Sunday, November 29, 2009

So, the frenzy is over. The mad rush for the best deals is behind us. I hope everyone had a good time and feels successful in their retail exploits.

Now, we turn the focus on our homes. Decorating the trees, mantles and every other nook and cranky. I've recently graduated to four trees in our house. In addition, I decorate the mantles, our staircase, the china hutch and more. So, I was thinking that many of you are probably doing the same and might be looking for items to supplement what you've got. Perhaps you're thinking about expanding your decorating for the holidays.

Here's my favorite tree we have in the shop. It's in our garden area--at the Strawberry Alley entrance. We call it our woodland tree--it has a wonderful natural theme.

Here are some of the ornaments that make this tree so special.

I'd like to see a burlap garland on this tree, but we had so many ornaments to display, it didn't happen. We do have it available, though, along with other ornaments not featured here. Come on down and have a look-see.
Thanks for your indulgence.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Protect Your Pumpkin!

Two days 'til turkey. More importantly, two days 'til Pumpkin Bread Pudding.

I'm not completely unprepared, but I am feeling a little anxious about it. I need a few more ingredients to make the day happen--still need cranberries, cabbage for the slaw, and bread for the pudding.

I understand there may be a shortage of canned pumpkin in the Clarksville area. This may be a completely unfounded rumor, but regardless, I have no worries as it seems I have stock-piled canned pumpkin! If you've been paying attention, you'll have noticed the Mayan Cooking Calendar shows no recipes requiring pumpkin in the years 2009 - 2012. Coincidence? I think not! That why I'm prepared for the "Great Pumpkin Crisis of 2009." I'm glad to see, however, the crisis is bringing people together. There was a big exchange on facebook--friends offering their excess cans of pumpkin for the recipe needs of others. It was beautiful. On a final, hopeful note, I understand that Sarah Palin suggests we start drilling for pumpkin.

Okay--enough political commentary.

There are a few other things that need to get done during my "day off." I need to do some baking for our late night of shopping on Friday. Yup, the biggest shopping day of the year is three days away. Strangely enough--it's usually not the biggest shopping day at Hodgepodge. I don't' sell GPS gadgets, or big screen TVs or video games--all the things that will make your life complete. I do, however, sell wonderful accessories for you home, gift items for your friends and family, as well as unique options for you table settings. We can custom frame your art--including the work of little hands.

I also plan on opening at our regular time--10 AM. I will not open at midnight, nor will I open at 6 AM. We will, however, stay open until 8 PM--my contention being, after you've been "malled" you can come downtown, shop Hodgepodge, ARTifacts, Rogate's Boutique, Ingredients and others.

This weekend (Fri and Sat) only, I'll offer seasonal Caldrea items at 20% off. I love both of these fragrances and have been burning the candles alternately in the shop.

Okay, I'll also offer all clearance items at 50% or more off. Including items we're adding tomorrow! So if it's marked 20, 30 or 40% off--it's 50% off this weekend!

And, as if all of that isn't enough . . . we'll have some refreshments for you to enjoy while shopping.

Be sure to tell me about all of your fun you have chasing after your great deals on Friday--I'll be waiting!

Thanks for your indulgence.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Thanksgiving Give Away is a Wrap!

We have a winner!

Mesina Len . . . it's you!

Send me an email with your contact information and we'll make arrangements to get the loot to you!

Thanks for your comments. I loved reading about your holiday plans and wish you all the best of days!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Let's have Thanksgiving first, then we'll jump into Christmas. Read on . . . I feel a give-away
coming on.
I just wrote an enewsletter for the shop--for those on my email list--and could have kept going on and on about preparations for the Thanksgiving holidays. However, I've been told to keep those emails to one page (is it a page when it's on the screen?) in length, so I decided to finish-up my thoughts here.
I've always loved Thanksgiving. Getting together with family and friends, preparing annual recipes, pulling out the stops with the table settings--I LOVE it all. I love, especially, that the celebrations continue for another month!
We have prepared the shop for Christmas--we had to, sorry. We have, however, left a table set for a Thanksgiving buffet set in the center of the store.

I love the look of this table! It's that door table I told you about several posts ago, set with items you'd use when serving a large group of people. It suggests the use of glass plates to supplement the china you have.

Using the mixed, 5-piece place settings of vintage silver plate flatware is another way to reduce the stress of of trying to have everything all matchy-matchy.

Linens are important--I hope you use linens rather than paper napkins. I am kind of a snob about them--not that I require monogrammed linen (in fact, my only monograms are on inexpensive dishtowels), but you'll be glad if you make the switch. It's good for the environment and just classes up the event--be it a sit down dinner for 12 or your family dinner.

Other things to consider are your serving pieces. Be creative. Put bowls or platters on "risers" such as cake pedestals, warming trivet or over-turned bowls or glasses (you may want to use a product like sticky tack to keep your plates from sliding off).

Another opportunity to be creative with your holiday table is the "centerpiece." I think the decorative elements you add to your table can make all of the difference. When you're setting a buffet table you have a little more lead way, because you don't have to worry about seeing your guests across the table. You can set-up several accents along the table or one focal point.

Another tip, especially for those of us who struggle with choosing wines (speaking as someone who makes her decisions based on the pretty labels), is to transfer your wines to decanters and label them in a creative fashion.

So, let's see . . . what are your plans for Thanksgiving? Post your comments here and be entered to win this:

A set of three glazed terra cotta pumpkins (my favorite), a vintage look postcard decoration, and a large portion of our fall gatherings potpourri. Heck, I'll even throw in that copper mercury glass votive I used as a riser for the potpourri! Post your comments by Friday the 20th, so I can get this stuff in the mail Saturday (if the winner is out-of-town)--I want you to have it for your Thanksgiving celebration. Share this with your friends and I'll throw your name in the hat again for each one (tell them to mention you in their post).

Thanks for your indulgence.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

a little self promotion

Have I mentioned our downtown radio show? Every Tuesday - Friday on WJZM (1400 AM) at 1 PM you can listen as Hank Bonecutter and I talk over current downtown events. You'll learn about what's happening at Hodgepodge and ARTifacts, as well. Downtown Radio is followed by Roxy Radio--John McDonald joins Hank to discuss the current productions at the Roxy. You'll hear interviews with cast members, information about dinner and a show and other special events.

Tune in online at 1 PM central time right here.

We've also added a regular television appearance to our downtown promotion. Each week we tape a new informational spot which airs on Channel 10 at 7 AM, 12:30 PM and 6:30 PM. Soon, we hope to offer videos online, too. We'll keep you posted.

Alrighty, now that I feel completely awkward and a bit self-important, I'll sign off.

Thanks for your indulgence.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Holidays Are Upon Us

The challenge for retailers is figuring out the fine line between too early and too late, for decorating the shop. I've got to get it out early enough to let you know what's available, so you can compare it with what you'll find at the BBS*. But if I get it out too early--you and I will both be sick of it before too long.

Last weekend we rolled-out Christmas. We've got decoration throughout the shop--arranged into rooms with different themes.

Tonight I'm sharing pictures from our open house event. Over the next several days I will share details of the shop decorations.

Thanks, so much, to my friends for helping me pull this all together. Thanks, too, to my customers who attended this weekend. Your continued support encourages me and gives me hope that I've done the right thing by opening Hodgepodge, Where You Gather Your Home--for Holidays and all year 'round.

Thanks for your indulgence,

*Big Box Stores

Thursday, November 5, 2009

An Anniversary

There they go . . . five years. It's been five years since I opened Hodgepodge. I can't believe I've been doing this for five years! A lot has changed in a short time. We moved from an about 800 sq ft of showroom space to 2000 sq ft--that happened at the end of the first year. Since then, I've been "growing" into the space. I purchased a frame shop and incorporated it into Hodgepodge--adding another 1000 sq ft. My inventory has changed considerably--there sure is a lot of it! I really expected to stay focused on home accents, but the inventory has take several turns. We opened ARTifacts last year. There have been challenges: the recession, Darren's deployment and the thousands of little hurdles I've jumped. But, all-in-all, it's been great. I love going to work! I love working with the customers--merchandising our inventory--my co-workers--downtown Clarksville--the other business owners. I'm so lucky.
A retrospective in photos:

Then--in the middle of all of the preparations for this years' holiday open house event--my sister and friends made sure I celebrated our success. Everyone says that if I survived this year I've got to be doing something right . . . well, I know one thing I've done right . . .

I've surrounded myself with some amazing people!

I recommend you do the same--you'll be a success!
Any success I can claim is all due to these great ladies, plus several more, and the continued extraordinary support and love shown to me by my family--my husband, kids, sisters and parents--and friends.

With great thanks for your continued indulgence!

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