Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wind Storm 2010, Barn Down.

Last Tuesday, between two and four pm, our neighbor lost her barn.
40 to 60 mile an hour wind gust.
She's fine, barn isn't too close to the house.
Can't insure these old barns anymore, and every time the wind blows, it seems another goes down.
This one still has some collapsing to do.
No more words, click on the images to enlarge.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gracie's Cottage Give Away

I really never enter any of these give aways, but I do like Jan at
Gracie's cottage, and have a weakness for great old grain sacks. All you have to do to win is go to her site and leave a comment!
Click here to get there and get a better look at what she's doing.

Drawing will be Monday, Nov. 1st

Hope I win!

Is it windy where you are?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Winter Wonderland, It's a Wrap!

First of all, the pumpkin snatchers hit Viva on Friday night.
Don't know if you've heard of them or seen their work, but in the wee hours of the night
these "snatchers" are known to roam the streets of Sister Bay, snatch pumpkins, carve them, and put them back.That should be a post on it's own.

Lucky me!

Thanks to all of you that graced our doors, and supported our little shop.
To have the opportunity to shut down for five days and put our creative powers to
the test is wild, dreamy, stressful and uncertain to say the least.
Last year when we uncovered the windows, the parking lot was jammed.
This year, there was only one car and my heart hit the floor.

But then ten minutes later, full and loaded with barely a space to move in!
I don't think I came out from behind the counter until 1:30, so if I missed you, I'm sorry I missed you!
I didn't get to take pictures until late in the afternoon, and the front room was left with
slim pickings, but you get the idea.

New Year's in Paris.
(click on pictures to enlarge for better details)

The watch faces were a big hit.

The snowflakes are actually table runners cut from heavy felt.

Vintage twin beds decked out in whites, creams and velvets.

Vintage bow ties, perfect for adorning packages.

A picked over front room!

Hanging bed in the snow all wrapped up with bows.

The shop is still in full swing and the Wonderland will be set up for the rest of
the season, so if you missed our show don't worry!
We'll be re-stocking and keeping things fresh throughout the holidays.

Thanks to Carol, Katie, Dianne and Dan for all the help.
Look what happens when you ask for help.... magic.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Last Day Undercover, Tomorrow's the Show!

Tomorrow's the big day!
We're wiped out, but ready to share.
Here is a teaser.... and just know that the entire front is red and white!
So cheerful.Hope to see you all tomorrow!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Two Days to Go! Wow, Is All I Can Say.

This is what the front of the shop looked like after we cleaned it out.
Needed a blank canvas for what's next.Yesterday was rough, today was a gem.
I have to admit, I've never transformed the shop like this.
When you come in, you won't believe it either.
This year is the third... as in the charm.
The themes are so distinctive and thought out.
Most of this is due to asking for display help.
I'm not going to say this is more important than what Carol, Dianne, Dan and John do,
it's just that I've never asked for display help before.
Katie Starr, from Small Town Vintage is an undiscovered jewel.
Some day she will be famous and won't have the time of day for me!

Also, just when I thought I couldn't go on, I realized that Carol's look is very retro,
and I handed over the diner room to her and Dianne.

I left truly inspired.

Come and see us Saturday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Three Days Down.

Construction... awesome and looking good.
Thanks, guys.
Distractions and disruptions... people knocking on the door.
Big mess.
Tomorrow's a new day.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day Four, Done... progress.

The elves have arrived. No more dreaming and scheming, let's get to work people!
Oye. The first day is always the roughest. It's all about taking down and putting up the bones.
Not the most fun, but by the end of the day, I knew we'd pull it off.
First of all, Dianne above ironed like there was no tomorrow.

Katie, from Small Town Vintage dropped in today to help create for our Paris room.
Lots of talent in that girl, I'll tell ya!

Carol is what I'd call the "glue" of our Viva family. Organizer, tidier, ahead of the game, mind reader and overall heart and soul at Viva.

Above is a sampling of what's beginning in our Paris room, as well as below.

Day four... done... Day three, we'll see!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Five Under Wraps.

This is a wonderful photo from two years ago at our very first Wonderland show.
Heart's Desire did a special outfit for the show. Rather than post the disaster that the shop is at this moment,
I thought better to tease you with a beauty.
Will show you the mess after day four, just to keep it real
and to see just how hard we're working.
Have a lovely evening.

Countdown! Five....

Today, we go into work, but lock the doors behind us.
We are spending this week transforming Viva into our annual
holiday show.
I will post each day, letting you in on a secret or two.
Come and see the real magic and join in the festivities
Saturday, October 23rd at 10:00 am.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

And, I love these.

These handbags and totes arrived today.
Can you believe they are being stored in our back room, unavailable to the public?
That's because they are a part of our holiday show on Oct. 23rd, and these are just a portion of our New Year's Eve in Paris theme. What's really special about them is that they are made from reclaimed (or old) canvas. Weathered seams, patches and mends give them a great patina.
Didn't think these were for the holiday show, did ya?
You're in for lots of surprises!
We're celebrating Fall Fest this weekend, then on Monday shutting our doors until
Saturday for the big reveal!
One little side note to this post. If you read my blog, and come into my shop... please say hello!
So many times I'm helping other customers or parading around in our Heart's Desire clothing (looking quite cute, I might add).
When I'm in shop mode, you might think me unapproachable, but this is not the truth.
When someone tells me they read my blog, I almost come over and hug you.
One example... two adorable young women were in wanting to know where the good antique shopping was. I pointed out that our neighbors from Chelsea, just recieved a container from England. I told them about the antique malls, and could tell they weren't interested.
Then they mentioned they read this blog.... HELLO! I know where you want to go!
Julie's Upscale Resale, and Roadside Market!
These were junkers, diggers... kindred spirits.
If you read this, you're getting the real me.
If you come into the shop, I'm in work mode and may not have time to chit chat (well sometimes I do) but make sure you say hey to me. I'll be glad to see you!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I love linen. Especially the washer, dryer, throw on kind.
You won't see this line anywhere in the Midwest except right here at Viva. Ruffled vests, tea jackets, baby jane cami tops, roll up trousers, banded skirts and bloomers.
Not to mention the silk and velvet cami's that are so romantice and delicate.
A gem from our friends at Altered Ever After

This line is made with love and thought.
It's made to fit all women, flattering all sizes.
We also take special orders for other sizes.
This line is made in America and made to order.
No mass producing here.
Come and visit us at Viva... Fall Fest Weekend, and I ordered special weather,
just for you.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Everyone's Gathering For Viva's Winter Wonderland

The Elves work year round.
Look what they've been dreaming up just for you!
Viva's Winter Wonderland.
October 23rd.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Viva la Winter Wonderland!

I hope you can join us Saturday the 23rd, when we will have spent the previous five days with the doors closed, transforming the shop into a holiday feast for the eyes!
Can you imagine that last January I was at market buying for this show?
We have three distinct rooms this year, with new touches all around the shop.

This year you'll be greeted in the front with a cheerful and bright red and white theme.
Up the steps we're conjuring up the idea of New Year's Eve in Paris.

That's enough of a tease for now.

We're in the throws of Pumpkin Patch Weekend, so you know what that means... well, I'll leave you with a quote from a friend of mine that made me chuckle today:

"Pumpkin Patch in Egg Harbor this weekend. Fall Fest in Sister Bay next weekend. People are arriving by the bus-loads. Cars turning left, when signaling right. Goats on roof tops and Friday night fish. God help us all".

Don't forget, the 23rd.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Keeping Shop... The Snake Story.

I've always considered myself lucky.

Lots of years ago, Val and I were sitting in the tiny cabin where we first opened shop.
A darling little log cabin surrounded by gardens and fields.
Blooming flowers and trees... lilacs, currants, peonies and when the temperature and the sun connect in just the right way, morels.

On a lovely summer day, we were having our lunch chit chatting about this and that.
(Keep in mind that location does mean everything, why we're no longer in that location, and why Val and I were both eating a leisurely lunch, not worried that someone would come in.)
For some reason, the conversation turned to things that scare us, or we might have a slight phobia about.
After the usual, spider/mouse/rubber band (oops that's another story)... snake issues were brought out, I thought it was time to share with Val the reason I am absolutely petrified of snakes.
Growing up in Texas and spending lots of summer time with cousins and relatives in the Arkansas country side, I think I am quite justified.
Some might call me a snake magnet.

I never see them coming, I'm always on top of them when it's too late, and my high stepping is top notch.

Here's a tiny sampling:
  • Seeing the tail of a rattler disappear under a sofa cushion ON the second floor.
  • The dead ones in jars that the boys insisted on sneaking into school and would find totally amusing to take out and whip at us at recess.
  • The rattlesnake on the front steps of my Grandmothers house that SHE chopped to bits and tossed aside
  • The copperhead I never saw, but was tossed like a feather by my Granddad to the front steps, my Grandmother screaming for me to run
  • The rattlesnake on the front steps of church as we go romping up those very steps.
Gag me with a spoon, I've got to stop now or I won't finish this story.

Let's move forward with the "lucky" part.

Val was very understanding of my fear, was almost calming in the way she explained why she was not afraid of them, and to always keep in mind that there are NO poisonous snakes in the entire state of Wisconsin (did you know that?) Right, so the worst thing that could happen would to be bitten, nothing else.

At that exact moment, I kid you not, a fat, four foot pine snake appeared on the floor slithering right in between the two of us.

In a split second I was in the parking lot with Val running for me squealing (or maybe that was me) until we were clinging to each other!
I screamed at her "I thought you weren't afraid of snakes!!!".
"Well I wasn't until I saw you flying over the counter for the front door and your screaming made it fly at me with it's fangs looking for my blood!".

"Stay calm! Think!".

"OMG, OMG, OMG... we're out here and it's in there!".

You know that moment when you are panicked, panting, and your heart rate is waaay up, and it hits you that you are going to actually have to do something about the situation?

That's when the mini van pulled into the parking lot.

Now what?

We walked up to the driver's side (still clinging to each other) and the lady rolled down her window, looking a tad perplexed. We told her about the snake inside and she was as wide eyed as we were, ready to blow smoke to get out of our parking lot.
That's when (here's where the angels sing) her teen aged son said "I'll go in and take care of it".
At that moment I thanked God for puberty and testosterone.
Then the ten year old piped in as well, "I'll help!".

They were out of that van in a flash with their poor Mother panicked saying "I don't like this!".

I kept reassuring her that the worst that could happen would be to be bit as there are no poisonous snakes in Wisconsin (come on now, I was desperate).

I heard the young man ask where it was and that's when my brave Val went back into the building.
I could hear lots of bumping and someone shouting for a broom. All the while, me and the Mother of these boys clinging to each other outside.
(I pretty much clung to whoever was in reach)

Then the boy screamed, "Mom! Get to the back door and hold it open!".

She was shaking like a leaf, but knew her boys were in there, I wasn't going to be of any help and she just had to do it. She was sooooo brave.

This woman grabbed the door, the boy yelled at her to get to the side of it and then
whoosh, whoosh, whoosh... out it came flying in a circular motion.

The Mother started screaming and high stepping towards me like Hitler himself had trained her.
When she grabbed me she yelled "Is it chasing me?!!!!".

This was the moment I doubled over laughing.

What energies were working in the universe that day that made this entire story come together, I will never know. The relief and hugs and telling and retelling of this story in that afternoon will never be forgotten.

I still think so fondly of Valerie and how brave she was. How she agreed that bringing my dog Chester to keep watch was a good idea, and how just days later we were ringing up a customer and saw a big rat crawl down the wall behind her while we kept our calm until she was in her car.

All these years later, with Valerie in Tucson and me in a much better location Viva is still moving along. I miss Valerie a lot, but we are in contact. It's rare that this story doesn't come up in our conversation, and I hope she enjoys reading it here.

See? I told you I was lucky.