thankful

I am thankful for a job I absolutely love.  Buying, merchandising, potting, painting, decorating and all-around creating are tasks that I simply love to do.  Shopping Brimfield…for work?  Yes, please.  It’s been said, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”  Truly, I am grateful.

Circa Dee at West End Garage- Garden Holiday, cotton, boxwood & vintage radio flyer scooter

I’m thankful for my husband who has been by my side creating this brand.  He’s done the heavy lifting, constructing and much of the behind the scenes work to make my many visions reality.  Just this week he spent hours meticulously arranging minute dollhouse furniture, positioning the tiniest of dishes and details.  Something I’m not sure I would’ve had the patience to complete.

Circa Dee Victorian Cape May dollhouse holiday wndow display

Circa Dee Victorian Cape May dollhouse holiday wndow display

I am thankful to call this community home.  Cape May is a quaint seaside town lined with historic homes and filled with some of the most creative folks around.  This week has been a massive behind the scenes tour as we’ve watched an entire town prepare for the big event.  The Holidays In Cape May.  Fresh paint, new lights, stacked firewood, grand displays, pressed linens.  Pulling out all of the stops to create fantastic memories.  No wonder Cape May was named one of America’s best towns for the holidays by Travel + Leisure.  I’m grateful to contribute to such a special culture.

Christmas in Cape May-5147

Christmas in Cape May-5153

I’m certainly thankful for your support.  This year we’ve taken our business to a new level.  We’ve expanded and branched out to areas I dreamt about for longer than I realized.  We added an entire line of garden products including live plants and American made gifts.  You’ve been so encouraging.  Following our journey both personally and professionally.  Leaving comments across social media.  Introducing yourself in person.  Pinning, liking, purchasing.  Thank you.  It hasn’t gone unnoticed and means the world to me.

Circa Dee at West End Garage- circa 1940s plant stand

Happy Thanksgiving.  What are you thankful for?

petal pushers

Have you ever thought about taking a floral design course before? Have you cut flowers from your garden and wished that you could do more than just haphazardly plop them in a vase? Do you have any idea how you can make the cellophane wrapped supermarket bouquet look like a million bucks?

Now is your chance to learn how from an award-winning, professional floral designer!  And for the mere cost of a floral arrangement which, in turn, will be donated to our Bike MS: City to Shore team.  The funds, not the arrangement.  You get to take your floral arrangement home!  Fresh flowers and a good cause.  Does it get any better than that?

If you’re local to North Wales, PA, I hope you will consider Petal Pushers and join us for this awesome fundraiser on August 14th.  Please register in advance as space is limited.  As always, let me know if you have any questions.

Petal Pushers Bike MS Fundraiser

 

P.S. Pennsylvania friends, I will be conducting a milk paint demo on Sunday, July 20th at 1 pm at Serendipity Shops of Doylestown.

august milk paint workshop

You asked, we listened!  There’s a new milk paint workshop on the calendar…

Who: DIYers, Paint Enthusiasts, Paint Beginners, Anyone, But Especially You!

french enamel & grainsack milk paint retro chest

What:  Introduction to Miss Mustard Seed’s Milk Paint Workshop

We’ll cover the basics of mixing and working with milk paint and the companion products including the bonding agent, hemp oil and wax.  This is a hands on workshop where you’ll complete make and takes exhibiting different techniques.

mustard seed yellow milk paint nightstand palm springs vintage

When:  Saturday, August 17th, 2013  10 am – 1 pm

Where:  Impact Thrift Montgomeryville’s Community Room

Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint Tricycle

How:  Tickets are $95 and can be purchased here

Dropleaf Table

Bonus:  Receive 10% off all Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint purchases and 25% off all Impact Thrift furniture purchases the day of the workshop!

Milk Paint Workshop

the CSA way

This summer we joined a CSA for the first time. All I can say is, why didn’t we do this sooner?

csa (10 of 10)

We love everything about the experience!  We’ve been introduced to so many new varieties of vegetables which is right in line with our new healthy diet.

Raise your hand if you know what kohlrabi is.  Two months ago, I had never heard of it and I went to an agricultural college in the area!  Now it is one of our new favorite vegetables.  Unfortunately, they’re pretty much done for the season but that’s ok because we’ve moved onto tasty summer squashes.

csa (1 of 10)

CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture.  In the spring, we paid a membership fee to Pennypack Farm and as a result we pick up 6 shares of locally grown produce & herbs weekly during the summer harvest season.  It has quickly become my favorite day of the week!

The shares offered weekly change as the growing season changes.  It’s like Pandora’s box of produce.  Being part of a CSA also challenges us in the kitchen because you have to work each week’s offerings to create delicious meals.  My latest concoction was beet stuffed peppers with a dollop of local honey.  Delish!

csa (3 of 10)

This week we got to pick our own string beans which we took right home and had for dinner.  It doesn’t get any fresher than that!

csa (4 of 10)

We go very few places without Wilson.  So its awesome that dogs are allowed on the farm too!

csa (5 of 10)

As a bonus we get to harvest flowers from the cutting garden.

csa (7 of 10)

csa (8 of 10)

Summertime and the livin’ is easy….

csa (2 of 10)

If you have the opportunity to join a CSA next year, I highly recommend it.  It will expand your palette and culinary skills as well as support local farms and farmers.  I have to thank Karen, a blog reader, for referring us to our CSA!

it takes a village

I started this post a year and a half ago about the village behind Circa Dee.  I figured it was high time I put it out there.  I’ll be breaking it down into a series throughout the summer.  Here goes…

People always ask me how I got into this business.  I followed this little dream of mine from an early age.  I am not exactly sure when it started but I know I was born a creator and have always dabbled in designing and selling things.  My earliest memory of this is actually from when I was a child selling flowers door-to-door in my neighborhood.  Cute?  Not really.  The “flowers” were actually weeds picked from my yard and I sold a few for pennies each.  Perhaps this led me to pursue my degree in horticulture a dozen years later.  I wound up in a corporate gig refining my sales skills while all along dabbling in design mostly as a hobby.  Floral design.   Invitation design. Furniture design.

I remember just 5 years ago claiming that one of my lifetime goals was to be an antique dealer.  I shortly realized that was an attainable goal and set up shop in an antique co-op.  As time evolved, I learned what I really liked and wanted to sell was vintage and repurposed finds for the home that I could style.  With that came more ideas, more labor and more support…and definitely more shops.

vintage markets

My family & friends have been there for me every step of the way.  They’ve encouraged me to follow my dreams and have assured me that passion and hard work will pay off.  The funny thing is that this is certainly the hardest work that I’ve ever done, yet it never seems like work at all because I simply love it.

Prior to me finding “my passion”, I would go to indie craft shows and antique shows and not think too in-depth about the “behind the scenes”.  I never thought about how much time and energy went into setting up those 10×10 “shops” for a day, what time the proprietors must have woken up that day and how much preparation went into it for the days and weeks leading up to that day.  I am 100% in support of buying local or handmade, especially those made of reclaimed items that have been saved from a landfill.

So I gave you all of that history to get this…it takes a village to make the simplest popup shop or co-op shop happen.  I still find it unbelievable but this summer, in no particular order, I’d like to introduce you to the village behind this little venture I call Circa Dee…

vintage markets

Let’s start with Jake since today is his birthday!

Jake

Jake is my little brother, err, younger brother.  He is hands down the most enthusiastic about all things Circa Dee. He brakes when he sees furniture curbside with faith that I can bring it back to life.  Jake’s title is actually Mantiques Manager here at Circa Dee.  He finds the most random old manly things that give just the right wow factor.  I like to think that I’ve trained him to see things not for what they are but for what they can be.  For example, vintage tire chocks turned bookends.  Very cool!

vintage markets

He volunteers to attend every market.  Well actually just about everyone volunteers but Jake signs himself up to schmooze customers and carry large pieces to their car all while instagramming the day’s events.  He loves fraternizing with the customers and giving him his opinion whether solicited or not. In fact, he’s joked about launching his own business…Circa Jay.  Watch out!

And most recently, Jake become my official Brooklyn Flea Philly partner.  You can find us at the Piazza again next Sunday, June 30th.  I can’t wait to see what treasures he turns up next.

vintage markets

Happy weekend!

making an impact

Celebrate Earth Week at Impact Thrift’s ECOfest Home Show!

On Saturday, April 27, 2013, join Impact Thrift Stores in Feasterville for ECOfest Home Show, a day filled with valuable information, informative and interactive (free!) workshops, and easy ideas you can implement in your home today.

ecofest

My contribution to ECOfest is this…

pink sideboard

I started this project way back at the Philly Home Show.  Impact sponsored our craft room which allowed us the opportunity to show different paint techniques as well as to upcycle and repurpose items on the fly.  I completed the drawers then and finished up the rest of the piece just last week right in Impact’s processing warehouse which is a playground for someone like me…between all of the treasures plus the ample painting workspace!

Linen milk paint over Henrietta chalk paint

It will be available for sale at ECOfest and will benefit Impact Thrift Store’s charities.  For those readers visiting from Impact who are new to painting, here’s the 411 on the products used…

The pink base color is called Henrietta by Annie Sloan chalk paint.  I applied 2 coats of this.  Chalk paint was sponsored by our friends at  Phantastic Phinds and is available for sale at their shop in Erdenehim, PA.  No priming or prepping necessary.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Henrietta

The drawers had such great details to highlight so I chose to paint a coat of Miss Mustard Seed’s milk paint in Linen (available here).  It did what milk paint does best and produced some subtle crackling around the details.  I added antiquing wax to highlight it.

Linen milk paint over Henrietta chalk paint

I also distressed the lines of the drawers to further highlight the details.

For the inside, I chose to use a wash of Ironstone milk paint to highlight the real wood grain.  This piece was a combination of real wood and veneer.  The top was super shiny veneer actually.

Ironstone milk paint drawers

I used Miss Mustard Seed’s furniture wax on the entire piece.  I love how that wax smells.

wax

I never took a true before pic but this was a classic 1970s dining room buffet.

before

I had a vision of repurposing it into a changing table/dresser in a nursery.  This piece has some serious storage that would accommodate a nursery just right and it is extremely sturdy!

pink sideboard

How have you made an impact this Earth Day?