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July 31, 2009

Hello.....My Name is Jana, and I'm a Laceaholic...

Brenda worked yesterday. I was supposed to go to Canton with Lisa, however, she was ill all week and we couldn't make it this month. I knew I could always find something for Brenda to do, so there was no point in cancelling her workday. She had gone through my lace boxes and bins some months ago, and it was quite a chore.....so much and not enough space. Sorting by age, by handmade versus machine made, and yardage from snippets.....well, you get the idea. You can imagine the look of "deer in headlights" when she asked, "Well, Missy, we are we gonna do today?".....I saw the look on her face, but held my own. I very bravely told her I had found two more large plastic bins of lace and we were going to "process" it like all the rest . I must admit, she didn't flinch, although I knew how she was really feeling. God love her, she didn't judge, she didn't hesitate....she just jumped right in. Eight hours later as she cleared the last snippet of lace from the work table I know I saw hope in her eyes and I KNOW I heard a sigh of relief. Hope that this really was the last of my vast stash, and a sigh that the day was over and she didn't have to look at any more lace.....

So, it's officially out there, and I concede. I am over the top in my lace fettish and it has become a real addiction. If I see it, I've got to have it. Don't have an immediate purpose for it.......so what? Don't have room......so who cares! I love the stuff.....love how it looks, love how it feels, and adore how the old stuff smells. This is just a sampling of what I actually have.....I was afraid to show it all to you for fear you would side with Brenda.....In my defense I do actually use the stuff, regardless of how difficult it is to see it leave the store on one of the sweaters or pillows I carefully create from my collection.......

My name is Jana, and I am a laceaholic......however, the good thing is there is still so much antique lace out there that I have yet to find that I can continue to feed my addiction....please just don't tell Brenda, she has such high hopes for my recovery!

July 29, 2009

Heart & Soul on Etsy.......

I have gone back and forth on whether or not to open an Etsy account and sell my handmade and designed "Heart & Soul" items in yet another venue. I have my retail store, my website, and am a Power Seller on Ebay, so why spread myself even thinner? The decision was made simply because I don't really think that Ebay is a truly appreciative audience for this type of item, and I am hoping to find a new audience through Etsy. I absolutely love designing and making my items, and I consider my things to be quite unique, so here goes. You will see the banner is already added to my blog, but I am still working on getting the items up and running..........let's hope it is as easy as I think it is!

July 27, 2009

I Must be in Heaven.....

As the rains came to Texas, the temperatures dropped and it was absolutely delicious.......

If you have read many blogs from Texas, you know it is hot here....sweltering hot with no rain and no relief, and very high humidity. Not any hotter than it usually gets, just a little earlier making for a longer, hotter summer than normal. I have refused to talk about the heat.....I walk away from any conversation and avoid anyone that wants to focus on the weather.....I just want to say, "Come on, people.....this is Texas and this is OUR summer"....it's the SAME thing every year, so why are people so very surprised. But we have been in the last few days as the rains have come...and they have chosen to stay a while bringing the heat down to below 90 degrees. It has been absolute heaven to watch the steady rain feed the plants and wash away the dust of the extreme heat and to see the wild life being replenished with water for their needs and survival.
The rain feeds my soul.....I have always loved how it looks, how it feels, and how I feel as well. I don't mind the lightening and thunder, as it never lasts very long. But this week we have hopes of rain every day which is so very unusual for a Texas July......and I know, I must be in heaven.

July 25, 2009

Follow Where You are Led....

I must admit, I have never been much of a "follower"......I like to be out there in front figuring out what it's all about and then leaving it for others to enjoy. But sometimes you just have to sit back and listen to what is around you and follow where you are led. My business philosophy has always been to listen to my business and be willing to trust my instinct that what I am doing is right. It hasn't failed me yet. Why all this deep thinking? Well, during the last six months I have been exposed to some wonderful women with creative minds and adventurous souls. We are doing new things and talking about more.......the most exciting of which evolved this morning.

Charlene of My Heart's Ease http://myheartseast.blogspot.com was in the store today and as we discussed the new art group forming within the shop, in walks this wonderful woman who had seen some of my gorgeous antique silk lampshades on Ebay. She had been outbid on them at the last minute and drove all the way to Arlington to see if I had any more or something similiar......and they were for her mini trailer house that she was completely refurbishing in the "Magnolia Pearl" style. We talked, and talked some more and literally caught the bug as she spoke. So now, Charlene and I am going Monday to look at our very own trailer so we can join the traveling caravan of gypsy women out there traveling the country selling their wares.....well, maybe not all the time, but often enough to make Roundtop and all of the other events in the five state area surrounding Texas. The idea of decorating the inside with opulent velvets and marble counter tops making it a "Diva's Haven" is so exciting my mind can't stop bouncing from idea to idea. I don't really know what I'm doing here, or what I'm thinkin', but for some reason Charlene has been put in my life for a reason, so we are jumping right in...... I really don't know what I'm doing, but it just "feels right".........have mercy!

July 23, 2009

Where Bloggers Create....A Look at my Studio & A Party

When I came across Karen's beautiful blog at My Desert Cottage, http://mydesertcottage.blogspot.com I was so inspired. As I read through her posts I saw she was hosting a "Where Bloggers Create" party on July 24th asking any and all that wanted to participate to jump right in and post and show their studios or work areas. Because I am fortunate enough to have a large area within my store, I knew I had to be part of the show and tell fun. Also, because a group of wonderfully talented women and myself have just this past weekend formed an Art Group to meet once a month using my store studio as our creating place, I knew this would be the opportune time to share what we are going to do as well as show my space. Our very first project is to ceate our own personal stool for around the table.....I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with as I know they are all going to be so very different.
The table is quite large and will accommodate up to ten people. The fabric skirts hide all my antique lamp parts, while the white armoire stores all of my paints and brushes. The shelves along the back wall handle my mixed media papers and supplies as well as my jewelry making supplies and anything else I get myself into. The table serves me very well for the outside work I do for people such as rewiring lamps, painting, and recovering small pieces of furnitures. The only problem I have is keeping it clean.......this is a special exception for the photo as there are generally at least four projects going on at one time. It may not be the prettiest of places, but it is definitely a place to create! Thank you, Karen, for planning this entire event.....I know I am going to love looking at all the other spaces out there and hope to get some wonderful ideas :)

July 22, 2009

Absolutely Divine in Hardly Any Time........

Although this is not a new idea, it is one that is still worth mentioning......because if you have all the right elements, it can be quite wonderful. I decided to use a fairly tall pressed glass vintage candlestick, only because I broke the other one, and the one left was just so taunting every time I passed by. Epoxy glue is my new best friend as it adheres things beautifully AND permanently without much effort at all. Combine a left over candlestick with a clear glass plate and a dome cloche cover left over from the "covered cheese dish days" and you have a divine new mini pedestal cloche covered dish.......worthy of any elegant table!

July 21, 2009

Slow Down, Mama.......

Everything is alway so very, very busy. If it's not the store, it's home.....if it's not home, then it's family, if it's not family then it's the herd of animals we live with.....and on and on. How does one do it all and do it right? I certainly have no idea, and often think it is not what you do, but what people THINK you do that actually matters. I often think as well that if I was as good as people tell me I am then this would all be so very, very easy......and it's not. I don't know what I have done to be worthy of all the wonderful things in my life, but I am sincerely thankful for them, as well as the support and encouragement I get from the people around me.

Having a relatively quiet day today, I find myself re-energizing so I can start over again and am so very grateful that I have the opportunity to do so. I know I am fortunate to have all I have and to be able to do all that I do. So tomorrow the hectic pace will begin again, but for today it's time to "Slow down, Mama"

July 19, 2009

Class Dates for Fall Schedule~Come Join Us!

I have so many things that I am excited about right now, both personal and business related, that it is difficult to choose on any given day what I want to talk about. Because I am still on an adrenalin rush from the wonderful turnout of Collected Treasures' first Open House yesterday, I think I will choose to list the class line up for fall. If you look to your right you will see there are so many to choose from.....or why on earth make yourself choose.....go for all of them and let us be your fall entertainment :) One half of the class fee is due at the time of registration and the remainder due on class day. Refunds are not given, however, can be transferred to the next same subject class upon instructor approval. Class sizes are limited so early registration is recommended. You can call for additional information or simply stop by the store to sign up.

Lisa McIlvain of Tarnished and Tattered (a wonderful dealer inside my store) http://tarnishedandtattered.com/blog/ will be teaching the altered apron class and it promises to be something everyone will love.....think Christmas presents.......she teaches how to take personal photos and transfer them on aprons, and so much more.....what a fabulous gift and how very creative. I know I want one!

Charlene Gray of My Hearts Ease (a precious new friend) http://myheartsease.blogspot.com will be instructing students on how to make the fabulous soldered glass charms everyone loves so much......once again, think Christmas and how divine it would be to use old photos or treasures to create gifts for loved ones and friends........don't miss this one!

Then, of course, there is ME.......learn how to paint lovely tole roses and add them to suitcases, frames, tiny ballet shoes, footstools......well, you get my drift....you can paint them on ANYTHING and make it special........if you have always loved these roses and always wanted to do them yourself...come join the class and see how easy it can be....no advance painting knowledge required....just a willingness to practice so you develop your own style.

Then there is the repeat of the mixed media altered art memory books made from.....well, you guessed it, paper lunch bags. These are the most wonderful little treasures and can be designed for holidays, birthdays, or any other special event. One of my students from the last class makes them for every holiday.......I adore her enthusiasm and talent!

The very last class of the fall season is the most requested........if you have read my blog or been in my store you will surely recognize my rusched antique velvet roses. I put them on everything from hats, to purses, to clothing.........and they are adorable.......I'm willing to share my secrets and teach this to anyone wanting to learn......they are so fun.

Come Join Us!

July 17, 2009

Open House & Customer Appreciation~Come on Down!

Collected Treasures' Open House and customer appreciation is Saturday, July 18th from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm. As we celebrate the beginning of our fourth year in our freestanding location at 406 West Main Street, Downtown Arlington, Texas, we could not be more excited or appreciative to those that have helped to make this a success and a reality.
Please join us for wonderful homemade sweet treats, wine, and tea served throughout the day. Also, be sure to register for one of two $50.00 gift certificates to be give away at the end of the day. Store dealers will be present to introduce themselves and answer any questions you might have about their items, and of course, Brenda and I will be here as our jolly selves. Come join the party, see what classes we are scheduling for the fall, and just enjoy friendship and conversation.......
(P.S. I have talked to Marley and Baby and they promise to be very, very good and look forward to seeing you!)

July 16, 2009

So Many Decisions........

As I go through the routine of running my business I have to wonder if the decisions I am making are the right ones....with the challenges that are presented on a daily basis, you just cannot justify some things you have always done. Some changes and decisions are obvious as they are just common sense...you know, turn the air conditioner up at night when the store is closed, clean my own windows, do my own books....things like that. BUT, the decision to maintain a website, plus a blog, plus etsy, and then maintain a Power Seller rating on Ebay as well...it is just so overwhelming for one person.....and I think it might be confusing for my customer as well....I mean, once they have found me, do they shop my website, my Ebay, my etsy, or what. The store is a given....it is the reason for everything else, however, where do my national sales come from.

It has taken all of this for me to simply tell you I will be opening an online blog shoppe the end of this week for the items I sell under my "Heart & Soul" line, which are designed and made by me. I see alot of blogs doing this, so I am hoping I am making the right decision. I will then be looking at abandoning my website and selling through my retail store and Ebay only. Have an opinion or experience with this, please let me know. Does it work......what have you done?

Also, please remember July 18th is Collected Treasures' Open House and Customer Appreciation from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm. We will have the AC turned down low and the wine and tea ice cold.....Hope to see you then!
xo jana

Below are some of the items created for the Heart & Soul line.......

July 14, 2009

Easy Cottage Sweet Embroidered Valance.....

This is a wonderful way to use some of those beautiful antique and vintage linens you have stored in the dresser in your guest bedroom......and you don't even have to damage the linens to create this precious cottage style valance. I have simply taken a 100% double cotton tab top valance that I picked up at my favorite thrift store and sewn same scale embroidered dresser scarves and doilies across the entire length of the piece. You could take it a step further and tie little bows at each of the tab tops or include some of your favorite buttons as well for more detailing, but it shows beautifully just the way it is. It looks precious hung with half shutters or with lace or solid sheers......all straight line sewing and just so easy.
xo, jana

Also, don't forget Collected Treasures' open house and Customer Appreciation this Saturday, July 18th from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm. A drawing for two gift certificates will be held and sweet treats, wine. amd ice tea will be served....hope to see you there

July 10, 2009

You Must Not Quit.....

Several years ago while out of town I came across this wonderful vintage framed print. The message hit home then, and even more so today......so with this having been said I think I will put on my big girl panties and get on with my day :)
You Must not Quit
When things go wrong
As they sometimes will,
When the road you travel
Seems all uphill.
When the funds are low
And the debts are high
And you want to smile
But you have to sigh,
When care is pressing
You down a bit,
Rest if you must
But don't you quit.
Marie Gleiter

July 9, 2009

Mary Jane & Me...........

When I was in high school we had a whole list of "Mary Jane" jokes. They were even more wonderful if you had a "Mary Jane" in your class and if she was just a little "slow" as well.....not very nice I admit, but after all....we were kids. I can honestly tell you I remember only one of the jokes and it still makes me laugh today.
"It would seem that Mary Jane was on a date where they went parking. They were kissing and kissing when all of a sudden her date slipped his hand inside her bra. Mary Jane just laughed and laughed because she knew she kept her money in her shoe.........."
Okay, what does this have to do with my wonderful new terrarium? Well, I was at a really bad flea market, but I found this very heavy, old, thick glass aquarium buried in the back. I knew I had to have this awesome piece because of it's age and because I knew what I was going to do with it. He reluctantly carried it to the front for me because it weighs a ton. I think I saw disbelief when I handed him a $20.00 and left. I feel certain he had just turned a nice profit on what he probably picked up on the side of the road. But just like Mary Jane......I laughed and laughed because I knew it was going to make a killer terrarium for my store.

July 8, 2009

"I Love Me Some Buttons"

I have loved buttons since I was a little girl. Like most of you that grew up when I did, I can remember playing with a jar of buttons at my Grandmother's house or under the ironing board as my Mother ironed the weekly pillowcases. Nothing would keep me busier than that old glass powder container that had the elephant on top. My litte Mama still has that container with her miscellaneous buttons inside. She told me to take it because I was so very fond of it....or maybe it was the memory I really liked, but I couldn't. I feel very strongly that it is still hers, and when she is "through" with it, it will be mine. I did, however, come across the same container, only with a donkey on top, and I bought it. I found out this was an old piece of glass made by the Jeannette Company and the elephant and donkey were a political thing.....still I love it. My obsession with buttons has grown over the years as you can clearly see. I don't discriminate.....I love them all......pretty or ugly, or inbetween, I love buttons. Although I have them in my store, they are actually just for display. Customers look longingly behind the counter wanting to get to them, but I can't share......I just can't. Sometimes I let certain people go through them, and I have to confess, my heart starts to beat just a little faster when I see them carelessly pushing my buttons around.........maybe it is a bit eccentric.....or maybe it is ALOT eccentric, but you just can't help the way you feel about things. I just adore having them around and the beautiful memory they evoke each and every time I see them. . Button, button, whose got the button........I think that would be ME.

still more.......

and my stash of beautiful antique mother of pearl buttons....

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