Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I"m Dreaming of a White (and Red) Window and Party!

It's odd. I'm excited.
NOT that I am a bah humbug..not even close but for the past 7 years or so the Holidays have been...let's just say... a leetle bit underwhelming.

I have been really trying this year to be stocked and ready for holiday shopping.
I've been slowly cleaning out "the design studio" and I can actually find things to create with now.
It's been a while since I have thrown myself into creating (see first paragraph)
and I have been working on creating one of a kind Christmas ornaments and will showcase them in my Holiday Window.
UPDATE....I purchased some handmade $^&*#@s from another Etsy seller who sadly did not complete them and ship them in time for me to use them to decorate my window..(shame on you Megan)
so I have had to recreate the window (argh the pressure)...thus the ornaments are in the shop on an inside tree NOT in my window display :0(

BUT I am still up for this....

I have nervously accepted the challenge of entering my shop window in the annual "Boonton Window Walk".
If your window is chosen, you get a very nice ribbon.
On First Friday in December (the 2nd) our windows will be revealed to everyone and you can fill out a ballot in any shop.
Customers and "window walkers" get to vote on which window they like best.
The winner will be pulled on December 11th.
Now I know I am not going to win, but it gives me a reason to put forth some effort into my window.
(I'm excited but scared)
The truth is....this is only the second Christmas I have EVER had a window to display in...so it isn't my strong suit.
 (Im kinda bad....read reaaaallly bad... at it)
I want to stick with the theme of my shop so everything in the display will be:
One of a Kind Hand Painted Furniture, Recycled, Repurposed, Hand Made or Vintage.
Without giving it away I will say there will be....
Lots of White.....and Red. My all time favorite, tried and true, never get sick of color combo for Christmas.
I will post pics after the big "reveal"....
(OMG I hope I can actually pull it together,what I see in my mind does not always come together)

In honor of the holidays this "First Friday"and the big reveal I will be serving tons of "Holiday Cheer".
Nooo Noo everyoneeee despite the hit last month my chocolate martinis won't be doing a repeat performance. Think eggnog and spiced cider and holiday punch. And fooood food. NOT just dessert.
I havent decided what I will make yet
(I am still focused on my window display)

I hope you can make it.
BUT if you can't December 9th THE Domestic Goddess herself will be hosting
"White Night" at Savannah Hope Vintage
late night shopping from 6-8
we will again have Holiday Cheer (yay) ....Champagne, and all white food.
We will be doing a White Elephant so wrap up a (nice or funny) regift. YOU know you have a special closet for these things.... we all do....so go dig in and pull one out. wrap it up and bring it.
It'll be fun....I promise.

The Big Reveal......

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Recycle Repurpose Reuse....old door knobs

I'll start by saying "wish I had a fiver for every time a person walked into my shop with their friend and announced..."Oh, I can do that" or "oh YOU can make that Lillian...it's so easy"
Yep, I kid you not....."they" say it OUT LOUD in my retail shop.
Now I never ever stake claim to ANY of my creations....lets face it the truth is...nothing is ever "New". My things are made from objects on hand (trust me I have a HUGE stash of stuff that will have a use someday). I have difficulty throwing things away...and many a time I have been called out by friends when I am about to toss something in the trash and I give it the "second look over" to think "can I reuse this in some way".
BUT seriously, out loud in my shop......STOP.
one word R E S P E C T.
I work very very hard to make enough (not there yet but soon) to take take care of us. It's really hard.
So trust me ladies and I say this with L O V E 
I knoooooo you can make it (cause I did) but this is my business so please take those comments outside. Talk amongst yourselves when I can't actually hear it. And please pleaseee create....copy, make...I don't care...in fact I am super happy if I inspire you. Just don't insult me for trying to do what you are not yet doing....
(Please see last post for tirade disclaimer)
Soooo I needed a coat hook for my entranceway in this old Victorian I live in. 
(one day Ill post some pics cause if I ever get to finishing decorating it will be pretty cool.)
And I thought....hummmm old door knobs (check) crusty shabby switch plates (check) and secret ingredient (epoxy shhhh) ...and waah laaa

(yep thats my winter coat still hung from the huge snowstorm on Halloween week end)

cute huh....and I made some for the shop...you can see them here:

Create. Inspire. Joy

Sunday, November 6, 2011

For All The Girls.....at "Girls Night Out"

Hey Ladies... I hope by now you have at least begun to breeze through my blog. 
I know, I am long winded, get off topic easily and somehow make stories seem like reading from the dictionary.
I wasn't always like this. Over the past 10 years two things happened that made me this way.
1. My daughter began to think for herself. (when I say she will negotiate annnnything...I am not exagerating. You have no idea how exhausting it is)
2. I was in a relationship with an attorney.
I will say no more. But trust that I am trying to undue the years of listening to lonnnnng drawn out (read BORING, eyes glazing over snorefest) conversations with the attorney, and pare it all down to the point being made in as few sentences as possible. But for now, please humor me and try to speed read to the good parts.
This past Friday was yet another "First Friday" in Boonton.
Our theme was "Girls Night Out".
I decided to roll with the girlie thing and serve choco latte all night long.
Good move, verrry good.Chocolate Martinis, cupcakes, marshmallows(yep made em myself) and Mr Mustache pops. HUGE HIT!

I am also fortunate enough to call The Domestic Goddess Tiffany Palisi my friend and she just so happened to be launching a new product. She agreed to allow me to carry her line, and come to my shop First Friday to launch.
Holy Good Night! Am I lucky or what??
I have to say I was prepared this time. I moved the furniture around a bit created more space and crossed my fingers hoping and hoping people would come. I needed a good showing for my friend.
(aaaand her amazing candles)
(event window display)

Well YOU ALL came!
What a night! I can't speak for every shop owner but there were people in my shop all night looong!
I met some really cool people, and I had a great time!
Thank You ALL.....thank you for showing up and supporting "The Little Town That Could"!!!
 NOW, RIGHT NOW....mark your calendars for First Friday next month December 2nd.......
You will not be disappointed!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Red Hot Furniture....

I spend many mannnny hours painting furniture. My signature color is Benjamin Moore Linen White. Everyone loves it, as do I. 
But I want to expand. I want to offer more choices for everyone. More styles of furniture, and different looks.....and COLOR!
Occasionally, when I find the right piece I do it in Aqua. It's always a hit and finds a good home as does my Fresh Butter Yellow.
Every time I am at my Benjamin Moore paint store I sift through the paint chips to find just the right new color, so often, that I need to find a way to recycle them (bookmarks maybe?). Fear and what ifs prevent me from venturing forth and buying THE color I love in that moment.....
"if it's not broken don't fix it right?"
 I need to break out of this safe place I have created for myself and my customers.
One day I was feeling kind of well, spicy.... and hit upon a color.
The perfect Red.
I took a chance and did a cute desk Dean had just found for me.
A few coats of paint, heavy heavy distress and my custom glaze.
I adored this desk. I looked at it constantly through the day, each day....until...
The oh so fabulous Domestic Goddess just happened in (a week after the desk was finished) and snatched it up.

I'm happy it has a great home, but I do miss it. (still)
I searched for "just the right piece" to do in the same color.
And then found this....
Same color, less distress a bit more refined with an Asian feel. It's in my shop window..check it out!
NOW.... I just brought in yet another piece that I am feeling Red for....it's an old washstand with lots and lots of spindles (verrrry difficult) and it's just the right kind of piece that would great in a bathroom. In Heathers (from PRV, wink) farmhouse perhaps?
But is Distressed Red too bold for a bathroom?
Yesterday I finished it, all it needs is a coat of wax.
What do you think??

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Girls Night Out" Introducing The Domestic Goddess Line: Candles and Cards, by Tiffany Palisi

The first Friday of every month is not surprisingly called "First Friday" in Boonton. It's the night businesses stay open late often hosting some sort of Theme or event.
 (read booze, food and give aways...um, yay)
First Friday of November is coming next week.
Our theme this month is "Girl's Night Out". 
Most of the businesses in town will be holding events and give aways meant to give all you girls a little bit of local fun.

I will be celebrating "Girl's Night Out" in SHV with Chocolate Martinis and Lots and Lots of Chocolate Desserts (all made by moi)

In addition to (and much more important than) the Chocolate excess,THE Domestic Goddess Tiffany Palisi will be launching her new product line.

You are all cordially invited:

At Savannah Hope Vintage 906 Main St, Boonton

I hope you have the opportunity to come out and meet my friend and enjoy some Chocolate Decadence. Chocolate martinis, cakes and candies will be overflowing.

Her candles smell so FAB U LOUS I want to eat them.
She creates them all (read she actually blends the scents and hand pours the candles herself), and has put thought into their impact on our world, using recyclable packaging and clean burning wax.

Her cards are understated and ooze the love and joy Tiffany puts forth in life.
If you can't make it to Boonton November 4th you can check out her products online here:

"DG" is one of my most favorite people. She has a heart bigger than anyone I know and always ALWAYS focuses on the good in the world.
 (not to mention a total babe!)
So please please support her and her new products they are sure to be a hit not only at SHV but everywhere!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

What's New (repurposed)

Several Months ago, at a local auction I came upon a box of vintage sheet music. 
I had to have it to add to my "ephemera stash".
I had no clue what I was going to do with it......but I was determined to have the winning bid.
I bid, I won....
The sheet music sat and sat.

While getting ready for the Art Walk (and Fall/Christmas) shoppers I wanted to offer something new....something I made(other than furniture that is)
I pulled out some sheet music and starting thinking...
I have seen vintage sheet music used for so many different things. Fabulous Decoupaged shelves like the ones Heather at postroadvintage.com creates.......OR
the cute paper chain garlands made by Claire at www.etsy.com/shop/MontclairMade
So soooo many cool fun things out there.
Then it hit me.
A while back I purchased "chip clips" from my friend and the oh so fabulous Domestic Goddess TP yes this DG  ( thedomesticgoddessfiles.blogspot.com  )        
  she had the genius idea to take clothespins and stamp them with cute sayings and sell them as chip clips. We are on the same page as far as reducing waste and the lowering the use of "forever" plastic in our lives.
 These chip clips are great, I love them.... soooo I stole her idea (thank you DG) and decoupaged the sheet music to clothespins.

I am also in the process of making bows (like the ones we all buy by the bag at Christmas) and package tags too!  I want to offer a cool repurposed alternative for gift wrap.
Lets face it Christmas is such a time of excess. We often spend more than we should or can afford just to make the holiday special. And then we spend some more on gift wrap that we use to make the boxes look pretty, only to have it ripped off and thrown in the trash.
It's wasteful, and really not necessary.
I challenge all of you to make different choices this Holiday Season.
(and in your life)

(packaged in 100% biodegradable glassine bags)

As an example:
This past Saturday I went to a bridal shower. I can't remember the last one I had been to. I was invited because I am "Deans other". Quite honestly, I was shocked when I got the invite. I mean I know his future niece but I am really kind of "optional" as far as the "should" of who to invite from his family.
I was really happy to go, very excited. Of course I went on the registry and choose things from her list. It was fun. BUT how do I wrap it? For me it is no longer an option to go out an purchase one time use wrapping paper.

Soooo I scented the sheet music (hey it's from the 40s it does not smell that great) and wrapped all of her gifts in sheet music and kraft paper and added vintage seam binding as ribbon and used the handmade bows and tags.

The boxes were a hit and Carolynes mom is going to reuse some of the sheet music for her photo album.
It was such a hit I decided to offer premade decoupaged boxes with the vintage seam binding ribbon, bow and tags for sale to use for small gift wrapping. (think jewelry boxes)

Sooo Have fun, think outside the box....

"You Must Be The Change You Wish To See In The World".... Mahatma Gandhi.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

If Martha Says It's Hot......Is It (Really) Hot?

The truth is I still love Martha. Well maybe not looooveee...
 (I heard she is not very nice, and there is the whole lying thing) but I do respect her.

She built a HUGE company doing what I love to do. She succeeded.
 She made money doing what she loved.
(then she got so big she hired people to do the work but thats not what MY blog is about, my blog is about me and my little shop.....)

When Savannah was a baby she did everything before she was supposed to. She walked before 9 months....and barely spoke until she spoke sentences. It was funny, actually. Almost like she needed to sort it all out and get it right the first time.
She was not yet 3. I watched Martha at noon many days. One day we were in the grocery store and she announced "look mommy it's Martha Stewart" as she pointed to her Living magazine. I probably still have that magazine.

I read her magazine from cover to cover for many years. "Good Things" and the collecting article were always my favorites. I liked the cute ideas that were quick and well, different. (I still use some today) And the collecting ohhh ahhh....well one day when you are over I will show you my dishes. Now... I HAVE paired down quite a bit but I can say with a fair amount of certainty that I do own at least 9 sets of dishes. I do have other collections too, perhaps one day I will give my readers a peek.

And so, As a pottery, china and glass collector (and dealer) for the past...sheesh I don't know I started in about 1985...almost 30 years I still follow the trends.

one simple word....
More specifically Anchor Hocking Fire King Jade-ite. Jadite is how it is more commonly known.
AHHHH Jadite.

Martha did a spread many years ago.Before and since I have bought and sold many pieces. And last month she did another article. 
So is it (really) hot? 
Yes, yes and yes. More so than I think in a lonnnnnggg time. 
So today I share with you my new display of Fire King Jade-ite. Most can be purchased during my regular business hours.

Jadite was first produced in the 30s by McKee Glass. Jeanette Glass was first to CALL it "Jadite" But Anchor Hocking produced the most Jade-ite (the most popular Fire King Line), and production went from the 40s into the 70s.
Fire King Jade-ite comes in many patterns. By far the most collectible today are the Charm pattern and restaurant wear. Charm is mostly unmarked (there were never any fakes produced to my knowledge) and recognizable by the square pattern. Restaurant wear is almost always marked and is very thick and heavy
There are some rare sets and other pieces that command very high prices.
Check out Living magazine last month for the spread.You will see a few pieces like the ones in the mag, in my shop. And rumor has it that the fabulous lady chef with southern twang also has collection.
As for me, the truth is Jade-ite has never been my favorite, so no collection for me.
 (But.. I have eaten many a meal on Jade-ite  as I amassed a set for Dean, and he just loves it!)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Art Walk 2011 and the little town that could.

Friday night our little town had it's Annual Art Walk. I have only had my business here for nearly 2 years so I am not quite sure how many "Art Walks" there have been....but this is the first I have heard of.
NOW, first things first....It was a HUGE success! Huge!
(which was quite the surprise to many all of the retailers who participated.)
For those of you who follow my new blog and have never actually been into my shop let me paint the picture (pun intended, wink) of Boonton "the little town that could" and my business.
I first came upon Boonton while driving right down Main Street to get to another town (Mountain Lakes). It was the most direct and easiest way to get to the park I was going to.
You see, I was training to run a marathon (yep 26.2 miles) in San Francisco (of all places) as my symbol of endurance to raise money to help fund the cure for cancer and Mountain Lakes was where my team trainings were. (running for 3, 4 and 5 hours alone is very NOT fun)
So over the course of 5 months most Saturday or Sunday mornings I would drive through Boonton and look at the Historic old buildings ohhing and ahhing saying things like "this town is so cute...it just needs more cool shops and it would be great.
Before that I had never heard of Boonton, in fact, I did not know that the plastic dinnerware from the 50s that I collected for yeeears called Boontonware was actually MADE IN BOONTON. Ha.

When it was time to make a business decision to either move my business or close up shop I decided to take a chance on Boonton. (the rents were cheap by NJ standards and for less money than I was paying I would have a storefront on Main St.)
I settled for a space that was large enough (and cheap enough) for me. I had my heart on a space in the "flat" part of town (Boonton along with it's Main St was built on hills  mountains.) but the landlords wanted rent that was not relative to "the going rate" for the town...so I passed on the Pink Victorian and moved "down the hill".
Great Move for me and Savannah and I quickly moved to Boonton and settled in.
The town like my business was and is struggling to create a name for itself and succeed as many small quaint destination towns do.
My lease was up, I checked on the "Pink Victorian" again (still vacant after 1.5 years.) and settled on a number and moved the business uptown.

Even better move for me as I am now 5 months into my lease and can actually see the possibility to create enough income to provide for myself and Savannah.
Since I have moved to 906 Main 2 new Art Galleries opened, and 2 new interior designers set up shop.

Most importantly, most of the business owners are working together to support each other and create the buzz needed for people to find us.

We all pitched in and talked up our Art Walk.
 The 5 Galleries, Skyclad Gallery, S.H.E Gallery, SpeakEasy Gallery, Compton Gallery and Broadfoot and Broadfoot held receptions with food and drinks.
The other shops like myself featured Art from the other galleries and had guest artists in house. (and also had lots of food and bubbly)
We created a brochure, (props to Nancy at S.H.E Gallery all her doing) Union Center Bank funded our advertising and we all had our place on the "walk".
Again we all pitched in and talked and facebooked and emailed our Art Walk.
We had lines out our doors, and met many many people we have never seen before in Boonton.
Many times during the night I heard "WOW" I never knew there were so many great shops in Boonton.
"OH my gosh I LOVEE this store"
All the business owners were filled with excitement  shock and awe at the turn out. hahaha.

So for today I am still excited over our Art Walk.
Our town is well on it's way to "destination recognition".
And for me, this is all more than I could even imagine.

Boonton, the little town that could is well on it's way to being the next Frenchtown, New Hope or Lambertville...........because we simply, unequivocally  won't give up, until it is.

I (heart) Boonton.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Is it Fall YEEEET?....

About this time every year I get a bit melancholy. Summer is over. That makes me sad. I love Summer. But I love Fall too. So eventually I get over it and get on with thoughts of apple picking and fires in the fireplace...and warm and cosy.
This year, Summer dragged on..First time ever. 
I am waiting patiently for Fall. I decided NOT to analyze this (for once) and to just accept and move forward.
So I am placing my orders with my artists to have enough inventory for the Holidays.
And Create. And Create. And Create.
I am trying to make some new, fun, recycled or repurposed things for gift giving.
I see so much possibility in things and want to try to make so much...
But this is what I have come up with so far....
 Dessert servers made from recycled Vintage China

And Pumpkins......
 Made from Vintage Chenille Bedspreads

And Recycled Sweaters 
Oh sooo Cute!
I am thrilled with the first bunch and I will be making more over the next few days.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint...At this point, it's a love hate thing..

The truth is I am having a love hate relationship with my new chalk paint. From what I read...it's the rage. The HOT thing, it's IN, it's NOW....I'm not sure why.

Whenever I think "OH I don't like that" I remember something Dean always says..."if I don't like it, it doesn't mean it's not good, it just means I don't understand it. :0/

HUMMM. Well, I still don't understand chalk paint. But I won't give up. I will continue to try new techniques. Because as I have witnessed, the plusses...are really great plusses. You can paint over anything. YEP anything. The paint takes. What does this mean..for someone who spends the majority of her days sanding and preping before painting...it means less work. So this is great! But the colors are limited to 25 or so. And they don't make Linen White, Old White is close...but different. And everyone just loves my Linen White.

So I need to learn new techniques, that work with the differences in this paint.It's hard. I am struggling.

As I continue to produce one of a kind custom orders for my very fabulous and loyal customers (who I secretly think are trying oh so hard to make sure I don't go under and become homeless) in Ben Moore linen White I search for inspiration to create....something...well different.

Stop by the shop and check out the pieces in my window. Let me know what you think.

Cause at this point I am just not sure if I've nailed it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Beginning

Many Many people come into Savannah Hope Vintage and say OHHH how fun it must be to live your dream. Now I'm not saying I hate what I do.....But MY DREAM? no, not really. What's the saying..."Necessity is the mother of all invention?" well THAT is me. Out of necessity I create.

So here's the story (an abridged version of course)

I have been creating for as long as I can remember. Making "Art" has always been a part of my every day. And yet I never had formal training and have never considered myself an "Artist"

While I have not painted (on canvas) or drawn in my sketch book in quite some time I still have the need to create.

My chosen profession just out of high school was Hair Styling. Yes, that is correct. I was a stylist in top salons in Fort Lee and Englewood for the majority of 20+ years. I created on a daily basis.

After Savannah was born, I realized (as a divorced mom with little family support) over time that my child, when she was sick, was far more important in THAT day, then 8 to 10 ladies haircuts. Sadly, my bosses did not agree and thus I decided to find another way to support us, so I could be the best mom I could be to Savannah.

The inbetween gets "sticky" and complicated sooo suffice it to say in 2008 a few things came together.

I opened Savannah Hope Vintage in an Antique Center in Midland Park (Bergen County). Now I wasn't refinishing furniture at that point. I was operating as an Antique Shop. As I will explain in another post, I have been a collector of American Pottery, China and Glass from the 1900s to the 60s for about 25 years.

After one year I realized I was not only going to be unable to pay my bills operating in that location, but barely paying my shop rent.

SO in December of 2009 I came to Boonton. All the really cool furniture sets from the 20s 30s and 40s were not selling so I thought hey, let me give "Shabby Chic" a try. And it happened.

The truth is...I really did not know what I was doing at first, but like most everything I know, I taught myself "the how tos".

I am still just "the light at the end of the tunnel" distance away from being able to support Savannah and I with my business. But every day, every week, every month, I try and improve and make SHV a cooler, cuter, and funner (lol) place to shop.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


I have been tossing around the thought of having a blog about the shop for a while. I am nervous and excited at the same time.
I'm not much of a writer, yet I feel I have many stories that need (or that I waant) to be told.
I'm not going to start with much today, however I do hope you will follow along ....