Over the weekend my husband and son poured the footings for my new (old) greenhouse in the garden. I found the roof in Statesboro, GA. It is a recycled sky light from an old building so the dimensions are quite small but just enough for our little courtyard. We needed a place to store garden tools and plants when it gets cold (yes, on occasion it gets that cold). Our house is on tour in May and this is one of many little projects we are working on to get it spiffy in time.
After a long day buying for the store at the Atlanta Gift Show I was checking my emails when I read in the subject line of one "Country Home Folds." The email was from a fellow freelancer letting me know that Country Home magazine was closing it's doors after 30 years. It all came as a big surprise to me and the staff. I had just received my field editor's newsletter. I was gearing up for a new year of projects and house scouting. At first I was in shock. I had been a reader of this magazine for close to 20 years myself so as a fan I was devastated. As a friend and colleague of some many at Meredith Publishing I was heart broken. What would all these people do? There were 40 people laid off at Country Home and an additional 210 throughout Meredith Publishing. The publishing world has taken quite a hit during these slow economic times. Cottage Living folded last month and Country Living is being re-organized so I don't think we have seen the last of it.
And what of the void in my life? I had the good forturne to have projects published in Country Home and they photographed my home last year for a feature. I can only hope it will end up in another Meredith publication. I will hold on to the contacts I still have at in the hope that some work may come my way this year.
It is a sad day for those of us that were faithful followers of the magazine. I looked to it for constant inspiration and ideas for my home and shop. Matthew Mead, stylist supreme, was a source of delight for me in each issue. Maybe when all the dust settles and the economy makes a turn for the better we will see some new comers to the publishing world. I can only hope to see some familiar faces when it does.
As I was getting caught up on recent posts on the Farm Chicks blog I was overcome with envy. A few photos down I noticed their unbelievably clever business cards. As you can tell from the picture above, they are perforated and when assembled stand up like a vintage game piece. YUM, YUM, YUM.
Even though the financial forecast for 2009 does not look much better than the latter part of 2008, I am trying to be optimistic about the coming year. Catalogs and postcards for new product came flooding in to the store as the holidays were coming to a close. I reviewed each one with a discerning eye and wrote many notes. My goal? Focus on the products and categories that keep my customers coming in time after time. Stick to the origins of the shop - a mix of hand selected vintage goods and new products that compliment those vintage goods. It has been a winning combination for almost 9 years now so hopefully our special equation will set us apart from the big box stores.
With computer print outs, notes and wish lists in hand I am off to market later in the week to order items for spring and fall of this year. I expect our spring orders from the July market to start shipping in a couple of weeks so I am looking for any additional items that complete the overall look. Call me crazy, I am really looking forward to seeing the new Christmas goodies for 2009. You would think I would be over the whole season right about now, but if you know me well you know how much I love it. Wish me luck.
The bags above are part of our spring tote collection. They are our new feel-good, do-good totes. The manufacturer purchased 265,750 meals for hungry children in India through the United Nations World Food Program with a portion of the proceeds from the sale of these bags. So if you make one a part of your life your contribution will be a part of the cycle.