Welcome to Sweet Memories

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Keep your eyes open!!!

I am a little late in posting this week....it has been a busy one!!

It is hard to believe...but there are just a few weeks left before my daughter's wedding...luckily the to-do list is getting shorter and shorter!! Monday was an "all hands on deck" kinda day....and it started VERY early...and ended very late!! Painting, pruning, still more mulching....and a little "creating"!!

This new table, on our front porch, was created from a whole bunch of flea market finds and re-purposed pieces. I have been decorating this way for a very long time....even before it was "cool"...and it is still one of my favorite things to do. I love finding things and using them for new purposes. I have turned funnels, egg baskets, buckets and washtubs into planters. Windows and doors into pieces of furniture. Porch posts...topped with a birdhouse...into focal points. Old clay pots into a flower bed border...and don't get me started on the many uses of ladders!! There is something very special about "old" utilitarian pieces...they add instant charm and history!! If you find new and clever uses for them...they add instant creativity!!

Not only are we fast approaching my daughter's wedding...we are, also, fast approaching the "birthday" of Sweet Memories...well, the 180 Main Street version, anyway!! What does one thing have to do with the other?? Good question!!

We have been doing so much "hunting" for vintage and antique pieces in preparation for this big event...I have started to give some thought to the idea of mixing some "vintage" into the gift shops. I believe that, in order to have a successful business, you need to be yourself. You need to carry merchandise that you love and show your personality in everything you do. All too often businesses make the mistake of trying to be too many things, trying to keep up with everyone around them...and, in doing so, they lose something. Copying what another business is doing will not make you successful...being yourself...will!!

When you come into our store....you are seeing..."ME"!! I love to cook and bake...I love the idea of gourmet foods and having a candy store...and, when you head upstairs to the gift shops, you will see that I love to make my house cozy, my kitchen adorable, my Holidays extra special, my garden gorgeous....and all of the "little ones" in my life happy!! But, I also LOVE vintage...and, right now, that is missing!!

So....as we approach the 18th birthday of our store...keep your eyes open!! I have some of my favorite people..."picking"....just for you!! And, not only are THEY looking for some really great treasures....once the wedding is all done and in the "memory" (sweet of course!!) books...my daughter and husband want to spend some time "creating" original pieces from vintage, re-purposed finds....and, I think, they will have "Sweet Memories" written all over them!!! Hey...you guys all know....around here, we don't do ANYTHING like anyone else!!! ;) Have a great day!!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Old shutters...re-purposed!!

With my daughter's wedding (being held in our yard....) just weeks away, we are in high gear!! All of those little last minute projects don't seem quite so little!! We are trying to get all of the "sprucing and primping" projects taken care of...and several of these projects involve shutters!!

I love anything old. I love the character, the patina...the story that I am sure it could tell!! I collect yellow ware bowls, old watering cans, children's gardening tools, little benches....I could go on and on!! I think my favorite thing to "re-purpose" is old shutters and doors (oh...and porch posts!!!) they practically call my name!!

Our coffee table, in the pool house, is an old door. Our coffee table, in our house, is an old door. I have a screen made of old shutters hiding the water softener in our laundry room. I have a table in our foyer that is made from an old shutter...and several of my cabinets (4 to be exact) were made with either old doors or old shutters. Right this minute....there is a small pile in the shed...waiting!!

I have plans...I want some of them to go in the pool house to ensure a little more privacy (there are "new people" next door with some VERY annoying kids!!!) but a couple of them are going to be used for a piece that I want on the front porch!! We spent most of the Winter actively looking for shutters for these projects...and as soon as I had given up...decided that the projects would just have to be put on hold until we found what we were looking for...boom...there they were!!

It is very exciting...and I will be sure to keep you posted!! When my husband gets the piece for the front porch built...I will be sure to post pictures!! If it turns out the way it looks in my head (and the way ALL of his projects turn out!!) I may find myself on the hunt for some MORE shutters!! I am thinking it's about time to "share" some of his talents with the world...and bring some things into the shop!! And, as it turns out, my daughter has shown some interest in "re-purposing" and building furniture, too!! So you just might find yourself taking a piece of her talent home with you, too!!

In the meantime....if you have any old shutters lying around...let me know!! ;)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Are you creative??

On a scale from 1 to 10....how creative do you consider yourself to be?? I think if you asked most people they would give themselves a low rating. However...I am pretty sure that isn't true. I think we are all creative. Some more than others....of course! I mean...you know people who can draw or paint, write songs, build furniture...can all of us do that? No. Or can we?? Have you ever tried??

Summertime has always gotten my creative juices flowing. I guess because I had "off" for Summer vacation...so my time was my own. When you are little....it's all about playing...and having fun. Once you get a little older...say 12 or 13...you're too old to "play" but your "boredom" threshold is easily reached!!

I would say....around that age...I started to get "projects" in my head. I wanted to learn how to bake bread. So I read a few cookbooks...asked my Grandmother for a little advice...and baked bread!! (It is still one of my favorite things to do...) I have learned many, many skills that way....just get the idea...and do it!! I decided I wanted to learn how to quilt. So....I quilted!! We lived across the road from, I would have to say, the best quilter who ever lived...no exaggeration...and she, along with my Grandmother, helped me to finish the quilt!! Well....if I am to be fair....they did A LOT more of the quilting than I did...but, still, I learned an amazing craft!! If you don't try....how will you ever know if you can do it??

I think the most important thing, when you are trying something new, is to have confidence in yourself. I can say....with 100% sincerity....that I have never thought "I can't" in my life!! I just get an idea in my head....and then jump in without looking back!! I have even passed this along to my husband!! Way back at the beginning of our life together...I would show him things...decorative pieces or furniture...that I wanted. My favorite phrase was..."you can make that for me, right??" He would say....I don't know how to do that...but then tried it, anyway!! Not only did I get some amazing pieces for our home, but he has discovered a love of woodworking and being creative that he may have never known about!! This new arbor....one of his many creations!! I just said...I want a new arbor made out of logs and sticks...I want it to look "fairytale-y".... ta-da!!!

Now...once again...we find ourselves with the whole Summer ahead of us (how did it get to be June 10th already???). It's not anything like it used to be, of course...my time is, most definitely, not my own. We don't have the prospect of long days stretching out in front of us waiting for us to fill them with wonderful adventures....but don't let that stop you!! Make a promise to yourself to be creative!! Find something you have always wanted to try....and try it!! Take a class if you aren't sure about "just doing it"....or get a book or do some research online!! It's easier than ever to learn new things...and, in the process, learn things about yourself!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Everything's under control!?!?!

Happy June!! I don't know what part of the country....or world....you call home, but around here the beginning of June means your garden should be planted. We are in the home stretch!! I have a few more, small, jobs to do today...and then it's all about the weeding, watering and maintaining!!

Our gardens are our vacation spot. I take preparing them very seriously....after all I will spend the next 4 to 5 months "vacationing" here. This is where we look forward to spending our "time off"....our evenings and every Monday...from now until it gets too cold (and the "Holiday season" begins in the shop....because then there is NO free time!!!!!) to garden!!

This year....I am taking the preparations even more seriously than usual....this is where we will be celebrating our daughter's wedding!! We have weeks....just weeks...left to get everything done....but we are right on track!! I have all of the confidence in the world that the yard will be perfect!! Just in case....I have a meeting with Mother Nature later this month. We will be discussing the weather conditions...that is one thing I can't control!!

We aren't, really, doing anything that we wouldn't have done anyway...but there is a little added "stress" that I don't normally have to deal with....after all, we have a target date for the "perfection" I aim for every year!! Usually, the "perfection" is just for me....but, this year, it is for our daughter!!

So...I am in the middle of a bit of a balancing act. I give 100%....well, 200% really....every day at the shop!! It is, and has always been, very, very important to me to be the BEST that I can be (yes....that type "A" that I have spoken of, before....) every single day. The garden, in front of the store, still needs to look awesome, all of those little projects that need to get done....still do...I have to get my Fall, Halloween and Christmas orders in, make amazing displays with the new merchandise, bake, bake, bake....in this HEAT, and make every meal you share with us...special!!!

Like I said....a bit of a balancing act!!

It isn't anything I can't handle...I have everything under control!! If I say that enough....everything will be fine....right?? Ummm...sure!!!! :) Hey....if you find yourselves visiting with us in the next few weeks...and I sure HOPE that you do...please just ignore the fact that I am distracted and have that "far off" look!! And if you see a weed (or two) on your way down the path....please feel free to pull it!! I'll take all the help I can get!!!  :)