Monday, January 26, 2009

New at Maddie Lisee

We wanted to say thanks to Heather, the owner of Maddie Lisee, in Lebanon, Ohio, for commissioning some new rhubarb reign projects for her January appointment. In addition to furniture, Heather asked us to get creative and bring some collage works. We also added silhouettes, embellished mirrors and more, some of which is pictured here. Thanks for the opportunity, Heather!

Maddie Lisee: Creative solutions

Last week, I was reading a post in which the author was breathing a sigh of relief over closing her store last fall. Granted, I don't know her exact circumstances, but it seemed like the gist of it was, "I'll just wait it out on the sidelines 'til things get better." This stuck with me in a week that also contained President Obama's stirring inaugural speech, which had a lot to say about the virtues of staying in the game, even when it's tough. I've always admired people who choose to do just that, and we had a great real-life example this weekend on our monthly visit to Maddie Lisee in Lebanon. Ohio. Heather Kramb, the store's owner, is faced with the same economic climate as the rest of us, but was also greeted with the news that her street and sidewalk will be closed for the next 18 months due to a construction project. Ughh. Any business owner who has been faced with a similar project knows what a nightmare it can be. And right now, people don't need another excuse not be be visiting your store! But instead of closing, Heather came up with a creative solution: She's only going to be open on Saturdays during the construction period and has set up an etsy site so people can still shop during the week. She's using the extra time this change has created to hunt for treasures, work on projects and fabricate her signature jewelry (one example pictured above). We were happy to hear that so far, things are going great! I believe that all adversity is paired with an equal amount of opportunity; by trying to simply side-step a problem, you miss out on the lessons to be learned, as well as the hidden gifts to be received. So join us in supporting Heather's choice! Visit her website,, to see more photos of the store's goodies, such as the cute Valentine vignette pictured below, and check out her new etsy site,

Monday, January 19, 2009

Grayslake and Wheaton: Love was in the air

I love Valentine's Day! I distinctly remember rummaging through my closet for a shoebox to take to school to decorate for use as a "mailbox" every February. Remember going through the package of cards, deciding which one to give to which friend -- all the cutest ones for your bestest girlfriends, a special one for teacher and maybe even an especially significant one for your latest crush? As a dealer with a weakness for vintage paper, a box of these little lovelies still makes me smile.

Valentine's Day is also a great excuse to get creative. Many dealers had their cupid on for Grayslake and Wheaton. Two of my favorites are Candy and Jill of artisansball ( and Diane Passi of Vintage Nest ( Candy and Jill's booth (pictured left) is full of fabulous altered art and hand-picked vintage pieces -- jewelry, paper and objects. Many of their projects have been featured in the Somerset publications. Diane is a floral designer. Her booth features beautiful found objects, gorgeous chippy paint and silk arrangements to die for. One of her signature Valentine wreaths, made from vintage graphics and velvet ribbon, is pictured below. One of the most fulfilling aspects of my business is getting to work with wonderfully creative people like this every week. Check them out next time you visit the markets. And while you're there, snap up some of those cute little cards -- they are still good for giving to your favorite Valentine!

Monday, January 12, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words

We were planning to do a Valentine post today, but the computer is telling me that it can't upload my pictures due to "an internal error." Unfortunately, I don't know what that means! So I guess we'll just try again later. Please check back!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

NEWSFLASH: Grayslake 2 day show starting in January

Beginning this month, the Grayslake Antique Market will be a 2-day show, noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday (second Sunday of every month). Remember that we are now at the new fairgrounds on Peterson Road, between Route 45 and 83. Check the promoter's website for more information, We had a GREAT buying day at the auction, so we'll be loaded with good stuff! See you there.

Monday, January 5, 2009

SoboStyle starts our year off right

Walking in to SoboStyle in Columbus, Ohio, always makes my heart skip a beat. From the elegant, 3-windowed storefront to its well-organized groupings of stylish vignettes, Sobo always feels just right. Kind of like bumping into an old friend while reading the latest InStyle -- comfortable and familiar, but full of the latest and best must-haves!

Sobo's owner, Katie Palmer, was our first Ohio customer. A Columbus native, Katie has spent her career in retail. After school in Colorado and working in San Francisco, Katie returned home to open her own store in 2001. In 2004, she moved into her current, larger space after spending 4 months renovating the building. In 2005, she was named Businessperson of the Year by her Clintonville neighborhood's chamber of commerce.

Katie is committed to keeping the store's selection of merchandise fresh. Shopping a variety of sources, from the gift markets to the flea markets, she keeps the store stocked with a well-edited variety of jewelry (our favorites include the Lisa Toland line and the super-cute oversize knit floral pins), accessories (people always ask me about the scarf I bought from her last year), kids' merchandise and books. New favorites include an eco-friendly line of candles and bags.

Sobo also stocks a fabulous selection of vintage furniture from several Midwest vendors, all lovingly updated. Some pieces feature reclaimed architectural materials or are upholstered using fabric from designers Amy Butler and Anna Maria Horner.

Our pictures definitely do not do the store justice. Be sure to stop in and visit next time you're in town! Katie can be reached at or

View from center to back of store

Beautiful mercury glass frames and votives

Sobo's selection of oilcloth and bags

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Maddie Lisee signature necklace

I can't resist one more picture of Heather's beautiful jewelry! Each piece is unique, and all are made from vintage parts. For more information, contact her at

Welcome to the wonderful world of Maddie Lisee

A few of Heather's great earrings


Our last event of 2008 was a visit to one of our favorite Ohio customers, Heather Kramb of Maddie Lisee, in Lebanon. Heather has a beautiful shop, full of lovely things, especially at Christmas. In fact, she regularly wins the Chamber of Commerce's holiday window decorating competition. Heather also makes the way-cool necklaces that many of you have asked about, all from vintage parts. Check it out!