Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our Baby Is Born . . . Classic Cottage Living

Classic Cottage Living Homepage
When we started this process, I had a grand idea of all of the things I wanted encompassed under the heading of Classic Cottage Living. This vision had many different facets; there's a physical location, the on-line storefront, the HGTV Show, the Podcasts, the magazine . . . you get the idea ~

Then the hard reality of being laid off from my "day-job" hit home, and this venture took a different turn. My dear friend Karen always says, "baby steps", and it appeared we were going to be forced to do just that. Which, by the way, is probably exactly what we needed to do anyhow but not my normal approach. I'm more of a bull in a china closet kind of girl. Funny how things work out. I guess, once again; I am being reminded that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing. I am a little hard headed or slow, maybe both!

Instead, we are starting the venture of growing the Classic Cottage Living brand with the things WE make and will then round out the collection by adding items from others at some point. It only makes sense; as both my hubby & I are very creative and we make everything (literally). Nearly every gift we give is something we've made and often we're told that our gifts are the favorite, because of that very fact.

Well, fast forward and mix in that old adage of "necessity being the mother of invention", and that's where we are today. We are taking our God given talents, and applying them to the things we love to do, and then making them available to everyone. If you could see what my "craft room" looks like, you would know that I dabble in nearly every sort of thing you can make yourself. I've always made my own greeting cards for family and friends as I've been a Graphic Artist for a looong time; so making cards for Classic Cottage Living was a logical choice. Shooting pictures is something that I just love to do - most of the time I just click away and hope the feeling of that particular moment is what I've captured. That doesn't make me a trained "photographer", but people seem to like the pictures I take; which is good enough for me. Combine the two and viola' you have an entire line of products: Notecards, giftcards, bookmarks, matted prints, and on it goes.

Jewelry making is another thing I've always done for myself and as gifts; especially with seaglass. So there's another thing we added to the list for our store . . . I enjoy putting up preserves (it's blueberry season, guess what I'll be doing next week) and then there's the herb & spice concoctions for cooking and dip making. I also make soaps and lotions; lots of wreaths, oh and gift baskets; love to make them - that's pretty much a whole store right there.

Top all that off with the gorgeous furniture and wooden gift items my husband Scott makes, and we've just filled up a good portion of an online store; and that's exactly what we did - or I should say, are doing. That's another of our collective talents; I dream up the look of the website and how I want it to function and Scott builds it. Perhaps we should have done a much simpler shopping cart type website to get started, but that's not how we wanted folks to perceive what Classic Cottage Living is. Looking back, it was definitely the right choice. Now, when you enter our on-line store, it feels just like it should; cozy, welcoming and a place to hang out at, again and again. I hope you all agree, and stop by from time to time to see what's new at the cottage. Be watching for that HGTV show, coming soon . . . well not that soon; but someday, maybe ~

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summertime at the Cottage

One of the best parts of living on a body of water is that when it's a good day, it's an exceptional day, and summertime seems to give us more than our share of them. We woke this morning to see a clear blue sky and a glass still pond out our bedroom window. When we moved in, my very clever husband had the wonderful idea to break up our long bedroom by putting the bed right in the middle of the room, facing the water. So now, we wake every day to a beautiful view. Great idea and I love sharing the concept, as I never would have thought of it.

The next wonderful thing about summertime at the cottage is that the grandkids are out of school, and are able to come for longer visits to "Nanny & Papa's". When they are here we seem to do more of the fun things that one does with children. For example, little Miles & I went to the ocean and had my iPhone playing music while we were taking a break from the waves. I decided it was a good tune to dance to; so started dancing, and sure enough, Miles joined right in. There we were, dancing in the sand on the beach; just because we could. Ahh, the joys of grandchildren. Perhaps it's just the excuse needed to bring out the kid in us once again.

As the songs says, if you have a choice to sit it out or dance . . . dance, dance, dance! Here's to summertime - cheers!