Sunday, November 30, 2008

new goods

I had promised shots of recently purchased goods....
my new camera has arrived.

Cottage Style Painted Chair
matches a wonderful table and four more chairs

Child's Table with delightful enamel top in perfect condition has a wooden base painted pine green along with a chair.

Set of Four Holiday Scene Glasses SOLD

Petite Poodle Pillow SOLD

Vintage Fabric Humpty Dumpty Swing

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Different is Fun

"in order to be irreplaceable one must be different"

-CoCo Chanel

Friday a customer gave the shop the best complement. Her words were "everything seemed dull in comparison" She had been in the weekend of the open house and had brought visiting out of town family in as part of their Thanksgiving tour of Gardiner. Fun, fun , fun is the only way to describe the past two days, the parking lot ,the shop and the register have all been full.( we are thankful )

The lines at the counter came in waves, while Claudia and Whitney wrapped and bagged sales all day.


Of course I have had my doubts over the past three and a half years about looking different than all the other stores in the area, some how I just kept telling myself to hang in. Look at us now....they stand in line to be apart of something different.

Thank You!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Took The Words Right Out Of My Mouth

I was blogging about and came upon this plea for consumers to think and shop local this holiday was like hearing myself, so here it is....
"I think even the most average of person knows that the day after Thanksgiving is known as Black Friday. The day when retailers (hopefully) bask in the glow of their cash registers and close the day with great profits. This year, all eyes will be on us as the national news will spin the outcome. Please bring in your out-of-towners and show them our little gem of a store. Remember, when looking for something different- shop local! ALL of our favorite homegrown retailers need us more than ever this season. We hope to see you!"
Wow, I could not have said it any better...Happy Thanksgiving!

A Trip to PA

My husband Richard and I realized a few years ago that we could travel a short distance from home and feel like we have traveled to another world. Thankfully going only a short distance, gives us the peace of mind that if needed we could be home or to the shop within an hour. Well as always it's a business run for merchandise, mixed with good food and time together. We waded through many hours of cluttered booths of "stuff ". He brought a camera so I could share part of our adventure.
The Selection of Pottery Was Endless

Every Space Was Loaded

Richard Standing Under a Huge Flag

The longer we wondered about hunting through for things to bring back, the sillier we got. Pointing out outrageous items to each other and enjoying the laughter.

Richard Kissing Up to The Locals

The Vintage Playboy Magazines Were a Hit

I really enjoyed seeing all the great Christmas decor on display. We saw many home made items from the 50's and enjoyed reading album covers from holiday record covers. Yes of course a few items made it back to my house.... a little paper house with a pink roof and three caroling girls in pink robes will now be a part of our Christmas.

Me With a Fantastic Assortment of Vintage Santas

Monday, November 24, 2008

TV Crew Comes for a Visit


Claudia took this shot today of Humphrey looking for the UPS truck. These days he can count on it stopping here nearly everyday.
It was a big day at the shop today, business was strong and we had some special visitors. The host of Hudson Valley Views, Nancy Cozean came to HiHo with Raj the camera man. I took a tour of the shop with her for a future show on decorating and shopping for Christmas. I was under the impression they were coming to just get filler shots of holiday trees and things. I was unprepared for being interviewed and anyone who knows me can tell you, I don't like being in front of the camera. Next time, if there ever is a next time, I will be sure to bring some lipstick to work with me at the very least. It's probably good they didn't tell me I was going to be on camera...I would have freaked! However, I would have prepared myself. After the shoot was over, I was exhausted. I think I was just running on nerves, I hope it doesn't show on camera. As soon as they edit the footage and give me the date/time of airing I'll let you know.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Names for Rooms

Well, while I wait for my new camera to arrive, I guess you will just have to put up with my rambling. (my camera decided it was done working after 3 years.)

A customer was surprised to learn today that we had names for each of the rooms in the shop. I had made a comment about "Dan's Room" and he found it interesting that we referred to the room by name. Susan explained it was the name of the antique dealer that rents the room, and that was that. We didn't tell him that the rooms really do have names and that they all begin with "H". So many men are out of their element here at HiHo and it didn't seem necessary to burden him with too much information. ( if you haven't already looked at the web site, all the rooms are listed by name.) It is because of the friendly exchange with the gentleman customer this afternoon, that I have decided to share the "names" or themes for the Christmas decor in each of the rooms. Traditional, Snowy Owl, Cupcake Buffet, Pink Princess, Country, Green, Blue and the dog room has sold through twice, so it's only theme at this point is...Dog. Naming the themes for the rooms help purchasing merchandise all year, it just keeps me focused when buying. Take a look at some of the holiday posts and see if you can match the name with the photo. I sure hope my camera comes fast....

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


On Tuesdays I try to get things done outside the shop while we are closed. Traditionally the antique shops in the area are all closed on Tuesdays. Throughout the year I use the day to get my hair done , have check-ups, do laundry, clean my home, take the dog to the vet, go to my son's football game and just plain get caught up. This time of year I try to retrieve new goodies for the shop on Tuesdays. Auctions can be very long and go very late, after long days at the shop I fatigue early in the evening. So I frequent a few favorite haunts making day trips trying to purchase replacement merchandise to keep things fresh and full during the peak season.

Today, Susan joined me on a trip upstate to one of my favored stomping grounds and we filled my "mommy van" to the ceiling with treasures. While traveling we past through a light snow flurry and reflected on the past week. ( I'm really delighted on how the shop was received over the open house week-end...thank you to all who attended.)Humphrey enjoyed the ride too, sleeping the entire way on Susan's lap. Our biggest and best purchase of the day, is a charming cottage dinning set...table with leaf and four chairs. The whole set is hand painted, clean and sturdy. As an extra bonus we also found an additional chair with birds adorning the top of it's back.

Hey! what's a holiday run for merchandise if you can't continue to buy Christmas treats? Pixies, a egg nog set, a winter scene paint by numbers, even a Santa on a birch log were all among the piles of newsprint wrapped finds that made the trip back to HiHo. A lovely day, with a lot to show for it. I'll be sure to post pictures as soon as my batteries are charged....real life trips me up sometimes, sorry stay tuned.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Open House is Here

You know when you are expecting company and you run around getting the house straightened...and you never really finish getting ready. Your company arrives and they don't know that you had planned to tidy the hall closet or make a fancier dessert. They think everything looks great and enjoy the visit. Well that's how the shop is all the time. We clean , rearrange, prepare for customers, but most often we run out of time and say "that's good for now" and start the day. With the Holiday Open House this process is grander, I seem to get lost in the vision for shop that has been brewing in my head for the last few months and achieving visual perfection in each room engulfs me. I know I have invested in all the right merchandise to hit the mark, it's executing the goal with a dead line that pushes me past my normal level of obsessing about the shop. In four short days the shop has been transformed into a fantasy holiday shopping experience. I work fifteen hour days while my personal life is put on standby, I find motivation from the completion of each small vignette and celebrate every small victory, ( like a string of lights working on this first plug-in ). The greatest motivator are visitors excited about the transformation and progress throughout the week. Each year we contemplate closing the shop for a few days to work without interruption, the loss of income is always the reason given for not doing so....but I don't know how I would do without the "ooo's and aah's" each day. Throughout the week some things just find their place among the ciaos without a plan or a thought, it really is the best part of the creative process.I ran around tonight and took more shots of the shop now that things to be getting into a rhythm. I love the lighting... The outside of the shop is all lit up, thanks to my friend Bryan. We were both thankful for the warm weather. When entering the shop you are greeted with this traditional tree. Baskets of "Paper White" bulbs and festive boxes surround the base of the tree. Mittens are hung over an arrangement of holiday gifts, the vintage sled puts everyone in the spirit of Christmas.
STROLLER SOLD Finding fun items from the past that take on new life as Christmas decor is so rewarding.

Every year this Santa greets people at the check out counter.

Setting up a gathering of finials is a nice substitution for a tree.
Sometimes the magic just happens.

The snow owls are hard to resist, making a perfect present.

A rustic homespun Christmas still includes lots of lights.

Non traditional colors pop and make for just plain fun. There is nothing as charming as vintage Christmas. I am proud to say that HiHo looks better this year for the holidays then ever and I look forward to sharing it with you.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Getting Ready

I just got home from a very long day. Tonight is the first evening I have gotten home before midnight in three nights. With HiHo's Holiday Open House only a day away( it begins Friday at noon and continues through the weekend) I have really been pushing myself. I always look to top the previous years displays and this year is know exception. On this past Monday at 6pm a team of fun loving ladies joined me, in my quest for the perfect HiHo Christmas. They listened to holiday music, wired trees with lights, hung ornaments, had a little wine with pizza and got me started towards Christmas 2008.












With the clock ticking and a few rooms still to decorate I post these pictures to entice you to visit ....but please give me till Friday I want you to see it at it's best! Because I know it's even better than last years holiday bed awaits, good night.