Thursday, June 28, 2012

Here's the Sneak Peek I Promised

We have this book in our library at school titled, Whose Skin Is This?  It is a great book for our primary students.  On one page, you see a skin of a particular animal and after trying to determine what animal the skin belongs to, you turn the page to see the animal revealed. My students love it.  I use it during group time and we have loads of fun.  Here is a look at the book.
Whose Skin Is This?: A Look at Animal Skin-Scaly, Furry, and Prickly (Whose Is It?)

I thought this would be a great way to introduce the sneak peek of the items that will be in the Etsy shop I have been telling you about.  The two pictures posted below are small segments from photographs I've taken around town.  The images are being used to make something special for your home.  I hope you enjoy trying to figure out where the image came from and how it is being transformed into that special piece just for you.

Please leave a comment if you think you may know either what I have in store for the images, or if you know where the pictures were taken.

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Two Weeks to Go ~ an Update

It seems that the past week has flown by.  I do believe I have had a very productive week, but when I look around at everything that needs to be done, I feel like I should have had an even more productive one.

Let me see....yes indeed ~ I did get a lot of things checked off my "to-do" list.  Hooray!  Here are a few pictures taken as the week rolled by.

My New Storage Haven

Here is the closet I transformed into my storage "haven" as I now call it.  Did you know that builders don't make all closets square?  I learned this when I tried to install my perfectly squared boards as shelves.  Oh well, a lesson learned in an inconspicuous spot.

Shelves installed and level!   Happy me:)

Childhood Dinner Table Becomes Point of Origin for Creations 

After the Storage Haven was complete, I moved onto my new workstation.  My parents were given a wonderful dining room table with six chairs when they were married in 1957.  Sadly, the veneered finish had been badly damaged and the table was really too far gone to refinish.  I promised myself years ago that I would never paint family heirlooms.  I love the patina the old, wonderful pieces have.  However, I did make an exception this time.  In order to get the pieces to be uniform and for the table to have a level, smooth surface, I had to paint it.  I used a recipe for a variation of a chalk-style paint I found online at Liz Marie Blog.  I loved it!  There was no need to prime the surfaces beforehand and the finished product allows you to distress some points of the items and then wax over them with a finishing wax.  I used Minwax Finishing Wax.  So, here's the before and after.  What do you think? Please let me know if you have any questions about the use of this recipe or if you have tried it yourself.

Now my workstation and storage haven are complete.  On to make more creations for the opening day of my Etsy shop.  Don't forget to stop by July 8th!  Keep an eye out here for a sneak preview.....coming soon.

Have a great day!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Three Weeks To Go.....

Here I am three weeks out from Hartley Rowe's Etsy shop opening and I feel I may become a bit behind schedule.  I have been waiting for this  week to arrive with great anticipation.  My last day of work at school was last Wednesday.  I drove to pick up  my daughter from her university last Thursday.  Friday was spent preparing for Fathers Day weekend (which was wonderful by the way), and now I'm sick, ugh!  So I am posting this as I sit outside in the healing sunshine eating a bowl of oatmeal with fresh blueberries.  Hopefully it will be a miracle cure for this nasty bug that has descended upon me.

This week was supposed to be the "hit the ground running" week.  One where I would check off all my final preparations for the shop and be proud to know that I am ahead of schedule.  I may have to make an adjustment here and there, and ask for more help than I had anticipated.  By the way, I hate asking for help.  Why is that?  I have no idea.

I am still going to try to get all those "to-do's" checked off my list.  It is quite a long list......set up work table in dining room turned work room, organize "my side"of the garage, buy a new miter saw, stock up on supplies, turn the coat closet into a mini-workshop, arrange for my business license and new business bank account, and try to do it all without feeling overwhelmed.  I must admit, it is nice to know I have extra helpers home from college.  They will be invaluable this week.  I hope they are reading this.  I love you guys!

So, think of me this week and send positive thoughts that the to-do list gets done.   I am determined to stay on track and have lots of great things to list in the shop on July 8!

Also, keep an eye on the blog.  I am going to start posting recollections of all the things we've done over the past 25 years to make the many houses we have lived in our home.  The first post will probably be how my oldest, then two ~ now 25, and I turned an old box into the play kitchen of a lifetime!!  It was so much fun.

Here is hoping you all get your to-do lists done this week!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Countdown to a Grand Opening!

It's so hard to believe that it's only one month before my Etsy shop opens.  I've been so busy winding things up at school that the time has flown by.  Several months ago I made a timeline showing myself what needed to get done, and when, in order to make it a July 8, opening.  I'm so happy to say that I think I am on track!

I have three more days of working my "day job" before the summer break begins.  I will miss all my students and co-workers, but I am looking forward to my great adventure this summer.  My two children that are in college will be home to help with the launch and my husband and sixteen year old are all set to be willing shop volunteers.  Even my oldest kiddo living and working in San Francisco is getting in on the action by sending lots of encouragement and ideas.  He's the businessman of the family and his advice is invaluable.

So here we go!  Only one month remaining until you see all that the Etsy Shop, Hartley Rowe, has to offer. I sure hope you stop by and let me  know what you think.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Vintage Love

I chose to post this picture I made last week of my uncle from WWII because of a news story that aired today.  I used an old photo my aunt had given to me and transferred and enlarged it onto a piece of linen.  I then affixed it to a stretched 5 x 7 canvas and applied several coats of Mod Podge.  It now sits on a shelf in our library with a collection of old books and an antique basket.  It definitely harkens back to yesteryear.

My aunt and uncle had been married for a few years and had one beautiful son before my uncle enlisted in the Navy and was sent to the Pacific.  He gave the ultimate sacrifice in July of 1945 and never returned; my aunt never remarried.  Their love was a bond that still remains strong, 67 years later.  At the age of 90, she still speaks of him with a sparkle in her eye and a smile on her face.

That brings me to why I posted the picture. My husband told me about a story on the evening news (I missed it because I was out for a year end gathering with my fellow librarians), about a WWII widow and her quest to find the details regarding her husband's missing status from WWII.  For so many long years, she had no idea what happened to her dear husband of sixteen weeks.  Finally, in 2005, a reporter uncovered information regarding her husband's status and his final resting place.  He is buried at the Memorial Cemetery in Normandy, France.  Since then she has visited him several times and sends flowers to him ten times every year.  When asked why she never remarried, she simply says, "He was married to me all of his life ~ I chose to be married to him all of my life."

I post this as a tribute to the many widows of the brave souls who never returned from WWII and all other wars.  Also, tomorrow is the 68th anniversary of D-Day.  Let us remember all the brave young men who risked  their lives on the beaches of Normandy, some making the ultimate sacrifice.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


Welcome to my blog!  The blog title, Hartley Rowe, is a tribute to both of my parents, Mary Jane Rowe and Jack Hartley.  They were married in 1957, and raised their family in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina.  I was the baby, Alison Rowe Hartley.

This blog is an online journal and scrapbook, past and present. I love technology and how it enables us to stay connected to one another.  I’m constantly exploring new systems and applications; yes, I am a computer geek.

However, I also feel we desperately need to hold on to yesterday. I believe it is important that my children have a sense of their parents' and grandparents' beginnings by preserving family documents, photographs, and heirlooms.  I also love to visit flea markets and antique stores to add to our collection of all things vintage, and to make creations that have a sense of timelessness.

I am about to take the leap.  
My dear husband of over 25 years and my four wonderful children have been encouraging me to start my own business. With advances in technology (which you know I love) and online marketing, I plan to open my own Etsy shop to share with you some of the many items I've made and collected.  I can't stop creating or treasure hunting, and we are running out of room.  

Now that three of the four children have left the nest and my husband is looking toward retirement from his military career, I feel it is time to start this adventure. While I will never leave my day job as a part-time elementary school librarian, I am excited to begin the life of an entrepreneur. The shop is set to open on July 8th, which would have been my father's 84th birthday. It is a way to honor the most creative soul I've ever known. So, welcome to the blog and enjoy my musings. I would love to hear any comments you may have.