Friday, June 20, 2014

Things Go Better With Coke

My cool birthday present from my husband this year
This week I celebrated my 54th birthday. All I can say is that 54 is not as old as it used to be! Fortunately, I'm healthy, strong and able to do most things I've always done, including driving without glasses and reading most of the time without my drugstore "readers". I still feel like I always have, if not better some days. I think my 30's and early 40's were harder in some ways.

I've decided that I honestly like getting older. With age comes wisdom, "they" say. I'll take that. And, with age, comes a little more free time. I'll take some of that too! That part, is actually in my control and I'm learning to stop over committing my time to every "good idea" I have....maybe that's the wisdom kicking in.

I'm looking forward to the year ahead and hopefully more of that wisdom will help me to stay focused on my priorities. Once we're finished with the renovation at our daughter's house I want to start working on our place. Over the last few years I've neglected our home in order to give my all to building my new brand, The Junk Ranch. I've bought and sold some of the best pieces I've ever had, in order to offer the best to my customers.

Now, it's my turn to work my magic here at home. Taking on the renovation project forced me to rein myself in from being so over extended in my business. I'm happy for now, just as things are.

I know life will continue to evolve as I continue to grow older and I wouldn't be happy if it were any other way....oh, and the sign at the top of this birthday gift this year from my husband. I LOVE it!! That's a great piece of rust and a great piece of our local history. It's now on the side of the studio under a shed where it will be seen but out of the elements.

So, in conclusion...with age comes wisdom, time and greater appreciation for other old things!!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's not official until it's Facebook official

 I guess there must be some truth to that!...putting "it" on Facebook makes "it" official...and I haven't made an official statement there about the changes happening here at the ranch...until today with a link to this blog entry.

I had a nice couple stop by over the weekend wanting to shop and only found that my shop has reverted back to mostly a working art studio with a very small sales space reserved for candles, handmade gifts and small vintage items. I hated to disappoint them and I guess I expect that everyone will look at my website for information. My bad! I also am sorry, some others are disappointed that my shop isn't what it used to be, but as time evolves, needs change and we change, hopefully for the better.

Candle lab added to studio
In the back of my shop, I added doors around the first of the February, to screen off an area to use as a downstairs candle lab. This is working so much better than running up and down stairs with armloads of things that need to be washed. I love having the extra space upstairs as well! It's nice having lots of areas designated to specific tasks. I'm very fortunate...some (my husband) would say "spoiled" any rate I'm grateful!

2014 Southern Summer Collection
I have just enough space left in the front to showcase candles and handmade gifts. 

For those that don't already know...I'm not doing occasional sales here this year or keeping shop. I've had so many tell me they missed our spring marketplace sale. I did too, but I didn't miss what it takes to put that together...but thank you so much for telling me. I appreciate your support and kind words!

My time is consumed this year with the renovation of our daughter's house, and the normal day to day of taking care of things here on the farm and the animals. I'm living the life I always wanted, although it's hard work every day. Now the garden is exploding and I will add that to my list for the next month or so. 

Pulled out the peas the peppers can take off 

The corn has grown several feet in the last week

When I was a little girl, I always knew I wanted to have a little farm and live a simple life. Simple doesn't mean easy or completely stress free, but it does offer satisfaction at the end of the day and I sleep really  well! 

There are days when I would like to dress in something fashionable, be a shopkeeper in town again and eat lunch out on the cafe sidewalk, but today, I'm happy to be here, having conversation with the dogs and having lunch on the porch.

UPDATE:  Ironically, my friend Lee, there in the tye dye, called and we met for lunch the next day. Be careful what you wish for. This worked out okay!! 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

In case you were wondering....

We are renovating a house for our daughter. Our lives have become incredibly busy and at the same time incredibly satisfying!

I have loved this little house since I was a girl. I loved the people that lived there and at a time, when the former owners talked of retiring to the beach, I had visions of someday living there myself.

Well, time has allowed my dream to somewhat come true now some 30 years later, and we are in the midst of making this forgotten little gem once again into a home. If you could see it now, you might wonder what we've gotten ourselves tired back wonders every night! We have literally gutted it...removed sheetrock, carpet, dropped ceilings, layers of plywood, layers of floor coverings, cabinets, bathroom fixtures, old appliances and you know it...the kitchen sink!

As we get a little further along and I have something "pretty" to show you,  I will begin to post the progress...until then, I'm leaving you with these...

Paul's Airport 
 I don't know exactly what year this was taken, but this is the little house on the right, at the foot of the "mountain", as we call it. The house was built in 1945 and used to be the office and cafe for the small airport that was there. The "mountain"  is where I grew up and my parents still live.

When I moved there in 1968, there was no airport, but the hanger and barn were still there and it was a cattle farm until the 1980's. I had never seen any photos of the airport until recently when my good friend and neighbor surprised me with them. Ironically, her cousin had brought them to her early this spring for her to copy for her scrapbook.

Paul's Airport

The house basically looks the same today, with the exception of an additional fireplace on this side where the window is. It was purchased in the late 50's, I believe, and converted into a two bedroom home. There was an addition built later to give them a little more living space and a sweet little sun room. Beneath all of the mid century "updates", we've discovered the most wonderful original knotty pine boards on the walls, wood floors, and v-groove pine ceilings. It is the perfect little cottage!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Southern Summer Collection-Soy Candles

Summer 2014 is unofficially here but for me it's now official with the introduction of my summer candle line. Summer in the south is about as hot and humid as it gets but we sure do love our summers! I've taken inspiration from the things that make summertime wonderful.

Southern Summer Collection
Junk Ranch Soy Candles
Let me show you my Southern Summer Collection...I'd love it if you could smell them but I will have to compensate with good descriptions...

Everyone knows how we love our sweet tea here...not iced, but sweet! Every picnic and cookout includes a jug of sweet tea and if you visit anyone in the south, you will barely get through the door before you're offered a glass.

Sippin' Sweet Tea
Soy Candle
I chose the 100 year anniversary blue Ball jars for Sippin' Sweet Tea for you to keep and enjoy when the candle is gone. This is a fresh scent that will make you think cool thoughts of sitting on the porch sipping tea with a sprig of lemon balm and mint. We've been burning this one for a couple of weeks now and I can tell you it's going to be a classic summer fragrance here! Once you are finished with your candle, carefully remove the wick tab and leftover wax, run it through your dishwasher and drink sweet tea from your jar.

Vegetable gardening has made a huge comeback in the last several years, especially with the ease of square foot gardening...there is nothing, nothing like a homegrown 'mater.

Country Garden
Soy Candle
My Country Garden candle is a wonderful mix of tomato leaves and basil...smells just like you are walking through the garden. It is light and a good choice for those that do not like a strong scented candle..These have been hand poured into vintage Kerr Jars I bought at an estate sale.

I have two different places I call my potting sheds here. One is behind the barn close to the garden and one is under the shed between the herb gardens. At either one I keep a big bag of potting soil for starting plants or re-potting them. I absolutely love the smell of dirt!

Pottin' Shed
Soy Candle
My Pottin' Shed candle has been poured into recycled bean cans and embellished with used bailing twine...just like I start young plants in. You can go into any barn around here and find that most people save their twine after they cut open a bail of many uses for that stuff to mention. This one smells guessed it...dirt. Earthy and musky. Men seem to gravitate to this one.

I haven't worn shoes with toes in them in a month and I've added one more pair of flip flops to my collection already. The rule growing up was that you couldn't go bare footed until May 1st. I don't do much bare footin' these days because I prefer my feet to be soft now, unlike the days when I would brag about being able to run across the gravel driveway without it hurting my feet.

Bare Footin'
Soy Candle
I love these little quilted jelly jars for my Bare Footin' candle. They are the perfect size for a small table or on your kitchen counter. When you walk into a room where this one is burning you may think the window is open and someone just cut the grass...fresh and inviting!

...And on the same path as dirt and grass are probably a few wildflowers. We have a more and more daisies each year in the field beside our house. They are the first of many that I pick each spring to add to bouquets from my flower and herb gardens.

Pickin' Wildflowers
Soy Candle
 Pickin' Wildflowers is a nice floral and herb scent that smells as good cold as it does burning. It will definitely give your home a pleasant summery aroma.  I've poured them into green collectible vintage style Ball jars so you can enjoy the candle now and the jar later as a flower vase.

And, what would summer be without a beach trip or six? Going to the beach is a given for most of us. It's as close as three hours to Myrtle or five to OBX, which is our favorite.

Sun Tannin'
Soy Candle
This has to be the official "smell of summer". Sun Tannin' captures all that is perfect about the beach. It is the smell you have on your beach towel after a day of swimming and you hang it out to dry...suntan oil, salt, a  little citrus, a  little floral...perfect. I poured twice to get the sand and water effect...maybe next time I will try to get sand, water and top off with a light Carolina Blue sky.

All of these are now available in limited quantities just for the summer. Get them here at the ranch (please call, text, email or send a Facebook message for a pick up time). Please see the sidebar for contact information.

Remember. we keep your favorite "regulars" in stock year Hazelnut Coffee and Lavender mixes. Do not hesitate to ask for a custom order of something you would rather have that is not in stock.