Friday, June 7, 2013

A Day At Brooklyn Flea (Ft Greene)

Growing up in Bergen County was painful for me.
I often felt like I did not belong. Like a misfit, weirdo, and odd.
Lucky for me I was very good at sports and rather than gravitate to the other "odd ones"...
(you know them, every generation has them, back then they were pseudo hippies, DeadHeads, potheads and freaks.) 
 I fought my way through childhood by being quiet, sporty and mostly hanging out with boys.

High School was equally painful if not more so, just keeping my head down trying to somehow fit.
I spent many a day/night in the walk in closet in my room, reading Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King, drawing, painting,writing and creating. Or even watching TV. I was obsessed with commercials....
(I had to share a room with my sister who was 5 years younger, total culture shock, it was bad)

To this day, I maintain sports and art saved me.

On the outside everything "seemed" pretty normal, but I never felt normal.

I'm not sure exactly when it happened but eventually I got comfortable in my own skin and realized that  all the creative "ones' felt exactly the same.
At that point I started hanging out with people "like me" and all was good in the world.

And sooooo...
 From the second I stepped foot on the schoolyard in Ft. Greene I was in love.

But let me backtrack a bit...
When I closed SHV I knew (quickly) that I had to have another way to have cash flowing in to
 *eh hem, pay the bills.
Having done markets in the past, I knew this was a sure way for me to make money on a regular basis.
Yep, it's extremely hard work, yep, I was not really ready. But I had to put on my "big girl pants" and have a go.
So, knowing a few people in the "biz" I asked around. I knew it was a busy market and I am only 25 mins away (including cutting through Manhattan)
So I contacted them, sent in some pics......and they "picked me"
Woo hoo.

Now what...

The first week end was ROUGH....
I had to rent a van for 3 days, load, unload, load, unload, load and unload again
Not easy.

From the second I stepped onto the schoolyard in Ft Greene, I was in love.
Every single thing about this was right.
It took me about 5 hours to unload and organize my stuff, I was a nervous wreck.
But customers came, and came and came.

After about 1pm I was able to actually sit down and have a look around.
Everyone was just so absolutely cool, and artsy and well, cool.
I spent the rest of the day with a smile on my face talking to customers, meeting other super nice vendors and people watching.
My things were photographed and I got a great blurb on the Flea blog.

Isn't it wonderful when you can be happy and content in a moment. I mean totally present, feeling every inch of an experience.

So as I mentally and physically prepare for another day "At The Flea" in a couple of weeks, I can't help but be excited at the prospect of another day of pure joy, saturated, by smells (Asia Dog, Dough and Pizza Moto), sights (the dapper hipster guys in their too small suits, the "whats hot in collecting weekly") and sounds (every language imaginable, the Bawston twang to the Southern Drawl).

If you should decide to venture to Brooklyn with me on the 22nd, and are anything like me, I promise you will absolutely NOT be disappointed with the experience....and I'm certain you will go home with someeee thing new(old)

In the very least, your mind will be filled with inspiration to create.......

and how great is that....

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Refinishing in Ombre....OHHHH AHHHH

Well I think by now you know that I am closer to the front of the pack when it comes to style trends in my work.
It's funny, isn't it.
I mean to apply style trends to furniture refinishing.
But we do, and I absolutely love love that anything goes.
Bold colors that I would have never thought go together, do, and create such fabulously refreshing statements in home decor.

In talking to me, you know that I have always focussed on furniture from the 20s thru the 40s in my work. Im obsessed with the styles and lines. And quite honestly in the beginning it was the type of furniture that was most easily available and "not in the best shape".
(what better pieces to repurpose and "make new")

  I have all out avoided the pieces of the 50s. French Provincial style was just "not for me".
But like anything...i'm open to change (thank goodness) and so I've made peace with this era and have decided to add (and lets face it expand and deconstruct) the "look" to my inventory.
So as quickly as I can acquire it, my inventory will include Provincial and Regency styles.
You ARRRE ready for it aren't you?

Lately I have been toying around with the whole "ombre" concept.
Just dying to get my hands on "just the right piece" to dive right in (is there any other way to create)
and try applying this idea, this trend, to a piece of furniture.
Well I found her.

Not surprisingly, a pretty solid French Provincial piece I found a few weeks ago.
I just hauled her into the shop.
She is very sturdy and I am really itching to get to work.
Today is the day.

(well actually I started this blog over two weeks ago in an effort to write more often...psssht)

Here is her before:

Being slightly obsessed with the three newest concepts in my "paint stash"
 (chalk paint, Grey chalk paint, and how well chalk paint custom mixes)
I jumped right in and started painting.
I will mention that when I purchased this piece I knew INSTANTLY how I wanted to refinish it.
And when this happens.......I love them best!
So woo did take me longer than expected but within three days this beauty was finished.
(Just in time to be rained on at the Brooklyn Flea)
I do wax every piece, so as I happily loaded my pieces into the van, undamaged, because I simply wiped off the rain periodically.

I chose Old White for the cabinet and graded the drawers down by deepening the color with Grey
(cant give you my formula because.....I dont have one, I made it up as I went along)
But I will say, if you are trying this and do it "my way" SAVE some extra paint.....jusssst in case.
I actually fill little mason jars and give it to my customers with their new piece.

So here she is after being styled (by me) at The Barn

I did sell this piece at The Brooklyn Flea to an adorable couple who live in NYC
Bernadette, if you are reading this .....ENJOY! I hope you love your piece.

Suffice it to say that my infatuation lies not only with Ombre, but with this piece. The highest praise I personally can award myself and my work is "I could keep this one". And man oh man this was a keeper.
I wanted to put her in my bedroom right next to The Countess.

 Since I closed 906Main I've been trying to find some kind of serenity in the constant change that the freedom of NOT having to be in my shop every day provides.
My mind is less focussed on the stress of maintaining SHV at 906 and more focussed on doing the next "new trend". Its been really really fun.

So watch for new blogs coming soon........
think metallics and modern.......
I just can't wait!

(who's got it better than me?!)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

NO Rules

Humor me for a moment...

 I realize that I created this blog as a way to express myself through my work. It's been my goal to enlighten (well maybe too strong a word) or introduce ideas and ideals that I apply in my life on a daily basis to you. If only to show, through example that we all can affect a positive change in our world, and as a result improve our earth. One small idea, or "craft" at a time.

I'm not sure I have lived up to honoring this task.
I take far too long to sit down and express what I am feeling before, during and after I create.
I vow to be better.

I am blessed to be able to live within and through my work.
And it's not at all funny to me that concepts, I have applied to my life, and expanded on and created SHV on are now flowing mainstream.
Into something bigger, and more accepted.
Dare I say fashionable...

However, I sat to write this not because I wish to expand on the above, but rather to give insight into me, the real ME, behind SHV.

I've reached a point in time where my daughter is no longer dependent on me. I don't need to drive her places or discuss "boys".
For many years she has been my reason for....well my reason for everything. Every decision, every choice, every plan.
And now its all about me.
Freedom. a certain level of freedom that excites me like it never has before. I can do anything. Anything at all. I believe this fully.
But what....
If you are close to me you know my mind never ever stops. I can slow it down, and feel peace as I have never known before, but I am always creating and thinking and wanting to "do".
My friend Dean always remarks that I have an insatiable need to learn. That if there is something I do not know, and the question arrises....well you can bet I jump on the computer and research until I can grasp the concept or at least have an idea or a clue in to the topic.
I plead guilty to the above. Not even caring as to the hows and whys. Its really just because....

And all of this.....blah blah only adds up to one thing...I yearn, I crave, I ooze the desire to live.
Experience everything I could possibly experience. Right here, right now.

Enlightenment has given me peace and happiness i really can't explain.

I have till now spent a bit too much time worrying if you could actually "see the difference in me"
but for now, today, and from tomorrow forward I dont care about that anymore.

My only concern as far as you are concerned is...."are you coming with me"?

I am emotionally prepared to go it alone. Seek out whatever it is on my own for one reason only....I have let others decide for me where I was going and when, my whole life.
One of the most valuable lessons Dean taught me is to not settle.
Without realizing I have built my whole life around a concept that was taught to me (and sadly, I passed down to my daughter) and that is, to not be impulsive or desire. To think really think about what you do and then....pick the more practical choice.

And so, for as long as I can remember I have chosen not based on the passion or desire for what I want....but taking that feeling, knocking it down a few pegs and then "chosing that".
Well thats just plain ole sad.

Sooo if my words make any sense at all, todays blog is about living.
This exact moment. Being present in the here and now. No projection, no regret.
I believe if I can master this concept, I will indeed be happy. Always.

I seek adventure. In the smallest sense.

Ive been given the gift of being able to dream and then create...
And yet, the gift of being able to apply this into my life, big picture wise has alluded me.
Not anymore.

So again I ask......."are you coming with me" because i'm off, with or without you

Friday, March 8, 2013

What's Next?

I wish I knew.

Sadly, I do not. 
My crystal ball broke as I was loading all of my shop inventory into my storage unit.

BUT....I do know this.....
The decision to close SHV in Boonton was the right one.
Yes, I will miss all of my fabulous customers/friends but it is already apparent that Boonton was not the right location for my business.
And so a huge thanks to Gary and my former landlord for making decisions that caused that huge "flashing neon sign" to swing down and hit me in the head.
That said, quite simply, It's time to move on.
And so I have. And I wont turn back.
Gratefully, I have found freelance work, doing....well, doing exactly what I have always done.
Refinish furniture.
And it's really fun.

I do know, I WILL be opening a new retail space eventually. I have not decided where. I learned a lot from my 3 years in Boonton. And I am confident that the next step in the evolution and expansion of SHV will be bigger, better and more of what you love about SHV.

For now, I will be focussing on my freelance work, selling my work in other shops (if you have a shop and would like to carry some of my pieces please contact me) doing high end flea markets, selling online and trying to find studio space to create create create.

So apparently I do know after all.

I believe nothing is by chance and that "thoughts become things"
So while I am busy busy creating and focussing all my energy on the next fabulous step, I hope you will follow my adventures.

I (still) heart Boonton