Friday, September 2, 2011

Perhaps We Spoke Too Soon. . .

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In case there is anyone wondering where we have been for the last four months, let me update you.  From the last post you might assume we have been busy getting our new venture off the ground. . . but no.

Lisa and I have loved House of White for the last year as we got to know some of you and shared our projects here, on facebook, in the shop, and on etsy, but somewhere over the summer as life was hitting us with its usual whirlwind of slightly organized chaos, we realized we were spreading ourselves too thin.  And we also realized that there are other things in our lives that would have to be sacrificed if we really wanted to make this thing work. . . and we didn't want to sacrifice those things.  I admire those of you who put your all into what you do--and you do it so well! I will continue to get inspiration from you, but we have closed House of White.

We will still continue to do our own personal projects, and if you have any interest in seeing what I am up to you can follow along on my sporadically updated personal blog.

Thanks for all the encouragement and kind words over the last year.   

Best of luck!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Branching Out. . . The Long Winded Version

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As House of White evolves, Lisa and I find ourselves doing things a little differently than we imagined at the get go.  But I figure to make a business work, and to really figure out what we enjoy doing and what will succeed, we have to be flexible.

We started out making over furniture, we still do that, though our large furniture pieces haven't been big sellers.  Chairs, stools, mirrors and frames sell well. Desks, dressers and other large items, not so much.

Early on we branched into decor items--some vintage, some repurposed, some newly crafted. Vintage item sales are hit and miss, the repurposed and newly crafted items generally sell well--especially our paper products (wreaths, garlands etc.), and our framed items (chalkboards, message boards etc.).  Keeping both our etsy store stocked and our booth full (while balancing our home lives and busy, young, over scheduled children) has been a balancing act!

Add to that, our decorating posts about our own homes and projects (which I have to admit seem to be the most popular!), and you might wonder about us going in too many different directions.  Blame it on an inability to focus on one thing when we love so many--or maybe it's merely ADD.  Probably a bit of both!

So ALL that (along with our previously confessed secret desire to be in party planning) got us to thinking. . . how could we combine all that without burying ourselves?

We have come up with a solution we both love and are very excited about.  In case you have been wondering what the images in the post have to do with and how they relate to House of White, let me elucidate you:

Vintage Prop and Event Rentals.  

We will still continue on as before, but in addition to selling vintage, repurposed and newly crafted home decor (and posting about it along with our own personal quest to decorate our homes) we are beginning to accumulate fun vintage pieces and accessories that can be rented out to those of you locals for your next event! We have also begun adding things to our shop that would lend well to events or photo shoots that can be paired with our rental items (like our new flag banners, or even our paper garlands) And of course we will blog about it so the rest of you can get inspiration on how you might use fun old furniture pieces, or canning jars, or old crates to enhance your party, photo shoot, or wedding.

All the items pictured here are from a recent estate sale Lisa and I stopped by. It was packed with cool stuff.  It was one of those houses where the people clearly lived out most of their lives there and now the children are selling it all off, the barns, cellars, house and all its contents.  I only wish we'd gotten there sooner, they were packed with shoppers--they even had flaggers directing traffic.

We hopped out of our car and bee-lined for a stack of the most gorgeous blue canning jars.  As we oohed and ahhed over the fact that they were only $1 each, a man came over and said, "Those are sold already."  We then realized the jars were on the tailgate of someone else's truck!  Somehow we failed to notice that.  He was nice enough to point us in the direction of the canning shed where more jars were. . . but they were newer and clear.  I snagged one in the house, and a couple other neat jugs in the barn.  We did find a fabulous stack of crates in the canning shed though. . .

They didn't clean the items to sell them, and I didn't clean them before snapping pictures, but can you imagine how they might be used?  If not, let me give you a few examples of what to do with crates, for instance:

Pictures from: 1. The Knot  2. Ruffled Blog  3. September Blue

A lot has to happen before we officially get going in that arena, but I thought I'd give you a heads up and see what you think. . . so. . .

What do you think?

In light of this new venture, we are moving our booth at Camas Antiques.  June 1st we will be relocating to an upstairs locations (which we are thrilled about), but a smaller space--so we can focus on the smaller items, the repurposed and hand crafted part of our business.  We will still offer furniture and vintage items, but less of them, as most of those will go into growing our rental inventory.

If you frequent Camas Antiques, our new space is located where Chloe Rose currently resides (she is moving to a larger upstairs space).  We hope you like the direction we are headed and would love hear your thoughts and opinions.

Happy Monday to you!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Beachy Bar Stools

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Here is what I have decided:  the more I have to actually blog about, the LESS time I have to blog it.  But then, doing anything in a timely manner has never been my strong suit.

Take these bar stools, for instance.  I bought them last summer, before House of White was born.  They were originally a blond wood.  I actually took before pictures, but they are still on my broken hard drive. . . irretrievable.  I painted one right after I got it, so conceivably I could have taken a picture of the other two, which just got painted last week.  But no.

They aren't that old, but I thought they would look cute and beachy all painted up, with numbers on the back.   I liked the rush seats and thought I could clean them up.

 Rob, of course, reminded me that we didn't have a beach house to put them in, but I bought them anyway--for my house.  Then we decided something more nondescript would be better for the space since the table was so close.

I might have made a bad decision. . .

Lisa and I finally got around to finishing the chairs this week.  I discovered that the spots on the seats were wax. . . meant to hold the seat together where it was suffering from some wear and tear.  It was staying.

So I decided to sew little covers for them.

I think they turned out super cute.  I added a little blue ticking stripe trim to the seat, and ties to the back (along with little ties under the front to secure it to the front legs).

They blend in so well with my kitchen that I think I should have kept them!

And even though I screwed up when I painted the first number, and did it off centered, I think the added dot just makes it cuter.

But alas, Lisa wouldn't let me keep them.  So we packed them off to the shop, along with a few other things.  And there they sit, in case they are calling your name--you can go rescue them and take them home with you.

Nothing says summer like a little beachy decor and a pitcher of lilacs.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Shop Randomness. . .

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Spring here in Washington is a funny, funny thing.  Since we don't get super cold in the winter, the flowers bloom earlier here than some other places--which is great, because it feels springy.  But the rain doesn't stop until the fourth of July, so we don't really get to appreciate spring the way we'd like to--outside.

One rain free day a couple weeks ago (actually it was probably only a rain free moment in a day)  I managed to take a few shots of random loveliness: the flowering plum trees.

But then the rain commenced and rained all those lovely blossoms off the trees and into the mud.  Sometimes we are lucky enough to see those blooms linger and flutter to the ground like mounds of soft pink snow.  I love those years. . . this is not one of them.  So I never got the chance to clip some branches and bring them inside.  Other trees are blooming now and I might yet get to, but in the meantime I was inspired by a picture I saw somewhere.

So I made my own flowering branches.  The branches and the moss are real, the blossoms are tissue paper.

I simply cut a load of 1-2 inch squares and folded them in half twice, then curved the edges to make little four petal flowers, stacked two together, wrapped them on the end of a pencil and hot glued them to my branches.

I didn't keep the watering can full of spring, so I have no lovely vignette with it.  I actually wanted it for the booth, to add some spring cheer that wouldn't die and look ugly before I came back to stock up again.  I meant to take a picture of the booth when we took it over with a few more things to add to the space, but I went out of town and Lisa took it all over. . . and forgot to take a picture.

We also took a couple mirrors, a chalkboard and a chicken wire message board to replace the others that sold.

Some Holly Hobbie prints--I wanted to keep a few of those. . .

I love these knob boards. I made myself one, then liked them so well we made a few for the booth.

And that clothes pin board in the back?  We made two of those after being inspired by Andrea over at Faded Plains.  I think I will make one for my daughter's room. . . eventually!

Down in front on the floor are more butterfly garland.  Some are dictionary and some are vintage sheet music with a little pink interspersed (from the pink covers of a few of them).  Alongside those are some clay herb tags.  I will post more about those later, when I get more made and add them to the esty shop.

With the weather predictions of a little sun this week I think I will throw open the garage and paint some furniture.  It's about time since we have three dressers, a vanity, three chairs, a small wall hutch, a bed, a desk, and a large mirror and some frames to paint.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Patience is A Virtue. . .

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Early in my marriage when I was inexperienced and poor, I tended to buy furniture based on need and a desire to have it NOW.  If the couch I wanted was too expensive, I just bought something cheaper.  I didn't search to find it somewhere else cheaper. I didn't wait and save my pennies so I could buy it later. I just found something that would work.

Then I looked around my house and decided I didn't really like what I had.  It didn't feel like it represented my style. . . if I even knew what that was.  I have recently come to the conclusion that if you have something functional in place you are less likely to go out seeking something new.  Why go looking for the perfect sofa if you have one in good shape doing the job?  It seems less justifiable.  

So when our springer spaniel snacked on our furniture last fall I got rid of the ruined sofa and table and chairs in my family room and kitchen.  I found a table I loved right away, but Rob and I couldn't agree on family room furniture.  This time I wasn't willing to just buy something that would do the job, and neither of us really wanted to spend the amount of money it would cost to get my first or even second choice sofa and club chairs. So I moved my living room furniture into my family room and lived with an empty living room. . . until this month.

My patience paid off!  We found nearly the same sofa for half the price--1/3 the Restoration Hardware sofa! And it came with the five pillows shown in the picture.  I love a good rolled English arm sofa (and a turned leg).  Rob argued it wouldn't be comfortable, and with only a picture to go on with the other two stores, I wasn't making progress convincing him, but once he sat in this beauty he agreed that it was, indeed, quite comfy.  It has down/feather filled cushions and a really deep seat--great for the two of us being 6'2" and 5'10".  

Here is the Restoration Hardware sofa:

The Pottery Barn sofa:

The RC Willey sofa (Mine):

AND we found a sofa table and a coffee table for a good deal.  A nearly identical table set can be purchased at Ballard Designs, but they cost more! I count that a double score.  Plus mine was made from reclaimed wood out of a factory.  

Ballard table:

And I got some great accessories:  the mounted driftwood on the sofa table. . .

And this lovely three teared tray, which I love everything about, even the little bun feet underneath it.  

Now I just need to find those two leather club chairs and another upholstered chair to finish the seating. . . 

But in the meantime, I am ignoring the rain pouring down outside, washing all the lovely blossoms off the trees.  I am bringing a little spring inside.  I may have to fill my house with cut flowers to appease my annoyance with the dreary weather around here!  

**All furniture and accessories mentioned in this post were purchased at RC Willey**

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