Classic Style Using Authentic Treasures

It's all about living an AUTHENTIC life, being true to who we are and finding beauty and inspiration in our daily surroundings. Decorating our homes with found items and antique and vintage treasures, we create a personal ~ classic style ~ that defines who we are!

Friday, February 18, 2011

First Day in the Workroom!

 I am so excited!  I had my first session in the work room this week!  Each grain sack has its own personality and character!  

It is a challenge but oh so fun to work with the flaws and stains of all the hard work these sacks have been through.
I loved all the rulers laid out at the end of the work table..
I am trying to make sure that I keep as much of the grain sack in place as possible, as AUTHENTIC as is allowable!  Due to the amount of printing on the front of the American grain sacks, I am trying to incorporate some on the back of the pillow or possibly on the front of a second one to be sold as a pair!  I hate to loose a single inch if I can keep it! 

 I started off working with a french grain sack and as I talked it over with the work room owner, I wasn't sure about using a zipper, which would change the design.  

I was worried that I might have to incorporate the envelope back on all the pillows, which I feel limits you somewhat and forces you to cut the grain sack more than necessary in some instances.

After discussing this quandary with my "textile mentors", I decided to go ahead and use zippers as-well-as envelope backs...and some other options you will see down the road!

While I was researching the "zipper" options, we went ahead and started working on the American grain sacks....what fun!  Each one brought a smile to our faces....the pigs, the chickens, the ads!  I am so loving this!  

I have a lot of pictures to share and will soon have a dedicated website at   The domain is mine...but no website yet, I am not the most I'm calling in some help!

Keep living your authentic life!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Wine and An Orchid

Today I turned 50!  I told my family I did not want to celebrate, no cards, no gifts, just Valentines...and no mention of my birthday!  This one has really bothered me.  No others ever really made an impact, but 50, 50 has really bothered me, and yes I have shed a tear or two.

I was just 35....just a year to two ago it seems.  A lot has happened in my life since then...the death of my father over 10 years ago, dealing with the impact it left on my mother, her health and gradual decline and caring for two children and a husband, involved in sports and scouts and school and child severely affected by asthma and allergies and two weekly trips an hour away for three allergy shots each visit...doctors, and hospitals and pneumonia and breathing machines....and life goes on...very quickly.

So today I am 50...I wonder where the time has gone.  I have been a stay at home mom, not because we could actually afford it, but because we really didn't have choice.  I have been blessed to be there for my children and I love them more than life itself....but where did the time go...I feel the same inside...but the years have taken a bit of a toll on me...weight, gray hair, fuzzy eyesight.  My decorating business years ago really took off, I met and have stayed friends with most of my early clients.  It was just too difficult to run a business by myself and take care of everyone else. 

So today I turned 50....I really wanted to avoid it...but here it is.  After spending the day with my mom, taking her to the doctor and running errands, I came home to a package sitting next to my garage door.....
WINE and AN ORCHID!!!  Although I received page after page of facebook well wishes....and I made my family promise not to do anything....there it was...a present...celebrating this day that I wanted to avoid!

 This beautiful orchid just sitting there in my driveway...reminding me that birthdays are special and that I should be happy to be 50!  You see, I had a cancer scare in December....Cervical Cancer...had a hysterectomy the Monday after Christmas...all they found was pre-cancer...caught really early!!!  So the gift of WINE and AN ORCHID gave me the gift of being grateful for my time here!!!  I have a lot left to give and a lot of ideas and wonderful plans for starting my business back after all these years!!!!

To my angel....who thought enough to do this for gave me a bigger gift than you ever realized!
Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

Love to all,


Friday, February 11, 2011

The Phone Books are Here! The Phone Books are Here!

Hi Friends!

Remember the movie The Jerk, with Steve Martin?  How excited he was that the phone books came in so he could see his name in them?  Well, my order from Wendy Lewis came in late yesterday afternoon....and I was running around yelling "the grain sacks are here, the grain sacks are here!"  I didn't get the huge and heavy package opened until today..and let me tell you...THEY  FELT LIKE BUTTAH!!!!   You can't describe it until you actually get to feel one for yourself!  No wonder these gifts from the past have lasted so long, they seem to be indestructible!

The American grain sacks have such personality with faded, clever advertising or wonderful patinas, but much thinner fabric.  The oldest and heaviest one I have received so far is a stiff canvas from the Loose-Wile's Biscuit Company.                                         

Although many of the European grain sacks were made from linen or hemp or a mix, quite a few were made in a burlap or jute.  The European ones have a tighter and heavier weave than most of what we see today but they basically feel the same as our burlap!


Many of the American sacks are very soft and feel like a rough version of an old fashioned diaper.  I have fallen in love with each and every one of them, and will have a hard time letting them go!   

My weekend will be spent measuring each one and getting the final pillow insert order ready, then laundering these gifts and getting them delivered to the work room.  For those of you that haven't read earlier posts, I have two professional work rooms lined up to help me produce antique and vintage grain sack pillows, runners, and other items.  They understand the nuances of sewing, how to work the fabric, how to fit the inserts properly, and I don't!  (smiles).  

More are arriving daily...a few more from a contact in France,  several more from around the US and one I can't wait to see, is traveling from the UK.  I have included pics of many of them to give everyone an idea of what is to come..old laundry bags, postal bags, bank bags but especially the grain sacks!

Blessings to you all and remember, be true to yourself and live Authentically!
Happy Valentine's Day!  
(my birthday, by-the-way, the BIG 50! - say a prayer for me, I'm not happy about it!)   :)


Monday, February 7, 2011

Ebay or Etsy or Both?

Things are starting to come together.  Hopefully by this time next week, pillows will be in production!  I can't wait to see how everything turns out!  If you read my earlier posts, you would have seen that I have an antique/vintage retail business in an antique mall here in North Georgia. 

I have seen several bloggers use the term "petite boutique"...that sounds quite sassy, I must say!  This year I loosened up a bit and decided to add a few retail lines as well!  Aside from the vintage and antique grain sack pillows, I will also be offering authentic European market baskets, lavender and soaps from Provence, hand turned and plaited rustic brooms made here in Georgia, plus a mix of whatever I find on my pickin/junkin days!

I plan on producing quite a few pillows to have a large stock to start off with...and have decided to market them online and to the trade.  If anyone has suggestions, I'd like to hear comments on what is good and bad about Etsy and/or Ebay....anyone out there have experience with both?  One of the things holding me back from Etsy is that I want be able to market new products online....would love to hear from you seasoned bloggers with online shops!

Pictures coming soon of more grain sacks and then of course the after shots of the finished pillows!

Find Joy in each day.  Be your Authentic self!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Waiting Is The Hardest Thing!

I am in "waiting" mode.  I  have a shipment of beautiful vintage European grain sacks on their way!  You can see some of them in the photo, which was taken by Wendy Lewis before she packaged them for shipment.  I have many American grain sacks on their way too, from all over the United States.  I hope to have a wide variety to choose from!

My dining room looks like a shipping warehouse right is like Christmas when they come in...trying to guess which grain sack is in each package.  It is always so exciting to open the package and hold a piece of history.   I need to get them all in so I can decide what kind of pillows to make from each many decisions...zippered, envelope back, sashed and tied, I can't wait...hmm then the decision to ruffle, flange, fringe, pipe, etc...I love it!

I have two professional workrooms signed up and read to go.  I guess I will put together an order of pillow inserts tomorrow... I will be using a mix of 10% down with 75% feather...but I think I will also have the down alternative available just in case someone has allergies!

Stay never know what might happen here!  

Blessings to you this week....I hope your Valentine's Day is AUTHENTICALLY LOVELY!


Saturday, February 5, 2011

Oh The Places You'll Go!

As a picker and treasure hunter of all things old, dusty, beautiful, meaningful or down right funky...I have had the great pleasure of spending long hours in flea markets, thrift shops, basements, attics and today a farm!  I think atmosphere in a home or retail environment is extremely important!  It can instantly change your mood. You know that feeling when your home looks its best, especially just before company is coming over?...It looks good, it smells good, it feels good and so you feel good.  How do you feel when the kids have had a great day in the family room and it looks like a bomb exploded and spaghetti is hanging off the kitchen ceiling and 10 loads of laundry are on your laundry room floor?  I know how I feel!  That being said, I decided to create the perfect atmosphere for these wonderful pillows from the past!

Today, I went on an adventure with my husband, in the name of "atmosphere" for my shop!  We met and visited with two of the nicest people I've met in a long time...and tromped through soggy wet grass and I could pick out my hen nesters!   If I am going to create pillows out of grain, feed and flour sacks, I thought it would be most appropriate to pay homage to a grain sack's past life!  I met a donkey, saw two vintage tractors, which my husband loved, because he works for the company that made them 60-70 years ago and received a few lessons about corn huskers, gardens and how the nesters are used in the chicken houses.  I may live in a rural area now, but I grew up in the city and you can tell it!

I took surgical gloves with me as I didn't want to touch them, they were VERY authentic....then I decided to leave them in the car as I am sure it would have given our new friends a hoot and a half!  I just washed my hands REALLY well a bit later!  I came home with two today...they will need to be thoroughly cleaned, but I can't wait to get them hung up and filled with all kinds of merchandise....French soaps, sea shells, old name it!

  Find Joy in everyday!

Say hello to my little friend!

Oh my, so many to choose from....this is better than buying shoes!

What an enchanted place!  Isn't the barn inviting?  I would have loved picking through it!

Here are the two that made it home with time for a bath!

Blessings to your AUTHENTIC life!

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's now or never!

Well I am blogger land!  I thought I would give it a whirl!  It is that kind of year...have decided to rearrange a few things in my life.  I am turning 50 this month, my youngest child started high school this year, so I decided to bring an old decorating business back to life!  I started a very small vintage and antique business last year which I have decided to give a huge shot in the arm.  I will be designing custom made pillows out of Authentic American and European grain sacks and other vintage textiles.  Nothing faux, nothing reproduced, but a lot of one of a kind beautiful, classic treasures for the home.  I thought I would share with you my adventures of starting my new business and all that I guess will come with it!  Currently, I have a "stall" or booth in a local antique 16 feet by 8 feet, I have run out of room and am waiting for more space.  Because I am changing directions, I will be emptying out the booth and starting over.  I have been out picking and shopping and have found some great items to use as beautiful rustic fixtures...hint:  I was standing in the rain tonight picking out galvanized hen nesters from a farm a few minutes from me.  I'll post pictures later.  So, the journey begins, now I just need to figure out how to use all the blog settings!  Until next time!  Be Real!  Be Joyful!