Monday, August 18, 2014

From the Hoop: Making it Official

I bought my sewing and embroidery machine one year ago. I imagined doing a lot of work for other people, but spending a lot of time monogramming my own items. That hasn't really happened. From the moment I posted my first test items (Marc's shorts!), I had requests for designs or monograms from friends. I loved doing those "jobs" and I put the word in quotes because they didn't seem like work.

After a few months, I started jumping in on "group buys" to get more interesting items to embroider. Group buys are organized by people with wholesale accounts when they can't meet a minimum required by a dealer. The tote bags I monogrammed in the spring that were so popular were part of a group buy.

As the year has gone by, more and more signs have been pointing to making Beloved Thread official. There were several hoops (hoops...embroidery...haha...get it?)through which I had to jump, but I registered with the federal, state, and local governments in recent weeks. I have a few more items to check off on my "to do" list, but as far as some government agencies are considered, I'm official. Yikes!

I changed from having a Facebook group to having a more official business page. I'd love to have your "like" on the Beloved Thread page! Of course, if you want to see all the posts on a page, you have to hit "get notifications" (as opposed to a group, where you always get the updates).

I still haven't gone to Etsy. I'm not sure I will after reading more about it. Between the fees and the painful process of posting items, I'm not sure it's for me at this point. After all, I love doing work for friends or friends of friends. For now, I have a store on an newer Etsy-like site called Storenvy. The reason I went to them was that they allowed the store to be integrated into the Facebook page. That should make it much, much easier for people to pay for items.

Thanks for your positive comments on my embroidery posts this year. It's a bit of a departure from my regular blog content, but it's been a fun part of my life this year!
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Friday, August 15, 2014

Shop Tour: The Kellogg Collection (and a new light fixture!)

I stopped into The Kellogg Collection in Richmond the other day on a whim. I was actually going from the Shades of Light Outlet (Decorator's Outlet) in Midlothian to Ruth & Ollie in Carytown, but when I recognized the shopping center on River Road and turned in.

The Kellogg Collection isn't really my style. At least, that's what I decided over ten years ago when I stopped into the McLean location. I think I may have also been in the Richmond location before as well. Back then, I decided the store was stuffy and to formal. Maybe it was back then or maybe I was going through a casual stage.

This time around, I was admiring one item after the next, happily snapping pictures as I walked through the store. I love how they use area rugs to define the different vignettes in the store.












Blue and white pottery has been back for about a year now. I regret selling all of mine when I got rid of the big armoire that used to hold my TV. That was one of the pitfalls of the condo. There wasn't a place to store items I wasn't presently loving. I wish I had just tucked all that pottery away. I'd be using it now!




The designers on staff were working with a customer, so the swatch books were out and about.





We're in the market for a few more rugs, but I'm not going to buy another rough, flatweave rug. I loved the mix that they had in their rug area.


One of the staff members let me know that they are having a sale right now. You can take 20% off any item of your choice! That made me revisit a light fixture I had admired when I first walked in the door.


They have a take-home policy that lets customers try items out at home without buying them and that was offered to me, but I was certain the light was perfect for our front hall.  After some googling, I found out that it's made by Aiden Gray. Per the company website, And George right here in Charlottesville also carries their line.

I can't wait to get it hung in the front hall!


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Monday, August 11, 2014

Efex Decorative Latex Trim and Appliques at Sisters Unique

While visiting Marc's mother at the beach a couple weeks ago, I asked if we could stop into Sisters Unique, one of my favorite home stores in the area, located in Newport News. Though they had just received a massive shipment of new merchandise and were busy resetting the entire store, they welcomed us inside to look around.

I posted a "shop tour" entry about Sisters Unique last year and a lot has changed since then! One quadrant of the store has changed into a workshop. Sisters Unique is now teaching decorative painting classes! They've started carrying Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, which has been pretty popular among bloggers for years, but seems to be getting a lot of mainstream attention these days (an Annie Sloan dealer also recently opened here in Charlottesville). Owner Joy Kaminski showed me around the workshop area and then pointed out a really ingenious product from New Zealand that they are selling in the shop and in their online store.

Efex Decorative Latex Appliques are flexible pieces that you can glue to a surface and paint over. They are flexible and even stretch a little bit. Once painted, they look like original decorative pieces. The most amazing part: the price. Most of the pieces I saw were $6-14.

They can be used to make pieces like these, from Efex's Pinterest page:






Here are some of the examples on display at Sisters Unique:



 The selection covers so many different styles.







The two below the frame in the picture below can be used under hardware on a dresser or alone as decorative pieces.







I'm so excited to experiment with a few pieces! These could take your next hack to a totally different level.

City Center at Oyster Point
701 Mariners Row
Newport News, VA
(757) 595-9355
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Friday, August 8, 2014

Our Woods are Thinning

One Wednesday night, I heard the most spectacular noise while I was cleaning. I couldn't decide if someone was trying to break a door down or if there was some sort of accident outside.

When I looked out to the back of the property, I saw a massive limb from one of our trees laying across a shed that we don't use. Our neighbor came running and we talked for a minute about all of the old trees around and how had had to take some down around his property several years ago.

It was getting late, so I told him that I'd call Marc (who was at a work function) and we'd take care of it the next day, which was yesterday.


Marc went over to assess the situation Thursday morning and he was gone for well over an hour. I got curious and went over to our neighbor's house. That shed is right at the line between our properties and I kind of assumed there were just some leaves and things on his side. I was wrong. The limb was way bigger than I thought. You can see the shed through the trees on the left of this picture. This is after Marc has been cutting the limb up for a while.



Here's the scary thing: there was no storm. There wasn't even any wind. This massive limb just fell.

So much of the limb was exposed that it smelled like freshly cut wood in the yard. It reminded me of being in a wood shop or in the lumber section of the hardware store.


Our neighbor's driveway was full of debris. The limb took down a lot of smaller branches as it fell. Luckily, none of our neighbors' cars were hit. 


 If you look at the top of the tree in the middle of this picture, you can see where the limb was originally attached to the tree. The small tree in front of it has no branches anymore.



The number of acorns in our neighbors' driveway was amazing. It might sound silly, but it was hard to walk around because there were so many of them.



We kept thinking about how lucky we were that the limb didn't hurt anyone, hit a house, or a car. Our neighbors are avid gardeners, so they are outside all the time working on their plants.


Marc was able get the smaller branches off their driveway with a saw attachment that goes on his trimmer. This weekend, he'll use a chain saw to remove the rest.


 Needless to say, we're looking to bring a crew in to take the tree and a couple others in the back part of the property down. We had already talked to one group about doing some work in our front and side yards, but I think we'll have to get the backyard taken care of as soon as possible.

I was going to spend next week painting the kitchen, but I think we need to focus on getting the tree situation under control.


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Monday, August 4, 2014

Shop Tour: International Tile and Marble

Marc and I were in Hampton Roads visiting his mother last week (and we happened to see some awesome concerts while we were there). One afternoon, we went to the International Tile and Marble showroom in Newport News, VA to find tile for my mother-in-law's new fireplace wall.

I have to admit that when we walked in,I saw a lot of trendy glass tile and plenty of rustic stone around.






I actually liked this tile for my mother-in-law's house. Her style is a little more modern than mine.


After a minute, I turned to my left and saw the most beautiful wall of tile.


I recognized some of the tile as New Ravenna tile. New Ravenna is made on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Probably the most local tile you can get for us in Virginia!









They also had a beautiful display of Porcelanosa tile from Spain.






Then there was a massive display of tile. I couldn't even fit it all in the picture.


While my mother-in-law shopped and signed out samples, I flipped through the gorgeous New Ravenna catalog. I was too afraid to ask how much my favorite cost.





Of course, now I'm itching to start working on one of our bathrooms! That might be the next big project!

1761 Rock Landing Drive
Newport News, VA 23606
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