Category - Blog

How we do Door County for Fall Fest
#TBT My first Halloween window
The map-topped side table
Paper bag robot
Nest at Nellie’s Barn Sale
On a Tea Kick
12 terrific low or no-cost tools for small shop owners
Ghostbusters Birthday Party
Entryway table / desk
Furniture painting classes in the Chicago area

How we do Door County for Fall Fest

We’ve been heading up to Fall Fest in Door County, Wisconsin (have you ever been up there?) with our very dear friends Chrisa & Tom and their kids for a couple years now. Among a few of our traditions are:

– A drive infused with cheesy 70’s radio tunes
– The Epharaim arrival cocktail (my job)
– Homemade potato chips from the Piggly Wiggly
– Co-mingling of the dogs (we’re determined to make them all great friends)
– A trip to the clearance section at Wilkins and Olander (in Egg Harbor)
– The requisite Renards cheese stop in Sturgeon Bay

Do you have good friends you travel with? Are there fun things you always do together?

The guest cottage. We love having such a pretty place to visit.

Another longstanding tradition…The road trip nap.

#TBT My first Halloween window

A little bit sad, a little bit proud of the good effort, I was just thinking about my first Halloween shop window. I loved doing the window displays at my old shop.

#TBT Shop Window Display Halloween

The map-topped side table

This past weekend I had my booth set up at Nellie’s Barn Sale in Roscoe, Illinois. And while I was there I saw this vendor (Pork Belly Vintage) who had all sorts of cute pieces, very reasonably-priced. One of her end tables featured a decoupaged Chicago-area aviation map.

Well, two of my brothers are in the aviation industry, my father is a pilot and work for the FAA, and my grandfather was a pilot from before it was even licensed. This just had to come home with me!

I felt like this would add a special bit of whimsy to our home, so I loaded it in the truck. These are the types of things I really enjoy finding, functional pieces which bring a story into our home.




Paper bag robot

Will is always cooking up some kind of costume. Today we’re getting crafty with paper bags. This brings back tons of memories for me because I remember my brothers and I cutting eyeholes and coloring faces on paper bags and running around being all sorts of characters. I’m sure we’re not the only ones who did this, right?

Grocery bags also make great snail costumes.


Nest at Nellie’s Barn Sale

Dana from Sugar Salvage and I decided to spend our birthday weekends selling our vintage wares at Nellies Barn Sale up in Roscoe, Illinois.

It turned out to be an absolutely perfect crisp, blue, fall weekend. Lucky!

I hope you guys all had a great fall weekend, too!









On a Tea Kick

My mom’s parents drank tea every morning, a habit I only recently converted to from coffee. Occasionally my family will have a tea party with me, and if it’s been a rough day sometimes I’ll curl up along with a nice cup in the evening.

What is it about a good cup of tea that is so comforting? I have a couple of really special teapots as well. One my beloved mother-in-law gave me before her son and I got married. Another is a classic Brown Betty from when my husband was born in Lakenheath, England.

I think we should talk about this a little bit. I would love to hear about yours and see pictures of your teapots and teacups and hear about your tea recommendations.

In the picture above is a new acquisition, an antique Fiestaware teapot in pink. Then this past weekend at the Kane County flea market I got the beautiful vintage tin from my friend Dana at Sugar Salvage and the tea is from my dear friend Chrisa. She brought it back from a recent trip to London. It’s the tea that the Queen drinks at the palace! (I feel super fancy.)

Are you a tea drinker? What are your favorite tea drinking rituals?

On a tea kick |#NestVintageModern - Vintage home decor

12 terrific low or no-cost tools for small shop owners

When I opened my business a few years back, I had about $300 to get started. If you have a dream to open a boutique, it can be done with a tiny budget and baby steps. Here are 12 terrific low or no-cost tools for small shop owners that I used and would still recommend. Read More

Ghostbusters Birthday Party

Our youngest, Will, has been a diehard Ghostbusters fan for half his life. (An easy claim when you’re 5!) So we had to have a Ghostbusters birthday party this year. Read More

Entryway table / desk

Another round of “I can’t make up my mind about what to do with the entry table” is in the works. I think this will be an improvement. We’re big fans of pieces that do double duty. There’s currently a desk in our living room and a 1930’s side table in the entry. This would cover both needs since the top folds down, but then can be opened up for access when the dining room isn’t in use. Anything that can work harder and take up less space is a good thing in our home.

I’m sad because the table I found a couple weeks ago is SO beautiful, I hate to get rid of it.

Furniture painting classes in the Chicago area

Today was a first for me. We had our furniture painting class in Claudia’s lovely backyard garden. I don’t know about you, but I feel like we really earn our beautiful Chicago summers. Who wants to be inside when you can be outside on a gorgeous day like this?

If you’re interested in hosting a private furniture painting class, drop an email to

I’ve lowered my head count requirement to two people for a class. So if you were hesitant to book before because you didn’t get four people together, I’m not doing that anymore.

The price structure is two people for $95 each, three-four people for $85 each, and five-six people for $75 each. Class times are available in the day or evening. Furniture painting classes may be held in your Chicago area home or in a restaurant/bar party room or similar venue.

I provide all materials and I come to you. I bring brushes paint materials to paint tarps cups… everything. All you need to have is a table, chairs, and people to have fun with!

Click here to save your date today!


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