Wednesday, July 25, 2012

We Love: Keepin' It Local!

Photo from Keepin It Local FB page.
Growing up in the 7th District of St. Mary’s County I was always familiar with the old Morganza Post Office. It was right down the street from my high school, and every time I passed it I thought, what a cool, old building, but I bet it’s a mess in there. Given the capital, my mother would have snatched that place up in a heartbeat and flipped it. But since that wasn’t an option we just admired it from a distance hoping that no one tore it down. Then one day we noticed that it had sold and someone had started to renovate it. Though mildly jealous, we were happy to see the old place was being given a face lift.

And what a face lift it received, it is absolutely adorable now with blue paint, white and red trim and metal roofing. Curiosity piqued; we researched the local papers and online articles to see just what was going in the building. Keepin’ It Local: A Maker’s Market is the name of the store/market that calls this beautiful old building home. They are filled with products that are locally MADE, GROWN or FOUND. Brilliant!
Photo from Keepin' It Local FB page.

One Saturday after a particularly hot and unsuccessful morning of yard saling, we made our way through Morganza and decided to check out the new Market. Upon pulling into the parking lot I couldn’t help but notice the adorable hanging signs telling visitors what the fresh produce available that day is. We walked in the door and it was exactly how I’d imagined it: Hardwood floors, an open layout for displaying their goods, a separate section for the produce as well as an upstairs and down stairs filled with local finds and artisan products. I even had a mild “freak-out” moment when I saw the CD’s being sold at the counter with a co-worker’s song as the headlining track! Make sure you check her out, HERE.
Here at Point Breeze Cottage, we LOVE the idea of selling locally and keeping capital within the community. Plus it’s pretty cool to see all of the talent and creativity in your own backyard! It’s safe to say that we’ll be frequent customers of Keepin’ It Local.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Pups of PBC

Instead of our regular “Tuesday Tips” post, I thought it was only appropriate to recognize two special ladies involved in PBC. They are both going “under the laser” this morning, so I thought I’d give them a little spotlight. Meet Harper Hill and Hillee Morris, our PBC mascots and models!

Hillee (left) and Harper (right) enjoying a trip to Rita's. Don't worry, we gave them their own Puppy Ice Cream.
Harper and Hillee were born on February 27, 2012 to proud parents Jasper and Lady Belle.

Close up of the lovely Lady Belle.

Bubba and Jasper.

Hunting dogs belonging to my in-law’s, Jasper and Belle had a lovely litter of four spunky pups, two boys and two girls. Knowing that he couldn’t keep all four for hunting dogs, my father-in-law started spreading the word that some of them would be looking for loving homes.
Since I’d never seen a newborn puppy before, I made a trip to the farm on the blustery February day and I couldn’t believe my eyes; they were so small! After that first day, I kept making excuses to drive by the farm to visit and play with them, and got particularly attached to this little lady. She was so much smaller than the other three and had a unique white diamond marking on the back of her neck, but that wasn’t the only thing that made her stand out. She was determined! While the others pushed her out of the way at feeding time, she never let that discourage her, squirming her way in between them. And as soon as they were able to start squeaking and barking, you better believe she was the most vocal. I’ve never considered myself a dog person, but this little girl stole my heart. The thought of her going away from the farm to another family made me sick, so Bubba and I decided that we’d make her one of us.
Num, pine cone! -Harper
And then there is Miss Hillee. Yes, you have to include the Miss. She is certainly a regale beagle! Hillee, obviously the other girl in the litter, was destined to be my parents pet. My dad had been talking about getting a dog for some time, but he wasn’t 100% sure it was something he was ready for. But after a couple of visits to play with them, he just couldn’t say no to their precious little faces. The more time we spent with the puppies, the more we knew Hillee was the one for him. She’d play with the other, but easily drift off to sleep while they still played. She lingered with her mother once feeding time was over, looking for one more sip, and she had the most pleasant disposition, cuddling with anyone who held her. Low-maintenance and full of love, Hillee was the girl for my parents.
Young Miss Hillee, so sweet and pretty!
The fact that we’ve been able to keep the sisters close to each other and give them regular play dates has been great! They may rip, run, and play fight non-stop when they’re together, but I think having each other is comforting for them as well. While they lose their “womanhood” today, I wanted to recognize them on here just because they’re so cute and they bring so much happiness to our team!

Here are a couple shots of the girls modeling our products. Funny, both of these pieces sold really quickly...maybe we should include them in every photo shoot?!

Harper modeling with the retro cabinet that was sold to a newlywed couple in Manhattan.

Hillee modeling with a vintage, pink washtub from the 1940's.

Monday, July 23, 2012

From Hideous to Harmonious!

On a wet Saturday morning last spring, Mindy wanted to stop by the yard sale some of her softball teammates were having. No ordinary yard sale, this was a sale to benefit Breast Cancer Research. The ladies were raising their money for the Susan G. Komen 3 day 60 mile walk they were participating in and we wanted to help in our own small way by shopping at their yard sale.  Rain did not deter these enthusiastic walkers, they had received donations from many people in their community and they had a yard FULL of stuff! We found a few little items, Mindy scored a beautiful Jasper Johns American Flag poster for her house, and as we were preparing to leave I spotted a very unusual little folding chair.
Unusual? Or Hideous? I was intrigued by the lovely Lyre back and the sturdy frame and the way if folded so handily…. but BRIGHT GREEN AND RED? It was like a Christmas experiment gone horribly wrong. The garish bright green paint had been globbed on, the seat had been unscrewed from the frame covered in red vinyl and NAILED back on to the frame! (Why anyone would do that is beyond me-lost the screws maybe? I dunno…) I paid for the chair and wondered all the way home, WHY, other than it was a worthy cause, did I make such a weird purchase?
Upon closer inspection I learned this little vintage chair was manufactured by the Stakmore Folding Chair Company. They specialize in permanent looking folding tables and chairs and have been in business since 1922! The Lyre back on this particular chair is particularly pretty but it was desecrated by the horrible paint job. It sat in the shed for several months, and then suddenly I was hit with a vision and knew exactly what I would do.
The Lyre (harp) back on the chair just kept making me think of a music room, a “salon” perhaps in Paris? Didn’t I see a lovely fabric on Ebay? I did! The stripping, painting, waxing, antiquing, and buffing ensued, taking the odd little green and red chair from hiding in the shed to the spotlight, ready for her solo.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Going Hand in Hand...

I apologize for the lack of bloggage, but things have been pretty busy lately. Not that I'm making excuses...ok, yes I am, but at least it's true!

Anyway, we have a lot of exciting new posts coming your way in the VERY near future. Trust me, you won't want to miss them, whether you live in Morganza or Manhattan! In the mean time, I wanted to leave you with a quote I found on Pinterest that I think all artisans, bloggers, and people in general should live by. It's something that we here at PBC have to remind ourselves of daily, as we all work full time jobs while working towards the goal of having our own dream shop!

You can purchase a sign with this quote on it at an adorable little etsy shop called LUCIUSart.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Squeaky Clean in Pale Pink

Sold! Today’s featured product has actually been purchased over the weekend. But it was such a unique and fun find that we just had to share it with you anyway.

Say hello to our adorable, vintage, pink wash tub. Oh, and our special little model, Hillee.

Donna found this unusual tub several weeks ago and instantly envisioned the type of buyer for a piece like this. Right away she was picturing a photographer using the tub to photograph baby girls in. (Or puppies in our case) It would even work as d├ęcor in a vintage inspired laundry or bathroom. It is most certainly from the 1930s or 40s as it’s made of a very heavy and solid metal with a smooth coat of pale pink paint. 

Just lovely!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Refinished French Provincial

Monday's Featured Product

Seaside Cottage chest of drawers
The girls and I were heading out to yard sales a couple of months ago, "keep your eyes open for any French provincial furniture" I reminded them. We had received lots of positive feedback on the French provincial chest of drawers  that we painted in true PBC style and named the Seaside Cottage chest of drawers. (See photo at right)

Before we started PBC it seems French Provincial furniture was plentiful at yard sales, estate sales, and thrift shops. This year we hadn't found any except the one chest of drawers. Weeks went by and we were not finding any good pieces. Then one Saturday afternoon as Marci was taking a walk around her neighborhood she came across a yard sale we hadn't even known about. The family was beginning to pack it up as Marci's eyes skimmed the few remaining items strewn about the driveway. And there it was, one lonely little French provincial night stand / end table, and since the man was ready to call it a day he made Marci an offer she couldn't refuse. It was sturdy and well built but drab and boring with worn faded yellowy cream paint and Marci knew what potential it had.

So, with some ASCP in Graphite, some of our own mix of chalk paint in pink, and a little AS Clear Wax to top it off, we gave an old drab nightstand some punch and pizazz. This color scheme would be great in a little girls room, a pre-teens room, or even a young lady heading off to college would enjoy the updated look as well. The ample storage for personal items and books and the spacious surface for a lamp, alarm clock, and cell phone charger make this a great piece for the dorm as well.

We really hope you like the gray and pink, slightly distressed look as much as we do, it's a fun, versatile piece!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sticks and Stones, and Jewelry?

We are so happy to announce that we've been blogged! You will have to pardon our extreme excitement over such a small mention, but it's our first time.

Our Point Breeze Cottage Etsy shop is our pride and joy, and every time we see the conversation button marked with a new message we are just brimming with excitement!

Several days ago, we had a new message informing us that our Tangerine Rattan Child's Chair had not only been featured in an Etsy Treasury, but a collection of treasuries on this person's blog too! Coincidentally enough, the kind lady who had taken a liking to our chair was named Donna, and she also runs a shop through Etsy called, StoneSavvy Jewelry. Donna had included our piece in a "Tangerine Beach" treasury collection, and it couldn't have been any more fitting! 

After exploring Donna's blog, we learned that she and her husband spent a couple of years traveling the US by RV. It was a stay in Quartzsite, Arizona that inspired Donna to start designing the beautiful stone earrings and jewelry that she now sells on eBay and Etsy! Another cool feature of StoneSavvy Jewelry? She is a a proud member of teamepe (Etsy Project Embrace) and donates 5% of each sale to the American Hospice Foundation. Donna's jewelry is also on sale on eBay where 50% of all sales are donated to some of her favorite charities such as Alzheimer's Association, Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Habitat for Humanity, and the Red Cross to name a few. 

Here is one of the my favorite pieces that I found on the StoneSavvy Jewelry Facebook page. Be sure to check her out for a unique and beautiful piece of  stone jewelry!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Did all of our fellow Americans have a nice 4th of July? We sure did, gathering together at the real Point Breeze Cottage for some sweltering fun in the sun. Hot dogs on the grill, potato chips, and pink lemonade...doesn't get much more American than that!

Given the current state of affairs in our country, it was nice to take a day to remember what our country was founded on, what makes it such a great place to live, and how we got to where we are today. The consensus at PBC was that America needs to reflect on these same issues and get back to good. And quickly...

Stepping off my soapbox now...yesterday was also a great day for our Puppies! It was the first time that Hillee (Donna's new beagle), Harper (Mindy's new beagle) and Eve and Samson (Marci's pitbulls) all got together to meet and play. And despite their incredible size difference, they loved each other and even took a swim in the Potomac River together. One big happy family!

Blueberry and Strawberry Muffins in honor of Independence Day!

Miss Hillee gettin' down on some delicious Corn on the Cob.

Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Beat the Heat!

Tuesday’s Tip…

…for beating the heat! It. Is. HOT! Here in southern Maryland, we are experiencing an unusual heat wave, with temperatures in the high 90’s, even breaking 100 a couple of times. And not only is it hot, it’s also humid. (a little something we are known for here in the old line state) So here it is a couple of tips for beating the heat while you’re out searching for your next product or working on a new masterpiece.
1.      Stay hydrated. Water, water, water. When it’s 6am, your leaving for your first yard sale and it’s already 85 degrees, you know it’s going to be a LONG, hot day. Grab an insulated bag and throw several bottles of water in there, trust me, you’ll need it.

2.      Dress appropriately. Comfortable athletic clothes are what I prefer when I’m going to be working out in the dreaded heat. Light colors are always helpful, too. I’ve also found that a nice French braid or two is great for keeping heavy, frizzy (thank you, humidity) hair off your neck and face.

3.      Don’t overdo it. Especially if you are in a workshop or workspace that does not have A/C. Work in ½ hour increments, make sure you have a fan or some form of breeze, and remember that this is supposed to be fun, not torture in the hot sun. If you have a large room in your home that you can transport the piece to and work on it there, even better!