Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Day And Santa's Elves Are Working!

Santa's elves helped me today move furniture into the shop. Getting close to opening, but still have work to do. Next week all the business paperwork will be done and I should have a certificate of occupancy. But for now, I am a happy gal sitting at my desk dreaming of how the shop will come together! A little sneak peak!

I was befuddled about how to place all the furniture when an angel stopped by. Rowann from Antiques In Old Town, right across the street, came to my rescue. She put her hands on her hips, shook her head, declared, "This just won't do!" and had my movers placing furniture in all the right spots. Some days you just can't see the forest for the trees! A big hug of thanks to Rowann!

 Look at that silly painting behind the yellow loveseat. I adore it. Emily and Sandra looking for the perfect eclair. It is the happiest painting I have ever seen!

On a more dignified note - the second room dining table set with gently worn silverplate for a lovely old world shabby elegance. Just the beginning of my table setting.

Much to be done on Monday. I have to get with the city planning department, get my business license, find out about a sign so I can hang out my shingle, and get a final walk through by the fire marshal. Whew.

Can't wait for my first customer mid January so we can sit and drink coffee and chat!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Oh The Weather Outside Is Frightful. Let Us Shop! Let Us Shop!Let Us Shop!

My take on that old Christmas song, Let It Snow! I have to say it is a crazy time to get things done at the shop. It is so cold! Inside and out. Today I bought treasures for resale. I need to buy my electric heaters! Which is next on my things to do.

The weather has been frightful. Even had a few snow flurries the other day. Tomorrow back to the business of getting a shop ready to open in Janurary, but today found me shopping for treasures!

I visited one of my favorite spots, Decatur Estates . I had a small booth and a jewelry case there for many months. After I had my rotator cuff surgery this summer and couldn't keep up my space, I sold my case to the shop. I have been missing it. And missing being in the business.

As I was looking around the shop, I didn't see my old cabinet. When I asked about it, it was in the back room, ready to be put on sale. Well, you know who bought it back.  I love to buy my things back, especially when they have a job to do.

Finding that case was perfect! I have been fretting about how to display jewelry in the shop. There will be vintage Turquoise, my own line of jewelry, and some pieces by other jewelry designers. Now I am relieved. I have a huge, tall, case that will be the perfect spot to highlight the exceptional pieces that will be for sale.

Some of the other treasures found in odd little spots along the way today included an old grey paint chest of drawers, large wood easel, small art deco vanity and vintage folk art animal paintings. My van is so loaded I could barely squeeze in my groceries. Now that is a good haul and, may I say, followed by a fine meal this evening. I did get a few sacks of food tucked in the corners.

It was fun visiting with my old friends at the shop. I always find something wonderful to buy there.  But it was kismet I walked in today just as my old cabinet was going on sale. You never know what any day will bring!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My To Do List For Monday

Opening Soon! Great things begin in January 2011 at The Little Shop Of Arts And Antiques!

Soon you may be sitting on our little yellow loveseat checking out all your purchases!

I am already scheduling appointments for tomorrow to get things done. My electrician, Marvin, will meet me at the shop at noon. I am having the electrical service checked out. After all was said and done on Saturday, I don’t have a gas meter. Electric space heaters will work. I just want to have Marvin check out my wiring before I stark plugging things in and see stars. And not those romantic stars in the sky at night. The ones you see when ##**!#!**!!! you plug in something that sparks back! I am sure it is fine, but it is better to have a professional take a look and confirm it and let me know what load it will carry. Plus I am expecting he will let me know what type of heaters will keep me toasty warm and be cost efficient.  (If you are reading the words electric heaters and cost efficient and are chuckling, don't tell me!)

Then off to the fire department to pay my fees for an inspection by the fire marshal, hopfully soon, to be done. When I get my Certificate of Occupancy, my next step is to visit Lilburn's planning folks for their approval and my business license. I've already met them and you can't ask for nicer folks.

All the merchants and folks in Old Town are great. That is the reason I am so anxious to become a part of this little hub. 

My white cupboard from Antiques In Old Town may be carried across the street at lunch, since the dealer I bought it from, my friend Cheryl, is bringing in something new and this big ole piece needs to find its way home. It will be my storage cabinet. Wait til you see how lovely it is!  (Don't ask if it is for sale! This one is mine!)

You can check out my favorite shop Antiques In Old Town across the street while you are waiting for me to open! Then visit us both!

Have some delicious lunch at The Blue Rooster Cafe  , home of Lilburn's best chicken salad, at the other end of the little group of shops across from me. Yummy food to tickle your stomach and make you feel glad you visited Old Town!

And if you haven't visited Lilburn yet, you are missing a wonderful place to eat, shop and have some very merry fun, at any time of the year. Check out their web (Lilburn, Small Town, Big Difference)  and see what small town living close to the big city looks like. You will be anxious to become part of the scene!

Already pieces are starting to pile up as my design plan starts to fall into place. My little yellow loveseat is waiting for the time friends and customers can sit on it,  visit and share a cup of coffee or tea.

The original name for this blog was the yellow loveseat, but then I decided on my current name. I am so fickle with names. What is in a name? Everything!

The Little Shop of Arts and Antiques was decided on after two days of kicking names back and forth. I made myself sick thinking so hard. My cousin Barbie in Bloomington, Indiana, came up with lists of names. All wonderful, but not just right for my vision of my little shop (see those words, little shop.....the beginning already started and unknown to me)Then a conversation with a friend, where the question, What's the shop going to be? was asked, and my answer gave me the name!

It's just a little shop where I'll have arts and antiques!  So simple. So there you have it. The arts part includes artist openings, book signings and intimate writer workshops.

The antiques part will be a daily surprise as I find treasures to temp you. My own line of jewelry, Time In A Garden, a whimsical mixture of garden bugs, frogs and flowers that I sell in The Atlanta Botanical Gardens gift shop, will be for sale, as well as some other lovely pieces by local jewelry designers.
If you like vintage/Victorian art and have space for a lovely old oil painting, I will have a delightful selection for your viewing (and purchasing?) pleasure.

I contacted the best book promoter I know today. He'll have some incredible events planned starting the end of January. I think it will be a great match for everyone!

If you are an artist and are interested in a gallery showing of your work, contact me! If you are an author who wants a booksigning, let me know. And if you are interested in classes/workshops on writing, send me your e-mail address. Contact me at

For my dog rescue friends, we will have a fund raiser for you the end of January. So stay in touch, my dear buddies at Animal Action Rescue.

My events will be limited to fit the space and number of folks I am allowed to have inside at one time. Some will be by reservation only, so follow me here and don't miss out.

Oh so much to do to open mid January. Please don’t snow tomorrow. I have to get busy!
Such a sweet little yellow loveseat. Come join me for a cup of coffee and sit a spell!

Check back here often, as I am updating my progress almost daily. Once the shop is open, you will find a list of our events posted here. Watch for some great history of Lilburn as we can both learn about this special town together! It is an amazing American town!

Friday, December 10, 2010

It All Began Because Of A Lunch Date!

The shop that had to be mine

Running late as I usually do, I pulled into the parking spot in front of the old cabinet shop, jumped out of the car, anxious to get across the street to catch up with my friend Cheryl at Antiques In Old Town. I stood for a minute and looked directly in front of me. A sign caught my eye. For Rent. The old cabinet shop had been vacant since spring, but I never noticed the sign before. Something clicked in my mind at that very instant and I knew I had to call that number. I pulled my cell out of my purse and without hesitation left the following voice mail message: "I am looking at your building, I am a writer and an antique dealer, and I want to rent this space. Please call me." That was on December 2, 2010.

I crossed the street and my friend Cheryl was tidying up her booth. I had already put her huge old paint white primitive cupboard on layaway, and had no idea where it would go. My house is full.

As we took off for our favorite Mexican spot for lunch, I started giggling.

"What's so funny?" she asked, smiling back at me.

"I've found a spot for the cupboard. I am going to rent the little shop across the street!"

I've rented antique booths before to house a purchase I had no space for, but never a shop. This would be a first.

My friend shook her head. "So like you. But what a great idea."

It was a great idea. My guess was the rent would be too high, but I was game to give it a try.

Two days later the call came in. The rent had been reduced a few days before to a figure I could not refuse. I committed to a year's lease with a meeting on Monday to sign the paperwork. A deal made over the phone with a young man I felt I could trust. I hadn't even seen the inside of the building, but I didn't want someone else to grab it.

Yes, you might ask, in today's economy would there be a rush to rent, even at the price I was quoted? I did not want to find out there was and miss my chance. I knew I was being guided to this new adventure as I have been on all my creative endeavors the past year.

My shop diary begins with this post today. I signed my lease last Monday, December 6th. The young man is the only person I know who runs later than I do and is more disorganized. He was twenty minutes late, and forgot the lease. We laughed and signed a make shift agreement. He e-mailed the lease to me later that night. I walked away from our meeting with a key in my hand, two months rent paid for and a heart ready to burst with excitement while my brain started calculating all that needed to be done!

The business of starting a business began that afternoon. I talked to the folks at the Planning and Development department to find out all I needed to do and to let them know my plans for my little shop. They were a great bunch of folks and I left with a list a mile long.

To name a few things on this hit list: a visit to the Fire Department to pay a fee to have the Fire Marshal walk through the building to approve a certificate of occupancy, then the city Planning and Development folks will walk through for an inspection to issue a business license. Stay tuned as I share the nitty gritty details of opening your own shop as I start checking them off my list next week.

Today, I want to share the photos from Monday. Let's see how we end up looking by early to mid January when The Little Shop of Arts and Antiques will have its grand opening. A short time frame, but I am used to moving quickly!

A room with a view. In this case, two rooms with a view!
The main room is approx 18 x 15 with a French door leading into the second room.

The second room is approx 15 x 13. The ceiling is vaulted with brick.
There is work to be done, but I have a great handyman! There is no air or heat at the moment, and the rent reflects that fact. I am only worried about staying toasty warm for now. Cooling the place seems a long way off.  There is a gas line in the front room and I am checking to see about having a hanging heater installed and the gas turned on. Brrrr. As a quick fix, I could use electric space heaters, but I shudder to think what the electric bill would be.

The electric was turned on today. Monday I go visit the Fire Department to begin the certificate of occupancy process. My insurance company is working up the figures on a policy for the shop. I have my own to do list ready as soon as I am given the OK to move in.

There is a little yellow loveseat in the main room now. It will be a cozy spot for my customers and friends to sit on and visit over a cup of tea or coffee. The shop is already taking shape with the simple placement of a piece of furniture and the possibilities of what I want to do are stretching ahead of me like a yellow brick road!

If you are wondering about the primitive white cupboard, it is not for sale. Some things a gal, who loves antiques, just has to keep. It will be the perfect storage piece for the shop's paperwork and supplies.