God gave me these hands to create…… with all the time I’ve spent on the road and with all the craziness I allow myself to get caught up in….. I finally discovered the blessing that I knew would come from my broken foot this summer……
I’ve continued to work as if I didn’t have this stupid injury. After a few weeks of pain and irritation, I finally gave in and decided that I had no choice…. I was now going to spend my evenings with my feet up (not the days that my physician recommended) and I was going to find myself again!
Every huge serving of business that is piled high on my full plate is courteous of yours truly! LOL I did it to myself. I’m OCD, yet unorganized; ahead, yet behind; tired, yet restless! And then it occurred to me……… I haven’t spent much time in the studio on anything other than custom orders for months!
Creating is my first love! It’s what makes me happy and it’s what I dream about. However, I’ve had the worst artists’ block in my history………. Why? Cause I’m too freakin busy! So….. after all the conversations with The Man and all the pondering I’ve done on my hiney, on my couch, with my dog (most evenings) ….. I decided that I am going to take time everyday in my studio to do something…. anything…..
I did it! I made a set of 5 photo / note frames out of old barn wood and some vintage office stuff! Not Noah’s Arc….. but it’s something! Maybe one day when I can hire enough elves to do the grunt work….. I can create all day! Peace and Love!
It’s almost midnight….. very long few days…. months! This is the eve of Chartreuse’s opening in Wilmington, NC! Appropriately…. It’s also my Mother’s Birthday!
Happy Birthday Mama! I love you!
I should be sleeping and here I am blogging about the crazy wonderful week I’ve had. I’m yawning so hard that my eyes are watering…. and still… here I am blogging! LOL
Anyway… the week started off like any other and by Tuesday afternoon my store went from decently stocked to 1/3 gone! I was so excited and felt so blessed and then I panicked! I immediately called in backup and planned a Wednesday of shopping in between Gabby’s softball tournament and some much needed family time. I was feeling pretty good about the truck full of accessories and a little nervous about the 1 piece of furniture I had found. (I posted a photo of the days lute on fb btw) I was even more nervous when I called to check in with my girls to find out the entire white room had been emptied along with many other pieces! YES! How awesome! OMGosh…. what am I going to do?
Thursday…. Important meetings all day. I had a small window of 2 hours and knew I needed to find some furniture. I quickly remembered some old “go to” spots and hit the jackpot filling the truck with several occasional tables and an amazing French chair… along with some frames! Yaaaaa Got back to the meeting just in time…. finished up around 4:30ish… called the shoppe to check in….. ANOTHER GREAT BUSY DAY! OMGosh!
Friday…. back at it super early and then back to spend some time in the studio with my girls in order to get some custom orders finished! ANOTHER SUPER BUSY DAY! THANK YOU GOD! OH… AND GOD, I NEED SOME MORE FURNITURE PLEASE. AMEN!
Saturday….. started at 7:30 am and ended 12 hours later! Super fun with one of my sidekick besties who’s nickname is now “Scout” because she knows how crazy busy I am and she’s been using her amazing eye to scout out great things for me in her spare time between her 4 kids, wonderful hubby and volunteering all over the place! (By the way…. if you’re the kinda chick who likes to keep it moving and thinks a “done” to-do-list is boring and lame…. and you are constantly adding things to the list as you check others off… make sure to keep the same kind of company and friends)
Saturdays list of amazing finds that I can not wait to photograph and post!!!!!!…………… The amazing antique barn cupola pictured above, ornate Thomasville scrolly table, large antique split reed basket, small painted server (which I have a waiting list for these), several lamps, large oval gold mirror, tons of really old blue canning jars with zinc lids, a mahogany chest of drawers, Asian sofa table, oak frames and mirrors, mahogany oriental hall table, 2 Gothic dining arm chairs, Oak marble topped wash stand, carved walnut footed chest that is huge, antique toy schooner, Chippendale childs chair, a sick disco ball… YES.. I SAID DISCO BALL! One of the very first ever made with an ornate covered motor… that still works!, 2 upholstered chairs, another super long Asian hall table, a Victorian settee, A FRENCH DESK THAT IS CASTLE WORTHY, hand carved French bed bench that is signed and newly reupholstered, a huge banquet table that will be my new desk in my office and some more smalls that Iv’e forgotten…. OMGOSH…. AND 2 AMAZING RELIGIOUS DIORAMAS!!!!!!! sigh…… good night and see ya soon! xo
ps…. Thank you troops present and past. Have a safe and happy Memorial Weekend!
Don’t be afraid of scavenging through what appears to be “junk”! I found an amazing Civil War surgical case in this pile! It’s beautifully detailed and a rare find. I’m always intrigued by what I discover in the most unexpected places. Remember… it’s the “thrill of the hunt”! Enjoy and don’t be scared of a little dirt!
You can see a few more photos in the “April Trip” album on our facebook page!
So…. I get back from my 8 day trip today (that was supposed to be a 4 day trip)! My truck is packed and I’m looking forward to being back home. I’ve worked 12 and 14 hour days and I’m exhausted! It was all worth it though. I managed to do a little (a lot) of shopping on the way down to Wilmington and on the way back to VaBeach….
I get to Chartreuse to unload the lute and my tools that I used to “work”…. I’m greeted with a clean and tidy shoppe. I see that my girls have been hard at work taking care of things while I was gone. I can’t tell you how much that means to me… having a great, supportive team.
I decided to call one of my “girls” and check in. We’re going over the week and discussing business when she tells me that a few customers (not clients) stated that “I (me) have gone way up on my prices and they didn’t like it”! SO HERE IT GOES………
First of all, I DO NOT APOLOGIZE FOR MY PRICES! Second of all, my prices increased when I quit selling pieces of painted furniture off my front porch and started doing custom work in people’s homes and when I opened up a BUSINESS!
SERIOUSLY………. this rakes my nerves! To those of you who don’t own a business and want everything for nothing…. Let me break it down for you…..
1. It cost money to go out and find pieces. 2. Then you have to pay money to buy the piece. 3. Then you have to either bring it back or have it delivered or rent a larger vehicle. 4. Then you have to work on it with the tools, paint, etc. that cost money…. in the building that you pay rent on!
I know I shouldn’t take the time to even acknowledge these people who are clearly not the happy, returning clients who don’t complain and think my prices are reasonable. Or the people from across the country who have me ship items to them. And I’m sure these complainers haven’t been to shoppes within a 100 mile radius, like Richmond and DC, whose prices are 3 times mine. That’s why those people are traveling to my shoppe to buy and sometimes even resale!
Oh…. and I forgot to mention… the person they complained to…. they have to be paid too! OK, I feel better now that this is off my chest!
On a lighter note……….. can’t wait to share all of the new finds from my trip and share photos of the Wilmington project… (which is costing money…. lol)
Spring is in the air….. The whites and grays of Winter are stepping aside for FRESH and VIBRANT COLORS! They are back!
As most of you, I’m inspired by the weather, my mood, trends, other artists, etc. But most of us get our inspiration from popular magazines. It’s all about what’s in NOW! Fortunately, I’m in total agreement with most of the designers out there and the contemporary vibe of color and it’s big comeback! I love color! I’m known for color and as much as I love white on white on white……… I LOVE COLOR!
Clients come in weekly with their mags and wish lists and new ideas they’ve seen. I love it! I spend a small fortune myself on mags and couldn’t live without them. I need visual stimulation at all times! Seriously!
I have a pretty creative mind and I’ve been blessed with vision. I design, I build, I create. I see things in my dreams and I literally wake up and sketch. But for most people they have a hard time with this. They know what they like when they see it, but have a hard time organizing there thoughts and making a room complete from scratch. That’s where designers, magazines, books and shopping comes in!
So……. Don’t be afraid of COLOR!!!!!!!!!!! There are many ways to bring it into your existing rooms….. NOW….. without a lifetime commitment! You can make a start with art, pillows and small occasional pieces like tables or a chair. JUST DO IT! AND LET US HELP!
Stay connected and see the new items brought back from this weeks trip and other local artists….. Photos should be posted on our facebook page soon!
Thanks and keep the feedback coming in! We love hearing from you…… it’s what we do! Cindy
After months of planning to have our Holiday Boutique, it was time to roll up sleeves and get busy. Since I work in my Studio daily, I literally had to wait to the last-minute in order to clear everything out. I’ve planned all along to paint the floor, re-do the walls, get rid of the ugly lights, etc. Having this event on the calendar made it a priority….. as work and opening a new business had kept this on the back burner.
As an artist my mind is always designing and decorating the spaces around me. It’s this blessing of vision, clearly a gift from God, that keeps the wheels spinning and allows me to create. The frustration comes into play because there are not enough hours in the day to create….. and change….. and build….. and invent and seek out.
There have been so many years in my life where I tried to do it all myself. I did do it all and it didn’t work. I could have never reached the point I’m at…. which by the way….. isn’t close to where I’m going…. if I hadn’t surrendered to the fact that it’s not just getting up everyday and working your tail off!
Believe it or not…. this time last year…. I didn’t know I would be here today. I had been struggling to get out of a bad place in my life. My relationship with God was in an OK place, but I hadn’t learned to listen! (my mama would agree for sure…. LOL) Just last Thanksgiving, I didn’t have enough money to buy a turkey to feed my family. Meanwhile, I pressed forward and helped deliver turkeys and all the trimmings to families in need with Wave City Care….. quietly keeping my painful and embarrassing secret. Thank God I sold a piece of furniture that day and was able to buy groceries. Did I mention I was driving a BMW? LOL! Yes, I’ve had a lot of money…… and I’ve lost a lot of money!
I’ve learned that through my blessings, my prayers, my perseverance, my hard work, etc…… that I can’t do it all myself. Without the obvious help from the Big Man…. I could never accomplish my goals and dreams without my family, my friends and those great people I’ve been fortunate enough to have work with me at CHARTREUSE.
I used to have the mentality of “getting by”. I didn’t have the understanding that I needed to take risks and hire people I didn’t think I could afford. I had a hard time asking for help and lacked the confidence to delegate. I’m proud to say that’s no longer my way of thinking. I COULD NEVER HAVE DONE THIS WITHOUT HELP! Take a look at the photos. I did a lot of the work…but so did a few other people. And without their help it would never have happened. (see the event photos on facebook for the latest look of the studio)
So…..THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU WHO HELPED MAKE THIS DAY POSSIBLE! I LOVE YOU…. I APPRECIATE YOU.
I love to collect old architectural pieces …… I dream about them…..seriously! Every time I pick up or find a new object, I lie awake thinking of what possibilities they possess.
I obsess about building and creating and re-inventing…… I get inspired….. I sketch… and then…… TA DA! I get this great idea…… I go to my studio and…. I see all the orders that need to be filled….. the custom work that needs to be done…. blah, blah, blah! Then I get frustrated…… and obsess even more… because I’m too busy to get the new idea out of my head and into my hands!
Mind you…. I do not mean to sound like I’m complaining….. I’m not! I appreciate and live for the business that people bring me. BUT, sometimes I gotta set it all aside a just DO IT! So this week I did and here it is!
An antique, Victorian screen door and hooks from an old Ghent house…. some old boards from a barn in Pungo….. 2 old bed posts turned up-side-down…. along with some other parts I just had laying around….. topped off with a hand cut (by me) piece of wood! Oh, it’s a chalkboard too…. a hall tree….. a cute desk….. an entry piece….. whatever!
So here’s an example of one of the many things I dream about and you can buy it today at CHARTREUSE!