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EVOKE Magazine French country living room decorating ideas

EVOKE magazine

We discovered this wonderful publication when a story about our friends from California were featured in the first issue. French country living room

Evoke_Cover

decorating ideas highlighted with professional, phenomenal pictures of French country living rooms and patios and bedrooms and staircases, and and and……..

This magazine, EVOKE,  is brimming with wonderful photos and well written articles. As the name implies, images that bring to life, thoughts that vintage life bring to mind. Great read for any decorator or individual that wants terrific tips and possibilities for implementing vintage with today’s lifestyle and decor. Thanks to Morgan Jane Miller and Bill Miller for putting this together for all of us to enjoy.

We can’t imagine anyone in the business we are in, that would hesitate to have a home like the one pictured above.  If you want to get info on how to do it, don’t forget to check them out in the links below!

 To get your hard copy HERE or if you are in a big hurry, you can get a digital version HERE !

If you have any questions, please go to the area below to ask, comment or suggest.

Thanks, Rod and Troy

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Refining our product line

Over the years, our first product – the one we could replicate – has been our reproduction post cards.  Old Victorian post cards that we mount on a 6×9″ board.  Old images. We have collected probably over a million, and saved digitally thousands of these wonderful old images.

postcardsindisplay

Many of our re-purposed items involved adding upholstery.  We have turned end tables and coffee tables into tufted benches.  We have taken small serving tables and chest on legs into entry benches.  Two of our customer favorites are old metal gliders and army cots.

army cot upgrade
army cot upgrade

 

glider upgrade
glider upgrade

These were the first type of furniture we did pillows and slip covers for.  One of a kind – in the biz we are in these are referred to as OOAK – that were designed for and around the piece we were working on.  Very few of the pillows and slipcovers that we did then were ever re-created.  There were similarities, but each piece of furniture inspired the design we came up with to re-purpose it.

Our goal should have been making money perhaps, but in reality was about creating.  As long as we were making enough money to pay the bills and buy food along the way, we were happy and satisfied with the results.  We started getting more serious about this a few years back when Troy finally decided to quit smoking.

The change of that habit and lack of good eating habits and little exercise, led to Type II diabetes for him.  It ran in his family as well as mine.  I was luckier.  When I quit 20 years earlier, my lifestyle at the time, allowed for eating healthier, and physical work that kept me from developing diabetes.  I was lucky.

Because fabric has been involved in so many of our early projects, it evolved into producing lampshades, pillow shams, and slip covers.  Our current best selling shams are the muslin and burlap shams – muslin base with a burlap patch.  We block print designs and sayings on the burlap patch.  The bee design was the very first design we made….. it didn’t turn out the way we wanted, but within a few hours, we realized how to make it work.  That was in the fall of 2009.

first design
first design

The bee design is a Victorian inspired theme.  That era used many designs inspired by plants and animals that were a part of every day life.

Our designs are vintage inspired.  We are adding to each style and line on a weekly basis.  Our OOAK line of Prairie Primitive , is a tea dyed, been in a cedar chest for 50+ years, one of a kind (sometimes pair, if we find matching vintage linens to use), look.

sample 1001
sample 1001

prairieprim1014 prairieprim1015

We also have a line we call our scrapbook pillows – to mimic the enormous hobby of scrapbooking.

scrapbook samples scrapbook1021 scrapbook1013

And we have our line of Holiday throw pillows

Dancing Rabbits
Dancing Rabbits

and here is an example of a re-do on a pair of 8′ doors:

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beadboarddoors02

beadboarddoors03

 

beadboarddoors01

 

As always, if you have a question, comment or request, please leave us a comment below.

Thanks.

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What do you do now?

“Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country!”  How many times did I type that saying out when I was learning how to type by touch…… a lot of people probably don’t even remember that.  It fits though, whatever it is you are doing.. both the practice of it and the meaning.

Now – whatever you have set for your goal, now is the time to do something about it.  Now is all we have. Make the most of it.  We have to remind ourselves of that all the time.

Our goal is to reorganize our brick and mortar real time business.  To streamline it.  We have put in place a system of moving through our collected treasures, and exchange them for cash.  Each and every day, that is the current goal.  We also have in place, other companies to help us develop and manufacture our product designs to our specifications, so we can grow our company.  But right now, the mountain of stuff we have is in the way.

Over the next few days, next couple of weeks, we have to do what is necessary to sort, price and present to our customers a couple of years of stuff. Boxes and mounds.  A small to medium houseful. To be fair, there is market value in 80-90% of it.

If you have an idea to help liquidate our inventory – please leave us a comment below.  Thanks.

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Putting out fires – the antagonist of accomplishment

That title just came to me.. wonder if I read it somewhere and forgot?  The antagonist of accomplishment – putting out fires.

This is what I think is the most common problem with maintaining consistency in working for yourself. When you wake up, have your day lined out. Know what has to be done the next day, the night before. Start with the first six and prioritize. Do the thing that most people have a problem doing. Make a list. MAKE A LIST! It really is that important.

For me, what happens when I don’t make a list. Distraction. Anxiety. Stress. Anger. I tend to get really upset when what I had a desire to do, gets sidetracked to do something else. Something that I forgot to do. Something that family or friends deem more important – after all, you work for yourself. You should be able to have a ‘flexible’ schedule. Like everything else it is a balancing act.

We have a new partner now. The stress level has risen.

One of the things my partners and I experimented with this last year is having people sell our products at shows they are doing. Theoretically, it expands our market and gives us more time in the workshop to make more products – win win! It is working, but not as smoothly as we had hoped. We realize we have to lay out what we expect and see if the people we have asked to joint venture with us – is that still a current term? or is ‘network’ the new term?

When it was just two of us, assigning time to do this task or that task was not a big deal. But as the numbers of people we are including into our nest, time is becoming a much scarcer commodity.

 

my thoughts for today.  Rod