Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday's Featured Shop Items 2-18-11

It doesn't seem much like winter here in NC today. We may hit a record 76. Wooohooo! Bring it! It's been a long winter...and I'm a winter person.

It's weather like this that leaves me wondering what to wear for the day. When I head out to feed the animals at 7:00 am it's been between 20 and 30 degrees all week, but by lunchtime I'm peeling away layers and am down to shirtsleeves. No wonder people all around me are sick.

 If I were small enough, and I worked in a place where I had to dress up, I might choose something like this vintage Saks Fifth Avenue dress. It would work with it's 3/4 length sleeved jacket. It's a woven ribbon dress..well, actually I don't know exactly what it's called...but I've heard this term somewhere and it makes sense to me. Anyway, it's gorgeous and it's tiny, maybe a size 0. I don't know what that would have been back in the day; all I know is that it's not my size so I'm offering it to you. I can see it used as decoration or worn.

There were lots of nice clothes in the estate where this came from, but unfortunately they weren't stored where the little mice couldn't get to them. This dress is one of few that made it out in one piece. I thought this telegram was one of the coolest things that I found among all the papers from the same kind of tells the story of why so many nice dresses.

And what good dress doesn't need a tapestry bag to go with cool is this? No, I wouldn't carry it!...but I would hang it open on a hook in our bedroom and keep my latest read in it or maybe in the guest bathroom and stuff some rolled towels in it. Yes, everything needs a purpose here.

Or how about a new spittoon. Now, I'm guessing that not many of you ladies dip snuff...and if you do, don't tell me...but this is a very elegant ladies spittoon. Yes, there is such a thing and yes, they are collectible. So if you know anyone that collects them, send them my way. If it stays here, it will become a fancy vase come spring.

I hope you enjoy this beauty of a day!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Newest Work and My Inspirations

Newest floorcloth

The newest floorcloth is coming along very well. It will be finished on Friday...tomorrow...well, maybe Saturday. I always give it a day or two before I apply the finish coats of poly. It never fails that I find a pencil mark or some detail that I've overlooked...and sometimes it is then, when I should really be finished, that I get a new inspiration and add something that I wonder why I hadn't thought of from the beginning. But, that's the beauty of this business! Floorcloths can be changed and reworked...or even started over before the finish is applied. 

Finish coat?...floorcloth?...what? If this is the first time you've visited my blog and don't know what in the world I'm talking about..In a brief description, a floorcloth is a hand painted #8 canvas(the weight varies by maker) that is essentially a hand built rug. I begin with raw canvas, build up layers of paint to form a smooth and flexible surface, hem the edges, paint the design, and seal the design with many coats acrylic polyurethane. For a more thorough description and the history of floorcloths you may want to visit the About Our Floorcloths page on my website.

This one is another 4' x 6' and will be debuted at the Design America-Texas show in May. Like most of my designs, it will work in almost any size you need. All of my standard designs are available in any size and you can even request custom colors at no additional cost per square foot. Our Standard Floorcloth page on the website lists the most common sizes, but I can do anything that works for you...even the shape.

Because I have a studio on our farm and have very little overhead, I've managed to keep my prices the same for the last few years, even though materials and shipping have gone up annually. I still ship floorcloth orders free in the Continental US, so when you are comparing my rugs with other makers you will want to keep this in mind. The average 4' x 6' floorcloth  ships for about $35 depending on the distance between you and I. If you're like me, it's hard to spend money on something you can't see even if it's the plumbing, your heating system and yes taxes! So, it's my pleasure to ship your order free.

This spring, I will introduce four new designs, including one round rug and another in the Neon series like you see below. I'm sometimes very surprised at my inspirations and they seem to come out of nowhere to suddenly now here! (Heard that one from Wayne Dyer and I love it!) 

The Neons have been really popular for recreation rooms and kitchens...and were the idea of my son, who was in the 8th grade at  the time. "Hey Mom, why don't you use the glow in the dark stuff like you used with our Halloween sweatshirts when we were little?" I did, and it worked. When you turn off the lights, the outlines glow in the dark and look almost neon-like.

Neon Cowboy Cafe...inspired by a photo of Dryk Godby from the inside of his CD cover. This one is actually mine but yours could have any caption you'd like! 
Click on the link to Dyrk's website and check out his art and music. I'm a big fan of both and have have decorated our home with several pieces of his art. We have the two shown below are in our kitchen and living room along with several originals.  

Countin' 'em Out by Dryk Godby

Legendary Studs by Dryk Godby

Dyrk's attention to detail has been very inspirational to me. I hope you will try to see it first hand and I'm sure you will become a collector as well if you have a love for horses and the authentic western lifestyle. 

Next week I will have a preview of the newest Neon floorcloth for you. I hope you will stop by for a peek.

Tomorrow, is Friday's Featured Shop Items here on the blog. Remember, if you're local, our shop is open on Fridays and Saturdays now. Come out to see us! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday's Featured Shop Items

What a busy week it's it is Friday again...and it's alreadyt 5:30. That rolled around quick!

To catch up on the week, I've finished a 4'x 6' floorcloth for the show in May. Here's a little peek...

corner of floorcloth, if you want to see it before May, you'll have to stop by the studio and say "pretty please" or come to the show. I've got another 4' x 6' started. I hope to have it finished next weekend if all goes as planned. Check back in and I'll have another snippet for you.

Now on to the featured shop items for the week. This weekend, I've got two for the ladies and one for the men...for Valentines Day. If you haven't gotten your sweetie anything yet why not swing by the Ranch and pick her/him out something unique.

For the Ladies

Something pretty to present her chocolates on that she can later display on the wall or on a stand.

Beautiful selection of vintage beaded clutch purses for an evening out

Pieces of vintage costume jewelry from an estate collection

For the Fellas

Authentic vintage string box turned trinket box...great for his ring, keys, pocket knife...

Inside of trinket box with vintage sheet music

Charles Russel prints from the 50's

Buck Jones Comic Book
 ...and as a special note for my male readers....

What NOT to buy her from the shop....

 Pink Heath-O-Meter Bath Scale with original paperwork.

Although it is really cute, if you have a retro pink bathroom. I was excited to find these...and yes, they are in the shop.

We will be open Monday -Valentines Day -by appointment. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday's Featured Shop Items- Chalkware, Crock and Soy Candles

Featured this week is a new scent in our soy candles...Winter Garden. When you open the shop door you'll notice the refreshingly clean aroma from the lime and menthol first. After you've been in for a while, you will begin to pick up on the Douglas Fir and lavender with a hint of eucalyptus and pine. This is a good scent for relaxing in the tub or to give your house that "just cleaned" smell...and it's a pretty sky blue.

Hand poured -by me- soy candle
Winter Garden
 Also, on the list is the collection of early 20th century chalkware. (sold separately) I've shown you the cat ashtray before...and I'm still so tempted to keep it and put dry cat food in it for Copy Cat. She'd probably hiss and runaway, but it is a cute idea.

Vintage 1910-1940's Chalkware...rare cat ashtray and grape bowl. 

And last, is one of my favorite finds. The crock is in excellent shape with it's original lid and handle. The label is a little worn, but looks considerably bright considering it's around 120 years old. 

Late 1890's Heinz Preserved Strawberries Croc

See you soon!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Countdown has Begun to Design America-Texas

With February here, I realized yesterday that I have three months to produce a booth full of floorcloths for the show in Texas. I sat down at my drawing table last week while the base coats were drying on two 4' x 6' floorcloths and several pieces of canvas slated for use as table top pieces.

Essentially, I know what is going up for display, and time will tell what I take in addition to those seven pieces. It's been years since I've done a retail show because I mostly work on custom orders and have no inventory to speak of.  It's not by choice that I work that way, but for the mere fact that floorcloths are so easily customized...size, color, design, name it.  When I exhibited at the Western Design Conference, I only took one or two pieces with me because it was a gallery style show. So, to be honest, I'm feeling just a little overwhelmed at the moment.

I will tell you, it's a difficult call as to what to paint when I can actually paint anything I want to. I have two new designs in my head that haven't quite come together yet, so I'm starting today on a design from 2009, but with updated colors and a new twist here or there.

The new color scheme

The new color scheme is not too far off from the original, which you can see in a tiny framed version there on the side of my worktable. Just enough though to make it look new again and a few added colors for good measure.

Marking off the design
Laying off the design is a lot of fun compared to the previous days of measuring, cutting, priming, measuring some more, and then hemming. I've learned a lot of tricks over the last 20 plus years, and have bought a lot of tools to make work a little easier, but sometimes the simplest things work just as well...

Marking off large circles can be a pill!

Once  you find your center a push pin, a string and a pencil is  just like using a large compass. If only you could do this with a paint brush!

Later today, I will start painting...which is heaven to me. I will resent stopping when it's time and will be excited to start again tomorrow. Check back here for updates on my progress for the show.

More later...I've got to get back to it!