Monday, April 12, 2010

The Full Swing of Spring

A few days ago, my fingers fumbled with a key that I eventually pressed into the door knob of my neglected Brewster shop. Upon entering, an overwhelming vision hit me in the face! Picture this…a dwelling owned by someone, who for some reason, was not able to keep up with things and suddenly had to leave the place abandoned. So, I stepped through the door and experienced a stale, winter and Christmas holiday flashback. Not only that, due to the closing of the now deceased, “Karen’s Garden Cottage Antiques”, formerly located in Chatham, there had been one of Wayne’s famous “drive-by dumpings” of stocked inventory. All this was accented with such a film of cobwebs and dust, that anyone would be inspired to whisk their finger threw it, and ponder the collection of residue. So, where on earth, does one begin?

With some help from two very kind people, we waded through the confusing maze, cleaning, unpacking, sorting and repacking. For the time being, it’s necessary to close off the back bedroom display area and use it for storage. So, I was really having difficulty with my visions for display. Everyday, I would come home feeling frustrated. Happily, by the end of this past week, the interior of the shop started to “sing spring”!

The following pictures show the “rebirth” of my original, Karen’s Garden Cottage Antiques, located in Brewster. (Kind of like the very meaning of spring!) Thankfully, we have made a great deal of progress, during the past few days. The Brewster shop now has the new and improved sign, originally designed for Chatham. In addition, my wonderful Wayne created the most charming little picket fence, surrounding the base of the sign. Even though we haven’t gotten the flowers into place yet, it cheers me up just to look at it!

Today is another beautiful, sunny day on Cape Cod. And, to all of us living here year ‘round, an increased traffic flow is obvious. Yes! The “snow birds” are returning to their Cape Cod nests, bringing activity and hopefully, business amongst the spring blooms! It’s time for the shop to be “OPEN”! To all who ride by, my new flag will wave, “Hello! Come on in!” And, as my sign swings gently in the fresh sea breeze, I too, find myself in “The Full Swing of Spring!" Happy springtime wishes to you all!

Pieces of Dreams

Wayne hit on some great new pieces of wicker to display outside...He says, "Bring those customers in!"

Walking into the livingroom area.

The shop's nice and full with cheery spring colors.

Perky pinks and lovely florals dance upon delicate dishes.

About a week ago, this vignette was still wishing everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!

Lot's of great new finds from treasure hunting this week. We found the Nippon dish one place, and the vase in another...They look so pretty together!

Around the corner, into the next room, the vignettes and colors change. This is called, "making the best out of what you have".

Something new for this season...A classic antique pine dresser and one drawer stand. They've been sanded, primed and painted this "beachy" aqua and then "shabbied off" to the white primer and wood. The glass knobs really do the trick! This project was a lot of fun to do because the "shabbying off" turned out so interesting. (It doesn't always work that way!)

Close up!

Vintage wicker vignette.

Hand painted rose chest.
The tecnique for painting this little chest is called, "dry brushing". It gives a nice weathered, yet clean look.

Hand painted rose wreath table...There are those stripes again!

Pink and white stripe little vanity. This was dark and boring when we got it...Now it has a new charm!

Here we go into the next room.

Hand painted English pine mixed with vintage wicker...Interesting mix, don't you think?

More views of this room.

I dry brushed these stripes onto the back portion of this
corner cabinet. I think the stripes really enhance anything that gets displayed in it.

Close up of a pink and yellow mix of treasures.

Continuing into the hallway...

Little hallway display. I'm looking forward to once again, going beyond the door to display a bedroom. But for now, this works and we can be open!

In conclusion, this is a close up of an oil painting of the cottage. A local artist (who has other works displayed in my shop) came over to the shop, set up under the arbor, and painted this lovely landscape scene!


  1. Your shop is beautiful.......I could spend alot in there..........LOL

  2. What a beautiful shop! I WILL be coming by for a visit. I drove by yesterday and saw Wayne outside carrying a large potted plant I think it was... he was walked toward your sign. Hope to meet you soon!

  3. Karen, everything looks wonderful and springy. You did a great job getting it all ready. I see lots of nice things. Wish I lived close by.

  4. Hi Karen
    Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving the lovely comment. You must try those roses. It's not my thing, but wow did I enjoy making them and if I can get a good result, anyone can. I also see that we share a love affair with the paintbrush. I'm happy to follow so I can visit again.

  5. Oh squeal! I just adore the precious shop and all of it's goodies Karen! Everything is really lovely and full of charming character. I just love the hand painted white rose chest.

    It is so nice to meet you! Thank you very much for your sweet visit and for following along as well. I have been in a bit of a blog rut lately and it is friends like you that are making me feel better. You're the best! I will be back to visit you again soon. Come by anytime. You're always welcome!

    Many blessings to you and yours.
    ~Warmly, ~Melissa :)

  6. Hello from me! Thank you all so much for sending so many lovely complimments! You've given me so much encouragement!...Thanks again!


  7. The shop is so lovely! There are so many pretty vignettes...I could spend hours in there. I love the auqa pieces. The stripes on the drawer and the distressing looks great. The pieces look fresh, but still show their old soul. Wonderful work!

  8. I'm sure next week you'll be slammed with customers... it's school vacation!

    When are your hours? I drove by yesterday after dropping off my etsy packages at the post office, but your "open" flag wasn't out.

  9. Oh Karen!!!! It looks amazing!! I WISH I lived closer because I see so many things I LOVE, lol!!! You are more beautiful things in your shop than anyone around here!! I bet it will all go so fast too, amazing! Your displays are so beautiful and cozy!! Love it!!

  10. Karen your shop is exquisite! How I wish I lived closer. You have it decorated so beautifully I could just move right in. I wish you extraordinary success with the reopening. ♥

  11. Karen thank you for your kind visit my friend. You are a sweetheart! *Smiles*

  12. Please hop on over to my blog, neighbor! ;) You may see something very familiar...

  13. You know I'm absolutely drooling buckets over the aqua chest, Karen! It is so charming and so perfect! Your shop is so lovely and welcoming! Great wicker pieces and handpainted accents on the tables and all of pretty decor goodies! But that little aqua chest has stolen my heart! ;)


  14. Karen, do you do all of the painting and refurbishing yourself? If that is the case, how do yo get so much done? This makes me feel like I had better get moving and dust off everything that I have! Your rooms look fresh and inviting. Great arrangements. Cheers Lori

  15. How beautiful! You would never know that it was ever a mess. I know how overwhelming that can be though. Been there, done that!

  16. Your yellow shop is so cheery in this dreary weather I am drooling over your shop! I am in Hull! Found your blog thru cape cod rose!

  17. I KNEW you could do it!!! Your blog looks gorgeous!!! If you need that link for installing 3 columns, just let me know and I will find it for you. ;)

  18. Your place looks amazing. I was in Sandwich the other day, a short drive from my home. I must take a drive and visit your gorgeous shop. So nice to meet you.


  19. Your shop could be my new favorite place if I didn't live hundreds of miles away. It's really charming!

  20. Hi, Karen. Thank you for stopping by Ribbons Roses and More.

    Oh how I wish I lived close to you. You would never get rid of me.I think I could stay there all day. What a lovely shop you have.

  21. Just started following your blog, and already am completely in love! Your shop is absolutely beautiful!!!

  22. Love your New blog borders!


  23. Hello to Everyone! I'd like to thank everyone for their kind and wonderful comments regarding my blog and shop. I can't tell you how much it means to me. I am so new to blogging and every little step towards a nice presentation and making new friends, is so exciting, that I can hardly sit still in my seat while typing! Anyway, I hope all of you are doing well and having a happy spring!

    Many smiles going out to all of you, Karen

  24. Karen, as always I enjoyed strolling through your shop in blogland of course. I wish I lived closer to you so I could visit for real!! You have a talent for displaying your items. I would love to see pictures of your home. I bet you have some wonderful ideas ( I could steal) LOL.

  25. Thanks for visiting my blog! What a great little shop! I sure could spend a lot of time in there and $$$$! Too bad I live in Utah! (*_*) ~Stacy~

  26. I have to come to your shop! Road trip :)