Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Just a little jealous.

Being 6 foot 2 inches tall I have an advantage. It doesn't matter how much weight I lose or how much I exercise I will NEVER be able to fit into the rockin' vintage clothes we have in the shop. So I guess I am spared the agony of all the ladies that wistfully say "I used to be able to fit into a dress like that." On the other hand I am more than a little jealous. They just don't make them like that any more, you know?

SO cute! She actually ended up with a beaded drop waist dress from the 1930's. Looked like a movie star! These two ensembles are still in the shop. As of today at least! Have a fashionable day!
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sweets for the Sweet!

Cutest baby EVER! Maybe the little guys in your life MIGHT be cuter but Mama Becca of "Tea with Mrs. B" and I might disagree while our man models his brand new Christmas tree hat. Super cute! We had out 2nd annual art and gift market on Saturday. Lots of fun guest vendors and a couple in house favorites (visit out facebook page for more pics!).

We have been busy little elves pulling the vintage Christmas goodies out of the crafty cellar.  I am TRYING to pace myself on days like this but it is kind of like when you go car shopping "just to look" and come home with a new vehicle. 'Tis hard not to go nuts once you get started.  No one seems to be mind though...  Still feels like I am rushing the season a bit. Although one would never know it from watching TV!  I think I saw my first Christmas ad two days BEFORE Halloween. ugh.

I am SUPER excited about our new stock.  Almost to much to type.  will post more pics soon!Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 14, 2011

What's not there.

It's telling when the mundane crashes into the profound. 

No cute blog entry last week because all the awesome shots of Judy's daughter Haley looking marvelous in my oh so tiny vintage clothes somehow vanished from my camera. NEVER since I switched to digital as an entire file been deleted.  I am really at a loss to explain it.

Wednesday after tediously nagging my son about his missing, forgotten, misplaced shoes, homework, electronic devices etc. and explaining (again tediously) how when you have "issues" like my dyslexia one has to get in the habit of creating fail safes, adding columns three times, spell check et al I promptly misplaced my driver's licence, credit card and gift receipt for my husband's birthday gift because I had them in my pocket instead of the purse I was too lazy to carry into the store and now they are just gone. I am really at a loss to explain it.

Yesterday while meeting my friend Anna for lunch, she explained that one of the hard things about life after losing her 12 year old son to a freak flashflood is what's missing.  Hearing kids playing outside and knowing your kid isn't there.  They say time heals but I don't know how.  I really am at a loss to explain it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Things need to be tended.  Friendships, homes, children, marriages.  My husband & I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary and my best-sister-in-the-whole-world offered to take the kids so that we could tend to our relationship.  It's reassuring that the things that can really dork up a trip, rain, horrific traffic et al, seemed immaterial as we cruised down the road catching up with each other.  Terribly pleasant really knowing you are heading toward relaxation and not homework or in-law issues!
The weather broke Saturday night, just in time for us to mow the SHIN high grass before the sun went down.  OOOohhh, how romantic.

But indeed, a reminder that everything regular tending.  Lawns and marriages alike.  Love you honey!

Enjoy the last flower of summer.Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Which came 1st? The chicken or the egg?

The chicken or egg question is one for the ages but I think the modern version is "How come the more I do the more I have to do?" Kind of like the modern classic children's book - "If you give a mouse a cookie,he is going to want some milk to go with it and then..." I start out thinking a corner of the store looks frumpy or neglected and so I start cleaning it out. And then it leads to moving the furniture, rearranging the merchandise, and ranting about how I could have I let it get to this state?

The answer, for me, at least, is that I like to start things. Not maintain them,not finish them but I LOVE the chaos of taking the plan in my mind to bringing it to fruition. I am not sure if it just a way to seek approbation or some deeply developed psychosis about not being about to leave well enough alone! Let's face it you get a lot more "oohs" and "aahs" from completely rearranging the layout of the room than you get from dusting the place from top to bottom. If my defence, I DO clean when I am rearranging so maybe, just maybe "well enough" becomes better.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Stormy Times

The last 30 days have been some of the most tumultuous of my life. I have watched my husband's family have to make rapid, loving, and irrevocable decisions regarding their feisty mother's safety because of her rapidly fading memory.

I have been witness to the love, care and devotion exhibited when a chance step led to a fall that lead to the passing of a surrogate mom, "Great Dame", friend, artist and supporter.

And most shockingly, mourned with a whole community of believers as my dear friend Anna lost her 12 year old son in last week's flooding.
Words fail to express the sorrow I feel. The waves of emotion. The ability to truly pray unceasingly for the well-being of others. Honestly I didn't know I had it in me. My heart, along with many others is broken. Not so much for Dotty, Jackie and Jack. They are cared for, loved, or resurrected. But for those they have left behind who will miss them. Every day. It seems impossible that life will ever be right again.

The cover of Jack's program on Monday was his favorite Bible verse; words to cherish and inspire - Luke 1:37
For nothing will be impossible with God

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Watercolor Monotype Workshops at Stifel and Capra

Hot fun in the summertime! Workshops continued last week as 4 1st timers learned to handle Deborah Conn's printing press. "No, turn it the OTHER way".

Sixty dollars, 3 hours leave with new techniques and completed pieces of art.

What's not to love?

Debby's next class is August 16th. To register email Come play!
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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Happy Birthday to us! year 4 & Counting!

It takes a village that is for sure! Thank you to my sister Robin for picking up the yummy cakes (yes we ate TWO this big!) for the Birthday Bash last Thursday. Super enthusiastic crowd.

Some folks, like Diana, came to see what caught their fancy. Diana found paintings and accessories to fall in love with. I think she looks like a spokesmodel for us, don't you?

Willa came in with her girlfriends before lunching and scored not one but two Rough & Tumble Vintage dresses that looked like they were custom made for her!

We went through a case of bubbly, lots of sweaty hugs (102 outside. ugh!) and waves of well wishes. Thanks for everything. Yes, I am talking to you.
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Saturday Markets are fun, fun, fun!

We are starting off our monthly First Saturday Market with a BANG! The weather (unlike last year!) was gorgeous and we had quite of bit foot traffic that translated into lots of happy shoppers!

I dragged treasure hunter extraordinaire Betsy with me to the Eastern Shore and let her in on some of my "secret places" as we loaded up my Ford and hauled everything back home, cleaned it up, got it tagged and on the floor before FIRSTfriday. WHEW! I think I hurt myself. But it was all worth it as we had a record 4th of July weekend crowd at STifel & Capra for a FIRSTfriday. Lots of fun.

Kelly of Stylish Patina loaded TWO pickup truck loads into the parking lot to the delight of passersby. Want to see more? Visit her new boutique in the corner of the shop!

And check out the newest offerings from Freshly Pressed and Interlachen Soak Co. Me? Off to the beach with a car of teenagers for the weekend. Pray for me.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tinner Hills Blues Festival Comes to Stifel & Capra!

Ed & Nikki Graves Henderson really know how to throw a party! The second weekend of June was Tinner Hill Blues Festival Weekend . Stifel & Capra had the privelege of hosting award winner author Carole Boston Weatherford as she did a reading from her haunting poetry novel "Becoming Billie Holiday".  We had a small but enthusiastic crowd. (Think Carole may have been a bit surprised when we sold all of the books she brought!). 
Carole gave a lovely talk about her writing process, how Billie has always been a muse to her and how the book came together. Carole's voice took a resonance as she fielded questions from the audience. Delightful interaction.


Providing more than just background was the accomplished blues guitarist and vocalis Eleanor Ellis. Accompanied by compadre Pearl on the harmonica, Eleanor played selected tracks from her new cd "Comin' a Time". It is always a singular experience to hear live music and I thoroughly enjoyed the interplay between Pearl & Eleanor as they played. More than a little jealous of that skill...  See more about Eleanor at

 If fact I was enamoured I dragged my husband Bob out to the Mad Fox the next night to hear Eleanor play at the Mad Fox tavern downt he street. IF you haven't been yet and you love a good craft brew. Find your way down Broad Street. The fried pickles are worthy, although not on ANYONE's "good eating" plan. 

Am posting more shots from the evening on Stifel & Capra's Facebook Page:!/pages/Stifel-and-Capra-Art-and-Ornament-for-your-Wonderful-Life/91596978896

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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Playing with TAP

Mixed media maven and art Coach Lesley Riley lends her name to a fun new product called "TAP" artist transfer paper.  Recently took a one day seminar on all of the different ways one could use the product.  It;s very versatile and transfer equally well from soft surfaces (like the fabric postcard above)  to the copper bird below (although I must admit, this is NOT the best example, I got distracted and got the metal and the transfer a little crispy!).

My art challenge of the week was to take the samples I made in class and utilize them in art work.  These three are my favorite images from Lesley's collections.  The balance of the samples will probably end up as layers as I am not loving them enough to make them features of a piece as I did below with the "best girl" on the slop rag paper towel.  I think I actually like her best!

We had a FANTASTIC FIRSTfriday last weekend and kicked off our 1stSaturday Market as well.  Beautiful weather and lots of fun.  I will post photos from Wendy Wehmeyer's colossal Rough & Tumble Vintage Collection later today.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Freedom to Create - I am Back

The nice thing about signing up for something (a concert,a game, an event) way in advance is that when the time comes up on the calender you HAVE to go whether it is convenient or not.  Happily, my latest version of this was the Art & Soul Retreat down in Hampton, VA. I carpooled with my Stifel & Capra colleague Christine of Society Hill Design . 

I really lucked out because I abhor driving and for the price of a tank of gas Chris drove the whole way, hooray!  The excellent traffic boded well for the event.  The retreat too went super smoothly.  Everything was easy to find, the people were lovely, the instructors informative, the food? well it was an Embassy Suites after all so we will make allowances there.  I learned a LOT while I was away but one of the most interesting sessions I took was by a gentleman named Jesse Reno.

Jesse is a former musician turned full time artist and he led a class called "Freedom to Create".  Leading was more like herding cats.  Imagine a group of 27 women, average age 62 (and that is with me being 50!) all kibitzing and commenting, all in a positive way of course!  Jesse's loving response? "Dude, shut the ()^)*&^& up, these other folks came to hear me not you!"  Jesse had a lot to say about his creative process, the cold turkey shift from music to art and how to live the proverbial artist's life.  It was really inspiring to hear someone with no excuses.  Although I received the info a bit wistfully as I seem to be full of excuses these days.

We did two exercises, the first of which involved pumping red, blue, yellow, white & black paint onto a plastic plate and painting with our hands.  This was a little traumatic for some manicured ladies.  My hang-up?  mixing paint.  But I went into this thinking that I was "just going to use these papers for collage backgrounds" so I really went at it with abandon, dare I say freedom?  Making BIG, messy pieces on paper felt great, non precious and with nothing to lose I was rather thrilled how my pieces came out.  In keeping with my new resolution to actually FINISH things I start,I came home, harassed my lovely neighbor Beth into matting my pieces for me, hung them on FIRSTfriday, and darn if one of them didn't sell!  I am so proud.  Proud I did something new, proud I actually got them on the wall and even prouder that the pieces actually spoke to someone.  Life is good.  Posted by Picasa

Friday, April 1, 2011

Hey Gang!

I didn't realize I was taking a "blogiday" but apparently I am.  Everything's great,just overcome by all the events of the day(s).  Will be back soon.  Tons has been happening.  Please stay with me...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

They are selling like well, ducks...

It's always fun when I get hoisted by my own petard.  The last time Robin and Nancy hand delivered a batch of Nancy's cute as a button crocheted critters I remarked that she didn't need to leave me any more ducks as we had a flock.  So they didn't leave any.  So we sold out four days later.  Serves me right.  There are more coming soon.  Teenage girls bought the last three.  One has his own Facebook Page.  So sue me.
FIRSTfriday was it's normal WAY fun.  Had a great, albeit later crowd of fun-sters.  Falls Church Arts threw a retro dance party as a fundraiser down at the Creative Cauldron space so the crimped haired, skinny tie kids that came in were fun to watch.  I refrained ALL evening from making a "Hey, I wore that in 1985" comment.  So proud of my restraint...
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