The Chairmaker and Friends

While on a recent trip to Vermilion, Ohio I stumbled upon a quaint little shop that stole my heart.  Something about the warm wooden furniture and the subtle colors of the plaid woolens at The Chairmaker and Friends made me feel right at home.

The Chairmaker and Friends Store Vermilion Ohio
The owner, Garrett Aston creates amazing hand crafted Windsor chairs, tables and other finely detailed furniture and accessories.  The kind of pieces that stop  you in your tracks and make you want to run your fingers across their glass-like surfaces.  The quality and beauty of his works of art make my heart ache with appreciation.

Antique Table at Chairmaker

Wouldn’t you just love to have this cubby cabinet?  I can think of a million things that I could use it for.

Cabinet with cubbies

Katie Allman also offers a variety of reasonably priced rug hooking classes at the store.  They keep a stock of gorgeous woolens that can be purchased for the classes or other uses.

Woolens at Chairmaker and Friends

Rug hooking room

On the way back through the store I spotted these adorable patchwork cats.  Since we recently said goodbye to our favorite cat, I decided I could “adopt” one of these for our home.  The navy one now greets us when we walk in the family room.

Patchwork Cat Pillows

Take a look at this wood working shop.  A carpenter’s dream, I’d say.  I love the smell of sawdust in a place like this.  It reminds me that furniture is being lovingly created one unique piece at a time.  Garrett also mentions that he holds wood-working classes. How cool would that be!  He also offers refinishing and various types of furniture repair and restoration for your cherished heirlooms.  Chair building workshopI only wish I lived closer to this shop.  It’s 2000 miles away from my home, so I won’t be able to get there very often.  If you live in northern Ohio I hope you take advantage of your proximity to this wonderful shop and maybe take a class or two.  It’s a gem!

Renegade Craft Fair – Los Angeles

Today our family did some shopping at the Renegade Craft Fair in Los Angeles, California.  We drove through a slice of Chinatown on the way and I snapped this fun shot of the lanterns.

Chinatown Los Angeles

This is the group walking to the fair with the downtown L.A. skyline in the distance.  Isn’t it cute how the 3 of them were  holding hands?  Don’t worry.  It didn’t last long.

Walking to the craft sale with L.A. skyline in the background

There were some great handmade crafts there so I thought I’d share a few of my favorites and links to where you can find them.

Renegade Craft Sale - Felt Flower Pins

Sad to say that I don’t have time to track down the artist for these brightly colored felt pins, but love them anyway.  If you like them, take a look at the links to all the artists here and see if you can find it.

Look at these creative journals made from vintage hard cover books with blank pages added.  These were made by Ex Libris Anonymous at  Just imagine how you could fill these pages!

Renegade Craft Sale Re-purposed Pillows

These pillows just gave me more inspiration for things I could make with my new sewing machine.

These wonderful vintage trailer prints were mounted on wooden blocks to be hung on the wall.   The artist, “Chantalde Felice” said that she visited The Shady Dell,  Bisbee, Arizona’s Vintage Airstream Hotel for her inspiration.  Aren’t they adorable?

Renegade Craft Sale - Cone Trees

I fell in love with the colors and patterns on these precious cone-shaped trees!  You’ll find them at Cathy’s of California.

Renegade Craft Sale King Tshirt

I tried to talk Terry into buying this Tshirt, but he wasn’t in a shopping mood.  Don’t you think it’s kind of fitting for him?  We can always order it or other cool ones later from DKNG Studios.

I thought this was such a wise statement…and excellent inspiration.

Terry also bought me a pair of vintage typewriter key earrings for my Christmas stocking from “The Weekend Store“.  They don’t look exactly like this, but they’re so cute nonetheless.   Be sure to take a look at this website.  There’s lots of interesting vintage inspired items.

Sad news is the sale ended Sunday.  But good news is that you should be able to find all of these artists online for your holiday shopping convenience.

Thanks for coming along on my little cyber shopping trip.  Don’t these handmade treasures inspire you to create something yourself?  Which are your favorites?

“The Queen Bee” in Prescott Valley is Worth Visiting

Recently a few friends and I had the chance to check out a cute and creative new shop in Prescott Valley, Arizona.  It’s called “The Queen Bee” and we were there on their opening weekend!  They didn’t even have a chance to get their sign up yet, so it will probably look a bit different when you go by.

Prescott Valley - The Queen Bee

You’ll find it right on the main highway at 7273 E 1st St, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314.

The owner, Kristina Lies happens to be my good friend Debbie’s daughter.  Otherwise we wouldn’t even know about this sweet little gem in PV.

When we were there we discovered just how creative Kristina really is.   Many of the items in the shop are her creations or items that she has beautifully repurposed. We found out that she recently flagged down a truck full of old windows from a local high school renovation on their way to the dump.  She has big plans to make some gorgeous architectural decorative pieces from those windows.  Can’t wait to see what she does with them.

As you can see from the photos, even though the shop is on the smallish side she has a nice variety of items.  Home decor, vintage postcards, clothes, even some wood furniture, and so much more.  Be sure to click on the pics to see the detail. Since we were there before Halloween Kristina had a wonderful selection of pieces for the holiday as well.

Don’t you just love this Thanksgiving pumpkin?  Yeah, me too, so now it’s sitting on the window sill in MY kitchen.

And here’s the kicker.  Her prices are ALL very reasonable!  Her philosophy is that she wants to have a constant turnover of fresh merchandise so she plans to have items priced to sell.  That way she’ll have room to infuse her creations into the shop in addition to other treasures that she’ll discover and offer for sale.

Prescott Valley - The Queen Bee StoreMy only disappointment was the size of the shop.  I’m afraid she’ll run out of room for all the great items she has.  Good news is that they have more space in the back or they could convert the current office for more display space, so hopefully if the shop does well they can expand without having to move.

Can you tell from Kristina’s face below how excited she is about her new endeavor as she stands under the crown on the doorway?    She’ll be just as excited when you walk through the door for a visit.  The store is open on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for now.  Call for hours.

Tell her that Nancy sent you!

If you have questions feel free to contact Kristina at:

7273 E 1st St, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314.


Email: theQueenBeeAz[at]hotmail[dot]com

Prescott Valley The owner of The Queen Bee

Autumn Plant Stand

This Saturday I had the chance to do some exploring and shopping with some dear friends at the 7th Avenue Melrose District in Phoenix.  If you haven’t been there before, it’s a mile stretch between Camelback and Indian School Roads on what else, 7th Avenue.   I’ll do another post about our shopping day, but today I wanted to share about one of my fun finds!  This is the gang as we met to get our energy boost at Copper Star Coffee, right in the middle of shopping heaven!  More on that later too.

Our first stop was the Salvation Army at the corner of Indian School and 7th Avenue.  The sign outside said that they were having a 50% off everything sale.  Score!  Well, when we got inside we found out that until 10 am (just 10 minutes away) everything was 55% OFF!  Awesome!  So, while we didn’t have much time for browsing, we set out for some treasures.  One of the first things I saw was this metal plant stand.  Originally priced $29.95.  Discounted price $13.48!  How could I say no?  I was thinking that our front entry patio needed some Fall decor, so I picked it up and loaded in the car with the help of my friend Cathy.

And here’s what I was able to put together after I got home.  For now I just repurposed some of my other Autumn decor.   Some of the flowers are newly purchased, but otherwise it was things I had around the house.

Funny thing,  I’m trying to decide if I should keep the whole thing inside my entry because I like looking at it so much…plus with our Phoenix sun, things can get quite faded even in the Fall months.  Tell me what you think.  Does it belong outside or inside?  The outdoor entry patio is pretty bare too.  Or maybe I should take pics of it in both locations.  Let me know your thoughts on indoor vs. outdoors.

And here’s a bit of personal trivia.  Do you see the sign above the plant stand that says “Grandma Perkins Pumpkin Patch”?  Well, I bought that at a craft store in Ohio, near where I grew up and where much of my extended family lives.  Guess what?  My grandmother’s last name was PERKINS!  Is that cool or what?  AND she made her living running a roadside fruit and vegetable stand along one of the highways on the coast of Lake Erie.  In the Fall they sold pumpkins from their PUMPKIN PATCH!!!  Do you think whoever made the sign knew of that fruit stand?  Seems awfully coincidental.  In any case, I was so thrilled when I found it!  It reminds me of her every time I bring it out in the Fall.

So let me know your thoughts about the location and come back to hear more about our awesome shopping trip in the Melrose District.  Thanks for stopping by!

I’m linking back to Metamorphosis Monday!

Love this stuff!

Today I’ve been cleaning up the office and getting rid of some holiday catalogs that piled up on our desk.  Of course, I had to just flip thru a few of them and here are a few treasures that I found.

Check out these cool picture frame stickers from !

For those who can’t put a lot of holes in the walls, or want something that’s easy to change around, these look like so much fun!

They range in size from 4 x 6 ” to 8 x 10″.  Just imagine the possibilities.  You could even stick them to a mirror or window or even your refrigerator.

I also love this idea for making a customized name sign with photos of different objects that are shaped like letters.  I can’t copy the picture, but go here and zoom in to see the detail.  For example, each letter is a black and white photo of things like wrought iron scrollwork in the shape of an “S”, or a wooden barn door with the boards in the shape of an “N”.  All kinds of creative objects.  I’m sure that all you creative photograhers could do this yourself and just put the words in a college frame.

I really like this custom Nautical Tile Clock from National Geographic (  If you provide them with the town and zip code closest to your waterside home or favorite spot along the U.S. coastal waterways, the Great Lakes, Alaska, or Hawaii, their artisans in New England will screen print a local chart on tumbled marble to create an analog clock.

Someday maybe I’ll get one with my hometown of Vermilion, Ohio, right along Lake Erie.

Well, that’s enough browsing for now.  I need to get back to cleaning.