Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!

‎With the stress and melancholy that has come with closing the shop, we decided to have some fun.
My youngest son, Ben, and his friend Carolyn decided to host a Christmas Ball in our barn.
Dress up to your hearts desire, games, dancing, food, drink and prizes.
I really just wanted to share this picture with you, because when I remember the night, this moment is one I just don't want to forget.  Steve Brandt who volunteered to take pictures, captured it.

@[207877042194:274:Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grille] crew lookin mighty dapper!
This is the crew of the Wild Tomato in Fish Creek, they had finally all gotten off of work and the dancing and fun was really picking up.  The owners, Britt and Sarah are sitting in the center of the picture.
I'm not going to tell you why the great laughter burst out, but trust me it was precious and something that would resemble a Wes Anderson movie.  This is a quirky group.
Because I am the mother of two of these people, it tickles me even more.  The young man in the chair with the biggest cackle is my youngest son, Ben.  That's him.  Gregarious, hilarious, tender hearted and if you're a decent person, your best friend.  Next to him perched on the arm of the sofa is my oldest son Danny.  That's him.  Wicked sense of humor, wary and doesn't just open himself up to anyone, maybe a little on the cryptic side... however the glass is usually half full.  Never misses a moment, just watches from afar.

I put my hands on the computer screen to just focus on Ben's face, then pan back to the rest of the picture.  Then I did on Danny's.  Both my boys captured perfectly in one shot.
Merry Christmas to me.
If you want to just smile, click on the picture to enlarge and just enjoy one surprising, slightly twisted moment that no one could stifle.

Merry Christmas to you.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Viva's First Event of the Season of 2013... Set!

Mark you calendar for our very first special event and sale for Saturday, May 25th of Memorial Day weekend at 10am sharp!
I knew the location would be perfect because there is decent parking and a gorgeous space.
We've also held some very special family and friend events here as well.
The Barn.
After second guessing myself a million times, the right idea finally unfolded.  Frankly, I needed to be able to produce something wildly creative, interesting, tons a great things for sale and inspiration to abound.
Not only will the barn be filled with wonderful vintage and hand made items, we will also have the Lepi soaps, Heart's Desire Linen clothes, and the gorgeous glass frames you've bought from us in the past.
Since you know we are going more into the event styling business, we will also have a few very special vignettes for you, so you can see that other part of what we do.
(top secret until that day!)
It gets better... we are going to reopen the tea bar!  Yes right in the barn, hot and cold drinks, cupcakes, scones and all kinds of treats.  
Closing the shop has been hard and draining to say the least... today I received the gift of the "next" thing...
and we all applauded in agreement.

Now I'm out of here... plans are flowing!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Favorite Holiday Dress Form

A quick post of my favorite display, a trimmed dress form.
We had a great time at the event, saw lots of our favorite customers... and now to the reality of closing.
We are here Friday and Saturdays from 10 to 4pm.
The ENTIRE shop is 50% off, and there is some great stuff to be had.
I'm also letting go of some of my favorite display windows, doors and other items.
Come and see us!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Jeanine came by the shop this weekend to say her goodbyes (at least to the shop) and she did a lovely blog post with tons of pictures.  Go straight to Chippy Shabby to see this great post as well as her blog about everything else!  Her holiday vignettes are always inspiring and she never forgets to post her antiquing junkets leaving us all drooling.  We still have TONS of great stuff in the shop and everything is 50% off!  Robes, clothes, vintage, frames, soaps, bedding and all kinds of fixtures.  We'll be there Thursday through Sunday, 10 to 5.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Today, Happiness and a Full Heart... Getting Back to it.

Was today fun or what?!
I finished the decorating late yesterday afternoon, looked at it pleased, but wary.   Every year I wonder if anyone is going to show up to this "Winter Wonderland" shin dig.  This may have been our most successful one yet.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

This season has been a bit... I don't know... off, weird, stressful, burned out.  Knowing that we are closing has not exactly been a motivator for me to be the shop keeper I know I can be, and have been. I have just been off/down this season.
 But today, that was fun.  It felt like old times at Viva.

I spent the week with the doors closed, tunes cranked and merchandise to display however my heart desired, and I was back.

I remembered what is was like to flirt with the older gentlemen so their wives could shop in peace, engage in chit chat with people checking out only to learn about so many interesting lives (and the stories we hear!).  To watch Carol engage, roam through the shop and hear her yacking it up with customers while putting things back into place.  Sharing wildlife stories (from the beginning we have had more than our fair share).  To see and listen to the regulars, knowing their stories and all to eager to see them and catch up... It's all gold to me.

Not long ago I read an article about soul restoration and re-claiming your life.  The exercise was a six week course on getting back to yourself... your soul.  The woman who wrote it was rising and shining straight up the corporate ladder, yet felt no joy or excitement about what she was doing... no dear and magic moments were happening in her life.  
The course basically walks you back to the simplicity of who you are at the core.
You know what her soul restoration was?  To be surrounded by loved ones.  To talk.  To share time with girlfriends.  To make art.  To spend time with her husband and children.  To laugh.
These were the things closest to her heart, that made her thrive and be happy... to soar!
For all to be well with the world.
Is she rich?  No.  Is she in rich?  Yes.

Not to say climbing the corporate ladder is wrong, for some it's exactly right.
This  has made me think more than anything lately.  I have been lost for a couple of years, stressed with the things in life that happen to us all, and have been on a scary path letting my anxiety get the best of me.
Realizing that for my heart to thrive and be at it's happiest, I need to be around people.   To laugh. To work on a project as a team.  To have a team full of excitement engaging in the same goal, even if the goal is to just help someone in the simplest of ways or style the hell out of an event.  To say things to uplift, and let others uplift me!  To be alone at times.  To let my heart light shine.  I looked people in the eye today, made jokes, and just got back to being me (which has been gone for a while).
Am I going to have a big bank account with these things?  No.
Am I going to be rich?  Yes.

With all the stress and pressure society puts on, and expects from us, who'd have thought that just being who you are, at the simplest level would actually bring you to being the happiest person you have JUST WANTED TO BE, and basically thrive!

That being said, tomorrow is a different day.  Almost everything is priced to move.  The crowd will gather and chaos could possibly ensue!  I am more than excited to engage in the activity.

Let's just all have a good time, laugh, high five and love each other.

Sweetest of dreams, and may all of us peel away the nonsense of pressures and stresses that hold no meaning, turning it into a day of pure sweetness and fun.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Winter Wonderland Sat... Oh My Heart.

As of yesterday, the shop took a magical turn for me.
Knowing the closing is coming and new adventures await, my heart has not been in
the right spot for decorating one last show... and truly this entire season has been a bit of a creative dry spell for me (an overall, slight sadness). 

Yesterday morning I finished the last of the pricing and unpacking and was finally onto display work.  Because we're consolidating and opening an entire room for In a Haystack to join us, the magic hit again.

One little display... it's small, but as I stood back and looked I remembered what I'm good at.
I'm not bragging, and trust me being able to arrange things is not high on the list of making a good living... however it's authentic to me... and you have your authentic self as well.
It's been a long time since I woke up early, ready for work with an excitement and a lightness in my heart.
I'm on my way in again, will crank up the tunes and get to it!
Hope to see you Sat and Sunday... and please say hello!

ps.  if you follow this blog, stay tuned... we're about to get busy!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Winter Wonderland, And How The "Closing" is Gonna Go Down.

Winter Wonderland... our final show.
Saturday, October 20th at 10am sharp.
It's a little tricky putting on a great show and trying to close a shop all at the same time.  But we really, really wanted to share one last creative hurrah before we closed the doors for good.
That being said, we will be transforming the shop into holiday loveliness.
We have invited In a Haystack to take over one entire room... retro, vintage holiday goodness.

The rest of the shop will be my own take on Winter Wonderland and we have wonderful ideas!
What you don't want to miss is the NEXT day.
We're moving it out... the big clearance sale!

While all your purchases will be 20% off, on the 21st of Oct., the entire store will be reduced 20% to 50% off... and our fixtures that have NEVER been for sale will be!
Don't worry, our holiday items will not be marked down more than 20%, after the show and we will not be reordering so get it while it lasts!

Trying to stay upbeat with no  crying as we share with you this last show.
Hope to see you there.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

A Thing of Beauty, Update on Bo.

I am thanking the Spirit above for Facebook and Caring Bridge.
Because of these things and them being three hours away, we have been able to be side by side and step by step with Annika and Bo.
And let me tell you, they didn't leave anything out.  We have celebrated, we have sobbed and sat in disbelief right along with them.  We have been able to write and tell them what our hearts are feeling, when sometimes you want to say it out loud but are afraid to.  We learned that this support is just what they both wanted and so needed.  Three hours away they knew we were all right there with them.
Bo has been home for a bit now... a steady string of friends and family streaming through his house, welcome hugs... even his pals there swimming, eating and just hanging with Bo.
Everyone knows to come later in the afternoon, and if there is a certain sign on the door it means he's sleeping and to come back later.

I am going to link, copy and paste for you some things below so you can get a taste of just what is happening here.

But first of all let me tell you about something we all know about, but many have never been near.
The Make a Wish Foundation.
On Friday Bo went to Lambeau Field and spent several hours with the entire Packer team.
Lunch with Aaron Rogers and so much more.
Today, as we speak Bo is on his way back to Lambeau with six of his best friends to watch the game from a skybox where they will be treated like kings, and he will be honored at half time.
In this dark time knowing that his precious life is almost over, there is a community with hearts singing and lightness in their steps knowing what joy today is going to bring to Bo.
Great article By Myles Dannhausen.
Myles posted a quote by Bo on his way to school to speak at an assembly and give the students who haven't been able to see or visit him a chance to....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Door County and Heavy Hearts.

Bo is coming home.
There is nothing more the Doctors can do for him.
He has spent the last year fighting with all his might to beat this disease.
They are getting his pain under control, and he will be on his way home to be surrounded by his family and friends... to say his goodbyes and to see the place where he lived and was loved for his entire 13 years... and drift peacefully away with the angels awaiting.
If you could just lift up Bo and his Mom Annika.
There is just nothing more to say.
We are all heart broken.
We all love them so.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hold it, hold it... tilt and suck it in... there!

So.  Some new Neesh came in.  I was having a hard time getting good pics of it so I decided to go into the dressing room and put it on myself.
There's this really cool shortish, tulle skirt which is really perfect for layering and I look FABULOUS in it.
Just get in there and snap.  Well, when I looked through the lens... I looked different than I felt, shall we say.
So with a little tilt  and "suck it in" work, not to mention the camera covering up the wrinkles.. there you go!
I look like I felt!
However, you can't see the skirt.
You can tell by the angle of my feet and knees I was working it.
Sigh, we'll get to the arms at another session.

And hey, here's lifting anyone up struggling with illness, stress, sorrow and anything else that is keeping your world from working just right.
Please say a prayer for Bo Johnson... and his Mom Annika.
(their world is a very uncertain and frightening place right now).
Just trying to keep something feeling normal...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weddings. Trends and Me Moving On.

I am vintage.  I love it and it loves me.
As does everything in life, things change.
Trends and styles change.  I have always been a bit ahead of the game (well let's just say the Door County game which is usually 10 years behind the real trends) and need to take "vintage" to a new level.  While I will always adore worn, tattered, chippy, "patina'd"... something else is rising in my thoughts and wants.
Shiny.  Well taken care of.  Elegant.  Glamorous.
(yet still affordable)
I will be taking on some new weddings next summer and am excited to see what brides are looking for.  It has been a lovely surprise for me to style a wedding.  A bride tells me her vision, and I am given instructions, provided props and settings, surrounded with hard working, creative people... not to mention how the flowers bring it all to life, the cake is a work of art and a very talented photographer captures the moments as they unfold. 
(which all really make me look good)
And then there's this...
Pinterest.  Good grief.

This photo has moved me for two days!

A black wedding dress.  Sounds bleak and strange, but just look at it!
I would totally do this.
Can you imagine everyone turning around to look at you walking up the aisle in this?
Yes, it is beautiful.  Stunning.  
Artistic and memorable... just like a wedding should be.

Well, this is also me avoiding the sadness that has been happening at the shop lately.
I have made peace with it, knowing my next steps... what I didn't plan on were the customers who used to be 60 and now are 76, used to be 12 and now are 28.... and all the hugs, sadness, well wishes... and knowing full well if you come into the shop, it could be the last time I see you... and to think of the great conversations and just general fun we've had.

Stories to come... but focus on those pics above... would you wear a black wedding gown?

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A New Kind of Event, And You Are Invited!

I'm going to give you the quick version here.  I like to write for no other reason than to put in black and white what is muddled in my head, and if you are interested you can check that out below the picture.
Saturday August 4th, the shop will open at 1pm so that we can all attend a very special Zumba event that morning.
I am hosting a Zumba Master Class, which basically means I have invited a big time Zumba "higher-upper" to come to Door County and lead us all in a 90 minute Zumba class that will leave you energized and HAPPY!
ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) Jammer (makes up and teaches Zumba choreography to "we" regular instructors) Victor Nino will be leading an easy to follow, high energy, just plain old good time Zumba class.
Saturday, August 4th from 10:00am to 11:30am.
Gibrlatar High School Gym in Fish Creek.
10.00 per person, at the door.
Kids 12 and under are free:)  (bring em!)
Please show up a little early to register.
Now, back to my brain. 
First of all, check out that grin.  Honestly, that's what he looks like.
I took a "Jammer"class from him, and was totally inspired by not only his dancing and motivating skills, but also his graciousness.
 Want a lesson in just that?  Come to the Zumba class.
The real deal about Victor is he's just a regular person like you or me... with a special gift and I don't want to make him out to be something he's not, but his talent is undeniable.
There's this cheesy phrase that the Zumba community uses... "Zumba Love".
Not all instructors get it, but many do... I have been on the receiving end and the giving end.
It's pretty much a feeling of "can you believe we get to have this much fun, and share it with others?  You are an awesome teacher!  Would you share that routine? What can I do for you?  Welcome to my class, Zumba Instructor, we've never met but here's a big hug for you.  My class finally learned this routine and look at them go!!!".  Connecting with Victor has been the same.  He is more than generous in his coming to DC, and helping me share that "Zumba Love".
This has been a really happy experience for me, and I just want to share it with you.
Can't dance... doesn't matter.
Two left feet.... doesn't matter.
Out of shape, overweight.... doesn't matter.
Fit beyond belief... doesn't matter.
Professional dancer... doesn't matter.
Worried about you age....doesn't matter.
Full of yourself... doesn't matter.
Second guessing yourself.... don't.

Think someone will be watching you?  They won't.
Think Victor or I will be watching you? We won't
 Our goal is to give you a dance party... a good... FABULOUS time... and the side effect is fitness. 
Okay, come on!  Let's dance!!!
Join us.




Friday, July 20, 2012

Viva's Vintage Market Photos

 I love this picture of Carol, Jeanine and I, and I don't like pics of me AT ALL.
 I loved Martha and all her goodies... I scored a fabulous blue and red wicker table from her, just for me.
 Loved Anne!  She is a little spitfire of a gal, and warm as all get out.  I doubt she's ever met a stranger, and I scored two large white suitcses from her!
 Katie truly has the gift of display... I've hired her to do just that in my own shop, and yes I took all the credit.  (not really)
 Carol had a true vintage tent!  All of her items were displayed in and around, it was a real eye catcher.
Below are links to see other images, and get to know the vendor in a better way.
Jeanine from Chippy Shabby took most of these pictures, BTW!
OpendoorStudio... on face book.

Will post others as time goes by!

Thanks to all the participants whether buying or selling, you always make it a lovely day!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bring it on!!!!

Honestly, Saturday cannot get here soon enough!
I am also excited for you to meet some of the new vendors we have this year.
Something for everyone, I'm certain of that.
I just read Jeanine of Chippy Shabby's blog... she's packed and ready to roll, but almost forgot her tent!
Katie of Small Town Vintage has told me she is bringing a very new look to her booth this year.
And Carol, (who works at the shop) as I discovered late this afternoon has been stashing things under beds and tables for Saturday's show!  And yes I did rifle through them.
So sue me.
Okay, see you Saturday.... and yes you are welcome to line up early, but NO EARLY BIRDS!!!!!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vintage Market, Lots of "Lasts" Except For One.

Lots of lasts.
The last of going to market during winter.
The last Memorial Day Weekend rush that is so needed to help pay bills from the winter.
The last June where we cry all day and wonder where all the customers have gone.
The last shock of July 4th when we can't turn left onto any road due to all the tourists, and the last of watching my July bank account fill back up.
The last of lots of "Carols" as well.
We also have lots of personal "lasts" coming up.  As for me and my family we've hit a spot where a lot of letting go has to be done to get to that bright shiny spot we need to be in.  We're all healthy, and no need to feel sorry for us, some change in the winds.... I'll save that for another time, and I'm sure you will nod your head and say "yes" we've been through that.

However, there is one "Last" that won't happen.
Viva's Vintage Market.
Yesssssss.  My favorite thing.  FAVORITE.
While I thought I would be so organized with cards in hand to pass out about where our market will be next year, it has not been that easy!  
Several locations have been scouted, and frankly I have not been able to decide on one.
So, forget about it.
This Saturday is the real deal... and over the winter I will mount a campaign strictly devoted to the Vintage Market, and you will have no questions!
So, here we go!
See you Saturday.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th! 10 more days...

Happy 4th Everyone!!!
The county is bustling with parades, fireworks... and heat!
I'm actually itching to get out of the shop today.  It's days like these when I wish I was the tourist!
Ten days away from the Market.
Catherine of Found Images will be back with her fabulous retro printed lampshades, bags and more!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Viva's Vintage Market Countdown!

Twelve days from today!
I can hardly wait as this happens to be my favorite event of the season.
As most of you know we are closing our brick and mortar, but the Vintage Market will go on!
We have almost nailed down the details for the locale in 2013, so stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Suggestive vs Opinionated... It's Hard For Me.

On the receiving end, that is.
Recently, it seems that I am surrounded by more "advice" than I have been in a couple of decades.
"So what are your plans for next year?"... greeted by eyes that start to squint, arms fold and body posture sinks into place.  Do tell, it better suit me, and here's what you should do.
On the other hand, there are two people who come to mind that are "suggestive",  offer up lots of ideas... some not so great, but some over the top good!  Alicia M.  was always one of these.  She had this knack, still does, for letting her mind wander and spout out any idea, always landing on a gem.
(years and years ago we did a table scape event in the shop... it was our biggest sales day ever, and yet we didn't sell anything that was on the tables... I still laugh at that)
The other is Carol.  When I'm too preoccupied to make a decision she steps up, throws it out there and is right on.
Frankly, I rambled on about hosting some kind of event to Carol years ago and I think I might have to credit her with a big part of that decision, which has turned into Viva's Vintage Market.

Recently in my Zumba class I was approached by a new student of a certain age,  that told me I did not make her sweat enough.  Again today, after her being at five classes she again approached me to "suggest" that I need to talk about shoes, knees, joints... certain "moves" that I do over and over, then she demonstrated those moves.
The thing is, I want to think I can be gracious and thank her for her  "opinions", but sometimes it's just hard. 
To a point she's dead wrong... that's all we used to talk moves.  Watch those knees, don't over do the shoulders, and you are responsible for your workout... step it up lady!  To a point, she's dead on... I should never relax and think students remember everything I tell them, just to avoid injury, and I should show different ways to do the moves, high energy and low
My issue with this woman is simple... she is aggressive in her "opinions" and they flow freely... yet she doesn't know me, and I want to strike back.
Suggestive Vs Opinionated.
In Zumba today the routine to "Pachuco" came on... again.
I mumbled in dead pan,  under my breath... "This is my favorite song, I know I play it every time, and I'm sorry"
From the front row, Jean said.. "you're the instructor, you can!"  Of course this strokes my ego.

It's a life lesson.
How do you handle an opinionated person, who thinks they are just being suggestive, but are strong and swift in their remarks pushing your every button to strike back?

Beer Festival... two gentlemen walked up to me (and when I say gentle, I could tell they were worked up, yet not used to confrontation and nervous).  They were correct in their opinion... which ended up being the perfect suggestion.  I could tell they awaited and dreaded confrontation, yet I was full on accepting and they weren't sure what to make of it.  I'm not sure that they believed I would follow through, but I will.

Then there's religion and politics.... no need to go there, but  I will say that I am always stunned at how people dig in, just to be right and to make a point.  I don't visit these areas, however I have strong beliefs and do not feel the need to force you to believe what I do.

Why is it that some people can suggest things and they ring just fine, yet some people force opinions.... that could be just the right ticket, yet the delivery is offensive?

How do you handle opinionated vs suggestive?

Do tell,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Go Bo, We Need Some Serious Help.


See that kid?  He's doing what all our kids have and will do.  Jump off the Sister Bay dock.
They ride their bikes off, skate boards off, dive and flip... a lot of times to the alarm of tourists who aren't used seeing this free for all, but our kids know what they're doing.

 Here he is again, this picture was taken a while back.  He's with his Mom, Annika. She is the daughter, he is the grandson of the late and legendary Al Johnson... as in goats on the roof, Swedish pancakes, lingonberries and lutefisk.
Here is Bo last October.  A minor accident landed him in the hospital, where the Doctors discovered something very serious.
He spent months in the hospital, went through hell, and I mean the kind most of us might not survive,  and came out the other end in remission.
We were pumped.  This "Caring Bridge" website keeps us up to date on Bo's journey, usually written by Bo.  Quite eloquent.  After reading every post, I truly felt everything... everything he was going through... and sometimes it was precious, like talking about his Mom climbing in the hospital bed with him to watch movies.   Sometimes not precious as his Mom had to write the post because he was in so much pain.

Bo got to come home, go on the DC trip that all the kids of that age go on, and felt some pain.

I'm going to fast forward because this is so hard.
Bo is back in the hospital... he's grown since this picture quite a bit.  So handsome.
His situation is dire. 
The leukemia has come back and is in his bones.  I'm leaving out a lot of medical details, but it boils down to this.... his doctors have never seen this before, and they've contacted the who's who in the medical world and no one knows exactly how to treat it.
His Doctors gave him options... go home.  Live a life as you can for a short while, and then be kept comfortable until you pass.  (I cannot imagine the room when the DR's said this).
Or, go through the worst kind of treatment a human can imagine and have between a 1% and 20% chance of life.
Reading Annika's post on this was too much.  She told him not to do it for her, do it for him.

The Doctors are frustrated, pissed off, and reeling trying to give this kid every opportunity.
He has chosen life... has chosen to put himself through a gut wrenching, body debilitating, side effects that could last for 10 years, 1% to 20% chance to live.
A. Chance. To. Live.

Please, however you do it, lift him up.  In prayer, in energy, to the sky, to the heavens, open your hearts and arms to raise him up.


Friday, June 15, 2012


Eric Lewis, Tommy Burroughs, and the cook (Ben McMahon) playing at John's pre-Fest party last night.

A while back, my husband thought it would be really neat to host a dinner in our barn.
Invite lots of people in the community who are involved in food and farming, or who own small businesses that are important in keeping Door County vibrant.
Brit and Sarah Unkefer of  the Wild Tomato catered the event and focused on using only locally sourced foods.  The menu was adventurous and not what the Tomato typically serves in their restaurant.
The best part was my boys were there hands on and involved in almost every aspect of it.
The upside of moving home...
I'll do a post so you can see how we decorated the barn (so sweet), and just the neatest story.
Above are local favorites Eric Lewis and Tommy Burroughs, and Ben snuck out of the cook spot long enough to enchant us all with a number.
Later this week, I'll tell you how we pulled it off and maybe you'll be inspired to do the same.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

French Glassware

Our favorite glasses are in.
Water, wine... beer!
It all tastes better out of charming glasses.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Door County Beer Festival, or My Life Upside Down!

Maybe you know, or maybe you don't.
My husband and son decided Door County needed a proper beer festival. 
Fast forward, and here we go... this Saturday!
This is no drunk, fall down fest.  This is all about the brew.  Quality, hand crafted in small batches kinds of brews.  Tasting.  And seminars.
Welcome Kyle Cherek, host of the television show "Wisconsin Foodie"
Kyle will be sharing his stories and food adventures from around the state.
I met him... it was kind of surprising how approachable and friendly he is.... and passionate about food.  You'll love him. 

Kyle Cherek
Other seminars include:

  • Robin Shepard, author of "Wisconsin's Best Breweries and Brew Pubs: Searching for the Perfect Pint"
  • Pairing Wisconsin Artisan Cheeses and Hinterland Beer
  • Freestyle Brewing with O'so Brewing Company
  • Capital Brewery's Door County Connection
  • Cherries and Beer, a Door County Connection
  • The Future of Hop Growing in Wisconsin
  • Pairing Smoked Meats with Big Ales 

Three bands, all day music from Tumbling Bones
Local Favorites Eric Lewis and Tommy Burroughs
And rocking with Big Mouth

Friday, June 8, 2012

New and Fun at the Shop

Plenty of fresh stock is arriving!

Storage made from vintage linens and baubles!

Just for grins.

Fabulous Sterling rings!

Sweet little storage and pin board.

Little "Sweets" by Kris Bengener.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Vintage Nest Spring Show May 12th!

We had so much fun with the Vintage Clothing show, and plenty of pieces went to good homes.
I had a blast wearing a ridiculous outfit that my good friend Val described as something from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Carol in her little Peter Pan top with a big bow and checked skirt.
So now time to turn the shop into yet another theme!
This is so much fun.
Three vintage vendors and the theme is Mother's Day and Spring.
Planting all kinds of containers for the perfect gift for Mom, shutters, galvanized items... and a few items that have been NFS, but since we're "re-blooming"shall we say, I'm letting go of a few gems.
You'll have to come by to check out those prizes.
Oh what the heck, here's a teaser... my "Tourist Supplies" sign will be up for grabs!

Then on the 19th, the mother load.
Our annual rummage sale, and let me tell you this one will be our biggest ever as it is really time to let go of fabulous treasure that we won't need for future seasons.

Something new for the rummage sale.
In my closet I have some amazing items I have bought throughout the years at the Magic Jacket, dreamy linen pieces from Heart's Desire, and a few other fashion treasures.  
I had every intention of dropping them off at a local resale shop, but decided I would rather see some of you trying them on, having fun and possibly taking a piece home with you!

And that's that!
I cannot thank you (and you know who you are) for all the kind words, encouraging hugs... my heart is filled to the brim for each of you... especially knowing that this is not goodbye, it's the next phase!

Okay, just so you know I will be wearing my SBFSB's outfit again this Saturday and if you ask I will twirl for you.  Hey, why don't you wear something that you've always wanted to and come strut your stuff with us?  I promise we will ooh and ah over you.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

The. Big. News.

No pictures, is a no-no in blog land.
If I posted pictures, I wouldn't be able to write this post.
As of Jan. 1st 2013, we will be closing our doors.

I know, right?

The interesting thing is that I tell you this with a happy heart, and a serious plan for the 2013 season.

Now sit back and read, take it all in and I apologize for the length but I have to tell the story.
(or maybe that's enough for you and you are free to go)

Just before the economy tanked in 2008, we were at our all time best.  Movin and groovin making big plans and having a grand time... bills paid and pockets full.
Truthfully, I am very proud that we withstood that test.  It's not easy, especially when you rely solely on the tourist industry and four months of business to make or break you... and who takes a vacation when your retirement fund has gone up in smoke?

Anyway, we've been treading water and keeping up with the game. However, there was a point when I realized that treading water was taking the joy out of the business... then glimmer of an idea entered my thoughts.  "What if you closed, what would you do?".
Curl up in a ball and cry for years, and live a life full of regret, silly!
But this got the process rolling.

If I didn't have the day to day shopkeeping to deal with, what would I do... what do I do really well?

(read that as if a big booming voice was speaking to you)

So here's the plan:
I am going to make Viva's Vintage Market my business.  You may be familiar with the Farm Chicks Show, Junk Bonanza and the like... Door County is ripe for such an event, and I'm just the person to do it (if I do say so myself).   Every July we will continue to put on this vintage market, adding to the event classes for the creative soul making an entire weekend out of it.
 (my mind is spinning at the things we will do!)
I have two fabulous locations in mind, but that will come later.

Did you know that at my home I have a very cool barn and a great big field for parking?
Big plans going on for that as well, but you'll have to stay tuned for details.

Here's the other side of the story.
Door County is beautiful... stunning, all on it's own.  All on it's own.
However, as hosts to a tourism industry, things have become a little "tired" around the county.  We are in transition.  Very typical and natural incidents have contributed to this.  Those who blazed the trail for DC letting us ride on their coat tails and successes, are deserving of rest and reward, and should be able to depend on those of us who owe it to them and the county,  to step up and make things happen.

That being said, we are in transition and I am seeing a handful of wonderful places being created by the next generation that thrills me!  It's a slow process, but it's happening.

So. Viva la Cottage will be a very happening place this season.  We'll be focusing more on the "vintage" theme so you'll get the feel for next year, and we'll have post cards available in June with all of the dates for 2013.

And one more thing...
The more personal struggle.  An article was written over the winter calling Sister Bay the "dead zone"(off season that is), which is unfortunate but true.  Am I contributing to that?  I know I am letting people down by closing... major gut wrench.  If you know my shop, there is not anything in the county that would replace that fix should you need one.  I'm really proud of that, but at the same time guilt is creeps in.
What it boils down to is my love for Door County and realizing that I need to step up and work as hard as I can to be a draw, create events that are new and different... and give my heart to the place I call home hoping to give what I've taken over the years.

Okay.  Come and see us this season, events are planned and over the top.

 Hey, in January I will do a tell all post with stories reflecting over the past 16 years... should I start the snake stories (oh yes, there's more than one) or the man washing and waxing with the shop's water hose in the parking spot right by the front door... or the man who skidded, gravel flying into the parking lot and honked until his wife came out (they had to be a least 75 years old) or the man who used my bathroom, mentioned to me on his quick way out the door that I need a plunger and have a "blessed" day....or should I wax poetic about the tour buses where all the old ladies disappeared into the bathroom and I was missing dozens of luxurious soaps?  Or.... the really old guy who was a band leader in his day that propped himself at the top of the stairs snapping his fingers and shaking his hips belting out show tunes and had us all grinning from ear to ear?

Don't even get me started about Carol.
Or Peter.

Lots of love and hugs to you all... you've meant the world to me over the years, and cheers to things to come, for all of us.
All of us.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Three Events for May! Phew!

May 5th!

1.  A while back, Carol came across a really fun collection of vintage clothing and accessories.  While I've always had a touch of these kinds of items, it's not necessarily the look of my store.
However, we both felt the need to do something.
An event!  (we do love events)
So for one day only, Saturday May 5th we will be hosting a trunk show and the collection will be for sale.
There are all kinds of styles... everything from a Victorian Skating dress to Shift dresses from the 60's... well, and everything in between.
Hats galore!
It starts at 10am.

Vintage Nest Spring Show May 12th!
2.  On Saturday, May 12th we will be hosting our annual Vintage Nest Spring Show!
A small collection of vendors bringing vintage goodies for purchase... with the theme being spring and Mother's Day.

3.  Then a "Spring Clean" Show.
This is basically a rummage, clean out the shop kind of sale.
Bargains will abound, and if the weather is nice it will be outside.
Starts at 10am Saturday May19th!

Time to get the season rolling!  Hope to see you there.... and stay tuned for some really big news!

Friday, April 6, 2012

New Lamp Shades in Stock

We have a new selection of lamp shades in stock!

They are fabulous, made out of vintage grain and feed bags.

There are three different styles.

We're open on Saturdays right now.

Here is the invite for our Vintage Trunk Show coming up!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vintage Clothing Trunk Show and Vintage Nest Show Coming Up!

Want to play dress up?
Come to the shop may 5th at 10am for a very special Vintage Clothing and Accessory Trunk Show.
We recently came across a rather large selection of women's and men's vintage clothing, shoes, hats, gloves and all kinds of things.
For fun we decided to make an event out of it!
We'll have food and drink and a great time.
Wait till you see it all, it's just dreamy.

The next Saturday will be our spring Vintage Nest Show!
We're planting and planning all kinds of vintage goodies for you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Day Dreaming and a Big Thanks

Since spring has sprung, my thoughts are turning to this year's Vintage Market.
It's July 14th this year, so mark you calendars.
Last year the show literally exploded in size with both vendors and customers, so I will have to do more organizing on that end this year. Which is a funny thought if you know me at all, as I like to wing it.
Gracie's Cottage (top pic) will be joining us again this year.
And remember that cute Tara? Above is some of her jewelry that flew out of the tent.
I adored this sash from Small Town Vintage.
Mary Virlee and her fabulous creations.

Ah, the sunshine. Spring fever anyone?

Talk about out of hand. This is a major highway! We were not prepared for this!
(but we love these kinds of problems)

July in Door County... not sure there's anywhere else I'd like to be.

Hey, with all my Zumba, maybe I'll slip into one of these... or maybe just an arm.

Chippy Shabby above and below.
(she's a fave!)

We really did grow this market by leaps and bounds last year, and I know we're going to have to prepare and be more organized this year.
So sometimes, you just reach out and ask a professional for advice.
You all know the Barn House Boys? Well, those gents know how to put on an event to beat the band.
On a lark, I shot off an email asking some advice and what do you know, I got a rather lengthy email back with the most excellent advice.
Thank you so much!

I remember the first time I stumbled upon their blog. I think it was a good twenty minutes before I closed my mouth.

Be sure to check out their old posts for fabulous inspiration.