To be hard on myself, I could say I am bad at the art of blogging. I made one post in January and one in February. The most successful bloggers have daily posts. I started out with more posts when I still just had a dream in my head. The dream in now a reality and there is a lot of stuff to do. So, I won’t be too hard on myself. I actually make myself feel better by thinking the daily bloggers are just stay at home mom’s who type away when their kids are off to school. Sorry to all those who I may have insulted, remember I think that just to make myself feel better.

I continue to work at the clinic full time. I have been open two weekends now at Tattered and the success is meeting, if not exceeding my expectations. The grand opening was fantastic, but the next open weekend was three weeks after that. I had over half a store to fill up again. Life and death goes on, basketball games come and go, a funeral for a first cousin the weekend before my opening and all the regular stuff; confirmation classes for the 14 year old, trying to keep tabs on my seventeen year old. Nate still working in the -20 below weather, he is completely exhausted from working outside, so wants the warm couch at night.

The second weekend I was open, I can say I did not feel at all ready for. The store was not nearly full of merchandise as I would have liked. There is only so much one person can do. I did have a good day of sales though without a lot of promotion. My sister and I struck gold picking one weekend, so a lot of the stuff that sold was good old antiques, that I didn’t have to refinish. It is nice to have a mix of classics with the fun retro.

I have a little time between sales, the next weekend open is March 16. So I thought I better get after the books. Last week I finally plunked down a little of the profits on accounting software. Why was that such a hard decision?? I researched and went back and forth for weeks. I went with QuickBooks. I messed around with it a little, screwed up, deleted a bunch of stuff I worked on one evening and haven’t opened it since. I think it will work fine, I just wonder if a box of receipts and sales tags would have done be just as well. It seems a little sophisticated for what my purpose is. I am sure it will be great, just another thing to do!

I am confident that the March 16 sale will have TONS of merchandise. I worked on old furniture all day today. Yesterday, we took a trip to Grand Forks and hit a few places. I found a shopping cart of goodies at the Goodwill, can’t wait to repurpose!

Gorgeous color

Gorgeous color

This actually is much prettier in person. It is done in a color called Florence and there is a chocolate glaze over.
Side table in Florence

Side table in Florence

 I am starting to have fun working on displays too. I need a lot of help here and have a lot to learn. There are some stores that I walk into and my mind is spinning and my heart is pounding, I get so excited at all the displays. I aspire to have Tattered by that type of destination.
Loving silver and glass look right now

Loving silver and glass look right now


Beachy- Cape Cod inspired

Beachy- Cape Cod inspired

The title of today’s post was balance. I don’t want this to feel like another thing I have to do. I have to find balance in life. The scales are one sided right now. I will be cutting to part time at the clinic so I can devote more time to my passion. Details are being worked out. My desire is to be open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I would work 2 to 3 days at the clinic a week. I keep my toes in the stable ground of the clinic, while my other foot is pushing off the dock on the boat. So you can imagine how I feel, my legs are going farther apart, almost doing the splits, ready to fall in the water. I have to keep balancing for a while, so I don’t fall in.



Finishing touches

IMG_0946Tattered Awning5 x 5 window and doorNate working his magicTattered sign IMG_0950 IMG_0955

One thing about actually working on the building and making the projects, it leaves little time for the progress updates. The store is very near completion. I am so impressed on the work my hubby has done for me. Tattered looks like a store that is ultra chic- urban, yet rustic and industrial. The floors look fabulous, reclaimed fir from an old feed store. Initially I thought I would stain the floors a dark color, but I love the mix of colors and the gray on some of the pieces. The trim is indescribable! I got the stain called Cobalt blue for free from our local hardware store because it was mixed wrong. It gives the old wood a gray-blue hue which brings out red in the wood. Our windows and door were professionally installed and the awning is also up. My Tattered sign is hung on the highway side and the porch is about done. We have to put some kind of siding back up where the steel siding use to be. It looks shabby and NOT shabby-chic! Nate is working on the more tedious things now. Basically, he will build my counter and will be sighing relief. He can’t wait to go ice fishing!

Take a look at the photos and you will see the floors and the trim and the ceiling! I threw in my upcycling chandelier project. I found that beauty at a thrift shop in the outdated brass metal finish. I finished it in the green patina that is so gorgeous!! I have it hung in the store as a fixture. My mother in law loves it! That means a lot to me, she even said I should put a sale tag on it. Speaking of light fixtures, I have been fretting so much about lighting for the shop. Today I let it go. I have spent too much time worrying about the right lights, but not spending a lot of money. I am going with the ones that are already there and as I get more inspired, will upgrade. Why force it?

One more end note. My Tattered Facebook page has 98 likes without even opening the doors yet, which is great! I put a challenge in to get 100 likes and then I will announce the grand opening date. So help out my local friends and like the site. The link is at bottom of page and also on my blog roll. Happy Holidays!!!!     Thanks!! 

Juggling new business

Hey everyone! I haven’t had a recent update for awhile. I made it through The Vintage Carnival Saturday. It started a little shaky. My spot wasn’t ideal, but it worked out fine in the end. The weather was horrible, glare ice roads, that didn’t seem to deter traffic to the fair though, wow, what a turn out! The rustic arbor was a fabulous draw. I finally put a tag on it that it wasn’t for sale.  There was a lot of interest in renting it for weddings. So with one rental, it will be paid for. I sold about 16 pieces. I found that pricing was tricky. Of course at a holiday venue, a lot of people were shopping for Christmas gifts. It would take the right person to buy furniture. I had tons of traffic though and people seemed to be attracted to my booth. There were a lot of other vendors there that shared their experience with me, which is so much appreciated! We are having another carnival in the spring. I think the timing was perfect. I debuted my wares, before the store opens. I got the Tattered name out there and told people to watch for the store opening after the first of the year. By the time the spring carnival comes around, I will have more media in place and the store should be in full swing. Now to the juggling. Yesterday, I finally caught up on all the house cleaning and grocery shopping that has not been attended to the past month. I really didn’t do anything in regards to the store. It was the last day of deer hunting for the guys too, so tonight, Nate starts the renovation process on the shop, which to me is the ultimate excitement!! Today is back to my full time job as a nurse. I took Friday off to set up for the show. It’s hard to concentrate at the job with so much on my mind. Progress: Lumber has been delivered to the shop. Courtney is working on the signage for the store front. It’s going to be an 8 foot long sign with dark stained boards and the turquoise blue Tattered name on it. She is also a local gal that works a full time job and does these beautiful signs on the side with her hubby. I have all the quotes except for a furnace and an awning for the back door. I did stop at a consignment store yesterday where I had good luck finding quality pieces before. I struck out and left empty handed. I am going to an estate sale this Thursday to restock.  I forgot my camera, so couldn’t take any shots of the booth, so bummed. I too one awful shot with my phone. What kind of blogger am I!? Have a great week!, Nicole


Exciting news! I officially took over rental of the old mechanic garage TODAY! I met with the co-op board and they agreed to the renovations that need to get the building from garage to retail space. I also lucked out and have a very good chance at grant money for commercial rehab projects. I met with the guy today and it sounds like a done deal. I have to get estimates and have all the work done by the end of the year. That’s right, 2 months. I have a feeling that Nate will be doing the work himself as the carpenters around here are booked until spring.

Just a quick note to update you all. Now, I have to figure out some math and estimate building materials.


I joined Facebook!!

I took a leap and put myself out there and started a Facebook page for Tattered. Tattered is what the business will be named, YAY! Facebook is scary because everybody and their sister will know what I’ve been up to.

I made a lot of progress today. I contacted a local fellow vintage decor gal who is heading up The Vintage Carnival in Thief River Falls, MN on November 10. She has booth space available, so I am signing up to be a vendor. I have did a craft fair before, many years ago, with a little different type of merchandise. Overall it was very successful. So, I have a purpose to keep going with the project. That is how it progresses. I love it when a plan works!

I also contacted a local gal for help with signage for Tattered. I have a nice big old cupboard door I want to use for a sign. She wasn’t sure if vinyl lettering would work, but I’d be happy with a stencil and do a little more painting.

My other accomplishment was tinkering with the soft wax and chalk paint. I took some pictures and will let you know how those turned out another day.

Thanks for all your support! Nicole

Delivery! Using chalk paint and wax finish for the first time.

Good evening! I received my delivery from Perfectly Imperfect, unfortunately, I didn’t get home from the son’s football game until 8 pm to try it out. That will have to be tomorrow night’s goal. I’ll be thinking of that project all day, it should get me through the regular work day though. I had some encouragement from a couple of friends today, they thought I would be good at the vintage decor business. I can see it all laid out in my head how I want it to work. Reality is getting in my way. Things like health insurance, eh, who needs that anyway!?

Back to the shipment;

 So I got Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint in Cream:

Annie Sloan Cream Chalk Paint

and the waxes dark:

Annie Sloan Soft Wax Dark

and the clear:

Annie Sloan Soft Wax Clear

and finally the COOL application brush:

Wax Brush

This is my first TARGET project, a nice easy one to start.

Vintage side table

(And, if I screw it up too bad, it’s a pretty simple piece to refinish)

SO I will update you tonight on the projects. See ya!!


Saturday’s tasks

My plan for today was to attend the Harvest Festival at The White House Boutique, but due to the unseasonable winter storm, it has been postponed until next weekend. So Saturday is pretty open. I do see some dust that should be attended to. There’s laundry, you know, the usual tasks that never go away. I have some vintage furniture thats waiting for an inspiring makeover. I tend to be filling up the garage with my finds, to the frustration of my hubby. He is trying to clean the garage as I keep dragging in more junk.

I am almost finished with a beautiful side table that I picked up on the way to the lake last weekend. Nate said I paid too much for that piece of junk, although he didn’t use the term “junk.” He didn’t see the beauty I did through the highly varnished brown. I saw it though. The deeply spindled legs would be perfect for dark colors to settle into against a lighter color paint. I had a vision, he is a self-described, non-creative type. He has learned to trust my instinct and doesn’t say too much. When he doubts me, I can just give him that look.

shabby chic side table

The side table is near done. I ‘m just waiting for a new product that will be my first attempt at using wax finishes. I ordered Annie Sloan’s chalk paint and waxes. I can not WAIT to play and learn how to use it!! I read about it on a cool blog called Perfectly Imperfect and ordered it from there. I was at work a couple of days ago and got a call from an out of area number. I immediately thought, telemarketer. It was Perfectly Imperfect calling! They had a quick question for me before shipping my order!! Very impressed with the customer service!

Another little round side table that I have in mind for the wax finish is this one….

Table is patiently waiting for finish work

And this one….

Ready for redo!

The house is clean, Yay! for a day probably. 😦 All the projects above will have to wait until UPS makes the special delivery.

I will carry on with slooow progress of the vintage decor business. Last night at supper, Nate told me that my dream can only be a side line business right now. I would love to rent a store in Thief River Falls and jump in because I know I can do it. I have to continue to grow inventory and probably attend craft shows and build a web presence for right now. The store in town will be a long term goal I guess. Thats ok, I have a lot of ideas rolling around that will keep me busy!!