Monday, August 31, 2009

Moving In

As I was driving home from Boston, I realized what a great post this day would be. The only thing missing were the photos. I really am going to have to carry my camera with me and just take more pics! Luckily I have taken lots of photos of Boston. I also took lots of photos of the apts I scoped out for my daughter, and while they don't exactly illustrate this story, (no moving vans), they show a little of this very pretty city.

Dogwood at The Public Garden

There are 47 colleges and universities in the Boston area. This includes small schools few have heard of and world-class institutions, like MIT.* These schools have a combined student population of 374,000 according to ask

Fountain & Courtyard at the public library

When my husband and I were newly married and had just moved to Boston we discovered we didn't need a calendar to know when Aug 31st/ Sept 1st rolled around. All we needed to do was notice when the streets were completely clogged with U-Haul vans!

The view out of our first apartment

Not much has changed since then. Well, maybe a few more college students, and Penske vans have been added to the mix. But if I had forgotten the date today, I was quickly reminded. I would guess half those students are moving out or moving into a new apartment, house or dorm.

Everyone has heard of "Boston drivers." I've gotten used to them. Heck, there are times I completely qualify. And ya know, it's a little heady to dart in and out of traffic without denting my car or harming a pedestrian. If done well, one might even avoid being honked at. NOT.

The public alleys in Back Bay are really cool.

Luckily I was not driving a large van. I stopped by IKEA on my way up to Boston. We purchased a bed last weekend. Sadly a piece was broken so I returned it. I had hoped to exchange it, but the bed was out of stock. Seems the Boston area IKEA did a $2,000,000 business last weekend! Yes, that's right, 2 million dollars. Lots of college students, lots of new apartments! No wonder my girl's bed was out of stock.

Fireplace in her new bedroom

They think the bed will be in stock at the end of the week, so I'll make another trip to IKEA, help her haul it up to her 4th floor walk-up (pant, huff, take a breath!) and help her put it together.

* what? I should have mentioned Hahvahd? nah, my dad's an engineer, MIT it is, even if he didn't attend there.

Friday, August 28, 2009

New York, New York

I had a fabulous time in Manhattan last week. My friend, Amy R. and I met up at her mother's apartment for a few days. The timing was perfect, it was the week she could go and the week of the New York Gift Show.

Almost 20 years ago, when I was part of a gift/antiques shop cooperative, I used to go the the California Gift Show every 6 months. I would buy things for my shop space and also for myself. Back then, Beckman's Handcraft was a show-within-a-show, with wonderful handcrafted items and supplies. I used to decorate all sorts of things with dried and silk flowers so it was fun both to buy and get ideas! One of the vendors was Elaine Seamans for At-Choo. She made these wonderful pins which I sold in the shop, but also kept one for myself.

Imagine my delight to find her at the New York gift show! I had just gone through my files and found her old catalog. Amy and I were walking down the aisle and discovered this amazing image:

Two beautiful black-clad goth girls standing in Elaine's almost all white booth!

They were all kind enough to let me take their photo. After they had conducted their business, I reintroduced myself to Elaine, who is on the right in the photo. We talked and caught up. Her handmade items continue to be beautiful. Her online shop has items from a year ago, but you can always request a current catalog.

On the way to the gift show the second day I made a detour here:

Tinsel Trading Company!
I discovered them at the Vintage Textile and Fashion Show at the beginning of Brimfield, where Marcia Ceppos, the owner, had a booth. I knew the store would be a treasure trove of fabulous ribbon and trim. And it was! I was able to get a few things to use in my Silver Bella swaps.

I had already been to Tinsel Trading's booth at the gift show. It really was the only booth I knew I wanted to visit. As it turned out, Wendy Addison has designed a line of glittery treasures for Tinsel Trading. Her Theatre of Dreams seems such a magical place. I hope to visit it one of these days!

Wendy & me.

When I walked into the booth, there she was. It was such a delight to meet her! I tried not to gush, but I'm not sure I was successful. Even now when I write this I get this silly grin on my face thinking of meeting her. She is really sweet and friendly and I felt very welcome.

I was also able to place an order and am looking forward to getting a box full of glittery stars and wands and ornaments to shine in my shop.

Manhattan is a fabulous place. I love to walk there. My walk back from the Javits Center took me to The HighLine, New York's first elevated park.

What used to be a crumbling elevated railroad trestle is now a green walking park.

This was my view from the park.


Hydrangea and Cone Flower, I think.

I love the juxtaposition of the flowers, fence and unique architecture.
Out of camera range was a canoodling couple.

And now from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Instead of taking the train from Boston to NY and back, I took the Fung Wah bus. It is a very cheap alternative that goes between Chinatowns in a number of cities.

The bus trips were uneventful. The emergency exit was not needed. But oh so cool that it's posted in both English and Chinese.

Enjoy your weekend, whatever language it is in.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Welcome Home

And you never knew I left! I was in Manhattan for the NY Gift show. It was fabulous. I'll post pics and thoughts and fabulosity in the next couple days.

Glad to be home . . . but this trip was an amazing amount of FUN spent with a best friend!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Benefits of Smiling and Dancing in the Rain!

These admonitions came in the mail from a local restaurant. They send coupons and a newsletter with great tidbits of information. Here's what they had to say about smiling:

"You can forget about Prozac or St John's Wort. A genuine smile increases the production of serotonin, the happy hormone. 1. It's a bonding agent. Smiling builds bridges to other people around us. It keeps us from remaining aloof and separate from one another. Babies as young as three weeks old even recognize smiling as a bonding behavior. 2. It's a workout! One smile uses more than 16 muscles."

And rain:
"The next time you find yourself caught in the rain, consider this interesting phenomenon: rain is naturally enriched with vitamin B12, the nutrient necessary for healthy blood. It becomes airborne when brought to earth by wind and rain."

According to that, today was a super healthy day! It's raining and I've been outside a lot push-brooming the puddles off the back porch. And because its raining, I've had lots of folks in the shop, which means lots of smiling! Can't go to the beach on a day like today, so antiquing, gallery hopping, or the movies are serious options!

When the weather improves, it's time to go to the beach and fly a kite!
Don't forget to smile.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Shop Pictures

My first day open, a friend came by with this pretty vase of carnations. I added the pearl buttons. I love the way it looks. It makes me smile!

I have always liked shops where items are arranged by color, so I tried it here with green.

Have you ever noticed how all greens go together?
All blues do not go together, but greens do.

I know very little about glass and don't collect it, but some large lots at auction have given me a nice supply. It looks so good in the windows, doesn't block the view and no worries about fading! The yellow is beaded lemons from a florist supply shop in a pitcher perfect for lemonade!

My last post showed before and after photos. I was able to get the shop into great shape. But I'm afraid I had to move some of the stuff in a jumble to my studio:

A sign for my son!

This is where all the extra things went!
Things to be priced, display pieces for later, paper to put into packages, stuff.

No end to the things to do!
I think a shop is a little like motherhood. You are never done, you get interrupted often, and at the end of the day, you're awfully glad you did it!