Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I'm beginning to get Crafty....

With Airplants!

I know...you really can't tell based on this but it takes a bit of creativity to put the right plant with the right container.  Haha.

The glass hanging containers are on their way
but in the meanwhile I will play.
These will add a bit of light and fun to Pebbles and Lace.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Pebbles & Lace

Normal.  What in the world does that word mean?  You know like normal routine, daily expectations or just feeling like you know what to expect.  Sometimes it is just when we begin to feel like we know what is coming or feel like we are the ones making those decisions that there is a sudden shake up.  Well, for us, actually that has been kind of a chronic thing.  Over the past couple of years it has come in the form of both happy and hard.  Starting with the crazy flooding in our basement two years ago.

Well, not quite two weeks ago we experienced another life altering event.  This time, thankfully, it is very happy.  Three generations of us are opening a gift shop.  But we had no hint that this was coming...at all.  It just happened one evening when one of my candle customers messaged me that due to family needs she was going to have to close up her shop in Strasburg.  Soon we found ourselves on the phone and I heard myself tell her that I would consider opening a shop of my own.
I got off the phone fully expecting a rational reasoned response from Warren telling me that it was crazy to even think about it.  Instead he didn't say anything.  I went on and on about how it would be sweet if this could be a family business.  I pictured both of my girls in it with me.  Chelsea and Emily. I envisioned them as their families grew having flexibility and a support system built in.  And so as I expressed all of this to Warren he grew excited too and said we should go for it.  That was so cool!

So, I sent a message to Chelsea and Emily and received responses of interest and willingness to meet to talk about it.  My heart swelled with amazement.  How could this be?  That both were not just saying no to this possibility.

We set a day and place...Thursday morning at The Daily Grind.  The girls heard me out.  They both had great input and the skills we needed to make this thing work.  Then while Chelsea went to a doctor's appointment to check on the wee one Emily and I went to see the shop.  That was when the dream took firm hold in me and it would have taken major surgery to remove it.  At that point, already, I told my friend, Sharon, that I was 75-80 percent sure I wanted to do this.  

As the girls prayed and thought about it they each came to a decision that was right for them. Chelsea jumped in with both feet, while Emily chose not to become a partner...but will be helping us as we need it.  Especially since she came up with the fabulous idea of air plants and terrariums and we became attached to the idea.  It became a key component of the shop so I'm very thankful that she is still willing to advise and help when we need it there.  The girl is a plant whisperer!

Part of our first shipment of air plants.  
Financially it was going to be a LOT harder without a third partner but Chelsea and I were still willing to accept the risk and pursue it.  Then Mom mentioned that she would be interested in becoming our third partner.  Woo-hoo!  That was a huge relief to me because I was well aware that it was going to be a huge challenge to make things work at the shop in the months immediately following Baby Pham's arrival.  It will be busy tourist season and heading into Christmas shopping.  However, I could no more stop this process than I could cut off my arm at this point.  I was emotionally and financially committed.  God provided!

And so after a flurry of activity and paperwork we signed the lease on Thursday afternoon
and received the keys on Friday.

This is us after running all over the county shopping for the shop.
It has been so very windy and so we are quite windblown but we are so happy.

To think that there are FOUR generations represented in this picture 
is mind boggling.  Especially because I don't think I'm old enough for that yet. :-)

Our strengths and gifts really complement each other.
Chelsea is our visual merchandiser, I'm the big picture/promotions person and 
mom is filling in the gaps between Chelsea and I. 
She will be making beautiful things and has much experience and wisdom
to share!  She offered to be a "silent partner".
I think she has already proven to be more than that.

We have goods coming from several of our favorite artisans.
One of whom is my brother.
He was NOT amused at our first shop name....
Rosemary and Lace.
However, none of us could remember Rosemary so to expand expectations
of those who would simply judge our shop by its name Chelsea
came up with Pebbles & Lace.
We love that name!

And just look at the conk mushroom art that is on it's way to us....

These will be one of a kind pieces made by my brother, Allan. He puts pressure on the 
mushroom living parchment.  This releases various amounts of "ink" or bruising that create the 
shades of color you see here.
The conk is then dried which stops the color change process.
While these are delicate they are also color stable.
Initially we will only have this one,
 and then more after conk harvesting season returns.
This piece is approximately 15 inches wide.
Definitely one of the largest you are likely to find.

Yesterday we took a road trip to Maryland to retrieve "a bunch" of vintage printed feed sacks.
We were overwhelmed by the selection that my friend offered up for consignment.
 Here are just three designs that I shared on our Pebbles & Lace Facebook page last night.

These are a few of many designs we brought back with us!

Chelsea has been choosing jewelry and scarves.
Sweet stuff!

I've been making an exclusive candle design line just for the shop.

I love the tie in with our logo.

I hope you'll "like" our page on Facebook and plan to visit when you can.
We look forward to seeing you in a couple of weeks
at 11 East Main Street, Strasburg.
We are just beside Java Junction.
So, come, visit us...have some amazing food, 
visit Tiffany at Blue Dandelion and finish
with ice cream at the Creamery.
It will be a great day!

Or...come and have some donuts at Sugar on Top,
visit Tiffany at Blue Dandelion, 
Come visit us and then get some coffee at Java Junction
visit the Railroad Museum just down the road a piece
and then finish with some lunch and ice cream at the Creamery.

The options are endless.
I haven't even visited Hodge Podge across
the street but plan to do that soon.

In the meanwhile we will remain busy gathering in the goodies.
Can't wait to share as they get here!
Already one of our favorites is a Japanese China setting for 12
that Chelsea and I found as we shopped a local 
thrift shop.
It is soooo pretty!!

Good grief I need to get going and get ready for church.
I started this blog post yesterday and then my computer
lost connectivity so I had to let it go.
Thankfully it hadn't lost all I had written to that point.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Giveaway on Candle Page!

This week the Good Neighbors Candle Page passed 500 likes!  I have not promoted the page very much since starting it but that is changing.  And so I invite you to celebrate with me and head over to the page before Saturday evening at 9pm to enter to win this 12 ounce Lavender Candle.  Just click on the link below the photo and away you will go.....you must comment on that entry to be entered in the giveaway.  You must also live in the US.  Have fun!!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I Love You, He Loves Ewes

My sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me.  John 10:27

For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:  I myself will search for my sheep and look after them.
Ezekiel 34:11

You are my sheep, the sheep of my pasture,  and I am your God, declares the Sovereign Lord.
Ezekiel 34:31

Just one of the photos I took while at The Makers Cottage yesterday before hot chocolate candle class began.  It spoke to me.
I'll show you more photos soon.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Today, We Make Chocolate....Candles that Is....

I'll be headed out in just a few minutes to teach a class on how to make hot chocolate mug candles.  The last time I did this is was for two classes of about 8 middle school students.  This morning it is for adult women.  Hmmmm.....which is better?  That is yet to be determined.  :-)

I had so much fun finding mugs yesterday.  It has been a very long time since I had to do that.  But I got some "sweet" ones...

Hope wherever you are today you stay warm and safe.  The weather is ugly in some parts of the country.  We will get some snow and freezing rain later, they say.  Hoping we are all tucked safely back into our homes before that happens.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Candle Crazy!

It didn't stop with Christmas.  The orders have been coming in very steadily over the past few weeks. I've been to my local supplier twice already for wax, jars and melter clamshells and have placed a long distance order for more wicks and other needs.  What a blessing because so often it gets slow after the holidays while people enjoy their candle gifts.

Here are a few of the candles I'm working on...

There you have it.
These and store stocking....that's what I'm up to these days when it comes to candles.
Jonathan misunderstood me this morning when I said I was 
going to go stock stores.
He thought it was scary and weird that I was going out to stalk stores.
Well....maybe next week I'll try that. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

"Blue" Christmas Payback

We just had a very delightful weekend with my brother Allan, Beverly and her sister Betsy.  It was their year to spend Christmas away and New Years with us.  It tends to stretch out the season a bit, which I find kind of nice.

Yesterday Jonathan had a migraine and so he held his gifts for Uncle Allan and Aunt Bev until today after lunch.  I'm so glad he did.

You see, about three four years ago Allan and Bev had gifted the kids these "cute" blue one piece jammies.  We thought it was super funny seeing them all in their suits.

Jonathan came home and ordered blue suits for 
all of the rest of us and planned to give them to us 
the following Christmas.

However, on that Christmas Day he had a stomach bug
and so he neither came over for the gift exchange nor sent his 
fun gifts along.
(We wouldn't have wanted to touch anything from his room anyway)

Then the blue suits were forgotten for a time.....
three years or so.

Flash forward to today.

Two special people were gifted blue suits.
The givers of the originals.

Uncle Allan and Aunt Beverly
are such great sports!

Pretty soon they were running through the kitchen and around
to the living room where they caught up with 
Jonathan and "thanked" him properly for their delightful gifts.

Look at that face!
Feel the love???