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.