Wednesday, November 21, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again...

Dear Friends,
Wishing you all a most happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

And if starting your holiday shopping is on your agenda, I hope you will consider staying home this year, shopping online and buying hand-made and vintage!  And to give you just that much more incentive, here are three coupons for all three of my shops on Etsy (and even a few gift ideas)!!  All three coupons are valid from Thursday, Thanksgiving Day (we will be happy to confirm orders and begin to pack them after we give our thanks and eat our dinner!!) through Cyber Monday!   Just make note of the coupon codes and insert them in the appropriate space in your order.  (You don't really have to remember them because they will be noted in the shop announcements of each shop as well.)  You may use the coupons as many times as you would like between Thursday and Monday!

When shopping for hand-made gifts, please consider a visit to The Gossamer Tearoom shop!  There, you will find so many lovely hand-made silk pillow brooches and pendants, hand-made cards and I will even be adding a few Christmas items this weekend as well!  And by using the coupon code above, you will receive free shipping for any purchase you make between Thursday and Monday!  

There is an antique dealer here in our little town who once said something very wise to me.  He said that he thought that being an antique dealer was great because it was the ultimate form of recycling!  Instead of old treasures just being thrown in the landfill because someone didn't know what to do with them, why not sell them to someone who wants them, can use them, will treasure them for decades longer (maybe more!).  I feel very strongly about my vintage shop, not just because many of the items came from my mother's vast collections of nearly everything imaginable, but also because I love the idea of keeping so many beautiful things in circulation and in the hearts and homes of people who love things with a history as much as I do!

Won't you consider adopting something older, 
but loved to give to someone who collects vintage items?
Or just maybe you can give someone a piece
 that will be the start of a whole new collection for them?

And so, between Thursday and Monday, by entering the coupon code when ordering beautiful vintage items from Mirabella Morello, you will receive 10% off all of your purchases!  Did you buy somethings, only to remember that one last thing that you should have purchased as well?  Not to worry!  There is no limit on how many time you can use the coupon between Thursday and Monday, so come on back!

Velvet Revived is my newest shop where I sell digital collage sheets that I lovingly make from all of the  vintage ephemera that belonged to five generations of women in my family (including me!).  I've always loved old postcards, old food package labels, old fruit crates!  And I'm so happy that I can make sheets of all of these images so that others can have as much fun using them as I do!  I've just finished two new sheets, both for Christmas.  So, all Black Friday/Cyber Weekend long, if you buy one of the new Christmas sheets, you may pick out any other sheet from the shop to receive for free!  Plus, there will be a special litttle mini sheet sent as yet another special "Thank You" for shoppng in my Etsy  shops this weekend!  There is no coupon code needed for this!

(And if used books are your favorite thing, don't forget to check out 
Mr. V's Amazon shop VixMixx as well!

Thank you so much for shopping at The Gossamer Tearoom, Mirabella Morello, Velvet Revived and VixMixx!   Every sale is very much greatly appreciated!

Wishing you a most wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Notes from Real Life

Dear Friends of The Tearoom,
Most people who visit here know this is an imaginary place and that Real Life is rarely admitted as a visitor. (My sincere apologies if this is news to the nice lady on Pinterest who has listed my blog along with many international travel destinations on her “Places I Want to Visit” pin board!)  Real Life has included many changes in the life of myself and Mr. V since I started this blog, but I have mainly only discussed those of the greatest importance.  I felt the need to have a place to hide sometimes and breathing the scents of bergamot from my tea cup while snuggling in the deep purple velvet couches here at The Tearoom, even if only in my mind, has helped tremendously in dealing with the things in my life that I could not avoid.

Being a fairly new resident of The Twitter-sphere and The Endless Rabbit-Hole of Pinterest, I find it fascinating how people find each other there!  I am trying to learn to like Twitter better than I do (I think I am too verbose to enjoy having to condense my thoughts into so few characters!).  My exercises in brevity are currently being followed by (and I am following in return) a lovely and funny young lady in New York City who wrote a very funny, but very true-to-life blog post about her work-habits, being a worker from home.  You can read it here.

Here in The Land of The Tearoom, Mr. V and I are also Workers-From-Home.  Jobs are nearly impossible to find here in our tiny town in Western Maine. So, we are beyond lucky that My Beloved Mommy Cupcake left us not only her house, a lovely little Art Deco bungalow built the year she was born in 1926, but also her many collections, including some really beautiful china, glassware and books. 

Our house, in spring (of  which I am always dreaming!)

It would be impossible for us to keep it all and much of it now makes up the stock for several online businesses!  We love being antiques and vintage book dealers and I love the idea that there is nothing left for us now but to become the artists we were meant to be!  My handmade shop on Etsy, also called The Gossamer Tearoom is only one of my creative outlets.  I love styling and photographing the pictures for my vintage shop Mirabella Morello and making digital collage sheets for my third Etsy shop Velvet Revived from the postcard collections of my mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-aunt, as well as myself!  Mr. V has a great time selling used books in his Amazon shop VixMixx.  We hone our photography skills and I love doing digital collages for online challenges and blog parties!  And, I’m not even mentioning the film we’re working on starring some very adored old dolls and stuffed friends of mine and my mother's!!  More on that soon...

But my new Twitter friend Bonnie is right, it does take a certain kind of person to be able to actually make progress in the course of a day when you work from home.  We have found we love working for such nice, easy-going bosses as ourselves and try to keep things productive in the course of the day.  Here are a few of my observations about it all:

-In an earlier life, I had to get up at 4 am to drag myself over to my job at Starbucks across the street to make coffee for everyone in the world (or at least Dupont Circle).  Now, I wake up around 7:30 or 8 in the morning to Mr. V posting fun and silliness to his Facebook page.  He spoils me rotten by making us coffee and brings up my first cup while I am looking at what has been happening online overnight.

image from The Gossamer Tearoom on Pinterest
-I generally end up “Down the Rabbit Hole”, as Mr. V refers to Pinterest, for a while.  I would feel guilty, but I found that my Etsy sales increased from using it, so I do indulge in this guilty pleasure for a while.

-Just as Bonnie mentions in her blog post, wardrobe is not a primary concern of my day most days I am working on projects here at home.  Currently, my favorite thing to wear is a huge long-sleeved black t-shirt on which my friend Lahkem painted a portrait of Bob Marley in red, yellow and green fabric paint and thick black sweat pants.  It’s warm and comfy, very important in a cold place like here in Maine (I won’t mention my extreme hatred of the cold one more time, but I will say that I very much miss the early springs and long, hot summers in DC!).  

-I actually look forward to my visits to our teeny post office to mail packages out to customers!  We just love the lady who waits on us there. We will be sad to see her retire in January!

-We were spoiled beyond spoiled when we lived in our apartment in DC, conveniently located near three Starbucks (including the one where I used to work), lovely Teaism, two Cosi locations (complete with horrible attitudes and customer service), Firehook Bakery, Marvelous Market and Le Pain Quotidien. Now, all coffee, tea, hot chocolate, oatmeal, the occasional muffin, sandwiches, brownies, quesedillas, breakfast burritos and even pain au chocolat(!) come from Our Kitchen Downstairs, a lovely place that employs two lovely cooks and no attitude at all!  However, the menu does not seem to include caramel frappacinos, hand-roll Bento boxes, ginger limeade, mango lassis, iced Assam tea, salade nicoise and huge almond meringues, like the ones in that window of the shop in Paris, just down the street from our hotel (yet!).  Also, fruit tarts more frequently would be nice.  We will be speaking to the management about this (we think they read this blog!). Actually, there is a cool coffee and luncheon place on Main Street (where we are not the head chefs), but until we win the lottery, we can’t afford to go there with any regularity.  It’s one of the only “cool” places in a town seriously devoid of “cool”, so we would like to help keep it open!

-If I haven’t been downstairs yet, I always come down to have lunch with Mr. V.  On sunny days, the sun shines through the lace curtains in the diningroom, making the room bright and sunny!   And, on not-so-sunny days, we enjoy our time there anyway and dream of when we will be sitting in the sunshine again.  

-You should know that if you have ordered something from us, it was packaged either on the diningroom table or on the livingroom floor.  We made a project of tearing out the rugs downstairs last winter and now, the diningroom and livingroom floors are not horrible pink carpet, but the perfectly preserved wood floors that my grandfather built himself.  Thank you, Grampa!  Also, the thank you note you got in your order was written with the tiny kit of art supplies that I keep in a heart-shaped flowered Godiva chocolate box (also fondly referred to as "The Office in a Box").

-Mr. V plays DJ with the CD collection all day on the boombox in the diningroom but sometimes I just listen to something here on the laptop in our room.  Mr. V and I met when we were working together in a record store in 1984 and 1985, so a life without music just wouldn’t be “us”!  Mr. V currently loves the new BitCrush and Lights Out Asia (can't wait for the new Flunk), I am loving The Unbending Trees, Paul Buchanan and the new Bat for Lashes.  We both love the new xx and are so excited for the release of all three Weeknd albums together with new tracks!  Also, love listening to NPR while working on projects, especially Radiolab!

-In the summertime, when I need to stretch or just get away to think for a minute, I go tinker in my little potted plants on our porch or go walk on our little lawn (being careful to avoid what I call “prickle-weeds” on my bare feet).  A lawn and even a small place to garden were the things I missed when living in the city and now I have them and am grateful for them.

-At night when we watch movies or TV together, I either bring down the laptop and write or work on digital collage projects or have a craft project perched on the table next to my chair to work on while I watch.

-And, many times, I keep what we call “The Vampire Hours”!!  I either stay up until some silly time of the morning or I wake up and can’t get back to sleep, so I work in the middle of the night.  It has always been a very productive time for me and now, I work by computer light as Mr. V sleeps across the room until I come to bed and dream my crazy dreams that make up my next art projects!

Thank you for visiting us in Real Life, Dear Friends!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A Deliciously Creepy After-Halloween Treat...

Dearest Friends,
I hope you had a most lovely and most spooky All Hallows Eve!  Did you receive a lovely portion of treats when you went out Trick or Treating?  Have you finished sorting out and prioritizing which lovely pieces you will consume next?  Did you receive several packages of candy-coated spiderwebs, each in their brightly-colored, crackly cellophane packets?  And I hope you received some of the fun-sized packages of our favorites, the Brazilian Worm Cakes we served at our party!  If not, please take some for your ride home from The Tearoom today!

But, as a special treat (and just to remind you that everyday is Halloween in our hearts here at The Tearoom), here is an adorably creepy and beautiful video called "The Haunted Pumpkin" from The Jonny Clockworks Puppet Theatre in New York.  This video stars Baby June, billed as "The World's Oldest Baby Doll Star"!

Dear Mr. Jonny Clockworks has been such an inspiration to me in a a project which will be revealed soon...(by way of a hint, Dearest Deer Prince Jean-Cerf, whom you met at the party, is a part of it!).  His puppet theatre in New York City is in need of help.  Won't you please check out his website and consider a donation?

Wishing All a Happy Weekend!


UPDATE:  Posted by The Clockworks Blog 11/12 -
"Alas ! The ClockWorks is No More ! The remnants of the dream lie buried in a mausoleum , and shall remain there a slumber , until the recollection of wonder and marvel returns to the minds of men."
How very, very sad...