Drama, Romance, Intrigue...

Love. Early American Style.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

A New Milestone, order # 1000!!!

Yes, that's right, we are rapidly approaching order number one THOUSAND on our website! Can you believe that over 980 orders have left our old farmhouse here in Springville?

To celebrate, I'm going to tuck something special in with the 1000th order, so if it's you, you will be a lucky customer!

Thank you to everyone for your continued support, and for allowing me to enter your lives and share my love of primitives and the simple life with you all!

Many blessings,
Mary Jo

New Products just in!

I had a great trip to Lancaster last week and brought back some wonderful new products that I am sure you will enjoy!

The first are some wonderful Preserved Sweet Annie Bunches/Bouquets. These are preserved, assuring you the sweet smelling herb will hold it's color and fragrance for years to come. These are great hanging from pegracks, drying racks, separating and fluffing for bowl fillers, and to tuck into the arms of that beloved primitive doll.

Photobucket

The battery operated taper candles continue to be a popular item, and now I've added a third color.....RED! Remember, these last over 700 hours of burn time on two AA batteries, and make great accents inside cupboards and in your hanging chandeliers.

Photobucket

Our lightweight coverlets were popular, and I brought in a new plum and mustard colored coverlet. These are great Colonial colors and wouldn't it look great draped over the back of your sofa or on the foot of your bed?

Photobucket

Finally, I was so excited that one of our suppliers had reprinted copies of Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking cookbooks. This is the from the same series of cookbooks that my own Mother owns and has authentic Amish recipes. It is in booklet form and is 48 pages and includes a brief history of Amish cooking. The price is right, at only $2.50, you can't go wrong! Trust me, everything in it sounds "wonderful good"!

This is just a sampling of what we have in store for you, so visit http://www.finecountrylivingprimitives.com to see even more!

Many blessings,
Mary Jo

Monday, May 26, 2008

Second Floor of Shoppe is OPEN!

I don't have any pictures yet, but we do have the second floor of our shoppe open and it is filling up quickly! I can't believe that I had all of these primitives in my house stashed away just waiting to go in the shoppe! I had goodies under beds, in boxes stacked several deep and nearly to the ceiling in our spare rooms!

I want to rearrange a few things before I take pictures of the second floor and show it off to my online customers.

What I can do for you now is to give you all a look at our porch of the shoppe and see our Americana display. It's been quite windy, so we don't have everything out that we would like for fear that it will be half-way down the road before we realize the wind took it away!

Photobucket

Photobucket

As always, I owe it all to my husband Russ. Without his untiring ambition, determination, and plain old common sense, we would not be as far as we are today. What a hard working man he is, and yet he has a gentle and peaceful soul. Thank you, and I love you and the boys more than anything!

Many Blessings,
Mary Jo

Product Ad in Country Sampler

The new issue of Country Sampler is packed full of Americana and goodies to decorate your home with in Colonial, Primitive or Patriotic style!

One of our best sellers, our Tea Stained Banner/Table Runner is one of the product ads in this issue. This is made of cotton, is indoor/outdoor safe and machine washable! The stars are embroidered and the stripes are stitched...no rayon or silk screening here...high quality and a great price!

We use them in the shop to drape over prints (second picture shows it over a print of George Washington) and I have a banner draped on our barn. You could also use these as a table runner, but I think it would look incredible hanging vertically from your front porch for the upcoming Independence Day holiday! Love it!

These sell out each year and are going quickly already, so click on the picture to go directly to our product page on our website to buy yours today!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Many Blessings,
Mary Jo

Monday, May 19, 2008

High Gas Prices could be GOOD?!

Okay, call me nuts, it won't be the first time, and I bet it won't be the last. I don't think that the gas prices raising at a rapid pace with no end in site a great thing, that's for sure. But can some good come of it?

Many of you know that I truly embrace the simple life. It pains me to know that I have a cell phone that I hate to use, rarely turn on, and can't get out of my contract. We don't have funky gadgets in our lives...no ipods, iphones, video game machines/systems, etc. I have the internet, but obviously, that's great for research and is, afterall, my bread and butter.

Our family has never gone on extensive or fancy vacations. Heading to Lancaster for a night, or a splurge of two nights, is exciting to us. I've also cut back on such things as makeup (scary, I know, but what am I trying to hide?), and am still growing my hair longer because it is simple and easy to care for. I'm even striving to let my hair grow back to it's natural (and now salt and pepper) color, but that is a bit more difficult I must admit.

What these higher gas prices say to us is that we should continue to live simplistically as we have been for years, and continue to find other ways that we can improve on.

But here's the kicker....I truly do think that we can use this as a good thing. Just hear me out.

Staying closer to home is nearly a necessity now. I've always been a homebody, so that's easy for me, but think of all you can do in your own community! Could these simple measures of staying close to home start to rebuild the American Dream and strengthen small-town America?

How many Mom and Pop stores closed because people were willing to drive farther to Walmart to save a few bucks? Now, that small savings has turned into a larger expense because that little store would have been right down the road versus driving several miles to a larger grocery store, pharmacy or even hardware store.

In my case, Springville sits in the middle of two small towns. Tunkhannock is 12 miles South and has a variety of larger supermarkets and of course, Walmart. Montrose is 12 miles North and also has two larger supermarkets and, well, that's about it.....a few antique stores, gift shops, etc. Literally a stones throw away from me used to sit a little market. It was great for picking up something for dinner, getting milk, juice, baby food, tylenol, special treats for the kids, and so much more! It closed about three years ago and how I miss that market! Now, we have to drive about 8 miles to a smaller market to get the bare essentials when we are out, and just think of the wasted gas.

I'm hoping that the higher gas prices bring back small town America. People are staying home, and maybe neighbors will actually TALK to one another now. Imagine families barbecuing in the Summer in their backyards instead of driving to a restaurant 15, maybe 20 miles away. Kids may actually play in the neighborhoods together and join in the local Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts for entertainment and learning in their own communities.

Small town hardware stores may crop back up to accommodate those who need something for that emergency repair and don't want to drive to the city to save $1 on an item, but would spend $10 on gas. Not only would you save in gas money, but wouldn't it be nice to have someone help you that you actually KNOW and can trust for home improvement advice versus someone that just was hired and doesn't have a clue?

How about small retail businesses like myself? I have a retail store here at our house. A cute little shoppe where someone in town can pop in and find a candle, handmade soaps or another handcrafted gift for a friend or loved one, and also pick up a greeting card....all without traveling 12 miles one way to Walmart? And guess what, I'll even (sometimes) remember you and greet you by name! Not to mention my internet business where sometimes shipping an item across country is cheaper than driving a few miles to buy it in person.

Already people are beginning to plant their own gardens to save on food costs this summer. Think of the bonding experience with your children and/or spouse, and a great educational tool for the kiddies as well. Families are carpooling to town together and spending time together instead of taking two, sometimes three, different trips separately to the same place at different times.

Church and Fire Department dinners and breakfasts are very popular where I live. Think of it....you can get a great meal at a great price without driving to go to a larger restaurant, and you are helping your local churches and fire companies provide community services at the same time.

Let's make these high gas prices a new revolution. Stand up and rejoice in a simpler life and make new priorities for yourself and your family. And don't call me crazy for thinking that the high prices could be a good thing.

Many blessings,
Mary Jo

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New Doll added to the Shoppe!

This lovely lady is available both online at my website http://www.finecountrylivingprimitives.com and in my retail shoppe here in Springville.

Milly is a black prairie doll made of painted muslin. She measures 17" tall and has mustard and black homespun dress and bonnet. The bonnet is removable, and I've given her raw sheeps wool hair in a salt and pepper color making her look like a cute Granny!

If you'd like to purchase her, simply click on her picture and it will take you right to her product page on my website!

Photobucket

Many Blessings,
Mary Jo

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mercantile Gatherings Primitive Magazine Summer 2008

We have the new Mercantile Gatherings Summer issue on our website as of today! In fact, I haven't even received my own personal copy yet, so my customers will have their own copy before I do!

This issue, as well as all of the others, has a wonderful selection of FREE patterns and lovely shoppe and primitive home tours.....the decorating ideas are worth it's weight in gold in these magazines!

My supply of the Spring issue sold out quite quickly, so if you wish to purchase a copy, please visit my website at http://www.finecountrylivingprimitives.com and get your own today!

Many Blessings and enjoy!

Mary Jo

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Products!

Well, I had a wonderful trip to Lancaster yesterday. The weather was simply divine, and I finished a little early, so I had a few hours to myself to explore and enjoy my favorite places.

I discovered the Lampeter Quaker Meetinghouse, which I've passed so many times before and never even noticed! Well, I took the time to get out and take a few pictures and wanted to share it's simplictic beauty with you all!

Photobucket

I also visited Kitchen Kettle village which is too "touristy" for my liking, but I still enjoyed the sunshine and the pleasant visitors. I took a swing through the Old Candle Barn and stopped at Ken's Gardens where I spent some time picking out flowers for a grouping for my porch.

But I did work a lot during the morning and brought home some great goodies for my customers both online and locally! Here are some pictures, and if you want to visit the product pages for that item, simply click on the picture and you'll go directly to my website!

Here is a great Colonial wall sconce that is just one of my all time favorite products! This is a nice size piece that really adds that Early American look to your home!

Photobucket

Another great item is just one of a few woven coverlets I found. This one is perfect for the upcoming July 4th holiday!

Photobucket
And everyone loves those black beeswax dipped everlasting tapers! Well, we now have them in BROWN wax! My timing was just right and I brought back many of them, so enjoy!

Photobucket

Last, but not least, I did bring back two large cupboards for my shoppe. Local customers, just take a look at this great cupboard made from reclaimed barnwood with chipped paint and an antique window for a door! I almost hope it doesn't sell! LOL!

Photobucket

I'm STILL adding new products, and will be for a day or two, so please be sure to stop in www.finecountrylivingprimitives.com for even more products....these are just a sampling of what we have in store for you !

Many blessings,
Mary Jo

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A Happy and Blessed Mothers Day!

A Happy Mother's Day to you all!

I have been a Mom now for six years (I always like to count my pregnancies as Mommy time), and I am so happy that I waited to have these two beautiful boys!

I was a bit older when Russ and I started our family. Not too old, mind you, I was 32 years old when I had Seth, and he and Sam were both well worth the wait!

Seth and Sam are joys to have as little men. They give me so much happiness and make Russ and I laugh so much. They are also very BUSY boys, and are exhausting on some days, but I love it. That is another reason why I enjoy being a somewhat older Mother, I have a bit more patience now than I did when I was younger. I'm content to be at home for days, weeks at a time (I wish somedays I never had to leave the house) and no longer feel the need to have everything, do everything, see everything....I'm mighty content at home with my family and wouldn't have it any other way.

Everyone was asking what we were doing special for Mother's Day. Well, wouldn't you know, it is my husband's first day back to work after a nice, long vacation, and I am working at our shoppe today. But that's fine with me, as I explained to all who asked, it's Mother's Day each and every day, and I don't need just one single day for my husband and boys to make me feel special, I get that feeling every time they smile at me!

Sam did bake me a chocolate cake with white frosting and sprinkles on it, and it's delicious! Seth and Sam also put their favorite stickers on construction paper and presented me with their "Love Cards" last evening. Oh, and by the way, that chocolate cake was one of the best breakfasts that I've ever had! LOL! Sam and I snuck a piece for our breakfast....it is, afterall, Mother's Day, and can't I have just a little bit of guilt free indulgance today? :-)

So I hope you all have a wonderful day today! Most importantly, I hope EACH day is a blessed Mother's Day for you all!

Mary Jo

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My 1000th Product!!!!!

Wow, can you believe that? One Thousand products!!!! I was adding a new product this afternoon and realized that it was number 999, I just about fell over!

It has been only two short years that I have had my own webshoppe. It seems like it was just yesterday, yet it also feels like I have been doing this forever!

Nine Hundred and Ninety Nine Products ago, I started this little webshoppe hoping to share my love of primitives with other people. I figured that it would be a nice way to get to meet new people and sell a few of my wares. When I told some people that I was getting my own website, a few actually scoffed at me and one person said "Everyone has a website, even my son has one and he doesn't sell anything!". Well, needless to say, I wasn't talking about Myspace or posting personal pictures online, I wanted to really have a business that I cared about.

I had another person claim that I was going to Walmart and reselling things on ebay....and they had a good laugh at my expense right in my face with other people looking on [the least they could do was wait until I turned my back ;-)]. Well, two years, 999 unique online products and a new retail shoppe later, I am loving what I do and doing what I love, and that's all that matters to me. I'd like to personally thank that one person for doing that, since it gave me the extra drive to get where I am today. You know who you are, so here, I'm saying it, "THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, thank YOU!

Thanks to my friends and my wonderful customers, I am able to live my dream. It's a simple one, too; as simple as living a quiet, simplified life, creating folk art and selling primitives, all while being able to be home with my two beautiful boys and watch them grow up to be great men, just like their father. My husband and I share this dream together, and we both appreciate all of you and your support through it all!

So, I raise my coffee in a toast......here's to all of you, many blessings to you all and here's to many more years of sharing the love and passion of primitives, and many more years of continued friendship!

Hip Hip Hooray!

Peace and Blessings,
Mary Jo

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Monument Rededication Ceremony

Today was the re-dedication of the monument erected in my husband's Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandfather's honor. My husband, Russell, is the eighth generation direct descendant of Joseph Elliott who was in the Revolutionary War. He was commended for his bravery at the Battle of Lime Hill in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania, along the Susquehanna River and is credited with saving three children kidnapped by the Native Americans who had sought revenge for previous battles that the children's father had fought in during the Revolutionary War. The Battle of Lime Hill occurred in April, 1782, and was at the very end of the Revolutionary War which, I just learned today, continued on for a very long time here in sPennsylvania and New York.

In addition, Joseph Elliott was also presented with a sword by General George Washington on December 25, 1776, for his bravery during another battle earlier in the war. There is an earlier post on this blog with a link to the local newspaper article if you care to read it.

Anyhow, with all that said, it was a special day for our family because Elliott's from as far as Canada traveled to attend. It was a great time, and was wonderful to see my husband's cousins, many of whom were introduced to each other for the first time. I must commend the Wyalusing Historical Society for doing a fantastic job and for a lovely ceremony. Here are a few pictures:

Here are the youngest descendants, our sons Seth and Samuel, in front of the monument.

Photobucket

Here are just some of the relatives gathered around the monument. Russ is in the black jacket with Seth and Samuel in front of him in green hats. Russ's brother, Bob, also attended and he is in the denim shirt with his daughter hiding under the blanket...she was chilly!

Photobucket

Here is a picture of the plaque and I left it a bit larger so you can (hopefully) read it:

Photobucket

Rare photo of the four of us since I am always the photographer in our family. Obviously, I'm in the skirt :-)

Photobucket

And here are my Elliott heros of the present day....Russ, Seth and Samuel:

Photobucket

Thanks for looking and many blessings!

Friday, May 2, 2008

My Charity Auction....

I've been trying my hand at selling on ebay again on occasion, and have been enjoying the charity auctions I have been holding.

Louisa is an Early style doll that is holding a sweet smelling bouquet of Sweet Annie with an Everlasting Candle nestled inside. This candle is one of the hottest trends, the everlasting candles, and is battery operated with an approx. burn time of 700 hours! Louisa is large, a whopping 31" long. I can picture her in a kitchen beside a jelly cupboard, or in a vintage high chair with an old doll quilt draped behind her....all the while her flickering candle greeting your guests and providing inspirational Light. Louisa is a one of a kind, no pattern...I drew her from my heart onto the fabric!

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


This auction benefits the American Friends Service Commitee which provides wonderful humanitarian work all over the world. I am donating 10% of the final sale price directly to the AFSC.

I would appreciate you all taking the time to view the auction, and consider bidding, if you are able, by clicking this link http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=220231021326&ssPageName=STRK:MESE:IT&ih=012.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and may Peace and Blessings be with you all!