and frames--trying to pull together looks appropriate for the art. The options are endless, but when you hit on the right one--you know it.
I also ordered a sample mirror. We can get beveled mirrors in a variety of of sizes--you choose the frame. A simple, contemporary Pottery Barn style or a huge, detailed Ballard Design style. You name it--it's available at Hodgepodge! Not really, but we do have a lot stuff.
Come in for a look-see. I'll take some photos tomorrow (I hope you can get some sleep. . . ) for those of you living in far-off places. (According to my "feedjit" listing--there are a few of you!)
Take care and thanks for your indulgence.

Friday, March 21, 2008

just checking

I'm trying to think of something clever to say, as my only reason for writing this morning is to check on my new feature, which allows readers to sign-up for notifications of updates to my blog.

Hmmm, let me think . . . oh I know, in my last entry I noticed I mentioned we had more new stuff arriving at Hodgepodge. I then proceeded announce our new jewelry as the "first" arrival worth mentioning. Well, I wonder what I intended to mention "second."

I had been trying to remember yesterday morning--then I walked into the shop and there it was--my shipment of Wendy Addison accessories from Midwest. I had the pleasure of meeting her in the Midwest showroom at the January market. She was signing some of her decorative accessories for her admirers--I jumped right into line. Not usually the "groupie" type, it felt awkward to me, but when it was my turn, I was happy to have the opportunity to tell her how much I enjoy her talents. She signed this anchor for me--especially for me--and told me how much she enjoyed meeting and admired me! (Not really, but wouldn't it be fun?!?) She did sign this for me and she smiled.

Anyhoo, we've got a nice collection of new items in her collection--perfect for a glittery accent almost anywhere in your room. They'd also make a wonderful gift for the graduates or brides on your shopping lists. As would this ornament commemorating the year "2008."

Okay--it's Good Friday. I hope you all have plans to remember and celebrate the life of a man who provides us with the supreme example of our potential as humans. Whether or not you believe him to be the son of God, you cannot deny he led an exemplary life--one we should all try to emulate. That's about the extent of my evangelistic efforts and potential.

Alrighty, saving this to add pictures when I get to the shop. Darren is home for a few days and the kids leave tomorrow for Florida to see their Nana for Spring Break. I hate when they're all gone without me. I'm excited for them and their independence, but selfishly, I'd rather have them here.
As I finish this, it's Saturday evening--the kids are out to dinner with Nana in Naples and Darren and I have plans to take in a show "Closer" at The Roxy in TheOtherSpace. This is the last night for this one, but it's a great place to catch cutting edge theatre--sometimes they're work shopping a show, then they're premiering the works of aspiring directors/writers, then there will be a production by the youth drama students.
Happy Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

ooh la la

New stuff at Hodgepodge! First, the jewelry that I ordered, then cancelled, then ordered again. (Thank goodness for patient sales reps.) This collection originates in old Parisian workshops establishes over 200 years ago. The designs are rendered from the original molds created between 1900 - 1930. They are made of "Old Silver" a unique French process of laying sterling silver or 14K gold plate over a copper base. All crystals are hand set and enameling is hand-applied. Each piece "reflects the art and culture of the past and holds a valuable place in the present."
Still learning how to photograph these pieces--the locket above is lovely and will hold a good size photo or two; the fleur de lis to the left is set with rhinestones with a unique double chain; the queen bee, below, is also set with rhinestones and my personal favorite. I don't have enough of these to add to my shopping cart, but I'm happy to help you purchase them, if you're interested. Just call or email me.

I also want to remind you about our Cathy Penton charms. Cathy is an amazing talent, which I'm lucky to have captured for Hodgepodge. We have many to choose from--below is my favorite. You'll be happy to hear we also have nickel-plated bead ball chain for your charms. The price is right--drop me an email!

Thanks for your indulgence.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

the arts, part II

i know you've been checking back with giddy anticipation to read my next installment on the arts . . . yes, i've been drinking, but the glass is still mostly full! really, i just think this is a great idea and wanted to share it. but first, a note about the auction last night.

last night i attended the Downtown Artists' Co-op annual auction with my dear friend, dianne, who was my date to the event, as both of our husbands were unavailable. it was wonderful, as always, to be surrounded by so much talent and everyone, i mean EVERYONE, so humble about their talents and gifts! so many of my favorite people were in attendance and they were BIDDING AGAINST ME! at least i can lay claim to two prizes, one a live auction bid and one i was able to negotiate away from the winner after all was said and done. thank goodness she was the winner of many and therefore more inclined to pity. here they are: the first the work of a Audrey Griggs, now deceased, Audrey was the wife of Mark Griggs, a great supporter of the arts in Clarksville. Being a sucker for botanicals--this work caught my eye immediately. the second is the work of Susan Bryant. Susan is a remarkable artist/photographer. i have been fortunate to work on several committees with Susan and feel privileged count her a friend, as well. so, cool for me! i've got another Susan Bryant for our walls.

now, back to the subject at hand . . . which, by the way, is how you, too, can own a work of the masters. with the purchase of neblett's framing outlet, i have acquired numerous prints of the works of great masters. in these prints you will see the depth of field, the luminescence and play of light, the great detail of the originals from which they were cast. now, i must tell you that art appreciation was my worst grade of my college career, but i've tried to make-up for my deplorable scholasticic effort. regardless, one can't help but appreciate the beauty of these works. the extra cool thing is you can own them for next to nothing. we are selling them for only $2.50! here are a few examples of the works we have available.

of course, we can accommodate your needs for framing these works, as well. the price for a mat and frame, such as this one will cost approximately $135--of course, you can choose a less or more expensive option, according to your own style and desire. this one has a gold metallic mat over a dark brown paper mat with a frame that has a mottled gold layer and is about 2 1/2" wide.

this option, while you can't tell in this photograph, includes a butter colored suede mat over and olive paper mat. the frame is about 2" wide. this one would cost about $181.the framing selection shown here is the most affordable at about $103. it still has two mats, but their both a basic paper mat in a dark olive over "congo green" with a nice, 1" walnut finish frame. the frame has an upgraded look with the beading around the inside edge.

if you'd like to use conservation grade mat board and glass, you can expect to pay about 10 - 20% more.

of course, you can simply add as many of these prints to your collection as you like and frame them as you have the room and need for additional art for your home. at $2.50, i don't see why you should walk away.
i ask that you consider hodgepodge when you have items in need of framing.
thanks for reading and thanks for your indulgence.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Arts

This posting will start with a little motherly bragging. Today, unfortunately, is the last opportunity for you to experience my brilliant Shakespearean actor-son in his role as Lucius in Julius Caesar. It's a role he shared with three other talented young men at The Roxy Regional Theatre. I had the opportunity to see him perform on Wednesday along with about 140 local high school students. The Roxy's commitment to education and community is evident year round, but especially through their curriculum matinees, which they frequently take on the road for schools unable to get downtown to their location on 1st and Franklin. Live theatre brings Shakespeare and other classics to life, benefiting the students in numerous ways. If you can't make it to the matinee today, I encourage you to look into the upcoming performances at The Roxy.

In addition to the performing arts on Franklin Street, you'll find other opportunities for arts edification in the downtown area. Tonight, from 6 pm - 8 pm you can bid on original works of art donated by Clarksville's finest artist for the Annual Downtown Artists' Co-op Art Auction . The event will be held at The Smith-Trahern.

Tune in later for more on the arts. A friend of mine inspired another concept.

Thanks for your indulgence.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Spring Gathering

The date has been set, plans are being made--fun will be had by all! At least, that's my hope.

The Hodgepodge annual Spring Gathering

The date: April 5th

The time: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

The plans are still somewhat sketchy, but we will have various demonstrations. There will be a cookie decorating demonstration with Mimi Keaton. In addition, there will be demonstrations of floral design, picture framing, scrap "paging" and more. I'll post a complete schedule as soon as it's finalized.

The new garden shop will be open and brimming with design ideas. There will be ideas you can use throughout the boutique.

We're also planning to debut our Hodgepodge exclusive t-shirt. These t-shirts have been fun to design. The intent was to design a t-shirt which expresses the attitude and style of the typical Hodgepodge shopper. I have found that I really like the look of many of the t-shirts available off-the-rack, but the expressions they display aren't exactly representative of me. So, I did a little "market research" and we finalized the design about one week ago. The t-shirts are being printed at our downtown neighbor, Active Screen Graphics, and should be ready in a week or so. I would imagine we'll be giving one or two as door prizes for those attending our Spring Gathering.

I'll be discussing my plans with the other retailers in the downtown area in the hopes that they'll jump on board and we can make this a big event.
That's all I have to offer right now, but I'll be updating frequently.
Thanks for your indulgence~

Friday, March 7, 2008

Scouting-out Solutions

I've done a little organizing. Not in my house--although it's much needed--but in my closet on wheels (aka, "Flo" my 14 year old Chevy Suburban).
You'll see in my before picture, the typical variety of items you'll find slamming around in the back of my beast. Of course, I could take a lot of out and store it in my house, but you never know when you're going to find a large piece of furniture you'll want to strap to the roof--so I can't surrender the various tie-downs I have on hand. Further, I've already mentioned the age of my vehicle, so the antifreeze, brake fluid, jumper cables and safety triangle are all "must haves." The oversized bag of dog treats--unusual, yes, but explainable and transient. I used them in my display at the Smith-Trahern Mansion for their Christmas celebration--I've since donated them to the local shelter (where I had a near-adoption-miss!). Also transient is the bag of clothing to be donated and the groceries, rolling out of one of the incidious plastic bags! You'll also likely note the robin's egg blue paint strategically splattered across the rug. That incident, and many others like it, is the reason I will be driving this car until it falls apart around me; a new car would be too stressful.
Flo is loyal, but more importantly, she's paid for! She's been across the Atlantic and back; she's driven all over Germany, into Poland and over to Ireland! She's accumulated more than 260K miles and has used-up two transmissions--although, we only count one, as the first one was a do-it-yourself rebuild which didn't really stand a chance of lasting. The second one was a quick rebuild in a not-so-lovely little out-of-the-way town in Alabama. The type of place that gives you a discount when they find-out your husband is serving in the Middle East! They were wonderful people who worked well past normal hours to get us on the road again. I'm trying to remember the name of the garage. We were on our way home from visiting our friends, the Wagners in Enterprise, AL--back when I thought I could live without a cell phone (can you hear me now?).
Anyhoo, I told you all of that to explain the condition of my vehicle, but I want you to look at these "after" pictures and tell me she doesn't look like she's riding higher! I firmly believe that if I had used these nifty containers earlier, Flo's carpet wouldn't be robin's egg blue, as the gallon of paint would have remained upright inside them.
Of course, then I wouldn't have the great story of "Billy" (changing names to protect the ignorant) at the All American Car Wash, accusing me of lying regarding the water-base of my latex paint when I asked to use their wet-dry vac to clean-up my mess. You see, he noted that the paint can was clearly labeled "eggshell." How can one argue with that?
So, there it is. Stop by Hodgepodge to get yourself some of these wonderful storage bins or you too may have an encounter with Billy.
In all seriousness, these bins have more uses than I can name, but I like using them in the car. I carry one of their bags everyday--loaded down with paperwork, book and magazines. We just received a shipment of several more styles in the cutest pattern they call "Twall Yall." It features an Airstream trailer ( a big "SAAAALUTE!" to my fellow Airstream owner wanna be's Lisa and Janie!) in its typically bucolic toile scene!

I leave you with one last explanation. "Flo" got her name while we were stationed in Germany. She was the vehicle of choice for all of our flea marketing excursions--among her peers, she proudly boasted the largest capacity. The German word for "flea" is "floh." There you have it. We always "Went with the Flo."
Thanks for your indulgence.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

One Window Down

. . . one to go!

I've mentioned this before, I know, but I hate doing windows! Cleaning them, sure, but arranging eye-catching displays which incorporate as many items from our inventory as will fit is a lot of pressure! The fine line of too much and not enough seems easily crossed or missed altogether!

Well, this time, inspiration hit! It started with this gorgeous new set of blue transferware and my need to have as much of it on display as possible! Then I glanced down at a recent issue of Romantic Homes and it hit! Patty and I got started immediately. We're still adding the finishing touches--and it will evolve as items are sold, but for now I LOVE IT!

Please stop by to see it and enter our drawing for a $20 gift certificate! All you need to do is guess which movie inspired our window--don't say it out loud! You'll write it on the entry form and will throw your name into the hat. If we draw your entry and you have named the correct movie, you'll win! That's easy. One entry per visit is allowed. I'll even provide a picture with this blog and there are several hints in the window. You don't have to be present to win, but you have to be present to enter. No email entries this time, folks.

Another movie idea just hit! Maybe it will be my next window!
Thanks for your indulgence.
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