Friday, February 28, 2014

New arrivals for spring

Two trips to market this season, one whirlwind vintage shopping expedition, pallets and boxes and bins and lots of tissue paper. It all means lots of great new merchandise on our doorstep: some already here and lots more coming soon. We're so excited about all our new finds, and hope you come take a look. Here's a little sneak peak at just a few new items (see last post for pictures of some of our vintage finds):

New: gorgeous French hand soaps for kitchen or bath (and Le Jacquard tea towels for spring)

Love these! Durance room and linen sprays in lovely scents

Just part of our new wedding (or anytime!) collection

Fab framed signs on glass


New elixirs to add to cocktails, soda, tea. Delish.

Hibiscus elixir: just add champagne

New trays (and some of our new Mixture votives)

New placemats, books, candles

Is this Bend, or what?

Friendship collection (soaps, dishes); great little gift

Bird tray, salad bowl (lots more serving bowls just in)

Vintage dictionary pages overprinted with neat graphics...

... each one mounted on board with a hanger....

... and lots of choices, just $25 each

New cotton napkins in an array of colors

Napkins packed in four with varied color ways – sweet!

Just back from a buying trip (and what fun it was).

Is there anything more fun than being on the hunt for vintage goodies? Not really! We just returned from a whirlwind trip to the Bay Area to go to the smallish but good San Francisco gift show (our second market trip to supplement the buys in Atlanta)... and did some crazy vintage buying all along the way. And boy, did we come home with a good haul! Sometimes you can look until the cows come home and not find anything worth packing up, but this time, we lucked out. At the end, there was just enough room in the car for us, plus Jilly in her little bed. Nobody had to ride on the roof rack.

And now we've just about got it all out for your viewing pleasure. We're really excited about all our finds, but I'm especially in love with the collection of globes we found, all collected by one person (who had a really good eye). It's all I can do to not take them all home, but I am resisting with all my might, because I know they'll all end up in good homes. There's a fabulous little carved wooden Chinese figure, some neat-o barware items, trays and bunnies, hotel silver (!), books and odd bits. Stools, French souvenirs, clock parts, the cutest toy telephone, tin boxes... the list goes on and on. We also have a box of fabulous horse trophy ribbons from the 50s and 60s. These are really fun to decorate with, whether you have horses or not. So, I'm really happy that we have some fun new vintage treasures in the shop; still struggling to find room for it all, but at least it's nice and full – lots to look at. Better stop in soon because these things will go fast... and cannot be repeated. Here are just a few pictures:

Cool valve jigger, brass oil cans, vintage travel cup

Ringy dingy. Blue tin dial telephone is so darn cute

Vintage wind-up bunny – Western Germany

Carved wood Chinese figure on stand

Doll-size vintage Maine souvenir table and chairs for your cabin

Ahh, the globes. Be still my heart!

Pretty glass inkwell

Fun vintage tray (Italy) adds a pop of color

Mother of pearl handle dessert/fruit knives

Another gorgeous set of MOP knives

1870s encyclopedias with gorgeous marbled covers and sides

French religious souvenirs

Scotty dog with pencil (for bridge?)

French taste vins

FAB english tin cash boxes: future Queen Elizabeth on left

Thursday, February 27, 2014

An ode to napkins

The other day, a customer was telling me how she has stacks of cloth napkins (8 of these; 10 of those; 12 of this, etc.) – ahh, a person after my own heart. She really gets the napkin obsession, and I appreciate that.

We have a whole drawer-full of napkins at home. We use them, wash them, cycle through them constantly. I don't think about it, just wash and fold (no ironing needed). I can't even imagine buying paper napkins (except for cocktail size, which is nice for your bar). There is a nice environmental aspect to cloth napkins, but more than that, it's just pleasant to have a soft cotton (or linen) napkin to use, and it looks so much better on the table.

Napkin rings were originally meant to be different for each person (or engraved) so that you could use the same napkin for a few days and know whose is whose. These days, maybe people think napkin rings are just decorative, to use only for a formal dinner... but there's really no reason to corral your napkin (or identify it) if you're only going to use it once. Napkin rings are for every day; we love collecting vintage ones engraved with someone else's name (Robert's favorite is engraved with "Louie").

A few months ago, our local paper ran an article about making fancy folds in napkins for special dinners. You know, the upright fan, the swan... the type of napkin you might see in a classic restaurant, where the waiter would come along and snap it off your plate and present it to you with a balletic gesture. Honestly, I thought they looked silly (especially the turkey-shaped napkin!), and were a waste of time.

But the worst part was the suggestion that you spray them with starch first, then iron in some of the stiff folds needed for the fanciful shapes. This goes against my main napkin rules: that they be soft, and smell good! Instead of spray starch, I suggest a little spritz of lavender linen water. Not enough to take over, but just a hint, so that when you bring up your soft cotton napkin to your mouth, you get just a faint whiff of something fresh and nice. Our new linen sprays from Durance (in such heavenly scents as peony, lavender, nuit coquine) are perfect for spritzing napkins (and pillows and sheets).

I'm really excited by a new line of linens we found at market (just arrived!). These soft cotton napkins come in sets of four: each one a different tone of the same color family. There's no reason your napkins have to match, and I love the idea of having different shades in the same palette. Just another way to tell the napkins apart, and add a little fun splash of color to the table. I'm wondering which ones we want to add to our own collection... decisions, decisions. A few pictures:

Thursday, February 6, 2014

To honor St. Valentine...

A little digging around in our Little Book of Saints didn't reveal much about St. Valentine, except that  since the middle ages, he's been thought of as the Saint of Courtly Love.

Not really sure what that means, but I've always thought that Valentine's Day should be all-encompassing – not just for lovers, but for anyone you love. Therefore, little gifts are appropriate not only for your spouse or S/O, but how about your friends, sister, the dog, your kids, your cousin, your mom, yourself? I also think we should have stockings for every gift-giving occasion, not just Christmas. Wouldn't it be fun to dig into a sweet Valentine's Day or Mother's Day stocking and find little treasures? I know the world is not with me on that one, but we do have some wonderful ideas at the shop for Valentine's Day treats, from great little soaps for $2, to fabulous jewelry (in all different price points). We'll wrap it all up for you and make it lovely...

Here are some photos to get you thinking. Not shown are our beautiful alpaca scarves (yes, it is definitely winter!), collections of French soaps and lotions (and more of the wonderful royal jelly body butter from Savannah Bee), new 'guy things' that make great little gifts for the men in your life (excellent keychain flashlights, all-in-one tools, super slim magnifiers for the pocket, etc.), plus throws, picture frames, journals, candles (all of which would be fab gifts for any valentine). Come visit; we'll help you put together the perfect offerings.

Adorable Swedish heart luminaria for the table or mantel.

Yummy heart soaps in citrus (so retro, like candy hearts) – $2

Honey for your honey – delicious creamed honey from Savannah Bee

Ahh, honeycomb – add to cheese and crackers for an appetizer

The Savannah Bee array, including tall flutes and honey sticks

Boxed lavender soaps – can't go wrong with this one

Love, Hope, Dream dishes for rings, soaps...

I love you. 'Nuff said.

Luxe soap in my fave new scent: Pierre Vert (must have the perfume!)

Fun metal letters for an ode to your love: see how we've started with just a simple "xo?"

Little dish for chocolates, or better yet, a ring

Swedish paper heart garland

Wee letterpress book on love

Just add tickets to Paris for the best gift ever!

The best snow globes ever – for the skier in your life

New collection of skin sticks (solid lotion, all natural)

Adorable necklaces, made in Portland, just $29

Soapstone carved hearts make a great paperweight

Love Bee necklace

Bird on a branch necklace on "love" or "friend" card

Just part of our fab new collection of bracelets (and lots of other jewelry)

Special delivery envelope necklace

Add a great photo for a gift that will be loved

"A glass of friendship" deserves good champagne

New Argan oil hand creams and pure oil for our dry skin (!)

Gorgeous fizzy bath bombs for an evening (or two) of luxury

Leafy love
New hibiscus (and lavender) elixirs to add to any drink – so good

We are loving these – great for your sweetie