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Dreams

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…and make it your ambition to  a quiet life, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands…

These words, found in Thessalonians 4:11 -12, have been running through my mind lately anytime the conversation turns to resolutions.  There was a time when I made resolutions for myself and strictly stuck to them.  Giving up carbonation my sophomore year of high school just to challenge myself?  Check. Being a nazi about how many miles I ran a week? Done that too.  All in the name of personal improvement.

But in recent years – since getting married and having kids – it’s so much harder for me to stick to personal goals, I suspect due to my somewhat serious case of mom-guilt that makes me feel like a jerk when I spend time on myself.  I know I’m not alone here, but lately I’ve been thinking about personal goals – for my career, for my health, for my family, for this blog.  I’ve resisted the urge to write them down and make them specific.  I prefer to keep them swirling around in my head.  Goals, I call them. Goals, not resolutions. Resolutions are too strict and permanent.  They have no room for the twists and turns and unexpectedness of life.  I would feel like a failure for breaking a resolution, but a goal can always be re-routed and carried over to the next year. Life happens, you know?  Goals have room for grace.

So what does all this have to do with design? I keep asking myself the same question.  Why did I start this blog? Is it important? Is it making a difference?  My answers to those questions trace back to those opening words.

lead a quiet life

Believe it or not, my goal for this blog isn’t merely to showcase our design work. Sure, that’s part of the purpose, but not the main goal.  What I hope you really glean is the feeling of comfort and quiet that our rooms tend to generate. If anything, I hope our work emanates peace and tranquility – a quiet life – in the midst of the everyday chaos we all experience.

mind your own affairs

In terms of blogging, I struggle with this one.  I fully realize that following and commenting on other blogs, sharing via social media, and virtually “connecting” with others will grow this blog.  But, you know what?  It feels so insincere and fake to “connect” with the underlying purpose of increasing my own blog traffic. I feel a little self-promoting even sharing posts on my personal Facebook page.  I secretly hope people will stumble on this blog, feel a connection, and start following and commenting.  Maybe that’s unrealistic. Do any of you struggle with this?

What I think I’m getting at is that I desire for our work and our words to be sincere.  That we will not get caught up in design trends, but listen to our clients.  That we won’t provide content that is popular for the sake of a few more “likes” and “shares” on Facebook.  That we will continue to be true to ourselves and that beauty will flow from that truth.

work with your hands

Literally and symbolically.  One of the most satisfying parts of this adventure is the search – the hunt, if you will. It requires us to get off the computer, get out and about, discover new places, meet new people, and experience life. We take great care to get to know our clients and source pieces that fit each of their lifestyles. Often, we get creative – remaking,  reinventing, repurposing the old into something new.  It’s life-giving to each piece, to the project, and to our spirits. And finally, putting a room together for the first time really is invigorating and exciting.  To see all the things we’ve collected  come together, to work out a room so it is both practical and pretty: gathering. This is what we love doing.

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So somehow, in some little way, I hope this blog makes a difference.  It is my goal that it inspires you (and me) to look for peace, joy, and love amidst the craziness of life.  It is my goal not to focus on blog stats, but to be true to myself and sincere in content.  It is my goal to do more working with my hands – to delve into the real relationships that the hunt brings about and to gather graciously so that all feel welcome.

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Featured Vendor: Snow’s Antiques

This morning’s crisp and lovely autumn air is just the inspiration we needed to get back to the blog.  With the lazy days of summer gone and the new school year’s routines established, our creativity picks up the pace, fueled by a healthy mix of cotton fields ready for harvest, pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, open windows, front porch swings, flannel blankets and football fields.

Saturday mornings in the fall are lovely for antiquing. Snow’s is one of our favorite local spots on Rapides Avenue.  You’ll find an eclectic mix of industrial items, fine antiques, popular knick-knacks, and quirky statement pieces.   IMG_7209

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The shop is owned by Steve Snow, who’s helpful, friendly, and always willing to make you a good deal.  Have a question about the provenance of a piece? Looking for something specific? Just ask and Steve will usually share what he knows about the object’s former location and use or dig out just what you’re looking for from the back room.  It’s always fun to know the history behind the antique and vintage pieces you bring home, and I’ve found that my guests usually love to know hear the stories behind each piece.

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Here are a few pieces that caught my eye when I wandered the shop a few weeks back.  Most of them are quirky and would make fun accents in just the right space.

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How cool (and heavy) is this rusty iron railroad crossing marker?

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These vintage radiators would be fantastic grouped together on top of a shelf or in a store window display.

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We snagged this longhorn for one of our clients! Reveal coming soon…

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These bulldog andirons would be a perfectly fun addition to a classic living room fireplace.

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Scales, scales, scales! All styles and ages.  Super fun for decorative kitchen accents or grouped as a display.

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This vintage mint green gum ball machine is a personal favorite. It’s solid and sturdy with the original labeling, too.  This would be a fun addition to a playroom. Imagine it filled with colorful gum balls! My kids would go crazy!

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These old concrete and metal playground pieces are a bit on the quirky side, but would be super fun in a vintage-industrial space.

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This stack of trays came from the kitchen of a local eatery that recently closed after over 50 years as a beloved local bar and restaurant. They make a great statement stacked just as they are.  All they need is a large, sturdy shelf to call home.

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We’re often asked what local antique stores and flea-markets we frequent.  Snow’s Antiques is on our short list.  Stop by the corner of Rapides Avenue and Prospect and spend some time hunting around inside.  The large inventory changes often and you’ll probably find something new to bring home each time you visit!

Happy hunting!

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Featured Vendor: Ebenezer Estate Sales

The second in our series of featured vendors is of a different variety than the typical flea market or antique shop. Estate sales excite us so because of their intensity and the promise of a new crop of treasures. Because we lead such busy lives, it is often hard to keep up with when these are taking place in our area, but today’s feature makes this easy through their Facebook page, where posts and photos of upcoming sales tease and excite us! Ebenezer Estate Sales always promises to have a fabulous sale, filled with any and everything you could imagine–they are like garage sales on steroids! Here are some of our treasures from their last sale:
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I love the kitchen scale I found to add to my growing collection and the sturdy brown basket provides perfect storage for paper and other art supplies for my children. Megan was especially excited about her matching floral chairs find! She’s been looking for a matching set of vintage chairs for her living room for quite some time now. These were not exactly what she had in mind, but as life often teaches us, sometimes the best things come to us that way. As you can see, they work beautifully, providing excellent design appeal with their fun and vibrant pattern and color.

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Even I found a chair to work perfectly in my son’s room. At fifty bucks, this one was a steal:

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Here’s Ebenezer’s history and mission:

WHO WE ARE:

This business is run by Debi Lee Upshaw of Alexandria, Louisiana. I have a dedicated staff of workers that I LOVE and could not do without! My sweet family has been on board to help since our first sale back in 1992 (Jacob and Hannah were 10 and 9 years old respectively). Grammaw and Paw Paw and Aunt Debbie have been loads of help too! We are from Central Louisiana but we have conducted sales in West Monroe, Nachitoches, Lecompte, Louisiana, as well as Jacksonville, Florida.

OUR STORY:

Ebenezer Estate Sales began in June of 1992. We are now operating in our 20th year!!! I began as an avid estate sale fan and regularly attended every estate sale I could find. I was a “picker” for local antique shops in the early 90’s. Then a friend asked if I could help her liquidate the contents of her father’s home. I had been to enough sales to know what I thought worked and what didn’t so I told her I would sure try! From that experience I began putting sales together for folks and got jobs from “word of mouth” advertising alone. I later decided to get my occupational license and the rest is history.

Sometimes the most successful and wonderful businesses get started that way!!

Each time we visit a new home liquidation, we always reflect on the sense of sadness we get, rummaging through someone’s life. There is a sacredness about an estate sale, a sense of closeness to a life you know nothing about, but also an idea that you can take their things and bring them new life and a new beginning. We try never to forget this as we scoop up our new treasures; they have a story to tell and we are honored to let our homes continue to tell these stories.

If you would like to visit Ebenezer’s next sale, where we PROMISE you will find something you can’t live without, just like their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EbenezerEstateSales. Tell ’em Brandie and Megan sent you!!

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Featured Vendor: Junkin’ on Main

The question we get most often, when new visitors enter our homes or view our photos for the first time, (Well, other than “Will you come decorate MY house?!”) is this: Where do you get all your stuff? So we thought it might be a good idea to feature some of our favorite thrift store/antique shop vendors. The first may well be our favorite.

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If you head on down US Highway 165 South, you’ll pass through several little, sleepy towns like Woodworth and Forest Hill. Keep going a few more minutes and you’ll come to Glenmora, where you’ll find one of the sweetest ladies you could ever meet, Tina Burnaman, housed at her place of business, Junkin’ on Main. It is always nice to have a great shop where you know new treasures are always circulating, but when that establishment also comes with the added bonus of amazing owners who you always look forward to seeing and chatting with, it doesn’t get much better than that. On our latest visit, we asked Ms. Tina to tell us the story of her little place and this is what she had to say:

I believe it was in 2002 when in full swing with our cafe, Reggie’s, that a sweet friend opened a flea market across the street from us. Twelve of us got booths with her and we all got started by cleaning out our houses…we were all garage sale junkies already! We had a grand time and made a little money for the next two years together. Then the Bill’s Dollar Store building came up for sale and, being connected to our cafe building, my sweet hubby Reg, bought it…after I begged him to…and Gathered Treasures Flea Market was finally a reality and a dream come true! Since it was right next door with adjoining walls to the cafe, we busted through the cinder blocks, installed a door ( I always loved Cracker Barrel’s idea: eat and shop all in one bldg) and the rest is history! We have been open for ten and a half years as of today and have had a ball! We started with seven “fleas” and myself and now, all these years later, we have expanded to all three buildings and have twenty-three “fleas!” Myself, Carla Naron, and Michelle McBride run the shop each weekend and several “fleas” are in and out every week helping us out! We started our Vintage Wedding and Event Rentals in April of 2013, and had rentals a part of twenty weddings, three showers, and several photo shoots. Already this year (2014) we have booked twenty-five weddings so far! We have a great time, have made life-long friends, and will never be rich because we take what we make and buy more…it’s the thrill of the hunt that we really enjoy!!! At times it’s a lot of work, but we love every minute of it – we just don’t move quite as fast as we did ten years ago -but we have followed this dream and Jesus has provided the way!!!

As you can see, Tina’s passion for all things old is right in line with ours! Here are some of our favorite finds from our latest trip:

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Junkin’ on Main is open Thursday – Saturday, 10 – 4.

You can check  out their Facebook page, but we promise you’ll enjoy a day trip and much more!

Tell Mrs. Tina we sent you!