A few years ago when I found myself living what I called “out of control” in which I was interrupted constantly by questions, demands, ouchies and messes that go along with raising four preadolescent tribal members and being discouraged and unconnected with anything resembling peace, I decided I had to have a bit of control and so I began doing what I called "creating my space” both inwardly and out. In was with quiet meditation time, nature walks and writing. Out was picking an area in the house, workplace or grocery store and making it mine. At the kitchen table with herb tea in a pretty mug with a candle lit and a good book; in the tub with music, bubbles and wine after everyone was in bed; at the grocery I put in the earphones with classical music and pretended I was shopping an outdoor market in another country 🙂 Yes, I have a very vivid imagination, but silly as it sounds it worked...for a moment I had my time. Somehow, I think many of you can relate. 😜
Presently, I find myself not only creating beautiful space in my mind but also for my people in a way that I can show them love and bring peace to who they are. It has nothing to do with setting a precedence but everything to do with living in the present and offering the gift of beauty, calm and realness. Recently, my group put together one such space on Mother's Day. Simplicity, nature, beautiful things, and yummy food pulled together a picture perfect picnic at the park...feelings of love, serenity, humility and repose were mine at that moment! Of course the next morning brought back the same crazy lifestyle that we call living but in my heart was that second in time which was mine. We hope to offer to you, among our gifts and goods at Refined, ideas and items to help you do the same for you and yours. Again we plan to be open in July for two, three day weekends. Stay tuned.
Today we made a visit to one of the two of what I call the “dueling” southern cities...Beautiful Charleston! If you have never visited the Low Country make sure to put it on your vacation planner. Not only does the sweet tea become sweeter but also the people!😍 Charleston never disappoints ... and as usual she left her Spanish moss hair down and charmed us with her delightful foods, beautiful shops and amazing history and architecture! The cobblestone streets, horse drawn carriages and ethnic culture made the experience a “Gone with the Wind” moment! However, the intense heat (98 degrees with a equal mirror of humidity) makes you say “Frankly, my dear...!”🙄 🔥 Lots of beautiful antiques and vintages to sift through and at least two new vendors for the Old Store!
Today we took a break and went to our favorite local city to check out some potential historic buildings that are decaying with time and need to be adopted and restored. So many beautiful structures in need of a facelift in order to let their glorious patina shine! Thank you OTR Adopt and Brendan for taking the time to show us around, point out the potential, and WARN us of any rotting floors! 😜 “It has been said that, at it’s best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.”
Check out this beautiful woodland boho backdrop at my nephew’s wedding today! Taking time for the more important things...family! Love the space they created for their important day right in the middle of a bright green Wood, Christopher Robin Style! We are going to be talking about creating your own important space and making it yours in the upcoming weeks!
Spring has made its appearance and hearts are light and spirits full! Had a load of fun last Monday thrifting in Cincinnati before leaving on a jaunt south for a hiking trip. Lots of finds and discoveries as well as some new regular stops I’m guessing. When we were in Sedona, Arizona I discovered a fun shop of whimsical, earthy and interesting items both old and new. Hoping to get some things shipped from them at some point!
The lighting is going in and chandeliers being hung in the storefront. We chose three different styles of hanging lights to compliment the idea that we will not be stuck in one decor, genre idea only! A traditional European, a modern boho, and a rustic wood design! Love all three and can’t wait to create the areas of merchandise in each but not limited to! .
Introducing our last Purveyor and quite possibly the one that will greet you most when you patron our establishment as she has two more years of high school and “needs a job”. Her name is Charity Adelaide but her nicknames are “lemonmeringue” and “cherry lemonade!" Everything about her is bright and cheery from her brilliant mind to her uber blonde hair! She is the youngest of six so keeping her in her respectable place can sometimes be a task.🤣 She is an amazing pianist, profound writer of both fable and prose, a loyal friend, is starting her own non-profit to help others, and wants to be a interior designer. And she is teeny tiny and extremely mighty! Yes, she can roar!
Hope you are all enjoying the warm weather and Spring Showers as much as we are!
A month has passed and a blog post is needed. We are still in the throes of Spring disguised as Winter...and for you who have let your Italian go rusty, "Sprigati a Primevera" translates "Hurry Up Spring" and is said with MUCH gusto followed by many more exclamation points!
The fun part of having different generations, cultures and preferences among the group involved in this new venture is that we can explore and branch out from the normal genre of goods, design and gifts and bring you some truly lasting treasures that do not represent one flair or sophisticate! As of now our very small store will be broke down into even smaller sections of delight. This post highlights for you a tiny taste of "The Tabletop" segment because we all love to live and gather with our people around a table...whether it is to eat, sip or savor! Refined will offer a menagerie of found, mod, classic and common items which will make up this sacred spot so that the recipient can create a space or give a gift to their special people in the spirit of Hospitality and Love. You will never enter our store without seeing a tabletop fully set and waiting with merchandise for the patron to fall in love with and take home!
In other news we have some pretty fantastic old floors being revealed this week just in time to catch a couple of the rare rays of Sunshine that streamed in! WOW...is there anything more lovely and exciting than seeing the ancient beauty revealed through the polishers hand! If only these old boards could speak...the stories they would tell! Thank you to Connie and Marty McCabe for these glorious photos.
And lastly but mostly we are introducing Purveyor #4. She is smart, She is kind and She is very important!! She is Francesca Elizabeth hailing from the beautiful country of Haiti...she brings new meaning to the word creative in both her art and her life. There is nothing she can not do...from creating beautiful intricate beaded necklaces to making the most hard hearted scrooge smile. She is intentional in everything and goes with gusto and speed that leaves her tribe breathing her fairydust often. Her favorite things to do are create, dance hip hop, and socialize! Her greatest gifts are compassion that she shares with everyone she meets and what she can produce with a roll of duct tape....(*hint: watch for her offerings in the new store :)
We are still projecting a June opening...probably rather softly as we are juggling a house renovation, Francesca's graduation and numerous vacations...but none the less we will be opening! Stay tuned for more of what will carry in the new Old Store!
One of my favorite poets said " You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming. I may be starting to disagree with, Mr. Neruda. Never has it seemed that warm weather was so far away. Wanderlust has set in and I simply can not stay at home...but yet I can't get warm, my skin has turned to a pallid white, and I"m dreaming of anything but bi-polar Ohio weather!
We have had lots of fun finding new "found" merchandise and the conglomerate we are stockpiling is starting to be ridiculous! Guessing a breaking point must come...but its just so much fun!
I did get a chance to pop into the store this week on a sunny (chilly) day and get a photo shoot with the third purveyor on the roster and the smoothly finished plastered walls. Miss Rebecca reigns from the beautiful island of Hispaniola and is always ready for a photo shoot! :). And why not she is beautiful, deep, independent and real. You will see her in the store and be changed by her company.. She is a big city girl...so am guessing she will be moving on as soon as she can...but until then...enjoy!
Summer come quickly! :) Until then...Happy St Patricks Day!
Lots of changes in the storefront...not so much behind the scenes. Seems like there are lots of “other” projects that keep us from focusing on what we should be doing! The top window pane at the old building has been revealed and it has the most intricate panes that are carefully being restored and resurfaced. It makes a very big difference in the light that is received from the outside. Electric and plumbing are nearing completion and painting has begun...choosing colors that are period to the building. Architectural Board approved and commended our plan for restoration officially last week making our progress a GO to the finish!
Next week we venture to Colorado to help a friend scout for properties and I don’t anticipate much “finding” to happen...but who knows! A similar trip to Northern California a few years ago led to lots of treasure captured so maybe this one will be the same!! 😍
Introducing Refined Purveyor #2...this is Cassandra “Cassie”! She will be our quiet woman of wonder with strength, dedication and determination. She is a dental assistant going to school to be a fitness trainer. Her biggest fear is being “average” in which no one would ever classify her. She will fight for the underdog, stand up for herself and always be true to who she is. You will never not know where she stands on a issue and to “Refined” she will bring a work ethic of “all in where ever I’m needed!” You will not see her face in the store much because she is just to busy but she will be the one who hoisted the heavy chandeliers to be hung from the ceiling and who carried the large boxes of found items to the basement for storage and made the final decision on a big concept that the rest of her eccentric family couldn’t wrangle. It couldn’t be done without her. In other News: PROJECTED OPENING DATE JUNE 2018. Stay tuned for some possible plans in Troy as well!
Second meeting of the minds behind Refined...never a whole lot of seriousness and a whole lot of bosses in one place. We did manage to delegate a few jobs and nail down a couple of products. These girls are all different...creative ingenuity, practical inspiration, cultural intellect! All under 30 years of age, it is hard to keep up with the ideas and visions, but hands down they are movers and shakers. Very glad to be a part of their vision and hopefully the change they bring to the world... Refining one day at a time! :)
I may be wrong but there seems to be a feel of spring in the air. The snow covered ground pretends not to understand but deep underneath....a stirring has begun. A bit warmer feel in the air, a slightly longer amount of daylight to see, an occasionally trill of the bird that is not common to winter...yes, I believe the tide of spring is slowly advancing our way.
In updates on the old store, we have our finalized prints from the engineers and hopefully will get our okay next week from the Architectural committee and then it is on to a race to completion. Our heat and electric is currently being installed ,some pretty important features:)...and as soon as the weather is warm enough our exterior paint will go on and oh, my goodness...that is just so exciting!!
This week Mr. Bob Brown of Arcon Builders, scraped and brushed the entire tin ceiling by hand in the old store. Yes, It could have been done much easier but it excites me to know that instead, each tin tile was tenderly and carefully brushed clean of ash, dirt, and old paint in order to be restored back to its original beauty. My favorite quote on restoration of the Old: "I call beautiful Architecture Frozen Music!" -Johann Wolfgang Van Geothe...Am thinking these tiles will deliver an amazing symphony!!
On the more technical end of things, orders are being placed for merchandise, local vendors are crafting away, and we are getting our online store to the point of launching. This is all new to us...so please be patient!
I promised a bit of "Who we are!"...and in the simplest terms... we are One Mom and Five daughters...mess with one, you got the five others to reckon with! LOL! (JK)
The above Photograph was taken by Daughter # 1,
Miss Abbey, who excels in so many things of the artistic bent. When she was born the Heavens opened up and the gifts of music and laughter and beauty and love and everything free just spilled out and around as she tumbled onto this place we call earth...and everyone who meets and touches her is changed by her presence. You will see her in the Store, on the Stage, in the Saddle, behind the Lens, and occasionally on the Page. With All of her gifts none shine brighter than her ability to nurture, cry, laugh and pray as a nurse at Dayton Children's Medical Center, for each little soul she encounters.
Just a little bit from our "This is us" archive...stay tuned for #2 next post! :) Be Blessed!
Our Story: We are six...one mom and five daughters. A minuscule shop filled to the brim with refined goods...for the home, for the heart, for the tabletop, for the garden,for the soul, for the eye! We mostly gather what we find from places afar (travel is a crucial part of our lives and we hope to procure items for your enjoyment) and some a bit nearer. We mix in the homemade, the unique, the unusual. Antiquities of yesterday are most dear to us and we revel in the majesty of architecture, bibliophile, early glass and the whimsical vintages of the past. On a personal note we believe in love, in laughter, in prayer and in poetry! We write verse and make music, we paint and we create, and most importantly we pursue the act of compassion for all Humanity and strive daily to be a voice for the voiceless as we understand in ourselves the blessing of "place" that we have been dealt.