Friday, November 5, 2010

We will wearin' our aprons at HCCC!

This delightful apron-themed email was forwarded to us from our sweet friend, Christine, from Faces of Astarte. We just had to pass it on and remind you that next weekend, the 13th & 14th of November, we will be selling our homemade wares at Herkimer Community College's craft fair. It is a juried, fantastic show. Stop by...we will be the ones wearing aprons!

From an unknown source:

The History of Aprons

I don't think our kids know what an apron is.  

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few.  It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material.  But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.      
 From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
 When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold Grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.     

Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
 From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.  After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
 In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.      
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

 It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.
I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron - but love...

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Still standin', still smilin'!!

Oh, how we love the Garlic Fest. We get energized a couple of weeks prior, work ourselves into the ground, and put on a helluva party! Both of us get so tired that we could cry and then....the people come in the gate, laugh, dance, visit and absolutely have a blast. It is all worth it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chicks Along the Canal

Juli and some of our favorite "chicks" dreamed up a festival featuring local, extra-creative women. The day they dreamed of is almost here!

Join us Saturday for Chicks Along the Canal, a music, art, antique and so, so much more-filled day in the park here in Canal Place. Can't wait to see you again!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lilac Time

Juli and our Aunt Kate (a.k.a. A.K.) have been cutting lilac bouquets. They scent the shop and spur us on to charming displays. As soon as the lilacs come, we gather the china, linens and prints that have lilacs, violets or any purple floral designs, mix them with bright green and white pieces and "Ta Da!" Spring has arrived at The Seed.

One of our favorite products to include is the Violet Lilac German-made soap from Kappus. The packaging is delightful and the scent is heavenly. We mix those two scented oils into our own products such as hand soap and lotion, too. You'll find them in our signature dark green bottles!

You can sniff and sample more of our products if you join us this Sunday afternoon, May 16, 12-4 at General Herkimer Home Site just outside Little Falls, near the Thruway exit. They are hosting the annual Garden Faire and we will be returning as vendors, dressed in period costume. Activities really do include something for everyone, young and old. See you there!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Killer Stuff and Dead Guy's Stuff

Sharon Fiffer has added so much laughter and entertainment to our lives. Her first book, Killer Stuff and her second, Dead Guy's Stuff, started us off on a series of books that we steadily recommend to our customers. The main character, Jane Wheeler, is a "picker," someone who scours sales and thrift shops for antique dealers. She is sort of a "middle-woman," if you will. Jane and her assorted friends and family get into many mysterious predicaments and there is always a dead body involved. Jane is our kinda gal...a collector of fine junk! Don't miss this fictional series! G.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Speaking of Herbs

The Weed & Seed garden club invited Juli and I to talk about herbs and how our original herb garden grew into The Mustard Seed. We met with them at the New Hartford Library and shared a delightful Tuesday morning. The above picture is a snap from Juli’s phone that shows the mini-shop we set up to give them a sniff of the wonderful things we offer at The Seed.

Tuesday afternoon was spent talking and shopping with an emphasis on shop vision planning for the next year. Look out! That ALWAYS means that we are about to turn the place topsy-turvy. This time we are starting with our desk area and refining a space to create our herbal products and sew while we shopkeep. Those are the things that make our hearts sing and that is, after all, the reason the shop grew in the first place. We started making herbal things back in 1994 and here we are…stop in soon and check out the creative chaos! G.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Globes, globes and more globes

Aren’t these vintage globes fun to look at? Chris Takas brought them into the shop the other day and Gail couldn’t resist putting them all together on this old green cupboard. Some of them are banks, one lights up, all of them are just too cool!

We are still operating under Winter Hours during March. Sundays 12-5, all other days 10-5. Hope you come by soon to check out the globes and all of the other new goodies here at The Seed.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Apron memories...

So much laughter and so many newly-created memories went into this tiny pink gingham apron!

Juli made this little apron ornament during our sewing marathon yesterday. She is a fearless sewer and under the excellent tutelage of her Grammy, Juli's novice sewing skills were definitely expanded. We had four generations working, creating and playing in Gram's kitchen.

We adore the pattern for these ornaments, but then, of course, we adore all things apron-related. The tiny, tiny time-consuming sewing work doesn’t lend itself to creating these for sale, but for decorative purposes…oooooo la la!!

I made three new "flirty-aprons" while she was creating this one tiny one. As soon as we stop playing around with tiny aprons that fit G.I. Joe dolls--there are only grand boys around here, no Barbies to be found!--we will start going through the picnic basket full of vintage aprons waiting to be re-created for sale in The Seed. I feel another marathon comin’ on!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Let's Go Antiquing!

I’ve posted a small picture of a Courier & Ives-style one-horse sleigh that went home with a happy couple last week. Isn’t it charming? I’d like to think it was their Valentine’s Day present to each other, but I didn’t ask!

Today is President’s Day and many couples will take advantage of the day off from work to go “antiquing.” While they may not consciously be remembering or honoring our revered past U.S. presidents, they will be celebrating and honoring the past by looking at and handling many of the treasures that we have at The Seed.

Here are a few of the things that we try to remember when we “go antiquin’.”

l. Pack a bag for the car. Throw in a pad and pen, measuring tape, and a list: include those items that you are looking for (Right now I am searching for a desk that needs to fit into a small place. I carry the space measurements.), colors, etc. Think this through before you go and it will save you a lot of memory-searching while you are visually overwhelmed or distracted by incredible things that you do not NEED but must have!

2. Bring along some empty boxes and wrapping stuff. We almost always have some of these at the shop but stores like Goodwill can't always provide packing materials.

3. Pack a picnic. Inevitably we are hungry during that hour between lunch and dinner and can’t find anything decent to eat. Dried pineapple slices and nuts always get us through—oh, and chocolate, of course! Here in Canal Place we have lots of eateries and good choices, but sometimes we hit the out-of-the-way spots and there is no food for miles…

4. Our favorite tip is to bring along hand-sanitizer and wipes because there is nothing more fun than going through an estate-sale basement, but there is nothing more gross than the grime on the hands afterwards.

Wishing you an antiquing day to remember, and hoping you stop by for a visit real soon. Juli and Gail

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Winter Blues...and Whites

Transferware, ironstone and vintage china are an essential part of our shop’s inventory. January and early February displays evolve from our love of blue and white china mixed with ironstone. The juxtaposition of the china and the rough-hewn wood of our display cabinets makes our hearts sing!

By the way, the wood for those cabinets was “upcycled” from our building’s freight elevator when it was replaced to give entry to the beautiful Stone Mill Inn, located two floors above us. ( They are a simple bookcase construction atop half of an old, weathered table. Half a table because when two 2X2 legs were added to the rear of each half, we gained TWO display units. The original configuration was the brilliant idea of vendor/customer, Kimberly Farrell.

We’ll be sad to see these displays dismantled to make way for green…wait, green means we are thinking of Spring…time for the Winter Blues to go!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Intrinsic: adj. Belonging to the essential nature of a thing.

Shop names float through my mind sometimes. Wouldn’t “Intrinsic” make an interesting name for a shop?

We started our little shop back in 1994 after reading an issue of Victoria magazine. It was their entrepreneur issue featuring wonderfully inspiring shops including one called “The Wild Child.” It sold lovely nature-related and vintage garden items. We said: “We could do something like that!” And so we did.

It seems that keeping shop is part of our intrinsic natures. We could make more money as checkers at the local grocery store, but we wouldn’t have nearly as much fun! People we meet often say that they have always wanted a “little shop” of their own. Not one of them ever say: “I’d like to get rich by opening a shop of my own….” Instead they recognize the pleasure of the experience--getting to meet new people, enjoying beautiful things, making art by creating displays for others to enjoy, and so much more.

We notice the intrinsic value in little things everyday. Soft, well-loved vintage aprons, old dog-eared books, chairs with worn wooden seats, and chipped ironstone pitchers.

I think shopkeepers go beyond that to see the intrinsic value in life!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 last!

This adorable couple was our first listing in our Etsy shop, They were a delightful estate sale find (Both the fabric couple and the sale itself were delightful!) and sold in under two hours. We are thrilled to be counted among the Etsy shopkeepers. It is a dream come true. Please visit us at Stone Mill, Little Falls, NY or on Etsy.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Our beautiful beginnings...

Mustard Seed Moments

Serendipity. Or kismet, divine intervention or perhaps, synchronicity. We call it "Mustard Seed Moments." Many times in the past sixteen years we've had a Moment when a customer joins us in conversation and we've responded with just what they needed to hear (And vice versa!). We've had many, many moments of connection and seemingly impossible coincidences that have left us smiling and shaking our heads in wonder. This blog is our attempt at sharing those moments with you.

The Mustard Seed began in our backyard in a tiny little barn, in the midst of our herb garden.

Today you will find us in Little Falls, NY, in the Stone Mill building. We are part of the Canal Place historic district and are located on the bank of the Mohawk River, just a stone's throw from the Erie Canal.

We spend our days playing, gardening, and visiting with old friends and new friends. It really doesn't get any better than this!