Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Gift

I've been obsessed lately with Pinterest, and so in awe of all the amazingly creative people out there.  Where else can you find unending inspiration for everything from art, interiors, design, fashion, crafts, and food!  In addition to the addictive pinning and re-pinning, my unrelated blog server crash yesterday, and sitting in traffic while waiting to wait on Christmas lines in the stores,  SWITCHSTUFF has been on semi-hold till now.  I'm in the process of getting my Pinterest button on the blog so you can follow it here if you want,  but I need my tech expert daughter to help me out with the coding changes first. . . 

Anyway, until then, here are a few creative takes on the traditional Christmas Tree (which I LOVE btw). All interesting and easy.

image from Canadian House & Home
Tabletop Tree
We DO have a table similar in size to this one in the shop.

 Maybe you'd like it for a smaller tree somewhere in your home. Love this presentation.

One dimensional, but cute.

image from
Family Letter Tree

Yarn Ball Tree

image from jones design co
The White Tree. 

Ball Tree

image from Pinmarklet
Book Tree

Not only is my own tree not up yet . . . it's not even picked out.  Maybe this weekend.  I can hope.

For years and years I have been admiring a tree in our little town that I think absolutely rivals the Rock Center Christmas Tree.  
Driving down a quiet road at night in December, around a bend, all of a sudden this gorgeous tree comes into full view.  It's spectacular, although the pic here doesn't quite do it justice.  Situated on a private property, it always made me feel so happy that some family took the time to create such a beautiful display at Christmas. 

I'd been wanting to just say thank you for so many years of enjoying what they had done, but I was always either on my way home or on my way somewhere else, to stop.  My mother always told me to write a thank you note when I received a gift, so, last year I did just that.  And it made me feel good to do it.  Gift given.  Thanks given.

If you've still got some shopping or decorating to do, Mary & I are opening the shop Tuesday & Wednesday (limited hours 11-3) including our regular hours TH/FRI/SA 10-4, till Christmas. 

Some new things in the shop. . . 
Lots of antique frames for art, mirrors or just interesting wall art on their own.

Sparkly mercury glass lamps, ornaments & more.

Tables. . . How about this great red painted one? 

Sconces & Candlesticks . . . 

and much much more one-of-a-kind pieces . .  
like this
Antique Tool Box
Something like what I imagine might be in Santa's WorkShop!

Wishing you all a peaceful week,

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Quiet Season

Some of my favorite Christmas thoughts are swirling around these days. Thinking about some of these people and things. . . 


It can be so crazy busy these next few weeks, but try and take the time to relish the quiet moments.  We all need them.

Aren't these the cutest little mini desserts?
Found them here:  at daisy's world. Nice and easy Christmas(non)baking with the kids...if you buy the brownies.

Oh, and the winner of our 2nd free SWITCH Giveaway is. . .  
of Harrington Park, who will be receiving her red mercury votive holders just in time for the Holidays. Congrats Sandy!

The shop is ready. All decked out.  It feels so good to begin the Christmas Season, finally. 

Hope you all can stop by sometime between 6-9 for our 
SWITCH Wine & Cheese Christmas tomorrow night, Wednesday December7th.  

Zara of Zatara Designs  will be on hand. . . she and her sister make the most amazing one-of-a-kind jewelry, some of which we have at the shop right now. 
And. . .Rich Millman of ContemporaryFoods has so kindly offered to bring us us yummy apps and other wonderful things.

The wine. . . Corvo of course, courtesy of my awesome sister-in-law Tricia.

SO. . . It would be great to see some of you and say thank you for your continued support! Stop on by if you can.

Have a peacefully quiet moment or two.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


image Alicia Chimento

 BuDget Design Challenge
  It's been taking me SO long to figure out what to do with the windows in my living room.  Not to mention that the holidays are coming and I'm getting stressed just saying those words.  But the time had come to actually DO something.  A week before Thanksgiving and uhhmmm, I work better under pressure.  Right off the bat the room is almost ALL windows.  And two of them are transom windows which of course are different heights from the others.  Throw in a french door on one side and a picture window opposite that and well, it's a design challenge.

First of all . . . the rods.  The ones I had were custom made for the windows a few years back, very expensive and very heavy. . . . Which meant that the curtains were also very heavy, drapey, and completely covered all the beautiful woodwork around them.  Now what I want is something lighter,  less formal and lighter in color.  Problem.  Especially when changing them out means changing the curtain rods, always a huge expense with big windows.

I remembered that I had purchased two sconces a few years back for a small window in another room. 

 I think it was at Lowes, or Bed & Bath, and they were relatively cheap,  but I've always loved the way they looked on the trim.  No tiny finials to stick out over the sides of the woodwork, or skinny bar to run across the top of the window.  Just a simple sconce which fits perfectly on the sides of the trim, and a substantial rod (which is a wood dowel pole with some heft), to balance the scale of the woodwork. 

So. . .  My challenge was to find an inexpensive way to create the same effect in this new space, taking into consideration that I could not afford a custom order again on two 10 foot curtain rods. 

I decided to search out something similar in style for the rods, not even knowing if something like what I had was even made anymore, but after not-too-much looking online, I did find a similar sconce.

Darker finish than I wanted, but that could be solved easily with some paint to lighten and shab it up.  Besides the price was so right at $17 each.  Poles are always a problem, again because you can't find off the rack in 10' lengths, unless it's custom.  So, after a trip to my local lumberyard, I came back with two 10' wood poles for the larger windows, and 2 shorter lengths for the narrower ones.  The cost was less than $20 each, so right there I've got 4 rods for less than the price of one ready-made or custom.

Once the poles for the smaller windows were cut to size (thankyoujack), and the sconces installed I was ready to look at my windows in a new light.  Freedom to do whatever I wanted without the constraint of awkward rods sticking out or different heights in the same room.  This time everything was mounted at the same point on each window, despite the difference in the height of the 2 transoms.

The next issue was the window treatments themselves.  Didn't feel like spending upwards of $100 each for 8 panels, or sewing endless lengths of 84" fabric panels  myself, and I wanted something quick to get me by the holidays.  So. . . what I decided to do was something kinda kitschy but . . . 

SHEETS.  Easy to find, especially in white.  Cheap. No sewing. Perfect.

Here they are doubled over the rod, and drawn up with cotton twine.  
Here I used 2 sheets per window, but the great thing about doing them this way is that you can choose your height or width to make them as full and poufy or as flat as you want . . . just by adding another sheet, and/or adjusting the twine higher or lower.

Best thing of all is that they are super easy to wash (instead of dry clean), and come out looking soft and fresh every time.  Now I know this may not be for everyone, but in an economic pinch, and with lots of presents to buy in the next few weeks, I'm happy .

Here's the room almost finished with my new (lol) window sheets. 

What's one of your biggest room challenges?  If you still have not solved it . . . come on into the shop and maybe Mary & I can help.  We love switching things around!  

These gorgeous red mercury candle holders can be lighting up your life for the holidays. 

Because we LOVE all our readers here at SWITCH, we are offering our 2nd FREE giveaway.   No strings. (hardly) All you have to do is post a comment here on the blog, and become a follower.  Easy.  We'll pick a winner at random within the next week or so, and get these to you quickly in time for Christmas.

Some absolutely great pieces new to the shop this week . . .

SWITCH Wine & Cheese Party. . .  
Take a little break before the craziness sets in and join us at SWITCH for some wine and light goodies, (both of which will be amazingly good btw), on Wednesday December 7 between 6-9pm.  We hope you'll come. . . where would we be without all of you?  

Have a peaceful Sunday,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thank You

How can we begin to thank so many of the great friends and new visitors we have had a chance to meet within this first half year at SWITCH?  

Well, let's start with naming some names. . . 


If you're reading this you know who who are, and we are SO grateful for your support and patronage!

Because you are all so sweet, I thought you might enjoy a few Thanksgiving sweets I recently discovered on the web.  I haven't made any of these yet, but if they look as good to you as they do to me, well, try one this Thanksgiving!  

image :Everyday with Rachael Ray

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

image: BakersRoyale
Pumpkin Praline Trifle

And . . .in 2 Weeks

Mary & I are SO looking forward to seeing you all again at our SWITCH Wine & Cheese, Wednesday, December 7. . . 6-9pm. As always,bring a friend!

Thanksgiving Blessings to all of you and your families . . .

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


I have been working on some changes in my living room, (can someone come up with a new name for that room,  please) which includes new window treatments, bringing in some new pieces to change up the space, and finishing up a wall project which I started back in September.

The Wall Project . . . 
This window-filled room doesn't have much wall space to begin with, and the space above the mantle was well, keeping the room kinda boring to me.  Btw, here is the old wall above the mantle . . .when it was red.

Unfortunately, or (fortunately in the end), we had a water issue on that wall due to last season's extreme ice, which blocked the gutters and forced the water into the wall above the mantle.  The result was a water logged wall which had to be replaced.   

But, once the sheetrock started coming down. . . 
I started to see all this beautiful brick and plaster underneath.  Every time the worker took down more of the sheetrock, I was loving the look that was being uncovered.

The bare studs on the sides were exposed as well, (kind of a mess right right here but they cleaned up great), so I had him keep going to the rest of the wall.  

Once that was taken down,  I decided to have him remove the sheetrock above the brick & plaster as well.  Already I was LOVING the juxtaposition of the rough texture above the mantle with the sparkle of the glass chandy.

After the super wide beam running across the top was exposed, I knew there was no turning back to covering it all up again with new sheetrock.  

So. . . now that the old side and top beams have been cleaned up, sanded and holes filled filled in where needed, I am ready to start working on this gorgeous wood.  Maybe just a stain and that's it.  What do YOU think?  I do have to say here that my mason, Bill Falkenstern, thinks I have a hole in my head to expose his usually covered under-the-sheetrock work, but that's OK.  He knows me long enough to know that I get crazy sometimes.  

Thinking back now, I know I was probably inspired by a pic of the remains of an old mansion on the Hudson I visited awhile back (previous post).   The mix of old stone and cement or plaster brings me back in time somewhere I suppose.

Had my eye on this for the last year. . . One of the great pieces we had in the shop is no longer in the shop because I've taken it for myself to use in my coming-along living room. One of the perks of Mary & I only buying what we love!

Here it is in it's new home. . . and it's the perfect piece to combine funky with tradition, don't you think?

 Some of our recent acquisitions for the shop from that great estate sale we snuck into. . . 

Come on in and see what we've got . . . before it's gone!

Here at SWITCH we are so happy to announce that we are now carrying a line of truly amazing jewelry from sisters Zara & Tamika of ZATARA Designs.  Just a peek at one piece for now, but much much more to show you soon.  

And don't forget to stop on in on December 7th, 6-9 for our SWITCH WiNe & CHeese Party.  We look forward to seeing all of you!

Have a great day,