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I looked around my own living room yesterday and had an epiphany. And this time, no, it wasn't that I hadn't cleaned my floors in so long I couldn't remember when they'd been given attention last. Instead, my heart flooded with these happy thoughts :
- I chose the delicate brocade fabric, Robert picked the design, and a talented friend sewed our drapes;
- the curtain rod itself is 30 feet long. We designed it, then Robert welded it from carbon steel pipe. It sports an arrowhead finial on one side with its tail-feather at the other end. For common materials, it makes an elegant statement. (I'd like to see the bow that could shoot it. Wowza!);
- the matching rocking chairs were salvaged from my in-laws garage. I refinished them one summer and had the cushions recovered (by our talented friend's talented sister);
- the table between the rockers came unpainted from my girlhood bedroom, now in a gloss navy blue with a four seasons scene on top (repainted by yours truly);
- the child's glider was an Amish auction find now with soft stripes and petite florals in blush pinks and creams. I'd chosen new fabric and refinished the natural wood, and then the same talented friend and sister sewed the sweetest seat and cushions you've ever seen (really...I'm not just saying so...its adorable...);
- the oversized, tufted ottoman swathed in a rich, chocolate suede Robert and I designed and also had recovered by the talented sisters;
- the black wrought-iron side table - I chipped off the old formica top and retiled it myself. A fall project. Now, it hearkens back to the stonemasons and bricklayers of my Italian heritage (at least in my imagination!);
- the red gingham chair, steamer trunk, coffee table, and small quilt stand are passed down from family. Each reminds me of my ancestors and their vibrant trail to my very existence;
- speaking of throw pillows... (because, honestly, they make me happy. You too? I know right?) ...two were sewn as gifts from one of my sisters, and all the rest have been gifts we received through the years. Even still, I think three of the seven were store bought, but only two look it, AND...last but not least...;
- the understated rag rug serves as a lovely reminder of a road trip we took visiting family with our daughter in upstate New York a while back.
My point? The things I fill my home with are made by me or by friends and have memories attached to them. They remind us of the real adventures in everyday life and precious relationships near and far. Robert and I choose to live our very best adventures every day.
Why write about this? Because seeing what I've selected for my own life, for my own home, validated - even to myself - our raison d'etre for opening The Roughshod Ribboniere.
Shop for Longevity!
I love this picture of the humongous tree trunk. It worked perfectly for the message we wanted to send clients interested in Robert's construction and development skills. Every tree may start as a seed, but given time and good conditions, voila! Something grander than anyone expected has been growing, slow and steady, and standing strong. And it's that voila! we're wanting to sow more of into the world.
If you've seen the "Vote with Your Fork" campaigns many whole food and slow food supporters champion, then you'll get the idea of what RoughshodRibboniere.com is for the general marketplace, not to mention the arts, artisans, and craftspeople who excel in their specialties. If you're anything like me, you squint at the mass-produced, easy-access trinkets readily available. While I applaud certain quick food chains for their educational, developmental, or social awareness in the new toys found in the children's menu bags, sometimes I feel like the entire shopping environment for adults is dwindling down to cheap, sterile, disconnected stuff to satisfy a moment. These pieces, that we are throwing our hard earned incomes at, will not become heirlooms or masterpieces or gain value over time. They're simply a quick fix.
So, I changed. I stopped buying those items. As a family, we started attending events where actual individuals brought their wares to market, or close to it. We invested time and built relationships. Then, we invested more time, effort, and our own resources to start a business. We're building a brand that showcases the professional talents and skills of others we admire and are inspired by. That's who we are and what this is about.
Does that mean I'll never buy anything from a store? Yes, I will. But I'll still be looking for craftsmanship, authenticity, and artistry.
Surround Yourself with Beauty!
We're also about You. Because, like us, you need a place you can trust to find quirky, awesome, personal treasures to feather your nest and create your space while honoring the artists and craftspeople whose work decorates your life.
We bring you our favorite finds throughout the decorated the pages of our online store. The artist's set their prices, and a percentage of every item sold through the site goes to worthy community projects through our Give Back Program.
Life is the best adventure. Here's to yours!
~Marissa & Robert, and the entire TRR Crew
- Marissa Hale