Saturday, March 27, 2010

Junkin' In My Jammies!

In this day and age , known for it’s advances in the type of technology that allows us instant gratification as well as convenience, going to work, taking a course, and shopping in your pajamas, is not a rarity at all. As a matter of fact, it’s become something we can rely upon and often take for granted.

“Previously, on Karen’s Garden Cottage”, I shared the fact that we live on Cape Cod in an old antique farmhouse during the mild and hot weather months, and during the winter and dreary cold, live in the back of our store, Wayne’s Antiques, located on Rt. 6-A, Main Street in Brewster. On this day in March, it seems winter is still fighting spring, tooth and nail. We all know that eventually, spring will win and winter will be blown away by our warm sea breezes, until next year. But as of today, it is still too cold to go “turn on” the farmhouse.

And, that brings me to the subject of “Junkin’ in My Jammies"! I so appreciate the fact that, with cup of coffee in hand and still in my PJ’s, I can browse around my wonderful love’s shop, appreciating all his treasures, his unique style of presenting the art of “treasure hunting” to all who visit, and “cherry-pick”, things that might go well in my shop down the road. The whole arrangement works out so well…While he likes to present “it all”, (Oh, you may have to search and dig, but it’s all there), my presentation is different. I like to create vignettes that make statements about “a look” or “a theme”, as well as providing people with ideas they can apply to their own home. The method is also a must for marketing my Pieces of Dreams, hand painted furniture. (You have to be able to see it.) In short, what do we tell people who visit us at both shops? “Wayne has the treasure hunting shop (a little more manly) and Karen has the “girly” shop."

So, with spring trying to get sprung, it’s time for me to go looking around to see what I can trade with Wayne (or grab), to give my shop it’s spring/summer transformation. What a blessing, since the yard and estate sales, right now, are few and far between! And, guess what? Through my pictures, dear friends, you are welcome to come with me and go “Junkin’ in Your Jammies”, too!….Don’t forget the coffee!

Pieces of Dreams

Here's Wayne's counter/cases, filled with vintage jewelry, silver, etc.

Welcome to Wayne's! OMG, where does one begin?)

The cases are open! You are always welcome to browse within!

See something nice?

His motto: "Items of Interest, Bought and Sold!"

Often, this would be a spot where you find the men.

I see something I might be able to use, hiding in here!

Feminine and looking like spring! We are getting warmer!

Don't forget to look up, down and all around (even in the drawers). And it's Pink! Hooray!

Let's see, pink and yellow and just perfect for a large space.

I spy with my little eyes, some Easter colors!

And, would this be the Easter Basket?

This just "walked in the door" yesterday. Wayne brought everything back to me to wash and said, "Your shop". (We know each other so well!)

A collection of beautiful china and hand made ceramic basket from Italy. I love the delicate pink and yellow roses. How lucky that they are in perfect condition!

We are just beginning our season...I hope you've enjoyed your first shopping trip!

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Time and Place for Healing

The whole thing about “The Concept of Time” is funny. You have “actual time” (“What time is it?”)…You have the “passing of time”, with what it appears to be as it slips by…And then, you have "the past" and what it actually represents and feels like. So, when you have a significant event in your life, one so shattering that it has major, rippling effects upon your whole being, the “concept of time” can become blurred.

Ten years ago, my family and I experienced the “Big D”…Divorce. And, although there were hints, we really didn’t see it coming. So now, with the recent arrival to of my dear friend to Cape Cod, and the new proud owner of the "Big D", I find myself reliving past hurts residing close to my heart. Naturally, I draw upon my experiences to see how I can relate.

Suddenly, it hit me! Flashing through my mind, was the scene from “You’ve Got Mail”, where Tom Hanks and Dabney Coleman (father and son) discuss the very subject, while Tom Hanks shakes up some sort of mixed drink. He shakes and shakes with a distinct defiance and rhythm, while listening to his father and looking up to God for answers.

So it dawned on me, while caught up in the midst of the divorce with everything swirling around me, I was that mixed drink!I had been shaken up with defiance, syncopated into a very calculated, precise rhythm, and been poured out into a glass, with pieces of my very soul sloshing out over the rim! And, up until a very short time ago, I felt as though I desperately needed to blot up my spilled guts, and squeeze them back into the glass!

Where am I now? Well for one, I can tell time. And, it's funny, sometimes, because the whole saga seems like “just yesterday“…But, because of the mourning and healing process, that part of my life is much easier to accept and has taken a back seat into the past. Surprisingly, the debilitating hurt I felt, has become numbed, as well as seeming not so long lasting. In the end, for me, some of the “guts runneth over” is old news. I have actually been able to be selective of what needs to be re-absorbed, and what needs to be left spilled out upon the counter! Could this be what they mean when they say, “Time heals all wounds”? (Dear readers, what do you think?)

Thankfully, during my time of pain, my Dad and Amy offered something that helped me survive…The cottage on Country Lane. Now, I have the opportunity to offer the "the healing place" to someone who is incredibly special to me…One who stood by me when I was in pain. I hope she can do something on Cape Cod with her creative and talented photography. I hope she finds the same peaceful healing I did. And, I hope she can experience the strength of mopping up her “sloshed- over-the -glass" self. For it is only with strength, that she can squeeze what she needs back into the glass, and dare anyone to take a sip!

Pieces of Dreams

Country Lane

Welcome to my cottage at 22 Country Lane

Small, but comfy and quiet!

Just enough! Everything you need ~ Leaving complication behind.

Science Kitchen (LOL)

Snuggle in at night and have a peaceful morning!

This is the second bedroom...I used to call it my den/family room.

Entrance to our beach ~ You should see the beach roses when they bloom!

A VERY Short walk from the cottage to paradise.

I got better here...I think she will get better here, don't you?

Monday, March 15, 2010

I Had No Idea What Was Out There!

Hello from Wayne and Karen!

Just returning home from surgery, I tapped into a wonderful gift from my father and Amy…Netflix! (I am sure you all know about it…I apparently, was one of the last to know.) Anyway, the first movie I ordered was Julie and Julia. Since I had just completed our family cookbook, the movie inspired me to use the concept of “blogging”. It seemed to be a very practical way to expand the book. However this time, I would not only offer recipes, but family history, a diary of our shops/ “Life with Wayne”, and tutorials on how to make things, etc.

So, I began the “blogging” process by following, “How to Make A Blog” on Google.

At first, I tried to be very generic, highlighting specialties aimed at our family. At that time, I had no idea what a “follower” was (and still, by the way, don’t exactly understand “links”) and other things that hurl you into the Blog-osphere. All I knew, was that I enjoyed writing, creating, teaching and sharing. (I had a Grandmother that taught me a great deal…almost EVERYTHING. Boy, would we have a good time if she was still with us and “blogging”!) I wanted to pass that along.

Therefore, I hunt, peck, look and learn. What happened? I became a part of a wonderful community, where you don’t have to be “generic” and find myself making friends!

So, this leads me to a blog I feel is especially inspiring, “LUCY’S LOUNGE” at, She offers everything!…Wonderful taste and creativity, mixed with family, complimented with an absolutely “wicked” (we say that in New England) sense of humor. If you haven’t visited, please do. At the very least, it will give you a laugh for the day. (By the way, “I Love Lucy” lighting her nose on fire, is my absolute favorite!)

She recently shared the birth of the precious, Giana Lorraine! My gift to share, is Baby Giana’s picture layered upon a hand painted background (a close-up of my “Pieces of Dreams“, hand painted furniture.)

Thank you, Chris, at Tuttichic for sharing such a beautiful family moment. And, thank you all for visiting my blog and becoming my new friends…I Had No Idea What Was Out There!

Pieces of Dreams

There are so many gifts from God...Treasure Every One!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

...And, I Leave You With the Romance of Pink and Green

Well, for some reason I had to do my text this way. I still don't always get everything about uploading my pictures. I also don't do the thinking backwards thing very well. Maybe that's why I didn't have much success with water color. Anyway, thanks for spending all this time with me. Wayne was opened today, so I have been back here with you, sharing the memories of my Brewster shop and planning a new look for spring.

Above is a picture of the back room. It's done in Benjamin Moore's "Dried Parsley", which I am very pleased to say, compliments every color...It makes decorating and displaying a breeze.

Let me introduce you to this lovely young lady...I present to you, Miss Marshmallow! This was one of my most favorite finds. We went to an estate sale and found her in the basement art studio. She belonged to a lady that specialized in hand painted china. Miss Marshmallow was an actual classmate of the artist. The photo was blown up to poster size, mounted on a custom cut board, and enhanced with a hand painted dress and marshmallows. She's just so much fun! I hope the new owner treasures her magic for making people smile!

This is a close-up of our contest winner!

As we continue on, we go down a short hallway into the bedroom.

My store display used to end with a decorated door at the end of the hallway. The bedroom was used for storage and as an additional area for me to fix things up. When I needed a quick bedroom for an impromptu guest, we quickly fixed up the room, complete with a brand new mattress and bedding. After our guests left, we opened it up as an additional room for display. It's funny. People always say they want to take a nap in there. One time I went in there and I saw an imprint on the bed! (I knew they were in there a long time!)

As time went by, things continued to change in the bedroom, just like the rest of the store. And, as time went by, others stayed in the room as a guest, when we needed to handle an over flow of visitors. My brother stayed in here once and said he didn't need a TV because he enjoyed reading my tags..."Lovely black painted table....Wonderful walnut bed...Charming reverse painted mirror", etc. He told me I should rename the shop, "The Lovely Shop", because most of my tags say, "Lovely"!

Close up of something "Lovely".

Ahh! Pink and Green...Makes my heart sing!

When I got back to being able to hand paint, I added this chair to the pink and green bedroom.

Close up of the back of the chair with the roses and plaid ribbon.

And we finish with a close up of the back of the chair.
So we end our tour with shades of pink, green and the romantic feeling these ribbons, roses and colors leave you with.
Thank you for joining me...We'll see you next time!
Pieces of Dreams

Inside...Stage Right!

I'm so glad you decided to stay!

So, we were really excited that the owners gave us permission to change some of the colors in the cottage. I feel that it makes the staging of what you are trying to sell that much more effective. The pictures below will show you snippets of how the middle room began and evolved. It's such an adventure! Wayne and I go out on house calls, attend auctions, as well as scope out yard/tag and estate sales. You never know what we will come back with, if anything at all. Then we get to divide up all the stuff and set the stage. Some of it works out so perfectly, you would think we special ordered it from a catalogue. Other things end up in the palm of your hand as you walk around placing it here and there, shaking your head "no" and then trying it somewhere else. (That's the easy part.) What creates difficulty is the neurotic moving of the furniture. It's like when someone wants to become a member of a club, refuses to get along or cooperate, and the rest of the members won't sit next to the newcomer...And they all come complaining to you! But some how, like magic, it works!

Hope you enjoy this portion of my little tour. Just come on in and take a right! (Remember to click the pics!)

Pieces of Dreams

Once again, inside the door.

This was an old chair that someone had completely stripped and left. I did a finish called "Dry Brushing" for the background and hand painted ivey vines and berries.

One of our opening day vignettes ~ To mention a few highlights: English pine farm table, wall lamp created from old Fiesta Ware and Theorem paintings.

I created these tie backs by combining some left over pieces from the floral vines used in the front window treatment, antiqued silk roses, scallop sea shells and antique punch bowl cups. They were the first things out of the store on opening day. I wasn't going to sell them, but a friend begged me. They were one of a kind, but the good news is, I can visit them!

Opening day vignette...So empty looking compared to how it is now!

Okay...There! Now, nobody touch any thing! One false move and that layer of purses will look like a mess in a teenage girl's room. (Like they would really have a flower purse with gloves and tea cups!)

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes! (Remember that song?)

"Yard sales are like a box of chocolates..."

So, this picture and the one below, give you an idea of how it all goes.

I loved finding this breakfront, display case. I still have the pink and cream dessert set (occupied Germany). I love them and really don't care if I end up with them or not!

There's still some more fun to come...Wish I could offer you something sweet to eat...If you haven't treated yourself to something nice today, go ahead and do it! Meanwhile, I'll get busy with the next part!