Monday, December 26, 2011

Introducing, the new and improved Craft Lab

Yep, it's true.  Santa swooped down onto the sleepy little hamlet known as Claremont Village and delivered a brand new workshop to yours truly.  The only thing missing are elves.  Oh, wait a minute.  There are elves, but they look remarkably like the two owners of the store.  And, we love being elves, for this is our workshop.  If you're in the neighborhood, do pop by as we're offering all kinds of neat things to make and build.  Check us out.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The craft lab in full swing

One of our favorite things is watching people hang out at the bar and make stuff.  The store is really founded in the concept of doing and creating, so it really warms our hearts to see people engage.  Here are some great cards that our customers made, this afternoon.  It was a busy day at the store, indeed!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Go-to Guys

Strange and wonderful things are afoot in the village.  We've received two phone calls in the last week from creative folks desperate for some last minute help with their ideas and projects.  Apparently word has gotten out that heirloom is the go-to place for gettin' it done.

First, it was a phone call from "M" regarding a bracelet with a phone number.  She wanted a folksy look with a metal plate, and would be leaving on a plane in three days.  "I have kind of a strange question," she began.  "Can it be done?"

But of course.  In the photo, the area code has been covered to protect the innocent.  We had some of these metal bands and chain, and just needed to stamp out the info.   She was appreciative and very nice to work with.


So, "L" walks in and says, "I need a custom box made, approximately 6" x 8" and I'm leaving for my holiday vacation in five days - make that two boxes.  Would you happen to know of anyone who can do that?"  She's going to be transferring a photograph onto the face of each box as a gift for whom I think will be family members.  

No problem!  A flip of the switch and I was pushing lumber through the table saw blade.  I cut up some thin birch and glued up a couple of proper boxes this morning.  

She's off doing some stain tests tonight, and we'll be figuring out how to transfer those images over the next two days.  I've done it with inkjet, but it's a sketchy transfer with respect to getting all your edges straight.  

Stay tuned!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Some Big News

When it rains, it pours.  Shortly after the pendant lamp class last week, I was contacted by the owners of The Wine Merchants at The Packing House building with a question about lighting.  After a meeting that night, we agreed that a thirty-bottle chandelier of different colored glass would be appropriate over their newly renovated dining area.  A couple of busy weeks lie ahead, but I'm up to the challenge.  The project will be great for both our businesses as I direct people to see the sculpture while they refer interested parties to me.

Our luminaries have really taken off, as well, with custom orders of specific artwork.  We're looking forward to a nice holiday season.

The community of Claremont has been so warm and welcoming to our presence here.  We've made so many new friends who pop by to say hello on a frequent basis.  It's quite nice to be a part of such a large family.   

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A True Holiday Weekend

We started Saturday morning bright and early, getting everything ready for our very first class in all things cool - The Wine Bottle Pendant lamp.

It was so fun to gather the "sold out" crowd together to share something we find so fun here at heirloom.  Repurposing stuff is kind of our motto, as we've done it with everything from pallets... cardboard tubes...

 ...and doors.    

Our students were eager and excited to hang out and spend a morning making something they can actually use that will be long lasting and a great conversation piece.

The "Craft Lab" was burning up with people this weekend.  It was loads of fun to see all of the creative spirits make and take some really cool stuff.  

Look what you can make with our box of computer parts?

And, we watched as Emily and family painted some beautiful ornaments and signs out of our unfinished tree branch slices.

Good times at heirloom.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Two Firsts...

First, here's the luminari I made for a christmas party that one our customers is going to attend.  She didn't know what to get as a white elephant gift.  But, when she told me that the party will be attended primarily by members of an organization she belongs to,  I suggested a luminari with the organization logo.  She was thrilled to pieces at the idea, and this is what we came up with.

The stars really pop with the glow from a nice bright candle.  

But, tonight I have to zip home and prep for my first class in the wine bottle pendant lamps.  I'm so excited to share this super cool project with people who like our store.  And, it's going to be on Saturday when all of the holiday excitement for the village gets under way.  The tree lighting, holiday train, ice skating and offerings of refreshments by village businesses all commence, starting Friday evening, through Saturday night.  Good times!  

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Whirlwind 24hrs

Whew!  That's all I have to say about that.  Just kidding.  Last night, about an hour before closing, I had a visit from three different people who want custom work done for them in one way or another.  A gentleman from Ohio is touring the colleges with his son and discovered my wine bottle pendant lamps hanging in the gallery.  He inquired about shipping two of them home so that he may install them in his bathroom remodel.  How cool is that?

Another customer wandered in after thinking about our shop for custom jewelry.  Well, little did she know, she came to the right place.   I showed her some work from one of our jewelry artists...

 ...and she was sold, instantly.  We'll be pairing them up and see what happens.

Then, a woman whose husband is part of a motorcycle club that is having its holiday party this Saturday night wants to bring a gift for the white elephant game.  I suggested a custom luminari with the club logo on it, and she about flipped out.  I had to whip up a design in photoshop right quick for her, and upon her approval, I locked up shop and zipped over to kinkos to get some print-outs made.

I also turned out some amazing new designs based on some scans that have been waiting in the wings.  I just added "Washington" and "Oregon" to the vintage postcard series.  The produce labels have been doing quite well due to the "claremont-centric" nature of the material.

After that, it was up bright and early to gather the parts and pieces necessary to transform the tree into holiday mode.

And, back to luminari mode, when we close, tonight.  Unfortunately, we don't have any room for workshop space here at the store, otherwise I'd be able to get so much done during the day.  We're going to investigate the potential over the next several months.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holidays in California

Growing up in California, we've learned to appreciate the icons of the holiday season from a second hand perspective.  We have never actually made a snowman in our front yards, but we've seen plenty of snowmen painted on storefront windows at Christmastime.

And, as children, we never went ice skating in the neighborhood park during winter, but we used to watch our favorite "Peanuts" characters ice skate on TV.  

While those icons may do a very good job of invoking that sense of holiday spirit in all of us, once the TV is turned off and the windows are wiped clean of their winter scenes, the connections we have with our friends and family are all that remain.  And, it's that connection with those whom we appreciate and who appreciate us that keep the holiday spirit alive, all year long.

Thanks to all of the new friends we've made who have frequented the store over the past two months.  Thanks to all who pass the store and wave hello, and to those who stop by to chat.  Our holiday season is sure to be a long one.   

Rob & Becky