Sunday, February 22, 2009

forced down time

i'm preparing for a little forced down time. i have to have a little procedure performed tomorrow--no biggie, but the doc recommended 3 days off. i'll take two (i hope that's all--of course, i don't "bounce" like i once use to . . . not sure i've ever really "bounced") and return to the shop on wednesday.

hodgepodge will be closed on monday--i hope you're not inconvenienced. patty will be there for you (but mostly me--thank you patty) on tuesday.

see you at the shop wednesday, but here in blogdom sooner--i hope.

don't forget to add your comments for the contest!

thanks for your indulgence.

ps--we unpacked some new stuff on saturday--come see!
pps--did i get some cool stuff at ARTifacts on saturday!?! you need to go see the new things our vendors have added. i need to get up there more frequently!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

stream of consciousness & a contest

Christmas is ordered! (Sometimes I can't remember where I am.) I still haven't received my Spring/Easter shipment, but Christmas '09 is ordered. J'Anne, my wonderfully fun sales rep from Seasons of Cannon Falls, came to the shop today to help guide me through the 300 plus page catalog. I know this is a load off of your mind--so I'm glad I finally got this done! I'm preparing to peruse the Colonial Candle catalog she left with me--oh my gosh, the new scents are amazing! I'll try to get them in the shop ASAP.

Now, for confession of a shopkeeper. I have to admit I've become a bit of a candle/fragrance snob. I didn't mean to do it. Believe me when I tell you I use to scoop up the seasonal candles in the laundry aisle at the commissary, proudly flourishing those coupons I had clipped for them. So now, here I am, a jaded and cynical shopkeeper.
(I guess I can say "good-bye" to a lot of potential home invites I may have otherwise received . . .)
Okay, she's a shopkeeper, she just trying to unload her inventory . . . you're darn right I am. Yet, I do have a less selfish reason to introduce this topic. My point is this, if it's important to you that your home smell nice, you may want to consider upgrading to a quality diffuser or candles. Knowing that we process much of our experience through our olfactory system makes me think about how things smell--a lot.Smells remind us of our first love (Jovan Musk), our favorite teacher (Polo), our summer vacation (cotton candy and beach) and our best friend's house (European cooking). How do you want your house remembered? Like an aisle in WalMart or like a summer vacation?

How about you? Do you have a favorite candle or diffuser? You know I love my Archipelago Botanicals candles/diffusers (Bergamont Tobacco and Burl Wood, to be specific), but I love the new scented candles I'm getting from Colonial Candle. They might win me over! I know the price will--$14 for the 12.5 oz. and only $7 for the new 4 oz. size. The scents you can look forward to? Platinum Pearl, Lemon Leaf & Olive and Sandcastle. I'll also be restocking the classic 8 & 10" classic straight candles with some lovely new colors.

Just for the record, my first ever AB diffuser--the one I set-up in my entry way in Feb of 08, just gave out. The oil is gone, but it still smells great. So, don't think of it as a $40 smell good thing. Think of it as an "memory investment."

I'm also poring over several other catalogs getting ready for the rest of the year.

My favorite vendor:

As so much of the world focus in on our "failing economy" one might think I'd lay-off the orders for a while. Call it crazy. Call it irresponsible. Call it"she has no idea what she's doing." I think I'll call it optimistic. (Keeping that glass half-full.) Really, I have given this some thought. Here's my big prediction for 2009: I think you're going to spend a little more time at home this year. I think you'll invite friends over for get-togethers. I think you'll spend money on your house, rather than a big vacation. On activities close to home rather than summer camps. On creating memories with friends and family. Of course, I think that sounds a lot like last year and the year before that, as well as many years to come!

So what's different? You tell me. Are you making any decorating plans for the year ahead? Do you think you'll make any big changes or just little ones? Do you update/tweak your furnishings and accessories frequently or every 10 years--something in between? (I feel a contest coming on . . .)
So here it is the first contest of 2009 for Hodgepodge bloggers. All you need to do is add your comments to this blog, sharing some of your plans for your home for 2009. (I'll randomly choose a winner from all entries.) What's in it for you? An original design "Femme de Junque" long sleeve, vintage feel t-shirt . . . but wait! That's not all! You'll also receive an Archipelago Botanicals diffuser in a fragrance of your choice. Together, we're talking a nearly $60 value! I think that's worth a few minutes of your time. But I'll let you decide. (By the by, I'll ship to you, so don't let distance prevent you from participating.)

I hope to hear from you. Tell your friends about my blog and this contest--tell your friend to mention you in their comments and I'll enter your name again for referral! YessirreeBob! You read that right! Don't be selfish.

Thanks for your indulgence.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Downtown Market

I serve on a committee researching the possibility of a downtown market--an outdoor farmers market and, in the future, an indoor multi-day facility.

What I'd like to ask, in order to make this dream a reality, is that you take a few minutes to complete this survey.

I don't mean to rush you, but we really need these complete before the weekend so we can compile the info before our next meeting.

If you have any questions or suggestions--possible vendors, interest in serving on the committee--please email me or leave your comments here.

Thanks, in advance. And, as always, thanks for your indulgence.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Making Plans

So, it's six years coming and likely another six months or so of serious contemplation and planning, but it going to happen. Eventually.When we first moved in, I began making plans immediately to change the colors. It's a large kitchen--well, the largest I've ever had. The walls were a bright sunshine yellow and the cabinets were a glossy white. The first thing I did was paint--the yellow became Laura Ashley gold 4 (or maybe it was 5).
Our big project, though was before we hosted our first Thanksgiving in the house (we moved in in July) was to paint the cabinets. First we sanded, then a layer of the same Laura Ashley gold 4 or 5. Then, THREE coats of black later, I started sanding--aging the cabinets. We didn't seal them--I wanted them to continuing wearing/aging. We added new hardware. In between coats--while they were drying--we attached ceiling tin for our back splash. This stuff is the real thing--difficult to manipulate, cut, and attach to the wall. We didn't seal this either--I wanted it to patina. I LOVE it.
So that's it. Since then I've been bringing home floor samples and looking at appliances.

There is a lot that I like about my kitchen:
I like my stereo. I LOVE my island. It was a huge desk I found junkin' in Germany. Darren hated this thing--it took-up our entire garage for almost a year. I had NO idea what I would do with it. It had no feet; the top was destroyed--the veneer was lifting; it had no knobs on the doors (still doesn't--still thinking on those). I ordered the feet and added them. I attached a piece of plywood to create a "bridge" across the leg space. It now holds a small number of my cookbooks on one side and a wine rack on the other. We topped it with a piece of salvaged granite--it was slightly short so we finished the edges with some quarter-sawn wood we found under the house. The beauty of this island is that it's the perfect height for my short-self.
I also love this sink--it'll stay.

Not that this is a fixture, but I love our table. I found the base at a flea market in Germany--again, no real plan for it. When we got here, I found the door and we eventually made it into our table.

So, that's what I love.

Here's what I don't care for:

I hate my counter tops. I really, really dislike my flooring. It looks dirty even when it's just been washed.

I dislike--strongly--this oven. I've never liked it, but since the incident of the open house weekend (when it blew-out two burners) it's never been quite right. It's not big enough for the large meals I sometimes get to prepare.

Well, I could go on and probably will in future blog posts. If you have suggestions for me. Personal experience with certain brands, types of flooring, whatever--I'm interested. Have you renovated your kitchen? Any tips?

Thanks for your indulgence.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Smidgen of Hodgepodge

Suddenly, I'm chatty. I don't want to innundate you those of you whom have, in a moment of weakness and/or undying dedication to yours truly, signed-up to receive my blogs via email (it has a name . . . I know it does). You'll have to forgive me (or just un-sign-up). I don't have another adult at home--therefore no one with whom I can download my day--so stuff occurs to me all day long, but I can't make my customers hang around to listen to me (I try, believe me).

So, I'm wondering, where are Clarksville parents-to-be buying their nursery furniture? I've got some of the cutest, most durable cribs and changing tables I've ever seen (remember, this is my totally unbiased opinion). And the bedding! My gosh--it's adorable! Perhaps people don't know I sell nursery furniture. Perhaps they don't know I have an entire section dedicated to the babies in our lives. A while back I dubbed the baby section: A Smidgen of Hodgepodge, but I guess I didn't do a very good job of sharing this info. I've decided I'm going to get the word out. I'm going to focus (for as long as my self-diagnosed ADD will allow me) to making folks think "A Smidgen of Hodgepodge" for their nursery furnishings and baby gifts.

I already have a pretty dedicated group of individuals who buy their baby gifts from Hodgepodge. We've got Robeez--the best baby shoes on the market; we've got Caldrea products especially for baby (although grown-ups like it, too);
we've got these darling enamelware sets; monogrammable blankets;

diaper bags; the cutest clothing line--all handmade from organic cotton.

As you can see, it's a significant amount of inventory. So, shame on me for not making Smidgen common knowledge--especially here in Clarksville. (Oh, who am I kidding . . . most of Clarksville hasn't even heard of Hodgepodge, let alone "A Smidgen" of it!
I'm hoping that you, my faithful readers (both of you), will remember "Smidgen" the next time a friend tells you she's expecting or Aunt Mary is in need of a baby gift. I would truly appreciate the referral.

Thanks, in advance!
And, thanks for your indulgence.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Rosebud Hearts

We always have a great time getting together to create. This night was no different.
We met at our house last Tuesday to make these:

I was joined by Teresa, Kathy, Kendall, Martha, Judy and Hannah. First, we inserted the floral foam into our containers. (I purchased the floral foam and the terra cotta containers at our local craft store.) Fill the container with one whole piece of foam (slicing-off excess at the top), then wedge small pieces into the spaces around the edge for a tight fit. Then, we fired-up the hot glue guns and got busy attaching tiny pink rosebuds to Styrofoam heart forms. You start by creating a hole for the trunk (an 18" cinnamon stick), which you'll insert later. Then you start adding the rosebuds. We found that, with our Styrofoam forms, it was easier to make the hole with a bamboo skewer, then add the rosebuds with the hot glue. We had several different approaches around the table. Some worked in one area filling in the entire area before moving around the heart; others filled-in the interior of the heart and worked their way to the outside. Either approach had the same problem at the end--nowhere to hold-on to finish the last of the heart. Most agreed it was easier to finish making the holes before your grip area gets too small. Once you have finished adding the roses, double-check the fit of the cinnamon stick; add the hot glue and wait for it to be secure. Then you're going to fit the cinnamon stick into the foam. Try to go straight in. Add a little hot glue around the base--hold steady until secure. The final touches will be Spanish moss around the top of the container and ribbon around the cinnamon stick--just under the heart. The completed topiary will last for a very long time. The one pictured here is at least twelve years old. The roses are faded (or dusty), but I love it.

Kendall was the only one to complete here topiary the night we got together. I hope our other participants will add their comments here.
One last note, when we have these get-togethers I usually provide food. This evening, I whipped-up a couple quiches, a fruit salad and creme brulee--YUM! I mention this because I used some vintage snack sets I grabbed from my mother's discards when she was scaling down. The funny thing I noticed as I was pulling these out for a cleaning, the box is marked "Informal Seashell Snack Sets." Immediately I thought, did the folks in 60s (when these sets were very popular) need to be strictly instructed? You may NOT use these sets at formal affairs!

Thanks for your indulgence.


PS You know I'm a HUGE shop local fan, but occasionally you can't find what you need anywhere but the net. Here's where I found the rosebuds and cinnamon sticks. It's an addictive site, so don't over-do-it!
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