Hello all~  The other day I got a wild hair.  I was looking at my gorgeous stack of ironstone and thinking about how much I really love it and all its imperfections.  And, then I looked at the plates that we use everyday... Great White by Pottery Barn.  Nice plates.  But, aren't they really just a knock off of the classic that I love?  And, they haven't acquired any patina (save for a few chips) in the last 6 years.  So, why do I have a set of dishes that I love, but don't use?  Doesn't make make sense.  So, I decided to get rid of them (after the Mr. made me make sure the ironstone wasn't going to poison us.) My sister has graciously offered to take all the Great White off our hands and I just finished my first breakfast off of a plate that has that great feel to it.)

So, we started evaluating other things.  Most days, our downstairs living room is taken up by chalk art, which is a wonderfully good thing.  But, the Mr. has no great place to work on it.  His office is also our library/bonus/train table room.  And, it is currently filled mostly with pieces that we just don't love. Do you ever play the game in your head "What would you take with you if you really downsized?"  Nope? Just me?  Well, anyhow, I do.  And, after realizing that we both feel the same way, we decided to start selling off the furniture and creating a space where he can work on the boards.  We decided that we will turn my studio into a playroom (ahem, train table room) for baby hughes and take a portion of the bonus room as an area for me.  Since I have opened the shoppe, I haven't really been spending that much time working in there anyhow.

Lately I have been thinking about what works and what doesn't.  We had a really hectic July.  We have been blessed beyond measure in our businesses keeping us busy and we have been trying to figure out ways that we can manage them better.  Currently, I am getting quite a few requests for custom painting furniture... which I love.  I truly love painting furniture.  I love all that I do, but painting is at the tip top of my list.  Right now, I have Monday- Wednesday and after shoppe hours Thursday- Sunday to paint all the furniture... for us to sell and for clients.  And, it just isn't enough time to get it done.  The Mr. and I have talked over several options and the best option for me right now is to close the shoppe on Thursdays.  I have tried and tried to carve out more time by working before and after hours, but I really don't want to take anymore time away from my family at this point.  And, it will give me additional time to hunt more vintage goodness.  Right now, I have to take a "painting" day off to do that.  And, our little guy is between preschools at the moment and that is going to take time to find the best spot for him.  So, all of this together makes us just want to *simplify* I guess that is the beauty of having your own business, you get to make the your own rules.  I don't like to do things if I can't do them *right* and this will be the best way for me to carve out a little time to recharge my creative batteries and maybe clean my house more too *wink*  I will still always do *by appointment* on the days when the shoppe is not open for those who aren't off on the weekends.

Thanks for *listening* to me ramble and for all of your support!  We are excited to redecorate and we are also getting ready for Bella Rustica in September!  We had a great party on Sunday for the little man (photos soon!)  It was wonderful to be in the company of good friends (and family too!)

bye for now~


  1. Use what you love. That is the beauty of what we do. I firmly believe everything is tastier on a good vintage dish! I'm currently trying to rescue enough vintage restaurant ware to completely switch out the cupboards. I will be so happy when we can ditch the Fiesta we registered for 15 years ago! Balance is the hardest thing. Here's hoping the new plan works!

  2. I'm so glad you were able to realize what you want and what works best for you, before things got overwhelming and out of hand! :) Blessings on your continued success.

  3. I found your blog through Urbanfarmgirl and love both of your blogs! You are very talented! I just love everything you do!

  4. Michelle,
    Yes, you must do what works for you and your family -- work to make a life, don't live to work.
    I am so happy to hear that you are surrounding yourself and using items that are special to you.
    Your Friend,

  5. Michelle - did the same thing with my dishes about two years ago...though I had several sets of old vintage dishes, we were using chipped IKEA plates for IKEA went to goodwill, we're using the diner ironstone by Homer Laughlin and I gave my Fiesta dishes to a young friend just starting out who loved them...and yes, I dream of downsizing too...we are in the process of doing so...a move across country is want to live lighter. Wish I didn't live so far away...The Bella Rustica event sounds fabulous!

  6. Michelle,
    I too want to simplify and downsize EVERYTHING. It really feels good not to have all the excess. Now if I can convince my two teenagers! Good luck with your changes.

  7. Family always has to come first, Michelle - so follow your heart! :) And sometimes we have to declutter our homes AND our lives in order to get our priorities straightened out and feel blessed again. ♥

    xoxo laurie

  8. So glad you were able to work things out!! Wishing you a beautiful week, and can't wait to see the photos of the sweet birthday!! xo Heather

  9. WOW! I am sooo happy to see I am not the only one who has been hitting a "phase" like this of downsizing, and simplifying things. Over time we collect so many things, and there they sit looking at us, and wondering if this is their destiny....just to sit:) Nice to bring back to life things of past to once again enjoy. "Simplify" has been my working goal for a few months now. Moving across country soon is another good excuse....but just using what I love, and showing the things I love is good enough for me too:)

  10. I was lucky enough to inherit some antique transferware from my grandmother and after a long debate I decided that there was no reason to leave hem hidden in the cupboards. So onto the table they went along with her antique sterling silverware!! It makes me smile every day to see them and makes me think about her. As for the downsizing, that bug has shown up in our house also. I am a MAJOR packrat, so it has been hard for me, but slowly I am letting things so. Planning on a big yard sale the first of September.


  11. Love your dishes. It is so easy to get caught up in "acquiring" things,at least for me, that I end up with things that don't even speak to me. I say, if it doesn't make you happy, bless someone else with it!

  12. Good for YOU ! Taking the time to throw out, re-do and make do is so FREEING...
    closing the shop on Thursdays gives you time to be more creative. Keeping the
    Balance in family & work life is most important. So, again- Good for YOU !
    You won't regret and I bet your customers will benefit from your re-arranging things.


  13. I use vintage dishes every day of the week. It's another one of those, who am I saving this for when I can enjoy them everyday? As to changing the use of your rooms in your home, good for you! I think too many grew up with the idea of a 'roped off' living room that was for just for company and kept up that silly tradition. Plus who says a dining room is a dining room? It's a work room for more people than not and why not take it a step farther and set it up as one. Remember to take time for yourself, or you'll end feeling like you HAVE to go to your shop, rather than look forward to it.

  14. I rotate out everything I own design-wise. It's fun to add and subtract serving pieces. I am gradually downsizing collections gathered over the years. I only saved pieces I can utilize throughout the year and accent with seasonal pieces. Know you are very busy but wanted to let you know we appreciate all of your creativity and miss your posts.

  15. Hi! I just saw you in Romantic Homes (congrats!) and am your newest follower. I love your style and your shop! My mom and I have a small shop and our tastes are very similar to yours! (also in my house I have a stack of suitcases, old cameras, etc.) I'd love you to visit my blog and say hi, if you get the chance :)
    Have a great day!

  16. You've inspired me, I have tons of items, dishes, serving pieces,etc I have been saving for the "right" time bcause they're nicer than my everydays. Well, what makes it the "right" time? Why let it sit until I die and my kids donate it to the Salvation Army? TODAY is the right day and I am cleaning out the mismatched but servicable stoneware in the cabinet and getting out the "good" dishes.

  17. I've always used my plate collections! I figure that there's no reason in collecting if you can't enjoy them!! Good for you!! :)


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