Tuesday, December 7, 2010

There's always tomorrow...

That's what I kept saying to myself.  Gulp. Last entry was uuuuuhhhhh, FALL?   Now it is the second week of advent? Oh my.  Needless to say I have had my normal very full life.  Too schitzy to stop and write.  I miss it. And you.  Will be back to writing soon.  Please do come visit me at the shop so I can regale you with tales.  Or check out Stifel and Capra on Facebook.  Of course writing this will hopefully mean I will be ready to write sooner rather than New Year's!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Last of a Season

Here 'tis.  Our last, luscious, lonely tomato of the season.  Sitting on the kitchen windowsill.  Bob & I are watching and waiting until it is about to burst with ripeness before we sacrifice it to the end of summer gods.  As you can see by the color out the window, Mother Nature does not care about my tomato.  Autumn is here.  One of my favorite things about living in Virginia is the fact that we DO get four true seasons. (although I must confess I could skip DC's "hazy, hot and humid" August.)  We are dragging out the fire pit this weekend so the teenagers can dance around it and toast marshmallows. Fun!
Thinking of the seasons change and the impending holidays makes me reflect on the many losses my friends have endured this year. Judy, her father. Pete, a brother. Phil & Barbara, their daughter. Betty & Jim, their grandson. Hank, his mother. Julie, her grandmother. Ashleigh, her college BFF. David, his wife. So much loss and mourning. So much strength and fortitude. We also lost the last original homeowner on my little street.  Jackie recently passed away peacefully in her sleep to the shock and chagrin of her closest neighbors who always took such solicitous care of her.  In one of those "can this be a coincidence, really?" moments, Roger my former neighbor was chatting up Randy (the friend who bought Roger's house almost a decade ago).  Roger mentioned how nice it was to see everyone even under such circumstances as he lived in the Midwest now. Where? Indiana. What town? Oh, it's small you've never heard of it.  Turns out it is the same town where Randy went to school and where his mother still lives! Small world.
Disregarding the sugar fest of Halloween, this year All Saint's Day will be a day I stop and contemplate all those goods souls who are no longer with us.  And appreciate those who still are. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

What a find! - REfind Consignments

I am taking this great new class called "Growing Your Soul" this year. I am in that Mommy Rut where I feel like I am always Last In Line so decided to do something. After acknowledging that I probably need a personal trainer I decided that getting my interior life into shape was a more immediate priority. (How I am going to explain this to my doctor when I go in for my follow-up next week is another story!) I am thoroughly enjoying class but I must admit I found a very secular distraction a block away from church. REfind Consignments. Number one- What an AWESOME name and two: what a charming place!
It's a bit more formal than Stifel & Capra (but what isn't?) but REfind is really nicely merchandised and, because the building is new, spic and span, with plumb walls and dare I say level floors! The owner Carey Williams was easy to talk to and very welcoming. If you find yourself over on Church Street in Vienna, VA stop in! Tell them I sent you. And if you go tomorrow you might see me again -my class gets out at eleven.

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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Fun on FIRSTfriday - Inside and out!

We had a great time on FIRSTfriday last weekend.  Attendance was down a WEE bit as it was the local school's homecoming but actually that enabled folks that were there to actually see what was in the shop!  So the artists were happy that sales did not suffer!  Dace Jenkins, our silhouette cutter extraordinaire was here with his wife and family.  I am surprised that Dave's didn't explode from all of the compliments.  Here is an example of one of the charming pieces we have in the shop. (all of the color gradations are done with cancelled stamps.)  Dave's feature wall is up until October 31st.
OUTSIDE now that I have finally sold my sainted, benighted hoosier cabinet we have some wonderful additions for your porch or sun room.  Falls Church resident, by way of Georgia, Deborah Hudgens brought in the prettiest plant and container combos that we have seen in awhile.  We sold half of her stock by Saturday morning.  She is coming in later today to bring in a new batch of goodies so you can have some fresh ones to pick from!
Amy Fromm graced us with her presence as well Friday.  The Interlaken Soak Co. is beckoning me to add "soak my head" (body, feet) to my list of things to do.  Now that the bbq, art show FIRSTfriday is over for now maybe I can jump in the tub.  But wait, I haven't told you about the new consignment store I found or the new local pizza place or....  Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ready, set, GO!

These pictures were the calm before the storm LAST weekend. The artists Helping Others show went very smoothly this year. I was impressed with how organized and nicely everything came together. Jim Larsen & Christopher Fay (presidents of CHO & Homestretch respectively) stopped by along with friends, Vienna Pres members and artists fans. Thank you fro all that attended. If the proceeds for the event were a harbinger of the economy things are looking up. If you couldn't make it to the show and would still like to contribute to either of these great organizations please do so at http://www,homestretch.org or http://www.cho-va.org
I have been RUNNING like a banshee these last 3 weeks. I hope YOU will run by the shop tonight for our FIRSTfriday event. The shop is bursting with new finds, new art and the delightful Dave Jenkins will have entire feature wall and table top display of his charming silhouette work. http://www.stifelandcapra.com/Gallery_Jenkins.php . Amy Fromm from the Interlaken Soak Co. will be there with her soothing organic bath products line (boy do I need some for the weekend!) and last but not least, corporate chef Patrick from 2941 fame will be on hand to talk about his newest endeavor, Napoli style Pizzeria Orso. (samples, Patrick? I sure hope so!!!)
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Tonight's the Night! AHO 2010

The Artists Helping Others 2010 show is up and looking lovely. Hope you can join us tonight or tomorrow morning!
http://www.stifelandcapra.com/ for details and directions!
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Life IS Wonderful (and the art show IS this weekend!)

When my friend John stopped by my bar-b-q on Saturday and said "I can only stay for a minute but I really had to give you this because it made me think of you." I must admit I cringed.  What could he have? Turned out it was the above bumper sticker!  John said it reminded him of my attitude.  And he meant it sincerely, NOT sardonically.  Thanks John!
The countdown is ON.  The 3rd annual "Artists Helping Others show is THIS weekend.  We have over 100 pieces of art, glass and jewelry on display Saturday September 25th from 6 to 9pm.  We are having a "Life is short; eat dessert first" buffet.  Proceeds from all of the original art, prints, and cards go to Homestretch and CHO two fine family oriented organizations.  For directions or more information visit http://www.stifelandcapra.com/AHO2010-Press%20Release.php
Hope to see you there!
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Fun with Kathie Rogers!

We had SO much fun with Kathie, her husband Chuck and their cheerful friends from Annapolis (plus of course all of our usual suspects!) at FIRSTfriday last weekend.

I am rather mortified that I hadn't posted these pics before now. I suffered from the "oh, I will do a REALLY nice job with the blog tomorrow" and then well, a week passes and here we are!

I was concerned about FIRSTfriday being on a holiday weekend but we had a really fun crowd. I think they were giddy from not sitting in holiday traffic!

Kathie Rogers is our featured artist this month. We had fun hanging her wall. These paintings are NOT everything on display so do stop in and see the rest until September 30th. Kathie is also showing in our "Artists Helping Others" Show in Vienna on September 25th.
Other fun things happening: the art market is starting up again! Anne Schwarz and colleagues will be in the parking lot on Saturday from 10 to 2ish. Lots of beauteous bargains to be had; come see!
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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Can't Judge a Book by its Cover

I always enjoy my customers but sometimes they surprise me! A lovely woman came in last week and I mean lovely. perfect hair and make-up, cute figure , smashing clothes, and killer shoes, shoes? WHOO. I'd be seven feet tall if I could wear those shoes. We got to chatting (surprise!) and come to find out the lovely Martha, from the pages of Vogue runs a livestock shelter. That's right, horses, cows, pigs et al! AND she runs a multi acre organic herb and vegetable farm to help finance the shelter. Amazing! So that is why she was looking for farm signs and mason jars! I didn't have EITHER in the store that day but I did have a vintage Hoosier chest that I donated to the barn where they sell the produce. And the beautiful Martha marched in with bare feet to haul it into her truck to haul it back to the farm. Whodathunk?
The next day this VERY tall, VERY BROAD shouldered man with neck tattoos, a braided goatee and heavy boots stepped over my threshold and started removing said boots. I told him there was no need (smiling as I thought of the barefoot farmer of the day before!) and he said "oh yes, indeed the boots needed to go!" He had apparently spent the better part of an hour the day before scrubbing down a bank he has sullied with his tar laden boots. Eek. As I and my trusty helpers had laid the laminate floor in the shop I REALLY appreciated his consideration. Padding up in his stocking feet B asked me if I had any perfume vials. After the normal, this one is too small, this is one is the wrong color and THIS one is "just right" he chose the heart shaped, sea blue one. Appropriate it turns out. Turns out our bug guy is a big romantic! After his wife said she'd love to take the sea home with her from her vacation our sneaky husband secreted some sea water and sand home from their holiday. He bought the perfume atomizer to seal the holiday feeling into a dresser memento! (we both agreed the reality might smell a bit, but isn't THAT life!)

I declared him "romantic of the day!" and he told me more about his lovely wife. And the fact that she was an artist. Then he mentioned that he was an artist of sorts, a wordsmith. He had just finished his second novel! And then told me how he had time to think and write because he had burned out if his job of many years of working with troubled adolescents and come home one to day to the lovely wife and said "I am going to drive a truck". And so he did! I commented that all he had to be responsible for now was him and his load (this week? Asphalt!). This has obviously given him time to think and write. And ponder wonderful surprises for his assuredly lovely bride.

Everybody has a story. I love my job.

PS If you have any old canning jars that you'd like to donate to the animal sanctuary; bring 'em to me! Especially the blue ones...
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Monday, August 23, 2010

Moon over Lewes

Last full day at the beach on Saturday. Was there so long the moon came out!  Had a super relaxing time.  Entertained some out of town friends and relatives, ate a lot of food, drank a lot of wine, went for a couple of power walks and more than a few languid dips in the bay.  Tried REALLY hard to ignoe technology (helped along by  really bad connections.)

Did lots of shopping. Even got a lot of it tagged and inventoried when I walked in the store today I could get it put out on the floor.

The craziest purchase of the week?  A set of congas and bongos!  I honestly bought them because they were a good deal and they are simply beautiful.  Everyone that knows I have two kids has said "are you crazy?!?" We will see...  Turns out one of our house guests actually plays them.  The congas.  Better than Ricky Ricado.  Paul swears that he carried a set just like the ones I purchased in the high school marching band.  Are you KIDDING me?  Amazing.
Am excited to be back to work.  Or would have been if I had a job where my work got done when I was gone!  My awesome artists and colleagues all covered for me on the sales floor but all of the paperwork was sitting in a neat little pile when I came in this morning. (Darn!)  With that said , I am glad to be back!
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Friday, July 30, 2010

This Weekend! Summer Gala at 1st Stage!

There is a lot happening this weekend. 4 tents at our art & antique fair Saturday from 10 to 2 in the Stifel & Capra parking lot.  And we are donating a gift basket to a more than worthy cause.  The summer gala at 1st stage is Saturday night! Go if you can, they are an amazing group of folks.  Bid on our basket or other fabulous prizes.

http://www.1ststagespringhill.org/ to buy tickets!Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wow, I actually made something!

Jackie bought one of my collages for her daughter's room and asked me if I had any collages featuring boys as she both a daughter AND a son.  I shamefacedly reminded her so did I , and uh, no , I had photos collages with boys but not mixed media works.  So here is my first attempt!  I really like how it came out.
I also had fun making these two soft pieces for clients.  One is for a birthday present for a sister who is a music teacher and the other is about the cutest birth announcement I have seen in a while.  Good wishes all around!

It has been a rough couple of weeks.  I did my civic duty and pulled jury duty recently.  Not so much fun as it was a particularly gruesome situation.  I was struck by and grateful to all of the people that make up the public service sector.  The ambulance crews, police teams, forensic professionals, attorneys, social workers and administrative staff all subject themselves to unmentionable situations in the name of justice and healing.  It's impressive.  Peace to all.
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Everything's Cool

Everything inside is cool that is. We have been hit with a sweltering summer. Getting the kind of weather in June & July that Wasingtonian's don't normally have to tolerate until August. Ugh. Luckily we have some ongoing events that will help maintain your equilibrium. Amy Brecount White's book "Forget-Her-Nots" is a great summer read. Pick up a copy while to read poolside. Come enjoy the air conditioned comfort of Deborah Conn's Portrait display through July 30th. Debby is so talented she can take your favorite snapshot and turn it into a real work of art.

Forgive the lapse betweeen posting. I am having a hard time keeping up with my fulltime family duties along with the business back end of the store. It is SO much more fun to interact with customers and rearrange the furniture than it is to process accounting entries and think about next quarter. But it all has to get done!
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy 50th Bill & Nicky!

Here are Bill & Nicky hanging with some of their old cronies (their words not mine!) at the 50th wedding anniversary party we threw in my back yard.  Dinner was yummy. Kudos to Bob for prime rib and Robin for cakes!  I made all of the salads and set the tables and the bar(!) with my lovely vintage cloths.  Now you know where the shop stock comes from!  Everyone seemed to survive the sultry weather to raise a glass of champagne.  Hip, hip HOORAY!!  Love you Mom & Dad!
Speaking of parties... Do you like that segue?  Make sure you stop by FIRSTfriday to meet Debby and Amy or pop over on Saturday for our 3rd annual Birthday Bash! (details at right or on Facebook.)

See you then!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

the countdown of days...

The countdown begins.  Three days to my son's birthday. Eight more days until the end of school.  55 days until my beach week.  77 days until school starts again...  Aah the cycle of summer!  I did get to mix business with pleasure as Bob & I took the family down to Rehoboth (treasure hunting for the shop along the way!) this last weekend.  We had PERFECT weather.  Really to chilly for us to go in the ocean although we got quite the show on Saturday from the windsurfers off the beach.  Sunday we went for a not terribly arduous paddle on the bay side.  Wind had dies down.  MUCH more my speed!
Even though Washington area traffic can eat the large part of a weekend getaway. It is still a good thing.  To get away that is!  To recuperate and rest from your daily existence.  I was so motivated when I returned home I energetically went through, sorted and culled all of my fine art supplies.  Got to tell you I felt very professional seeing it all lined up there just waiting for me to make something.  Of course you will notice that I am not showing you 4 walls of photos, mostly because what I am making is a big mess!  Still sorting and culling and donating a mountain of things that rock but not appropriate for the artistic direction I have taken. 
I did however, get a very small project done from start to finish yesterday in less than an hour.
I was feeling all smug when Cathy called to tell me my 10:30 was at the shop waiting for me.  Oops, I had the new Business Director of Homestretch's coffee appointment down for NEXT Wednesday. Homestretch is a Falls Church based organization that helps homeless families rebuild their lives.   Luckily I live 2 miles from the store so fifteen minutes later we were in Natalia's (area's BEST coffee & party shop) talking about this September's Homestretch Days and this year's 2010 Artists Helping Others show.  Both should be lots of fun to work on.  I am actively seeking exhibitors for the art show so see the website if you'd like to apply!Posted by Picasa

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Great FIRSTfriday turnout for Sherry Hickey!

Local author Sherry Hickey seems quite tickled as her fans (young and old alike!) came out to get their copies of "Card Auntie's Wonderful Workshop" signed on FIRSTfriday.  This charming paperback is now available for sale at the shop and would be great as an end of year teacher gift for a class library or a special friend.  Sherry has autographed all of the copies for a special treat!
My buddy Betsy and I went treasure hunting up in Maryland yesterday.  I said that I was going to behave myself but somehow I picked up 3 bins of treasures and oodles of jewelry (because more is MORE!).  Do go with our Hawaiian tiki specials this month I found another crazy parrot head mug and semi-matching parrot sterling pendant along with a crazy sequined hula dancer bag.  You really DO have to see it to believe it!  We've got them all priced and they will be on the sales floor this afternoon.

We are gearing up for the next Art & Antique Fair this Saturday from 10 to 2.  The Tinner Hill Blues Festival is this weekend as well http://www.tinnerhill.net so stop by when you are roaming the Little City listening to the Big Blues!Posted by Picasa