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Oh heeeey, blog. I haven’t forgotten you, it’s just that my husband and I thought it would be a hoot to move to Minneapolis from New Jersey, and we pulled that off successfully at the end of the summer.

So there was the packing, old-house details, then new-house details, and oh yes, the UNpacking. But the upshot is that there is a new craft room with lots of natural light, in a city that’s got crafters up to the rafters (and artists, too.)

I’m enjoying exploring the creative “occasional stores,” including The Cottage House and Your Lucky Day  for seasonal loveliness, interesting furniture, and other one-of-a-kind vintage treasures. And wow, Hunt & Gather Antiques is so special, I take out-of-town visitors there to peruse the old-timey kitchenwares nook, and cut-up license plates that you can reassemble to spell whatever you like. And taxidermy. And Red Owl food wrap, still on the roll. So yeah, all of life’s essentials, but boy is it fun in there.

More developments later! I pinky-swear.

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I spent a long Fourth of July weekend waaaay off the grid, on the family farm in Western Pennsylvania. If you have a couple of kids running through the yard, it looks like this:

On the Farm

If you think that looks good, I only wish you could smell the place. I’m the fourth generation to spend time there (it’s no longer a primary residence, but rather, a weekend home for family and friends) but I’m sure the smell-memories are the same now as they were 80 years ago.

My house is just outside New York City, where Stuff is Expensive, so I was keeping my eyes peeled for antique shops or quirky yard  sales. I was asking my aunt and uncle where to find Christmas, craft stuff, and notions, and wouldn’t you know–they pull a big box of family Christmas ornaments out of the barn!

Here’s the before shot:

A box of Xmas goodness

So as beautiful as the ornaments were, and as excited as I was to get all up in there, I waited until I found some gloves to protect my hands, and had a couple hours of good daylight to go through them outside.

I stopped at a truly olde-timey hardware store to get gloves, and an Amish guy walked out as I walked in…suspenders, hat, beard. Straight from Amish Central Casting.

Back at the farm, I carefully removed all the ornaments from the original boxes, salvaged what boxes I could, then organized the ornaments by type. Some of them were from my great-grandmother’s tree, right at the farm; the others were from my gram’s tree in Warren, PA.

Once everything was sorted, I invited the family to come out, have a look, and pick out some ornaments:

Xmas goodness

One piece that caught my eye right away was this pink-santa card, below. It’s a totally fun 70’s piece, and I especially loved it because I happen to decorate with a good amount of pink at Christmas. Not in a shabby-chic way, but more of a “hey, I’m growing weary of red” kind-of-way.

Xmas goodness, detail

So I open the card, and it says:

“To Grandma and Grandpa. Love Heddy & Am.”

Xmas goodness, detail

This is in my mother’s handwriting.  “Heddy” is me; “Am” is my sister.

Made me feel like these ornaments were glad to see me.

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