Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dreams Do Come True

Okay I know it has been ages since I posted any thing new, sorry!
But since our Grand Opening July 3rd I haven't had time for much else.
I miss my blog buddies and want to say thanks for hanging in there with me during this adjustment period.
And what an adjustment it has been; but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

The boutique is blossoming into everything we imagined and more.

It is exciting, exhilarating, challenging and full of new experiences.

The building that houses our hopes and dreams
has gone through a major face lift that began last spring.
When I look back at the pictures I am reminded that with a lot of hard work, determination and buckets of help from family, friends and God dreams really do come true.

Let me show you....
This is what the Indian River Train Depot built in 1882 looked like just last spring.
And now...
She is so pretty!
I chose the colors based on my love of bumblebees, and the fact that the laws of physics do not apply to them. You see, scientifically speaking a bumblebee's body is way too big for it's little wings,
yet, it can fly.
The bees look at their wings and believe.

We looked and looked at several locations,
and this is the one we attached our little wings to.
And so far baby, we are flying!

The inside is just as bright and welcoming as the exterior.
The color behind the counter was chosen in honor of my late Nana.
A soft turquoise blue was her signature color. She always used it in her art, wardrobe and home decor.
Wherever Nana was, there was a hint of this color.
So this wall reminds me that she is never far.

This is the before picture,

And this is what it looks like now!
My brother Mike is a very good carpenter, he and I built this counter together.
It's nice and spacious so two of us can work behind it with ease.
The color, the corbels and the bead-board add to its cottage charm.
Here is a before shot of the large bay windows that face the recreational trail. The trail runs from Gaylord to Mackinac City, Michigan.
It's right out our back door! How cool is that? In the summer it is a hiking/bike path and then when it snows it becomes part of the snowmobile trail system. Did I mention we rent bikes? Well we do, with the trail right there it was pretty much a given.

Here is how the bay windows look now.
I decided to dress them with relaxed roman shades in a beachy stripe.
They shades help to cool the space in the morning and add a happy pop of color.

This is a peek at the main showroom when viewed from the upper studio/gallery.
As you can see we were decked to the ceiling for the Christmas Season.

The front doors dressed in holiday trimmings,
and Ollie standing at attention awaiting new friends.

A faux fireplace and a grand tree were front and center in the showroom.
The tree was decorated in shades of of golden/brown,
frosted whites and various hues of sparkling green.

The following photos are of various vignettes throughout the main showroom from different times of the season.
Many of our unique offerings are from Michigan artists.
Like this glass Christmas tree sun catcher.
Original watercolors.

Couture garments and jewelry.

Hand painted and custom pillows.

Petoskey stone wine stops, cabinet pulls, frames and mirrors.
In addition to our broad array of products we have also hosted several special events and classes throughout the season. We plan to continue and expand the classes and events for next season.

Our Halloween make and take was a big hit!
Everyone went home with a custom creation that could be worn or serve as a decorative centerpiece.
The hats began with an armature constructed from a plastic Jack-o-lantern bucket and a cardboard brim.
The armatures were then covered in paper pulp and each student painted and embellished to their hearts content.

Peg in Halloween Couture.
Me in my sister and nieces hat.

more Halloween hatters.
Polka dots and stars so fun!

Then on Halloween we all wore our hats and had a big party at the shop and handed out treats.

We had so much fun we decided to create a similar project for Christmas.
This time the paper mache creations were inspired by a classic snowman top hat, and served as tree toppers or centerpieces.

The top hat armatures all ready for decorations.
Here are the fantastic creations the group created.
The classes and demonstrations were also well received.
Such as : Watercolor, drawing, silk painting, lampwork jewelry, knitting...

I am already making plans for next year and many of our instructors are already setting class dates. As soon as we finalize the schedule for spring we will post an update here and on FaceBook. The room we use for these events is the area that once served as the luggage transport area. Way back when the building was a train station.
The wood floors and walls are so old and full of character. The walls even have inscriptions dating back to the early 1900's. The original coal wood stove and freight scale are still intact.
I really don't have any great pictures showing the whole studio,
I will take some to show you what it looks like.

Like I mentioned the building is so old there is no insulation and only one small heater.
So we had to close down till spring, it was just to darn cold and the heating bills were outrageous.

I am already fast at work, in my home studio creating art for next season.
I can hardly wait, we have so many ideas and plans.
I must admit though I am looking forward to catching up with family, friends, skiing and snowmobiling.

Now that things have settled down I promise to post more often.
This first season took a lot out of me. I have worked retail since I was in my teens,
but when its yours its a whole new ball game.
Take care and as always thanks for letting me share.
Wishes and kisses,


Brynwood Needleworks said...

Hi Mary!
How wonderful to see you back...and to see your fabulous shop! I so wish I lived closer so that I could visit. I'd love to be close enough to take one or more of your classes! I missed you and your creative posts, my friend.
Hugs from Florida,

cindy said...

Great to FINALLY see you pop up in my "reader". :) OHMYGOSH Gurrrrrl! the shop is DARLING! LOVE IT! OK, you really gotta post more often now, cause I'm hooked and want to see more!

And LOVE the hats! Too clever! Such creative goodness....so wishing I lived closer!!! Glad you are back.