Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday Or Small Business Saturday?

No, we don't do Black Friday, never have, never will... that's a whole level of Crazy I don't wanna be Exposed to!  *LOL*  Sure, we might drive around the Night before just to see the Sideshow-Like Mania of miles of folks Camped outside a Store in the Cold without a Bathroom in sight, just to Hopefully 'Score' a Ninety-Nine Dollar Big Screen TV... but personally, I don't want or need anything that bad, I really don't.  And I can't even Imagine going thru all that NOT to 'Score' what I came for, I'm not surprised it sometimes incites Riot!  Black Friday Crowds just remind me of voluntarily jumping into the Ocean during a Shark infested Feeding Frenzy, not my Idea of Fun or Sanity on any level.

I've waited perhaps Forty-Five Minutes in Line to get into a Special Show or Event... but that's about my designated Time Limit and that way I'm not gonna go off the rails if it doesn't work out as I'd Hoped or feel like I've been in a Cage Fight!  *LOL*  I guess I'm just not that Committed to any Shopping Experience or all that Patient... plus I'm not a Fan of Shopping Frenzies, so instead of Black Friday we typically opt for a Small Business Saturday the day after the Insanity and Chaos!  *Winks*

I personally always find way better Treasures at my Favorite Small Businesses anyway and at the Antique Malls or Shows that rent Space to Small Entreprenuers like myself who don't own a brick and mortar Shop but Enjoy the Thrill of the Hunt or Creating their Art on a smaller scale.  I also prefer to Support Local Small Businesses, which I still feel are the backbone of America and usually Appreciate their Clientele more and treat their Employees better and with more Loyalty than any Mega-Corporate Entity.

So... this Post will be a mixture of our Small Business Saturday Adventures at my Friend Carol's Shops COTTAGE GARDENS 1 and 2... and our Antique Mall, THE BRASS ARMADILLO WEST

The BRASS ARMADILLO Mall had Santa there Today and was taking FREE pixs with Saint Nick... so Princess T and I hopped up to tell him what to bring us and get our pix taken...

And Prince R stayed behind my Camera to capture the Image at another angle... he's at that "I'm Thirteen And Too Cool And/Or Embarrassed To Do That" Age... you know how it is.  *Winks*  Yes, I try not to get so Old that I forget what it was like to be Young... so Gramma just Rolled with it and didn't try to Guilt him into doing it Under Protest.
And yet, Strangely enough, he wasn't too Cool nor Embarrassed to agree to look positively Psycho doing this at my Friend Pamela's Booth, Go Figure!??!??!  *LMAO*  Well, guess that's his version of 'Merry'??!  *Smiles*
And to be sure he wasn't the only one looking positively Psycho... we both had some Fun with it... this is me tryiing to look Merry with the G-Kid Force in tow... can Stress actually BE Merry I Wonder?  *LOL*  And, yeah Pamela, you Set me Up again and Knocked me Down with your Scrabble Tile Holiday Creations now didn't ya?!?  *Winks* 

But I NEEDED this you see, so that I could complete my Message to Santa on the newly Decorated Mantle for Christmas.  *LOL*  Yes, I also spent the last two days taking Halloween and Thanksgiving Harvest Decor down and put into Storage, and getting some of Christmas in place as is our Custom.  Only have the Mantle done so far... more Images will follow in another Post of the Completed Project.

This Post is devoted to Santa-Time, of which I've been having plenty of since it's obviously Working Out Well for me!  *Winks*   And you know how it is, if it Works, Work It I always say!!!

And I wasn't the only one getting in on my Santa-Time... Alice Cooper showed up to get in his requests to Saint Nick at our Phoenix Location!

And the Post is also devoted to Shopping Small Businesses... since Carol's Shops had FIFTY PERCENT OFF of some of my Favorite Designer's Creations!!!   So yes, I got this Awesome 'Wings Of Lace' Doily Top 50% Off...

And this AHHHHHMAZING 'Wings Of Lace' Gypsy Skirt in Burn-out Velvet and Tea Stained Lace, that I've been Lusting after FOREVER, for 50% Off as well... and now I had FINALLY lost enough weight that it fit PERFECTLY!!!  *Happy Dance*

Guess it was just meant to be mine, huh?  *Winks*  It is after all, VERY ME to a tee dontcha think?

And I got my Laura Van 'Fix' by soaking in the Beauty of her newest Creations that Carol just got in...  this Frame was my Favorite... though every Laura Van Creation is Beyond Amazing!!!

I would have every pix in the house Framed in a Laura Van Creation if I could!  *Smiles*

This Frame was my 2nd Favorite... and check out that Sweet Crowned Bird!

Of coarse there were also plenty of the Classic Laura Van pieces as well as the new Line of her Creations.

And if you too are a Fan of 'Wings Of Lace' Creations, right now Carol has the Line marked 50% Off so you better hurry on it and get yours while there's still some left!!!

And there's always so many Gorgeous Bohemian Bling Creations from various Artists that Carol has Sourced from all over the Country.

By a narrow margin this was my Favorite Piece of Bohemian Bling that I spied Today.  But Santa {aka: The Man} has already been exceedingly Generous this Christmas, he's so Good to me... so we'll wait for our Anniversary or something before I make any more requests.  *LOL*

But I must say that Carol and the Shop Gals had Created Pure Winter Wonderland Christmas Magic in both Shops and there were tons of great Inventory that I was drooling over!   If you don't have time this Christmas to Create your own Burlap Stockings... check these Creations out by Mudpie!

I was Adoring ALL of them, especially the ones with lotsa Ruffles!

And if you are picking up your Needle, Thread and Burlap this Holiday Season... this should give you plenty of Inspiration!

I HAD to come away with at least one Ornament for our Tinsel Tree... and since Carol had similar Champagne Tinsel Trees I could tell that this would look Positively Amazing on ours... so I got one!

I wanted to get one of these Sweet Doily and Bling Ones too... well, maybe Later...

And how Cute are the Pearlized Button Ornament Balls?

And how about this Awesome Burlap and Lacy Lampshade... I LOVE IT!!!

Every Angle was loaded with Creative Accents...

I ain't gonna lie, since I couldn't afford it, I'm totally stealing... ummm... I mean borrowing this Idea for one of my Lampshades for an Old Lamp at Home!  *LOL*   Festooning an Upcycled Old Shade with Favorite Objects is so stinkin' Cute and Interesting!

And since I took that Paper Lantern Class I've been eyeballing every Paper Lantern Idea I can set my peepers on for added Inspiration to Jazz mine up... and I liked this use of Crocheted Trim, don't you?  I've got a wealth of Antique Trim so my next Paper Lantern Creation will certainly be sporting some!

It was Cute to see all the Husbands lounging on the Porches of the two Shops whilst their Wives were inside Shopping... certainly this is a Relaxing setting for the Menfolk while us Gals do our Marathon Holiday Shop-A-Thon!  *Smiles*

Most of the Guys don't get as Mezmerized and Gushy about the Christmas Enchantment... or at least they wouldn't Admit to it anyways... *Winks*

Though they probably don't mind us Gals Replicating a similar Ambiance at Home do they?  *Smiles*

And of coarse I wouldn't expect The Man to get as Excited as I do about the Bohemian Bling Creations...

Or the Bohemian Bag Creations...

So he Encouraged me to Get Away and have a brief Girl's Day Out since I'd done the Santa Thang with the G-Kid Force and took them out for Breakfast earlier in the day... and to pick out Christmas Gifts since Prince R was worried I wouldn't get it right so he asked if he could choose his own Gifts this year, he didn't want any 'Surprises'.  *LOL*

So while I was out Supporting Small Businesses this Afternoon... at Home I'd kept the Kiddos busy wrapping and Decorating Presents for me... and fluffing the Tinsel Tree which The Man had put together for me so that we could Decorate it later... and then he'd settled in with some fresh Baked Cookies {Local Bakery... Sorry, I'm no Suzy Homemaker for the Holidays... LOL} to watch his Football Games. 

So I figured they'd all be Occupied for at least a couple hours before they began Tormenting and Fighting with each other again and I'd get "The Call"... *LOL*   Carol and Staff can Attest that "The Call" did in fact come in at just about the two hour mark... *Le Sigh*  And you find yourself saying things you never thought would fall out of your mouth in your Lifetime, like: "Give her back her Elephant..." {Yes, that is an actual Quote as a Hysterical Princess makes 'The Call'! LOL}  And No, I don't even know what Elephant they're talking about and now fighting over because really I don't care... I'm just the Designated Mediator to such Insanity in our Home!  *Bwahahaha!*  Which is another reason why I DON'T take on more Insanity by doing a Black Friday!  *Winks*

And so I take one last look at these Lovely Reproduction Ornaments, which are so very Reminiscent of the Gorgeous Antique ones I Inherited from my European Grandparents... I'm Jazzed that they're making Replicas of these Beloved Designs since so few of the Real Deal have Survived or can be had.

I'm Fortunate to still own some of the Real Deal, but I'm always a bit loathe to risk hanging them on the Tree whilst we still have Young Children and Chaos at Home... when an Ornament is on the far side of a Hundred Years Old then I'd be Heartbroken if it met with an Unfortunate Accident!  This is a great Solution to that dilemma, to get the Look but without the high risk.  And we're definitely a high risk Familia.  *LOL*

And I'll finish the Post with an Awesome Vintage Christmas Tree Stand the likes of which I haven't seen in YEARS that is being offered at our Mall... Remember when they looked like this?  What a heady Rush of Nostalgia!  Now back to the Asylum I go... um, I mean Bohemian Valhalla.  *Winks*
Merry Christmas from the Arizona Desert... Dawn.. The Bohemian

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Being Thankful At Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving... I often Feel as though it's a much neglected and yet very Important Holiday.  Squeezed inbetween two very popular Holidays it is often rushed past.  And Hopefully, even though most are rushing towards Christmas and preparing for that most Holy Celebration with great Anticipation... they will still slow down enough, at least for Today, to Honor with Thanksgiving those things that they can and should truly be Thankful for this Thanksgiving Day?

Certainly in a Retail Setting it is prudent to get things rolling in preparation for Black Friday's massive Shopping Crowds so that you are well prepared for what peeps want to be buying for Christmas and to Decorate for it...  but at Home we always keep Autumn present until Thanksgiving is over.  We still have the Home awash in Velvet Pumpkins to keep the Ambiance of the Thanksgiving Holiday's Harvest Autumn Theme.

In fact, of all the Traditional Seasonal Hues, Autumn Hues are my Personal Favorites.  Rich Warm Hues with an Organic Palette of Nature.   And this Thanksgiving, as always, we Reflect upon all that we have to be Thankful for... and the List is long indeed!!!  Though 2013 has been a tough year for our Family for a variety of reasons, the Blessings have also been abundant and often Miraculous.  We're particularly Thankful this Thanksgiving that The Man recovered enough to come Home and join us for the Holidays and that we aren't having to spend it with him in a Hospital Setting.

He always prepared the Thanksgiving Meal at Home since he's the more Masterful Culinary Expert in the Family... and since he can no longer use the Stove and Oven and given the circumstances, we had already planned not to make Thanksgiving Dinner at Home, but meet with The Son and his Lovely Girlfriend at a local Restaurant to partake.  So Imagine our Surprise when the G-Kid's School, in cooperation with Can-Do Nation Ministry, which is a Unified Faith Based Ministry of various Community Organizations and Churches, showed up with a Hot Thanksgiving Meal for Lunch for the entire Family!!!

What an unexpected Blessing and we were deeply Moved by such Compassion extended with Love for those in our Community who are going through particular Trials during the Holiday Season.  We are so Thankful for the Generosity extended to us and for the School submitting our Family to Receive such a Blessing this Thanksgiving Day!  It tasted as delicious as it looks, our Compliments to the Chef(s) who Created such a Feast!

And a Shout-Out to the Organizations that Sponsored it all... our Church and The Man's Church being among them... along with the Food Ministry I worked with for many Years.   Sharing and Working in Unity can accomplish so very much can't it?  Thank You!!!!

And yes, there was even Dessert!!!  It was a Wonderful thing to wake up to this Morning, having a house full of Giving Souls who are spending a great part of their Thanksgiving Holiday Ministering to others in the Community, delivering a delicious Thanksgiving Meal and visiting our Homes!  God Bless you all richly, as I'm sure He is!!

I also had my Friends Debbie and Roy Surprise me with an unexpected Friendship Gift of these Lovely Earrings... just Because!   Yes, another thing we are so very Thankful for is our Wonderful Circle of Friends, who are each and every one, the Salt of the Earth!  We are so Fortunate to have so many Friends and such rich Relationships in our Lives.

They know us so very well.  And that is the Special Intimacy of True Friendship, when one takes the Time to REALLY get to know one's Friends and be there for them through thick and thin.   I'm a very Social Person and I've always Cherished my Friends and every Special Relationship I Share with another Person.  So when Friends reciprocate in Cherishing their Special Relationship they Share with us equally, it is a particular Blessing and Mutually Enriching.  Thank You Debbie and Roy, these were so very ME and I just Love them!  Your Encouragement and Friendship thru these difficult times has really Uplifted and Strengthened us!

We'll still be getting together with The Son and his Girl later...

This was "Later"... The Son and his Lovely Girlfriend Treated the Family to a Fantastic Thanksgiving Dinner at Cracker Barrel... where a Ham AND Turkey Dinner WITH Dessert was being Served and it really was exceptional with loads of leftovers because there was so much food!  *Whoo Hoo!*  Thanks for Indulging us and spending Special Time with the extended Family this Thanksgiving, we Love you so much, Mwahhhhhhh!!!

 I'm also Thankful that I have such a close Relationship with all of our Adult Children and their Significant Others.   I hear so many Dear Folks that don't Share a Closeness with their Grown Children and I always feel so Sad for them.  Even though we've been thru much with our Kids over the Years, it has never weakened nor broken the Special Bond and Unconditional Love we have for each other.   We might have put the Dis in Dysfunction at times with some of the Drama and Crisis we've Endured individually and cooperatively *Smiles*... but we're still thick as Thieves Relationally and there has been absolutely nothing that could come between that.

Our Kids always Applauded the fact that no matter what they put us thru with their Choices and Lifestyles, or particular Disabilities and Illnesses, we never gave up on them and Loved them thru all of it... and continue to daily.  Still exceedingly Proud of each of them... we Celebrated and Magnified their Strengths and Character rather than dwelling upon or condemning them for their Weaknesses and Mistakes.  We Live our Lives knowing that by Grace God has shown Mercy upon us, so how could we NOT extend the same Grace and Mercy towards others?  And most especially our Loved Ones!

So if you have an Estrangement with a Friend or Loved One Today, or any Broken Relationship for that matter, I Encourage you to be bigger than whatever the Issue was and find it in your Heart to Forgive and Extend some Grace in an Effort to begin a Healing Process Relationally this Thanksgiving Day.  Even if it is not reciprocated, it will Minister to your own Soul and set you Free as your wounds Heal and you have a Peace about the situation instead of harboring regrets, hurt, sorrow, bitterness, ill will, or whatever Negative Emotions might have been consuming you.

My Nanna never allowed the Sun to go down on her Wrath towards anyone or anything and that was a Great Foundational Biblical Principal for me to build upon and Serve me throughout Life.  Each day that you can lay your head down on your pillow without having Upset or Anger, regardless of what may have transpired throughout the unfolding of the day, is a Good Ending to the Old Day and an Excellent Beginning to the New Day.

And if it takes a Glass of Sarsaparilla or Wine... or two... to get to that place... *Winks*  I don't know what it is about Sarsaparilla, but it always has a Calming Effect for me and though it is hard to find nowadays, I stock up when I can locate it!  Not to mention peeps love Collecting the unusual Bottles because it has such an Old West Flair and Feel to it.  Sidling up to the Bar in an Old Western and asking for a Sarsaparilla always seemed so Wild West Romantic... even tho' as a Kid I didn't even realize they were just drinking a Rootbeer!  *LOL*

So... if you ever need a Sarsaparilla Bottle... I try to keep some in stock in my Showrooms.  The end result of me sidling up to my Imaginary Bar at Home and downing some at the end of a particularly Stressful day.  *LOL*

Another thing I'm extremely Thankful for at our Season of Life is that we still have the sounds of Children's Laughter and Play evident every day at our Home.  The Children in our Neighborhood Love coming to our Home to Play... and there's something about the Carefree Pure Emotion of Childhood that Inspires me like nothing else.   Children can be going thru as much, or more, than any Adult is or could even contemplate surviving... and yet still be Exceedingly Joyful and Enjoying Life FULLY!   Many of the Children in our Neighborhood are Poor or have gone thru much, but are Rich in so many other ways that you cannot put a price upon and couldn't buy for any amount of money.

My own Grandchildren never cease to Inspire and Strengthen me by how Resilient they are and how much they have gone thru in their short lives and yet rebounded from.  Our Fur Babies too were all Orphaned and seemingly Unwanted and Uncared for until they Adopted us and chose to become a part of our extended Family.  It has been our Privilege to have them choose US to Love and make a Home with!  As you can see, Yul in particular Adores the Children and was Playing House with the Girls this day... he was trying to squeeze his big fluffy arse INTO that little Dollhouse in fact!  *LOL*

And I am Blessed beyond Measure by how many Grandchildren I've Lived long enough to Welcome into this World and then to have Lived long enough to Welcome not one, but two GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN as well!  This is the latest one, who just when you think she can't get any Cuter... well, you know!  *Winks*  Besos from Great-Gramma Dawn!   She looks SO much like her Aunty Princess T that it would be hard to tell them apart from their Baby Pictures!

So my Friends, what are just some of the things you are being Thankful for at Thanksgiving?

And what Plans are you making for this day?

What Special Traditions and Rituals do you partake of each Thanksgiving?

And do you take the Time to Savor this particular Holiday and not neglect it nor rush past it?

Do you Respectfully keep an Autumn Vibe alive in your Homes until at least the day after Thanksgiving?

And even if you don't... do you make Thanksgiving something Special in your own way?

Are you one to also Savor Autumn and it's particular Vibe for as long as you possibly can?  By the way, I'm Loving this Old Sap Bucket filled with Wild Grasses.

Do you still have some Pumpkins out?  Whether they be the Real Deal or Lovely Creations?  I have both actually... and will probably not banish them entirely just yet as we prepare to usher in Christmas at Bohemian Valhalla in the next few days after Thanksgiving has been Celebrated. 

Autumn in fact is my Favorite Time of Year here in the Arizona Desert because our Weather in Autumn couldn't be more Glorious and Perfect.  I'm almost saddened each Season when it's ready to pass and move into Winter.

Because I've Enjoyed so much of what Autumn has been.

And what Traditions, Rituals and Celebrations we have had each Autumn.

Do you lament the Passing of each Season and Holiday too my Friends... finding it a bit hard to Let Go because you've so thoroughly Enjoyed every Moment of it?

Sure... it will come around again next Season... and we'll look forward to it all again with great Anticipation and the building of even more Memories and Good Times we'll have.

And those Special Treats we look forward to... one of mine is Creme Brulee!  YUM!!!  And I do Hope that you all also have a most Wonderful Thanksgiving Today with MUCH to be Thankful for!?


And if you wants LOADS of Inspiration... Today we're also linking up with COMMON GROUND for a Holiday Inspiration Blog Party so come join us!!!

Happy Thanksgiving and Blessings from the Arizona Desert... Dawn... The Bohemian
A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl