Flower gardens are a reflection of the homeowners dedication to the work, care and time that it can take to nurture beauty from the ground. They can be an endless variety of styles and sizes,, varying in formality and character as much as the people who tend to them. These pictures are of my flowers, Summer 2010. I made sure to crop the photos just right, to capture the beauty of the blooms but block out the weeds I had let creep in! 🙂 Be sure to visit me here this spring when I capture some more local garden beauty and some veggie love too! What does your garden say about you?
Mary lous doughnuts is ridiculously delicious., and they HAVE A DRIVE-THROUGH. Seriously, I don’t even have to get out of my car? Wow, can I hug you through the window? Forget Krispy Kreme. Forget the ones in the box at the grocery store. These are made fresh, glazed perfectly, and for me, they don’t get any better. They are cheap too. 50cents, cheap. They just started carrying cupcakes for 50cents too. Go there, but not on Sunday, they are closed. Thankfully, I can only be lured there 6 days a week!
Mary Lou Donuts
When I met Michelle, I was around 20 years old and had got a job working with a remodeling contractor, named Carl Schwamberger, as a helper over the summer. She had been working with him for a while, I remember thinking how awesome she was when I met her. I was kind of in awe of her because she was so different than I am. She was quiet and worked at a really steady pace, never complaining about the hard labor part of the job. I loved what we were doing, but I wasn’t used to standing in the blazing sun all day on a ladder or carrying tons of stuff in to load a job sight for the day. I always thought her job seemed ‘more glamorous’ because she was doing more of the skilled labor parts of the houses, like installing windows and doors, while I would be scraping paint off of the entire side of a house or something!
We didn’t hang out much on those jobs because we were on different tasks, but I always kind of looked up to her. When we were that young she seemed like an ‘older’ girl too, even though she is only four years older than I am. After the summer ended, I turned 21 and started working at the Java Roaster, then the Knickerbocker too, and going to school. I ended up there for over 3 years and she was doing the same thing. Taking different jobs and going to Purdue for Fine Art. She actually ended up working a different contracting job again where she did stained glass repair, and that is where she started really getting into the art form. She had left Lafayette after Purdue, moved to New York, and like so many of us, returned to our town because of the friends she had made here. She worked at the Knickerbocker for awhile after the contracting job ended, and found herself doing stained glass at the dining room table. People began asking for small pieces and she swears she even got invited to some weddings for the gift they knew she’d bring of glass! Soon, she moved to the garage and expanded into more commissioned pieces, including her first ‘big’ window job, that happened to be for Carl, the great guy who had hired us both back in the day! He still has that window, and it is one of her best works because she was so nervous to do a perfect job. It was $200, which was huge for her then!
These days she is in her favorite part of our town, the downtown character perfectly complementing her welcoming, artistic, gallery studio. When she got the space she had every detail drawn to perfection based on the gorgeous chandelier in the entryway. But, as things often do, the space evolved on its’ own path to end up as a gallery. Michelle and other talented people sell a huge variety of art styles and mediums. Her goal is to give artists an unintimidating place to showcase pieces regardless of their status in their carreer. It is hard for people who don’t have a full portfolio presentation to book shows at some galleries. Having a chance to showcase $20 art pieces next to $3500 pieces gives the store a one-of-a-kind appeal, and artists the confidence to keep producing what they love. I ended up becoming good friends with her when I ran into her again at the park a few summers ago, and now that I work right across the street from her, I get to stop in and chat a lot.
Michelle herself is an amazing woman who balances all of her passions in life with her biggest passion, her family. Her daughter Rosemary is a rambunctious, happy, sweet 4 year old girl, who gets to come to the store every day with her mom, and see what it takes to make a family business run. She has a busy little schedule filled with caring for her dog, playdates with her many friends, art classes, and helping her mom. Every day they pack their lunch together and eat at the little table in back they have set up. They have a couch, lounge area, where you will often see her cuddling her dog and telling him stories. She is learning first hand what consumerism and following your dreams means. If you buy a little item from the gallery, most likely it will be Rosemary who puts it in a box and bag for you. Then she will be off like a flash to her next task! She keeps her mom very busy. Michelle knows this balance is, at the same time challenging, for her as a business women, and the best thing she could ever give her daughter. It is worth every struggle to keep it all going, to be teaching her daughter the way real life works, and following her dream to create.
She also squeezes in time to run half marathons and support her husband, Chris Vogland, of Artisan Electric, along with maintaining GLAMS, a 400 member local mom’s group she created. You will see a post on the group coming up. Her photography, hand made pendants and paintings are available along with her stained glass talent at Willow Studio. I love driving by on my way to work and seeing her and Rosemary opening up the front door, letting the jazz music out onto the sidewalk and reminding me that that is what life is about. Family, following your heart, and home.
Every year the fair rolls into town in mid July. The hot summer days and nights are lit up with lights, music, smells and sounds of laughter and tractors. The exhibits and judging are a real testament to how hard people work towards their goals for months. The fair is such a big part of Summer that it truly wouldn’t be the same without it!
One of my best friends is also one of the people I admire most. Shawna, owner of Eclectic Salon, is one of those girls who has always had class, even when we were young and wild, she had a smooth voice and a calm demeanor. She always had the coolest apartments, the happiest houseplants and the best cocktails when you came to visit. These days she still offers up the same soothing hospitality, but now everyone can enjoy it at her salon, Eclectic.
Shawnas’ salon is located in a bustling area on campus with restaurants, cafes, and stores all around. It makes it convenient to stop in and get your hair, nails, and feet styled or get a waxing service while you are out and about. When you come through the door you will be welcomed by a vintage velvet couch and chairs, glossy glass product shelves, carved wood frames and wrought iron accents. You will also see some awesome vintage salon items that she has collected over the years, one of which will immediately make you thankful that Eclectic offers the most up-to-date, cutting edge techniques! You’ll have to ask Shawna about that one!
Along with a full menu of salon services, you will also find gorgeous vintage inspired jewelry for sale at amazing prices, and long lasting, great smelling soy candles and soaps. Shawna personally hand picks the items she offers at her shop and insists on unique, high-quality gifts for her artistic displays. When I wanted to send a memorable gift to my family in Germany, Eclectic was the first place I thought of, and I made an awesome package with the items there, including one of her beautiful cards to make it extra special. They loved it!
Check out the link provided http://www.eclecticstudio.biz/ to see the full story of Eclectic Salon and what they offer and stop in and visit Shawna today!
Visit Eclectic Massage next door for an expert massage by Traci Gibson too! You deserve it!
I remember years ago when I first discovered Rubia Flower Market. The first time I went in, I was AMAZED at the prices. I went to get some flowers for my husbands’ Grandma and was planning on spending about $15, and getting a small bouquet of some pretty standard stuff. That was the day my flower shopping changed forever! I ended up getting 2 dozen gorgeous orange and pink roses and a clear glass vase for right around the $15! They were selling all roses for something like $6/dozen. It was the everyday price too! I think they are a bit more today, but still ridiculously affordable.
Nan was thrilled and shocked at my generosity and I never bought flowers somewhere else again. I truly feel like your throwing money away if you go somewhere else! When I stopped in today, a sweet girl that was working let me in on an upcoming event, and some information on Rubia’s mission to share flowers, and the happiness they bring, with our area. The owner was a Purdue graduate who had worked in flower shops before deciding to create Rubia for our town. Their slogan is- Fresh Flowers for Everyday Living, and the prices reflect that goal. They strive to make flowers accessible and affordable. I love giving flowers because of Rubia, it’s like getting a handmade card these days. It’s almost old-fashioned.
I can remember telling my husband not to get me roses on Valentine’s Day because I felt guilty about how ridiculously expensive they are, but at Rubia you don’t have the guilt, just the pleasure. They also have a hands-on shopping experience, including a work table and tools where you can work on your flowers and create a custom bouquet right there. I love that, because usually I get a vase at Goodwill or a yard sale for $1 and stop there on the way to meet the recipient and put the arrangement together myself. It’s so much faster than having to get them and take them home to put my touch on them.
They also have a staff of 8-12 that can create for you. They are a full service florist.When my sister got married we got all of her roses there and were very happy with them. Stop in and check out the friendship bouquets for $3.99!!! If you put 2 or 3 together it looks like $30 worth of flowers!
Now. If I bring you flowers-Your not allowed to know I only spent a few dollars. I must insist that you continue to believe I spent a lot!
Check Rubia Flowerer Market out on in person, on Facebook and at www.rubiainc.com
I never stood a chance not to LOVE Pepe’s. When I was around 12 my mom was a waitress at the old Pepe’s location. This was when they had to wear off the shoulder white blouses with a huge ruffle and bright embroidery on them, and a burgundy below the knee skirt that was ruffled and tiered. I remember thinking she looked pretty in it, even though she hated it. She was a jeans and sweatshirt kind of lady, so it was a real stretch to wear that outfit. My step-dad used to bring me with him to pick her up almost every night and I would eat dinner while we waited for her. Hello- chips and salsa, my old friend! I loved it having the whole menu at my disposal and took advantage of it, fried ice cream and all!
It has changed locations a few times since those days, but it is still my all time favorite. I eat there all the time, like every week. 🙂 To this day the servers know me by name and all treat me well. I get the same thing almost every time. Traditional Quesadillas with no pico, and a side of beans and rice. And, of course, more than my fair share of chips and salsa too, but the thing I actually crave is their hot veggie mix with carrots, celery and jalapenos. It really is the best stuff ever. I didn’t eat that when I was a kid, my mom loved them and I thought she was so crazy for eating all that hot stuff. Yea, I know, more and more like them the older we get, huh!
Have you ever met one of those girls who you instantly want to be best friends with, drink coffee and chat all day with? I did today. I knew before I went to our meeting that I loved a lot of the same things that Jess, creator of Rockin B’ Clothing, does. I knew we had a lot in common, but I didn’t know how down to earth and sweet she was! We chatted for awhile about the one of a kind dresses, skirts and jacket that she has on exhibit at K Dee’s Coffee, but it didn’t take long for the conversation to turn towards our other common interests.
My husband recently completely rebuilt a Scotty Serro camper from the 60’s, and Jess has been looking for one to turn into a mobile clothing store/dressing room to take to weekend car shows and events. How cool to be that girl, rollin’ up in a little canned ham with some of the most awesome, hand made, one-of-a-kind, retro, western wear you’ve ever seen! Sooo cute! We both have a passion for collecting, possible hoarding, depends on who you ask, so we indulged our need to talk about vintage tablecloths, mid century modern furniture, favorite antique stores and junk shops, as well as a few upcoming ‘can’t miss’ yard sales.
She has been asked a lot about designing other sizes than medium, which is what she has been doing the one-of-a-kind pieces in. Her medium actually fits a lot of sizes, because her garments are a heavy stretch cotton which provides control but allows for a lot of different shapes of girls, but she is currently working on having her patterns graded to fit size small through extra-large, and will consider plus-size in the future if she sees the demand. Her current line is inspiration for her wholesale line which is set to debut this Fall, in several stores in the Midwest, as well as internationally. She has had a lot of interest in the wholesale line and is working with some other people on the sizing of the patterns, which is a pretty in-depth process, handled mostly by computer. She uses such a neat mix of fabrics for the accent pieces on her garments. She has collected fabric from places she has lived, Chicago and New York, and gets a lot of it on-line, along with the occasional local fabric store. I loved the flannel panels she used on one of the dresses that has retro appliances and kitchen items on it, including a sweet blender.
When we visited today she had a really striking outfit on, a black and white striped sweater, really pretty floral skirt and a soft pink beret, with her pale skin and ice blue eyes, she is a stylish classic beauty, and looks to be from another time. She is the cutest, sweetest thing I’ve seen since, well, her clothes! She isn’t just another pretty face either. She has personally designed and created her awesome retro website and all of her promotional materials. Check her full story out at www.rockinbclothing.com .
Most of her sales are currently through her etsy site or direct sales. Her site provides all of the pertinent links. I anxiously await the wholesale line, and can’t wait to go to the yard sale she told me about tomorrow morning!