Saturday, March 6, 2010
I opened Out of the Blue 13 years ago and it has been an adventure and a lesson in faith to say the very least. It was a miracle that I was able to open my shop to begin with and I have to attribute a series of miracles, the grace of God and lots of hard work to the fact that I am still open now (especially this year).
The Mermaid's Mercantile an extension of my store, began one year ago. My vision was to create a place for artists who love vintage and hand made goods to gather and sell their handiwork. When I set out to begin this new project it was inspired by Somerset Life magazine.
I was looking though the pages of this beautiful compilation of inspiration and art, page after page of shimmering beauty created by women across the world who submit their delicate vintage inspired handiwork to be published.
To me opening a new issue of Somerset Life is the equivelant to eating a slice of the best cake, while curled up in a comfy chair listening to my favorite song with my pj's on..... Visual Heaven.
My hearts desire was to create a vibrant and colorful market place that would come to life on the last Sunday of every month in the garden that surrounds my shop and name it, The Mermaid's Mercantile.
I told myself that when I accomplished this goal I would submit photos to Somerset Life with hopes that we would be published in their 'Locals of Intrigue' section, a story about beautiful places to shop featured in every issue..
I set out to find the most talented group of artists. I choose them for their kind hearts as well as the quality of their work. The mercantile became all that I had hoped it to be and I found myself surrounded by an amazing group of women who quickly became friends. When all of us gathered in one place we became a creative force of encouragment and inspiration. When my 'mermaid's started showing up with their past issues of Stampington's magazines, passing them around and sharing them I thought OK it's time to submit our event to the publishers.
I hired a photographer for our October show and put together a handmade scrapbook with stories and pictures about our event and the artists behind them, it was a beautiful presentation that took a week to put together. I hand glittered and embellished the photos and words, added vintage wall paper and snippets of lovely little things hoping to create a presentation that was worthy of the magazine.
Then Deb Hodge helped me send it off to Stampington and included a personal note to Beth Livesay the editor for Stampington's Altered Couture, Jewelry Affaire, Somerset Home and Haute Handbags.
Not long after, Beth came to visit my shop, during her visit she said that she would like to to come back in a few months to see our Feburary Mermaid's Mercantile and she also passed the info about our event on to the editor of Somerset Life.
A week before our Feburary mercantile I got an email from a photographer who said she would be coming to photograph our Mercantile for the Locals of Intrigue section of Somerset Life... well of course was super excited about this and so were all 25 of my Girls! I assumed that this was due to my scrapbook and Beth mentioning us. Well .... this is what actually happened......
Claire Brocato is a photographer who lives here in San Diego, she was walking by my shop one evening when we were closed and took a photograph of the vintage bicycle that sits on the porch at my shop. Claire posted this picture to her flicker site along with hundreds of other beautiful photos. A short time later she got an email from someone asking where the picture of the bicycle came from? Claire wrote back and said it was taken at shop in Solana Beach called Out of the Blue. The person inquiring about the photo wrote again saying that she was a publisher for Stampington publications and would Claire like to send more photos of Out of the Blue? Claire then came to our January mercantile and took more pictures which she sent to Stampington. Then Claire got a call ... turns out this person's name is Kellene Giloff! (the president of Stampington ) and she wanted to hire Claire to photograph the Mermaid's Mercantile as it was just what she was looking for...... to feature in her Locals of Intrigue section in Somerset Life!!!!!
In the natural life... what is the probability of that happening?
This was a big lesson for me about faith, there have been many times when I have worked tirelessly on a new idea and the door just never opens, or I will create something that does succeed only to have it copied by someone else.
I have questioned why things happen the way they do...friends disappoint, strangers take liberties where they should not, some seem to profit from injustice. All of these things have happened to me and many others that I know.
One of my favorite authors, Oswald Chambers writes ,
"Tenacity is more than endurance it is endurance combined with absolute certainty that what we are looking for is going to transpire. The greatest fear man has is that his hero will be conquered and that God and everything he stood for -love and justice and forgivness and kindness among men- will not win out in the end. Then comes the call to spiritual tenacity, If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means they are being purified. There is nothing noble the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fullfilled. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God."
there are many unanswered prayers in my life, many dreams still waiting to be fullfilled... one thing I know is this....when God wants to do something he will move heaven and earth to do so. A few weeks ago he used a rusty bicycle to answer one of my prayers and I am grateful!
Psalm 46:10 "be still and know that I am God"
in other words ... Debi, go ahead give it your best effort, but I am still God and I will do it my way.....
for all who are waiting... trust in what you know to be true, keep working tenaciously, follow your heart .... God quietly preforms miracles every day in his own unique way.
May your life be full of rusty bicycles or chippy furniture, or tattered quilts....or......
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Last Sunday The Mermaid's Mercantile was a day filled with Excitment, Sunshine, amazing talent and super fun Classes!
Well.... I have been so busy and there are many things to catch up on!
First of all the mermaid girls headed up to CHA last month to hunt for new products and creative ideas for our classes and DIY event, we all were super excited and inspired! We met up with Beth Livesay from Stampington for lunch and she gave us the newest issues of Altered Couture and Apronology!
Deb Hodge cover girl that she is ....her beautiful white cotton dress and matching apron was selected for the cover of Apronology! It is devine! and Rita Reade was also featured you can see her dreamy tea stained flea market apron inside the pages of Apronology too!
On the way home from Anaheim I got a phone call from HGTV's Design Star! ( thats a whole other story that you can read about on my personal blog.. http://debisdesigndiary.blogspot.com/)
After our trip to Anaheim we came back and brainstormed for our next Mermaid Mercantile.
Our theme was DIY and we had classes in progress, craft supplies for sale and lots of demos!
Lisa Loria was painting on vintage wig heads, Rita Reade was teaching some gals how to solder a vintage bottle. Gina was stamping antique silverware into glorious pendants, Erin was wire wrapping, Nicki and Kimberly were needle felting and I was teaching some lovely ladies how to make seashell letters and a seashell tiara. Just look at their faces... don't they look happy! I had never taught a class before so this was really a fun and rewarding experience for me!
Oh and did I mention that a week before our show we were notified that we would be photographed for Somerset life???? So there we were.... the sun was shining, Jack was playing his guitar, and all of my talented artist were busy teaching and selling their magnificent handicrafts while Claire was taking hundreds of pictures of all the glorious goodies for sale.
Laina had racks and racks of vintage clothing , there were oodles and oodles of the best hand made jewelry you have ever seen , handpainted cowboy boots, tempting hand made chocolates from Vonnie, Pam's hand stictched pillows, the cutest cupcake aprons ever by Melissa Robinson, Kimberly made an apron from recycled mens ties... this apron was so cool I wanted to wear it like a dress! Rachel had vintage Barbie and sewing supplies, Tricia had the coolest crown and cameo wall hangings that would be perfect in my living room why I shoulda bought the pink and black one with the pom poms?.... I need it! Linda hand a booth full of repurposed furniture, Val Hebert came to us for the firsrt time with her to-die-for felted sweaters pillows and goodies and there was more lots and lots more!
To top everything Beth and her crew of darling friends show up to shop, mingle with us and pull new goodies for Stampington! I had been telling Beth all about my talented group for months and to see all of their happy faces as they got a chance to show their work was a priceless moment for me. If you don't already know this, I love handmade and especially handmade combined with vintage or repurposed materials. All of my vendors work with their hands to suport their families. when somthing is purchased from The Mermaid Mercantile you are supporting families and locally made, recycled art.
Beth went back to Stampington with all kinds of good stuff that we hope to see in up coming issues!
We will all get to see what they decide to publish this fall.
If thats not all... My issue of Porch arrived the day before our event.. Polly featured the Mermaids! If you have not ordered your copy of Porch you can do so at http://porch-magazine.blogspot.com/ this is beautiful magazine created by people who want to highlight handmade and vintage treasures. So many great photos! Thank you Polly!
Thanks to all of you who came, took classes and shopped! We had twice the turnout! It was so great to see all of you and meet new faces! We have some really exciting plans for our next show on March 28TH stay tuned!