Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Look what I just recently found packed up that I had completely forgot I had...

Don't you think they would make such cute little appetizer trays?
Any other ideas?

Monday, November 29, 2010

mark your calendars

Friday, December 3rd. That is the day you want to highlight on your calendar. To start things off, The Willows is having our monthly first friday flea market. You definitely do not want to miss it this month, as it will be full of amazing gifts for everyone on your list. Perhaps we will have a few sneak peeks for you in the days to come... Then that evening while you are shopping at Crafeteria (remember when I told you about the New Times Best Indie Craft Fair? You don't want to miss that either... keep writing all this on your calendar), send your husbands, fathers, boyfriends, brothers or any man in your life to the Willows for our Mens' Night Out. From 4-7 this Friday night, our store will have all sorts of food and drinks for your men to enjoy while they buy you everything on your list. You are all invited to come in anytime before Friday to fill out a Willows' wish list, so anyone shopping for you knows exactly what you are hoping to find under the Christmas tree...

Hope to see lots of you at all these fun events this Friday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Dear Friends,
It is that time of year when we stop and reflect on what we are truly thankful for in life.
And we could not be more thankful for all of you.
Now that we have all begun shopping for the holidays, it makes me think of how many years the Willows' has been around and how many amazing holidays we have had here. And we have all of you, our wonderful customers, clients and friends, to thank for that.
So, thank you.
All of you.
Through it all, you continue to come back and support the local boutiques. Since we began creating the Willows in 1996 and opened our doors in 1997, a lot of things have changed. We have moved three times and you still continued to come and shop with us. In my own family, we moved our home, had 4 children married and 16 grandkids (and counting...) born and, somehow, I still continued to come to work:) Over the last 13 years, you've kept me on my game. Always reinventing the Willows to keep it exciting and to find something new. I feel such joy when I go into people's homes and see things we sold in the past with such a happy place in their home. Thank you for that continued inspiration.
With our lovely employees we have celebrated weddings and babies. Our old store manager, Ashley now has 2 kids in grade school! Have we really been here that long? At our original 44th Street location, when we first opened, we carried tons of Shabby Chic Baby. Now I see these kids all grown up and think, "Wow. We decorated your nursery." Its all a little bittersweet. And I can't help but think, we could never have lasted this long without such amazing and faithful customers, many of you we are happy to call our dear friends.
Recently, a dear customer who has shopped with us since day one, just redid her guest room and bought all new bedding from us. Next week we are taking it all over to her house to iron it (side note: I have a terrible sickness - a love of ironing. There, I've admitted it...) and help her make the bed. I love that about us and I hope you do, too. I hope that is why we have had customers since we opened our doors who continue to shop with us time and again. That's the extra bit you get from a local store and I believe that's why we have had customers shopping with us for 13+ years. We have customers who buy something from us for a table setting with only a vague idea of what they want to do. They ask us about it, and before you know it, we are all gathered around helping them plan exactly how it should all look. We even have people come in to ask us to tie bows on their Christmas wreaths. I love that. We share places to eat, places to shop, the names of our hairdressers. And my favorite are the customers we can stand around laughing with for hours. They come in and share their stories and make us laugh (occasionally, make us cry). Its for all these reasons that I love coming to work.
In addition to all that, this blog has opened up so many new people to be thankful for. The wonderful readers and the kind comments and inspiration keep me smiling everyday. So, thank you all, too.

I love knowing that when you are all out doing you holiday shopping, you never forget us! (Evident by the crowds we have had bustling through our store over the past two weeks and the ever-dwindling holiday inventory...).

We love you all and are so very thankful for each and every one of you! Thank you for always shopping with us, stopping in to make us laugh or reaching out to us through this blog! We hope you all have the loveliest Thanksgiving, surrounded by those you love!

All our love and thanks,
Bev and the rest of the Willowettes

*top picture from a magazine I bought in Paris two years ago.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Remember ever so many months ago when I showed you my disaster of a craft room? I had big plans to fix it up and show you the dazzling after photos... well, I haven't gotten so far with that project. The primary reason being I have been using this room so much lately, I haven't had a moment to organize it. Helping make cute little things for first birthdays, helping these two girls get ready for Crafeteria (more on that in a minute), creating different holiday gifts... its hard to find time to get organized in the midst of all that. I did have an afternoon of inspiration with my sister-in-law in which we spruced up the sad little wall that my lonely tv occupied. I thought I would at least share that with you for the time being...

So, what do you think?

Now, more about crafting. Everyone needs to mark their calendars for Friday, December 3rd. First up, in the morning will be our Willows' First Friday Flea Market with all sorts of fun things to come check out! Then in the evening head on down to Frances for this year's Crafeteria. Christine and Emily will be there selling all sorts of wonderful things you will want to buy for all the people on your Christmas list. Along with over 40 other vendors, live music and lots of sweets, it is sure to be a good time! Hope to see you all out and about shopping at these great local events!

And speaking of shopping, the Willows will be open this Friday. We won't open until 11:00 to give you some time to fight the crowds at the mall and then head our way for some more leisurely holiday shopping. See you then!

Monday, November 22, 2010

summer revisited, part 3

This summer my wonderful and talented friend, Krista, made me this beautiful garland of origami sailboats.  I realize, at first glance, it seems very summery, but the more I thought about it, the more I decided it could easily be transitioned into a holiday garland.  Glitter the edges of your boats and write things like peace, noel and joy across each one.  Or, even better, make one as a gift for a friend and they can hang it up long after the holidays have gone.  Tie in a little "merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream" and give it to a special kid for their bedroom.  There are lots of variations and I am sure some of you could come up with even better ones.  Just put it in a cute little homemade bag and you have a thoughtful, perfect gift...

I decided to ask Krista's daughter Maddy to put together a little "how-to" for us and here is what she came up with...


Step One:
Measure a rectangle on your piece of paper (any size, depending on how big you want your boat), and cut it out.

Step Two:
Fold your paper in half, top to bottom, one time.

Step Three:
Fold both your top corners in to the middle.

Step Four:
Fold the bottom edge of you paper up, as shown.  Flip over and do the same on the other side.

Step Five:
Open your paper up into a hat (look, you've already made an origami hat!).  Bring the outer corners of your hat together and press into a square.

Step Six:
Take the lower corner of the square and fold it upwards.  Flip it over and do the same on the other side.

Step Seven:
Again, use your fingers to open up your paper into a sort of hat and bring the outer corners together to make it a square.

Step Eight:
Gently pull the outer corners of your square to unfold your boat (or gently squeeze the middle, whichever seems to work best to reveal your boat).  

Step Nine:
Pull apart your boat completely and adjust the hole on the bottom to make it sit flat (if that is what you are hoping for).

Congratulations!  You just made an adorable little origami boat!  
*And if you want the picture on the outside of the boat, just flip your paper opposite of this tutorial...

Hope you enjoyed this! 
Let us know if you give it a try yourself and how you mix it up to make it your own!

Friday, November 19, 2010

come sit at my bar

This is the "room" that probably gets used the most out of our entire house.  And not just now during such beautiful weather.  Stop by in the middle of summer and you will find people coming to and from the pool in swim suits sitting down to catch the score of a baseball game or golf tournament or any other sporting event that could possibly be on.  Peek in on the chilliest night of the year and you are likely to discover family members in sweatshirts and scarves, under cosy blankets (some possibly smoking cigars) enjoying a board game or good conversation.  Those gates in the background would be considered our "back door."  We often have visitors who stay for hours without ever even going inside our actual house (and, I promise, or at least I hope, its not because we are terrible hosts).  So, when the sad old wooden bar that has sat out back for years had finally seen its last days, we decided we needed to invest in something that would last for a good long time.

The old bar was already slightly falling apart when I very first bought it.  I added a new top, put it outside and it has served us well for a very long time.  Slowly, over time however, as we would spray down the patio the bottom continued to get worse and worse.  

Eventually it was being held up by poker chips, scraps of wood and anything else my husband could find to shove under there and make it level again...
Finally we realized we really needed something that was lifted up off the ground to avoid this same problem from reoccurring. 

I called Tom Tuberty (remember that amazing metal man who made my kitchen shelves and family room book shelves?) and asked him what he thought.  He threw together these sketches and I knew he could give us exactly what we were hoping for...

I am so happy with how this new bar turned out!  Just look at what Tom created out of those amazing sketches...

As a complete side note, my entire family rolled their eyes at me when I came home from the flea market with this old, rusty daybed and dragged it out to the back patio.  Now it is a favorite seat that is often fought over.

Looks like we are ready for some good holiday gatherings!


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