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!


  1. Ooh, I like escaping into YOUR real life for a bit!
    I can't seem to become friends with Twitter. Nor Pinterest. Don't understand them.

    Perhaps you can exhibit your work in the cool café?!

  2. Wow. This was like reading a book! I want a job at Starbucks. But I don't want to get out of bed. I love the photos of your flowers. We still have a bush with roses on it. The weather has been strange here, but winter will hit us soon.

  3. P S - I don't even try Twitter. It makes me nervous!

  4. I loved this little glimpse into your real life. It's great that your getting to do all these wonderful creative jobs full time.

    I follow you on pinterest and twitter. I wonder if that makes me your cyber stalker? ;-)


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