Saturday, December 7, 2013
It's December 7th, already!
I haven't decorated one thing in my house for the holidays.
I'm not even sure if I can get to my boxes of Christmas decorations, tucked somewhere in the storage area of the Studio.
Can't get to it this week... my painter is coming to paint the Studio, along with some other projects I have going in our living areas.
Difficult to decorate for Christmas with things like the staircase railings being painted!
But... we are under a WINTER STORM WARNING!
Which may mean that life gets a pause button!
You know how it goes.
(if you live somewhere that it doesn't snow very often, meaning we don't know how to deal with it and everything shuts down)
They're saying sleet, snow and freezing rain, with a 1/4 inch of ice!
May loose power.
Stack of firewood pulled in from outside and put in garage, check! (thanks, honey!)
Gas rangetop installed during last summer kitchen remodel, meaning we can use it during power outages, check!
Coffee dripper ready to make coffee with just boiling water, check!
With the possibility of a Charlottesville shut down,
I may just get to a bit my Christmas decorating, minus the staircase railing
and the fact that we haven't bought our tree yet.
But, at least I can have a smidgen of time to find those Christmas decoration bins.
If we don't loose power, we'll still have icy roads. Still making for those shut down kind of days.
I wouldn't mind doing some baking too.
That would be just lovely.
But.. the truth of the matter is that I'm foot to the pedal, shifting into full gear in the Studio!
Below are just a few sneak pics just after the concrete floors were varnished
and John and I were able to start moving inventory into the new space.
You can see, no painting has begun.
But, it is taking shape.
And, our beloved French inventory
(remember, from our buying trip w-a-y back in July!)
is now in a New York City port awaiting customs clearance.
waiting, waiting, waiting....
In the meantime, our European chandeliers, sconces and lamps have made their way to Richmond
for cleaning, restoration and wiring to US standards.
Upholstery projects are making their way through my fabricators shop.
Photographer scheduled for mid January.
And, I have my first meeting with the web design team this coming week
(if the roads thaw!)
where I'll see the beginning forms of the new website and online shop!
So, most likely the baking will be on hold and the holiday decorating will be skimpy this year.
My focus is on launching this project!
It's time to unpack, tag, photograph and get this shop up and running for the New Year!
Maybe just a bit of baking though.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow..
Saturday, November 23, 2013
It takes time...
a lot of time.
We received news yesterday that our French inventory will arrive in the NYC port tomorrow.
We still need to clear customs, have our 43 boxes pulled from the container
and trucked to the Studio, here in Charlottesville.
We would have NEVER imagined, back in July, that over 4 months would pass by before we would see our French home goods again.
We have learned soooo many things since last summer.
And, all our new knowledge will be applied to our next France trip, no doubt!
The other thing that takes time is defining and building a business.
Some of it in our control, other things - not so much in our control.
But, there have been a few silver linings.
On Monday, the commercial lighting will be installed in the Studio.
Then we spend the rest of the week moving into the Studio!!!
Yea!! clap.. clap...
Here's the silver lining...
our French inventory should arrive in about 2 or 3 weeks,
and it will move right into the Studio space - all set up to receive it.
When we took off for France last July, it was a pretty spontaneous decision - having never been on an
overseas buying trip, just diving into the cold water.
But, sometimes that shock of cold water wakes something inside, something we didn't know was there.
We came home thinking we'd see our inventory in about 30 to 40 days.
But, it didn't happen that way (long story --).
What did happen was time for John and I to think, think, and re-think, and re-think, and panic, and feel confident, and panic again
about just what we were (are) building.
For those of you following this saga, John quit his executive position of thirteen years, two days after we returned from France.
He had been looking for a change and saw an opportunity to help me build my shop and grow my design business.
It has been an amazing roller coaster ride since France, filled with highs and lows and fear and courage.
We've fretted over getting our French purchases delivered, we've sent our middle son off to his first year of college and our
oldest to his third year of college. We continue to savor our youngest, our daughter's remining time at home as she will be off
to college in the next few years.
We've spent hours sitting with our web design firm - flushing out this new company that is to come.
We've sorted through our children's (who are now 20, 17, 15) childhood by clearing out our basement
to create a studio where I will sell French and American antiques and vintage pieces.
My contractor has been so gracious to help me build this Studio space - designed as we went along. Thank you, Todd.
And, John and I have been on countless buying trips, finding more French and European sources here in the US,
as well as picking through local and surrounding antique shops,
all to build and develop our unique inventory.
As we have built this new company, we've realized that there is more and more design work to be done
and less and less technical and business set up to be done.
yesterday, John excepted a new job in his previous industry. He's going back to work.
It's a bitter sweet feeling. He's very happy about his new position. He's feeling very refreshed after spending
time in France together and getting my new business off and running.
He is my everything... and to have shared every single day with him, working together...
has been every bit of a blessing.
It hasn't been easy and every day has not been skipping through daisy fields,
but I would not trade this time for anything.
Thank you, John! ... over and over.
So.. what the heck is this thing we've built???
I think that has been the most frustrating part of this journey.
I've been writing about, posting pictures, and hyping something that
I currently cannot link readers to.
Ugh... I really don't like that part of it!
But... it's coming.
The goal is that in February
we will launch a new website, with my new blog, my design work and a new portfolio,
and a new webstore - all my inventory available online from the Studio.
The Studio will also be open to local buyers by appointment.
There will be (finally!) the French inventory and all the pieces we've acquired over the past several months.
I'll also be selling antique furniture - for local pick up.
It will all have a new name - not ready to reveal now, but soon!
In about 2 weeks, once the Studio begins to come together,
I will begin to draft inventory pictures for the webstore.
We have collected over 100 pieces of English, Belgium and French ironstone.
I'm having a floor to ceiling open shelf area custom made for the studio - just to display this amazing collection.
The mid century metal riding horse and Victorian horse in the first picture we found yesterday!
They are both sitting on an antique Hepplewhite yellow pine farmhouse table.
There are many pieces that will go to the upholsterer right after Thanksgiving,
French chairs, Swedish daybed, and a 7 foot vintage curved sofa!
Below are English cake and bread boxes.
Plaster painted European sconce.. sitting on the farmhouse table.
On Monday, we'll be picking up 2 huge Egyptian made and French inspired chandeliers.
I have to say, collecting the ironstone has been so fun,
I cannot wait to see it all together in the Studio.
Vintage concrete ducks.. so sweet.
John found these the other day, right here in Virginia.
They are Belgium cafe au lait bowls.
Used to sip milk coffee, no handles, just wrap your hands around the bowl and sip!
I have never seen these in the States. It was the one thing I was hoping to find in France, and found
several on our first day in Northern France.
John spotted them in a Virginia shop and knew just what they were. It was such a fun moment.
Nice find, honey!
Below is the Studio space this morning.
The drywall is finished, ready for paint.
The doors and windows are trimmed, ready for paint.
The concrete floors were varnished yesterday. Still drying.
Can't decide if I want to use white burlap or drop cloth on the ceiling.
Probably burlap, need to get the yardage ordered this weekend.
Below.. the pineboard area.
I'll most likely use Annie Sloan paint to white wash this area.
The ironstone wall will go on this interior wall space, on the left.
So, that's the news for now.
Can't believe Thanksgiving is next week!
Andrea Hubble, the amazing photographer I've found (yea!!)
will come in mid January to photograph some areas in my home and the Studio.
Below is a picture of John and I having a very late lunch in Strasbourg, France last July.
We had just finished buying at a lovely outside market.
I may burst into tears of joy when our French inventory arrives.
It was a trip that started our new dreams and a new direction in our (mid) lives.
John, you make all my dreams come true!
Here's to the new shop, the new website, John's new job, and to planning our next trip to France.