So many times people compliment me on how “creative” I am. And I thank them, but with a grain of salt.
9 times out of 10, I follow-up those statements, with a, “Pft…anybody could do what I do.”
I consider myself to be average and ordinary.
I know, I know…blah, blah blah….but let me show you what a truly creative and extraordinary person looks like.
This is Shelby Hersleff. Shelby lives and works in Minneapolis and her work has been featured in MIDNIGHT and FORTUNE. Select clients include Vestiges Inc., Angie’s Popcorn, Cambria, Starboard Cruiselines, Minnesota DNR, Kylie Jenner, Whole Foods, FX, Jack Links, BEHR Paints, Whoolite, Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Public Radio, and the Walker Art Center.
In other words, she’s a pretty big deal!
But the greatest thing of all is that she accepts freelance work!
Spencer has worked with Shelby on several successful projects and he suggested that we hire her to help design my Old Lake George logo.
On a Tuesday afternoon, we set up a conference call and discussed the ideas I had floating around in my head as to what I wanted my logo to look like.
Circle – because the actual lake is circular
Incorporate Old Lake George
Give it a “french postage mark” look
Show that OLG is based around products for the home
Add “Est. 2012”
Shelby listened, asked a few a questions, and early on Friday morning she sent me four different ideas.
As you may have noticed, this is the one that hit the nail on the head.
Our next step was to get a picture of me to “humanize” my website and other social media communications.
I am not photogenic. I really try. Kinda, sorta, but posing for a picture is not my forte.
As much as Spencer tried to get a great photo of me, let me just say, I strongly dislike having my picture taken, I couldn’t decide on one that was good.
Having the positive outlook in life that Spencer always has, he suggested that Shelby draw a picture of me from one of those photos.
For whatever deep-seated psychological reason, I thought that was a better idea.
Shelby used this photo of me that Spencer took and drew this.
One of the items you can select from her Etsy shop is your very own custom portrait of you, your family or even your pet. In addition, Shelby has graciously offered 25% off any item with no minimum when you use the coupon code OLG25 on purchases from her Etsy shop. (I told you she was awesome!)
I am so lucky to have been introduced to Shelby and her amazing creative capacities.
Have a great weekend,
P.S. In full disclosure, I was not compensated in any way to share about Shelby and her business. I think she is so remarkably talented and wanted to pay it forward.
I want to share with you that one of the greatest things with running a business is not only the people you meet, but the outreach of ideas and referrals people give you.
Those last Forever.
I posted the cover of my Fall 2017 Catalog on Facebook the other day and along with that asked if anyone knew of a boutique or shop they felt would enjoy the products I offer at Old Lake George and I want to extend that question here…drop me a note, I’d love to chat about it.
And now I want to pay that referral forward.
This is the contact information of my other nephew, Preston.
Preston gifted Samantha and Justin a wedding video as his gift to them for their big day.
Every feeling and every moment was caught on camera, by drone or video, and set to music. There are no words spoken for the entire six minute video, yet, everything was said.
I have watched this video a hundred times already and have yet to not tear up at their First Look.
But then the ceremony became the reception and those tears of joy and love turned into tears of laughter.
Remember when I said that Wade and I gave Sam and Justin a little gift and that you didn’t want to miss that video?
A quick backstory.
We wanted to get something for Sam and Justin for their wedding that they would keep Forever.
Wade doesn’t dance. We didn’t even have a DJ or dance at our wedding.
He will only slow dance if I give him the “come hither” look. 🙂
So knowing this, my bright idea was to do a dance for them to my favorite childhood song, Little Willy, by The Sweet. I knew Sam would recognize the song right away because when she and Jack were little it was our go-to afternoon dance party song!
When I first gingerly approached Wade with the idea, I was braced for a, “Nope, not happening.” But he thought it was a great idea and was on board from the beginning!
Now all we needed were dance lessons and a choreographer.
I researched locally for someone to help and found nothing.
And then one evening Jimmy and Nikki, our neighbors, were over and I shared with them our brilliant wedding gift idea and dilemma.
At that moment all of our stars aligned, dancing shoes aligned and Nikki volunteered to choreograph for us being that she was in dance during high school and in college.
She quickly assessed how simple the moves were going to need to be 🙂 and put something together.
We practiced several times for about a week.
And then it was show time.
Speeches and toasts were given by the best man, the maid of honor and Justin’s Mom.
Then it was our turn.
We made Sam and Justin sit in front of us on the edge of the dance floor as we faced them and the rest of the wedding guests.
Besides Nikki and Jimmy, only two other people knew we were doing this.
Sam started to cry because she thought we were going to say something touching. Ha. Justin had no idea what was happening.
Wade did say a few words of Thanks to everyone for making this the Best Day Ever and then the music started.
During the brief intro of the song we got everyone clapping and I yelled out that they better pull out their phones, cause this will never happen again.
Enjoy the video and hold on tight for the Forever Dance.
The day finally arrived. Justin and Sam officially tied the knot!
The weather earlier in the week was rain, rain and more rain, but the day of the wedding was a perfect, 75 degree low-humidity day.
After a fun Thursday evening at the Plymouth Millennium Gardens for the rehearsal, we all met back at the Lucky 13 restaurant for the groom’s dinner.
Sam and Justin chose a casual patio garden barbeque menu. The evening was full of fun and laughter as everyone chatted and celebrated the couple.
Friday morning, the day of the wedding, started with early morning hair and makeup for the wedding party and decorating the venue.
My Mom had designed all of the arrangements the night before using blue, green and white hydrangeas. From there we corralled everyone to help with putting arrangements on the tables, setting up the photo booth, and placing more flowers on the cake, gift and guest book tables.
It took a small village of family and friends to pull it off and I want to thank everyone who helped.
(I’ll show you more pictures of the details as Spencer finishes them)
Speaking of Spencer, he gifted Sam and Justin their wedding photos. What a great gift!
He worked off of a list that the couple had created.
The first item on the list was the “First Look” picture.
Here is what that looked like, from the balcony of the reception area using my iPhone.
Only the two of them and Spencer were allowed to be part of that moment. Not even me, the mother of the bride that gave birth and raised this child for 23 years, 11 months and 11 days!
But I’m not bitter, it’s fine, whatever. 🙂
After the “First Look”, pictures of the two of them at different parts of the gardens were snapped. (Photo by Spencer)
The back of her dress is so beautiful, I wanted you to see it. Again using my IPhone, I captured this picture of my sister Carrie, who was Sam’s personal attendant, helping Sam with her train as they walked towards the next photo spot.
From here they started on wedding party photos. (Photo by Spencer)
I love this picture. Spencer captured these two “Kissing”. These two goofs are not the kissy, huggy type in front of other people. The expression on their faces is usually how they posed.
So why not keep that tradition going…even on your wedding day.
Next came family photos.
And then it was time to tie the knot.
I thought I had all of my tears out of the way at the rehearsal. Let me tell you, I was an ugly cry mess. I knew I would be, but dang, I was a torrential downpour of tears. It was even suggested that I attach sponges under my eyes for the wedding day.
When Wade, Sam and I started to walk down the aisle, I was doing pretty good.
And then I saw Carrie crying.
I held it back until we were standing in front of the minister and she told us that is was “Time to let go and give Sam’s hand to Justin.”
Are you kidding me?
Commence the waterworks, ugly cry and the greatest hug I have ever received from my daughter.
The rest of the ceremony was beautiful and the reception was a fun celebration with family and friends.
As I get more pictures, I will share them with you.
In fact, Wade and I gave Sam and Justin a gift that they will never forget. You won’t want to miss that video.
I was reading an article the other day titled Seven Things Successful People Do.
As much as I was hoping those seven things included eating whatever you liked, not exercising regularly and having Mountain Dew for breakfast, sadly, it did not.
However, one of the seven was Finding People To-Do Things That You Cannot.
And this is how I started on the road to success using that simple step.
A couple months ago, I had a vision of what I wanted my new logo to look like, but I was struggling with putting that vision on paper.
That is when I found the people to-do things that I couldn’t.
Flock is a business in downtown Minneapolis where Spencer rents creative space. “Renting creative space” initially sounded weird to me.
Can’t you be creative anywhere? Answer: Yes, but.
(For those of you wondering, Spencer is the photographer behind the amazing photos on this blog, my Social Media Director and last but not least, my nephew. He is brilliant, that is all you need to remember. )
Let me show you around Flock and you will see why Spencer works from here.
As you enter.
These long tables lining the room offer spaces which can be rented.
If you prefer a smaller setting, these cozy bistro tables are available in the adjacent room.
Six months out of a Minnesota year a sunny patio is available to grab a bite to eat and re-energize.
Right in side that patio is my favorite room. Some day when my kitchen grows up, it will look like this.
Other creative spaces:
In addition to these beautifully decorated spaces, Flock offers many other perks. One of them is this:
Big Brain is a designated brainstorming hour filled with laughter, brilliant minds and plenty of wine. Designed to bring together fellow creatives to bounce around ideas.
Spencer set up a late Wednesday afternoon “Big Brain” for us to join fellow “creatives” and brainstorm about my new logo.
Let me tell you, I have never, ever had a meeting that was so productive, energetic and fun. Okay, maybe the flowing wine contributed to the success of the meeting, but if that’s what it takes? Take note Corporate America!
I’ll share the brainstorm session results and what came next soon.
Thanks for stopping by,
P.S. If you would like to learn more about Flock, click here.
The last time we spoke was way back in May. I posted about being busy and never said anything more, not one little word from Old Lake George. I’m sorry if you felt abandoned 😉 But I am back and do I have a story for you!
One of my dreams is to own my own little shop. A cute boutique that had something for everyone. Pillows, rugs, furniture, paintings and sit arounds.
When I was little, I remember cleaning everything out my closet. Clothes, shoes, books, dolls, coloring books, everything. Although, now that I look back maybe “clean out” isn’t the correct wording. I actually tossed everything from the closet onto the floor of my bedroom. Basically I “cleared out” my closet.
There wasn’t much to clear out. It wasn’t that big of a closet, probably four square feet with four shelves on the back wall, one which was out of reach.
The purpose of my clearing was, of course, to put everything back in, but in its proper spot. I liked to pretend I was setting up a shop.
I remember plugging in a small lamp which I placed on the lowest shelf to make the shop look cozy. Beside the lamp always went my “cash register”. You know, an old receipt book with a number 2 pencil, the metal pokey for receipts and some loose change.
That first shelf was all business!
The remaining two shelves were set up with items to be displayed for sale.
On the first, neatly stacked, size 5T t-shirts and pants, maybe a pair of off-season shoes and socks.
Then the home décor shelf.
I had no idea that décor was a word when I was five, but this is the shelf that displayed a decorative pillow, some of the crocheted doilies that my grandmother had made, a set of napkins borrowed from my mom’s hutch and various sit arounds like a small tea set, a bottle with a penny in it that I got on a summer vacation to the Badlands in South Dakota, and books creatively stacked to fill in the space.
I spent hours and hours in that closet.
When the shop was finally ready, I would run downstairs and tell my family that I was open for business!
One by one they would come to my small bedroom closet and shop. My sisters never bought anything, just grabbed what I may have collected from their room and took it back.
My Mom always bought her napkins back. They were expensive. 4 cents for a set of four and I of course had to make change from a nickel. My Dad usually bought a book and I would have to use paper and pencil to figure out the change from a dime.
The Closet Boutique’s Grand Openings were always a hit!
Now let’s fast forward several years.
You may have noticed several changes on my website.
New logos, new banners, and a new about page. Newness everywhere! And the best part is, I have expanded my Etsy shop to now include an Etsy wholesale shop! My dreams of owning my own shop are finally coming true. It may not be the storefront I imagined when I was little, it’s the adult version of my Closet Boutique.
Old Lake George looks sharper, more defined and oh so French Farmhouse.
In the weeks and months to come, I will be posting about how these changes all came together. Let me tell you, it took a lot more than clearing out the closet.
There will still be occasional DIY projects and, of course, updates on changes in my house. Plus, we are down to the final days of preparation for our daughter’s wedding.
Believe me, when I say that that blog post will be amazing. (Amazing defined as emotion filled.)
But the direction this blog will be taking will be more interactive. I want your opinion about things and your thoughts on certain décor topics.
I hope you stop by often and tell a friend if you like what you see.
Raise your hand if you are busy – or should I say, don’t raise your hand if you are busy.
Cause who has time to raise their hand?
With Spring upon us and Summer just around the corner, everyone is busy doing something!
Wrapping up the school year, planning graduation parties, figuring out Mother’s Day gifts, scheduling summer vacation plans.
The lists go on and on.
I hear you. I am there right along with you.
At the top of my personal busy list is continuing to plan Sam and Justin’s wedding. We are within the three-month window of the big day.
I will be driving up to Sam’s house next week to finalize the flowers, put the finishing touches on the invitations and probably 800 other details.
Or maybe we will end up binge watching Fixer Upper. 🙂
On the business side of busy, I am so excited to share with you that I have hired a designer to create an Old Lake George logo for me. You know that, “thing” you see and you know the brand instantly? Think;
And, of course,
Shelby Hersleff, is a Minnesota-based designer/artist with a very impressive list of clients and an endless amount of patience and creativity.
Trying to find the “perfect” logo that represents Old Lake George is something I have struggled with for years. There are so many thoughts that go into what seems like a simple “blop” on a piece of paper.
This is what I wanted the logo to be:
-Direct. Not busy and overwhelming. (How I think of myself)
-Black and white. (My two favorite colors)
-Without emphasis on the word lake. (This isn’t a nautical company)
-Figuratively stamp-like (Yet, I can literally stamp it onto packaging, business cards etc.)
-Rustic and not perfect (No explanation needed about that one)
Shelby got right to work with these thoughts and has already sent me four ideas. This is the beginning stage of developing a logo and I cannot wait to unveil the final decision with you soon.
My recent trip to Waco, Texas to visit Magnolia Farms was so fun and a true bucket list adventure!
However, if you have a couple of more days to adventure around the area, here are a few places we found that were almost more fun than Magnolia.
Take the time to visit the Magnolia House B&B.
This house is actually in the town of McGregor, which is about 22 miles from Waco. McGregor has a population around 5000.
My first impression of the B&B was pure joy!
It would fun to stay here in the “winter” because truth be told, there isn’t a whole lot else to do within walking distance of the house.
Not that that is a bad thing. Just being at the Magnolia B&B house with friends or family would be memorable.
Please keep in mind that unless you have reservations, you will not be able to go past the iron gate that encloses the property. (Click here for pictures of the interior.)
And according to the reservation website, all dates are booked for 2017. Keeping my glass half full, that means there is something to look forward to in 2018. 🙂
Since we were already in McGregor, we went to the two antique shops, the Cedar Chest and Cedar Chest too, that Joanna and Chip frequent to find pieces for their homes.
If you want an antique scavenger hunt, walking-down-memory-lane adventure, this is for you.
I don’t know how many times, my parents and I said, “I remember using that!” or “If only I would’ve kept that, we would be rich!”
And after walking around thousands of square feet of goodies, I bought this.
Side story: I actually had an ice cream scoop in my basket when we were at the Magnolia shops. The scoop was $20. I totally justified spending the money on an identical scoop because it made for a great story if people asked me where I got it. And then I realized that it wasn’t that great of a story.
When this scoop found me at Cedar Chest Too, and it was only $2.95, I knew it was meant to be the scoop for the storytelling.
On our way back to Waco, we drove thru Chip and Joanna’s first subdivision. (You can read all about it here.)
According to the article, this is a,
37-home, gated community off Bosque Boulevard called Magnolia Villas. The garden homes will sell for $140,000 to $200,000, which includes the price of the lots.
This subdivision was started in 2011 and as we drove around, none of the homes were for sale and the final two lots were almost completed.
Every single one of the houses was “perfect”.
After driving around and looking at houses, which I could do all day, we stopped by Harp Design Studios.
We spent about fifteen minutes here. I thought this would be a combination of Cedar Crest and Magnolia.
It was not.
Although the items that were available for sale were fun to look at, the studio is located in a residential neighborhood and parking is very limited.
But our day wasn’t over yet.
If you are looking for some local Waco shopping, please make it a point to go to Spice Village. There is a collection of shops with something for everyone.
I could write another 1000 words about this village right outside Waco.
This is a community based on:
an agrarian- and craft-based intentional Christian community. Its literature stresses simplicity, sustainability, self-sufficiency, cooperation, service and quality craftsmanship. It also strives to live in peaceful coexistence with the land, other people and other faiths.
This is a taste of what simplicity looks like.
We had our own little private impromptu tour with Colleen who worked at Brazos Walking Sticks. A company that made a large assortment of walking canes that is located behind the Simply Fabric Store.
She shared her personal history with Homestead, the history of Homestead and the process of making walking sticks.
She had the best summation of what the village was all about.
“We are a community that lives simply and are self sufficient. It’s not that we don’t use the technology that is available in society, but we are not a slave to it.”
I love that. Something to think about.
There are so many other things to check out in this area. This is only the tip of the iceberg. 🙂
We found this magazine in our hotel room and used it as our guide.
Thanks for letting me share! I hope this inspires you to head south and visit!
Is visiting Magnolia Farms on your bucket list, a potential dream come true or something you would do if you just happened to be in Waco?
Magnolia Farms was on my bucket list.
And last week I checked it off the list.
My Mom and Dad winter in southern Texas. When I visited them last January, we made plans to meet in Waco as they were making their way back home to Wisconsin.
So on Monday evening I flew from the Minneapolis airport on a direct flight to Dallas. After a quick and easy two hour flight, I rented a car and drove an hour and a half down to Waco. The drive was almost a straight shot down I-35. Well marked highways, plus having Siri on my side made for an easy drive.
My Mom was a little bit nervous for me to drive by myself.
Once a Mother, forever a Mother. 🙂
Safely arriving at the hotel, we caught up with each other and then grabbed a good night sleep.
This was my parents fourth trip to Magnolia. They wanted to arrive when the shops opened at 9am, but I am not very good at being productive in the morning.
We arrived at about 10:30. We parked about three blocks away along the street. We had heard a lot of rumors about how terrible parking was, but we did not have a problem.
I found the area to be interesting. It must be from the TV images of the Gaines’ house and other sights, but I thought that Magnolia would cover a more spacious area.
It does not.
We all know that the silos they bought used to be an operating business. Truth be told Chip and Joanna Gaines must be incredible visionaries because I would not have seen the same potential in this area as they did.
I guess that’s why I am here telling you about their place and they own it. Lol
The first thing we did was enter the main Magnolia Shop.
Everything is wonderful.
On a Tuesday morning, there was plenty of room to casually walk around and take your time looking at the items that are so brilliantly staged for sale.
We did chat with some people that said they had been there over the weekend and it was impossible to get around. Tuesday compared to a Saturday at the Silos would be two different experiences.
From the shops, we walked over to the new bakery.
They have a great system set up to move as many people in and out of a small area, very quickly.
My Mom picked out a carrot cake cupcake with yummy frosting, my Dad had two cinnamon rolls and I enjoyed a sugar cookie.
I think we paid around $25 for all four items. A little pricey, but delicious.
After the bakery we walked along the silos where they have a great photo-op set up.
We ventured into the cutest garden area that included a quaint garden shop. In addition to our purchases from the Magnolia shop, I bought a tea towel that has a picture of basil on it and my Mom bought a little tin basket and an airplant to put in it.
Outside of the garden shop, framed out by the Magnolia shop, silos and food trucks is an area for kids to run and play. There were wood blocks, all types of balls and varieties of other games. They had huge black and white striped bean bags along the edge of the astroturfed area for parents to relax.
Every single person that we talked to that worked there was nice and genuinely happy to be there.
These two guys were so excited when I asked them if I could take their picture. I told them that I was going to put their picture on my blog. They knew that this was the beginning of them being “famous”!
We spent about two hours at Magnolia.. But I think that if you plan on going on a weekend, you will probably spend twice that amount of time.
Either way, it was fun and well worth the trip.
P.S. I’ll share some other things we did while in Waco later this week. Our trip only got better from here. 🙂
Last week when Sam was in town, we went to The Northtown Mall. For whatever reason, I rarely go to this particular mall but we needed to kill some time while Sam’s car was being fixed and the mall is right across the street.
I had totally forgotten that a Becker Furniture World store had been added on several years ago as an anchor store.
Solely with the intention of killing time, we entered the furniture store first and then planned on continuing with the other stores in the mall.
Ten feet into the store, they had the Magnolia Home section.
I love the whole collection. Every last bit of everything.
Wade had wandered off to look at gas grills, so Sam and I pretended to re-decorate my house and furnish her new apartment.
And then I saw this.
And then I looked a little closer and saw this!
Be still my heart.
I NEEDED this cabinet.
Okay, I really WANTED this cabinet.
In my mind, I justified 3000 different reasons why I should buy it. But, I didn’t have a spot for it.
Or did I????
Shock of all shocks, we left the store without the cabinet.
We picked up Sam’s car and had a great rest of our weekend, but I could not get that cabinet out of my head.
Then I realized that this was the perfect spot. (And no, I don’t have my Christmas Tree up anymore. I just really liked this picture. )
But as you can see, I had the awesome dresser in that spot. (You can read here and here all about that dresser makeover.)
The answer to the problem was easy, sell the dresser.
I listed it on Craigslist around 8pm on Sunday night and it was sold and picked up on Monday night.
Miracles of all miracles, I then waited another FIVE days before Wade and I went back to Becker Furniture World, holding my breath the entire way that no one had already bought it.
The store opened at 10am.
I walked straight to the spot where I had last seen it.
It was still there!
We grabbed a salesperson, swiped the ‘ol credit card and we were headed home by 11am.
As we were waiting for our purchase to be loaded onto our truck, I said to Wade, “You know, we could save a lot of money if I just lived in the furniture store.”
He smiled and shook his head.
What do you think?
P.S. I added a set of casters to the cabinet. You know, just as a personal touch. 🙂