Drumroll Please….Introducing Our First Artisian for the Sidewalk Sale Extravaganza!

Meet Yvonne from The Olde French Doors.  Picture several acres of trees and gardens with lots of grass to mow.  On these acres is a cozy home with a studio where lots of love and creativity flow.  In her studio she is surrounded by yards and yards of fabrics, many colors of paint, old furniture and her never ending imagination.  Yvonne beautifully paints one of her favorite and trademark flowers….coneflowers on just about anything you can imagine; from old windows to wardrobes.

Yvonne received top honors in high school art and used her portfolio to get into Hiram College….her father was very proud to say the least.  But, being the hippie love child that she was, she drove away one day in the middle of her first semester because………..wait for it.……….because she missed her dog……….and she never looked back. She has been married for decades and has….as she describes them…”three almost perfect children and six perfect grand-children”.  They come to as close to “first” as she can put them, in her heart they are “first”.  Her “second” love and other passion is art.  She would truly rather be in her yard with her dogs and kids than anywhere else on earth….oh and add a bonfire and some cocktails and she’s in heaven!

Yvonne said she has been making art forever but her first remembrance of loving it was a collage of wood pieces she put together in the 5th grade, she has loved art ever since.  Her parents bought her a wooden art case filled with oil paints and brushes while they were in New York…..maybe mid 1960’s….this art set became her favorite thing ever and she said she’ll never forget the smell of the tiny bottles of turpentine.

Yvonne said that she loves to re-do almost anything….with paint especially, although she loves to use up fabrics from old clothes to make dolls and at the moment she’s making purses from old leather coats.  I have to say, the dolls she makes have the most beautiful expressions that I have ever seen….the most beautiful eyes ever!  Her art is one of a kind and so very original; just like sweet Yvonne.  She told me that her mom called her “Secondhand Rose” because she loved finding something old and making it new, or at least making it “her”.

Her favorite quote is “creative clutter is better than idle neatness” which she said she’s pretty sure she lives by .  She uses up much of her entire house and studio…with finished pieces of painted furniture strewn about her living area leaving only a path at times to walk through….all of which she misses terribly when they are gone.  All of this is what makes her happy.  She said it’s a balance of family and work and creativity with a handful of rescued pets…..and a scattering of friends along the way.  She is terribly humble and very grateful for what she has….she says it’s not much, but it’s enough.

Come meet this sweet Gypsy Soul for yourself on Saturday, June 13th; she’ll be front and center with her beautiful, handmade works of art.

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Happy Birthday to my First Grandson!

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Memorial Day was a busy day, hope you all had a nice holiday and were able to spend time with family and friends.    I totally intended to post a bio for our first artist for the Sidewalk Sale Extravaganza….but my grandson’s 15th birthday trumped it.  So, Happy Birthday to my very first grand-son:  Alec Joseph.  Isn’t he handsome…and as you can see below….he’s also an avid fisherman.  He would fish every day and night if he could…thank goodness his mom makes him do homework, vacuum, clean his room,  go to school; yucky stuff like that.  A big thank you to Angela and Jamie for raising a fine young man!IMG950015

Sidewalk Extravaganza Saturday June 13th

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Mark your calendars!  We are having our first ever Sidewalk Sale Extravaganza Saturday, June 13th and you won’t wanna miss it.  This ain’t your grandma’s sidewalk sale.  (No offense to all you cool grandmas out there.)  We’re having some of our favorite artisans participate and we’ll be featuring little bits about them on our blog, we want you to see how inspiring they are and how much they love creating their art.  They’re all amazing artists!  First up?  Yvonne from The Olde French Doors…..stay tuned, she’s a sweet Gypsy Soul.

New Journey Recovery Housing Open House

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The Open House yesterday was very touching; Eva Hartwell is the founder of New Journey and she pours her heart and soul into this program.  The house looks incredible; Home Depot donated all the drywall….in fact, everything that was done to improve the house was donated.  Miss Eva must be very persuasive!  They even have new furniture compliments of Wayside Furniture and let me tell you, the house is so cozy and clean!  I was talking to one of the residents and she said that previously she had been in a different sobriety house and it was nasty….dirty carpet, old, dirty furniture and just plain depressing.  When you think about recovery, I would imagine your environment plays a very important part, I know I wouldn’t have much motivation if I had to live in less than desirable surroundings.  At this time there are two residents, Liz and Kaleenna and they love living there, they take pride and it shows.  A board member from The ADM board spoke yesterday and he said he has been sober for 30 years and still to this day he occasionally drives by the house in Lorain County that he recovered in.  He said that house is so important to him because that’s where he began living a new life.  After he said that, I realized what a truly wonderful thing my parents did by donating this house, they have been Instrumental in helping women get a new lease on life.  They will forever remember the little cozy home where they began their new lives.  My best wishes for a successful recovery for them and all the others to come.  I can’t close without mentioning their House Mom….Annie.  They ADORE her and you can just tell she adores them….it’s a perfect fit.

P.S.  That cute little lady in the pictures is my little mama.  I’m so proud!

Opening at 12:30 Wednesday, May 20th

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We’re sorry, but due to an important family commitment, the shop will be opening at 12:30 Wednesday.  We apologize for any inconvenience, but please keep in mind that we’re open until 7 pm on Wednesdays…..so you have lots more time to stop back and visit.

Okay, okay….if you must know….and because I’m pretty proud…..my parents donated a house to “Freedom House for Women” and tomorrow is the Open House.  “Freedom House” is a non-profit service that rehabilitates women with addictions.  Their vision is to provide services to enhance, enrich, and empower them to gain and maintain meaningful employment, sober living, education and economic security to improve their quality of life to achieve self-sufficiency.  They do an awesome job and I’m not gonna miss this for the world; it’s not every day I can see my parents beam with pride.  (Except of course when they see me or my extraordinary children and grandchildren.)

Hope to see you tomorrow after 12:30…..we’ll leave the light on for you.  

Mermaids Spotted Near Lake Anna

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Looks like the Cherry Blossom Festival isn’t the only thing that came to town this weekend…..sweet mermaids are here too.  Check out the beautiful 51″ mirror that is just smothered in sea shells that Yvonne made for us….she makes the most interesting goodies for the shop.  Definitely another one of a kind art piece that no one else will have hanging in their house.  You’re unique, shouldn’t your house be dressed that way too?