Looking Back

Thursday, December 31, 2009

{Picture Ryan Benyi for Country Living}
This is one of our favorite pictures.
Our trademark "petite packages"!

& TA-DA, thank you Country Living for mentioning a product from
our wee little website boutique! We are shipping orders out as fast as we can!

Creamy colored tent at Country Living Fair with dashes of color here & there. We lined the tent with our trademark scalloped drop cloths . I was desperate to add texture to the boring white tent side walls!  Our favorite "petite merchandise" displayed in our clutter-y, piled high style!

Details, Details taking buttons and fastening with red bakery twine onto thread
cards. {Darcy' brilliant idea}

We do hope you had  a lovely Christmas! A flurry of presents, Starbucks, shopping the day after, Chinese food {a must after Christmas!}, & being with family. 


Visions of Sugarplums

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

{Iced Shortbread "birdies"}

I have a very good friend {she's 23 and hangs out with me, even though I'm 35} she has made this recipe since she was 16. I can't even remember when I was 16. She doesn't bake anything else at Christmas besides this shortbread recipe. I'm following in her footsteps. Easy directions. Easy ingredients. Easy small batch. Easy.Easy.Easy. I'm all about that. Plus they're yummy.
It's Martha Stewart's basic shortbread recipe. I think since it calls for confectioners' sugar instead of granulated makes all the difference. I also add almond flavoring in the dough and the icing---I'm a huge fan of almond flavoring.

For the icing:
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
1-2 teaspoons of almond flavoring
3 or more tablespoons of milk

Icing is slightly runny, I drizzle away over cookies and it sets up.

{The dirty "fluff" is his Snoopy baby----yes, my friends the classic Snoopy}

Luke is now 4 {December 1st} and it's fun seeing Christmas through his eyes. Soon after Thanksgiving he told me to get out the Christmas toys, he then stated---that means Jesus is born. What he meant was to get out the nativity set! Bless his little heart! 

I also love taking pictures of my sleeping kidlets.........
{Snoopy's tail is what he holds while sucking this thumb to go to sleep}

I thought you would want to know that. Just in case.


Some Cheery Thoughts.........

Monday, December 21, 2009

*thought no. 1*
*thought no. 2*
Some special thoughts to pass on into next year...........may your day be "merry" while you're festooning Christmas all over the place.

It's a Wrap.........

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

*Thinking of you wrapping away............



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

*2 red notary labels---*Scallopini Cuts---*Petite tag in red envelope---*Vintage postage stamps---*Vintage map reproduced of Israel and a gold star locating Bethlehem ---*Pink bell---*Windup birdie in cage---*Red & white string---*Vintage book of Rudolph {you know who}---*Petite candy cane tied up with waxed twine---*Day #9 bag from Luke's Advent calender---*Vintage tour book of Rome.

---& Smack dab in -the- middle---
2 doses of headache relief pills & a December calendar page just in case you've forgotten
how many days left until Christmas!


Oh, we are in love with Mr. & Mrs. Limestone's blog!
I actually scrolled through her entire flickr set of photos,
I was delighted!

Slowly but Surely.........

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

An out-of-hand office/sewing room takes shape. Everything has a place, fine tuning as we go.

Thanks to those who inspired Jen of Cottage Nest, Jill of Sew a Fine Seam & Darcy {my biz partner}, her house is always neat as a pin. 
{Scissor love--- top from Pottery Barn & below scissor salad tongs 
from Anthropologie on $ale $3.95}

Petite vignette of moody tones becomes our inspiration for December. {all tucked into a vintage cabinet}

Darcy has decorated for Christmas
Kara has not, I'm cleaning & cleaning & cleaning!
Next up for a cleaning: inventory room, whew.


Crafting News

Monday, November 30, 2009

Head over to Clover & Bee Daily for our "What's in Store- A Mercantile Style Wedding.....

{It's almost December! We assume you're starting to "check off your lists"!}

Girl-y Gift Ideas

Thursday, November 26, 2009

{No. 1}
Bright colored scarves $29 for 5
{No. 2}
Dark colored scarves $29 for 5

Make these "Handcrafted Tokens" from the Martha Stewart
Christmas issue and add to the lovely scarves above and
you have a thoughtful gift.
I love the combo of colors, I hurried and went and
purchased yummy colors of felt and trimmings to make today.
{after I enjoy all the Thanksgiving yummies}

TA-DA! The laurel wreaths are back in & we added a darling petite size. Festive, timeless and a bestseller! We'll add snippets of our velvet ribbon to make these shine.

May you have a blessed, thankful Thanksgiving and a day to enjoy!

Curiosities for Friday......

Friday, November 20, 2009

{*1. vintage polka-dot ribbon & petite hand} {*2. Vintage cash register tape}
{*3. Handmade petite book}  {*4. Brass name plague & calligraphy pen} 
 {*5. Vintage store sign}
{*6. Vintage birdies} {*7. Vintage store price stickers}
{from Kara's collection}

***---Smack dab in the middle----***
Minted Rose Lip Balm
Rosebud Salve & Headache relief for the Christmas season.

I went shopping on Tuesday with a dear friend.
We headed south to Cincy and while browsing came upon these darling girl-y tins of salve and lip balm. My friend Wanda squealed, no, I do that, Wanda is cool, calm & collected.
She stated she grew up 2 miles from where these products are made. 
They used the Rosebud salve as children. Newer to the company is the Minted Lip Balm and it is w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l. I love the salve too, I have serious cuticle issues and this is just what the doctor ordered.

Wanda always has the best stories, she grew up in a large family in Maryland. This past summer some of her family was visiting Washington D.C. The men went in one van and the gals in another. {the gals really didn't want to talk about motors, gears, and other manly topics}
Trying to locate the Lincoln Memorial their GPS system lost its signal. Wanda's dad opened the window and stuck it outside to attempt to get a signal. 

A few months later the FBI {not kidding} contacted Wanda's brother {the van was his}. They had questions for him. Someone had reported them that a van was slowly driving in Washington D.C. and a man of Arab descent was holding a camera out and thought he was taking pics of tall building. {I'm cracking up at this point as I know how this happened} Wanda's dad is a German Baptist Preacher and has a longer beard and no mustache. He grew up Mennonite and is not from the Middle East! Wanda's brother called his dad and joked, thanks for getting me in trouble! Although after the FBI did their research they knew what had happened. You never know who's watching!

Now from that subject to Anthropolgie: from one extreme to the other!

Athropologie's mugs wrapped with plaid felt and kraft tag on the handle with pine cones inside. I'm ready for candy cane hot cocoa!
{swoon} polka dotted skirt with layers of scallops {extra swoon}
Puffy tissue balls cut out some laboriously way........piled high! I'm ready for snow! {did I just state that?}

Have a lovely weekend! Thanks Wanda for the fun shopping trip & stories...........


Sunday, November 15, 2009

{Country Living}

 Last week entailed buying a claw foot tub for $99 bucks. Brand.Spanking.New.
The shipping was more than double, but a steal compared to the regular price. My husband Matt came home and made some sort of statement how did you find this tub again? I was looking at an old Domino magazine and they had featured some brackets available through Van Dyke's Restorers. I checked it out and came across their 90% off section and lo and behold-- a claw foot tub. {cast iron} We need to re- glaze our current claw foot hippo-of-a-tub & after finding out what that cost, this deal couldn't be beat! Plus, I was able to get a cool faucet for $19.99 regular $214.00. They had other $649.00 faucets for a tub, shower combo marked down to $64.00 and it was cute. I didn't need that so I passed on it.

Well, the contractor shows up this week to go over our storage dilemmas and I have a list. My list doesn't match Matt's list so this shall be interesting. {should we have a marriage counselor come too?}

I have been weeding through 10 years of magazines that I have saved. I have ripped out pages and have neat little stacks to put in binders. I'm so happy to have this almost accomplished. Wow, talk about freeing some room up in the attic. I saved all the Domino magazines since they are no longer, I just didn't have the heart to throw them out!
I haven't been posting as we have been busy with web store and getting ready for this house project. I will show before and after pics when it's all done. 


Happy Birthday Darcy!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

***{a "peek" into Darcy's life; a case filled with her favorite things}***

Wishing Darcy a Happy Birthday this week on the 12th!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

outside, that is........I'm going nuts. My house needs organized. I'm on a mission, need to get business props, inventory & supplies in order. You should see me hunting for things I need to create......you would laugh! I'm calling in the *troops*. Do you think Martha would be so kind to send her staff over to help me? I think the perfect give-away for the Martha Stewart empire would be "win an organized house"!

I have 3 excuses
1. I was selling a cuckoo clock on Jan31st {closing our brick & mortar shop} at 2pm and went into labor that very early next day.
2. I had very little sleep the first 3 months after Zach was born.
3. I have a baby & I'm still potty training my almost 4 year old Luke.
The end.


TA-DA! {New Products}

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

We've added dressmakers pins to gigantic angels wings and lots in between......Over 60 new products and if you count all the configurable goodies, well that's a lot more. Customers have been waiting & watching because "poof" some things are already low stock. Thank you!

We'll slowly be adding even more things as most of you know Christmas is on it's way........

Go to the bottom of our peek page, row number 28 right here....

Have fun,

Clover & Bee Daily Blog

Friday, October 23, 2009

Head over to Clover & Bee today..............

Yes, it's true we've branched out........writing about wedding details on Clover & Bee Daily
Check out this beautifully done wedding blog {Clover & Bee} that editor Rebecca hosts. 
*There is a giveaway at C&B daily today---check it out!

This past Wednesday I scurried around taking photos for website and of course our program wouldn't let me upload pics of new products. Tech guy gave me a solution and hoped to get it working this evening. Surely nothing else will go wrong! Fingers crossed!

"That Gal" {Katie Runnels}

Monday, October 19, 2009

Many of you have sent emails commenting on our new blog look! Well, here's to Katie Runnels of The Constant Gatherer. She won over our hearts when she designed our blog banner. Wozee
wow, did she knock our socks off! Then she set the stage with these funky curtains on the sides and all the little details! She's our gal!

Katie co-founded Shop SCAD in 2003
She has an amazing blog & is a studio artist. Recently, she started designing blogs & websites. Katie gathers all sorts of lovely things for everyone to read about. She also is the gal behind the cake topper created for Grace {Design*Sponge} & Aaron's wedding cake.

How did we come to know about Katie? Well, a customer Amy {a friend of Katie} of Stinky Toes Design came into our shop and told us about her. The story is the best:
Katie's future mother- in- law met her and liked her so much she called her son and told him she found the girl for him. Yes, it's true, they just celebrated their 2 year anniversary.
We're keeping our fingers crossed and hoped to have new products uploaded on the website by Wednesday night.

All in all, many interesting happenings backstage:
Thursday & Friday brings some exciting things.............
Well, it has been an incredible last few weeks. Let's just say we have work to do!
Studio sale was fun and hope to do it again next year.
Thanks to all of you that came out in the chilly weather!
Favorite comments:
Anne M. "I don't think beyond today"

A customer to Jessica Y. "Did you knit Meg's hat"?
"Sort of." "When you buy something at a thrift store, isn't that like making it yourself?"
replied Jessica.

Studio Sale {this friday & saturday}

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Studio Sale this Friday & Saturday: 8-3
email us for directions: mcmasterandstorm@embarqmail.com

We've been cleaning every nook & cranny to get ready for this sale. We've been sorting everything from kids clothes {2 weeks ago} to household goods. Kara thoughts on this: kids = Rubbermaid tubs. Don't worry there will not be any kids clothes for sale! We put our foot down on pricing clothes, no way, absolutely not. Plus, wouldn't fit in with the whole look this weekend!

Mainly odd & ends from our brick & mortar shop, props, bric-a- brac, bolts of ribbon, a little of this & that. Well, we are putting out the new goodies & after our studio sale they'll go up on our website. Really thought that would happen shortly after Country Living Fair, but all we wanted to do for a couple of weeks was stare at the wall. Shortly we'll see some changes in more ways than one! yippee!

You're wondering what to do in our neck of the woods this weekend........here's a list
1. Bear's Mill-{6 miles} Neat place to see this time of year. The drive on Bear's Mill Rd is just idyllic, woodsy and not typical Darke County flat fields! They still grind their own flour, cornmeal, etc. & it's for sale in their shop in the mill. Julie Clark does a great job at making the shop very artsy. No John Deer pot holders available at this establishment. Sorry.
2. Smith Coffeehouse {they serve lunch & we do believe breakfast on Saturday} in an old store front that used to be a Grocery, department store {swoon}, & a manufacturing place of some sort. We heard shoes. {3 miles}
3. Baltimore shop & Little Shop Antiques, mom & daughter team. They have been at their location for 20 years {daughter} & {mom} 40 years. They have it at their outbuildings; great place to go as it's tucked in a little burg and well, it's worth your time.
4. Once you pop into Baltimore Shop & Little Shop Antiques they have a cute map of all sorts of antique shops to visit that we just can't remember all their names.

We will have directions to the mentioned places above.

If any of you have questions or need anything on the drive here just give us a ring: 937-692-0120. See you soon!
Wear you coats and colorful scarves, it's in our shed! We'll stay warm with laughter........

Grey {Dresses}

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

{Holiday Collection 2009, Olive Juice Kids}

If I had a girl..........

this picture makes me swoon! Grey. You should see their shimmer tights!
I won't say anymore!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

April 5th 1997

Yes, that's me the night before my wedding. Kasey asked so here it is......
I'm in the middle with my head to one side, because I'm tall. Oh, so wanted to be like 5'7" instead of 5'10.5"!
Sorry it's so small, that's the way it scanned in and plus didn't want you to see too close! {actually you can click the picture and if you really want to have a looky} Picture taken in my little rental house in California.

Oh, dear I went a little crazy with the red eye editing thing-y, it made some of them look like the 1980's eyeshadow craze. No, this picture was from the 90's.

hmmmmm, should dig one up of Darcy, I think her sisters would oblige promptly!


Our {"pop-up-shop"} Country Living Fair 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tidbits of our theatre theme, this "auricula" theatre to showcase prized flower specimens {the history of these date back to the 1700's} was made for our booth. {We used the theatre to set the stage for our puppets by Wendy Addison} Special thanks to a cousin who had these finished the week of the show. Made of cedar along with the towering obelisk planter 2 pics below, these are made for the outdoors.
Thank goodness this year we had an entrance and an exit, as last year you went out the same way you came in = traffic jam. Every year you fix things to make it better for you & your customers. One thing about being so busy is you are not on the selling floor helping the customers, no room first of all in a tent space & you feel like you're not getting to know the customer. Also, there is little time to do our wrapping the way we like it!
1st day of the show, bright & early. We thought the early bird buyers were allowed to be in by 8:00 am & we hoofed it to Lowes to buy Oak trees and boxwood. Out- of- breath we undid our tents to find out early bird pass was for 9:oo am. Oh, well at least we were able to finish things up that extra hour!
Evening before opening day........7pm & setting up "our pop-up-shop" since 12:30 that day. Thank goodness for Chipotle for giving us nourishment for dinner! Sun was shining in our tent and the paper bags of ribbon was yummy.
A little of this & that, merchandised from floor to ceiling in our "petite department store style"!

Wow, our 10x20 tent was packed so full we didn't even get all of it put out!
Haberdashery area........{didn't take as many photos as we would've like, that's what happens when your tired!}
The burlap pennants added a festive touch, perfect at a tent event.........
Our tent was more neutral this year and we loved it. There was a few subtle bursts of color here & there.
Wendy Addison's hand done goodies!
Vintage costume.........
We were able to locate a 30 meter roll of grain sack fabric. Thank goodness for a dear gal who searched through her warehouse and had it to us 3 days before. Oh, the red stripes!

Thanks for all the help, Grandma Karen, McKell, & Barbara......even though it was hard to work in our cramped sales clerk stations we had a ball!

Fun people got to meet in person: Jeni Bowlin, Tara Wilson {Texas gal}, & other lovely bloggers!
Thank you to all of the support............

W is for Winner & Willow Nest

Monday, September 28, 2009

Here is our petite token for our 10 years in retail our favorite paper, over sized and can be put on foam core. Your local framer can do this for you around $11.00,we like to put grommets at top to put ribbon. The border around paper is a lovely robin egg blue, all the colors are very antique looking. Enjoy Gretchen, please e-mail me to get your address!

{Recent article of Willow Nest, Country Home March 2007}

Our new friends: a husband & wife team, Ludmil & Linda Marcov of Willow Nest.......we had read about them in the late 90's in a magazine. They set up their lovely booth at this year's Country Living fair. She has so much experience and loved hearing her wisdom. Kara's mother purchased 2 lovely French sheets from them. Oh, we do hope to run into them again someday! They set up at Marburger in Texas. Thanks, Linda for all your understanding, you're a dear!

Goal this week is to have all new products on our website by Friday......time to get this task accomplished! Thanks for your kind emails this past week.

Country Living Fair 2009 {Story no. 1}

Friday, September 25, 2009

Did you know the Spangler Candy Company {since 1906} is located in Ohio? We offered the well-know Dum Dum lollipops as a treat for our customers. Oddly a family came in and told us Mary Spangler goes to their church. She is 90 years old and still runs the church's annual rummage sale and brings candy from the factory for events. We plan to take the kiddos to tour the factory. We grew up with these. Did you? The stories we gather at events across the country. Learning things from other people is a treat in itself.............
Karla, left and Beth next. Judith is missing in this photo, these adorable gals run Bloomsbury Loft in Powell, Ohio. They did an amazing job on their tent space. They have an amazing story of the hard work behind this business. We are keeping our fingers crossed they get to tell you their story in a national magazine. We met them at the first Country Living Women Entrepreneurs Event in Chicago. Since then we both have set up for 3 years at the Country Living Fair. We appreciate them a lot.
Findings---jewelry by Joanna and she is talented! Her work was just featured in Family Circle and will be in Country Living early next year along with home and shop. Her mother, Kathe is involved in gathering goodies for the shop.
Bracelets in a funky, vintage drawer thing-y.
Number bracelet, this is what McKell picked out to buy...........{Darcy's daughter}
Lovely display in Findings booth space...........
Oh, the fun paper goods.
Joanna's mom, Kathe brought lots of Ephemera, vintage goodies and a lot of delightful, petite treasures. They have a shop Summer House in New Jersey. Their style is very edited and museum like. Which we love as our booth is crammed..........so fun to enjoy every one's individuality!
Joanna's bracelets.........just yummy. We sold her bracelets in our shop last year.
Darcy admiring the bracelet that her daughter picked out to wear..........
Kasey from Lola B's Boutique, she has set up the last two years and this year headed to just shop at the Country Living fair. She posted on it here and her most recent post is celebrating her 300th post and is giving away great prizes. Anthro is involved so head over there to celebrate. Cheers to Kasey!

She is kind enough to give us support and called us right before the fair to cheer us on. She knows first-hand the hard work that is involved.

Tomorrow: Willow Nest